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Storytelling Legacies of Leaders

In the mid-1930s India, a spritely old man wrapped up in loincloth spoke of freedom, compassion, and peace.  Mahatma Gandhi carried a big stick, marched across the nation to pick up a fistful of salt by the ocean, and eventually liberated the country. He spoke to his people through painted visions and he touched hearts through parables of possibilities, “Change,” he said “must come from the inside. We must become that change.”

Connect, Engage and Influence your World Creatively!

A few decades later in America, another visionary stepped on the podium and shortly after, set aside the text of his prepared remarks to improvise.   Addressing a crowd of many thousands, he declared his dream—people from all corners of the country, from all walks of life, children of all races living together as one “to turn the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.” He announced his vision to the world to change a nation.

In the early 1980s in the Philippines, a journalist-turned-statesman chose to stand up against tyranny.  Amid the toughest of odds, he flew home, stepped off the plane, and walked into the waiting jaws of death.  This act of courage gave life to a story that inspired millions to act.  Fired by his example and call of, “The Filipino is worth dying for!” the first ever people power revolution produced a peaceful transfer of leadership and changed the country’s future. People power became a global model for bringing about change at the country level.

In comparison to the last 20 years, the rate of progress and the proliferation of information and technology have been exponential and show no signs of plateauing.  How people will regulate and sustain life stories in the future is unimaginable.  The stories of today are flourished in diverse formats. They are told and retold to sound and music, in dance, in art, in words, in moving images, all in bytes and pixels.  Stories travel, morph and multiply at the speed of light with a cursory glance and the touch of a fingertip.

Will this explosion of knowledge and ideas through technology ever change the concept and the heart of telling stories? The answer is a flat out no!

Here’s why:

  • Wherever they may sit, leaders enhance their credibility and authenticity through storytelling to spark the change they seek. Storytelling does much, merely by advocating and counter-advocating propositional debate, which leads to increased discussions.
  • Storytelling is focused on the future. It is not just an extrapolation of the present. It swirls emergent, new phenomena and nourishes it by downplaying the doubts and misconceptions of yesterday.
  • Stories are about human empowerment and real transformations in organizations. Stories are about humanity. Stories are about us transforming into a better us. Stories are about us wanting to know who we are and about us wanting to reach for the stars.

A story is like mist that develops on the outside, but the wisdom emerges from the inside. When a story touches our hearts, it takes hold of us forever and silently sets us free. This is a never ending journey.  It is also a never ending symphony. As long as this quest exists, stories will always fuel and fire us. And, since this is a never ending quest, we will always be leading ourselves and others happily into the ever after through stories.

That is the HeART of stories.

Drawn from the book, the HeART of STORY on Amazon.

 

go light one

The other day while waiting for my daughter at a gas station in Makati, a woman approached me and offered ‘chicharon’ and ‘otaaps.’ I shook my head and smiled a “no.” “The ‘otaaps,” she said, “go well with coffee, Sir!” I smiled and shook my head again.

Pit Bulls & Entrepreneurs (2010)

The difference between Pit Bulls and Entrepreneurs is that, sometimes, Pit Bulls can give up.

And, as she walked away the simplicity in her approach and the clarity of her voice made me take a second glance. She seemed to be in her early 50s. She was holding a few packs of snacks in her hand while a bag hung at her side. She was dressed in black pants and a fuchsia-colored, long-sleeved top. Her hair was dark with strands of white and it was cut shoulder length. She was dark-skinned, looked thin and work-weary. All in all, I surmised, she could be mother who was probably a former, office-worker. Her English was crisp and not accentuated or diluted.”The otaaps go well with coffee, Sir!” She’d said in perfect English.

I was tempted to call her and buy some, but then I hate ‘chicharons’ with a passion and apologies to the Lapid Family of the Philippines. I like ‘otaaps’ but I’d just seen some videos of myself speaking, and my silhouette had a bulge around the middle. Otaaps are made of flour, sugar, margarine and more sugar. No way!

