Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Follow Your Conscience: Make a Difference in Your Life & in the Lives of Others - Reviewer Professor M.S.Rao

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born .. and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

What are the Details of the Book?

If you want to unlock your potential to grow as a leader, read this book. If you want to raise your bar, read this book. If you want to learn about life leadership, read this book. If you want to balance your personal, professional and social life to provide meaning to your life, read this book. Frank Sonnenberg’s authored book Follow Your Conscience: Make a Difference in Your Life & in the Lives of Others contains various aspects on life leadership including attitude, purpose, courage and ethics.

What is Inside?

This book outlines tools and techniques to attain strong character as follows: achieve peace of mind; strengthen trust; build a solid reputation; reduce anxiety; increase leadership effectiveness; build confidence; become a positive role model; live a purpose-driven life; and build a strong business. It outlines several ways to adopt a positive mental attitude as follows: surround yourself with positive people; be positive yourself; consciously resist negative thinking; be nice to yourself; set realistic, achievable goals; keep it in perspective; turn challenges into opportunities; and count your blessings.  It outlines the ways to learn as follows: act like a kid; broaden your world; break out of the rut; request feedback; learn from mistakes, critique your action; increase your expectations; and success is a journey, not a destination. It unveils some reasons why some people are quick to throw in the towel: afraid to lose; lack of reality; lack of confidence; fear of accountability; and lack of will. It shares some examples of folks who live by the philosophy, “Do As I Say, Not As I Do.”
The emperor: The emperor is all talk, no action. Like the emperor’s new clothes, everything is centered on the show rather than on substance. He talks a good game, but don’t expect any action or follow-up from this empty suit.
The politician: The politician: will say anything to win your vote of confidence; this person is great with words but don’t ask for accountability. Once this opportunist gets what she wants, she’s nowhere to be found.
The hypocrites: The hypocrites have a hard enough time keeping their own stories straight.
The drifters: The drifters have no backbone. They make statements one minute and change their positions the next. If it seems that these folks are confused or evasive, it’s because they are.
The professor: The professor speaks eloquently about theory, but that’s where it ends. Action? That thought never crossed her mind. As the popular saying goes, “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.”
The zombie: The zombie is so oblivious to reality he doesn’t even realize that his words are out of step with his actions. It only takes someone else to shine a bright light on this fellow to expose his insincerity.

The book outlines that people place small bets every day – such as running out to an appointment at the last minute or leaving home without an umbrella. Even though the consequences are small, you’re still rolling the dice – sometimes you’ll win, other times you’ll lose. The danger is that after you get a few small wins under your belt, you’ll develop a false sense of security and feel you can double down. It’s very easy to convince yourself that you’re unbeatable. And, like a gambler, your bets get bigger and bigger .. until you lose. Playing the odds through excessive risk-taking is like playing with fire. Unfortunately, when you are get burned, there may be serious consequences. As author Ray Bradbury once said, “Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building our wings on the way down.” The key, then, is to take calculated risks and only place bets on things that you’re willing to lose. As the saying goes, “Take risks: If you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.”

