Monday, March 29, 2010

Book Review By Prof.M.S.Rao - ““MOJO”: How To Get It, How To Keep It, How To Get It Back If You Lose It” Authored By Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reite

The book titled ““MOJO”: How To Get It, How To Keep It, How To Get It Back If You Lose It” authored by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter contains several messages that are useful to everybody.

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith needs no introduction. He is a globally renowned consultant, coach and author in leadership development who shares his invaluable experience and expertise to the mankind through his library. He is one of the fifty great thinkers and business leaders of the past eighty years according to American Management Association. He was named by The London Times and Forbes as one of the fifteen most influential business thinkers in the world. Therefore, you can guess the kind of takeaways the book provides.

What is “Mojo”?

“Mojo” is a kind of inner motivation that springs from inside and radiates outside. “Mojo” is a moment and it is force that changes your life for good. “Mojo” is a kind of being in effective zone and but not being in comfort zone. The meaning of “Mojo” is the positive spirit that starts from inside and radiates outside.

According to Dr. Marshall, “Mojo” means “that positive spirit toward what we are doing now that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside.” Marshall did extensive research about ““Mojo””. During his research he realized that people who are happy at work are happy at home too. It seems there is a correlation between happiness at home and happiness at work. Dr. Marshall says, “Happiness and meaning to life differs from person to person.” Success comes from within not outside. He provides tools for making your life more meaningful.

Succinctly, “Mojo” is all about building a moment where you can unleash your positive spirit from inside to outside and people recognize. It provides meaning to your personal and professional life. It is a moment where the world sees it, understands and appreciates. “Mojo” gives you happiness and meaning to your life.

The four elements are the four pillars that provides you “Mojo” viz identity (Who do you think you are?), achievement (What have you done lately?), reputation (Who do other people think you are), and acceptance (What can you change? When should you ‘let go’?). When you blend these four elements you will have high “Mojo”.

What Does the Book Contain?

The book contains four sections where section I preludes with ‘you and your “Mojo”’. The section II outlines about the ‘building blocks of “Mojo”’. The section III provides a “Mojo” tool kit containing 14 tools and techniques to enhance your “Mojo”. Finally the section IV connects from inside to outside.

The “Mojo” tool kit is divided as: Establish criteria that matter to you; find out where you’re living; be the optimist in the room; and take away one thing are the tools that fall in ‘making sense of who you are’. Rebuild one brick at a time; live your mission in the small moments too; influence up as well as down; and swim in the blue water are the tools fall in the category of ‘making it easier to get things done’. When to stay, when to go; hello, goodbye; adopt a metrics system; and reduce this number are the tools that fall in the category of ‘taking control of your story’. And finally, give your friends a lifetime pass; and name it, frame it, claim it are the tools in the category of ‘change what you can; let go of what you can’t’.

Dr.Marshall’s mentee Debbie Robins shares eleven tips about “Mojo”. They are taking responsibility, moving forward, running the extra mile, pursuing your passions, appreciating opportunities, making the best of it, being inspirational, being grateful, being curious, caring, having zest for life and awakening.

Marshall’s Message from “Mojo”:

“Mojo” is the common characteristic connecting all successful people. Marshall calls upon leaders to undertake positive actions that take them to greater heights. The book emphasizes on observables. It enhances your motivation levels. It helps you to find happiness and make your life more meaningful. It provides exercises for improving personality, attitude and behaviour. Dr. Marshall emphasizes to cultivate the four elements of identity, achievement, reputation and acceptance.

The book provides you inputs for achieving all-round success in your personal and professional life. The language is simple and straight and it is easy for a lay person to read and understand. You can gift this book to your friends as “Mojo” not only becomes motivation to your friend but becomes lifetime friend and ensures everlasting friendship.

After reading this book you will get to know how to get “Mojo” both at work and home. Throughout the book, Dr. Marshall not only lifts his “Mojo” but also of the entire mankind.

