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Anything you do will attract criticism — Anonymous.

To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing — Aristotle.

We don’t build monuments to trolls — Tim Cook.

Anything we do, critics, trolls and naysayers seem to appear from nowhere!

So be it. Successful people focus on making a positive impact, doing some credible stuff — than letting trolls and naysayers impact them.

Does it mean we turn a blind-eye to critics? Not really.

As per researchers, we are four times more likely to remember criticism than praise; And it takes five positive events to neutralize psychological impact of one negative event! …

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Best outcomes happen when we put our ‘best versions’ to work, when we strive to be our ‘best versions’ while making the attempt, through the process.

A leader’s priority therefore is to get the ‘best version’ of every team member, every day.

How do we get there?

One way is to ‘be the best version’ of one-self. That way, one could significantly increase the chances of getting ‘the best versions’ of team members, people around.

Another is to be an ‘inspired being’ one-self — about the purpose (of the business), the goals that we set for ourselves, the journey that we’ve embarked upon. …

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As leaders, we need to simplify. When we simplify, things get done.

Complexity clouds visibility; thrashes initiative; impairs motivation. Complexity stymies action.

As a leader therefore, it’s essential to simplify; so that visibility improves, initiatives thrive and motivation sustains. When we simplify, appropriate action happens, things get done.

Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end, because once you get there you can move mountains — said Steve Jobs.

When we simplify, we gain clarity (to ourselves). When we have clarity, we have a possibility of providing clarity to the team(s). …

My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there — Anonymous.

By and large the future shapes up based on what we think and do today. We have the power to make choices — as to what to do, what not to do — that goes-on to shape our future to a large extent.

As beings, we are empowered to make our choices. In that sense, ability to shape our future is largely in our hands.

Even in business this holds true! The future of business depends on the choices that we make today, what we think and do today. …

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PC: pexels

What we focus on, expands…

Whatever we focus on, expands. Therefore it’s important what we focus on.

For example if we focus on challenges, they seem expanding. If we focus on solutions, solutions keep emerging!

If we focus on day-to-day aspects of business, they keep expanding to fill our days. If we focus on short-term aspects of business, they keep getting addressed. When we focus on long-term aspects of business, they get strategised, planned and executed!

As a leader, what should I focus on?

There may not exist a single-answer-fits-all for this question. For all times. Yet, the awareness that ‘what we focus on, expands’ could lead us to focus on the right areas, based on our priorities from time to time. …

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Photo by Emiliano Arano from Pexels

Comfort zones make it difficult for one to forego the (false) sense of safety -though we know extra-ordinary things happen outside our comfort zones.

A ship in the harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for — said John A. Shedd.

What would move us from our comfort zone?

Sometimes external forces do that — where we get pushed out of comfort zone by (external) circumstances. Many success stories, extra-ordinary things have evolved out of such situations.

Alternatively, we could choose to play outside our comfort zone on our own, going beyond logical and rational limits; gathering strong emotional urge, wanting to do it surpassing, over-powering the fear of failure; moving beyond the logical limits and boundaries that we put on ourselves. …

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PC: pexels

As leaders we have different ways of looking at people when it comes to their roles and responsibilities — One way is to look at them based on what they’ve done so far. Another is to look at them based on what they’re capable of. These two could be different — at times, vastly different.

The latter approach has helped me immensely over the years — even today it continues yielding highly positive outcomes!

When we are looking at people and their roles, what one has done so far is relatively easier to see, feel and figure out. A vast majority of decisions therefore are made on that basis. One can’t really find an issue with that approach though, as the leader weighs the risks, and knows that he / she is responsible for the decisions that they take. …

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Often we get troubled by the complexity of challenges we face; overwhelmed by the enormity, the size. Making us dumb-founded, shocked and feeling stuck; virtually making us incapable of taking any meaningful action.

Is there a practical way of handling challenges? Is there a constructive way of managing them?

River Ganga (Ganges) originates at the upper reaches of Himalayas at Gomukh — beyond Gangotri. What it sees all around is just tall mountains and tons of snow. Seemingly a challenging environment for flowing waters.

What it does there is to find ways around the mountains. It doesn’t stay overwhelmed by the tall peaks and formidable mountains; neither it goes head-on to pulverize them. nor remains a high altitude lake. It just finds the ways around the challenges. Navigates its way around the peaks and ranges, reaching the plains, and then the sea, the destination. In the process becomes a source of life to countless flora, fauna and 500+ million people, bringing prosperity to all! …

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PC: pexels

Keeping focus is becoming increasingly challenging.

We know our ability to focus on a goal or a task until it’s complete is critical for attaining success. Focusing on one thing at a time is celebrated as a virtue that’s integral for achieving extra-ordinary outcomes.

In a world that is overflowing with distractions and notifications vying for our attention, how do we remain focused?

At one level, Focus is about managing distractions.

As Steve Jobs once said, it’s not saying ‘Yes’ to one thing, it’s saying ‘No’ to hundred other things.

We might be seeing possibilities, opportunities and shiny objects floating around us all the time — in different types, shapes and sizes. Many of them might look tempting to go for. Saying yes to them may make us incredibly busy. Whether it would translate in to successful outcomes is the question. …

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PC: pexels

Do we drive looking at the rear-view mirror?

Not really. While driving, we look through the windshield and look at the rear-view mirror (only) occasionally. When needed. For eg: when we are about to take a turn.

At work, in life, do we follow this?

When Richard Branson was asked about his best career advice for young people, he said it came from his mother — that ‘Never look back in regret — move on to the next thing.’

He continued — ‘The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures rather than putting that energy into another project always amazes me’. …


PK Narayanan, CEO Coach

PK helps CEOs, Business Owners Scale-up their Business, Enhance their Leadership Presence and Position their Business for Long-term Success.

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