Category Archives: Strategy
“Passion is the genesis of genius.” BY Tony Robbins
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” BY Oprah Winfrey
“Passion will move men beyond themselves, beyond their shortcomings, beyond their failures.” BY Joseph Campbell
“There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life.” BY Federico Fellini
So what is PASSION?
According, to the Wikipedia, passion is derived from the Ancient Greek verb πάσχω (paskho) meaning to suffer. Passion is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something. The term is also often applied to a lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity or love – to a feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion, a positive affinity or love, towards a subject.
yes, I have to agree that passion is an important ingredient in the journey of life.. And one can be passionate about anything – People (Family, Friends, etc), Hobbies (Art, Writing, reading, Cooking, Food, Dreaming, etc.), Specific causes (Empowerment of women, Wealth Creation, Primary Education, Affordable healthcare for general masses, Quality of eduction, etc.), Creating and building enterprises…
So is PASSION important in Leadership?
The BEST and most SUCCESSFUL leaders are I know are fired by passion – By day and night! In thought, word and action
Leaders exhibit passion…
Passion to solve a problem
Passion to serve a customer need
Passion to lead
Passion to learn and un-learn
Passion to create value
Passion to generate wealth
Passion to make a difference
Passion to build world class enterprises
Passion to nurture and groom next generation leaders
Passion to leave a legacy
PASSION and LEADERSHIP go Hand-in-Hand
I can’t help but end with one of my favorite dialogues from one of my all-time favorite movie “The Legally Blonde” – The graduation speech given by Elle Woods. And I will sign off leaving you with the excerpt of this.
“On our very first day at Harvard, a very wise Professor quoted Aristotle “The law is reason free from passion”. Well, no offense to Aristotle, but in my three years at Harvard I have come to find that passion is a key ingredient to the study and practice of law, and of life. It is with passion, courage of conviction, and strong sense of self that we take our next steps into the world, remembering that first impressions are not always correct, you must always have faith in people. And most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself.”
“Is there a role for Creativity in Software Development?” – A lot of people seem to think not. Software development is considered to be for the “nerdy engineers”, “boring Math lovers”, “non-creative analytical programmers”, “more intelligent folks with little creativity”…
I was mulling over how true this is… I mean the above quotes are a reflection of the general perception of “Software Development”. However, is there really no room for creativity in Software Development?
Let’s pause for a minute to look at the basic definition. One of the best explanations of “Creativity” I found was
Creativity is the bringing into being of something which did not exist before, either as a product, a process or a thought.
You would be demonstrating creativity if you:
- Invent something which has never existed before
- Invent something which exists elsewhere but you are not aware of
- Invent a new process for doing something
- Reapply an existing process or product into a new or different market
- Develop a new way of looking at something (bringing a new idea into existence)
- Change the way someone else looks at something
Now if I view “Software Development” with the above parameters, then YES! Indeed Creativity and Software Development go hand-in-hand. Simply because in Software Development
- One creates software which never existed before
- One has the opportunity to introduce new processes / refine existing processes (either business or delivery)
- One has the opportunity to develop new ways of looking at something (bringing a new idea into existence) – either for customers, enterprises or the developer community itself
- And yes, New software can definitely pave the way for how anyone looks at something!
As I look back at my own journey in Software Development, anyone has the opportunity to be creative in the way you develop software. Looking at the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) as it it called in industry parlance, one has the opportunity to be creative in the following
(1) Requirements Capture – The way you capture / elicit customer requirements
(2) Analysis – The methodologies and processes used in Requirement analysis, and how you apply these
(3) Architecture – How you define the software architecture balancing short-term and long-term goals
(4) Design – How you design a software system (The design principles)
(5) Development – How you develop a software system (The tools / technologies / processes / teams / methodologies, etc.)
(6) Testing / QA( Quality Assurance) – How you test a system? (The test plan / strategy / team / test-cases / tools, etc.)
(7) User Support – How you plan to support a software system?
(8) Project / Program Management – How you manage a project / program? (The plan / the resourcing / the location / execution model, etc.)
(9) Post Production Support – How you support a software once it goes-live?
So you see, there is ample scope for one to be creative in the field of Software Development? It all depends on your perspective!
“Decision Making” Skills are important for any leader; and sometimes this can be the one and only thing that truly DIFFERENTIATES you from others, and DETERMINES your level of success..
For any leader, the following aspects of decision making are key:
(1) Speed at which you can make decision (under normal circumstances)
(2) Speed at which you can make decision (when in the HOT SEAT)
(3) What do you rely on for decision making (data & analysis or intuition or a combination of both)
(4) How you communicate your decisions with those who need to know?
In an attempt to understand what others had to say, I did some research. And found some great quotes which I am sharing on this blog.. Some of them are really food for thought from the wise!
“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.
The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.
If this sounds too mystical, refer again to the body. Every significant vital sign- body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on- alters the moment you decide to do anything… decisions are signals telling your body, mind, and environment to move in a certain direction.”
