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April 2008

Sacramento Leadership: Highlights


Nanda: “Life can be understood backward, but it must be lived forward. If past history were all that mattered, librarians would be the only successful people in the world. The past should only be viewed with gratitude for the good things. So, look backward with gratitude and forward with confidence. Your past is the start of your fresh start.Refuse to participate in anything petty. I wonder how it is to worry about the nitty gritty stuffs that do not really need our attention. It really bothers me when people are so concerned about petty things that they cannot change. I mean, why focus on things you cannot change right? We might as well redirect our energy and time to things that CAN be changed.”

K and L:“When you choose to be better than your best, you’ll uncover the courage and strength necessary to face the daily challenges, disappointments, and hardships on your road to success.”

Ajit cited so many examples of success and they mentioned " Time is an essence that we all take for granted. Think about this. If you are doing things that does will not matter in the next 5 years, there is no need to do it. The time is always right to do something right."

Raju was phenomenal and talked about clarity of thinking and having the right attitude, and laser focus all the time. Clarity is a very important thing to have when things just do not go according to plan. A lot of my dear friends who lost their clarity in why they are doing what they do will feel that they are slowly being sucked down by the natural negative energy of the world around them. Negativity is like free radical, they are everywhere and we cannot stop it. The only thing we can do is to protect ourselves is by creating an emotional bubble around us so that we can remain like our calm selves.

Nick: Hold with faith and purpose the vision of yourself in the better environment, but act open your present environment with all your heart and with all your strength, and with all your mind.


Nine most important promises

-Karthik Gurumurthy

1. Promise yourself that you will talk health, happiness and prosperity as often as possible.
2. Promise yourself to make all your friends that there is something in them that is special and that you value.
3. Promise to think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best in yourself and to others.
4. Promise to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
5. Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
6. Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements in the future.
7. Promise to wear a cheerful appearance at all times and give every person you meet a smile.
8. Promise to give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
9. Promise to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit trouble to press on you.


Time /Activities Management

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Bill Gates has 24 hours and we have 24 hours. What you do in the 24 hours will determine how successful you become.

Everyday you make an investment of your time in our chosen activities. We cannot save time for later use. We have to use it as it comes. And you only have 24 hours to each day.

Try to get the most out of the time you have. Focus your efforts on doing those things that will have the most
significant impact on your life and your work. Do the important things first and stay focused on them
until they are done.

Nothing makes you more effective than your ability to stay focused. Challenge yourself to stay focused.
You'll be amazed at how much you'll get done, when you actually work the whole time you're working.

Your time is precious and cannot be replaced. Use it effectively with focus and get things done.

Don't serve time, make time serve you.


Charles Schultz Philosophy

Got this email as a forward.Good one!


The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read the e-mail straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America Contest.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.


How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. They are not second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields.. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.


Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier?

The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are NOT the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who care.


Share this with those who have made a difference in your life.


Worst bankruptcy of all

TD talked about all the bankruptcies that is happening in NJ/NY area. He mentioned that the worst bankruptcy is losing the dream because of our challenges. All of us are unique and have a unique sense of purpose. He mentioned that ,“Our own validation of our personal identity and God-given value should be strong enough within us at our heart level that we never need to depend on outside influences to help us feel better about ourselves.” Once we know our sense of purpose, we don't have to impress anyone. We just have to impress ourselves every single day with our work ethic.

"Arise, Awake, and Stop Not Till the Goal Is Reached!"- Swami Vivekananda


Laughter is the best medicine

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Last couple of weeks have been very hectic for me and it looked like life is going to fall apart. Being serious all the time is not a healthy condition. We have had bosses and family members who walked around red-faced and taking themselves far too seriously. Their mindset made them ill-equipped to do anything about the problem themselves.

But where do we start?

