Monday 8am

Be your whole self

Monday-8Am-21Aug2017

Be an energetic leader

I was talking to one of our leaders recently and he was lamenting that after a few tough quarters he felt that he was “running out of steam”. This is not unusual. At one point or another, we all feel sapped out of our energy. Think about it. Most of your days are probably very…

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Dealing with boredom
2

Dealing with boredom

In spite of how fulfilling and challenging our jobs might be, we all have to do things that are tedious or even boring! It could be the fifty emails that need to be answered or the power point presentation that needs to be polished or the documentation that needs to be completed. The list can…

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Curb-the-envy
1

Curb the envy

Many of you in India probably remember the series of Onida television ads, which featured a horned devil and the tagline “neighbour’s envy, owner’s pride”. The campaign ran very successfully for many years. The novelty of the brand mascot played a role, but more importantly, the emotion at the heart of the ads touched a…

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Monday-8Am-31July2017
6

Working from home (Co-authored by Mahnaz Shaikh)

As most of you know, I usually try to work a couple of days from home every month. I have found that this is a great way to carve out some time to think through our longer term objectives. Telecommuting or flexible work options have been around in workplaces (especially the US) for a couple of decades…

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Monday-8Am-24July2017

The illusion of competence

We are in the midst of our 360 degree feedback process this year, which is a great tool for getting holistic feedback from multiple stakeholders. One of the things that I have found intriguing from the data of previous years, is that the self-assessment ratings that individuals give themselves tend to be much higher than…

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Micro-resilience (1)
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Micro-resilience

We all know the increasing importance of resilience, the ability to recover and bounce back. As Harvard Business School professor, Rosabeth Moss Canter puts it, resilience is no longer a good-to-have skill; in today’s world, it is a must-have, crucial to survival and success. Yet, resilience is hard. Author Steven Synder says it well, “[Resilience]…

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Monday-8Am-10July2017
4

Personal kanban could help you become more productive

We all seem to be consumed by busyness. Complexity has become the bane of many organisations. The deluge of meetings and emails is slowing us down. Bureaucracy is coming in the way. Productivity is becoming a real challenge. Many of us are trying to deal with this by working longer hours or multi-tasking. However, research…

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Monday-8Am-03July2017
5

Your attire at work matters

Do you find yourself shaking your head disapprovingly at a colleague’s sloppy attire? Or perhaps admiring a sharply-dressed fellow leader? Most people make certain (sometimes subconscious) judgments about others based on the way they dress. Author Darlene Price puts it well: “In the big picture of ultimate reality, what you wear neither defines who you…

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Monday-8Am-26Jun2017
1

Don’t become complacent

So, do you think you are coasting in your role? Do you feel satisfied with incremental achievements? Do you like your routine? Are you comfortable with the way things are? Do you end up making excuses when things go wrong? Do you tune out of meetings? Do you feel worn out when you have to…

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Monday-8Am-19Jun2017
1

Talk to yourself

I find it delightful to quietly watch my five year old daughter, Imara, play by herself (that is, when she is not bothering her older two siblings :)). Imara can spend hours talking to her toys, stuffed animals, dolls or characters from her books. She asks them questions and answers back on their behalf. Her…

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Monday-8Am-12Jun2017
2

Manage your inner critic

Most of us have a voice that lives inside our head, permanently poised to offer its two cents. For some of you, this voice may be a tireless cheerleader, encouraging you and boosting your morale. But for others, it can be the harshest of critics, pulling you down and undermining your confidence. If you identify…

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Monday-8Am-05Jun2017
1

Ensure follow-through

Recently, one of our team members was feeling frustrated at things not moving at the desired pace in her team. The team was having good meetings, and everyone seemed to be in sync. And yet, many of the issues that had been aligned on before kept surfacing back in subsequent meetings. This is quite common….

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Monday-8Am-29May2017

Lead with compassion

Recently, our team members were sharing stories about Godrej values and what we stand for. Many people talked about how caring the organisation is. Team members mentioned numerous examples of when someone in the organisation or their family members were very sick or had an accident and how the company took care of the costs…

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Monday-8Am-22May2017

Beware of the ostrich effect!

In recent years, we have seen new types of players emerge in the FMCG industry. For many incumbents though, the first reaction was to ignore. This was in spite of alerts from the sales teams on the ground. Several large players got into denial mode. Teams took comfort in looking at market share data from…

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Monday-8Am-15May2017 (1)

Speaking up

Recently, one of our team members came by to express concerns about a barrage of verbal onslaught he was receiving from one of our leaders. After a lot of angst, he mustered up the courage to bring it up. While on the surface his working relationship with this colleague seemed okay, he was increasingly feeling…

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Monday-8Am-08May2017
2

Messiness may be good, for some of us!

For those of you who have come to my office, you would have noticed that it sometimes looks a bit messy. Every now and then, I try to go into “declutter” mode. While I have been trying to get better, I still have some distance to cover to get to a pristine desk. In general,…

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Feminism beyond the buzzword

Feminism beyond the buzzword (Co-authored by Amrita Purkayastha)

The recent Godrej Leadership Forum, our annual meet which brings together our leaders from across the globe, was themed on the ‘XX Factor’. As part of the event, we hosted some wonderful sessions by award-winning columnist and feminist writer, Mona Eltahawy; mountaineering twins Tashi and Nungshi Malik; filmmaker, Paromita Vohra; ISRO Mars Mission scientist, Moumita…

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Monday-8Am-24April2017
1

Be a head-heart-hands whole leader

Last week, in a values discussion with our senior team, Shailesh Deshpande, who leads Talent and Leadership Development for the Godrej Group, talked about how leaders today need a different playbook to motivate, energise and engage their team members. We need to figure out what we need to do differently to connect with our teams…

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Monday-8Am-17April2017

Watch out, um, for those filler words!

