Tag Archives: career growth

3 tips to avoid Rash Decisions

Did your decision make the situation better? If not, then it wasn’t a good decision. [Tweet this]

We all have been there, done that. What? Rash and Crazy decisions. And most of the time, these decisions, although seemingly justified, come and haunt us. Every time we take a rash decision, we make ourselves vulnerable and put risks at play.

  • Your boss is difficult to work with – you quit your job.
  • Your spouse doesn’t appreciate your passion – you start to ignore them.
  • Your friends forgot to invite you – you unfriend them.
  • The parking lot guy could not guide you – you start yelling.

What is happening? In all of these instances (and I know there are many more – why don’t you share some by commenting to this blog) the reaction to the situation has done nothing to address the issue. Almost all the times, the issue continues to stay and your reaction becomes another issue to be addressed.

rash-decision-sociaglamor

So what should you do?

I don’t know. I will tell you what I do and you might wish to try that. There is no set answer but I will give you three tips:

  1. Have an honest discussion to know the reason. Ask ‘why’? There is always a story and be ready to accept the story and change your perspective.
  2. Take out protagonists from the story – See how one would deal with the situation if you take off names and just keep the story. Sometimes our bias/love towards people influences us – don’t let that happen.
  3. Talk to a more mature person – this person could be a friend, spouse, mentor, colleague… ask them what should you do after sharing the honest story you know. Third party view always helps.

It’s always understood that each situation will be unique and would require that much in depth introspection however next time, blood rushes to your head, sit down and chose one of the options. The idea is to give yourself time, perspective and options. The approach should be to avoid rash decisions and impact of those decisions.

How to not screw your career!

First Scene: 2010, 2 years after I joined IBM.

I got a call from a recruiter who was hiring for a fortune 100 company. The articulate lady called me to see if I will be interested in a role she has with her employer. The role sounded exciting, although we agreed it was not perfectly aligned because of my lack of experience, and after reading the JD, I shared my resume to be processed. We spoke 4-5 times over phone as we proceeded towards the first round of interview. I was invited to speak with one of their leaders, after a telephonic interview, and had a great conversation, but I got the feeling it will not move forward, which was not a surprise. None the less I got an opportunity to meet and interact with a leader, which was my takeaway.

As anxious as one can be, I waited for the formal revert from the recruiter. Weeks passed and I did not hear anything. I tried to reach her over phone to understand the next steps, if any, or get some feedback. However my calls were not replied to. After waiting for few days I sent her few emails to seek guidance/closure and I never got a response. I was not impressed as a simple closure email with a thank you would have worked.

It showed me how much this recruiter cared or bothered about candidate experience and professionalism which every organization strives for.

Cut to 2016.

Recently, one of my friends had an open position for a Senior Manager – Talent Acquisition and reached out to me if I had any references. I did pass on couple of them to him. My friend and I spoke after a week to see how is it going with his search and he mentioned that he has zeroed in on 3 candidates and wanted to check if I have any information on their profiles – we all know HR fraternity is very close knit.

The moment I heard the name of the lady, I knew who she was. Now you know what must have happened to her chances of bagging this juicy role of Senior Manager.

End of Story.

What do we learn from this story?

  1. Always close loop your business transactions – especially as a recruiter, it is your duty to revert to the candidate with information and feedback.  It will save time for you as the candidates will not be reaching out to you over phone and email and will also build credibility and relations for you.
  2. Builds a reputation for your company – Every time I have a case study of bad recruitment, I share this story. I have kept the names away from this blog, but in those off-the-table talks, names come out and reputation takes a beating. TA Leaders should ensure their teams close loop with each candidate. The person may not be a fit right now but who knows about the future.
  3. Perception is the Key to Success – While you may be putting in super human effort but how others look at you is directly linked to how successful you become. So ensure small slip ups do not wash away the brilliant work you do.

Now pause for a second and read these 3 points again – hey hold true for all professionals. We know that leadership is all about compassion – we should learn to treat like we wish to be treated. So are you guilty of not treating others respectfully? Do share your thoughts with me.

24 Awesome #Talent Quotes for You

Here is a list of quotes for you to learn and share. I will continue to add more from time to time.

