Monthly Archives: January 2014

Could we Curb Our Optimism and Be Realistic, Please

America's obsession with optimism

Has optimism gone too far? For decades, America’s obsession with optimism and cheerfulness has reinforced a false sense of realism and pragmatism. The media has endlessly touted optimism as the “winning formula to success”—in politics, in business, in the workplace, and in physical, mental, and social wellbeing. The self-help movement has thrust optimism as the lone asset that can help people who are battling illness or adversity.

Consider what the ever-smiling, ever-so-cheerful celebrity chef Rachel Ray said on her forthcoming 38th birthday in her “Every Day with Rachael Ray” magazine, issue of August-September 2006:

This August, I’m celebrating another birthday! Yeah! I love fresh starts and all the promise that comes with the first day of a new birthday year. Wrinkles? I can buy cream to smooth them out, but I wouldn’t change my age or give back one minute of my life. Good days and bad, it’s been a tasty time so far!

Armed with boosterish phrases such as those frequently repeated ad absurdum by the likes of Oprah and Tony Robbins and volumes such as “The Power of Positive Thinking” that consist of idealistic declarations, society has been inoculated to appreciate nothing but optimism, liveliness, oomph and unbridled enthusiasm. Optimism has become almost a cult. Pessimism and realism come with a deep stigma. Realists are branded cynics and cynics are quickly shunned as outcasts.

The problem is that persuaded by the promise of positive thinking, optimists tend to overlook the reality, develop a false sense of hope, become too attached to the possibility of positive outcomes. Besides, optimists don’t plan for the downside. Optimists cannot face the possibility of failure. They can get particularly anxious and demoralized when their expectations are dashed and their efforts fail.

Buddhism encourages us to be realistic

Buddhism encourages us to be realistic; to see things as the truly are. Buddhism emphasizes that we should not place importance on worldly affairs. Emptiness of our natural existence means that our world is a projected world of labels and limitations that are put into place based upon our rearing, cultural background, and habituation. The way we reflect and see our own lives — optimistically, pessimistically, or realistically—is a combination of the disposition we’re born with, the schooling and training we undergo, and the atmosphere we grow up in.

Realism is perhaps the most dominant tool that the Buddha taught his followers to bring about personal change and transformation. Realism is actually very empowering. Realism confers certain advantages such as an ability to understand and take risks, persist at major undertakings, and survive distressing events. The rationale of realism diminishes disappointment and reduces the negative effects.

Realism allows us to think more flexibly and creatively.

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Posted in Philosophy and Wisdom

Productive Delegating

Productive Delegating

As a leader, you can’t do it all. To be effective you must delegate the projects and details that others can learn to do.

You can help others accept delegation in two ways.

  • First, cultivate their “ownership” of your organization, project, idea, or goal by involving them in decisions, making them part of a team, and communicating a mission and purpose.
  • Second, encourage people to fail in small ways as they build the skill to win in big ways. Take the need for perfection out of the equation of delegation. Replace win/lose vocabulary with terms like “exploration,” “observation,” “testing possibilities,” and “evaluating options.”

All delegation involves some element of risk taking and failure. If you will lead others by your own example, if you can tolerate failure as a part of advancement, so will they. Let them know that failure is a valuable stepping stone to successful delegating. Applaud when they fail constructively, congratulate them honestly and often as they accept delegation.

Six Steps to Delegation

Six Steps to Delegation

  1. Clearly define the task. When you assign work, don’t tell people how to do the job. Instead, describe the results you want. Then let them complete the task on their own. The better you describe the benefits of accomplishing the task, the more they will want to see it through.
  2. Give guidelines to begin or follow. Assuming you match the right task with the right person, you can increase your delegating success by giving guidelines on how to begin. Some people have the skills to accept the task and begin on their own, but are open to suggestions. Others are unsure of how to begin. They are afraid of losing face and won’t tell you they don’t know how to begin. When you give guidelines, you help everyone perform at a higher level.
  3. Give authority to accomplish the task. There is nothing worse than being given a job to do but not the authority to get it done. If you don’t trust someone, give the job to someone else or assign it in stages so it isn’t overwhelming.
  4. Monitor the tasks, but don’t hover. It is frustrating and discouraging to be given a task and then have someone peering over your shoulder every step of the way. Give people room to operate and the freedom to be creative and use their skills, talents and abilities.
  5. Give feedback along the way. Ask how things are going, then give people the chance to express themselves. When they feel their opinions count, it is a lot easier to make “course adjustments.”
  6. Reward and recognize effort as well as results. Some folks need encouragement many times along the way to accomplishing the task. Others are self-starters and self-motivators. When you recognize effort as well as results, you keep people motivated with judicious praise.