Do you find yourself using a lot of “um”, “uh”, “well”, “so”, “you know”, “er”, “I think” or “like” when you are presenting or speaking in a meeting? The use of these “filler” words can get out of control if you are not conscious of them. These are meaningless and add no value – yet,…

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How to deal with selfishness
3

How to deal with selfishness

So, have you encountered colleagues or team members who are driven by their self-interest? Or who like to protect their own turf? Those who are fixated on gaining more power? Or those who undercut the efforts of others? Or like to take all the credit? For generations, conversations on what drives success revolved around individual elements…

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If you are stuck, reframe!
7

If you are stuck, reframe!

I have been reading HBS professor Bharat Anand’s highly acclaimed book, The Content Trap, on digital transformation. One of the fascinating examples that Prof. Anand talks about is the impact of digital on the newspaper industry. The conventional view is that print newspapers seem to be a dying breed because readers are migrating online to read…

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Watch out for your CLHs

Watch out for your CLHs!

One of the key areas that inhibits many leaders to progress in their careers is the ability to act strategically. While a lot of managers are very good at managing teams and executing and delivering short-term results, they struggle to step back and think big picture – to define the longer-term strategic agenda, articulate choices…

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Monday-8Am-20Mar2017

Distracted by busyness

You will be hard pressed to find a leader who will say that she is not busy. “Swamped”, “snowed”, “buried” or “slammed” are words that one frequently hears. Busyness has become the badge of honour for leaders. Most of us constantly complain about having too much to do and too little time. Talking about how busy we are makes…

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Yes, I am an introvert
13

Yes, I am an introvert (Co-authored by Lynette Lombaard)

I am pleased that Lynette Lombaard has written this week’s message on the perspective of introverts. Lynette is a talented designer in our Godrej South Africa team. I recently started following her group on Workplace called ‘Understanding Introverts’. Her messages, which tackle some deep and rather nuanced issues on personality types (with a dose of humour), got me…

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Random encounters
1

Random encounters

Frankly, I am quite reticent about striking conversations with strangers. On a flight, for instance, I don’t usually initiate conversations with fellow passengers. I prefer immersing myself into a book or a magazine. If the stranger next to me is in a talkative mood, then I usually exchange a few initial pleasantries, wondering though when I can get back…

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Micromanagement is mismanagement

Micromanagement is mismanagement

‘My boss wants me to cc: him on every email’ ‘He asks for frequent updates’ ‘She loves getting into the details and relishes pointing out mistakes’ ‘He schedules ad hoc meetings with my team members even when I am not there’ These probably sound familiar to you—and that’s because most of us have worked with…

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dont-be-a-jerk
5

Don’t be a jerk!

A friend was recently commenting about a colleague who demanded that one of his team members cancel a planned vacation for just an internal review. Unfortunately, this kind of insensitive behaviour is not uncommon in organisations. How about a boss who enjoys creating fake deadlines? Or someone who holds impromptu meetings with your team, while…

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make-a-to-stop-list
1

Make a to-stop list

Now that we are a few weeks into the start of the year, this would be a good time to take a pause and assess how you are doing on your list of resolutions for the year. I’m sure you have made plenty of to-do lists in your life – probably at the start of this…

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Monday-8AM-06Feb2017-Option
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7 steps to an exceptional sales organisation (Co-authored by Parveen Dalal)

Consumers are engaging with brands in amazingly new ways and technology is profoundly changing how we sell. In this evolving landscape, the role of sales becomes even more crucial. And for our sales team and our approach to be a differentiator, it is important to build an enabled, passionate and empowered sales organisation, supported by…

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How to not feel let down by your team

How to not feel let down by your team

I was recently chatting with one of our leaders. He was feeling frustrated. He felt that while he and his team had come up with some ambitious plans, his team wasn’t able to achieve those plans. Several team members were faltering in their execution. While the team sounded very committed, they were not consistently delivering. So, he…

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Power of regret

The power of regret

I recently came across a book written a few years ago by Bronnie Ware, a nurse in Australia. She spent many years working with people during the last few weeks of their lives.  While caring for her dying patients, she recorded the most common regrets her patients had expressed to her. She later published them…

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Peter Principle
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Beware of the Peter Principle

The bumbling boss who fumbles and blusters his way through the office is an enduring caricature across popular culture, from television series like The Office to the Dilbert comic strip in the daily newspaper. Behind this stereotype lies some truth. Let’s admit it: each of us has worked with at least one (if not more) incompetent manager…

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getting-better-with-age
5

Getting better with age

For most of our parents, it was assumed that they would retire by the time they were 60. However, things are changing rapidly. People are now living longer and working for longer than any other time in history. The World Health Organisation’s research shows that global average life expectancy increased by 5 years between 2000 and 2015….

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i-am-because-we-are
3

I am, because we are

A couple of months back, when I was spending some time with our team in Argentina, it was wonderful to see a renewed sense of purpose, teamwork and cohesion in the team. The various team members talked about a company culture built on respect, trust, sharing, caring and empathy. When I discussed with Anand Rangaswamy, our business head for the region…

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Do you really need to quit image
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Do you really need to quit?

