Confronting Inner Conflict and Embracing Transformation

In the depths of our being, the conflict lies dormant, waiting to awaken our restless souls. It is born from the forbidden seeds of emotions, desires, and thoughts that haunt us, casting a veil of anxiety upon our existence. How ironic it is that our instinctive response to this turmoil is to defend ourselves, yet we remain oblivious to the true nature of our inner battles.

The conscious mind rarely embraces the forbidden truths that reside within, choosing instead to shield itself from the discomfort they bring. Our defensiveness becomes a potent elixir, numbing the pain and granting us the ability to navigate a world that would otherwise be unbearable. But there comes a time when reliance on this makeshift remedy must cease, and the roots of our anguish must be unearthed and healed.

In the realm of leadership development, telltale signs of this defensive behavior emerge, like ghosts haunting the corridors of progress. We change the subject when confronted with certain issues, evading the unsettling truths that lie before us. Denial becomes our shield, proclaiming the absence of any problem, while our eyes betray our hidden fears. We turn a blind eye to admitted faults, hoping that ignorance will grant us a reprieve. We weave elaborate rationalizations, attempting to justify questionable actions that defy our moral compass. And in moments of sheer desperation, we even succumb to reckless acts, lashing out in defiance.

But let us not be slaves to these defensive walls we have erected. Let us cast aside the veil of illusion and face our demons with unwavering courage. For only by delving into the depths of our souls, by confronting the shadows that dwell within, can we truly break free from the chains of self-imposed limitations.

The path to healing beckons us, inviting us to embrace vulnerability and seek solace in the uncomfortable truths that lie buried. It is a journey that demands introspection, self-discovery, and a willingness to confront our deepest fears.

Let us rise above the allure of defensiveness and embark on this transformative quest, for it is through embracing our own imperfections that we become the architects of our own growth and the catalysts for change.

Leaders, despite their position of authority, are not immune to defensive behaviors that shield them from confronting uncomfortable truths. Here are some common defensive behaviors exhibited by leaders:

  1. Subject Change: Leaders may divert the conversation or shift the focus when certain sensitive issues are raised, avoiding direct confrontation and evading the discomfort that accompanies those discussions.
  2. Denial: In a bid to preserve their image or maintain control, leaders may outright deny the existence of a problem or downplay its significance, refusing to acknowledge the reality that challenges their leadership or the organization’s well-being.
  3. Ignoring Admitted Problems: Even when a problem has been acknowledged or brought to their attention, leaders may choose to ignore it, hoping that by turning a blind eye, it will dissipate on its own or lose significance over time.
  4. Rationalization: Leaders may engage in the act of rationalizing questionable actions or decisions, attempting to justify their behavior by providing seemingly logical explanations that may overlook ethical considerations or the impact on others.
  5. Acting Out: In moments of heightened stress or frustration, leaders may succumb to impulsive or reckless behavior, lashing out in defiance or exerting control in a manner that is uncharacteristic of their usual leadership style.

It is important for leaders to recognize and address these defensive behaviors, as they hinder personal and professional growth, impede effective decision-making, and hamper the development of a healthy organizational culture.


What are some of the defensive behaviors you have seen leaders exhibit?

  1. Denial
  2. Subject change
  3. Ignoring admitted problems
  4. Rationalization
  5. Acting out

If you are a Leader who is game to confront your inner demons and embark on a transformational journey?
Get in touch for a free 15 min. exploratory call. Mail me

The Secret to Coping with Leadership Stress in the Age of social media.

The need to strike a balance between privacy and transparency is one of the main issues facing leaders in the age of social media criticism. Leaders must be open and honest about their actions and choices, but they must also respect both their own and their team members’ privacy.

The requirement to control public opinion presents another difficulty. Social media can be an effective instrument for influencing public opinion, but it also has potential drawbacks. Leaders need to be able to maneuver this complicated environment and make the most of social media.

In the era of social media criticism, one of the primary challenges for leaders is finding a balance between privacy and transparency. Leaders must be transparent and truthful about their decisions and actions, but they must also protect the privacy of both themselves and their team members.

The need to manage public perception creates still another challenge. Although social media can be a useful tool for swaying public opinion, there may also be negative effects. Leaders must be able to navigate this complex environment and utilize social media to their advantage.

Transparency – an essential leadership attribute

An essential quality of a leader is transparency. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance between openness and privacy. Leaders should be open and honest about their plans, but they also need to respect the privacy of their team members and other stakeholders.

In order to strike a balance between transparency and privacy, leaders should take the following things into account:

1. The nature of information: Leaders should take into account how sensitive the information they are sharing is. Some information could be too delicate to be disclosed in public.

