Leadership is About Effective Handling of Change

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights. ~Pauline R. Kezer

Change is an inevitable part of life. But it is not easy to either change or to deal with change. There are two important factors for effective change: First, our perception of the situation and second, our attitude to embrace rather than resist the change. In short, change should first happen inside each one of us.

Let me narrate an interesting story…

It was Pete Gray’s dream to play baseball in the Yankee Stadium one day. At the age of twelve he was an excellent right-handed pony baseball player and represented his school in the game. And then one fateful day his dreams came crashing down…….

While doing chores on the family’s Pennsylvania farm, Pete slipped and fell off his father’s pickup truck. This completely crushed his right arm without which it was virtually impossible to play baseball. Anyone else would have given up their dreams but not young Pete!

The Adidas ad says, “Impossible is Nothing” – a slogan that Pete entirely embraced. He taught himself to bat, bowl and field with his left hand. His speed, strong throwing arm, and excellent athletic ability allowed Pete to perform this miracle quickly enough to be a solid, dependable outfielder.

Against all odds, by the 1944 season, the one-armed outfielder had a batting score of 333, stole 63 bases, and won the League’s Most Valuable Player award. Baseball fans were astounded!!!

One year later, in 1945, the one-armed outfielder, Pete, achieved his boyhood dream when his team, the Browns, played against the Yankees. The Browns defeated the Yankees, and Pete played a major role in his team’s victory.

As Robert E. Quinn rightly said, “One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change. Personal change is a reflection of our inner growth and empowerment.”

Perhaps that is why Gandhiji said, “Be the change you want to see.”

Success Is Failure Turned Inside Out

Winston Churchill was to have quoted,

“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm”

This attitude is an important characteristic to possess if we aim at success in all that we do.

At the workplace it may sometimes seem impossible to keep your chin up through all the stress, pressure and the effort to balance life and work. It is an accepted fact that on some days at work, you may not be able to be as productive as you would like to be. The causes can be many. But the point here is that you should not be put off by failure. When the clouds of doubt cloud your vision, do not succumb to it. Instead keep endeavouring.

Always learn to derive enjoyment while on your path towards success, since it is equally important to make the journey an enriching one. After all, life is a culmination of experiences from which we teach the next generation on how they may live their life in a balanced manner.

Always be motivated to think and act positively. After a while you will find that being positive and motivated comes naturally. During our Soft Skills Training sessions in Motivational Training, participants learn to deal with setbacks and strive forward with a positive mental attitude.

This then is the very essence of success – the more we keep persisting despite setbacks and failures, the more chances we have at succeeding. Remember what Thomas Alva Edison said,

“I haven’t failed, I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work”

When The Going Gets Tough…

Stress has been known to cause serious impediments in our body and mind. The only way to resolve it is through self awareness. It helps to know your natural reactions to stress. This will help you be better prepared in the face of a crisis.

Stress Management techniques teach participants to channel negative stressful energy into a more positive tone. Through my years of experience as a Soft Skills Trainer and Executive Coach, I have seen that the audience imbibes what is taught with regards to stress in a brilliant manner. This goes on to show how important it is to expose ideas such as stress management tips to employees in the organization.

Many times, the under-current of despair and hopelessness get ignored during the monotonous struggle of daily organizational tasks. The management needs to bring this to light, recognize it and be proactive so that the culture of the organization is not affected.

Due the above substantiation, we have made Stress Management Training an important element of our Soft Skills Training program. We aim at providing the participant with long-term and easy-to-use methods that would help them not only in their profession, but in their personal life as well. We firmly believe that a happy employee means a happy organization. And happy organizations definitely means a happier world to live in.

As an ending note, I would like to bring to light the instance of the carrot and the egg. When both a raw carrot and an uncooked egg are dropped into a pot of boiling water, what happens after a while?
The raw carrot which was initially hard now becomes soft, and the egg which was soft within, now becomes hard.

Now ask yourself, under stress, which is equated here through the pot of boiling water, what are you like – the carrot or the egg?

‘The Night is Darkest Before Dawn’

The Obamas’ struggle to achieve victory

A new book called Renegade recounts US President Barrack Obama’s unlikely run for the presidency. An article relating to this book in the Times of India newspaper (dated June 8, 2009) recounts a particularly tense period in the personal lives of the Obamas during the year 2000.

The Obamas’ marriage was supposedly on the brink of collapse because of Barrack’s political aspirations and First Lady Michelle’s experience as a first time mother.

This particular episode is long past. They are now known today, as the most romantic First Couple of America. Which now brings me to my question – is it necessary to dig up the past and exhibit information that has no relevance to the present? Is journalism about reporting relevant facts or has it become about providing shock value to the reader?

In my opinion, I think we should focus on the fact that amidst all the pressures in their life; they were able to rebuild their marriage. In life we all fall down, but the ones who succeed are the ones who pick themselves up, dust themselves off and keep moving without looking back. This shows that Obama is tenacious and is capable of leading a broken down country – it shows that he is a man who achieves his missions. This is what the learnings need to be for the reader.

Let’s not get tangled by the volume of information that hits us day after day. Let us approach daily news not from the perspective of the journalist, who wants as many newspapers to sell, but as a reader who wants to learn from the lives of people; who have reached unimaginable levels in their lives through sheer persistence, focus and vision. This will help us to reach not only those levels but beyond those levels.