Which muscles are getting exercised?

Creativity gets better when creative muscles are getting exercised.

Writing gets better when writing muscles are getting exercised.

Presentation gets better when presentation muscles are getting exercised.

Painting gets better when painting muscles are getting exercised.

Dribbling gets better when dribbling muscles are getting exercised.

You get the idea!

 

Excellent Work Quality

For our work quality to be excellent, we have to focus on more than the work itself.

To get the most out of your focused time at work or craft, we need to get plentiful rest, energy, and “intentional” time away from work. If you feel the most productive in the mornings, you should do your important and high priority work in the morning times. You can take care of the not as important or other priority tasks in the second half of the day. Likewise, if you feel the most productive in the evenings, you should do the important and high priority work in the evening times and do the not as important or other priority tasks in the first half of the day. You organize your day based on how you work best!

In addition, finding and doing recreational activities beyond our work enables us to be more energized and creative when we get back to the work again. Great creative ideas can sometimes come when you’re moved away from work or not thinking about work all the time. Natural sunlight, walks, music, arts, healthy food, meaningful relationships, and many more contribute to producing excellent work quality.

How do you bring about the best version of yourself everyday?

Required course for high schools and colleges

An important course that’s urgently required and needed in high schools and colleges is Lifelong Skills.

The Lifelong Skills course will cover why certain skills are important no matter what career a student chooses to pursue after their academic years, how to build productive habits for personal and professional growth, and why no matter what educational degree someone holds, gaining skills will be a lifelong journey. Skills will take students and professionals further in their career than talent alone!

Certain skills are valuable lifelong skills: communication, listening, writing, creative, team work, curiosity, authenticity, personal finance management, selling, teaching, coaching, learning, reading, adaptability to name some. If we become aware of these skills and sharpen them early in our professional journey, we will be better suited and authentically successful in the dynamic world that we live in. Technology will continue to become better, faster, cheaper and the more we hone our “human” skills, the better prepared we will be.

Besides the academic subjects we teach in high schools and colleges, it’s high time that we teach students Lifelong Skills and cover the basics to get them ready for the next chapter in their academic and professional careers.

Characteristics for Excellent Customer Success

No matter what industry, product/service your company sells, your company stage and more, there are certain characteristics that are foundational to providing excellent customer success.

Empathy.

Care.

Positive Attitude.

Proactive.

Creative.

Open minded.

Organized.

Team work.

Flexible.

What more would you like to add?

 

 

Work from home/office

Once upon a time on a weekday, people got up, got ready, and commuted to a physical work location.

That was the “normal” work routine in many places globally.

On Monday morning, individuals got ready, had breakfast at home/in their commute to work, worked for 8 hours, and then returned home. Same routine for 5 days a week. 2 day weekend and long weekends on certain holidays. Lots of time and money spent on commuting to and from work. How productive this “system/structure” has been is up for debate. Working from home was way less common than it is today.

These days, individuals get up, get ready, and work from their home work station all 5 days of the week or commute few times to their physical work location or still commute 5 days a week. A hybrid work model seems to be here to stay and both employees and employers benefit from this.

Are leaders born or made?

Leaders are made.

Leadership is a skill.

Individuals become better leaders by honing their leadership skills.

To hone leadership skills, take the lead wherever possible-community, company, family etc.

We all start from somewhere and become better with practice, smart work, learning, and reflecting.

Startup Founder Credit

Do startup founder(s) get more credit for the startup’s success or blame for its failure than other members of the startup (managers, technical leads etc)?

We know of founder(s) who started companies but what about the initial 5 to 50 employees who helped the startup grow.

What contributes to a startup’s success? Is it the founder(s)’ idea, their execution, their initial key hires, or just the timing of their idea(s)?

How much should we praise founder(s), recognize their successes and failures, and attribute to the startup’s growth?

Travel Tips from Road Trips

Road trips are fun and adventurous with a good group, couple or on our own.

If we’re driving to a destination, we can choose some places to stop along the way that interests us : local eats, city attractions, must-see locations/landmarks and other interest(s) we have.

A good mix of planned activities/stops along the way and unplanned stops to see if certain locations/ landmarks seem exciting can make the journey memorable.

Few good music playlists, podcasts, and audio books can make the travel fun and entertaining.

Packing healthy snacks and drinks provides needed fuel and energy to our body!

