Three mistakes of our Lives

Get on the Balcony

Most of us seek more happiness, more growth, more acknowledgement, more fame and of course, more money than what we have at present.

Most of us have many reasons like situations, lack of opportunities, use of unethical means or misfortune as impediments that block our road to glory.

Ronald .A. Heifetz talks about ‘getting on the balcony.’ It refers to separating oneself from the thick of action while action is on and move to a balcony upwards to have a macro view of the situation. If I am playing a match, when I get on the balcony, I can see my whole life in the playground, without a bias. I can see myself playing with respect to other players. I can see others making a pass and calibrating a move. I can feel the reactions of the audience and see my own actions.

When I get on the balcony, I realize three major mistakes on my part:

  1. I love stereotypes: Life is not a puzzle for us as we remember all the pieces and place them in the same way, again and again.

‘Men are from mars and love maps’, ‘Praying everyday makes us calm’, ‘Sharing the laundry makes me a good husband’ – are only the tip of our mental iceberg of stereotypes.

When I live my life by nursing some stereotypes, I don’t challenge anyone including myself and I contribute to maintaining the status quo.

Symbolic breaking of stereotypes through government plans and advertising is the biggest stereotype which creates 2 minutes iconoclasts and whistle blowers.

I love stereotypes because I love my comfort zone. I think of adaptive change, I hear about altering my perception and then, I chew eucalyptus leaves like a Kuala and enjoy my sleep.

  1. I love everyone around: I think about many successful friends and acquaintances. I like and comment on different social media platforms about various issues and happenings because I love my network.

When I consume my time and energy in thinking and analyzing all these people, I ignore my very self. I don’t dwell deep into my own dreams and aspirations because I benchmark, myself against my set of friends, colleagues and influencers.

This pseudo closeness to plethora of people takes me away from myself but close to shadows of others.

  1. I love hero worship: I love to gaze at all these super achievers who have made it big in sports, entertainment, business or academics. I am in awe of ace performers who top their lists.

We show respect to heads of institutions, stoop in front of leaders with formal authority. We worship charisma and power.

When we clap for heroes whose fame/power/formal authority wields control over us, we behave like fanatic fans. We ignore the unsung heroes who bring silent revolutions each day to make the heroic acts of the charismatic heroes possible.

When I am on the balcony, I realize that I love to make these mistakes over and over again because I resist change. I resist change because I resist loss. If I start rejecting stereotypes, I will lose comfort of my comfort zone. If I stop thinking about people and start focusing on adaptive change for myself, I will fear the loss of approving acquaintances and supportive friends.

If I will start valuing real unsung heroes, I will lose the larger than life feel that keeps my eyes wide open with admiration.

Do you resist change because you are scared of losing yourself with whom you have been living comfortably without getting on the balcony?

Think.

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Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read her best articles here!

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Controlling Founders and Possessive Parents: Boon or Bane?

Crushing Flower

Sense of owning what one creates is most natural an emotion. The love, the passion and the consistent involvement makes the creator extremely connected to his/her creation. Feelings like ‘This is mine’, ‘You cannot imagine or realise what I have gone through to build this’ gush through their hearts very often.

As a result parents of children as well as organisations/startups have difficulty in letting others enter their bastions. The problem is double edged due to following reasons:

1. Trust: Every founder and parent is skeptical about the intention and ability of the new experts/relations that they need.

 

Forced by market needs or profitability, founders seek professional help, hire CEOs and Directors. Most of them are guilty of selecting professionals who they personally like or feel comfortable with.

 

If obeying the promoters or agreeing with founders becomes the basic selection criterion, no major breakthrough can be achieved for the business.

 

After some time, the promoters start feeling that it is difficult to get competent people and it strengthens their flawed mindset that no one knows their business better than them.

 

If they actually select competent people who can turnaround their businesses but continue to micromanage by seeking daily reports and consistent interference, the competent but hired leaders feel stifled. They fail to develop belongingness and controlling founders lose talent soon.

 

Similarly, parents become wary of new friends, new relationships that the children want to forge because they can’t allow themselves to trust them.

 

When children get married, tectonic shift seems to happen in the minds of Indian mothers. It takes a lot of time before she gets ready to let go of her possessive streak. If she continues to feel threatened by the competent, loving wife, there could be long term unhealed scars jeopardizing the relationship forever.

 

2. Jealousy: Founders & Parents love their creations dearly. At the same time they cannot fathom the fact that someone could outdo them in managing/developing their creation. There is a deep insecurity among founders about their stature within the organisation. Most of the promoters of family owned businesses become insecure as the popularity charts of professional leaders soar in their organisations.

 

If the workforce start singing praises for the new leadership, if vendors and partners get along very well with the professional leaders, the founders/promoters get into panic mode. It is sad to see that they do not shy away from harming their own businesses while nurturing their mammoth egos and grinding their own ship to a halt.