Through skillful delegation, you expand your effectiveness and increase your base of loyal followers. They’ll be right out there on the limb with you, ready to take on whatever you delegate and to live with whatever comes.

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Posted in Management and Leadership

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Tells Stories: Omnipresence or The Parable of Ganesh and the Divine Mother

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836–1886,) the eminent Hindu mystic of 19th-century India, used stories and parables to portray the core elements of his philosophy. The meaning of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s stories and parables are usually not explicitly stated. The meanings are not intended to be mysterious or confidential but are, in contrast, quite uncomplicated and obvious.

In the Hindu and other traditions of the major religions of the world, parables form the language of the wise for enlightening the simple, just as well as they form the language of the simple for enlightening the wise.

Once Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was asked why he did not lead the life of a householder with his wife. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is supposed to have related the following story.

The Parable of Ganesh and the Divine Mother

One day, Lord Ganesh (son of Lord Shiva) happened to scratch a cat with his nail.

Upon returning home, Lord Ganesh observed that there was a mark of a scratch on the cheek of his divine mother, Goddess Parvati. Seeing this Lord Ganesh asked her, “Mother, how did you get this ugly scar on your cheek?”

Goddess Parvati, regarded in Hindu mythology as the Mother of the universe, replied, “This is the work of your hand; it is the scratch of your nail, Ganesh.”

Lord Ganesh asked in wonder, “How is it, Mother? I do not remember to have scratched you at any time.”

The Mother replied, “Darling, have you forgotten the fact of your having scratched a cat, this morning?”

Lord Ganesh said “Yes, I did scratch a cat, but how did your cheek get the scar?”

The Mother replied, “Dear child, nothing exists in this world but me. The whole creation is I; whomsoever you may hurt you only hurt me.”

Lord Ganesh was greatly surprised to hear this and then he determined never to marry. For, whom could he marry? Every woman was mother to him. Realizing thus the motherhood of woman, he gave up marriage.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa concluded, “I am like Lord Ganesh. I consider every woman as my Divine Mother.”

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa once said, “A devotee who can call on God while living a householder’s life is a hero indeed. God thinks: ‘He is blessed indeed who prays to me in the midst of his worldly duties. He is trying to find me, overcoming a great obstacle — pushing away, as it were, a huge block of stone weighing a ton. Such a man is a real hero.'”

Recommended Books

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Posted in Faith and Religion

Mad Money’s Jim Cramer offers Twenty Five Rules for Investing

'Jim Cramer's Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World' by Jim Cramer (ISBN 0743224892)

Jim Cramer is one of America’s most recognizable and appreciated investment professionals and media personalities. He hosts CNBC’s wildly popular “Mad Money with Jim Cramer” show and often co-anchors the “Squawk on the Street” show. Do not think of Cramer as a great investor, or a lucky person, or even a showman. Think of him as a great entertainer. And, a very good one at that.

Jim Cramer graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and also earned a law degree from Harvard Law School. He then worked as a salesman and trader at Goldman Sachs and started his own hedge fund in 1987. He is the author of seven books. In his successful book on investments, ‘Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World’ Jim Cramer offers Twenty Five rules for investing successfully.

