301 posts categorized "Attitude"

Maturity

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Got this as a forward.

What's maturity?

1. Maturity is when you stop trying to change others, but instead focus on changing yourself.
2. Maturity is when you accept people who they are.
3. Maturity is when you understand everyone is right in their own perspective.
4. Maturity is when you learn to "let go".
5. Maturity is when you are able to drop "expectations" from a relationship and give for the sake of giving.
6. Maturity is when you understand whatever you do, you do for your own peace.
7. Maturity is when you stop proving to the world, how intelligent you are.
8. Maturity is when you do not seek approval from others.
9. Maturity is when you stop comparing with others.
10. Maturity is when you are at peace with yourself.
11. Maturity is when you are able to differentiate between "need" and "want" and are able to let go of your wants.
12. Maturity is when you stop attaching "happiness" to material things.


Happy Birthday Bapu

-Karthik Gurumurthy

As we celebrate the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, we can take some time to think about how he led his life. One of my favorite quotes from Mahatma Gandhi is “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” To truly lead, and make a difference in the world, we must always start with our self.

In order to start with our self,we must understand if our actions come from a place of obligation or opportunity. Do we see moments to serve others as a matter of obligation or opportunity? The people who act as leaders almost always act from a sense of incredible opportunity.

How do we change our motivation from a place of obligation to opportunity? This is a challenge faced by the entire society. Many people face this challenge of perspective because of their lack of self-mastery. People have fallen victim to allowing their dissatisfaction control them.

A recent Wall Street Journal report stated that 80% of line workers and 50% of executives are dissatisfied with their lives at work. This highlights the challenge for anyone is to make a life while making a living. Many people feel paralyzed by their lack of control over life.

Instead of losing control over our life, we can focus on all the things we do control. To achieve this, hone in on our self-mastery skills. Self-mastery defines the promises made versus promises kept, both to oneself and to others. 


Why do great people leave/quit an organization?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Quitting is portrayed a bad thing usually. People who leave an organization after being there for long haul are usually portrayed as someone who is not paying the price, losing the dream.  But we do witness great wonderful people leaving quit organizations from time to time. Why is that?

People don't quit organizations, they quit leaders. It’s a sad but true commentary on the lack of leadership skills that are so desperately needed to thrive.

There are consequences to poor leadership and where it’s not present, people will leave to find it. Inevitably it’s the good hardworking loyal workers who leave. Left behind is a weakened and demoralized team forced to pick up the pieces.

But why do the good ones leave? What is the tipping point? The specifics vary, of course, but typically the good people leave for the following reasons.

No Backbone

This type of leader plays to the crowd and will say whatever he or she thinks you want to hear. The good ones had rather hear the uncomfortable truth than the pleasant sounds of a diplomat. The good ones want a leader who is not afraid to make the difficult decisions.

No Vision

The good ones long for and thrive in an environment where the leader has a vision for the future, can articulate it, and sets a course of action that will take them there. The good ones understand that without a clear vision for the future there is no future to be had by  just merely staying.

Cheap talk Manager

It will be hard to command the respect of your people if you have no skin in the game as it relates to your organization and its mission. You can’t expect a buy-in from your people if you are not fully invested yourself. The good ones seek to be with leaders who are as passionately invested as they are.

Not Adding value

If the so called leader does not move forward or makes effort in moving forward, the good ones will not sit idly by while the leader plays politics or favorites and be denied the opportunity to advance professionally.The good ones will thrive in a culture of excellence where their hard work and talents are put to best use. 

No accountability

The loyal great leaders fundamentally understand that accountability and transparency are the cornerstones of success. When a leader no longer feels the need to be transparent or be accountable for his or her actions, then the good ones will not stay. Trust is like glue for the leader, is there is none, people won’t stick.

Low standards

Ultimately, the leader is responsible for the culture of the organization. If proper boundaries are not being observed and inappropriate behaviors are being tolerated, then the good ones will not stay in that environment.

No Integrity

At the end of the day it all comes down to the integrity of the leader. The good ones want their leader to be a person of integrity and one they can trust. If integrity is lacking in the leader then integrity will be lacking in the culture. The good ones will leave to avoid the connection.

Many personal factors contribute to the reasons why the good ones tend to leave and move on. I have discovered that it’s not always for the money or a promotion or not willing to work hard. The good ones understand the wisdom of the words of John Maxwell who once said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” That’s why the good ones leave- to be with good leaders.


