20 May

Lessons from a CEO, Multi Millionaire and a Visionary

    Few weeks ago, I got a chance to talk to one of very successful CEO, mutli-millionaire and a visionary. I requested if he can share a key lesson learnt from his experience in his journey of success that can help me. After gathering his thoughts quickly he was humble enough to share two key lessons from his life.

  1. Weekly Self Assessment of things well done!
  2. Change as soon as you find things are not working.
  3. The following is how I understood these 2 lessons:

  • Sometime every week we should regularly asses our self for not only what we did wrong but especially what did we did right. Once we get into a habit of this we can know what we can continue doing for better and better results. As with time with things working well we forget the basics. This is all about keeping the basics that made the things go North. It is all about persistence and the power of compounding.
  • As soon as you find things are not working as expected, change the factors in the equation. It is all about facing the challenge face-on and not delaying it to further time in a hope that it may get resolved on its own.
19 Aug

In Technology Projects, technical managers can perform far better! What is your opinion?

As per me in the current technology world, managers with strong technology background are more equipped to challenge teams to higher productivity levels and lead by example. I have been watching this and trying to gather data for myself from all different clients and offices I have worked in last few years. Everywhere I have seen that managers with strong technology background have more hold on the project and are more clear in their communication as they know what exactly is going in the team. From team’s side they know that there is a place they can go in hour of need hence leading to better relationship with the Manager.

This is my opinion, what is yours?

Let me ask the question again:

06 Aug

Innovation moving EAST

After reading an article on “3D Express Coach” (also called a “three-dimensional fast bus”) that will allow cars less than 2 meters high to travel underneath the upper level carrying passengers at Huffington post today I am enough motivated to think and write on this good aspect of the moving East.

Few years ago as a kid I always saw my elders (parents, relatives, friends) all running in the race to exist. Majority of the population in India was a part of the survival game only. I belong to the City Beautiful, Chandigarh in India where bicycles and scooters used to rule the road while cars were only reserved for the rich/government and the government drivers. As most of the population was all trying to make both ends meet and finally may have some small house to call of their own; only rare could think of innovation. But today things have totally changed! With the changes has come lot of good and long lasting developments.

A year ago I was reading an article in one of the famous journal (I don’t remember the name) which published that in next 50 years the innovation ground will slowly and slowly move to the East to countries like India and China. These countries will become the breeding ground of new breathtaking inventions. Being a part of the economic and social growth of these countries I very well understood why the author (he was some American economist) was saying this. The economic growth that these countries have seen in last few years because of the offshoring industry is mammoth. The economic growth has contributed a lots of positive to social, infrastructure and mental growth too. All this is leading to more on entrepreneur and innovation mindset development.

India is changing, I noted.

Pradeep Gupta, CEO of Cybermedia and president of TiE Delhi, concurs: “I have been talking on entrepreneurship at various colleges for the last two decades. I always ask a question: How many of you want to be entrepreneurs?” he says. “Earlier, maybe 5% [of] hands went up; today a quarter of the class raises their hands.”

Forbes.com

Two of the key factors that have contributed to this development are:

  • Capital has become more accessible and with the advent of internet the ways to implement ideas has really become simpler. Finding a funding has really become easier. I remember how my friend was able to get a funding of 5 crore (.5 billion USD) for one of our projects in India about 5 years ago in approx 30 days. Companies and Individuals are becoming wealthier. More and more individuals are coming out of survival mode into expansion mode. Now the thought process is on how to participate in the expansion rather than sitting on the corners and enjoying the mediocre life.
  • “Necessity is the mother of all inventions”: Population problem is the biggest problem in these countries and also it is the biggest advantage. Because of the stress on resources everyone is being forced to think differently. Think in a way how the life can be improved using the same set of resources.

05 Aug

Journey to be a PMP was 10 days long!