  1. #WorkCulture – Leaders enable, employees sustain it. [Tweet this]
  2. Working with a good manager is like having fresh food – anything after that tastes bad!
  3. Not sure if employees leave because of bad managers, but for sure employees stay back for good ones.
  4. Leadership isn’t about you but about people, their culture and your ability to take them along.
  5. Organizations need to focus on work culture and experience.
  6. The crux of life is to learn something new, everyday and share it with others!
  7. Leadership isn’t about others but you! Learn to lead yourself ethically and others will follow.
  8. Organizations forget the ‘L’ and provide ‘earning’ which only fulfills the material demands. Make people hungry for learning and growth. [Tweet this]
  9. Work Culture is made by Leaders. If you want a certain culture, be prepared to walk the talk. [Tweet this]
  10. Don’t invest in technology and use people. Rather invest in people and use technology. [Tweet this]

11. Data is not Analytics. Its use to solve business challenge is. [Tweet this]

12. Mentoring isn’t about you, it is about the mentee. Don’t make your clones.[Tweet this]

13. Some people make your worklife misreable. How to deal with them?

14. Never give up but give up foolishness. [Tweet this]

15. Learning is the easiest thing one can do – the most difficult one is taking the first step. #Growyourcareer #Talent [Tweet this]

16. The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others! #Life #Talent #Career [Tweet this]

17. Our super-charged, hyper-connected workforce needs active, #social and open #leaders. Cherish or Perish! #socbiz #Leadership [Tweet this]

18. Talent is not what you have, but what you do with it. #Success #Leadership [Tweet this]

19. Talent alone will not take you there, start working on your #Attitude #Success #Life [Tweet this]

20. Even the hardest #sellers have to understand the soft client issues. #SalesTip #Success [Tweet this]

21. Create a plan & assign importance – then learning will become a ‘part’ of your life rather than just a part of your routine. [Tweet this]

22. Money isn’t everything in life. Those who get this are always happy. Those who don’t are sometimes happy [Tweet this]

23. The most interested people in any meeting are the ones who hardly care! #Ironic #workplacefun [Tweet this]

24. Employee engagement is not a destination but a journey #Talent [Tweet this]

Feel free to add your quotes if you wish me to include them here under #QuotebyKhalid. Please only share your original quotes.

Talent Mantra: People should lead – People. Rest is just waste!

The ability to connect with people and understanding their emotions is the key to people management. Some managers miss that point. – Khalid Raza

I was listening to Karan Thapar yesterday where he had a panel talking about employment and engagement. One of the panelists, Aruna Jayanthi, CEO, Capgemini India Pvt Ltd, shared how ‘people should be leading people’ and that this should be the mantra. She asserted that even if people have great roles, they may leave the organization if the people they work with create a hostile environment.

Especially managers play a great role. We all have been hearing this since dogs were tied with sausage how ‘people leave managers’ and yet managers pay least focus on people. Some of them are oblivious and some do not care – in either case they cost organization more than they create value. In turn these managers become the biggest cost heads for organizations.

People lead People Khalid Raza #SocialGlamor 1Let me also share this short story which I got as a forward in one of many Whatsapp groups I am part of..

There was a king he had 10 wild dogs. He used them to torture and eat all ministers who made mistakes. So one of the ministers once gave an opinion which was wrong, and which the king didn’t like at all. He ordered that the minister to be thrown to the dogs. Continue reading

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.

If it Clicks, it’s Social!

Our super charged, hyper-connected workforce needs active, social and open leaders. Cherish or perish! – Khalid Raza [Tweet this]

BRANDfog’s 2014: The Global, Social CEO survey results are out. It provides the crucial reality check which some of our leaders may not wish to see. The survey primarily focuses on the C-suite’s social media engagement and business leader involvement.

Here are the three results from this year’s 15-question survey:

  1. Social CEOs make better leaders: Between 2012 and 2013, the perception that C-Suite and executive participation in social media leads to better leadership, increased from 45% to 75%.
  2. Social CEO engagement leads to brand trust: A company whose C-Suite executives and leadership teams use social to communicate on core mission, brand values and purpose is more trustworthy.
  3. Social media is modern PR: One of the most insightful survey results is that social media has become the new age PR for executives, especially for brands in crisis.

None of this should be a surprise. We believe that being social and open helps us become more human, real and effective. Being social is not an event or a box to tick, it is who we are as people, it is a state of being! It is about transformation and reinvention. (Tweet this)

Social Leaders #SocialGlamor Khalid Raza

Legacy solutions and systems (like email and team rooms), still garner a lot of support from the leaders when it comes to implementation and usage. Social is too often the second choice solution for leaders and their management teams. If that continues as the modus operandi, Gartner research estimates that 80% of social business initiatives would deliver disappointing results over the next three years. Not surprising again!

