Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mitt Romney wins Michigan and Arizona

Republican Presidential contender Mitt Romney extended his lead over rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, as he won the polls in Michigan and Arizona today.

While Romney won in Arizona by a convincing margin, the result in Arizona was very close. The margin of victory was just 3 percentage points, signaling a lucky escape for Romney.

With this, Mitt Romney has now won six primaries, while Rick Santorum has won four. But Romney has won the most important primaries and caucuses that have maximum number of delegates. Gingrich has just one so far.

Govt to auction 4G Spectrum by End of 2012

The Centre is likely to hold spectrum auctions for the fourth generation (4G) mobile services by the end of this year. The exact date for the auction would be decided later.

Attending the India Day function organised by Union Telecom Ministry at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Minister Kapil Sibal said that India is going to auction for 4G spectrum by the end of 2012.

Sibal said that India has enough spectrums to share with everybody. The government will have enough radio waves after the cancellation of 122 2G licences by the Supreme Court in the massive multi-crore 2G spectrum allocation case.

However, all the spectrums would not be put for auction. The final decision will be taken on the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Sibal said that the government will hold 2G spectrum auction very soon and the procedure for holding spectrum auctions should be transparent.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Kudankulam Protests: German National Deported

In a big development today, a German national, Sonnteg Reiner Hermann was deported for allegedly raising funds for anti-Kudankulam nuclear plant protests in Tamil Nadu.

Sonnteg Reiner Hermann was reportedly close to PS Udayakumar, who has been spearheading the Kundankulam protests. Hermann was being closely watched by the intelligence sleuths for some time.

The development came hours before Udayakumar is supposed to send a legal notice to the Prime Ministers, who alleged that NGOs in the US and Scandinavian countries are funding the anti-nuclear protests in India.

SP Udayakumar is the Convenor of People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy.

MANAGE STRESS BY FACING IT

We've been told over and over about the harmful effects of stress, but how can we handle stress if its source doesn't go away? Figure out what your reaction to stress is. If you respond to stress by doing something productive - like cleaning your house or checking in more frequently with your team 0 consider yourself lucky.

In the more likely case that your stress reaction is unhealthy, take healthy. Some common reactions to stress are micromanaging, making heavy-handed suggestions, and second-guessing decisions. If you find yourself doing these things, pause and take a breath. Paying careful attention to your behavior can help you stop the reaction before it has harmful effects.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Jennifer Aniston gets a Star on Walk of Fame

Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston was honoured with a Star on Walk of Fame. She is the first actress of 'Friends', an American TV series from 1994–2004, to receive the emblem of celebrity.

The actress, who was looking over pleased for the star on Wednesday, said that she is a California girl and the honour was one of her wildest dreams that came true.

Aniston was accompanied by her father John Aniston and 'Wanderlust' co-stars including boyfriend Justin Theroux while receiving the emblem. She said that she had prayed for three things till the date: everyone to be fascinated with her hair, to play a role in a movie of an evil leprechaun who kills people and to receive a star on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The 43-year-old actress had come into light for her role of Rachel Green in 'Friends', which is an American sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman. It was aired on NBC from September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004. Aniston had also won the Golden Globe and Emmy awards for the popular TV series.

After 'Friends', she jumped to films where gained much name and fame. She was seen opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in 'The Good Girl', and Clive Owen in 'Derailed'. She was also seen in numerous comedies including 'The Break-Up', 'The Switch' and 'Horrible Bosses'.

She will be next seen in comedy film 'Wanderlust' with Paul Rudd, Malin Akerman and Theroux.

The actress was also in headlines for her affairs with many actors over the past two decades. She was in the spotlight for her marriage to actor Brad Pitt that lasted for only five years.

Should Sachin retire from ODI Cricket?

After Ricky Ponting called it a day to ODI cricket and decided to focus on Test cricket, people wonder when Sachin Tendulkar will bid adieu to the short format of the game.

Sachin's magic is fading fast and this is clearly visible in his performance in the ongoing Commonwealth Bank tri-series in Australia. The pressure of 100th international hundred has damaged Sachin Tendulkar's natural game and reputation too.

