Why play?

Learn to play with your life, with your questions, with your friends, with your children, with your lovers, with your ideas, but most importantly learn to play with yourself too.

When you play well, you slowly realise you live well.

Just remember it’s just a play, not a conquest or competition to win. When it simply remains a play you get a lot done, you live more and when you are leaving, you can go with a smile on your lips.

Keep playing. All the best.

Rebuilding the world

A father was trying to read the newspaper, but his little son kept pestering him. Finally, the father grew tired of this and, tearing a page from the newspaper – one that bore a map of the world – he cut it into several pieces and handed them to his son.

‘Right, now you’ve got something to do. I’ve given you a map of the world and I want to see if you can put it back together correctly.’

He resumed his reading, knowing that the task would keep the child occupied for the rest of the day. However, a quarter of an hour later, the boy returned with the map.

‘Has your mother been teaching you geography?’ asked his father in astonishment.

‘I don’t even know what that is,’ replied the boy. ‘But there was a photo of a man on the other side of the page, so I put the man back together and found I’d put the world back together too.

– Author Unknown

Continue reading “Rebuilding the world”

Confessions of a Corporate Mystic #1

There r some who do the needful and some who don’t. But rest keep wondering. Should I? Shouldn’t i? That’s where the energy, enthusiasm n creativity goes down the drain. And am talking about a lot of people here. 🙂

The ability to decide and move with decisions is at times the only element that creates authentic & powerful leaders. Rest keep wondering.

#dothenew #moveforward #decidenow


1 day at a time…

one-day-at-a-timeAll leaders, artists, moms, dads and young lads, at times fall.

And when we fall our mind does either of two things. It gets filled with reactivity or it moves to forced passivity.

But among the best whom i have coached, i learnt, they have this unique ability to take things one day at a time, especially when they have failed or fallen flat on their face due to any of their life challenge.

When i fought with my lowest phase of life, this kinda became a phrase to live by. Found it useful and hence sharing.

If you are going through the low, go through it. One day at a time. The more you can endure the pain that results from a fall in any area of life, the more you can rise higher the next time you take on a new dream. This is a bitter sweet secret may be no one will tell you, but something you might want to see through your own experience and realization. Take care of yourself. Especially if you are reading thing and going through a low phase. One day at a time. Just decide what do you want to do today. Forget tomorrow. Forget yesterday. Just stay focused on today. All the best.

Focus only on the essentials…

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Top ten Red Wisdom tips for getting more done and getting back to family in time.

1. Cut the crap.

2. Shorten and cut out verbose emails.

3. Keep ppts to 5 slides.

4. Ask questions.

5. Listen more.

6. Play with your kids.

7. Play with your team.

8. Hug generously.

9. Ask what exactly you need.

10. Clarify your needs to yourself first.

Simplify your life. See more. Experience more. Share more. But essentially live your truth.

You got less time than you imagine. Whatever it is, get done with it. Soon.

In deep relationships, learning never ends

pema chodronOn the path of self awareness, it is foolish to assume that whatever we have learnt about ourselves, is final. We are part of the ever evolving universe and it is only natural that we will continue to grow and evolve.

Some phase of the evolution will be easy. It will feel like a cake walk, and some phase might also piss you off.

Personally, i feel on the path of self knowledge, relationships serve as mirrors. They reflect back to us parts of ourselves that are disowned, hidden or suppressed. This process can be extremely painful, but if you stay on course, you will find gems.

The truth is during a difficult time, in any relationship, one learns most about oneself. If during such times, the energy goes towards blame and guilt, it normally creates a wall around us. We then either don’t want to interact with others or we submerge ourselves in alcohol or binge parties, social media distractions or any distraction that can help us feel momentarily better. Without realizing, we start an unconscious process of shutting ourselves down. Which eventually hurts us even more.

So here are 4 tips that can help during such difficult times. You can use them to learn more about yourself and the issue that is surfacing in your deep relationships. Especially during the challenging phase of the relationship. Do not run away if you need to face and own up some difficult truths. Because whatever you are trying to run away from will catch you sooner or later. The self knowledge that you gain during such time is extremely precious on the path of knowing yourself and honoring your deepest potential. If you are going through such time, i wish you peace and hope that these simply tips might help

1. Feeling through the difficult feelings physically.

This might be overwhelming at times. Just to sit and be with the difficult emotions. Take all awareness to the body and feel exactly where you are feeling the hurt, the pain, the fear n anxiety such times bring forth. Simply feel through it, breathe through it. Whatever you can feel through without reacting externally, eventually you will be able to heal through fully.

2. Allow time

We are surrounded by a culture that focuses on quick fixes. People have trained themselves to put on a smile, while deep inside there is a churning happening. I know it is also important to continue doing your work or paying attention to your responsibilities. But curbing doesn’t help in the long run. If you can allow yourself some time of the day or days to simply stay with difficult feelings, eventually peace and sanity returns.

3. Walk in nature

One of the thing that works for me often is simply heading out. A little away from the city and either taking a walk or simply sitting in nature. The silence and peace that one can find, by simply sitting by a tree for sometime at times does the trick to slow down our hyperactive mind and sentiments. Also gazing at vast open spaces, sunsets, sun rises also slowly gives us an awareness of our inherent smallness in this infinite universe. Sometimes that realization can allow us to be little kinder to ourselves as well as others.

