Blog Archive

Leadership Vision


 

The young boy asked the old man, "why a fast running horse is better than the slow running horse"? The old man said, "it has developed the habit to produce more power so that it can run up to ten times faster than the slow horse" The youngster said, "and what if the horse is running in the wrong direction"? The old man smiled and said, "then definitely it has the appropriate factor to waste his efforts ten times quicker than the slower horse" The young man said, " and what if other horses are following him too" The older man said, "off course it will mislead all those horses too!" "Then why all other horses follow the faster one" "Because that attracts them but all that glitters is not gold sometimes" Article written by Junaid.Tahir

Associating this analogy with our daily life, you notice that you are surrounded by mixture of slow and fast pace personalities. Some of them are really genuine leaders and some of them are being followed blindly. Overall, here is the summary of the concept of Visionary Leaders which I suggest you to ponder:


1-   If you have a slow attitude towards life (slow running horse) then you must develop the habit to produce more power in your character. You must be aware of your real goals. You must developanalytical skillsEmpowered RelationshipsProactive approach and other personality traits such as Commitment, Courage, Communication Skills, Focus, Competence and Passion.  
2-  If you have a faster response to life and  quick decision making then you must audit yourself on whether you are heading in the right direction? Not having clear goal will take you nowhere regardless of your speed and efficiency. Remember, Only hard work doesn't guarantee the success. , the vision and strategy are the most important ingredients of the success which is acheived through consistent, productive and effective efforts in the right direction. 
3-  Are you following a leader? Are you sure you have a true leader? Are you sure you will not end up on the blocked road? Remember, U-turns are always possible before the dead end but consequences of U-turn will be more harsh if you don't evaluate the situations on time and delay it to the eleventh hour. 

While you ponder about the concept of Vision in Leaders, you may want to read these personality building articles too:

1-     Effective Decision Making
2-    Resolving Conflicts Effectively
3-    Developing Stable Personality 
4-    Becoming Implosive Personality 
5-    Effective Anger Management
6-    Being strong in Tragic Moments 



Story: What Goes Around Comes Around

One day a man saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering
when he approached her. 

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe; he looked poor and hungry.

He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. Itwas that chill which only fears can put in you.

He said, 'I'm here to help you, ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.'

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk.. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job
to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she coul
d give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, 'And think of me.'


He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, and disappear in into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home.. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan .

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back.. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: 'You don't owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you.'

Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard....

She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, 'Everything's going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.'


There is an old saying 'What goes around comes around.' Today I sent you this story and I'masking you to pass it on. Let this light shine.



Parenting: Too Much TV May Raise Kids’ Future Heart Risk


Study: Kids With Lots of Screen Time Have Narrow Arteries in Eyes That May Indicate Heart Risk
By Salynn Boyles
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD
young girl watching tv

April 20, 2011 -- The eyes are said to be windows to the soul, but a new study suggests they may also provide a glimpse into a child's future risk for heart disease.

Researchers in Australia found that 6- and 7-year-olds who spent the most time in front of TVs or computer screens had narrower eye arteries in the back of their eyes than those children who spent less time.

Also, children who spent the most time in outdoor sporting activities had wider eye arteries compared to those who participated in outdoor sports the least.

Studies in adults suggest that narrowed blood vessels in the eyes indicate increased cardiovascular risk since they are part of the brain's vascular system and respond as other vessels do to stress and disease.

By analyzing digital pictures of the blood vessels of the retina, researcher Tien Wong, PhD, and colleagues from the University of Melbourne were able to predict whether adults would develophigh blood pressure or heart disease.

In the new study, which appears today in the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, Wong and researchers from the University of Sydney report a link between total screen time and retinal artery width in children.

TV Time and Blood Vessel Width

The study included close to 1,500 6- and 7-year-olds living in Sydney, Australia.

The children's parents completed questionnaires designed to assess how much time the kids spent watching TV or using other electronic equipment and how much time they spent engaging in physical pursuits.

Digital photographs were taken in the back of each child's eyes to determine the width of the retinal blood vessels.

On average, the children spent just under two hours each day watching TV or in front of a computer or gaming device and just 36 minutes engaged in physical activity.

Kids who spent the most time in front of a screen had the narrowest retinal arteries. Those who engaged in the most outdoor physical activity had significantly wider retinal arteries than those who were the least active.

The association remained even after the researchers considered known risk factors for narrowed arteries, including obesity and high blood pressure.

Study researcher Bamini Gopinath, PhD, of the University of Sydney, says a sedentary lifestyle even very early in life appears to affect blood vessel health and increase cardiovascular disease risk.

She adds that the findings are preliminary and further research is needed to confirm them.

"We don't really know what this means, from a clinical standpoint," she tells WebMD. "Certainly it is suggestive of future cardiovascular risk, but we can't say that with certainty."

Message for Parents

Pediatric cardiologist and American Heart Association spokeswoman Dianne L. Atkins, MD, says the preliminary findings add to the evidence suggesting that lifestyle can influence cardiovascular risk even early in childhood.

Atkins is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City.

"This is another opportunity to send the message to parents that they need to limit the time their children spend in front of a screen, whether it is a TV, computer, or video game," she tells WebMD. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the average child and teen in the U.S. spends seven hours a day watching television or using computers, phones, and other electronic devices.

That's four more hours than the average time children spent watching TV each day in 1999, and five hours more than the two-hour limit recommended by the AAP for children over age 2 (younger children should not watch TV at all, the group says).

"Kids should be encouraged to be more active, and the best way to do that is for parents to lead by example," Atkins says.

 
M Junaid Tahir
www.DailyTenMinutes.com
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Sweeping Statements - Annoying, Irritating and Insulting


Sweeping statement is the term used when you give conclusive or decisive comment about  something or someone. You may not know but you give sweeping statements several times a day and if you don't mind let me say that most of the time you are wrong J 

You might have said to your colleagues that this manager has no sense of management whereas if someone asks you to give a ten minutes non-stop lecture on management, you may not be able to deliver it because you too may not have real in depth knowledge of the domain. So, instead of saying "no sense of management" you could more precisely say that you don't agree to "this particular aspect of management" of that person and then elaborate your observations. The later approach in this example is not a sweeping statement instead it is a specific focal point of your point of view. 

If you are in habit of giving sweeping statements, you may, at some point in time spoil your relationship with someone permanently especially when you give sweeping statement to the person face to face by annoying and irritating severely. Because when you give sweeping statement you are missing a whole lot of detailed aspects of the subject and may emotionally kill the person.

Also when you give sweeping statement it's not about them only, it's about you as well because it indicates the fact that you are not careful in your thinking. Which means you have a zoom-out attitude when it comes to observing people whereas zoom-in (high level) and zoom-out (detailed micro level) approaches are required to be used according to the situation.

Some other examples of sweeping (sometimes insulting) statements:
1- A man argues with his house wife "what exactly you do at home all day long?"  (in Urdu, tum sara din kerti kia ho aakhir?)
2- This whole nation or country is arrogant/corrupt. 
3- Mom to her child "you never do good work" (Urdu: Tum nay to kabhi koee acha kaam kia hi nahi")
4- when you say to your colleague, "you have no idea about it, so leave it to me"

So the bottom line is that instead of being judgmental and passing the remarks instantly one must strive to understand things fairly prior to giving remarks and then use appropriate words and an effective way of communication to describe ones stance in order to improve the situation, not in order to harm it by any mean.

Some associated articles:

The 7 Super Powers You Must Posses


By Junaid Tahir
Each one of us want high happiness index, peace of mind, mature character and success in life but most of us do not really strive to achieve these goals. Out of us who struggle for their goals a very few are able to make things happen. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is the difference between the level of Inner Power both the categories posses in their brains and the level of Power they exert to achieve what they want to achieve. In my opinion, the Inner Powers consist of following seven categories and the intellectuals who possess all these mental muscles can accomplish a great deal of victories in most of the fields of life:


1-  The Power of Focus:
There is a story which tells that during the bird shooting session, the instructor asked each shooter what he is looking at. One candidate said, I am looking at the flock of birds, another said, I am looking at the tree where birds are about to sit however one shooter said that I am looking in the eyes of one of the flying birds ! This is the power of focus I want to draw your attention towards. Focus means to insert all of your energies on one goal and do not let any obstacles change your attention. Remember, you see problems when you move your eyes away from your target. Don't let your mind distracted from your goal. Don't let impure thoughts spoil your plans. Remember, what you focus on increases so don't let the seeds of negativity get nourished in your brain. Use Zoom-In and Zoom-Out tool to strengthen your Power of Focus.


2-  The Power of Vision:
A fast pace horse running in the wrong direction will never reach its destination. Instead it will cause misleading ripple effect to its followers too. Building the Power of Vision starts with your thinking style, awareness about your field, your comprehension capabilities and your caliber to imagine the future. 
A)                  Your thoughts are the seeds for your character because thoughts give birth to actions which become your habits and constitutes towards your personality and consequently your destiny. Empowering your thought process involves staying away from negative thoughts, trying being part of the solutions instead of problems with less criticism and more optimism.
B)                  Awareness: Empowering your awareness level involves a lot of reading, meeting with high potency people, watching relevant documentaries and observing people in the industry. Make habit of reading great magazines and watching news daily to improve your vision. 
Once you develop the Power of Vision, your comprehension levels will be as deep as a sea; your thoughts will fly as high as sky and your strategies will be as solid as rocks. 