Not only Sachin failed in Tests, but also failed in the ODIs, resulting in a huge backlash. Even his die-hard fans are asking him to score the elusive 100th ton and call it a day to cricket sooner than later.

There is little doubt that Sachin Tendulkar is the 'God of Cricket'. He has contributed to the game more than anyone else in the cricket history. For the last 23 years, he has been playing cricket. And, we can't expect good results from him always.

Sachin has achieved everything on and off the cricket field. Only the last milestone is yet to be achieved, i.e.; 100th international hundred. Despite playing several Tests and ODIs after the World Cup, Sachin has failed to achieve that goal.

He is still waiting and keeps the world awaiting. Now, it's time for him to up the ante, score that hundred and say good-bye to ODI cricket and preserve his energy for the Test cricket.

Sachin can still play Test cricket for a couple of years or so. However, it would be risky for him to play ODI and IPL at this age. He has been playing cricket since 1989-90 and now his body needs some rest.

Sachin Tendulkar will remain the most adorable cricketer the world has ever produced. So, he deserves a graceful exit from the ODI. We, at Breaking News Online pray for his 100th international hundred in this CB series so that he can retire from this format with heads high on shoulder.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

SALMAN KHAN EARNS RS 8 CRORE IN 8 HOURS

Bollywood actor Salman Khan has stunned his rivals by earning Rs 8 crore just in 8 hours while acting in a television commercial for a health supplement.

Everybody knows earning a huge amount of eight crore rupees merely in eight hours is nearly impossible. But when the person is either a ‘Bodygurard’ or a ‘Dabangg’, nothing is impossible for him, because ‘ek baar agar wo 8 crore kamane ki commitment kar lia toh fir woh khudka bhi nehin sunta’.

A chaska-maska news, which has recently made a buzz in Bollywood tells that Salman Khan has appeared in a television commercial for which the advertiser has paid him a sky-high sum of 8 crore rupees. The shooting was completed barely within 8 hours.

Sallu bhai is continuously giving hit films since last 2/3 years. But this time he has proved his iron grip in the TVC industry also. It is not wrong to say that brand Salman Khan is growing more powerful day by day.

It has been proved that (the brand) Salman Khan can not only be sold, but he can also sell. There is a rumour inside the industry that after crushing king khan in the films, Chulbul Pandey has also started outwit him in the endorsement space too, where also earlier G-one was considered as a big bull.

Earlier, cricket star Yuvraj Singh was signed for this brand as its ambassador. But after he was dropped out on health ground, the brand roped in Salman as their face. Salman khan’s top popularity also made the brand pay him the huge money.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Do Men dare to worship Wives in Public?

Marriages are made in heaven and so are the couples. In our society, there is a perception that men are treated as god and worshipping them is the prime duty of every woman.

But today, the scenario has been changed. Women are emerging more confident and daring. Where they know how to give respect, they also know how to take it.

When a man worships or adores his wife in public, it shows how much he actually feels for her without even caring for the people around.

A woman likes when her husband goes out with her for outing or for shopping. She loves when he opens the door for her while getting in and out of the car. If both of them are at a store, woman likes her husband to follow her and push the shopping cart and carry the baggage. There are many men who like to do certain things to impress and show their love to their wives.

Undoubtedly, society will always look such men with staring eyes who dare to worship their wives in public. No matter if majority of people in our society are educated; but still the truth is they believe that the society is male dominating and women are inferior to men.

Though the number is quite low but there are also some men who give more importance to their wives. They dare to worship their wives without bothering about the society and public.

For both the genders in wife-worship or wife-led marriages, “going public” can be very difficult and publicly unsafe. There is no parallel social structure of friends, family, and sympathetic institutions that permit a role-reversal union, which is lamented by many couples.

Develop a Growth Mindset

We spend a lot of time and energy at work trying not to fail. However, most people describe their failures as an important part of learning and growing. Adapt a growth mind-set and accept that failure is part of the process of skill development. 

