403 posts categorized "Attitude"

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. 

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!


The Why?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I am thankful and blessed to work with talented students who brings the best out of me and I try to do the same as well for them. There are times where things don't go the way they wanted and get upset.

When you get frustrated and want to give up, or maybe ask yourself “what am I doing” or “why am I doing this” always remember there’s more to what you’re doing than just the immediate results that you can see. When you get frustrated and think “why am I doing this?” I hope you’ll remember that some of the reasons you’re doing what you’re doing you will never fully realize because the impact that you’re making cannot be fully measured, or even recognized in this life. I hope this message encourages you to do one more thing one more time; plant one more seed one more time.   See the best that is ahead of you not the worst that is behind you or around you. 

Life is full of distractions, disappointments, and defeat … but life is also full of opportunities, victories, excitement and hope if we focus on what we want next not on what we have now. When you get frustrated read this message or even better write your own message of hope, excitement and anticipation. When we have our final conversation and take our final breath hopefully we will be proud of ourselves. Not an arrogant, egotistical kind of pride … but a peaceful acknowledgement that we fought the good fight and did not give up.

We should never give up regardless of how hard or how long the race is because we may be the only reason that others don’t give up. When we finish our race we should be at peace knowing that we overcame challenges and distractions and made a positive difference in the world. 

Our patience and perseverance may be the lifeline and the example that keeps another person from giving up on their dreams. The seeds that we plant today will provide comfort for others today and may provide comfort for others generations from now. Keep planting good seeds, expecting a good harvest. Be the best example you can possibiy be.


What's the root cause?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I am fortunate to work with young adults in helping them in Prep for SAT/ACT / MCAT tests.  I am also work with organizations in their Agile transformation efforts as an Enterprise Agile Coach. Even though the work involved is totally different, I see a parallel in both the roles.

Sometimes when the results are different from what's expected, we pause and find out what is the root cause of the issue?

Why don’t people perform? It is almost always for one of these reasons:

1. They don’t know what to do.

2. They don’t know how to do it.

3. They don’t want to do it.

4. They can’t do it.

Expectation without proper education equals frustration. Good leaders have the ability to assess abilities. An effective leader knows both what a person is capable of and what training and the education they need to succeed.

But training and development aren’t a panacea. If you’ve got the right person in the wrong role they won’t succeed.

Specifically, it is a matter of fit. The person fits the role. It isn’t an exact science, an either/or. However, when someone who is conscientious struggles performing even after they’ve receive the necessary training, it is likely a fit problem.

Are the right students in the right classrooms and even in the right seats? Are you assuming a student is a poor performer when in reality, her or she is just in the wrong classroom?

Willingness and ability aren’t the same thing. Understanding the nuances of people and performance are an important skill for leaders.


1:1 Conversations

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Whenever we meet friends or family, we make it a point to meet one family at a time. We try our best not to meet many families at the same time.Sometimes due to time constraints we might have done it but we try not to do that anymore. We seldom invite anyone for the sake of meeting them but we always wanted to give them undivided attention.

There’s nothing quite like it to unburden yourself. To know that you are being listened to. To feel that you are special. Many a memory is made up of meaningful conversations with significant others.Everyone has a special story to tell and I have learned a lot from the 1:1 conversations as opposed to having many extroverts completely take over the conversation and you never get to hear from the quieter people who wanted to share a useful nugget or a funny situation.

It is at these times that we learn to still ourselves to listen to the other. To give him/ her the gift of our undivided attention. It is when we learn how our lives can make a difference to other lives.

If we pay more attention to others, someday, in the future, someone will tell us how our attention and words made a difference.

 


Greetings!!

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Good morning, Good night, All the best … Sometimes greetings become mere words, without any feelings created. We can wish people perfectly with an All the best, even though internally we doubt their ability.