Let’s face it. It feels terrible losing good people. So, whenever one of our well-performing team members decides to leave us, I feel pained. I wonder if the organisation has somehow let the person down. Or whether the person has not fully appreciated the career proposition that we offer. Recently, one of our millennial team…

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monday-8am-banner-19dec2016
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Do you hate to lose more than you like to win? (Co-authored by Anirban Banerjee)

In some recent discussions that we were having while discussing a particular acquisition, I was struck by how our team was focusing far more on what could go wrong with the acquisition than the significant opportunities.  This is not something that is a one-off though. When you assess some of our innovations that have been delayed, you probably can see similar attempts at playing “devil’s…

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how-to-praise-yourself-image
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How to praise yourself

Usually, during performance review or promotion cycles, it is quite usual to see a spike in people getting into “patting oneself on the back” mode! The frequency of self-congratulatory messages touting recent achievements increases. Most of us want to make a positive impression and have a need to feel valued. Sometimes, we are insecure about ourselves. And…

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boost-your-resilience
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Boost your resilience

The last few weeks have been tumultuous for all of us in India as we have been in the midst of the most radical financial experiment in recent times. The withdrawal, practically overnight, of 86 per cent of the currency notes in circulation has disrupted lives. While many people have been facing tremendous hardships, what has shined though is…

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volunteering

Volunteer to make a difference (Co-authored by Sarah, Donna and Harriet)

On December 5th, Godrej Global Volunteering Day, we will dedicate a day across our global offices to volunteer our time with local schools. I hope that you and your teams will whole-heartedly participate in and support this effort. Even as you gear up for this, do also pause to consider using this opportunity to start your own volunteering…

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the-company-you-keep
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The company you keep

As children, we are told by our parents to be careful about the friends we make. And when we become parents, we offer the same advice to our kids, explaining how the people they surround themselves with will have an immeasurable impact on them. Somehow, though, as adults we don’t end up thinking about how…

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dont-play-victim
5

Don’t play victim

Quite often, when things don’t pan out as desired, we start placing blame instead of taking responsibility. Whining creeps in. We don’t take accountability for our choices and our actions. This “woe is me” attitude can be quite toxic. So, my message this week is on what you can do to fight a victim mindset….

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manage-self-doubt
3

Manage self-doubt

Most of us would admit to have felt the pangs of self-doubt in our lives at some point  – those moments when, often uncharacteristically so, you start feeling like you are in over your head. It could be triggered by a variety of reasons or no reason at all – a new job or a…

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bust-bureaucracy
1

Bust bureaucracy

In 1988, Peter Drucker predicted that in two decades, the typical organisation would become far more agile and efficient, trimming the layers as well as numbers of managerial staff. Which just goes to show that even “the founder of modern management” couldn’t be sure what the future would hold! Far from shrinking, bureaucracy has instead…

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monday-8am-24oct2016
1

Don’t let your blindspots derail you

‘Scotoma’, derived from the Greek skótos, meaning darkness, is the name for an area of obscured vision in your otherwise normal field of vision. The point of entry of the optic nerve on your retina is insensitive to light, and so, your vision is ‘blinded’ here. You also know it as your ‘blind spot’. Just…

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improve-your-minds-search-engine
1

Improve your mind’s search engine

From historic icons like inventor Nikola Tesla and philosopher Swami Vivekananda, to popular television characters like scientist Sheldon Cooper and FBI agent Spender Reid—some of the most brilliant minds are said to possess an eidetic memory (most of us know this as photographic memory). Whether the geniuses are real or fictional, our fascination is the…

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monday-8am-10oct2016
3

What example do you want to set?

We are all familiar with Gandhi ji’s quote, “you must be the change you wish to see in the world”. The supposed story behind this quote is that a mother once visited Gandhi ji and requested him to tell her son to not eat too much sugar. Gandhi ji asked the lady to return back…

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use-your-360-degree-feedback-wisely
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Use your 360 degree feedback wisely (Co-authored by Shashank Shekhar)

We recently concluded our 360 degree feedback process, which was, like most years, met with mixed reactions. Not surprising though; because receiving feedback is always tricky. As leaders, we often think that we are required to have all the answers. That doesn’t leave much space for us to be asking around for help. Add to…

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combating-unconscious-bias
4

Combating unconscious bias

I’m biased, you’re biased, we’re all biased. According to massive amounts of modern research, there’s no escaping the everyday reality of how biased we are. Yet, the more I read about how our minds work, the more I get into a bit of denial mode. Not me, I think. I’m not biased, am I? I…

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dont-become-isolated

Don’t become isolated

A refrain that I hear often is that as you become more senior, the job starts feeling a bit lonelier. You’re not alone in feeling like this. While there are tremendously fulfilling aspects of being a leader, what many people find unsettling is getting isolated from their teams. Think about it. As your responsibilities expand,…

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develop-your-leadership-point-of-view
2

Develop your leadership point of view

We all know that we need more leaders to be able to achieve our aspirations. The best way to create more leaders is through today’s leaders nurturing tomorrow’s. Each of our roles in developing others therefore is critical. To enable this, leaders need to be great teachers. Noted Professor Noel Tichy, who once led the GE…

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Becoming an engaging leader
2

Becoming an engaging leader (Co-authored by Rohit Vengurlekar)

People don’t leave organisations, they leave bosses. You’ve heard this before and as clichéd as it sounds, it is true. If we want to attract and retain the best talent, we have to be engaging leaders. As many of you would agree, this is something that comes with practice. Over time, you learn how to…

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Consider work-life effectiveness
2

Consider work-life effectiveness

We all perform multiple roles in our personal and professional lives. Not to mention the need for time for our own physical and emotional well being. Juggling all the different priorities can certainly be a challenge. How to attain work-life balance has, therefore, become a raging debate. Frankly, though, I find the term “work-life balance” a somewhat strange phrase….