  1. 'Getting Back to Even' by Jim Cramer (ISBN 1439158010) Bulls, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered. It’s essential for all traders to know when to take some off the table.
  2. It’s OK to pay the taxes. Stop fearing the tax man and start fearing the loss man because gains can be fleeting.
  3. Don’t buy all at once. To maximize your profits, stage your buys, work your orders and try to get the best price over time.
  4. Buy damaged stocks, not damaged companies. There are no refunds on Wall Street, so do your research and focus your trades on damaged stocks rather than companies.
  5. 'Stay Mad for Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer)' by Jim Cramer (ISBN 1416558853) Diversify to control risk. If you control the downside and diversify your holdings, the upside will take care of itself.
  6. Do your stock homework. Before you buy any stock, it’s important to research all aspects of the company.
  7. No one made a dime by panicking. There will always be a better time to leave the table, so it is best to avoid the fleeing masses.
  8. Buy best-of-breed companies. Investing in the more expensive stock is invariably worth it because you get piece of mind.
  9. 'Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich' by Jim Cramer (ISBN 1416537902) Defend some stocks, not all. When trading gets tough, pick your favorite stocks and defend only those.
  10. Bad buys won’t become takeovers. Bad companies never get bids, so it’s the good fundamentals you need to focus on.
  11. Don’t own too many names. It can be constraining, but it’s better to have a few positions you know well and like.
  12. Cash is for winners. If you don’t like the market or have anything compelling to buy, it’s never wrong to go with cash.
  13. 'Jim Cramer's Get Rich Carefully' by Jim Cramer (ISBN 0399168184) No woulda, shoulda, couldas. This damaging emotion is destructive to the positive mindset needed to make investment decisions.
  14. Expect, don’t fear corrections. It is not always clear when a correction will strike, so expect and be prepared for one at all times.
  15. Don’t forget bonds. It’s important to watch more than stocks, and bonds are stocks’ direct competition.
  16. Never subsidize losers with winners. Any trader stuck in this position would do well to sell sinking stocks and wait a day.
  17. 'Confessions of a Street Addict' by Jim Cramer (ISBN 0743224884) Check hope at the door. Hope is emotion, pure and simple, and trading is not a game of emotion.
  18. Be flexible. Recognize and be open to the unexpected shifts in the market because business, by nature, is dynamic, not static.
  19. When the chiefs retreat, so should you. High-level executives don’t quit a company for personal reasons, so that is a sign something is wrong.
  20. 'You Got Screwed!: Why Wall Street Tanked and How You Can Prosper' by Jim Cramer (ISBN 074324690X) Giving up on value is a sin. If you don’t have patience, think about letting someone who does run your money.
  21. Be a TV critic. Accept that what you hear on television is probably right, but no more than that.
  22. Wait 30 days after preannouncements. Preannouncements signal ongoing weakness, wait 30 days to see if anything has gotten better before you pull the trigger to buy.
  23. 'Jim Cramer's Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World' by Jim Cramer (ISBN 0743224906) Beware of Wall Street hype. Never underestimate the promotion machine because analysts get behind stocks and can keep them propelled in an up direction well beyond reason.
  24. Explain your picks. Buying stocks is a solitary event, too solitary in fact, so always make sure you can articulate your reasoning to someone else.
  25. There’s always a bull market. It’s OK if you have to work hard to find it, just don’t default to what’s in bear mode because you are time-constrained or intellectually lazy.

Watch TV and Get Rich: Jim Cramer's 25 Rules of Mad Money

Books by Jim Cramer, Host of CNBC’s Mad Money show

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Posted in Investing and Finance

Advice to Entrepreneurs: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos on the Importance of Being in the Trenches

As philosopher William James noted, “Truth is something that happens to an idea.” Many budding entrepreneurs fail to realize that the key difference between creativity and innovation is execution of ideas. Successful entrepreneurship is characterized by the ability to transform creative ideas into useful innovations through execution. Here is advice from Jeff Bezos on the importance of being in the trenches. Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon, the world’s largest ecommerce retailer.

  • Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon Be in the trenches. I’ve not seen an effective manager or leader who can’t spend some fraction of time down in the trenches. If they don’t do that, they could get out of touch with reality, and the whole thought and management process becomes abstract and disconnected.
  • Cleverness is a gift. Kindness is a choice.

  • Gifts are easy—they are given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices.

'World Changers: 25 Entrepreneurs Who Changed Business as We Knew It' by John A. Byrne (ISBN 1591844509) Source: “World Changers: 25 Entrepreneurs Who Changed Business as We Knew It” by John A. Byrne. John A. Byrne is chairman and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media Inc., a digital media startup Byrne was previously executive editor and editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek.com and founding editor at Fast Company. Byrne is the author or co-author of eight books on business, leadership, and management, including Jack: Straight from the Gut with Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of General Electric. In “World Changers,” John Byrne interviews successful entrepreneurs like FedEx’s Fred Smith, Infosys’s Narayana Murthy, and Starbucks’s Howard Schultz and provides valuable insight into what makes entrepreneurs tick. John Byrne argues that the greatest common denominators amongst great world changers are the centrality of purpose in their organizations, their willingness to seek advice through mentorship and peer counseling, and the ability to maintain focus and direction over long periods.

