How can women handle workplace bullying?

Women in the workplace have always been a topic of much debate and discussion. The Why? The What? The How? The How Not to? The Where? The When? – Questions galore! From him, from her, from them.

Part of the reason is this – If you look at history and evolution, the role of the women has typically been confined to the four walls of the house with her shouldering almost all the domestic responsibilities. With changing times, women are entering the workforce, swanky offices, hi-tech conference rooms and even board-rooms. More often than not, a woman’s journey from the house to the office is a bumpy one – with gender discrimination, workplace bullying, harassment, slow-paced career progression, questionable compensation, unsupportive workplace environment and outdated policies.

In this post, I will share a few scenarios of workplace bullying encountered by working women in India, and offer suggestions on how to deal with them.

But before that, a few factors that catalyse and contribute to the workforce bullying:

- The workplace environment in terms of the nature of work, the working hours, the overall gender (male: female) ratio

- The organisation policies, processes and systems to deal with such issues

Based on my own experiences and others’, a few scenarios that trigger workplace bullying for women:

(1) New on the block

(2) Being silent amongst peers

(3) Inability to stretch beyond work-hours

(4) Lack of knowledge

For full reading along with tips on how to deal with these issues, read the article here

Have you seen women experiencing workplace bullying? How did she handle it? How do you think women should handle such situations? Leave a comment below.

Strategy.. Strategy.. What is this Strategy???

At the start of every new year, most organizations are abuzz with this word called “strategy”. Every one is talking strategy, reviewing strategy, attending strategy presentations, drafting strategies or finalizing strategies.. Sigh! I wonder how strategically successful all these people / companies are?

Don’t get me wrong here. Having been in the corporate world for several years now, I do understand and appreciate the importance of strategy, and how it can be critical in your growth, differentiation or success. But once in a way I also think it is important to step-back, go back to the basics and see what others have to say.

Sharing some words on strategy from the wise

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” (Winston Churchill)

“Strategy formulation, then, is an ongoing requirement of good management. It is, to quote Michael Porter, ‘a process of perceiving new positions that woo customers from established positions or draw new customers into the market.’ This is a process you must permanently embed in your organization.”
(Harvard Business Review Blog Network)

“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” (Michael Porter)

“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” (Michael LeBoeuf)

“A strategy is something like, an innovative new product; globalization, taking your products around the world; be the low-cost producer. A strategy is something you can touch; you can motivate people with; be number one and number two in every business. You can energize people around the message.” (Jack Welch)

“There’s only one growth strategy: work hard.” (William Hague)

“The best CEOs I know are teachers, and at the core of what they teach is strategy.” (Michael Porter)

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” (Sun Tzu)

“In marketing I’ve seen only one strategy that can’t miss – and that is to market to your best customers first, your best prospects second and the rest of the world last.” (John Romero)

“What business strategy is all about-what distinguishes it from all other kinds of business planning-is, in a word, competitive advantage. Without competitors there would be no need for strategy, for the sole purpose of strategic planning is to enable the company to gain, as efficiently as possible, a sustainable edge over its competitors.” (Kenichi Ohmae)

“In McKinsey’s world, all of life is one of two things: strategy or organization.”  (Tom Peters)

“The real challenge in crafting strategy lies in detecting subtle discontinuities that may undermine a business in the future. And for that there is no technique, no program, just a sharp mind in touch with the situation.” (Henry Mintzberg)

“Strategy is not the consequence of planning, but the opposite: its starting point.” (Henry Mintzberg)

“In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell.” ( Jack Welch)

To Recognize, Respect and Reward “THE Coach”

A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.” BY Tom Landry

A few days back, I was watching the presentation ceremony of the CNN IBN Indian Of the Year Award for 2013. To those of you who don’t know, the CNN IBN Indian of the Year Awardrecognizes the Indian(s) whose contribution to the country in a calendar year has strengthened the foundation of our society and has helped build Brand India in the process.”For more details, click here

To be honest, none of the winners really surprised me. They were all achievers in their own sphere of work and had made a mark. Until I heard the announcement of the Winners of the Outstanding Achievement Awards. Cricket coach Ramakant Achrekar has been declared as the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2013, in the Outstanding Achievement category. The reason isHe has coached many young cricketers at Shivaji Park in Dadar, Mumbai. He is the man who first spotted the exceptional talent of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin came to Achrekar as a young student and it was under his keen supervision that Tendulkar’s ability was nurtured. Achrekar was always a hard taskmaster who ensured that his star pupil would make rapid strides in the game. Indian cricket owes Achrekar a debt of gratitude.”