3-  The Power of Now:
People make plans people forget plans people fail. Why? They don't execute. They keep thinking and they keep waiting for the 'right' moment to kick off their plans. This 'right' moment never comes if they keep waiting for it. The right moment is now. The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up and act. This is understood that planning is important. However if you keep wasting your time in the name of planning, you will end up as a failed chap. Break down the big target into smaller tasks and start implementing one by one starting today. Don't waste your time as your idea might get implemented by someone else. You might have more tough circumstances with more complications tomorrow. You might have to bear the burden of additional responsibilities so Now is the time to take action. Now is the time to make difference. Now is the time to make things happen. Remember, your thoughts will not take you anywhere if you don't implement them. So take action Now !!!  

4-  The Power of Positivity:
Successful people posses a positive mindset. To develop this power you must shield yourself from Negativity. Remember that being positive will give you the freedom to look forward instead of looking in past. If you keep wandering in past with negative thoughts you will not be able to proceed with your goals.  Positive people are part of solutions not part of problems. Positive people convert risks into opportunity. They have the sense of gratitude. They believe in skills not in luck. If you want to build this power, try staying away from negative souls, make the habit of reading good books, join some nice pages on Facebook or Google Plus, read wisdom quotes and surround yourself in positive people. 


5-  The Power of Analytics:
Being analytical helps in many ways, for example, breaking down bigger problem in to smaller tasks, considering the issue from more wider and multiple angles, evaluating the options from Needs and Wants perspective, differentiating between urgent and important tasks and eventually working on things which matter the most. Whether you want to analyze large data at work, or you want to purchase a new mobile set, Resolving a technical issue or handling a conflict in family or work, analytical skills help you a lot. Read a thorough article Here 


6-  The Power of Flexibility:
Mostly people think the other way around; in fact being flexible doesn't mean being weak instead it portrays your powerful personality trait that you care about others and respect the difference of opinion. It is said: "Better to bend than to break" so the more flexible you are, the more you will be able to manage stress which will strengthen your thought process. Keep your ego aside and listen to the perspective of others. Keep your mental doors open and be flexible in changing your plans. Be adaptable to situations because sometimes U-turn in life are fine to take. Don't get dishearten. Remember, God takes men to deep waters not to drown them but to cleanse them".

7-  The Power of 'Implosiveness':
Great people are not explosive at all. They are cool at mind and heart. They are not sensitive and reactive in nature. When a tragic situation triggers their anger, they analyze it from logical, sentimental and ethical angles and then respond in order to improve the situation and not vice versa.  So you must believe in the fact reactive nature will reduce your friends and increase your foes.     


Empower your personality with these 7 super powers and gain ultimate heights in life.
Remember, success is not a destination, it's a journey. For this journey, there are no escalators so you must take the ladder passage. Which means you have to take step by step approach to reach to the top. If you are in doubt at any stage, just take next small step and notice the consequences. If all fine, go ahead; if something goes wrong, take a step back and re-assess your direction.


Associated posts:

Stop Complaining Start Achieving

By Junaid Tahir


Your complaining attitude takes you away from your success. In fact it won't be wrong if I co-relate this with Newton's law that complaining and achieving success are equal in magnitude but opposite in direction. This means that the more you complain about your circumstances the more you move away from your destination and vice versa. 
On top of that, if you keep complaining, you will give birth to two more mental diseases which are 'blaming' and 'criticizing'. When you don't like your circumstances you start finding faults in people around you and then you start blaming and criticizing them for your failures. Hence all three diseases, complaining, blaming and criticizing strengthen their roots in your brain and eventually this negative attitude becomes your personality trait.
When you complain you waste your precious time. You build negative energy which piles up in your brainstealing your peace of mind leading to chronic psychological disorders hence it's a concrete physical, mental and emotional loss which is no way closer to any kind of benefit.
On the contrary, if you are a hard working soul, you believe in your skills instead of luck. You believe in the  power of Now. You believe in power of making things happen instead of waiting for things to happen. Your analytical skills give you the luxury to break down the bigger problem into smaller problems and then you start fixing each problem one by one, moving near to your ultimate goal slowly and steadily. 
So now is the time to decide whether you would like to live as a loser by complaining, blaming and criticizing OR live like a successful chap, the one who doesn't waste the time by looking in the past, the one who does not have a negative thought process, the one who is visionary and the one who once make a commitment then focuses on it all the way till the task is accomplished.  
Complaining causes draining of energies and you are in position to lose your powers in this world of competition. 

