Thoughts

These are my thoughts in chronological order that I have been updating since Jan 5, 2012. There are credit and source listed against the ones that I heard or read somewhere 

Often organizations fail because they think they are solving customer’s problems while in reality, they are busy solving their own problems. Over time, they can’t even differentiate between the two.

Lean & agile isn’t a methodology but a set of principles and values to adopt into our way of working. Unintentionally, lean-agile is practiced as a set of ceremonies, as in religion, that principles and values never implied. Avoid falling into that pitfall by staying with the principles and values of anything undertaken for manifesting imagination and creativity in your teams. It’s also much easier to motivate individuals around values and principles than methodology and set of practices. It’s also when innovation innately happens

Leadership has nothing to do with rank and position. It’s all about how well someone understands and truthfully fulfills his/her responsibilities wherever they are and whatever, honorably, they are expected to perform for others around them. That’s all that determines whether that person can be followed as a leader or not

Often organizations can’t distinguish between “agile” and “Agile”, i.e., Agile with caps “A”. There is quite a difference between the two as agile is deep-rooted in an individual’s traits and behavior to accomplish goals. They do it while staying eager to learn, experiment, be flexible, cross-pollinate knowledge to find the best possible solution with speed, and constant learning from failures. In contrast, “Agile” is a mere iterative method with a framework, terminology, and techniques devised to building something. It’s an irony that we believe that organizations become “agile” by practicing “Agile.” Individuals with an agile mindset are better equipped to apply “Agile” as one of the tools, like many others they have aptly learned over time. Because of their innate traits, they adapt to using and applying many different tools to achieve agility in completing any task. Unfortunately, when evaluating or hiring individuals, organizations pay attention to only how much someone knows about “Agile” as a tool, “Agile” artifacts, and the terminologies specific to “Agile”, titles like scrum master or product owner/manager that someone has held while practicing “Agile”. If organizations truly want to be agile, then they need to hire and promote individuals with agile traits and behavior. These individuals once hired, will innately find a way to learn and practice “Agile” like any other method when it’s a proper fit and appropriate

Animals are probably the best comedians who understand us more than we know ourselves. They make us laugh with their innocent acts & personalities. My wife introduced me to this animal sanctuary, where turkey is the tour guide, and his name is Handsome. Handsome is safe this Thanksgiving, and so is Napolean, the goat, who came and stood by me the first day I was around them. All animals at the sanctuary somehow knew that we lost Neo, our dog, a few days ago and they acted in unity to provide the comfort and stage we needed. We now love having them around.

When nothing makes sense, follow your instinct

The Creator gave all features that human asked for. But He couldn’t find a way to fit, without conflicting with all other features, the most precious feature of “unconditional love.” So He created dogs and gave the feature of “unconditional love” to them

I always felt that there is a missing code in me, and then I found that the code I was missing goes through every living being around me. And, my beloved late dog Neo showed the way to that missing code.

1000 years worth of unconditional love in just two and a half years; only dogs can do that to us. Unexpectedly lost my buddy & co-founder of https://shrbox.com (Share Box) “Neo Shandilya” on Oct 19, 2020 -RIP Neo

Often the same road, when traveled in the opposite direction, looks different. So don’t settle on one road and one direction, have as many perspectives & views as possible before forming an opinion

We often find ourselves suffering because of memory from the past or anxiety of what may be coming tomorrow via our imagination. We can’t do anything about either of these, so the only and possibly the best option is to focus on and act on now.

When it comes to agility and lean execution, more quick learners than experts are needed

I heard this on one of the Indian shows yesterday – “people who love dogs are usually good people by heart.” I immediately thought of Sushant Singh Rajput, this portrait, and my late elder brother, who loved animals, and they equally loved him back. This morning I kissed our dog Neo with a new realization that the path to goodness goes through dogs. Love them all, and they will silently become an eternal reason for peace within you! – RIP Sushant Singh Rajput and my elder late brother Sanjay Shandilya!  – June 25, 2020

We begin to realize that answers have to be from within, and it’s usually after we lose someone very close and dear.