Greetings are not mere words but high-energy blessings, where we firmly believe only nice things should happen with the other person.( nowadays people greet with words like morning,night omitting the word good forgetting it is used for a reason).But at times, we say it so casually that it remains a phrase, with no feelings attached.

Greet everyone enthusiastically when you meet them ,it is an opportunity to create and radiate pure energy.
Radiate goodness to everyone, every time. Even if someone does not acknowledge, sustain your beautiful quality.”

 


Greatness, Competitiveness and Friendship

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Federal

I love this picture not just they are tennis fiercest rivals of all time. To see your greatest rival cry tears of sadness is the ultimate respect. There will never be another rivalry like this duo.Two men demonstrating the strength to be authentic. To be truly as you are, where you are. It's so obvious what this moment means to these two. Their powerful emotions clearly, courageously on display for all to see. How often do we hold ourselves back from being our authentic selves because we feel "it's not allowed." When was the last time you felt strong enough to be authentic?  It disrupts and destroys all myths about masculinity, competition and vulnerability.Being vulnerable in front of others always shows one's inner strength and character. 

Men are expected not to cry.
Men are expected to be tough.
Men are expected to destroy the competition.

Nothing about the raw emotion of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal follows any of those outdated, damaging and dangerous rules of toxic masculinity.

They are openly crying.
They are holding hands.
They are competitors on the court and compassionate comrades who respect and revere one another.

Possessing both masculine and feminine traits is the sign of an evolved person. This really warms my heart.

And I hope that we are continuing to move towards a world that evolves beyond the gender binary "masculine" and "feminine"; one that isn't so desperately set on putting people into boxes and telling them that who they are, what they feel, who they love and how they live is "wrong" or "right" based on how the world has gendered them.

Until then, I implore more and more leaders to show up fully in all of their *human* traits — regardless of gender — so we can embrace, learn from and love them wholly.  Bow and respect to both Federer and Nadal..


Focus

-Karthik Gurumurthy

When you focus on the "Problems", your "Goal" will stop appearing, and

when you focus on the "Goal", your "problems" will stop appearing.

The Sun is shining on the day so brightly so your day is  also going to shine the same way. Let us focus on the right stuff.

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50th Wedding Anniversary

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Happy 50th Anniversary to Dad and Mom. Cannot thank them enough for everything you have done and continue to do for us. All the good things that Aravind and I have gotten is all because of your Blessings and Prayers. We are so thankful that we were born to the most amazing parents. 


Let go

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Continuing where I left off yesterday, I feel so many of us spend countless hours or weeks, in some sad cases, years, trying to make someone who want  them to be or to do what we think  is in their own best interests, only to repeatedly fail in our attempts. This is a tragedy as well as misspent life. It's time to let go.

One of the close family members was not taking time to take care of their parents.  They were so much obsessed  with their own life and health and didn't see that it is their duty to take care of them. My wife and I tried our best to convey this  message last year to take this as priority and act on it.  What happened? One of their parents unfortunately passed away few months back. 

Wasn't it my job to guide a close family 's decisions and actions? I always thought not doing so was so selfish and uncaring. 

Thankfully what I finally learning slowly is, be it a close family member, be it your own spouse or strangers crossing our paths, must be who they are, not who we they think they should be. 

They must make their own mistakes and through what they learn, have reason to celebrate their own successes.

There are many reasons for letting go of this futile behavior, but the most important ones are they we will never succeed in controlling others and never experience peace in our own lives if we are always focussed on how other people are living or how we think they should be living. If we want to be peaceful, we must let go of how others choose to live and take care of business in one life only: our own.

Just as no one else can productively be the total focus of our lives, we cannot waste precious time thinking we are or should be the center of someone else's life either. This may come as a blow to our ego, but it is time to learn this important truth. 

This does not mean we should quit interacting with people or shut them out in order to preempt being shut out. Nor does it mean we should ignore how other people are thinking and behaving for fear we will seeek an unhealthy dependency on them.