2. The audience: Leaders should take into account who they are communicating with. Specific audiences may find some information appropriate, but not others.

3. The timing: When delivering information, leaders should consider this. It could be more suitable to communicate some information than others at some moments.

4. The goal: Executives should think about why they are disseminating information. It might not be beneficial to share information merely for the sake of transparency.

5. The organization’s culture: Leaders need to take this into account. Transparency may be more important to some organizations than to others.

Leaders should make an effort to be open while still being aware of privacy issues. They should give considerable thought to who they will share their information with, when, and why.

How can organization leaders manage employee opinion?

By fostering a supportive work environment that promotes open communication and feedback, leadership in an organization can control and shape employee opinion. Additionally, they can give staff members chances to take part in decision-making and encourage them to express their thoughts and opinions.

A culture of trust and respect, as well as clear expectations and goals, frequent feedback, and acknowledgment, are other ways that leaders can influence the opinions of their workforce. Employees are more likely to feel appreciated and engaged if this is done, which can boost output and raise job satisfaction.

Leaders must learn to cut off the noise.

It is crucial for leaders to turn off the noise because it contaminates their thinking and decision-making. Experts in cognitive biases and errors in decision-making describe how noise—or unwelcome variability—clouds organizations’ judgments and what to do about it, according to a McKinsey paper. According to the paper, businesses should take measures to decrease noise in their decision-making processes, such as standardizing data collection practices and ensuring that all decision-makers have access to the same data.

By employing a well-defined decision-making process that includes asking for feedback from coaches and others, engaging in discussion with others, and challenging their assumptions by looking for evidence that contradicts their beliefs, leaders can learn to overcome biases that can creep into their decision-making process.

It’s also crucial to look in the mirror, reflect on one’s thoughts, and identify any firmly held ideas.  Strong self-awareness is a quality that successful leaders possess and use to guide their teams and organizations.

A new set of abilities and tactics are needed for leadership in the social media age. Effective communication, online reputation management, balancing privacy and transparency, and public opinion management are skills that leaders must possess. By doing this, they may win the trust of their followers and thrive in the competitive digital environment of today.

Taking the help of a personal coach can help leaders immensely.

By increasing their self-awareness about who they are “being” in the coaching session and how they are contributing to the client’s growth—or lack thereof—coaching can help leaders overcome their biases. Simply acknowledging and accepting that prejudices exist—to some extent—in all of us can be incredibly beneficial in your leadership journey. 

By providing a safe space for leaders to explore their thoughts and feelings without being judged, coaching can help them recognize their biases and work on them. Leaders can overcome their prejudices with the assistance of coaches who can help them create fresh perspectives and modes of thought. Leaders can learn to identify their biases and create coping mechanisms by working with a coach.

If you are a Leader looking for a reliable partner to help share and cope with stress?
Get in touch in all confidentiality.

Connect for a short 15 min. exploratory call! 👇🏽

Leaders are masters at this!

One quality all great leaders possess is their ability to “read between the lines” during conversations.  They are able to understand the subtext in people’s communication.

Our communication is frequently influenced by subtext.  In order to effectively communicate, it is crucial to learn how to use this information.

Let’s see an example to understand this clearly.

We must always remember to separate the overt from the covert – what we perceive and the reality.

Imagine that you are walking by a crowded street and suddenly find a man lying there in a pool of blood.  As your eyes make contact with a burly-looking stranger, he starts to make a run and turns around the corner.  Hey, “wait” you shout as you see a car speeding out from the lane and turning at high speed.

Why does this man run when he sees you?  Why is the car speeding out of the lane immediately after?

Because the man committed a crime and is running around the corner to jump into a car driven by his accomplice, who then speeds away to escape from the crime scene.

The scene above never said you saw the stranger committing the crime.  Also, there was no mention of you having seen this man jumping into the car and that it was his accomplice who helped him escape the crime scene.

You deduced it from the scene itself, the description, and the mood of the scene. Is “wait” a subtextual word? Or even “running”; or “speeding”?  There is nothing hidden in the words, other than “stop”, and “don’t run”, depending on the way it is delivered in the scene.

Imagine that the stranger was working as an assistant in the neighborhood pharmacy and had just run around the corner to get some first aid for the man who was lying there bleeding.  It might have been the man in the car who would have actually committed the crime.

The key to better communication and increased likeability is to use subtext to fill in the blanks of any incoming communication. You will quickly realize that practically everything a person says contains subtle undertones intended to subtly or overtly convey extra messages if you pay close attention.

