Tag Archives: leadership

Humility for Humanity

dream-big-and-stay-humble
Just the other day, during a pep talk to students, a young enthusiast posed this question- “Why are you advising us to be humble when this world values first impressions and self confidence more than humility?” Though I answered to the best of my modest capability, I wasn’t quite contented with my own reply.

So after reaching home, I decided to go Pal Sourcing on this subject. I posted this query -“In just 2 words, give your tips on how to be loved by all” on FB and tagged many of my good friends. In the comments that flowed in, many of them wrote “Be Humble“. I couldn’t but compare these comments with the responses to another query-“How to be successful?” that I had posted earlier. I remember very well that none of my good friends had brought up the topic of humility then. This aggravated by doubt- Were people attributing humility to sweet, submissive also-rans and pride and boisterousness with Success? If the responses of my Pals were an indication, yes they were. Could this be true? – I tried to seek out empirical research on the topic. So Google Ahoy.

Interestingly, research on humility showed that this trait has great value. Humility has been linked with better academic performance, job performance, and excellence in leadership. Surprising!!!it was found to be a distinguishing trait of CEO’s of successful organizations. Moreover organizations with humble leaders were found to have more engaged employees and less voluntary turnover.

Research further showed that instead of having low esteem, humble people were self regarding as well as other-regarding. They valued the welfare of other people and had the ability to “forget themselves” as well, when appropriate. Not bad at all…..

Humble people were found to have better social relationships, and tended to be more forgiving, grateful, and cooperative. A recent set of studies also showed that people who are humble tend to be more generous with both their time and their money.

So the verdict is out- shunning arrogance and embracing humility will make you better loved as well as super successful. For our own good and the good of humanity, let us therefore set out to cultivate humility. (In ourselves first, preferably)

Humility for Humanity– I love the way it sounds.

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So, what’s your problem, eh?

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So, what’s your problem, eh?

 Do we have an answer to this question? If yes, are all our problems purely personal and restricted to our own self seeking interests? Or, on the other hand, do we have it in us to answer this question by saying “Communalism is our problem” or “Hunger deaths among children is our problem”?

 Imagine how wonderful this world would be if all of us own a problem that we have wholeheartedly committed to solve? What if we devote our time and resources to solve this problem rather than fighting for more space, more time, or more money in our own teeny weenie part of the world?

So let that skin crawl, hair stand, eyes twitch…….

Let that empathy bubble inside…

Let that righteous rage boil over……

Yeah!!! I do have a problem… and I am going to do everything possible to solve it.. God Willing!!!

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To befriend Success, first write your Failure/Mistakes Resume

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Failing/making mistakes is not all that bad.  If we can look back and analyze what went wrong and learn from it, our odds of succeeding will improve. To learn from failure, however, we have to “own” it.  We have to figure out what went wrong and what to do better next time. If we don’t, we end up repeating the same mistakes over and over again. By acknowledging them, we tend to avoid covering up, rationalizing or blaming.

There’s always an intelligent way to handle any failure/mistakes  you come across or made in life. The most intelligent way I’ve found is to record my failures in what I like to call a “FAILURE/MISTAKES RESUME.”

How to create a Failure/Mistakes Resume?

Look back at all the areas of your life. Professional, Financial, Relationships, Emotional, Health and Spiritual. List down the failures you have had/mistakes you have made.  Get to the root of the problem by asking Why?. Keep repeating the Why’s till you arrive at the root cause. Then create an action plan to avoid this in the future. 

Thats all…..

  • Failure
  • Why?
  • How to avoid?

Here is a list of my most jarring mistakes. I wouldn’t want to share the WHY’s with you. I would stand exposed. But this list is really helping me to build my personal brand with honesty  and humility.

Try it out.

  • Not learning Arabic
  • Not making health a top priority
  • Selling myself too low
  • Reacting without thinking
  • Not working on writing my book
  • Being too frank on Social Media
  • Not praying on time
  • Not staying in touch with old pals

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Leaders.. You need to PLAN AHEAD

Please click on the Play Button (Turning the volume on Helps)

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Leaders or Misleaders?