I find observing others can be edifying and enlightening. It simply means getting perspective on our role  in all interactions and understanding  where our responsibility ends and the other person's begins. Becoming entangled in other people's actions, dreams, or dramas binds us to them in emotionally unhealthy ways and prevents the growth we deserve. 

We want people around us who will pay us constant attention, who will make no plans that don't include us, have no thoughts that aren't shared. But that's not relationship, that's dependence; it is unholy connection. Relationships that truly bring us to peace are interdependent.  As we are celebrating the independence day of USA, it is time to let go of the dependence of our happiness with other entities. Happy July 4th, USA

 

 

 


Control the controllables

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Lot of us have acquired the habit of interfering in other's people affairs.  When I observe close family members not taking care of parents, spouses, and going totally in the wrong direction, I feel tempted to call and give them advice as if they are going to listen to me and make changes.  Obsessively watching the behavior of friends, siblings, family members or even complete strangers and longing to change or control their behavior, is a great catalyst for inner turmoil. This goes hand in hand with the misguided idea that we can change anyone but ourselves. One can spend years trying to change a spouse or some other friend, but what a relief to finally learn that the affairs of others are not ours to control or even to judge. 

I am realizing that the child we parent have their own journey to make, and our so-called  control over them is, in fact, an illusion. We can set  an example  for them, we can suggest a set of behaviors , we can demonstrate a code of ethics, we can even require that they live by a certain "house rules" while under our roof, but finally  it is they who will decide who they want to be and what they want to do, regardless of our efforts.  And for that we will become grateful in time. 

I say: Let's celebrate the fact that we are in charge of noone but ourselves. It relieves us of a heavy burden, and a thankless job, one that never blesses us. Taking control of every thought we have and every action we take, and being willing to relinquish the past while savoring the present, will assuredly keep us as busy as we need to be. Doing these things, and only these things is why we are here. It's only when we live our own lives and manage our own business, freeing others to do the same, that we will find the peace we seek and so deserve.


Leadership Culture

-Karthik Gurumurthy

In my twenty plus work experience, I have had the opportunity to work with amazing organizations and great leaders. What I have observed with the top leaders is they focus primarily on the growth and well being of the team and the communities to which they belong.  They always put the needs of others first and help their people develop and perform at a very high level. 

I have also witnessed  so called  average positional leaders sharing lofty big dreams but doesn't necessarily back it up with the action/ strategy to make that happen. To develop leaders, one needs to start from the ground-up.  What separates average companies from the great ones is their ability to build a leadership culture through out their organization that cultivates great leaders.

"a true leader is not the one with the most followers but the one who creates the most leaders."

-Neale Donald Walsch

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Rocketry

-Karthik Gurumurthy

So glad I went with my family to watch this wonderful movie on the  first day of movie release(It is actually first day first show).  Totally worth it and more.

#RocketryTheFilm #RocketryTheNambiEffect is an Amazing Achievement by @ActorMadhavan and his team on the life of legendary rocket scientist #NambiNarayanan . What a great tribute !  #Maddy lived the role & deserves all appreciation. Kudos Team 🏆🤠💐

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Job market trends

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Current generation job market is better than what it used to be a decade ago.

If you are ready to learn and present yourself truly, you will get a job. No one questions your gap, or relevant experience. All people see is the attitude towards work and people. Most companies evaluate people at mindset level than skill set.

Upskill, build network, truly learn and stay humble. You will end up being relevant your whole life.

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Just be Happy

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Never link your state of happiness to anything. Being happy is a separate entity. If your actions and results defines that, it will be manipulated by others and you will end up not being happy. Just be Happy, for no reasons with no strings attached.

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Stop Judging people

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Don't waste time by judging people. Everyone behaves a certain way because they like doing so. That's all. Don't wear a Sherlock hat and start investigating every behavior and come up with theories to prove someone right or wrong. It's called waste of time.