 

Parents tend to become insecure if their children are happy with spouses. Mothers clearly create havoc when the daughters in law are appreciated and acknowledged.

 

Control and possession is due to extreme attachment and ego.

 

Getting attached to excellence and happiness is far more important than getting attached to organisation or children.

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Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read her best articles here!

What Parenting is not

Prayer

As we all believe in hands on learning and on the job way of experiencing, we have our own share of ups and down as Parents. The bumps hit us more when we think that we have innate skills of raising children and we can’t go wrong.

If we understand what Parenting is not, it helps us save ourselves from some obvious mistakes that we as Parents make.

  1. Parenting is not a milestone, it is a journey: “The day she/he joins a pre-school, I can go back to work”, “The day he becomes 18, he’/she can be on his/her own” are some statements that we use to fool ourselves.

Children remain our topmost priority after entering our lives and remain unfazedly so for the rest of our lives.

We can never think of this relationship as one we can take our attention off from. It has a beginning but no end. It is an unending journey where journey in totality matters more than milestones.

My daughter is appearing for Xth grade exams this year. The night before one of her exams, she was a tad nervous. “Will you be upset if I don’t do well tomorrow” she asked.

“Not at all,” I said, “I can’t be upset with my daughter for her performance. I will be upset to see her upset.”

“That is what makes our relationship stronger,” she said.

Her performance is not a milestone that influences me, our journey together is an influencer.

2. It is not about instructions, Parenting is a Prayer: “Why didn’t you listen when I told you to keep a smile while singing?”

“You made silly mistakes because you did not check the answers at the end of exam”

“How can you forget to put an alarm?” are remarks – helpless, angry or matter of fact – which we are familiar with.

We want our children to sail smoothly and as a result, we try to make it easy for them. We foolishly think that our step by step guidance will equip them to face future challenges while the opposite is true.

We need to give them open ecosystem to explore, to think, to fail and to try again while we observe them with a consistent silent prayer on our lips.

This 24X7 prayer from the periphery has more power than any other zero defect instruction booklet of the world.

3. It is not an expectation, Parenting is a Surprise: “I have sacrificed all my comforts in order to provide for her sports training”, “My child has fulfilled my childhood dream” are very common success defining opening speeches.

 

Children can be molded into means of attaining pre defined achievement or success but setting them free to explore the possibilities of a unique life is far more enriching and enlightening. Micromanaging results into many wins but kids might lose their own stories in our repeated monologues.

 

It will always be refreshing and apt if we encourage our children to spin a surprise life for themselves while we pray from the periphery, being a consistent part of their journey.

 

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Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read her best articles here!

Do you hate me? Thanks

Hatred

I remember her pretty face so well. She was my classmate and my neighbour. We were six and we were friends. When I topped my class, she pinched me real hard in the school bus and exclaimed, “You are so intelligent”. When we reached home, she rushed before me to tell my parents that I topped the class. While leaving, she pulled my cheeks so hard that I screamed. By the time next session started, many of my classmates didn’t speak to me. When I tried talking, they would make faces or drift away. The more teachers liked me, the more I felt aloof. I didn’t understand what was going on unless she left the school after a year.

One of the friends said, “She hated you because others loved you.”

I remember the feeling that I never wanted to feel. Thank You, I could never hate anyone.

While heading a B-school, a very senior guy joined as an advisor. As his office was being done up, he kept an all Dean’s meeting in my chamber without asking me. I conveyed my displeasure to the Board.

After the meeting, he called me for a one-to-one interaction.

“I am trying to figure out what do I dislike in your personality?” he said.

“Please take your time to figure it out.” I said with a smile.

I remember the feeling. It made me resilient enough to not get impacted by dislike or hatred or bullying.

People nurse hidden hate. People show it angrily in groups. People troll and show their insecurities. People agitate and intimidate. Hatred consumes them totally.

Feel sad to see these sadists. Ignore their outbursts. Don’t try to help because they can’t be helped. Show that it doesn’t matter. Thank you for showering your intense dislike and hatred….. I can never hate anyone.

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Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read her best articles here!

What is common between a Football team Coach, a CEO and a Parent?

Football PlayingA football team coach could be a successful player himself or he might have started coaching when his professional career didn’t scale great heights.  A successful player turned coach would have more difficulty shedding his ego than the one who is only a successful coach. A sports team coach needs to shed his ego completely in order to manage mammoth egos of players.

A CEO of today can’t retain talent if he throws his weight around. As hierarchical echelons are biting the dust in new shared spaces offices, team members expect their superiors to be guides, not bosses. Experience in terms of years has lost the importance it used to carry. More openness to be a constant learner and keeping haughtiness at bay would make a CEO successful today.

My mother-father could demand obedience and get yes as an answer from me without any question. My ego feels so embarrassed when my daughter tells me to stop fretting over exams. She asks me ‘why’ for so many things in a week that I wouldn’t have asked in my whole childhood. As a mother, I am as old as she is.

