Self-Regulation a necessary skill for high-performance

Self-Regulation is considered essential for emotional well-being. It is the ability to act in your long-term best interest, guided by your foundational values. It is your strength to calm your self down when you’re upset. It is the lever to cheer yourself up when you are down.

At work, when you are running a project, initiative or pursuing an idea, it is quite possible that others working with you may not scale up to your expectations. When you witness your team performing lower than their best, you feel let down. When they make mistakes that can easily be avoided, and put-up a bad show in an important meeting you feel emotionally upset. In the gloom that follows, you might find yourself tempted to do a lot of destructive things in anger.

When you have mastered self-regulation, you would choose a different approach. You will pick words carefully. You acknowledge the poor performance without rushing to any hasty decision. Analyse the contributors to the failure – persons, people, process and the consequences. You will then call your team and express your feelings about the incidence and present your analysis of the problem and a well-considered solution. Some may consider doing a root-cause-analysis as a team and take collective action. But regulating your behavior is much more important than the process of making inclusive decision-making and ownership of the problem & solution.

Self-regulation helps keep emotional well-being. Controls feelings and impulses – making you reasonable and capable to create a work environment that reduces possibilities of politics and infighting. This leads to high-performance. Self-regulation has an inductive effect. People around you will pick-it-up and help you build a remarkable team and the craft.

For an entrepreneur/intrapreneur, working with different people with own priorities and tastes, self-regulation is an essential skill to master. Since you will be tested for patience, tolerance, performance-gaps and mostly the pace-of-delivery, it is important you embrace self-regulation.

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How to find your passion

Passion is considered essential to progress and excel. Passion is considered the most important driving factor for achievement, fulfilment and entrepreneurial pursuits. Few have it found them naturally. For many, it has to be discovered. 

To discover what you are passionate about, track your activities, ideas and associations where you love the process, not just the results and outcomes. True fulfilment comes mostly from the process. Irrespective of whether people appreciate or buy, artists go on performing as they love the process of acting, drawing, painting.   If you love creating, driving, climbing, talking, writing, you continue to do it. That’s where your passion is. When you discover this and focus, you will master ways to build on it. Focus gets results and outcomes that make your craft remarkable. Success breeds success. Fuels passion for a great run. You’ll make your way.

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How to build winning edges in your field of work

Winning edges – small differences in ability that can lead to an enormous difference in results. Both at a personal and organizational level, you should build your winning edges. It is that small difference in your own personal stack of knowledge and skills that can lead to major differences in your performance and achievements.

Strategies and techniques for achieving success at every level of business and in every field of the profession are more widely available and progressing more rapidly than ever before. You can learn any subject, master any art and build proficiency in the field of your choice much easier now, through the abundance of knowledge and work-pieces of several masters around the world. Many of these are available for free and at any time, any place.

When you look around, you will find many successful people and organizations in your field of work. When you study their ways-of-working and craft, you will be able to understand their success principles. Since there are so many successes and failures, you can analyze and build your own set of laws-of-success. When put-to-use, you will know their value. Fine tune it to make it a set-of-unbreakable-laws-of-success. Just as you reap what you sow, when you use good raw-materials, you get good things out.

For example, the following may be a set of laws to abide by to build your winning edge:

  • Learn a new-topic-a-day
  • Do-something-new-every-day
  • Leave no-item-unchecked in the to-do-list for the day
  • Correspond with one-new-person-a-day
  • Visit a new-place-a-month
  • Walk-a-mile-a-day
  • Gift-a-thing-a-month

When you build and operate under the laws-of-success, you will build winning edges that make your craft remarkable. Try it now.

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How to spot opportunities in ever changing technology landscape

Technology landscape evolves by the day due to the effort of several individuals, universities, companies and government agencies. There are two kinds of evolutions – building new technology for solving something and using technology as a lever to solve something. Technology evolves faster with the wider usage in real-life applications. In order to spot opportunities and explore them,  a structured experimentation approach will help.

As an Intrapreneur / Entrepreneur, if you want to spot opportunities with changes in technology landscapes, you mostly focus on applications. Finding answers to a set of questions is an easier way.