Perhaps our best resort is to laugh at ourselves. Remember that time when you did something accidentally funny but were a little embarrassed and hid. Our resort here is for us to be able to laugh at ourselves while recognizing that we are not positioned at earth's core with the rest of the world revolving around us. Sometimes it is my wife Shobana who reminds me of this. Learning to laugh at our circumstances and ourselves helps us keep a balanced view of our personal world. Can you find something funny in some aspect of your life that may be causing you personal difficulty?

Laughter lives best in spontaneity, and its catalyst comes from our interactions with others.

Think about the last time you let rip with your best laugh- when you completely forgot everything and did the most natural thing in the world. It was an awesome experience for me few months back in India when I was attending my brother's wedding. Looking out of the window, I saw a group of impoverished children totally immersed in playing with an old bicycle tyre for what seemed like hours. The smiles never left their faces. Why are some people able to access fun and laughter when they have hundred times the problems we have? Why do some of the most deprived countries in the world produce some of the joyous fulfilled music?


Just think for a moment of some of the benefits of laughing more:

It lowers blood pressure.
It releases endorphins.
It helps keep sense of perspective.



Lessons from "Rocky"

-Karthik Gurumurthy

One of my students Justin gifted me the Rocky movie last year when the study sessions ended. I would have seen this several times and really love the movie. What I learn from the movie is the power of persistence.

It's largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go. You're not finished when you're defeated,
you're only finished when you quit.

The most important quality essential to success is perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.

You can have a fresh start any time you choose, for "failure" is not in the falling down, but in the staying down. It's not over until it's over.

If you've got the courage to stick it out, you'll attain your goal. Winning isn't everything. Wanting to win is everything.


Virgin America gets it

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Flew to Washington DC couple of weeks back to attend leadership training and Development. Was very much excited to travel in this airline as Allan Figueredo mentioned highly about this airline. First time on Virgin America. I'm nicely impressed. They just get it. How to wow a customer. How to give great value for my investment. How to be unforgettable.

The airport check-in team was warm and friendly (the best businesses touch emotions). The service on the flight has been brilliant. Having a unique personality. With the exception of JetBlue, few domestic airlines in the US could be accused of having an authentic and unique identity. Virgin America uses elements from the subtle to the explicit to demonstrate their personality. The cabin has mood lighting that changes throughout the flight. The Virgin brand carries a certain inherent personality of irreverence and hipness that many consumers can connect with.

Enable traveler's gadgetized lifestyles. Every seat has a power plug for laptops, USB chargers for MP3 players, and will eventually have built in Ethernet for internet access. For longer coast to coast flights, this ensures that no matter which class of service you are traveling in, you will never run out of batteries on your device.

Eliminate the hand signals and call button etiquette problem. It can sometimes be nearly impossible to get a stewardess’ attention on the flight and somehow it just seems rude to ring that call button all the time and expect them to come running. Virgin America has an online ordering system where you can order your food and pay through a cashless system (also removing the need to carry around cash or exact change).

The best businesses walk in the customers' shoes. You know that yet it's so easy to forget. The best go the extra mile, get the details right and find a place in your heart. And once they do, a bond of trust gets forged. That lasts a long long time.


Lessons learnt from Emperor's New Clothes

Many years ago there lived a vain and pompous emperor who was overly concerned with his appearance. He spent lavishly on clothes and would change outfits almost hourly every day. He loved to parade himself through his kingdom so that all could note his exquisite taste and handsome appearance.

One day, two swindlers approached the emperor, posing as tailors. They claimed to have invented a revolutionary fabric for the emperor. According to the tailors, the cloth was surpassingly beautiful with its elaborate and intricate design. In addition, the cloth had a special power - it was invisible to anyone who was stupid or unfit for his or her position.

Never one to deny himself the latest fashion, the emperor fell prey to the swindlers' story, and he ordered them to make him a new suit out of their innovative fabric. He resolved to use the magic material to determine which of his subjects were suitable for their roles and which were not.

