My Moroccan Diaries…

I chose Morocco coz I wanted to experience the different offerings of Middle East World Zone – The blue, white & Brown Arabic Architecture in between the inter-twining streets against the Blue Sky & Blue Sea with Quiet & Conventional People Folks really appealed to me as a place I really wanted to see.

I had been to Mountains a lot, European destinations, South East Asian Beaches, Cape Town’s valley streets but never to Middle Eastern World & that appealed to me as something I have to see with my eyes to experience. And surely, overall I was not disappointed.

Here are the things I loved :

  • The Medina walks with amazingly interesting architecture, culture, people, markets, practices (one of the most fascinating was how pretty houses were hidden inside non revealing brown walls), lives insights, handicraft industries (though my new friend Gracia mentioned that its not possible to make so much of stuff by hand alone – I agree).
  • The Hasan Mosque in Casablanca was breath-taking with its architecture & grandness – Pure Grandness of location & design – WOW!
  • The landscape were varying from Mountains (Green, Brown) to small villages to loads of markets to wide open spaces. Morocco has apparently everything from seas, deserts, mountains, modernism & medina lives to offer.
  • How the infrastructure is so much in place – very similar to Europe & a developed Islamic Country – very impressive.
  • The hotels we stayed in were majorly 4 star with lovely swimming pool views
  • Some Interesting travel places thrown in form of Roman Remains, French ski resort amongst many others.
  • I was amazed with what Progressive Islamic nation with Monarchy Dictatorship focussed on public spends at infrastructure, education, tourism, agriculture (oranges, indigo, handicrafts) can go on to achieve – my regards for this small (in geographical area) has gone up many times.
  • Though I did not expect the group I got – was able to make friends with two Italian ladies which worked out rather well & also got to see how Italians & Spanish families travel which was quite interesting
  • Morocco was filled with visitors at this point & hence one could see all age groups & nationalities floating around with so many Japanese thrown in with their selfie sticks!
  • I got some time to do self evaluation which is MOST CRITICAL for me while travelling
  • The weather was mostly pleasant with some times becoming too hot or cold
  • Also very few Indian tourists thankfully.. and no extra charge for camera..

For my next travel, here are my thoughts :

  • I would like to be more involved in the planning & probably do it on my own totally & see how it goes
  • I would want to know the itinerary more in detail so I can plan what to buy, what to wear, what to carry a bit more in advance
  • I think 4 days is enough for me to get a flavour of the place & I would like to explore something more new next quickly

Will share the pictures & some more insights in some days.

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Emotional Quotient

EQ is a very rare quality in a human being & even a rarer quality in a Successful Leader.

I used to study & try to understand in college, but it’s a different ball game when you appear in work arena & then see how work demands/pressures are to be met with the People/Cultural aspects.

Of course one learns to manage the work demands & skill demands depending on one’s capacity. It’s always the people skill management that is the trickiest to master as it is very dynamic, variable to unpredictability.

I struggled with the same as well – majorly because there were a lot of aspects about myself that I had not explored or made myself aware e.g. how I respond to pressure, to a New team person, to a vendor, etc. Since I had not given them any thoughts consciously, mastering them was a far away task.

I think – till the age of 28, and 5 years of work experience – the effort was more or less optimise/adjust for survival and observe around. But I think it was during my 6th year of work experience, in 2015 when I decided to do a proper analysis & self haul of :

  1. Who i am?

  2. What do i want in life?

  3. What do I want in work life?

  4. What I need to do achieve 2 & 3?

This gave a lot of perspective & a lot of peace to myself as I then felt am moving in life with some sort of direction (not 100% clear but still some LIGHT). This made a lot of people interactions & my senior leadership alignments easier as well. I won’t say that it has been absolutely smooth sailing since then but still the choppy waters have seemed manageable & the belief to be able to make it the shore has grown stronger.

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Of course, the presence of my last manager & a few other leaders with higher EQ has made me realise even stronger & clearer on what I want in life & am thankful for that. I cannot stress more on the importance on such People focussed Leaders who groom young people & motivate them to achieve what they want in Life. They become life coaches & mentors, role models for them in moments of crisis.