At this point, let me make a disclaimer. I am NOT a cricket fan, nor do I worship / idolize any cricketer. I RARELY watch cricket matches (Like once in a year maybe!). Neither have I ever really played cricket. Oh wait! I did play cricket. Twice. The first time when I was a kid of about 10 years and I was bowled out on a duck :(. The bowler was mighty pleased. No prizes for guessing why? And the second time was when I played a corporate cricket tournament (in my early 20′s) in which as per company policy every team was supposed to have 1 woman employee and 1 employee above the age of 40 years. My friend was the captain of the Cricket team, and begged / pleaded / coaxed / bribed / bullied me into playing the match on his side. We closed the deal with these terms and conditions – No matter what the outcome was – I would be treated to an ice-cream, and we would continue to be friends! Thanks to my stars, I was last in the batting order. Unfortunately for me, my batting turn did come :( and we needed 2 runs to win, 1 run for a draw and 2 balls were left. Sigh! The nail biting finish. After some last minute “coaching” (grilling and quick and dirty practice sessions from my captain friend) I was on the crease. As the ball came towards me, I became numb. Everything blurred. And the ball went straight to the wicket. Clean bowled for a duck.. Again! And that ended my cricketing career. I was certain that I did not want a hat-trick. True to his word, my captain friend treated me to an ice-cream and we are friends even today. I had to endure his somber and morose expression at the ice-cream parlor when I was digging into the ice-cream. Honestly, I couldn’t care any less.

The other thing that I do know about cricket rather well is this. To shut up and flee when there are any “cricket related” discussions or banters in my vicinity.  And to let the “men in my life” have the TV remote and the “last word” as far as cricket is concerned! You’d think I’m wise, right? yes, I think so too :)

Sorry to digress, but coming back to my post. My interest piqued when I heard the announcement citing the award to Ramakant Achrekar. Simply because I HAVE NEVER REALLY SEEN or HEARD an AWARD being given to a COACH.

Why NOT?” I wondered…”Did it actually take the God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar to retire from his glorious cricketing career to honor his coach?

My thoughts took me to the recent Bollywood movie “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”. The one thing that really stood out for me in the movie was the role of the coach in the success of Milkha’s journey and life. It was a coach who identified the “running talent” in a young boy. It was the coach who provided the required guidance, the required technique, the tricks, the tools, and the support (moral, emotional, mental, physical) – especially in those vulnerable moments. It was the coach who believed in him. It was the coach who gave the much needed inspiration and motivation at those critical moments. It was the coach who pushed him to frontiers which he never knew existed. It was the coach who never ever gave up on him. And it was the focus, efforts and dedication of the coach (along with his own efforts) which took Milkha to the victory stand.

And yet, in real life

Why do we fail to RECOGNIZE the efforts and contribution of the people who “COACH” others?

Why do we fail to RESPECT the the efforts and contribution of the people who “COACH” others?

Why do we fail to REWARD the the efforts and contribution of the people who “COACH” others?

After all,

It is the RIGHT COACHING which transforms an individual / team from good to GREAT

It is the RIGHT COACHING which takes an individual / team to the pinnacles of SUCCESS

It is the RIGHT COACHING which truly makes a DIFFERENCE

Now, let’s get personal?

Can you go down memory lane and think of all the people who coached you? The coach(es) who believed in you even when you gave up? The coach(es) who nudged you and pushed you till the finish? The coach(es) who were “hard” on your for your own benefit? The coach(es) who guided you, who molded you, who made you give your very best…

Pause and Reflect

Did you say THANK YOU to those who coached you?

Did you give REGARDS and RESPECT to those who coached you?

Did you push for you coach(es) to be REWARDED for all that they did for you?

If not, you can do it today..

The video of Ramakant Achrekar’s moment of glory is below

The 9 Social Media Marketing Articles You should Read

“Think Social”..
“Go Social”..
”Be Social”..
”Act Social”…
“Just DO Social”
Almost all marketers hear these directives in today’s day and age..