Running your own race

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Powerful message...

I was cycling and noticed a person in front of me, about Quarter of a mile. I could tell he was cycling a little slower than me and decided to try to catch him. I had about a mile to go on the road before turning off.

So I started cycling faster and faster and every block, I was gaining on him just a little bit. After just a few minutes I was only about 100 yards behind him, so I really picked up the pace and pushed myself. You would have thought I was cycling in the last leg of London Olympic triathlon.

Finally,I caught up with him and passed him by. On the inside I felt so good. “I beat him" of course, but he didn't even know we were racing.

After I passed him, I realized that I had been so focused on competing against him that I had missed my turn, had gone nearly six blocks past it and had to turn around and go all back.

Isn't that what happens in life when we focus on competing with co-workers, neighbors, friends, family, trying to outdo them or trying to prove that we are more successful or more important?

We spend our time and energy running after them and we miss out on our own paths to our destinies.

Moral :
The problem with unhealthy competition is that it’s a never ending cycle. There will always be somebody ahead of you, someone with better job, nicer car, more money in the bank, more education, a prettier wife, a more handsome husband, better behaved children, and you can add to the list.

Take what Life has given you, the height, weight & personality. Dress well & wear it proudly! You'll be blessed by it. Stay focused and live a healthy life. There's no competition in DESTINY.

Run your own RACE and wish others WELL!!!

Wherever You Go,
No Matter What The Weather,
Always Bring Your Own Sunshine...  😊


Happy Father's day!

-Karthik Gurumurthy

 

Appa_Fathersday

AppaAshwin

Happy Father's day Appa. There is not a day which goes by without thinking about you. The older I get, the more I appreciate what you have done and what you stood for. 

I have summed up what I learned from my dad  last year here (2014). This is from 2013. This is from 2012. 

I have learned a lot from my dad but these are the ones which stand out right now.

  • I think I was in third grade.  I was walking back home from school. I found a bright new pencil box in the road. I looked around. There was no one there. I was ready to give it to the rightful owner but since no one was there I told to myself, .."It is going to be mine". I was in cloud nine with this new found friend and was holding it like a coveted trophy that I earned.  Dad got home from work and the moment he noticed this pencil box, he started throwing questions at me. The first thing that he said was, " That doesn't belong to you. How is it here?" I said that it was in the road and since no one claimed responsibility for it..I thought I can have it. My dad told me immediately "You don't touch the things that don't belong to you..Period." Let us go back and put it back where you found it."  I was mad at my dad as it didn't make sense at that point of time. Right when we were putting it back, I saw a girl with her dad frantically searching for the same thing. The moment we told that we found it and wanting to return to the owner, she was delighted. I realized what a blunder I created. Had I kept it, they would have come and not found it. It would have made them really sad if they had not found it.  Thankfully my dad made the right move. My dad, right after we gave it to the right owner, looked at me and said, "Character is who you are, when nobody is looking. The moment you lose character, you lose everything. " If you want a new pencil box, you earn it by working hard. Never ever forget that. It taught me a powerful lesson to always do the right thing  irrespective of whether it is convenient or not.
  • My dad was one of the biggest net workers I know. He had friends from sports, drama theater, and different fields and interests. Irrespective of the status of the individual,  I saw Dad engage every person with respect, giving attention to anyone who wanted his time.  His life taught me that the highest calling is to serve – and demonstrate that you care about – others.
  • He was always thankful..Every opportunity he had he would talk about his parents, his employer, his friends, his  family with zest and enthusiasm. It is not like he would like to thank when they are around. It is like a everyday agenda to show and display his gratitude.  He would take everything as a blessing.
  • Always a Straight shooter. He would always speak his heart out without mincing words. Lot of his friends, colleagues loved him for that. If he thinks something is a bad idea, he would not hesitate to bring it forward.  It might not come out nice. But with him,  there is no ambiguity or guessing. Very predictable. No hidden agendas. He always stood for something.
  • No Gossip tolerated: He would be very uncomfortable if a gossip is brewing. He would say, let us not talk about this and would walk out. 

These are simple life lessons which I learned by observing you. Thanks for being who you are and what you stood for. I really wish you stayed longer but I know you are still guiding us in our thoughts, beliefs and actions.

Guruji_GKa

We miss you big time and we seek your blessings.


Who is your hero?