This is an excellent book worth investing your time as it contains several takeaways that enrich your personal and professional life. I am sure the book would rise your “Mojo”. Enjoy reading.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Book Review by Prof.M.S.Rao – “Managing Organizational Change” Authored By V.Nilakant And S.Ramnarayan (Publishers - Response Books- Sage Publications

I have read the book titled “Managing Organizational Change” authored by V.Nilakant and S.Ramnarayan (Publishers - Response Books - Sage Publications). The book focuses on organizational change and provides practical insights about managing change effectively. It focuses both how and what to do in managing change. It presents several case studies, examples and research findings that substantiate the content. It views organizational change in terms of three generic processes – growth, transformation and decline.

According to Hindu philosophy Lord Brahma is the creator, Lord Vishnu is the generator and Lord Siva is the destroyer. Every human being undergoes various stages in lifetime such as birth, growth, transformation, decline and death. Similarly every organization has birth, growth and decline. However, managing change helps in reinventing and prolonging the survival and success of organizations. Like human beings, organizations cannot afford to die. Therefore, to keep the organizations alive and kicking it is essential to bring necessary changes as and when needed.

Organizational change refers to processes of growth, decline and transformation within the organization. It is imperative to study organizational change as changes at local and global level are pervasive and persistent.

There are two aspects of organizational change. One touches upon ‘what is change’ which is known as ‘content of change’ and the other one outlines ‘how to change’ which is known as ‘process of change’.

Managing change involves simultaneously managing resources, processes and emotions. To effect change successfully it is essential to blend both theory and practice where theory represents knowledge, understanding and insight and practice constitutes values, skills and abilities. For productive change to take place, it is essential to mix ingredients like right values, knowledge and action.
The authors discuss four different types of change such as continuous or incremental change, discontinuous or radical change, participative change and directive change. They unfold three fold strategy where in managers must know the difference between continuous and discontinuous change, managers must acquire the skills and abilities to implement change both in a directive and a participative manner and finally managers must be aware of the different change strategies and learn to use appropriate strategies.

What Do Authors Say?

• Managers who wish to develop skills in leading and managing change must first learn how to analyze their environments. They need to make a detailed and systematic study of their customers, suppliers and competitors.
• You need to analyze four aspects of environment while changing your organization such as changes (contingency perspective), dependencies (resource dependence perspective), limits (population-ecology perspective) and institutional norms (institutional perspective)
• The relatively calm period of continuous change is called ‘evolution’ and the period of turbulent change is called ‘revolution’.
• Re-invention is not changing what is, but creating what is not.
• There are two types of strategic changes – reactive and anticipatory changes. The former include changes made in direct response to external events whereas the latter refer to changes made in expectation of future event.
• A manager or administrator interested in bringing about change needs to learn and understand some specific aspects about implementing change. First, it is important to know how to orchestrate change in terms of a sequence of steps. Second, managers need to know how to promote learning in an organization. Organizational change can take place only after people in an organization collectively learn how to do things differently. Therefore, learning and change are intimately connected and are almost synonymous. Third, managers should learn and know when to use specific change programmes like business process reengineering, lean thinking and total quality management.
• Effective organizational change is a clever blend of participation and pressure.
• Although a variety of change programmes have been suggested over the years, three are particularly important. These are business process reengineering (BPR), lean thinking and total quality management (TQM).
• They highlight eight change levers such as leadership, strategy, structure, human resource management practices (people management), technology, marketing, quality and costs.
• To survive and thrive in the new environment firms have to make appropriate changes in the four content areas of quality, costs, marketing and technology.
• Change is successful only when there is simultaneous and rapid implementation.
• The most important lesson from leadership research in recent years is that change leadership is rooted, not in charisma, but in character. Organizational change requires value-based or principle-centered leadership. They further add that the general principles of change are the same all over the world. They believe that when organizations are led by value-based leadership the change will be enduring and everlasting.

The authors roll out seven steps to successful change. They are
1. Assemble a change management team.
2. Establish a new direction for the organization.
3. Prepare the organization for change
4. Set up change teams to implement change
5. Align structure, systems and resources to support change
6. Identify and remove roadblocks to change and finally
7. Absorb changes into the culture of the organization.

