The AHA Model of Parenting and Leadership

aha-model

I come across many parents who vociferously admire the drive of their children while whispering about some lack of gratitude.

I come across the HR Heads with whom I have discussions about Level 5 Leadership and how to bring Group Cohesion between Generation X and millennials.

It is becoming imperative for us to gear up for an innovative nudge in the family as well as corporate space.

AHA Model, if applied consistently, can give us balanced individuals, children and future leaders.

AMBITION: Having a purpose, figuring out a path to reach that purpose and following it with perfection will never go out of fashion. Having a drive to excel at something should always be a lifeline. Jack Ma’s drive to learn English as a school boy turned the tide in his favor by inculcating a continuous ‘ambition’ in him.

Ambition is not competition. It is not envious. It is focused on oneself.

If parents can learn constantly to nudge children towards striving for excellence in daily chores like tiding up the room or folding clothes, it becomes an attitude. If leaders constantly nudge team members towards the same in intangible areas like receiving a guest, promoting a save energy campaign, excellence becomes a daily ambition.

HUMILITY: The linear approach of parents makes it difficult for them to give humility lessons to children. Inspiring them to achieve goals and nudging them to stay grounded are opposing forces which need to be balanced. It comes easy when achievement is not celebrated as special but accepted as way of life. It comes easy when children experience gratitude around them. A feeling of entitlement creeps in from the beginning if parents treat their children as special and become “Yes Parents” or “Designer Parents”.

Leaders need to set goals and achieve them with undivided focus and clarity. They need to keep their teams motivated to reach targets. The tight rope walk requires them to be stern and aggressive. Yet, it is important rather imperative to feel empathy and evoke trust. Humility keeps a leader rooted while ambition enables them to soar high.

ADAPTIVITY: After realizing the importance of being humble as well as ambitious, the most crucial part is to be adaptive. As parents and leaders, we need to assess, adapt and act – Assess the situation to decide to be humbly ambitious or aspirationally humble.

It is important for us to realize that life is not about happy or sad endings. It is not about being a saint or a sinner. It is not about being either ambitious or humble. It is about being adaptive to experience happiness as well as sadness, to value virtue as well as vice, to imbibe ambition with humility.

If we nurture our roots with humility and fuel our wings with ambition, we will become those adaptive individuals who can show their children and their teams to be humbly ambitious.

****

I am an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Don’t Raise Your Children, Raise Yourself (Amazon Bestseller), Why Women Are What They Are, Come On! Get Set Go

I am running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with me on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read my best articles here!

Action or Reflection: Your immediate choice

action-or-reflection

An Israeli researcher Michael Bar – Eli studied hundreds of penalty shoot-outs in soccer. In a penalty shootout, the ball takes less than 0.3 seconds to travel from the shooter to the goal. This is certainly not enough time for the goalkeepers to assess the ball’s trajectory. As a result, they need to decide beforehand what to do.

Study of various penalty shootouts shows that players who take penalty kicks shoot one third of the time at the middle of the goal, one third of the time at the left and one third of the time at the right. But the goalkeepers always either dive to the left or the right. Why?

Because it looks more impressive and less embarrassing to dive to the wrong side than to freeze on the spot and watch the ball sail past. This is called action bias – look active, even if it achieves nothing.

“Don’t sit, wait and watch – do something” is our life mantra.

We are descendants of hunters – who needed lightning fast reactions for survival. But our world is different. Still, we end up taking action without reflection.

Why is it torturous to wait & watch? Why is it bothersome to be seen idle? Why is it socially important to appear busy or engaged?

Think about situations where your immediate intervention might have worsened it when your sure intention was to be of some help.

When your kids fight and you manifest yourself as a saviour, you might add fuel to the fire by your presence.

Support – too much, too soon, might turn into a handicap. I have seen many retired people who keep themselves extremely occupied because they don’t want to feel ‘out of work, out of use’.