As a marketer and a social media lover, if I had to summarize what Social Media Marketing really translates into it is this | Effectively leveraging Social Media channels (in which your existing / potential customers are present on) for your Marketing objectives which in turn aligns with your organizational startegy and business vision

The thing about Social Media Marketing is that knowing and understanding it in theory, and learning by experience (yours and others) is critical to your success and what you achieve.

In this post, I am sharing 9 Social Media Articles which I have recently read, and thought they were truly a treasure in terms of providing valuable information on Social Media Marketing.

31 Must Read Social Media Marketing Articles

7 Social Media Marketing Trends that will dominate in 2014

4 Social Analytics Tips to Improve your Social Media Marketing

20 amazing Marketing Statistics that will drive 2014

5 of the Best Social Media Marketing Campaigns Ever

Four Steps to Achieving your Social Media Goals

18 Social Media Marketing Tips from the Pros

2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

What are the best articles you’ve read on Social Media Marketing? Leave a comment to let me know

Open Letter to Prospective IT Employers in India

More than a year and half ago (23 May 2012), an article in New York Times titledAn Open Letter to India’s Graduating Class went viral. The post was written from a prospective employer; and was addressed to Graduates and Post-Graduates. When I first read the article, I nodded at every single point listed.

In the past 1+ year, I have had the opportunity to interact with several fresh graduates / post-graduates (unemployed / employed and waiting to start off their careers / employed with organizations for less than 2 years). And as a part of these interactions, I acknowledged and learned their side of the story.

In this post, I present the collective views and sentiments of this group.

 Dear Prospective IT Employer,

This is your potential employee. We are a graduate / post-graduate looking for employment. We are potentially the future assets of your organization (assuming you consider employees as assets), the key contributors to your top-line and bottom-line growth in the years to come (assuming you continue to charge your customers for employee services, i.e., Billing Rate / Hour) and the keepers of your “brand name” (assuming you have a brand name). All of these will influence and shape your organization growth, your competitive differentiation and your longevity in the times of come.

Millions of us have recently graduated or will graduate in the near future. We are filled with a sense of excitement and eagerness as we complete our formal education, and start a new phase of our lives as “working professionals” and “officially” become part of the corporate workforce. Some of us have already landed our first job, and are ready to contribute.

In theory, life appears to be good – except that it’s probably not all-so-good. We look, speak and interact with our seniors and friends who are currently employed in IT jobs, and are filled with apprehensions and questions on how the future will turn out when we start working for you!

So why this letter, and why should you read on? Well, because based on collective “sentiments and opinions” of fresh graduates or post-graduates / newly hired employees, some truths have become apparent. Read on to understand what your future employees really want and how we can work together to create a “Win-Win” situation.

Before we get into specifics, we humbly acknowledge the following:

(1)   In your assessment, we are “spoiled” because of the “India growth story”. We agree that we may be “spoiled” in your eyes. So let us just ask you a few questions:

Who is to blame for the times / era one is born to?” – We? Did any of us specifically write a wish 100 years back that we’d like to graduate in 2011 / 2012 / 2013?

Who is to blame for the kind of upbringing that we’ve had?” – We? Many of you must be having children, cousins, nephews, niece and other relatives who are in the same phase as us. What did you do as responsible adults to influence our upbringing?

(2)   In your assessment, our “English Language” skills are sub-standard. Again,

Who is to blame for the quality of English education that we received?” We?

“Who is to take responsibility for the English proficiency of the teachers who taught us in different schools and colleges across India?” We?

(3)   There is a gap between what we learn at college; and what we are expected to deliver at the workplace

We are cognizant of the fact that there is a “great divide” on what we learn at school / college (however much / little this is!) and what you expect us to deliver at work

Who is to take responsibility for this “GAP”?” We? OR “The systems, people and processes who run these educational institutes and who run these corporate organizations?”

So, without any further ado – We’d like to share with you our side of the coin, and what we’d like as prospective employees in your organization:

(1)   You accept us for what we are

The first and most important point for us to be productive and you to get the best of us is for you to “ACCEPT” us for what we are. Yes, we are not perfect. Yes, we have limitations. Yes, we are not the “ideal employees”. Yes, we want things to be easy. Yes, We are the iPad / iPhone / Twitter / FaceBook generation. And we cannot change overnight just to “fit-in” to your view of the ideal employees

So for a start, would it not be EASIER if you ACCEPTED us for what we ARE?