Consider how people’s past experiences and histories may relate to the current situation. What feelings are involved here? Hint: at least one main emotion is always present. It will unavoidably affect their goals, perspectives, and motivations in a way that might cause their message to diverge from what they actually mean.

If you are aware of someone’s overall personality qualities, you may frequently make a decision by considering how they would prefer to act in the given circumstance. Someone is likely internally shouting “NO!” if they are exceedingly quiet and timid and reply to anything to the extent of “I agree… I suppose.” Basically, take into account the source and how a person’s experiences affect how they communicate.

Examine a person’s vocal tone to determine their sincerity. Are they serious, angry, or sarcastic? Does the message’s tone fit with it? Someone probably means no if they answer affirmatively but with sarcasm. Someone is probably not satisfied with the conclusion if they agree but act furious about it. If they answer honestly and with a “yes,” they are either conflicted or don’t care. There are countless ways to interpret vocal tones, but the majority do in fact imply that the words are not to be taken literally.

Watch how people react to you. You may tell how someone is feeling about what you say by seeing how patient, kind, and accommodating they attempt to be. This includes the amount of silence you hear and the level of curiosity they exhibit. Even if they agree with you, if someone waits for two beats to respond to a straightforward question, they may have had to consider their response and may be conveying negativity through subtext.

Observing how far people differ from their typical pattern of behavior is another factor to consider, which can call for more observant abilities. What does it indicate that your boss is somber and pessimistic if they are usually upbeat? It can make the statement “Things are going well” convey the complete opposite meaning. You can use the hints that subtext leaves to sharpen your communication skills. Signs are left all over the place.

Of course, the difficult thing is interpreting these facets of a person at the same time, as you could in a typical daily conversation.

This means that in reality, you have two tasks to complete:

  1. analysing the dialogue and selecting the appropriate response; and
  2. keeping an eye out for subtextual indications.

You might be able to educate yourself to recognize particular subtexts and social cues, but can you recognize them when you’re actively looking for others? Or will your capacity for simultaneous observation be limited? This might be true that it would require three brains and six pairs of eyes for you to see so many things at once.

The only thing we can do is start small and practice until these things – why did they say that, what are they experiencing, and what may it indicate — become a habitual thought process. I want to leave you with a quick exercise to set the mood before we wrap up our discussion about subtext. It’s very simple: go out in public and watch people interact. For instance, you could sit in a café and stealthily monitor the individuals at the tables next to yours.

Since you can’t hear the overt dialogue, you must assume what the covert communication’s subtext is saying. Assign the people you are witnessing histories, feelings, and motivations. Make up stories and venture out on a limb. The narrative you conjure up in situations like this will get more and more accurate as you hone your subtext skills.


  1. How often have you found a gap between what you hear people say, your perceptions and the underlying message?
  2. How do you think mastering the art of reading the subtext of messages people convey will help you?
  3. Do you think your ability to read the subtext will make you more likeable and approachable for others?

Micro-managing – Lessons for leaders from helicopter parenting

Leaders would do well to understand that micro-managing is like the helicopter parent who is seemingly disapproving of all that their team members do.

I was trying to relate this one to my own personal experience and found it so relevant that I chose to share with you some insights that I gained.

This was about 30 years back when my wife and I were dating.  Being brought up in a conservative family environment where all decisions in your life were taken by parents, was blasphemous, to say the least.  Those were the days when parents thought that all that they did was in the best interests of the family and they were always ‘right’.

They were disapproving of our relationship and did all in their power to stop us from seeing each other.  That included, for my poor partner being locked up for days at home to character assassination of yours truly to extremes like threats to disown us.

The interesting thing about all these attempts was that the more they did of these, the closer and tighter we became in our relationship.  We started to find immense strength from each other’s company and felt like having the power to take on the world.  There was something very unnerving of about parents meddling in their children’s affairs that appeared to motivate us kids to rebel.

I realized that the more I was told to refrain from doing something, the more resolute I became in continuing.  The idea became more and more appealing to me and my partner.

The lesson here is that talking more and offering suggestions often were counterproductive and had low success rates.  Isn’t it similar to smokers still continuing to smoke despite all the graphic pictures and symbols shown on the pack?  I am sure you can relate to this when anyone tries to hard sell you an idea and the way you dig in your heels to oppose or stall it with vigor.

The harder we are pushed, the harder we resist!

Today, absenteeism, non-cooperation, and employee disengagement are early warning signs of a micro-managing boss.   

Employee turnover is the ultimate act of defiance against the leaders who have been guilty of micro-managing and giving little or no autonomy to their employees.

As with parenting, leaders need to be less controlling and more supportive and facilitative in their approach.  All the more important for leaders who are working with Gen Z, Gen X, and Gen Alphas.

