Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

1. Get specific
When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals
Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go
Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist
When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good
Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

6. Have grit
Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs. Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point. In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The good news is, if you aren’t particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking …. well, there’s no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.

7. Build your willpower muscle
Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur (“If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.”) It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that’s the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.

8. Don’t tempt fate
No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don’t put yourself in harm’s way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do
Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., “Don’t think about white bears!”) has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.

If you want to change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like “If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.” By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.

Employee Retention – Causes and Remedies

Employees do not leave an organization without any significant reason. There are certain circumstances that lead to their leaving the organization. The most common reasons can be:

  • Job is not what the employee expected to be: Sometimes the job responsibilities don’t come out to be same as expected by the candidates. Unexpected job responsibilities lead to job dissatisfaction.
  • Job and person mismatch: A candidate may be fit to do a certain type of job which matches his personality. If he is given a job which mismatches his personality, then he won’t be able to perform it well and will try to find out reasons to leave the job.
  • No growth opportunities: No or less learning and growth opportunities in the current job will make candidate’s job and career stagnant.
  • Lack of appreciation: If the work is not appreciated by the supervisor, the employee feels de-motivated and loses interest in job.
  • Lack of trust and support in co-workers, seniors and management: Trust is the most important factor that is required for an individual to stay in the job. Non-supportive co-workers, seniors and management can make office environment unfriendly and difficult to work in.
  • Stress from overwork and work life imbalance: Job stress can lead to work life imbalance which ultimately many times lead to employee leaving the organization.
  • Compensation: Better compensation packages being offered by other companies may attract employees towards themselves.
  • New job offer: An attractive job offer which an employee thinks is good for him with respect to job responsibility, compensation, growth and learning etc. can lead an employee to leave the organization.

    The basic practices which should be kept in mind in the employee retention strategies are:

  • Hire the right people in the first place.
  • Empower the employees: Give the employees the authority to get things done.
  • Make employees realize that they are the most valuable asset of the organization.
  • Have faith in them, trust them and respect them.
  • Provide them information and knowledge.
  • Keep providing them feedback on their performance.
  • Recognize and appreciate their achievements.
  • Keep their morale high.
  • Create an environment where the employees want to work and have fun.

    1. Open Communication: A culture of open communication enforces loyalty among employees. Open communication tends to keep employees informed on key issues. Most importantly, they need to know that their opinions matter and that management is 100% interested in
    their input.

    2. Employee Reward Program: A positive recognition for work boosts the motivational levels of employees. Recognition can be made explicit by providing awards like best employee of the month or punctuality award. Project based recognition also has great significance. The award can be in terms of gifts or money.

    3. Career Development Program: Every individual is worried about his/her career. He is always keen to know his career path in the company. Organizations can offer various technical certification courses which will help employee in enhancing his knowledge.

    4. Performance Based Bonus: A provision of performance linked bonus can be made wherein an employee is able to relate his performance with the company profits and hence will work hard. This bonus should strictly be productivity based.

    5. Recreation facilities: Recreational facilities help in keeping employees away from stress factors. Various recreational programs should be arranged. They may include taking employees to trips annually or bi-annually, celebrating anniversaries, sports activities, et al.

    6. Gifts at Some Occasions: Giving out some gifts at the time of one or two festivals to the employees making them feel good and understand that the management is concerned about them.

    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    Coders Who Can’t Design And Designers Who Can’t Code

    You’ve probably encountered these two endangered species in the wild before. The developer who “has no eye for color”, “does not understand typography”, and “absolutely cannot design”. Or the designer who “sucked at math even in primary school”, is a “left-brained person”, or “doesn’t want to mess up the code”…

    To help you stear clear of these dangerous specimens, here are some distinctive signs to identify them:

    Coders who can’t design…

    • Need a Photoshop mockup for every single screen, including the “I forgot my password” dialog and the Terms of Use page
    • Assign different values at random to every margins and paddings
    • Think 11px is the perfect size for body copy (and 14px is great for headlines)
    • Ask you to export a background image even for a 1px black line
    • Do not understand the concept of aligning things together

    Designers who can’t code…

    • Never think about what the site will look like past the dimensions of their PSD
    • Have been using web fonts since 1998: they just export all text as JPEGs
    • Design a site in Illustrator Indesign
    • Think they can set an image’s blending mode to “overlay” in CSS
    • Actually use Photoshop’s HTML “generate HTML from slices” feature

    To be clear, I’m not saying you should try to do everything yourself. For example, when I work for clients I only provide a PSD or sliced images, I don’t code sites. But at least I know enough about coding to communicate with any developer.

    What’s more, people often use their ignorance (real or feigned) as a way to avoid extra work and extra effort. And when each person is trying to do as little as they can, project are rarely successful.

