Posts Tagged ‘leaders’

This thanksgiving I am giving thanks to the Tribe that came together to help me conceptualize and write my e-book “PINK and Grow RICH“. This e-book came out of my conversations with many successful leaders. While I was speaking to them, I felt something totally shifted in me – a sense of purpose. Why did this happen? I have no idea. But I knew that I wanted to bring to the world their insights so that others can feel the same “sense of purpose” that I had experienced.

Why this is a BIG deal?

Well! this eBook came about when I had no idea how I will connect with leaders and get their time to share their insights. I wanted to know what it took for these leaders to get where they are today. And so I reached out to my network if they would be willing to connect me with someone they thought was a leader. The first connection was  VP of Sprint, I spoke to her and she shared her insights. I asked her if she knew other people and she pointed me to three new people. It was a matter of time that I had spoken to 30 such cool people. And it was the gift of connection that the Tribe shared with me to get access to these leaders. The Tribe was motivated by the common goal and that is the essence of every Tribe.

So, after endless cycles of compiling the information and weeks of writing… the e-book is finally ready and launched on Active Garage under the new Resource section. 

The fascinating thing is that this e-book is a product of social media. All the introductions were virtual, the production of the eBook was virtual, the distribution is virtual and even the delivery is virtual. In this world, we are no more limited to physical or geographical limitations to collaborate and that is why the social tribes and social media are a force to reckon with…. the question that beckons is:

Are you ready to be in the Tribe?

Who in the Tribe should read this book?

  1. If you see yourself as a person who has one valid reason for not to be who you could be from all the possibilities in this world, this simply means you have become REASONABLE and this e-book is for you. You will get an UNREASONABLE Rule Book that outlines 11 UNREASONABLE RULES for success.
  2. If you are someone who does not seem to believe that you have the characteristics of a leader. This eBook offers the 6C Framework – 6 Common characteristics of leaders. This will help you unleash your leadership potential and become responsible for your dreams.

So, get your Thanksgiving gift soon and share it with people who you want to help live a life of their dreams.

Week In Review: Oct 31 – Nov 6, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on November 7, 2010

Project Leadership #3: Courage and Stupidity

by Himanshu Jhamb, Nov 1, 2010

Well, you think Courage and Stupidity are two separate categories of actions? May be not. They may be separated by a very fine line indeed. Asking what may seem to be a dumb question or taking a stand for your team in front of your boss may seem stupid. But they may end up saving the project. more…

Chaos and Complexity #8: Governance, Boundaries and managing Time

by Gary Monti, Nov 2, 2010

As a leader you do not have enough time to get involved in every decision the team has to make. Traditional management technique of dealing with individual situations or exception management is not the solution. Applying management efforts across a boundary will decrease the number of interactions a leader must and returns some of their time. more…

Social Media and Tribes #19: Travel tribe takes medieval ages online

by Deepika Bajaj, Nov 3, 2010

Prague still uses the local currency and does not accept the Euro. It lacks a reliable taxi service, among other things a tourist would need. Thanks to social media, in spite of these handicaps, Prague is successful in attracting a fair share of tourists. more…

Flexible Focus #26: Leveraging your time

by William Reed, Nov 4, 2010

We all perceive time in different ways and not all of them are equally powerful. Some approaches are to redefine it as experience or think of it as change. But the first step to gaining a flexible focus on time is to free ourselves from the tyranny of a single perspective on time. more…

The Origin of Leaders #1: Imagination – Developing your most powerful human talent

by Conor Neill, Nov 5, 2010

Imagination is what sets humans apart from animals. We don’t just respond to the world, but can begin to see a new world and thus plan and act accordingly. Especially true for a leader. A leader must see a future that is not yet here. The clearer you can see and touch and feel this potential future, the more compelling you can communicate it to others. So, how can you develop your imagination? more…

Week In Review: Sep 12 – Sep 18, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on September 19, 2010

Integrity – Looking oneself in the mirror

by Matthew Carmen, Sep 13, 2010

Matthew’s recent vacation to Hawaii gave him some for reflection. And BTW, he highly recommends taking a break every so often to able to clear the mind of professional stresses. On this trip, mulling over Integrity, he finds that it is the foundation on which your career and business exist. If you don’t possess integrity, you will not be able to build trusted relationships and move up in your chosen field. more…

