The best of 2018: Top 10 articles that you loved

top 10 articles of 2018

Over the course of the last year, we shared practical advice, handy tips, useful recommendations, best practices, uncompromising facts and busted myths to help job seekers Find Better, and faster, at Monster.

These articles, among others, shared tips and tricks to help you find the dream job, balance work and life better, and stay happy at work.  

So here’s the list of the top 10 articles of 2018 that you liked:

  1. 5 Tips to Find Better Jobs on Monster 

    Looking for a change in the new year but struggling to find the right job? Read the article to find out 5 handy tips that could make your job search fruitful.  

  2. How to Stay Happy at Work 

    Work should be much more than just a paycheck, especially since you spend a better part of your day at your workstation. But how many of us actually look forward to going to office or not have Monday blues? However, what if we told you there is a way to be happy at work? Interested? Read it here to know how.
  3. How can IT professionals future-proof their careers in the era of AI?

    Technology is evolving at a rapid pace, bringing about changes we are still trying to understand. AI is one such development that is weighing heavily on the minds of the current workforce. But does it have to be a cause of concern? This blog explores how IT professionals can co-exist with AI. Read more

  4. 5 things you can do to stop being overwhelmed at work

    Does thinking about work induce stress and fatigue? Is there too much on your plate and is bringing you down? Fear not. You don’t have to change your job to improve your situation. You can beat the blues and manage work better. Here is how

  5. Recession free professions

    Wondering what jobs endure in the business world come rain or sunshine, find out here

  6. How to answer 10 most common interview questions 

    Want to know what are the questions that almost every interviewer asks? And more importantly what should be your answer? Click here to know more.

  7. How to write an impressive resume!

    Your resume can be your one chance to make an impression on a recruiter who is probably deluged with million applicants. However, how do you stand out from the crowd? We share some tips to make that lasting impression through your resume. Read more.
  8. Think your performance review was unfair? Here’s what you should do 

    It stings to get a bad performance review at work but reacting emotionally may not be the best way forward. Read the blog to know what steps you can take when you get a bad rating from your boss.  Read more

  9. The Negotiation Dance

    Negotiating your salary can be tricky. It is akin to a dance where both you and your prospective employer match step for step. Balance, grace and sense of rhythm are all crucial for you to come out on top. Find out here what it takes to ace this dance. Read more

  10. Find the sweet spot between your passion and job 

    Confused about choosing between your passion and your job? What if you could combine both. Surprised? This blog tells you how to find that sweet spot between your passion and work. Read more

4 lessons you can learn from Sachin Tendulkar to achieve your career dreams

lessons you can learn from Sachin Tendulkar

With the maximum number of Test runs (15,921) by a cricketer, most ODI runs (18,426), most ODI centuries (49), most Test centuries (51), and a ton of other records, Sachin Tendulkar is unarguably the greatest batsman of the modern era. 

Embodying many of the qualities that are required to survive and flourish at the highest levels of a discipline, a glimpse into Sachin’s sporting life holds many important lessons for working professionals. Here are a few key takeaways from the Master Blaster’s career to motivate and inspire you at the workplace.

  1. It all starts with #LoveWhatYoDo

    Sachin’s passion for the game is well known to his legions of fans. In the past, the Master Blaster has compared playing cricket to visiting a temple. Sachin’s passion for the cricket is also borne out by former India cricketer and fellow Mumbaikar Chandrakant Pandit who observed him from an early age. “All he wanted to do was to play cricket. Till his last day in cricket, he retained the passion, and the hunger of that little boy who was impatient for his turn at the nets,” Pandit said in an interview following Sachin’s retirement in 2013.

    Career lesson: If you want to excel in your career, you’ve first got to be passionate about the job you do. Having your passion as a career intensifies focus, fosters creativity and innovation, and inspires you to pursue excellence just like the Master Blaster. On the other hand, doing a job just for the sake of it could negatively impact performance, impede career growth, and take a toll on your physical and mental well-being.

  2. Discipline and preparation

    Arguably the most gifted batsman of his generation, Sachin never took his talent for granted. Training and preparation became the hallmarks of his career during his prolonged stint in the national side. While on tours, Sachin was known to lead a highly disciplined life, restricting himself to his room, eating early, and trying to get enough sleep ahead of the game. His match preparation was meticulous, taking into account variables such as pitch, venue, quality of opposition, and his own form and confidence levels.