-Karthik Gurumurthy

It is totally fine to admire what a person achieves in science, business, or in sports, but it is not smart to turn them into a hero unless they are the kind of person you want your child to grow up to be. Sports people were portrayed role models were very appropriate because the media only reported their redeeming qualities. Tiger Woods might have succeeded as a golfer but he is not a great role model.Some great football players beat their girlfriends. What we can learn from Roger Federer/ Sachin Tendulkar is their dedication to excellence.  Here's the challenge- separating the message from the messenger.

There is also lot of confusion between being great at something and being famous. If you are famous, then you are admired. You can be famous for good, for being notorious, or just for being famous (Kardashian, Justin Bieber). If you are famous, people will flock to be near you, to have their picture made with you, and many of them will want to be just like you.

How many people choose a Teacher or Professor or a Mother doing whatever it takes to provide for the kids as a role model? Not many. More often we admire and adore singers, movie personalities and anyone who gets media attention.

We need to look at more than what they do, what they have and how they look. We must look at who they are and how they live.It is our responsibility to determine what we plan to achieve and then, find a role model who has succeeded in that area, using their standard of performance to motivate us in a specific aspect.

Just as we all have fallen short and failed in our endeavors, we have to realize that our heroes do not need to be all encompassing examples of inspiration. I have many role models. My dad, mom, many of my teachers/Professors /Cousins/Uncles/Aunts/ Friends. I doubt you have heard of any of them.


MS Dhoni Sixers (Leadership Lessons from Captain Cool)

-Karthik Gurumurthy

MSDhoni2011

Today MS Dhoni, the captain of Indian Cricket team decided to quit Test Cricket. This is good news for India as he can focus on the upcoming World Cup which is coming up in 45 days.

M.S. Dhoni who is fondly referred to as Mahi is one of the most successful captains who lead India to #1 position many times in his career. 

He had very humble beginnings and worked as a ticket collector in Kharagpur for several years in Railways. When he was not checking tickets, he used his time in practicing. We all can learn a lot from MS Dhoni. MS Dhoni is known for his sixers and the following six(ers) can help us in improving ourselves.

MSD2015

1. The only way to command respect from the team is through your own personal example. Rahul Dravid mentioned while talking about Mahi, "One of the things I really liked about playing under MS was that he never asked you to do anything that he himself didn't do."One should perform at the highest level before we expect it from the team. Personal work ethic and performance is the best and the only way we can teach the team. 

2. MS Dhoni is known for his humility who likes to be in the background and shining the light on other team members. He shares the credit of success with the team members and applauds them in public.His ability to empower his team members created the loyalty within the team and together they were able to achieve more which resulted in securing World Cup 2011.

3. MS Dhoni is known as Captain Cool for being calm in extreme situations and leading the team from the front. Sometimes he can be perceived as being lackadaisical or not being aggressive. But he shows his aggression in the game, letting his bat speak and silencing his critics in several occasions. His unbeaten 91 in the World Cup is one of the reasons India was able to win the World Cup in 2011.

4. Mahi was always criticized for his experimentation. But experimentation and taking risk is part of achieving success.

5. MS Dhoni is known for encouraging the team members despite the setbacks and believing in them despite their debacles. He earned the respect and loyalty from the team members by trusting them and empowering them.

6. MS Dhoni seldom reads or believes newspaper clippings. This helped him in keeping him humble and focussing only on the performance ahead.

Picture source Courtesy: Reuters


Asking the right questions

-Karthik Gurumurthy

One of the biggest questions that is continually in the forefront of a business owner/managers mind is – how do I become a better owner/leader?

So how do we become better? Not long ago, I had a learning break-through. It was at Vivekananda College and  Prof. S. Sundaram made this comment: “it’s not what you know that will help you, it’s the questions you ask”.

Prof. Sundaram was talking about Analytical Chemistry, but this applies across the board to just about everything.

