Leadership – Far above ‘I’


I have met scores of individuals claiming to be leaders and have also read numerous books and on the topic of leadership. I earlier thought that leadership was all about the position the person holds – the cabin office with a name that he sits in. Yes, the position holders too are leaders; but real leadership is about people wanting to follow you due to something much more than the prestige your job title gives you.

When the leader goes beyond selfish I

Such followership comes only when the leader goes beyond selfish I, and genuinely takes care of the people around. Several types of leadership development programs or leadership training courses in Bangalore or anywhere else can push you a bit higher in your journey of becoming a better leader.

A quote by a leadership coach and author, John Maxwell, says:

When we learn to turn our focus from ourselves to others, the whole world opens up to us.”

 What does it mean? When the focus is no more on I, My, Me, Mine, any individual can rise several notches higher in their leadership journey.


Another quote in the movie Spiderman says,

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

So true! If you are a leader you have power, and you must use it with a sense of responsibility. What use you put it in completely depends on you.

Characteristics of a Leader

The list of expected characteristics of a leader usually talked of also includes

Characteristics of a Leader

  • Vision
  • Communication
  • Decision making
  • Self-regulation

Most often these are parts of and talked about in any leadership development program. Practice exercises and role plays would again be present in such a course so that participants get to experience how it is to use those skills.

Why choosing the right kind of leadership development program

leadership development program

However, what would matter the most for a leadership training happening in Bangalore, or in your organization is giving current and experienced leaders an opportunity to share their experiences, fears, moments of joy, etc. and ask them to mentor or coach the first time leaders.

Any such leadership training must also assess needs and target measurable objectives in terms of what the participants will be able to do at the end of the development program. This means if the participant will communicate “better”, what would change in the results he has to deliver – will he be able to sell more, persuade people to take any action?

But most significant of all I have already personally experienced and noticed, is the less focus on oneself. For better or worse, leaders can drastically change your organization. That is why choosing the right kind of leadership development program is so essential to create the right type of leaders in your organization.

Training initiatives – A must for every firm.

Training initiatives

Training and development activities are not just useful and important for an organization. They are an indispensable part of every firm.

Let’s say your company plans to up the profit and grow faster this year, what will it need along with ROI training? Skill enhancement!

Another time let’s say you hired good people who are making fifty sales while their target was seventy. There’s a gap that needs to be filled.

Although both appear to be similar, when paid attention, they are not the same. Skill enhancement is more futuristic while filling a skill gap is largely about addressing current needs.

However, whatever the case, both types of needs would require regular training. This presents an amazing opportunity to your company, to enable a positive change in the knowledge, skills and attitude of the people within. Communication training and team building training are some of the avenues that bring in the required change. After this positive change there would be no looking back, but only a road that leads forward.

Some logistical challenges can be counted on finger tips like employees attending the training lose work time leading to a delay in the completion of projects. Also, a few employers find this activity expensive and don’t get involved. Nevertheless, an intelligent training investment always pays in more ways than one, and the organization can enjoy much more than what they invested for.

A few of the many positive impacts of training and development activities are:

Satisfaction and loyalty:

Satisfaction and loyalty

Every individual wants to grow and become better. When a company helps employees grow, they feel valued. Training gives them an opportunity to learn about aspects or fields they would have never heard of thus increasing their curiosity and interest. Communication Training also enables employees to know each other better, in turn creating a stronger and supportive workplace. Such employees are likely to have greater satisfaction and demonstrate greater loyalty towards their organization.

Better quality standards leading to higher productivity:

When employees have gone through some customer service trainings, they make fewer mistakes, are able to meet the quality standards expected and are able to produce more products in the same span of time.

Higher profits

Higher profits

Since employees make fewer mistakes there also is lesser wastage of raw material and other resources, and when less resources get wasted there is lesser investment on such items for production. This means there is a lower cost involved, which eventually implies that the firm will deliver higher profit.

