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Begin Your Leadership Journey


It's quite some time I have been pondering on what exactly is the meaning of True Leadership; How to define it and how to achieve it? In my curiosity to understand this concept in detail, I subscribed to several professional groups on LinkedIn / Facebook and read so many books and articles at different forums. As a result I have learnt that Leadership is to possess some unique and exclusive qualities in your character plus the consistent demonstration of such traits.

In this Leadership assessment guide I have tried to compile such qualities along with their basic elaboration so as to give you the bird eye view of each trait. The intention is to ease out the process of self-audit and eventually improve and/or acquire the skills which you do not have or which you lack in.


Leadership Trait
Elaboration
Aggression
Aggression is to set the attitude to achieve the target as soon as it is brought into your notice or assigned to you. You must be consistently aggressive in doing that. This means to fuel the teams to produce extremely swift results. This means to set tough goals (BHAGs), stress on their importance and insist your teams in endeavoring to achieve them.
Adaptive
You must adapt yourself according to the situation by analyzing it fairly & Logically. Though you need to be tough when it comes to achieving goals, though flexible enough to tweak the strategies according to the market demands, circumstances, budget constraints etc.
Analytical
You must consider positive, negative, emotional, financial, social, private and empathical angles while making decisions. Analyzing a situation also means to break big project into small tasks. Use the tools such as WBS, Fishbone, SWAT, Cause-Effect diagram and Excel Pivots for empowering your analytical skills.
Brave
You should be brave enough to face the circumstances once you have made a decision based on logic and fair assessments of the situation. Brave enough to protect the mistakes of your team members; brave enough to avoid emotional break-down to avoid any further damage to yourself, the team members and the project.
Creative
You must think out of box. New ideas of making things happen more swiftly will give you the edge on your competitors. Innovation is the key to success now a days. Considering millions of businesses already established and successful, you must have a unique product or service which makes you stand tall in the market
Consistency
Unpredictable and unstable people don't fit in the class of true Leaders. You must be consistent in your habits and actions. Frequent Mood Swings are an indicative of your unstable personality which cuts your marks in your Leadership exams.
 Commitment
Once you decide something,  you have to make sure you complete it by all positive and logical and fair means. Committed people makes thing happen. A weak approach to any project means you are already half lost.
Competence
I am competent enough understand the role of each of my subordinates. Its your ability to complete the job with a set of behaviors which are positive, fair, logical and efficient.  Keep learning new things, keep observing other people, keep evaluating the market to become more and more competent.
Communication
Nearly all skills are closely linked with your communication skills. You can only make a convincing impact if you are a great communicator.  No matter how genius you are, you will only be successful if you communicate in effective way. Learn the art by watching relevant videos, reading forums and improving your vocabulary. Consider Barlos Model of Effective Communication
Deep Thinker
Deep thinking means considering the back-ground, stake holders impact, facts and figures and market study. Deep thinking will improve your analytical skills too.  Consider using Mind Mapping tools to enhance this ability
Emotionally Intelligenct
Winning people is highly important because they are your real wealth. Right skills without mental happiness of your team members will not generate fruitful results because of low efficiency although high availability of staff. You need to consistently judge the emotions of team mates to create an environment which promotes friendliness and high ethics and eventually ensures high potency success.
Focus
Focus means looking in the 'eyes of the target'. Running continuously in a direction without knowing the actual target will take you nowhere.
Honest
Shortcuts are short term gain but seriously long term pain. An honest approach will enhance your chances for long term success. If you are honest, I don't have to remember what you have said. Because you are transparent in what you say and what you speak.
Initiative
Taking initiatives indicate your confident personality. Being confident is the major trait of your leadership character. If you are a deep thinker and and innovator, you tend to take initiatives with more confidence and trust in your abilities.
Knowledge
Knowledge gives wisdom, improves the thoughts process, enhances your horizon and gives you vision. I must learn the knowledge about different aspects of my work to make better decisions. I must learn something on daily basis
Listening
If you are not a good listener, you are on the risk of losing great advices from your well wishers. Empathic listening is the key to understand someone's perspective. Develop this habit.
Organization
Being organized avoids any mishaps, speed breakers. I must be organized from personal level to office level to company level.
Proactiveness
Proactiveness gives you the luxury to plan things ahead of time. You must keep your eyes, ears and brain open so that you sense things well in advance in order to make appropriate decisions so as to avoid eleventh hour emergencies.
Passion
Passion is your deep desire to get something. Are you passionate about success? Do you strive for making things happen? Does your brain thinks about your target all the times?
Positive attitude
Thinking positive keeps you away from politics, helps you stay focused, avoids negativity hence encourages you to work on things which matter the most.
Problem Solving
Problem solving requires deep analytical skills. You must consider the associated stats of given situation, back ground, economical and humanity factors and WBS techniques to break down big problems into small problems and then address one by one.
Risk Taking
Successful leaders are risk takers. When I doubt, you can take next small step to determine if you are wrong or right. You can always undo if wrong else move ahead with your next task towards your destination.
Patience
While you are aggressive in nature being a great leader, you must have the patience to absorb, judge and fix any situation.  Being an explosive personality sometimes result in irreparable losses.
Responsibility
Responsibility means to understand your role and take it seriously. Your carefree attitude will generate a ripple effect of carelessness in your organization which will cause deficiency in the work and failure of the projects
Rewarding
Rewarding my team mates is like fueling them to go extra mile. I must have a fair approach to reward those who put their efforts in my cause.Employees are like batteries; Learn the techniques to charge and recharge them for maximum efficiency and throughput
Self Disciplined
Others will follow your legacy if you are self disciplined. Being organized and punctual are great traits of a true leader.
Teachibility
The quality of a good leader is to produce more leaders instead of more followers. This can be done with consistent teachability and spreading wisdom around yourself. You must be a knowledgeable person to develop this trait. For this you must learn a lot on daily basis. Dedicate some of your daily time to learn something.
Trust Worthy
Being trust worthy helps wining people. Winning people is more important than winning targets because people will ensure success in your next tournamnets not only the current one. Trust is developed by consistent honest, friendly, encouraging behaviors demonstration.
Team Player
At the end of the day, its not your success its 'ours' success. You have to make sure that each employee contribute to the cuase. You must have the ability to perform as a team member however when required, you should be able to work alone and still demonstrate excellence.
Unbiased
Judgment should be fair and not biased. Fair Judgment requires honest approach along with analytical skills covering all aspects of the situation. A lot of feedback, stats and background is required to be considered while making conclusions about projects or people.
Visionary
If you are a fast running horse, you must ensure that you are heading in the right direction since several other horses are following you. Your success is their success and your failure is theirs. Being visionary also means that you can see and sense the future and strategize things to gain maximum benefits and reduce the tragedies to the minimum.