    Reaching out to the other side and learning a bit more than the absolute minimum will not only make you produce better work, it also goes a long way towards smoothing the wrinkles in the designer-developer relationship.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    “Leadership” and “Followership”

    “You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too.” – Sam Rayburn

    One of the most basic human instincts, a quality that every person is born with, is the act of imitating another person. Children often imitate behaviors as seen from their parents, friends, or the media. These influences determine the character that this particular child develops. As time progresses, imitation gives way to reasoning, opening the door for this person to start influencing others. The contrast between followership and leadership is analogous to this; once an individual is established as a follower, he or she can become a leader.

    Followership is defined as “the act or instance of accepting the guidance and command of someone who leads or guides” ( In the Civil Air Patrol, a younger, inexperienced cadet is a prime example of a follower. Having little knowledge about the program, the cadet is unable to make important decisions affecting a group of people nor teach others by example. The cadet is only able to accept the lessons and duties imposed upon him by his ordinates. The follower will imitate the leader’s behavior and actions, gaining self-discipline, motivation, ideas, and responsibility from those experiences, if the leader exhibited those qualities as well. These acquired qualities are quintessential for the cadet’s development as a follower, and eventually, a leader.

    Leadership is essentially the converse of followership. Leadership is defined as “the art of influencing and directing people in such a way that will win their obedience, confidence, respect, and loyal cooperation in achieving a common objective” (Leadership 2000 & Beyond, Vol. 1). A cadet leader may have responsibilities such as a command position, a teaching position, or a representative position (cadet advisory council, for example). These leaders have the necessary experience, skill, and motivation to bear responsibilities that a follower might not be capable of handling. The qualities that have been developed through a cadet’s career must be maintained, as well. As mentioned previously, a follower imitates the behavior imposed upon him or her by his or her leader. The leader must act properly as a role model for the follower, evincing self-discipline, motivation, and responsibility to teach the correct procedure or behavior to the follower.

    The leader must also act as a follower towards his or her superiors. There is always a level ordinate to a leader. Even the President is a follower; he is a follower of the will of the people of the United States. This is, in fact, the basis for the chain of command. Leaders receive feedback from their subordinates, or followers, and relay this information to the next-higher authority. Theoretically, this chain may continue indefinitely. Cooperation between the leader and his or her subordinate is crucial, or the chain will not function effectively. Therefore, a leader is concurrently a follower.

    The differences between leadership and followership, then, are a process of learning and the time needed to gain experience in assigned responsibilities. Once a follower has demonstrated mastery of self-discipline, motivation, responsibility, and other important traits, he or she has the competence to become a successful leader and pass this wisdom on to future generations.

    Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower

    What does it take to create an innovative breakthrough product? It is not an insignificant question because business innovators typically invest a lot of time and money getting their big idea to market. For those who make it, the rewards— financial and otherwise—can be incredible. The so-called “first mover’s advantage” is real and means the successful innovator just may dictate the terms in a whole-new field. Consider:

    • was the first big e-commerce company. It is still No. 1.
    • Starbucks was the first company to popularize gourmet coffee.
    • eBay was the first online auction site.

    But for every eBay and Starbucks there are hundreds of other companies that never did break out. So what’s the difference? A look at some business innovations—some serious and some fun—sheds some light.

    Envisioning a Market
    During the World War II rubber shortage, the U.S. government put out a call for industry to invent a synthetic rubber. General Electric created a substance it called “gupp.” It was interesting, for sure—it could stretch and bounce, for instance—but artificial rubber it was not.

    Yet, because the stuff was so interesting, GE sent samples to scientists and academics the world over, asking for ideas on what to do with it. Surely someone could come up with a valid scientific use for the strange substance.

    “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
    —Steve Jobs

    No one had any idea. And then it happened—the eureka moment. After the war, an unemployed marketer named Peter Hodgson saw toy store owner Ruth Fallgatter pulling and playing with the stuff, and they both thought it would make a great toy. A year later, Hodgson borrowed some money, paid GE $147 for the patent rights and many pounds of the stuff, and got to work.

    He gave gupp a new funny name, packaged it in a unique way, and actually got it into a few more toy stores and bookshops. But no one bought it… until a writer for The New Yorker bought some, played with it, loved it and wrote about it in the next issue of the magazine.

    Peter Hodgson never had to worry about money again. He received 250,000 orders for his Silly Putty over the next three days, and when he passed away in 1976, Hodgson was worth $140 million.

    The moral of the story is that sometimes nothing beats some good old-fashioned PR when trying to spread the word about a new product.

    Mistake-Proof Ingenuity
    In the 1950s, Bette Nesmith Graham was a single mom who worked at a bank as a secretary. Although she was not a great secretary, and made a lot of typos, she did happen to be a very good artist. So every year, the bank had her paint the Christmas scene for the bank’s windows.