 (2)   You give us work to do

The second point is that we’ve seen and heard so many of our seniors and friends join your organizations to “work”. Sadly on joining, they find that there is NO WORK to do. And many of us spend weeks / months / years (in some instances) on the “bench / beach” – As you call it. We did not join your companies to sit on “benches / beaches” – though we’d like to vacation and party in benches and on beaches!

So please give us WORK. Only if we work, can we learn and grow. Please give us these work opportunities

 (3)   You answer our questions, even the most basic ones

We agree that we may not have the “average intelligence” of your generation. So we request you to provide basic guidance as we make our first steps into the big BAD corporate world.

Yes! We acknowledge that we need to learn (a LOT), and are willing to learn. Provided your employees with all their “intelligence and industry experience” make the time and effort to answer our questions, even the basic ones.

In many instances, you’re employees don’t like being asked questions. And in several cases the ground reality is that they don’t know the answers to our questions!

So please give answers our questions. And if you don’t know the answers, please find them out! But, please provide basic guidance

 (4)   You collaborate with us to build our English language skills

There’s a lot of hue and cry on our sub-standard English language skills. Agreed, that our English skills are sub-standard. But did you not check that when you interviewed us? And if you did still hire us (because of the demand as you call it), then that’s the choice you made.

And the reality is that every choice comes with a price. In this case, the price is probably that we work together to build and enhance our “English language” skills.

So let’s collaborate on enhancing our English Skills

 (5)   You give us problems to solve; and let us “solve them”

We admit that our “problem solving” skills may be limited, and probably not in par with yours. Part of the reason could be that most of the important problems (of the world or country) were “solved” by the time it was our turn; Thanks to the collective genius of your generation, and the previous generations. So we got limited “hands-on” problem solving experience, as you’d call it.

Now, the way we see it – You are expecting us to “solve problems” – be it business, technology, process or customer experience. And we are willing to give it a try. So please let us try. We will probably struggle, and solve problems in the way “we know”; and not the way “you want”. So please be open to new ways of solving problems. After all with your expansive wisdom, we are sure you will agree that every problem can be solved in umpteen different ways!

So, give us problems to solve; and let us “solve them”

 (6)   You show us the long-term picture

As a group, we like to have a long term view of things. We are curious, inquisitive and futuristic, though we personally like everything “instantly”; in the here and now. So do share a view of where you’re headed, what you’re plans are and how the strategy will fall into place.

Unfortunately, most of the people we interact with in your organizations don’t seem to have a clue on the long term view of things. Agreed that they know their technologies and their projects, but there’s more to the IT world than that one customer project, right?

So please show us the long term picture!

 (7)   You lead by example – Especially on “being professional and ethical”

Our grandparents often said “When you point one finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back to you.” May be there is some wisdom in this statement.

When we join your organizations, we are at a fairly impressionable phase of our careers and lives. “Professionalism, Ethics and Values” are words which seem ‘high and lofty’ and many of us don’t really get what it translates to; in theory.

But we observe, and we see, and we speak, and we hear! – From the environment. So if you’ve already built an organization culture which is strong on “professionalism, values and ethics” – We’d be sure to follow!

But if you’re expecting us to build and create that environment for you, then maybe we need more guidance, mentoring, role models, some expectation management or you need a reality check!

So do lead by example. And we’re more likely to follow!

 That’s the initial list. Hope it’s given you some food for thought, as you start on-boarding your new employees (or fresher’s) into your world!!

You’re prospective Employee

HOP, JUMP and Click-Over to these TOP-ular Blogs

Blogging has become a very integral part of my daily life. Every single day, at least 30 minutes is invested in the world of blogs, and that’s probably one of the best investments I’ve made so far.

Here’s the thing I love reading and writing blogs, simply because they can enrich your life in a zillion different ways. Blogs can take you to place you never knew existed, connect you with people who can transform your life and just make life so worthwhile and complete – if you’re a blogger you’d probably understand what I mean. As they say “Babies make the world go round” .. Well, “Babies and Blogs make my world go round and just about everywhere I want to go:)

In this post, I am sharing my favorite blogs – Blogs which I follow closely, which I read regularly, which make my day complete and which make my world go round!

So without any further ado, sharing below a list of Nischala’s TOP-ular blogs which I recommend you visit at least once.

