Monday, December 6, 2010

Outliers - Malcom Gladwell

Ouliers by Malcom Gladwell, examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. Throughout the publication, Gladwell repeatedly mentions the "10,000-Hour Rule", claiming that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours.

Outliers has two parts: "Part One: Opportunity" contains five chapters, and "Part Two: Legacy" has four. The book also contains an Introduction and Epilogue

My Insights:

1. Hard-work - Planned, meticulous, sincere hardwork pays
2. commit 10,000 hrs of your dedicated time for anything you want to specialize in.
3. All great people started by presenting themselves with right opportunity and hard-work to deserve that.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Inner game of Squash!

There are more lessons to be learnt while playing!

I'm a beginner in the game of Squash. The place where I'm staying in Bangalore has good players. I really admire their maturity in hand-holding the new comers!

There is one guy whom I would call 'Raj', is very supportive. He speaks less and shares good tips on playing well. Today is my 7th day in the court... after many sweaty evenings, wrist pain, shoulder pain and silly excuses for not going to court... today I enjoyed my game. I lost all the four games... but I could find myself improving.

I decided to try out the 'Inner game' technique. i.e. have more of positive self-talk about the shots, the placement and less of criticism. It works! When I'm talking positively about my shots and get ready for the next one... my placements improved!

I guess the same applies for work too!

Monday, November 29, 2010

TRUSTED ADVISOR.....#2 - Situational Awareness

Insight #2

How do I demonstrate the situational awareness? some people call it 'Presence of mind'; some prefer 'thinking on the feet'; while others simply say 'Presence'!

Clients would appreciate and engage better with consultants who have 'Situational Awareness'...

few pointers to improve SA: ABCDs of improving SA
- Attitude - It is important to wear an attitude that says, 'I understand your world and I can add value'

- Business Acumen - having a world view of 'how stuff works' in the business context would definitely help. Hard works pays here... do your homework before meeting the client!

- Confidence - modulating voice to suit the context and superior command over language (right vocabulary)

- Discuss freely - before meeting the client, talk to few whom you know about the subject and ask pertinent questions 5W & H framework could be a better place to start.

TRUSTED ADVISOR.....#1 - Arrogance vs Assertiveness!

Every day, I get to learn something new at work. These insights comes from any one or any part of the organization that I interact with and at any point of the day! (Including the 2 or 3 coffee breaks I take in a day).

I shall share one of the many 'insights' here today!

A Client always sees a business consultant as a trusted advisor. If one needs to measure up to that clients' expectations, then need to 'speak' like one!!

So, how do you demonstrate that you are a 'Trusted Advisor'?

There are many facets to this...

Insight #1 - Arrogance vs. Assertiveness:

How do one demonstrate assertiveness?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Executive Presence!

As I begin my journey in Consulting world, I realize the importance of demonstrating 'Executive Presence' in each and every conversation I have (including the coffee breaks!). It is a paradox! I have to be myself and at the same time can't afford to let my guard down! Which is a bit tricky, I say!

People create impressions about you and they want to
1. See or visualize how you would be in a client situation?
2. Experience your 'Senior Voice'
3. Feel proud that you are part of their team!

How does one model 'Executive Presence'?

It is more often 'felt' .... than something that can be 'spelt' :-)

EP includes,
a. Confidence in self
b. Attitude - bright, positive and shining!
c. Content Credibility - knowing my stuff!
d. Assertiveness - Guts to speak my mind.... even though the crowd may think otherwise!
e. Communication - saying it with elegance/poise! using less words but conveying powerful concepts which brings out in-depth understanding...

Will bring out more...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Transition of a Practitioner to a Management Consultant. How to make it smooth?

I've recently made transition from an Internal Consultant to a full fledged Organizational Transformation (Change Management) Consultant. I've learnt a lot of valuable lessons from the last 60 days of my journey. Sharing a few here.... Please feel to add from your own (if any):

1. Understand the 'Framework' your new organization is using. Every consulting firm will be using their own proprietary 'Framework' or 'Model' or 'the way things are done here'. It is extremely important to know this thoroughly and start talking that language.

2. Forget that you were an achiever in the past. In Marshall Goldsmith's words, "What got you here, won't get you there". Think that you are starting afresh! List down the new skills you may have to learn in the new place to succeed.

3. Draw / Visualize the new market landscape. Talk to as many people as you can and try to understand the new market that you are in. Who are the players (Competitors)? What do they offer? How different are you? etc

4. Understand the internal organization dynamics (read - Politics) - Who could be your sponsor? Who could sabotage your efforts? Who could get 'Inspired' by your ideas (they are so inspired and take your ideas as their own - mind you... they are not 'Stealing' ;-) _

5. Be assertive. You've to balance between an aggressive 'prove myself' mode and a submissive 'I'm just a beginner' mindset. You do certainly bring some value and thats the reason they've hired you. So be grounded and speak assertively.

