Imagine India Loses the T20 World Cup.

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I know you have started reading this post with fury raging in your heart for me. How can an Indian wish something as unpatriotic as this?

I am saying so because I wrote a post three days ago P & L Lessons from Virat Kohli to drive home some Parenting & Leadership Lessons with the help of current Indian cricketers – Virat, Dhoni & Yuvraj.

Some friends of mine commented that we are obsessed with winning and read too much into successful feats.

Would we be inspired by our team even if we fail?

Can we love people who lose?

Certainly, we can. Rather, we should if we understand the rollercoaster ride called life.

Aren’t we harsher in areas where victory and defeat can be quantitatively measured?

There is a clear cut win/loss in sports, exams, elections. Our perception of a person swings swiftly with the result. We keep judging the performance and we keep juggling our opinions.

Isn’t it possible to enjoy sports/exams without obsessing about the result?

I agree that you are still reading it with fury converting into wrath for me.

Who would want to enjoy an exam and not feel bad on failing it?

Half of the parents sulk all their life as their children fail to make it to their (parents’) dream colleges? Is it worth it?

Every tournament is made up of so many matches/games.

Each life tournament is full of so many such battles.

We cannot win all of them, we cannot lose all of them.

But we can certainly do two things:

  • We can give our best in all the matches.
  • We can enjoy all of them irrespective of outcome.

When Lord Krishna talked about “Nishkama Karma” he wanted us to work with spirit of excellence without worrying about the result.

When MS Dhoni doesn’t sulk after a loss, people feel hurt. Those who have seen a Lotus stand out gracefully in a murky pond know that it requires courage to stay so fresh and beautiful amidst the dirt.

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No water drops stay on lotus leaves due to their super hydrophobic surfaces. These leaves don’t let water drops stay on them. They even self-clean themselves as the tiny water droplets pick up small particles of dirt as they roll. Neither water remains nor dirt and the leaves remain clean.

We could remain as clean as these leaves by letting all the wins and losses roll off after a heartfelt engagement with them.

Detachment doesn’t mean indifference. It means being in the moment, enjoying it to the fullest and letting it go.

A laughter and a tear, both serve their purpose and should be allowed to roll off.

If we lose it, will the same team that we are so fond of today became suddenly worthless? How is that possible?

Even if we lose the World Cup, we can enjoy the moments of great cricket and leave it at that.

After a straight 41 match winning streak, magical pair of Sania – Martina lost in early round of Indian Wells and Miami Open.

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World No. 1 Serena Williams and second rank Andy Murray also bowed out of Miami Open.

Should we start trolling them or start judging their calibre?

Let us appreciate Svetlana Kuznetsova for putting a memorable effort to defeat Serena and move on.

Let us enjoy the experiences, cherry pick our lessons and move on with a smile.

 

P & L Lessons from Virat Kohli

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I accept that I am not a big cricket fan. But I watched the second inning of India v/s Australia match held on 27th March, 2016 during T-20 World Cup.

After watching Yuvraj, Virat and MSD play, everyone was in awe of this superb player Virat.

A patient individual, a supportive team player, an attentive listener, a dependable team member, a fitness enthusiast and an effective communicator.

PARENTING & LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM VIRAT KOHLI.

1. Virat was patience personified on the crease. He persevered on each ball and collected ones and twos diligently with all the calmness of the world. Though he knew that they needed more runs, he patiently worked his way up. He looked completely unfazed by pressure. As any senior leader or a parent would do, he didn’t let the pressure mount up on him or atleast didn’t show it.

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2.When Yuvraj got injured, any player would have gone anxious. Not Virat. In his speech after the match, Virat emphasized on Yuvi’s contribution and highlighted that Yuvraj made valuable runs and then decided to go. Every organisation wants results at any cost but great leaders will value their team members even if they under perform sometimes. Parents should also be as supportive and accommodating of their children as Kohli was. We mercilessly make the other person feel unwanted / less useful if he is not performing at his best. Virat didn’t do so even during crucial moments. Leaders and Parents in us, please take note.

3.Virat himself acknowledged during his speech that Dhoni calmed him down otherwise he would have become overzealous. Virat listened to Dhoni’s advice with mindfulness and controlled himself. It is not easy to listen to anyone when you are a celebrated player yourself. It is far more difficult to accept that your senior helped you calm down and contributed to your performance. If team members and children could become mindful listeners, organisations and families would be in happier space.

