Tag Archives: Leadership

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.

My 2015 in review

2015 is over but I am still hungover. What an year it was. Lemme quickly share with you some highlights of my 2015 and I will eagerly wait to hear your top highlight of the year through the comment section.

To begin with, my blog got a lot of love from all of you. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

And I became a proud father of Zayaan Raza, who joined us on 5th Dec 2015. Here is us wishing you an awesome New Year!

Last but not the least, the icing on the cake was when I got selected in the 25 Top Indian HR Professionals – what an honor!

Leadership is NOT about designation, but compassion! Do you have it?

My last few weeks have been really busy and I have spent a lot of time at work, which presented an opportunity for me to observe people and their leadership styles. My current focus at work is to lead the ‘Early Professional Hiring and Journey’ for IBM India Sales and Distribution and under this exciting strategical effort, we are inducting a cohort.

An illustrated lot of leaders is interacting with the group and sharing their priceless information. Along with that, I am nudging the group to look for skills and characteristics which appear beneath the surface but impact the leadership and the leader; and more so, people who work with the leaders. And then imbibe those.

Leadership Khalid Raza #SocialGlamor

While I can create a fancy laundry list of actions each leader need to be cognizant of but I am not a guru and no one is a disciple here. Let’s uncomplicated it. You must have read in Talent Mantra: People should lead – People. Rest is just waste! that even if people have great roles, they may leave the organization if the people they work with create a hostile environment.

Compassion is the only differentiator between a designation and a leader who gets respected and admired. While talented people grow, sometimes those who just stick also move up the pyramid. However, at the top, compassion becomes a strength and the only key to engage and drive people.

I would also recommend you to read this blog in which a lot of people shared their idea of a good leader: What makes a good leader?

Read this small story about a person working with a freezer plant.

It was almost the day end. Everyone had packed up to check out. A technical snag developed in the plant and he went to check. By the time he finished it was late. The doors were sealed and the lights were off. Continue reading

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

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…

Leaders are never born, they become!

Illness teaches you a lot about yourself. And it teaches you a hell of a lot about others: Khalid Raza

You all must be wondering why I have not written for so long. Well, those of you who are connected on social networks know that I have been extremely unwell. It all started, in the last week of my CSC assignment, with a very unnerving but harmless fever, which was taken care of by half a tablet of paracetamol. Within a day, I was touching 39.5 degree Celsius (103.1 degree Fahrenheit), with severe pain and burning eyes, body pain, and shivering. We visited the clinic, which in itself is a big story (maybe I will share it some other time), and I was put on drips (first time in my life) and all blood tests were done. Everything turned out to be normal and we came back to the hotel, but I was far from normal.

Dani, one of my CSC assignment members and now a very good friend, took care of me almost all the time. Sometimes it meant that she had to sleep less to get work done, but her care and support made me feel better. This is where she became a leader.

It was difficult for me to stand up for five minutes, I could not keep my eyes open and my body was burning. In the middle of all this, our assignment’s final presentation and report were due. The work had to be done and the team made a checklist. To my dismay, surprise and shock, the work was divided equally. I had two choices – either to make my team take into consideration my obvious and horrendous condition and seek empathy or pick up the gauntlet and deliver. I chose the latter. I was writhing in pain, crying for some relief, working the laptop, even though the screen made my eyes burn. This was the moment; someone from the team had to be a leader. Leadership #SocialGlamor Khalid Raza

Finally the last day came and I stayed away from the press, videos and talking, as my body was giving up on me by then. By this time, I had been to two different hospitals, four visits, thrice on drips but all the reports were still fine. While my team was enjoying the last evening by the pool, I was waiting to die as the temperature touched 40.2 degree Celsius (104.4 degree Fahrenheit). We all were to fly next day and I wanted to go home to people who love me.

One of our clients, Maria’s husband, who is a doctor himself, after knowing my condition, asked me to get hospitalized immediately. We met a specialist who finally diagnosed it to be a severe infection of Pneumonia in my left lung. He said, if I would have flown, it would have been my last flight as my lungs would have collapsed. I am in hospital since the last five days and I am recovering. I still cannot breathe normally and get breathless when I walk some distance. While I was hospitalized, I was constantly visited by Alex, who bought a lot of stuff for me to eat, Wendy, who graciously shared her Netflix account with me, Dani, who has done more than one can for me already and Tushar, who understands that the presence of a friend in difficult times is all we need to gain strength. They are all leaders as they are ready to sacrifice for people they care for. Others may have fancy roles with shallow characters and they hang the values card on their chest, but are driven by only one motive – self. And that my friends, is a sure sign that they are never leaders.

IMG-20141015-WA0007Olivia, who is our local contact from Pyxxera Global, along with her husband Julian have been God sent angels. They have been extremely caring and patient with me. They visit me twice a day, not to put a tick mark on a report, but to spend time with me. They are a lovely couple but more importantly, amazing human beings.

I must also mention how amazing IBM has been. I have received complete co-operation and support from my company and leaders who are actively engaged in knowing how I am recovering. I am honored, proud and privileged to be an IBMer.

I am writing this blog to you from Clinica Del Caribe, from the bed where I have now spent five days. Within a week I will be off to my country, but everything I learnt during my illness will stay with me. In one of her blogs, my wonderful friend and guide Maureen Monte shared a story of how a sleepy employee did not get her recommendation for his behaviors in one of the projects. She suggested that we all are being seen by others. If we wish to become leaders, we need to behave like one.

Those of us who did are on their path to become and those of us who did not, will never become. Remember: Leaders are never born, but become one.

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