Conducted “Navigating a Storm: Strategy, Tactics, Confidence Building & Action Planning Session” full day yesterday for rallying the all-India team of a client.
They are weathering a storm in their industry as an aftermath of DISRUPTION IN TELECOM INDUSTRY caused by Reliance Jio & subsequent consolidation happening in the Telecom industry.
Our client is a national brand, marketing End to End Networking Solutions for the Broadband Cable Operators across India. And many Cable Operators feel threatened due to disruption & as a result, have put new investments on hold.
Using MasterClass™ methodology the client has grown 1,000% in last 5 years. But for the first time in 5 years, the sales graph is going down in the client industry.
How Do You Weather A Storm Caused by Such Massive Disruption?
To address this question & to rally their all India teams during such times, MasterClass™ conducted the “Navigating a Storm” Session yesterday.
I have no doubt whatsoever that the client company will not only bounce back, but will also be STRONGER than ever, after coming out of this storm.
This is the beauty of the work we do at MasterClass™! Challenging, Exciting & at times Adrenaline pumping!
(Disclaimer: The brand names, trade names belong to respective owners of the trademarks. Photos & Videos used in this post are freely available in public domain. This post is not intended to harm or put down any organisation).
Let me ask you a question; If money didn’t exist, and basic human needs like food, clothing & shelter were taken care of, would you still get up every morning & do what you do for a living? WHAT IS YOUR ANSWER?
To conduct an experiment, yesterday I posted this question on Facebook and on various groups on my WhatsApp. Number of people replied to this question in their own way. Here are some interesting answers:
My friend Ms. Ilze from South Africa replied; “If money didn’t exist … we wouldn’t know about it and the world would be a better place! Yes I would still do the same things.”
My Friend & client from Germany, CEO of a BioScience Pharmaceutical Company, Mr. Frank Scheid said; “Money is only a payment tool. Even without money we need to get up every morning to maintain our lifestyle.”
My friend, an Executive Director of a leading Investment Banking Company in India, said; “If your question was – if we didn’t need food, clothing and shelter, or the same was guaranteed available for self and family from some source would I do what I do for a living? – No. Would probably spend time on creative pursuits. However, the fact that one is unable to do that because one is born with embedded hunger, does not mean one cannot be happy. If we wipe out useless emotions like jealousy, ego, anger etc, it will cease to matter what we do.” Incidentally, this was the outcome of our exchange on WHATSAPP which led to a suggestion of discussing this further over a drink & dinner on coming Friday!
My neighbour, CA Anil Bhansali, a senior professional with a foreign exchange trading firm gave a very interesting answer; “I would do it for barter probably”.
A Doctor friend Ms. Divyal Gala, who is a Skin Specialist, also replied; “Sir, if not Money then Barter system! Yes…will do the same thing as then will not think logically but may be more humanly!”
One of our MasterClass™ client company’s founder, who runs a Construction Company said; “I will surely get up every morning. But I will not do what I am doing right now for a living.”
My friend & a business associate Ms. Preeti Gandhi, co-founder of a Branding Agency said; “Difficult to imagine that. I think I would. I get a high when I have helped someone reach their potential (brand or a person). The gratification is my barter.”
My friend Mr. Jayesh Rambhia, who runs a Plastics products manufacturing company said; We work for passion. Money is a by-product”. Incidently, this is what we teach our clients & their employees at MasterClass™.
MasterClass™ client Mr. Manish Visaria, partner at a Candy manufacturing company, replied; “Get up every morning for sure, but mornings would be different. Also what I do for living would have been different as per the situation “.
My neighbour & friend Mr. Vivek Gupte, a senior manager from Pharma industry managing P&L responsibility for portfolio of brands for MNC Pharma company & who has recently quit his job & founded a Branding Agency with special focus on PHARMA sector said; “I am passionate about singing to keep myself and my soul happy, not to entertain people. Similarly if I’m passionate about my work I’ll keep doing it even if the Roti, Kapda and Makaan are taken are of.”
A MasterClass™ client & founder of an IT Services company, Mr. Haresh Gada replied; “Something or other drives a person. Money is not the only driving force. It can be name, health, power, generosity, love, making a difference, creation, spiritual….. If money would not have existed than probably I would get up in the morning & would have done the same thing as my aim in life is passion to create & make a positive difference in the lives of people around us. As smallest good deed is better than grandest good intention.”