Recommended Reading

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Posted in Business and Strategy Leaders and Innovators Management and Leadership

The Very Best of GS Elevator Gossip’s Tweets

Goldman Sachs Logo If you think twitter is just a waste of time, think again. One could argue that twitter is first and foremost just noise and clutter—merely, one more time drain. Twitter can actually be good for something beyond revealing, in less than 140 characters, your whereabouts, posting unintelligent commentary, or which of your friends needs to get out more.

Consider @GSElevator, GS Elevator Gossip, a twitter account. Obscuring the thin line between the hysterically preposterous and extremely realistic, this twitter claims to dish the dirt on the happenings in the elevators at Goldman Sachs’s offices. “The first few were either conversations that I have overheard directly, or that have been told to me by colleagues,” he claims in this interview with NYT’s Deal Book column.

Here’s a sampling of some of the very best of GS Elevator Gossip’s tweets:

  • The most and least successful people all share the same trait: thinking they’re never wrong.
  • Don’t worry, some people are their own punishment in life.
  • #1: A lot of people who start their own business do it because they’re unemployable.
    #2: Yup. Look at Meredith Whitney.
  • Most people don’t understand that God cast them as extras in this movie.
  • You’ll never feel special if 100% of your friends are in the top 1%.
  • Handshakes and tie knots. I don’t have time for someone who can’t master those basic skills.
  • Relationships are like a seesaw. If one of you gets too bored or too fat, the fun is over.
  • The difference between us and everybody else is that, even in a bad year, we still make the playoffs.
  • Listening is part waiting for your turn to speak and part reminding yourself to change facial expressions every 10 seconds.
  • Only idiots get bored when we’ve all got handheld devices containing infinite knowledge at our fingertips.
  • Before people are allowed to opine about Syria, they should have to locate it on a map.
  • Too many people are smart enough to be angry, but not smart enough to be successful.
  • 'What Would Machiavelli Do? The Ends Justify the Meanness ' by Stanley Bing (ISBN 0066620104) Let’s be honest. There’s no way your guess is as good as mine.
  • Don’t apologize for being late with a Starbucks latte in your hand.
  • Most celebrities barely have high school diplomas so who gives a shit what they think on substantive issues.
  • And sometimes, people who don’t say much, don’t say much for a reason.
  • It’s okay to trade the possibility of your 80s and 90s for more guaranteed fun in your 20s and 30s.
  • 98% of people making comments about Nelson Mandela on social media would fail a history quiz on Nelson Mandela.
  • I never said I was better than anyone, just more successful.
  • When I hear, “Got a minute?” I know I’m about to lose a half hour of my life that I can never get back.
  • I never give money to homeless people. I can’t reward failure in good conscience.
  • I don’t even remember how I managed to ignore my wife at dinner before the Blackberry era.
  • Checking your phone after someone else pulls out their phone is the yawn of our generation.
  • Date women outside your social set. You’ll be surprised.
  • In life, as in sports, the boos always come from the cheap seats.
  • 'The Dilbert Principle: A Cubicle's-Eye View of Bosses, Meetings, Management Fads & Other Workplace Afflictions' by Scott Adams (ISBN 0887308589) It’s not the lie that bothers me. It’s the insult to my intelligence that I find offensive.
  • Do 50 push-ups, sit-ups, and dips before you shower each morning.
  • Some of the best moments in life are the ones you can’t tell anyone about.
  • Being spotted in economy class must be like having your parents visit you at boarding school in a shitty rental car.
  • Pretty women who are unaccompanied want you to talk to them.
  • For people who believe everything happens for a reason, that reason is that they’re idiots who make shitty decisions.
  • Act like you’ve been there before. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the end zone at the Super Bowl or on a private plane.
  • You shouldn’t retire until your money starts making more money than you made in your best year.
  • Money might not buy happiness, but I’ll take my chances!
  • I start every cell conversation with “my phone’s about to die” so they don’t waste my time.
  • I doubt alcohol kills more people than it creates.
  • There are only 2 paths to happiness in life. Stupidity or exceptional wealth.
  • If life’s a game, money is how you keep score.
  • 'Crazy Bosses' by Stanley Bing (ISBN 0060731575) Clearly the NSA doesn’t monitor Facebook. That’s where all the experts are solving this Government standoff.
  • Black Friday is the Special Olympics of Capitalism.
  • People who always fly business class don’t post photos of themselves flying business class.
  • Skirt #1: I can always tell a banker within the first 2 minutes of meeting him in a bar… because he tells me.