While I have made this guide, I truly understand that leadership is a huge sea full of knowledge, wisdom and experience; I being a young professional of 34 years of age cannot cover all aspects of leadership in true sense. Being a novice I have tried to make the foundation for learning the wisdom of leadership and improve the associated paradigms to become a great leader. I would highly appreciate your kind feedback on this guide so that I can improve myself and eventually the rest of the readers of my blog.

If you would like to receive the Microsoft Excel version of this guide which gives you the opportunity to evaluate yourself against all these traits and finally calculate the percentage of your Leadership index then drop me an email at mjunaidtahir – at – gmail – dot – com


Junaid Tahir, a telecom engineer and a blogger, writes articles on wisdom, happiness and stress management. His personal blog can be read at Here


Your Conscience - Your Great Companion


By Junaid Tahir:


Nature has awarded us with such a great tool called conscience. 
It generates positive and negative signals for the actions you perform. 

When you buy food for the hungry with sincerity,
when you give some money to an orphan with love,
when you pay the education fee for a poor student, 
when you give some money to a free services hospital,
your conscience sends you a thank you signal and you feel good about yourself which gives birth to your 'inner' satisfaction.

It is said that you don't really achieve deep happiness by spending on yourself; you get it when you spend on others !!! And even you achieve greater degree of contentment when you spare your time from your busy life, visit any orphans or widows place, hospitals and other deserving people of society and then spend your money on them.


