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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 taken from the book, the HeART of STORY, available on Amazon: http://goo.gl/OZSMj8

Posts on Facebook: https://goo.gl/MXQEqU

Talks on You Tube: https://goo.gl/dVclfm

Choice Clips from ExPat InSights :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjf3sHaZBSo

 

Seven Plus Minus Two from NLP

Have you ever walked into a meeting late, because of heavy traffic en-route, and been unable to concentrate on agenda at hand right away? Does a part of you want to focus on the work while another part of you is still anxious, stressed and testy about the traffic conditions you just recovered from?

Seven Plus Minus Two Principle from NLP

Seven Plus Minus Two Principle from NLP

Or, at times, have you tried to pitch a presentation to an important customer, behind a large desk, who is signing papers, taking calls, punching his keyboard, sipping coffee while politely asking you to keep on talking. He claims he can multi-task and is listening to you but at the end of your pitch you still feel let down.

Meeting maladies similar to these can be resolved by understanding, in depth, another principle of Neuro Linguistic Programming: At any given moment, our conscious mind, can only hold and juggle with seven plus or minus two chunks of thoughts.

For example, while driving through traffic, you are intensely navigating, formulating an explanation for your tardiness, reviewing your planned presentation, pondering upon discussions or activities you may have concluded earlier, reading your messages on your phone, planning the evening, regretting not having eaten a healthy breakfast, thinking of the family, etc;  All this is hyper-mental activity. And, some of the areas that we reactively think about can be switched off to be able to calm yourself and focus on what is crucial. Just like a computer, the desktop of our mind can be faster and more efficient if it is running fewer applications at a given moment.

Your obvious question would be how do I do this? That’s correct. For yourself, you need to become conscious of the fact that you are running in a hyper mode and then zero in on your breathing and focus on it. A few minutes of paying attention to your breathing will shut down several less important issues the desktop of your mind may be juggling. If your mind wants to react, stop and go back to focusing on your breathing. In the long term practice will make you perfect.

How do you handle the customer behind the large desk, who wants you to go on talking when you know he is running in a hyper-mode and may not be giving you a hundred per cent attention? Stop speaking, slow down your presentation, deliberate on your pauses, and politely ask him to finish signing the papers or answering that email. Like: ” I see you like answering off important emails promptly?” That’ll break his trance, his pattern and he will look up and give you attention.

Ask him non-probing questions about the biggest chunk of thought he may be juggling on the desktop of his mind. Do or say anything that you feel will help him switch off some of the activities and give you better attention. A word of caution: Don’t be cheeky or obvious about it because that may embarrass him.

In summary, powerful leadership conversations are also about understanding and managing the subjective state rather than just what is on the surface. Practice these methods and you will find yourself achieving a lot more in half the time and at half the cost.

 

Find more insights like this one in my books on Amazon

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Five Laws for High-Octane Learning Transfer in Training

All my life, I have enjoyed and applauded great teachers of all kinds and in all walks of life. I have spent thousands of hours watching,

listening, reading up and pondering about how is it that there are a few teachers/trainers who transfer so much knowledge and wisdom and also do it in a light and a non-intrusive way. I have a special affinity for such people and my life has been blessed by many such “gurus” of learning transfer.

Here are a handful of laws, I believe, they follow to become good at what they do and to churn up learning in individuals and organizations. Mind you these are not just the things they do but these are their guiding principles and they follow them, consciously and unconsciously, as if they were unwritten laws for High-Octane Learning Transfer.

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Enterprising Young Musicians

It is true that the cognitive business skills for starting, running, and succeeding at a business venture can be gleaned from a book and learned from business schools. But there is no entity that can impart and equip an entrepreneurial candidate with what economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter rather romantically described back in 1912, as “the will to conquer, the dream and the will to found a private kingdom, and the joy of creating, of getting things done.”

Most successful entrepreneurs do discover and master the science behind, “the will to conquer, the dream and the will to found a private kingdom, and the joy of creating, of getting things done.” But, after suffering excruciating pain and paying an enormous price.

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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?

InSights on InSights

I didn’t start out to be…but over the years, I have become a serious learning addict. I started out as wanting to teach, train and inspire others but the process required taking in, processing, reflecting, accepting, experimenting and acting upon concepts and applications. Over the years, my capacity to do all this_ taking in, processing, reflecting, accepting, experimenting and acting upon grew massively. Today, at the close of nearly fifteen years of doing this the neural synapses continue to cut deeper pathways and the pleasure I keep getting out of this continues to grow. This, little act of putting out a blog is a part of the journey.

Some people may ask, why do this, to what end and purpose? To that I’d respond “Great question, many times I ask that of myself too!”

The answer is simple: If one is a farmer then they farm so that they can eat and feed others. If one is a mason, then one builds so he has shelter and others have a home. And, if one is an architect then he builds bridges so people can cross and get to where they have to go. At the core of my heart, I love teaching and this little act of blogging is one of the necessary tasks of a modern day teacher. It is supposed to challenge me then nourish and develop others at work and in life.

Yeah, that’s the insight on these InSights!

Appreciative Inquiry