Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Free Sample Chapter ― Professor M.S.Rao’s Award-Winning Book “Success Tools for CEO Coaches: Be a Learner, Leader, and Ladder”

Dear friends,

Here is the sample chapter of my award-winning book, “Success Tools for CEO Coaches: Be a Learner, Leader, and Ladder.” James Strock wrote foreword for this book. It is the Community Award Winner for 2014 by Small Business Trends, USA URL: http://bookawards.smallbiztrends.com/management-2014/success-tools-for-ceo-coaches-8/ Here are the links to buy this book: http://www.amazon.in/Success-Tools-CEO-Coaches-M-S/dp/9351102491
You may share your thoughts about this book on social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Also, I appreciate a review on your blogs, websites, Amazon or other online bookseller sites.  

Sharpen Your Saw

"The beginning of a habit is like an invisible thread, but every time we repeat the act, we strengthen the strand, add to it another filament, until it becomes a great cable and binds us irrevocably, thought and act." - Orison Swett Marden

Welcome to Success Tools for CEO Coaches: Be a Learner, Leader, and Ladder! There is an overwhelming response to my previous published books, and it encouraged me to author this book on learning and leadership. I have received a number of mails from the visitors of my three blogs: http://profmsr.blogspot.com (Where Knowledge is Wealth), http://professormsrao.blogspot.com (Professor M.S.Rao Born for the Students) and http://professormsraoguru.blogspot.com (Knowledge Grows When Shared) to author a book on learning, leadership and coaching. In addition, my friends who are renowned international management thinkers and gurus encouraged me to author a book of this genre. I thought over it and felt the need for this kind of book. I am glad that the book is in your hands now.  

Sharpen Your Saw

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” - Abraham Lincoln

Some people work very hard without any end in mind.  They spend their precious time on the outcome rather than on the process. But hardly do they realize that the work they do requires meticulous planning to achieve the desired outcomes. Here goes the story of Mark and Marshall where one emphasized on the outcome and another on the process.

Both Mark and Marshall were asked to chop down the tree within a time-frame of one hour.  Mark took the axe and started to hit hard at the trunk of the tree as the time duration was only one hour.  He kept hitting hard aggressively to chop down the tree. In contrast, Marshall took the axe; planned well to chop the tree; spent fifteen minutes to sharpen the axe; worked for thirty minutes; and finally, felled the tree within a total duration of 45 minutes.  Mark hit hard at the trunk of the tree, and felled it after 60 minutes. From this story it is obvious that Mark did hard work while Marshall did smart work.  Mark was efficient while Marshall was effective. Mark put quantitative efforts while Marshall put qualitative efforts. Mark emphasized on outcome while Marshall focused on process to achieve the outcome quickly. In our lives, we find many Marks but only a few Marshalls.  It is the people like Marshall who succeed greatly.  

In the current competitive world everyone emphasizes on smart work rather than on hard work to achieve outcomes quickly through tons of planning and preparation. But when we mention sharpening the axe in this book we mean sharpening your mind through continuous learning and constant feedback.

‘Sharpen the Saw’ is one of the habits highlighted by Stephen R. Covey which is listed as Habit #7 in his groundbreaking book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in 1989.  Stephen explains Habit #7 as follows: “Sharpening the saw is about constantly renewing ourselves in the four basic areas of life: physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual.  It’s the habit that increases our capacity to live all other habits of effectiveness.”  Hence, when you sharpen your saw you renew yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. It gives a break to your mind to enable you to recharge and move forward aggressively to ensure effective outcomes.  You can work smarter instead of harder, and you can deliver qualitative goods instead of quantitative goods thus accomplishing your objectives successfully and quickly.  Both continuous learning and constant feedback plays a crucial role in sharpening your saw regularly.

Companies sharpen the saws of their employees through training programs to ensure organizational effectiveness and excellence. They conduct various learning and development programs regularly to update and upgrade their skills, abilities and knowledge.  The employees too appreciate working in companies that care for their careers and groom them professionally.  Here are some tips to follow to sharpen your saw:

  • Have passion for continuous learning.
  • Acquire a new skill and learn a new language.
  • Attend training programs and workshops to know the latest developments in your area of interest.  Read and listen to audio programs regularly.
  • Hit the gym regularly to keep your body fit so that your mind will be active to absorb new things quickly.
  • Above all, set your goals and work to accomplish them.

Mahatma Gandhi – A Learner, Leader and Ladder

“Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” - Harry S. Truman

There are a number of leaders who are learners; there are some leaders who walked their talk and became true leaders; and there are a few leaders who became ladders for others.  However, there are the rarest breed of leaders who are a blend of learning, leading and laying ladders for others.  Mahatma Gandhi was the rarest leader who learned continuously, led by example and served as a ladder for others throughout his life.   Hence, we will profile this legend in the introductory chapter. 