  • Feminists are just ugly underachievers who need an excuse for their failures.
  • It’s too bad stupidity isn’t painful.
  • Flowers and an apology are a lot easier than actually changing.
  • If she expects the person you are 20% of the time, 100% of the time, then she doesn’t want you.
  • There are no feminists when the ship hits an iceberg.
  • You can never awaken a man who Is pretending to be asleep.
  • Bribery, corruption… It’s the cost of doing business in emerging markets. As Mao said, “no fish can live in pure water.”
  • Stop talking about where you went to college.
  • I don’t care if any one comes to my funeral. It’s not like I’ll be there.
  • '21 Dirty Tricks at Work: How to Beat the Game of Office Politics' by Mike Phipps, Colin Gautrey (ISBN 1841126578) Too many people still answer the phone like they don’t know who’s calling.
  • If you abstain from smoking, drinking, and using drugs, you don’t actually live longer. It just seems longer.
  • #1: “The only reason I have a home phone is so I can find my cell phone.”
    #2: “Our maid does that.”
  • If you brag about starting at the bottom and making it to the top, you are probably still closer to the bottom.
  • The fact that most people are too stupid to know how dumb they really are is the fabric holding our society together.
  • The difference between petting and hitting a dog is it’s tolerance for pain. Same goes for 1st year analysts.
  • The Cheesecake Factory looks like a restaurant poor people think rich people might eat at.
  • I’d rather be me now, than have been the quarterback in high school.
  • If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it tried to do better, but decided to just settle with you.
  • Don’t confuse friends, work friends, and friends of convenience.
  • Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.
  • Getting an idea around is as important as getting an idea.
  • If riding the bus doesn’t incentivize you to improve your station in life, nothing will.
  • 'Throwing the Elephant: Zen and the Art of Managing Up' by Stanley Bing (ISBN 0060934220) The lottery is just a way of taxing poor people who don’t know math.
  • In sensitivity training, they say we should avoid sports analogies bc they’re sexist… Which seems even more sexist.
  • It’s sweet how my wife thinks the silent treatment is a punishment for me.
  • Getting rich isn’t hard. Any hot girl with questionable morals can do it.
  • Work hard. Eat right. Exercise. Don’t drink too much. And only buy what you can afford. It’s not rocket science.
  • Guys who mime golf swings in the office never break 100 on the course.
  • One of the biggest problems with todays society is that we’ve run out of colonies to send our undesirables to.
  • I wish I loved anything as much as I hate almost everything.
  • Truly intelligent people don’t feel compelled to talk about their IQ. In fact, I don’t even know what mine is.
  • #1: “A year from now, he’ll be the guy that starts off every sentence with “When I was at Goldman Sachs …””
    #2: “I hate those people.”
  • “Just be yourself” is good advice to probably 5% of people.
  • Blacking out is just your brain clearing it’s browser history.
  • If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.
  • Remember, “rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.”
  • 'How to Lie with Statistics' by Darrell Huff (ISBN 0393310728) Skirt #1: “It really hurts my feelings when an ugly guy hits on me.”
  • When you tell a story, all I can think about is how much shorter it should be.
  • Right now is the oldest you’ve ever been & the youngest you’ll ever be again.
  • If you can only be good at one thing, be good at lying… because if you’re good at lying, you’re good at everything.
  • Most people wouldn’t even be the main character in a movie about their own lives.
  • My favorite part of dinner with my fiance is when she goes to the bathroom and I can check my Blackberry.
  • I say “keep the change” purely for my own convenience.

Recommended Reading on the Farcical and Factual World of Work

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Posted in Business and Strategy Investing and Finance

Recipe: Make Basmati Rice the Traditional Way

Traditional Basmati Rice Recipe

Arguably the most famous rice in the world, basmati rice is a variety of long grain rice renowned for its fragrance and delicate flavor. In Hindi, basmati literally means “queen of fragrance.” Characteristically, the grains of basmati rice are longer than usual forms of rice. The grains grow longer as they cook. They aren’t sticky and remain firm and separate.

The lyohe fertile plains in the Indian subcontinent have cultivated basmati rice since the dawn of civilization. The best basmati rice grows in the foothills of the Himalaya range of mountains in Northern India, where the rice crops are fed by the mineral-rich rivers sourced in the melting snow of the Himalaya mountains. The best of basmati rice, traditionally aged for several years before it is milled and sold, consists of lower moisture content and therefore rice cooks better.

