I want to go crazy with my will-power & this is my plan!

Tags

, , ,

the-power-of-our-mind

After reading this article, you might think that I have gone crazy but I am enjoying it. Not just that, I have been able to dramatically improve my will-power. Here is how I did it and this is my plan to keep pushing my will-power further and further. Just to set the context, I am a restless person by nature and sometime back I also realised that I enjoy pushing myself to limits.

It was April, 2015. Me & my wife were planning a trip to Europe and for some reason I told my wife that I want to quit eating non-veg once we are back from trip. Just for your information, I have been a non-vegetarian all my life & I loved it then. My wife thought it must be one of those zipping thoughts that I keep getting every now and then & I shall forget it by next morning. I never mentioned it again to my wife during the entire trip and hogged non–veg food like crazy. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and mid meal snacks too. Once I landed back in India, I gave up non-veg. This time my wife thought – “Ok, let him try it for a few days. He can’t resist it for long”. Today, more than a year has passed and I feel happy that I did not touch non-veg even a bit. The sense of achievement I got cannot be explained in words. (if you are a foody, you would know what I am talking about).

That was the beginning. I thought, if I can do this, then I can do much more. So this winter, I tried something crazier. I decided to take shower in cold water this winter. I may not be able to do it throughout winters but till now I have been able to. Its already end November with temperatures dipping to 11 degree Celsius. I am happy and glad that I did it.

Now, I have made my own to-do list to check my will-power. Sounds crazy. Right? But here is the best part. I realised it is a mind game and not so much of a physical challenge. If I can learn to control my mind, I don’t need to control my body. If I can win battles in my mind, I can win battles in this physical world easily.

Soon, I realised that a sense of positivity started overpowering my thoughts. Whenever I come across a challenging task, whether physical activity or professional work, even if I have never done it ever in my life, first thought that comes to my mind is “how can I do it” and not that I have not done it till now.

This battle to win over our own mind is the ultimate battle and the only way to win it is by challenging your willpower again and again with tougher tasks. You may not win all of them but some will be won and you shall soon realise that its only and only you who will be the winner, even if you loose a few battles.

Brilliance beyond what eyes can see- Range Rover.

Tags

, , , ,

Land Rover has successfully managed to distinguish itself from being seen as only a luxury brand. It has managed to get its focus back to being the best SUV but here is something that you will not get to notice in this piece of content. They have a been very consistent in continuously developing kind of content to reclaim the tag of being “Ultimate SUV”.

11 books that made difference in my life

Tags

, , ,

presentation1

  1. Good to great by Jim Collins: In the corporate world you will find many good leaders but it won’t be easy to find great leaders. The difference between both is that good leaders drive organisations to high growth but great leaders work on a framework which allows organisations to keep growing even when the leaders are long gone. Think about it!
  2. The lean startup by Eric Ries: This book introduces a mind blowing concept of launching half baked products. Yes, that’s right! In today’s world, this is more true for internet businesses but can be applied to other industries as well. The book explains how this concept works and why it works.
  3. Losing my virginity by Richard Branson: He is one of the most inspiring business personalities. An unorthodox, daring, smart & persistent businessman. His story itself is so inspiring that you would want to read this book in one go.
  4. Blue ocean strategy by Renee Mauborgne & W. Chan Kim: Nothing unique about this book because it talks about the importance of differentiating your business from others. Enough has been written about this topic on internet and in several other books but the way this book is written is a class apart. Its like looking at the same business problem with a different outlook. Not to be missed.
  5. Creative visualisation by Shakti Gwain: This book talks about the power of “Visualisation”. Visualisation is a technique to control & train your mind to achieve your goals. One of the simplest of books and yet powerful one.
  6. The power of Habits by Charles Duhigg: Everyone has struggled to change some of their habits at some point of time in their life. This book emphasises why & how its important to form new habits. Easier said then done but those who can, will reap benefits.
  7. The Ascent of money by Niall Ferguson: Did you know that during second world war, some wars were fought by Nations hoping to become Rich? Yes, that’s True. I was introduced to so many such concepts about money in this book that my entire perspective towards world’s financial economy got changed. Don’t miss it.
  8. Open by Andre Agassi: I read this book purely to know his struggle. Brilliant one.
  9. Serve to win by Novak Djokvic: I wanted to read this book because I wanted to know more about his healthy eating lifestyle but what I discovered beyond that was his inspiring story. His struggle during childhood, his struggle with health disorder, his struggle against every odd to rise beyond limits. Truly inspiring!
  10. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown: This book is about understanding the reasons behind factors which differentiate those who dare to achieve their goals and those who don’t. It won’t be fair if I mention those reasons here because to do justice to it, you got to read it. Fantastic book.
  11. Act like a leader, Think like a leader by Herminia Ibarra: This one is a masterstroke provided you start believing in what is written in this book. According to the author, if you want to become a leader, you need to start acting & behaving like one today. Only then you will become one and not the other way round.