From religious perspective, I believe that almost all of the religions have defined the principle of spending on humanity in order to get tranquillity, serenity and prosperity. However, we the unfortunate people, the materialistic minds, keep calculating our money and assets several times a day which increases our greed level and eventually deprives us from peace of mind. It won't be wrong if I say that our extreme love for money and being materialistic is the real killer of our happiness.
To cope up with this, the wise people highly recommended to allocate a little portion (5% of your earnings) for the genuine causes. 

While the conscience claps for our good acts, it must generate red signals for our bad acts too. And if that is not happening then something is seriously wrong in our roots of faith. Considering the fact that a clean and active conscience is the best pillow, we must empower it by more positive acts as well as with daily self audits when our head is on the pillow at the end of each day.

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Shielding Yourself From Negativity

By Junaid Tahir


Shielding yourself from negativity will help you in many ways such as strengthening your thought processfor better personality development, focusing on solutions instead of problems and attaining peace of mind in nearly all kind of tough circumstances.
The intention of staying away from negativity is not to ignore the tough realities, rather to change your focus on things which matter most so as to change these tough circumstances. For example, keep worrying about joblessness will not bring you a new job. Instead, Focusing on applying for jobs, developing interviewing skills, reading personality development articles, refreshing your knowledge will definitely improve your probability of getting new job.

Focus is very important tool to shield yourself from negativity. Remember the fact that what you focus on, increases. Which means if you focus on negative things, you will end up having negative personality. On the contrary, if you focus on finding solutions to the problems, you will be successful; sooner or later. Your focus decides the direction of your thoughts; your thoughts give birth to actions. These consistent actions become your habits and eventually make your overall personality.

You will focus on positive things only if you have a germs-free mind; the mind free from pessimism and free from negativity. So how to achieve this state of mind? Below are some tips:

1-     On your smart phones, download wisdom quotes and other personality enhancement applications from relevant app libraries / stores and read them often. Keep trying new applications every week.
2-    'Like' Facebook pages such as Positively Positive, Wisdom quotes, Positive thoughts etc to start receiving daily dose of wisdom.
3-    Stay away from negative souls. They are consistently polluting your brain. Check if you are surrounded by such people who criticize things all the times. If yes, change your company. 
4-    If you notice that a discussion is going negative more and more, try changing the topic towards something exciting, healthy and fruitful. 
5-    If your family members are negative and you do not have a choice to leave them, then you must program yourself to deal with such consistent negative situation. For example, upon a disheartening comment from your brother  you can say "OK brother, you have a great point" Say it then laugh inside your heart and shun the comment immediately. This skill requires some practice but once properly implemented, will generate a powerful impact on your personality.  
6-    Keep telling yourself that you can make things happen. Believe in yourself and you will see that your subconscious mind will find out a way to make things happen actually. 

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7 Tips to Attain Peace of Mind