Useful college workshops

Workshops that could provide tremendous value to current college students especially after they graduate are:

Financial Management

Priority Management

Skills Development

Health and Fitness

Leadership

Networking

I Asked A Ton Of Questions.

One of my favorite parts from Kobe Bryant’s The Mamba Mentality How I Play book is the page with the heading I Asked A Ton Of Questions. In that page, Kobe shares:

I asked a ton of questions.

I was curious. I wanted to improve, learn, and fill my head with the history of the game. No matter who I was with—a coach, hall of famer, teammate—and no matter the situation—game, practice, vacation—I would fire away with question after question.

A lot of people appreciated my curiosity and passion. They appreciated that I wasn ’t just asking to ask, I was genuinely thirsty to hear their answers and glean new info. Some people, meanwhile, were less understanding and gracious. That was fine with me. My approach always was that I’d rather risk embarrassment now than be embarrassed later, when I’ve won zero titles.

Image by : Andrew D. Bernstein

Beauty of Simplicity

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. – Leonardo da Vinci

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. – Albert Einstein

Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The commonplace about Italian cooking is that it’s very simple; in practice, the simplicity needs to be learned, and the best way to learn it is to go to Italy and see it firsthand. – Bill Buford

To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is. – Bruce Lee

Productive from home

How will the current and future of work look like? Is the hybrid work model here to stay?

Mark Ma, an associate professor of business administration for Pitt Business, and Yuye Ding, a Ph.D. student in Katz Graduate School of Business, looked at Standard and Poor’s 500 firms — the largest companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges — that had implemented return to work mandates, forcing employees to be in the office five days a week.

The results from the research study showed that while many of the companies said they were bringing employees back to the office to improve the bottom line, there were no significant changes in financial performance or firm values after the mandates were implemented. However, there was a sharp decrease in employees’ job satisfaction.

To keep employees’ happy and still maintain strong financial performance, companies should be more flexible and allow employees to work from home depending on their work nature, product/service, customers, industry etc. If productivity, work quality, and financial performance are not being negatively impacted by employees working from home, companies should allow employees work from home flexibility and provide support to them.

Attracting top talent to your company

How about sharing your biggest and limitless vision for your idea/company with your team and prospective employees?

One of the single most important reasons for top talented individuals to join a startup, growing company or even a multinational is the vision of the company’s founders or the company’s management/leadership team.

People switch jobs and careers all the time. Besides financial compensation package, benefits, perks etc., the most talented individuals are also looking to work on the biggest challenges, make tangible impact, and leave their own mark along the way. Next time you want to attract the best talent from the job market, share your idea and vision with them. See how that turns out!

Leadership’s role in Culture

Culture has to be created.

Leaders are responsible for creating the company culture, growing it, and evolving it overtime.

Although each team member contributes to the company culture, a dedicated team is needed to focus on bringing people together through various initiatives and activities.

The leadership team has to also participate in company culture activities so the rest of the team knows that it’s important and active participation is encouraged.

Is the leadership team visible in the company activities that the team has put together? How engaged is your team in company initiatives and activities? Do the same team members show up for all the company activities?

Marketing or Product development – Which first?

Should you develop your product first or start marketing the idea first?

If the idea has some legs to become a business, building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first could help. Once you’ve build an MVP, you can test it out with potential customers. Collect feedback from early users of your product/service and continue developing it to create the best value to your product/service users. Marketing the product/service once you’ve built a user base would be prudent.

Product development and marketing will go hand in hand overtime. In the initial stages, product development should be prioritized over marketing. An excellent product/service will always be easier to market!

Running a Tech company

In running a tech company, a lot of times the challenge is the company part not the tech.

Tech problems might have easier solutions than people problems.

The tech stack should not be the only focus if you want to build a successfully growing company.

Take care of both the tech and people (more importantly) and you have a chance to make the impact you seek to make!

Coaching Teams for Global Customer Success

Multinational companies need to coach their team to handle clients based in different time zones, cultures, languages, and more. Easier said than done. Countless number of hours, sessions, content, and materials are shared internally to help the company’s team to properly and successfully interact with global clients.

A few tips on coaching teams for Customer Success with global clients (North America based):

1. Conduct sessions between team members based in Customer regions and other office locations. If your company’s customers are based in the US and you have a team based in Nepal, then have your Nepal team members interact as much as possible with their US counterparts. Similarly, if your company’s customers are based in Nepal and you have a team based in US, then have your US team members interact as much as possible with their Nepal counterparts. These sessions should focus on cultural greetings, acceptable language and behaviors, ways of doing business in each culture etc.

