Category Archives: Personal Leadership

Having a candid conversation is key to building your brand & connection

Published April 20, 2015 10:35 pm

Today I was travelling from Mumbai to Hyderabad through Spicejet. Spicejet recently went through financial issues and lot of flights got canceled couple of months back. It sent a bad public image for the airline. What I saw today in the flight gave me insight into how to salvage/establish a brand.

UntitledThe flight reached before time. That’s ok. but it followed with captain announcing & lead flight attendant talking about it. They used the event to have a conversation with their audience (the passengers). After the flight took off and seat belt sign was off, flight attendants again took a minute of time to thank the passengers to taking Spicejet when they have a choice to pick another airlines. They used the event again to have a conversation with the customers.

I can honestly admit that the conversations did clear up bunch of badness from my perception about the airlines. This tell me that having a genuine conversation going with your customers goes a long way in building, re-enforcing and even salvaging a broken brand image.

It also tell me how much it is important to express self in right words and have that conversation – to build connection – be it in business or personal life.

Can practice alone keeps you perfect?

Published February 27, 2015 3:12 pm

Have you stopped doing things that you used to do 1, 2, 5, 10 years before? Have your moved away from the tasks that you used to do in past & manage a organization from 2, 3 level above? Do you feel insecure that you have lost touch with things that matter?

fit senior man exercising at the beachPractice keeps the man perfect. When we stop doing things, we will lose the skill of doing it. Well it is yes & no. Yes – that it might take time to catch up again. No – I can’t do it again. but only if we have right conceptions.

How do I see the task/ skill?

If I see that as unimportant trivial thing that should be done by someone with lesser experience, it is recipe to lose the skill faster. I have seen that whatever I love/respect, I seem to keep it going or catch up quickly even with a gap in time (when I don’t do it). What I don’t love/respect, it gets out of my mind much sooner. Deep respect – for it even if I stop doing it – matters. It enables me to get it back in practice with less effort in future.

How do I see myself?

wrong view – I do things. Hence, I value myself (self-confidence). This is recipe to lose confidence as soon as I stop doing it. Building self-confidence will require re-doing the things. Putting back it in practice will be slow as lack of self-confidence will cloud the mind.

right view: I am valuable. Hence, I do things. See I am the one who has done all the things so far in my life (& add the past lives also if you believe so). I am the force which is capable & behind everything that is understood & done. Believe in the force unconditionally. Don’t believe in yourself because you cracked that hard problem because in that case it is very easy to lose the confidence when you fail to crack the next few hard problems. Believe in self without any premise because without you nothing moves. You are. Hence, things get done.

Ok. If Believe in self but I am lazy & don’t work. How does it help?

Well. Believing in self does not mean don’t work. Believe in self and Push yourself. Take a break if required but then move. You are lazy for time being does not mean you fetch your value from what you do. There will always be inactivity (recoup) period required to rejuvenate self.

To sum it up, practice keep you warm with the skill. It is the best way to perfect your art. Practice, Practice, Practice. Still you may move on to do something else. When you are away from it, a right attitude will help you remain grounded and ready to pull up your socks again when need be.

Machine learning course is insightful about how we behave and can get better!

Published November 14, 2014 6:18 am

Mind BackdropRecent few months, I have been taking machine learning course @ coursera and it is insightful in how science and mathematics is putting mathematical model around how human (mind) behave – grasp, analyze and decide – for real life situations – based on the past experiences (learning)!

Few of the machine learning terms are interesting and draw close parallel to human (mind) and behavior.

