Leadership Success Habit #1

December 16, 2020 Leave a comment

Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have” – John Maxwell

Stephen Covey clearly conveys this message in the form of the 3rd Habit, “Effective Leadership is putting first things first”.

As a leader, you may be well aware that your priorities are in strategic planning, effective communication, people development, et al., but….you fall into the trap of doing the Urgent and Not important activities during the routine day, and thereby ignoring the important but not urgent activities.

The excuse, the BIG LIE that leaders give is, “I don’t have time”.

Again, it is not that you don’t have the time, but you have chosen to spend your time doing something else. You have prioritised some other tasks and made the decision that it is more important to you than being an effective leader.

Here is the thing. The way you use your time is a choice. However you have convinced yourself that you have absolutely no choice, and you choose to suit up with the firefighting equipment and spend your days working on the urgent, both the IMPORTANT and the NOT IMPORTANT.

Success is about doing the things that you don’t like to do. It is said, “the common denominator of success – the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful – lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.”

Do you now see why leadership is so freaking hard?

If you have not been practicing this habit, starting tomorrow will you commit to pritoitize the most important tasks for effective leadership over the urgent, but not important one’s.

If you liked this success tip, do write you comments below and share it in your circles. #giveback

P.S. Vasanthan Philip is a business adviser, mentor and coach helping struggling businesses to break-even and to start making BIG Profits in quick time. He uses a proven framework to mentor entrepreneurs and business owners. He is the author of the Leadership book, “Tilt the Iceberg – 9 Modern Leadership Success Strategies Revealed”.

The book is available at:
Amazon India link https://amzn.to/3pi8zqY
Amazon Uk link https://amzn.to/2UdFQ86
Amazon US link https://amzn.to/3ngsyo7

Early Recovery Principle

Covid has enabled organisations to align their business objectives on how it responds to a crisis situation and what corrections or pivot it can endure over the period of the crisis.

We have heard about Disaster Recovery, and Emergency Response before, that are usually triggered when there is an environmental catastrophe. However in a pandemic situation when the entire global population is affected, one needs to look at it differently. This is when an Early Recovery Principle kicks-in.

According to the “Humanitarian Response Initiative”, an Early Recovery approach means focusing on local ownership and strengthening capacities; basing interventions on a thorough understanding of the context to address root causes and vulnerabilities as well as immediate results of crisis; reducing risk, promoting equality and preventing discrimination through adherence to development principles that seek to build on humanitarian programmes and catalyse sustainable development opportunities.

In my book, “Tilt The Iceberg – 9 Modern Leadership Success Strategies Revealed”, I have devoted an entire chapter on “How to brilliantly handle a crisis situation”. I talk about how a crisis evolves and how one can convert one into an opportunity.

I also present the four phases a crisis goes through, viz.,

  1. Shock phase
  2. Reaction phase
  3. Healing and processing phase, and
  4. Reorientation phase.

If we can understand these phase, the leader of an organization will be able to roll out a recovery mechanism and move towards executing it.

Decision makeing and communication also plays a vital role in a crisis. You should:

Rapidly assess the situation

making a few important decisions

communicate the crisis to key people, and

act decisively, effectively managing you own decisions.

You can get a copy of the book in Amazon.

Therefore, can you as a global leader, assess the current situation and as 2021 nears have an appropriate response strategy that will enable your organisation to a great start in the coming New Year.

P.S. Vasanthan Philip is a Business Advisor, Coach and Transformation enabler helping business leaders, small business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals in the IT enabled services and in the manufacturing sectors to see what they don’t see, be their accountability partner and help them deliver outstanding results. He helps them optimize their business processes for operational excellence thereby helping them make very huge profits. He is industry thought-leaders in Agile Transformation. He is on a mission to transform the lives of a million people and their businesses for the betterment of the society. He can be reached at vasanthanphilip@gmail.com. Website: www.vasanthanphilip.com

CEO’s consideration to Grow Their Business in Tough Times

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Even the most robust economies are struggling today, and it is a crisis situation indeed.

The question to ask is, “Is your response in line with enacting a new paradigm for business continuity?” that is, have you triggered your DR & BC Plan into action mode?

If you are in compliance with industry norms and standards, the assumption here is that your company has a documented and approved Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan.

You may want to argue that, triggering such a plan is applicable to only short-term disruption such as an earthquake, floods or any such natural disasters. But you will notice that in the last couple of decades, disruptions happen due to other reasons such as the spread of certain diseases, terrorism, political threat, environmental issues, and so forth.

