How To Have A Winning Attitude

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You are the only person who will determine the outcome of your life. Whether you carry on in your life with a positive attitude, with hope for the future or with a negative attitude of complain, self doubt or hopelessness, it is entirely up to you. See yourself at peace with yourself, visualize your success even when you are striving towards it. As Zig Ziglar said, “If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.”

For success in business or life one requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but for me a positive and winning attitude is the most important requirement. When temporary failures and obstacles comes our way only with a strong positive mental attitude we will be able to march forward towards success and the majority will succumb to the difficulties and loose site of their goals. To reach the pinnacle of success in you life, starting today develop these qualities and attitude of winners:

1. Ask Powerful Questions

When hard times comes many people start wondering and get in a downward spiral of self pity and start questioning, why it is happening to them, why after all efforts they are unable to get what they want. Winners on the other hand ask different questions, what are the short comings in my efforts, what more can I do to achieve my goals, how can I improve  it further and when they ask such constructive and powerful questions, they come across new ways to get what they desire.

2. Take Responsibility

You will agree that most of the times majority will point the reason of failure towards outside . They will blame everything from bad season to weak economy, from high competition to unethical practices. But the winners have the attitude of accepting failure. They will take it as their responsibility. Once you stop whining about the reasons about which you can not do anything, you start looking for solutions. That is the path to success.

3. Focus on long term goals

Let’s accept the fact that no business or for that matter, the conditions in life remain constant or move in single direction. There will be time when you will be facing difficult circumstances and go off track. An important point to remember here is that you need to focus on your long term goals even when facing short term hiccups. If you focus on long term and work on solutions according to the larger vision surely you will be able to make amends and will not be side tracked. Vince Lombardi once said,“It’s easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you’re a winner, when you’re number one. What you got to have is faith and discipline when you are not a winner.”

4. Be a life long learner

In today’s competitive world the half life of any profession is not more than 3-4 years, meaning it requires continuous learning and innovation in the way you perform your functions. Fact is that 80% of people stop learning anything new after they get into their profession. Learn from every opportunity. Learning even a single new skill will offer so much of advantage to you that you may not even imagine right now. Don’t waste your time in unnecessary chit-chats or social networks, join some related course or go to a seminar and sharpen your saw. Winners have a habit of continuous learning and will possess bigger libraries than bigger TVs.

5. Learn to take risks

Many people are so averse to taking risk that they forfeit their chance of growth. They fear failures without realizing that there is no bigger teacher in life than failures. Taking calculated risks is a winner’s attitude that can take you a long way.

6. Always be Enthusiastic

To have a great positive outlook for the future is definitely a winner’s attitude. Many people surround themselves with negativity because of their failures of the past. They lack optimism in their vision and once someone loose hope for the future, they will never be able to achieve anything of consequence. To do our tasks with great enthusiasm with a belief that we will achieve our goals, and looking at the future with optimism is an attitude that only winners possess.

7. Appreciate the intangible

In the daily grind of things people start relating success with money or position alone. It is very important for you to notice the intangibles like peace in life, your health and family. People with the winning attitude realize that life is not all about money making and they understand what their real assets are.

8. See the gain, not the pain

Winners will always have a strong laser like focus on their goals and the gains that they are after, and they will leave no stone un-turned to design their destiny. On the other hand majority will get frightened with the sheer amount of hard work they need to put up to reach the top and will slip into mediocrity. There simply is no substitute of hard work. To stand up to the challenges and discipline of consistent hard work is a winner’s attitude.

James Allen in his book ‘As a man thinketh’ has gone in detail how our thoughts affect us. It is said we become what we think. So to be a winner in life we require to think as a winner. With full faith in our capabilities, a laser like focus and determination we should continue on the path of progress and success.

Related article: 8 REQUIREMENTS TO BE HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Leader

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“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, YOU ARE A LEADER” – John Quincy Adams

Leadership is social influence on the people that motivates them to put their efforts in achieving common goal. It is setting a vision for growth, empowering people and increasing their worth. Leadership is not a position or a title, it comes to those who choose to help their people and do things that help all those who are involved.