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Enhance your presence
3

Enhance your presence

If you haven’t yet watched Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, please do so (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZNWYqDU948). The content of her words and their political context aside, her delivery of the speech, and the way it has made people around the world sit up, take note and listen, is a great example of that…

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Going the distance

Going the distance (Co-authored by Sunita Devrani)

152 days down the road, on January 15, 2017, over 40,000 people will be running the Mumbai marathon. Those of you who run regularly, will vouch for the fact that this is much more than just a race. Each person running it has their own story, one that has probably started much before the actual…

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Don't be an overtalker
2

Don’t be an overtalker

You know that uncomfortable feeling you get when you’re delivering a presentation or speaking in a meeting and you see people checking emails or looking at the time or just seeming bored? Sometimes it makes you try harder to get their attention (without much success). Often, you end up quite frustrated with how easily they…

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Practise forgiveness at work
1

Practise forgiveness at work

“We tend to judge others by their behaviour, and ourselves by our intentions.” Think about your childhood. Regardless of the various things you may have done wrong, my guess is that in most cases your parents forgave you (after the occasional bouts of anger or disappointment). They saw eventually that your intentions were not wrong but you exhibited the wrong behaviour….

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bewareofenergyvampires

Beware of energy vampires

As we get larger, we have amazing opportunities to capitalise on the benefits of scale and our presence in multiple geographies. At the same time, we have to watch out for the classic pitfalls large multinationals face – becoming slow, not making effective decisions, not innovating fast enough or pushing unnecessary paperwork. Noted strategist (and ex-colleague) James…

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Productive stress

Productive stress

Think about the run-up to a big presentation. Or getting a new product launched on time. Go back to the days when you were in school. How about the adrenaline rush before a major game or race? The feeling before a big exam? We’ve all experienced stress at arguably the most pivotal moments in our…

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Perils of online outrage
1

The perils of online outrage

The Internet has made our world smaller and brought us closer than ever before. It has opened us up to more information than we could’ve imagined. And it has given everyone a voice. It has transformed activism in many ways and made it more powerful. We can choose to stand up for causes that we…

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Overcoming negativity
1

Overcoming negativity

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, things may not work out the way you want them to. It happens. And sometimes, it isn’t really anyone’s fault. But when things go wrong, you have a choice – you can either find a positive approach to handle the situation or you can stay caught in a rut. We…

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Making your vacations fulfilling
3

Making your vacations fulfilling (Co-authored by Roopika Saran)

This is the time of the year when many of us take some time off for vacations, to unplug and rejuvenate. Some of us head to the beach to frolic in the sun or the mountains to escape the heat. Some just unwind and chill out. Others visit family members to strengthen bonds. As you think about…

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Integrity
1

Integrity – more than ethics and morals

You will agree that integrity is the bedrock of Godrej. It is intrinsic to who we are and it has held us in very good stead for nearly 120 years now. To most of us, integrity is probably associated with ethics and morals. And about being upright and honest. We know that lapses or violations…

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Driving execution excellence

Driving execution excellence

In the epic Mahabharata, there is a story about Guru Dronacharya testing his students in archery. Dronacharya set up a wooden bird upon a tree, and from across the adjacent river, asked the princes to shoot it down by striking its eye. When prince Duryodhana tried first, Dronacharya asked him what he saw. Duryodhana replied that…

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Harnessing social platforms to collaborate better
1

Harnessing social platforms to collaborate better

“We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we’re going to live on the Internet”, says Sean Parker in The Social Network, the film on how Facebook was founded. And that has come to pass. Social networking has fundamentally redefined identity. Pervasive, intuitive and incredibly powerful in the way it cuts across barriers of…

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The reading edge
4

The reading edge

“I’ve been meaning to read that, but just haven’t got around to it!”  Does that sound familiar? Chances are it’s your stock response when someone recommends a book. Many of us lament the fact that children today seem to prefer television, video games and social media chatter to books. Yet, our own hectic lives seem…

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Be more transparent about compensation
2

Be more transparent about compensation

Last year, around this time, one of our senior team members came to me and said that the raise we were proposing for him was too high. He had very clear reasons on why it should be lowered. Truth be told – it is very rare that a team member tries to negotiate their salary…

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Failure can be a great teacher
2

Failure can be a great teacher

Johannes Haushofer, an assistant professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton, has been much talked about recently after he published a ‘CV of Failures’ (http://bit.ly/1Ufbg90). It is a must read. Written as a regular CV, it lists the ‘degree programs I did not get into’, the ‘academic positions and fellowships I did not get’…

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Stand up

Stand up

For many of us, so much of our time during the day is either spent in front of the computer or in meetings. I remember once reading that “The common denominator in the modern workday is our tush.” Sitting is ‘the new smoking’, say some experts. Research suggests that our sedentary lifestyles today, fuelled by the increased…

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Give credit where and when it is due

Give credit where and when it is due

As you all know, this is “awards” season at Godrej! Apart from the Group Awards, the GCPL annual awards and various awards at the cluster level (like the upcoming “How-Wow-Now” awards in the India/SAARC cluster), it is great to see how we are getting better at recognising and celebrating the many achievements of our team…

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Create your own symphony
1

Create your own symphony

A couple of weeks ago, the Godrej Leadership Forum (which consists of the senior leaders in the group) explored the theme of symphony in our work, in our relationships and in our personal lives. Parmesh Shahani, who leads the Godrej India Culture Lab, curated some great sessions with a diverse set of speakers. As part of this…

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What are you insecure about?
2

What are you insecure about?