Last week, one of the senior women leaders decided to move out of the company & it made me feel bad beyond what I imagined. Of course in the short span that I got to know her – she came across as an extremely understanding, warm, affectionate and easy to approach (Again rare leadership qualities). The extent to which she understood your position & could advise you accordingly amazed me – High High EQ. The amount of comfort she offered to a non – direct team member speaks volumes on her ability to connect. The fact that it wells up my eyes every time I think about the fact that she could not continue due to family commitments, speaks volumes about her ability to connect & leave a positive mark.
I do wish to be always there in her life & vice versa plus also hope for many more such people in life moving forward to make it worth it!

Have 0 Resolutions, 100 More Dreams!

Yes! Dreams Work!

Visualise them, clearly, cleanly & with no references nor influences. See them with a Happy & Relaxed Mindset with no pressures & no desires. Just visualise where You See yourself doing what, with who!

It is important that you see your Dream Vividly & Stay Honest to IT all the while.

Believe.

Now find steps to reach them & Get after them Non – Stop with complete focus & belief.

Surround Yourself with People who will be happy to see you there!

Be Patient.

Yes, its that Simple – Dream, Be Focussed, Find Steps, Work incessantly & Surround Yourself with Right People.

All Your Dreams will come True Like A Brightly Lit Sky Full of Stars & The Moon! Just Believe & Be Focussed.

Goodness in History!

History always fascinates me! (Such a Young Sheldon inspired line ;))

Because of the stories, because of the varied characters, their intentions, motives, emotions – it is always interesting for me to hear & read, discuss about Roman/ Greek Culture + Renaissance + Industrial Revolution & Indian, Mongol history along with cultural, social changes.

Its most fascinating for me to imagine how the times & the people were in those times & how it has resulted in creating new world order. In my experience, as much one learns about the history & culture better – they are able to do better with current space as the understanding for present increases & what all is feasible for future becomes better.

One may argue that it limits your understanding about possibilities but for me it only works as an inspiration for the imaginations in my head.
I feel, since the life was much simpler before even if it was less safer and hence people had more time & less distractions towards focussing energy what they wanted to do. Hence one sees the efforts people put in inventions, discoveries, writings – the quality of thoughts, the depth of meaning shows.

So it’s not correct to discard the history & learnings altogether.

Even in my space of technology & business – I do see there are enough examples of great technical inventions, business models, good companies, leaders to provide learnings for current & future generations.

Perhaps this is what education/ qualification/ degrees provide – enough examples, inspiration, insights for the subject one is interested in. The motivation/ inspiration/ new ideas/ in depth findings, etc. are supposed to be brought by oneself towards their own causes. Also the dedication to keep on going to create your own path is to be brought by one’s own life story.

An example worth noting is how America has been able to bring up some strong models in almost every field of Technology, politics, economics, social welfare, cultural celebration, policy making, justice, media setups, etc. That’s because of the true advancement it made during the 40s, 50s in setting the foundations strong for a society which is fed on innovation, independence & human excellence. That way one has to appreciate American forefathers.

ZINGOGRAPHY : Tech/Product/UX/Startup Update # 10 – PM ToolKit

Please consider every PM to be a works-person, who needs tools apart from their skills to do a good job out of a situation!

Every worksmith/ carpenter/ chef, etc. is incomplete without their toolbox so its important as a Product Manager to be sure of your own sharpened tools basis your experience, intuition, comfort/compatibility, etc.

I also have now worked for 8+ years in different Products domain starting with Data, OTT, E-commerce, Retail Channels (B2B + B2C), Media, Food, Jewellery, FMCG, FinTech, Travel/OTA, AdTech, Transportation (Cabs/Trucks), etc.
And from my own & other PMs experience – let me share a list which I find is useful for one & all. These are compiled basis checking with other industries & PMs as well :