― Deepak Chopra,
Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”
― Peter F. Drucker
“The greatest accomplishment began as a decision once made and often a difficult one.”
― Michael Rawls
“You will rarely make wise decisions if you surround yourself with fools”
― Rasheed Ogunlaru
“Many people fail in their career, business and relationship, and others get stuck because of their inability to make quality decisions.”
― Nkem Mpamah
“Accepting trial and error means accepting error. It means taking problems in our stride when a decision doesn’t work out, whether through luck or misjudgment. And that is not something human brains seem to be able to do without a struggle.”
― Tim Harford
“Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. Don’t fall victim to what I call the ‘ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome’. You must be willing to fire.”
- T. Boone Pickens
“Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them.” – - Dr. Robert Jarvik
“It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.”
- Jim Rohn
“It’s not what’s happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it’s your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you’re going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.”
- Antony Robbins
“More than anything else, I believe it’s our decisions, not the conditions of our lives, that determine our destiny.”
- Antony Robbins
“Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader.”
- General George S. Patton
You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.”
― Michelle Obama
In a recent discussion among fellow-marketers, there was a debate around getting the Online : Offline Marketing Mix right…
Some said “Online : Offline Marketing Mix should be 100 : 0″
Some said “Online : Offline Marketing Mix should be 80 : 20″
Some said “Online : Offline Marketing Mix should be 60 : 40″
Some said “Online : Offline Marketing Mix should be 50 : 50″
And it ended there. No one suggested that the Offline Marketing should exceed the Online Marketing…
After the discussion, I was mulling over this.. I mean in theory, we can all argue about the right Online : Offline marketing mix – And come up with very scientific, logical, analytical and data-driven explanations for our argument – And rightly SO!
Whatever one is trying to market – Books, Blogs, Products, Services, People, Organizations, Brands, etc.
Have we reached the level of maturity where the Online Marketing should be at the very least the same as the Offline Marketing mix?
Here’s my view – The Online : Offline Marketing Mix would typically be based on:
(1) Where you’re existing / potential customer’s are? At the end of the day, the purpose of marketing is to reach your existing / potential customer to trigger a potential sale. And the mantra for marketing success is to reach and connect and communicate with your customers.But firstly, do you know who you’re customer is? If no, then find out!
If you’re customer is going to be more receptive in the online world, then do marketing online.
If you’re customer is going to be more receptive in the offline world, then do marketing offline.
Take-away => Know who your customer is. Go where you’re customers are. Online : Offline Marketing mix is incidental
(2) Your industry ecosystem Every industry has certain dimensions which are unique to it, and create a distinct ecosystem. For e.g: The way you market agricultural machinery is very different from the way you market a book is very different from the way you market an IT service. And the online : offline marketing mix will be influenced by the industry ecosystem. Sure, you can innovate and leverage best practice from other industries, but the core of how in industry functions takes decades to change. So ensure you’re marketing strategy is aligned accordingly
Take-away => Align you Online : Offline Marketing mix in line with the industry ecosystem
(3) Your brand-image Every product / service has a brand. And a brand is really a “perception in the minds of your customer”. One of the factors that influences your online : offline marketing mix is your brand image. For e.g: When I was consulting a high-end designer fashion label, the designer mentioned that she DID NOT want to do too much online marketing as it could negatively impact her brand image. She had her reasons based on her clientele – And rightly so! So we devised a marketing strategy which had significantly offline marketing, and she continues to do well today!
Take-away => Brand-image is important, personal and subjective. Ensure your Online : Offline Marketing mix is in line with your current brand image, and the brand image you want to create for the future
(4) Your marketing objective Last and most importantly, what is the specific marketing objective you are working towards? Is it awareness? Is it customer engagement? Is it sales? Is it brand re-enforcement? Is it re-positioning?.. Whatever it is, your online : offline marketing mix should be aligned with this objective.
Take-away => Your Online : Offline Marketing mix should be in line with your marketing objective
In my view, there is no one and right answer. It depends on what you’re marketing objective is.
What do you think? Leave a comment to let me know
Sheryl Sandberg’s (FaceBook’s COO) new book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” published in March 2013 has been in the news for the past few months for many different reasons. There has been applause and appreciation from many quarters; and at the same time criticism and negative feedback from many other quarters.
Personally, I think it’s the law of averages at work. For any creative piece of work (Writing is a creative process); there will be people who will say something “Good”; and others who will say something “Not So Good”. That’s the way of the world. Especially if the creator (writer in this case) is someone well-known, successful and prosperous and a “woman” – Then it is the topic of debate, and it is in the news!
After the launch of the book, Sheryl launched the Lean In community as a global community committed to encouraging and supporting women “leaning in” to their ambitions. Again, a great initiative because it provided a platform for women to discuss, collaborate and speak about many issues / challenges / choices and decisions which plague them on their journey through different career phases and different life choices.
