Meet my Mentor – Mr. Askander Mirza. ExtraOrdinary Speaker.


Meet my Mentor at and President of the Garden City Toastmasters International
Mr. Askander Mirza.

IMG_20170220_172859
Corporate Trainer, NLP practitioner, Leadership coach, Distinguished Toastmaster, Public Speaker,
Life Coach
Mr. Mirza came to our Toast masters club to deliver an Educational Speech. Impressed, I went to meet him next
week He readily agreed to Mentor me as I explained that as a Speaker I wanted to learn and practice on Voice
and Body Language. Next week, he pushed me to give an ‘Ice Breaker’ speech impromptu! The week after, he
asked my speech write up and returned as it was not as per his guidelines. Again, I went to club – without
rehearsing and he pushed me to the Stage and gave a Thumbs up – Meaning – Rock the Stage! And, I did. He
gave few tips and then some more and sent a WhatsApp about my energy levels and Voice lowering as also Time
management in Speeches. He is humble, Hyper-Active – “Walk the Talk and Talk the Talk” and the Soul, Spirit,
Body, Mind of the Club. He is simple, humble and has a habit of Formal Attire, which he has inherited from his
beloved father – as he once told us, when the HyperCurios of the club asked him this question.
He has a Competitive spirit which I still at Peak. He participates in the Contests as also mentors, coaches new,
upcoming speakers including Aged speakers like me who are keen” Erudite” learners like him.
This is the First and the oldest Toastmasters club of Bangalore and he grapples with multiple issues without even
a frown on his smiling face and that is his speciality. As an Evaluator – he is inspiring yet Direct and clear in his
Feedback to speakers. He knows and shares that his club has highest number of Distinguished ‘toastmasters and
the Best in Class Speech Evaluators in the Bangalore town.
When I told him about my Blog and whether he would like to be interviewed – He readily agreed.
Here are some of the answers:

  1. What motivated you to become what you ARE today?
    The Quest for knowledge. In my job and my business I’d rarely come across people of knowledge or Erudite . That left me ever thirsty to associate myself with knowledgeable people, to be in Company of educated people and the search ended when I found Toastmasters.

 
2. What is the greatest joy you get from what you do?
The Joy of sharing. When you share the knowledge you have, when you help
someone in whatever manner , when you impart knowledge to someone else, the
joy , the satisfaction you get is better experienced.
3. What do your fans mean to you?
They mean everything to me. I gives immense pleasure to know that there are
people out there who recognise you, who value you, who place you in high
esteem. In this materialistic world it is definitely appreciable that there are people
who really appreciate your knowledge and experience, who value you for your
asset of knowledge rather than the assets of real estate or money.
4. What are you working on next?
I am working on to write a book on how to tackle day to day problems, to prevent
tension from building up, how to stop bad experiences and failures play on your
mind, to live in present and to plan for future.
5. Who are your favourite authors?
Dale Carnegie, Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, Agatha Christie, Jane Austin, Chetan
Bhagat, Gabriel Garcia, Jibran, Bernad Shaw, Vikram Seth, R K Narayan, Ruskin
Bond, Prem Chand, Shaikh Saadi, Razia Bhat, James Hadley Chase & many more.
6. What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The morning prayer and pre-morning prayers. I wake up at 4 am most of the days,
sometimes 5 am.
7. When you're not working, how do you spend your time?
Reading books. Watching TV and corresponding on email, face book etc.
8. Do you have some work and rest related non-negotiable rules?