Mr. Ameesh Masurekar, a MasterClass™ client & founder of a Pharma Market Research company & Pharma Data Exchange Platform said; “Deadly question. Yes I would.”
Mr. Hetal Vichhivora, Founder-Director of an Electronics & Telecom products Distribution firm said; “No , I would have become more lazy or relaxed.”
A MasterClass™ client & Founder of an IT Software Company, Mr. Nilesh Shah replied; “Yes. That’s the reason all the successful persons like to follow their passion.”
My friend Ms. Karishma Barchha said; “Yes of course, in barter era people used to do their routine, so the basics can’t be changed & I would say work satisfaction is also necessary, in addition to that you need to do something constructive in order to keep your mind & body healthy.”
These are just a few sample answers from many responses I got. Many of them said a simple “YES”, and many of them said a simple “NO”.
Isn’t it a very interesting question to think about? It was gratifying to see that a few people said an emphatic “YES”. However, majority of them said an emphatic “No”. For those who said NO, it implies that given a choice they wouldn’t do what they are doing today.
WHAT ARE THE KEY INSIGHTS & LEARNINGS FROM THIS LITTLE EXPERIMENT?
Many people said “NO”. They won’t be doing what they’re doing right now.
Let’s think over this: Don’t we have choices in life? If no, or if you think that you don’t, isn’t it your duty to create choices for yourself, in the medium or a longer term, if not immediately? Is anyone forcing you to do what you’re doing today for a living? Aren’t there ample opportunities to choose from in this world?
Many people think that they don’t have a choice. However this is only a limitation existing in their mind. Not in reality. They can upgrade their skills, partner with someone, take risks, get out of their comfort zone, search, read, learn and do things that can ultimately help them come out of the situation where every day they are getting up to do something that they may not be liking. Day after day. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year. And many of them, unfortunately, for lifetime.
Can you even imagine the state of their mind towards the end of their life? Wouldn’t they feel that it was a life wasted? That they could have done something else, something more meaningful?
Of course you or I cannot be the judge of their situation or a judge of why they must have said ‘No’, although they’re already doing what they are doing for a living, even if they may not be liking it much. Life may be a drudgery for some of them, and still they have resigned to it, and in many cases that could lead to a burn out.
In the longer run in most cases it is not the world that is stopping them from improving their lives, but the limitations in their own minds, the fears, and the mind blocks which are stopping them.
Each one, therefore, has to answer this question for himself or herself.
If money didn’t exist and basic needs like food, clothing and shelter were taken care of, a passionate singer would continue to sing to entertain people! A passionate doctor would continue to save lives!! WHAT ABOUT YOU!?
Everyone is born for a PURPOSE. And everyone is born with certain gifts. It is our duty to discover what our gifts are and what is our purpose of life?
Answer to the question in this experiment can therefore be a WAKE UP CALL for many people. Because it can lead them to their “PURPOSE” which is usually found around PASSION.
GRAND FAILURE OF OUR MODERN CIVILISATION:
The ironic failure of our modern civilisation is that we can send a man on the moon, we humans have sent a spacecraft beyond planet Pluto more than 3 billion miles away from Earth, but we haven’t been able to teach a common man HOW TO DISCOVER THE ‘PURPOSE’ OF LIFE? Here, I’m not talking in the spiritual sense; that is ‘Moksha’ or ‘Nirvana’. Most of us are KARMA YOGIS and therefore I’m speaking in the sense of the Karma Yoga. The famous painter Pablo Picasso said; “The meaning of life is to find your unique gift; and the purpose of life is to give it away.”
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if our so-called modern and evolved civilisation had succeeded in teaching an average man or a woman how to discover the purpose of life?
That exactly is the reason why each man or a woman is made unique! There cannot be or there will be less stress, tiredness, strife, frustration or agitation while pursuing the purpose God or the supreme power made you for. Each person who has discovered the purpose of life and is living the purpose, has experienced how beautiful life is. Thereafter you will naturally and automatically love what you do. Eventually this will certainly lead to happiness from within. And in any case happiness can never come from outside. Happiness is the by-product or a result. It cannot be the ’cause’, it is an effect. It is a reaction, not an action. A month old child who doesn’t know anything about how to condition his mind, is suddenly happy to see the mother who had gone away and later comeback. The child smiles out of happiness. It was the effect of or the result of seeing the mother. The same is true of your pet that exudes happiness when you come back home.