Sheryl has been fortunate to have had an Ivy League education, a remarkable career track record, the opportunity to work in some renowned organizations / institutes, a personal network that include the “Who’s Who?” and of course, personal wealth which many can only dream of; before she authored this book. And that’s been one of the points which most critics have made – That she had everything easy for her. Personally I do appreciate the fact that she took the initiative to write the book. Trust me! For any working mother (No matter who you are and what you do), writing a book along with your doing justice to your professional responsibilities, & managing your home / personal commitments and expectations is no easy task – It requires significant amount of will-power, focus, planning, determination and support. And these are life skills worth emulating from any individual! And you have to give Sheryl credit for that.
After all, how many successful women have authored books on the issue of women reaching their “true goals”? How many successful women have started global communities around the issues of “working women”? How many of these communities are truly “active” and engaging in every day conversations and dialogues with women to help them grow in their careers? How many of these initiatives are truly making a DIFFERENCE to the lives of women?
“Lean In” has definitely been the cause and catalyst for ongoing conversations, discussions, expressions and debates around gender equality, women and ambition, women taking responsibility for your career & choices and not being afraid to face your fears. And these discussions include people from all parts of the world, and in an organization context include all levels of leadership and executive management.
Sheryl’s central point is that many women are not “Leaning In” enough to achieve their career ambitions. And her key message is requesting women to “Lean In”– Take responsibility for your career and work towards achieving your goals.
The more I read about this subject, the more I am compelled to think about the situation in India.
“Do we need a LEAN IN Movement in India?”
Agreed that the issues of working mothers across the world would be common to some extent. The eternal quest of “Doing justice and maintaining a balance between personal aspirations, professional responsibilities and family commitments”.
And yet as a working woman, you can’t ignore the influence of your immediate living environment on your choices and decisions.
Every country has its own history, evolution, growth story, political scenario, policies, laws, educational framework, economic growth, culture, “ways of living” and employment guidelines which influence the mind-set of the “community at large”; and this creates unique set of country-specific-issues when it comes to the topic of “Women and their Careers”. India is no exception.
In India, looking at the women around me and the choices they make, there are 4 critical factors which drive and determine the career choices that a woman makes:
(1) Your upbringing and the mental conditioning you’ve had on “The role of a woman at home and society”: This makes an ocean of a difference on the core belief system, self-esteem and self-confidence of a woman. So if you have daughters in your house; educate them, encourage them to learn, dream, grow and make meaningful contributions to society – beyond the four walls!
(2) When and who you marry? : For many women, the dream to have a career ends after marriage! And for many women, they start thinking about their careers right after marriage. Yes! Marriage can be a very critical milestone in the life of a woman.
(3) Becoming a mother; and the decision to be a Stay-At-Home Mom or a Working Mother : Either by virtue of personal choice or personal circumstances: There’s no right or wrong here – It is just a personal choice, and most women don’t comprehend the full impact of this one choice till they hit their twilight years! The point is what starts of a temporary hiatus from work, extends indefinitely. So at some point in their journey as a mother, it is important for women to re-look at their choices and decisions, and see if they want to / can step back into active careers
(4) The “Family Responsibility”: The “implicit” role a women is expected to play in taking care of aged / elderly / ill people in the family; and how she has to put everything else “on hold” – to nurture and nurse people to good health.
All of the above influence the “career choice” that a woman makes. Agreed that something’s are not in your control, something’s are driven purely by your circumstances; and something’s are not even your choices.
But my question to Indian women is “When you do have a choice, do you “LEAN IN” enough?”
And back to my original question “Do we need a LEAN IN Movement in India?”
I think YES!
• We need women to “Lean In” to their careers
• We need men to enable women to “Lean In”
• We need children to help their mothers “Lean In”
• We need educators to enable women to “Lean In”
• We need policies to enable women to “Lean In”
• We need law makers to make it easy for women to “Lean In”
• We need mentors to guide women to “Lean In”
• We need people in power to help women to “Lean In”
• We need employers to make it easy for women to “Lean In”
• We need families and friend to condition / support women to “Lean In”
• We need successful women leaders to speak up / share to inspire women to “Lean In”
We need a whole ecosystem in India to enable women to “Lean In”
So YES! We do need a “LEAN IN” Movement in India
I’m doing my bit and best every single day to “LEAN IN”… What about you?
Published on PeopleMatters ; Edited and re-published here
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” BY Steve Jobs
“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.” BY Milan Kundera
“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” BY William Pollard
“Art begins in imitation and ends in innovation.” BY Mason Cooley
“I believe in innovation and that the way you get innovation is you fund research and you learn the basic facts.” BY Bill Gates
“Energy innovation is not a nationalistic game.” BY Bill Gates
“The five essential entrepreneurial skills for success are concentration, discrimination, organization, innovation and communication.” BY Michael Faraday
“The heart and soul of the company is creativity and innovation.” BY Robert Iger
“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” BY Albert Einstein
“Innovation is the ability to convert ideas into invoices.” BY L. Duncan
“Innovation is serendipity, so you don’t know what people will make.” BY Tim Berners Lee