Therefore, as a business leader, it is imperative that you have the foresight to anticipate disruptions and have a plan to mitigate those risks.

The next question is about your business model. If you are a proactive business leader, you are already initiated or in the process of coming up with a totally different business model or at least tweeked your current business model. I am not talking about revising your forecasts quarter to quarter based on current reality.

The scorecard that you use for evaluating your business performance has to change entirely. New measures need to be put in place replacing the old one’s. Topline and bottom line are not the critical one’s that needs to be measured. You need to look at Agility, how fast is your business is adapting to the changing dynamics. You need to look at Innovation, the ability to think out-of-the-box to create products and services that have unique characteristics and one that serves your client’s needs. You need to look at the efficiency of your various business processes and operations. You need to look at the resilience of business operations, the ability of your business to not to breakdown but be strong and resurrect itself in the event of a failure, and many other things.

What bold steps can you take today?

  1. Have you started thinking bigger and faster?
  2. Are you aspiring for a 10X growth?

These two require a shift in your mindset. As a leader, you need to make other adjustments as well. You will have to make organizational adjustments to decision making and for execution. If you have a crisis management team (CMT), have they started to taking care of things such as employee morale, health, safety and confidence?

Therefore, it’s time for you to reset and re-calibrate how business is done and executed so that is is more effective and more efficient. It’s time to look at your portfolio choices and have a re-look at them. It’s time to look at optimum resource allocation, re-skill, re-train, re-allocate resource, and it’s also time to look at the communication part. This is the most vital ingredients for your business not to break-down. Constant, timely communication to your employees, vendors, customers, business partners and other stakeholders is importation to overcome the difficulties of the current situation.

Business leaders, going forward how you show up as a true leader will make a huge difference. Show yourself in a way that your mission and message is being noticed and acted upon even when teams are working remotely. They need you more now than ever before.

P.S. Vasanthan Philip is a Business Advisor, Coach and Transformation enabler helping business leaders, small business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals in the IT enabled services and in the manufacturing sectors to see what they don’t see, be their accountability partner and help them deliver outstanding results. He helps them optimize their business processes for operational excellence thereby helping them make very huge profits. He is industry thought-leaders in Agile Transformation. He is on a mission to transform the lives of a million people and their businesses for the betterment of the society. He can be reached at vasanthanphilip@gmail.com. Website: www.vasanthanphilip.com

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15 Things that requires Zero Talent

Have you ever wondered why you are stuck where you are?

You are not getting the promotion you deserve.

You are not getting the dream job that you have been only dreaming about.

You are JUST not progressing.

Here is a secret that I’m going to reveal.

If you do these 15 things, YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU WANT.

Here they are:

1.Show up on time

2. Dress for the job you want

3. Positive energy is undeniably infectious

4. Passion is key ingredient for success

5. Being non judgmental

6. Work Ethic

7. Giving Effort – Give an “A” for effort.

8.Make sure the first words you speak are positive ones

9.Think of the Extra mile as the First mile to Advancing

10. Preparation is the Holy Grail of Sounding Intelligent

11. Half of the Battle is Won by Showing Up

12. Attitude is the Key to the Kingdom

13. Change is as good as a Holiday, so make your whole Life a Vacation

14. Pay attention to Details

15. Most Underrated Golden Rule- Listen 16. Do what you say you are going to do

And, the one that top’s all the above is “DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU ARE GOING TO DO.”

If you need coaching on the “HOW TO” of the above, you can reach out to me at askvp@vasanthanphilip.com

I’m a Life/Career/Leadership coach who helps individuals and organisations to be at the top of their game.

Agility during Covid Times

If you look around what’s happening today, it might seem like it’s all gloom and doom and there is no sight for a quick recovery. You may have been betting “big” and betting “small”, but this may not yield the result that you hope for. If you are not decisive now, the sun might not shine again. There is a way out though, and it’s having an Agile mindset, and working towards gaining agility in your businesses and operations.