Any attempt to control can lead to what social psychologists call the “Romeo and Juliet” effect.  As was the case with me and my partner.  The impact of that is still relevant.

Leadership – From Good to Great

As a leader,

Have you started feeling lonely at the top?

Feel like talking to someone about it?

Hey, that would be great. Let’s connect for 10 min. over a cup of coffee.

Are you someone who enjoys the ‘spotlight’?

Have you started feeling ‘lonely’ at the top?

Are you still feeling ‘a lack’, despite achieving a lot of success?

Then, it’s time to take a long hard look at what you have to offer to ‘life’.  It is time to start looking inwards and reconcile the dissonance that is embedded deeply in you.

Leadership Qualities – From ‘Good’ to ‘Great’

Leaders are susceptible to an overblown sense of their own importance.  They are so full of themselves that they are unable to fulfill their purpose.

Humility: Being grounded

In success, the spotlight is always on the leader.  They will be surrounded by cheerleaders who may sing praises in their honor that could potentially feed into their ‘ego’.  Leaders may start to think that it is all about them, especially so when their team or organization is winning.

The greater the accomplishment, the greater the need to check their egos. That’s why it’s so important that they remain grounded. The most important quality of a leader is humility.  Unlike leaders who hog all the credit for the success of their team and organization, true leaders are those who are honest about their own vulnerability and are able to acknowledge the contribution of others to their success.

Leaders who are humble have a great level of self-awareness and are comfortable in their own skin.  They never feel the need to draw attention to themselves.  They rejoice in the success of others and empower others to succeed and shine.  They are people who have the right perspective.

The story of Prof. Vikram Sarabhai, the father of India’s space program and his leadership is legendary and has often been quoted by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President and father of India’s missile program.  He said, and I quote “When the first rocket was successfully fired from the Thumba Space Station, the whole nation celebrated and congratulatory messages started pouring in from all quarters.  It was during the press meeting that Prof. Sarabhai gave the entire credit to the team and acknowledged the contribution of young scientists like me.  It was so motivating.  He could have so easily hogged all the limelight but chose to push us to the front.  That really was not just a lesson in leadership and humility but set the foundation for the success of all space programs in India.” 

A humble leader is willing to remain in the background, willing to take risks, and comfortable in giving up power and losing a degree of autonomy.  That’s something to be.  Not many leaders are capable of being that.  That is what separates the ‘Great’ from the ‘Good’.

Authentic leadership


Leaders who are successful are often put on a high pedestal by the people.  In order to remain grounded, the leaders need to get off that pedestal and be part of the crowd or team they lead.

It is possible by being honest and authentic.  Authentic leaders are comfortable in their own skin.  Their goal is always to lift up the people they lead and not have the people lift them up.

They are careful not to allow others to put them on a pedestal.  This can potentially create a gap – a distance between them and those who are less successful.  Those who are inauthentic enjoy this gap, and do all they can to protect that image, always trying to stay above the crowd.  This does nothing more than make the gap even bigger and larger.

Authentic leaders work hard to bridge that gap. They are open about their failures and shortcomings. They have a good laugh at themselves. When they are asked to speak, they keep introductions very short and simple.  They rather prefer to talk about the work their team does and the contributions of others.   They walk among the people and connect with them before and after their time on the stage. They do all they can to be who they are without pretense.

Higher calling: born to do

Another quality of great leaders is that they don’t just work towards a purpose but have a ‘calling’ that wakes them up every day and charges their batteries.  That ‘higher-calling’ is what makes them tireless in the pursuit of their dreams.  It is their ‘calling’ that not just drives them but ‘compels’ them to do what they do.  It is something they feel they were ‘born to do’.  It is who they are, what they know, and what they love to do.

When you work to your higher calling you are not really looking at your benefit but the benefit of others.  They are the people who lead a life that they are not trying to ‘escape’ from.

There is no greater joy than doing what you were ‘Created’ for.

You would never want to become a leader so full of yourself that you are unable to fulfill your purpose. Leaders who are not grounded become unstable.

You must always check to make sure that you remain grounded. If you maintain humility, display authenticity, and remain true to your calling, the chances are good that you’ll be able to keep your feet on the ground and move from ‘good’ to ‘great’.

Leaders – Are You A Sucker For “Suck-ups”?

I have been reviewing leadership profiles as part of custom designing leadership development programs in over 60 major corporations.  I see that most organizations describe the behavioral indicators for leadership that is so obvious. They include behaviors like “communicates a clear vision,” “helps people to develop to their maximum potential,” “strives to see the value of differing opinions,” and “avoids playing favorites.”