Zen Habits BY Leo Babauta

Undoubtedly, one of the BEST blogs that I have discovered in the blog-o-sphere. I’ve been following Leo’s blog for years now, and I still love it! Every single post is a “treasure”, and based on his real-life journey and personal transformation. What I love about Leo’s writing is this – Simplicity, Honesty and the fact that he writes from personal experiences. The choice of topics he writes about is very relevant and important in anyone’s life. So no matter what, I do make sure that I take (or make) time to read his blogs regularly. And if there is only ONE blog that I can recommend for you to follow, it would be this. It has changed my writing, thinking and life in so many positive ways. It can possibly do the same to you also. So do stop by the blog. Along which his writing, I have deep respect and admiration for Leo due to his personal life transformation.

The Change Blog BY Peter Clemens

Change is integral to human life and our own personal journey, and Peter’s blog focuses on how people have dealt with change in their life. The posts are usually from guest authors, and are based on personal real-life experiences. There is usually a powerful take-away from most of the posts – In terms of how individuals have dealt with specific situations where “change” played a critical role. Definitely worth reading to get tips, suggestions or insights into how people deal with / have dealt with changes in their life

Purpose Fairy BY Luminita D. Saviuc

I love this blog and as the blog says “Raw, honest wisdom from the awesome school of life to brighten up your day”. That’s the sum and substance of this blog and it always leaves me with food for thought! Hop over and check it out

The Buffer Blog BY the Buffer team

I’m crazy about the quality content they put up, the level of detail and the kind of topics chosen. I am almost always in awe with the thoroughness with which they research a topic and simplicity with which they write (And most of the writers are in their 20’s!). Amazing stuff! Just as a primer, the blog mentions that they are “A blog about productivity, life hacks, writing, user experience, customer happiness and business.” All topics are personally relevant to me, and I guess relevant to you too, right? Check them out today, and that is the path-way to a treasure!

Seth’s Blog BY Seth Godin

Who does not know Seth Godin? As a marketer, I look up to him. As an author, I respect him. As a blogger, I totally admire and respect him (And I love his blog!). One, he posts EVERY SINGLE day! Two, his posts are short, like really short (I simply enjoy reading short posts). Lastly, every single post is immensely profound. I’ve come to believe that the most difficult writing is when you can say lots in as few words as possible, and Seth is the guru in that! I’ve yet to come across any other blogger who does this with such finesse. You can read his post in about 2 – 3 minutes, and spend the next 2 hours mulling over what he meant!

Chris Bogan BY Chris Bogan

I stumbled upon Chris’s blog after I read his epic post titled “106 Excuses that prevent you from ever becoming great”. And have been a loyal follower ever since. Chris writes about a wide range of topics from marketing and sales and service. He almost always focuses on how better to connect with people, which is one of the main reasons I love his blog!

Michael Hyatt : Intentional Leadership BY Michael Hyatt
One of the best blogs on Personal Development, Leadership, Productivity and Publishing. Michael writes regularly, writes from his wealth of real-life experiences, writes on a range of topics which are personally relevant to me, uses several media (podcasts, videos, etc.) and more importantly, there is phenomenal “value” that I gain from every single post – Either I learn something new or there is food for thought or I get an idea for my next blog post :)

PHOTOGRAPHY Blogs

I love photography blogs, and it amazes me how much talent is out there really, and how beautiful nature is, and how wonderful human moments and memories are! Every single picture screams a million words. Needless to say, I love the magic created by a camera. Sheer beauty!

Daily Dose of Imagery BY Sam Javanrouh

Pixel Candy BY Thomas Bonin

Here and Now  BY Cyril Bays

Hop over for a visual treat.

COOKING and CULINARY DELIGHTS Blogs

Cooking is a creative form of expression, and I have a special fondness for people who can dish up a culinary delight. This emotion magnifies even more if they cook exclusively for me :). The thing about cooking blogs is that they usually combine two complementary skills – Cooking and Photography. And with these, a vast majority of blogs can tease and please almost all your senses! (yes! Sometimes when I see a photo I can imagine the ‘smell’ too :)

My Diverse Kitchen BY Aparna

Archana’s Kitchen  BY Archana

Saffron Trail BY Nandita Iyer

I’m not saying why I like them. Hop over and see for yourself :)

 

And as I sign off, I’m sharing 5 of my all-time  favorite blog posts (I’ve lost track of the number of times I have read these.) . Needless to stay, they’ll always be with me!