Try some of these unconventional ABCDEFGs:

  • Assumptions – what existing assumptions this new tech is going to challenge, change? – Opportunity for new products, solutions, and applications
  • Barriers – what barriers are required to cross for adoption?; what new barriers will this tech introduce for potential users/ applications? – Opportunity for hand-holding, consulting, training, solution accelerators
  • Constraints – What constraints are to be dealt with in adopting?; what constraints this new tech is going to introduce for potential users/applications? Opportunities to innovate on business models
  • Dependencies – what new dependencies this new tech is going to introduce for potential users/buyers/applications? – Opportunity to introduce complimentary services and solutions.
  • Experiences – what changes in experience is this new tech is going to introduce for potential users/ buyers/ applications? – Opportunity to build new offerings and displace existing competition
  • Future-shifters – how does production-supply-consumption pattern change due to this new tech leading to a full transformation of customer involvement in the process? – Opportunity to build a new base of customers and transformational value networks
  • Global-scale – how does the technology adoption expand across the globe? -Opportunity to start local/ hyper-local and scale globally by partnering.

Every set of answers will provide you a list of opportunities to explore. The key to success, however, is dependent on three factors: Scope, Speed, and Scale of your pursuit. Since everyone around you will be more-or-less at a similar stage, you will always have a level-playing-field. Early starters always have the benefit of quick win or feedback to win better, quickly.

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Power of small and continuous improvements

Power of small and continuous improvements is much higher than a sudden, surgical transformation. It is natural. It is sustainable. Any ill effect can be rectified quickly. Reversal is cheaper. Starting all over isn’t much difficult. When allowed and practiced over a period of time, resulting transformation seems magical.

Be it improving your walking pace, writing speed, workouts, team meeting effectiveness, line precision, anything that routinely matters can be transformed to its best performance level. Identify those small and regular activities that require improvement and be at it continuously in small portions that matter. To reach the 10000 step-a-day benchmark from your current 2000 mark, 20 additional steps everyday is a good plan. You’ll be surprised how quickly you gain momentum, reach the mark and maintain. Same is true with everything you work with.

In the quest of huge transformations, do not ignore continuous improvements. They form the basis for sustainable long journey. Keeping tools sharpened and staying relevant is essential for every intrapreneur/ entrepreneur. Make the best use of the power of small and continuous improvements.

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Criticism is not failure

It is natural to feel low when faced with sudden criticism. When your proposal, idea, initiative is analysed for rejection, there will be enough points to unearth. Likewise when analysed for rejection. People around you expecting to see you succeed or fail, both may use criticism as a method to give you feedback. 

Note that criticism is not failure. It is a method of feedback. System designers tell you that negative feedback is essential for it’s stability and performance. Same is true with criticism. See how it helps you to use a different lens while building your craft. Instead of confronting, see how to read-it-through and use it as a raw material for making your craft remarkable. Don’t stop fearing criticism. Be ready for it. It helps you in the journey.

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Five barriers to cross to be an effective intrapreneur

Barriers to innovation come from a variety of sources. Two major sources are the people involved and the process followed. People make all the difference. Right from sponsors, participating members, supporting teams and you as a key member/leader. Corporate innovation programs are supposed to follow a predictable process to help in governance and resource management. Level of detail of the process and rigidity around “how” something is done decides the effectiveness of the process and hence the innovation itself.

While you are on the intrapreneurial journey, watch out for these five critical barriers and cross-them-over, quickly.

Self-doubt and Worthiness of the Problem: Working on a wrong problem or not-so-worthy one is not going to help you or the organization. Clear the self-doubt on the worthiness of the problem. Establish that is a good one to solve in the context of your business and your customers.

Judging ideas too quickly. Questioning everything to conclude quickly by saying NO is what you get trained at work. Convergent thinking is the most paid attribute at work. But if you are on Innovation journey, you should reverse that to saying YES, let us try it out. Once you get-over the NO hump and explore thoroughly, you might find the valuable idea. Suspend judgment. Adopt experimentation.