Subramanian Ramamurthy Uncle- Om Shanthi

-Karthik Gurumurthy

SubramanianRamamurthyMama

An absolute blessing to have had the privilege of meeting this amazing Uncle in Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana many many years ago,. Getting to know him and getting connected with  mostly through Facebook. In this world of social media, one of the biggest boons for many of us was to have connected with  Dr. Ramamurthy mama (Uncle)

What is special about this Uncle? 

He is the beacon of light who uplifted our spirits everyday with Facebook posting, always with positive messages that made everyone feel that he is family and that he is genuinely and truly caring for us, cheering for us, comforting us, complimenting us.He made every single person in his presence feel that they were the most important person to him. He treated everyone around him with unmatched kindness, affection and love. He was very proud of Kallidaikuruchi, where he hailed from. He was a connoisseur of all genres of music, South Indian cooking and English literature (a Great PG Wodehouse fan!!)

It is amazing to see the spectrum of his friends in facebook, ranging all the way from the most eminent of artists to a little girl who did her first classical dance in stage who looked forward to meet dear Ramamurthy Mama.
 
Each and everyone of his friends waited with anticipation for a happy post from mama to uplift their spirit everyday. He certainly made a positive influence everyday. His love for people was unconditional and the kindness that used to ooze out of him was immense. No wonder God loves to have such people closer to him at the earliest and he is no more with us.. Praying for the departed soul and condolences to the near and dear ones..
 
Only few are blessed to live a life like mama, where everyone who know him feel so empty and lost today. Mama lit up every up gatherings, can talk to people of any age group on any topic - always helping, smiling - I can go on and on. None can match mama's charisma and personality. I am in disbelief and devastated. He got married the same day (and the year) my parents got married (July 12). Was always the first one to comment about my blogs and wish me on my B'day.  How are we supposed to go on without you dearest Mama 🥲.. the excruciating pain of losing you feels very much akin to having lost my own dad for you always extended that unconditional love to each and every one of us just like a dad would. With a very very laden heart we all bid our adieu to you .Will take a break from Facebook  for sometime ...
 
What I have learnt from Uncle is how to unconditionally  love everyone without expecting anything in return.  Om Shanthi Uncle..This will take sometime for me to digest...

 


Asking Questions

-Karthik Gurumurthy

“The fool wonders, the wise man asks”

The above quote is from former British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. For me, its closest modern equivalent is, “The only stupid question is an unasked question.”

While I prefer the more elegant phrasing of Mr. Disraeli, I applaud the sentiment behind both. Even though at times it can be brutally difficult to admit you don’t know who someone is, what something is, how to pronounce something, how to do something, etc, you stand a far better chance of being well thought of—and, more importantly, learning something new—if you’re willing to ask the question.

Given this, what are some things you can do to feel more comfortable asking questions?

• First: Don’t confuse ignorance with stupidity. Just because you don’t know how to conjugate French verbs or tie a half hitch slipknot doesn’t mean you don’t have mastery of numerous other skill sets and bodies of information.

• Second: Point two flows naturally from point one: don’t apologize for your ignorance. We all tend to do this and it doesn’t serve us, or our listener. Instead, it diverts attention from getting the question answered into massaging one another’s egos. Stay on task; just ask the question. If your listener expresses surprise at your not knowing, don’t feed into it. Agree and add, “Yes, I don’t know. Can you tell me?”

• Third: Remember that everyone loves being an authority. While your boss or your colleague or your date may be surprised by your not knowing something in the moment, this will quickly be superseded by the satisfaction of getting to be the authority.

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The image build-up

-Karthik Gurumurthy

As a kid you were enjoying life as you did not associate ourselves with any  image or identity. As you grew you started enjoying the image that you created. Later you wanted more of it. In the pursuit of the identity you lost all the enjoyment in life.

Lose your image. Become null in your head. Enjoy life. The heavy lifting that you are doing right now is temporary and you will retire. People will forget you. Don't look back and feel bad.