The authors furnish several references from global writers like John Kotter, Michael Beer, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Todd Jick and Barry Stein that substantiates the content. Besides, they back up content with facts and figures and the references of proven intellectuals in the domain of organizational change. They outline the case studies of several companies that stimulated growth such as Infosys, Anagram Finance, EGCO and QPH.

The authors refer the paper written for the OD practitioner, by Linda Ackerman that provides an interesting perspective on change. Linda Ackerman distinguishes between three types of change. The first type of change is developmental change. This refers to improving what already exists in the organization. This is the same as convergence, incremental or evolutionary change on models of organizational change. The second type of change is transitional change which involves moving from the current state to a known new state through a transition state. Re-structuring, mergers, introduction of new processes, technologies, systems and procedures are examples of transitional change. In transitional change the organization retains some of its old aspects and adds on new ones. The third type of change is called transformational change. This type of change is a fundamental re-invention of the organization by changing its leadership, mission, culture, structure, strategy, human resource practices and so on.

The authors say, “A change leader needs to master change processes by adopting change roles, managing attention and demonstrating personal competence. There are various change roles that leaders need to be aware of. A change sponsor legitimizes change. A change agent implements change. A change advocate drives change and a change target receives change. In a complex change process different people play different roles and leaders must understand the contribution of each role. Leaders are also known as change advocates.”

The authors argue that management of change involved synchronous attention to eight change levers. Four of these are content levers-technology, marketing, quality and costs. Only changing three other levers that make up the context of the organization, it was argued, could bring about changes in these areas. These are strategy, structure and people management practices. Finally all these changes need to be anchored in value-based leadership.

The authors unfold the success story of Silicon Valley which is a thin slice of land between San Jose and San Francisco in northern California. It is the home of such technology leaders as Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Silicon Graphics, Oracle, 3Com, Applied Materials, Netscape, Cisco Systems and Intel. Silicon Valley is one of America’s greatest success stories of this century.

The authors state the study of 90 leaders in USA by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus and that reveals that all leaders shared five key skills: They are

1. The ability to accept people as they are, not as you would like them to be, so that you truly understand what other people are like on their terms.
2. The capacity to approach people and problems in terms of the present rather than the past, and thus free yourself from the preoccupation with rehashing things that are over.
3. The ability to treat those who are close to you with the same courteous attention that you extend to strangers and casual acquaintances, and thus avoid misunderstandings, misconceptions and mistakes.
4. The ability to trust others, even if the risk seems great, without assuming that most people are incompetent and insincere.
5. The ability to do without constant approval and recognition from others, and thus being free to take appropriate risks without undue preoccupation with being a ‘good guy’.

Just as learning is vital for change, so is unlearning crucial for change. Unless an organization is able to unlearn by giving up old habits, attitudes, assumptions, behaviors and mindset, it cannot embark upon change, particularly discontinuous change. There is an old story of a person who had come to visit a Zen master. The visitor claimed that he had read widely, but was interested in finding out if he could learn anything more from the master. The master offered him a full cup of tea, but continued to pour more tea into the cup from the tea jug. The visitor was intrigued, and pointed to the tea overflowing from the cup on to the ground. ‘Just as the cup is too full to hold any more tea, you may be too full to learn anything new’, said the master. ‘For new learning to find space within you, you have to first give up the belief that you already know those things.’

Finally authors sum up that the liberalized economy in India presents three important challenges for organizations in this country. First, they must be efficient in terms of costs and resources. Second, they must be responsive to customers, competitors and the community at large. Third, they must be continuously learning.

The authors conclude the book with
‘What is greater than knowledge?’ asked the mind.
‘A heart that can see and care,’ whispered the soul.


The only thing constant in this world is change. Nobody can survive without change. Change requires a new mindset, tool set and skill set. Therefore, everyone must learn to change with the changing times and technologies to grow personally, professionally and socially.

The book presents the case studies of Indian companies that effected change successfully. Although the cases belonged to the past there are certain takeaways from those case studies that are still relevant today and we can implement. Besides, the authors wrote few case studies based on their first hand experience in managing organizational change.

