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 (or)

Your economic driver

Here is the link to my article posted on LinkedIn.

Do I need a Leadership Coach?


The ride is not always smooth for company CEO’s as the journey they have embarked on is full of challenges. They need lots of courage, resilience, perseverance and grit in order to survive and captain the ship in the rough waters. The new leaders has another challenge as they are increasingly operating in the VUCA world today. They need to not just be Servant Leaders, they are expected to demonstrate a Fluid Leadership style. The good news is, they have help in hand. All they have to do is, be willing to seek guidance and support from Leadership Coaches.

Here are some tips for when and why you or your organization needs Leadership Coaching;

Tip 1: When your organization is undergoing radical (transformational) change, you need a Leadership Coach.

Tip 2: When your organization has a new leader, you need a Leadership Coach.

Tip 3: When your organization need to bring about a cultural change, you need a Leadership Coach.

Tip 4: When your organization has witnessed a merger or acquisition, you need a Leadership Coach.

Tip 5: When your organization is missed your quarterly earnings, you need a Leadership Coach.

Tip: 6: When your organization’s customer complaints have exceeded your threshold limits, you need a Leadership Coach.

Tip 7: When your organization’s senior leaders lack listening skills and lack empathy, you need a Leadership Coach.

Tip 8: When your organization needs to thrive in the VUCA world, you need a Leadership Coach.

Tip 9: When your organization’s leaders fail to see the big picture, you need a Leadership Coach.

Tip 10: When your organization does not figure in the Top 5, in your industry, you need a Leadership Coach.

Hope this helps you decide on hiring a leadership coach.

P.S. Vasanthan Philip is an enterprise leadership and change coach with over 30 plus years of experience having worked with Fortune 500 companies around the world. You can visit his website at 


Finding your Purpose

We are besieged by the daily grindd of balancing our act between, home, work, kids, society, commitments, etc., and forget the fact of why we exist. If only we know the true purpose of our existence, our life would be much easier to navigate. Rarely do we ask this question to ourselves to find our purpose. Maybe subconsciously you already know what your purpose is, but just too scared to claim it. If only if you could live your purpose, you could be revealing the next version of yourself. Barbara Myerhoff, an anthropologist of yesteryears, often considered as a “woman of valor” once said, the self is made, not given”.

We are two versions of ourselves. One, our authentic self, that is, who we truly are, and another what we project as who we are to the world. That is, what we have become. Robin Sharma, the renowned leadership coach once said, the greater the gap between your true nature, and who you have become in order to please and fit into the world around you, the less your professional life, and the last your personal life will work. He calls this gap as the “Integrity Gap”.

So how do we find our true purpose, and make our lives meaningful? According to an article in the Success Magazine, there are six questions you can ask.

  1. As a child, and back in my younger days, what experiences were the most memorable.
  2. Who is my idol, and why do I admire this person
  3. What are my core values and beliefs.
  4. What causes are near and dear to my heart? And how can I use my professional credentials to help those causes
  5. What goals should I set for myself, and
  6. What do I want my legacy to be.

Here is a wonderful template the renowned psychotherapist Tina Tessina suggests by writing down a list of descriptions about yourself in each of the following categories.

Personal qualities (e.g. friendly, intellectual, a good communicator…)

Your talents (e.g., painting, public speaking, coaching, mentoring….)

The circumstances that tend to repeat in your life (e.g., working with technology, working with children, teaching others, listening to peoples problems…)

Your desires (e.g. travelling, cleaning up the environment, running for political office….)

Then take the answer that is most important to you in each category and complete the following sentence.

I ________________ (your name) am designed to be a ________________ (insert personal quality) who can ________________ (insert talent) and I find myself ________________ (fill in recurring patterns or circumstances) often, because I am supposed to ________________ (desire).

That could be your mission statement as well.

Hope this article has made you think of your true purpose in life.

Have a cheerful day.

Your friendly coach,

Vasanthan Philip

I help individuals and organizations to become more successful, and become world-class.

Emotional Leadership

Read my article on Emotional Leadership published here in an Global HR magazine’s Jan-2018 issue.

Scaling Scrum

Worth reading on Scaling Scrum from the founders….

Ken Schwaber's Blog: Telling It Like It Is

Jeff Sutherland and I have helped hundreds of organizations scale their projects, enable their entire product development, and thread Scrum through their organizations. For sure, none of them were easy, and each had its own unique challenges. Each had its own structure, culture, goals and strategies, challenges, current practices and infrastructure, domains of competence, existing software, and people.