I have been reading various forums for a long time and finally decided to get PMP done few weeks ago. Here is my schedule of action with exact dates on my journey for the project management certification:

August 19 2010:::: Enrolled for the PMStudy class for PMP in Milwaukee, WI, USA

August 20 2010:::: Not yet started the online study material for PMP

August 21 2010:::: Started with the online study material for PMP exam. The only thing I did that day was to memorize the process chart and the formulas provided by PMStudy. (Excellent chart from PMStudy)

August 22, 2010:::: Practiced the process chart only once

August 23, 2010: PMStudy class 8 AM to 6 PM (I had an excellent coach, Mr.Mike Tomaszewski , PMP. Learning was fun!), followed by 3 hrs of study at home (same as taught in class and few practice tests provided in the course)

August 24, 2010:::: PMStudy class 8 AM to 6 PM, followed by 3 hrs of study at home (same as taught in class and few practice tests provided in the course). I am excited to become PMP certified.

August 25, 2010:::: PMStudy class 8 AM to 6 PM

August 26, 2010:::: PMStudy class 8 AM to 3 PM, followed by 5 hrs of study at home (all processes and few practice tests provided in the course)

August 27, 2010:::: Reread all the important as marked as instructed by Mike in the PMStudy book. Took 2 practice test ( 200 question, provided by PMStudy). Practiced the Process Chart and formulas 2 times. Checked ITTOs for Risk, Procurement and Quality. Watched a movie.

August 28, 2010:::: Took 1 practice test ( 200 question, provided by PMStudy). Practiced the Process Chart and formulas 1 time. Checked ITTOs for Risk, Procurement and Quality once again. Watched a 2 movies (1 in noon and 1 evening!@home). Got to bed at 10 (As advised by Mike and PMStudy, 12 hrs rest and no study before the exam)

August 29, 2010: Reached the Prometric testing center @ 8:45 AM. Test started at 9:30, completed 1st round with 75 marked for review in 2:15. Then took 1:15 to review all 75 and finally the rest of the time to re-review the marked ones that I was super confused about. System had to force time out for me :o) and then the blank screen came

08 Jun

Duck can never become an Eagle: Accept the reality if you are a leader!

If you love to train people and motivate them to a higher level of performance remember one golden rule “Ducks never become Eagles”. I have wasted many hours while trying to motivate some ducks as I always failed doing that.

The first obvious question should be “How to identify a duck?”Ducks always have one or the other excuse. Some of the common duck sentences are:

  • Oh! I can’t do more I am too much busy. (Busy doing what? Playing Farmville/ Poking friends on Facebook!)
  • Oh! I don’t think this is the right time
  • Oh! I am comfortable doing what I am doing
  • Oh! I think I can’t do it
  • Oh! This is not made for me / I am not made for this

Even if a Duck will say yes it will love to swim and expect the team to fly!

The reason why a duck cannot be an Eagle as it has been made that way and it has lived that way. Duck will always like to Swim rather than fly but an Eagle will always fly, NO MATTER WHAT! If you try and use your best resources to make a duck fly like eagle, it will not.

You will not agree to me and say that “the leader should think for the positive and the best for others! Leader takes people from where they are to where they want to go!” I totally agree but my dear friend you must also remember that Leader’s first responsibility is to define REALITY- AS IT IS! And the reality is that duck is a duck and it only wants to swim not fly. It will only fly for a very short term and for a very short PERSONAL gain. A duck does not want to go anywhere except somewhere in the small lake it is in.

As a leader I always first identify who is the right person for the right thing. Once I identify that a person is an Eagle I work on taking that person to the next performance levels. I have practiced this in my profession as well as in the team at the social organization where I have lead since I was 15. Over there I helped in finding and mentoring leaders who performed to impossible limits. It was only there when I was 21, that I figured that I can never make duck an Eagle. Since then I have never tried to work on making a Duck and Eagle as it is against the Laws of Nature as they are two totally different species.

As John Maxwell says “Never try to do this, you will make the Eagles feel frustrated!”