    One year, she made a mistake while painting the holiday scene, painted right over it and thought to herself: “I wish I could do that when I am typing.”

    So Graham took some tempera paint to work and began to paint over her typos. She soon realized this was a great idea that could make a great business. Working from home after work, Graham began to experiment with paint.

    After considerable effort she came up with the concoction that eventually became Liquid Paper. But unlike Peter Hodgson, Graham’s innovation was no overnight success. She continued to work at the bank and make batches of then-named “Mistake Out” in her kitchen, selling a hundred bottles a month.

    “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
    —Martin Luther King Jr.

    The challenge was that because the product was so innovative, few people even understood why they might need it. But as people learned about the product, the business slowly started to grow. Yet, it was still a full 18 years after creating the product before Liquid Paper hit $1 million in annual sales. Five years later, it was $25 million a year.

    The rest, indeed, is history, and ultimately Graham’s fame would be eclipsed by her son’s; Mike Nesmith became a member of the ’60s group The Monkees, as well as a movie and video producer.

    There are many routes to innovation success. The instant home run is nice, but far more often it’s persistence that pays off. And it’s not hard to understand why. Creating an innovative product like Liquid Paper often means having to teach consumers why they need it.

    Just ask the folks at the Coca-Cola Company about the challenges and hazards of doing that.

    Innovative Blunder
    In the history of bad business decisions, maybe the worst of all time was the decision by the Coca-Cola Company to scrap Coke for New Coke. As they found out, if you are going to toss out “old” Coke, you might as well ban mom and outlaw apple pie.

    The decision came in the mid-1980s amid a battle waged by Pepsi against Coca-Cola. The “Pepsi Challenge” was a television ad campaign that had consumers taking a blind taste test and then saying how Pepsi tasted better.

    As a result, nervous executives at Coke began to secretly experiment with new formulations, until they found one that beat Pepsi in taste tests. Convinced they had a winner, Coca-Cola triumphantly rolled out “New Coke.”

    “I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been.”
    —Sam Walton

    Maybe never before has a new product been received so poorly. Late-night comedians had a field day; people boycotted the new stuff and even began to horde old Coke. New Coke was off the shelves within six months.

    So what went wrong? Somehow the marketing wizards at Coca- Cola never took batches of New Coke and test-marketed them in stores in, say, Des Moines, Iowa. They also never warned folks that New Coke meant no old Coke. It was all too secret.

    The lesson should be clear: Innovation is great, but innovation in and of itself is not enough. The truly great innovative product is not only new; it fulfills an unmet market need. There simply was no clamoring for something to replace good ol’ Coca-Cola.

    Creating the Next Big Thing is no easy matter. It takes a great idea, perfect execution, a market need and more than a little luck. But boy, put those together, and you can change the world.

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Awesome iPhone APPs for this Festival Season

    Wonderful App for NEW YEAR!

    Send Beautifully Animated Cards to your loved ones on X'MAS!

    Holidays are just around the corner! … and so are some really cool iPhone APPs, to celebrate it with

    In this fast and evolving era of Science and Technology, modern day man finds it really difficult to spare some leisure time for himself or his family or even his friends, for that matter. No one can be blamed for this, because people need to find means to adopt themselves to the modern lifestyle. Being unemployed don’t help at all, being employed in a firm would help and being employed in more than one firm should definitely help… In the past, people find time atleast for the holidays at Christmas and New Year to spend quality time with their family and friends. Now its tough.

    E-Cards to the rescue:

    With the increase of the availability of free e-cards online, the sales of traditional cards have declined. Sending an e-card can be a best way to greet someone because they offer many features. It’s fast, has numerous options, saves lots of trees (NO PAPER!) and most importantly its FREE.

    Did you hear about the NORTH POLE and the NEW YEAR EXPRESSES?

    Modern day e-cards are mainly developed using a technology called Flash. It’s wide range of features helps in creating wonderfully animated cards. But we have a PROBLEM! Apple, one of the world’s leading technology companies, is against it. I don’t blame them; yeah Flash eats up your bandwidth and your battery, which is bad, really bad for mobile devices. Well, if I have to charge by mobile every hour, then there ain’t a point in saying that it’s ‘MOBILE’, right?

    Well, you don’t have to worry… People in the Silicon Valley has found a solution for not using Flash, yet creating beautifully animated cards that work for the iPHONE.

    Yeah, that’s right, now you can send Beautifully Animated and Hand Crafted Cards to your loved ones, family, colleagues etc.., FROM YOUR IPHONE!

    To know the details visit: NORTH POLE EXPRESS or NEW YEAR EXPRESS

    Well, thanks to the guys at TouchWeb, we can know celebrate this festival season by letting our loved ones know how much we care and remember them.

    Happy Holidays everyone and do try the APP out.