Podcast #016: Harry Potter and the Hindu Priest

They say truth is stranger than fiction. In many ways the life story of Rahil Patel illustrates that. To read about it in a novel would sound implausible, even fantastically impossible. And yet here is his life story with such surprising and unexpected twists and turns. But what has this to do with Harry Potter? You will have to keep reading and listening! Rahil is of East African Kenyan Gujarati origin. He was brought up in North West London from the age of 5. At the age of 16 he
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How the loss of a dear friend has challenged me to live intentionally

It is amazing how time rushes by. 17 March 2015 marks the 2 year anniversary of the sudden death of a dear friend of mine, Abhishek Banerjee. The memory of his friendship along with the suddenness and circumstances of his passing away has had a profound impact on my own life. (For more on that see the post A Tribute To My Dear Friend and the post In Memory of Abhishek Banerjee (Bunty)) One of the striking experiences of bereavement is that after the initial shock and disbelief, the shedding
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When it really is all about you

We instinctively are repelled by people who are self-centred or wrapped up with themselves. But at the same time when it comes to leadership and influencing others, John Maxwell’s 14th law of leadership teaches people buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. Getting that order right is so easy to miss and can have huge implications.   I wish I had understood this many years ago. For a large part of my life I have had the naive assumption that if I could present my case as
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Podcast #015: Why your leadership matters

Leadership. What is it? Why does it matter? How should it matter to you and me? And also why whoever you are and whatever you do, you owe it to yourself and the world to see yourself as a leader. These are some of the questions my co-host Andrew Horton and I discuss on this podcast. We unravel some of the confusion around leadership. We also look at why it is not pompous or grandiose to think of yourself as a leader. We unpack the following definitions: “Leadership is influence.
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How do you come across?

It’s a painful realisation when it comes, but the truth is that with one noticeable exception the world consists of other people! It is so easy to be so preoccupied with ourselves that we forget this simple, but important truth. It is human nature to automatically assume the way I see something is the way it is, rather than there may be at least one other perspective. Getting married often brings that truth home! So how do you come across? How do others see you? What kind of example do you
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Do you need a self-esteem boost?

For over 50 years it has been widely assumed that a lot of society’s problems are a consequence of low self-esteem. By confusing correlation with causation, the unproven assumption has been made that by then simply boosting self-esteem there would be an overall increase in wellbeing and happiness. Even though there has been a lack of clarity as to what exactly self-esteem is, there has been a huge increase in programmes along with the investment of billions of dollars to raise self-esteem, especially in children and young people. (For more on
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Never or Not Yet?

Carol Dweck is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation. She is a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Her research has focused on the subject of learning. She asks the question, when it comes to learning why do some people succeed and how do we best foster success? The short ten minute video below explains the power of believing you can get better at a task you may be struggling with. [ted id=2156] Dweck has researched extensively on how children cope with challenge and difficulty.
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Compassion, poverty and violence

Gary Haugen is a civil rights lawyer who over the years has deeply challenged me about my attitude to our responsibilities in an unequal and unjust world.  He reminds me of the quote by Thoreau, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Gary’s organisation, International Justice Mission is one of the few in the world that is hacking at the roots of the evil of poverty, while literally thousands others are focussing on the branches. In this 22 minute
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Its honestly not a trick question!

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? That’s not your usual kind of question. Its not even a trick question The answer is below the picture! Are you ready? Just click the continue reading button below to find out and learn about the deeper question behind this one.
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Learning from the real James Bond

James Bond Stockdale (1923-2005) was by any stretch of the imagination, a remarkable man.  In his own words, he described how at one moment, he was “on the top,” the admired commander of over 1000 men and over 100 pilots fighting in the Vietnam War, “confident” and “self-satisfied,” a man who thought he had “found every key to success.” All that changed on 9 September 1965 when he was shot down and in a matter of minutes became “an object of contempt” and a “criminal” in the eyes of the North Vietnamese. He recounted in
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Podcast #010 Stephen R. Covey

Stephen Richards Covey (24 October 1932 – 16 July 2012) was an American educator, author, business man and keynote speaker. His most popular book was “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” that sold 25 million copies and was translated into 28 languages. His Covey Leadership Centre has 3/4 of  Fortune 500 companies as clients. The 5 minute video below gives a small glimpse of his wisdom, personality and genuine warmth: ›‹› On this podcast I have the privilege of interviewing Stephen Hutchins Covey the 4th grandchild of this remarkable
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Podcast #009 Mindset

On this podcast we have the privilege of interviewing Simon Prince about the subject of mindset . Simon is a director of MDN Fusion based in New Delhi, India. MDN Fusion is a global leadership development and assessment consultancy that seeks to develop people to their full potential through a combination of coaching and training. They have offices in the UK and India. Do join us on this podcast as we discuss:
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What was the real James Bond thinking?

James Bond Stockdale was the highest ranking United States military officer in the “Hanoi Hilton” prisoner-of-war camp during the peak of the Vietnam War. His life reminds me of the James Bond of fiction, but has much more meaningful lessons to teach. (For more on that see Could This Be The Real James Bond?) What were the thought processes of someone who spent almost 8 years in prison, including 4 years in solitary confinement and was tortured over 20 times? He lived out the war without any prisoner’s rights, no set
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Podcast #008 Bahrisons

In the Khan Market area of Delhi is a thriving and busy bookshop called Bahrisons. It has been running since 1953 and is now based in the most expensive retail location in India (and in the top 30 for the world). But it has certainly not always been like that. On this podcast I have the privilege of interviewing Anuj Bahari (pictured above) about his father Balraj Bahari Malhotra and the story behind the bookshop. Its a story that goes all the way back to the partition of India in
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Could this be the real James Bond?

All through my life I have often been on the look out for heroes. I remember as a child first being drawn to Superman. Later on at the age of about 8 I went to the cinema with my Dad to watch the actor Sean Connery play James Bond. Subsequent Bond movies have continued to make him out to be a hero worth admiring. But growing up I found it harder and harder to identify with Bond. He was way too athletic, had the emotional sensitivity of a bull in
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