Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Challenge of Excellence is Consistency Not Repetition

The Challenge of Excellence is Consistency Not Repetition

A very interesting thing to look at...

Thank you Kate.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


1. Exercise daily.
2. Get serious about gratitude.
3. See your work as a craft.
4. Expect the best and prepare for the worst.
5. Keep a journal.
7. Plan a schedule for your week.
8. Know the 5 highest priorities of your life.
9. Say no to distractions.
10. Drink a lot of water.
11. Improve your work every single day.
12. Get a mentor.
13. Hire a coach.
14. Get up at 5 am each day.
15. Eat less food.
16. Find more heroes.
17. Be a hero to someone.
18. Smile at strangers.
19. Be the most ethical person you know.
20. Don’t settle for anything less than excellence.
21. Savor life’s simplest pleasures.
22. Save 10% of your income each month.
23. Spend time at art galleries.
24. Walk in the woods.
25. Write thank you letters to those who’ve helped you.
26. Forgive those who’ve wronged you.
27. Remember that leadership is about influence and impact, not title and accolades.
28. Create unforgettable moments with those you love.
29. Have 5 great friends.
30. Become stunningly polite.
31. Unplug your TV.
32. Sell your TV.
33. Read daily.
34. Avoid the news.
35. Be content with what you have.
36. Pursue your dreams.
37. Be authentic.
38. Be passionate.
39. Say sorry when you know you should.
40. Never miss a moment to celebrate another.
41. Have a vision for your life.
42. Know your strengths.
43. Focus your mind on the good versus the lack.
44. Be patient.
45. Don’t give up.
46. Clean up your messes.
47. Use impeccable words.
48. Travel more.
50. Honor your parents.
51. Tip taxi drivers well.
52. Be a great teammate.
53. Give no energy to critics.
54. Spent time in the mountains.
55. Know your top 5 values.
56. Shift from being busy to achieving results.
57. Innovate and iterate.
58. Speak less. Listen more.
59. Be the best person you know.
60. Make your life matter.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Five Steps to Improving Business Performance through Customer Intimacy

An interesting article explaining the basics on leading towards Customer Intimacy:

You can download the complete article @

Customer Intimacy is one of three “value disciplines” that drive company success. In this white paper, you’ll learn how this strategic initiative can be implemented in five practical steps:

1. Plan: Clearly define the problem you’re trying to solve.

2. Capture: It all starts with the data. Where is your data? What does it tell you?

3. Predict: Using predictive analytics, you can anticipate customer actions. Which customers will switch their loyalty? Which will become more valuable over time?

4. Act: Use the knowledge you’ve gained to drive your decisions and optimize outcomes.

5. Expand: Build on early successes, using the cost savings and increased profits to fund next steps, and
continually expand and refine your initiatives.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The 8 Faces of Exceptionally Creative Leaders

This ones a continuation of the previous learning from Robin Sharma... very interesting indeed...!!

If you've been following my work for a while, you know that my core belief is that the old model of leadership is dead and now, anyone in any organization on any part of the planet can show leadership. I've seen taxi drivers who display rare-air leadership along with school teachers + breakfast servers + construction workers. Work is changing. And we all can provoke impact and influence if we Lead Without a Title. But here's the point of this piece: not only do each of us have the potential to be leaders - we each have the potential to be creative. Massively.

Who sold us on the lie that only artists and poets and musicians are Creatives? When we were kids, we all expressed our Inner Rembrandt as effortlessly as we would breathe. We colored outside of the lines, ideated at the slightest chances and were essentially idea factories on two short legs. But then, as we aged, we stifled our creativity as the mortgages, deadlines and the stuff of life took over our days. Sad.