In my book, “Tilt The Iceberg – 9 Modern Leadership Success Strategies Revealed”, (available in Amazon), I talk about the importance of leaders having an Agile Mindset while navigating in the rough waters in today’s VUCA environment. Carol Dweck, the author of “Mindset” talks about the Growth Mindset in the context of achieving success in personal and professional endeavours. Agile mindset, on the other hand, pushes you to think differently so that you are in a position to transform any complex situation into a proactive opportunistic situation focusing on a long term solution and not looking at quick-fixes. I also talk about Agile leaders being good story-tellers. When faced with situations such as we are in today, leaders with an agile mindset can articulate their thoughts and strategies and communicate them in a way that every individual in the organization clearly understands it. The need of the day is strategic agility.

Strength without agility is just mere mass - Fernando Pessoa.

Strategic Agility as defined by Stephen Denning, is the ability to generate innovations that create an entirely new market by turning non-customers into customers.” It is the next frontier of Agile Management. It is the by-product of operational agility that focus on developing products and services faster, better and cheaper. You can achieve strategic agility by generating market-creating innovation and market-creating value propositions.

Apart from having an agile mindset, leaders need to be flexible and respond quickly to the demands of the situation before your competition does. For that, you need to transform the culture of your organization and de-centralize decision making and do away with the old systems of planning and approvals, and you need to be bold and courageous to make these changes happen. This is all about transformational agility. This is another dimension of Business Agility.

I would like to conduct that as leaders you have a duty to not just get things going, it’s more about doing things differently with courage, being creating, innovating and developing an agile mindset that will put you towards the path of stability and growth with markets open up.

P.S. Vasanthan Philip is an author, a Leadership and Business Agility coach who helps business leaders/owners, entrepreneurs and senior executives in enabling change and transformation. He does 1-on-1 coaching, mentoring and works on an advisory role. He can be reached at +91 9003075368 or you can email him at askvp@vasanthanphilip.com

How Broadening Your Range of Thought Leads to Prosperity

John Maxwell is one of the few mentors whose writings have made a great impact on how I think and live my life.

Recently I read about his 11 types of thinking that takes one on the path of prosperity. Here they are:

  1. Big Picture Thinking: The ability to think beyond yourself and your world in order to process ideas with a more holistic perspective.
  2. Focussed Thinking: The ability to think with clarity on issues by removing distractions and mental clutter from your mind.
  3. Creative Thinking: The ability to break out of your “box” of limitations, with the goal of experiencing a breakthrough.
  4. Realistic Thinking: The ability to build a solid foundation on facts to think with certainty.
  5. Strategic Thinking: The ability to implement plans that give you direction for today and increase your potential for tomorrow.
  6. Possibility Thinking: The ability to unleash your enthusiasm to find solutions for even seemingly impossible situations.
  7. Reflective Thinking: The ability to revisit the past in order to gain a true perspective and think with understanding.
  8. Questioning Popular Thinking: The ability to reject the limitations of common thinking, in order to accomplish uncommon results.
  9. Shared Thinking: The ability to include the heads of others to help you think “over your head” and achieve compounding results.
  10. Unselfish Thinking: The ability to consider others and their journey in order to think with collaboration.
  11. Bottom Line Thinking: The ability to focus on results in order to gain maximum return and reap the full potential of your thinking.

According to Maxwell, we can inculcate these thinking patterns by surrounding ourselves with people in these various areas of thinking, particularly with the ones that we struggle with. “Where your own abilities may fall short, a trusted advisor could provide much needed insight“, he says.

He also asks us to be active participants in our own thinking. We need to constantly be aware of how our circumstances may be influencing our Thinking and decisions. It’s important to take responsibility for our own thinking and avoid blindly following the suggestions of others without reasoning through the logic for ourselves.

He goes on to suggest that we need to practice intentional thinking on a routine basis like setting aside the time to think each day as an important discipline. He also suggests that we record our thoughts and take the initiative and to put ours thoughts into action quickly.

So lets’ ensure we capitalize on our brains fullest power and potential by embracing these 11 thinking types.

P.S. Vasanthan Philip is a Leadership, Personal & Business Growth Coach helping individuals and business owners grow exponentially. He can be reached at askvp@vasanthanphilip.com and +91 9003075368. Contact him for your coaching/mentoring requirements.

What is takes to be a resilient leader

Stress versus coping skills, are the two parameters you can use to measure your level of Resilience. If your stress is low and your coping skill is also low, you are likely to remain Calm. But if your stress is high and your coping skill is low, you are likely to become anxious. And that is a problem. But when your level of stress is low and you cope pretty well, then you are can remain strong during tiring circumstances. It is therefore important to develop your resilience skills when your stress and uncertainty levels are high and your coping skill is also high. In the meantime you can be in the Holding Zone where you can remain as you try to handle the situation. This is how you can cope.

