Do you set Goal in Mind & not on Paper?

Every second our mind sets goals, plans activities, tracks progress and gives feedback.

Here is the perfect example which I shared to many. Your favorite film star’s movie release planned this Friday. You planned to see it on the first day, so on Wednesday evening you got the tickets online. You booked for your friend also. You asked him/her to come to a coffee shop exactly at 5.40 PM so that you can pick him/her up at 5.45 PM.

You also got ready half hour before. As per your calculation, you will reach pickup point in 15 mins and from there to theater 10 mins. Once you reach it will take at least 2-3 mins finding the allocated seat & exactly at 6.00 PM the show starts. But there is an unexpected traffic that forced you to reach 5 mins late to your friend’s pickup location. you started feeling nervous as you don’t want to miss the interesting first scene in the movie. Your friend also eager to watch the movie from start and scolding you for coming late. You reached theater at 5.59 PM and ran to your seat. Oh yeah they delayed the movie by 2 mins due to some technical issues. You feel relieved.

This is just a single event that happens in everybody’s life. Day-in day-out, this is how we spend our entire life. For every activity from waking up, brushing, bathing, cooking food, catching bus to office, coming back, buying groceries, till going to bed in the night – our mind sets goals, sets expectation how the output looks like and how to execute the tasks, when to start when to finish, it tracks progress, it gives feedback whether you achieved it as expected or not. When I ask you to put the same plan what laid out in your mind into paper or a software and track, you get scared. why? Just think about it.

Set the life goals in paper. Review often. You will surely achieve a lot. You will see the difference.

Leadership & Management Topics Tag Cloud


Here is the Management & Leadership topics list that I used to categorize & generate ideas. You can see all these topics in any Self-Help/ Management/ Leadership book.
If you take a closer look at the image Leadership Rubik’s cube which is the theme of this blog, I used 9 topics from the list to build it.

Here is what you can do with this list – Just take one (and only one) topic, generate at least 4 synonyms for each of those – think what idea you have about that particular item. Each one of us have general idea about each of the item listed. The more you dwell on one topic, you develop new ideas on those & you will become the master.

Situational Leadership Decision Making Quality
Excellence Standards Transformational Leadership
Transactional Leadership Authority Tasks
Priorities Style Productivity
“Just do it” Attitude Competency Collaboration
(Listening, Presenting, Reading)
Commitment Influence
Monitoring Result Oriented Budget
Problem Solving Trust Relation
Recognition Planning Awareness
Motivation Ideas Development
Growth Inspiration Helping
Effective Efficient Conflicts
Dream Big Authentic Stewardship
Servant Leadership Teamwork Accountability
Passion Measurable Action oriented
Purpose Empowerment Vision
Controlling Fun Distributed
Coaching (Training, Mentoring) Time Management
Humility Culture Traits
Ethics Metrics Networking
Challenge Strategy Learning
High Performance Creativity Innovation
Change Management Knowledge Thinking
Service Skills Empathy


The five dysfunctions of a Team

Few months back, I come across wonderful leadership fable called “The five dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni. Even in one dinner my VP discussed about this book with me. In this book, Patrick described analysis of one newly appointed CEO about her team. She finds there are 5 factors that makes the team weak and she explained factors to the team one after the other with very well narrated conversations. The five dysfunctions are:

  • Absence of Trust,
  • Fear of Conflict,
  • Lack of Commitment,
  • Avoidance of Accountability, and
  • Inattention to Results.
Five Dysfunctions of Team

Five Dysfunctions of Team

Here is few lines about each of those –

  • Absence of Trust – Trust is the basement of any relation esp. team integrity completely depends on one’s trust on other – trust between peers & trust between manager and member. In case lack of trust creeps up in the team lot of behavioral change in team member arises(like not showing weaknesses, to be vulnerable and open, getting into defensive mode, not helping) which in turn demolishes the very purpose of working as a team. Effect: Invulnerability

  • Fear of Conflict– Conflict is healthy in any team. There is one quote that says importance of conflict – “If two people agreeing in all terms then one is redundant. Conflict is healthy & required for progress”. People doesn’t want to hurt others or play politics avoid conflicts which again causes issues within the group. Effect: Artificial Harmony

  • Lack of Commitment – Running around without starting an activity with fear of failure & not really engaging one self. Giving due respect to each one’s suggestions, we cannot have good options. If some good options are not selected, people may do it for work sake but they do not commit.  Effect: Ambiguity

  • Avoidance of Accountability – No commitment then no accountability. In many teams, team member thinks that only manager is answerable to upper management & there is no accountability for them, but this is not true as such. This is because team members avoid accountability either they are not skillful or they don’t feel they are responsible for producing the results. Effect: Low standards

  • Inattention to Results – Ultimate goal of any project is producing excellent results. When teams are not held accountable the team members tend to look out for their own interests, rather than the interests of the team – this puts purpose of a team at stake. Effect: Status and ego

Do you think this model works only for organization? The answer is “No” It works in personal life too. Try simulating family as a team, you can find all of those dysfunctions cause issues in families.

This model is used in many organizations & reviews say “It really works!”. Put this in practice in your organization/ personal life too & get excellent results.


1. Patrick Lencioni (2002), The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, John Wiley and Sons, 2002

2. Wikipedia

Manager Vs Leader

Few days back, I briefed the definition and basic differences of Management and Leadership. The following list shows different characteristics of a Manager against a Leader.

Manager Leader
plans energy
goals vision and values
does things right does the right things
defines vision and purpose statements lives vision and purpose
defines value statements models values
short-term results emphasized long-term results, big picture emphasized
top-down strategy leadership at all levels; everyone strategic
measurement of activities measurement of results
focus on content sets context, pays attention to process
success based on predictability success based on innovation and adaptation
“head stuff” (e.g., behavior, compliance) “heart stuff” (e.g., morale, commitment)
controls inspires, creates new ways, coaches, mentors
linear, rational, analytical systems, aligning the whole, intuitive
techniques principles
one best style (plan, organize, delegate, control) multiple, situational leadership roles and styles
quality control everyone responsible for quality
inward-looking customer-focused
individual effort and reward individual and team effort and reward
management knows best all together know best
success as personal success success as the success of others

Though characteristics of Management and Leadership differs in some fundamental areas, as I mentioned earlier, one needs to balance both management & leadership skills to ensure success in career and life.

Management and Leadership

Though management and leadership are different words with different meanings, but they are not mutually exclusive. One needs to balance both management & leadership skills to ensure success in career and life.

All leaders should possess management skills without which they can not transform their vision into actions. Every manager should have leadership skills to bring the team along with him and not just concentrating on the work to be done.

* Leadership is giving direction or setting up new vision and values for a group that they follow.

* Management controls or directs resources in a group according to principles that have already been established.

Management is mostly deals with controlling things whereas Leadership deals with inspiration, creating new ways, coaching, mentoring.

Management emphasizes short-term results whereas Leadership emphasizes on long-term results, big picture.

There exists a famous proverb which differentiates a manager from a leader in simple terms.
A Manager does things right but a Leader does the right things.

I think the above few points are enough to understand the basic difference. Let me list down few more differences in another post.