Human nature is such, and human mind he is coded in such a manner, that you cannot program it to remain in a longer state of happiness without doing something worthwhile from the gifts that you have got or have developed, and are using them for your own benefit and more importantly for the benefit of many others. That is what Pablo Picasso meant when he said that the meaning of life is to find your gift, and the purpose of life is to give it away. This is how most of the things created by nature function. A tree does not eat it’s own fruits. It gives it away! Sure it takes somethings from the nature for its survival & growth. But gives its gifts away! Including oxygen! And if we see, everything created by nature is for a PURPOSE. There is harmony & order in everything created by nature. If so, then do you think YOU were created without a purpose? We were not put here on earth to suffer. If we align ourselves with the natural laws, then our lives will prosper.
To address this failure of our modern civilisation, we, at MasterClass™, have created a program called “Transform Life: Success Despite Whatever Circumstances” that helps participants develop a clear PURPOSE of life, using a very SIMPLE TECHNIQUE! But that is not the subject of this blog!
The Purpose gives a clear direction to life. It also gives meaning to life. It saves you from years and years of wasted efforts in wrong directions. It makes life worth living, more beautiful and enjoyable. It removes or reduces stress, frustrations and agitations from mind. It results in longer states of happiness. Once more and more people live their life for a purpose, the world will become a better place.
In the end, I would say that you must LOVE what you are doing, so much, that money or no money – you will keep doing it because you LOVE it. And more importantly, because it helps/CREATES SUBSTANTIAL VALUE for so many people. You do it for the PURPOSE you were made for. Like a tree!
LOVING WHAT YOU DO or DOING WHAT YOU LOVE with PASSION, and living a life for a PURPOSE, is the ultimate key to success as well as happiness. You will figure out the rest during your journey!!
After all it is one life in your avataar, it is absolutely precious, and it is beautiful. Make it worthwhile and make it beautiful. So that in the end, you can go back with complete satisfaction of a life well lived, leaving the world a better place than before.
Think about it! ANSWER THE QUESTION YOURSELF. Honestly! And then let me know your answer, views and criticism on this article. Share it with your friends and family and all the people you care about.
(Mr. Ambrish Chheda, the author of this article, is the Chairman & Managing Director of MasterClass Training & Consulting LLP, a Strategic Execution Consulting firm. He had decided early on that after the age of 50 years, he wants to dedicate his life to our country. For this purpose, he left his lucrative corporate career and founded MasterClass Training & Consulting LLP, a STRATEGIC EXECUTION CONSULTING FIRM. The MISSION of MasterClass is ‘Nation Building’, by helping tens of thousands of companies to Scale Up to the Next Level by developing ‘Strategic Execution Focus’, and thereby contributing to the Indian Economy. Today, over 1,000 companies from various sectors are using the revolutionary MasterClass™ Methodology, for developing their Strategy, Planning, Implementation & Performance Management Processes to Scale Up these companies to the Next Level of Success through ‘Strategic Execution Focus’ in a Simplified manner. This results in ‘transformational growth’ rather than just ‘incremental growth’. MasterClass™ was the proud recipient of “NATIONAL AWARD for Excellence in Training and Development 2016: Best Mentoring Program”, presented by the WORLD HRD CONGRESS, WORLD EDUCATION CONGRESS & ASIAN CONFEDERATION OF BUSINESSES.
Last week, a newly appointed National Manager for Sales and Field Support with a client servicing team with 4 Zonal Managers reporting to him & 40 Regional Managers under the zonal managers, asked me a very pertinent question; “As a newly appointed manager, how should I establish my leadership within my team?”
He had already been inducted into the team for over six months, came from the same industry, with leadership background, proven track record, had thought that he had been doing everything right during the first six months, but his team was not truly accepting all his commands. They were doing things which were convenient for them to do, while ignoring commands which put them out of their comfort zones.