People with a growth mind-set feel smart when they're learning, not just when they're succeeding. Don't limit yourself to doing things that you know you can do - you won't grow that way. Instead, try things that are above your ability and set high goals that you aren't sure you can reach.

You might surprise yourself and succeed, and if you don't you'll learn something new.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Capital isn't so important in business. Experience isn't so important. You can get both these things. What is important is ideas. If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn't any limit to what you can do with your business and your life.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Manage with Minimum Time

Do you strive to be a good manager or mentor, but feel you do not have the time to do it well?

Don't get trapped into thinking that leadership is an extra commitment on top of your day job. How you lead, not how much is what counts. Here are three ways to maximize your management in minimum time.

- Turn dead time into development time: Look for every small stretch in your day when you could be talking to someone and convert each into a coaching opportunity. Walking out a meeting? Use those two minutes to give your direct report feedback on the presentation

- Show up in people's work spaces: Once per day, get up and walk over to the desk of someone you haven't spoken to recently. Take two minutes to ask her what she's working on.

- Make two contacts per day: Every day, e-mail two people you met with that day and offer "feedforward." Employees who know that you're trying to develop their skills will stay engaged.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Trust in Your Decision Making Skills

Yes, knowledge is power, but too much knowledge can take away your power. When solving problems, many leaders gather an abundance of information and conduct in-depth analyses of information and conduct in-depth analyses to give them what they hope are the right answers. 

This can lead to analysis paralysis or to data-driven, but illogical, answers. Often the best answers are educated guesses informed by your past experiences coupled with new information and insight. Don't put too much faith in information analysis alone, and don't disregard your decision-making skills. Remember to always check answers with your gut feelings before acting.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Iran shows Nuclear Might to World

Under fire from Israel and the United States over the recent attacks on Israeli Embassy officials in Delhi and Bangkok, Iran has shown its military might to the world by loading the nuclear fuel rod into the Tehran Research Reactor.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took the lead in inserting the first Iranian-made nuclear fuel rod into the reactor in north Tehran.

State TV in Iran broadcast the ceremony live with an intention to create a panic situation in the West. The main intention was to warn Israel and the US so that they don't dare to launch any attack on Iranian installations.

Iran has already cut oil exports to six European countries, including Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal in response to the EU sanctions imposed on it.

The United States has taken strong exception to the latest development and urged the world to isolate Iran.

Monday, February 13, 2012

5 Ways to get rid of your Boyfriend

Every relationship is based on mutual respect, love and passion, if one trait is missing, the relationship is not successful. When Relationship becomes difficult it’s time to think of break-up.

It is a hard process and become much harder when one is undecided about it. There are few signs that will help a girl to decide when it is really over like when her boyfriend cheats on her, abuse her verbally or physically, when romance is over, and when girl friend realizes that there is no future with him.

Running out from situation is not a solution of ending a relationship. Mentioned below are the 5 ways to get rid of your boyfriend:

• Some people erroneously try to be impolite so that their partner cannot say anything. But it is a totally inaccurate manner. Have respect for him and tell him courteously that it is just not working for you and this may sadly have to be the end.

After giving this clear intimation, tell him the grounds and say that the dilemma is not solvable. You do not have to give exact details as he may try to say I can handle and stuff. But be polite and gentle and say that it is not important.

• Be straightforward talking and above all, be honest. After having the break up with your boyfriend, answer any questions they have in a down to earth manner. This will show you are a good friend too. Don’t expect them to be friends immediately. However, showing them respect now will increase the likelihood of developing a strong friendship later.

• Be very emotional for little things even. Men are afraid of emotional behavior. Keep him bored by discussing your whole day’s activity, in which he will not be interested.

Criticize his actions and opinion, because they dislike such who does not give value to their opinion. Wear the dresses and accessories which he does not like. If he does not like heavy makeup, do it. In such way he will start to hate you.

• If you do not want to keep any relation with your boyfriend then easiest way is simply disappear. Do not give him reply in any way. Change your email, phone number, instant messenger.

