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Month: September 2018

The toughest boss

The customer that is angry, agitated and about to burst like a supernova. That’s the toughest boss! In the sway of emotions, logic doesn’t work. This is the situation with the steepest learning curve and the grandest opportunity to earn a raving fan.

Don’t run away, pass on or react back with anger. Instead, listen. Listen aggressively and show empathy. Stick your neck out, go out of your way to support them and solve their challenge.

But, if the customer was a jerk, to begin with. Dump them. Being the company that works with jerks isn’t worthwhile. Even though they may be your biggest account.

The choice is yours. May the force be with you.

Using forwards to move forward.

If you choose to forward do so by adding further value. Share your viewpoints, takeaways, understandings, aha-moments, or even criticisms, counter-arguments

By forwarding a message, video, infographic or any form of content without adding value is spam. It erodes the trust you are building, breaks the established rapport and at times leads to being ignored.

Use forwards to build a conversation, deepen the rapport, spread worthwhile ideas. If there’s low or no response, that’s feedback.

Tit for tat works

It’s the gentleman’s way. It works because it establishes a culture that if you deliver results, so will I. I’ll keep my end of the deal, I expect you to do so. If you fail to do so then I’ll not keep my end of the deal the next time. And if you do keep up the deal the next time so shall I. It’s about you delivering on your promise. You shall not default on that.

It sends a message. An important one. Where the market, the suppliers, the customers can’t kick you around and maximise points. The only way to maximise points is to cooperate.

The illusion of certificates.

The illusion of certificates is very real. It seems like the proverbial carrot. It’ll be all fine once you get it. A sort of insurance. The focus then is not on getting educated, skilled and equipped but to get certified. To get just enough to move on.

Certificates are no more relevant. Their value has plummeted. You may be able to open the doors but to close deals, to make something happen, to get that coveted gig it’s not necessary.

Your banker, investor, employee, free-lancer will not ask you for your marks card or certificate. Stop chasing it.

Instead, strive to deepen understanding, search for an alternative, contrary perspectives, inter-relate and cross-pollinate ideas, insights from various disciplines.

Rome was not built in a day, it was built every day. Build your skill sets, study for excelling in the subject. In the end, Certificates may not enhance your value but you will enhance the value of the certificates.

Go, make some Galata.


The idea, story, punch line may have tanked in front of the audience you wished embraced it. So what? Try a new audience. Repurpose it, Repackage it, refine it and then ship it. Keep showing up in front of various audiences to narrow down on your niche!

What you created for hostel dwellers may have failed, but it may click with the housewives.

The second step.

The next baby-step that will move your idea forward. That’s the crucial one. Think of it and write it down the moment you get an idea/ see an opportunity.

The curse of every idea is that the more you delay taking action on it gets harder, seems insurmountable and overwhelming.

A tiny step planned and written down will provide clarity and get the momentum rolling. A rolling pebble can become an avalanche.

5 tools to refine your speech

The difference between an average speech and a remarkable one is the refinement of the message, the medium and the technology.

These tools may help you:

1: Grammarly: This is my official grammarian, one that I stick by to proofread my every typed word.

2: Astound: Training my voice to remain healthy, clear and crisp. I use it before every recording of my podcast and delivering elongated speeches.

3: Paper/notes: I make mind maps for my speeches. I used to do it with pen and paper but I find it much more convenient now, to do it using technology.

I further use notes and keep to record worthwhile #quotes, #stories, #feedback to store, retrieve and incorporate in future speeches. A simple feed-forward mechanism.

4: Tape a call / Phone recorder: listening to my voice when I interact with people to identify patterns, natural voice modulation and often ignored, less common crutch words like hmm, ok, damn, interesting, good, wow, amazing. These are mine, yours may be totally different.

5: Audience: Expose yourself to people of different ages, backgrounds, cultures, professions to refine your audience-meter. The ability to calibrate a speech is very essential.

A quick snap of a speech I delivered the day before yesterday.

Talent not required

“The more you practice for the things you are not paid, the more people will pay you for your practice” – Dr Rajdeep Manwani

Keep practising, honing, sharpening your skills. Talent NOT required. Show up every day, out-practice your competition, out-deliver your contemporaries, Think and read the hard stuff, take risks.

You know you can’t connect the dots looking forward, what you can do is work. Keep making something happen and deliver it. Ship it before its ready. Because it’ll never be ready. It’ll add up, multiply and magnify till it can’t be ignored.

Go make some Galata.


You have built a signature style with sweat, blood, luck and what not. A brand that people recognise you with, a hairstyle that they are used to seeing you in, a certain dressing style that you’ve gotten accustomed to. It could be the route you take to your home, the way you begin your every speech, The manner in which you introduce yourself.

You have settled into a routine. It’s time to shake it up, to break it before it’s broken, boring or bamboozled.

It’s time to uncreate you.

It’s hard, uncomfortable, overwhelming and inviting a lot of questions, criticisms. Expect it.

Give people a chance to get to know you all over again! Uncreate yourself. Because you can’t be the new you without breaking the old routines, scripts, spaces and routes.

Don’t reinvent the wheel, reinvent the one behind the wheel – You.