I still remember my first day in business school. Everyone else seemed to be smarter and more accomplished than I. And I remember feeling quite insecure and wondering whether I was an admissions mistake! Getting the occasional bouts of insecurity is nothing unusual. At one point or the other, I am sure that all of…

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Stop dreading deadlines

Stop dreading deadlines

“The ultimate inspiration is the deadline.” Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, is credited with this quote. I am not sure though how many of you feel this way! The origins of the term “deadline” actually come from prison camps during the American civil war. It referred to a physical line or boundary. Guards would…

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The perils of best practices

The perils of best practices

So often in discussions, I find our team members asking – “So, what is the industry best practice?” These ‘best practices’ have long become the Holy Grail of determining what and how to improve. The questions invariably revolve around – do you know what the best practices are? Is what you are doing a best practice? Who…

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Practicing to become a good leader
1

Practicing to become a better leader

When someone once asked Charlie Chaplin what it takes to come up with a great idea, he said it was “sheer perseverance to the point of madness.” Chaplin, for all his bumbling antics on screen, was a very different person off screen. Known to be almost fanatical about perfection, he would spend several hours in rehearsal….

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Why not try feedforward
1

Why not try feedforward?

We have recently rolled out our annual review process for the year. Over the next few weeks, we will be spending time with our team members in detailed discussions on their performance for the year gone by. This is also when we step back to take stock of the larger picture, reflect on all that…

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Sustaining a dual career partnership
9

Sustaining a dual career partnership (Co-authored by Somasree Bose & Anuj Awasthi)

As you know, improving gender diversity is a key imperative for us. Increasingly, many women, who join us, will be juggling the multiple demands of a career, marriage and family. Many more couples will be dual career couples who will look to balance both their personal and professional lives and support each other. I am…

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The power of vulnerability
4

The power of vulnerability

When I was asked by Mr. Adi Godrej and the GCPL Board to take on the responsibility for GCPL a few years back, it was a somewhat atypical choice. Most CEOs in FMCG companies typically come from deep sales and marketing backgrounds. And so, after I assumed the responsibility, I decided to speak openly to…

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Step out of your comfort zone
4

Step out of your comfort zone

Last week, I spent a few days with our team in Chile. And they mentioned to me how they had all gone horse riding through steep terrain during a recent off-site. While they were initially very nervous, they found the experience very exhilarating. Many of our other team members have also tried to push themselves….

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Breaking your smartphone addiction

Smartphone addiction

We all know that smartphones are transforming our lives – the way we communicate, connect and learn, among many things. However, as they become an increasing part of our day-to-day routine, are they now controlling our lives? Do you find yourself on your smartphone just about all the time? Scrolling for updates, often when you…

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Keep a journal
3

Keep a journal

For many of us, writing can be a great way to remember things, get our thoughts organised, and to introspect. However, in today’s age of instant communication and tweets, writing – especially in the long form – seems to be taking a back seat. Someone I met recently talked about taking the time to write down their thoughts…

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Good morning
2

Good morning!

It was Benjamin Franklin who had said “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”. Tim Cook is up at 4:30 AM, sending emails and heading to the gym. Barack Obama makes it a point to squeeze in a workout at 6:45 AM. Margaret Thatcher would be up at 5…

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Bouncing back
2

Bouncing back (Co-authored by Jatin Panchal)

We have all known loss and fear. It could have been losing someone we loved dearly, coping with a crisis or being diagnosed with a serious illness. We may have won some of these battles. We may have also lost some. But either way, there is no denying that battling your way through really tough…

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Developing a diverse talent pipeline
4

Developing a diverse talent pipeline (Co-authored by Sanjivani Sadani)

One of our key imperatives as a Group, is to build and groom the next generation of women leaders at Godrej. Making a real change will require us to do much more than just follow guidelines. We really need to become authentic leaders of change. We need to better appreciate the challenges that women face…

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Talk less, listen more

Talk less, listen more

There is an old quote that says “we have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we speak.” The challenge is that the more senior we become in organisations, we tend to speak more and listen less. Bottom line, it is not possible to be a great leader without being a…

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Goal setting with your family
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Goal setting with your family

All of us have learnt at work about goals and planning. Long range plans, annual plans, business goals, individual goals, joint goals and review sessions are part and parcel of corporate life. Yet, while we are the same person at work and in personal life, we hesitate to apply some of these practices to improve…

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Develop an attitude of gratitude
14

Develop an attitude of gratitude (Co-authored by Anand Rangaswamy)

Over the last couple of days, many of you have probably been making lists and exchanging notes with your family and friends on all that you will change this year; of the things that you wished you had achieved in the year gone by. Even as you do that and mull over the resolutions and…

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Vandana Gupta
8

100 days to a better you (Co-authored by Vandana Gupta)

As 2015 draws to an end, it is time to celebrate and reflect on the year gone by. Carving out this space for introspection and gratitude can be deeply meaningful. And many of us will also be coming up with our resolutions for the new year. But as you would probably agree, several of our…

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Don't hide behind email
1

Don’t hide behind email

There is no denying that technology and connectivity are transforming the way we converse. With email and the likes of Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp and Facebook, a lot more time is being spent in virtual conversations. Therefore, what happens when face to face conversations take a backseat, in the context of all this connectivity? So, my…

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Take laughing seriously
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Take laughing seriously (Co-authored by Roopika Saran)

When I introduce myself in India to someone for the first time, the stereotypical question I often get asked is “So, are you very serious?” Gambhir means serious in Hindi and you can imagine why that would be a routine ice-breaker question! Now, in real life, I am not entirely sure how well I am doing to live up to my…

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Tame the tongue
4

Tame the tongue

So, have you ever spoken about people behind their backs? Have you indulged in loose talk? Have you relied on getting information from or feeding the proverbial grapevine? Have you spread rumours (deliberately or unintentionally) about someone? Whether we like it or not, gossip is a part of the office and life outside work. It…