No contact rule is best way to get rid of your boyfriend. Do not keep any contact with him at least for 30 days. After some period your feeling about him will less volatile and then it will be easy for you to get rid of him.

• Make sure the break up is a solid full stop on the relationship and don’t confuse the break up by saying lines like "I need some time to myself". If you break up with your boyfriend, you owe it to them not to give false hopes.

Decrease Your Technology Dependence

How often do you hear someone ask, "What did we do before cellphones?" One of the many answers is: we relied on our memories. Studies have shown that using our memories improves reasoning and creativity. Yet, because of our increased reliance on technology, few of us can even recall phone numbers or appointments. Try remembering and entering numbers by hand or picturing your weekly calendar in your mind.

This will not only help you use your mind in a healthy way, but may save you when the inevitable happens and your Blackberry or iPhone goes down.

Managing your Energy

As organizations demand more and more from their people, time-pressed employees have to scramble to keep up. You may not be able to make the day any longer, but you can replenish your energy. Use these four simple ways to help you work smarter and prevent burnout.

Take brief but regular breaks: Step away from your desk every 90 to 120 minutes. Take a walk, get a drink, or just stretch your legs.

Say Thank you: Being positive boosts your energy level. Regularly express appreciation to others.

Reduce interruptions: Perform tasks that need concentration away from phone, e-mail. Instead, designate specific times in your day to respond to messages.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Schedule Regular Meetings with Yourself

As we continue venturing into uncharted economic waters, how can you keep your job on track and deliver your best? Schedule a weekly meeting with yourself. 

That's right: No matter how busy you are, this is not a luxury. It's essential.

Every week, take a quite hour to reflect on recent critical events - conflicts, failures, opportunities you exploited, observations of others' behavior, feedback from others. Consider how you responded, what went well, what didn't, and you might be more effective in the future.

Never cancel this meeting - it's crucial.

Why Leaders Fail

Donald Trump, paragon of the real estate world, files for bankruptcy. Richard Nixon, 37th U.S. President, resigns the presidency over the Watergate scandal. Jennifer Capriati, rising tennis star, enters a rehabilitation center for drug addicts. Jim Bakker, renowned televangelist, is convicted of fraud.

In the recent past, we've witnessed the public downfall of leaders from almost every area of endeavor—business, politics, religion, and sports. One day they're on top of the heap, the next, the heap's on top of them.

Of course, we think that such catastrophic failure could never happen to us. We've worked hard to achieve our well-deserved positions of leadership—and we won't give them up for anything! The bad news is: the distance between beloved leader and despised failure is shorter than we think.

Ken Maupin, a practicing psychotherapist and colleague, has built his practice on working with high-performance personalities, including leaders in business, religion, and sports. Ken and I have often discussed why leaders fail. Our discussions have led to the following "warning signs" of impending failure.

WARNING SIGN #1: A Shift in Focus

This shift can occur in several ways. Often, leaders simply lose sight of what's important. The laser-like focus that catapulted them to the top disappears, and they become distracted by the trappings of leadership, such as wealth and notoriety.

Leaders are usually distinguished by their ability to "think big." But when their focus shifts, they suddenly start thinking small. They micro manage, they get caught up in details better left to others, they become consumed with the trivial and unimportant. And to make matters worse, this tendency can be exacerbated by an inclination toward perfectionism.

A more subtle leadership derailer is an obsession with "doing" rather than "becoming." The good work of leadership is usually a result of who the leader is. What the leader does then flows naturally from inner vision and character. It is possible for a leader to become too action oriented and, in the process, lose touch with the more important development of self.

What is your primary focus right now? If you can't write it on the back of your business card, then it's a sure bet that your leadership is suffering from a lack of clarity. Take the time necessary to get your focus back on what's important.

Further, would you describe your thinking as expansive or contractive? Of course, you always should be willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, but try never to take on what others can do as well as you. In short, make sure that your focus is on leading rather than doing.

