How to succeed at anything!‏

It doesn’t matter whether you are trying to succeed at work, in your relationship or with your wealth the principles are the same. Accredited nutritionist and exercise physiologist Caitlin Reid provides you with the top six tips that will help you succeed no matter what.

1. Know what you want

You must have the desire to succeed. This means you need to know what you want in life and be able to identify the actions that you need to take to achieve your goals. Goals provide a guide to your destination in life and without them, others determine where you’ll end up.

2. Never give up

Persistence is the number one thing for being successful. It’s easy for people to become disheartened when they are criticised or encounter a hurdle while trying to achieve their goals, but to be a true success you must persist through the criticism, rejection, pressure and failure. A fighting spirit will make you succeed.

3. Believe in yourself

To be successful you need to have a positive outlook and believe that you can achieve your goals. When you feel good about yourself, you react more confidently to life’s challenges. If you believe in yourself and push yourself through shyness and self-doubt you will succeed more far than you will fail. Believe and you will achieve.

4. Never stop learning

Successful people never stop learning. They learn from their mistakes, new experiences and other people. Learning at every opportunity increases your knowledge in old and new areas and keeps you ahead in your field. Read books, acquire new skills and seek additional training and it will definitely set you apart from the rest.

5. Do what you love

To do something well you must at least like it, but it helps to love it. Being passionate about the things you spend your time on is energising and motivates you to succeed. Do what you love, and success will come.

6. Avoid conditional happiness

Too many of us believe that if some problem resolved itself we would finally be happy. But striving for happiness without sitting back and finding happiness at this particular point in your life is no way to live. Successful people avoid delayed gratification and don’t sit around waiting for problems to resolve. Successful people find happiness at every instance, rather than just when they think things are going right for them.

 

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Management lesions from freedom struggle

We recently celebrated Indian Independence Day on 15 August. I cherish the freedom and celebrate Indias growth towards global recognition. Going back in history, Indian freedom struggle lasted nearly a century. The last 25 years of the struggle was lead by Mahatma Gandhi on the concept of non-violence. India is one of the unique countries which gained freedom without much bloodshed. I think there are lot of management lessons which corporate world is implementing presently which were prevalent in the freedom struggle.

In this post I am exploring Mahatma Gandhis leadership and management style, and linking it to the current management practices.

1. Walk the talk

Mahatma Gandhi preached the concept of simple living and high thinking, although he came from an affluent Indian family. He came up with various austere living standards and requested his followers to adopt them. His kept his life open to public scrutiny. People may debate regarding his personal choices but no one would raise questions on his ethics and integrity. Irrespective of the difficulty involved, he always was able to take the high moral ground and never compromised on his personal values. In the present corporate world we respect the leaders who are able to walk the talk, demonstrate ethical and principled behavior and lead by example.

2. Think out of the box

The strategy and tactics adopted during the Indian independence struggle were unlike any other country’s revolution. Some of the concepts were:

  Non-violence  – A war fought on the basis of principles without any bloodshed.

 Civil disobedience– Court arrest if the British officials are threatening imprisonment for demanding your rights.

 Non-cooperation– The message given was maintain your jobs with the British Empire, however do not support it regarding its practices against Indian people. Managements today are advocating out of the box thinking and competing strategically. The organization which implements a unique strategy generally wins the market.

3. Brand building

Mahatma Gandhi’s personal brand has lasted 60 years after his death without any investment. He created a brand of a simple moral man living life on the principle of Ahimsa (non-violence). His home spun cotton clothes, wooden shaft, leather slippers, vegetarian meals and home at the ashram all embodied his personal brand. His character and communication depicted his core values to the masses. We must acknowledge that fact that very few leaders in history have as strong a brand image as Gandhi. The corporate world is spending huge sums on advertising to build the corporate brand. We hear Tom Peters and other management gurus talking about building the “Brand You”.

4. Competitors size doesnt matter

The Indian freedom struggle gained ground by the idea of a few committed individuals who wished to bring about a change. They envisaged taking on the might of British Empire who had the resources, funds, weapons and management capability. The Indian leadership team acknowledged the strengths of the British Empire and devised a strategy which minimized those strengths. They built a strategy on the following:

Non-violence which required no weapons;

Asked masses to contribute for the independence and live frugally, hence survived on minimal resources;

Developed local leadership across all regions under Congress banner. Using a similar strategy Barrack Obama won the American president elections when he had no funds and support. Also, one notices small IT companies (e.g. hotmail) which developed into big names just by pioneering a unique product and leveraging the market properly.

5. Build dream teams

Indian Congress Party besides Gandhi had a number of other accomplished leaders. Namely, C. Rajagopalachari, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, Subhash Chandra Bose and others. These leaders all had different personalities and ideologies, however worked for a common cause. Gandhi and Nehru complimented each other tremendously and mostly operated as two in a box. Senior leaders acted as mentors for the younger generation. The party had leaders at grass root level, and people were encouraged to develop leadership traits. Business world is focusing on building dream teams with leadership at all levels. The Human resource Departments are focused on concepts of two in a box, alternate leaders, chief mentors and succession planning.

6. Engage and empower people

Mahatma Gandhi in his speech on the eve of Dandi March said -Wherever there are local leaders, their orders should be obeyed by the people. Where there are no leaders and only a handful of men have faith in the programme, they may do what they can, if they have enough self-confidence. He encouraged common man to show leadership and commitment under the overall umbrella of Congress. He united the people by specifying the mission, vision and code of conduct of Congress. The masses were committed to the cause and in all his symbolic protests he involved people participation. The corporate world’s biggest challenge is of disengaged employees due to actual or perceived lack of empowerment. It is becoming apparent that success or failure of the organization is increasingly dependent on a healthy organization culture which encourages employee participation.

7. Accept and encourage diversity

The British are generally blamed for implementing divide and rule policy in India. On the contrary, India already was already divided into various regions, religions and castes before the British rule. Mahatma Gandhi in his struggle for independence attempted to unify the country. He encouraged the princely states to join hands, brought Hindus and Muslims on the same platform and removed caste barriers for joining the freedom moment. He supported gender equality and encouraged women to actively participate in the movement. His wife, Kasturba Gandhi played a pivotal role in getting women’s participation. With less than 10% women in senior management positions in the corporate world, the mantra today is to bring more women on board. With globalization the concept of accepting and encouraging diversity has taken hold.

8. Dont make it personal

In the Quit India speech in 1942, Mahatma Gandhi stated- Then, there is the question of your attitude towards the British. I have noticed that there is hatred towards the British among the people. The people say they are disgusted with their behavior. The people make no distinction between British imperialism and the British people. Deal with the issue and not the person; this is the corporate mandate today. Mahatma Gandhi pioneered this thought process. In all his communication and dealings he stood up against British Imperialism. He however, had friendly relationships with Britishers and never made a personal attack in his speeches. On the other hand, he continuously advocated decent and humane behavior even towards ones enemy. His thought process was- address the issue at hand and keep a positive attitude towards a person from the competing camp. In nut shell, there is a lot to learn from the Indian freedom struggle for the corporate world. It had unique dimensions which are gaining hold now as corporate best practices. History is the best teacher, if we are willing to learn from other peoples successes and failures.