Leadership respect

Not one has ever included the desired behavior that read “effectively sucks up to senior management and to the board”.

Given the overwhelming data that goes to show how often such behavior is rewarded in organizations, I thought “sucking up” should probably make it to the list and as the number one indicator for you to succeed.

While almost every company I’ve worked with says it wants people to “challenge the system” and to “be empowered to express your opinion” and “say what you really think,”; I come across a lot of performers who are stuck as they are not so much into sucking up.

It’s not just that companies claim to dislike and discourage such behaviors, even leaders say so in no uncertain terms.

Almost all the leaders say that they would never encourage such a thing in their teams and organizations. I am at no point doubting their sincerity in this regard.  I am sure you get disgusted easily by those so-called “a**e li***rs. 

That raises an important question: If leaders say they discourage sucking up, why does such behavior dominate the workplace? I must argue that these leaders are generally very adept at sizing up people and calibrating their responses based on continual interactions.  Yet, most seem to fall prey to people who are highly skilled at suck-ups. They still end up playing favorites.

The problem possibly could be that they are not able to see in themselves, what they so clearly see in others.  They might not realize that all along they might be sending subtle signals that encourage their team members to be mute on their criticisms and be high on their praise for the powers that be.

I worked under one such manager who used to get the jitters when I used to challenge my top management on issues that demanded their attention.  He always used to pull me aside and advise that I shouldn’t be raising these issues and that the management is already aware of the matter.  I used to see him always singing praises of his bosses even when some of their ideas sucked.

It surprises me how some leaders and managers cannot see it in themselves. Now you may think “this doesn’t apply to me.” Maybe you’re right. But how can you be so sure you’re not in denial?

Let me take an example.  Ask anyone who has ever owned a dog or heard stories from those who own one as to “who gets their maximum attention and affection at home?”.  Almost unanimously they say it’s their dog.  Ask them why?  They reply in unison that they do because they get unconditional love, the dogs never talk back at them, they never argue and accept whatever is given to them.  What they don’t realize is that the dogs suck up to them.  Most people unabashedly claim that they like those who can accept them for who they are.  What in effect they are trying to tell you is that no matter my idiosyncrasies, please suck up to me.

If we aren’t careful, we can end up treating people at work like dogs. Rewarding those who heap unthinking, unconditional admiration upon us. What behavior do we get in return? A virulent case of promoting the suck-ups. The net result is obvious. You end up encouraging behavior that serves you, but not necessarily the best interests of your organization.

As a leader, you can change all that and do the best for your team by first acknowledging that you have a tendency to favor those who favor you, even if you don’t mean to.


A quick analysis by answering the following questions will provide you with a measure.

“In your meetings with your team, do you often get more people agreeing to your line or keeping quiet when compared to those who oppose or provide contrarian views?” 

“Do you like people who openly challenge some of the decisions or proposals you make?

If you have fewer challenges and like people who toe your line, then that’s the indicator that you are playing favorites and growing suck-ups in your company.  I know it will be hard to accept but being honest with yourself will be the beginning of taking your leadership to the level of authenticity that it demands.  A quick analysis like this is not sufficient and deeper analysis will be required by seeking feedback.



How does isolation chip away at one’s health and mental wellness?

I was all 24 yrs. when I started my journey as an entrepreneur, and I felt so alone in facing the challenges in making my dreams become a reality.  I felt I had nowhere to go to share my struggles of which there were plenty.  No one to exchange ideas and to learn from those who had taken that path before I did and committed mistakes. 

I had no support from family or friends as they thought I was crazy to leave a well-paying job and risking everything to pursue something of which there were no guarantees. Well, I guess, that’s the case with anything in life, isn’t it?

With every misstep, self-doubt started to creep in and ate away at my confidence, my dreams, vision and eventually taking a toll on my health.

Well, they say entrepreneurship is a lonely profession and it felt like that to me at that time!

It was during one of my travels that I met a fellow traveler who had like me taken the leap of faith about 10 years ago.  He could relate to what I was going through and gave me a few tips on how he overcame the challenges which I was experiencing at the start.  I must confess they were pearls of wisdom that put me right back on track.  One suggestion he gave me was to be part of some peer group of like-minded entrepreneurs, which could be an effective antidote to my loneliness.

He quoted from the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, “No mind is complete by itself. It needs contact and association with other minds to grow and expand.”

He told me, “Sree don’t try to be like Atlas, carrying the burden of the whole world on your shoulders”, why don’t you find people who could share some of it and also support you in the process?  He referred me to a group he was part of, and that changed me completely.  It helped me readjust to my struggles and took a lot of weight off my shoulders.