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 02, 1869 in Porbandar in the present Indian State of Gujarat.   He is known as Mahatma Gandhi and Indians call him ‘Father of the Nation’.  He played a crucial role in India’s freedom struggle through his principles of truth and non-violence.

Mahatma Gandhi revealed that stories of Shravana and king Harishchandra left an indelible impression on his mind. During his childhood Gandhi identified himself with those characters and evolved as an honest person. He was an average student academically. His academic progress report reveals, "Good at English, fair in Arithmetic and weak in Geography; conduct very good, bad handwriting[1]."

Mahatma Gandhi studied law in London.  After returning to India he tried to establish himself as a lawyer in Bombay but failed to establish. Subsequently he went to South Africa in 1893 and lived there for two decades where he forged the unity among Indians and fought against anti-Indian and discriminatory practices.  He successfully tried his principles of truth and non-violence, and transformed from an inexperienced barrister into an accomplished political leader in South Africa.  He returned to India in 1915, joined the Indian National Congress and dedicated the rest of his life for India’s freedom movement.

Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic on January 30 in 1948.  Commenting on his death, Jawaharlal Nehru[2] said, "Friends and comrades, the light has gone out of our lives, and there is darkness everywhere, and I do not quite know what to tell you or how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the father of the nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that; nevertheless, we will not see him again, as we have seen him for these many years, we will not run to him for advice or seek solace from him, and that is a terrible blow, not only for me, but for millions and millions in this country.”

Mahatma Gandhi provided the ladder for several leaders - Jawaharlal Nehru, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Khan Abdul Gaffer Khan to name a few -  to avoid the leadership vacuum.  Most of the charismatic leaders make a major mistake of tooting their own horns thus not grooming others as leaders. But Mahatma Gandhi was the rarest charismatic leader who was a continuous learner, leader and laid a ladder for several leaders to grow as leaders.

Mahatma Gandhi – A Great Reader and Learner

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” - John F. Kennedy

As great leaders are great learners and readers, Mahatma Gandhi read a number of books and was influenced by books[3] such as Plato's Apology, William Salter's Ethical Religion (1889); Henry David Thoreau's On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (1847); Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God Is Within You (1893); and John Ruskin's Unto this Last (1862) to name a few. Mahatma Gandhi learned many things from his mistakes which he called experiments. He authored a book, The Story of My Experiments with Truth which is an autobiography.

Mahatma Gandhi’s Influence

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” -  
Mahatma Gandhi

There are many leaders who were influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, namely Martin Luther King Jr, Khan Adbul Ghaffar Khan, James Lawson, Lech Wałęsa, Steve Biko, Benigno Aquino Jr, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Dalai Lama, Barack Obama and Aung San Suu Kyi.  Martin Luther King Jr went to the extent of saying, "Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma Gandhi the tactics."

Time Magazine[4] named The 14th Dalai Lama, Lech Wałęsa, Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, Aung San Suu Kyi, Benigno Aquino, Jr., Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela as children of Gandhi and his spiritual heirs to non-violence.

Mahatma Gandhi did not receive the Nobel Peace Prize, although he was nominated five times.  But his followers namely, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize. It indicates his influence beyond borders and laying the ladder for great leaders.

Commenting on Mahatma Gandhi Albert Einstein[5] said, “Mahatma Gandhi's life achievement stands unique in political history. He has invented a completely new and humane means for the liberation war of an oppressed country, and practised it with greatest energy and devotion. The moral influence he had on the consciously thinking human being of the entire civilized world will probably be much more lasting than it seems in our time with its overestimation of brutal violent forces. Because lasting will only be the work of such statesmen who wake up and strengthen the moral power of their people through their example and educational works.  We may all be happy and grateful that destiny gifted us with such an enlightened contemporary, a role model for the generations to come.”

Mahatma Gandhi was against the partition of India. He always strove for maintaining unity among various religions. He is revered for his practical approach.  He walked his talk throughout his life.  He is a transformational leader, soft leader, and above all, a servant leader. It was the great poet, Rabindranath Tagore who accorded the title, ‘Mahatma’ to him, which means ‘great soul’ in English.  However, Mahatma Gandhi never valued such titles as he considered himself a servant for people. 

It is a pride for Indians that Mahatma Gandhi was born in India whose influence is beyond borders and generations.

Success Tools for CEO Coaches: Be a Learner, Leader and Ladder 

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
Vision 2030 Webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBCO-gWmTRk
Twitter: @professormsrao  
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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