Sunday, August 23, 2020

Corporate lessons - SUITS

Suits is a Netflix series about a law firm based out of Manhattan New York. And you will fall in love with the plot, the dialogues, and the characters. The series brings about some wonderful leadership lessons and it is difficult not to relate to the characters.
Though all the characters are very carefully crafted, few people stand out
“You always have a choice.”

1.   Harvey Specter – A handsome and badass lawyer who is almost invincible when it comes to his work. But is very vulnerable when it comes to the people he cares both at work and personal life. He respects the hierarchy and is very unconventional in his approach.
2.   Jessica Pearson – A confident black woman who is the MD of the firm. She never shies away from speaking her mind and knows the strength and weaknesses of her team. Plays like a perfect leader bringing out the best in people and keeping the egos in check by all means.
3.   Donna Paulsen – The charming, witty, and crafty secretary of Harvey Specter who is the backbone of the firm in more ways than one. She proves that persons EQ is more important than IQ to run a successful organization.
4.   Louis Litt – A law genius who is awkward, impulsive, and irritating. Someone who can be the biggest strength or weakness for you depending on how you treat him
5.   Mike Ross – A prodigy with a photographic memory. He represents the millennials. Genius, unapologetic, and instinctive. He is never afraid of challenging himself and his seniors. Which is what brings value to the table.

The 5 leadership lessons from this epic series are
1.   It takes 7 colors to make a rainbow –
Individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean
The team comprises of diverse personalities, job roles, and backgrounds. Each one is playing their role in the team and is respected for the value they bring rather than the hierarchy they work in.
A successful team is where everyone feels equal, appreciated, and important. Speak up culture, openness to ideas, complimenting skillsets, common vision and loyalty is what is required to make an invincible team
2.   ‘I have your back’ –
Loyalty is rare. Cherish it!
The echelons of birds cover 71% more flight than what an individual bird can cover. This means you might be a superhero but you are still probable to achieve less than an average team. Because teamwork can do wonders and the most successful teams are the ones where people look out for each other.
We all need each other. Whether it's going through a personal crisis or emotional upheaval or professional deadlock. When you are there to support a person in his/her lows, he will make sure you are covered in yours.
3.   There is more to the job than money
No amount of money can bring you job satisfaction. You need money to survive and feel appreciated. But the best team is not the highest-paid team; It is the most satisfied team. And as they say, you chose your manager, not your work is true at all levels. Leadership styles might be different, but the basics like recognition, growth, inclusivity, feedback, and right intentions should always be the outcome. If your leader is insecure, biased, judgemental, and self-consumed you will never grow in his/her company. You can survive, but you cannot thrive. Nor will the leader grow with such attributes.
I am not apologizing for who I am!
Another aspect of a job is your vision and mission in life. After working for 20-30 years in a very successful career, people realize they wasted all these precious years in running after a rat race. Most people never intended to be in the career they spent most of their life. It is very indigenous of us to follow a stereotype ( till 16 years age schooling, 21 years degree, Till 24 post-graduation, 25 onwards jobs and that keeps on forever till we retire/kicked out). Where is the time to align with our dreams and passion? You might realize the dreams are different but not many have the courage to give up comfort and start aligning to the goal.
Jessica Pearson, the black women took up law to support the unrepresented group. But in her blinded race to be successful, she became a corporate lawyer till she realized she did not choose law for it. And however difficult it was, she quit her firm to pursue what she believed in.
4.   Life is not black and white, but you need not be in greys
You want to change your life? Change the way you think
Ethics should be non-negotiable for every person. Small or big, at all times your integrity should not be compromised. If one compromises on small things, he/she can do it for big also. So whether its favorable hiring or standing with the majority. Think before you decide.
And God forbid you to become a part of greys, dare to stand up and admit. Consequences can be disastrous but in the long run, that is the only way to look eye to eye and develop a strong character. It's easy to give in, hard to stand up and confess.
5.   Have voices around, not echos
Leaders dont create followers, they create more leaders 
Your best mentors and friends will not always talk about what you want to hear. However hurt you feel about the feedback, that is the truth. If you want to grow every day, surround yourself with people who question the status quo. People who are not afraid to speak their minds.
Do not ignore the voices of young minds, diverse cultures, differently able thinkers. They see the world from a different angle than you. If you don’t want to be the king/queen of your shell, don’t treat any idea insignificant or invaluable. It is this virtue that has made a heaven and earth difference to organizations. Take for example Facebook, who would have imagined we will share our personal life and pictures on a platform accessible to acquaintances and friends equally. Or promote business on a private platform?

