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April 16, 2014

Posted by Shahir in As You Thinketh, Corporate, Inspirational Quotes, Life.
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Are you singing it right? June 20, 2013

Posted by Shahir in As You Thinketh, Career Development, Corporate, Inspirational Quotes, Life.
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Choir-Female SingingYou would not hear your voice in a choir; but that’s no excuse for you to sing it wrong.

When watching a concert, my attention often goes to those on the stage performing with one of those minutest instruments that is dwarfed in front of the majestic cellos and percussions and yet the person who’s playing it plays as if she’s the only one on the stage and the whole audiences are there just to watch her play.

That’s the kind of obsession I would love to see in a team performing at work, the spirited individuals performing their series of little tasks knowing how it fill the gaps of the big picture, subsequently becoming one with the rest, inseparable as the sound of cello is from that of violin yet retaining its individuality.

It’s not whether your voice is heard, whether your performance is seen that should stimulate you to perform, rather, the conscious awareness of the timbre of your voice and the pride of your performance that you feel, the feeling with which you can go to bed and sleep well from having spent a day in the best possible way.

What are you compromising when performing which if you had given your best there will only be one ‘you’ who can do what you do?



Why we don’t say everything when we say something? June 19, 2013

Posted by Shahir in As You Thinketh, Corporate.
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Old manThis might appear too obvious to you, but these are the fundamentals of communication – even before you decide to blink and with it convey a message!

We observe things around us – people, objects – and create patterns of its appearance, occurrence, size and shape, its sound and silence, to put them all together to create a set of standards of those observed objects and people, standards that will become its rule of engagements.

These standards remain in our heads, forming expectations of how these objects and people should behave, appear, or should not. They are not communicated, for, it’s assumed that it’s how it should be.

John comes to the park every morning, and sat on the bench beside the oak tree. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, everyday 6 in the morning, with a newspaper in his hand. Smith too comes to the same park and sit on the bench beside the pond full of lilies and lotus, with some flakes to feed the fish. Smith’s observation of John is someone who comes at 6 in the morning, every day, and sits on the bench beside the oak tree. When he one day moved from the  bench beside the oak tree and came and sat on the bench beside the pond, it breaks the pattern.

Smith began to think why he is coming and sitting on my bench! His bench is the one beside the oak tree. The pattern is breached. The occurrence not meeting the standard devised from the pattern of life around Smith. A conflict of interest arises as a result, causing friction, slight frustration, negative energy and therefore the feelings getting translated in the way he looks at John, the tone of voice – or the intensity of silence.

John in this case is in true sense innocent. He didn’t know the standards Smith has set for John – that the pattern he created is in conflict with his behavior today, disturbing the eco-system of Smith who has designed his mornings in the park with John in the seat beside the oak tree. The vacuum it created there, and the space that is now filled in the seat beside the pond are in conflict with his mental design of a good morning.

How often we design standards on behaviours and performance of others around us, inadvertently, from the patterns we dissect through our observations of people and objects in our surroundings, a crack in which causes us to frustrate? Often times, our expression of thoughts are just the tip of an iceberg of standards we created deep inside us of those around us,  those around us oblivious of what standards they are and therefore being non-committed to its adherence.

Relationships gets a dent when such hidden standards are operating in our minds from the patterns we observe in the shape of our own convenience that are in its true sense distant from the reality of the person and object that we are observing.

What patterns are you observing in people and objects around you with which you are creating standards that may not be healthy to demand adherence for, causing friction in your life, career etc?



Gen-Y : Choice between Facebook and LinkedIn April 30, 2013

Posted by Shahir in Career Development, Corporate, Inspirational Quotes, Training.
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Sharmila is one of those Millennial Generation staff who is very dynamic and of high potential and I have had couple of opportunities to involve in her professional growth in one of my previous assignments. She has around 890 friends on Facebook. Her network on LinkedIn is around 40.

Is she heading on the right direction, one that will complement her efforts to build a future?