    Career lesson: While talent is important, honing it constantly through training and discipline is the key to achieving lasting and long-term success. Meticulous preparation is vital for professional success irrespective the level of natural talent. There is a lot of truth in the saying that goes, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

  3. Ability to evolve

    It’s not enough to prepare; it’s also important to evolve. Sachin epitomized this after returning from surgery for tennis elbow in 2005. With his fans wondering if his game would ever be the same again, the Master Blaster turned to his willow to provide his response. Soon he was back among the runs, a more dangerous batsman than before. Sachin had adapted his game, and while his early power was missing, he more than made up for it with his strike rate and shot selection.

    Career lesson: It’s necessary to keep reinventing yourself for long-term career success. Circumstances will change, compelling you to learn new skills and competencies and work in novel environments. If you want to reach the pinnacle of career success, keep an open mind and be willing to adapt and evolve. Consistently high performers always find a way to adapt to changing situations and make the best of the new conditions.

  4. Ability to handle pressure

    If you thought you had excessive workload, spare a thought for Sachin Tendulkar on whose young shoulders the hopes of billion people inevitably rested. Australian opener Matthew Hayden mentioned that “it is beyond chaos” when Sachin comes in to bat—“it is a frantic appeal by a nation to one man.” Sometimes, the pressure tended to take an ugly turn. In the James Erskine’s docudrama, Sachin: A Billion Dreams, the Master Blaster recalls there were times when his children were harassed in school after a bad day on the cricket pitch. Sachin did not let such incidents unruffle him and took it all in his stride.

    Career lesson: While work pressure and stress is a reality that is never going to go away, there are ways to deal with it effectively. Maintaining a cool head under all circumstances is the key to handling job stress. Taking up a job you love too helps in making stress bearable—and sometimes even enjoyable! A healthy diet, adequate exercise, and proper sleep are some of the other tips to follow to manage stress and handle pressure. 

There are more interesting reads below to get you  going and help you Find Better!