Chaos and Complexity #1: Coyotes, Chaos and Complexity

by Gary Monti, Sep 14, 2010

We have to be good at dealing with Chaos and Complexity in order to survive and thrive. Let’s not confuse Chaos with Random. Chaotic systems follow definite rules, but depict non-linear behavior. Coyotes have mastered the art of survival in the complex system created by human beings. They have been able to do so using Adaptability, Connection, Interdependence and Diversity. more…

Social Media and Tribes #12: Bollywood movies get a facebook uplift

by Deepika Bajaj, Sep 15, 2010

Deepika is in India and is experiencing the Social Media movement there first hand. Bollywood movie personalities play a very important role in marketing everything. And they are increasingly using facebook as a channel to promote movies. Deepika has valuable suggestions on how to make facebook pages more effective. more…

Flexible Focus #19: Path to the Eureka moment

by William Reed, Sep 16, 2010

Eureka moments happen when you have moments of clarity. This happens only if you have total and complete engagement in your endeavor. You can achieve this by meditation. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to practice it in modern life. William suggests an alternate method that combines walking and writing with a Mandala. more…

Alternate Sales Partnerships #1: I am thinking of joining the dark side…

by Tina Burke, Sep 17, 2010

Direct Sales and Operations organizations are so different that moving from one to the other is like Sarah Palin choosing to become a democrat. And that’s what Tina’s long time colleague wanted to do and she thinks it’s a great idea. Read the article to find out why. more…

Week In Review – Aug 22 – Aug 28, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on August 29, 2010

4 steps to effective Disaster Recovery planning

by Marc Watley, Aug 23, 2010

IT executives today are, in fact, increasingly faced with the threat of disasters – whether natural or man-made. As organizations – and their customers – increasingly rely on database, server, and IP-connected applications and data sources, the importance and responsibility of maintaining continuity of the business infrastructure and limiting costly downtime in the event of a disaster, is paramount. Read this article to get a high-level, best-practices overview of the DR planning process. more…

Character and Personality #8: Competency

by Gary Monti, Aug 24, 2010

A good leader is also a good politician, one who finds a way to thread through a situation to reveal a path that, when followed, benefits the common good. Competence pulls technology and sophistication together so that one person can meet another person’s needs, i.e., a connection comprising the humanity of the stakeholders who need and commit to finding a solution that works. more…

Social Media and Tribes #9: The fear factor

by Deepika Bajaj, Aug 25, 2010

Even professionals who have gone through many technological innovations in the past don’t find the idea of being transparent and authentic over social media too appealing. They were worried about identity theft, making a wrong impression on a potential employer and above all were overwhelmed by the friend requests on Facebook. These are valid concerns, but not an excuse to avoid social media.  more…

Flexible Focus #16: The decision trap

by William Reed, Aug 26, 2010

Ambiguity causes anxiety in those who are inflexible, and creates possibilities in the minds of the people who have flexible focus. Tolerance for ambiguity drops when you have to make a decision. Urgency adds pressure, and when the decision affects the core areas of your life, you can feel as if you are lost in a labyrinth of choices. Your decision sets the wheels in motion, whereas with indecision the wheel turns without you. Read about the Six Criteria for Decision Making to stay in motion and steer the wheel. more…

Investment Value

by Steve Popell, Aug 27, 2010

In a previous post, Business Valuation in Divorce is Different, Steve discussed why Investment Value is more appropriate in the context of family law.  But, this method is not just for divorcing couples.  In any situation in which the party acquiring an interest (or a greater interest) in a company will become (or continue to be) part of the management team, Investment Value is often the most appropriate method.  Read this article to find out why. more…

The Foundation Principles of a Leader

by Robert Driscoll on July 14, 2010

In my last post, I talked about the pillars of success to help start your venture.  In order to make sure that the pillars stay up, you have to have a solid foundation, which are the principles of the leader.  These principles are: integrity, credibility, attitude, teamwork, excellence and vision.

In order to become a leader, you must have integrity.  Without integrity, you won’t have any followers.  Your integrity is your brand not only within your company, but in the marketplace with your customers as well.  As a leader, you are constantly building it and making it better.  You create, maintain and build your integrity throughout your career, but it only takes one unethical act to destroy it.