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Mind your body language
1

Mind your body language

Think about those times when in spite of your team members verbally agreeing to certain actions in a meeting, the implementation fell short of your expectations. Do you recall whether the facial expressions, the tone and the gestures of the team members matched their words? My guess is that your response would be “maybe” or…

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Language matters

Language matters

Have you faced a situation when what you said was completely misconstrued and led to far more angst than you bargained for? Think about why this happened. Could this have been because of your choice of words and the language you used? When we were young, we were chided to mind our p’s and q’s…

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Watch out for cliques
1

Watch out for cliques

Often, I see the same group of people having lunch together every day. Many of them tend to be part of the same team.  As I have written before, building close friendships can greatly improve how we work together, not to mention making the hours we spend at work much more enjoyable. But what happens…

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Keep learning
3

Keep learning

Every couple of weeks or so, we receive an email from D. Shivakumar, with a book summary of one the latest books he has read. Shiv leads PepsiCo in India and is on our GCPL board. Shiv’s summary usually consists of 35-50 slides and includes his reflections and learnings from the book. You may wonder – how Shiv finds the…

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Building purposeful brands
6

Building purposeful brands (Co-authored by Ajay Dang)

Over the last few years, we have seen big shifts in terms of what consumers are expecting from and how they are engaging with brands. So, companies are now rethinking the role of Marketing.  It is no longer sufficient for brands to just make a promise and then try to live up to it. There…

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Difficult conversations
2

Difficult conversations

Have you had situations when someone on your team is not performing as per expectations or not doing their part? Do you address this head-on? Or do you avoid having the conversation? Or do you tend to sugarcoat the tough message? Frankly, many of us struggle to have these kinds of ‘difficult’ conversations. Rather than…

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Infuse positive energy
2

Infuse positive energy

As many of you know, Jack Welch, the renowned former CEO of General Electric, came up with the 4-E (and 1-P) framework for qualities that make a successful leader. The first E is positive energy. It means the ability to go-go-go; to thrive on action and relish change. The second E is the ability to energise others, and inspire them…

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Build friendships at work
3

Build friendships at work

The average Facebook user in America spends about 40 minutes a day on it. Estimates suggest that the global average is over 20 minutes or so. That’s a lot of time spent scrolling through updates on people, many of whom you probably haven’t even met in years. And that isn’t counting the time on Twitter…

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Digitally fit
1

Becoming digitally fit (Co-authored by Tom Dawes)

Most of us grew up in the pre-digital age but are increasingly serving consumers who are digital natives. Digital is fundamentally impacting every facet of our business – how we interact with consumers, how we design and develop products, and how we engage with our employees. Managing the transition to digital is not just critical…

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Passive-aggression at work
7

Stop being passive-aggressive

Have you experienced a situation when a colleague appears quite amenable in a meeting? But later, you see a different personality, almost a Mr Hyde surfacing! The colleague does not share the required information, does not respond to your emails in a timely manner or perhaps even tries to sabotage your suggestions! And this probably…

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Embracing conflict
1

Embrace conflict

Many times, team members mention to me that they disagree with something that a colleague has done or said. Often when I enquire whether the team member has given the feedback to the colleague, the response is a non-plussed no. Too often, we bottle things inside us or talk behind people’s backs. The intent is…

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Collaborative leadership
1

Be a collaborative leader

We all know that effective collaboration is critical to our success. To create and deliver amazing products and experiences to our consumers, we can’t do it alone – we need to meld together a variety of experiences and perspectives. All the pieces need to come together. We talk about needing to become whole-brained as a…

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Saying-I'm-sorry_Monday-8am
3

Saying ‘I’m sorry’

In the last few years, we have seen apologising becoming part of the normal business discourse. We have seen a flurry of public apologies from executives for various issues such as poor customer service, bad product quality, data breaches, insensitive remarks or pointless rants. Yet, knowing if, when and how to say sorry is something many of…

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Venting
4

Venting

So, let’s say you have had a frustrating day. Things just did not go per your plan. You had a disagreement with someone; you bottled up how you felt inside. And so, before heading home, you decided to stop by a colleague’s desk. Or maybe you called a friend. To let off some steam. To…

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Business trip
3

Rediscover the joy of business trips

I am writing this while I have been travelling with Omar, who leads M&A and Business Development, for our business. Travel is an important part of our jobs – whether it is in your own country or to overseas locations.  While technology has changed the frequency of travel, there is still no substitute for the value of…

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Procrastination
10

Procrastination

After a few days travelling, when I returned home this weekend, I was reviewing my to-do list. And I noticed that there were some items that continued to linger on the list for a couple of weeks. There were some things that I had kept on postponing and I was feeling guilty for doing so. I casually mentioned this…

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Punctuality
5

On time is a wonderful thing

A few weeks ago, we celebrated the birth centenary of Dr. B. P. Godrej. Dr. Godrej was a visionary, who among many other things, launched our Cinthol brand. What is truly incredible, is that over 60 years down the line, the Cinthol Original formulation that he had pioneered – with its germicidal and deodorising properties…

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Monday-8am_use-time-effectively
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Use your time effectively (Co-authored by Aaron Radomsky)

Chances are that some of you will spend your time this morning making checklists for the week. In spite of the best intentions, however, the best laid plans don’t quite work out most of the time. Inevitably, things crop up that that you did not aniticpate, requiring you to rearrange your schedule. In any given…

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Sleep better
2

Sleep better

Last week, I took a couple of days off. And unlike most other times when we end taking active vacations, my family and I decided to just unwind and not have any plans for the time off. Things had been quite hectic the weeks before and so, among other things, I decided to catch up…