10 Legends who showed us ‘Loving What You Do’ can change the world

Get inspired from these legends

Greatness – A word that everyone is in absolute awe of; an honor that many would give away their very lives to achieve. And yet, those rare few who did achieve it were barely even interested in it! How did that come to be, you wonder? It happened, because the greatest men and women who walked amongst us weren’t exactly chasing greatness – they were just following their true passion. Are you doing the same? Here are 10 people (there are many more) who have achieved legendary status in their respective professions, simply by staying true to their true passion! 1. Dr. A P J Abdul KalamThe former president of India, also known as the ‘Missile Man’, came from a humble background in Tamil Nadu. As a child, he was deeply fascinated by space and was highly passionate about ‘conquering the skies’ in one way or the other. His passion took him to the Aeronautical Development Establishment of DRDO (Defence Research & Development Organization) and eventually to the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) – where he showed the world that even the sky isn’t the limit when one has ‘Wings of Fire!’ It is his love, dedication and passion towards his job that made him the man that he was. 2. Nikola TeslaThe man to whom we owe the very presence of electricity in our homes, Nikola Tesla was a man driven by passion for his job. Also credited for his path breaking work on electric motors, X-Rays, Hydroelectricity and Wireless Communications among others, Nikola was so passionate about experimenting with stuff that he was known to stay locked up in his room for days on end, putting things together and calibrating every creation of his to perfection! No wonder his passion took him to great heights. 3. Steve JobsHe’s known for giving the world a seamless mobile and computing user interface that’s beautiful to look at and easy to navigate. What’s not too well known about Steve Jobs though – is the fact that he took calligraphy lessons to better understand what fonts to select for his operating system; and even pursued Zen Buddhism in an endeavor to understand how the human mind thinks and acts! Do we even need to add that he was also the guru of ‘following one’s true passion’ — for the remarkable success that he achieved as an innovator? 4. Sachin TendulkarLittle Master, Master Blaster, Bombay Bomber — the names change, the man and his true passion remain the same. Perhaps the greatest batsmen that the world has ever known; Sachin Tendulkar; was once just a 14-year-old boy who used to practice cricketing shots in a room…with a ball tied to a string! Such was his dedication to his true passion that he even practiced his skills on wet rubber balls and tennis balls to simulate the experience of playing on spin-friendly pitches! Is it any wonder then – that his relentless pursuit of his true passion got him where he is today? 5. Wilbur and Orville WrightThe first passion-driven ‘duo’ to feature on this list, the Wright Brothers were driven with just one obsession – to develop the ability to soar high into the skies and go where no human being has ever been before. Once pursuing a commonplace career in the printing industry together – the Wright Brothers’ changed career tracks to spend hours building sand cushions and wind tunnels – in order to safely launch themselves into the air on a plane and make history! To anyone who says sky is the limit when it comes to following ones’ passion, we say, it’s just the very beginning! 6. Anurag KashyapAs a college student, Anurag Kashyap was extremely passionate about theater and films. We say ‘extremely’ because he attended the International Film Festival of India in Delhi — and watched every single one of the 55 films screened during the festival! He boldly decided to pursue his true passion for a living and came to Mumbai apparently with just Rs. 3,000 in his pocket; then slept on beaches, parking lots, and even under a water tank! Little wonder then that his dreams came to fruition in a massive way, where he became famous for directing huge box office successes such as Dev.D, Gangs Of Wasseypur and Bombay Velvet! 7. EminemMarshall Mathers – best known as Eminem – was very passionate about rapping since his childhood days. However, he was barely accepted or acknowledged as an hip-hop artiste primarily due to prevalent cultural stereotypes and racial conflicts. Driven as he was, Eminem stayed true to his passion and practiced his art whenever he found free time; sometimes even writing rap songs on tissue papers and visiting cards! Eventually, his true passion brought him the nickname of ‘Rap God’; a title that many fellow musicians would kill to own! 8. J.K. Rowling‘Struggler’ was practically Joanne K Rowling’s middle name. Born and brought up in Gloucestershire, England; Rowling went from being the ‘nerdiest student’ in school to a bilingual secretary and an English teacher. Born with the heart and soul of a writer; she decided to give her true passion a chance and wrote the now legendary ‘Harry Potter’ series. Not only did she channel many of her life-experiences as plots in her books; she also paved the way for countless others by showing people that following one’s passion can do miracles for them!9. Sylvester StalloneIf ‘true passion’ was a movie – you’d find Sylvester Stallone starring in it as its lead actor. A student of drama and theater, Stallone was hell-bent upon following his true passion in acting even if it meant having to do odd jobs in the meantime such as cleaning lions’ cages at zoos. Putting everything on the line, he approached directors with a self-created script for Rocky that featured him in the lead role; and the rest, as the cliché goes, is history.  10. Sudha ChandranWhen your passion becomes your job, even disability can’t handicap your sky-high aspirations. Just take the example of dancer and actress Sudha Chandran, who was incredibly passionate about the fascinating art of classical dance. Not only did she turn her true passion into a lifelong career – she didn’t stop even after losing a leg in a car accident, thus becoming an inspirational icon to millions of others! Her passion and her determination made her a household name all across India, not only for her dance skills, but also for her amazing acting skills. We salute her amazing will to pursue her passion for a living, at all costs! Not sure where your passion lies? Here is a8-step guide to find a career you are passionate about

mpossible is nothing: Life lessons from Muhammad Ali

impossible is nothing

Olympic medallist at 18, the youngest pugilist to take the heavyweight title from a reigning heavyweight champion at 22, the first to win the world heavyweight title three times—the late Muhammad Ali’s career is a clutch of sporting records.

From the son of a sign painter in Louisville, Kentucky to exemplerary sportsman, social activist and crusader for racial equality, Ali travelled a remarkable distance to reach the pinnacle of human success. All of which go to reinforce the idea he articulated so forcefully—that impossible is nothing more than a woeful state of mind.

A man of quick wit and great charisma, the legendary boxer’s famous quotes serve as useful workplace lessons. Here’s a look at his words that teach us all to punch above one’s weight.

1. “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”
A great sportsman himself, Muhammad Ali inspired other people to excel by urging them to live their lives to the full. At the workplace, this translates into working both harder and smarter, shedding negative baggage and adopting a positive frame of mind. It means coming to office with the intention of making a difference every day. You will surprise even yourself with the positive changes you experience once you decide to make every day count.