I quickly realized that on my own, I could only have a limited amount of experience, education, and training. Being part of a Peer Advisory Group, I could tap into the experience, training, skills, knowledge, and resources of like-minded peers and mentors which could fast track my learning curve and provide me with the much-needed energy to pursue my goals.

I realized quickly and in the very first meeting that one could not separate personal and professional life in silos and how one’s personal life had a deep impact on our business decisions and how our decisions at work impacted our personal lives.

It’s now 26 years since I started this journey, and I can say with absolute confidence that being part of a Peer Advisory Group was the best thing that happened to me.  It helped me transcend the barriers of self-doubt, low confidence, anxiety, and poor health to being a more self-confident person.

Some benefits from a long list are worth a mention here;

  1. Helped improve mental wellness the peer group connect helped me to cope with the challenges of feeling isolated and lonely.
    1. Helped me leverage from the insights and experiences of people from diverse backgrounds.
    2. Learn critical skills of negotiating tough deals, having difficult conversations, managing finances and dealing with investors
    3. Broaden my knowledge to include aspects of entrepreneurship which you normally come to learn long after committing mistakes
    4. Diverse perspectives as I listened to the problems others shared and put my own challenges in context.
    5. Referral business as I always had someone who knew somebody else who could be my potential customer.  I must say, referrals to this date have kept my business engine growing by leaps and bounds.

Peer Advisory Groups enable not just learning about ourselves but is a good reminder of how far we have reached, what we overcame, and of our accomplishments.

So whether you are dreaming of starting something on your own, a startup entrepreneur, an aspiring ‘C’ Suite executive, being part of a Peer Advisory Group can definitely fast track you towards achieving your goals.  Not to forget contribute positively to your physical and mental wellness.

You don’t want to waste your precious time “Re-inventing the wheel” do you?

JOIN a Leadership Peer Advisory Group near you!  

10 compelling reasons to join a Peer Advisory Group

Being a business owner comes with so many wonderful things. However, it comes with its own set of challenges as well, such as a feeling that you cannot possibly share the challenges you are encountering with your friends, family, or team members lest you may come across as someone who is not up to the task of entrepreneurship.

You don’t want to be seen as someone who made the bad choice of starting your own business. You don’t want to be seen as vulnerable. It does at times become so lonely at the top.

It doesn’t have to be that way if you choose to join a peer advisory group which might be the perfect remedy for all the challenges that come with business ownership.

I want to list 10 compelling reasons for you to consider taking this most important leap.

  1. You deserve unique insights and support. As much as you as an individual is unique, so is your business. As a business owner the challenges and pressures you face may be unique as well. Having a well-established group of your peers to discuss problems with during a peer advisory group enabler meeting can truly be a game-changer for you and your business. The diversity of the group will provide you with a safe space for you to fully open up to possibilities. You can get unbiased advice from non-competing business owners, who would wish only the best for you.
  2. It offers more than just business value. While you may join a peer advisory group to bring more value to your company you get more than chasing just your business dreams. Like minded business owners can offer much needed support which then could have a positive rub-off on you personally, your family and bring with it a better work-life balance. It will be surely more than what you signed up for.
  3. The opportunity to share and care. Being part of a Peer Advisory Group is not just about getting advice, you will find opportunities to help other business owners in areas where you excel. It is reciprocal and goes a long way in building your personal brand and reputation as well.
  4. It helps you build your leadership capability. Learning and developing key business leadership skills is crucial for business owners. Your peer advisory group led by an experienced facilitator and your peers will push you to develop your leadership skills through peer-to-peer coaching and mentorship. It will act as a great resource pool of lived experiences, teaching leadership lessons which no training program can provide and is worth its weight in gold.
  5. Helps you avoid mistakes. As a business owner, learning by committing mistakes and failures may not always be ideal and can be demotivating as well. It could deplete you of energies which are much needed for you to focus on growing your business than learning costly lessons. Being part of a peer advisory group, you could well save yourself from the huge cost of such mistakes by learning from each other’s mistakes.
  6. Saves you the huge costs of hiring a personal group of advisors. Having your own personal board of advisors for business may cost you a lot and at times can be constraining giving you limited flexibility. Having joined a peer advisory group you not only save the costs of retainer fees but benefit from a diverse board which can help you upskill faster.
  7. Helps you harness the power of collective. The fact that you have other business owners and leaders, you already will have an existing resource pool, structure and tools to help you keep moving forward in your journey. The power of the collective helps you to be more proactive.
  8. You will overcome the tunnel vision effect. As business owners, unconsciously we surround ourselves with people who tend to agree with us more. Those who are willing to toe the line of our thoughts and ideas. It happens a lot with business owners.  Most small business owners will find teams who seem to show their agreement just so that they are in your good books. That however is not always productive. There is a need for us be open to alternative ideas, embrace different perspectives, be challenged, disagreed with and pushed to think outside our own little box. A peer advisory group can help with that as all in the group are there to learn and grow and have no other agenda. 
  9. Brings greater accountability. Peer pressure brings with it greater accountability. The fact that we will have to face up to our peer group regularly adds a positive peer pressure, pushing you into moving forward with your goals. It builds great ownership.
  10. Provides you with great opportunities and friendship. Being vulnerable and helping each other grow the business, peer advisory groups not just open up great opportunities for your business, but it also builds strong bonds with your peer group, who you can continue to rely upon in the long term. It builds friendship.