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1

Be a linchpin

As you know, to achieve our growth aspirations, we need to be more agile, be more innovative and connect better with our consumers. Our success will depend on each of you raising your personal bar and taking your contributions up a notch. So, I want to ask you to reflect on the role that you want…

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Conversation
5

Managing your boss

Like many of you, I have had my fair share of both productive and unproductive relationships with my previous bosses. While I was recently reflecting on these relationships, I recognised that in the early part of my career, I tended to put too much of the onus of making the relationship work on my bosses. In hindsight,…

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Get walking
1

Get walking

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote to you about carving out pauses and moments for reflection in our everyday lives. Why we need to step back from the fast paced humdrum around us and take the time to reflect on what really matters. And how to ring fence this time for ourselves, often enough and…

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Leadership
1

Leadership brand

As you know, at GCPL, we have exciting and ambitious plans of becoming an emerging markets FMCG leader. But to be able to deliver on these aspirations, we will need to significantly raise the bar on what we expect from our leaders. We also need to groom many more leaders and build a strong pipeline…

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Managing emails
6

Managing your inbox

Yesterday, as I was boarding a flight to the US, I was making a mental note of some of the things to do on the flight. On the top of the list was to make sure that I caught up with emails that I had fallen behind on. The long flight would provide the perfect…

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Catching time
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Everyday pauses

Over the last few months, I have been writing to you about becoming better and more inspiring leaders, family members, friends and colleagues. To be able to wear these many hats, we need to get more comfortable with who we are as individuals. And identify what it is that really matters the most to us….

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Managaing-Across

Managing across

Over the last couple of years, we have reorganised our organisational structure to better capitalise on our growth potential, as a global company. We have created separate geographic clusters, to sustain the agile and entrepreneurial spirit of our business. At the same time, we have established global functions to leverage the benefits of scale and…

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Rainbow Godrej
2

Rainbow Godrej (Co-authored by Parmesh Shahani)

Two days ago, Ireland made history by becoming the first country in the world to enshrine same-sex marriages in their constitution, through popular vote. Last year, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, sent a powerful message when he wrote an essay for Bloomberg Businessweek, saying, “Let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider…

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80-20 your life
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How to 80/20 your life

A common refrain that I hear from many of you is that you feel inundated with multiple demands on your time. Apart from your responsibilities as a leader, there are a host of commitments that many of us have to grapple with – as parents, as spouses, as children and as friends. Many of us…

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Volunteering

The importance of giving back

Recently, we have all been saddened by the horrific impact wrought by the disastrous earthquake in Nepal. Many nations, including India, have lent their support towards relief efforts and are helping the country get back on its feet. Fortunately, all our team members are safe there – though they tell us that the scale of…

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Apurva Joshi
5

Thriving as a woman in Sales (Co-authored by Apurva Joshi)

As you know, becoming more inclusive and diverse as a company is a critical imperative for us at Godrej. Over the last few months, we have had many discussions on what we need to do to champion and drive this change on the ground. One of our biggest debates on the gender diversity front, is…

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Kailash Satyarthi at GLF
5

Channel your anger for change

Many of us had the privilege of hearing Nobel Peace laureate, Kailash Satyarthi, speak at the Godrej Leadership Forum recently. His talk covered a range of topics – how to think about the right choices in life, our responsibility to eliminate child violence and our imperative to strive for corporate social accountability. The session was…

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Godrej Argentina team
1

Thriving in uncertainty (Co-authored by Anand Rangaswamy)

As many of you know, at the Annual Godrej Awards held last Friday, Anand Rangaswamy was recognised as the ‘Outstanding Leader 2015’ from across the Godrej Group. Anand, as you know, leads our Latin America and UK businesses. Under his leadership, this cluster has achieved very strong performance over the last year. This has been…

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Monday8am_Building a legacy
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Building a legacy (Co-authored by Mathew Eipe)

This year, the upcoming Godrej Leadership Forum (GLF) is themed on the choices we make. Drawing from this, one of the things that I would like to encourage to you to reflect on, is how, while we focus on managing our near term business, it is also important to think about what kind of lasting impact…

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Focusing on your strengths
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Focusing on your strengths

Recently, when I was on a flight, I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation between a father and son seated close to me. As many of you with school-going children in India would know, this is the end of the school year and assessment time. The boy must have been around 12 years old. His…

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IMG_1069[1]
15

Experiment with a non linear career (Co-authored by Karan Sood)

Over the next few weeks, many of you will be engaging in performance reviews, goal setting discussions and career dialogues. I recently wrote to you about how we need to be willing to stretch ourselves more, experiment more and generally get more comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. We are fortunate to be at an exciting stage of…

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performance
1

The bell curve debate (Co-authored by Rahul Gama)

Someone once remarked that the bell curve approach used in performance ratings is probably as confounding as the Duckworth Lewis method in cricket. Many of you would have probably heard comparisons along similar lines. Over the last few years, the use of the bell curve has come under criticism. Companies like Microsoft and Cisco, among…

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02
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What are you willing to give up?