Obviously, he had realised that his leadership was not yet firmly established within his team. And therefore his question was understandable; viz. “As a newly appointed manager, how should I establish my leadership within my team?” My answer to him was extempore:
1) STAGE-1: ESTABLISH YOUR COMMAND & CONTROL SYSTEM:
At the outset, any new entrant into an organisation, even despite his proven track record of leadership, needs to establish very clearly in the eyes of his team members and the team members down below them, that he is the boss.
He can do so by first setting up the key objectives to be achieved by the team in the immediate, short, medium and long-term, in relation to the mission and the vision of the organisation. He also needs to reiterate alignment by all the members with the core-values of the organisation. He needs to establish very clearly in the minds of his entire team that he will accept no violation of any of the core-values of the organisation, regardless of the high performance of the team members.
He then needs to convert the key objectives to be achieved into yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily GOALS for each of the team members including himself, along with the KPIs, KEY TASKS & timelines, and the MIS reports that need to be filed by the team members. Needless to say that all these must be in alignment with the company’s present practices.
He then needs to show to the team that he’s a taskmaster who is absolutely focused on quality of execution, with strong review system mechanisms. This is where he will get to establish clearly in the minds of his team members that he is a strictler for command and control system. During this phase he can even exercise a mild degree of ruthlessness with people who are not in alignment with the team objectives. If need be, he can invoke fear in the minds of non-compliant team members.
2) STAGE-2: ESTABLISH TRUST BY EXHIBITING THAT YOU ARE A HUMAN & THAT YOU CARE:
During the first stage which may last 3 to 6 months, you may appear a little high-handed to many team members, and even inhuman to a few others.
It is now time to establish that you are a human too and that you truly care for your team members.
To establish this in the minds of your team, you must take up every opportunity to help a team member in distress. For example, if someone is not able to achieve his targets under the team repeatedly, you can go and help him fulfil his targets. If there are situations outside of his work areas that need attention, you can help the team member by going out of the way helping him in such areas, of course with caution.
By doing this repeatedly with a few team members, you will not only win over their “Blind Trust“, but also the admiration from other team members. The team will now be able to relate to you and connect with you more openly. Many will now see you as a tough taskmaster who is also very humane. And start developing trust for you.
3) STAGE-3: MOULDING THEM IN TO LEADERS:
After first establishing your command and control, and then winning over their blind trust, you can now start identifying a few potential leaders and start moulding them into leadership roles under you.
For this, you need to start empowering them, but before that you need to fine-tune or create structure, policies, SOPs, FAQs and systems to be followed by the teams.
There was a huge pause from my side after this; and I observed that all this while, the National Manager, the other functional heads in the team equivalent to his level, the CEO and the CIO of the company were listening to me with rapt attention. Some of them were even taking notes.
This was simply because this kind of an answer that I gave was not necessarily from the management textbooks. This was not what they had expected, but found very convincing. It opened up their minds!
A lot has been said about leadership. Volumes and volumes of books have been written about this. So many training programs, seminars and conferences have been conducted on the subject of leadership. Obviously, there are many “must have/s” in a list of leadership qualities.
However, at MasterClass™ we have devised just TWO acid tests to determine if you are truly a leader or not:
1) Do you have many ‘blind followers’?
2) Have you ‘created’ strong leaders under you?
As you will see, many other traits of leadership; viz, the leader must lead by example, leader must be selfless, leader must be honest, leader must be visionary, and so on, will pale by comparison with these two acid tests for Leadership! And most of the “Must have” traits are likely to be already covered in the process of leaders having “Blind Followers”. How can you be called a leader if you don’t have many blind followers? Do you have followers at all? Or are they following you because of your title or your chair? What happens once you no longer have a title or a chair, are they likely to unfollow you? In that case you’re not a true leader of men!
Secondly, how can you be called a true leader, unless you have really ‘created’ strong leaders under you? Majority of the companies & organisations in the world are suffering from this disease. Most leaders don’t let strong leaders develop under their wings. Their own insecurities are responsible for such a state of affairs. They think that if I develop strong leaders under me, someday one such leader may take away my position, title and chair. And therefore most of them breed mediocrity, rather than greatness. Forgetting that when companies, organisations, industries, societies, countries and the world spots people capable of ‘creating’ great leaders under themselves, so many more opportunities always open up before such quality of leaders. It is the leaders that you have created under you that lift you up to be seen and recognised by the world.