Reduced attrition

Reduced attrition

Attrition happens to be one of the biggest problems of every industry. Every employee is on the look-out for the next opportunity even before s/he steps into the current organization. When employees receive team building trainings, and are able to see their own development happening in the current company alongside their colleagues, they are likely to stay on with the company for a longer period .

Increased brand value

Increased brand value

Good or bad, employees do speak of their experiences within the organization and the outside world gets to know of the company, which in turn, impacts the reputation of the organization. Whenever potential employees would hear of your name they will connect to the reputation your company holds and will decide about whether or not to join your company.

There are many types of training being imparted through various means in this digital era. This creates several opportunities for selecting and conducting training programmes leaving companies with an array of good options to choose from.

Motivation is fleeting; discipline is permanent.

Soft Skills Training

The famous motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar once said,

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

It’s not just Zig Ziglar who finds motivation fleeting. Try talking to any human being and they will tell you stories of the number of times when they found it difficult to stay motivated. Stories of the times when they started off, to achieve something big and were truly MOTIVATED, but that motivation didn’t take them too far. So, what is the way out?

To stay motivated and continue your movement toward that goal

Research by psychologists prove that if you are able to take small steps, like getting yourself some soft skills training and some time management training, towards a goal and get regular feedback on it, you are more likely to stay motivated and continue your movement toward that goal. Also, when you are able to see yourself moving ahead and making progress, you put yourself and your brain in a better position to achieve whatever you set out to.

Today, everyone is overloaded with a lot of information, making it is difficult to stay focused and on track. Every bit of information takes up mind space in people’s mindsand it often seems impossible to distance oneself from this tremendous amount of data.. Isn’t it?

However, time management training enables you to maintian a certain discipline in tracking your progress and in addition to that, when you receive regular reinforcement in the form of support and encouragement from your colleagues and your coaches, your motivation level doesn’t drop.

Of course, there has to be the individual desire, from a person’s end, to achieve their goal. However, that too gets a boost when there is a regular interaction with those concerned, regarding the task and everyone motivates each other.

Progress, no matter how small

Monetary rewards are also motivating, but more often than not, inspiring words from people you admire have better chances of putting you in a position that helps you improve your chances to achieve your goal. These words, not only have the power to transform you, even in the face of failure, but also can take you through any challenging situation with minimum friction. Progress, no matter how small, that you can see and feel proud of will enable you to achieve anything challenging, or even impossible. Many stories have shown that when individuals went all the way to acquire some soft skill training to support themselves and received encouraging words about their progress, and when they kept track of their daily progress, they were often able to achieve the impossible.

What about you? Do you want to achieve the impossible? Just take action, record them regularly, systematically and with discipline, and you’ll see how good you feel about it.

You will be right there, making the impossible, possible!

What are the benefits of organizing personality development training sessions?

Benefits of personality development training

Do you have a business conference or an annual company meeting and are thinking of ways to make it more engaging for your participants? Organizing sessions on personality development and self-awareness would be one of the most effective ways to make your event a success.

Personality development trainers help participants shape their personalities by helping them develop their confidence, being assertive and projecting a positive image.. With people being so aware about the importance of personality development, it is a great idea to include personality development sessions in such events with a trainer who fits the vibes and overall goal of the event.

Some of the benefits of organizing personality development training are highlighted below:

Discover insightful perspectives

Discover insightful perspectives - Benefits of Personality Development Training

Good personality development trainers can bring new and insightful perspectives for everyone. They can find ways to relate to everyone and bring new ideas or viewpoints to a common experience, in order to enrich their personalities.

Reinforce drive

Reinforce drive - Benefits of Personality Development Training

Has your company faced a difficult quarter? Was there some drastic reorganization in the company recently? Does the pipeline look discouraging? Personality development trainers can help people see the reasons, capitalize on their strengths and gear up to the necessary action that will see them through the hard times. When people listen to a fresh voice and a fresh perspective, they are often willing to disconnect from the preconceived notions haunting them thereby improving their overall morale.

