Wednesday, March 29, 2017


I heard the motivational talk by my friend Shridhar Sampath recently when he mentioned about the Three Laws of Performance. Great results are achieved in this world by individuals and group of individuals operating as a team. When such great results are achieved we wonder how that was possible. It is just that the individual or group has performed well. How to then get the best performance at all times?

The Three Laws of Performance that was propounded by Steve Zaffron & Dave Logan through their book “The Three Laws of Performance — Rewriting the Future of Your Organisation and your Life”.

The three laws of performance are explained in the below video by Steve Zaffron:

I had the dream of becoming a Chartered Accountant when I was only 17 years old and a stranger that I met asked me to repeated say “I want to become and Chartered Accountant and I will become a Chartered Accountant”. He made me stand up and repeat this sentence several times by raising my hand and punching the fist in the air. When I read the three laws of performance this incident flashed across very strongly in my mind.

How true it is that “How people perform correlates to how situations occur to them” (1st Law). My dear sister got married to a Chartered Accountant, Mr.S.K.Raman, in 1980 and thus the desire and dream in me to become a Chartered Accountant grew firm. My brother-in-law encouraged me to pursue my dream. My teacher at School Mr.P.Anand who taught Commerce in my 11th Standard had planted the seed in my mind to become a Chartered Accountant. He took me aside at School after his class and told me “You have all the qualities to become a Chartered Accountant”. How a situation occurs arises in language (2nd Law). Finally the Stranger that I met in a Railway Station made me stand up and say “I want to become a Chartered Accountant and I will become a Chartered Accountant. Future based language transforms how situation occur to people (3rd Law). From intentionality default futures can shift to designed future.

I feel every business owner, business manager and leader can follow the three laws of performance and encourage other to give their best performance.

Great innovative ideas come from best performances and the world will progress and give prosperity to people only with best performances.
Dubai, U.A.E.
Written on 23rd June 2016 and published in Medium.Com

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Do you hear your inner voice?  How often do you listen to your inner voice?  Is it wise to listen to others?  Is there a Wise Voice in us or around us anywhere?

Some of the questions that cropped up in the morning in my mind while I was listening to my own voice as usual when I drove the car.

WISE is an abbreviation which means Willingness to Imbibe and Share Experiences according to me.  To be Wise you need to be first MAD.  MAD according to me is Making A Difference.  Unless you get MAD you will not become WISE.

Voice is not heard when there is noise and hence you need to first keep calm in order to hear your own wise voice.  This is something I realised over time and ofcourse it took several years to realise this great insight that Voice is not Noise.  In fact I feel no noise is Wise.

In order to make my point I have also in my young days raised my voice.  I thought the higher your pitch and tone the better chances you have in winning the argument or feeling stronger.  Over the years I have realised that this is a myth.

On a rainy day when everyone prefers to stay indoors, I ventured out in the morning.  The first challenge was to get into the car as my car was in a small pool of water and I had to wade through the water by spoiling my shoes and trousers.  I did not hesitate even for a moment to go through that agony because it was short lived.

I am thankfully not in the Circle of Concern and happy to be in the Circle of Control.  I do not waste time sitting in front of the Television Set or chatting on whatsapp groups but spend my time usefully in the development of "Wise Voice".

After listening to my friend Shridhar Sampath for couple of hours on Leadership Skills I have chosen to be back at my desk to read and write as I like to stay within the 'circle of control'.

By following others and not listening to the inner voice "Wise Voice" we only end up as monkeys thrown in the cage for experiment.  Without knowing the reasons they do not eat the Bananas despite being their favourite and healthy food.  Watch the below short video on this experiment if you have not heard about this before:

On a rainy day like today in Dubai, your inner voice is bringing out the child in you and asking you to go out and play.  Bring the child in your out and enjoy life.  Listen to your inner voice and be wise.  There is so much fun being yourself and exploring your own hidden talents than watching others at play on Television or Movie Screens.

Dubai, U.A.E.
25th March 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017


Everyone of us want to and aspire to achieve something big in life.  Many of us keep thinking about that big achievement but a few take the necessary steps and actions.

Nischal Narayanam is the youngest Chartered Accountant of India and is just 19 years old.  He has already completed his articleship in Deloitte and has qualified the Final Exams of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.  However, since he is not yet 21 he has to wait for couple of years to be enrolled as an Associate Member of the Institute.