Stopping with the first good idea. There’s always more than one way of doing anything. Why do you stop at the first good idea? While on Innovation journey, explore. Experiment with more options in the beginning. Let the good one emerge out of the lot. It also helps you with a Plan B or C, when required. When you find a good idea, log it and look for some more. Adopt time and money boxing. Don’t boil the ocean. Don’t rest with too small a portion either.

Following rules that don’t exist. Many times, you may assume that something can’t be done, without verifying it. Rules are made for regular operational businesses. Controls and governance mechanisms exist to support running of the business. When you are on the journey of changing-the-business, you might have to change and make new rules. Find and fix rules that don’t fit. Don’t just follow by assuming you can’t do it.

Failing to get sponsorship and supporters. You can’t run a submarine project for a long time. You should never start one in the first place. The first skill to master is convincing yourself and others on the idea you wish to pursue. You will need that through-out the journey. Get it first. Get your idea sponsored. Garner support from people who can help you make it a reality. Heroes are honored in war. At work, you need to be a hero by being the future-shifter. This needs sponsorship and support. Get it to cross the barrier.

Being SAFE at work is an essential need to be an effective Intrapreneur.

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Finding and Killing de-motivators is also essential for success

Whatever mechanisms you use to motivate yourself and your teams, there are underlying demotivates at play. Finding and killing de-motivators at work is as essential as that of creating motivational reinforcements.

De-motivators come in a variety of forms. They are very specific to the company you keep. But there are a few that are common. They only shape and scale depending on the fertile nature of ground you provide.

Major de-motivators come in the form of Politics, Unclear Roles & Expectations, Unwritten and avoidable rules, the poor design of work and measures of work, Avoidable meetings, Poor or lack of follow-up and follow-throughs. Continuous organizational changes, Secretive-ways-of-working, Tolerating poor performance, management invisibility, excessive control mechanisms and Capacity underutilization – free and unoccupied minds at work.

Watch which of these are at play. Find the sources of these de-motivators and eliminate them completely and gracefully. Every small motivational reinforcement then works very effectively. Business thrives and the craft becomes remarkable.

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A little more than expected is a good seed

When you are expected to deliver the best, everything you do is considered part of the job. No-one expects you to deliver not-the-best. You don’t expect anything lower than required from anyone. Still, you find at times people delivering lower than their best. At the same time, you do come across those who pleasantly surprise you with what they deliver, how they serve.  It is not the capability issue. It is not even the experience issue.

Some people have that inherent desire of putting service ahead of everything else. They ensure that satisfying the customer to the fullest extent possible is their job. They believe that there’s no room for writing everything in the job description. It is just a direction, the license to serve and be remarkable. They find time and energy to do more than perceived limits of the job. Go the extra mile, without counting it. Volunteer where it matters and always delivers a little more than you expect out of their job. They sow the seed of happiness in everyone touched by their work.

It is easy to practice this and make it a habit. All you need to do is go beyond what you believe is the limit of your job. Question how best to serve, without questioning what’s in it for you. Put-service-first attitude to work. Find how to make yourself pleasantly surprised if you are being served and adopt the same method. A little more than expected is a good seed. Spray it well, routinely. Your craft will get naturally remarkable.

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Feeling and making others feel important is essential for success

You work with people. All the time, the major contribution to your success comes from the people you work with. It is thus important that you make the right choice of people you work with, work for. Irrespective of the role they play, if you are associated in a day-to-day basis, people have an important contribution to make. It can be the driver of your cab, lift-operator at work, the receptionist at the front office, your boss, peers, friends and your customer, leave alone parents and loved ones at home. Everyone has a major contribution towards how you feel and perform, every day.

When you feel important, you feel charged and perform higher than normal. Likewise, when you make others feel important, they perform higher than their normal. When people around you notice how genuinely you make them feel important, they develop an affinity towards best performance just enough to make you successful. It is a chain reaction. A positive one. When everyone around is performing at their best to make you perform at your best, the craft you build becomes remarkable.

Make sure that you respect and engage with everyone around you. Make them feel important. You will become important to them. This makes you maintain the same feeling within and succeed routinely.

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