You can do your job with 100% efficiency without mentally associating yourself with stuff that boosts your ego. Do and move on.

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Finishing meeting early

-Karthik Gurumurthy


In a world when you can be anything, be the person who ends the meeting early. Whatever you want to say it, say it quickly like a twitter message. Like my dad always used to quote "Brevity is the soul of wit"..Shorter the meeting, sweeter and happier everyone is..


What's your worth?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

A father, before he died, said to his son:

“This is the watch your grandfather gave me and this is more than 200 years old.

Before I give it to you go to the watch shop on the first street, and tell him I want to sell it, and ask how much they offer”.

The son went and after several minutes, he came back to his father and said, "The watchmaker offers to pay $5 because it's old and has a lot of scratches.” He then asked him to go to the coffee shop.

The son went and after an hour or so, he came back and said: “The coffee shop owner offers $5, father.”

“Go to the antique museum estimator and show that watch”. He went ahead and then came back happily. “They offered me a million dollars for this piece.”

The father said: “I wanted to let you know that the right place values your value in a way right, don't put yourself in the wrong place and get angry if you get treated like crap. Those who know your value are the ones who appreciate you, don't ever stay in a place that doesn't suit you."

Make sure you know your worth and don't sell yourself short.


Bring your A game

-Karthik Gurumurthy

If you are dull all the time, your talent will be forgotten and people won't collaborate with you. In a professional environment the accountabilities are handed over to only those who are high on energy and extremely active. You are measured based on the rate at which you bring positive ambience to your surrounding. So put back yourself together before entering your workspace no matter what is happening in your life.


Collaboration

-Karthik Gurumurthy

If someone reaches out to you for guidance, it doesn't mean they don't know and you know. It is more of thought partnering. Set the tone right. Don't allow scenarios to boost your ego. Collaboration and progress is the key to happy life.


Learning from mistakes

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Everyone makes mistakes; it would be small-minded to think you can’t make one. We learn more from screwing up than we do from anything else. When you think (or you know) you have failed, take some time to think. What did I learn? What will I do differently next time? How can I make better decisions in the future.


Rookie Mentality

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The one thing that kept me going all these years is to begin everyday like it’s my first day at work and never stop learning!

‘Every individual I meet is an inspiration and Everyday is a new opportunity, to try something new, to learn, to evolve…’

It has been a great journey so far and it’s time for the clock to reset and start all over again!


Graceful Entry, Graceful Exit

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Work in silence and leave in silence. Success didn't necessarily need to make any noise. Feeling successful is a mindset and not an external acknowledgment. High performers work for themselves and do not expect anything in return. They leave. They will be missed. Graceful entry, graceful exit.


High Performing Teams

-Karthik Gurumurthy

What is the one thing that you can focus on fixing in an Agile team to start your journey towards an high performing team?

Fix the attitude of "My way or the Highway". Identify who has this attitude in the team and fix that first. This includes Scrum Master as well.

Encourage an environment where collaboration becomes a culture. Every thing with respect to product must be discussed as a team; get this into the team agreement. Things will start to take shape in the right direction.


Get in the game

-Karthik Gurumurthy

You cannot build anything without getting your hands dirty. Theoretical knowledge without actual implementation will create pseudo success at mindset level. It is more toxic than not having the knowledge. Get out and do the actual work.


Happy Birthday Dr. KSV (Dr. KS Viswanathan)

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Dr. KSV_99

Today is my Prof. K.S. Viswanathan's Birthday. It is no coincidence that it is also celebrated as Teacher's day. One of the best things Dr. KS Viswanathan did for me was say " I don't know the answer to that but I'll do some research." It modeled a more honest intellectual discourse. You don't have to pretend like you know everything and you don't always need to have or share an immediate opinion. Thanks Dr. KSV for your amazing example.