When I am working I don’t like anyone or anything to disturb me. I am fully
dedicated and nothing can deviate me from my work.
I hit the bed before 10 pm and don’t pick up calls after that.
9. How do you discover the authors you read?
I opt for some popular authors. When it comes to new authors I prefer reading the
review of their books before reading the book itself. And sometimes by word of
mouth.
10. Do you remember the first assignment you ever did?
I would like to tell about my first speech rather than my professional experience as
an Engineer. My First Speech called the “ Ice Breaker” in Toastmasters parlance
was delivered in mid 2007 for which I got the Best Speaker Award at my Club.
Before that my Mentor made me deliver the speech in front of him many times, and
after lot of trial and error , corrections and improvements he gave me the signal to
deliver my first speech. Post that there is no looking back.
11. What is your working process?
While working I am opposite of procrastination. I do today what I have to do
tomorrow. I always meet my targets before time. I realise my team finds it difficult
to keep pace with me. In such situations I try to be little flexible.
12. What is your unique Work Style?
No short cuts. I sincerely do what I have to do and hope for the best results.
13. Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Cannot be specific about the first. In our times the stories were heard from elders
rather than read. My father told a story about a scorpion and a tortoise whose
lesson was to not to trust again the person who has harmed you.
14. What is your approach and how do you Plan the Finishing touches to the work?
I divide my work in parts. Tackle one at a time. Integrate the work. Review. If
necessary reorganise it. The finishing touches are by using suitable words,
phrases and idioms wherever possible.
15. What are your five favourite books, and why?
How to win friends and Influence people, Sapiens, Three Thousand Stitches,
Yadoon ki Baraat, Nostradamus, Vulture is a patient bird, Discovery of India, My
Journey, Positive Attitude and many more.
16. What do you read for pleasure?
Short stories .
17. What is your e-reading device of choice?
Laptop
18. Please describe your desk.
A ‘S’ type chair, a small table arranged in a way that the light falls on the book
from my back. A note pad, some pens.
19. Where did you grow up, and did this influence your business, If Yes – How?
I grew up in the city of Mysore. Most of the time my father would take me along. He
was an erudite. He would have long discussions with his friends on topics like
history, religion, literature , psychology etc. That way I had lot of knowledge at a
very young age. Heard names like Frued, Shakespeare, Milton, Chalukya, Jesus,
Ben Hur, Ashoka, Buddha , Bose, Churchill, Hitler, Bernard Shaw etc at an age
when children would hardly know the names of their teachers.
I started my business in Mysore but was not so successful as Mysore is not a
good place for business.
20. When did you first started what you do?
I started my business in Mysore. Was not so successful. Went to Middle East and
started my fabrication and machineries business there. Initially it was tough. Later
on I became highly successful thanks to my technical knowledge , completing
projects before time and giving high quality at the same time. My habit of doing
tomorrow’s work today really worked and also perfect planning.

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We All Screw Up, How to Make Our Screw Ups Better! – Marshall Goldsmith


via We All Screw Up, How to Make Our Screw Ups Better! – Marshall Goldsmith

 

We All Screw Up, How to Make Our Screw Ups Better!

In a recent interview with my great friend Steve Berglas, we talked about his work teaching people how to deal with their errors, their screw ups. Steve is an expert on this. An executive coach and management consultant who spent twenty-five years on the faculty of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry had a private psychotherapy practice in Boston, Steve is the author of five amazing books, including his most recent Stay Hungry and Kick Burnout in the Butt.

Below is an excerpt from our interview in which Steve helps us understand that we all make mistakes and it’s okay!

Marshall: You know one of the things I love about your work is that you teach people how to deal with their errors, their screw ups. We all make mistakes. What’s your suggestion for dealing with mistakes?

Steve: The best and most efficient way that a person who has status or stature can deal with an error is by saying, “I screwed up. My bad. Mea culpa.” And there are hundreds and hundreds of examples, but I think the best one is Roberto Goizueta.

Marshall: What happened?

Steve: Roberto was the CEO of Coke, and he was fearful that Pepsi was encroaching, so he approved, “New Coke”. Well the uproar was like Babe Ruth being sold by the Red Socks to the Yankees. It was unbelievable! After hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people protested, he said, “Look, I made a mistake.” And, he gave us back what’s now called Classic Coke. Because he admitted he made a mistake. Because he said to us, “I made an error. I blew it.” And, he fixed the error, Coke’s stock quintupled. By doing that admission of error and vulnerability, he empowered the entire brand.

What happens when you say, “I’m vulnerable,” is people say, “Look that guy’s more accessible, the guy’s more confident.” If a guy can admit his errors, he’s got to have courage. And that’s how you make your screw ups better.

Marshall: I love it. In my own work I ask people to ask for confidential feedback and in a sense ask them to do the same thing you’re suggesting. I ask them to stand up and say, “I feel good about this, and this and this behavior, and hey, here’s a mistake I made. For example, I haven’t been a good listener. If I haven’t listened to you or other people, I’m sorry. Please accept my apology. There is no excuse.”

