My daughter and I were travelling together in her car. We always sit in the rear seat and we use this opportunity to have long conversations as our chauffeur negotiates the car through the thick Mumbai traffic. I was on my way to my office and she to her college.

As we spoke, I suddenly told her of a specific personal productivity problem I am currently facing and asked her to develop a solution by end of today. I told her she is my consultant and she needs to give me advice. She took the assignment pretty seriously and came up with a brilliant solution. I am so proud of her.

I learnt the following from this experience:
  1. Children are great problem solvers. They are very creative.
  2. Involving them teaches them that every problem has a solution and they need to think it through.
  3. The parent child bonding is rapidly enhanced
  4. Parents can get very creative solutions which they would have never even thought about.

Moreover if you implement their solution and demonstrate success to them, they will truly develop immense self-esteem and have confidence to solve problems.

Children should be involved, wherever possible, in developing solutions to common family problems along with the parents. This will come a long way for strengthening family bonding and creatively solving problems together.

A colleague of mine came back, today, after successfully finishing a project. He came to me and started narrating to me the various victories he had won while implementing the project. I could see him, right in front of me, so happy and confident. It was his first project.

The person in front of me, today, was a stark contrast to the person he was, before he went to the project. I changed, completly changed, my opinion of him and I firmly, now, believe he will be a great asset to my team.

I learnt several lessons from this experience:

  1. Never lose faith in the potential of your followers
  2. Groom them with the hope they will perform
  3. Take time to form conclusions of people by giving them a chance to perform
  4. Most important, people need that initial success to build confidence in themselves

How quickly we judge people and form opinions. We need to nurture them and believe in their potential. This is true in work, as well as, in families, especially, while dealing with children. I have seen parents, teachers, bossess, peers label people and these labels stick to them for their entire lives. Some of these labels are destructive and can cause a lot of harm.

Do you have labels stuck to you? It is time to examine them.

A colleague of mine just made a business presentation. It was average. How is it that people stay unprepared? You need to be prepared all the time. This is a great competitive advantage. Just like a great musician may be called to perform suddenly and she gives a brilliant performance, similarly in every walk of life one needs to be prepared-always prepared. A student for a test, a doctor for a surgery, a business man for a presentation, a pilot for a take off, a soldier for a combat, an employee for a promotion, --- the list can go on and on.

The difference between mediocrity and excellence is preparedness, because when you are called to perform you have no time for anything else.
Sometimes when you are sincere and nice to people they back stab you. Your kindness, compassion, and desire to improve the person professionally and personally will be interpreted as weakness.

A leader can tolerate everything except dishonesty and disloyalty. In such a situation, he has to take the iron hand out of his velvet glove and act. It is then time to remove that person from the team, division, company, or country.

What do you think---?
It is important to have different alternative sources of income. Becoming financially independent is a goal that needs to be set in childhood. How many of us as parents help our children to set this goal.

It is not surprising at all if your child emulates you and ends up in the same financial status as you are in-positive or negative.

The best way to teach a child is through role-modeling.
I have this tendency to go to important events unprepared. This springs from a sense of overconfidence. Then, invariably, while the event is unfolding, I wish I had gone there better prepared.

It is important to prepare oneself fully for important events in life. Doing a pre-critique is crucial and will go a long way in preparing yourself for important turning points in your life.

Does that mean that you need to be prepared for each and every event? Not at all! However, you definitely need to know which are the crucial ones you will need thorough preperation.

A FPL is important and should be drawn out periodically. What is a FPL? It is nothing but a "Fully Prepared" List which needs to be fully prepared.
How much planning needs to go into a day? Am I doing things that really matter? How do I determine what those important things are?

How many of us like planning? What impact does planning have on our personality type? What impact does our personality type have over our planning? Can all personality types plan effectively? Can all personality types enjoy planning?
These are profound questions, that needs to be answered. We need to negotiate with ourselves about the task of planning.

Without planning everything tends to move towards chaos. However, there needs to be some form of chance or serendepity to come to play, periodically, to shake us out of the rut we fall into.

Effective life is finding a balance between planning and random chance/serendipity. For those who enjoy planning, they need to learn to enjoy chance and randomness and those who enjoy flexibility, randomness and serendipity, they need to learn to enjoy planning. It is not "either -or". It is "and".
I recently was interviewing a group of fresh MBAs to take them as Management Trainees in our organization. These MBAs hailed from a premier business school. As I interviewd them, one by one, it suddenly dawned upon me, how ill prepared these candidates were. In fact, that interview day was one of the most important days in their lives.

Life brings us to these important days, periodically. How we fair and excell on these days depend on how well we have been preparing for them. For many of these important days, which are actually turning points, the preparation required may be a lifetime.

These students were trying to shortcut the process. An Olympic Gold Medal is won only by years of practice. For a short marothon run you may need to invest days, months, and years of effort. Think about it---
How many of us have a talent inventory of ourselves? We need to constantly check what our talents are and also take stock of which ones we are using effectively.

Using our talents effectively will help us to forge ahead and live a fun filled life.

Why run on land when you have hidden wings by which you can fly high?