This article from Gerald C (Jerry) Kane, an associate professor of information systems at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, highlights three reasons why social business initiatives fail:

1. Managers go into social business with unclear goals.
2. Initiatives start as pilots, and then fizzle out due to modest participation.
3. Companies expect social initiatives, even pilots, to deliver a financial return on investment.

The problem lies at a very deeper and basic level – right in the minds of our leaders. The ‘change’ has been painful and agonizing.. Here’s one example:  continuing to rely on email is the ‘only’ or preferred way to work. Email, corporate intranets and knowledge management solutions are clearly not ‘old’ technologies, but in the context of true collaboration they are outdated, old school, and rely on  rigid methodologies, hierarchy and structures that don’t take full advantage of the free-form approach of enterprise social collaboration.

In IBM, we understand this challenge. Interestingly, the power and potential of social is also its biggest roadblock! Supporting efforts and enablement programs can only do so much. The journey of a leader to become social and open has to be undertaken by the leader himself or herself.

Here are a few steps every leader can do take to make social click for them:

  1. Identify your calling: Social won’t happen for you because it is happening for others! Find your own reason how social can make you a better leader, a better colleague, and find your own unique voice. Once you are cognizant of the reason, the rest of the journey will be easy. If social does not click for you, then you are in the wrong place. Many leaders skip this step.
  2. Focus on solving the problem: This means becoming more effective and productive. It can be knowledge-sharing, digital eminence, collaboration, sales, and knowledge-management. Don’t do it for a scorecard, do it for yourself. Or else you will fail.
  3. Social is all about authenticity and being real, aka organic: Unless you are a celebrity doing social to “be” what other people want you to be, inorganic social activity is a waste. It may gratify you for a bit, but it will do harm. Build your #socialglamor each day, with honest, sincere and vulnerable social participation.
  4. Define the end result you want and not the ROI: Emails do not have any ROI and we never ask for it. For social, return on investment comes up often.  Spend the time to visualize the success you want to achieve with social and that will put you on the right path.
  5. Walk the talk: Let go of control, be self-aware and vulnerable. Social is all about being out there, with everyone else on a level playing field.

Great leaders have always been about equality and inspiration. They knew that real value comes from merit and teamwork. The corporate creations of corner offices, private suites, concierge service and round tables made this less possible.

First few lines of this amazing video seal it for me.

“There are a lot of people, who say: ‘But I tried once or twice… and it didn’t work out’. And so they use that as an excuse not to ever come out again.”

I leave you with this.  How do you want to be remembered? As a person who clicks in the true spirit of social or someone for whom social needs to be clicked, a box to be ticked? Share your thoughts.

Let blind leadeth the blind not

Light always takes away the darkness, in our homes, hearts and minds! : Khalid Raza

Last year, I wrote a blog on how most of us, perceive ourselves to be elite professionals while condemn others to the dusty rug of stupidity. Some of us did not get the undertone of the message and mistook it as baleful writing. However, that exiguous population is part of the workforce we work with, every day.

As I sip my green tea, I wonder how many of us see the light in others. And, does that inability keep us in the dark?

Light #SocialGlamor Khalid Raza

All of us have talents and qualities inside us that simply are yet to be discovered or exhibited. We are all talented. Period! Most of the times talents stay buried in us because we lack the confidence or opportunity, and at other times it is because we don’t know our own talents. Our talents are like the poltergeist – never at rest, if not channelized properly. This is the reason why people move on, from jobs, relations and from themselves.

I know it for a fact that it can take just one person to bring out the best in someone. We have the ability to help others help themselves and discover what makes them unique and valuable. Who knows, maybe someone will do the same for us some day. Source

My friend and mentor, Maureen wrote in her wonderfully articulated piece,

“…slowly, gently, we reveal our own true colors, and make a difference in the world. This lifelong journey will inevitably catch the eyes of God and mankind, inspire those around us, and fill us with bliss.”

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. Failing that we will stay in syzygy, which will always keep us in the dark. We hold the key. We know that leaders are never born, they become. And, therefore with each passing moment, we can become a better leader.

How did you help someone see the light in them? How did you help yourself see it? Tell me more…

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