    2. Inter-office company visits. Organize company visits between your US team and Nepal team members. Nepal based team members will visit the US and learn about US culture and business and vice versa. These cross cultural experiences will add tremendous value to the respective team members and organizing knowledge sharing sessions post the team members’ visit can be fruitful and productive to the rest of the team.

    3. Look outside company’s network for cultural learnings. Besides facilitating ways to internally assist the team members based globally, do look outside your company to find creative ways to provide team members with wider cultural knowledge and experiences. If a team member’s friend or family member is visiting the US or Nepal for a short period or someone is moving to study or work in the US or Nepal, meet them and hear their experiences and share your experiences as well. You’ll get a broader perspective on the culture and it can enrich your cultural knowledge and cultural nuances.

    Everyone agrees with your idea(s)

    If a team lead/manager or someone in a position of “authority” shares an idea for a new tool/process/policy (or something) and everyone on the team agrees to it without any discussions, questions or feedback, does that mean that idea was flawless?

    If there were no discussions, questions or feedback to the idea shared by the team lead or manager, is the team completely on board or do they feel their feedback does not matter or they did not want to be the “sole” individual who disagreed with the idea or did not have the “authority” to raise their voice in that particular space? No matter how well thought out the idea was by the team lead or manager, there are always areas that can be further polished, improved, or worked on. If you want your idea(s) to be well thought out, it’s important and helpful to have discussions, questions and feedback session with your team.

    If your team always agrees with the idea(s) you share with them without any discussions, questions, or feedback, it would probably be a good time to assess what type of culture you’ve actually created with your team.

    Skills over Location

    A skilled professional should be respected, valued, and paid as much as someone that can be found in a particular region.

    With remote work and freelancing work becoming more common than ever before, companies have a global talent pool to fill their vacancies. A skilled professional based in the US would generally get paid more than a skilled professional with similar qualifications in South Asia because the argument went that the cost of living in the US was higher so the professional needs to get paid more. Over the span of few decades, companies have been looking for talent in offshore regions for cost savings (primarily), time zones turnaround, work flexibility, proximity to customers etc.

    The talent pool and the job/career marketplace is now global. Companies can have skilled professionals working on their products/services from anywhere in the world and the skilled professionals have a global job/career opportunity pool. Skilled professionals based in South Asia should get paid equally to a professional based in the US if the individual has similar qualifications, work ethic, quality of work produced and such. It’s a win-win for both companies and skilled professionals everywhere!

    The long drought in team engagement

    A company, WeAreGrowing Inc. decides to add several new team members to its company. They place ads, go through job sites, and recruiters to find and interview the best talent to join their growing company. Lots of time, human resources, and energy goes into finding the right candidate(s) for the roles and after several interview(s), the team members are selected and officially onboarded into the company.

    For the new team members, the first few days and weeks are exciting at WeAreGrowing Inc. As the weeks and months go by, these new team members are not “new” anymore and become “regular employees.” As WeAreGrowing Inc. continues to grow, they add more new team members and so on. Sometime in the distant future, few team members decide to leave WeAreGrowing Inc. for various reasons – join another company, higher studies, start their own venture, etc. Then WeAreGrowing Inc. become highly alert on the recent layoffs and in a move to not lose the team members plans to meet them. HR and managers talk to the team members about how much the company values them and promises that the company will continue to grow. Yet the team members share that their plans to move on were made months ago and felt that their personal and professional growth was stagnant for sometime and were not growing at WeAreGrowing Inc.

    There seems to be a long drought in team engagement between when new team members join a company and when they decide to leave. A company can convince itself that they did whatever they can at their disposal to keep the team member(s) engaged and growing. However, team members feel that the company did not engage them enough or challenge them enough or show tangible growth during the time they were with the company. Addressing the team engagement issues when the team members are almost out the door is too late!

    If a company sincerely believes that the team is their biggest asset, then they should treat them as such – keep them engaged and challenged throughout the team members’ journey within the company. It’s more expensive for companies to find and hire new talent than keeping the current talent engaged and productive. Better for the company to approach their people that they can leave at any point and realize that the team members have many other career choices as well. You (HR, Managers, Founders or Leaders) just have to deliver the message and show that staying with the company is the best career choice for the team members!