After my meeting, the CEO of the company who came to see me off at the driveway told me that this was one of the most fascinating lessons in leadership that he had learnt today. And he further told me that while I was speaking and explaining the basic tenets of leadership, several faces of leaders under whom he had worked & learnt from, were appearing before his eyes, and therefore he could connect so very well with the lessons in ‘true leadership‘ learnt today.
So, let me close this with these two Acid Tests for yourself, if you think you are a true leader: 1) Do you have many ‘blind followers’?
2) Have you ‘created’ strong leaders under you?
Please be totally honest with your answers, you might find a few surprises waiting there. And once you understand this, a new life with bigger possibilities awaits you!
(ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mr. Ambrish Chheda, is the Chairman & Managing Director of MasterClass Training & Consulting LLP, a Strategic Execution Consulting firm. He had decided early on that after the age of 50 years, he wants to dedicate his life to his country, India. For this purpose, he left his lucrative corporate career and founded MasterClass Training & Consulting LLP, a STRATEGIC EXECUTION CONSULTING FIRM. The MISSION of MasterClass is ‘Nation Building’, by helping tens of thousands of companies to Scale Up to the Next Level by developing ‘Strategic Execution Focus’, and thereby contributing to the Indian Economy.
Today, over 1,000 companies from various sectors are using the revolutionary MasterClass™ Methodology, for developing their Strategy, Planning, Implementation & Performance Management Processes to Scale Up these companies to the Next Level of Success through ‘Strategic Execution Focus’ in a Simplified manner. This results in ‘transformational growth‘ rather than just ‘incremental growth’. MasterClass™ was the proud recipient of “NATIONAL AWARD for Excellence in Training and Development 2016: Best Mentoring Program“, presented by the WORLD HRD CONGRESS, WORLD EDUCATION CONGRESS & ASIAN CONFEDERATION OF BUSINESSES. www.themasterclass.in)
Last week my wife and I went for a holiday at Thailand. While we loved almost everything about the country; the sightseeing, the pristine beaches, the turquoise blue color of the waters of the ocean, the ever smiling & soft spoken people; the one thing that I came back with in terms of ‘powerful insights & learning’ is from an ‘Elephant Show’ at the ‘Safari World’ located on the outskirts of the Bangkok city. While most people in the audience were only ‘entertained’, the lessons I learnt were converted to be eye openers for the benefit of our Strategic Execution Consulting clients of MasterClass™ (www.themasterclass.in) and their core teams, to help them scale-up their companies to the Next Level.
If I asked you a question; “Can elephants walk on two suspended Ropes while balancing themselves?” This was a question I later asked the core teams of several client companies and the majority answer was “NO”.
If I ask you another question; “Can elephants paint and produce a decent looking painting, like humans can?” The unanimous answer from our clients’ core teams was again an emphatic “NO”!
Well, at that most amazing elephant show, that’s exactly what the elephants did; they walked on the ropes and they painted! Here is a link to the two videos that I shot:
In my series of blogs Titled ‘Can Elephants Paint’ there are 6 Lessons for the corporate & business world and for anyone who wants to succeed in life:
Lesson-1: POWER OF IMAGINATION V/S CAGE OF SELF IMPOSED LIMITATIONS
The number one quality in humans that helps them succeed more than others is ‘IMAGINATION’. There was someone somewhere who was able to imagine an almost impossible act; that elephants can be made to walk on rope and that elephants can be trained to paint. All human creation, all progress, all ‘सर्जन’ is the result of imagination at its roots, first and foremost. Without imagination, there cannot be ‘creation‘, with a few exceptions!
But during my 30 years of work life, and consulting over 1,000 Companies to scale up to the next level, I have observed that most individuals have created a cage around themselves and have locked themselves inside that cage, on their own! I would call it; ‘Cage of Self Imposed Limitations’. Nobody else in the world has put you in that cage but YOU, yourself have!
Several times, every day, they think; “But, I can’t do this”, “No, this is beyond my capacity”, “Now, that is not possible”, “Why would anyone even attempt this”, “I have never done this before”, “Nobody has asked me to do this”, “I can’t take risks”, “I am happy doing what I am doing right now”, “I can only dream about this, it is not within my means to achieve it”, “I know how it can be done, but I don’t have the means to do it”; “My folks will laugh at me if I even attempt this”; “What will the others think”; “Why Nobody has ever done this before”; and so forth!