Life Leadership Takeaways
  • Gossip is a disease spread mouth to mouth. It’s one of those distractions that keeps us from focusing on our own lives.
  • Be positive yourself: if you don’t want to be surrounded by negative people, what makes you think others do? Learn to master your own thoughts. When you visualize a goal, it makes you more likely to take the actions necessary to reach it. Visualize yourself winning the race, getting the promotion, accepting the award, or landing the new account.
  • See the glass as half full rather than half empty; anticipate the best outcome; stay the middle ground. Don’t view everything in extremes – as either fantastic or a catastrophe. This will help you reduce your highs and lows; and mistakes happen. Negative people blame themselves for every bad occurrence whether it was their fault or not. Don’t let this be you.
  • Although everyone is different, there are common threads that bind a life with purpose: live by your beliefs and values; set priorities; follow your passion; achieve balance; feel content; make a difference; and live in the moment.
  • Courageous people follow their intuition. If information required to make a good decision isn’t available, they follow their instincts. Courageous people put their money where their mouth is. They know that it’s not enough to talk about doing something – instead, they act.
  • Many people are pretty casual about making promises. As a result, promises are frequently made at the drop of a hat with no real intention of keeping them. “Let’s do lunch,” “I’ll call you later,” and “I’ll be there in five minutes” are all examples of throwaway promises that are frequently made but seldom kept. However, this casual attitude can have real consequences.
  • Trust is built through a series of experiences shared with others. When behavior is consistent, faith in the relationship develops. When promises are broken or people are misled, the bonds of trust are breached.
  • When you distort the truth by exaggerating, spinning the truth, or withholding key facts you also weaken your credibility for the future.
  • America is the land of opportunity. Our forefathers grew up with the dream that they could promise their children and grandchildren a better life than they lived. Today’s children shouldn’t expect anything less. Every generation has risen to meet the challenges before it. No one said it would be easy. Now it’s our turn to rise to the occasion by celebrating and rewarding success. Earning it the old-fashioned way helps to make us great.
  • We spend so much time running on the “treadmill of life” that we rarely have time to properly define our beliefs and values, short-and long-term priorities, and discover our purpose in life.
  • All great performers, athletes, inventors, and entrepreneurs share one thing in common: They achieved greatness because they had the confidence, skill, inner strength, and determination to make things happen. Something inside them said, “I’m not a quitter.”
  • Many people throw in the towel when they’re on the one-yard line, not knowing how close they are to the goal line. That’s the real moment of truth. Make the extra effort that’ll put you over your own goal line!
  • When we were young, we sought approval from our parents. As we grew older, we tried to impress our teacher, show off to our girlfriend or boyfriend, and such up to boss.
  • You may be an Academy Award winner, Super Bowl champion, president of a large corporation – or even the leader of a nation. But none of this automatically entitles you to respect.
  • If you want to be successful, you must possess the knowledge, character, and determination to win. Unless you believe in the tooth fairy, no one’s going to wave a magic wand to make it happen for you (but that doesn’t stop people from hoping).
  • Counterfeit leaders turn a blind eye to unethical behavior. To them, it’s not how you play the game; it’s all about winning. They believe that stepping on employees, squeezing vendors, or cheating a customer to make a quick sale is just the cost of doing business.
  • Success is a journey, not a destination. When you become successful, don’t rest on your laurels. As soon as you take your eye off the ball, you risk losing your edge.
  • Don’t let success go to your head. Be humble. Humility is a sign of strength, not weakness. People with humility possess an inner peace. They’re modest about their achievements, grounded in their values, and they have nothing to prove to others.
  • Everything has a price, but not everything should be for sale.
  • It’s important to focus on the journey as well the destination – There’s no dress rehearsal in life.
  • If you’re passionate about something, you’ll wake up each morning thrilled to greet another day. You’ll require less sleep; you may forget to eat; and you’ll always make time for the things you love. When you’re passionate about something, the adrenaline rush will consume you from the top of your head to the tip of your toes.
  • Passion lives in the heart, not the head. So follow your heart, but don’t forget to bring your brain.
  • Sometimes we create an “imaginary” plan and hold ourselves accountable to it. Be flexible. There’s nothing wrong with deviating from the plan.
  • Trust is the cement that binds relationships, keeping spouses together, business deals intact, and political systems stable. Without trust, marriages fail, voters become apathetic, and organizations flounder. Trust must be carefully constructed, vigorously nurtured, and constantly reinforced. Although trust takes a long time develop it can be destroyed by a single action. Moreover, once lost, it is very difficult to re-establish.
  • Don’t be so busy that you don’t have time for something new. Expand your horizons. You won’t know what the world offers unless you give it a try.