Basmati Rice Recipe: Traditional Method

  1. Clean the rice. Soak it in water for five to seven minutes. Never soak Basmati for too long since the grains are softer than most varieties of rice and over soaking makes it soggy when you cook.
  2. Boil water first and then add the rice to it.
  3. Cook till the grains get tender. This generally does not take much time. You have to check repeatedly to make sure that the rice is not overcooked. Now, since I cook rice such that there is water to be drained, I have a specific measurement for water. But generally I pour enough to ensure that the rice is completely soaked and if the water gets less due to evaporation, I add some more so that it does not get sticky or dry.
  4. Drain the extra water. You can do this by letting the rice settle first at the bottom of the container and then drain as much water as you can on the top. There will be some water still remaining. Cover the container with a dish of the same size as the rim of the container and gradually pour out the rest of the water. Now, with the mouth covered with the dish/lid invert the container completely and let it rest on the kitchen slab near the sink for a while so that most of the water drains out and flows into the sink. (you don’t want a mess right! Also remember to be careful while draining the water. Hold the dish/lid with a cloth so that you don’t burn yourself.
  5. To ensure that the grains are completely separated add some cold (room temperature) water into the rice again and repeat step 4. I have found that this really helps and separates the grain.

I always cook rice by draining the extra water and thus the starch.

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Posted in Hobbies and Pursuits

Self-Quiz: Telltale Signs of a Workaholic

Telltale Signs of a Workaholic

In America, partly as part of the Calvinist mindset, a man who provided well for his family was valued, even if he was never around for his family because he was working so much. Over time, this fascination with vocation became a psychological thrust to work much too hard for no apparent reason. Even today, many Americans feel guilty if we are not working very hard. The society, taken as a whole, has come to think very highly of people who hate what the workaholics do: the push for work-life balance has irrationally stigmatized workaholics and, somewhat justifiably, pushed the sense of balance as more virtuous than having a job somebody loves. They’ve implied that people who work long hours are those who control themselves. But, many people work long hours for a more justifiable reason to advance themselves, provide for their families, and make the world a better place.

Workaholism is an addictive behavior that directly applies to the core aspect of economic life: working. Even if workaholism may help you climb the corporate ladder and get ahead at work, it can adversely affect your physical and emotional well-being. Here is a simple seven-point quiz to help you check if your life-work balance is out of sync.

  1. Are you preoccupied with work? Do you have difficulty leaving the office? Do you tend to work from home after before retiring?
  2. Are you avoiding delegation? Do you believe that many tasks can be handled only by you?
  3. Do you have a tendency to see no distinction between leisure time and work time? Are you mingling your personal and your professional lives?
  4. Do you tend to invent alibi to conceal your obsession with work?
  5. Is relaxing hard for you? When you’re on vacation, is your mind still wired to the office? Do you have a compulsive urge to contact your office to check-up on things?
  6. Have you let your employer define your sense of identity? Do you identify yourself with anything other than work?
  7. Are you shunning your private life? Are you steering clear of responsibilities at home? Are you dodging social responsibilities? Are you avoiding members of your family and friends?
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Posted in Education and Career

Beauty Tips for the Frequent Traveler

Beauty Tips for the Frequent Traveler

The definitive guide to staying beautiful while travelling by car, airplane, or train.