Replying immediately to tweets and online posts also shows our penchant towards taking immediate action, albeit through words.

In his book, The Art of Thinking Clearly, Rolf Dobelli says that society at large still prefers rash action to a sensible wait & watch strategy.

This surely doesn’t mean that a quick action is always unwarranted. A quick action for the sake of appearing active and involved is. Not taking a quick action is not same as inaction. In critical situations like a military/medical emergency, we need to act fast but in verbal arguments/brawls, a reflected and delayed action reaps better results.

Think:

Are you a mother who gets involved in every part of your child’s life because you are ‘at home’ to raise him/her?(Check your parenting style here Don’t Raise Your Children, Raise Yourself (Amazon Bestseller))

Are you a leader who is always behind schedule due to numerous meetings/appointments/review meetings?

 

 

Tata Tales – Lessons for Life

tata-logoTata – the experience is a part of our lives, knowingly or unknowingly, directly or indirectly when we might be buying our coffee, trendy jewellery piece or a watch, our first car, our five star stay, a pen drive or a packet of salt. It enters indirectly into our lives through their steel, chemicals, and IT interests spread globally.

The brand has stayed with many generations as a rock solid companion in rational and irrational ways. When I was a child and I came to know that Taj Group of Hotels belonged to Tata Group, I felt so happy.

As I brewed a passion for Parenting & Leadership, I found Ratan Tata to be an extremely exemplary Parent. He is my favourite Parent.

Remember, I always believe in Parenting to be an emotion and the most sacred form of Leadership.

Parents are emotional leaders who love to work with people – give chances to them, show confidence in them, encourage them and empower them.

Parents are also silent strategists who deliberately show that they have relegated all powers to their progeny when they actually keep track of overall family environment and the ensuing sentiments.

They are a dangerously determined lot who can lead any crisis at any hour when it involves their children in whom they have invested themselves.

The emotion that we experience with the brand TATA is far deeper than the rare crisis Tata Group has stormed into.

There are various theories being propounded at the moment about whys, hows and what nows. The imminent lessons learnt are:

  1. CULTURE IS STILL IMPORTANT: Culture doesn’t mean symbols. It doesn’t mean teary advertisements. Culture means the core values that you most certainly stand for.

Culture is deep rooted to have an impact. You cannot start fiddling with long standing norms in the name of staying relevant with changing times.

The longer a tree has been around, the deeper and stronger the roots are. The older the trunk of such a tree is, the denser the branches would be.

When it shakes itself even a bit, it causes a storm. It is pretty problematic to strive to re-engineer the roots of such a tree, even if it offers less shade or fruits.

Respecting the roots before championing change is required. Change for longevity and growth of the tree is needed but a young branch cannot steer a new action plan without taking the trunk into confidence.

  1. ACTIONS ALWAYS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS: No amount of verbal or written jugglery can explain the sudden and shocking action.

Such an action without words can only result when the danger is much deeper than what meets the eye.

Such an action goes against corporate ethics of the behemoth. Wouldn’t the conglomerate know that in certain terms?

If such an action is still taken which has a rippling effect forever, it surely means that it was urgently required for reasons that are unknown and will remain so.

A sensible and relevantly active parent like Mr. Tata who understands the present pulse of the new start-up energy, cannot falter in decision making with his first child.

His speedy, sudden, shocking action cannot be frivolous or without thought.

  1. SUCCESSION PLANNING NEEDS CAREFUL THOUGHT, LONG NURTURING AND OODLES OF LUCK: Succession Planning is a dark horse in our scenario planning. It suddenly becomes the most relevant decision for the road forward. A time consuming shaping up is mandatory. Nothing can replace ‘time factor’ in grooming the right person for the tough job. Starting something from scratch is far easier than fitting into famous, droolworhty shoes.

Despite of right genes and perfect grooming, a successor can fail to fulfil the expectations for a number of unexplainable reasons. Call it luck or call it market sentiment. A worthy successor is harder to find if the predecessor is a legend.