Establish a new level of passion towards goals

Establish a new goals - Benefits of Personality Development Training

Through personality development training, a company can instill a new level of passion in people by speaking about their strengths, by giving them different perspectives, helping them look at things from a more positive light and thereby talking about the whys and ways of achieving goals and attaining success.

Inculcates team spirit

Inculcates team spirit - Benefits of Personality Development Training

Through shared vision, shared energy and inspiration, the inspirational trainers have the ability to rekindle team spirit and the sense of togetherness.

Unleash new ideas and interest

Unleash new ideas - Benefits of Personality Development Training

Personality development trainers can promote free thought and out-of-the-box thinking leading to new ways to resolve old problems. Personality development training can give a competitive edge to your business.

If you are looking to enhance productivity, morale, and teamwork, an expert personality development trainer is what you need. An inspired team will be well worth the time and investment as its long-term benefits will be reaped for many years to come.

Why is Soft Skills Training Crucial for your Company?

Why is Soft Skills Training Crucial

In the current scenario of buyers market and tough competition, most of the business organizations have realized the importance of soft skills training  for their employees and partners to provide the differential required for the growth and development of their business. Companies want professionals who are agile enough to meet the ever changing and increasing demands of the industry. When these professionals are trained on soft skills like managing time, interpersonal skills, teamwork, creative thinking, decision making, etc. they gain remarkable dexterity in dealing with different kinds of on-the-job situations.

Benefits of focused soft skills training initiatives

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your company should invest in soft skills training for the employees:

Increased productivity – the dream goal

Every individual carries within themselves a mine of potentials, which if tapped will create surprising results.

Preparing the employees for Leadership positions –

Preparing for the next level

Preparing for the next level - Benefits of soft skills training

The employees with strong soft skills like emotional intelligence, active listening, communication and problem solving are in a much better position to lead teams, achieve results and manage change and therefore see more growth than employees with diminished soft skills.

Learning new skills

Learning new skills - Benefits of soft skills training

In response to increasing automation in industries, people need to learn new skills to stay relevant in their jobs. Arming employees with the soft skills like the ability to change and learn, judgment, decision making, etc., is essential to empower them with the skills they require to be successful.

Soft skills training in Chennai

Soft skills are gradually becoming the hard skills for today’s workforce, specially so with the world shrinking and every city turning cosmopolitan and multi-cultural. It is simply not enough to be expert in the technical skills required for the job; soft skills complete the picture. Chennai corporate world is recognizing this and investing heavily in converting their quiet, shy but intelligent and hardworking workforce into a compelling crowd of go-getters through intensive and concentrated soft skills development efforts. It is a win-win situation for the organization as well as the employee who develops skills that they can carry with them forever.

How to create good work habits?

Create Good Work Habits

Take a small action that you perform every day. Its cumulative effect(over days, weeks, months and years) could be huge.

Let’s say, in 2011,you decided to read a new article related to your field of specialisation daily.By 2016, you would have read 1,825 articles by just devoting10 minutes to this habit every day.You would have also enhanced your level of knowledge, expertise and authority in your chosen field.

Avinash Johnson, 28, a graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology — Kharagpur, has handled challenging assignments with General Electric during his stint with them. Nowa senior software professional with Oracle, he has a high stress job with multiple demands on his time. According to Avinash,his life would be chaotic without good work habits. He zeroes in on four habits that have helped him the most.

1. Avinash religiously maintains a list of tasks to be done and sticks to it, updating the leftovers in the next day’s list.
2. To handle the stress, he meditates for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes after coming back from work.
3. He replies to e-mails immediately after reading them. This habit, he says was the hardest to develop, but is extremely rewarding. It saves him time; he does nothave to go through the e-mail again, which he would have had to do if he replied later. It alsoreduces the clutter in his inbox — and his mind.
4. Avinash does not carry work home, though he is always tempted to do so. This has helped him maintain the much-needed balance between work and life.

Here is a step-by-step process that will help youcreate powerful professional habits. This, in turn, will take you to the next level of success in your career.

