Looking at people based on what they’re capable of - It brings out the best in people!
As leaders we have different ways of looking at people when it comes to their roles and responsibilities — One way is to look at them based on what they’ve done so far. Another is to look at them based on what they’re capable of. These two could be different — at times, vastly different. The latter approach has helped me immensely over the years — even today it continues yielding highly positive outcomes! When we are looking at people and their roles, what one has done so far is relatively easy to see, feel and figure out. A vast majority of decisions therefore are made on that basis. One can’t really find an issue with that approach though, as the leader weighs the risks, and knows that she is responsible for the decisions that they take. Yet, from what I’ve seen and experienced, I need to share that when we enhance the frame of reference slightly wider, look at people more from what they’re capable of, the spectrum of possibilities enlarge significantly! It opens up whole new avenues and possibilities. One may consider this to be an experiment — possibly it is; but, with high degrees of success stacked in its favour! Extending it further, this needn’t be limited to people who’re internal — it could even be extended to people who’re external to the business. It works wonders. Looking at people based on what they’re capable of, than what they’ve done so far — It’s a possibility that as leaders we could leverage! My name is PK Narayanan, wishing you the best, Thank you!
October 16, 2021
When we get in to action, do we exercise adequate diligence?
When we get in to action, do we exercise enough diligence? Do we consciously resist the temptations to act in haste? A professional photographer was told that a 2-seater plane would be waiting for him at noon at the local airport. Arriving at the airport, he saw a 2-seater plane with its propellers on, warming-up just outside the hangar. Greeting the pilot, he jumped-in with his bag, and said ‘Let’s go!’ The pilot took off. After a few minutes he requested the pilot - ‘Please fly low over the mountain’. The pilot asked ‘why?’. ‘So that I can take some good pictures’ he replied. The pilot went silent for a moment - then retorted ‘So you are not my flying instructor?’. While we get in to action, do we exercise adequate diligence? My name is PK Narayanan, wishing you the best, Thank you
September 11, 2021
How do we pick the signals over the noise?
Today we are exposed to a lot of noise all around. As Leaders we know we need to differentiate and pick the signals by filtering out the noise. How do we do that? Once a farmer noticed after a day’s work at the barn that he has lost his wrist-watch. He was disturbed as it was a priced possession and had sentimental value. He had stacked hay all that day. Therefore spent a lot of time searching for it among the hay, without any avail. He returned home distressed and shared the misfortune with his family. His daughter playing around heard this conversation and left to the barn. She returned after 10 minutes with the watch! The farmer was elated and surprised, asked her how she got it? She said ‘All I did was to sit quietly on the ground and listen. After a while, in the silence, I heard the ticking noise of your watch, just searched that area, and got it!’ At times, should we reduce the noise and listen? My name is PK Narayanan, wishing you the best, Thank you
August 19, 2021
How Do I Enhance My Ability to Focus?
Keeping focus is becoming increasingly challenging. We know our ability to focus on a goal or a task until it’s complete is critical for attaining desired outcomes. In a world that is overflowing with distractions, notifications vying for our attention, how do we remain focused? At one level, Focus is about managing distractions - When I manage my distractions, am able to focus better! As Steve Jobs once said, Focus is not saying ‘Yes’ to one thing, it’s saying ‘No’ to hundred other things. We might be seeing possibilities, opportunities and shiny objects floating around us all the time - in different types, shapes and sizes. Many of them might look tempting to go for. Saying yes to them may make us incredibly busy. Whether it would translate in to successful outcomes is the question. If you want to persevere you need to pursue only the opportunities that move you the most, the possibilities that truly matters, and say no to the rest. It's difficult, but the results are worth it as Steve Jobs said on another occasion. Focus - It’s about managing distractions. To enhance our ability to focus, we need to enhance our ability to manage our distractions. When I manage my distractions, am able to focus better! My name is PK Narayanan, wishing you the best, Thank you
July 22, 2021
Thinking, Working Around the Challenges
Often we get troubled by the complexity of challenges we face; overwhelmed by the enormity, the size. Making us dumb-founded, shocked and feeling stuck; virtually making us incapable of taking any meaningful action. Is there a practical way of handling challenges? Is there a constructive way of managing them? River Ganga (Ganges) originates at the upper reaches of Himalayas at Gomukh - beyond Gangotri. What it sees all around is just tall mountains and tons of snow. Seemingly a challenging environment for flowing waters. What it does there, is to find ways around the mountains. It doesn’t stay overwhelmed by the tall peaks and formidable mountains; neither it goes head-on to pulverize them. nor remains a high altitude lake. It just finds the ways around the challenges. Navigates its way around the peaks and ranges, reaching the plains, and then the sea, the destination. In the process becomes a source of life to countless flora, fauna and 500+ million people, bringing prosperity to many! Does it hold some lessons for us? Possibly yes - that we don’t necessarily need to face the challenges head-on. We can work our way around them! We can think around the challenges, than thinking about them. We can work around the challenges than working on them. The good news is that we can consciously practice this. When we do that, our focus, energy, and efforts shift to a constructive space, resulting in outcomes that are more meaningful. For all. My name is PK Narayanan, wishing you the best, Thank you. #ceo #leadership #scaleup
June 22, 2021
As Leaders, Do We Become Unyielding With Our Ways?