  • We have migrated from one-on-one conversations to social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn), which spread news to the Internet makes news permanent. Once bad news starts to snowball downhill, it can take a Herculean effort to show the momentum. For that reason, nasty rumors and gossip must be addressed head on before irreparable damage takes place.
  • Protect your reputation like it’s the most valuable asset you own. Because it is! You can’t escape your shadow, but you can shape your reputation. Follow these seven actions to build and defend your reputation: values matter; stand for something; take pride in what you do; accept responsibility for your actions, think before you act; be a good-reputation ambassador; and let your conscience be your guide.
  • Success is achieved through hard work and determination. If you want something, you have to put your heart into it. It takes many years to become an overnight success.
  • Remain calm under pressure. Competition will test limits be calm, strong, and in control when it matters most. When counting to ten doesn’t seem to work, try twenty.
  • Become a good role model. Set high standards of excellence for yourself and others. Make people feel special and help bring out the best in everyone. Now that’s a superstar. You’re in the driver’s seat. Only you can decide how hard you are willing to work to achieve your goals. If you succeed, the rewards are yours. If you fail, there’s always another day.
  • Be a good loser. Bounce back after a big loss. That’s the sign of a superstar.
  • In days gone by in a labor-intensive society, hard work resulted in tired bones and sore muscles. In the Information Age, our bodies tell us that enough is enough by reacting with stress-related ailments ranging from headaches to backaches to anxiety attacks. And over time, these stresses add up.
  • The “emotional tirades” are unproductive, unhealthy, and exhausting. They cause us to lose focus, snap at people we care about, and waste precious time playing these ridiculous mind games. No wonder we’re exhausted. Therefore, if there’s a problem that’s waking you up at 3 a.m, and you can do something to make it better, even at that hour, do it. If not, it’s better to forgetaboutit and deal with it in the morning. And if it’s truly beyond your control, then all your worry and sleeplessness won’t change the situation. It’s time to put the worry behind you and move on.
  • There are very few times in life when we hit a wall so hard that we don’t recover from it. We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and move on. The difference is, if you take a pledge to be positive, and start reducing your emotional baggage, you’re going to lead a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life.
  • We’re all confronted by countless choices each day. Some have minimal consequences, such as whether to have our ice cream in a cup or cone, while other decisions can be life changing.
  • There are very few things in life as rewarding as having a soul mate. You’ll have someone who cheers you on to greatness, provides a shoulder to cry on, and helps you conquer the world. That’ll make celebrations more enjoyable and setbacks more bearable.
  • Anyone who promotes, covers for, or hides indiscretion is as guilty as those who commit these acts. You cannot have it both ways. You’re either for it or against it.
  • We should emphasize what a person did to help others to his/her career ascent as much as we celebrate the personal achievements of a retiree. We should renew our vows to our spouse as much as we shower him or her with gifts on wedding anniversaries.
  • We want our kids to live up to their potential, to grow up to be decent human beings, and to contribute back to society. And, although these goals are very admirable, getting across the finish line isn’t always easy. For instance, when our kids fall down, we feel their pain; when our kids lose, we lose with them; and when our kids get rejected, we feel their disappointment.
  • We want our kids to set stretch goals for themselves in life. So, just when our kids reach their comfort zone, we drive them crazy by suggesting that they have the potential to achieve more.
  • Too many journalists are no longer interested in reporting the facts: they’re more concerned with ratings, shaping the news, or giving cover to those who subscribe to their personal views. Obviously, there’s a void that needs to be filled.
  • Remember, little footsteps in the sand usually follow larger ones, so watch where you step.
  • Generous people know that a gift doesn’t have to be momentous. It can be as simple as a smile.
  • Being a role model carries responsibility. If you are a teacher, clergyman, actor, executive, athlete, politician, or parent, people look up to you as a role model and imitate your behavior. Are you proud of the signals that you’re sending? If not, it’s time to get your act together! No one is asking you to be a saint, but living a life of commendable ethics and values is a good place to start.
  • This is a world in which people go to great lengths to protect their family name, and leaders see their first responsibility as strengthening the trust and credibility of their institutions. In this world, people do the right thing not only because it’s considered acceptable behavior, but because they know their every action affects another action.
  • In this world, people are accountable to a higher power-themselves-letting their own conscience be their guide.
  • If you want to get anywhere, you have to make things happen. The world isn’t going to beat a path to your door. It’s easy to criticize others instead of sticking your neck out: it’s painless to second guess others from the sidelines instead of getting in the game; it’s easy to blame others for your circumstances instead of accepting responsibility for your choices and actions. The fact is, you have the ability to fulfill your dreams – if you care.