We need to shed our inflated egos as coaches, leaders or parents.

A coach is coach because of the team; a parent is a parent because of the children. We got a chance to learn before them as we were born before them which is hardly an achievement.

The more humble and giving we become as a coach, a CEO or a parent, the more are our chances of accomplishing great results.

All the three need to observe each of the player, team member or child closely before starting to deal with them. A continuous close observation, a few concrete instructions and unconditional support at all times are hallmarks of an effective Coach, CEO and a Parent.

Share your experience here or on Facebook if you feel that your parenting experience adds to your leadership / coaching role.

Parent

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Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read her best articles here!

Thank you for Changing my Life

Swash.JPGAs an entrepreneur, I started a company called SWASH (Skills, Wit and Attitude are shaped here) in 1997.

I designed a few courses to help children, adolescents and professionals to build confidence, ignite their motivation, and hone their public speaking skills. Apart from life skills and soft skills enhancement, I offered them my eyes to observe their heartfelt emotions, my ears to listen to their unsaid stories and my shoulder to lean on in distress.

Having trained thousands of participants in last fifteen years, I felt like asking them if SWASH still meant something to them. Three days ago, I closed my eyes and tried to remember as many names as I could from various years (from 1997 – 2007) .

I wrote around thirty names in under five minutes and posted a small note to them on Facebook. (I searched twenty of them on facebook, sent a friend request which was accepted within a minute. I was already connected to the rest)

In the note, I asked them:

  1. When did you join Swash (at what age) / What were you doing at that time?
  2. Do you remember how you felt at Swash? Do you still follow what you learnt?
  3. Do you honestly believe that a guide/coach can influence you forever?
  4. Did I touch your life, enrich it in some way or waves of time have wiped off all of it?

I wrote it because I missed my students so much. I wrote it because I wanted to know if life coaching really helps.

To my surprise, I received sixteen responses immediately which were all liners like

“I cannot forget you ever Ma’am”

“You are the best mentor I ever got, thank you for making me feel special once again.”

“A Pranam and a big hug to you, Madam”.

They all promised to send detailed answers (already got 5 this morning) but their immediate responses warmed my heart and nourished my soul.

Have you ever felt the same warmth and contentment?

It doesn’t hurt sometimes to ask your loved ones what you mean to them.

Swash

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Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read her best articles here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Level 5 Leadership in Family

Tata

When Jim Collins researched 1435 Fortune 500 Companies on seven parameters to find ‘great’ companies from ‘good’ companies, he found 11 companies which showed elements of greatness.

Eleven out of 1435 companies is around 0.007%. Quality of Leadership cannot be judged at that time. It makes more sense historically when we look back after a decade or so to assess the impact of leadership on the wellness of an organisation.

Similarly, parenting cannot be assessed in the present. It makes more sense when we look back and ask our adult children about impact of our parenting skills on their wellness.

Can level 5 leadership practiced at home, turn good families to great families?

Can we create a level 5 hierarchy at home to make step by step growth as an individual, then a spouse and finally as a parent.

Level 5

Great Parents

Building enduring greatness and legacy as a family with humility and ferocious will

 Level 4

Effective Parents

Consistent upgradation for better performance as parents, stimulating each other for cohesion and achieving long term family goals

Level 3

Competent Family Managers

Organising resources and strengthening willingness to prepare for becoming parents. Aligning long term goals with a planned parental shift

Level 2

Contributing Spouse / Contributing to Home (If Single)

Developing competence to work as a team of two, forming a family vision, strengthening the bond, working on duo dynamics

Level 1

Highly Capable Individual

Who has talent, value system and discipline

Level 1 requires an individual to be capable before starting a new family. He/She should possess a personal value system, balanced attitude and behavior with ethical habits and professional skills.

At level 2, two people come together to form an alliance for life. They become a two member team contributing to matrimony. This level requires fine tuning of personal objectives to make place for shared objectives. This level requires a mental shift for the two people who plan to start a new life together.

At level 3, the duo prepares for another shift as they find out if they have an emotion called parenting. If they find this emotion, they prepare themselves for the next role by allocating resources and aligning their personalities for the same. It is utmost important to prepare beforehand.

Level 4 requires periodic assessment of parenting skills so that up-gradation of knowledge, soft skills can be done. Various stages of child development need various parenting styles and parentability skills. Good families evolve to reach this level. Parents raise themselves before raising their children.

Level 5 transforms good families into great families as parents exhibit paradoxical qualities of humility and fierce will power. Only a few families will reach to this level because it is very difficult to get a mother father team who manifest deep humility and strong will power.

If they exemplify these traits, families become legendary as they earn respect & admiration for their achievements. They inspire awe and follower-ship for creating a cohesive family unit comprising of affectionate and confident children.

We need to work on parameters that would classify great families or family leaders over a period of thirty to fifty years.

Birla Family

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Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read her best articles here!