As leaders, do we assume things, and become unyielding with our ways? Especially as we acquire more experience, grow bigger, stronger? A ship had been at sea in bad weather for days. As the visibility improved one night, Captain and crew were keeping an eye on all directions. Suddenly the lookout sailor on the bridge called-out ‘I can see light far away’. The captain shouted back ‘Signal the other ship: We are on a collision course. Please you change your course 20 degrees’. The signal that came back read ‘You are advised to change your course 20 degrees left’. The captain was beginning to get furious - he repeated to the crewman ‘Send him: This is the ship's Captain. Change your course 20 degrees immediately to avoid collision!’. ‘I'm a seaman second class’ came the reply - you change your course 20 degrees left immediately to avoid collision’. The captain became furious. He said to the signalman ‘This is a battleship, one of the largest at that. I demand that you immediately change your course!’ Then came the signal from the other - ‘This is a lighthouse! Your call’. As leaders, do we assume things and become stubborn, unyielding with our ways? My name is PK Narayanan, wishing you the best, Thank you #ceo #leadership #scaleup
May 18, 2021
Which wolf am I feeding? a story from the wild...
An elderly Cherokee was on a stroll with his grandson. He was narrating about the battle that goes on all the time inside - the battle between two ‘wolves’. He said the Wolf No 1 consists of anger, envy, jealousy, regret, greed, arrogance, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority. And the Wolf No 2, that consists of joy, gratitude, love, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion. And he paused. The grandson was thinking deep inside and asked: ‘Which wolf wins?’ The Cherokee replied: ‘The one you feed’. Which one am I feeding? My name is PK Narayanan, wishing you the best, Thank you.
April 16, 2021
When we look for solutions do we consult people closest to the issue as well?
As leaders, while seeking solutions to an issue or taking decisions, do we manage to get inputs and insights from the people closest to the issue? Often the best person to solve an issue or make an operational decision is the person closest to the issue. This happened years back. A Soap factory was facing a peculiar challenge - Some customers were getting empty soap boxes at the retail. The issue was traced to the packing system that packed soap boxes at times, without a soap in it. As a result, the reputation was getting damaged badly. A team of experts were formed immediately to go in to the issue and get a workable solution. After a few weeks of research, and considering multiple options, the team came up with a solution - of placing an advanced laser system that would scan every soap box for content before packing them in to larger box. And empty, defective boxes would be removed manually. The solution was expensive, and needed stopping the conveyor every time a defective piece was found, slowing down the packing process. Seeing all these commotions around, the floor-man manning the packing area approached the manager to check what’s going on. On getting to know the issue, he suggested that they keep a mini industrial fan facing the conveyor, which would blow away an empty box if any, on the conveyor. When we look for solutions, when we take decisions, do we consult the people closest to the issue as well? My name is PK Narayanan, wishing you the best, Thank you.
March 16, 2021
Can we avoid risks on a Scale-up Journey?
Probably not. Business Owners on a Scale-up journey get exposed to multiple risks. The best way is to manage them. Business Owners on a Scale-up journey get exposed to multiple risks. Taking risks are part and parcel of Scaling-up. As the saying goes, no risks, no returns. When one prepares to face the risks, it gets qualified as calculated risk, informed risk, measured risk, calibrated risk and so on… Could one avoid risks? Probably not. Then, the next best way is to manage them. By preparing to face the risks, one could increase the stakes of managing them better. It’s in preparing; it’s in perceiving, planning our preparedness; getting ready with mitigation measures; as meticulous as possible. Is the fear of risk directly proportional to the level of risk? Not necessarily. That way, one doesn’t fear driving a car on a highway, yet fear a discussion that one needs to have with another! though the former has higher levels of risks in terms of accident / injury. How do we prepare ourselves to face the risks? How do we know that we are prepared-enough? Having presence, chasing clarity, simplifying things, brain-storming options, and increased levels of engagement with the stakeholders, might enhance the levels of preparedness. And then, as Robin Sharma says— If we are not over-prepared, we are under-prepared — holds good with respect to taking and managing risks! Business Owners on a Scale-up journey get exposed to multiple risks. The best way is to manage them. My name is PK Narayanan, wishing you the best, Thank you.
