Letting Your Kids Take Risks In the Real World, Not the Digital One

It’s easy to forget how young social media is. Facebook, Twitter and the I-Phone were all launched around 2006 and 2007 [1], and have since connected people in ways never seen before, Naturally the young have embraced it. While the very young may not have entered the social media world, it will likely only be a matter of time. They are already more well versed on I-phones and I-pad than us grown-ups. Continue reading “Letting Your Kids Take Risks In the Real World, Not the Digital One”

Ready For Change?

Each of us look at the same world in very different ways. The same can be said of change, some loathe it, some embrace it.

Lao-Tzu, the founder of Taoism, who lived 2,500 years ago said:

“life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like”

and

“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve”.

This is echoed by a more contemporary sage, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is quoted as saying

“strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength”.

He also had more mundane wisdom such as

“It’s simple, if it jiggles, it’s fat”.

Bilal

Everything You Learnt Is Wrong

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(Speech given to high school students of Economics last year). Eight minute read.

It’s nice to meet so many fresh-faced budding economists. You haven’t yet become jaded with the subject as you will when you enter the real world. So let me give you a head-start and tell you how even the basics you are learning is wrong. Continue reading “Everything You Learnt Is Wrong”

How Not To Be Evil Working For A Big Company

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Global corporations get a bad rep. They are easily derided as sinister, sometimes even called psychopathic. It follows that those that work for them share similar characteristics. But is it possible to imagine an alternative? Below is an excerpt from a speech I gave to newly hired graduates in a global corporation which tries to do just that: Continue reading “How Not To Be Evil Working For A Big Company”

Bored of Films? 11 Foreign Films I Love

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Napoleon As Management Guru?!

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Yesterday, I attended a talk on Napoleon by the British Historian Andrew Roberts at the School of Life BusinessWise conference. Napoleon of course is known to some as one of great military commanders in history. But this time, Andrew Roberts instead focused on his broader leadership style and character. This is what I took away from the talk:  Continue reading “Napoleon As Management Guru?!”

A Man In A Woman’s World

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I gave the speech below at a conference for Women Global Leaders in Germany back in 2013. It’s a five minute read.

“I must say I feel daunted speaking to an audience consisting solely of women. A question that springs to mind is whether as a man I can see the world from the eyes of women. I would think I may have advantage as I am from a minority group. Growing up in the UK with dark skin did make me stand out. Often it would elicit racial abuse. So I have often felt negatively affected by being different. In some ways, that has spurred me on. It has given me the mentality of “I’ll show you society” and” I’ll be as good as anyone else”. However, in the process of trying to measure up to the standard set by society, it has at some level forced me to repress something of myself and feel the opinions of the “other” is more important than myself. Continue reading “A Man In A Woman’s World”

Doubling My Productivity

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Since the start of the year, I’ve been tracking my every work activity using an app called Toggl. What surprised me was the amount of time I spent on just two activities: email and internal meetings; neither of which are particularly value-added or productive. The problem with an email habit is that I have the itch to check every 10-15mins, which interrupts my flow, and time is needed to gather momentum again on any piece of work. Moreover, my inbox is a list of other people’s priorities, not mine [1]. Continue reading “Doubling My Productivity”

Could You Fly To Mars?

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The challenge for a manned mission to Mars is neither cost nor technology, but coping with solitude. Imagine being stuck with the same people for two or three years in a confined space with minimal food, entertainment and contact with Earth. Jason Stuster, a NASA research consultant, who studied the diaries of explorers to remote regions on earth such as the Antarctic found that many would fall into depression or suffer psychoses (think Tarkovsky’s movie “Solaris”)[1]. Continue reading “Could You Fly To Mars?”

11 Ways To Improve Your Work/Life From Books I’ve Read Recently

1. Demote the importance of email. Your inbox is other people’s priorities (Craig Jarrow, Time Management Ninja)

2. To make networking successful, follow up is everything (Jayson Gaignard, MastemindTalks)

3. Scaling requires grinding it out and pressing each person, team, group, division or organization to make one small change after another (Robert Sutton, Hayagreeva Rao, “Scaling Up Excellence”)

4. Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do (Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”)

5. Unless you give at least forty-five minutes to careful, fatiguing reflection (it is an awful bore at first) upon what you are reading, your ninety minutes a night [of reading]] are chiefly wasted (Arnold Bennett, “How to Live on 24 Hours a Day”)

6. The acid test for creativity is simply stated: has the domain in which you operate been significantly altered by your contribution? (Howard Gardner, “Five Minds for the Future”)

7. Keeping things “just in case” indicates a lack of trust in the future…Good things cannot easily come into your life if you block the flow of energy by persistently clinging to outdated clutter (Karen Kingston, “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui”)

8. Judging is what the mind does, I discovered. But what you can begin to do is write your judgments down and question them. That will give you a sane and happy life (Byron Katie, “Who Would You Be Without Your Story”)

9. Great presenters have the ability to tell you something you already know, in a way that gives it new and more powerful meaning (Jon Steel, “Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business”)

10. What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do (Timothy Ferriss, “The 4-Hour Work Week”)

11. “Politics is when people choose their words and actions based on how they want others to react rather than based on what they really think” (Patrick Lencioni, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable”)

Bilal