2. “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
The next time you are saddled with a tough assignment or an impossible deadline, remember these words by the legendary boxer. They will inspire you to rise to the challenge. On the other hand, certain management experts also believe that being assigned a difficult task is recognition of an employee’s potential. Thus, if you are assigned a difficult assignment, take it up as a “dare” and set about accomplishing it in small steps by assessing what is required, breaking it up into manageable parts, prioritizing correctly and tracking your progress.

3. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
We all want great results without hard work. But the reality is that success necessitates hard work and the degree of success we achieve is often proportional to the amount of hard work we put into something. Even champions like Ali feel a strong urge to quit but the attribute that separates them from the rest of the crowd is the extent to which they can steel themselves and continue to toil. But hard work by itself is seldom enough—it’s important to pair it up with smart work to be truly successful.

4. “I never thought of losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”
Accepting defeat with grace and humility is one of the signs of a true professional. During the span of your career, you will not always end up on the winning side—and you need to be ready to take it into your stride when you fail at something. An ability to accept defeat with grace and dignity will improve your image in the eyes of all your colleagues. It will make also you appear as a mature and stable individual who can be counted upon by the management and colleagues. 

There are more interesting reads below to get you  going and help you Find Better! 

How the world’s top business leaders motivate their teams

top business leaders

Image source: AOL

Motivation is a key element of good leadership. That’s why some of the world’s finest business leaders are also the best motivators.

They encourage their employees to excel in whatever they do with a highly effective combination of incentive, encouragement and inspiration.

Clearly, it makes good business sense to keep employees motivated. Here’s how some of the tallest business leaders do that job.

1. Mark Zuckerberg

Much has been written about the 34-year-old Facebook CEO’s motivational methods, including how he is completely approachable, believes in removing barriers among employees, and does not have time for pointless traditions. Zuckerberg is also generous with perks and believes in empowering his employees. Famously, he sits in a cabin with glass walls to signal to his team that that he is available should they ever need him. All of which add up to make Zuckerberg one of the most admired tech CEOs in the world.

2. Richard Branson

The flashy Virgin Group founder seems to have worked out what keeps employees happy to the level of a formula. His advice? Well-designed office spaces with ample natural light, work that stimulates employees, a credible rewards system and a focus on health. More importantly, he makes it a point to keep workers invested in the company through various methods. And of course, he celebrates the achievements of his employees like nobody else does—or can!

3. Vineet Nayar

The erstwhile HCL CEO did the unthinkable when, in his quest to make the company more competitive in the 2000s, he turned the traditional management structure upside down, placing power in the hands of the workers. This philosophy, which came to be known as the “Employee First, Customer Second” policy, led to phenomenal growth in HCL, leading to profits even during the challenging recessionary years of the late 2000s. On the ground, the policy meant making managers and enabling services—like HR and Finance—accountable to frontline employees.

4. Azim Premji

Azim Premji took a $2 million hydrogenated cooking oil company and turned it into a $7 billion business with offices in 60 countries. His mantra for success? An unflinching commitment to values. The Wipro chief is a strong believer in the fact that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things when they work in a motivated environment and take a personal interest in their jobs. In addition, Premji puts great emphasis on the pursuit of excellence.

5. Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum

Also known as Sheikh Mohammad, the current Prime Minister and Vice-President of Dubai is also the owner of Dubai Holdings with interests in Dubai Healthcare City and the Jumeirah Group, among others. He motivates those who work under him by inspiring them to be nothing less than No. 1. “We, in the UAE, have no such word as ‘impossible’; it does not exist in our lexicon. Such a word is used by the lazy and the weak, who fear challenges and progress. When one doubts his potential and capabilities as well as his confidence, he will lose the compass that leads him to success and excellence,” he has said.

Better productivity, lower levels of absenteeism, lower turnover and a positive environment are some of the advantages that motivation brings to an organization. The best business leaders understand the true value of a happy workforce. As a result, each of them have found their unique way to motivate employees so that all of them work as a team for the greater good of the organization.

There are more interesting reads below to get you  going and help you Find Better!

5 workplace lessons to learn from Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi

The frontrunner of India’s Independence movement, M.K. Gandhi is synonymous with nonviolent civil disobedience. But that’s not all he’s known for. Gandhi also stands for honesty, truth, compassion, service and sacrifice. He may have preached these ideals in another era, but his legacy remains relevant today and in every sphere of life.