Her friends list on FB might include seniors in her industry, but chances are that the majority in that list are friends and families who would ‘like’ everything she write about the odd shift she’s working or the great meal she had on a day-off or perhaps every time she transforms the FB wall as a whining wall to vent off her frustration of dealing with her supervisor! That’s mostly what you see on FB walls, anyway!!

Even if she has some seniors in her industry in her Friends list on FB (even they don’t see FB as a professional network site, and their sharing too is personal – their daughters school anniversary, trip to Shimla, or to a shopping mall nearby) will she have quality stuff on FB that they will notice – one that will showcase her quality of what she can become than what she’s today?

Is that progressive? If I were to visualize her, the image I see is she sitting somewhere looking towards the past, oblivious of the potential future ahead of her.

What would be the kind of population she will be connected with on LinkedIn?

I would suppose, her connections will be mostly those who had already walked her path and was tested by time, moved forward and succeeded in their career! By virtue of the standard quality of what’s shared on LinkedIn, she would also trim her emotions and perhaps apply more sense when sharing something – it would become more professional and career oriented. If she is a Chef, she would talk about the new recipe they tried for a sit-down dinner for a very high-profile client; she would share about some challenges she’s observing in how an outside-catering was organized. She would share about the ideal leadership quality her generation expects at work than the conventional leadership she may be experience in the ‘oldies’ in her team! She would share about some new tools and equipment she read about that is so trendy and useful for her work.

In sharing so, it is not necessary that all her connections will talk to her or ‘like’ everything that she share, yet, there are chances where she will be noticed. To get noticed in a swamp of talents in this highly-competitive world is itself half-way through the journey of success, because lack of visibility can take a lot more effort for one to succeed professionally.

There are many occasions where my formal correspondence with my ‘friends’ from work were so limited for years, yet many of them and I felt so connected through what we read and write as updates from our professional life, and in my personal experience, it has rewarded me handsomely in more than one occasions in the past.

My personal advise to the Gen-Y – Millennial Generation – is to spend time connecting with people of importance on LinkedIn – people who have walked the path already and may be looking for someone just like you, may be not today, but one day when they need talents and dynamism that you possess. FB is good, but it’s a networking platform to meet your personal satisfaction of staying connected with friends and aunts and uncles and not disconnect from the umbilical cord of the nostalgic school and college days. Good enough. Don’t let that go. But you cannot dwell in the past all the time and sit on your laurels, and you need to move forward. Spending at least 30 minutes weekly on LinkedIn and trying to connect with people of importance in your industry or even outside, is perhaps one of many moves that you cannot neglect if pursuing success professionally.

Having strong network is no more a choice. And being visible to people on whose toes might be the knot of string connecting your future is not an option either. Connecting with people in the field you yourself envisage to be in one day is equal to shadowing them well in advance – at least to understand which groups they are following, what discussions they are liking etc.! Not to imitate them, or follow them, but to at least evaluate the trends so that you do not fall behind when it is time to be in line!

Good luck, Gen-Y,



Learning Map – A great tool to facilitate an engaging learning event April 14, 2013

Posted by Shahir in Career Development, Corporate, Uncategorized.
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Learning Map - A great tool to facilitate an engaging learning event

This is a Learning Map I designed for ISECAP – an exclusive training programme for college students, scheduled to be held in Bangalore on May 04, 2013, in association with iExpert. The training evolve around this Learning Map, a copy of which will be given to each participant as a visual anchor of their learning.

There are still a few more seats available.

In reflection, … April 14, 2013

Posted by Shahir in Career Development, Corporate, Inspirational Quotes, Life.
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In reflection, my greatest satisfaction from being in Talent Management comes from seeing the success of people like Joshua and Kavitha and Stephen and Manasa and the like who was taken on-board for who they can be later, than for who they were then! They excelled when presented with an opportunity, and that’s a remarkable attribute of people designing their success. – Shahir

An Exclusive Workshop for College Students in Bangalore, India April 6, 2013

Posted by Shahir in Career Development, Corporate, Training.
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An Open Letter to Rahul Gandhi April 4, 2013

Posted by Shahir in Corporate, Indian Politics, Politics.
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Dear Rahul Ji,

I was watching with interest the speech you delivered today at Confederation of Indian Industry (CII ) and I must say I am left with mixed emotions as an ordinary citizen – with the thoughts of your vision for India on one side and the thoughts of the future leadership of India on the other side.