It is amazing how a 19 year old is able to clear the CA Final with ease.  He is a young achiever who has written books on Mathematics at the age of 10.  See the below video:

Shravan and Sanjay are the youngest to become CEOs in India.  They founded "Go Dimensions" in 2012 as a 10 year and 12 year old boys.  Look at the youngest CEOs of India who study for 2 hours, play for 1 hour and do something creative.

These two brothers have developed an Application and became youngest CEOs in the technology world.  See the way they explain the various Apps that they have developed and it is really amazing how these two brothers have shaped themselves into Business Owners by enjoying what they do and doing what they enjoy.

A 9 year old boy from Spain has become the youngest wild life photographer and at 16 there is a youngster who can speak 23 languages and he has learnt all the 23 languages by himself.

These young achievers has been identified at the right age, they have been encouraged, mentored and guided in the right way by their teachers, parents and well wishers.

These youngsters are trend setters and are the real heros and leaders of tomorrow.
I am lost for words to describe these young achievers.  These are amazing achievements and at the same time very inspiring and thought provoking.  Every one is capable of doing amazing things to produce extraordinary results.  Every one is capable of being an achiever and everyone needs to have a dream.  It is very few who end up as being real achievers in life as the key to success is "taking action".  We get more than 50,000 thoughts per day and sometimes they say upto 70,000 thoughts in a day.  Many of them are repetitive and most of them are negative thoughts.  If we can filter and nurture those positive thoughts and translate them into action then every one of us can be an achiever.

These young achievers are self made entrepreneurs who are capable of giving a few lessons on entrepreneurship to the rest of the world.

Taking Action at the right time and not belated.  Procrastination is a disease and the only way to become an achiever is to feel the sense of urgency in everything that we do.  In the present day context when each day is passing so fast it is extremely important to take action with a sense of urgency on every aspect of life.  This is what I strongly feel and this is what I do in my day to day life.  What about you?

Dubai, U.A.E.
3rd March 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Our actions are driven by what we think.  We are what we think.  Think Lean does mean really and literally to think of a lean system which will eliminate and cut out all the unwanted waste or fat.  Be it an individual or Organisation or Government it is important to think lean.  Physical fitness is all about staying fit and lean by burning the excess fat.  If you think lean you will stay lean and your will really mean lean in your thinking on everything.

Lean Thinking is a process of thinking which is based on continuous improvement.  If you are thinking lean it means that you are on a path of excellence and on the way to becoming a competent individual.  The objective is to continuously add value to yourself, the people you serve and the society in which you are living.

How does one measure the "Value Add" is very simple - is the person who is receiving your product or service happy to pay the price.  If the customer is able to see the value in the product then he will willingly pay the price.

The buying decision is always made in a split second and the clinching moment when the customer decides is buy is when he mentally compares the "perceived value" with the price at which the product or service is being offered.  If the perceived value is more than the price then the buying decision is made.  If the perceived value is less than the price at which the product or service is offered then the decision is not to buy.

The pressures faced by business organisations are immense and contradicting.  A customer is always looking for something new, improved, better but at the same time not willing to pay more.  How can we deliver better results at reduced costs and still stay profitable.  How can the continuous improvement in products and services with reducing margins be still sustainable?  This is where "Lean" plays a role.

"Lean" according to the Lean Enterprise Institute means "creating more value with fewer resources".  A lean organisation understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it.  The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero wastage.

I was introduced to Lean Thinking and Lean Management by my friend Dr.Kievan Zokaei who was introduced by a common friend in 2013.  He was the Director at the Lean Enterprise Research Center in Cardiff University.  He is a visiting Professor at the University of Buckingham.  He is a world renowned trainer, author and Consultant of "Lean and Green".

Dr.Kievan is a specialist in Lean Thinking and has written several articles, books and technical papers.  Among his works the notable one, in my opinion, is the book on "Lean and Green".

Dr.Kievan has been advocating "Lean Thinking" by combining it with "Green Thinking".  According to him an organisation should combine the efforts of Lean with Green so that you not only add value to the customers but you also continuously add value to the Environment and Society simultaneously.

Think "Lean and Green", stay fit, add value, stay on the path of excellence, continuously improve and be happy.

Chennai, India
22nd February 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017


The waiting game is interesting and fruitful only when deployed under the right and the most appropriate circumstances.  I see people adopting the waiting game for everything and anything.  Is it smart to play the waiting game on every situation?  May be the bad habit of procrastination is being hidden under the waiting game.