WARNING SIGN #2: Poor Communication

A lack of focus and its resulting disorientation typically lead to poor communication. Followers can't possibly understand a leader's intent when the leader him- or herself isn't sure what it is! And when leaders are unclear about their own purpose, they often hide their confusion and uncertainty in ambiguous communication.

Sometimes, leaders fall into the clairvoyance trap. In other words, they begin to believe that truly committed followers automatically sense their goals and know what they want without being told. Misunderstanding is seen by such managers as a lack of effort (or commitment) on the listener's part, rather than their own communication negligence.

"Say what you mean, and mean what you say" is timeless advice, but it must be preceded by knowing what you mean! An underlying clarity of purpose is the starting point for all effective communication. It's only when you're absolutely clear about what you want to convey that the hard work of communicating pays dividends.

WARNING SIGN #3: Risk Aversion

Third, leaders at risk often begin to be driven by a fear of failure rather than the desire to succeed. Past successes create pressure for leaders: "Will I be able to sustain outstanding performance?" "What will I do for an encore?" In fact, the longer a leader is successful, the higher his or her perceived cost of failure.

When driven by the fear of failure, leaders are unable to take reasonable risks. They want to do only the tried and proven; attempts at innovation—typically a key to their initial success—diminish and eventually disappear.

Which is more important to you: the attempt or the outcome? Are you still taking reasonable risks?  Prudent leadership never takes reckless chances that risk the destruction of what has been achieved, but neither is it paralyzed by fear. Often the dance of leadership is two steps forward, one step back.

WARNING SIGN #4: Ethics Slip

A leader's credibility is the result of two aspects:  what he or she does (competency) and who he or she is (character). A discrepancy between these two aspects creates an integrity problem.

The highest principle of leadership is integrity. When integrity ceases to be a leader's top priority, when a compromise of ethics is rationalized away as necessary for the "greater good," when achieving results becomes more important than the means to their achievement—that is the moment when a leader steps onto the slippery slop of failure.

Often such leaders see their followers as pawns, a mere means to an end, thus confusing manipulation with leadership. These leaders lose empathy. They cease to be people "perceivers" and become people "pleasers," using popularity to ease the guilt of lapsed integrity.

It is imperative to your leadership that you constantly subject your life and work to the highest scrutiny. Are there areas of conflict between what you believe and how you behave? Has compromise crept into your operational tool kit? One way to find out is to ask the people you depend on if they ever feel used or taken for granted.

WARNING SIGN #5: Poor Self Management

Tragically, if a leader doesn't take care of him- or herself, no one else will. Unless a leader is blessed to be surrounded by more-sensitive-than-normal followers, nobody will pick up on the signs of fatigue and stress. Leaders are often perceived to be superhuman, running on unlimited energy.

While leadership is invigorating, it is also tiring. Leaders who fail to take care of their physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs are headed for disaster. Think of having a gauge for each of these four areas of your life—and check them often! When a gauge reaches the "empty" point, make time for refreshment and replenishment. Clear your schedule and take care of yourself—it's absolutely vital to your leadership that you continue to grow and develop, a task that can be accomplished only when your tanks are full.

WARNING SIGN #6: Lost Love

The last warning sign of impending disaster that leaders need to heed is a move away from their first love and dream. Paradoxically, the hard work of leadership should be fulfilling and even fun. But when leaders lose sight of the dream that compelled them to accept the responsibility of leadership, they can find themselves working for causes that mean little to them. They must stick to what they love, what motivated them at the first, to maintain the fulfillment of leadership.

To make sure that you stay on the track of following your first love, frequently ask yourself these three questions: Why did I initially assume leadership? Have those reasons changed? Do I still want to lead?

Heed the Signs

The warning signs in life—from stop lights to prescription labels—are there for our good. They protect us from disaster, and we would be foolish to ignore them. As you consider the six warning signs of leadership failure, don't be afraid to take an honest look at yourself. If any of the warnings ring true, take action today! The good news is: by paying attention to these signs and heeding their warnings, you can avoid disaster and sustain the kind of leadership that is healthy and fulfilling for both yourself and your followers.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What happened to the smiley face? 