Recommended Articles:

How to Evaluate Managers


By Junaid Tahir
Companies are becoming more and more concerned about cost optimization, resource tweaking and talent enhancement aspects in order to improve their revenues and services index in the market. One of the key actions is to build effective teams by reducing the 'fats' and by polishing the talented resources. Specifically middle managers are focused by the leadership because they are considered to be the most critical resources of the organization because they are micro managing things by controlling the staff ensuring quality products and services; and on the other side interacting with the senior leadership and transforming their vision into practical tasks.

So managers evaluation is one of the approaches for deciding new trainings, assigning new tasks, retaining/laying off or for annual performance reviews. Usually HR specialists are part of such evaluations but for several SMEs only department head is asked to perform the evaluation. While I was wondering what mechanism must be used by the managers in order to perform evaluation which is fair, honest and transparent, I was able to produce the below:

#
Personality Trait or Skill
Mngr-1
Mngr-2
1
Requires minimum supervision to make things happen?


2
Has positive attitude? (Problems focused or solution focused?)


3
Effectively Communicates with teams and management.


4
Responds/updates swiftly to the management for the assigned task?


5
Can take decisions independently?


6
Performs well in stressed circumstances?


7
Begins with the end in mind? Or work in day to day basis?


8
Effectively utilizes the given resources?


9
Has strong follow up with vendors/teams to complete the projects?


10
Produces effective and easy to understand reports/summaries?


11
Has knowledge of Technical Domain? (add multiple domains if required)


12
Develops Strategies by looking at the big picture?


13
Builds Strong Cohesive Teams by team building skill?


14
Avoids politics and focus on the projects/goals?


15
Effectively delegates tasks and ownership to the team members?


16
Ensures that databases are organized, error free and up to date?


17
Complies with Company Policies and Procedures?


18
Explores and learns new techniques and tools? (Self Improvement)







Overall Score
  
Following table may be used for the sake of marking:

Marks Legend
5 Marks
Demonstrates Always and Encourages Others
4 Marks
Demonstrates Always.
3 Marks
Demonstrates Most of the Times
2 Marks
Demonstrates Sometimes
1 Marks
Demonstrates Rarely
0 Marks
Does not demonstrate


In case, two or more managers are to be compared, then above table can be utilized. In case each manager is required to be evaluated separately then multiple documents for each manager can be generated where detailed talent sustaining and skill polishing strategies can be written down. Please do let me know if you think any skill to be added to the list above.




The Last Lecture

 

Dr. Randy Pausch died of pancreatic cancer in 2008, but wrote a book 'The last lecture" before then, one of the bestsellers in 2007. What a legacy to leave behind… 
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.
 ersonality:
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.
unity:
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. Whatever 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 love, people you school with, people you play with, people you work with and people you live with.
Not only will it enrich YOUR life, but also that of those around you.

source: unknown

M Junaid Tahir
www.DailyTenMinutes.com
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10 Steps to Ensure Continuous Improvement

By Junaid Tahir:

Well, This is my second episode on management consultancy.
Ok, straight to the point, Continuous Improvement is an on-going effort in order to improve products, services or procedures of any organization. The effectiveness or efficiency enhancement can be in terms of cost optimization, better quality, improved customer satisfaction index, quick response time, fast production rate, reduced fault rate, Six Sigma Compliance, electricity conservation and several other domains.

According to management consultants there are three kinds of improvements;
Continuous Improvement: Improvement at a linear rate.
Continual Improvement: Improvement at gradual rate.
Breakthrough: A giant leap with major changes in a domain or several domains, sometimes executed only once.

  

Below is the recommended strategy for the Execution of Improvement Process:
1-     Define current performance of Product, Services of Procedure(s).
2-    Identify areas of improvements (suggestions available in first paragraph of this article)
3-    Brainstorm the available ideas
a.     Consider Fishbone diagram, Cause Effect diagram. Perform analysis by doing breakdown of bigger problem into smaller problems.
b.     Seek feedback and recommendations from Management Consultants
c.     Seek advice from Managers, Field Employees, Stake holders, Subject Matter Experts.
d.     Consider customers' / End users' feedback about quality of products and services.  
4-    Make final list of options to execute. Consider associated risks with each execution. Consider Mitigation strategies for these risks.
5-    Execute the options one by one on a small scale in a controlled environment based on risk mitigation strategies.
6-    Prepare the observation register and list down the lessons learnt.
7-    Review the observations with managers, senior management, SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) and stake holders.
8-    Implement the change on large scale and set new standard.
9-    Celebrate and reward.
10-  Go back to Step one for Continuous/Continual Improvement

Some recommended articles:


About Author: Junaid Tahir is a passionate blogger. He writes articles on Leadership, Stress Management and Life Enhancement subjects at his personal blog