Peer Advisory Groups enable you to push yourself outside your comfort zones.  That’s where breakthroughs happen and you grow your business, take it to the next level.

Joining a Leadership Peer Advisory Group will be the smartest thing you did!

Paradox – Leadership mistakes!

Take initiative, be creative!

So, the boss told.

It took time and thought,

Before I could be bold.

What stops you from taking initiative?

So, the boss asked.

So, I did sir!

Here it is and I refer.

You should have checked with me before?

Did you have the permission for?

I was about to sir!

The lines were a little blur.

I thought of it so long,

That I could start strong.

There you go “thought”!

Would you be kind to leave me that thinking.

I had a feeling that it would bring a dime,

But didn’t want it to eat into your time.

“feelings”, why don’t you leave your emotions home?

You are at work and not home!

All this your sensitivity,

Emotional proclivity.

Bugs me to the core,

Always when they come to the fore.

From now, do as you are told,

As the demands of business behold.

Yes sir, I told,

I will do as your ideas hold.

I am not bemused,

It’s just that the monkey is confused!


Leaders commit so many mistakes and most relate to their communication style. Often there is a paradox.

You find that leaders expect people to take initiatives, and at the first instance, reprimand them for not seeking their permissions before doing so. They talk about mutual-respect and rarely do they of their employees. They talk of integrity and each action goes to contradict their talk. They talk about innovation and are seen to play the conservative game all of the time. They say they are people centric but in all their communication they say, people may come and go but the organization remains and results matter.

Are you a business leader committing these mistakes?

by the way openness and the comfort of being vulnerable is touted as one of the great ‘Leadership traits’

So don’t be afraid to confront your reality!

Talk to me if you are looking for 1:1 Coaching or An assessment of your Leadership.

Just send me this contact form 👇 and I will get in touch with you.

You Will Be Glad You Did!

Mullah Naseeruddin And The King – A Lesson on Leadership

At that time, Mullah Naseeruddin was appointed as the king’s procurator. 

Mullah Naseeruddin And The King – Leadership lesson THE CRITICAL DIALOGUE – LIFE AT WORK

His job as a treasurer was to judiciously use the money to procure various commodities and properties that were required for the state.  He had to be an expert in valuation of things he wished to procure.

He would buy Horses, Elephants, Weaponry, Gold, Silver, Clothing, Grains and so on for the kingdom and pay the merchants who brought them.

Mullah Naseeruddin was a very capable procurator as he ensured that the kingdom always had abundance of what it required for sustenance and security.  He would ensure that whatever he bought was of the highest quality and at the best valuation.  This in turn ensured that while the kingdom always had what they wanted, their coffers would also not run empty.

He always thought of saving for a rainy day and apportioned a part of the kingdom’s wealth for meeting any eventuality in the future.

Mullah Nasseruddin was also a very good administrator making sure that the economy was in good shape with a continual flow of necessities and trade.  He was also very fair-minded in his dealings with all the merchants who came from far and wide and always was prompt in his payments.  This kept the merchants happy and they would always bring commodities of the highest quality for the Mullah to purchase. 

Thanks to Mullah Nasseruddin the name of the kingdom and the king spread far and wide as a place to do trade with.

The King however did not see the value of the Mullah to the kingdom.  He was a miser and felt that the Mullah was depleting his coffers by expending a lot of money.  At this rate I would soon be bankrupt he thought.

“It’s time I replace the Mullah with someone who is as miserly as me, as thoughtful as me in spending money, and who could buy things at a very cheap price” he thought.

He found a very easy way to find such a person.  He looked out of the window and found some of his attendants standing and chatting away doing nothing.  He called out to one of his attendants and asked him to appear in his courtroom immediately.

The attendant went as ordered by his king, fearful of the possible consequences from this sudden call from his majesty.