Questions ignite imaginations, avert catastrophes and reveal unexpected paths to brighter destinations.In Forbes Bunch of entrepreneurs have pitched in their questions which are as follows:

1. How can we become the company that would put us out of business?
2. Are we relevant? Will we be relevant five years from now? Ten?
3. If energy were free, what would we do differently? Or if not energy, then choose another key word that drives your business?
4. What is it like to work for me?
5. If we weren’t already in this business, would we enter it today? And if not, what are we going to do about it?
6. What trophy do we want on our mantle? Is growth most important? Profitability, stability?
7. Do we have bad profits? Some products/services look attractive, but are they taking the company capital and focus away from its main line of business?
8. What counts that we are not counting? What tangible and intangible assets truly differentiate your business  that you currently have no means of measuring?
9. In the past few months, what is the smallest change you have made that has had the biggest positive result? What was it about that small change that produced the largest return?
10. Are you paying enough attention to the partners your company depends on to succeed?
11. What prevents me from making the changes I know will make me a more effective leader?
12. What are the implications of this decision 10 minutes,10 months, and 10 years from now?
13. Do I make eye contact 100% of the time?
14. What is the smallest subset of the problem we can usefully solve?
15. Are we changing as fast as the world around us?
16. If no one would ever find out about my accomplishments, how would I lead differently?
17. Which customers can't participate in our market because they lack skills, wealth, or convenient access to existing solutions?
18. How likely is it that a customer would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?
19. Is this an issue for analysis or intuition?
20. Who, on the executive team or the board, has spoken to a customer recently? What should we stop doing?
21. What are the gaps in my knowledge and experience?
22. What am I trying to prove to myself, and how might it be hijacking my life and business success?
23. What do we stand for- and what are we against?
24. Is there any reason to believe the opposite of my current belief?
25. Do we have the right people on the bus?

Questions can be a great friend. Have an outstanding weekend!


Notes from the readings today

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Tony Dungy mentions in Quiet Strength : "It is the journey that matters. Learning is most important than the test. Practice well and the games will take care of themselves."

Rick Pitino in Success is a choice: Individuals with great self-esteem will do great things..they're the ones others count on to boost results when the company needs it most.


Lesson on integrity

-Karthik Gurumurthy

  SRT1

I am currently  reading the book "Playing it my way" written by the Cricket Legend Sachin Tendulkar (SRT).  I always want to know what he had to go through to reach the pinnacle of success he had achieved to be one of the greatest cricketers of all time. One of the stories which he shares in this book really shows what he is made up of. 

SRT's career did not start the way one would expect. When he started getting coached from Ramakant Achrekar (RA), he moved schools to Sharadashram where RA coached. The first two games he played, he scored  two consecutive ducks. He scored 24 runs in the third game.     One had to score at least 30 runs to get the individual score published in newspaper. The scorer of the game mentioned to SRT  that he will make up his score to 30 (adding the extras of 6 to his score) and convinced SRT that it should be alright as he is not changing the total. In the excitement of seeing the name in the newspaper, SRT had agreed to fudge his score from 24 to 30. He was hoping he would get applause all over the place for this accomplishment. Instead, the following day SRT got the surprise/shock of his lifetime. Coach RA got really upset, shocked and unhappy after seeing the fudged score in the newspaper. He took SRT aside  and showed through the motion how unhappy he was with the manipulation. It taught him a valuable lesson of integrity and SRT promised that he will never do that again. What a powerful story and a powerful lesson! The instance clearly shows how his character is made up of.

I have seen lot of occasions where emphasis is given more on performance than integrity. So I have seen lot of people falter and fudge having the notion of doing whatever it takes to make things happen. Doing whatever it takes is good but it has to be done with integrity. Success without integrity is not long lasting.  Even though he might erred in this occasion, it takes a lot of guts to openly share it so that everyone can learn from it.  This is one of the reasons SRT was able to have outstanding success in the long run as he had all these values and principles deep rooted in him. 

Picture courtesy: ESPN Cricinfo


Genuine leadership and BS

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I love reading the works of Dr. John C. Maxwell. All his books focusses on leadership and leading from the front. To be a leader, one has to be constantly on the move, engaged, working on execution, learning and making appropriate changes to improve performance constantly.

One of the stories he shares about the turkey chatting it up with the bull. “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, “but I haven’t got the energy.”

“Well,” replied the bull, “why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings? They’re packed with nutrients.”

The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch on the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched on top of the tree. But he was promptly spotted by a hunter, who shot him down out of the tree.

What is the moral of the story?: BS might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.


Blind spots and self awareness

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Believe it or not, all of us have blind spots. We need to be aware that we are also capable of making mistakes. We should not be like this guy whom I am going to describe. 

I am originally from Chennai. Chennai is a city in Southern part of India which is known for its humidity.  It was a hot day at work due to issues in air conditioning. There were about dozen people in close quarters and everyone was sweating with a fan on. All of a sudden,  people started to wrinkle their noses at an odor passing through the air. One of the guys at work got irritated and said,  "Oh Boy, someone's deodorant is not working?"