What is the Recommendation?

It is a well organized book covering various aspects on life and leadership. It describes self-discipline and outlines vision to accomplish your aspirations.  It implores you to set the bar high to grow as a leader.  The author shares anecdotes, examples and illustrations that arouse interest from chapter to chapter. In fact, this is a book to be savored chapter by chapter.

It is an inspiring book that provides meaning to your life. It helps you unlock your potential to grow as a leader. It contains great quotes and emphasizes on ethics and values. The language is easy to understand, and ideas and insights are well punched. It improves the way you look at your life.  It is strongly recommended for reading.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions down out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

Follow Your Conscience: Make a Difference in Your Life & in the Lives of Others by Frank Sonnenberg (November 18, 2014)

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Life is great!

Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
21 Success Sutras for Leaders: Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year (San Diego University) Amazon URL: http://www.amazon.com/21-Success-Sutras-Leaders-ebook/dp/B00AK98ELI

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Success Sutras for Leaders

Professor M.S.Rao’s Award-Winning ‘21 Success Sutras for Leaders’ – Top Ten Leadership Books

I am excited to share with you that my authored book 21 Success Sutras for Leaders has been ranked as one of the Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year – 2013 by San Diego University, USA. Here are the 21 success sutras for leaders from this book:
1.    Leadership is a Responsibility, not a Badge of Honor
2.    Character Counts, not Charisma
3.    Be a Coach, not a Critic
4.    Build Bridges, not Barriers
5.    Fight for Pretty Things, not Petty Things
6.    Strive for Excellence, not Perfection
7.    Failure is only a Comma, not a Full Stop
8.    Never Say ‘No’ too Soon and ‘Yes’ too Late
9.    Praise Publicly and Punish Privately
10. Spread the Fame in Success and Take the Blame in Failure
11. Listen to all and Take Your Call
12. Walk Your Talk
13. Deal People Differently
14. Leaders Command Respect
15. Don’t Blame Circumstances
16. Don’t Compete, Collaborate
17. Don’t React, Act
18. Think Global, Act Local
19. Invest in People
20. Everybody is a Leader
21. Soft Leadership is the Heart of Leadership

International acclaim received for this book:  
“International Leadership Guru, Professor M.S.Rao graciously shares 21 sutras with us, his lucky readers, as we strive to become more effective leaders and business owners.  Reading these sutras offers a powerful refresher course in the principles of successful leadership.” – Marshall Goldsmith
“It can be used as a reference book for leaders at all levels from entry level to senior level including CEOs.” - Vijay Govindarajan
“It's one of those rare business books that highly accessible, easily applicable, and just plain enjoyable to read.” - Jim Kouzes
“Professor M.S. Rao distills his extensive study of leadership into an accessible book that will give you an agenda for improving your leadership ability. You'll benefit from the focus and advice he offers.” - Mark Sanborn
“This book teaches you, ‘To fail is not bad, but not to learn lessons and bounce back is bad.’” - Tony Alessandra

Life is great!

Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
21 Success Sutras for Leaders: Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year (San Diego University) Amazon URL: http://www.amazon.com/21-Success-Sutras-Leaders-ebook/dp/B00AK98ELI