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4. Virat looked dependable and proved his mettle as a dependable member of the team. His demeanor was full of responsibility but in a subtle manner. His passion and dedication was visible when his knees touched the ground after victory and he thanked god but he didn’t wear his contribution on his sleeve, even for a second.

We start shouting about our contribution to our organisation and our family from every cliff but Virat looked completely consumed by his desire to make every ball count.

5. The exemplary running between the wickets by Virat and Dhoni manifests the importance of physical fitness which can be achieved only by sweating it out each day. Virat conveyed the importance of discipline and exercise very simply, when he said “That is what one goes daily to gym for”.

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6. I appreciated Virat not only for his cricket skills but also for his excellent communication skills. He conveyed the team-spirit and the consistent effort of all the players without being arrogant. He spoke with honesty and clarity – two important traits conspicuous by their absence from most verbal exchanges. He started by thanking the crowd. He was overwhelmed, yet spoke like a master storyteller – evoking emotions in the heart of every listener.

 

I am vulnerable, so what?

1‘I am artistic, not an artist’, said a friend who has been painting for a pretty good time.

“Why?” I asked.

“Everyone is so confident and self-assured these days that it scares me. I am not so sure of myself and I feel better that way”.

This sat me thinking. Are we actually as confident and sure of ourselves as we portray?

Do we feel that being humble, a little vulnerable or little unsure is a sign of being weak?

We all love to be experts and specialists and there is nothing wrong with it. We work hard to attain knowledge and experience in our domains.

But why are we obsessed with stability, surety and perfection?

  1. It keeps us in control of situations: I invited a senior Professor of Engineering for a Faculty Development Program. The revered academician said, “I love a class which asks questions I can’t answer. But I definitely attempt it and generally we reach a solution.”

His most valuable advice was, “Discard your notes (it was not the Power Point era a decade ago) once you come out of your class”.

When you repetitively teach your class using the same notes, same slides, you have a phenomenal mastery over the content and immaculate control over the class.

Don’t delete the whole presentation, don’t discard all the content and make it completely chaotic in the beginning. At least, keep some time for genuine exploration where you collectively search new grounds or discuss unquestioned possibilities.

Can we come out of the garb of being an expert who knows it all and humbly wear a facilitator’s hat who is ready to dive deep into the domain?

An improvised lesson could be better than a revised one.

Can we allow a little window of newness to open in our self-assured, controlled lives?

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  1. We want to be perceived as perfect: I cannot forget the book launch of my second book titled “Why woman are, what they are? In 2005, Nandita Das released the book to a packed auditorium. I was to speak about my journey writing that book, before her. She had prepared a nice speech which she showed to me before the event.

When I started speaking, I talked about various experiences during writing that book and it overwhelmed me to an extent that I spoke and wiped my tears all along. With a choked throat, I thanked various amazing women and men whom I valued. I finished after fifteen minutes. Thankfully, there was no fear of smudging the eyeliner or peeling of foundation as I didn’t wear any make-up.

I poured my soul in the speech and didn’t realise that I was being watched by more than five hundred people around me.

There was a big round of applause that I did not hear but saw later in the video recording. However, that is not important. When Nandita came on microphone, she kept the prepared papers aside and spoke from her heart.

I can feel the happiness of those moments vividly even after a decade because we did what we truly felt. We did not care about how we will be perceived by others.

Crying or making it emotional does not make it authentic, letting go of your fear to be perfect does.

There is a thin line between being authentic and playing it to the gallery which only we can know.

We must experience some absolutely pure moments in our lives where we don’t belong to anyone, anything but ourselves, without pretence and ego.

Such moments keep us happy in our skin and prompt us to take our lives less seriously.

Share such moments where you connected completely with yourself ignoring the ‘controlled freak’ or ‘perfectionist’ in you.

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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!

Words speak louder than actions

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Don’t get me wrong. I have not misplaced the important words. This is the Indian truth – a “Make in India” version of the popular adage.

Welcome to the land of Smriti Irani, Kanhaiya Kumar, Anupam Kher and many more wordsmiths who have held our nation’s breath.

They have the capacity to make all the important issues look obsolete. Their words, full of a gamut of emotions capture our attention to the extent that we make them heroic for weaving a web of half-baked truths and biased personal opinions.

Why do we love dramatic speeches?

