Apr 14, 2011

Personal space

The last few weeks have been a huge change from my usual routine. There were periods of complete relaxation, exciting new experiences, anxious moments, emotional ups and downs. Thankfully, the World Cup cricket provided the much needed distraction. Now that the world cup is over, the mixed bag of emotions were back. I thought to myself "What should I do to come out of this shell?". I decided to take it step by step. Cleaning always gives me a sense of direction to begin with in such situations (no wonder, I can easily relate to Monica of FRIENDS).

My desk was cluttered with so much junk with just enough space for my tiny netbook. For over a month, this cluttered space was a hindrance to my productivity. I didn't have the energy or the inclination to set it straight. I knew deep down that this was only a temporary phase. The jinx was broken a few days back. I decided to clear out the working space and throw away the non-writing pens, highlighters and papers. I cleared out the desk and the tiny knick-knacks that were coated with a layer of dust. The feeling of a clear and empty space gave that fresh feeling to my day.

After the space was neatly setup, the goals came to my mind almost at an instant.  "Short daily improvements lead to bigger and better results", I came across this meaningful line in Robin Sharma's "The leader who had no title". I started working towards one such goal for about 5 hours at a stretch. The feeling of doing something for 5 hours together after nearly a month came as a big relief to me. I am clearly "back to form". I sincerely believe that a positive feeling and a sense of purpose at the beginning of the day is very important.

Apr 2, 2011

The "real" leader

The title of this book piqued my interest - "The leader who had no title". Having liked Robin Sharma's "The monk who sold his Ferrari", I picked up this book sometime last year. After reading around 30 odd pages, I wasn't eager to continue simply because of the similar plotline to begin with - A guy who is down and out meets someone who has really made a difference to his career and life. A different start would have made this book much more gripping.

I have this reputation of being a good finisher. I can't leave unfinished books behind. I don't know if it's a good attribute to have or not. But I decided to give this book one more try. After crossing the initial hurdle, I should say that this book is one of the simplest books on leadership.

The protagonist Blake meets Tommy who in turn takes him to four unique leaders - a housekeeper of a hotel, a skier, a gardener and a massage therapist. Leadership can be exhibited by anyone, not just by people with fancy titles. In reality, the titles make the natural leadership instincts marred by ego. During his interaction with these four leaders, Blake learns the four leadership principles along with rules to apply these principles.

Out of these four meetings, I liked the interaction with Jackson, the gardener the most. The third principle also strikes a chord from my experiences - "the deeper your relationships, the stronger your leadership". Many simple truths interspersed throughout the book makes you want to take a pause and reflect on how you had dealt with in a given situation. Every principle comes along with a few rules framed as nice acronyms. The initial rules of a principle are explained clearly whereas the latter rules don't get much attention. If you would like to read a simple tale on leadership, pick up this book.

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