February 22, 2021
How do I fasten and fast-track Decision Making Process?
Decision making is a significant aspect of leadership. As a leader, one needs to take decisions, make choices frequently, on a variety of things. One of the key factors influencing, impacting the effectiveness of decisions is timing - taking timely decisions; without delays. While at that, having the required, relevant information is a key pre-requisite. The pertinent question is, how much of it? How long do one wait to gather all the information that’s ‘felt’ needed? ‘Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70 percent of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90 percent, in most cases, you're probably being slow’ - said Jeff Bezos of Amazon. Taking decisions with around 70% of the information that you wish you had - an ‘accelerated decision making’ practice - is about fast-pacing the decision making process. At the same time it’s not taking decisions in haste. Decision making is a significant aspect of leadership. A well thought-out accelerated decision making practice can help fasten and fast-track our decision making process. When practiced, this could lead to significant positive outcomes for the business. What do you think? Please comment with your views and experiences. My name is PK Narayanan, wishing you the best, Thank you.
January 7, 2021
Seeing Things As They Are!
We don’t see things as they are; but as we think they are! As a leader, it’s very important that while taking decisions or making choices we see things as they are, not as what we think they are. I would like to share an incident here. It was 2nd World war time. Allies war planes were on a bombing spree. They were being met with heavy gun fire from the enemy side. Many planes were getting hit and going down. At one point in time the casualty rate rose as high as 45%; meaning only one in two planes had a chance of returning back to the base. This was alarming. The teams sat down to find a solution. The idea of reinforcing the bullet receiving parts with additional metal gained support as a possible solution to improve the survival rate. The investigations conducted on returning planes indicated bullet hole damages were (only) on the fuselage and tail-wing parts. Therefore it was obvious that these parts required reinforcement. It was almost decided to go ahead on that basis. At this point a Hungarian war veteran pointed out that they were examining only the returning planes. The ones that were not returning were out of this study. And those planes were going down for a valid reason - they were getting hit on more critical parts! The planes with bullet holes in their fuselage and tail parts were still making it back to the base, whereas those getting hit on key parts such as cock pit and engine areas, were not returning at all! Therefore those areas were more critical and dangerous. Following this insight, the places chosen for reinforcement changed drastically! And rightly so. For us the point to reflect is, do such blind-spots exist in our decision making processes too? How do we discover them? It’s very important that while taking decisions or making choices we see things as they are, not as what we think they are. Also, while interpreting information available, let’s stay clear of our hardened stances, our opinions, biases and prejudices. That way we increase our odds to see things as they are! My name is PK Narayanan, wishing you the best, Thank you.
December 10, 2020
When we serve the customer...
In this podcast I want to share an incident that happened a few years ago. In one of our drive tours in Tamilnadu, we were having breakfast at INDeco Hotel, Swamimalai. The coffee cup in my hand trembled before falling flat on the ground, breaking in to pieces with a thud, spilling the coffee all around. The server who was serving us our breakfast appeared immediately in a composed manner, started clearing the pieces and cleaning the place. While this was on, the Manager of the restaurant appeared with a fresh cup of coffee for me! When the bill came for signing, I noticed that the cost of broken cup or the coffee were not billed, not listed there! When checked, the Manager humbly said that sometimes things break, and that cup of coffee we had not consumed anyway. I learnt a couple of valuable lessons that day! On customer service ie. without even asking, another cup of coffee was served; and the value systems while billing a customer ie. the spilled coffee was not billed to the Customer. Please share your comments and experiences below - Let’s celebrate these unsung heroes! My name is PK Narayanan, wishing you the best, Thank you.
November 24, 2020
Speed matters. Direction matters even more...
'Direction is so much more important than speed’ said Richard Evans. Speed matters. Alongside speed, we also need to be watchful of the direction, which is easier to lose sight of. Speed thrills. Speed means a lot of activity. A lot of engagement. We may even mistake the increased levels of activity for achievement! In fact, it does harm if we’re fast and we’re headed the wrong way. If we are on a wrong road, added speed means it would take us farther out of our way. Farther off from our destination. It’s more important to reach our destination. It’s more important to be headed the right way, the surest way to get where we want to go. Even if it’s a bit late. How do we do that? The first step is to set the direction, destination, setting the compass. This is the key. Laying down the road map to reach the destination is the second step. Many aspects may need to be considered while doing this, including setting our value co-ordinates. The third step is to make sure we stay on course. Staying on course may be challenging, yet very important. Even if we need to take short detours in between, we need to be mindful to get back on-to our course. Alongside all these, speed happens. What could possibly help us keep the direction? Our conviction about the chosen path, commitment to the chosen course, persistence, resilience, grit, our value co-ordinates; though, at times some of these may even appear to seemingly affecting the speed adversely. Doesn’t matter - The key point is to travel in the right direction. Speed matters. Direction matters even more. If you resonate with these thoughts, please comment below with your views, experiences. My name is PK Narayanan. Wishing you the best, Thank you. https://pknarayanan.com
November 2, 2020
Are there things that we do in our business that have out-lived its purpose?