There has been mixed reviews too on your speech; while Bharti Mittal and the like sounded so inspired Uncle Pai and the like didn’t see substance– the speech aside, what actions are recommended – in it.

I am not stepping into the political value of your speech, but as a Talent Management professional having delivered quite a significant number of programs on public speaking and presentation deliveries, I must say I was least impressed with the show – though I must confess I’ve been a great admirer of you when you were silent all these while, just focusing on little actions that made quite a big difference in people like me.

There are a few things that stood out as sore thumb which caused the bitter taste as I was watching you, and they are:

  • Voice and articulation: You can’t do anything about your voice that perhaps does not carry the weight and treble as that of Sean Connery or Amitabh Bhachan, but if you were to realize it in advance, perhaps you could have controlled the movement of mic as you walked through the stage, which kind of disturbed the quality of your voice and therefore the impact of your speech. In a mega forum as this, you had all the opportunity to use a lapel mic too, which would have released your one hand to make appropriate gestures, and not interrupt the voice with your face movements !
  • Usage of stage: I am sure you must have been inspired by the presentations you watched of Steve Jobs or Tom Peters or Dr Stephen Covey or even the new Robbins’ (Tony Robbins and Robin Sharma and the like!) I think the context of their deliveries were completely different than the context in which your speech was staged, and your movement across the stage – I felt- was absolutely uncalled for, and at times made me look at you as a ‘soft-skills’ trainer in a wrong place! You might have wanted your speech to appeal to younger audience, adding dynamics in your moves, but at least I am left with an impression of an immature political leader diffusing all the hopes I had of your strength and will to carry the mantle. A stable leader with a perfect path of speech with smooth transitions from one point to the other is what I expected as I sat to watch you speak! Wrong expectations, perhaps?
  • Strength of your message: It wasn’t flowing, Rahul Ji. It sounded impromptu at times – which is more the kind of person you are – but it just didn’t carry the weight I expected of a speech from someone of your calibre! I don’t expect it to be as eloquent as Barack Obama’s speech of 2004 or his speech in Germany, nor do I expect it to be as compactly packaged as Mani Shankar Aiyer, but somehow I felt lack of rehearsals in your speech as important as this to as influential an audience as CII, considering the fact that one of the key success factors of all Steve Jobs’ presentations are his dedicated rehearsals before the delivery.

I think you could have done better, and script your speech to more perfection, and scale up your image to match the audience and the context of speech. The language  – both in words and image – did not reflect the quality I personally anticipated in a forum as this; I believe Dr Manmohan Singh delivered an even higher quality of speech standing behind the podium and with all his restricted movements, but with the strength of message, the choice of words and the measured articulation.

This being one of the firsts, Rahul Ji, I hope you will take lessons fRahul Gandhirom this and I look forward to watching you deliver to the nation even more inspiring talks, simply because there are millions who’s keeping great hope on young leaders like you and Sachin Pilot etc who has a vision for a truly republic and secular India in contrast to the old Maharajas and the new 2G-Raja’s!!

Most of all, for reasons unknown, I personally want you to succeed, succeed as much and more than Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru, be a true face of India and the Indians – all inclusive – and grow to become a global leader, because that’s what India’s destiny is,and it need leaders who has vision and has a vehicle of plan to execute them, appealing to the masses in all ways, always.



Open Your Arms | A Letter To A Friend April 1, 2013

Posted by Shahir in Corporate, Life, Love and Relationship.
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letterMy dear friend, open your arms.

I can guess the intensity of what you are going through, but whatever you are going through would be lighter if you have your arms opened and allows those who love you to walk in to it. It will always leave you lighter, trust me.