Step 1: Gain clarity about your goals

Gain clarity about your goals - Create Good Work Habits

Unless you are clear about the result you want, you will not be able to decide which habits to develop. Apparently, when George Bernard Shaw was trying to make it as a writer, he realised he was not doing a very important thing– he was not writing every day. He decided to write five pages every single day, no matter how uninspired he was. This isan example of someone who created a habit with a very clear purpose in mind.
You need to decide the result you want to achieve.

Step 2: Decide habits you want to develop

Decide habits you want to develop - Create Good Work Habits

Which habits are most useful in helping you reach your goal?

If you want to be a manager or an administrator, it is critical that you have excellent time management skills. Maybe, you need to develop a habit of religiously writing down your tasks for the day every single morning.

If you want to be successful at an exam like CAT or GMAT and math is a problem area,you might want to develop the habit of doing at least 10 math problems everyday.

If you want to achieve excellence in technology, you might want to develop the habit of reading at least one article from a technical journal every day.

If you are setting goals for yourself, you might want to develop the habit of revisiting your goals everyday and planning a daily action list based on those goals.

Developing conscious habits in any sphere of life is extremely rewarding. Here are a few examples of some good work habits you can develop.

1. Replying to e-mails within a specified time of receiving them.
2. Planning for delays and being punctual.
3. Having an organised hard disc or file folders.
4. Writing a journal — ‘What did I learn today?’
5. Creating half-an-hour of ‘quiet time’, when you learn something new related to your job everyday.
6. Reading an inspirational quote or article everyday.
7. Daily meditation/ exercise for stress relief.
8. Spending some time on a passion/hobby to recharge yourself.

Now, I want you to brainstorm and come up with 12 power habits you want to develop. Twelve, because we are going to make a yearly plan.

Step 3: Prioritise according to urgency

Prioritise according to urgency - Create Good Work Habits

Take a long, hard look at the list of power habits you want to develop. Rank it inorder of urgency — which of these habits do you need to start working on right away?

Step 4: Habit of the month

Habit of the month - Create Good Work Habits

We are not going to work on more than one habit per month. If you try to develop six habits in a month, you will probably find it too hard and give up (though this would depend upon your level of self-discipline). So, let us not set ourselves up to fail. Let us set ourselves up to succeed.

Starting today, for the next one month — you must, every single day, practise the habit you have listed as most important. You have to do this for a month ie 31 days. If you break the habit on any particular day, you have to start over and do it again for 31 days.

After you have successfully completed your first habit, you can move on to habit number 2. When you do this,you will notice the first habit you worked on has already become part of your nature; you don’t need to make an effort to sustain it.

If, after continuing a habit for 31 days, you may find you have a rational reason not to continue with it. That is okay. You can quit after you have followed a habit continuously for 31 days (and, if you trust me, you won’t). However, you must not quit a habit within31 days of beginning to practise it.

In one year, you would thus have developed 12 powerful new habits, which would probably stay with you for a lifetime. In the course of time, these habits will effortlessly help you achieve the results you most desire.

Think of the alternative. These 12 months would pass anyway. But, if you adopt this programme to inculcate habits that support your goals,you will be able to move closer to them and feel a greater level of fulfilment and joy — which is a natural side-effect of self-discipline.

Make Teamwork Work

Make Teamwork Work

At the heart of the cliche of Teamwork, lies a powerful truth.

After the Second World War, Japan was defeated and humiliated; two of their cities razed by powerful atom bombs. It was a country you probably wouldn’t bet your money on in 1950. Yet, Japan rose from the ashes. In the decades following World War II, it became the third largest economy in the world. This, despite the fact that it does not have any great natural resources and is rocked by earthquakes and tsunamis.

Japanese companies went on to give tough competition to the tsars of automobile and electronics industry. The ‘Made in Japan’ symbol suddenly stood for best in quality.American consumers, forgetting the bitterness of Pearl Harbor and the Second World War, were choosing Japanese products over American ones.