It's long gone from Wal-Mart marketing after years as the corporate symbol, and its disappearance is part of a much larger story. 

It's hard to believe, but for decades the world's largest retailer wasn't much of a marketer. It spent little on marketing, and its efforts, epitomized by the grinning circle, could be charitably called down-home and realistically described as amateurish. 

Change finally began four years ago when Stephen Quinn was made chief marketing officer of Wal-Mart U.S. He exiled the smiley face to the land of e-mail emoticons and developed a new theme -- "Save money. Live better" -- that became a statement of corporate purpose. 

Current TV commercials actually include some wit while hammering home the message.
To lead people, walk beside them … 

As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. 

The next best, the people honor and praise. 

The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … 

When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!

How to be a Real Leader

If leadership is so important, why are effective business leaders so rare? Kevin Cashman, a Minneapolis-based leadership coach, thinks that he has the answer: "Too many people separate the act of leadership from the leader. They see leadership as something that they do -- rather than as an expression of who they are."

Cashman is the founder and CEO of LeaderSource, which has helped executives from companies such as Pillsbury, American Express, and Rollerblade to explore what it means to lead. His flagship program, the Executive Leadership Institute, has been dubbed "the Mayo Clinc of Leadership." Why do leaders come to Cashman for a checkup? "Leaders lead by virtue of who they are," he replies. "If we want to be more effective with others, we first need to be more effective with ourselves."

Cashman's most recent book, Leadership from the Inside Out (Executive Excellence Publishing, 1998), distills his insights about becoming a real leader. In an interview, he distilled his thoughts even further. 

What does an effective leader look like?

There are three core qualities to leadership: authenticity, self-expression, value creation. "Authenticity" refers to a link between the inner and the outer person. Truly authentic leaders are open both to their gifts and to their underdeveloped qualities. People who understand who they are tend to have a more powerful voice -- and to make a more profound contribution to an enterprise.
We do a lot of work with Pillsbury. The current CEO, Paul Walsh, came to the job from finance. He had none of the marketing experience that's so critical to running a consumer-products company. The first thing he did was to admit to that knowledge gap; he then created a plan to learn everything he could about marketing. Because he was so open, people enthusiastically helped him. 

What separates authentic leaders from the rest of the pack?

Most of us know more about our favorite sports team or vacation spot than we know about ourselves. Leadership comes from one of two places: persona or character. Persona is the coping part of our personality -- a mask that we create to protect ourselves from external stresses and internal fears. Character is the essence of who we are; it goes beyond what we do. It's critical to spot the cues that signal when you're in character and when you're relying on a persona: Under what circumstances do you tend to get stuck? When do you overreact? When does everything come together and flow? 

The second attribute of leadership is self-expression.

Does that mean "straight talk"? It means something more than straight talk. How often have you held back from saying something that you felt was important -- just because you were worried about how you would express yourself? How often have you feigned modesty about something that you were really proud of? Authentic expression goes beyond telling the truth: It demonstrates a total congruence between who you are and what you do and say. 

Leaders are measured by results. How does authentic expression translate into value creation?
Leaders create value through relationships. But many leaders still have the illusion that they are the ones who really "make things happen." Admitting that you don't have all the answers is a big part of building good relationships -- and a big part of getting good results. 

How Authentic are You?

It's impossible to lead people who don't trust you, and it's impossible to build trust without cultivating authenticity. According to Kevin Cashman, asking these three questions will help you to explore your authenticity. 

Do you know yourself? Get in the habit of asking yourself two crucial questions: "Why do I pursue the work and the life that I do?" and "What do I act like during the most fulfilling times of my life?" Your answers will help you spot the defining thread of your experiences, and they will lead you to your purpose.

Do you know how to listen -- and to hear? Most leaders think that not speaking is the same as listening. But hearing people's words is only the beginning. Do you also hear their fears? Their intentions? Their aspirations? When you start to hear at a deeper level, you'll start getting information from people. Better yet, people will know that you care about them, and they will eagerly commit to you.