Here are five lessons that you can learn from him to get ahead at the workplace:

Create a talent pool

One of the most important lessons any leader or manager can learn from Gandhi is that to take your plan to fruition, you need a talented team. Leading India’s freedom struggle wasn’t easy but Gandhi’s talent pool – Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Azad, Sarojini Naidu and C. Rajagopalachari – helped him every step of the way.

Tip: Being a boss is easy, but being a leader means you need to be capable enough to lead from the front and keep the team with you every step of the way.

Communication is critical

Gandhi knew the importance of communicatinghis vision of a free India to the common man. To further this, he chose to travel a lot – always in third class train compartments to get connected to more people. He started magazines and personally replied to most of the letters he received to get his point across to people.

Tip: Communicating and sharing plans with the team makes all the members feel connected; they feel the leader is talking to them, not at them – a factor that can lift their morale and productivity.

Manage conflicts calmly

Gandhi led a team of stalwarts, each of who had their own thoughts, ideas and plans. But Gandhi did not let the many differences in opinion affect the way ahead. He ensured that he resolved each and every conflict – big or small – so that his team did not deviate from their mission: winning India her independence.

Tip: Work to neutralize or minimize conflict at all times. If you allow it to grow and run rampant, you run the risk of creating silos and internal disruption.

Seek growth for all

Gandhi coined the term Sarvodaya, meaning “universal uplift” or “progress of all” in 1908. Back then, he meant it to be a social movement in post-Independence India to ensure that self-determination and equality reached all strata of India society. The thought behind it was universal growth and progress opportunities for all so as to develop everyone’s potential.

Tip: Growth doesn’t come from pulling each other down. If you help a colleague, be it a superior, co-worker or junior, get ahead, it will ensure new opportunities for you.

Stay the course

In Gandhi, India had a leader who could have commanded her millions to war with no protests. But he chose to be patient and take the path of non-violence. Fast after fast, rally after rally, others may have dithered but Gandhi never lost his patience. In his own words: “To lose patience is to lose the battle.”

Tip: Patience is a virtue that’s often under-rated at the workplace. Whether you are a newbie or the boss, being patient will see you through tough situations, sudden challenges and tricky issues.

Last but not the least, it’s important to remember to “be congruent, be authentic, be your true self”. Gandhi thought nothing of attending round table meets and meeting viceroys in his loin cloth. And ultimately it was this frail little man in the loin cloth who gave the British the biggest beating they ever had to take.

Inspired to take your work to another level? Search for something that gels with your ideology here.

There are more interesting reads below to get you  going and help you Find Better!

What Baahubali-2 can teach you about managing your team more effectively

What Bahubali-2 can teach you about managing your team more effectively

Kattappa ne Baahubali ko kyun mara? 
If the mighty Baahubali himself had pondered over this question before the tragic turn of events, his career could have soared to new heights. Instead, his dream run ended abruptly because he couldn’t see through his trusted lieutenant’s mind.

From strength and resilience to strategic thinking and humility, the hero of the blockbuster film Baahubali 2 embodies several qualities every leader should emulate. His one drawback, however, was his inability to read the people around him. 

If you want to succeed as a manager, understanding the weakness of your team members is as important as gauging their strengths, in order to best manage them.

Take a look at Baahubali’s inner circle. Do any of these people sound familiar?

Devasena: Quick-Witted but Arrogant Star Player

Devasena’s beauty has no bounds, but it’s her battle skills and sharp thinking that capture Bahubali’s attention. What he fails to see is her haughtiness and that proves to be his undoing.

Fix it: Every manager dreams of finding a star player who is really good at the job. But that can quickly turn into a nightmare if the employee is arrogant. 

Sit down with the team member and explain that even though the work is excellent, his/her interactions with other people are unacceptable. Outline the behaviour you find impermissible and suggest how it needs to improve. Set a deadline to see if these changes in attitude and behaviour have been implemented. Also, keep other team members in the loop about the actions you are taking to show them that you’re being methodical and fair in your dealings.

Sivagami – Gullible Senior

The queen of Mahismati is both a brave warrior and tender mother. But Sivagami is also easily emotionally manipulated. Unaware that she is being used as a puppet, she orders Bahubali’s death. He, on the other hand, reveres her to the end.

