Effective Execution!

When you have tons of things to do, you have three choices on how you execute:

– Get cracking and attack one at a time and see where you end up
– Throw the towel
– Execute effectively.

The last option is the best one. How do you execute effectively?

Plan execution in order of priority and delegate effectively where appropriate. Procrastinate or eliminate inconsequential items!

Having taken this approach you are working with fewer items on your plate which have the highest impact. Also, you have been able to use your team effectively by delegating and empowering them. Finally, you have eliminated or procrastinated things that have minimum consequences. This approach to execution is efficient and effective!

Planning and Executing

If you do not have time to do things right, when will you have time to do it again. Lack of planning usually leads to not doing things right.

Planning is time-consuming. However, not planning can be a disaster or usually ends up with duplication of effort and more time-consuming.

Execution is good but without planning, you can end up executing the wrong things or things that are least important or rank lesser in your priorities. Thus a few minutes of planning can lead to a few hours saved.

Planning and execution go hand in hand. They are like two wings of the bird!

Perfection vs Excellence

Excellence is striving for what you are capable of. Perfection is striving for what you are not capable of.

Excellence means you can always get better no matter where you are on your journey. Perfection means you can no longer get better.

Striving for Excellence uplifts you and invites positive stress. Striving for Perfection causes a lot of negative stress and makes you feel limited.

Excellence makes you focus on what is working and do more of that. Perfection makes you focus on what is not working and you end up attracting more of that.

Excellence is always possible. Perfection is always impossible!

Striving for excellence is a worthy goal. Perfection is for people who are dead and cannot make mistakes anymore.

Art of selling

Sales is the lifeblood of any business.

No matter how good you are at selling, you can get better. Ask yourself where you can get better by reflecting on the following questions:

1. Do you know your customer? If not, what do you need to do to know your customer well?

2. Are you delivering a memorable experience? If not, what do you need to do to create a memorable buying experience for your customer?

3. Have you identified your unique selling strength?

4. What is the process you use to tap into your selling potential – sales presentation, reading, seminar attendance?

5. What do you do to ensure that you are authentic when selling your products and services?

6. Do you genuinely care about your customer?

7. Have you mastered your emotions?

8. Do you persist till you succeed?

9. Do you increase the face to face meetings with your clients?

10. Do you get demotivated by every “No” you receive or actually motivated by every “No” because it gets you closer to a “Yes”.

When you stop growing, your business stops growing. Therefore, make it your goal to get better and better every day in every way!

Reason & passion

“Your reason and passion are the rudder and the sails of the seafaring soul,” wrote Kahlil Gibran, the Lebanese-born philosopher, poet, and painter who wrote magnificently in both English and Arabic.  “If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas.”

An equilibrium between reason and passion – between head and heart – is one of the essentials of Life Balance.  It has been said that when the mind and the heart go to war, the body becomes the battlefield.

The mind allows us to think, to reason, and to apply our wisdom to make a difference.  The heart is where we feel.  Through it, we love and use our creativity without inhibition. When we merge education of the mind with education of the heart, we strike a dynamic balance.  We look with “both eyes” – the eye of the heart and the eye of the mind.  We look at life as a whole, realizing that one element affects the other.

Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel peace prize laureate and first black Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, stresses the importance of a balance in our relationships with others.
“In our African language,” he notes, “we say, ‘a person is a person through other persons.’  I would not know how to be a human being at all, except I learned this from other human beings.  We are made for a delicate network of relationships, of interdependence.  We are meant to complement each other…. not even the most powerful nation can be completely self-sufficient.”

Reason without passion is lame, and passion without reason is blind. Reason alone is dull, whereas passion alone can lead to destruction.  When we marry the two, we have a wonderful synergy.  Our reasoning protects us from doing silly things.  Our passion gives us the drive to excel and go the distance.

Reason draws from the mind, passion from the heart.
In fact most popular leaders are able to use a good mix of the heart and head to drive successful results. While they are able to skillfully (head) assess and leverage the distinguishing qualities of each of their team members, they are also able to develop strong bonds with them by being transparent, collaborative, and empowering (heart).
To conclude, like Martin Luther King, Jr. puts it, “One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right if the head is totally wrong. Only through the bringing together of head and heart-intelligence and goodness-shall man rise to a fulfillment of his true nature.”


