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Friday, June 25, 2010

Why not take the long way?

I was very anxious and edgy when I came home yesterday evening. I realized that my fridge was not working.

Since I'm a new house owner, I'm not an expert on dealing with this kind of problem. I know I can troubleshoot minor works at home, like; changing the doorknob; fixing the shower valve, or simple carpentry works. But to understand how and why my fridge suddenly stop working is way out of my homegrown skill.

I had some repairs done in my suite from the time I moved in, and this was courtesy of our wonderful caretaker, Mr. Kumar. So since I had no clue whatsoever how to deal with this fridge problem, I called him again to ask for assistance.

This morning, a big guy name Dave came by to fix my fridge. To my unuttered surprise, it was nothing serious. He said that it was just the timer that went off.

He didn't know that there was a deep sigh of relief inside of me. I was glad that I don't have to buy a new fridge or go into that trouble of pulling out the fridge from my apartment for major repair.

So he changed the timer without further ado. Alas! My fridge was up and cooling again.

Then came the most tricky part of the deal. When I asked him how much I owed him, he said, "110 plus tax." Woh! That much in 15 mins? And there was another catch. He accidentally mumbled, (I guessed) "If Mr. Kumar is paying, it'll be a different price." There was a sudden buzzer in my ear. "Really?!" I murmured inside. So I thought of another way to bargain out, or better yet, swerved the deal in my favor. I told him that I might need to talk to Mr. Kumar regarding the payment because he was also a part of this, and that I might need to pay him as well. So after a long pause and few moments of chatting, we agreed that as soon as I talked to Mr. Kumar, I'd call him and he'd come back for the money.

When he left, I was thinking. What if I just gave him the cheq, then all was done and we could both moved on. On the otherhand, I wanted to know how much money I'd save if Mr. Kumar would be involved in this transaction. So I waited til I got hold of Mr. Kumar.

In the end, it paid off. I did the right thing. Mr. Kumar told me that he'd talk to the guy, and I'd just pay him 100 bucks in cash. So in 30 minutes, I ran to the bank quickly and deal was over. I saved around $20. I was happy.

Sometimes, it's worth delaying things and taking the long way, instead of the usual
shortcut. Because you'll never know what the long way has in stored for you. It can be a new discovery or a better deal. You'll never know...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Interesting thoughts about Leadership

I got these quotes about leadership from a friend via email. He wanted to know our thoughts.

I think leadership is a gift. No matter how much training you get in school or experience you gain from a group, if you don't possess this special gift, then you may not see successful leadership. Even if you try hundred folds to lead.

Everyone is born with a special gift. A gift to teach; to heal; to lead; to preach; to write; and more. The important thing is to know that innate gift that is truly just for you alone.

I believe that success in life is not what you've gained in this world, but with how you use and share your gift for the good of all...

Excerpt from - The Right to Lead, by John Maxwell

What gives a man or woman the right to lead?
It certainly isn't gained by election or appointment. Having position, title, rank or degrees doesn't qualify anyone to lead other people. And the ability doesn't come automatically from age or experience, either.
No, it would be accurate to say that no one can be given the right to lead. The right to lead can only be earned. And that takes time.

The Kind of Leader Others Want to Follow
The key to becoming an effective leader is not to focus on making other people follow, but on making yourself the kind of person they want to follow. You must become someone others can trust to take them where they want to go.
As you prepare yourself to become a better leader, use the following guidelines to help you grow:

Let go of your ego.
The truly great leaders are not in leadership for personal gain. They lead in order to serve other people. Perhaps that is why Lawrence D. Bell remarked, "Show me a man who cannot bother to do little things, and I'll show you a man who cannot be trusted to do big things."

Become a good follower first.
Rare is the effective leader who didn't learn to become a good follower first. That is why a leadership institution such as the United States Military Academy teaches its officers to become effective followers first - and why West Point has produced more leaders than the Harvard Business School.

Build positive relationships.
Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. That means it is by nature relational. Today's generation of leaders seem particularly aware of this because title and position mean so little to them. They know intuitively that people go along with people they get along with.

Work with excellence.
No one respects and follows mediocrity. Leaders who earn the right to lead give their all to what they do. They bring into play not only their skills and talents, but also great passion and hard work. They perform on the highest level of which they are capable.

Rely on discipline, not emotion.
Leadership is often easy during the good times. It's when everything seems to be against you - when you're out of energy, and you don't want to lead - that you earn your place as a leader. During every season of life, leaders face crucial moments when they must choose between gearing up or giving up. To make it through those times, rely on the rock of discipline, not the shifting sand of emotion.

Make adding value your goal.
When you look at the leaders whose names are revered long after they have finished leading, you find that they were men and women who helped people to live better lives and reach their potential. That is the highest calling of leadership - and its highest value.

Give your power away.
One of the ironies of leadership is that you become a better leader by sharing whatever power you have, not by saving it all for yourself. You're meant to be a river, not a reservoir. If you use your power to empower others, your leadership will extend far beyond your grasp.

In The Right to Lead, you will hear from and read about people who have done these same things and earned the right to lead others. Because of the courage they found and the character they displayed, other people recognized their admirable qualities and felt compelled to follow them.
The followers who looked to these leaders learned from them, and so can we. As you explore their worlds and words, remember that
it takes time to become worthy of followers.
Leadership isn't learned or earned in a moment.