As a business strategist I do advise my clients to play the waiting game but I am very selective in giving this piece of advise.  If you are not the market leader and you do not have deep pockets to make some bold and pathbreaking decisions, then the waiting game is the best option.  You can wait and watch how the market behaves and what the competition is doing before making your own moves.

The key is to swing into action at the right time and not continue to wait for too long.  

There was a butterfly in the cocoon who was struggling to come out.  A small boy was watching this and thought he should not wait any longer for the butterfly to emerge from the cocoon and hence he broke it.  The butterfly came out of the cocoon but remained crippled for the rest of its life.  The struggle within the cocoon is designed by nature for the butterfly to gain strength on his wings so that he would break the cocoon with his own wings by repeatedly trying and finally when he breaks the cocoon with his own efforts and emerges out he is fit and ready to fly the next minute.  The butterfly is meant to live by flying across different plants and not sit at one place.

I am reminded of the story of the Chinese Bamboo which i read some time back.  The Chinese Bamboo grows 80 feet in just six weeks, but do you when?  In the fifth year of planting the seed.  In the first two years there is nothing visible but still you need to water the plant and keep caring for it.  In the third and fourth year is shows little signs of growth and this is exactly where the patience is tested. 
Interestingly it is not the growth of 80 feet in six weeks.  It is the watering and nurturing of four years which finally yields the results in fifth year with 80 feet bamboo tree.  What is visible is the 80 feet growth in six weeks in the fifth year.

It is the faith and hardwork of the farmer which brings the results.  Our life is full of such waiting games and watch this motivational speech by Les Brown:

My friend Shridhar Sampath has been dreaming of launching a programme to Inspire, Challenge and Empower young minds.  His dream has been to inspire 1,000,000 people.  Yes that is one million people.  He has been nurturing this idea for the last six years and finally he has now launched the first of his Master Class which is scheduled for 28th January 2017.  The waiting game is now going to yield results and I wish him all the very best.

Shridhar, the waiting game is over and now it is time for your to rock.  All the very best for the first Masterclass and I am sure you will follow it up with many more at regular intervals all over the world.

Dubai, U.A.E.
27th January 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017


Working smart, thinking smart, acting smart, talking smart, living smart is the only way forward in today's world.  Smartness is required in everyone, everything and in every action.  We live with smart devices, smart applications, smart administration, smart management, smart families, smart colleagues, smart society and smart government.  I am glad that the word is very clearly defined and used in the right sense when we refer to Smart Government.  Smart Government is the use of innovative policies, business models, and technology to address the financial, environmental, and service challenges facing public sector organizations. The concept of Smart Government relies on consolidated information systems and communication networks.

Smartness was always linked to clever thinking and clever thinking was always thought to be the result of intelligence.  With the intelligence and clever thinking being handed over to technology where is the value addition from the individual and how can the actions still qualify to be termed "smart"?

According to Mr.Narayana Murthy, Co-Founder of Infosys, honesty is better than smartness.  A famous quote that I like the most is "Be Smart, but never show it".

Intelligent people are sometimes not very smart and smart people need not necessarily be intelligent.  Smartness is linked to presence of mind and quick reflex.  Smartness is also sometimes related to the ability to seize an opportunity by being quick on the draw.  The mnemonic dictionary defines smartness as "intelligence as manifested in being quick and witty".

I distinctly remember a Partner of the firm where I worked telling the other Partner who happened to be my mentor "this guy has been well trained by you and has become a good chartered accountant but he is not street smart and I do not know how he will prosper in life".  This was a comment on me by a Senior Chartered Accountant about 25 years ago and I do not know if I have ever improved over the last 25 years.  Everything around me is Smart and every day I dealing with smartness wondering if I am Smart.

According to John Billings "Common sense is an instinct given to man and enough of it is genius. Smartness is measured by the level of common sense one has, not by how much educated or knowledgeable he is."

One good thing that has happened to me is that I have always used common sense and acted based on common sense approach in every tricky situation.  I do not know why it is so uncommon for people to use common sense.  I am fortunate that I am able to use common sense and find solutions repeatedly over the last several years.

Even when objectives are set, one is expected to set SMART objectives and here the word is not used in its literal sense but as a mnemonic " Stretching, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, Time-bound".