People sometimes believe that when they openly admit to errors that people will think less of them. But like yours, my research is very clear, people think more of you. It shows you have the courage to admit you can make a mistake. You have the humility to step up and say it and do something about it. It shows people that you’re a human being, and you’re giving them the respect of not playing games with them.

So, I love your work, I love the new book, and I love this concept. Thank you!

 

On June 20th, I was honored to be inducted into the Thinkers 50 Hall of Fame – whose members include the top management thinkers of our time.

The Four X Factors of Exceptional Leaders


via The Four X Factors of Exceptional Leaders

How to Launch a Profitable Startup – 5-Step Guide for Entrepreneurs | Growth Hackers


via How to Launch a Profitable Startup – 5-Step Guide for Entrepreneurs | Growth Hackers

Title: Are you Really READY to succeed in SME business?  Ask yourself these 4 Questions.


 

 

Word Count:

1109

Summary:

How, we can make sure that we are among the winners rather than the losers in these high stakes game? The answer is within us. We must ask ourselves four key questions to determine whether our small business can survive and thrive.

Keywords:

business, starting a business, small business, entrepreneur, SME, SME Startup, Startpreneur, Startuppper

Article Body:

Every year lakhs of people answer “Yes” to the BOOM – (Being Oné Own Man/Woman) calling and make it their SOP – (Statement of Purpose) and every year that answer comes with Risk Staruppers ( I call them Startpreneurs) take which costs them money, time, efforts, confidence, goodwill and heartbreak as 9 out of 10 Startup businesses fail ! Even where their is a single soul as sole employee, it happens. I was a Startup and I tasted failure 16 times. In couple of cases, I fired myself as CEO/ Founder with impunity :). Funny, but True! It happens to many of the new entrepreneurs.

As per an estimate, two-thirds of new businesses survive at least two years and 44 percent of Startups survive at least four years.

Two of the key factors in the businesses survival and ability to thrive evident are:

  1. the owner’s education level and
  2. the owner’s reason for starting the firm in the first place.

Let us examine from an Investor’s point of view as to what they judge us as Startpreneurs:

  1. A Top Angel investor looks at 5 things in Startups before investing
  2. People  2. Product/ Service  3. Process 4. Traction 5. Profitability.
  3. Some investors focus on the Founders and look at Vital Qualitites such as:
  4. Passion 2. Ambivert 3. Erudite 4. Calculated Risk Taker 5. Dedicated All-in

(But more about these in another article I shall share here)

So how d we make sure that we are among the winners rather than the losers in this high-stakes game? The answer is within us. We must ask ourselves four key questions to determine whether our own small business will survive and thrive.

 

  1. What is our STATE of Readiness?

How mentally prepared are we, for the switch from employee (or student or whatever label fits we currently) to boss? as we are going to be the ones making decisions now about everything from office products to product line.

This total control is one of the driving forces behind many people who take the plunge into starting their own business, but it is also one of the elements that drives new entrepreneurs crazy. When we start out there is an endless list of decisions that need to be made and new questions crop up every day.

Even more important we will need to remember that in a small business we will have to wear many hats. Even if we manage to start out with one or more employees we will each fulfill more than one role in our new business. And if we are running a one-man or one-woman show then we serve in every capacity from file clerk to maintenance crew to salesman to CEO.

Can we handle switching from task to task and role to role like that? Are we willing to make those switches?

Similarly, have we prepared our family and friends for this switch in attitude. Our life is going to change — pretty drastically — and that change can have a positive or negative impact on our family life and social interactions. It will make things much easier if our friends and family are supportive going into the process.

 

  1. Where O’ where does lie My Niche’? Does it REALLY exist?

Have we identified our niche yet? One of the reasons many businesses fail is that they fail to focus on a target audience. Yes, if we are a major discount store then we can sell everything from peanuts to wallpaper, but this type of business requires vast resources that just aren’t available to the small business. But small businesses dominate the marketplace by finding a different approach — a niche’.