In a recent Leadership Training that I had conducted for the Insurance Sector, I opened the session by posing the “usual” question- “Who is a Leader?” to my well groomed, seemingly well informed multi cultural crowd.

And I got the “Usual” answer- “Anyone who takes people towards the realization of a common goal”. Probably they had learnt this clichéd response in school. Out of genuine curiosity, I enquired- “Any Goal, or should it be a Good one ?

And pandemonium broke loose.

“Good?. What is Good for someone is bad for someone else. It’s very subjective. So let’s leave “Good” out of the equation”- they chorused unanimously.


I was in a dilemma now. “Good ”and “Bad” are not subjective concepts. They are based on age old universally accepted principles. Well, some people do tend to mince their views about the two extremes of the continuum and convince themselves that Gray is acceptable. But deep inside our souls, we all know the difference between White and Black.

Lying, Stealing, Cheating, Oppressing, Being Unfair, hurting and killing unarmed/helpless/innocents……. These are bad things

Helping others, Being honest, fighting for a good cause, working with integrity…. These are good things

Someone takes people towards the realization of common “Bad Goals”. Does that make him a Bad Leader?. Does that make him a Leader at all?. What do you mean by “Ethical Leadership ?”. Can there be unethical Leadership?

After a lot of deliberating, I felt that there should be only two classifications- Leaders or Misleaders. When I aired my views, my trainees disagreed. Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, George Bush….. they came up with a long list of infamous names. Didn’t people follow them?. Weren’t they inspiring? – they challenged me vociferously.


Let’s take the case of the late Mr. Osama Bin Laden. I have never met him or spoken to him. All my paradigms are based on Media reports. And I am not 100% sure (to say the least) that the media is unprejudiced and fair. But since we don’t have alternatives, let us accept blindly what Fox News has to say.

Bin Laden couldn’t tolerate the state of affairs of the people in Palestine. He felt that America is the reason for their troubles. He decided to punish Americans for this. He rallied people to fly commercial airliners into the world trade centre. Many innocents died. He inspired people to do similar acts in different parts of the world.(Courtesy Fox News and their fans)

If we go by the standard definition of “Leader”, We will have to agree that he was indeed one. Got People to follow and achieved his goals through them…didn’t he ? But didn’t he also go against many age old values that we all accept, respect and try our best to comply?

Lying– He used the concept of Jihad to rally people around. Islam unequivocally denounces violence against innocents. Permission is given to fight only against those who dole out injustice and tyranny. And there are clearly laid out rules regarding the nature and extent of response. The Who, Where, When, What and How are inscribed on stone. He broke most of them. His battle was anything but Jihad.

Wrong Targets– He didn’t attack those who were responsible for his grievances. Hundreds of innocent men women and children lost their lives in the attacks

Though his intentions may be justified (standing up for the oppressed), his reactions were flawed, the outcomes of his reactions were disastrous and the means employed to achieve his goals were based on an excess of false rhetoric.

Even if a section of the world do consider him as a Leader, they will realize their folly the day they allow their logical adult brains to win over their blinded animal brains. Sharing the pain of the oppressed will not for ever go along with condoning the insane crimes of the so called Avengers. So let all of us who can think clearly shelve this concept of “Bad Leader” and go by the new dichotomies- Leaders or Misleaders.

To be fair,the same holds good and even better to all the so called celebrated Leaders around- George Bush, Gaddafi, Netanyahu, Tony Blair, So and So and …………No wonder *&^%! and OSAMA spells almost the same.

Unless their goals and means align with the age old principles and values treasured by our consciences, let us not dare to affix the title of “Leader” to anyone.

And let us all search hard all around to find someone who really deserves this title. Let us choose someone who the unforgiving tommorows will revere. And if we can’t find one… let’s try our best to be one. This world really needs some Leading.

Have a nice Weekend.

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