The book is worth reading as it provides both theoretical and practical ideas and insights about change management. It contains several case studies, research findings that help both academicians and practitioners.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

“Chanakya and Change Management” – Prof.M.S.Rao

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin

What is Change Management?

As individuals undergo change, the organizations also undergo change. For human beings, there are three stages such as birth, growth and death. However, for organizations there are five stages such as birth, growth, transformation, decline and death. Organizations are not meant for decline and death. Therefore, when the decline is anticipated, it is essential for managers and leaders to turnaround their organizations through various strategies to ensure that the organizational graph goes towards northwards.

Change management can be defined as the process of effecting changes in a systematic, structured and sequential manner for transforming the organizations from uncertainty to certainty when faced with competition, complexity and uncertainty arising out of changing times and technologies. It calls for effective leadership, value-based leadership and principle-centered leadership to ensure organizational changes smoothly and successfully.

How to Manage Change Effectively?

Usually we find three categories of people while handling organizational change. The first category of the people are known as ‘actors’ who are ready to say ‘yes’ and get into the bandwagon of change and we can calculate them approximately in the percentage of ten percent. The second category of the people is known as ‘spectators’ who are undecided whether to agree or disagree for the change. We can calculate them roughly in the percentage of 80 percent. Finally, the third category of the people is known as ‘speed brakers’ who are against change and strongly say ‘no’. The tough task here for the leaders is to persuade the spectators about the benefits of effecting change. At times the speed brakers may pull spectators backward by highlighting about the negative side of change.

There are various methods through which people can be encouraged to change effectively. For instance, leaders have to set example and have to be part of the team throughout the change process to take the team forward aggressively. Communication is the key to managing change. At times, people may have apprehensions about change. Therefore, the onus lies with leaders to clear any doubts or misconceptions or fears about change. People may have fears like loss of job or loss of facilities or incentives or fear of coming out of the comfort zone. It takes lot of efforts and energies on the part of leaders to persuade people for ensuring change smoothly and successfully. The leaders have to facilitate and coordinate the efforts continuously and constantly during the transformation process.

Chanakya and Change Management:

Chanakya states four styles in handling people viz ‘Sama’ which means persuasion, ’Daana’ which means provide incentives, ‘Bedha’ which means differentiate between the people and finally ‘Dandopaya’ which means punish people who don’t fall in line. Similarly when the change has to be effected people have to be persuaded by all means about the pros and cons of the change. There has to be effective communication and coordination between the leaders and followers. For this, leaders must build trust with their people by involving themselves actively in the change process.

According to Chanakya if the persuasion does not work, then leaders must offer incentives to motivate people to accept the change. Tell them the benefits of effecting change. The third strategy he said was to differentiate people. For instance, compare and contrast the people between who fall in line and those who don’t fall in line. Tell those who don’t accept change must be asked to emulate from others who obeys and executes change. It creates a kind of competitive spirit among anti-changers to accept the change along with pro-changers. Finally if all the three strategies don’t work out, the ultimate weapon is to use force or coercion for anti-changers about the consequences of not falling in line as it may either allow them to fall in line with pro-changers or exit. These are the four strategies to be adopted according to Chanakya theory.

However his theory has several criticisms. His theory worked well in those ancient days. Now times have changed and people cannot be controlled. They have to be persuaded as the days of ‘command and control’ concept have gone. It is the time to partner and share roles and responsibilities. It is the time to collaborate through team working. If we keep this criticism aside, overall the concept of Chanakya is fairly good enough to turnaround organizations into economic viability and feasibility.


Change is inevitable. The only thing constant in the world is change. Change is the mantra for survival and success. The times and technologies are changing rapidly and the organizations need to keep pace with the same and reinvent and evolve accordingly for ensuring organizational excellence and effectiveness.

To conclude, change can be stressful, painful and helpful. It all depends on how you view change. If you accept change with optimism it can be helpful. In contrast, if you view change with cynicism it will be painful as well as stressful. Hence, welcome change wholeheartedly for achieving survival and success in all walks of your life.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Book Review by Prof.M.S.Rao – “Develop Your Leadership Skills” by John Adair (Publisher Kogan Page)

“It is easy to find a thousand soldiers but very difficult to find a general.” – Chienese proverb.