Knowing our niche’ means we are better able to find, target, and maintain our customers as well as provide the best possible goods and services to that customer base. That focus is one of our best chances to not only survive but to thrive in a very competitive marketplace.

 

  1. Do you have a Plan of Action? With Who, What and When ?

Another key factor in the survival and ultimate success of our business is how much planning we do before we open our electronic or physical doors. We need to decide if our business will be based on the internet or include more traditional models.

Are we going to work full-time or part-time at our new business? Are we going to hire help or go solo? Have we written (or at least outlined) our business plan? Dreaming, thinking and planning can save we much trouble and waste later when things are hectic and problems strike.

Planning can also help keep we focused and to balance our spending and time.

 

  1. Who is / Are my Back-up Cushion/s? Just in case, we FALL?

At some point, no matter how experienced a business person we are, we will need help. We will need support, advice, tools, or information — or all of the above. One of the beautiful, and most frightening, aspects of growth is that it can lead us to places we never imagined. No matter how much planning and experience we bring to our new position as CEO the unexpected will arise.

How will we cope with this? It is important to recognize that no business is an island. It is not failure to seek help. Failure is when our business shuts down because we didn’t get the help we needed.

The best way to get timely help is to work on our support system while we work on building our business. That way we will already have a ready list of resources available that we can quickly tap into when emergencies strike. In today’s world there are many marvelous resources available to we no matter what our business model may be. These include, which I define as the 4 M’s

  • Media (newsletters, magazines, books)
  • Mentors (professional advisors, mentors, teachers, consultants)
  • Memberships (organizations and forums in our niche as well as general business and marketing)
  • Mental Stimulation : Education and training (tutorials, courses, and seminars)

 

After we have answered these four key questions we are now ready to ask ourrselves that one big question again — are we ready to start our own business?

 

 

 

Creativity, My Day and Random Phrases


  1. Tug of War Meaning: It can refer to the popular rope pulling game or it can mean a struggle for authority. That happened for 38 good years – both me and my better half each of us playing bullying games all the time, 🙂
  2. Yada Yada Meaning: A way to notify a person that what they’re saying is predictable or boring.  I almost said this when she proposed a trip to Konark – i said why not the beaches and temples in Thailand 🙂 🙂 and the water sports and the shopping and the boat rides and the coral reefs.  And I said why not go with our daughters’ mother in law and bond better 🙂 🙂
  3. Fight Fire With Fire Meaning: To retaliate with an attack that is similar to the attack used against you.  No. not any more. In fact, I agreed with a friend today to erase all the latest communications also as they also reside in the virtual world and can be read by many. 😦 😦
  4. Quality Time Meaning: Spending time with another to strengthen the relationship. Joining a new Chamber of Commerce tomorrow – let’s see whether there are interesting people around. 
  5. Needle In a Haystack Meaning: To keep going, pressing forward; never stopping.  Three Goals – 1. Learn to be a better Speaker 2. Keep writing blogs, ebooks, books, poems, articles whatever and record audio and video for both Speaking/ writing 3. Erudite Thinking – keep learning and complete my 100th Udemy course by end of this year.  Will just keep at it. 
  6. Fool’s Gold Meaning: Iron pyrities is a worthless mineral that resembles gold. Yes. I have made several errors of judgements this years and cut off all of the people whom I trusted as Gold.  Giving Trust at the first meeting, first call is my biggest problem over the years. 
  7. You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover Meaning: Don’t judge someone or something only by the outward appearance.  Being judgemental comes last to me, looking at Strengths, getting committed and giving Trust comes first and I need to change to Blue mindset and begin by saying “Basically” more. 🙂
  8. Elvis Has Left The Building Meaning: Something that is all over.  Waiting for my 100 day countdown. 
  9. In the Red Meaning: Losing money. Being in debt.  Never. I never like to be indebted. Even in relationships I like to square up by returning a good deed. 
  10. Mouth-watering Meaning: Delicious; something that looks or tastes appetizing.  Hmmm… sometimes the white spots on my nails are such good indicators of money coming and a trip abroad… Well…. hoping 🙂

Are You Increasing Your Learning Agility — Or Are You Missing Out?


via Are You Increasing Your Learning Agility — Or Are You Missing Out?