This led to a spate of studies into why Japanese companies were outperforming their counterparts in the West. The studies, while identifying numerous socioeconomic and geopolitical factors, identified two intangible traits which gave an edge to the Japanese –Quality and Teamwork.
Let us try and understand some basic attitudes that would help you become a more effective team member:

What’s bigger — your ego or the team goal?

 Your ego or the team goal

It seems like an easy call, but many people find it amazingly tough. Teamwork, more than anything else, is a mindset. And it is extremely difficult for us to change our focus from ourselves as individuals to what the team is trying to do.

Most of the time, we are so focused on our own experience and feelings that we tend to ignore what the team is trying to do. If you can shift the limelight from yourself to the task at hand, your contribution and value in the team would increase tremendously. Ironically, when you shift your focus to the team’s goal, your ego’s needs are almost always automatically met.

The best way to get something…

The best way to get something - Make Teamwork

As a team member, what do you want?
Do you want recognition? Give recognition.
Do you want help? Give help.

Depending upon your world view, you might have an opinion about how ‘realistic’ this insight really is. Here is a suggestion though,try it. When you ‘fight’ for recognition or trust or resources, you reaffirm to yourself that there isn’t enough of it to go around, leading to a deficient experience.
When you give what you want freely, you tell yourself there is enough of it and manifest that in your team as well.

Your team members really want…

Your team members really want - Make Teamwork

In an organisational context, team members usually have two needs. The first is a need for motivation. The second is the need for competence. Any team member would contribute their bestif they want to contribute (motivation) and if they can

For example: in a game of cricket, I will perform best if I can play the game well (competence) and if I am motivated to perform (motivation). A good team member would identify my immediate need and try to fulfill it. When you interact with other team members, identify whattheir main need is and try to fulfill it.

If they need competence, coach them, teach them and guide them. If they need motivation, talk to them, listen to them, empathise with them and understand them. If you give a co-worker what they need, when they need it, you will build yourself a fan following.

Be comfortable with yourself

Be comfortable with yourself - Make Teamwork

What does this have to do with teamwork? Everything. Can you imagine yourself implementing the insights mentioned above without confidence or self-awareness?

All of us instinctively dislike pretentious people. This is because we know they are trying to be somebody else. The strong message that sends to us is that they don’t really like who they actually are. We tend to pretend or try and be somebody else because we are scared, we want acceptance and we want to be liked. Unfortunately, pretending never works in the long run and it usually doesn’t work in the short run either.

The millions of verbal and non-verbal signals that you send will reveal the truth anyway, irrespective of what you project. The only alternative is to really like yourself and be okay with who you are. People who win approval and acceptance are ironically, people who do not care much for it.
If you try to adopt the mindsets described in the article you will enhance the effectiveness of your role as a team-member. You will also become a valued resource and feel more comfortable in team settings.

Organizations – Wonderland?


Organizations are artificial structures which provide you a fantastic opportunity to associate with people you would never, ever associate with under normal situations. Organizations provide us with an unparalleled opportunity to grow, to become more, to express the best part of ourselves in a setting which claims to be about tasks, goals, targets, missions and all that… but is really about who you choose to be with respect to all of these and the people around you.

Probably if not for organizations, our experience would be severely limited in terms of the number and the kind of people we would associate ourselves with.

If you think about it, every single day – surrounded by a milieu of people whom you don’t know, probably are not like and probably do not like – it’s literally a rabbit hole down there waiting to be explored by you.

Successful Behavioral Interview at an IT Major

Industry: Computer Software & Services
Business Issues
  • Low quality of Manpower
  • Conflict between Recruitment & Operations
  • Recruiters not willing to be accountable for their decisions
  • Productivity
Cause Identified
  • Recruiters not confident of their hiring decisions
  • Recruiters do not understand  the hiring criteria clearly
  • Recruiters need to improve on their skill of interviewing to generate more data
  • Primary Research
  • Hiring Smart – Our two day workshop version on Interviewing Skills was customized to meet specific requirements
  • Change in behavior measured over the next six months (Kirkpatrick Level 3)