As you build and improve your integrity, you start gaining credibility not only within your organization, but with your customers as well, as you keep and fulfill on your promises.  You can’t have integrity and build your credibility without the right attitude.  You need to know how to build people up and help them overcome challenges and go above and beyond to not only create opportunities but create success as well.  An organization with smart people with the right attitude in an organization will go much farther than an organization without.  Sounds simple, but great people with the right attitude are the hardest, and most important, assets to find in a business.

A leader with integrity, credibility and the right attitude with a group of people following them who also have the right attitude must be able to create a teamwork environment.  Employees who are able to effectively work together allow a company to accomplish tasks and meet goals that would be very different, if not impossible to do, as individuals.

Being the leader of a company, you must strive for excellence.  You should constantly push to improve your product and services in the marketplace.  Not only listen to your employees recommendations, but more importantly, your customers as well.  Use these recommendations to continually improve your products or services.

In doing all of this, don’t forget about your company’s vision. Always remember it and ensure that your colleagues and employees practice it, believe in it and share it with your customers.  As a leader, you must be able to not only share the vision with others but also make sure it its being followed and practiced.

We all have skills and capabilities that help our organizations, but none of us are perfect.  If you can master most of these, along with the pillars of success, you will not only be an effective leader, but will create a company with effective employees helping you build a successful business.

Week In Review – May 2 – May 8, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on May 9, 2010

Can we avert failures in our life?

by Vijay Peduru, May 3, 2010

This article reminds me of one of my high school teachers. This was his famous refrain: if a rocket destined to the moon is off by a fraction of a degree, it will not reach its destination. You can change your destination only if you change your direction. Nothing happens all of a sudden. There is no overnight success. Take small steps in the right direction every day. more…

Leadership Cancers #8: Anticipation

by Gary Monti, May 4, 2010

Wow, Gary… or should I say “The sage of Active Garage”? Performing action without becoming a servant of the desired consequences has been a subject of discussion for the longest time. This is a very nuanced concept and can be easily misinterpreted out of context. But understanding and putting this single principle to practice can bring you peace of mind and take your performance to new heights you have not experienced before. more…

Are You Preventing Your House Sale?

by Guy Ralfe, May 5, 2010

One of my teachers insists on learning the art of quitting. You got to listen to this Kenny Rogers song on this topic. While quitting is an essential art, it is equally important to not shut the doors of opportunity. When you don’t give into emotions and think strategically, you can leverage every thing that comes across your way for your ultimate benefit. more…

Pillars of Success

by Robert Driscoll, May 6, 2010

Based on movies, TV and what we read in the media, we have a pre conceived notion of what a hugely successful CEO is. You cannot be more wrong. Robert has captured the essence of one CEO’s practices for success in this article. more…

Author’s Journey #20: Choosing the right incentive to build your List

by Roger Parker, May 7, 2010

One of your most important marketing and promoting decisions is choosing the right incentive to offer as a bonus to visitors who sign up for your e-mail newsletter or weekly tips. It’s not enough to offer great information delivered at consistent intervals via e-mail. In this article, Roger has listed a great array of incentives you can provide your readers. more…

The Model Leader

by Robert Driscoll on April 28, 2010

In its simplest term, a leader is someone who people choose to follow.  They influence others to do things and there is a difference between managing people and leading people.  There are certain characteristics that make someone a model leader, which I will list below, but we don’t need to have all of them.  If you have a good understanding of most of these characteristics, you can become a model leader.

Operate with honesty and integrity.  This is the most important characteristic and the foundation for a model leader.  People who work for you need to trust you and should want to work with you.   Without this foundation, everything else is irrelevant.

Execute efficiently.  You need to know how to formulate a plan and put measures around your plan.  You have to be able to take data and measure your plan and understand why you accomplished it or know what went wrong.

Demonstrate financial savvy.  It is imperative as a business leader to understand profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow statements.  In business, this is how we keep score.  More importantly, as a model leader, you need to know how to explain these statements to others.  If you don’t understand them, you can’t be effective in business.

Strive to optimize the end-to-end value chain.  A leader needs to develop and nurture not only the people in their organization, but partner organizations who can contribute to your organizations success.  While you need to have a team with your same values, inside and outside of your organization, you need to continually work to make them better.

Develop and nurture the organization.  As one moves up the corporate ladder, this area becomes more important.  It is important to not lose sight of what your front line employees do.  Spend time working directly with your teams and help them grow and prosper.  This in turn will help you grow and prosper.  As a leader, you need to be focused on making sure you have the right people in the right positions while helping them develop the right skill sets to help them prosper and grow.

Think independently and critically. Don’t just be a “yes” person, but don’t  always get in to fights with your colleagues.  Pick your battles and when your views differ, have data to back it up.

Practice situational leadership. Know and understand your dominant leadership style but also pay attention to the situation at hand and be able to effectively articulate what you need.  You might need to be able to act in a manner that is uncomfortable for you but is necessary to get the job done.

Communicate effectively.  Make sure that your message is clear so that it’s not misunderstood.  The last thing you want is to have the task not completely correctly.  Take your time.

Like what you do. If you don’t, then think about where you can be more effective.  Be up to the challenges that you are faced with in your job every day.  Be excited about it.  Negative energy spreads quickly.  Be positive and like what you do, otherwise move on.

The marketplace is always changing which requires you to constantly adapt.  As you work on improving these characteristics, before you know it, you will stop being a manager and will become a model leader.

In Sharing look for Caring

by Guy Ralfe on April 20, 2010

Whenever you try something new and share your idea with others, you get met with such diverse responses. How people respond affects how you see the world too.

Go through a day where you come across three people who spend all their time telling you why you will fail and you quickly start to question your judgment. On the other hand discuss the same idea with three optimists and you suddenly think you are setting your sights too low.

What we must always be aware of is that when you tell someone your idea or ambition their response is always from their point of view. Their point of view appears to be driven by two factors:

  1. Knowledge of the topic or business area
  2. Support – driven by the persons mood, personality, ambition combination

Having reflected on this over the last few weeks I have come up with Guy’s Magic People Quadrant.

Guy’s Magic People Quadrant

Neatly illustrated in the picture there are four quadrants; Partner, Decoy, Fairy, Onion determined by the intersection of the above two factors of Knowledge and Support.

Partner – These are the individuals you need to isolate and partner with for longer term success. These individuals have a keen understanding of the business or topic to be able to advise, mentor and facilitate your success not just provide you with support. These individuals are interested and inquiring into your plans and able to guide rather than just bestow good wishes. They care.
Decoy – These are the individuals you have to watch out for. While they share the same knowledge as the partner group, their moods, personality and ambitions prevent them for providing you support, unless it is for their gain. These individuals (or groups) appear as inquisitive as partners do but are extremely selfish and you are viewed as purely a pawn to achieve their ambitions. They can come across as supportive but will soon show up in conflict with their words through their actions. BEWARE!

Fairy – This group have little to no knowledge of the topic, however from what you tell them they formulate an image based on how they see what you are doing. Your ambition appears to them as grandiose and enviable. For them they cannot see themselves making a similar choice or action, for this they are in awe and wish you every success, and believe that you will have success. These people would help you if they could. In reality this is the fairy godmother talking to you – yes you do feel good but you are no better off when you wake up.

Onion – The next best way to describe this group is disinterested or self important. These people are so selfish that the notion of you having an ambition brings tears to their eyes. Having the conversation with these types is like talking to a black hole – it sucks the life out of you. Keep clear!

One thing to know is that there is a lot of gray between the obvious extremities that I describe above, but if you are going to discuss your ambitions with others be mindful of the individual behind the spoken words before you respond to them. Reputations are earned and past actions are a fairly good indication of future. There is no short cut to gaining Knowledge, but gaining it from people who care is about as good as it gets.

Seek out Partners in all that you strive for in your careers, and bump into the odd Fairy just to keep your spirits up. Good luck!

Before you fight them… Choose them wisely!

by Himanshu Jhamb on March 8, 2010

We’ve all heard this many times in our workplaces – “The customer is always right” and “All customers are equally important”. Well… I am going to challenge these in this post and will focus more on the latter one. This topic came up in one of my recent conversations with a publishing industry thought leader, Gordon Tibbitts, President, Atypon Systems where both of us were talking about the capacity of individuals and the choices we, as individuals, have to make in order to utilize our limited capacities effectively. At a point in the conversation Gordon said “You know what Himanshu, before you fight them… you have to choose your battles wisely”. One might ask how do you qualify what’s wise Vs. what’s not and the quick answer is – One that you think will produce the results you are after is the wise one to take.

Not all customers are made equal. Some customers are very rewarding, whereas some are pretty much a drain on your resources. For instance, I had a customer once who did not understand the value of Quality Assurance; as a result of that they did not have a clear QA management, a QA team or even any QA processes. The impact of that alone was that the project had many delays and not only impacted the customer in a negative way but even the vendors (us being one of them) felt the reverberations of the impact to a point where it affected (negatively) our bottom-line. If someone were to ask me about if the customer was a beneficial one for us as a vendor, the answer would, most unequivocally, be a resounding NO. These are the kind of customers that you don’t want!

Another very insightful point that Gordon made during our conversation was that it is a good thing not to ruffle any feathers if you see your competitor serving a high cost client. What made this insightful for me was the observation that Mr. competitor would face a lack of capacity if they are busy servicing high cost clients, and you don’t want to burn the midnight oil to get these clients from your competitors as this would almost be counter-intuitive to your productivity (and you’d be helping Mr. Competitor, too).

This also reminds me of a quote by Napolean Bonaparte:

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”

I’d like to acknowledge Mr. Tibbits for the pearls of wisdom he shared with me and I am more likely (than before) to think twice (or maybe even thrice) before I choose where I invest my resources… and I suggest you do, too!

Is your change leadership transforming your company into a front-runner in your market niche or turning it into aversion of Dr. Frankenstein’s monster? How do you even go about answering this question? What’s your reference point? Is it reliable?

Mary Shelley’s protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, combined with three project management principles, scope management, quality management and risk management, can help answer these questions and keep you and your organization on the right track. By following these principles your organization’s performance will have two important characteristics – Sustainability and Stability.


Victor Frankenstein suffered from an extreme case of hubris. He was caught up in appearances. He wanted all the glory. He pulled pieces and parts together to create something that breathed and moved and ended up being a demented testament to his limited genius. The monster lacked human spirit. In the end, his creation was the source of his downfall.

Scope Management

The human spirit that was missing in the monster stands out clearly when examined in terms of leadership (see the Leadership post, the first in this series.)

From that blog you may recall the magnetic north for the executive compass comprises the leader’s beliefs and values. For Dr. Frankenstein they were ego, pride, and vainglory. The team (society) was shut out. His only worry was about what he would get from the situation. With that attitude no matter how hard he worked failure was certain.

To be successful the needs of all relevant stakeholders must be included when creating a scope of work that is going to transform your company. This includes competitors as well as clients. Knowing the competition is just as important as knowing your customers.  Success also includes your needs being met as part of the outflow of providing opportunity for others.

Quality Management

So how do you know if changes are moving in the right direction? The answer is simple. Your work must be sustainable. A synonym for “sustainable” is “quality management.” With quality management deliverables are defined in measurable terms consistent with the scope of work. This is the same scope of work that includes all stakeholders.

Going back to the Leadership post, the plan is the arrow on the executive compass that points the way. Quality underpins the plans credibility. It is incorporated into the overall change strategy as well as day-to-day management.

Dr. Frankenstein’s compass was useless. It was unable to provide meaningful direction. His plan was unsustainable.

Risk Management

The final component needed is stability. A synonym for stability is “risk management.”

Dr. Frankenstein’s work lacked stability. He worked in isolation. He lost his connection with society. All his work was self-referencing.

Why is this so important? Recall the dancing terrain from the Leadership post. Complex situations have a terrain that is constantly shape-shifting. There is too much for one person to map reliably and keep current.

Success requires everyone in the organization to be eyes and ears for new, changing information that can keep the map current.

With an accurate map the organization, under your leadership, can plan how best to deal with threats and opportunities present. This is risk management. Executing the risk management plans provides stability.

In the next blog we will look at process management’s place in change management. If this blog has been beneficial and you would like more information or care to comment send me an e-mail at or visit