Reading in-between the content

Tags

, , , ,

engaging_with_video_content

While I professionally started working on content marketing at my organisation sometime back but I have been maintaining this blog on content Marketing for couple of years now. Little I knew then that this blog will eventually help me understand content marketing so much better years later.

A few months back I started an exercise to segregate types of video content into different buckets basis consumer interests. I went through more than 150 pieces of video content. Not that i did this exercise in one go but i started off by just posting some interesting content on my blog. Slowly, i started noticing these trends.  Then i worked out few hypothesis and started ratifying these hypothesis against various content pieces. I retained the ones which stood true and junked the others. This exercise helped me in identifying content genres which work better on digital platform.

But beware, these should not be seen in isolation. These genres work on the principal that these need to be combined with brand brief/ campaign objective & consumer insights. Only when these three are combined together, the real content gets developed. Here is a list of these top content genres:

  • Pranks: These are one of the most successful genres but when executed by a brand, marketers need to be sensitive to consumer emotions. Certainly not easy one to crack.  Here are a few examples of content based on pranks
  • Stunts: This is one category which always gets high number of views if executed well, though the trick is to integrate brand well. Will share examples of good as well as not so well integrated brand
  • Babies: “Aaawwww. These are so cute”. That’s the attention grabbing reaction which works for the content. Have a look at some of these examples:
  • Videos of on ground content: Don’t mistake these for brand activation. On ground is just a medium to develop a good content. Take these like “production” for content. that’s it. Check these out
  • Animation: These can turn out to be expensive so be sure about these because if you try to get it done half heartily compromising on quality of  animation, it would be a non starter.
  • Ridiculously different content: I will be honest here. The ones which were so wearied but good that i could not classify them, i made a separate category for them. (Easy way out i guess). Check these out
  • Songs: This last category if evergreen. It does not matter if you are developing content, a TVC or a branded musical, it works.See the links below

Also, remember that this is not an exhaustive list of genres. There could be many more genres which can be identified and harped upon. It is a continuous exercise. The more you try to understand content, more you learn!

5 management lessons I learned from “My Band of Brothers”

Tags

,

aaeaaqaaaaaaaaksaaaajdgyyjnmzdq2lteyndutndgwoc1hytqzlwjhytgym2izyjkxma

I recently read a book called “The Magic” by Rhonda Byrne. I bought this book because few of my friends recommended it. At first when I started reading it, I thought its another of those self help kind of book but since so many of my friends recommended it, I kept reading it in anticipation of discovering something more later. The book is written on the concept of “gratitude and appreciating what you have instead of what you don’t have”. The concept did not gel well with my school of thoughts but ironically at back of my mind, I found it interesting as well. By the time I read half the book, I realised that it is still talking the same thing from where it started.

Then my friend who recommended me this book challenged me to implement the learning of this book. In short it suggested that one should just try to count their blessings and appreciate them. I thought whats the big deal in it? First day was a cake walk. First week also was manageable. After that things became little difficult but more importantly I started realising the power of this powerful book. Honestly, if you want to realise true potential of this book, you won’t get that by reading this article. Read this book and implement it in your own life.

What I have done is written below five things I learned from my gang of friends whom I call “My Band of Brothers”

1.     Somethings can be explained only through sheer LUCK: The fact that I have an entire band of great friends, whom I look upto, whom I love to hang around with, who I know will be there during bright as well as dark times, I feel very lucky to have them.

Similarly, if you are doing well in your career, thank your stars. Luck does play a big role. Of course, no taking away from the fact that you slogged your butt off to reach where you have.

2.     Persistence pays: Everyone goes through rough times in their life & career and so has this another member of this band. When life threw a bouncer, he ducked. When he was wrongly announced out as LBW, he proved his mettle in the next match but one thing he never let go off was – PERSISTENCE. He kept going. Today, he is a senior member of organisation & has lived life of an expat (for which I envy him J)

3.     Believe in yourself & stick to your guns: Yet another brother of my band whom I always looked up to was handling one of the toughest portfolios way back. He always focussed on long term vision and did not hesitate to decline short term mimics even during testing times. I have never seen him crackling under pressure. One of the smartest managers i have seen in my career. Today he is sitting in global office of one of the largest conglomerate.

4.     Power to control your emotions: This guy is a genius, super-genius infact. His strength is that he never lets any emotion overpower himself. He would have the same expression on his face when he gives away his wicket as well as when he takes a wicket or even when he reaches a century (even Dhoni can’t do that everytime). He believes in letting his bat talk.

5.     Easier way to pass through tough times is to SMILE: That’s easier said than done. Try it when you are in middle of a crises & 99% chances are that you wont be able to and here is this guy who bombards my whatsapp everyday with jokes from venus. I ensure that I read each and every forward that he sends because it brings a smile of my face. Incase you are wondering that this is the best part. No it is not. What’s extra ordinary about this gentlemen is that he keeps sending these jokes even when life is playing jokes on him. The point I am trying to make is what nothing else can do, a SMILE can, even in a corporate world full of sharks. Only exception being if you jump in front of a hungry shark.

I wish I could capture these traits and learn from “My band of brothers”. I wish!

Art of unconventional business & its relation with Time!

Tags

, , ,

Make a choice

  • Low hanging fruit
  • A sapling

If this were a real world business scenario, under all the corporate pressure, a manager would have most likely chosen option 1 because it gives immediate result. On other hand, a visionary would have evaluated both options. A sapling could fetch multi-fold returns in the long run, ofcourse one will have to invest time, effort and money. The key differentiator is whether you want to play big or be happy in what you have, time plays a critical role.

Uber, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Tesla, Ikea. All of these companies ventured into undefined territories in their respective early stage of lifecycle. Having said that one should not ignore the other, less glossy side of taking the unchartered route. It doesn’t come easy and it takes time. Stories of Founders of these companies are perfect scripts for a Hollywood blockbuster, infact some of them are already.

“When you venture into an unconventional business, you need to have a lot of patience, perseverance and belief in yourself as much as you believe in your idea. Give some time to your business. A child cannot grow into an adult in less than 18 years”. Says “Tanushree Gandhi”, Founder of www.dahuez.com/products. A platform which sells photographs for wall décor!

“At first, when we started this project, no one bought into our idea of using photographs for home décor, even though it is a very well established concept in west. When we approached photographers to list their work with us, most of them out rightly refused. As a result, me and my husband had no choice but to buy a DSLR, learn photography and start listing our own photographs. Now that the concept is getting established slowly, photographers have started approaching us to list their work on our website” says Tanushree.

Lets take another example of Founder of Naukri.com. From what is written about him on internet, he worked for 6 years out of a garage before he could make a name for himself.

The point to note is that to establish any unconventional business idea, one has to take into consideration a longer time frame! So, before you take that plunge, train your mind to defeat time!

5 things I learnt from Good leaders & from Great Leaders!

Tags

, , ,

Let me begin by giving credit to the book from where I got inspired to write this article. The book is called “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. Though the words sound similar but content is completely different.

I have been lucky to work with various inspirational leaders with diverse styles of working. Infact as diverse as 180 degree apart. Trust me, nothing is right or wrong when it comes to leadership styles. What matters is the vision that a leader sets and accordingly choose their leadership style. Here are top 5 things I learned from these inspiring leaders:

  1. There is no one path to success: I have worked with leaders who get into each and every detail, who ensure that minutest of details are touched upon. On other hand, I have also worked with leaders who focus only on establishing mission statement and expect respective Managers to achieve results. Both are correct. So don’t restrict your leadership style to just one particular style. Be as flexible as water. Adapt yourself!
  2. Performance + Perception: Ideally leaders should evaluate managers basis performance and his perception among his colleagues. Reason being that organisation objectives can be achieved only when employees deliver high performance & if employees perceive the manager with high regard, after all teams can work together only when they perceive each other in high esteem. The challenge comes when either one of these two qualities are seen in isolation. A great leader should have an eye to evaluate his managers basis both. Looking at only one of these two qualities only may not be healthy for the organisation in long run.
  3. Change your shoes: Great leaders don’t feel uncomfortable wearing others shoes sometimes. They do take “NO” as an answer form their teams. Ofcourse, this does not mean that a leader has to get an approval from his team but understanding the perspective of his team with patience is key differentiator between a good & great leader. Even though a leader has the authority to get his way executed either way but understanding others perspective earns him respect.
  4. Stay grounded: Once leaders reach a level where they are looked upto by many, they have a choice to make. Either they can continue to stay humble and connected with their ex-colleagues or disconnect themselves. By the way there are valid reasons if leaders disconnect themselves from ex-employees. Their time is precious and 24 hours are understandably too less for a senior leader. Having said that remaining connected with distant team members, even once in a while differentiates great from good leaders.
  5. Work for a bigger objective than just making your company’s bottom line fatter: Lastly and most importantly a great leader does not just make a company’s bottom line healthier but he ensures that his team members also grow as managers & leaders along with organisation. Many organisations use only functional capabilities of managers. This ofcourse helps the organisation to grow but it does not help in building next line of leadership. When leaders nuture their teams, they are respected throughout life!