A guy in the corner immediately yelled saying,  "Can't be me, wasn't wearing any."

We all love to visualize ourselves as  self-aware, but when a story comes up we always assume that it’s our neighbor who desperately needs to hear it and not us. Our time is spent judging whether our friends, co-workers, and family members are blissfully unaware of their deficiencies or just too self-absorbed to notice.It is important to check ourselves first before we start judging others.

 


Staying relevant!

by Karthik Gurumurthy


Relevant

To have succeeded in a project means that you know what worked yesterday. Lot of times success impairs your vision where you feel that you don't need to pay attention, change and grow. To Staying relevant means reinventing yourself and not resting on past results. It is important to be immersed in the present to understand and provide value. I feel that I need to constantly improve my skills and execution. We need to be a good student where we need to review our performance on a day to-day basis.


Good thoughts

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Today my friend G. Krishnan (fondly referred to Gikku) shared a quote from Swami Vivekananda. I loved it and would like to share this with you all.

"If we both exchange one rupee, we each have one rupee.

But if we both exchange one good thought, we each have two good thoughts."

Isn't that so true and powerful?


Print worthy!

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I browse through many articles and posts  on a daily basis. If I find something truly outstanding  I print them, irrespective of how many pages are involved. 

Yes, sure;  you can save it and access it later. Personally for me converting the ideas into a document I can hold, highlight and saving it separately is compelling. It means I really find that post worthwhile  and the value I get from re-reading it is priceless.

When was the last time you read something so great that you feel the urge to print it?

Not all our written communications need to be “have to  print” quality, but if nothing we write  urges our readers to print it, we’re not  definitely up to the mark. That is one way of checking if we are articulating it correctly so that the readers feel compelled to print them. Print worthy is a good goal we all can strive for.


Gratitude

-Karthik Gurumurthy

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." 

-William Arthur Ward

Gratitude1

 

As you look back over the span of your life  I’m sure there are people along the way who made an impact. Do you remember them? They are the ones who befriended you in a new position. They helped you grow and develop your confidence. They stood by you and believed in you when no one else would. They gave you correction when you needed it and patiently gave of their time to help you grow and become the person you are today. Expressions of your gratitude are in order.

Why not reach out and reach back to say thank you to those who were kind enough to help you?

Perhaps you can give them a call or send them a note expressing your gratitude. Life is too short  not to pause now and then to remember, reflect, and give thanks for where you are and for those who helped you. 


Dealing with unexpected changes

-Karthik Gurumurthy

When I was in high school and college, I spent hours and hours learning, and trying to understand Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Currently I live close to Los Angeles and from time-time we get some tremors which shake us up. Heisenberg principle is nothing to do with what I am going through..but uncertainty/tremor is the one I am talking about. I am currently dealing with lot of uncertainties/tremors. How do we deal with unexpected changes in life?

We all need to know how to handle these unexpected changes. Even when you think you’ve curled into a cozy cocoon of predictability, anything could change in a heartbeat.

The only constant in life is that it will involve change; and try as you may to control the future, sometimes all you can do is trust that whatever happens, you can adapt and make the best of it.

Since I am straddling familiarity and the unknown, waiting to form some type of expectations for my future, I’ve been thinking a lot about dealing with uncertainty well. Though I’ve written before about embracing an uncertain future, I have a few thoughts as I am going through this:

Replace expectations with actionable plans.

When you form expectations, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. You can guide your tomorrow, but you can’t control the exact outcome. If you expect the worst, you’ll probably feel too negative and closed-minded to notice and seize opportunities. If you expect the best, you’ll create a vision that’s hard to live up to.

Instead of expecting the future to give you something specific, focus on what you’ll do to create what you want to experience.

What is in my hands is what I plan—, find balance, and live the life I want.

Prepare for different possibilities.

The most difficult part of uncertainty, at least for me, is the inability to plan and feel in control. But I can plan for the possibilities. If Plan A doesn't work, having a Plan B..If not Plan C..There are 26 possibilities in total for all of us.

Become a feeling observer.

It isn’t the uncertainty that bothers me; it’s my tendency to get lost in my feelings about it.

The second I start indulging fear, I get lost in a cycle of reactionary thoughts. “It might not work out” leads to “How will I achieve my goal?” Before you know it, I’ve somehow traveled all the way to “What if I become this homeless person in the street?