Anyone can pretend to be a leader until their first crisis

On a tree of arrogance grows the fruit of destruction

Ironically, the same thing said and suggested by a person with a title has more weight than one without it. Many good ideas get killed because of our this obsession with other’s titles

There are five kinds of people in this world  – Activists, Politicians, Watchers, Supporters of Activists and or Politicians, and the Indifferent kind. Which one are you?

I share with others whatever new I learn so that I can stay motivated to learn something else new

As it’s impossible to drive by focusing more on the rearview mirror than on the road ahead, in life, the rearview mirror is our past.

It’s not difficult to define reality, but leaders also provide hope

We have gotten so used to outsourcing trust and pay to have someone maintain it on our behalf. Something is not right, and it’s time to question the very reason it all started.

To be creative and therefore innovative, we must understand that we are often prisoners of what we know; what we believe, and what we always expect in an outcome

Perception is reality, if others do not perceive you as a leader, then you are not one

Creativity is the mother of innovation

Trust your instinct with confidence; that’s usually right

It’s our choice whether to side with the problem or be part of the solution

People don’t buy better products. They buy better versions of themselves – Heard at the MIT Media Lab (July 13, 2018)

Innovation begins with an “eye” with creativity, as a tool, applied towards problem-solving

Don’t just have goals rather have a script for a story that you would love to share about yourself a few years from now

Opportunities are your anchors to flourish

There are no failures in our lives, there are only opportunities

You may need to start alone, but if there are purity and purpose in your journey, you will not stay alone for a long time

The two basic ingredients for building and maintaining any relation are time and right intentions

Acceptance is always a first step to solving any problem

Get in the habit of validating and re-calibrating your trust in others. The trust you have in others is probably hurting you silently. There is nothing permanent in life, including trust.

Appreciation is assurance, but many individuals often fail to embrace and comprehend the power of this gesture often because of their own insecurities

There will always be individuals who will never like us, will have a bias, and will reject pretty much everything about us. In the bigger picture none of these matters. Instinctively, with experience and over time, it becomes much easier to recognize these individuals. In fact, with time, I have learned that these individuals in essence, are your best conduit towards building behavioral & emotional intelligence through occasional testing.

Whatever we feel and experience, in reaction to the outside realm, always plays within us. It’s like a multi-dimensional movie where we are the only audience. Fortunately, we also have an inbuilt control to select the genre, to our liking, for everything that happens in this movie.  For 2018 and beyond, wishing you peace and harmony in every moment. The peace and harmony will enable the control you need to select a genre of your liking – Jan 2, 2018

Anything new humanity ever created manifested and took shape in its mind first. So believe in your ideas. They have an infinite potential to change this universe and way beyond humanity’s realm – Nov 25, 2017

You are much bigger than what you think of yourself

It’s a myth that innovation begins with ideation. Through ideation can provide a structured and focused approach to building lots of user-centric ideas, the methodology itself is non-linear. It always starts with a purposeful inspiration to solve real problems. If you are a problem-solver, that most of us are, then unconsciously the ideation trait is already innate in us. And irrespective of our constraints, it has been triggering automatically within us whenever we see a problem. What, as problem-solvers, we need to get good at is putting inspiration and a purpose at the core of ideation as a practice?” – Oct 8, 2017

Each one of us has an infinite potential to create anything by training our mind (thoughts), energy (actions), body (our senses), & emotions (expression) to work in harmony – remember “BEEM” – Body, Energy, Emotions, Mind. This is also at the core of what enables mindful innovation

We have been here before. But nothing will change if we didn’t learn anything when we were here

Abraham Lincoln once quoted – “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” The gist of that statement was “in people we trust.” But we are moving towards a future where “in data, we trust” will be at the center. The data will replace people, and with that, the cultural, geographical, industrial, political, or any boundaries that divide us will vanish. The Dataism will prevail, and we will become one truly global economy with equal rights privileges, health, and wealth.” “All of this has started, and blockchain has the potential to be the enabler and integrator, with intrinsic trust, of everything that we have created or will create in the future. It has the potential to be the operating system of a global economy touching each and everyone positively; equally; and directly, without any need for the intermediaries.”

Start your day with deep thinking – it will always provide you a fresh perspective to your day

At any moment in our lives, we are where we are supposed to be

Buy from businesses where you feel welcomed

From pleasant customer experience, besides revenue, you get loyalty and patronage too

If new knowledge isn’t making you humble then nothing else will

Destiny determines who enters your life but you decide who stays

The employees with a clear purpose are always consciously or unconsciously contributing to the organization’s mission. They are the key, sometimes quiet, actors in the value chain. But if they ever feel otherwise, they should try to speak with individuals, who can help them re-realize, re-align, and re-connect. The longer they wait more disconnected and less motivated they will feel. The organization should recognize this and never let that happen to these employees. It’s very easy to identify these employees, with a clear purpose, in any organization

The truth hurts only once and a lie every time you remember it

There are three things in life that leave and never return: words, time, and opportunities

Value whoever values you and don’t treat as a priority whoever treats you like an option

The best gift we all got is our ability to change ourselves, so there is no need to look outside and try to change things around that are not in our control

Any ups or downs in your professional career won’t matter in the end, as long as you continue to learn and enhance your skills

Your career is not in someone else’s hands but it’s all in your hands.

In the connected world that we are in now there will always be something that will bother you. But if you know that it won’t matter in a few years from now then there is no need to fret over it

Get in the habit of recalibrating your professional network on a regular basis because it may be hurting you more than helping

Just met 89 years old lady sitting alone at Dunkin Donut in Metairie, LA. It took her less than 1 minute to demo that happiness and human connection can be found in subtle conversations. She struck a conversation that covered Bostonian’s accent and Boston’s history, the rich music of New Orleans, and her positive experience with the amazing people of Austin (my sister-in-law is from Austin and was with us). The interaction was so surreal and to me represented the magical spirit of Christmas. This is what we need to do all over again, that is, just speak to each other and more often. I couldn’t resist giving her a hug before leaving

People are not motivated by what you do but by why you do it – Simon Sinek

It’s OK for a leader to be perceived as vulnerable sometimes. What matters is how a leader doesn’t let that stray from the righteous path. That’s also when followers connect the most with their leaders and build trust. (Dec 1, 2016)

Carefully choose early adopters of your product or services and without confusing them with your immediate acquaintances, like family and friends; it’s an easy trap and many entrepreneurs make this mistake and get burned (Nov 25, 2016)

It starts with a one-sided love affair followed by sincere wooing to make it a two-sided love affair. It’s a love story of an entrepreneur with a value proposition on one side and customers on the other. So as an entrepreneur you better be truthful and believe in what you are bringing into this affair (Nov 15, 2016)

The world is imperfect, so there is no need for a perfect plan. As an entrepreneur, you need a plan but not a perfect plan to execute on. This is also a mantra for a lean startup (Nov 2, 2016)

There is quite a difference in being confident and in being brave. Being confident starts from within whereas being brave is usually instigated by factors that are external and not in your control. The former makes you believe in yourself and your capabilities, a required precursor to acting brave especially in situations that are circumstantial, unpleasant, and somewhat unexpected.

We unknowingly or knowingly feel that others are happier than us because they don’t have any problems like us. That’s a misconception. In fact, everyone around us is dealing with some kind of problem. They just chose not to let their problems overpower their behavior. Instead, they chose to deal with their problems with grit, acceptance, and awareness that this isn’t the worst.

Who doesn’t look for you, doesn’t miss you and who doesn’t miss you doesn’t care for you

There is always at least one very close person in our lives who could simultaneously act like the toughest and the most malleable person. And it’s all just to make us a better person.  In my case, it used to be my parents and now it’s my wife. Look around you have someone too

Confidence always follows originality. So stay true to who you are, where you came from, and what you stand for

There is always a girl in every woman

Life is short, act lean

Dream big, start small

As a leader sometimes you may find that the people you care about may not even be thought at country, city, town, or within an organizational hierarchy. But remember that you and the people you care about are an important thought within a smaller world comprising of immediate families, communities, friends, colleagues, customers, or whoever they interact with on a daily basis. This smaller world is all that’s needed as a building block. So lead with a mindset that lets them stay sincere & dedicated to their immediate environments and eventually enables them to become an important thought and a role model to a bigger world that surrounds their smaller existence (July 15, 2016).

Your experience shouldn’t put restrictions on what you can and can’t do with the knowledge you have. Though experience is extremely crucial, if not appropriately applied, will restrict your creativity and ability to innovate (July 14, 2016).

Perceived performance/result is an outcome of the combination of Skills & Knowledge (that’s in your control) + Luck (that’s not in your control). So all you can do is do your best to your skills & knowledge. You will be surprised that over time just by sincerely & consistently focusing on your skills & knowledge impact of luck will become less and less. In fact, if you believe that “luck is when preparation meets opportunity ” then you will be positioning yourself for better luck by consistently focusing solely on your skills & knowledge (July 13, 2016).

Our environment is a product of both certainty + uncertainty. It’s the certainty that keeps us confident and focused whereas uncertainty leads to anxiety, noise, and self-doubt. But remember that one persistent tool that will always help you maneuver through both certainty and uncertainty is believing in yourself, your skills, staying open to learning something new, and doing your best in any situation without worrying about the outcome.

One of the objectives of achieving process excellence is to determine fundamental drivers of outcomes and then challenging all assumptions about those drivers.  We may find that we were focusing on the wrong drivers and real value is actually coming from drivers that were never considered.

One of the common mistakes in performance evaluation is a selection of resources for feedback with a high degree of correlation. The best result is achieved when resources used for feedback are independent of each other

Skills persist, chance doesn’t

Giving advice to someone on a problem without any intimate consideration to their position, strengths and weaknesses may lead to a disappointing outcome for both the giver and receiver. It’s equally important for a receiver to weigh in the position, strengths, and weaknesses of a giver before internalizing or acting on any advice offered. This applies to both our personal and professional problems. As my father used to say by not staying cognizant of someone’s position, while giving or taking advice, may lead to negative karmic entanglement that could stay beyond the transient problem that brought the giver and receiver together  – June 3, 2016

Sometimes all you need to do is find the right audience. It’s not that people don’t care.

Heard this at the commencement ceremony in Boston  – “Distance between a pat on the back and being kicked in the butt is just 6 inches”.

There will always be opposing views on how to govern through what kind of resources for the betterment of the community. But as a citizen, you may find yourself in situations where you may not have the right knowledge & information to decide whose view is right for the community. In those situations, all you need to do is start with any side, listen to what they have to say, internalize it with an open mind, and without getting biased with what you learn and also what this side has to say about the opposing side. It won’t take very long to learn and realize where your values lie and which side aligns with your views  – May 6, 2016 (I became a US Citizen in the last week of April)

They just built senior care next to daycare (my two sons used to go to this daycare) – “about 50 feet apart or I should say 50 feet journey full of ups, downs, successes, failure, losses, gains, heartbreaks, tragedies, knowledge, expertise, & many other experiences”. It starts with the innocence of a child leading to an epitome of the marveled experience of a senior. In between, it’s all of us who need both to complete our journey. Also if you are looking for a mentor you may find one at one of these senior cares –  April 24, 2016

Every end always has a start

Heard this on NPR today- “by helping people  in need you become a doctor to your soul”

Before You Speak, Listen
Before You Write, Think
Before You Spend, Earn
Before You Invest, Investigate
Before You Criticize, Wait
Before You Pray, Forgive
Before You Quit, Try – Shared by Chellemma Brij Masih (quotes from LaugingColours). Aunt Chellemma, a divine soul, is a nurse and was one of the persons who took care of my father in his last days

Want to break your unlucky spell? Then treat every situation as an opportunity and give your 100% with sincerity without worrying about the results.

Decoupling our actions from expectations of positive outcomes keeps us emotionally detached and at peace irrespective of the result. So we should do our best without worrying about the outcome. As my father used to say only our actions and not the outcome that’s in our control.

When you take ownership of something whether at work, home, or somewhere else always remember that you are signing up for everything that you may directly or indirectly owe to the individuals impacted by your actions. It’s never the other way around.

Whether it’s business or your job, you need to do what’s necessary first then think about everything else. But remember it’s not necessary that you will necessarily be evaluated on what’s necessary. That’s how it works and you may still get screwed.

My mother and I used to talk often but now we try to talk every day, the only difference now is I listen to her more with a realization that losing my father is nothing compared to her losing her husband.

Sometimes on the road, all we can see is the driver ahead of us who is driving irrationally. But when we can look past him/her it’s usually somebody else ahead of that driver who may be causing him/her to react irrationally. One of the most important qualities of a leader is to be able to look past the obvious and help others succeed with a broader vision.

One thing to remember in both good and bad times – “This too shall pass” – From the phrase in the works of Persian Sufi poets

After any formal or informal education, there is always at least one thing that will stay with you forever and will continue to motivate, keep you positive, and will continue to balance your thoughts, especially in complex & negative situations. And that one thing may not be the knowledge you gained as a result of the course you took. So stop, think, and reflect and you may find an answer that you may be looking for, no matter at what stage of career or life you are in

Don’t compare to stay unrealistic – that’s also a mantra for innovation

Heard someone saying today – “In life, everything else you amass is extra besides health, healthy family & friends, and loved ones”

The biggest mistake that the majority of the individuals make is to let their job define who they are

Talent & Knowledge are important but ultimately it’s the attitude that matters – My late father Prof. S.K Shandilya

You define who you are because others don’t have the capacity to define you – So believe in yourself

If you can’t define who you are then others will

The best answer to many questions in life is to not have an answer

You still learn irrespective of whether you are receiving or sharing  knowledge (Jan 30, 2015)

What’s your leading style of putting fire under or by getting others fired up/passionately motivated about something? (Jan 29, 2015)

Leaders who lack emapthy, don’t leave much of a legacy and impression behind. Learned this lesson by observing a few individuals in the position of authority, not leadership, in the year of 2014

The difference between, making oneself succeed & look good vs making peers succeed & look good, is this that later makes you a leader (Jan 25, 2015)

There is a void that’s created when you lose a loved one but this is also life’s way of teaching you that grieving is a very personal experience and you need to find a reason on  your own to come to terms with it and in becoming a better soul in this life (Jan 18, 2015)

If you have been performing extraordinarily well on one thing for a very long time then you are becoming extraordinarily ordinary. So try doing different things in life and they don’t have to be extraordinary – NPR (Jan 14, 2015)

Only relationships matter in the end because problems will always be there (Jan 11, 2015)

Decisions/actions based on just one side of the story are usually wrong May 1, 2014

Are you in the business of identifying and defining real problems for people or working on problems that have been identified and are well articulated for you? This is what differentiates leaders from followers

There are two ways to achieve what you need – 1) by going on your own to achieve it for yourself 2) by making others achieve their need that’s same as yours

Looked into the eyes of a young boy selling napkins on the streets of New Delhi. Found hope and self-esteem that probably was a result of finding means to future through the box of napkins.

You can’t control what’s outside but you can control what’s inside you i.e. your thoughts

Happiness is not a by-product of the external environment that you were or are in. It’s something that you create within and through your thoughts

When you believe in yourself all negativity around you  becomes noise (May 23, 2014)

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself (March 26, 2014)

Reason-Purpose-Self Esteem. We don’t need to give up anyone for the other two. A good tool for self-reflection and recalibration at any given point in life (March 15, 2014)

Continue to take pictures and notes. They will continue to remind you where you came from and that life was good then, life is good now and it all repeats (March 12, 2014)

Job creation, happy employees, and happy customers are usually the best strategy to sustain a venture (March 12, 2014)

Looking for a change then don’t expect others to do it for you. You are capable of doing it yourself by believing in your strengths and being cognizant about your weaknesses (March 10, 2014)

The best time of my day needs just 2% of my time (i.e. 1/2 hour of 24 hours). That’s when I lie down with my two sons and tell stories before they go to bed. I know I can do better than 2% and more often

Popular algorithms today, like search engine & site ranking, etc., are increasingly emulating human behavior and what we as humans think and feel. So while deciding on an online marketing strategy, consider how you personally feel about it. If you don’t feel honest about it then chances are your customers won’t either. So be honest  because honest karma eventually translate into positive results – Rohit Vij (Dec 29, 2013)

Are we really teaching the right ethics to our next generation by following unethical means…try to be an ethical parent by setting an example. It all starts at home…

Whether you like it or not your mom was your first love and that’s the first best decision you made and that too when you were just an infant

It’s easy to complain about what we don’t have or get from society, schools, local governing bodies, etc. without considering what you can contribute and give back. Try it, it might turn out be an easier path than complaints…go out and help

Everywhere, every time, people are always unhappy, but most of the time it’s because they don’t know what they want – Denis Bauduin (my esteemed ex-colleague in Paris)

Once he held my hand to teach me how to walk, now he holds my hand to not fall. He was my hero then and also now…. he is my father

Saw a child selling toy planes in India outside Delhi airport, $2.50 for one…a reality check that we tend to ignore. That child shouldn’t be on the road selling toys but rather playing with toys and going to school. I didn’t make any difference by buying two planes from him…

In business ventures and politics there are no other sides, friends, or partners except for one side that happens to be the side that gets individuals to what they want. The rest is all misnomer…

Heard this today on NPR (Jan 30, 2013) – “I can’t be complete me if you are not complete you”

You can still help even when you are not suffering from the same pain as others

I followed my father when I was a child, I follow him even more now when I am a father

The answer to many of our complex questions and situations may lie in simplicity and innocence  – try to get an answer from a kid!!

It’s an irony of our society that most of us need to work 90% of our life to secure the last 10%. Don’t you feel that something is wrong  …

While leading a group of professionals on a project, try to align the individual’s goals with successful accomplishments of project goals. You will have fewer conflicts and more team coherence

Learn to adapt to uncertainty with full consideration to your skills and available resources with confidence –  that’s what really all that’s needed to sustain because the world around you will always be unpredictable

Keep on reminding yourselves to deal with the problem first not people

Sometimes you need to step back to step forward – this holds true about your career too

Best advice I ever got from a mentor – “professional success will have no meaning if you failed your family” – Robert Cowie (ex-CIO of Genzyme)

We don’t realize that sometimes our worries are the byproduct of inaction!

Invest your energy in forming a good team before anything else on your venture – you will have an enjoyable journey – and you will not be alone to celebrate

Many of us chase wrong goals like a mirage – learn to stop, think, reflect, detach, learn, and change your actions. Having a mentor doesn’t harm. A good mentor will keep you humble and honest

It’s never too late to follow your dream

I had an idea but somebody else executed it

I recently met one of my batchmates from Babson College running a great organization for poor kids. Then I met his son leading an event and greeting everybody at the entrance. The only difference was that his son is disabled and needs support. His enthusiasm and work touched me. I wish we all could learn something from him and pass that to our kids- truly inspiring

Worse” never exists  – it all depends on how you see it

Learning = (tried your best but failed) – (failed without trying)

Who are your relatives? It’s all relative

 There is nothing wrong with having a dream. What matters is what you do about it?

Appreciate what you have and help others to have it too; don’t take a break from an opportunity to be at school or try to avoid it. Think about the underprivileged for whom education is not even an option

My father once said – “focus on one thing at a time” ……and that still works

Every email you send to your colleague(s) at work is an opportunity to have a positive impact, impress, and connect. It’s not merely an act of reply or reply to all

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