Fix it: Having someone on your team who is easy to deceive can prove extremely harmful for you. So equip them with the tools they need to ensure they are not exploited to serve someone else’s agenda. 

Encourage them to trust their gut, recommend they take time on the big decisions and show them how to say no, diplomatically but firmly. Also, teach them to question whether they have enough information about the situation, and ask them to reserve judgement until they have more proof.

Kattappa - the blind loyalist

Kattappa: The Blind Loyalist

‘Mama’ is Baahubali’s most trusted aide, but their relationship is jeopardised by Kattappa’s oath to the queen. The seasoned soldier’s inability to challenge her authority, and put a stop to what he believes is a bad decision, eventually leads to Bahubali’s downfall.

Fix it: Blind loyalty is actually disloyalty, because it ignores things that can bring a leader down. Make it clear to your team member that, if you’re about to do something incredibly damaging to your career or company, you want people around you who will tell you that. 

Bhallaladeva: Co-worker Who Secretly Hates You

Bhallaladeva: Co-worker Who Secretly Hates You

Powerful and ambitious, Bhalladeva believes he is the rightful successor of Mahismati. But realising the futility of making a direct play for the throne, the scheming young prince engages in some underhand moves to unseat Baahubali, hiding his true feelings under the guise of concern.

Fix it: A smart co-worker won’t overtly display their disdain for you because they don’t want to cause trouble or jeopardise their own careers. But there will always be subtle red flags that indicate they are not out for your best interests. The only way to continue working with such people is to manage their enviousness. You can do that by allowing them to function with a degree of independence. 

Bijjaladeva: Master Manipulator

Bijjaladeva: Master Manipulator

Baahubali’s uncle harbours a great deal of resentment dating back to the time he was denied the crown because of his disability. The fact that his wife chose her nephew over their son, as her heir, only added insult to injury. Instead of confronting her head-on, the wily Bijjaladeva manipulates events that lead to Baahubali’s tragic end.

Fix it: At some point in your leadership journey, you are likely to find yourself having to manage a manipulator. These type of people are usually battling their own insecurities, so tackle the problem with compassion. Ask direct questions to avoid putting them on the defensive. Mentoring or mediation to help the manipulator gain awareness of their behaviour is the most productive way to resolve the situation and prevent future unpleasantness.

Weaknesses are inevitable, and if you’re not prepared for them, you’ll be blindsided by your team members. As a manager, you can’t just look the other way. Instead, let Baahubali inspire you to create a stronger workforce. 

There are more interesting reads below to get you  going and help you Find Better!

Workplace lessons we can all learn from SRK’s Ted TALK

Workplace lessons we can all learn from SRK’s Ted TALK

Image Source: Marla Aufmuth/TED

He’s Bollywood’s quintessential lover boy: Rahul, naam toh suna hoga? One of the Hindi film industry’s biggest hitmakers, Shah Rukh Khan stands tall as an example of how a simple boy from Delhi can hit it big in the City of Dreams, without any godfather. His journey, which began with 1989 TV series Fauji, led him to more than 80 films and has earned him numerous accolades, including the Padma Shri, the Légion d’honneur and 14 Filmfare Awards.

King Khan continues to enthrall, providing inspiration and motivation to all age groups across the world. His locker-room speech in Chak De is pretty much unforgettable but so are the many speeches he delivered at educational institutes such as Yale and Dhirubhai Ambani International school.

At the recent Ted TALK held at Vancouver, SRK was in august company. Elon Musk and Serena Williams were also sharing life lessons at the conference. But the Badshah of Bollywood had some special lessons that seemed just right for the workplace.

Believe in yourself, all the time

High self-esteem is your first step in believing in yourself. It shows that you respect your own self and builds self-confidence. Over time, it has an intense effect on your emotions, thinking, desires, values, happiness and goals. It’s important to think highly of yourself for people with high self-esteem uplift, inspire and empower. Shah Rukh has never shied away from believing in himself. “I sell dreams, and I peddle love to millions of people… I’ve been made to understand there are lots of you here who have never seen my work, and I feel really sad for you… “[I’m] completely self-obsessed, as a movie star should be,” he said at TED.

Tip: Make sure your self-esteem isn’t setting you up for obnoxious narcissism. 