Back in December of 2013, we decided to restructure our international operations into geographical clusters, to improve agility and better leverage synergies. And we offered Anand, who was then leading our UK business, the role of cluster head for Latin America and the UK. Anand asked whether he could think about it overnight. Next morning,…

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monday-8am_freepikedited
6

Being a questioning leader

Recently, over a weekend, my eighth grade daughter was writing a paper using the Socratic method and asked for some help. In the fourth century, Socrates had pioneered the approach of learning through questions, uncovering assumptions and getting to the heart of the issue. Frankly, while I had learnt about this method in college, I…

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Global
1

Developing a global mindset

Two years ago, Starwood Hotels (that owns brands such the Sheraton, Westin and Le Meridien), moved their headquarters from Connecticut, in the US to Dubai for a month. The senior leadership team and the headquarters staff set up shop in Dubai and ran the global business from there. They also spent extensive time to understand…

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The Servant as Leader
5

The power of servant leadership

Several months ago, I came across a video of renowned ethnographer and leadership expert, Simon Sinek, talking about his book, Leaders Eat Last, in which he explores the dynamics that inspire leadership and trust. (If you haven’t already watched it, you can do so at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReRcHdeUG9Y) In his talk, Simon uses an example from the US Marine Corps to…

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Subha's paintings
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Be your whole self (Co-authored by Subha Iyer)

In my message this week, I want to focus on why investing in yourself and pursuing interest(s) outside work can make you a happier and fuller individual and in turn, even better at what you do at work. I am very pleased that Subha Iyer, who leads media planning and buying for our India business, has…

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Under pressure
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Thrive under pressure

As you know, we are in the final stretches of this fiscal year. February and March are crucial to finish strong. The sprint to the end of the year puts pressure on all of us but it is also quite energising. So, in my message today, I want to talk to you about how we can thrive under…

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bigstock-Man-doing-Yoga-Asana-Collectio-71589778-[Converted]
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Stretch yourself

This is the time when many of you, along with working hard to ensure a strong finish to the year, will also be busy defining the longer term priorities for your business or function and your plans for next year. Soon, you will use this as input for the goals for your functions, for your…

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Trust Word
2

Trust

Today we are celebrating Republic Day in India. For our colleagues in other geographies, this is the anniversary of when the Constitution of India was officially adopted. Godrej, as you know, has a proud history, closely intertwined with the evolution of India. And through this 117-year journey, what hasn’t changed is the fact that in…

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Office table in clouds with the sea on the notebook. Vacation co

Unlimited Vacations

By now, I am sure that those of you who took time off during the end of the year are back in the thick of things and that all of us are working hard to ensure that we make a strong finish to FY 2015. Speaking of time off, some of you may recall a…

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Business Training

The Two Drives Model and Leadership (Co-authored by Shailesh Deshpande)

I am very pleased that Shailesh Deshpande, who leads Learning and Development for Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies, has written this week’s piece. Shailesh, as you know, conducts the highly regarded Leading Self and Leading Others workshops. A few weeks back, most of the members from the GCPL senior leadership team attended Shailesh’s Leading…

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Image Source: http://www.bigstockphoto.com/  ID: 78558329

Making resolutions stick

I hope that you managed to take some time off and are fully charged up for the New Year! Last week, I had written to you about reflecting on the year gone by with your family and/or friends. I hope that some of you were able to try it out. Aaron, the head of our…

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(Image Source: http://www.bigstockphoto.com/ ID: 52136746)

It’s that time of the year again

As the year draws to an end, it’s the time when many of us make resolutions for the New Year.  Many of us resolve to lose weight and exercise more – others resolve to give up smoking, spend more time with their family, control their anger, become more organised etc. Frankly, I have been lukewarm…

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AKP_0860
3

Owning our relationships (Co-authored by Roopika Saran)

This week I want to talk to you about sustaining the most important relationships in our lives – with our spouses, significant others, children, parents, colleagues and friends. Relationships need time, attention and nurturing. Sustaining any relationship is an ongoing effort and we have to constantly work at it. In the corporate world, we have goal…

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BvK05IxCAAITd_R
4

Offer everyone a seat at the table (Co-authored by Farah Nathani-Menzies)

This week, I want to share some thoughts on becoming an inclusive leader. I am delighted that Farah Nathani-Menzies has co-written this piece. Farah, as many of you know, spearheads Diversity & Inclusion for Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies. Have you ever felt like an outsider? More like a spectator than part of the…

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Meeting
4

Making meetings more effective

A couple of weeks ago, I had written to you about the frequent checking of email and messages during meetings. Thank you to those of you who responded to the brief survey. Key highlights of your feedback include: More than 70% of you feel that checking emails and messages has become pervasive in our meetings….

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thankyou

Thank you!

Last Thursday, the US celebrated its annual Thanksgiving holiday. Since the early 1600s, this holiday has been associated with expressing thanks and appreciation to near and loved ones. Today, it is among the busiest weekends for travel; highways get clogged with traffic as people head home for the holiday weekend. And of course, the Thanksgiving…

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multitasking-gadgets

How connected is too connected?

A couple of weeks ago, I had written about how applications on smart phones or tablets can enable us to become more productive. Certainly, these applications and tools such as email and messaging, have completely transformed the way we stay connected. But while the benefits of being connected are undoubtedly tremendous, is there something such…

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story

The Magic of Stories

It is amazing how stories can change our perspectives – the way we think, act and feel. The magic of stories can inspire us in a way that perhaps cold, hard facts cannot. For many years now, my wife, Roopi and I have been trying to instil the love of stories in our kids. One…

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Image Credit: Istock

10 things I’d tell my younger self

Make your bucket list Learn Spanish. Write a book. Climb Everest. Put it all down. And then do it. Don’t sweat the small stuff There is more coming your way. Things will get tougher and that’s ok. Let the little things pass by. Save your energy for the bigger battles. You won’t realise when you…

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IMG_20141121_1518472

My list of top productivity apps

In my recent interactions with our regional sales teams in India, I have been amazed by how actively our teams are using WhatsApp to constantly stay in touch and share information. Today, apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp have become such an integral part of how we connect with our friends, family members and colleagues. So,…

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