  1. Practice asking for results you are not sure you will receive. For example, asking for bagging help in a grocery store.
  2. You can then progress to ask about things you are less likely to receive. For example, asking a stranger to use their mobile phone to make a call.

There are a few strategies you can use to build your resilience: 

Strategy 1: Facing rejection

When you receive a “No” as an answer, instead of thinking negatively, notice your internal language (dialogue) and hold in on your response. Never apologize for asking. You are then likely to become more tolerant to rejection. 

Next, you then become ready to make a bigger, challenging and realistic ask. For example you can ask your boss to make you shift to a better working space. Or, asking for an assistant, or a new computer. Don’t ask for outrageous things though. Making such ask’s will, in the long run, help you to raise your resilience lever.

Remember, resilience is about becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Strategy 2 – Learning a new skill 

To build resilience, you need to push your comfort zone by asking for a stretch assignment, or on getting on a committee or even exploring a new field of study or expertise. 

Strategy 3 – Managing energy

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you at your best, first thing in the morning, mid-day or late afternoon? 
  • Do you prepare to tackle a project after you get the chance to get into the rhythm of the day? 
  • Do you feel better and productive at a certain time? 
  • Does it take you a while to get into your grove at work? 

Being aware of your daily energy flow will help you to be better prepared for challenging situations.

If you can control the time you take a tough call, be mindful and schedule it when you have the most energy. If you can’t, then plan a strategy for dealing with the situation.  

Strategy 4 – Stay Energized

To manage high energy, you must be rested, nourished and be hydrated at all times.

Anticipate cyclical rough periods, coz every organization has a busy period of a week, month or a quarter.

If you are resilient you can anticipate such cyclical rough patches and will be more prepared and you can do any forward planning as possible.

Restore your energy. For example, if you are an extrovert, mingle and have good conversations with people around you, or if you are an introvert, have a “me alone” time with yourself.  

Strategy 5 – Keeping a positive attitude

Positive thinking and self-talk are important for overall health, as it can influence our overall outlook on life. You can also practice these following routines during challenging times.

  1. Think short team – believing that negative situations are only short term. (This too shall pass)
  2. Think local – by forcing using only on yourself, and what you can do to change the situation. 
  3. Keep the situation in perspective – asking yourself what is the worst-case outcome could be out of the situation.
  4. Talk positive – The words you use internally and externally will determine your mindset. So pay attention to it. 
  5. Replace the words – failure with obstacledownfall with setback and horrible with challenging 

Saying to yourself the following will also help

“This is tough, but I will pull through it”.

‘Let me focus on what I can control”.

“I am strong, I can overcome this”.

Remember, Positive self-talk will lead to positive emotions. 

Strategy 6 – Evaluate your actions

Next, let’s see how you can handle situations after an undesirable or stressful event has happened. How are you going to evaluate your actions? 

Even if you’re not at all responsible for the stress you experienced, it’s always a good idea to take some time and evaluate your action.

Reflect on how you handled the situation in general. Then focus on your attitude. Did you stay positive? Ask yourself what could you have done differently. How did you handle the situation, and did you remain positive. 

Look for opportunities for improvement and don’t forget to recognize what you did well. Set aside the time and be disciplined about reflection.

Your attitude should not just be positive, but constructive as well. 

Strategy 7 – Taking Feeback

You should seek out advisors/mentors/coaches who can help you de-brief and grow from the experience of adverse events. You can ask your advisors for feedback on how you handled a particular situation. They will help you increase your overall resilience and ask questions such as, “What aspects of the situation can you potentially improve on in the future?”

Or, “What can you do to be sure that this does not happen again?”. “Is there anything positive that came out of the situation? What recovery steps can you take to recover from a stressful situation?

 Finally, try to:

Strategy 8 – Take a break

This is about redirecting your energy and then reconnecting after some time. This gives to some time to assess the situation, be calm, strategize and come back strongly.

Strategy 9 – Letting Go

This is about Taking Cathartic action (emotional release)

You can take these actions when:

  • When you have no attachment
  • When it will not negatively affect your career
  • When you have communicated your need clearly, but the situation is not improving.
  • When the stress is too high for you to face and is not worth investing energy on additional coping skills

Remember, resilience, is all about perseverance in the face of adversity.