ConceptMachine LearningHuman Learning
BiasWhen machine learning hypothesis has high bias, it give similar outcome even if the inputs change. In other words, it does not vary much with inputs. When I have high prejudice, my outcome is same even if the environmental parameters change.
VarianceMachine learning hypothesis is suffering from high variance when it matches the output for the training set very well but fails to give decent output for the new inputs which are outside the training set. One of the reason is that hypothesis is using high polynomial terms aka complex features.This is the case of over analysis & being rigid. When I over-analyze the past to really make sense of everything that happened, my learning is too specific to the past circumstances but not generalized enough to give fair reaction/outcome for a future situation.
Under fittingIt is when hypothesis is too simplistic and does not even fit the training set well.This is the case of being naïve. This is when my reasoning does not even justify well the behavior for past circumstances.
Over fittingWhen hypothesis is too complex, it fits the training set well but not gives good output for the new inputs outside the training set.Again, it is the case of being too narrowly focused and not generalizing enough to learn from past experience.
featuresThe inputs - vector x Are we sampling enough parameters when analyzing a past situation?
feature weightageThe theta vectorWhat should be this? Any guess.

This list can go on and it is interesting to note how machine learning closely draws from how a human learns!

For a machine learning algorithm – picking the right features (vector x), their correct weightage and big enough training set is key whereas for human – paying attention to detail, correct weightage for the past experiences and of course more experiences helps to get better!


Is it possible to smile when surrounded by hardship?

Published September 23, 2014 12:14 pm

Haven’t all of us seen hard times? Hard time – when things don’t go as expected. In my case, what comes hardest is sick time; time when I have ailing body. I find pleasure in a body that can cope up hardships. When it ails, I feel down. It is said smile eases the pain but is it possible to smile when you are surrounded by hardship?

Yes. I can smile but deep inside I know it pains and I am looking for way out of the hardship. When the hardship is over, that is when only I truly feel relieved. In fact, hardship is brought by my wrong attitude; attitude that is seeking health to the extent that when it is not there – floods me with frustration etc. I can work towards good health but good health always is not given.  Secondly, when I am frustrated with ailing health deep inside – smiling on surface only acts as easing the pain a bit but does not relieve off the pain.

Seeking no hardship will lead to – sadness, fear, anger, narrow vision whereas accepting hardships only can lead to – enthusiasm, courage, compassion and broad vision. The key to solution is to not feel frustrated at all. Is it possible? Yes, it is. Only if I realize difference between – “Good health. hence, I smile.”  Vs “I smile (I am). Hence, there is good health.”. In the simple reversal of words – the premise – changes. Good health is not premise of the smile. The smile is my natural self, my natural trait. Realizing that and by removing the “good health” (no hardship) – premise – for my smile, it is possible to smile deep inside when being surrounded by hardships.

Bimba al mare che ride

My favorite pic when I think about a true smile!

Should I put long hours to get more done?

Published September 15, 2014 10:45 am

Anytime I am stumped by need-to-do-more (more work), the first thought or approach is to add more hours to the day. I have found it hard to add more hours to the day because 1) It is very hard to compress the sleep time and remain productive still 2) Life chores don’t compress either easily 3) Reducing empty hours start to pinch since they only help me unwind and learn.

Also – it is the norm. Haven’t we heard so many times – “It has been hard week. We are putting 80 hr week.” I really wonder how people are able to sustain such work hours. Getting more done means putting more hours. It is the norm; talk of the town. If you aren’t putting long hours – you aren’t working hard enough. Isn’t that sound familiar?

I realized that putting more hours won’t help unless I have learnt to make best use of hours (that I am already putting). I can add 2 more hours fetching me 20-24% more productivity. but it can’t get me 2x-5x kind of productivity gain.

Yesterday, I had a bad day. I was continuously bombarded with one after another incidences that were not as expected. Everything seem to go unexpected way. I progressively got frustrated/angry with myself. Eventually towards the end of the day, I spent 4 hours and bad night sleep over an incidence which I could have resolved in 10 minutes (if I had right state of mind – or carried that little smile!). If I compare that, I was order of 24x time (10 min vs 4 hours)worse in my productivity to deal with a problem. Why? because I got “unsettled with the unexpected”.

Putting long hours can well be need of the hour at times. but it can’t be the norm to boost productivity. Remaining settled with whatever-come-may and carrying that little smile may get me 2x-5x and at times even better productivity!

Bimba al mare che ride