What's your appreciation ratio? In the business world, confrontation, criticism, and even hate are more socially acceptable than expressions of appreciation. That's too bad, because appreciation is a truly value-creating activity. It energizes people, and it makes them want to exceed their goals and perceived limits.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Work on your Backhand

When you're particularly good at something, it's easy to rely on that strength. For example, if your forehand is your stronger stroke, you'll position yourself to use it much more often. But turning weaknesses into strengths will give you a competitive edge and make you a more effective leader.

Focus energy on improving your weak points. Think about your last performance review or ask your peers what one capability you really need to succeed in the current environment. There's no better way to impress than to reveal a killer backhand when everyone's expecting your forehand. 

Think !

What will be the single biggest change we will see in thought leadership over the coming year/s?

  • Social media will continue to allow us to easily conduct research and spread ideas but it shouldn’t supplant face to face
  • Recognition of thought leadership as a key sales and service driver
  • Increasing integration into the strategic business development blueprint
  • More sophisticated packaging and presentation
  • Real-time thought leadership i.e. thought leadership that responds to what’s going on now as opposed to campaign-like programs
  • A swing away from quantity to more tailored information for specific clients
  • Using it as a driver for empowering and motivating sales people
  • Better resources leading to increased innovation and ground breaking thinking
  • Cloud computing will start playing a role in ordering content and intellectual property

Give Yourself a Leadership Workup

Many of us wait until we're sick to see a doctor. However, preventive medical assessments have been shown to improve health, save lives, and reduce medical costs. Prevention can be beneficial to leadership assessments too. 

Often people are asked to see a coach or participate in a 360 degree assessment when troubles surface. Yet, time and money could be saved if leaders underwent thorough assessments before problems arose. Ask the people around you for feedback about what's working and what's not.
Be sure you understand their expectations and where you may not be meeting them, or are unnecessarily exceeding them. Having a complete understanding of where you are as a leader gives you a greater sense of control and power to shape your future.

Hidden Side of Leadership

Intelligence, Self-confidence, presence, the ability to communicate, and having a vision are important. But being highly intelligent doesn't mean that a person has the knack for making good business judgments. 

How many times have you seen people confidently making decisions that turn out to be disastrous? How often have you heard a vision that turned out to be nothing more than rhetoric and hot air?

Personal attributes are just one small slice of the leadership pie and their value is greatly diminished without knowhow, the eight interrelated skills that bring leadership into the realm of profit and loss.We need leaders who know what they are doing. Change is always with us, but its current magnitude, speed and depth is unlike what most readers have experienced in their lifetime.

The essence of leadership

A leader is an agent of change, and progress is about change. In the words of Robert F Kennedy, 'Progress is a nice word; but change is its motivator.'

Leadership is about raising the aspirations of followers and enthusing people with a desire to reach for the stars. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi created a vision for independence in India and raised the aspirations of our people.

Leadership is about making people say, 'I will walk on water for you.' It is about creating a worthy dream and helping people achieve it.

Robert Kennedy summed up leadership best when he said, 'Others see things as they are and wonder why; I see them as they are not and say why not?'

Adversity

A leader has to raise the confidence of followers. He should make them understand that tough times are part of life and that they will come out better at the end of it. He has to sustain their hope, and their energy levels to handle the difficult days.

There is no better example of this than Winston Churchill. His courageous leadership as prime minister for Great Britain successfully led the British people from the brink of defeat during World War II. He raised his people's hopes with the words, 'These are not dark days; these are great days -- the greatest days our country has ever lived.'

Never is strong leadership more needed than in a crisis. In the words of Seneca, the Greek philosopher, 'Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.'

Values

The leader has to create hope. He has to create a plausible story about a better future for the organisation: everyone should be able to see the rainbow and catch a part of it.

This requires creating trust in people. And to create trust, the leader has to subscribe to a value system: a protocol for behavior that enhances the confidence, commitment and enthusiasm of the people.