If you've done such transition, please share your lessons...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

OB professor at the University of Lausann on MBTI and NLP

Professor John Antonakis has built a career out of ripping into the sacred cows of modern management theory

He says, “There are too many snake-oil merchants in the guise of consultants, trainers and management gurus. Very little of what they claim is supported by hard evidence, most of which has been totally ignored by those making a lot of money by selling models and techniques that simply don’t work,” said John Antonakis in a recent interview

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Game Changer - Who? Me!

Game Changers

Posted on October 11th, 2010 by admin in Innovation, Leadership

By Mike Myatt, Chief Strategy Officer, N2growth

At one time or another all great leaders experience something that is so big, so impactful, that it literally changes the landscape. It’s what I call a “Game Changer.” A game changer is that ah-ha moment that creates an extreme, disruptive advantage or improvement. What’s interesting is that the best leaders proactively focus on looking for game changers. Sure, great leaders never lose sight of their core business, they pay attention to managing risk, etc., but they spend far more energy intentionally searching for opportunity, but not just any opportunity – a game changer. In the text that follows I’ll not only provide you with a blue print for finding game changers, but I’ll also ask you to share your experiences and insights as well. I hope this post is a game changer for you…

Mike calls SMARTS


Organization Alignment - Demonstration

Stephen Covey has a very dramatic demonstration that he uses to illustrate organizational alignment. In a large room with hundreds of people, he asks everyone to close their eyes. Next he tells everyone to raise there arm and point to true north. He then tells people to open their eyes and look around.

Everyone is pointing in different directions. He then asks the group to imagine that they had to take ten steps in the direction they were pointing. Obviously total chaos would result. He then pulls out a compass and shows everyone where true north is. With a compass, everyone could take ten steps in the same direction and the entire large group would be going in the same direction without bumping into each other.

Achieving alignment is one of the most elusive dimensions of business success. Applying Covey's demonstration, the first step is deciding which direction do we want to go. Where is "true north" for our organization? This may sound simple, but many organizations fail to get agreement at the top levels of where true north is for the organization. Instead, functional or department leaders create their own idea of true north. For an organization to have a chance of achieving a high degree of alignment, there has to be one true north for the entire organization. The definition of true north includes the vision, mission, and values of the organization. It also includes the key strategic objectives that support the mission and vision.

Read more:
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Consulting Chick Insights: Backwards In High Heels

Consulting Chick Insights: Backwards In High Heels: "Famously said of Ginger Rogers: She did everything Fred Astaire did but backwards and in high heels. Not so different from boutique firms..."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

HPCA Virtual Monthly Learning Event - 30th August 2010 - 7-8 pm IST

Click to register -

HPCA Virtual Learning Event - 30th August (Monday) 7:00 - 8:00 pm IST
Simone Peer, PCC on 'The Fun-n-Easy Life by Design'
When - Mon, August 30, 7pm – 8pm GMT+05:30
Where - Virtual - Audio Details upon registration/ confirmation - RSVP

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


A Consulting firm immedately needs 'Training Developers Offshore' - They are looking for India-based (Bangalore) training developers, who can develop instructor led and web-based training materials. The essential attribute is experience in developing technical training – in particular, for ERP’s such as SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Siebel, etc. They should have excellent communication skills, writing and Powerpoint skills, and web authoring skills. If interested contact me. This is a billable role

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Renewing my Blogging habit!

hi folks

Its almost an year now, since I posted last. I realise the need for sharing what I'm learning in the process of doing things.

I shall continue sharing regularly from now on.

Monday, April 19, 2010

HPCA Monthly Learning Event – 8th May 2010

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An ICF Chapter, Hyderabad, India

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Virtual Monthly Learning Events

CCE Units awarded for the participants!!!

You can be from any city within India and register for these programs and earn CCE Units by participating.


ICF Members can participate, benefit, enjoy and learn from these virtual sessions at NO ADDITIONAL COST. Speak / write to us with your ICF Membership number, contact details, City etc and we will guide you with PROMO Code (FREE OF CHARGE)


CLICK the following link for online registration and payment options


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Title: 'Coaching Excellence – Facilitating Learning and Results'


Date: Saturday, 8th May, 2010


Time: 08:30 AM - 09:30 AM IST - VIRTUAL SESSION


(you can login from anywhere [just a local call], upon successful registration, we shall send you the presentation (ppt) used by the speaker, an unique access number and code [pls dont share this code with others] to join the Audio Bridge)




Sivam Chandrasekhar, PCC(<a href=""></a>

Sivam Chandrasekhar, Chandra, as he normally likes to be called, started his professional career as a Chemical Engineer and has more than a decade of corporate and business experience in the US and more than 35 years of business and executive experience in India. In these multi-cultural work environments he has enjoyed playing multifaceted roles in policy making, research, development, project design and supervision, venture capital funding and leadership, for central government agencies and companies, both in the public and private sectors.


