Sunday, January 03, 2021

BookMarks #77: The Leader In You

Title: The Leader In You: How to Win Friends, Influence People and Succeed in a Changing World 
Author: Dale Carnegie & Associates 
Genre: Non-fiction, Self-help 
Published: 1993 

A self-help book, a category which I generally try to avoid reading. But this one turned out to be interesting. The key reason being the real-life success stories built in the narrative. These are not the big, famous names who have reached stratospheric heights. Rather these are normal, everyday people who you can see around and probably model your behaviour upon. There is no overnight success formula, but behaviours which can be imbibed so it becomes part of your nature. 

Best way to remember anything is to note it down. After all, what is not written fades away. So here are my short pointers from this book. 
  • Keep your mind open to change all the time. It is only by examining and reexamining your opinions and ideas that you can progress. 
  • “Never stop being yourself.” The leadership techniques that will work best for you are the ones you nurture inside. Hence the question “What personal qualities do I possess that can be turned into the qualities of leadership?” 
  • Leaders need to have a keen ability to anticipate change. 
  • Make communication a top priority by being open to other people and creating a receptive environment for communication. Communication is built on trusting relationships. “We are interested in others when they are interested in us” 
  • The only way to get anybody to do anything is by making the other person want to do it. Make people feel respected and important. 
  • Show a genuine interest in people and find out what's important to others 
  • Listening to others is the single best way to learn and people respond to those who will listen to them. 
  • Treat individuals as individuals. 
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Respect dignity for others. Acknowledge that they're human beings who exist outside the work environment. 
  • People work for money but look for recognition. Share Glory but not blame. Be quick to admit mistakes but slow to criticize. 
  • Goals keep efforts focused. Goals must be challenging but also realistic and measurable. Work one day at a time. Try to set daily target for yourself. 
  • Keep time for leisure - balance from work. life doesn't need to be dull or uninteresting. We all need goals and experiences worth looking forward to. 
  • Our life is what our thoughts make it. You are what you think. What matters is how you react to external influences 
  • Don't waste time and energy worrying about the things you cannot control. No problem is worth all the worry in the world. 
  • Genuine enthusiasm is contagious 
These are all little pointers which can be easily implemented. No big trainings/workshops required here. Just constant reinforcement. 

Previously on BookMarks: The Unusual Billionaires 

Friday, January 01, 2021

Goodbye 2020

2020 - what a year it was! With apologies to Dickens, it was the worst of times but (in some respects) it was the best of times as well. 

Cooped up at home, being paranoid about the spreading virus, cut off from social circles, entertainment means restricted, swamped with housework with no domestic help, while simultaneously trying to “work from home”. It was exhausting and difficult but more than compensated by the joy of being there for every new activity of the little one and getting to spend full time with my little family and of course no commute. 

There was a paranoia like never seen before about cleaning and sanitization, lest the virus sneak into our homes and lives. Many other habits changed e.g. the morning newspaper has all but disappeared; Haircuts can be done yourself! It was also the year in which the very concept of work-life balance went for a toss as the transition time (commute) between the two disappeared and they were present simultaneously throughout! 

The year was bookended with some travel. And a seemingly endless quarantine. Have to say, being locked in a room watching waves in the sea does give a totally different perspective of the passage of time. The city of Visakhapatnam got added into the travel map. But did it really? given that the entire stay was inside a hotel room. 

2020 had an extra day. Very important. And thankfully it came before the lockdowns struck! 

There was also a bump in the screen time qwith quite sometime spent on Chu Chu TV, Cocomelon, Dave & Eva et al. We also did our bit in making Baby Shark the most viewed YouTube video ever.

That was 2020 - the year in which we lived through history. Covid struck and world hit a collective pause button. While we mourned our losses, we also caught a glimpse of what nature would be if left undisturbed by humans. The eerie silence broken only by chirping of birds, the clear blue skies, more animals and birds visiting us. It was quite an utopian setting in a most dystopian circumstance! 

Hello 2021! Let's see what you have in store. 

Wishing all a very Happy & Normal (hopefully) New Year 202