One could be a leader at work or in neighborhood, for the country or his family. What people can not see in themselves a real leader will make them believe that they have it. If you have been wondering whether you have what it takes to be a leader or not, read on our take on a true leader and his qualities.

Position Is Management

In company or businesses, people usually think they have become a leader when they start by getting a position in hierarchy by promotion. But they need to understand that they have become only a positional leader because of their title. This is only management and not leadership. At this level of gaining positional leadership people follow them because they have to. At this level the subordinates will be giving the least amount of energy and commitment.

Understand Your People

If you are at this place take care that to go up the ladder of leadership you need to start developing relationship with your subordinates. You will need to understand them well by listening to them and their concern. You will be required to closely observe them and learn about them. Only then you will be able to truly represent them and be genuinely liked by them. Lot many people are not likable by staff because they feel that just because they hold a higher designation or office, they are automatically superior to others.

Develop Relations

You need to understand that all leaders are particularly good at developing relations and relations can be developed only when we give respect to others and gain their confidence in us. No relation is possible without a sense of trust. To develop trust believe in them, their capabilities and competence. Once you listen to them, their difficulties and their opinions you will be better placed to understand them. Learn from this and get close to your people and soon they will start feeling more committed to you.

Make Them Feel Secured

A very important requirement of leader is to make their people feel secured under his wings. People are able to contribute only when they have full sense of security. Leaders are those who stand with their team during adversity and more importantly face it first. Leaders need to protect their people and make them feel that they belong to common group. They need to be more like a tour guide who show you the way and tell what lies ahead rather than behaving like a travel agent who sends you to places where he himself might not have gone. Leaders don’t cross the finish line first, they take their team along.

Take Responsibility and Give Credit

If there are any any difficulties or challenges a true leader will stand first in line. People follow, as they see and not what they are told. Leaders need to lead by example. When people see the commitment you are having they give their all to the purpose. It is said that ‘an army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.’ On having a great leader among them people become highly energetic and give maximum contribution. This is the level from which you start getting high production and results. You develop momentum. Problems solve at this level because momentum is a leader’s best friend. It allow you to break through all barriers which were earlier not possible.

The leaders get privilege in all things but they need to understand their responsibility that they are here to serve. Pass on the credit of achievements to your team. This will increase their morale like anything. True leader will be last to take credit because he understand that leadership comes from moral authority and not from position. Leader need to have support of his people and a deep conscience. Remember you are because of your people, so enjoy their respect and allow them to take credit.

Define Purpose And Vision Clearly

Another very important role of the leader is to clearly define the purpose. When the vision of the company, it’s values and the goals are clear to people and they themselves are involved in it, they feel they are the part of whole process. This sense of ownership will unleash their talent and creativity. Their resourcefulness will be much better utilized.

Develop Other Leaders

A primary task for a leader is to develop other leaders. There is nothing as bad as an unsecured leader who fears from developing other people thinking his importance will decrease. A true leader is one who recruit other people, train them well, equip them even better and then in true spirit of leadership pass on the mantle to them.

For most of the people leadership is only hierarchical position, a position of authority or simply a designation that they use for organizing other’s efforts. But for true leaders it is the chance and a choice to serve people, empowering them, maximizing their potentials, creating new landmarks and most importantly produce great results by developing great teams. Leadership is a lifelong journey of learning and experiencing, and for me the sole end purpose is to gain other’s RESPECT. 

Related article: 3 Qualities of an Effective Manager

How to 10X Your Productivity

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Everybody has been provided 24 hours in a day by mother nature but still we find that some people manage to complete much more than most others. Mystery of this lies in being productive rather than remaining busy. To get more done at the end of each day gives a sense of accomplishment to the person. There may be numerous productivity tips, but I give here a few essential ones that I have found very useful in my own  life:

1. Golden Hours

On any given day there are so many tasks waiting for our attention and the most common tendency for most people is to get started with the easiest job in the day. My personal observation is that once we start our day this way, then we no longer remain in control. I find most people doing diligently the works that are not at all required to be done. For maximum productivity I would suggest to devote for next 21 days the first two hours of your work day to the single most important job that you have for you. This acts as a very good catalyst and set up the momentum for the day. Once you work on your single most important task you get better hold of it and give it your best productive time when you are fresh and have the maximum energy in the morning.

