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.

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.

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

Women Leaders hold the key

20121002-010222.jpgIn my last 12 years of work as a Leadership Facilitator, I have come to a conclusion. Till the time “real women” (not those who have become like men n suit n tie) take charge, corporate India would suck badly. When I visit organizations, all I see is scared men (not all but mostly scared). Scared of their bosses. Scared of the system, scared of some stupid policy. But in all this chaos, I have met some powerful women who truely shine and make a difference. Some of them I would like to mention below
A. Manisha my biz partner. Most powerful leader I have ever witnessed n worked with
B. Lynett – Director Amdocs, HR. Who trusted us with their Sr. Leadership Work
C. Shambhavi SharmaFounder of Splendid. A woman who stood and still stands shoulder to shoulder in mans world n still does the needful.
And I can go on and on.

What I noticed about these women is there pure fearlessness. At times, I have seen many Sr folks shittin in their pants in front of their seniors but these women have stood their grounds very powerfully.

And I honestly feel that transformational change can happen when “real” women take charge of boardroom standing shoulder to shoulder with “real men”. I know it’s difficult but in last few years we have seen amazing results ever since we made this our priority.

If you are a woman and reading this, my only urge to you is.

“Hey woman. Rule the world. Man needs to learn from you how to run a family, community n this world.

Just make sure, you don’t follow men in their footsteps, you follow ur heart.
That’s the best way to lead. Wishing you more power.”  

This Red Poem is dedicated to the most powerful woman of my life, my business partner and a fellow walker on journey of life, Manisha. She is one natural leader, i learnt most of my difficult leadership lessons from. Lessons of transcending fear, lessons of being yourself unabashedly, lessons of being fearless when it comes of love and work, lessons of building a team and a family on threads of mutual compassion, love and deep respect for each others gifts. I will be honest, this woman taught me Authentic Leadership and at Red Wisdom though our clients never get to see her, i would like you to know that she is the source of undying inspiration for all that we do and create for organizations, families, communities and people at large. We both stand for the same vision. Inspiring organizations and communities to bring in more love and harmony to the process of creating genuine value for each other.

The top 5 Risks you must take

20120925-003700.jpgWhile leading your life and your family or your team, once in a while it is good to take risks. Especially if you are very young and starting a career or if you are going through your mid life crisis.

The rewards will slowly come if you are patient.

Few risks you must take, I truely suggest.
1. Quitting or taking a break from a job that you don’t love.
2. Going in that direction when your heart points towards a dream that keeps you awake at times, take some actions in direction of that dream.
3. If you love someone, tell the person so with no expectation of favourable or unfavourable response.
4. Trusting people in your life more than you trust yourself. Especially your family members. Going beyond the games and really caring from your heart and dropping judgements.
5. The most difficult risk which you must take. Love yourself, unconditionally.

Take these 5 and I promise, you will suddenly improve quality of your life n you will love yourself. Never be afraid of the new positive changes, one day you will realize, you only asked for it. 🙂

While you take these risks, keep the following in mind.

1. Stop Borrowing or Create a plan to become debt free

2. Use your creativity to provide for your family

3. Simplify your life and learn to see how little you need

4. Always keep a mindset of this and that rather than this or that

5. Say i love you to yourself and those around you regularly. Some prayers are best done everyday. Make expressing love as your heartfelt prayer. Take this last risk, and you never know you might stumble upon an easy going, blissful life. Doing what you love to do and building a great family and community with some selected fellow walkers.

Life is joyful. Let go and learn to enjoy. The biggest exhilaration comes with risking for something for collective good. It will help you lead a powerful and meaningful life.

But above all whether you win or loose, dont loose your heart.

Hold everything lightly and never take yourself seriously 😉 Tension lene ka naai, aur deneka bhi nai. Majje main reheneka.