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December 2013
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February 2014

January 2014

Apology

-Karthik Gurumurthy

An apology serves three purposes. First, it claims responsibility for past mistakes. Second, it announces your commitment to change and, third, it works as an agreement between both parties. When you apologize, say the words, "I'm sorry. I'll try to do better." Then say nothing else. Do not qualify your behavior or make excuses for your actions.

Just saying you're sorry for past behavior is not enough. You must announce loudly and clearly, again and again, that you are committed to making a change. This personal advertising help you change other people's perceptions of your behavior and it holds you accountable. It also gives people permission to monitor your progress and offer suggestions.


Thoughts for today: Fear of Failure

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval. Don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions. – Satish Reddy

Lot of times we seek approval and sometimes the fear of rejection takes over.If as a leader you are seeking or depending upon the approval of others for your validation as a leader you had better fasten your seatbelt. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Developing your sense of worth as a leader comes from within. It’s when you embrace your God-given talents and abilities that you can be humble when receiving praise and forgiving when being criticized. Because it’s then you realize that your purpose as a leader is not to make everyone else happy. Be confident in the abilities you have. Be gracious to all. Be the best version of you that you can be!


Thoughts for today: Plenty of room at the top!

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I was raised in an extremely competitive family. My cousins went to great schools and set a great standard for us to follow. This definitely provided me with energy and desire and a great deal of stamina. But what I found in my early years was that the goals that I set for myself became meaningless as soon as they were reached. This created a pattern of dissatisfaction and non-contentment. Beyond that there was an undercurrent of inability to share the joys of others' achievements, since, by definition, winning is about being at the top. And if someone is there, you're not.

When I joined my Grad school in Baltimore, I had to slow down to reflect this, that  there is room enough at the top for everyone. If I compete for the first spot, First, it means that your personal success does not need to be tied to someone else's failure. Secondly, it reinforces the belief that supporting others and their successes can be incorporated into your own view of success. Finally it calls for patience; for there is truly enough room at the top for everyone, you need not seize every opportunity that arises for fear that that opportunity will be forever lost. That extra room at the top means that there is room for you as well as everyone else. The opportunities will appear again. One priority may be displaced by another for a period of time without completely abandoning the vision no matter how strong. And if one can be patient, supportive, and capable of rejoicing in another's success, then peace will follow. Because each changed life signals renewed hope as one life touches another, and then another, and society begins to reflect the difference. Because, after all, "civilization is just a slow process of learning to be kind."


Thoughts for today: Seeking lasting rewards

-Karthik Gurumurthy

"It is better to deserve honors and not have them, than to have them and not deserve them."- Mark Twain

Somewhere between choosing life's work and doing it, many of us become diverted. We are subtly compromised by intellectual competition fueled at the earliest stages. Competition is addictive and not easily discarded. To win, to be the best, to hear our names stated publicly become the goals. The pace, consuming responsibility, and the dampening of emotions crowd out normal feelings and challenge our commitment to family, friends and self. Financial rewards are offered to compensate for our inattention to our real responsibilities. Without a great deal of care, power does corrupt. Laboring for money, possessions and personal recognition are signs of a life out of balance. We could all benefit from the advice of our elders. One study of 450 people who lived to be 100 successfully outlined the following keys to their success: They kept busy. They went to bed early and got up early. They were free from worry and fear.They had serene minds and faith. They practiced moderation. They ate lightly and simply. They had a great deal of fun in their lives. Reaching success in one area is not enough, it should be complete and lasting.


Today's thoughts: Simplicity

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The best leaders don't waste time. They have the unique ability to cut to the chase, and say it in a few well-chosen words. This simplicity enhances message clarity and demonstrates respect for others' time. The same direct communication styles have a way of carrying over to process design as well. Just as words are not wasted, neither are steps or time. Respect for simplicity and the real business at hand reinforces strong interpersonal relationships. In contrast, long-winded complexity distracts. But what taking the time to just shoot the breeze, to show you're a regular person, to develop a relationship. The truth is you are usually interrupting  someone's workflow. It only takes a second to smile or give a person a pat on the back. Do this instead!.


Today's thoughts: Effective communication

-Karthik Gurumurthy

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and lightning bug."-Mark Twain

Effective communication is based on clarity of thinking. It is interesting how often an individual's confidence dissolves when he is asked to commit his thoughts to writing. For writing demands words and figures rather than thoughts and general notions. Some leaders resist the written word for fear of being "nailed down" on an issue. Others decline because they suffer a weakness present with surprising frequency, the inability to write well at a reasonable pace. Finally, there are those who stay away because they are not accustomed to collecting data, organizing their thoughts, and making a succinct and convincing case. In contrast, successful leaders are able to commit their beliefs and arguments to writing, and are constantly bubbling to the top sequential facts arranged in a convincing manner. And those who are clear on paper are superior oral communicators as well.