It has been observed that 80% of your results are because of your 20% of efforts. When you do as advised above the results start to pour in and you feel motivated. This further increases your energy and you work with increased vigor thus entering an upward spiral of productive work.

Once you continuously work for 21 days in this manner it results in formation of habit and thereafter you will always work in that fashion. There will be no procrastination and final outcomes will be there for all to see.

2. Remove distractions

Another thing that eats away your productivity is distractions. Do you ever check on your social media feed or get involved in unnecessary chit chats with your coworkers during the work hours? Do you start your day with checking on emails? Do you look at your mobile phone at the first beep? If your answer is yes, then you are part of vast majority of people who are killing their productivity because of distractions.

It is a known fact that once your concentration is broken, it takes at least 10 minutes to regain your focus and return to your productive best. Just imagine your status if your phone rings every now and then. Best strategy is to work in an environment where you are assured of no distractions and then just dive into your most important tasks. You will yourself be amazed at the amount of work you are able to accomplish in same time.

3. Choose your peer group wisely

It is said that you are sum total of 5 people with whom you spend majority of your time. The qualities and work culture of your peers gets rubbed down to you. So choose your peer circle well. If you are the smartest person among your group then it is time that you change your group. For personal growth you need to be standing with people who are able to provide you fodder for your development and who encourage you to challenge your limiting beliefs and level up with them.

If you remain with people who are lesser than you (this is different from arrogance and no offence meant to anybody) in terms of habits and work culture than you will not be increasing your potential and remain in comfort zone. Nobody grows in a zone where they are comfortable. You have to Embrace Discomfort for Growth. This is what happens when you upgrade your peer circle, your hidden desires to reach their level gets wings and remember desire is the first step for all accomplishments.

4. Leverage and delegate

As already discussed that your 20% tasks contribute to 80% of your results and for maximum productivity you should focus on these most important tasks. Having said this there are still many tasks and sub tasks which may not be so important but still are required to be done. Develop a team, use the power of effective delegation of such less important tasks to somebody. This gives you freedom to devote your time on the most productive jobs. The amount of money you spend on your team will be nothing when compared to the final results you can achieve with more focused approach. Another advantage of having a team will be that you will be able to tap into their perspectives and may be come up with some more ideas. Remember, none of us is more intelligent than all of us.

5. Always work as per the plan

For maximum productivity always work as per the plan. Make a to-do list, arrange in order of priority and keep it in front of you all the time so that you don’t deviate from it. A point to remember here is to make these to-do list a night before so that you have a head start. Ten minutes of planning may save you up to two hours in working.

6. Have your rest time

It is no secret that productivity decreases after some time of your continuous working. Your brain gets stressed out and its efficiency decreases so I would suggest you take a short break of 15 minutes after two hours and a longer break of about 45 minutes to an hour after 4 hours of work. Sip on a cup of coffee or may be listen to some music. Make sure it relaxes you and replenishes the reservoirs of energy to take you again to your peak state and enhance your performance. These breaks apart from offering the advantage of mental relaxation are also physically good for your heart and body at large.

7. Self Appraisal

In the end it is all about your own personal preferences. Every individual is different so in order to get best out of yourself make your own strategies or tweak these as per your nature. Always develop the habit of self appraisal. Analyse what is working for you and what isn’t.

There are other large number of productivity enhancing activities that you can adopt according to your own liking but always try to be more productive rather than just spending more time on the desk because now is the time for not only hard working but also smart working.

Related article: 8 Time Management Tips

How to make people like you

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Being likable is under your control and it can be cultivated by following some simple guidelines. To develop instant rapport and to be liked it requires that you develop some good conversation skills. Different people may have different approach towards this but there are a few common and general steps that you need to master to make people like you instantly. These are some basic ideas to be followed and mistakes to be avoided to boost your chances of making rapport with people.