Humour can almost always provide a way out

We all know a smile can connect faster than long introductions and shared laughter can create a bond. In Humor As A Tool In Conflict Resolution, Michael Nagler and Karen Ridd wrote: “Humor can be very effective in establishing a human connection between parties in a conflict, and thereby defusing the conflict itself, though it can be very hard to remember when the heat is really on.” No one knows and wields the power of humour better than SRK. At the TED talk, he shared some personal and professional anecdotes, but his lungi dance was what brought the house down.

Tip: Remember to poke fun at the behavior or attitudes that are causing problems, not at the person.

As you age, look for ways to better yourself

SRK made his debut as a gangly youth in Fauji; he’s come a long way now – he’s 51. But the actor knows that he needs to keep on “shining nevertheless”. The first Indian film star to give a TED Talk, compared his “ageing” movie star persona to humanity. “Humanity is a lot like me. It’s an ageing movie star, grappling with all the newness around it, wondering whether it got it right in the first place and still trying to find a way to keep on shining regardless,” he said. Over time, SRK has consistently tried to explore new avenues and break away from expectations. Apart from being an actor, he’s a producer, co-owns an IPL team, is a frequent TV presenter and stage show performer, and endorses quite a few brands. But he’s still exploring. He returns to TV as the host of TED Talks’ Hindi version, titled TED Talks India: Nayi Soch, where he will play the role of curator Chris Anderson.

Tip: Keep working on yourself – this is one investment that will always pay off. 

Make an effort to balance duality of a manager’s role
Why is Superman a hero? He has power, it’s true, but more than that it’s that he has the wisdom and the maturity to use that power wisely. The same is true of any manager or supervisor. In The Manager: Master and Servant of Power, an article in the Harvard Business Review, Fernando Bartolomé and André Laurent write that most managers are action oriented and “don’t fully realize, for example, how power differences can disturb interpersonal relations at work and, consequently, undermine organizational effectiveness”. As SRK said in Vancouver to loud applause: “You may use your power to build walls and keep people outside. Or you may use it to break barriers and welcome them in. You may use your faith to make people afraid and terrify them into submission. Or you can use it to give courage to people, so they rise to the greatest heights of enlightenment.”

Tip: Use your power as a manager wisely. Remember that blatant use of clout can never lead to effective working relationships. 

“I’ve learned that whatever moves you, whatever urges you to create, build, whatever keeps you from failing, whatever helps you survive, is perhaps the oldest and the simplest emotion known to mankind, and that is love,” Khan said at the talk, putting into words what we all know to be true.

“The present you is brave. The present you is hopeful. The present you is innovative and resourceful. And, of course, the present you is annoyingly indefinable.” Let that be true…  

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5 leadership lessons one can learn from Nelson Mandela

Leadership Lessons from Nelson Mandela
 Leadership Lessons from Nelson Mandela

One of the greatest leaders throughout history, Nelson Mandela left behind some great sound bytes on how to be a better leader. So the next time your motivation’s running low, turn to these words of wisdom and renew your passion to lead:

You rue a bad day at work or a run-in with your boss, but think of Mandela whose leaders put him in prison for life. It was his ability to persevere that kept him going despite punishment designed to break his spirit, be it back-breaking work in a lime quarry or solitary confinement during his prison term.

The lesson: When the going gets tough, the tough must get going.

In an interview to Time managing editor Richard Stengel for a cover story – The Secrets of Leadership – in 2008, Mandela admitted that there were times when he was afraid. But, he said, as a leader, if you are afraid, you must never show fear. “You must put up a front,” he said.

 Leadership Lessons from Nelson Mandela
 Leadership Lessons from Nelson Mandela

The lesson: Be brave and courageous, or learn to put up a front.

Mandela believed that it was wise to “persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea”. In his 1994 autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela wrote: “I always remember the regent’s axiom: a leader, he said, is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”

The lesson: Learn to lead from behind and put others in front.

His life may not have been easy, but in picture after picture, Madiba — as his countrymen fondly called him — can be seen smiling. A project gone wrong may leave most of us in a bad mood for weeks, but Mandela walked out of jail after 27 years spent in a harsh environment smiling and waving to thousands of supporters. His smile indicated that he was at peace with himself and put others at ease.

 Leadership Lessons from Nelson Mandela

The lesson: Spread happiness through your team with a smile.

