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October 20, 2013

Architecture of Success to achieve your goals!

Architecture of Success works on the four pillars:
Values: "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently." Warren Buffet
Learn: "I never stopped trying to become qualified for the Job." --- Darwin E. Smith, ex CEO of Kimberly-Clark
Change:When you're finished changing, you're finished.” Benjamin Franklin
Focus & Execution:  That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Steve Jobs.

"The best way to predict your future is to create it”... Abraham Lincoln

Values: Any individual brings a set of Values, skills, competencies, interests; personal goals along with a set of behaviors . Building a successful career is about balancing your goals with Company needs, Strategies and Challenges. Your challenge is to find opportunities that leverage your skills and interests while also supporting organization’s strategies and initiatives.

You can’t hope to grow and build a great career if you are not driver of growth for organization and others in eco system. Best way to get a larger share of pie is to grow the pie.

I am reminded of a quote by Adhi Shankara - "God is not an upadesa vaakya. God is an anubava vaakya" meaning God is to be experienced, not to be lectured in a class room. Similarly, what behaviours people around us (customers, colleagues, family etc) experience are our values both at organisational level and as individual. Irrespective of what are stated values.
Learn: Most common trait of successful people  - they are Exceptional Listeners. “Brevity is the soul of command. Too much talking suggests desperation on the part of the leader. Speak shortly, decisively and to the point–and couch your desires in such natural logic that no one can raise objections. Then move on.” - Cyrus the Great.
Follow a simple rule - 5% speaking to 95% silence ratio. It’s funny how SILENT and LISTEN comprise of same characters. Ancient wisdom across cultures (Zen, Yoga etc) emphasizes on silence as method for gaining knowledge. Yet we have more modern text and courses on speaking then keeping quite.

Listen, observe and learn. Leaders are always self confident, motivated, encourage others but never satisfied. They are always setting higher standards. In order to do that, it is important to win trust and respect of those around you. Consistently, look at expanding your perspective by interacting/connecting with other Leaders and Champions. Build your knowledge support system because you will never have all skills.

Change: “It is not survival of the fittest but the most adaptable”. However, successful people don’t wait to adapt. They anticipate and lead change. Experience and Instinct are important. Change is uncertain and not pleasant, it is ok, and crisis management is an acquired skill. Your job is to manage conflict not make it go away; Learn to love complexity and paradox ... be passionate about and in love with Growth. But most importantly while changing stand for values that don’t change.
“I expect people to read, to watch the news—not just because it makes them more interesting but because what happens in the world affects what happens to us, to our marketplace, and to our competition.” – Larry Bossidy

Focus & Execution:  In Benjamin Franklin’s words “Well done is better than well said.” Talk is cheap. Talking about a project won't get it completed. We all know people who constantly talk about things they are going to do but rarely ever take that first step. Eventually people begin to question their credibility. Taking action and seeing the task through to completion is the only way to get the job done.

Successful people always focus on Customer. They don’t spend time and energy on Internal/External/Employee/Vendor etc differentiation. Because once you start seeing big picture you realize that whether providing solution to customer or responding to employees/colleagues, you are always serving customers. Your team members (e,g. Providing feedback as manager) are your customers, you are responsible for providing performance feedback to employees on behalf of organization. Once you start operating on this paradigm lot of noise/ unwanted jargon, prejudices etc are no longer there and you become more effective.
Be ambitious but be in touch with reality. In GE Chairman Jeff Immelt’s words “Leaders Protect people from danger … but expose them to reality.” Know your reality and protect yourself from danger.
Often we are running so hard that we don’t pause and reflect. Use these slides to self evaluate and determine your status.
I sign off with a quote from Cyrus the Great – ““In my experience, men who respond to good fortune with modesty and kindness are harder to find than those who face adversity with courage.”

Most importantly never stop celebrating and having fun.

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