Friday, June 24, 2011

Are you in value added job?

If I ask you the simple question, “What is your definition of career?”

Definitely the answer of most of the people would be, “Good Company with good position, good compensation and with best benefits”

Somebody may also add “upward movement in the position.” Increased satisfaction from the job would be an another answer. Typical response to “career development” is subjective. The priorities and definitions are person oriented. The fundamental question is “what your employer think about your job and not what you think about your career?” Is it just a sequence of performing different jobs and climbing on the ladder? Or something different?  

Everyday, thousands of CVs are uploaded on job portals. On any given day, 75% of them would consider changing jobs and 60% are actively looking for the job outside. The reason can be anything, better compensation and career development. People get the compensation and mere higher title while doing the same job in new company.

We also need to look the talent market reality. One thing is sure that the talent has become costly. Human talent costs (salaries and benefits) can comprise between 20 and 60 percent of a company’s entire operating budget.

Cost containment is possible to move forward. There are only two options either improve the top-line and bottom-line or control the cost to improve the bottom-line. Off course the ROI on talent cost need to be justified. In addition to cost-containment, most companies now have a far more strategic approach to managing their human talent.

Second reality is engaging the critical talent strategically. Companies are shedding the expense of positions not critical to their competitive advantage, but then they are differentially investing more into the people who occupy their most critical or wealth-creating roles. Human talent is highly valued—the number one asset. Some roles, however, are more valuable than others. It is ok if you are in one of those roles but there are not many of those roles in any given company. The most important factor is how you create the value to the organization. If you and your job is value creating, then your employer will try to make effort to engage you and provide you challenging career.

While we all need to build skills before we can advance our careers, toiling away over time is not the same as gaining skills. The major mistake is mixing the tenure and experience with skills and competencies. The question is are you really in valued job? And this is a trigger question for deciding you career. What is you career destiny? You yourself have to take the control over your career.

In the world of feisty corporate world, realities are different.

Reality No 1: You are the owner of your career and not the job. Your employer decided about your job and you need to acquire competencies and skills to perform that job.

Reality No 2: Your professional and financial development will likely come from your overall career and not only job.

Reality No 3: Your professional fulfillment and satisfaction will come from the career you build, not the job promotions you receive.

The career can be developed by continuous value addition to you personality by learning new and modern skills and competencies. Consider your interests, your talents, your strength & weaknesses and your motivators. Most of the people spend their time by improving their weaknesses. Improvement is always better, but focusing on your strength helps more in better career building.

And at the end of the day, you have to introspect, what value you add in the job and company today! Isn’t?