I have read the book titled “Develop Your Leadership Skills” (Publisher Kogan Page) authored by John Adair who is the first professor of leadership studies globally and is the authority in the domain of leadership development. The book provides practical tips that are easy to understand and apply for a layperson. It helps you understand the essential leadership qualities, appreciate the leadership roles and finally master the key leadership skills and abilities.

The book helps readers who like to take up leadership roles and responsibilities. It makes you an effective leader. It equips you with theoretical inputs, ideas and principles to learn leadership skills. It blends both management and leadership effectively. It provides several exercises, checklists and key questions for testing various leadership abilities and skills. It is based on author’s military experiences with anecdotes

John Adair says, “As long as the results are effective there is no point in differentiating between leadership and management.” To prove his point he quotes Chinese proverb,”What does it matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice?” Whether you are a manager or a leader you need to deliver goods which are more important than being labeled either as a manager or a leader. We shall briefly look at few more takeaways from the book.

Takeaways from John Adair:

“It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep than a sheep at the head of an army of lions.” – Daniel Defoe
• If you want to become a leader you have to be clearer about the role of leadership first.
• If you really work hard at leadership, your skills will become more habitual or unconscious. Then people will call you a natural leader.
• Personality and character are integral part of leadership.
• Leadership is situational. For instance, Winston Churchill was a great leader in wartime, but not so good in peace. It is very clear that what works for an individual might not work again as the times and technologies change rapidly.
• Irrespective of the field you are into and the level of leadership, there are three things that you should always be thinking about: task, team and individual. He goes further and declares that leadership is essentially an ‘other-centered activity’ – not a self-centered one.
• Leadership exists at three levels such as team level, operational level and strategic level.
• If communication is sister to leadership, then motivation is its brother.
• Good leaders don’t blame their tools, but work with what they have and deliver results effectively.
• Leaders must always take a ‘helicopter view’ of what is going on in their organizations.
• Only leaders can grow leaders.

The author provides key principles for motivating others such as motivate yourself; select people who are highly motivated; set realistic and challenging targets; remember that progress motivates; provide fair rewards and give recognition.

He takes the quote of Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu about leadership, “A leader is best when people barely know that he exists; not so good when people obey and acclaim him; worst when they despise him. Fail to honor people, they fail to honor you. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, thy will all say, ‘We did this ourselves’”.

John Adair coined the term ‘strategic leadership’ way back in 1970 by blending strategy with leadership. He effectively connects leadership with change management. He compares the connectivity between the both with a proverb, “The bird carries the wings and wings carry the bird.” Change always calls for leadership without which change cannot be effected smoothly and successfully.

The author opines that currently organizations provide leadership training only for senior level leaders ignoring the middle and lower levels which is a step in retrograde direction. In fact, it is the lower level leaders who are close to customers. They also need to be trained and groomed as leaders for achieving organizational excellence and effectiveness.

The author says, “Corporate culture should also encourage a climate of self-development in leadership. Organizations only have 50 per cent of the cards in their hands; the other 50 per cent are in the hands of the individual. There may be no leadership courses available to you, but you can still learn leadership.”

Although human resources or training specialists are available to assist you to formulate and implement leadership strategy, ultimately it is you as a CEO who have to take initiative for making the things moving forward as you are in the driving seat.

The author lists out 7 principles for developing leaders in organizations
• Develop a strategy for leadership development,
• Selection,
• Training for leadership,
• Career advancement,
• Line managers as leadership developers,
• Culture and
• Growing leaders if you are in the role of chief executive.

Apply all the seven principles to develop leadership talent and potential irrespective of the level of management and retain them in leadership pipeline.

John Adair concludes the book with the quote of John Buchan, “The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.”


The book is worth reading for all those who like to know the basics of leadership qualities, roles and skills. It provides you with tips, tools and techniques that enable you to excel as an effective leader in your field.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Publication of Prof.M.S.Rao's Article in Academic Leadership Online Journal

Dear friends,

I would like to share the successful publication of literary review in Academic Leadership online journal vide link: http://www.academicleadership.org/authors/M_S_Rao.shtml

Enjoy reading and soar like leaders.

Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultants

Monday, March 15, 2010

“Dear Bloggers ! Suggest A Theme” – Prof.M.S.Rao, Trainer, Teacher and Author in Leadership Development

Dear Friends,

If there is a theme you would like to see covered in this Blog and if there are any triggers please do let me know. Drop me a line at profmsr7@gmail.com. I am happy to cover and share with my bloggers anything related to leadership development, soft skills, training and development, behavioral skills and management.

You may also post your comments directly on this Blog. I would love to hear from you.

Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultants
Trainer, Teacher and Author in Leadership Development

Friday, March 5, 2010

“Vote Sachin Tendulkar for Bharat Ratna” – Prof.M.S.Rao

Dear friends,

Sachin is the pride of India. He is the pride of all Indians across the world. He is the pride of all cricket lovers cutting across the cultures, communities and countries.

For his two decades of dedication to the sport of cricket and for his passion and perseverance to keep India always on top of the cricket world, Sachin must be conferred with the highest civilian award – Bharat Ratna.

Therefore, you may post your comments directly on the Blog in support of Sachin for Bharat Ratna. Let us create awareness and take it forward to Govt. of India with your active participation and comments.

Trainer, Teacher and Author in Leadership Development,
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
“Where Knowledge Is Wealth”

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

“4 Idiots! – Which Idiot Are You?”– Prof.M.S.Rao

Probably, Indians must have seen the film “3 Idiots!” and enjoyed thoroughly. The film was all about the ills of current Indian educational system. The three idiots made audience laugh and educate audience to pursue their passions rather than being dictated by parental or peer pressure. In a nutshell, the three idiots provided food for thought through edutainment.

Now I want my readers to know that there are ‘4 Idiots’ in this world. However, this is different from ‘3Idiots!’ as it deals with four personality types coined by Dr. Tony Alessandra in his 1996 bestseller “The Platinum Rule.”

Let us know what those four personality types are: They are Directors, Thinkers, Socializers and Relators.


Directors are daring and dashing, ruthless and reckless, aggressive and adamant and are filled with energy and enthusiasm. They love changes and challenges. They go by gut feelings and intuition. They don’t appreciate the weaknesses of others and they don’t like to be questioned. They are very brief and precise and are highly task oriented and love to hit bulls’ eye. They are fast workers and strive for excellence. The leaders who belong to this style are: Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Chengis Khan, Ashoka, Stalin, Hitler etc., Suitable career for these people is administration, armed forces and security personnel.


Thinkers have eye for detail. They follow rules and regulations thoroughly. They remain cool and composed every time. They pose too many questions. They are slow workers and strive for perfection. To name a few examples are Socrates, Plato, Aristotle etc., These people can excel as poets and philosophers. Suitable careers for these people are research and analysis, consultancy, accountancy, bureaucratic organizations.


Socializers are fun loving people and love in move in groups. They love to be always at the center of attraction and love excitement. They are prestige conscious. They want to get noticed and recognized. Richard Branson, Vijay Mallya and Sobha De to name a few, fall in this style. Suitable careers for these people are film and entertainment industry and others.


Relators are born to serve the people and value relations. They are good at emotional intelligence and teamwork. They sympathize and empathize with others and these people can get along well with all personality types. They are good listeners and emotional. They don’t like change and prefer to stick to routine activities. They are amicable and adjustable. Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela are few personalities who belong to this style. Suitable career for these people are politics, marketing, supply chain management etc.,

Which Idiot Are You?

There is nothing like right or wrong personality style. Every style is unique and every individual has four personality styles but predominantly there is one style from where an individual operates. If you know your predominant style, it will help you to get along well with others especially with your superiors, peers and subordinates at the workplace. It improves your soft skills and helps you to be successful personally, professionally and socially. In addition, you can choose right career based on your style.

Having read four personalities styles with characteristics, career compatibility and illustrations, you may now conclude which idiot you are.