You and I do no favor to the world in withholding our creativity. So, in my sincere effort to help you work + play at your best, I invite you to consider The 8 Faces of the most creative people I've observed. These are the qualities that the brightest of the best have. And you can develop them too. Here we go:

The Madonna. The Face of Madonna will serve to remind you that nearly every great Creative was a perfectionist. Yes, I know perfectionism may not be the most healthy attribute in the world. But facts are facts and when I study the superstars of creativity, the fact is almost every one of them stood for nothing less than ideal work. A while ago I watched Madonna's documentary "I'm Going to Tell You a Secret", which deeply inspired me. At every touch point, Madonna sweat the small stuff and demanded that every element of every performance was perfect. Why work on a project if not to get it as close to perfect as possible?

The Picasso. The face of Picasso will reinforce the notion of devotion. Great creatives don't do what they do just for the applause and accolades. They do it because they love it. Picasso used to leave beautiful dinners with his friends to return to his studio to advance his craft. His art was his passion. And like every fantastically creative person, he worked with utter devotion.

The Thoreau. The face of Henry David Thoreau will remind you of the need to create space for your creative talent to flow. We live in a world where too many people have too little time away from the noise of ringing smart phones, constant email and the dumbing hum of the television. One of my all-time favorite books is "Walden" by Thoreau. He wrote it over a period living by a pond, away from the world. Living in quiet solitude with nature as his daily companion. We don't get our best ideas at work. We get them on beaches or in bathtubs. Create spaces for your your inner artist to present itself.

The Hemingway. The face of Ernest Hemingway will reinforce the idea that hugely creative people are extremely disciplined. It's pure myth that the best artists achieved what they did without structure and organization. Hemingway, the famed author, wrote at the same time every day - whether he felt inspired or de-inspired. Yes, spark a steady flow of great ideas. But great ideas that are not executed upon and converted into real results are a waste of time. The world is littered with geniuses who did zero with their big ideas.

The Branson. Richard Branson's face will remind you to have fun. Creativity often occurs in the heat of play. Branson's a billionaire. But he really seems to have fun at all he does. Look - no, hunt - for ways to make whatever it is you do fun. That will open up that part of your brain that drives your best ideas.

The Edison. The face of Edison will remind you that creative mastery is a numbers game. Yes, we all know the cliche that Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before he got the light bulb right. But the story's worth remembering. Study any genius - in the arts or in business, and you'll discover the same thing: they succeeded because they outfailed everyone around them. Come up with a thousand ideas and one's bound to be brilliant. 

The Starck. Philippe Starck is awesome. And part of his awesomeness stems from his love of minimalism. Here's where I'm going with this one: genius resides in simplicity. The best inventions were the simplest inventions. Further, de-clutter your workspace + your home + your mind. Breathtakingly beautiful ideas can't flow when your energy's being taken up by the messes around you.

The Ford. Ok. Last one. The face of Henry Ford will remind you to trust yourself. I've made my biggest mistakes when I've listened to the chattering voices around me vs. trusted my own instincts. Self-belief is a powerful leadership quality. Nearly everyone laughed at Ford's concept for a car. His reply: "If I'd listened to the people around me, I would have built a faster horse carriage." Nice.

Keep Leading Without a Title. And Stay Awesome.


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Monday, November 29, 2010

Top Three Reasons Why Businesses Should Outsource Tax Preparation

This is an interesting article on outsourcing which I found on the following Link

Many small and medium businesses are cropping-up every day all over the world. Only a few of them remain profitable, while over 70% are shutdown during the first three years of their operation. A primary reason is that they spend a great deal more of time and resources on their day-to-day operational activities and down the line lose focus on their core business. This brings down the profitability curve as the back-office tasks keep on gulping more and more resources. An easier way out is to outsource portions of your work to people who have expertise in those respective domains.
Your business can also utilize tax preparation services and tax processing services offered by professional service providers to file your taxes and returns accurately and on time. Here are the top three reasons why you should outsource your company’s tax preparation:

#1: Save up to 60% of your cost through offshore outsourcing

The math is simple. If you employ full-time resources who have ample experience to take care of your taxes efficiently, then you would end-up investing in their salaries, training, office space, workstations, benefits, software license, and a lot more. While if you outsource the work to an offshore company that handles tax processing services and already has a team of qualified and trained professionals then you would spend up to 60% less.