Compliance to a value system creates the environment for people to have high aspirations, self esteem, belief in fundamental values, confidence in the future and the enthusiasm necessary to take up apparently difficult tasks. Leaders have to walk the talk and demonstrate their commitment to a value system.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, 'We must become the change we want to see in the world.' Leaders have to prove their belief in sacrifice and hard work. Such behavior will enthuse the employees to make bigger sacrifices. It will help win the team's confidence, help leaders become credible, and help create trust in their ideas.

Enhancing trust

Trust and confidence can only exist where there is a premium on transparency. The leader has to create an environment where each person feels secure enough to be able to disclose his or her mistakes, and resolves to improve.

Investors respect such organizations. Investors understand that the business will have good times and bad times. What they want you to do is to level with them at all times. They want you to disclose bad news on a proactive basis. At Infosys, our philosophy has always been, 'When in doubt, disclose.'

Governance

Good corporate governance is about maximizing shareholder value on a sustainable basis while ensuring fairness to all stakeholders: customers, vendor-partners, investors, employees, government and society.

A successful organisation tides over many downturns. The best index of success is its longevity. This is predicated on adhering to the finest levels of corporate governance.

At Infosys, we have consistently adopted transparency and disclosure standards even before law mandated it. In 1995, Infosys suffered losses in the secondary market. Under Indian GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), we were not required to make this information public. Nevertheless, we published this information in our annual report.

Fearless environment

Transparency about the organization’s operations should be accompanied by an open environment inside the organisation. You have to create an environment where any employee can disagree with you without fear of reprisal.

In such a case, everyone makes suggestions for the common good. In the end everyone will be better off.

On the other hand, at Enron, the CFO was running an empire where people were afraid to speak. In some other cases, the whistle blowers have been harassed and thrown out of the company.

Managerial remuneration

We have gone towards excessive salaries and options for senior management staff. At one company, the CEO's employment contract not only set out the model of the Mercedes the company would buy him, but also promised a monthly first-class air ticket for his mother, along with a cash bonus of $10 million and other benefits.

Not surprisingly, this company has already filed for bankruptcy.

Managerial remuneration should be based on three principles:
  • Fairness with respect to the compensation of other employees;
  • Transparency with respect to shareholders and employees;
  • Accountability with respect to linking compensation with corporate performance.
Thus, the compensation should have a fixed component and a variable component. The variable component should be linked to achieving long-term objectives of the firm. Senior management should swim or sink with the fortunes of the company.

Senior management compensation should be reviewed by the compensation committee of the board, which should consist only of independent directors. Further, this should be approved by the shareholders.

I've been asked, 'How can I ask for limits on senior management compensation when I have made millions myself?' A fair question with a straightforward answer: two systems are at play here. One is that of the promoter, the risk taker and the capital markets; and the other is that of professional management and compensation structures.

One cannot mix these two distinct systems, otherwise entrepreneurship will be stifled, and no new companies will come up, no progress can take place. At the same time, there has to be fairness in compensation: there cannot be huge differences between the top most and the bottom rung of the ladder within an organisation.

PSPD model

A well run organisation embraces and practices a sound Predictability-Sustainability-Profitability-Derisking (we call this the PSPD model at Infosys) model. Indeed, the long-term success of an organisation depends on having a model that scales up profitably.

Further, every organisation must have a good derisking approach that recognises, measures and mitigates risk along every dimension.

Integrity

Strong leadership in adverse times helps win the trust of the stakeholders, making it more likely that they will stand by you in your hour of need. As leaders who dream of growth and progress, integrity is your most wanted attribute.

Lead your teams to fight for the truth and never compromise on your values. I am confident that our corporate leaders, through honest and desirable behaviour, will reap long-term benefits for their stakeholders.

Two mottos

In conclusion, keep in mind two Sanskrit sentences: Sathyannasti Paro Dharma (there is no dharma greater than adherence to truth); and Satyameva jayate (truth alone triumphs). Let these be your motto for good corporate leadership.

Monday, February 6, 2012

No general can fight his battles alone. 

He must depend upon his lieutenants, and his success depends upon his ability to select the right man for the right place.