Anyone in this role could have faltered. The road ahead is fraught with ‘urgency to choose a dependable younger successor’ while humming “the once bitten twice shy” tune.

The experience called TATA will live. The story called TATA becomes more interesting and ground-breaking now.

POKEMON GO: The Beginning of a new fearful saga

Pokemon

While reading about incubation lab of Google, I had read about Niantic – the business unit set up to create an augmented reality platform. While we were waiting for AR to change our construction methodologies or revolutionize our surgeries, it has turned the whole world into a gaming zone by introducing an amazingly entertaining but dreadfully dangerous game – POKEMON GO.

Though till yesterday, I felt that it is a hype that surrounds every new product, however mundane or miraculous. I felt that children are merely snap-chatting & talking about a new game.

But, the more I read, researched and thought about it, the more scared I felt.

It has the power to change our interactions with ourselves and with our social circle. It can gate-crash into our brains erasing the difference between imagination and reality. It can create a new personal version of reality, tampering with our existing ways of looking at it.

Are we ready for a saga that has started to unfold through Pokemon Go?

It is a free-to-play, GPS based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic for IOS and Android devices.

Players move around glued to their phones while they catch Pokemon on the go. They search in real locations called Pokestops while playing on their phones. Hold your smartphone in front of you, follow a real time interactive map that shows you where your quarry is hiding. Once you reach the locations, “capture” the critter after which you can train it, fight it or do whatever.

It has released only in USA, Australia and New Zealand but millions of users across the world (including India) have side-loaded the game and have started playing it on the roads.

On the surface, I could think of a few areas where such a game could prove detrimental for the hooked players.

  1. Physical Safety Issues: People are moving around without bothering about coming cars or entering into places like police stations. They can get hurt or get into problems anytime.

Selfies are causing lot of ignorant and meaningless accidents. Pokemon Go will intensify the issues of carelessness and impulsive, reckless behavior.

It is scarier for us because more people died taking Selfies in India than in any other country till February 2016.

  1. Crime Instigation: Players can use it to lure people to a specific place using this game and it may lead to thefts, rape, murders.

A robbery has already happened in Missouri. Police at Missouri said that the four teenage robbers used the game to lure victims by putting a beacon at a location to draw in players.

  1. ­Net Addiction / Screen Addiction: Within a week of its release, people are using it more than apps like Whatsapp, Tinder, Snap-chat or fb messenger. According to Similarweb, the average time spent on this app is 43minutes, 23 seconds a day which is much higher than what it is for above mentioned apps. Imagine teenagers getting hooked by this awesome game or office goers being allured to look for Pokemon in and around office.
  1. Road Accidents: People might start playing it while driving. Earlier they were talking or texting while being behind the wheels, now they might be hunting for Pokemon. We cannot imagine that kind of a scenario unless it happens and leaves us shocked.
  1. Psychological Dangers: While playing these Augmented Reality Games, children/older people might get so immersed in the digitally enhanced world that they will lose touch with what is happening in the real world.

We cannot fathom the extent of changes it can cause to human brain till we receive some actual data on impact of using Augmented Reality for fun.

There are certain positive impacts also that I can think of:

  1. Kids are outside and walking. They are exercising as they hunt for Pokemons, leaving their sedentary lifestyles.
  2. It is new and so much fun. Every person who has played the game has enjoyed it thoroughly and is raving about the fun quotient.
  3. Parents are spending more time with their children as they walk behind them while they are playing outside. Indian Parents are following their teenagers to Pokestops because they are afraid that the children might get into trouble.

But if you want to run and have fun outside with your family and friends through a game, try Supersuit (http://www.wearsupersuit.com) designed by an amazingly talented Mr. Rajat Dhariwal, Founder of www.madratgames.com which will keep you entertained, sane as well as safe.

Let AR be used for serious causes, not for fun which could lead to sad and serious repercussions.

References: