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MOTIVATIONAL TALK
"Our limitations are linked to the attitude we wear"
Dhananjay Bansod, Chief People Officer, Deloitte in India tells DTDIY why attitude matters the most in life both at work place and personal space and more...
| Issue Date - 01/10/2011

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A management graduate from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Dhananjay Bansod, Chief People Officer, Deloitte in India has had the opportunity of hiring and firing everyone ranging from sycophants to workaholics. In an exclusive conversation with sugandh singh, Bansod talks about positive change management, his challenges as Chief People Officer and what motivates him to deliver the best.

Q. What according to you is the best first step in the direction of positive change at organizational and personal level?
A: The first step in the direction of positive change at a personal level is adoption of positive attitude. Positive attitude backed up by appropriate effort, substantially enhances the probability of positive success. And at an organizational level, well I will say, it is quite difficult to determine. It commences by defining exciting vision and then empowering it by strong organizational values. The execution of vision aligned goals becomes possible when the organizational society experiences comfort and reward for their contribution. Vision also empowers people to stretch in the correct direction, contribute more than expectation and feel valued for increased contribution. 

Q. In times when multitasking is a hard pressing reality, people have a lot of things on their plate. How does one try and concentrate on the more important issues in life rather than getting entangled in problems that don't really matter?
A:
The standard two by two matrix of urgent vs important is a useful tool to prioritize more important issues over other ones. But this analytical tool often gives away when one experiences clash of values. A careful watch on comfort with values followed by assessment of which issue offers maximum gain keeps one on course. Focusing on purely the urgent and important issues where there is a clash with one's values often dissipates energies leading to mediocre performance. Another trap is focusing on urgent issues of lesser significance where one has high expertise. The urgency tempts one to quickly resolve the issues, feel good about the same, but creates limited value for the person.

Q. What principles do you consider indispensable for balancing work and personal life?
A:
A simple twist of words has been a guiding principle to balance work and personal life. While most people say that "I work for xyz organization", I have learnt to say "I work with xyz organization" but "I work for my family". This helps me to balance priorities between relationships at work and those back at home. However, in my opinion, the work life balance is not about going home on time - but about being able to ensure appropriate focus based on needs on either side.

Q. But there comes a time in almost everyone's life when you feel like giving up on something, but you carry on. Have you also have faced a similar situation ever?
A:
I did experience few such situations. There was a time when I was responsible to supporting a big change in one of the large organization that I was serving. The resistance to change was immense. I received negative feedback and cautionary advise from many directions. However, I pursued our goal. After a couple of years, the change had become a way of life for the organization. Several senior people from the organization complemented the efforts. An event to applause the effort too was organized. Perseverance paid!
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Q. What is it that drives and motivates you to deliver the best at whatever you do?
A.
Giving somebody a reason to smile is motivating. A possibility of making a difference to somebody's life drives me to stretch myself a little more.

Q. Positive outlook plays a great role in making a great entrepreneur. But can you explain how does it differ in case of different people, for example a Mark Zuckerberg from a Steve Jobs?
A:
An entrepreneur is an optimist risk taker. Steve Jobs took up an organization which was close to bankruptcy, turned it around with single minded focus on excellence. On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg, pursued his dreams against all odds and succeeded. Both of them maintain a single minded focus to deliver the best with a conviction that the best always brings in success.

Q. When considering entrepreneurship, what is it that motivates a majority of the entrepreneurs? Is it money or is it the prospect of creating something unprecedented in human history?
A:
Entrepreneurs are motivated by independence as well as a conviction that "I can make it happen"! Creating something unprecedented or doing something better than others, or customizing for the customers are strategies to "make it happen". Money is just an outcome of a successful enterprise.

Q. Do you think most of the limitations that block success are created by individuals themselves? What would be you suggestion for one to work towards turning these limitations into opportunities?
A:
Most of the limitations are linked to attitude that we adopt. While our attitude is influenced by our experiences with the world outside, as adults we have a choice of altering, rejecting and adopting learning that accrues from our experiences. Discovering what one truly wants is often the toughest assignment that one can take up. My personal observation has been that what "one" truly wants is often influenced by the people around who keep in drumming into us "what we should aim for". Several people complete their journeys without really experiencing "what did I truly want". A better way of focusing our energies is evaluating where do I experience least difficulty with my values – if my values allow me to work comfortably, more than half the battle is won.

Q. What is the first step towards achieving the best in a person who is looking at both individual and success in terms of a career or entrepreneurship?
A:
Each one of us carries a diamond, which gets buried under external pressures, imposed images, erroneous beliefs and twisted attitudes that get formed due to our own unique set of experiences. Discovering the diamond necessitates cleaning up all those assumptions and presumptions that one makes of oneself. This involves a large part of self-reflection along with some experimentation. And self-reflection or experimentation is easier said than done. Paying keen attention to one's own feelings while experiencing whichever path one is walking on enables one to discover what does one enjoy doing and what does one do best. Unless one walks a few paths and takes a few U-turns, it is very difficult to discover where the diamond lies buried.
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