Then I wondered why is it that I wanted to buy when in the first place I’d turned her away? I realized that I’d just become curious as to why and how had a mother-looking, seemingly well-educated woman in her fifties had to peddle snacks so late in the evening. Then I thought I won’t buy but just call her back and have a chat with her. That too, did not seem like a good idea on a less-lightened corner of the gas station where I’d parked and was leaning against it waiting for my daughter. I let the moment pause and felt a breeze of sadness brush my face.

So, the whole incident is still alive in my mind a week later. The questions on my mind are: What kind of a world have we built? What kind of an economy do we live in? Why is that we haven’t evolved enough as a civilization where a woman in her fifties still has to struggle to survive? How many others are out there who haven’t been able to stay up in the ups and downs of life’s shenanigans?

The air of sadness still circles me. I know this doesn’t happen in the Philippines but may be happening in thousands of cities across the world. Perhaps someday the world will grow into such a place where lives don’t get wasted such. I am not claiming that she, the ‘otaap’ and ‘chicharon’ vendor, might be unhappy or dissatisfied with her life. I am just floating way up in the air and making an observation.Go Light One

A quote that rings through my mind as I type this is “When you see no light at the end of a dark tunnel, go light one.” I must confess that I barely do anything about the struggles of society and life besides making noise. I do know there are thousands and millions of individual and organization who do good and constructive things bit by bit and day by day. My hats off to all that you do such things and serve the world. Someday, I’ll join you or if you know of an opportunity or need a hand give me a buzz. The least I will do is hold the candle while you light it.

*Otaap: Fluffy, crunchy, sugar-coated cookie.

*Chicharon: Pork insides, dried and fried like chips.

 

Raju Mandhyan                                  

Keynote Speaker, Coach & Learning Facilitator

www.mandhyan.com, Communications & Leadership Training

Coaching Is the Air I Breathe

When coaching, I lean in heavily on the values in words like appreciation, congruence and positive intention.

Let me explain: Our minds, the minds of others and the world we live in are a constant state of flux. One second we hold a thought, an idea or an image and the in the next second it is gone. It’s like we are frenetically sifting through thousands of images, audios and feelings.

To drive change, to achieve progress our intellect needs to take charge, stay in charge while respecting and acknowledging the needs of our frenzied minds.

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Assessing Sales Coaching Outcomes

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So we are onto the third of all the five questions raised during the 5th public run of the HeART2HeART Sales Management & Coaching workshop at the Ascott in Makati, Philippines last July, 2013.

The question was, “How does a Sales Manager know and measure the effectiveness of a coaching session he might have conducted with one of his salespersons?”

Well, here’s the hearty deal! As and when the Sales Manager is concerned and is conscientious about his own attitude and actions towards the development of his people then, automatically, his performance improves, his outcomes are better targeted and the interaction takes on a holistic and an empowering hue.

Confused? Rightly so! My fault, I jumped the gun a bit.

Assessing Sales Coaching OutcomesOf the several competencies required by a coach is her ability to be aware, to be authentic, and to have the agenda of his “coachee” on the top of his mind and to be adaptive to the growing needs of his learner. This is powerful because it is only in the development of others, only in the progress of her client and only in unleashing the potentials of her team members lays her own success. A sales manager turned coach lives and breathes to evoke the best out of others and deliver team and organizational results.

Now, how we do assess every single interaction and every little session?

One, is the salesperson/coachee hungering for growth and self-mastery every time you have an interaction with him? Ask him. Have him respond to simple questions. Listen, observe and feel. Does he trust you? Does your “coachee” walk away from a session challenged and/or empowered? Yes, both states are important—challenged and/or empowered.

Two, were most of the conversations within the coaching session targeted towards the salespersons goals and also, subtly and surely, in alignment with the sales team’s objectives. Yes, this is an essential difference between life coaching and sales coaching. There has to be a strong alignment of goals between the salespersons personal goals and the team goals.

Assessing Sales Coaching OutcomesThree, the sales manager-cum-coach also needs to keep his eye on improving corporate revenues and profits. If the coaching and learning sessions with the sales “coachee” are going well and he feels empowered and excited by his own progress but, overtime, all the activity is creating little impact on the company’s financial bottom-line then there is something amiss in the process. In this case have a another look and have another think about mutual agendas and the coaching process, keeping in mind that product/service quality, internal systems and market conditions are not derogatory to progress.