Using experience to the advantage

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Years of experience allows you to make more mistakes through the course of time and learn what is the best way to do something. If you are unable to gather this experience and constantly focusing on being right, your years of experience just turns out to be another number. Might fall into the trap of guided execution with 100% assured success. It won't help you on a longer run.


Growth mindset

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Your growth mindset, or lack thereof, is critically important to achieving or not achieving goals. There is nothing wrong with realistic optimism. And don't let someone tell you otherwise.

Over my career, I've witnessed those with growth mindsets are realistically optimistic and achieve their professional and personal goals consistently.

They have ability to work through adversity. They realize by working smart, hard, together, with focus and doing so with consistency, they will achieve their goals.

They don't get too high or too low. They are team players and give recognition to others. They are coachable and often seek out coaching. They realize they themselves don't have all the answers. They most often are self and situationally aware; and bring positive energy to situations, even challenging situations. They might fail, but they learn, and consequently grow and achieve goals.

Conversely, I've also observed those who lack a growth mindset. They might take convenient accountability in positive situations; but lack accountability/responsibility in challenging situations.

They often bring negative energy to situations. They themselves don't admit fault or failure....In their mind "someone else fails them and causes them to not achieve their goals". They often are inconsistent in achieving goals.


Gratitude

-Karthik Gurumurthy

"Gratitude shifts perspective from:

  • Don’t have to have.
  • Past to present.
  • Can’t to might.
  • Narrow to wide.
  • Lack to generosity.
  • Burden to energy.
  • Complaint to enjoyment.
  • Problem to opportunity.
  • Pain to potential.
  • Obligation to freedom.

Insecurity

-Karthik Gurumurthy

"Leaders who don't listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say" -Andy Stanley

Today I got a chance to listen in to a leader about the upcoming project.  I always start with ground zero and after going through the documentation, I got a chance to ask my questions sorted. The leader wasn't too happy. I  was extremely careful with my questions making sure it is not putting anybody in a spot but to understand the upcoming project. The leader was constantly making gestures to shush me. I tried to schedule a 1:1 to see if I can get the questions sorted out.

The leaders who don't listen or allow themselves to be questioned are usually fearful. They won't say that, but their actions indicate fear is a driver.

The leader who doesn't listen believes they are the only one with the answers or the way forward. Their ego fears others to have better ideas than them. Or they fear they will fail if other's ideas get implemented over theirs because they have taken personal ownership instead of team ownership.

The leader who can't be questioned usually stems from insecurity or not feeling worthy. They may have bravado that makes you think they feel worthy, but in actuality arrogance requires someone to feel above another to feel safe. A confident leader is curious.

The great news is having awareness of how fear causes behavior different that how most leaders intend to show up helps them adjust!


Helpful 2 minute exercise to start the day

-Karthik Gurumurthy

While I’m typically known as positive, energetic, and optimistic, the past few weeks have definitely worn me down.

Tony Robbins says we cannot be angry and grateful at the same time. Focusing on gratitude shifts so much. When we are hurt and frustrated, it create our fear based reactions of fight, flight, or freeze which narrows are thinking and creativity. Gratitude breaks that cycle.

I found this little exercise from Harvard Business Review to be a helpful motivator. Perhaps you will, too:

“It can be hard to muster the positive outlook that fuels motivation and creativity. When we lose that positivity, burnout and fatigue can quickly follow.

How can you inject some optimism into your day? This two-minute exercise can help. Each morning, finish the following three sentences (either on paper, out loud, or even in your head) before you turn on your computer or start your commute:

Today, I will focus on _____.

Today, I am grateful for _____.

Today, I will let go of _____.”


Listening

-Karthik Gurumurthy

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” - Andy Stanley

Isn't that true?

Listening is such a powerful and yet such an undervalued tool. Listening cannot only help us resolve discrepancies, listening can make sure that challenges do not even turn into issues.Leaders need to surround themselves with people who say what needs to be said, not what the leader wants to hear