Quality remains one of the key differentiators whenever we want to evaluate something or make a choice. We often explore and discuss quality at our workplace, in our processes or in the products or services we consume. But this idea of quality always begins with the individual.

How do you define your quality of work? How do you rate your own quality? How do you make quality your calling card, and the essential ingredient in creating a successful personal brand.

Here are seven tips to improve your quality quotient:

1. Clarify your purpose – You are at your best when your actions are aligned with your purpose. Hence defining your purpose is crucial to starting your pursuit of quality.

2. Prepare a “quality” plan:  Spend a day and document all your daily tasks or activities to identify the best practices to enhance the quality of your output? Also, test your ideas and processes regularly to determine the required improvements or interventions. This might include deleting or letting go of certain practices or ideas that have ceased to serve you.

3. Create your quality circle – Surround yourself with positive, proactive people who challenge and inspire you to be your best. If you don’t have a choice of the physical company you keep, there is a whole virtual world at your fingertips.  Read good books, watch TED videos, subscribe to quality content and follow best practices.

4. Get feedback – Just as you need a rear view and side view mirror to maneuver around your blind spots while driving, you need feedback to get the complete picture of any situation. Hence, always invite and welcome feedback from your stakeholders and view all complaints as an opportunity to improve.

5. Spend some quiet time alone – Time for introspection, reflection, and deliberation is essential in developing a conscious awareness of the self and how you choose to express it. Meditation is one of the best methods to develop this awareness and guide your actions.

6. Invest in learning – Quality is a continually evolving and ongoing process. Set aside time to continuously learn the latest ways of thinking and doing things. When you stop growing, your business stops growing.

Creating Rapport

Creating a rapport with others is not only a human need but also crucial for the success of any endeavor, because we exist in an interconnected web of life. When people feel connected with each other, they are more likely to work enthusiastically and cohesively, building on each other’s strengths.

In fact, research indicates that 70% of workplace learning is informal, meaning that when people are talking to each other at work, they are actually learning to do their jobs better.
Friendlier workers are more effective communicators, more productive and trusted. However, our different backgrounds, values, and prejudices often get in the way of building rapport.

So how do we bridge this gap?

Here are 8 ways:

1. Smile your way in – A smile is the easiest way to establish rapport. It instantly lowers defenses on both sides. In short, the other can’t help but smile back. Research shows that when you smile you’re viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere. In addition, a study from Neuropsychologia journal reported that seeing a smiling face activates the region in your brain that processes sensory rewards, meaning that when you see a person smiling, you actually feel rewarded.

2. Repeat their Name – Everyone likes the sound of their name. Make it a point to use the name of the person you are talking to. Avoid pronouncing their name incorrectly.

3. Pay complete Attention – Be alert to both verbal and non-verbal cues. Often we are so busy noting the words that we miss the tone or body language. Use all your five senses to glean insight. Ask open-ended questions and encourage people to express themselves freely. This will make them feel valued.

4. Compliment often – We all seek appreciation from our fellow humans. Irrespective of our apparent differences there is always something which can be admired in others.

5. Use the ‘Sandwich technique’ to give critical or unfavorable feedback – Whenever there is a legitimate need to criticize or bring to light something you are not comfortable with, first pay a genuine compliment. Then explain what’s bothering you, with relevant facts. Finally, end with a possible solution. In this way, you do not attack the person, but rather define the problem and encourage resolution.

6. Find Common Ground – People like people who are similar to them. Often finding a common area of interest like sports/hobbies/education or admiring something you like in the other can serve as a good start for conversation and camaraderie.

7. Empathize – Putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes is the best way to grasp their perspective. This understanding can help you to not only create better rapport but also frame the best possible response for a given situation.

8. Be Authentic – When your actions are consistent with your values and principles you inspire trust and admiration in others, even if they do not agree with you. Trust is the fundamental building block of rapport building and it plays a key role in establishing a healthy long-term relationship.