When you work with tigers, once in a while they are going to take a swipe at you
So to conclude, we spend most of our day time in our professional surroundings. Our profession is the KARM we do in our life. So it is up to us whether we live two different lives where we struggle to live up to both; Or treat our team as our family and bring harmony to a certain level where it's worth living half of our lives. 

Friday, May 15, 2020

No Empty Chairs!!

I recently participated in a leadership training at work. Everytime I attend these trainings, I take back something from all the gyaan and try to implement in my work and personal life. Yes! Its very difficult to change or develop a habit just because someone shared the wisdom with you. And after a few days u continue with your usual WOW when life gets on to you.
But some words/quotes really make a lasting impact on you and though you know it already but that one thing you really want to incorporate in your life. And for me the three words of the family goal statement which I heard made that impact. I thought I should share it with my friends also.
Let me know what you interpret from this, would be interesting to read your views.

Body Shaming - Shame for the society

Why did God make some people fair and some less fair? Some people tall and some short? Some fat and some slim? Some with straight and some curly hair? Any idea?
Well, let me tell you!
It is, so that some people can body shame the others! Yes. Its our birth right to body shame! If people around you dont, you start it yourselves!
Ask any little girl in our country, what is the definition of beauty for them? It will be golden hair, white skin and slim tall body with a Cinderella gown!! Seriously? Guys do we want our kids to grow up with this definition of beauty? If not, stop stereotyping beauty with physical parameters.
No doubt, its important to be fit and take care of your body for a healthy and happy life. But lets confine ourselves to JUST our bodies. Festivals and get togethers have become more body shaming parties than friendly gatherings. Lets get beyond weights and color. You dont know what battle a person is going through OR someone else might be prioritising an ailing mother over his/her gym. Or simply, THEY DONT CARE!
Stop being an agony aunt when they dont need one. Or Stop being a dietician and giving tips when the whole world knows how to search them on internet. The cream you used to make yourselves fair might be the last thing someone wants to know! Let alone your secret of straight hair.
Body shaming is done in both men and women. But men has a very witty way of self-deprecation and playing it cool. While women find it difficult to handle. People use MEANEST synonyms to laugh as if its a common joke.
Closing the loop from where I started. God has made us all different for a purpose. We compliment each other and all are uniquely beautiful. Encourage and Elevate each other. Imperfections are human and what you can do, might not be possible for someone else, let might not be in the agenda of them. So learn to be nice.
I love one question which Gautam Buddha has given us to use when in doubt.
" If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind?".
This blog topic was a request from a dear friend. So what's your story??

Avani's dose of the day!! New house

We recently shifted in a new house, in a new locality. It was a year long journey with alot of disruption in all our lives. Then finally when it was time to wrap up from our old place, it was a very emotional moment for me. My 13 years of journey in the house was going to end. Journey where I have spent the best years of my life. Both my lovely kids were born there, celebrated every single ocassion and festivals with my friends right from Lohri to Onam, laughed and cried with family and friends. Decorated each wall and corner with so much love and affection. The photoframes on the wall, still narrate thousand of stories.
It was hard for me to let go of the little shoes I had bought when I was expecting my first baby. And then that little tulsi plant in the balcony made me recall the whole journey from a newly wed to the lady of the house. And ofcourse as all journeys are, it was full of ups and downs.
So with this emotional upheaval going on in my mind, few tears rolled down my cheeks.
Avani looks at me and chokes a little.Hugs me.
Avani : Mom, why are you crying? Are you also missing Riviera as much as I do?
Mummy: Ofcourse darling. I have spent 13 years of my life here. I will definitely miss it very much.
Avani: Not as much as I do!
Mummy: Why not?
Avani: Because you have only spent part of your life here. But, I. I was born here and have spent all my life here. So I will miss it more than you do.
Yes, I agree. Its logical. Though 13 is more than 8 (Avani's age). She has spent all her life there. And I have only spent part of it.
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