By Junaid Tahir: 
When you were child you had a pure mind; the mind which was free from worries and anxieties. As the time passed, you were influenced by several social, personal, familial and official crises such as financial complications, broken relationship, lack of trust, joblessness, failure in business, loss of respect and so on. When the mind is stressful, the associated germs of negativity, jealousy and pessimism add fuel to fire and hence your pure mind becomes impure. These impurities if taken out can bring back the mental purity hence real spirit of joy of childhood can be attained up to an adequate level.  Off course you cannot fix all of your problem at once but you can train your mind to develop the skills which can help either bypass or overcome the depressed  and tragic situations so as to give you a big time relaxation while you focus on the solution to your problems. Below are some techniques which can be used to combat the peace stealing triggers:
  1. Mind your own business. Yes, please mind your own business. When you start being concerned about things which are not related to you, you lose your grip on your thought process which often results in negativity disturbing the mental peace. Basically, your mind starts wandering here and there. As you know that a non-focused mind is evil's workshop hence the germs of negativity and jealousy gain more strength. So next time an unnecessary thought comes to your mind, think whether this is really something you should be worrying for? If not, shun it right away and focus on something positive, practical and fruitful.  Article by Junaid.Tahir
  2. Surround yourself in positive people. Ignore negative comments and stay away from negative souls. When someone is negative, he spreads negativity and you get affected. Permanently staying with such people will have long term impact on your character so think about your company.
  3. Don't think about others too much. Remember the great quote: small minds discuss people; Average minds discuss events; Higher minds discuss ideas and Great minds act in silence. Don't allow your brain to compare yourself to others as this is an insult to yourself. Don't be Jealous; it's a heart killing disease, get rid of it as soon as possible. When you are jealous you focus on finding faultsin others even if they don't have. This poisons your soul and steals the mental peace.  Article by Junaid.Tahir
  4. You can't keep everyone happy. Don't be over sensitive. Be natural and genuine in what you do. Be positive, constructive and ethical in your deeds and then don't really care too much about others. Be aware, don't apply this formula to too closed relations. Develop trust to establish powerful relationships.
  5. Control your mood swings as it is an indication of unstable personality. Do it by not being over sensitive to others. Stop being reactive and implosive. Stay calm.
  6. Ignore your thoughts about being unlucky. Bad luck happens to everyone. It's not your fault at all. Time whether good or bad, passes quickly. Develop the power of not looking back into your past. Believe in the power of Now.  Believe in your skills. Work hard and have faith in God; you will get what you have been entitled for. Be patient and see what God has planned for you. Patience and consistency in your deeds is the key to success.
  7. Simplicity in your character and living style can overcome the stress and improve your happiness index. Don't be socially sensitive and start following every single trend your social circle is following.  
With these recommendations, I believe you can bring major changes in your life style hence attain back your mental peace. What are your recommendations in gaining mental peace?
Article written by Junaid Tahir



Junaid Tahir, a telecom engineer and a blogger, writes articles on wisdom, happiness and stress management at his personal blog. His personal Google Group can be joined here. He is reachable at mjunaidtahir@gmail.com for any kind of suggestions and comments.

Six Tips for Anger Management



Human psychology is based on logic, love, mental horizons and emotions. Since every soul is unique so there is a great possibility of conflicts in your day to day dealings. Sometimes these conflicts lead you to serious brawls which are sometimes unavoidable hence trigger your anger. How to manage your anger? Here are some suggestions:
1-    Remember the fact the words spoken once cannot be recalled. When in rage, the tongue works faster than mind so there is a chance that you will have to regret what you have spoken. Your reactive approach may harm other person even if you were right at first. You might be forgiven but they will not forget what you said in anger as it is human psychology to remember what was said during the hard talks. So speak carefully. Your tongue sometimes act as a sword which can break the heart. Keep in mind that broken hearts are hard to cure!
2-   Leave the place of brawl and go to a peaceful location. Then carefully audit yourself if there was a genuine reason for being angry? You might be wrong. In fact every can be wrong at any time. You are not an angel; you are human. Humans make mistake. These mistakes are valuable as long as you learn from them. So do the self-audit first and then judge others, you will easily conclude the root cause of the situation. Sometimes you need analytical skills to judge yourself.  
3-   Sometimes you are angry for a specific event happening or conversation and sometimes you are angry persistently because the same situation is happening repeatedly. This cyclic happening is dangerous as it is draining your brain continuously and adding negative impact on your psychology. Get to the root of this issue and try to fix. If it is related to breach of trust by someone, read my article on developing trust here  and strive for the empowerment of your relations. 
4-   Avoid being Explosive to the situations. You might jeopardize the situation and your relationships. Repeated acts of reactions will impact your overall personality and eventually your character.  Article written by Junaid Tahir.
5-   Your frequent Mood swings indicate that you are an unpredictable personality. If you are a moody person and want to overcome this issue, please read my article here 
6-   Develop the habit of 'letting things go'. Ignoring unnecessary comments and negative criticism from others gives your brain a great independence to focus on things which are more important.


Finally, I would advice that patience is the real key. Patience with family is love, patience with situations is success,  patience with others is respect and patience with God is Faith.

How do you manage your anger?

