How to be awesome at work! And in life too!

The crux of life is to learn something new, everyday! – Khalid Raza

I started the blog with the statement above but if you see the comments, you will see a buzzing conversation. Through his comments, Narayanan shared with us a better version of the quote, which I am pasting below. I am amazed, how all of us can make all of us more intelligent, smarter and better. Thank you Narayanan!

‘The crux of life is to learn something new, everyday and share it with others!!! – Khalid Raza and Narayanan

2014 zipped past like a bullet train. Is it the effect of super-addictive learning, or the fast paced world we live in? Nonetheless, it was a great year for me, personally and professionally. I made some new friends, traveled to awesome new places including Mauritius, bought a house, got promoted at work, worked with one the finest leaders in IBM – Tim Collins; learnt a lot from my mentors and #SocialHRSuccess revolutionized social learning at IBM,.Ohh I forget, I started liking coffee – thank you New York!

#SociaGlamor #BEAwesome #Leadership #Learning Khalid Raza khalidraza9

But above all, I discovered that working with other bright individuals, is an opportunity to become a better person. We get these opportunities all the time, but mostly squander them as we fail to see them as opportunities. Some of us stay blind. So much to learn, so much to do and so many ways to shine! To some it all up there may be much to achieve in this world but the biggest achievement will always be love and appreciation from people around you. How much of that do you get? How do you get more?

I am going to share a small activity which I started in 2014 and works for me. I want you to take a pen and a paper and write down the name of the person, you ‘do not’ wish to work with again. Don’t fret, I’d not ask you to share that with me.

Think of the reasons, why you would not like to work with them. Anything which makes you cringe about them. Write the top three reasons below the name. This is where this activity becomes the toughest – you have to be honest with yourself. For, you are in the process of becoming your better self.

Now list down the times where you demonstrated any of those three traits at work. It does not matter if you were chasing a deadline, of you were upset or if your CEO had turned red. If you can relate to any of the qualities that you wrote down, it means there are people at work, who do not wish to work with you!

Did you ever think of it? I did not, till I did this exercise. I felt really bad about myself and heart heavy. But this is where we pick up the gauntlet and take steps towards becoming our better selves.

Now do the next step in the process. Take one said trait at a time and give yourself two weeks to improve. Here is what I did:

  1. Made impact statements for each trait. The impact statement should guide you towards eradicating the same. For example if the trait is, “He/She speaks rudely,” the impact statement can be, “I will be polite at all times.”
  2. Wrote my impact statement on a paper and stuck it at my desk. It read, “I will not interrupt.”
  3. Identify a partner – anyone who can observe your behavior and provide feedback to you. Seek feedback at all times. The person should know the activity and the results you are expecting.
  4. Observe yourself at all times. No one can improve you unless you give it your 100%.

be-better-600x338That’s it – you will see results, in the form of compliments, better relations and best one – the confidence and happiness that comes with being a better person. You can do this for anything you do not like in others. If you do not appreciate people rushing in when the elevator door opens, you stop rushing in. If you do not like people honking on the road, you stop honking. If you do not like getting rude emails, you must stop writing them. We know that leaders are never born, they become. But before becoming a leader, we must become better human beings and professionals.

Thank you for being part of my leadership journey. 2014 was amazing and 2015 looks bright already. Will you stay blind or get better? Share your thoughts with me.


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22 thoughts on “How to be awesome at work! And in life too!

  1. Yogesh Pandey January 13, 2015 at 12:01 pm Reply

    Hi Khalid

    I have been reading your notes and this one is truly thoughtful & impressive. I do plan to learn from you this year to be a better being Social especially being comfortable on sharing on public platform

    Liked by 1 person

    • Khalid Raza January 13, 2015 at 7:48 pm Reply

      Thank you Yogesh for your kind visit to #SocialGlamor blog. I am glad you find my social activities helpful. I will be more than happy and honored to network further with you. Feel free to reach out any time. Hope this blog made sense to you!