4. Avoid talking and explaining to others who are not the part of the issue

It is important that during times of intense upheaval in any relationship, you do not communicate with people who have no idea about the situation or who doesn’t know the gravity. At times such conversations, make you simplify the issue temporarily but you miss deeper realizations at times. If you are gifted with friends, counsellors or therapists trained to simply listen to you, then it can help. But do not expect solutions from them. At times, issues become more grave when you pick and apply solutions that may backfire and make situations worse. The truth between two people in any deep relationship can never be fully understood and comprehended by anyone from outside. Yes, friends and therapists can lend you an ear during difficult times, but do not share to find solutions from them. Share so that you find solutions and insights during the act of sharing.

Because the truth is somewhere deep inside, you always know the answers. It just takes time to reach there.

Hope this helps. Stay strong. Stay grounded.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Peace in. Peace out.

4 reasons why you must develop Mentoring Culture in your organization

As an OD specialist & facilitator of Mentor Development Initiatives in large and medium organizations like Tieto, Amdocs and many other global organizations, am often faced with the question on relevance of developing a Mentoring Culture in global organizations.

Having led more than hundred Leadership & Mentoring labs for close to a thousand Sr. Executives & Leaders in last 8 years, i have found some compelling reasons as to why organizations must pay attention to developing a healthy mentoring culture. Here are 4 of them. Hope you find these useful and helps you create new conversations or possibilities of creating mentoring culture in your organization.

1. Been there done that, now what

Its been more than 8 years that i have been coaching and mentoring Sr. executives. One common thread that i often sense in these assignments is a sense of reaching a certain plateau. These executives with more than 12 to 15 years of hands on experience have reached a stage in their career, where they are at a comfortable position in their personal as well as work lives. The initial drive of achievement that comes along with youth has slowly been tempered by years of direct work experience. Money is no longer a big driver nor reaching the next designation. Rather many of them are at top of the pyramid and they know that position wise organization can not offer any further growth opportunities. This is exactly where they yearn for a challenge.

I believe mentoring someone younger and less experienced than them offers them that sense of challenge. It also appeals to their need of contributing their knowledge and experience in a meaningful way. Many of the mentors that i have mentored, state that the satisfaction of directly making a difference to someones life gives them a rare opportunity to participate in someones transformation. They truely love it, enjoy it and value it. They also begin to develop a sense of meaning to their work lives. In absence of fulfillment of these needs many Sr. leaders fall prey to either boredom, midlife crisis or rigid behaviors at work place.

When the organization enables them with the opportunity to mentor the next line of leadership, it is like a new lease of life for many of these Sr. leaders who in private sulk about meaninglessness attached to their high paying jobs. And i feel hence its a good idea to create these opportunities for them.

2. Knowledge Sharing & Leadership Wisdom sharing are two different ball games

Mentoring is one of the most ancient way of sharing and transferring wisdom used by even early human societies. Training, Learning & Development initiatives are all useful but have their own limitations. In a mentor – mentee relationship, what gets shared is not just information but hard earned wisdom that is born out of direct experience of Sr. Leaders of your organization.

If your organization, does not build a framework for institutionalizing the mentoring culture, you are loosing out on years of accumulated Leadership wisdom which will never be written in any book or will be given an opportunity to be showcased and used. I have found that often one single tip that you receive from an experienced mentor can actually help you boost your career or help during critical decision making period in mentees life.

3. It is no longer only business, it is about generosity and creating a culture of respect and sharing

In one of our mentoring labs that i was leading for Tieto, at the conclusion of the year long Mentoring Program, most of the participants shared that this initiative made them feel something unique. They said we sense that organization really cares not only for our career growth but it helped us meet an unmet need. That of a sharing and caring connection with another human being committed to their growth. Something which is becoming rare in todays world. It not only made them feel grateful for the opportunity, but due to the long term nature of the program, it gave them a different sense of belonging to the organization.

If you can create these opportunities and right training and education for the experienced mentors in his or her organization, you are appealing to one of the highest human values of sharing and caring in your employees. This not only inspires the mentors but also inspires the mentees to grow and one day move into a role of an experienced leader very seamlessly. Hence i feel  is not only relevant but in todays times of “fast moving executive culture” (executives moving from one company to other faster) but very important too.

4. The mentees of today, tend to avoid the blunders made by earlier leaders

Another crucial benefit of the long term Mentor-Mentee relationship is the way it impacts critical business decision making process. In many successful mentoring relationships, the mentor often shares about the rash decisions they took during their careers when they were at helm of affairs. That sharing often influences the mentees and inspires them to look at long term business impact of their decisions. This wisdom is rare and is rarely shared openly by Sr. Leaders.

At Red Wisdom, when we create these engagement programs, we inspire and empower Sr. Leaders to share their blunders and wrong decisions with mentees. And when they do, they not only are helping the new leaders but are directly contributing to long term sustainability of the organizational decision making process based on sound values.

Hope you found this article to be useful, do share your comments and observations generously. Looking forward to write more on this platform. Wish you a lovely day ahead.

Raj Mali

Co -Founder & Lead Facilitator at RedWisdom.in

Read more on http://www.rajmali.com