Genuine Smile

I mean no other thing will help you to develop rapport then a Genuine Smile. Everyone likes a person who radiates positive vibes and warmth. When you smile genuinely the muscle around your eyes are engaged and there is a noticeable change in them. This is not possible when your smile is fake. People respond faster to a person whom they find trust worthy and a warm smile does just that.

Be conscious about your body language like making eye contact, it indicates your interest in them. Whereas negative body language like crossing your arms at chest indicating your boredom are to be strictly avoided.

Reflecting or Paraphrasing

Repeat something they say rather then just nodding. When you reflect on what the other person has said, it helps you to get better clarity on the topic so you can answer well. At the same time you come across as more authentic and serious person to them. You are telling them that not only you are hearing them but also understand their feelings and emotions. Also bear in mind that you can also reflect a person in his body language, for example give him a hand shake like he has or may be casually adopt the seating posture or hand positioning like him.

Affirmation

Affirmation and to say yes as you start your reply is an immediate rapport builder because ‘yes’ opens up trust and creativity. If you start with a yes, you are more likely to get a yes back but if you start with a no, you shut down the collaboration and responsiveness of other person.

Start with yes even when you differ on something and then correct them with a smile and other body language. There is a hell of difference when you say no with a serious and tight face and when you say no with a warm smile. Other body language principles like may be touching someone when you differ may make your ‘no’ more palatable to others.

Active Listening

Active listening is you conveying to the other person that you are understanding completely. Listen with a squint, smirk or a smile and you change the whole chemistry between you two. While listening keep open palm position facing upward, which indicate openness and honesty and help to build trust. Nodding when listening straight away gives the other person confidence that you are in agreement with them. Active listening builds rapport, understanding and trust.

Intensity while speaking

Your use of punctuation and emphasis with body language show the intensity you are putting in your conversation. People like to connect with those who packs intensity in their work. It convey to them that you are really passionate about the things being discussed and value this engagement. Just think what will be your reaction if you come across someone who is speaking in a monotonous tone without any warmth and conviction. If you don’t like such people then be careful don’t be like them. Don’t stammer and don’t use many ‘Ahs’ and ‘Ums’. These are signs of nervousness.

Talk Win-Win

Another step in developing rapport with someone is to talk win-win. Try to go deep in conversation and get to know their interests and what they might be looking to achieve. Talk from the other person’s perspective and lead the conversation so that you come to a common ground and the situation becomes beneficial to both of you. When you talk in this manner the other person finds it is easy to trust you.

You will get visible sign of people getting in rapport with you when you find them start mimicking you and getting animated.

“First impression is the last impression,” goes an old saying and it is true to the core. Many people think that some people are born good communicators but they need to realize that they also can learn all these skills and practicing these over a period of time will go a long way in they becoming able to strike a rapport with others in a jiffy.

Related Article: 5 Keys for Effective Communication

7 Tips For A Bright Day

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Every morning marks the beginning of a new chapter of our life. Once we get to work in our busy life it is easy to get caught up with the routine and the stress it brings along with it. To fight this stress and make our day bright it’s important how we set tone for the day right in the morning.

1. Rise early

Yes, for all the night owls out there these days, it is very difficult to rise early but if you give it a try I am pretty sure you won’t go back to your old routines. Getting up early, say at around 5 A.M. will allow you to get so much more done as it is so refreshing, peaceful and calm at that time. With birds chirping and sun rising you feel so fresh and naturally motivated. You have sufficient time at your hand to plan the day in advance. Rising early will give you a head start.

2. Think Positive

Morning is the time when there is no chaos and in this calm you can meditate for peace of mind. Think positively to strengthen and align your mind, body and soul. Practice gratitude and feel privileged to be alive. We get lost in thinking about the past or worrying about the future. We long for all the things we don’t have without realizing the precious worth of all that we have. Develop this habit to think positive and see how your days turn out bright and cheerful.

3. Exercise

Once you get out of sleep your body requires to improve the circulation and stretching for a few minutes, even if it be. Stretching helps to improve posture and eliminates rigidity, aches and pain that sleeping may cause in joints. You may also try yoga if you are so inclined and get ready to face the day. Do some mindful breathing and experience the surge of energy in the body.

4. Eat Healthy

Start your day with some warm water and lemon. It will be easy on the body and will wake up the internal organs and systems. It helps in rehydration as your body has gone without fluids for a long time during sleep. You can add honey also in this which will also have an additional benefit of weight loss. It also helps in flushing out the toxins accumulated in the body.

Take a breakfast that is healthy and rich in nutrients. Try to incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain cereals. Remember that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it gives you energy for facing the hectic day ahead and also has been linked with reduction in obesity and reduction in high blood pressure.

5. Read More

A 15 minute reading of something that is inspirational can be a great tool for uplifting your mood. Successful people have this habit cultivated in their morning schedule. Listening to some audio book or upbeat music also helps in conditioning the mind and brings it to top motivated state right in the morning.

6. Relax

As soon as we wake up, our mind starts running in all directions and relaxing our mind by relieving it from stress and filling it up with positive and inspirational thoughts is a top priority. In addition to meditation and practicing gratitude as discussed above taking a shower will give you a feeling of relaxation and freshness. Once you allow the relaxing and warm flow of water on your body, your mind will ease up.

7. Work with Focus

When you prepare to go out of home for work ensure that you have your goals list for the day ready and written with you. Don’t leave home without it. In your goals list mark top 3 tasks for the day and in the morning time when your productivity is at peak straight away immerse yourself in completing these tasks. Leave anything that does not fall in this list for sometime later, do them only if you finish your top 3 for the day.

When we wake up from sleep our body is rigid, internal organs slow, mind trying to figure out what is happening and what to do. In this vulnerable state to start for the hustle of the day and prepare ourself for the upcoming challenges, it helps if we follow the things and methods discussed above. Keep it simple, try some other ways and make them your own. Go out and enjoy the day.

3 Qualities of an Effective Manager

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True leaders and great managers in today’s workplace must instill a high performance mindset and at the same time create a culture whose foundation promotes teamwork and competitiveness for the advancement of the whole organization. They must earn the trust of their colleagues and inspire team unity. Best managers are always proactive and motivate each member of their team.

Anyone desiring to be such a leader will find it difficult to get anywhere without some basic people management skills. He needs to provide great inspiration to his people so that he is loved by his staff and at the same time also get the job done and improve the company’s bottom line. Though a lot is required to be a highly effective manager but 3 most indispensable qualities required are: his clarity of goals, sense of genuinely praising others to motivate and a way to reprimand without hurting anyone.

1. Clarity of Goals

Clarity of goals is one of the most important qualities. Clarity for the manager as well as clarity for the staff. Remember you need to come to final goals after a lot of brainstorming. One method is to analyze all your goals yourself first and then from this big list of goals select final goals keeping in mind the time tested principle of 80-20. Remember 20% of your goals when completed will give you 80% of results, so be very sure about your “20%.”

Next step would be to pass on these goals to your team and ensure everybody agrees on these goals. Make your goals very clear, and for that to be possible it is required that there should be only limited number of goals (those which fall in 20% category). Try to limit this list to only 3-4 goals for the sake of clarity and focus.

Make sure every body writes down their goals, because an unwritten goal is a sure recipe for failure. Also encourage your people to think about the right work behavior for achieving these goals. Ask your staff to write these goals in a diary or a pad which they could see daily or even better many times during the day, so that clarity of goal will act like a gyroscope that won’t allow them to be distracted from their final goal. Encourage your people to review their performance regularly with the help of these written goals and analyze whether their behavior matches the goals.

This policy works because ‘the number one motivator of people is feedback on results.’ We like to know how we are doing and if we are doing well, we feel good.

2. Genuinely Praising

Praising is also one of the most important roles of an effective manager that help people reach their full potential by telling them what they are doing right. It is a known fact that a motivated person and one who feels good about himself produces good results. Tell people immediately about what they have done right. Try to give specific positive feedback. Tell them how their work makes you feel good and how it helps the organization and other team members. Give some pause during the praising so they can themselves feel how good you feel. In those moments encourage and motivate them to do more and make them aware of their potential if they follow on the same path of focus and dedication. Remember to give your praising process a more personal touch by shaking hands with them in a very warm and firm manner. This will go a long way in getting better personal rapport with your people.

Remember that nobody knows how to do everything well from day one and only encouragement works with people who are not secure in what they are doing. Praise is the fuel which can drive the whole enterprise.

3. Art of Reprimand

Reprimand is also a very necessary requirement for an effective manager.You need to tell your people beforehand, what you expect of them, that you are going to let them know how they are doing in no uncertain terms. Reprimand them immediately but take care to convey your message that you are reprimanding the behavior and not the person. Show them how what they did was wrong. Again be specific and show them how their behavior does not match goals. Tell them how you feel and how their work is not in sync with the organization goals. Stop for some uncomfortable silence during the reprimand so they can themselves feel how you feel. Again shake hands or give a personal touch and make them realize that you are on their side and part of the team and what you have said is honest view of their efforts and not about them as a person. Tell them how valuable they are for the organization. In the end realize yourself once the reprimand is over, it’s over and no bitterness should last.

These practices are very simple but highly effective. Following these principles, an effective manager can have his own “kicks and hugs” style of management, which was given only according to strictly outlined and previously mapped goals and do not create a climate of fear.

Further these ideas are not just for work places, they can easily be applied to other areas of personal relations too.

8 REQUIREMENTS TO BE HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL

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Do you have what it takes to be successful. As a matter of fact there can not be one or two qualities that are required to make a person successful, neither the scope of success could be limited to either of career, finance or relations only, rather success is a mindset where the individual is at peace with the various facets of his or her life. Success is the journey it is not a destination. Following are some of the most important requirements for one to be successful

1. Persistence

One of the most important requisites for a successful life is the quality of persistence. It requires that one remain on course in spite of difficulties or opposition with complete dedication. Never give up is an old and wise saying. Keep pushing on the door and it will open.

2. Passion

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell. It is said that if you really do what you like you will never require to go to work again, rather you will enjoy and produce best quality results. A man with great enthusiasm and deep striving emotions will produce only master pieces.

3. Don’t listen to little-man

We are all surrounded by people who silently discourage us and deprive us of the confidence, hope and spirit. They are always ready to deter you with all the objections in the world and would kill your dreams in the nascent stage. Successful people listen more to their own calling than to listen to the naysayers.

4. Risk taking

Risk by definition is potential of gaining or losing something of value. If you don’t take risks you won’t lose but also there won’t be any chance of gains. Come to think of it life itself is risky. In the twilight of your life you will be more sorry for the chances you didn’t take rather than the failures. Failures are the biggest teachers for any individual. It is said that if you have not failed then you are not dong anything worthwhile.

5. Focus on signal over noise

As famous Elon Musk once said “you must focus on signal over noise”, if you realize that doing something does not add value to the product or the job then drop that thing. Don’t follow the trend and have herd mentality but look for greater purpose and do something which will add value to people. If something is important then it must be done.

6. Be problem solver

Let’s be honest with ourselves, we inherently look for the problems rather than the solutions. A great leader will always face the problem rather than running away from it. An unattended problem will become a bigger ghost tomorrow.

7. Attract Great people

Remember none of us is smarter than all of us. Always attract great people for your work and if you are working for others than work for some one whom you honestly respect. People with greater intellect and better habits will force you to rise up to their level thus growing you as an individual.

8. Work super hard

There is simply no substitute for super hard work. As Tim Notke said “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” Most of the time people excuse themselves from the rigors of the job and avoid the discipline of consistent hard work.

In the end I will say that work so hard that one day your signature become an autograph.

Wishing all of you a successful and blessed life.

Related article: How To Have A Winning Attitude