  2. maureenmonte January 14, 2015 at 6:11 pm Reply

    As I already noted on LinkedIn, I love this blog. It’s refreshing when leaders admit that this is not an easy journey – the process of “becoming fully” is not pretty – ask any butterfly or dragonfly. Your suggestion is perfect and offers perspective, which can be hard to come by in the heat of the moment. I laughed out loud at the “ceo turns red”. 🙂 I have a question – what is the object in the photo? It is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Khalid Raza January 15, 2015 at 2:43 pm Reply

      Thank you much Maureen for your inputs here as well on LinkedIn. I am wondering if I should stop posting there – what do you suggest?
      More importantly, thank you for being my partner in my success – I still recall the awesome work we did for the Technical Leaders and we did not stop. You have helped me become better at each step and I owe you a hell lot.
      CEO turns Red – Vanitha, my friend and editor asked me to take this term off but I persisted as this is exactly how I see some leaders. They turn red and everyone around them, including sanity, goes for a toss.
      The object in the photo is a party-mask. I celebrated this new year in Kolkata. Our entire family plus extended family, 30 in all, went to DI Club and we got these masks there. I took this pic right there. I wondered how a mask can make us feel – something we are not.

      Liked by 1 person

      • maureenmonte January 15, 2015 at 7:19 pm Reply

        I love that that thing is a mask! I had no idea! And how true your statement is – a mask can make us feel something we are not. Ask any actor who has to dress in a “period piece” (like from victorian england) – it transforms them. Thank you so much for all those lovely comments! I am thrilled with our partnership, as you know (just added a bit about it my book I’m slaving away on!) We did not give up, and we had a great idea. It’s still a great idea, we just have to implement it elsewhere. As for the posting in linked in or not, I have heard that they own the content at that point- you might check it. I like your own site, but that’s my “less social” view of the world. And as for the CEO turns red – I love it and you are spot on. Glad you left it in. 🙂 Keep it up, rock star – so grateful we have our awesome partnership!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Tushar Kothari January 15, 2015 at 12:05 am Reply

    Hey Khaild, I love reading your blogs and I must take some tips from you about blogging some day.


    • Khalid Raza January 15, 2015 at 2:44 pm Reply

      Anytime Tushar…. pick up the phone and call. seeing your facebook posts, I believe you can be a superb blogger.


  4. Trudy January 15, 2015 at 8:14 am Reply

    I was just thinking about someone today and vowed that after June when her tenure ends, I will never work with again. Primarily because she is regressive and lacks depth. Very frustrating.


    • Khalid Raza January 15, 2015 at 2:48 pm Reply

      This can happen very often at work Trudy. Did you ever try to acknowledge that to her? Sometimes, people may take it very offensively. However their behavior can help us become better by identifying if we also demonstrate those traits. At the same time, do not allow their negative energy to impact you – keep your focus and move out of the sphere when it become difficult. Give yourself time. Come and back and let them know that their behavior is not welcomed. Let me know if that works for you.


      • Trudy January 15, 2015 at 8:17 pm Reply

        Thanks, Khalid. It’s interesting that I liked her before but after experiencing her leadership I saw some personal qualities I did not care for. But I plan to go through your exercise as neutrally as possible so I get the right feedback for myself. I have seen a similar technique used for fighting spouses. Sometimes the things we get angry about are the same things we are guilty of, too.


        • Khalid Raza January 16, 2015 at 4:57 pm Reply

          Yes Trudy – well said. I’d be eager to know how it goes for you. Good luck!


