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November 23, 2013

LESS is actually More

In earlier parts we discussed process of performance management in organisations. Now we shift gears and focus on sharing our perspective on Managing Performance at Individual level.
You must we wondering why such strong believer in excellence and focus is propagating LESS. So before we begin let’s start by sharing a quote – “The Philosophy of the Rich and Poor is this: The Rich invest their money and spend what is left; The Poor spend their money and invest what is left. - Robert Koyosaki
LESSis acronym for: Learn, Earn, Save and Spend.
LEARN – Another common theme across our listings, however we can’t reemphasise enough the need to learn. Listen, observe, and challenge the existing mindsets. There can be no excellence or improvement unless we continue to learn.
Entire idea of choosing this Acronym was to challenge pre-set notions and being able to look at things from different perspective; an essential prerequisite for learning and continuous growth.
First step towards, managing your own or someone else’s performance is to break down preconceived notions and perceptions. You will be open and objective in your analysis and evaluation. Similarly, any remedial action will need you to unlearn and relearn to complete the Performance Management loop.
Ignorance is bliss ... pursuit of knowledge leads one to often admit -"I don't know"; more we know more we don't know and become more ignorant. That’s the path of learning. Yes, Ignorance is bliss.
Now let’s move to next step ‘EARN’. If you notice ‘Earn’ is subset of Learn and Learning can never be complete without earning!! [Both in materialistic (read money) and other forms].
EARN: What is Earn? Being paid, rewarded, promoted etc.? If that is your first thoughts or response, you aren’t earning anything but just being paid by someone else. What is wrong with that? Biggest problem is control rests with someone else and you don’t choose your destiny or path!!
Earn mind set is breaking entitlement mentality. It’s applying knowledge and skills to create value, serve a customer (now depending on your goals and aspirations it can be commercial, for non-profit or God for people in spiritual pursuits). "A good strategy for success is to pray, plan, prepare and produce. Nothing happens without taking action!"  Nova Adams {Luke 18:1-8 / James 2:14-26}.
Importantly, how does Earn complete Learn? Simple, unless any knowledge is applied to create value it’s not skill and you haven’t learnt anything, e.g., in any situation, if every time you have to run a flashback of your earlier response and results. Your experience/memory isn’t helping you move ahead instead they are hindering your progress and you have to let go. Similarly, if for certain knowledge you have to keep referring to a book, knowledge remains with the book and isn’t your skill. There are no shortcuts to Earning. Old saying “Practice makes a man perfect” is only way out. This is how you earn to complete Learn.
With no bias towards monetary compensation or reward, A quote from earlier blog - “All talks of IQ, MQ & EQ are worthless if you are not able to realize that ultimately you are in a business transaction. Your knowledge and skills should be able to help you price your services appropriately.” 
SAVE: Warren Buffet says “If you spend on what isn’t needed you are not left with enough to spend on what is needed”. This is true for wealth, more importantly it is true on every other aspect too – time, effort, energy, relationships etc to name few. It’s vital that we consistently invest enough (save) to observe, reflect, think, and relearn. For example, Champion always learns from mistakes and next time instantly knows how to deal with similar ball without having to think twice. This is removing NVAs (Non Value adding) from a process.
“Pleasure in the Job puts perfection in the work”- Aristotle. So remove NVAs of over analysis, doubts and inaction, instead light up your efforts with passion and joy. Focus on what is important (click here to read more), make a stop doing list and follow it as rigorously as to do list. Every second or ounce of energy saved can be spent doing work/things which are important.
SPEND: Does this sound counter intuitive? Well it is not. In terms of wealth, earning and saving has no meaning if not spent on fulfilling one’s needs. Similarly, seek opportunities to coach, mentor and share expertise with people. Be genuinely interested in others growth and success. This way you end up with a strong support network and multiply your opportunities to learn, relearn, observe and grow.
As Leader spend your time, emotions and feelings congratulating people, grabbing every opportunity to recognise the contribution of others. From a gentle Good Job to appropriate rewards (pay hike, promotion etc), everything counts.  Talent costs; every small pat on the back goes a long way in retaining and attracting talent.
As individual, celebrate your success, be humble but don’t short sell, blow your trumpet. Be willing to learn, at the same time be proud of your contribution. 
We sign off with a quote from Benjamin Franklin - “Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”
Have fun and worriLESS.
Warm regards,


  1. why work for Bliss , when it is Given ??


  2. Quite an perspective Pankaj, its difficult to practice in corporate life but definitely not impossible