Real Problem 7

  1. I’ve got tired;
  2. I don’t have time;
  3. It’s too costly;
  4. I cannot match that speed;
  5. I don’t have space;
  6. I don’t have good resources;
  7. I don’t have ‘that’ title …

…are mere excuses for not getting into the execution mode. And, (the right kind of) execution separates the sheep from the goats.

Rant against compliance

Our education system is organized around compliance. Admissions, study classes, examinations are about schooling the students to follow some directives.

Many company cultures are also organized around compliance. From hiring to appraisals to training programs – all follow a certain set of known ways of doing things.

The reasoning for this appears to be that at some point, compliance transforms into measurability and measurability gives the control you always wished for.

But have you ever looked at this from this point of view that the cost of compliance is a lost opportunity for personal leadership?

Personal leadership is without a doubt one of the building blocks of phenomenal careers. In fact, it is an absolute must if making a difference is on our cards.

I wonder why compliance is considered a way to reach the mountaintop.  Compliant programmers rarely become great CEOs, do they?

Walking Vs. Direction

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” ~ Proverb

“Only if you know it is the right direction,” You might argue.

‎If you don’t know whether the direction is right then you know what you don’t know, so start knowing what you should know.

Your destination tells you whether you are walking in the right direction or not. Refer Steven Covey, Habit #2 from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People book: “Begin with the end in mind.”

The point is to pause and retrospect whether the direction we are taking is the right one in today’s perspective. If yes, keep on walking, if no, align your actions.

In other words: Inspect and adapt. Not very easy in most cases. Still, wiser ones keep doing that for better results.

Learn from a difficult boss

If you have a boss who is unwilling to take you to the next ladder in your growth path because she is defending the status quo and highlighting your inability on whatever official document she uses to score, you could consider yourself as a loser.

Or you can remind yourself:

  1. Scores are fake, your abilities, energies, and passions are real;
  2. Work you produced and the person you became while producing the work is worth more than getting an agreement from the boss;
  3. Ability to persist against this kind of odds is a powerful ability.
  4. Aligning actions to find the fitment is mediocre. Instead, being able to take a stand pays off in the long run;
  5. If you can listen to the criticism, retrospect and learn something out of it, not being exposed to criticism is cursing.

Sometimes, reporting to a difficult boss can excel your abilities to deal with difficult situations.

Every encounter is an opportunity for learning if you make the right choice. Easier said than done.

To lead regardless of your position 7

  1. Fix the problem right now, justify methods later;
  2. Get comfortable being uncomfortable;
  3. If you’ve observed it, express it. Even if it leads to a confronting dialog;
  4. There’s a distinction between an activity and an accomplishment – know it;
  5. Be revolutionary and innovate. Remember, the person who invented MBA did not have an MBA degree when s/he invented it;
  6. Be an executor – just getting things done does not equate to execution, though execution includes that.
  7. Play the music, don’t let it play with you!

Leading beyond your title sometimes means: 15

  1. Waking up early;
  2. Start doing things that your colleagues are waiting to do once s/he’ll have that ‘position’;
  3. Showing up when you don’t feel like showing up;
  4. Put in great efforts to deliver even if you don’t feel like making that delivery;
  5. Uncrowding yourself – for example, you choose to wear that ‘red’ shirt when everyone else is wearing blue for a specific purpose;
  6. Initiating a dialogue that inevitably involves confrontation;
  7. Asking (even silly looking) questions, again and again;
  8. Choosing to be agile in most occasions – inviting the ‘life’ to live at her fullest with you;
  9. Choosing not to be agile for a specific occasion – sometimes, only sometimes planning matters more than embracing uncertainties;
  10. Embracing realities – For example, if you don’t know that you have a disease, you’re not going to think about its cure;
  11. Being absolutely merciless in questioning the path you have taken;
  12. Being tough on yourself for your own actions, especially while keeping promises;
  13. Listening carefully and acknowledging what you have understood;
  14. Choosing only words that convey specifics. For example, “I want to earn 10 million dollars by December 31st, 2015” is much better than “I want to be financially well in next 5 years”;
  15. Making a wrong start – more important is to start and less important is right or wrong.

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