The swindlers called for the finest silks and supplies to construct the magical suit for the emperor. Of course, they merely pocketed the materials and pretended to be weaving the emperor's clothes.

While waiting, the emperor became concerned about his new outfit. "What if I can't see the clothes," he wondered, "What if I'm not fit to be emperor? Worried, he sent his wisest and most trusted advisors to report on his new clothes.

One by one, the royal advisors dropped in to gaze upon the emperor's famous clothes. During each visit, the swindlers told of the magical powers of the robes - they were invisible to anyone who was stupid or unfit for their position.

Obviously, none of the advisors could see the clothing. Yet, rather than suspecting the tailors of fraud, the advisors were duped, each believing his own stupidity was blinding him to the magic clothes. Fearful of being discovered as unwise, every one of the advisors claimed to have seen the emperor's new clothes. "What delightful colors!" they reported to the emperor. "How perfectly cut and fashioned!" they exclaimed.

Upon hearing the reports of his trusted advisors, the emperor was exuberant. He decided to hold a special parade the following morning to model his new clothes in front of his subjects. Word of the emperor's beautiful clothes and their magical powers spread like wildfire throughout the kingdom.

Early in the morning, the emperor's attendants came to help him dress. Like the advisors, the attendants had tricked themselves into believing that the garments were real. Upon being presented with his new clothes, the emperor was appalled. The clothes were invisible to him. However, never one to be flustered, the emperor gamely pretended to be in awe of his new suit of clothes. "What an exquisite outfit!" he bellowed.

At first, the emperor felt uncomfortable in his new garb (which was no garb at all). Yet, he refused to admit that he couldn't see the clothes. "After all," the emperor reasoned, "if everyone else can see the clothes, then they must be real."

The time came for the parade to start, and the emperor strolled through the streets in the middle of the royal procession. Assembled along the roadways, the shopkeepers, bakers, millers, and carpenters showered the emperor with compliments on his new clothes.

Now, the emperor was really quite naked, but even the peasants bought into the lie perpetuated by the swindling tailors. To a man, they all assumed the emperor must be wearing clothes, and they were ashamed not to be able to see his fine attire.

The king paraded through the streets for a long while until a young boy's loud cry bought the procession to a halt. "The emperor isn't wearing any clothes!!!"

A murmur went through the crowd, and everyone soon agreed that the emperor was indeed not wearing anything. Mortified, the emperor ran as fast as he could to the safety of his castle. As for the swindlers, they escaped the kingdom with a handsome sum of money, and a lifetime of laughs.

SELF-AWARENESS

The story of the emperor's new clothes is revealing of human nature. We attempt to guise ourselves with an image of intelligence and confidence. We act like we know it all, and we have it all together. However, our true identity finds its way to the surface. We make errors, lack wisdom, or fail to exercise good judgment.

Unwittingly, we all expose our flaws and knowledge gaps, and we parade them around the office from meeting to meeting. "Whether you acknowledge your weaknesses or not, everyone still sees them," says Chris Musselwhite of Inc.com. "So rather than conceal them, the person who tries to hide weaknesses actually highlights them, creating the perception of a lack of integrity and self-awareness." When we attempt to deny our imperfections, our credibility with others diminishes.

In his article "Self-Awareness and the Effective Leader," Musselwhite suggests behaviors we can practice as leaders to enhance self-awareness. First, we can solicit feedback to discover how colleagues and constituents perceive us. Second, we can ask questions and permit others to add input into our decision-making. Third, we can improve as listeners.

"I'm sorry" and "I don't know," may be two of the most difficult phrases for humans to verbalize. However, no one is perfect, and we all make mistakes from time to time. The key is to be self-aware - to acknowledge when we're clueless and when we've failed. Doing so yields authenticity, and makes us leaders more worthy of being followed.

To read the complete fable, The Emperor's New Clothes, please visit: http://hca.gilead.org.il/emperor.html.

Also, be sure to check out Chris Musselwhite's thoughts on self-awareness.