P.SVasanthan Philip is an experienced business agility coach and trainer and is now helping individuals and organisation achieve exponential growth through his unique coaching methods that he deploys when coaching his clients. He can be reached at (+91 9003075368) or visit his website http://www.vasanthanphilip.com or email at askvp@vasanthanphilip.comReport this

Kick Your “But” off

February 21, 2020 Leave a comment

Our lives success and happiness depends on who we hang out with most. The two key words in the last sentence are “success” and “happiness”. Why is it so hard to have those two in our lives. You would be lying if you are thinking that “I am successful” or “I am happy”. A steady job with the perks that it provides, a great family with a wonderful spouse and children, and a dependable social life hardly makes one successful or happy.  Every single moment that we live, we have feelings, desires, fears, doubts, agony, anxiety, disappointment and setbacks that we face. We are surrounded by people who are not “up to the task”. We feel agitated. When we are on the road, we feel frustrated and angry. We are anyhow ‘humans’, aren’t we?

We can only generally feel happy, but not really, really happy. The only one’s who are truly happy are the monks who live in the Himalayas, or the one’s scattered around in different parts of this world. Why are they happy? Because they have discovered happiness. They have discovered their purpose to live for and they are self-aware. But, that is not the only way to happiness. Should happiness be discovered? That is total BS. Happiness is just in front of you. You have to choose to see it, make it come to you, feel it and embrace it. It’s a choice that we need to make. If you seek true happiness you will find it, and you will become successful, for the holy scriptures say, “Seek, and you shall find it”.

Thinking plays a vital role because the thoughts that we process in our mind determines the path that we seek. So, let us be careful on what we think. If we choose to server others, that path will be laid in front of us, and we just have to walk the distance, but if we choose to live for only us, a different path is laid in front of us. By serving other you will discover true happiness, and true happiness will lead us to the path of success.

Coming back to the “crux” of the message this post was intended to provide, surround yourself with great people, people who make you happy, people who are really interested in your happiness and whom you can trust,  and not with people who are takers, drainers and destroyers as written wonderfully by Sean Stephenson in him best-selling book, “Get Off You “But”: How to End self-Sabotage”.

Today’s random act of kindness: Surprise one person today with a nice gesture and make them happy.

Wishing you true happiness and success.


Author: “Tilt The Iceberg – 9 Modern Leadership Success Strategies Revealed”

Available on Amazon and other leading bookstores.

Vasanthan Philip is a Business, Life and Leadership Coach helping the society transform into a rich, vibrant, happy and helping world.


The Mind of a Successful Leader

December 20, 2019 Leave a comment

It’s never easy to think clearly when we are faced with everyday issues, challenges and obstacles. A cluttered mind finds it strenuous and arduous to make the right decision. Successful leaders close their eyes, stay calm for a few seconds, take a few easy breaths, and relax their body before that can start thinking clearly again. But a monkey mind is not quiet for long and starts to wander again.

  1. The successful leader is always thinking of ROI – When leaders are investing time and resources on something they would expect a positive. Therefore accountability to ROI is critical.
  2. Successful leaders are Open – Leaders who are open to suggestions, feedback and improvement are the ones that stay at the top for long.
  3. Successful leaders are always learning and improving – Leadership excellence should be a constant journey. It is gained only through the continuous effort put on learning from others, up skilling, changing limiting behaviours by self-reflection and seeking help from a coach.
  4. Successful leaders are vulnerable – Vulnerability is not a weakness. It is the courage to admit mistakes, seek feedback and showing an appetite for accepting failure and learning from it.
  5. Successful leaders have a growth mindset – Having a growth mindset enables one to be not limited to constraints, opportunities and creativity. These leaders believe in possibilities. They believe in exponential thinking, and they become limitless.
  6. Successful leaders grow others, and are not self-serving – These leaders are servant leaders. They serve to others welfare and growth. They are ego-less, are humble and compassionate. When someone comes for help, they convert that opportunity into a coaching opportunity. They are also great mentors.

How many of these six points did you live today? Working with a leadership coach is usually a great way to not get distracted but be focused on achieving positive, measurable outcomes.

P.S: I’m a leadership coach who helps successful leaders achieve excellence by coaching them through a proven coaching method and be transformed in 8 to 12 months.

Check out http://xicoraconsultants.com (or) https://www.xicoraconsultants.com/landing/

Your economic driver

Here is the link to my article posted on LinkedIn.