The workplace often puts us in situations and amidst people/team members we don’t get along with. But it’s essential for a leader to find common ground so that you can work with them for the greater good. Mandela recognized early on that the development and progress of his country could only be achieved through collective action, and chose to work with people who had once oppressed him.

The lesson: Focus on converting the office enemy into a frenemy.

Martin Kalungu-Banda, author of Leading like Madiba: Ten leadership lessons from Nelson Mandela, says leaders need to believe in the power of their dreams. Mandela believed that his vision of a free South Africa would one day become reality, and his movement “grew out of the collective efforts of individuals who believed in their dream of freedom—a dream that was represented by one man’s larger than life vision for his country”.

So go out there and lead like Madiba – with a “good head and a good heart”. 

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Here’s what you can learn from badminton champion Sai Praneeth on how to build consistency

Image Courstsey: Telangana Today

“I finally got the monkey off my back,” said B Sai Praneeth following his Singapore Open win in April 2017. This maiden victory makes the 24-year-old badminton player only the fourth Indian to come away with a Superseries title, but Praneeth isn’t resting on his laurels. Instead, he is working on his “lack of consistency” by concentrating on his fitness levels and practising hard.

Whether you’re playing on court or working in a company, consistency is what will eventually define your success. Praneeth, for instance, has always played a good game. But despite having talent, without consistent effort he’s been unable to accomplish great results until now, says his coach Pullela Gopichand. “If you look at his career, Praneeth has some big wins. He has the quality but he needs the consistency,” Gopichand has said.

Why is consistency important?

The best way to explain this is with the classic tale of the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise works steadily every day, but the hare accomplishes more because he is more talented than the tortoise. However, the hare is lazy and slacks off, so in the end it is the steady tortoise that wins the race.

At work, being consistent allows you to:

• Measure the effectiveness of new initiatives, processes and organisational structures. By trying something new in a consistent manner over a certain time period, you can decide if it works or not.
• Hold people accountable. It becomes easier for employees to follow through when there is a systematic and consistent method in place. Also, consistency in your leadership style will serve as a model for how employees will behave. 
• Maintain a good track record and build a solid reputation.
Consistency eventually adds up to more work done, and therefore, in the long-term, will give you lasting results that you can be truly proud of.

How to be more consistently, consistent

Becoming a consistently high performer isn’t easy, especially since we’re all prone to procrastination, getting side tracked and stuck on unproductive tasks. But the good news is, you can train yourself to be consistently, consistent. Here’s how:

First, make sure you #LoveWhatYouDo

Praneeth was only 8-years-old when his aunt, a national level player herself, introduced him to badminton. He fell in love with the sport instantly.

Your takeaway:
 It’s always easier to be constant if you #LoveWhatYouDo or at least like what you are doing every week. So find what suits you best.

Set a routine

Coach Gopichand’s advice to his players has been practice hard every day. Praneeth, whose daily routine includes five hours of practice, proves that indeed is a mantra for success.

Your takeaway: Set up a consistent routine like, say, a morning ritual, which can give order and structure to the rest of your day.

#GoOutAndBe, even if you are not in the mood
Praneeth’s most challenging task was letting go of fears caused by the frequent injuries that impacted his game. Sports psychologist Mridu Sharma helped him push past his mental barriers and take action. 

Your takeaway: At times, you want to do something, but your mind will find reasons not to. Instead of over-thinking the situation or remaining paralysed by doubts, force yourself to just act. This can help you build a positive momentum, which in turn will help you progress much faster.

Focus on the process, not the results
Discipline and regimentation are key to success, according to Coach Gopichand, who makes all his students train hard, day in and day out. Being committed to his daily practice helped Praneeth give what he calls “the best performance of my career” at the Singapore Open.

Your takeaway: Don’t stress about results, instead be fully engaged in the task at hand. You’re more likely to stay motivated and get better results from consistent action. 

Let go of old self images
Frequent injuries, his inability to win matches and rise in the rankings led Praneeth to doubt his abilities. He admits he had a confidence issue, caused by his frequent losses. 

Your takeaway: Don’t dwell on your past failures. Instead, build a consistent self-image that focuses on your successes.
The one thing that separates successful people from the rest is their ability to deliver sustained excellence. So get inspired by Praneeth’s success to work towards a consistently high performance today! 

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