How to Reduce Business Costs

By Junaid Tahir:

Business costs are sub-classified into two categories; Fixed Costs and Variable Costs.
Fixed costs are defined as the expenses which do not change as a function of business such as salaries of employees, rents of the office, facilities and equipment costs. However, please don't get confused that Fixed Costs cannot be changed. Indeed they can be changed but their prime definition remains the same that these costs are stable for longer duration of time and do not usually get impacted due to on-going business volume. On the contrary, the Variable Costs are the ones which keep changing due to multiple factors.
Below is the list of several domains and recommendations (minor tweak for SMEs and major ones for large scale companies) in the form of questions in order to give you a personalized experience and to invoke the thought process for the business cost reduction:

1-  Marketing, Advertising and Business Development:
i-             How much budget was utilized for marketing  in last 6 months? How much the marketing has been effective? Is there any need to re-evaluate the marketing strategy?
ii-            How much investment is done on customer's entertainment?
iii-          Do you do a monthly expense analysis audit? Do you know specific techniques to optimize your marketing budget such as AdSense, affiliate marketing etc?
iv-           Do you consider B2B marketing, email marketing, banner advertisement, pay per click, video marketing or SEO optimization?  

2-  Leasing and Rental Management:
i-             Does the company's office and warehouse at different locations? Why not having both at same location to reduce renting and transportation costs?
ii-            Any recent audit done to determine if the current rented space for office or warehouse is worth its expenses? Is the size and cost in sync with the requirements of business? Can this be moved to a less costly area?
iii-          Is there any tools, machinery or other resources which can be leased to earn some extra cash? Any marketing plans to do this?

3-  Staff Management and Optimization
i-             Are there any underutilized employees? Can some extra tasks given to these employees to make them more productive or 'earning' resources?
ii-            Can some of the permanent staff be converted to contract based? This will save extra benefit and reduce your long term liabilities.
iii-          Can some of the tasks/ resources be outsourced? (HR services, Visa, documentation, maintenance etc.)
iv-           Did any re-evaluation of resource responsibilities happened in last one years? Are there any employees with duplicate roles?
v-            Company sponsored mobile phone packages are fairly used? The packages are carefully selected based on the role of each employee? Any audit happened for the utilization of mobile and other resources given to employees?
vi-           Are the employees trained enough to perform their duties so that they make less errors and mistakes?
vii-         Right policies are in place so as to reduce the reworks? What is the accountability mechanism?
viii-        Mature and error free databases are in place for efficient and accurate reports generation and to avoid errors in data entry?
ix-          Is there any scheme available through which employees are given suggestions for the improvement of organizations and get rewarded if their suggestions are implemented?
x-           Any specialised use of tracking employee online activities such as Manic Time?
xi-          Employee lay off should be last thing to do as it impacts your organization in many ways such as loss of sincerity, productivity and efficiency of the rest of the employees.



4-  Vehicle Utilization and Fuel Management:
i)             How vehicles are utilized in a day to day work? How much company is flexible for the utilization for personal use?
ii)            How vehicles are maintained?  Is this task given to any agency to avoid corruption and in order to enjoy free benefits  such as car replacements ,free wash, oil, and tuning services?
iii)          How vehicles are tracked for the daily utilization (how many kilo meters travelled, how could multiple visits or same kind of visits be reduced?
iv)           Pick and drop of employee is happening on bulk basis or at individual level?
v)            Restriction of some of the travel (local and abroad) possible?

5-  Energy Conservation
i)             Motion detection Sensors installed for turning lights off during off hours?
ii)            Sleep mode enabled on laptop computers?
iii)          Older bulbs/fans/computers are still being utilized which are poor when it comes to energy efficient devices selection?

6-  Hard Resources Utilization and Audit
i-             How many printers & Scanners are in place? Can we reduce some of them?
ii-            How many pages are printed per day? Any mechanism to control it?
iii-          Is there any over utilization of pantry products? Employees are encouraged to use non-recyclable things?
iv-           Which of the policies and processes can be converted to paperless by avoiding photocopying/ printing/ reproducing ? Can you run a paperless company altogether?
v-            Is there any strong mechanism of inventory management? Any products lost because of poor control on hardware resources ?

With these recommendations, I believe any company can optimize their business costs consequently improve their profit margins.
How to you optimize the costs in your organization?

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