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Thursday, October 31, 2013

The True Wealth Of Life !!

Diwali is here! The festival of lights ! A time to enjoy sweets, burst crackers, draw colorful rangolis, light diyas, meet with family and friends …
A time to celebrate life ! All of us have our favorite Diwali moments!  For me, the best part is the Mahalakshmi puja. At home, it is traditionally a
3 hour or more puja, where we chant all shlokas of Devi, meditate, do aartis and then have delicious prasad. 
Mahalakshmi is the Goddess of Wealth. Mostly wealth is associated with material well being and possessions, money, bank balances and so on.  Isnt it?
It is worth thinking whether this is really the Wealth of our Life? Is this all there is to it? I feel fortunate that my perspective has changed thanks to the knowledge and love of 
Gurudev H H Sri Sri Ravishankarji.

What is truly the real Wealth of our Life?

1) Sadhana 

"Dhana" - Wealth, "Sa"- that which goes with us. No matter how much wealth we accumulate in our life, is it going to go with us when we depart? No. 5 million or 5 billion, 2 cars or 20, 1 house or 10..All of it will be left behind. Isn't it?
Then what is the wealth that will go with us? It is Sadhana. The wealth of our practices. Meditation, Sudarshan Kriya, the merit that we get from Seva, the knowledge of satsang- this is the wealth we carry, from lifetime to lifetime.
A sort of carry forward of our balance! So which wealth should we focus on earning? The one that we leave behind or the one that will go with us? Think about it!

2) The Knowledge we get 

Gurudev has said that when we depart, 2 questions will come up in front of us. How much knowledge have we got in our life  is one of the them. 
How much of our life is dedicated to gain knowledge? How much deeper are we going in it? How much is our life getting enriched because of it?
How much of the knowledge is the living reality of our life.These are important questions, don't you think? Being in knowledge makes every moment joyful & life a grand celebration!

3) The Love we give

This is the second question that will face us when we depart. How much love have we given in our life, Genuine unconditional love. Not calculated economic one which measures returns.
Often times our life is stuck between cravings and aversions towards people.  Can we rise about it and just give love. Much more will flood back into our lives.
When people have lost all that they had in natural disasters or calamities, they said they could bounce back only because of the power of love. All of us have experienced the joy of real, unconditional love in our life sometime - imagine if every moment of our life could be drenched in love ! Even angels would crave for such a life!

Today is Dhanteras. The first day of Diwali. Let the meaning of Dhan- Wealth change for us. 

May we weigh our wealth in how much generosity, kindness, compassion,contentment,gratitude & dispassion we have. 

May we be very very rich in this way. Our life will be a true gift to the world. 
In our richness, we will enrich so many other lives.

Here's to more and more of this wealth in our lives!

Ajay and I  wish you a very Happy Diwali and a wonderful prosperous new year ahead !

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Towards Inspired Leadership

Each of us is a leader. Whether its at home , work or our communities. Each of us leads in some way.
As we progress in life - families growing,  promotions at work , deeper involvement in communities, the leadership roles become more complex. The challenges are different , skills required are diverse and solutions are not mostly black or white. Have you experienced this ? I am sure there may have been many difficult moments you may have faced. I have.

Then how does one navigate through such leadership situations? How does one create win win ? What support can one draw on?

There are a few time tested approaches. I reclassify them as my 5 Is.

1) Imbibe

As a leader, it is very important to keep ourselves updated of the latest in our field. Imbibe new knowledge and skills regularly. Stay with the times.The more equipped we are, the more capable we are. It need not be formal education necessarily. We can imbibe and learn new things from every day life, people around us, practical experiences. Every moment is an opportunity to learn something
new. One leader I know, doesn't go to bed till he learns 3 new things every day. Its great to have a personal rule like this.What new did you imbibe today ?

2) Innovate

If we keep doing things the same way, we will continue to get the same results. As a leader , we need to innovate. If we want to scale bigger heights, break barriers, preempt competition, we have to find newer, better, cheaper, faster,nicer ways of doing things. If we don't, someone else will.  Staying ahead of the pack is important for success. Innovation is critical for that. We are seeing the results of innovation in every sector today- telecom, airlines, hospitality, banking etc. Even if you innovate, if your competition is better at it, you still lose .

3) Initiate

Everyone looks to the leader for new initiatives. Its an important responsibility of leadership. One of my previous bosses, evaluated us on the number of new initiatives each of us launched every week.
Our team was always buzzing with new ideas and plans. We had so many new initiatives going on, even if a couple of them did not work out, it didn't matter. Tens other would. Out of the 43 of us working for this boss, 38  become CEOs/Presidents/Managing Directors ! It works !

4) Interact

Don't be stuck to your computers and phones. Get out and meet people. Interact with them. Its invigorating,refreshing and energizing. Meet customers, colleagues, peers, competitors, stakeholders.
Of course technology has made it possible to interact with the whole world at the click of a button. Do that too, But its not a substitute for human interaction. When I was leading a 300 member team few years ago, I had a personal resolution to interact with 5 team members in an informal way. It did more good to their performance, than a formal review! The personal touch makes all the difference.

5) Inspire

Dont preach. Practice. Walk the talk. If you do this , your team will always be inspired to do more. If not,  no amount of external motivation will be enough. A stellar glowing example of inspired leadership is Gurudev H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ! His personal commitment to serving humanity has inspired hundreds and  thousands of volunteers around the world to create a violence free , stress free society.

I am delighted to share with you that in less than 3 weeks , you will get a chance to experience each of these 5 Is at The World Forum for Ethics in Business, annual symposium at the European Parliament in Brussels.

On November 15th, you will be able to:

Imbibe - new tools and techniques like Adaptive Leadership, Multiplier Concept, Mindful Leadership, tools to use in private sector for better governance  & more,

Innovate - to create new approaches for an ethical world,

Initiate- launch of the historic  Online Ethical Leadership curriculum,

Interact - with world leaders and the best minds in the industry,

Inspire- yourself and others to create a better world !

Be there on 15th November. Register on now.

Experience the 5 Is in action leading you to the 6th I - IMPACT !
Immediately !

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