11 proven ways to gain unstoppable confidence‏

#1 – KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Those who know are ultimately much more confident in any arena than those shrouded in ignorance. Use your spare time to read up on the things that interest you, on the things that you are curious about, and build up a solid base of knowledge and critical thinking. The more you know, the more sure of yourself you will be in any situation.

#2 – EXPERIENCE
Uncertainty is the biggest drain on your self-confidence. Succumbing to doubt ensures you will never believe in yourself. The more often you do something, the more certain you become. With certainty comes confidence.

#3 – CARE-FREE ATTITUDE
Try to walk through your day with as easy and care-free of an attitude as you can muster, because someone who is it ease with him or herself is someone who is confident. Build unstoppable confidence by not getting hung up on the petty issues and minor irritations that help wear you down.

#4 – HONEST SELF-ASSESSMENT
Take stock of yourself. Brainstorm for a bit and compose a list of your good qualities and bad, the things you excel at and the things you need to improve upon, and once you have a clear picture of yourself much of the uncertainty that breeds doubt will wash away.

#5 – ANALYZE
Take the time to properly think through every problem, and the confidence in your skills will grow.

#6 – BE THOROUGH
Try to be as complete and thorough at every task you attempt. Completing tasks builds confidence in your ability to always see projects through to their proper conclusion.

#7 – IDENTIFY YOUR LIMITS, AND EXCEED THEM
Once you have assessed yourself, make a list of goals you wish to accomplish, and get to work. You now know your true limits, so the only thing left to do is push beyond them and set your sights on new frontiers.

#8 – BE OPEN TO HELPING OTHERS
Don’t close yourself off to friends, acquaintances and coworkers. The more you put yourself out there in business and social situations, the more quickly you will build confidence in your ability to navigate these sometimes tricky waters.

#9 – COMPOSE YOURSELF
Dress well, groom yourself, compose your identity as a person who is well put together, and you will feel confident when meeting new people and doing new things.

#10 – BE DECISIVE
While it is okay to take time to analyze and think situations through, the time comes when you must be decisive and act. Decisive people are confident; not confident people are decisive.

#11 BE COMPLETE
Know yourself fully, wash away your own doubts about yourself, your identity and your capabilities, and present every aspect of yourself in every situation and you will have no reason to doubt your confidence. Become your full, real self.

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20 Great Ways to Find More Free Time‏

Take a time out. Freeing up your time starts with taking a step back to take a good look at your life. You need to block off at least an hour. Several hours or half a day is better. A whole day would be awesome. A weekend would be even more ideal, though not necessary practical for many folks. With this block of time, take a look at your life with some perspective. Is it what youve always wanted? How would you get to where you ve always wanted to be? What do you enjoy doing, but dont have enough time to do? What things actually fill up your day? Are there things you could drop or minimize to make more time? We look at some of these things in the following items, but it starts with taking a time out to think and plan.

Find your essentials. What is it that you love to do? Make a short list of 4-5 things. These are the things you want to make room for.

Find your time-wasters. What do you spend a lot of your time on that isnt on your essential list? Take a close look at these things and really think about whether theyre necessary, or if there are ways to reduce, minimize or eliminate these things. Sometimes you do things because you assume theyre necessary, but if you give it some thought you can find ways to drop them from your life. Figure out what you do simply to waste time � maybe surfing certain sites, watching TV, talking a lot at the water cooler, etc. Youre going to want to minimize these time-wasters to make room for the more important stuff, the stuff that makes you happy and that you love to do.

Schedule the time. As you sit down and think about your life and what you want to do, versus what you actually do, you will be looking at ways to free up time. Its crucial that you take a blank weekly schedule (you can just write it out on a piece of paper, or use your calendar) and assign blocks for the things you love � the stuff on your essentials list. If you want to exercise, for example, when will you do it? Put the blocks of time on your schedule, and make these blocks the most important appointments of your week. Schedule the rest of your life around these blocks.

Consolidate. There are many things you do, scattered throughout your day or your week, that you might be able to consolidate in order to save time. A good example is errands � instead of running one or two a day, do them all in one day to save time and gas. Another example is email, or any kind of communication � batch process your email instead of checking and reading and responding throughout the day. Same thing with meetings, paperwork, anything that you do regularly.

Cut out meetings. This isnt possible for everyone, but in my experience meetings take up a lot of time to get across a little information, or to make easy decisions that could be made via email or phone. As much as you can, minimize the number of meetings you hold and attend. In some cases this might mean talking to your boss and telling her that you have other priorities, and asking to be excused. In other cases this might mean asking the people holding the meeting if you can get the info in other ways. If so, youve saved yourself an hour or so per meeting (sometimes more).

De clutter your schedule. If you have a heavily packed schedule, full of meetings and errands and tasks and projects and appointments, youre going to want to weed it out so that its not so jam-packed. Find the stuff thats not so essential and cancel them. Postpone other stuff. Leave big blank spaces in your schedule.

