Tag Archives: success

Become the Manager every organization (& team) craves to have- From Ego to Excellence.

Dear fellow Managers,

One thing that could be stopping you from getting great sustainable results is your EGO. Do you have a King sized one? Here are some questions to run a quick self-assessment.

1) Do I always feel the need to be in control of situations?
2) Do I get defensive or upset when someone challenges my ideas or decisions?
3) Am I dismissive of the ideas or opinions of others, believing that my own are superior?
4) Do I tend to micromanage my team members and struggle with delegation?
5) Am I quick to blame others for mistakes or problems, rather than taking responsibility myself?
6) Do I prioritize my own needs and desires over the needs of my team or organization?
7) Do I struggle to accept feedback or constructive criticism?
8)Do I feel threatened by the success or accomplishments of others?
9) Am I willing to admit my own limitations or mistakes, and seek input and feedback from others?

If you have answered YES (In capitals that too) for most of these questions, you have to immediately start working on deflating your EGO. You don’t have to take my word for it. Research suggests that leaders who have a strong sense of ego and entitlement are less effective at collaborating with others, more abusive towards their subordinates, and more prone to making risky decisions, all of which can ultimately harm organizational performance and results. Let’s take a closer look at the behavioral characteristics of Managers with and without EGO.

Managers with Ego:

Domineering: They may act aggressively or dominate conversations, seeking to assert their authority and control.

Defensive: They may be quick to defend their decisions or actions, even if they’re not well received by others.

Dismissive: They may be dismissive of others’ ideas or perspectives, believing their own to be superior.

Micromanaging: They may closely monitor and control the work of their team members, not trusting others to handle tasks on their own.

Arrogant: They may act as if they are always right, and may have little tolerance for feedback or constructive criticism.

Status-seeking: They may be overly concerned with their own status and reputation, seeking to advance their own careers rather than benefiting the organization.

Blaming: They may be quick to blame others for mistakes or problems, rather than taking responsibility themselves.

Overconfident: They may be overly confident in their abilities and decisions, not recognizing the need for input or advice from others.

Managers without Ego:

Humble: They may be willing to admit their own limitations or mistakes, and open to feedback from others.

Collaborative: They may work well with others, seeking to build consensus and find common ground.

Empathetic: They may be able to understand and relate to the perspectives and needs of others, and act with compassion and understanding.

Supportive: They may prioritize the well-being and success of their team members, providing guidance and support when needed.

Trusting: They may be willing to delegate tasks and responsibilities to others, trusting their team members to handle them competently.

Decisive: They may be able to make tough decisions quickly and confidently, without being swayed by personal biases or emotions.

Accountable: They may take responsibility for their decisions and actions, and work to correct mistakes or errors.

Gracious: They may express gratitude and appreciation to their team members and colleagues, recognizing and valuing their contributions.

I trust that the list above has demonstrated the importance of shedding one’s ego as a manager, and I hope I don’t have to further persuade you to embrace this idea.

So what can you do to check Your ego at the door and become more successful. Here are 3 super simple and practical techniques that you can start working on right away.

1) Seek feedback regularly: This involves asking for input and perspective from your colleagues, team members, and even your own manager. Be open to constructive criticism and work to incorporate the feedback you receive into your behavior and decision-making.

2) Practice empathy: To practice empathy, actively listen to others, ask questions, and put yourself in their shoes before responding.

3) Practice humility: To practice humility, be willing to admit when you don’t know something, acknowledge the contributions of others, and be open to learning from your mistakes.

These three techniques can be highly impactful in reducing ego and can help you build stronger relationships with your colleagues, improve communication, and ultimately be more effective in your role as a manager.

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Humility for Humanity

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.


Filed under A new sunrise

To befriend Success, first write your Failure/Mistakes Resume


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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5 minutes to become a better spouse and parent

After slogging feverishly to impress myself and my stakeholders at work amidst juggling with social commitments and personal interests, I used to reach home totally depleted. The rest of the hours would be spent as a shadow of my own good self as I would try to get away with the barest minimum of responses to the eager advances of my wife, my ten year old son and baby girl. I who normally take great pains to make official projects and gatherings fun and warm would transform into an apathetic passerby at home, the place that actually mattered the most. My loved ones had learnt to accept my behavior by soothing their pain by repeating unconvincing excuses- “He is really tired, He is very tense today, just another bad day at the office”.

Thankfully, affairs are much better now. I owe this change to a self help article that I came across during a flight. I don’t remember the name of the author. But let me share his wisdom with you all……..

Here is how it works….

I have downloaded a few of my favorite old songs, especially the soulful nostalgia evoking ones. Once I drive back home and reach the car park, I would ease myself of the seat belt, sit back and switch the CD player on. I would close my eyes and slowly let the haunting music and delicious lyrics take me over … till “that” feeling moves out from my chest to all parts of my body. While I am in the throes of this feeling, I would imagine the situation at home and what each of my loved ones would be doing. Then I would try to creatively come up with ways to make the evening uniquely special for them.

Play cricket with Amaan for a while or cook his favorite soup with him.

Conjure up a story and sing it along the lines of Jehan’s nursery rhymes.

Spend time with my wife, updating her with all the juicy things happening in the world, or spend some time with her on her face book page, enjoying its various hues.

I try my best to make the experiences different and special each time. Once I decide on what to do, I get out of the car and enter my home, to craft a mellifluous script for the rest of the evening along with the ones who matter the most.

Takes me just some old songs and a few minutes and of course the urge to make my relationships better and exceptional.

Please try it…. And enjoy the difference that it creates in your lives

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Dont Miss this opportunity to give yourself a hand


Another year is getting ready to pass on its light. Phew!! Wasn’t that fast? The last “Happy New year” was wished emphatically just a few minutes ago, or so it seems. With the eons zipping so fast, future seems to be a thing of the distant past. Hope we will all manage to start working on our purposes before time runs out.

Well, this could be the apt moment to reflect back on the last 11 months. If you diligently try to be introspective of your own actions in the last year you could get some vital clues about that one thing/only thing that you can truly get to understand and control- yourself.

What goals did you set at the end of 2010- and what does it tell you about yourself/your wants and your ambitions…. When you were one year younger. ARE THEY RELEVANT NOW?

What goals did you achieve- and what does it say about your TRUE passions and Wants

What did you give up- and what do you now know about your priorities or the lack of it

Who supported you, guided and applauded for you- and who are your true friends and well wishers

What worked and what didn’t- and what are your STRENGTHS and crucial areas of improvement

What made you happy and feel actualized- and what could be the purpose of your life
Use these answers to have a more effective year ahead….

Seek Results that you really want. Work on areas that truly motivate you. Work on your areas of improvement and use your strengths. Seek the counsel of your good friends. Get what you truly want…

Make your life a revelry of adventure, companionship, adventure and sheer happiness… and mind you… the rest of your life begins NOW.

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