There they are. Such people are walking, trying to run, and trying to fly. WITHOUT breaking open the cage first! They are struggling. The cage is moving along with them. They cannot see it themselves; a few other people can!
Keep a hand on your heart, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and ask your conscience this question: “Am I one of them”? “Have I caged myself with any Self Imposed Limitations?” Your inner voice will definitely give you an honest answer. No wonder, why many of you may be struggling with life, money, relationships &/or success as you may have defined it for yourself.
The good news and the EUREKA moment for you as you are reading this could be; “Gosh! That is true for me! And now I understand why despite my knowledge, skills, and tremendous hard-work, I am still struggling in life!” “It’s because of that deadly CAGE that I have been carrying all along with me everywhere, the CAGE OF SELF-IMPOSED LIMITATIONS! I need to break-open that cage & if I can’t, someone whom I trust or my mentor needs to do it for me. Then I will be able to walk, run and fly like a free bird! I will be able to fly in a beautiful sky that is full of abundance and opportunities all around. Opportunities of the kind I was never able to SEE before, while I was inside that cage! You may be a Chairman, CEO, Managing Director, Department Head, Functional Head, Manager, Techie, Executive, Sales Person, Clerk, Worker, Professional, Business Owner, Student, Home Maker, or a Politician. No matter who you are, you could benefit from this EUREKA MOMENT, if you are honest with yourself!
All leaders, CEOs, business owners, start up entrepreneurs, and professionals must focus on unlocking the power of imagination of their team members & followers & help them come out of their cage.
Academicians too have a major responsibility to do so, rather than producing rote learning & short term memory robots, they need to imbibe their students with the power of Imagination.
The world is changing faster than you can realize out of your daily humdrum. Do it before it is too late!
Of all human faculties & powers, MasterClassTM & I believe that the POWER OF IMAGINATION is the Number-1 power that is at the roots of all ‘creations’, including disruptive creations that are redefining our world every single day! Uber, the world’s largest taxi service owns no vehicles; Facebook, the world’s most popular media creates no content; Alibaba, the most valuable retailer has no inventory; Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider owns no real estate; Apple with sales of over 500 million smart phones in less than 7 years does not own a factory; Whatsapp with team size of 55 people was acquired for $ 19 billion by Facebook; 10 Start Ups have reached a billion $ valuation within 2.6 years of its founding, with Groupon leading the pack at 1.46 years. Back in India, start ups like Flipkart, Snap deal, InMobi, Ola Cabs, Zomato, MuSigma, and Paytm have recently become ‘Unicorns’ i.e. companies with billion $ valuation.
Free yourself from the “Cage of Self Imposed Limitations”, open up your POWER OF IMAGINATION and see how the world around you changes after a while!
This was my first powerful insight & learning from that amazing elephant show in Thailand. I promise to share with you 5 more powerful insights & learnings that can completely turn your business, your company &/or your life around!
I encourage you to share your own experiences and views on this blog post!
Mr. Ambrish Chheda, Chairman & Managing Director, MasterClass Training & Consulting LLP, is a thought leader in Business Strategy & Execution Consulting. To view Mr. Ambrish Chheda’s profile, click here: http://www.themasterclass.in/ambrish.html
Core Purpose & Mission of MasterClassTM is ‘Nation Building’; by contributing, in our own way, to the economic development, by helping tens of thousands of organizations and individuals reach the next level of success. We do this by providing Strategic Execution Consulting Services, simplified training programs, and tools, through various mediums, through professionals with practical industry experience.
The revolutionary MasterClass™ Methodology is being used by more than 1,000 companies in developing their strategy, planning and implementation process to help these companies Scale-Up to the Next Level of Success in a Simplified manner. MasterClass™ was invited by a German BioScience based pharmaceutical company, BSV BioScience GmbH, to help their core team develop its strategy plan and execution plan, at Germany. MasterClassTM Clients range from various sectors and industries. For learning how you can scale-up your company to the Next Level, and to read hundreds of transformational experiences shared by MasterClassTM clients, clickhttp://www.themasterclass.in/transformational_experiences.html
Human Minds Have Unbelievable Potential; Are You Listening!?