What I Learned About Networking When I Asked a Stranger for a Kidney
36 Things I Want My Daughter to Always Remember
The YOU MATTER Manifesto
106 Excuses that prevent you from ever becoming great
Extinguishing the tantrum cycle

 I won’t hold you any longer. HOP, JUMP and Click-Over to these TOP-ular Blogs. And after that, I’d love to know your favorite blog, or blog post. Do leave a comment

2014 : What I’ll be blogging here?

So its a new year! The time when everyone embarks on all new things
New Year Resolutions
New Year Wishes
New Year Changes

Well, as I mulled over what I’ll be doing here on my blog, the one thing that I was clear that I would continue to write..

So, how frequently will I post?
Once a week

And when will I publish a post?
Every Thursday at 3 PM IST

So what will I be blogging about?
Well.. The focus will continue to be on areas of professional interest which range from Marketing, Social Media, Leadership, Innovation, Strategy and Business.

So is there a specific plan for the postings?
Well yes!
Week 1 of the month – A post on Social Media
Week 2 of the month – A post on Marketing
Week 3 of the month – A post on Leadership
Week 4 of the month – A post on Innovation / Strategy / Business

Will I do anything different this year on my blog?
Well, there will be a few surprises along the way. So wait and watch.. And do follow my blog to know what these surprises are!

Till then, continue reading..
And LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE
Its one life to LIVE

Happy New Year 2014…

Happy New Year 2014!!!

Firstly, wishing you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hope your new year is filled with
More Social Media
More Twitter
More FaceBook
More Google+
More Pinterest
More …..

And also
More sleep
More love
More money
More passions
More good things
More dreams fulfilled

I don’t know how all the above can co-exist in anyone’s life
But then, Hey! Its a NEW YEAR WISH
And you’ve got to wish for the VERY BEST :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!

What is your Social Media Legacy?

A while back I had written a post titled “What is your personal legacy?”. The post was well received and shared in good numbers on all Social Media networks, and also generated some interesting discussions and conversations – Both online and offline.

But after the post was published, I felt something was incomplete in my post. I couldn’t really put a finger on what, but I knew that I had missed something. During one such pensive and quiet moment, I got it!

Looking around me, I realized that a vast majority of us spend significant amount of our daily time online – especially on Social Media platforms [Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Pinterest, etc]. So would it not be relevant to plan to leave a legacy of your Social Media presence? Or in other words – Your very own Social Media Legacy?

After all, bottom line “Social Media” is really about 3 things:

1)      Knowledge / Collective Knowledge / Wisdom / Collective Wisdom – of an individual / community / world at large

2)      Thoughts / Ideas which stem from confusion, consciousness, creativity, co-relation, collaboration, comprehension – of an individual / community / world at large

3)      Interactions / Communities / Relationships and Networks – between individuals / communities / world at large

10 or possibly 50 years from now, one’s “Social Media Legacy” will be an integral (even legally perhaps) and important part of one’s personal legacy.

So if you’re wondering what exactly you’re Social Media Legacy could comprise of. Here are a few examples:

  • A Blog – Which is really a canvas for words. Words which stem from dreams, thoughts, observations, analysis, learning’s, conversations, view-points, outlook, views, emotions, perspectives, achievements, mistakes, failures, lessons learnt, comprehensions, experiences and conclusions. And that sums up the lives of most of us, doesn’t it?

Would it not be worthwhile to share such a memoir as a part of your personal legacy?

  • A Twitter profile – Which is really be a collection of thoughts, observations, viewpoints, perspectives, interesting data / facts / figures / news / quotes / articles / compilations / readings..

Would it not be worthwhile to share such a collection as a part of your personal legacy?

  • A Pinterest Board – Which is really a compilation of world-class / interesting / favorite pictures or photos on a specific topic(s) of personal interest.

Would it not be worthwhile to share such a compilation as a part of your personal legacy?

Whom you leave your Social Media Legacy for is a personal choice. And how much they will value it, only time will tell

But here’s what’s important – If you are serious about leaving behind a Social Media Legacy, plan for it today; and work objectively on it in the years to come. After all, you are spending so much time on a daily basis on Social Media channels, so is it not worthwhile to channelize your efforts in a structured way?

Hopefully, sometime in the future (say 10, 20 or 50 years from now), you would have built a rich Social Media Estate. One which will be of value to the next generation!

On that note, Good Luck in creating your Social Media Legacy!