I have been grossly betrayed by people who I trusted, and as severe as yours, my career too had had its term of spiralling down for a longer period than yours combined with severe physical challenges I had to endure through the surgeries I was put through in between these race for success – most of my days turning to be a struggle to gather myself up as one piece and continue to move forward, with just one hope and prayer that I will be again having the glory and fame I once had while we were together. I had swung wildly between the past and future, no hands that I hold had the pulse to offer any help – especially those hands I thought are the most trusted ones! Life is such, my dear friend, those are the chapters we learn as we learn to live, at times bitter ones as they are.

Nonetheless, my dear, what is a few years when compared to the larger scheme of life, if only we allow ourselves to not disintegrate. Let us not break ourselves up, when everything around us might appear as a hammer breaking us up. If we keep on pushing, polishing ourselves, believing that we were once great and what’s now is only a temporary fall – like the Romans, like the Spaniards, like the British, like the Mughals – and that we will rise again, we will then rise again. All we need to do is to keep us shining, equip us with the tools necessary for us to bounce back when bouncing back becomes an option, and be valuable for future than perish in the present suffocating in the nauseating debris of the past.

Open your arms, my dearest friend, I want to stay in touch with you. Because I know the pain and agony you’ve been through and I want to be part of you growing out of it, towards a brighter tomorrow, without a shade of yesterday.

All you need to do now is this:

  1. get up after you read this, and take a hot shower.
  2. put the best dress you have, as though you are going for a meeting. This meeting is with you, my friend – an important person.
  3. come to a decision, that you are building a better tomorrow. Decide to begin to do things that you haven’t been doing for ages now. Reading, courses, meeting people, writing for opportunities – even if it means you are taking a step back to leap yards forward. Get back to life, my dear friend; make with your life a great story that you can write later – a contemporary story of the phoenix that’s rising from its ashes.

To feel dejected isn’t a foreign experience for me either. But who we think are responsible to help us are not responsible to help us. Your value is determined by the context of time your services in life is associated. As the needle of time move upwards, your value appreciates till a threshold and it is inevitable that it depreciate after a point, or burst by reaching beyond its capacity.  Someone must have played an important role in your life once upon a time. But time isn’t constant. That person’s responsibility was limited to the context of that changing time. Their priorities changes.  It’s we who are responsible for us, responsibility to  keep your priority unchanged – the priority of taking care of your well being. We just need to keep trying.

Give me your trade mark bear hug, my friend. Know that I hated you in between because I loved you so much and it was hurting to see you distancing to a shell of your own from me, and many like me who love and care for you a lot.



The One Last Thing Before You Quit March 20, 2013

Posted by Shahir in Corporate, Inspirational Quotes, Life.
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danceSuccess evades the mind that cease to think beyond where the ordinary thoughts ended. It’s when you look beyond where your sight temporarily ended you will see the beginning of the sprouting of success that you for so long irrigated through your hard-work and dedication.

Why do you stop at where you think is the edge of the path, when the next step would have been on the territory of what is defining success? It’s beyond that last step where the first steps of success begin.

When you realize deceptively that your time is over, hold on! It is in that extra moment that you spend the deciding ‘time’ that makes the difference might begin.

Do you think you have done enough? What is that one thing you haven’t done, yet, which if you will do now you might see a different result? Enough is not enough, perhaps, when you realize that ‘enough’ was just a map, and not the territory.

Are you chasing success? Or are you creating? In chasing, you have lent the ownership to those around you. In creating, you are its designer, and those around you are your resources. What untapped resources do you see around that by knocking once the doors might open wide, or by knocking down the obstacles might crumble?

Just when you are putting away that sketch-book, pause, and draw its outline as you wish it to be. What would you lose, when you were already planned to quit?

Men and women succeeded when they recomposed the tunes of fate that played for them unfavorable notes. They scripted new plays to replace the third and fourth acts before the curtains were pulled. They found new paths to tread those that were never seen before them and made them look as though life would never be complete without them.

What would you re-do, or do just a little more?


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