#2: Gain from the expertise of the tax preparation services provider

Companies that provide tax preparation services, tax processing services, VAT return services, income tax computation service, income tax return filing services, etc., have already invested in a solid infrastructure and their staff members have expertise in top-of-the-line tax computation tools like Intuit's Lacerte, Creative Solutions' Ultra-Tax, Intuit’s ProSeries, ATX, Drake, and many other popular financial software. Therefore, you won’t have to spend time in learning these tools. Moreover, the service provider’s staff would work at a faster turnaround and with greater accuracy.

#3: Easy to ramp-up and ramp-down resources to manage load

Typically, the finance team in small businesses (if at all they have one) takes care of the taxation part too. Throughout the year, the workload is constant but at the end of the quarter or year when the tax has to be calculated or during the time when your company takes critical expansion steps; it puts additional pressure on the finance team. If you outsource your accounting and tax preparation work, you can take advantage of a flexible team, wherein you can increase or decrease the team size whenever you want and get any amount of work done without hassles.

Through tax preparation outsourcing, you can remove yourself from the trouble to managing tax files and free-up your in-house resources to do more lucrative business development tasks.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

How to be a good boss.. book review

This was published in The Star

Review by ANDREW LEE

Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst
Publisher: Business Plus
UNFORTUNATELY for many of us, bosses make our lives miserable. Of course there are exceptions, but in general, it seems that their only role in life is to annoy as many of their employees as possible.
Before you accuse me of launching a tirade against my own superiors, consider this sobering statistic from Robert I. Sutton's new book: 20 million Americans have left jobs to flee from workplace bullies, most of whom were bosses.
A 2007 Zogby survey of nearly eight thousand American adults found that of those abused by workplace bullies, 72% were bullied by their superiors.
We can thus conclude that many bosses in our world are just so-so, or worse yet, downright inept. The author's latest book follows the success of his previous work, "The No Asshole Rule."
The book was about the harm done by jerks (or assholes) in the workplace and what others could do to survive working with them.
Sutton explains that while words like bullies, jerks, creeps or tyrants could be used, "the word asshole best captures the fear and loathing I have for these nasty people." Following many months of research, Sutton realised that everything came back to a central figure – the boss.
He thus set about writing a new book with the desire to share how to be a skilled boss or how to work for one. Or, perhaps just to avoid his colleagues calling him "the asshole guy."
Says Sutton: "Bosses matter because most employees have bosses, are bosses or play both roles". This book is about what the good bosses do, not the mediocre or bad ones.
The book stresses numerous ways of thinking that contribute to the mindset of a great boss. It provides advice on how to lead teams, followed by examples of how good bosses go about managing theirs, and occasionally how bad bosses lead theirs to destruction.
Sutton provides proven advice based on extensive research. By talking to and interviewing several successful CEOs and leaders in the United States, he has managed to gain an insight into what goes on in the workplace, why some companies are more successful than others and how some sports teams continually manage to succeed at the expense of others.
Packed with case studies, he shines the spotlight on the best behaviour of bosses, and how best to adopt them.
Sutton also points out that the key to becoming a great boss is to continue learning and improving, never to rest on one's laurels.
There is no magic formula to what makes a good boss, and anyone who promises an instant pathway to success is either "ignorant or dishonest, or maybe both," says Sutton.
Doesn't this sound all too familiar? While I respect many business school graduates and their theories, many books written by them are littered with nothing but ideas that are common knowledge, or worse, management speak.
Sutton is, unfortunately, guilty of both. For instance, he writes that "good bosses have their fingers (and ears) on the pulse of what their employees are thinking, feeling and acting."
A bad boss shuns and belittles his employees, and is probably the last in and first out of work. The main problem, therefore, is identifying how these incompetent people rise to the top in the first place, and why they are not willing to change their behaviour.
If we are only to focus on the cream of the crop, we risk the same problems that teachers face in school – the inability to improve bad students.
The novelty of this book lies in the fact that the author bases his theories on successful bosses, not just on assumptions.
However, there is nothing else in this book that sets it apart from its competitors (and there are millions of management books floating around in the market).
There is also a distinct lack of wit in the book, and though some might say that management books are not renowned for being funny, I would argue that the boss who picks up this book could be forgiven for thinking that the world of management is really as dull as the reputation that precedes it.
If you think that you are a terrible boss, and have no idea how to improve yourself or your relations with employees, then this is probably the right book for you (provided that you want to improve).
However, most bad bosses would probably not recognise their own faults, either because they are stuck in their own comfort zone or because they choose to remain ignorant.
The rest of us may never become a boss in our lifetime – in which case the best you can hope for is that your immediate superior falls into the first category – that is a good boss.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bringing up Children... Lessons to learn...