  5. Gurdip Singh Mehta January 15, 2015 at 12:35 pm Reply

    Good one! Be the change that one want to see . I liked it! Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Vicki Flaherty January 17, 2015 at 6:13 am Reply

    Khalid, love the simplicity of the activity you suggest – and how tough it is. Like Maureen suggests – the metamorphosis can be a bit ‘ugly’. It made me remember something that I learned in a transformative leadership development experience many years ago – you can’t see in others what doesn’t exist in yourself. Every time I see something that I don’t like in someone else, I remember to turn my pointing finger back to myself and say ‘you see it, you got it’ and then add ‘what are you going to do about it?’
    Oh, and you and Maureen ROCKED when you two were collaborating. I was there and it was indeed something to be part of. I see you both going way above and beyond those early ‘beginner’ days. You are both awesome people who have helped me become a better person and leader. I sit here grateful and optimistic about the year ahead! Thanks for being YOU and sharing with US!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Khalid Raza January 19, 2015 at 12:54 pm Reply

      “Light always takes away the darkness, in our homes, hearts and minds!”
      We can only see light in others when we are not in dark. As leaders, it is our responsibility to inspire others around us to display their light, but before that happens, we need to see the light in them. Once we see the light in everyone around us, we will never be in dark. (Taken from:

      Vicki, your support has been so amazing. Maureen and I always feel your are our third musketeer, although we have never met. Thank you for your kind support and encouragement through your insightful comments.


  7. Mariano Aragunde January 18, 2015 at 10:22 am Reply

    Great article Khalid. Sometimes it is not simple to identify these simple things: our behaviors. As you explained: maybe just writing it down in a piece of paper might be enough to put a pair of eyes to that inanimate object…and make it mean something. Overcome our biases and subjectivity must be one of the hardest things of our lives, but the mere act of trying it (even if we get better or not) it already makes us better persons. And now your made me realize that people should hate me! Oh no Khalid, why!? Ha, just a joke. I’ll start this exercise =) Thanks for another awesome reading.


    • Khalid Raza January 19, 2015 at 12:58 pm Reply

      ha ha… no body hates your Mariano, although I am jealous of your triathlete prowess! #wink You said it right – our bias and subjectivity makes us not ‘see’ the light. Do you think social helps us take it away from the society in any way?


      • Mariano Aragunde January 19, 2015 at 7:22 pm Reply

        Yes and no. Our “digital personas” in Social Media usually don’t represent 100% who we truly are: our values, our personalities. But I think social helps us to take the first step, like this blog discussion for example. Or maybe I can take this to Facebook or Twitter for more discussion too and have an impact on others too. I think we have to be smart when using social for really cool discussions like this, because it can either help us overcome our biases, or make them eve deeper.


  8. Narayanan K January 19, 2015 at 10:25 am Reply

    Hi Khalid, nice article. I agree with your statement ‘The crux of life is to learn something new, everyday! – Khalid Raza’. But want to add something to it. By just learning you enlighten yourself. But sharing makes you happy and gives fulfillment. Hence I would slightly modify your statement and say that ‘The crux of life is to learn something new, everyday and share it with others!!! – Khalid Raza’ You are a standing example for it as far as my knowledge goes, Keep learning and sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Khalid Raza January 19, 2015 at 1:00 pm Reply

      That is awesome Narayanan! Thank you – I will edit the blog to update the quote. I agree with you here, we can become better by learning but sharing is what makes the society better, makes us content. I do my bit and you do yours. Thank you for your comment – it helped me learn something. See the changes in the blog, above.


    • Khalid Raza August 26, 2015 at 6:45 pm Reply

      Narayanan – you must see the new image… I have added your name.


  9. […] who work with you think of you? Does it bother you? Or you think you don’t care. If you do care, please take a look at this activity which you can use to start your journey as a leader and also help you make the workplace a happy […]


  10. Vicki Flaherty July 4, 2015 at 3:47 am Reply

    I missed this one before, Khalid. Love it! I remember when I went through a “Radical Leadership” workshop about 10 years ago one of the things we were asked to do was identify 2 things about the other people in the class – one strength and one ‘even better if’. Each person had to sit in the front of the room to receive their feedback and couldn’t say anything. It was very powerful, gift-full. Even more powerful for me, though, was that evening reviewing my list and realizing that everything I identified for the others was true for me. I realized what powerful mirrors others are for us. Keep on blogging and sharing – you are awesome!


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