Some years fly by, some years drag on — and somehow 2020 is doing both at once. Can you believe we’re in September already?
This roller coaster of a year has been a busy one for me. Every adversity came with an opportunity; every new door opened up to reveal brand new challenges. There were lots of events, seminars, learnings and life lessons. And that’s when I realised that the best way to share them all with you would be through a monthly newsletter.
So welcome to the very first issue of Victory Vitamin! Here’s looking back at August and looking forward to the rest of the year.
An author’s biggest assets are his readers, followers and friends. And as of this month, there are over a 1000 of you on my Facebook page! Thank you all, for joining me on this ride — and for making my work so fulfilling. I am excited to continue writing, sharing and connecting with all of you.
Read more of Father of Your Team
You wouldn’t watch a movie without checking out the trailer first, so why should a book be any different? Those of you looking for a teaser of my book Father of Your Team, I have some great news for you. There are more sample chapters up on the website this month. You can now read 5 chapters here for free, to get a better idea of the kind of insights and leadership lessons you can expect.
What’s coming up?
10 minutes, 1 story
I am so excited to start this new segment on Facebook called ‘Sweeten Your Work Life, The Story Way’. That’s where I go live every Saturday, to bring you an interesting story, a quip or an anecdote — all geared to make your work life that much more fulfilling. Intrigued? Make sure you’re following me on Facebook to receive my Live Video notifications on Saturdays at 8 pm IST.
Got a work woe? Worried about how a particular workplace situation will affect your leadership style? Why not get some advice from a manager who’s been through it all — why not ‘Ask Freddie’? Just drop in your questions, queries and concerns here, and Freddie will get back to you with a personalised solution. (For those of you who are new to the network, Freddie is the titular character of my book — the Father Manager himself.)
What did I do differently?
There’s no point trying to sugar coat this — the last few months have not been great for most organisations. If you run a business, you might have had to scale down and take some hard decisions. If you are a manager, you might have had to rethink your leadership style or convey some pretty hard truths to your team. And irrespective of where in the career ladder you are, you might have had more than a few sleepless nights with thoughts about job security and uncertainty keeping you up.
So if you are wondering how to upskill and make the current situation work for you, I have three words for you — Free Startup Summits. They are an amazing way to gain exposure, learn what’s going on in your industry and stay relevant.
As for me, I attended TiE Kerala’s workshops on Pretotyping and Search Engine Marketing, as well as the Startup Tamil Nadu 2020 Virtual Summit. Here’s why I highly recommend attending such events in your city:
- You improve your creative thinking skills
- You have interesting things to talk about
- You connect with some amazing leaders who become a part of your network
- You learn important survival skills, which is very important in these times
- Your limiting beliefs vanish, and you begin to see opportunities you hadn’t even noticed
Events that touched me
Kiran Bedi’s Virtual Book Reading Session
The leader becomes a reader — and an engaging one at that! It is so wonderful to see Dr. Kiran Bedi interact with children from all over the country every Friday as she reads out her stories to them. Here’s her latest book reading session, if you want to check it out.
Immortality through art
It’s never too late to make someone’s dreams come true. Srinivas Gupta, a Karnataka-based businessman, recently proved this and won our hearts.
He finished building a dream home for his wife — three years after her tragic death in an accident. To honour her memory on the occasion of the housewarming ceremony, he commissioned and installed a life-like wax statue of his wife that’s realistic to the last detail. Check out the heart-warming story here.
My take on leadership this month
Speaking to be heard
Ever noticed how some speakers make you want to hang on to their every word? And how, when others start speaking, your mind wanders to your dinner plans, to-do lists and that cat video you saw earlier? If you are going to be presenting at a webinar soon, and are worried that you’ll fall in the second category of speakers, here’s something that you’ll find useful.
Invisible teacher, tangible insights
There’s something in the air — and it’s causing panic worldwide. The COVID-19 virus may not be visible to the naked eye, but it can teach us a thing or five about leadership. Class is in session — are you ready for the lessons?
The art of bouncing back
A diamond is just a piece of coal that did well under pressure. And a resilient leader is no less valuable than any diamond. It’s easy to be a good leader when everything is going well. But how do you manage your team well when mistakes are made, bottom-lines are dismal and things fall apart? That’s where resilience comes in. Read this piece to see my take on the topic.
My reading list: Articles I loved
When you go for a movie, what you are essentially seeing is the product of one leader (the director) who successfully managed to bring together a team of thousands of people — and enabled them all to work towards one single vision. Each movie thus, is rich in leadership lessons. Here, award winning director Jean Renoir pulls aside the curtains and gives us a look behind the scenes
Asking your team about their weekend, offering them an unbiased ear and encouraging water cooler conversations can go a long way in building trust, empathy and workplace satisfaction. This article chalks out why more office conversations should be agendaless rather than strictly structured.
Triggers— Marshall Goldsmith
Ever tucked into junk food despite swearing that you’d go on a diet? Or flown into a rage when one little thing went wrong in your day? Ever noticed how your actions and intentions are often diametrically opposite
If so, you might want to check out Triggers. This book helps us decode our own behaviours and offers valuable insights into why we do the things we do. My mornings are no longer triggered by Flavored Tea. Triggers sets my outlook and outline for the day.
Tilt The Iceberg— Vasanthan Philip
If you have often wondered how renowned leaders manage people with such grace, poise and efficiency, you’re just looking at the tip of the iceberg.
In this book, Vasanthan Philip, the renowned Executive Coach tilts the iceberg to show you what lies below the surface. The book reeled me in right away, and left me with 9 priceless leadership lessons that I found extremely insightful. A must-read to transform anyone into a nimble-footed leader in this fast-paced world.
Dancin’ Schmancin’ With the Scars — Jan Marshall
Have you seen travails and serious illnesses changing people and making them too serious, negative or maudlin? Can humour help overcome tumours, surgeries and years of health issues? Jan Kellerman Marshall’s satirical expressions and narratives are sure to infuse your day with a dose of positivity and help you deal with any challenge life throws at you. Laughter, after all, is the best medicine.
Celebrate Teachers’ Day Week
Flowers, chocolates, and perhaps even a handmade card — back in school, today would be the day we’d pamper our teachers to thank them for their wisdom and endless patience. Yes, it’s Teachers’ Day today! But you don’t have to be in school to celebrate. Why not reach out to your teachers, mentors and guides this week to thank them for the impact they made in your life?
When I wrote the first chapter of my book Father of Your Team, I read it out to Ms. Millie Amon, who was my English teacher back in school. Her blessings were worth hundreds of Amazon reviews!
I have composed a song with the theme of reconnecting with our teachers in the classical language Tamil. Rendered by the one and only Sowmya Ramasamy, the Carnatic Music artiste, I am excited to add this to your collection of favourite videos on my YouTube channel. You can also find it here on my Facebook page.