This is a wonderful article about raising children in the right way & making sure we give good citizens to the society... .Worth giving it a deep thought and acting on it...!!

One young academically excellent person went for an interview for a managerial position in a big company. He passed the first interview; BUT in that Company, the director did the last interview, made the last decision. 

The director discovered from the CV, that the youth's academic result was excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research, never was there a year he did not score. The director asked, "Did you obtain any scholarship in school?" and the youth answered "no". 

The director asked, " Did your father pay your school fees?". The youth answered, "my father passed away when I was one year old and it was my mother who paid my school fees". 

The director asked, " Where did your mother work?" the youth answered, "my mother worked as cloth cleaner." The director requested the youth to show his hands and the youth showed a pair of hands that was smooth and perfect to the director. 

The director asked, " Did you ever help your mother wash clothes before?" The youth answered, "never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books, furthermore, my mother could wash clothes faster than I could" 

The director said, I have a  request, when you go back today, go and help to clean your mother's hand, and then see me tomorrow morning. 

The youth felt that the chance of landing the job was high and when he went back, he happily wanted to clean his mother's hands. His mother felt strange. With happiness  mixed with fear, she showed her hands to the kid.

The youth cleaned his mother's hands slowly and his tears fell as he did that. It was the first time he noticed that his mother's hands were so wrinkled, and that there were so many bruises in her hands. Some bruises were so painful  that she shuddered when his mother's hands were cleaned with water. 

This is the first time that the youth realized and experienced that it is this pair of hands that washed the clothes every day to earn him the school fees and that the bruises in the mother's hand were the price that the mother paid for his graduation and academic excellence and probably his future.

After finishing the cleaning of his mother's hands, the youth quietly washed all the remaining clothes for his mother. 

That night, the mother and son talked for a very long time. 
Next morning, the youth went to the director's office. The director noticed the tear in the youth's eye and asked: "Can you tell  what you did and learnt yesterday in your house?" 
The youth answered, "I cleaned my mother's hands and also finished washing all the remaining clothes".

The director asked, "Please tell me what you felt" 

The youth said:

"Number 1, I know what  appreciation is now'. Without my mother, I would not be successful today. 

Number 2, Now I know how to work together with my mother. Only now do I realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done. 

Number 3, I know the importance and value of family relationship."

The director said, "This is what I am asking, I want to recruit a person that can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the suffering of others to get things done, and a person that would not put money as his only goal in life to be my manager. You are hired." 

Later on, this young person worked very hard, and received the respect of his subordinates, every employee worked diligently and as a team and the company improved tremendously.

The Lessons from this anecdote:

A child who has been protected and habitually given whatever he needs, develops "entitlement mentality"and always puts himself first. He is ignorant of his parents' efforts. When he starts work, he assumes every person must listen to him, and when he becomes a manager, he would never know the suffering of  his employees and always blame others. These kinds of people,  may/will achieve good results and  may be successful for a while, but eventually would not feel a sense of achievement or satisfaction. 

If we happen to be this kind of (protective) parent, this is the time to ask the question

- whether we did/do love our kids or destroy them. 

-You can let your kid live in a big house, eat a good meal, learn to play the piano, watch a big screen TV but when you are cutting grass, please let them experience it. 

-After a meal, let them wash their plate and bowl together with their brothers and sisters. 

-It is not because you do not have money to hire a maid, but it is because you want to love and show them the  correct way.