Okay, so that’s a slight exaggeration. The point is that speculation leads to feelings, which can lead to more speculation and then more feelings. It helps me to stop the cycle by recognizing the feeling—in that case, fear—and the reminding myself: I can’t possibly predict the future, but I can help create it by fostering positive feelings about the possibilities.

Get confident about your coping and adapting skills. This isn’t the same as “expect the worst.” It’s more about assuring yourself that you can handle any difficulty that might come.

Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” I could take the opportunity to downsize my stuff. I could deal, which makes the uncertainty a little less scary.

Utilize stress reduction techniques preemptively.

If you’re dealing with uncertainty, you probably have stress in your body, even if it’s not at the forefront of your thoughts in this exact moment. Over time, that body stress affects blood pressure, blood sugar, muscle tension, cholesterol level, breathing rate, and every organ in your body.

Incorporate stress reduction techniques into your day, ideally meditation, even if just five to ten minutes daily. Finding your center will help you feel better prepared to tackle whatever comes your way.

Focus on what you can control.

Oftentimes, we overlook the little things we can do to make life easier while obsessing about the big things we can’t do. What is in my control is, what I can do today to take care of the issues for today.


Practice mindfulness.

When you obsess about a tomorrow you can’t control, you’re too busy judging what hasn’t happened yet to fully experience what’s happening right now. Instead of noticing and appreciating the beauty in the moment, you get trapped in a fear-driven thought cycle about the potential for discomfort down the line.

While meditation is the best way to become more mindful, it isn’t the only approach. Sometimes it helps me to take an inventory of what’s good in today.

If ever you think you’ve created a controllable, predictable life for yourself, you can rest assured that’s an illusion. Nothing stays the same forever.

The uncertainty can keep you up at night, obsessing over ways to protect yourself from anything that might go wrong. Or it can motivate you to practice acceptance, live in the moment, and embrace the adventure of living.

What’s coming tomorrow might not be easy—or it might fulfill you in ways you didn’t know to imagine. What’s certain is that it will come and when it gets here, you’ll respond to it, learn from it, and move into another tomorrow full of endless possibilities.

Today I’m focusing on my possibilities, not my fear, and suddenly I feel much better.


Effective communication

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I wrote this draft about 2 weeks back  but didn't get to post it until today. I have more time now compared to two weeks back.

Anyways, I was able to notice few blunders in communication at work. I am specifically sharing about a person who was running this project. If I had good relationship with the respective person, I would have told the person directly  about how it can affect the results and morale. If I share it with the person now, the person might get defensive. I am hoping the person learns soon.

However I am sharing it here so that we all can  learn and make sure we don't do the same mistake.

We spend about most of our  time in  talking to other people. By simply improving our  discussions we significantly improve the quality of our lives. There are different ways to make every meeting/discussion better:

Clarity:

If you don’t know what outcome  you want to get out of a conversation you will probably be surprised at what you get.

Be clear on what you’re trying to communicate before you start. Clear intentions greatly increase the odds of getting the results desired.

Are you trying to inform? Come up with solutions? share concern? There are as many potentially different outcomes as there are interactions.

The main bottom line from the discussion is : What do I want to have happen as the result of what I say?

Good conversation is about quality, not just quantity. Saying more isn’t necessarily better. Clarity makes you more concise, not more  verbose.

 Speaking politely/kindly :

"People don't know how much you know until they how much you care."- Dr. John C. Maxwell

A  curt reply can kill a good conversation. It suggests that the other person isn’t really interested. Sarcasm and negativity are humiliating and can be a major turn-off. Likewise, speaking rapidly or assertively can come across as harsh.

Results-oriented aggressive people sometimes forget that how a message is delivered largely determines how it is received.

Speak to others with kindness and you are more likely get a positive response.

It doesn’t take any more time to be civil and polite than it does to be direct and harsh. Pay attention to how you say it, not just what you say.

Converse like a friend.

You don’t have to necessarily know a person for long period of time to talk to them like a friend. When you talk like a friend, you are pleasant and upbeat because you value the person you are speaking to. You expect the best from the conversation, and you give your best.

You can talk like a friend to a complete stranger, and he or she will be positively affected by your thoughtfulness. And how often do we take for granted the important people in our lives and make our conversations  void of emotion?

A stranger is only a friend you haven’t made yet. When the quality of discussions improves, it helps to productive long lasting relationships making it efficient and effective.

One way to assure your performance is as expected or better is to ask for ongoing feedback. Don’t just inquire about how you’re doing; specifically ask about what you could do different or better to improve your work. The person whom you are asking for feedback would give you their feedback only if they know you are ready to listen.


Happy Birthday Appa!

Mothers Day 2011 104

 

-by Karthik Gurumurthy

 

Appa, today is your Seventy second birthday. Happy Birthday Appa. There is not a day that goes by without thinking about you. I am sure you are cutting cake with Patti Thatha and blessing us all. On this day, I would like to remember the lessons you taught me. I will keep them close to my heart and remind myself of them whenever I stumble or falter. You have always been the greatest cheerleader and I derived greatest fulfilment when I heard your comforting words of wisdom. Whenever you blessed, the words spoken were all done to encourage, comfort and reassure. This isn’t general wisdom, rather advice that was tailor-made just for me. I definitely miss that.I love you Dad.

Six nuggets you shared

  • Be yourself. Accept who you are, you’ve got no one else to be. You're born an original, don't die a copy: be yourself not someone else.Don’t apologize. Don’t make excuses.
  • Be unique. Don’t try to adapt yourself to someone else’s view of normal. That belongs to them, not you. Like yourself as you are.
  • Don’t worry about other people’s opinions. Everyone’s a critic, but ultimately what they say only matters if you let it. Don’t believe your own press. People can just as easily sing your praises as they can tear you down. Don’t waste your time on things you can’t change. Let it slide off you like water off a duck’s back.
  • What ever you do, always give it a good go. Don’t be afraid of failure and disappointment. If you fall flat on your face then get straight back up. You’ll always regret not trying. Disappointment is temporary, regret is forever. As long as you dedicate yourself to your goal, you have nothing else to worry about.
  • Never, ever, ever, ever give up. Keep on punching no matter what your up against. You’re only defeated if you give up, so don’t give up. Don’t take yourself too seriously. People who take themselves too seriously are boring. Laugh. There’s humour to be found everywhere, even in your darkest days there’s something to have a joke about. Laugh long and loud and make other people laugh. It’s good for you.
  • Be generous and kind because you can’t take it all with you. When you’ve got something to give, give it without hesitation.Love with all your heart and be humane. In the end, love is the only thing that matters.

Reading

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I am thankful for the train ride to work every day. It gives me a chance to read, observe, contemplate and capture ideas that will be relevant to my audience and useful in my speaking, writing, coaching and consulting. Reading broadly and eclectically develops intellectual bandwidth. If we read only what others are reading, we will likely lack the ingredients for true originality.


Play to win

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I wrote this post couple of weeks back  but did not get to post it until today. This was written when Germany beat Argentina to win Football Worldcup.

Argentina played well but the way Argentina played was it  just played enough to survive. 

It is a pre-requisite, obviously for everything else. But that cannot be the end goal. Germany however, played to win.

A client once told me, “I didn’t go to college to learn how to survive. I want to thrive!!”

Of course if we don’t expect much in life and don’t get it, we aren’t as disappointed. Some people aim low–at surviving–with the confidence that at least they can achieve that.

During difficult times, both individuals and businesses are sometimes faced with survival as a primary goal. But like Robert Schuller says, “Tough times never last but tough people do.”

The danger is staying in survival mode longer than necessary. Anyone can become so accustomed to playing not to lose that they stop playing to win.

Michaelangelo said, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” 

To change your future, change your present perspective.


Thinking about you Dad

-Karthik Gurumurthy

AppaKarthik_061514

Father’s Day is an appropriate time to reflect on our own fathers and on what it means to be a father. My father was basically a happy man, who put family first. He went to be with the Lord two years ago. I’ve learned many lessons from my dad that will stay with me forever and that I’ll try and pass on to my son.

 This was my last year posting  about my dad.

This was my posting in 2012.

 I have learned a lot from my dad and these are the lessons I learned which I would like to share this year:

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Unexpected problems will always happen in life and the vast majority of them aren’t worth worrying about as they all seem to work themselves out. Laugh every day. This leaves a lasting impression on your children.

Always carve out time for your family and children. The things I remember most about my dad are simple times like playing cricket with Aravind and myself in the evening and taking us out during our summer break. Men put so much energy into wearing the mantle of Provider, and they devote so many hours each day working hard to climb the ladder, that they forget the very people they’re working for: their children. Most kids would rather live in a shack with a father who is present in their lives than in a mansion with a father who is always working late or constantly out of town on business. Strive to find the balance.