Re-think your routine. Often we get stuck in a routine thats anything but what we really want our days to be like. Is there a better way of doing things? Youre the creator of your life � make a new routine that’s more pleasant, more optimal, more filled with things you love.

Cut back on email. I mentioned email in an earlier point above, regarding consolidating, but its such a major part of most peoples lives that it deserves special attention. How often do you check email? How much time do you spend composing emails? If you spend a major part of your work day on email, as many people do (and as I once did), you can free up a lot of time by reducing the time you spend in email. Now, this wont work for everyone, but it can work for many people: choose 2-3 key times during the day to process your inbox to empty, and keep your responses to 5 sentences.

Learn to say no. If you say yes to every request, you will never have any free time. Get super protective about your time, and say no to everything but the essential requests. Keep your list to 3. When you make out your daily to-do list, just list the three Most Important Tasks you want to accomplish today. Dont make a laundry list of tasks, or you fill up all your free time. By keeping your task list small, but populated only by important tasks, you ensure that you are getting the important stuff done but not overloading yourself.

Do your Biggest Rock first. Of the three Most Important Tasks you choose for the day, pick the biggest one, or the one youre dreading most, and do that first. Otherwise you put that off as much as possible and fill your day with less important things. Dont allow yourself to check email until that Big Rock is taken care of. It starts your day with a sense of major accomplishment, and leaves you with a lot of free time the rest of the day, because the most important thing is already done.

Delegate. If you have subordinates or co workers who can do a task or project, try to delegate it. Dont feel like you need to do everything yourself. If necessary, spend a little time training the person to whom youre delegating the task, but that little time spent training will pay off in a lot of time saved later. Delegating allows you to focus on the core tasks and projects you should be focusing on.

Cut out distractions. What is there around your workspace that distracts you from the task at hand? Sometimes its visual clutter, or papers lying around that call for your attention and action, or email or IM notifiers on your computer that pop up at the wrong time, or the phone, or co workers. See if you can eliminate as many of these as possible � the more you can focus, the more effective you be and the less time you waste. That equals time saved for the good stuff.

Disconnect. The biggest of distractions, for most people, is the Internet. My most productive times are when Im disconnected from the grid. Now, Im not saying you need to be disconnected all the time, but if you really want to be able to effectively complete tasks, disconnect your Internet so you can really focus. Set certain times of the day for connectivity, and only connect during those periods.

Outsource. If you cant delegate, see if you can outsource. With the Internet, we can connect with people from all over the world. Ive outsourced many things, from small tasks to checking email to legal work to design and editing work and more. That allows me to focus on the things Im best at, the things I love doing, and saves me a lot of time.

Make use of your mornings. I find that mornings are the absolute best times to schedule the things I really want to do. I run, read and write in the mornings � three of the four things on my Essentials List (spending time with family is the other thing on the list). Mornings are great because your day hasnt been filled with a bunch of unscheduled, demanding, last-minute tasks that will push back those Essentials. For example, if you schedule something for late afternoon, by the time late afternoon rolls around, you might have a dozen other things newly added to your to-do list, and you put off that late-afternoon Essential. Instead, schedule it for the morning, and itl rarely (if ever) get pushed back.

The Golden Right-after-work Time. Other than mornings, I find the time just after work to be an incredible time for doing Essential things. Exercise, for example, is great in the 5-oclock hour, as is spending time with family, or doing anything else relaxing.

Your evenings. The time before you go to bed is also golden, as it exists every single day, and its usually completely yours to schedule. What do you want to do with this time? Read? Spend time with your kids? Work on a hobby youre passionate about? Take advantage of this time.

Lunch breaks. If the three golden times mentioned above dont work for you, lunch breaks are another good opportunity to schedule things. Some people like to exercise, or to take quiet times, during their lunch breaks. Others use this time to work on an important personal goal or project.

Issue of Demand Drafts for Rs. 20,000/- and above

 

DBOD.BP.BC. No. 49/21.01.001/2011-12

As banks are aware, instruments with account payee crossing are required to be credited to the payee’s account and not paid in cash over the counter. However, some unscrupulous elements use demand drafts without any crossing for transfer of money as an alternative to settlement through cash.

 

2. In order to address the regulatory concerns that have arisen in this context, banks are advised to ensure that demand drafts of Rs. 20,000/- and above are issued invariably with account payee crossing.


Collection of account payee cheque – Prohibition on crediting proceeds to third party account

 

Ref: DBOD.BP.BC No. 56 / 21.01.001/ 2005-06

Collection of Account Payee Cheques –Prohibition on Crediting Proceeds to Third Party Account

 

Please refer to our circular DBOD.BP.BC.No.56/21.01.001/2005-06 dated January 23, 2006 in terms of which banks are prohibited from crediting ‘account payee’ cheques to the account of any person other than the payee named therein.

 

2. In view of concerns raised that these instructions are not being adhered to, we reiterate that banks shall strictly adhere to the instructions contained in our circular referred to above and not collect account payee cheques for any person other than the payee constituent.