  • Hello Aloe. Using aloe vera juice regularly is another way of keeping your skin moisturized. It contains a vast range of vitamins and minerals. It is also a close match to our skin pH balance so it is essentially very effective. Aloe vera also contains antioxidants, which fight against free radicals to help rejuvenate the skin.
  • Color Burst. To avoid a completely dull look, add a flush of color to the cheeks by using a fresh peach or pink toned blusher.
  • Taming Of The Strand. Carry a travel-size bottle of leave-in conditioner and apply a small amount just before your flight lands. This will keep unruly strands in place.
  • Dry Run. Dry shampoos are a God-send but ensure you use a good brand. Some dry shampoos can leave flakes on your hair and scalp.
  • Get Some Rest. Catch enough sleep as resting your eyes will prevent any bleariness and unsightly dark circles on arrival.
  • The Eyes Have It. Keep the eyes neutral with a thin line of kohl on the waterline and waterproof mascara on the eyelashes. Make sure to remove eye make-up before you go to sleep.
  • Sit Up. Try not to lower your seat all the way back as this may cause fluid retention in the eyes which leads to eye bags and puffiness.
  • Oil It Up. To relax and get a good sleep while travelling a few drops of essential oil can make a big difference. Dilute the oil with carrier oils and use it to massage your cheekbones, temples and either side of the nose.
  • Walk In the Air. Once the seat-belt sign is off talk a stroll down the length of the flight a couple of times to get the blood circulation in your body up and running. This short burst of exercise will help refresh your skin and give your limbs a quick work out.
  • Beauty for the Female Traveler Shield Your Skin. The most important thing to do while travelling is to protect your skin from the dry air inside the airplane cabin. Rose water spray helps to refresh, hydrate, and tone skin Apply night cream before sleeping to avoid dryness and always keep a lip balm at hand.
  • What Matte-ers. Choose matte lipsticks over glossy ones. Use a mid-toned color to avoid frequent touch-ups.
  • It’s A Wrap. Leaning against a seat for too long will cause your hair to go flat. The best way to avoid this is to tie your hair up in a bun. Otherwise, hide flat or disheveled hair underneath a stylish scarf.
  • Be Prepared. Even before you board the flight apply a potent moisturizer the night before you travel. If possible you should book yourself a facial at a spa, if you know you’re going to be travelling in the next few days. This will keep your skin hydrated.
  • Blot The Spot. To prevent oily skin from getting worse when you travel, make sure you carry a supply of blotting papers. Wipe the T-zone on your face as often as necessary. This not only removes excess oil but also keeps your moisturizer intact.
  • Ace Of Base. It is always advisable to keep your make-up base as light as possible when you travel. Don’t pile your skin with products. Use a light foundation set with a powder.
  • The Essentials. In order to keep your make-up on for longer, cleanse, tone and moisturize the face and then use an under make-up base. This also prevents make-up from clogging pores.
  • Pack Right. This is the first step to avoiding any travel hassles. Transfer your shampoo, conditioner, body lotions and other toiletries into small travel-sized empty bottles. Fill the travel bottles up to two-thirds so that the pressure from the flight does not expand and cause the contents to spill.
  • Touch Up Trick. To refresh make-up while travelling, never reapply more foundation or blush. Instead, use a mist of mineral water and add a dab of moisturizer.
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Key Questions for Establishing the Team Organization

Establishing the Team Organization

In any project, knowing who is going to do what is essential. To achieve this, the project’s leadership has to ensure that all roles and responsibilities are clearly understood. Then, all the members of the team must be identified and they must be committed to the project effort.

Responsibilities of the project team

The principal responsibilities of the project team are:

  • Understanding project management processes and tools
  • Helping to create the project plan
  • Being committed to project success
  • Performing project tasks
  • Reporting on project progress, risks, issues, and problems
  • Making effective adjustments to project changes

Then, an announcement must be sent out from senior management. This memo must indicate whether or not the project manager has the authority to make decisions if there is a dispute between team members, or to declare a “breakdown” that invokes assistance from others with authority. In such situations, it’s not just the core project team that needs to be part of the conversation. Project sponsors and customers must be able to spot signs of trouble and help the core project team understand its goals and potential pitfalls.

Good and Great Project Team Members

Great team members possess the following five excelling attributes:

  1. They show confidence in all the stakeholders in the project: the project leader, the rest of the project team, the project sponsor, and the customers.
  2. They actively participate in the exchange of information across the organization and ensure that communication among team members is open and free-flowing
  3. They understand the core skills and responsibilities of the rest of their team delegate enough management and/or task responsibility to other team members
  4. They ask and provide appropriate resources wherever necessary
  5. They apply the right amount of pressure and tension and ensure each team member has challenging tasks and contributes to the team’s efforts as expected in the project charter.

'The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable' by Patrick Lencioni (ISBN 0787960756) Recommended Book: ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’ by Patrick Lencioni postulates that ineffective teams are characterized by five maladies: 1) absence of trust, 2) fear of conflict, 3) lack of commitment, 4) avoidance of accountability, and 5) inattention to results. ‘The Five Dysfunctions’ can allow an ineffective team to rapidly identify the areas where the team has weaknesses and, using the resolution ideas suggested, can chart a course to transform into a productive team.

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Posted in Management and Leadership