Take vacation time and spend most of it with your children. I’ve written before of how misguided it is when some men brag about not using their vacation time and act like the business world would crumble if they weren’t consistently active in it. Growing up in Chennai, summer vacations were magical when I was a kid. To this day they hold a special place in my memory. Although I didn’t really understand it all, I enjoyed seeing my dad unwind and cast aside the pressures that life heaps on us. Every summer he planned a fun trip to different cities all over India which we looked forward to it big time. We did this until we were in high school. We played cards/chess/cricket and I learned a lot about having the balance. I didn't think much of it when we did this and but now I do understand the planning that went to make that happen.

With the start of summer at your threshold, it’s right to be reminded about how significant it is to be present with your children and to live in the moment with them. You can’t ignore your business responsibilities and challenges, but you shouldn’t elevate them to the pinnacle of importance and prominence in your world. Save that place for enjoying life with your family, your friends and your children. Take a vacation and laugh a lot. That’s the kind of legacy that lasts. That’s what is best to be remembered for.

You gave me unconditional love. What a gift to have a father like you who thought the world of me. Growing up you always told me I could do & be whatever I wanted. You were right. You always gave 110% passion and effort in everything you did.You gave me self confidence. You always taught me to succeed in anything, you have to be determined and dedicated without an iota of doubt.

You always taught me the value of honesty by being direct and not mince words. Your favorite quote was always, "Truth need not be remembered."

How I appreciate all those intangibles you instilled in me. It shows in my relationships with others. It shows in my outlook on the world. It shows in my work ethic. It shows in my parenthood.

Not a day goes by that I don't think about you. When I look at my son I think of you and want to instill that self confidence and strong foundation you gave me. You raised me to be a strong man & I'm striving to do the same for my child. I appreciate your life even more. This is what I wanted my kid(s) to learn...(written back in 2005)....


Thank you Amma......for everything!

 

HappyMothersDay2014_GurumurthyKarthik

  Amma_Mothersday

-Karthik Gurumurthy

One day out of the year, we have this beautiful opportunity to remind ourselves how blessed we are to have a Mother. We might not thank them enough for all the things they have done for us. She carried us inside of her for nine months.

So, Mom, this one is for you:

Thank You For Your Unconditional Love and Support.

You are my best friend and you always have been. I’ve seen your love million times be it when I was sick in school, be it taking me to IIT coaching classes, be it taking me to undergrad/grad admission counseling.You were always there for me with me. You comforted me at times that life became a little too tough to handle. Not to mention, you have shown me how to love others and how to love them well.

Thank You For Showing Me Grace When I Didn’t Deserve It
Perhaps it is easier for me to take my frustrations out on you than anyone else in this world because you love me limitlessly and unconditionally. There were times when I was a total jerk to you; I was rude, selfish and unkind. Still, you loved me anyway, and for that, I am forever grateful.


Thank You For Giving Me Everything
You never told me no and I appreciate that generosity. I know kids can be expensive and demanding. Working 9-5 for 34 years and still raising wonderful kids...I don't know how you did it..You never skipped a beat. Doing an outstanding job at work as well as taking wonderful care of us...You are the biggest outstanding Go-Giver who have lead by example about how to take care of everyone without grudges, complaining but with a happy heart.

From supporting me emotionally through my awkward beginning high school days, to sacrificing your personal time after your long days at work to talk me through my problems and working extra hard to support us (Aravind and me) financially through college, you and Appa have always been there.

You have sacrificed so much in order to give me a better life than you had when you were a kid.

Thank You For Always Believing In Me
Life has been difficult and there have been times when I’ve felt like giving up, when things were not going my way. Each time, you were there to remind me of my worth as a human being.

You encouraged me to keep reaching for the unreachable and never settle for anything less than I deserved. No matter how crazy my dreams were — you always told me to go after what would make me fulfilled.

Whenever I have any hardships, the only person I can count on who has been there and prayed enough to make the mess to a miracle is because of you Mom.

As I get older, I realize more and more how much you have done for me and continue to do every day.

The greatest gift God has given me is the gift of a wonderful Mother..who has given me the strength, the courage, unconditional love and support through a great example, sacrifice and loads and loads of patience.

This Mother’s Day, thank whomever you call “Mom” for being the best on the planet at her job.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom..

HappyMothersDay2014_2