Do you think your Social Media Legacy will be an integral part of your personal legacy sometime in the future? Leave a comment to let me know…

Mentors for working women – Essential, but do they EXIST?

A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” BY Bob Proctor

When I became a first-time mother my career gears shifted. Having been on top gear for about a decade, I quickly recognized that as a working mother “I have to switch gears for some time.” First, I was on maternity leave. Personally, this in itself was a big change to deal with because my professional identity was a big part of “Who” or “What?” I was, and “How” my every day was organized. Second, when I resumed work, my priority was the “elusive work life balance” which most working mothers “aspires or strives for”. These two factors drove a lot of the career choices and decisions I made at that phase of my life. And these choices and decisions did come with their own pros and cons; which affected both my professional and personal life.

Today, as I look back to connect the dots – I can say that I am happy with the choices and decisions I made. And thankfully, they were possible due to the role played by a few “trusted mentors” who provided the much need ear and advise when I was going through phases of change, dealing with uncertainty, or just unsure about myself / things! I’ve been fortunate to have a couple of mentors as a part of my career journey – They primarily included my father, my husband, ex-managers at work and a couple of close well-wishers / advisors.

So here is the first fact | From my own career journey, I can say that having a “real mentor” can make an ocean of difference in the life and career of women.

And here’s the second fact | The sad reality is that many women leaders have never really had mentors ; and so they don’t know what it means to have one or what difference a mentor can make in your life

At the outset, let’s try to define who exactly is a “Mentor”?

Someone who:

  • Is a listener; and a good one
  • Is non-judgmental
  • Has your best long term interests in mind
  • Who truly understands a personal context / situation
  • Is experienced to handle a diverse set of “real-life” issues
  • Is neutral and balanced in views, outlook and perspective
  • Has the maturity to act as a trusted guide, confidant, counselor, adviser
  • Does not have any personal motives / gains from the interaction / mentorship
  • And specifically in the case of women, has some insights / understanding / appreciation of the “unique challenges” that women could possibly undergo in their career journey

Agreed that the above list may not be exhaustive, but if you can find someone who qualifies in the above, he / she can potentially be your mentor.

And how can a mentor make a difference in your life?

  • By listening – to your thoughts, emotions, questions and the dilemma at hand
  • By helping you acknowledge and recognize that phases of change / transition are only “temporary” (For e.g.: As a new mother tending 24 X 7 to the needs of your baby, it is so easy to wonder if that’s how your life is going to be – forever! During one such phase, what made a difference was when one of my mentors told me that “Children will not remain babies forever”. Logically, I knew this! But when you a first-time mother, it is almost impossible to look beyond your little world!)
  • By enabling you to accept what is in your control, and what is beyond your control
  • By compelling you to think about possibilities, choices and alternatives
  • By suggesting options / alternatives in a logical and balanced view taking a holistic and long term view of the issue
  • By helping you reach a decision; and take responsibility for the decision
  • By extending support, as applicable/ feasible to execute and live the decision

Looking back at my own career journey and in interactions with other women leaders, I can definitely say that there are few milestones which impact / influence the career choices a woman makes. And during these phases, having a “mentor” can truly make all the difference:

  • Career Role Transitions: Taking up a new role which is very different from her current / past line of work (for e.g.: A move from Project Management to Marketing, A move from a customer facing project to internal support project, etc.) either due to personal choice / personal circumstance
  • Career Breaks due to personal priorities and commitments. For e.g.: Marriage, Raising children, Spouse transfer / re-location, Tending to ailing parents, Personal health issues, Personal emergencies, etc.
  • Career Shifts : Moving from an IT job to becoming an entrepreneur
  • Career Exits : Decisions to not pursue an active career for a finite / infinite time duration – either by choice or lack of choice

Call for Action – Here’s what you can do here and now?

  • If you’re a women and at a crucial point in your career, try to find a mentor who can help / guide / advice you. Sometimes, we fail to recognize that people around us can be very good mentors (For e.g. Parents / spouse / friends / family). If only we speak up, share and listen – It can really make a difference
  • If you’re a leader in a position of influence, play the role of an active mentor – It can change someone’s career and life!

 In conclusion, some food for thought

  • Are enough leaders playing the role of mentors – especially for women?
  • Are mentor’s more important / significant in a women’s career?
  • Are successful women leaders mentoring other women – either within the organization or as part of the industry ecosystem?

Would like to hear your views on the subject. Leave a comment to let me know

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