Monday, June 20, 2011

You can make your life more interesting

1.   Life pays for what we actually do and not for what we actually know.
2.   Most of the human being perform and do only to the extent of 5 to 10% of the actual potential. Tap the untapped.
3.   Generally a boy of <15 years age would say “Yes I think I can do that” whereas grown ups > 15 years say “I could not because…”
4.   Success is not what you possess in comparison to what your neighbor has but a comparison to your own self as what you would have had and achieved to your potential.
5.   Our thoughts control our life and destiny.
6.   You are solely responsible to what you are today.
7.   Achievers do what they want and not what others want.
8.   What you were in the past need not be a mirror of what you are going to be in the future
9.   Three important things in one’s life is:
a. How much time you spend with your family.
b. How much time you spend in exercise
c. What and when you eat today to look better tomorrow.
10. Practice not necessarily makes everything perfect but perfect practice makes everything perfect.
11. It is interesting to say every day in the morning in the event of challenges that “Wow. How nice…I have a new problem to solve” – Be in good spirit.
12. Any body can succeed in life when we succeed in withstanding :
a. Criticism
b. Rejection
c. Failure
d. Excuses
e. Feeling of No time, No money and No Talent
f. Challenge mediocrity and status quo
g. Above and beyond
13. All of us are like golden Buddha wrapped in clay. If we shed down the bad covers we are too good within.
14. You need to give your best and full to get the best in life.
15. Can you imagine of a man who was born @1910 and died @1935 and Buried @1985 ? !!! –  Better live a meaningful and successful life than live like nobody /useless.
16. Repeat this hundred times every day “I would not give up until I succeed.
17. You need to flush away your past:
A. Errors
B. Failures
C. Mistakes
D. Humiliations
18. External motivation is not permanent it should come from within. Read good books atleast 30 minutes a day. Listen to good cassettes.
19. When you expect and want the best - You Get IT. Have a strong desire
20. Mind works on two principles
a. Selection principle
b. Rejection principle
Hence be careful when you select things to go into your brain
21. Do not allow anybody to handle your self image / self respect
22. Do not ever say that I can not buy it is too expensive. Say that how can I prepare myself to buy that
23. Behavior = Drive X Habits
24. Whatever the human mind can dream, conceive and believe - It can achieve
25. Five Keys for personal success
a. Dream big dreams
b. Develop talent and competence
c. Take 100% responsibility
d. Love what you are doing
e. Single minded concentration until you achieve it
26. Do not share grow-up goals but share give up goals eg: Smoking as a give-up goal
27. CANEI should always be welcomed - Continuous and never ending improvement
28. Life equation is : Self esteem = Success / pretension
29. Everyone has three personalities
a. What we think about ourselves
b. What others think about ourselves
c. What actually we are
30. All great men who succeeded in their life are all nothing but the net output of persistent hard work with a single mind towards the goal.
31. All attempts may not result in total success but no attempts would definitely result in failures!
32. One idea, one thought and one dream can change your life.
33. There are two types of persons, one who has "X" years of experience - one year repeated for X years and second who has one year new experience for X years. Be is second category.
(Adopted from various sources)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dragon, development & fear

Maglev in Speed
Dragon (China) has an amazing culture. They have only one political party (Communist) and the growth rate is incredible. Whenever I go at Shanghai, I see something new each time. Shanghai itself is the case study in infrastructure development. If you have the determination, you can make the development, but further development and maintenance are really challenging. China did this. Shanghai is beautiful with great infrastructure, building, systems and disciplines. They have maglev, the fastest train, which runs at the speed of 450 km per hour.

Does this mean that they have everything? No. They have same issues which we have, huge gap between rich and poor. Somebody told me that Shanghai is not the representation of real China. They are also human being and human nature is same everywhere. I was reading newspapers and the news was same which we read in India. One big shot was sent behind the bar for the corruption.

Beautiful background from 23rd floor
The only one difference is the nationalistic attitude they have. If something comes in between the personal choice and nation. They will choose first the nation. They will not comprise on quality while building national infrastructure. And most importantly they do not have chalata hain attitude. They have huge skill talent and they are also learning English. Most of the MNCs are choosing China over India. At first instant they gives the perception of being introvert and rigid to open. But once you build the relationship, they are very open.  

It took us only 7 minutes to reach at Pudong international airport from Shanghai by Maglev train. I was asking questions to myself, if they can do this why not we? Do we abuse the democracy?           

We always discuss about the rich heritage, attitude, growth, GDP and so on. But it is like the race. When you see the growth of China, we are far behind them. Common people may not so happy, but larger section is getting jobs. They are enjoying good life style.   

I was waiting for the flight for Hong Kong at Pudong international airport. One person was seating next to me. I felt that he is interested to speak with me. He smiled.

“Excuse me?” He asked,
“Yes?” I smiled.
“Can I speak with you for a while?” He asked.
“Oh; why not? But what would you like to ask me?” I
“Nothing special! I have a fear. I can not speak with strangers in English. I would like to overcome this fear.” He answered. He was travelling to Malaysia. He spoke for 15 minutes and then left.

At Hong Kong International Airport

What I like that his attitude to start somewhere; taking one step to achieve one more goal. We also have different fears in life, the question is how many time we exhibit the courage to overcome this by encountering with certain and specific situations.   

Hong Kong is planning expansion of international airport for 2020. They published the plan. They are inviting suggestions from common people on the same. I am sure they will do it.