  1. Indians love melodrama. They get involved like a patronizing uncle with anyone who shrieks and shouts, who gets hysterically aggressive, who modulates like a theatre artist and pauses like a philosopher before shedding a tear.

We have been fed inspirational speeches and now we thrive on sensational war of words which takes us nowhere.

Is it possible for us to prioritize issues which need urgent attention, less urgent attention and negligible attention so that media cannot create a new sensation everyday resulting in a collective daily amnesia?

  1. Indians are so eager to speak and talk all the time. Some speak on podiums while others get busy talking about what they spoke from their microphones.

Everyone wants to convey something. No one has willingness to listen. We feel relieved after making a point, no matter how irrelevant.

Execution or action to make a difference is overpowered by a wish to speak. Have we started to believe that oratory skills are a panacea for all our troubles? Have we started to believe that melodramatics public speaking will help us escape into a mindset which makes us believe that we are doing our duty by making these speeches viral?

Clicking, sharing, commenting in all online and offline modes are the only action buttons that we want to press.

Will one speech a day keep the problems away?

Or should we sing…

Speech, speech, go away.

Entertainment is not needed every day.

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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!

Once an Entrepreneur, Always an Entrepreneur

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Passionate, obstinate, pachyderm, scary risk taker- this is how people knew me twenty years ago.

In an era that loved engineering and medicine as a profession, I chucked the plan to become an engineer after reading ‘The Republic’ by Plato. After securing a gold medal in Philosophy, I enrolled for a MBA program because I wasn’t old enough to appear for Indian Civil Services which was my parents dream for me.

The entrepreneurial bug bit me in the beginning of MBA Program and I took two simultaneous risks against wishes of everyone – marrying the guy I loved and starting a venture.

Both the risks paid off and the civil services dream got sacrificed.

As my academic interests synced well with my entrepreneurial venture, I worked for others as Founding Director of two Management Schools.

Balancing both the careers was exhausting and exhilarating for a few years. Then working for someone else started troubling my entrepreneurial soul and I got completely engrossed into my entrepreneurial shell.

As a woman entrepreneur and a very passionate parent, life threw more challenges when my husband moved to Mumbai. After three years of long distance experiences, I finally moved to this cosmopolitan five years ago. The newness of this city unsettled me for a while and I could not gather courage to start something on my own. I took the safe route and started working for someone else.

I experienced the same emotions again. In the name of a stable career, I executed hilariously foolish whims of the owners, wasted my time in repetitive, meaningless administrative tasks before I decided to wear my entrepreneurial heels again.

I turned a solopreneur this time and I am loving every inch of my new avatar. The passionate, obstinate, scary risk taker is back.

Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur…

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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!

Ardhnarishwara Symbolizes Level 5 Leadership!

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As per the responses given by the recruiters in this year’s Wall Street Journal / Harris Interactive Business School Survey, male MBA’s are more forceful, sometimes over pushy leaders while women tend to be better communicators and generally shirk numbers.

A survey respondent commented, “Female MBAs have a bias to nurturing team building while male MBAs to a more analytically driven focus on success and independence.”

Therapist Mark Sichel says that he needs to guide men over and over again to understand and practice humility while telling women to show more confidence.

Though we find several exceptions to these generalizations, majority of men talk very well about themselves, take credit with aplomb while women excel at recognizing the efforts done by others.

As men are result driven logicians, they have stronger will power and fiercer resolve. But women give in easily and look for consensus rather than holding their ground.

I am talking about ‘humility’ and ‘strong professional will’ because I was discussing Level 5 Leadership with Management Students and a girl remarked that one attribute i.e., humility is a feminine trait while strong power will is a masculine trait.

Jim Collins, author of ‘Good to Great’ coined Level 5 Leadership as the highest level of leadership which can be achieved by only a few leaders.

Though this book doesn’t mention even a single women leaders as a Level 5 Leader, the attributes show that it is a perfect mix of androgyny.

Just as Ardhnarishwara, the mythical united form of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati symbolizes the union of male and female attributes as the best combination for a balanced life, Level 5 Leadership also sums up the attributes of man and woman to succeed as Level 5 Leaders.

Though women drop out of the corporate ladder before reaching to the higher echelons due to many reasons, they have higher chances to succeed as Level 5 Leaders. Those who reach up there, do they appreciate or practice Level 5 Leadership?

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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!