Smartness is omnipresent and so overpowering that the basic traits have been clearly sidelined in favour of Smartness.  The basic traits, which were considered extremely essential couple of decades back, viz., Honesty, Commitment, Sincerity and Hardwork, is slowly getting pushed in the background in favour of being Smart.

In the quest for being smart I have seen people trying to outsmart others which actually breaches the line of honesty and sincerity.  On many occasions the tricky solution (named as Smartness) actually ends up being unfair to the other person.

With all the ambiguity and confusion around this concept of Smartness, I am not sure if one should really make efforts to develop the skill and ability to be smart.

It is extremely important that the smartness is restricted to only intelligence.  In my opinion the SMART people are "Self Motivated Affable Rational and Transparent".  No wonder the great genius Steve Jobs wanted to hire Smart people.

Be Smart, Stay Smart and Live Smart.

Dubai, U.A.E.
20th January 2017

Saturday, December 31, 2016


When we reflect on the path we have come through it only leads to proper action for the future.  I am now reflecting on a few things, my blog, my professional experience and 2016 in particular.

My blog is now 75 months old and I am now writing 275th piece of scribbling.  On an average I have scribbled atleast once every week and quite happy about it.  Along the way I have learnt lessons on what people like and what people reject.  I have had resounding success on Music and Entertainment though the expectation was that my motivational articles would be well received. On Reflection into this record I have now thought that the action going forward should be to sustain one article per week in this blog to inspire and encourage the younger generation.

My professional practice as a Strategy Advisor is now 63 months old I have handled 71 different assignments.  On an average I have landed on one new assignment each month and it has been a very challenging and very exciting period so far.  Some of the clients have paid well and some have paid moderately but overall it has been highly remunerative.  There are some assignments where I have not been financially remunerated but it has added great value to my experience.

I strongly believe in the three types of Reflection, viz., For Action; On Action and In Action.  I have personally practiced the three types of reflection in a very systematic way.  Probably this is what is helping me to improve in every facet of my life.

These reflections also helps in how we would like to shape our future and career.  Our aspirations and vision is driven by these reflections.  "What matters most is how you see yourself".

While it is important to reflect on how we see ourselves it is equally important not to forget the past at the origins.  I always vividly remember my early days in life when I used to go to far off places including my college in bicycle.  Those cycle rides are still green in memory after more than 30 years.

Perceptions keep changing and everything in this world is driven by perception.  Even a buying decision is made not on the basis of what is needed but rather on the perceived value being higher than the price at which the product or service is offered.  One can clearly see the shoreline in the below picture but at the same time you can also admire the picture as the outline shape is a formation of a perfect Guitar.  It is also possible to see the beautiful Sun Rise or Sun Set thus the perception is a view only focused on the Sun.

Reflection and Action helps in reaching the desired vision or desired goals in life.  We do use the idiom "fish out of water" in certain circumstances.  It has applied to me on several occasions but I have always achieved the desired results or reached my goals simply due to my perseverance and determination.  Look at the fish out of water and how he manages to reach the water ultimately by sheer determination to live.

2016 has been very eventful and challenging.  Professionally it was very exciting year with lot of new and good assignments.  I have also undergone a course on Business Valuation to upgrade my knowledge.  I have done 10 different workshops on IFRS during 2016 which is a very satisfying aspect of 2016.

As an active participant in the Excellence Programmes of the Government I am engaged in Dubai Quality Award; Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award; Taqdeer Award and Sharjah Economic Excellence Network.  These engagements provide a lot of learnings and insights into the best practices in different industries.  Engaging in four different excellence award programmes during 2016 has been a real highlight of the year.

On the personal front I lost my father on 18th August 2016.  He is the greatest inspiration for me in life and my character is influenced by my father to a large extent.  He continues to be my greatest hero though he has left this world.

On 21st August 2016 my mother-in-law passed away.  A very simple and kind hearted lady whom I admired a lot.  She was truly a role model and extraordinary lady.  I have never seen her angry or upset or shouting at anyone in life.  Her patience and self-less service is unforgettable.

These two set backs in personal life was followed by a good news on 19th October 2016 when I was blessed with a Grand Daughter.  She is the new addition in the family and has brought lot of joy in the family.

Overall it has been a quite exciting, challenging, eventful 2016.  I look forward to the New Year.

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

31st December 2016
Dubai, U.A.E.