  1. Research Tools : SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, TypeForm
  2. Current Situation + Need Gap Analysis : Porter’s Frameworks – SWOT, 4P, STP, 5 Porter’s Force
  3. Project Management : Asana, Jira, Trello
  4. Team Management : Slack, Basecamp
  5. MVP & Road-mapping : Asana, Aha, ProdPad,
  6. Spec Writing : Word, DropBox Paper, GitHub
  7. User Scenarios Mapping : Excel, Smaply/StoriesonBoard
  8. Designing : Invision, Iconjar
  9. Coding/ Development : GitHub
  10. UX : Prototype,io, Axure
  11. Team screen sharing + feedback incorporation : Zeplin, Intercom
  12. AB Testing : VWO, Wasabi
  13. Analytics – Front End : Google Analytics, Firebase
  14. Analytics – Middle ware : Moengage, Clevertap, Appsflyer
  15. Analytics – Back End : SQL, ML Tools
  16. Campaign Management : Adobe 360
  17. Targeted Campaigns : Targetting
  18. Revenue + P&L Management : MS Excel Macro

Apart From this – the must have ingredient almost like Oiling is 5-6 hours of Reading, Networking, Experimenting, Failing, Sharing, etc.

All The Best : Let the Magic Begin!

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How to be Successful

There are still not many who really know what they want in their lives. They are majorly happy with whatever they are offered & are content with that. They will still complaint, be unhappy, unhealthy but that’s another matter.

I, for one & many reasons, believe in being a self driver & doing your best in every moment while leaving the results to the Bigger Power.

There are absolutely most of the things which are out of one’s control & rightly so. Plus as you grow, you realise that more & more things are not in your control – the only thing is how you feel, think, say, do, react to situations on immediate & long term basis.

As many of us have felt – both kinds of reactions immediate & long term ones are based on our past experiences, personality, beliefs, etc. And our learnings based on these.

In order to have Consistency in our behavior patterns – it is important they are interlinked via a common goal.

And hence one should have dreams… Progressive, Long term, all inclusive, Ultimate Dreams!

How to achieve them…

  • Visualize them very clearly
  • Break them down into blocks to work on
  • Start working incessantly & with all honesty towards it – without distractions
  • Surround yourself with people who will help you achieve that – very important!

There is no force that can stop you once you are able to focus everything on your own efforts without worrying about the results!

One shall observe things falling into place on there own without forcing them to and that’s the ACTUAL way of Living! Letting things fall into place while doing your Karma.

Good Luck 🙂

Listen & Understand..!

Listening is an important skill….

It doesn’t only happen with ears but with eyes, mind & body touch as well..!

Perhaps listening by eyes is the most important one – since they don’t lie. It is difficult to falsify what one sees from one’s own eyes – about surroundings as well as of others & if you can see through someone’s eyes then there is nothing beyond it.

Yes – learn to listen to be a more compassionate & successful human being in Life in general.

Those who are a well rounded personality & are in general appreciated by all are considered to be excellent with their people management skills & that is because they come across as friendly & compassionate to most of the people around. They tend to listen, understand others latent + expressed needs/wants better & faster and come across as supportive to achieve them.

This is a great skill set – even when talking to your customers, while analysing data of your business, it is important that you are able to connect the dots and able to listen, understand their issues to provide them a solution.

Same applies in relationships – starting with parents, siblings, friends, cousins, companion, spouse, in-laws, children : it is imperative that you listen & understand what is the person wanting to communicate. Where are they coming from & why are they saying that plus what do they exactly want & then how can you give them that basis your self awareness.
Many a times – you can’t abide because of circumstances & your own limitations and there is nothing wrong in being honest about it. In fact, straight forwardness is much appreciated by the mature & upright people & held in high regard when communicated in the right spirit & well within time. In fact the ones who keep people hanging & dilly dallying are not appreciated neither are those who turn their faces back after saying YES.

But here’s one more thing about Listening & Understanding – its a Long Process & Evolving one. One has to actually invest time & energy into it by spending time, observing them, their actions, their interactions with other people, their backgrounds of course, their words & actions, dreams, relationships, etc.
Its like keeping a hawk eye on Stock Market Blue Chips which are your Key Investments – sometimes it happens that a few are not visible with less information available but appear very interesting & worth every penny – I find them the most interesting coz few people will go for it for the effort asked & it can very much be the game changer. I have always gone for the obvious yet elusive – be in terms of choices of clothes, career choices, hobbies, people, etc.