-You want them to understand that no matter how rich their parent are, one day they will grow old, become weak and that their hair too will grow grey.

-The most important thing is for  your kid to learn how to appreciate, experience and learn the effort and ability needed to work with others to get things done. They should also value, appreciate what the parents have done and love them for who they are!

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Lessons from Dr. Randy Pausch

Dr. Randy Pausch

He was amazing.

He died of pancreatic cancer in 2008, but wrote a book The last lecturebefore then, one of the bestsellers in 2007. What a legacy to leave behind
Do watch his video which is available on You tube
In a letter to his wife Jai and his children, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe, he wrote this beautiful "guide to a better life" for his wife and children to follow.
 May you be blessed by his insight. 



1. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
2. Don't have negative thoughts of things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment
3. Don't over do; keep your limits
4. Don't take yourself so seriously; no one else does
5. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip
6. Dream more while you are awake
7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
8. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner of his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
10. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present
11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you
12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.
Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
13. Smile and laugh more
14. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


15. Call your family often
16. Each day give something good to others
17. Forgive everyone for everything
18. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6
19. Try to make at least three people smile each day
20. What other people think of you is none of your business
21. Your job will NOT take care of you when you are sick. Your family and friends will. Stay in touch.


22. Put GOD first in anything and everything that you think, say and do. 

23. GOD heals everything
24. Do the right things
25. However good or bad a situation is, it will change
26. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up
27. The best is yet to come
28. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful
29. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it 
30. If you know GOD you will always be happy. So, be happy. 
While you practice all of the above, share this knowledge with the people you know.
Not only will it enrich YOUR life, but also that of those around you.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

7 Secrets to Stay Cold-Free All Winter Long

This article was published on Oprah website - which has been written by Dr. Mehmet Oz.... I found this article interesting and hence placing it here. 

Every year I dread cold and flu season—not just because I hate feeling sick but because, like most of you, I'm already spread thin between work and family responsibilities; being stuck in bed for days just isn't an option. Luckily, over the years, I've picked up a few scientifically proven tricks that have helped me stay healthy when the mercury drops.

Have H2O in Flight
Canadian researchers have found that air passengers are over 100 times more likely to get a cold than those who travel by bus, train, or subway. My rule for holiday air travel: Hydrate. The plane's dry air can sap moisture from the lining of your nasal passages, creating tiny cracks that make you susceptible to infection. Water can help moisten those membranes.

Forget Echinacea
There's actually no conclusive research proving echinacea to be effective against the common cold. What do I take instead? Vitamin D. Studies have found that D can stimulate the production of a virus-killing protein, and taking D supplements (aim for 2,000 IU a day) can lead to fewer viral infections.

Brave the Cold
No matter how low the temperature, I take a brisk walk every day. Exercise boosts the circulation of immune cells throughout the body, and research shows that walking 30 to 45 minutes a day, five days a week in winter can cut your sick days in half.

Warm Up with Tea
New research from the University of Michigan supports the growing body of evidence that the antioxidant quercetin may protect against infection by preventing viruses from replicating. Black and green teas are packed with quercetin, so sip a hot cup once a day.

Avoid Antibiotics
These drugs are not only ineffective against the flu—which is caused by a virus, not by bacteria—but can lead to adverse effects like upset stomach, diarrhea, and even yeast infections. If you get the flu, ask your doctor for an antiviral drug such as Tamiflu. But act fast—studies have found that these drugs work best within 48 hours of the first symptoms.

Dodge Germs
Flu viruses can survive on surfaces for over two hours, but you can't wash your hands 24-7—so when is it most important to scrub up? Scientists from the University of Virginia recently pinpointed the areas of your home most likely to harbor germs: refrigerator handles, remote controls, and doorknobs.

Enjoy a Comfort Food
Chicken soup really can treat a cold. The hot vapor expands your airways, which helps to clear mucus from the nasal cavity. Plus, University of Nebraska researchers found that chicken soup has an anti-inflammatory effect that may soothe a sore throat.
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