With his main strengths in connecting and relating to people and a great passion to interact with people and make a difference in their lives, he changed his career focus to psychology and life coaching. Chandra has more than a decade of counseling, relationship, compassionate and transformational coaching experience in both clinical and non-clinical work environments. He graduated from the International Coach Academy in 2007 as a certified professional coach (CPC) and is one of the first two ICF credentialed, professional certified coaches (PCC) in India, with his wife, Prabha, being the other one.



How to Attend:

This is exclusively for HPCA Members ONLY event. However, Members can bring in Guests by paying a nominal fee to cover our administration charges


CLICK the following link for online registration and payment options


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Rush in your entries as we have limited Audio lines for the event.


Warm Regards

Bhaskar Natarajan

Core Essentials Graduate (CEG) - CoachU Australia

President Elect - Hyderabad Professional Coach Association (HCPA)

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Skype - bhaskarnatarajan5220

India Mobile - +91-9849541110

US Mobile - 216 640 7449

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm a Certified graduate of Core Essentials Program (CEP) from CoachU!!!

I got this mail (See below) couple of days back from the President of CoachUniversity (Australia)....


Extremely happy to share this glad news with all of you!!!

From: Jennifer Corbin, President
Date: Sat, Apr 10, 2010 at 1:26 AM
Subject: CEP Graduation

Dear Bhaskar,

Congratulations on the successful completion of Coach U's Core Essentials Program (CEP).

This email and the attached certificate attests that you are a graduate of the Core Essentials Program thereby completing 77 coach training hours, passing the required course tests and accumulating 20 client coaching hours since enrollment. You are now qualified to use the designation "Core Essentials Graduate" or the acronym "CEG."

The Core Essentials Program includes beginning to intermediate courses to develop strong foundational and core coaching skills and is a prerequisite for Coach U's Advanced Coaching Program and the Coach U Certified Graduate designation, which is an approved ICF Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP).

Please remember that if you wish to apply for your Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coach Federation, you must apply using the Portfolio Application. In order to utilize the ACTP application, you must first complete the Coach U Certified Graduate (CUCG) or Corporate Coach U Certified Graduate (CCUCG) process, which includes graduating from the advanced program. (The ACTP track standards with the ICF are the same for all approved coach training providers.)

We hope you are proud of your accomplishments to date and are pleased to receive the designation of Core Essentials Graduate. We look forward to continuing to partner with you as you continue on your journey towards becoming a masterful coach.

Best Wishes,

Jennifer Corbin

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Leadership Presence

THE Elements of Leadership: The authors talk about four elements of Leadership Presence. They call this as ‘The PRES Model of Leadership Presence’

P – stands for Being Present, the ability to be completely in the moment, and flexible enough to handle the unexpected.
R – stands for Reaching Out, the ability to build relationships with others through empathy, listening and authentic connection.
E – stands for Expressiveness, the ability to express feelings and emotions appropriately by using all available means – words, voice, body, face – to deliver one congruent message.
S – stands for Self-Knowing, the ability to accept yourself, to be authentic, and to reflect your values in your decisions and actions.

They claim that, Leadership Presence combines power with humility. It’s about where you and those you lead want to go and what all of you want to accomplish and how all of you can benefit from your work together. It’s about relationships and connections between people.

Leadership Presence is about:
- Being Present – not pretentious
- Reaching out – not looking down
- Being Experience – not impressive.
- Being Self-knowing – not self-absorbed.

Each chapter has a simple exercise on these four elements. Enjoy reading and putting them to practice.
You can read an interview with the authors on the same book -

Sunday, January 3, 2010

How engaged are your employees? a simple test


Former U.S. labor secretary Robert B. Reich has devised a smart, simple, (and free) diagnostic tool for measuring the health of an organization.When he talks to employees, he listens carefully for the pronouns they use. Do employees refer to their company as "they" of as "we"?

"They" suggests at least some amount of disengagement, and perhaps even alienation. "We" suggests the opposigs employees feel they're part of something significant and meaningful. If you're a boss, spend a few days listening to the people around you, not only in formal settings like meetings, but in the hallways and
at lunch as well. Are you a "'we" organization or a "tThey" organization? The difference matters. Everybody wants auronomy, masrery and purpose. The thing is, "we" can get it-but "they" can't.

- Daniel Pink, (on his New Book - DRIVE)