Are there things that we do in our business that have out-lived its purpose? Are there systems and processes that had been started at some point-in-time with some purpose, but has run-out of its purpose? Here’s a story. A blind man was about to return to his village after a short-stay at his friend’s place. It was evening. As it was going to be a long walk, his friend gave him an oil-lit lantern. Though the blind man protested initially about the futility of him carrying a lantern, his friend convinced him saying others can see him in the night. The blind man obliged. He started-off holding the lantern high in his hand. After a few hours, in spite of holding the lantern high in his hand, someone collided onto him - head-on. The blind man fell down and asked the other why he didn’t see him in the light of the lantern. The other person asked, ‘which lantern, what light?’. The fact was that the oil had got over and the lantern was off. When the lantern was lit and the blind man held it in his hands, it made sense. But once the light was off, holding it high and walking was a meaningless ritual for the man. Do we have such processes and rituals in our business? Systems and processes that had been started at some point-in-time with some purpose, but has run-out of its purpose? Are there things that we do in our business that have out-lived its purpose? This deserves a closer look! If you resonate with these thoughts, please comment below with your views, experiences. Wishing you the best, Thank you. PK Narayanan, CEO Coach https://pknarayanan.com/
October 14, 2020
Where am I putting my energies and attention - on the windshield or rear-view mirror?
TRANSCRIPT In my life or at my work, Where am I putting my energies and attention? The time and energy that we invest on a day to day basis in our past, in our past events and experiences need to be put in perspective. For example, Do we drive a car looking at the rear-view mirror? Not really. While driving, we look through the windshield and look at the rear-view mirror (only) occasionally. When needed. Example, when we are about to take a turn. In our life, at our work, do we follow this? When Richard Branson was once asked about his best career advice for young people, he said it came from his mother - that ‘Never look back in regret - move on to the next thing.’ He continued - ‘The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures rather than putting that energy into another project always amazes me’. The time and energy that we ascribe to the past events and experiences need to be put in perspective. If that becomes our ‘windshield’ view, it impacts our progress adversely. If it becomes our ‘rear-view’ mirror, it can be a guiding force when needed. Spending our precious energy and attention to moving on, not looking back - makes immense sense. Where am I putting my energies and attention - on the windshield or rear-view mirror? If you resonate with these thoughts, please comment below with your views. Wishing you the best, Thank you. PK Narayanan, CEO Coach. www.pknarayanan.com
October 2, 2020
What matters is what we see! How are we seeing?
The way we perceive, changes the actions we take. The actions we take changes the outcomes we get. What matters is what we see!
September 25, 2020
Accelerated Decision making - How do we practice?
Having the required information is a key pre-requisite while taking decisions. The pertinent question is how much of it?
September 12, 2020
What matters is where we are going to!
What we’ve done so far need not be indicative of what we’re capable of doing going forward...
September 3, 2020
It's Action that changes our lives!
Knowing what to do, thinking what to do, even deciding what to do, doesn’t change our lives. It’s the action that changes our lives, It’s the action that changes our world.
August 27, 2020
How much of your potential you’re using right now?
How do I bring my potential out? Requires closer attention, consideration. Listen to this 2 minute podcast and comment with your views!
August 15, 2020
4-Step Process to Keep-up Competency Levels While Scaling-up!
It’s essential for a scaling-up business to keep its competencies relevant, adequate and under constant check. Here's a 4-step process to enable that!
August 4, 2020
What We Do on a Daily Basis Matters!
Even Small things, done on a consistent basis, produce eXtra-Large outcomes over a period of time.
July 25, 2020
How do I solve problems quicker and keep moving forward?
Focus on solutions, for what we focus on expands.
July 16, 2020
Scale-up actions need to be cohesive, consistent and congruent to each other!
This podcast highlights the importance of getting scale up actions cohesive, consistent and congruent to each other.
July 9, 2020
How do we find time to do new things?
To add something we need to subtract something. Welcome to this 2 minute podcast!
July 3, 2020
As a leader, why I need to simplify? And how?
When we simplify, things get done!
June 26, 2020
How do I move more towards Growth-based decisions?
The way we take decisions play a significant role in our scale-up journey. Listen to this podcast and learn how you could move towards making choices and taking decisions more consciously.
June 19, 2020
How to scale up my business?
Scaling up is a possibility for every business if we get certain basics in place
June 11, 2020