Where we are we? There are lots of gaps. We only speak, but we do not have plans. If we have plans, we do not much bother of the execution. Political leaders are more happy to milk the money from such projects. When we run the project, we have shortcuts. It is good that Indira Gandhi International Airport is built as per the standards. But why not all projects?     

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Are you assertive?

“He always put one point against me and that is assertiveness. He himself does not wanted to be assertive but was expecting it from me. How I would have been successful, if I have not been assertive? I definitely was not abusing or dominating anybody. He never understood the difference between aggressiveness and assertiveness” Mr. Jamkhandikar (name changed) was sharing with me his feedback given by his senior. Mr. Jamkhandikar was a General Manager, handling one profit center.    

People always misunderstood assertiveness with aggressiveness. Aggressiveness is the passive behavior. It is dominant and arrogant behaviour and worsens issues.      

What is Assertive Behaviour?
It is a self-expression that meets three criteria:
1.      It is appropriate to the person and situation involved
2.      It respects one’s own basic human rights
3.      It respects the basic human rights of others

It is standing on own one belief and being on firm on own right without hurting anybody. Off course it is a great skill. It has to be learned and difficult to be assertive. You can be aggressive easily and most of the people choose to be aggressive because it is easy to be aggressive. They gain something but they can not be successful in longer perspective.   
Assertiveness is a characteristic of behaviour and not a person. Individuals are not born assertive. It is a collection of skills that can be learned. No one behaves assertively 100% of the time. Being an assertive person means saying what you want to say – letting others know what you think, how you feel, where you stand, and what you want. Assertiveness is a communication skill. You get the satisfaction that you have expressed yourself – registered your thoughts, feelings and opinions. You may not get what you want but it improves your probability of getting what you want.

Assertive behaviour is an option. Some managers feel guilty because they know how to be assertive but fail to respond assertively to each and every situation. They forget that assertiveness is an interpersonal skill and hence is an option. Although, it usually makes sense to use assertion, there are times when a manager chooses not to be assertive. The manager may possess the skill to act assertively in a situation but decides not to do so because he does not want to take the risks involved.

Guidelines for effective assertive behaviour
·        Use assertive body language
·        Use assertive words and verbal skills
·        Think assertively
·        Maintain self-confidence
·        Relax

Using assertive body language
Eye contact, posture, facial expression, tone of voice, hand movements and so on – can strengthen or weaken your verbal message. You may confuse the listener if your body language and your words convey different meanings. Assertion is usually communicated by direct but not steering eye contact, arms and hands loosely at sides, a relaxed upright posture and a strong, steady tone of voice.

Body language that often is interpreted as non-assertive behaviour includes looking down or away, fidgeting with hands or putting them behind back, swaying and speaking in a very soft or whiny voice. Raising a fist or pointing a finger, leaning forward or moving closer to a person and speaking in a very loud, harsh voice are frequently perceived as aggressive.

Using assertive words and verbal skills
·        Make clear and honest statements – use the first person (“I”) when expressing your own thoughts, feelings and experiences.
·        Eliminate guessing by letting employees know what you want. Offer relevant information without being asked. Take initiative to clarify your values, expectations and decisions.
·        Paraphrase what you are hearing – listen with concentration.
·        Be specific – Talk about exactly what you have observed or what you want. Don’t be generic.
·        Be positive – Talk about what you want and not about what you do not want.
·        Balance criticism with praise – It has been said that criticism should always leave the person with the feeling he has been helped. Focus praise or complements on specific strengths. – Give examples if appropriate.

Think Assertively
Your thoughts should reinforce your behaviour in assertiveness situations. If you want to be assertive but you are thinking thoughts that evoke fear or guilt about being assertive, you may defeat yourself in the process. Examine your thoughts concerning the assertive situation to see if they are realistic and useful. Having thoughts that are conducive to assertive behaviour requires practice and maintenance. Thought patterns are sometimes deep rooted and require conscious efforts for change.

Maintain self-confidence
Self-confidence is the foundation upon which a solid assertive response is built. Self-confidence leads to assertiveness and in turn assertiveness builds self-confidence.

Keep your tension level low. Tension can create defensiveness in you. It reduces the ability to listen accurately and to respond productively.

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