We assert that only a systematic, emergent, managed initiative to scale succeeds. Every initiative to scale is unique. Nobody knows what your organization needs to scale Scrum. And, nobody knows what your organization will look like as you scale.

To get a good feel for what scaling Scrum feels like, I refer you to Eliyahu Goldratt’s “The Goal” (or any of his later books), or Gene Kim and Kevin Behr’s “The Phoenix Project.” You will see the difficulty of teasing through symptoms to root causes, the effort to find solutions, and the…

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Another one on calculating an Initial Velocity

This is adapted from

Velocity is a very simple method for accurately measuring the rate at which teams deliver business value. To calculate velocity, simply add up the estimates of the features successfully delivered in the last sprint or iteration. What about the initial iteration?

Terms to understand when calculating initial velocity:

[1] Number of Developers – How many developers will you have doing actual work?

[2] Capacity – What is the maximum amount of work one person can accomplish in an ideal situation during the iteration?

[3] Number of Iteration Days – How many work days are in the iteration?

[4] Load (Capacity) Factor – The ratio of the actual work output over a period of time and the output if the developer had operated at full capacity over that time period. e.g. 1/3 = 2.4 Hours , 1/2 = 4 Hours, 1/1 = 8 Hours

[5] Velocity – How much Product Backlog value a team can deliver in one iteration.

Because you don’t know team velocity for the first iteration, plan initial velocity at one-third of total capacity in order to account for coffee breaks, design, email, meetings, rework, research, etc. As an example, with seven (7) developers and at one-third (1/3) capacity, a total of 2.1 ideal developers are available. Multiply the number of ideal developers by the number of work days to arrive at the total of ideal work days. These ideal work days will be applied against your estimated features, to arrive at an initial velocity.

(7 [Developers] * 1/3 [Load Capacity Factor]) * 21 [Work Days] = 44.1 [Ideal Work Days]

Happy Scruming….


Initial Velocity

There are occasions when one needs to predict team velocity when there is no historical data available. Here is a good example of how we can establish an initial velocity. This has been adapted from Crisps Blog pages.

“This is how you can get started. Take a well known task/story as your standardised benchmark. If this a rather small story, set it to two story points so you have room for smaller stories. Estimate the rest of the stories relative to this.

Before our first planning meeting we need to know our velocity so we know how much we can commit to. But we don’t have that since we don’t have a history.

To get an initial velocity for our first sprint, we estimate the selected standard story in ideal man days. Let’s say the story is 2 story points and 4 ideal man days, we then know the team can handle 1/2 story point per ideal man day. Use the focus factor to convert ideal man day to calendar days. The focus factor is typically between 50% and 70% depending on the amount of support and interruptions. If the focus factor is 50% we can handle 1/4 story point in a calendar day (1/2 * 50%). If the team consist of five people and the sprint is 14 days we have 70 calendar man days in the sprint. 70 * 1/4 gives that we should be able to bring 17 story points into the sprint. Finally we have our initial velocity.”

Hope you liked it.

Cheers!!! Happy Scrumming.

Adaptive Leadership

December 12, 2013 1 comment

What is Adaptive Leadership? Today we talk a lot about Agile, the buzz around it, and how it is helping organizations transform. It is Agile that introduced the term Servant Leader, right? In the context of leadership, these terms are used interchangeably. Lets look at Adaptive Leadership.

1. Adaptive leadership is the practice of mobilizing people to tackle touch challenges and thrive.

2. Adaptive leadership is specially about change that enables the capacity to thrive.

3. Successful adaptive changes build on the past rather than jettison it.

4. Organizational adaptation occurs through experimentation.

5. Adaptation relies on diversity.

6. New adaptation significantly displace, reregulate and rearrange some old DNA.

7. Adaption takes time.

Good leaders should distinguish between technical problems and adaptive challenges. Adaptive challenges can only be addressed through changes in people’s priorities, beliefs, habits, and loyalties. Technical problems can be solved through the application of authoritative expertise and through the organization’s current structure, procedures and ways of doing things.

The adaptive leadership process consists of 3 steps, Observe, Interpret and Intervene. One must be willing to experiment and willing to take smart risks. The adaptive leader shall also engage above (intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical) the next, and below the neck (mind, heart and body).

Finally the adaptive leader is connected to purpose, choosing among competing, legitimate purposes, sacrificing many in the service of one or a few, in doing so making a statement about what you are willing to die for, and therefore what you are willing to live for.

Have a great day.

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