 

3. With a view to mitigate the difficulties faced by the members of co-operative credit societies in collection of account payee cheques, relaxation was extended vide our circular DBOD.BP.BC.No. 47/21.01.001/2010-11 dated October 1, 2010. In terms of the said circular, banks may consider collecting account payee cheques drawn for an amount not exceeding Rs.50,000/- to the account of their customers who are co-operative credit societies, if the payees of such cheques are the constituents of such co-operative credit societies. The above relaxation will continue as hitherto, subject to the conditions outlined in the circular dated October 1, 2010 referred to above.

 

4. Banks may note that the above prohibition and relaxation shall also extend to drafts, pay orders and bankers’ cheques.


Cheques/Drafts/Pay Orders/Banker’s Cheques validity limited to 3 months

The Reserve Bank of India issued a notification on Friday saying that from April 1, 2012, banks, drafts, pay orders and bankers’ cheques will have to be presented within three months of the date of issue of these instruments.

The change has been prompted by instances of misuse of the payment instruments.

Banks have been instructed to print the change on the cheque leaves and drafts that will be issued from April 1, 2012

Ref: http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/NotificationUser.aspx?Id=6805&Mode=0

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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.

11 ways to be a happy employee

1. Plan your week on Sunday night
Look at your work calendar and plan your week on Sunday night or Monday morning. This would include important meetings, deliverables, a brief summary of things that are pending from last week and any tasks to be achieved during the week. Though this might look like a time management tip, at the end of the week, on Friday night when you re-visit what you have achieved over the last five days, the satisfaction is immense.

2. Undertake activities that you are passionate about even though it might not be in your job profile
Start an initiative that you would love to do irrespective of whether it is required for you to do or not.

Send a daily newsletter to your team on the topics that most of them will be interested.
Do a presentation on the topic that you are passionate about.
Organise a small sports event for your team.
Call everyone in your team for a team coffee, breakfast or lunch break
Appreciate colleagues in your team or in a cross-functional team who did a great job
Write a poem on your team’s achievements
Arrange a potluck lunch

3. Do not indulge in the blame game
If something goes wrong do not blame others blindly. If you commit a mistake, do not hesitate to accept it. As Gauthama Buddha said, there are three things we can’t hide for long: the sun, earth and the truth. Accepting your mistake gracefully will only make you look like a true professional and also give you the satisfaction of not cheating.

4. Communicate more often in person
Utilise all the opportunities where you can speak to an individual in person rather than e-mail or phone. But be aware of the other person’s time and availability. Listening to a positive answer from a person will give you more happiness than if it is done over the phone or via e-mail.

5. Know what is happening at your workplace
Will this make a person happy? Truly, yes! Imagine a cricket team that doesn’t know how many runs to score to win a match? More than losing the game, the player will never be interested or motivated to play well.

Attend all meetings that are addressed by the CEO to your immediate manager to know what is going to happen around you. It could be the company’s growth plan or your department’s next big project. Jack Welch mentions in his book Winning “every employee, not just the senior people, should know how a company is doing.”

You will also get an extra edge if you are in a position to answer queries raised by your peers or juniors. This is not just for the good reasons, but bad reasons as well. You do not want to be the last employee to know if your company is laying off employees (in the worst case, if you are the one who is on that list).

6. Participate in organisation-level activities
This could be as simple as spending one weekend for a corporate social responsibility activity or attending a recruitment drive to help your HR team or arranging a technical/sports event at the organisational level. Most of these events will be successful as people do come on their own to contribute.

7. Have a hobby that keeps you busy and happy
Many people say their hobby is watching TV or listening to music or reading the newspaper. These aren’t hobbies, they are just ways of passing the time. Some hobbies are evergreen and will keep you evergreen as well: dancing, painting, writing short stories, poems, blogs and sharing your experiences.

8. Take up a sport
While choosing a sport make sure that there is physical activity. There is the danger of becoming addicted to sports where there is less physical activity (like computer games, chess, cards etc). Physical activity keeps a person healthy and happy. If you pick up one sport well, you can represent your organisation in corporate sports event too.

9. Keep yourself away from office politics
Politics, as a practice, whatever its profession, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds. — Henry Brooks Adams

Politics is everywhere and the office is no exception. Playing politics might be beneficial but only for the short term. So the best thing to do is play fair.

10. Wish and smile
More often than not, there are fair chances that the other person will smile back. This could be your security guard at the gate, your receptionist, your office boy, your CEO or your manager — never forget to wish them and smile.

11. Volunteer for some activity

“The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.” � Albert Einstein

Do at least one activity without expecting anything in return. There is no set frequency for this. This could be once in a day or once in a week or thrice in a week. It could be as simple as making tea at the office for your colleague, helping a colleague who is working in another department by using your skills, dropping your colleague at his door step in your car, going to your manager or colleague to ask if there is any help you can extend, contributing to technical or knowledge management communities in your organisation etc.