Am sure, it is an evolving journey & I will adapt to grow better plus faster once am able to identify my areas of improvement. Last 1year or so has been a struggle with coming to terms to my feelings, personality & I feel I have taken leaps in terms of learning to be Patient, Perseverant, Humble, Positive despite everything crashing, Being Strong & Cool.
Still I think – I have distance to go in terms of controlling my reactions, feelings, expressing my needs, wants to those around me in a much more effective & acceptable way.

  • The expression whenever it comes (let it come to the last possible in peace or conflict after understanding situation & all perspectives) has to be straight forward – without any drama & iota of doubt, straight forwardly as possible. Learn to control your wants/ desires for some other good time – what is Right or Good for all will Happen any which ways! You are too small a being – remember in a world outside your being. You can control your inside world & never what happens to you or what happens to others around you.
  • Similarly, others views/ feedbacks are to be taken with the same feeling of it being their perspective – filter it out to sensible stuff while leaving the rest of it.
  • Learn to be consistent in all situations – good or bad, outside or inside, home or at work. That way you are self aware & in touch with yourself all the time & their is no conflict of personalities & thoughts. You shall be much more at peace with yourself.
  • Be Loving, considerate more & more towards others & always bring the +ve feelings first even in case of conflict – YES, IT HELPS & ITS THE RIGHT WAY. Be compassionate towards others issues, challenges, situations.

These shall be good points to kick off your remaining part of the year & build your personal or work lives! Get Going!

How Love is THE MOST Important Force!

Well – It is…

And it is important you never stop believing in that & the Person/Things you decide to invest Love in… It is important to invest your faith more than money, time in People/Qualities/Values/Hobbies you Hold dear to your Heart.

Its okay to have doubts, questions for the same & their value additions to your life + vice versa. But that’s when you decide to hold strong & go back to check the emotion which made you choose that & not something else.. Its important you remain Honest to that EMOTION & Grind to see the Other Side. Don’t give up easy as it’s giving up on your own self belief.

If it was a frivolous & a transactional Emotion e.g. convenience – it is bound to create ripples & doubts! However if the emotion is strong then all negatives are overcome mostly!

It’s important one sees one’s relationships like a mirror that why did you happen to be with that person – was it coz you were neighbors so you happened to spend a lot of time together & resulted in being married as this person was it. Then you should remain honest to that selection. If you happen to regret it later then you are doing double damage.

These emotions can be Pure Attraction, Loyalty, Duty, Responsibility, Faith, Deep connection or even transactional like Money, Fame, Sex, convenience, etc.
Just remember that the effect of the deepness or shallowness of emotion shall be the same as felt! Its a simple law of : “you reap as you sow”!

Its also important to Let it Flow & Not Hold on to tight for things to change…

I very strongly believe that this world RIGHT NOW really needs more such people who know how to love, care, give, believe truly and am not really talking about the traditional marriage way.
I mean two capable strong, successful people who can give + provide to one another’s needs. Who are not very demanding but understand one another in silence. People who have their own perspectives & yet can appreciate/respect one another’s.
Modern yet believe & trust in the old fashioned ways.

Believe … More with every Day

Especially when someone else or your yourself try to break it… Within yourself or in what you hold close!

Believe even more with every passing day!

You are learning & observing & adapting with every breath…

Sometimes when you think nothing is different in this moment from the last one… Think Again..

Don’t give up on this moment coz last one didn’t go as planned…

Make something new to feel pleased within yourself when you feel surroundings are the same…

That’s what happy people do! They believe more… They never give up on themselves or the World around… But they are adept at letting go what they can’t control! They learn to Let Go with the belief that if it’s meant for right then it will come back to them alright! That’s what wise people do well

They learn to Let Go with the Belief of everything falling into it’s right place at the right time… Pretty well..

We all know it’s tough & takes alot of strength, conscious effort & perspectives enhancements…Self Awareness too..

They adapt better & better as we go along! And slowly it becomes a habit – something unconscious but important!

Sometimes I feel it’s important to put what you know into practice more & more than just preach 😉 Karma is biggest for a reason..

Just keep growing & glowing…

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