There! That’s how to assess the effectiveness of coaching your sales personnel. That’s the HeART2HeART way!

Yes, it also does help the sales manager to maintain an efficient tracking of the regular sessions and the overall performances of the sales people, the team and the overall profits.

Attend my upcoming workshop, go build your teams and grow your profits!

Also, if you wish, watch this clip about telling stories as a sales coach.

 

 

Pause like Pacino

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A week ago, I posted a version of “When Cicero speaks, the world marvels. When Demosthenes speaks, the world marches!” and a lot of people liked it and shared it to their groups. The source and origins of this quote is unknown to me. It could be Plutarch or it could have been former Prime Minister Gordon Brown of United Kingdom. What I know is that I relate to it powerfully, and I like to make everything I put out into the world about communications, about leadership and about unleashing inherent excellence resonate with the essence and the power that lies hidden in this quote. For me, it contracts and consolidates what throbs inside my HeART when i speak. When I speak, thus, I endeavour to stir up thought and churn out massive, constructive and positive action.

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I hate brocolli!

I hate brocolli! I hate the sight of it. I hate it’s name. “Brocolli?” What is that? It sounds like some tropical disease. Like, “He’s got brocolli between his toes. She’s got brocolli in her armpits.  But then again, we do know its good for us. Its green and healthy for our insides and for our cancer fighting cells. And, some claim, it adds and multiplies brain cells.

Similarly, in my work-life there are things that I know that there are things we must do which will be good for us. Like learning to and keeping proper accounts. Learning to and keeping proper records and files of projects and programs. And, for professionals and small business owners like me, learning to build an active website and sustaining, nurturing it over time.

I hate brocolli!

I hate brocolli!

I knew this. I was told this, many a times, years ago by colleagues and friends in the industry and yet I kept thinking _assigning this to a professional or a professional team would be the smart thing to do. And, boy was I ever wrong! Nearly every other year, I’d look for to outsource this work and they’d come back and pick my brain, have me do the thinking, the brainstorming and making the website work for me and my business. ” At first I was doling out money in spades and getting aesthetically impressive returns. Then I tightened my fist and began to get function but no charm and no ease. All through, in the back of my head, I kept thinking…”I wish I was computer savvy. I wish I understood the internet as well as they do. I wish I were Generation X or Y or Z. I wish I weren’t a late-bloomimg baby boomer baby! Grrr!

Website building, maintenance and the world of internet marketing loomed over me like a huge clump of rotting brocolli.

Yet, a small voice kept telling me, “Go ahead, take a bite and start chewing. Go ahead, roll up and your sleeves, tie a nappy around your neck and dig in!

So, two week ago, I rolled up my sleeves, put a nappy around my neck, put on my reading glasses, plugged in the earphones and hauled my lap top closer to me and began clicking, punching, rewinding, undoing, doing, highlighting, reading, taking a power nap in between, and clicking, punching, rewinding, undoing, doing, highlighting, reading, listening until it began to make sense, until it began to take shape.

What you are browsing through right now is a still a rough draft, a skeleton of what is yet to come and grow. In essence, not only am I learning to eat my brocolli but I am also learning to plant, grow and make it flourish organically. That’s the way to go when it comes to learning and succeeding at something you consider hard and something that you figure you can set aside and a let divine intervention resolve it for you. No sirree! It doesn’t happen that way.

Can this same principle be applied for accounting, book-keeping and or maintaining records. Yes!
Nothing is more empowering and liberating than tackling any and all kinds of huge, ugly brocolli clouds that loom over you and slow you down. Hate that brocolli? Eat it first! It’s good for your soul;)

Inner Sun

An Unbalanced Life.

Most everyone is focused on living a balanced life. What exactly is a balanced life? Twenty fours divided equally between work, play, family, personal needs and service to the world? Or, is it stress at work, peace at home?