As the attendant stood, frightened, the King announced in the courtroom “From today, you shall be my procurator in place of Mullah Nasseruddin”

The courtroom fell silent by this order, but no one, not even Mullah wanted to defy the King’s order.  As the Mullah bowed to his King, and walked out of the courtroom, he had a faint smile on his face.

The king had come up with this plan as he thought that an ordinary attendant without any rank or status would buy nothing without haggling and would be more economical in his purchases.  But, this man was quite a fool which the king was soon to find out.

The new procurator could not distinguish between a donkey and a horse, but was as the king thought an expert in offering astoundingly low value for anything he had to buy.

The merchants who came from far off places, started to feel the pinch of low value being offered for their high quality goods.  They couldn’t argue with the procurator as he was specially chosen by the king and anyone who went against his will would have to face his wrath.

In his enthusiasm to buy cheap, the procurator went ahead and purchased anything and everything which could come at a very low price, no matter the quality and the quantity.  He didn’t have the sense to understand what was required for the efficient running of the kingdom.

Within no time, the storehouse was filled with a whole lot of rubbish which had no value or use to the kingdom.  The merchants started to make heavy losses and to compensate, started to bring inferior quality products to the kingdom.

The storehouse was turning into a junkyard of unwanted goods.

The kingdom’s reputation started to get tarnished as the merchants carried the message far and wide.

One day, the King came to know of a merchant who had arrived with about 500 horses of the finest quality.  He ordered his procurator to purchase all of them.

The new procurator found this as an excellent opportunity to impress his King.

He ordered the merchant to supply all of the horses to the King’s stable and in return offered a measure of rice.  “Be happy that the King even considered to buy your horses.  You are lucky to be of service to our great King” he proclaimed.

The merchant was dejected as a measure of rice was not even worth the price of one horse and here was this man who was offering that for 500 horses.

As he went back to his stable to get the horses, he found Mullah Nasseruddin on the way.  “Why are you looking sad and dejected?” asked the Mullah.

The merchant narrated the whole incident and then asked Mullah to come to his aid as he didn’t’ want to make so much loss in this trade.  It was a matter of his survival.

Mullah Nasseruddin pondered over the problem and then said “When you go to the courtroom tomorrow to receive the payment for your horses, ask the procurator in front of the King and all the witnesses in the courtroom, as to how much he is willing to pay for the horses.  And when the procurator says – a measure of rice, please ask him what is the value of a measure of rice?” 

Let’s see what happens next.  Don’t worry, I will be present in the courtroom as well.

Next day in the courtroom in front of all the witnesses and the King, the merchant asked the procurator “Sir, I bring the finest horses to you, no one in this entire world has bred such horses.  What value do you have to offer for these finest of the fine breed?”

“A measure of rice ofcourse, as I had already told you yesterday” the procurator said and turned to his King for receiving the acknowledgement for getting such a low price.

“And Sir, may I ask you before these witnesses, how much value is a measure of rice?” the merchant asked as advised by the Mullah.

The boastful procurator wanted to show that a measure of rice from the king was invaluable replied “As anyone in this courtroom will tell you, a measure of rice is equal to the value of this entire kingdom and all the territories under its rule” bragged the procurator.

He was obviously wanting to show as any good bargainer that what he was willing to pay was much more in value than the commodity he was buying. 

Listening to this, all the courtiers burst out laughing at the foolishness of the procurator.  Some even made jokes as to how they could gobble up an entire kingdom with one meal.  How all of them could procure many kingdoms with the amount of rice they had stored in their houses.

Some of them even chided the procurator to buy them a kingdom with one measure of rice, as they continued to laugh at the stupidity of the man.

The only people in the court who did not laugh at this enjoy the joke were the foolish procurator and the King who had employed him without much thought.  The king bowed his head in shame for appointing such a fool who had made himself and the King a laughing stock in front of his courtiers.

Mullah Naseeruddin saw the predicament of the King and wanted to put a stop at all the jokes and banter which were going around.  “Do not mock a man for his ignorance.  When a man entrusted with a job for which he is not qualified he is bound to make a laughing stock of himself sooner or later.  It is not the poor fellows fault that he was appointed as a procurator”

Hearing this the King, raised his head and said “It was my fault O Mullah Nasseruddin.  I have learnt my lesson.  I understand, no one can do wrong except the King”

The king at once removed the procurator from the post and appointed the Mullah back to the job he had so astutely performed.


  1. Are you able to relate to the characters in this story? Namely the King, Mullah Naseeruddin, New Procurator, Merchants, the Horse trader, the Courtiers?
  2. What did you learn from each character?
  3. Do you find similarities in your life at work and at home?
  4. What leadership lesson is there for you in this story?