7 lessons learned by playing games

In Arfeen Khan‘s business mastermind workshop, we played few team games. The objective was to learn and keep the energy up.


Here are my top 7 metaphor that you can apply to your business:

  1. Strategy Rocks!: Every game needs to be played by strategy. There is always of easy way to play it. The idea is to take leverage of the abundance resources. To name a few from game point of view it was Brain, Gravity, Hacks and Listening skills.    
  2. Artificial Scarcity: Time pressure was the default rule for all games. Since you are in a competition and there is also a timer you feel the pressure. In reality the team which did not take that pressure often win.
  3. Unstoppable Energy: There are times when the energy of the team helps the participants to win. So support for your team becomes a vital key. We have seen winning momentum of teams continuously winning consecutive games.
  4. Team Strength: The way the team understood each other’s strengths and weakness, the better the results were. Even if it means coup the team’s strategy in order to make the team win.
  5. Star Performance:  When the strategy and skills match, play like a star performer. You win the game before the game begins. Once you are winner in your mind you play it like a champ.
  6. Ultimate Leader: You got to have a leader with right credentials to empower the team. Each game needed a different mind-set to lead and control actions. The key here is to adapt to the situation and make dramatic changes.
  7. Killer Execution: Even if you have all of the above qualities in place. If you are unable to execute it with conviction. It will not bring any outcome. This becomes one of the last but important steps to see the result in your favor.

Have a awesome business year ahead!

Let’s talk about Passion

People With Passion Can Change The World

– Steve Jobs (Apple Inc.)

Passion, it is one of the most popular word used in past decade. There have been lots of books, online articles, TED talks and research around it. Some great thought leaders have advised to follow your passion. There is already a lot of information and research done about passion. You can find more about it from qualified scholars and researchers world wide.

The burning question here is quite simple. Ask your self:

What is my passion?

The answer for the above question will be very helpful to you. Few know the answer to this question and few don’t know what is their passion. For those who know what their passion is, they love to build, write, invent, create, cook, teach, help and so many other things which makes the world a better place to live. The ones who have found their passion always love to talk about it.

When you are in college, it is the last leg before you enter the working life. You will start with a job or start a startup. Pause here. Have you ever thought of starting on your own?Give a minute to this thought. The time when you decide which career path to  choose. Knowing your passion will help you choose what you spend a major portion of your life on. Also, you will be more happy to do what you love to do. There will be a natural inclination towards your work. This is a great time to find your passion. Sleep over it.

Why is this question so important to ask? The main reason is intrinsic motivation. If you want to do anything remarkable, you have to complete the activity till the end. That may take a while and could be difficult. When you have intrinsic motivation it will help you to enjoy till the end of the activity. Hence, you are ready for doing it next time because you love to do it.

Even if you do not know your passion yet, it is absolutely fine. You just have to start searching or discovering your passion. Start with talking to family and friends about the things you love and enjoy to do. Think about the work  that makes your time fly and you have more energy after completing the job.

The theory I am proposing to you here is how about spending your working days with passion for the work you do. How will the days look like? How will you define success? How will your life turn out? Will there be daily stress in your life? How happier will you be? These are so many questions to answer. The interesting point to notice here is when you love the work you do, you make a great career out of it. The outlook towards your work will be completely different.  Your only reason for working will be because you enjoy doing it. You will also be ready to work for free. Yes, the rational mind won’t allow it. However, it’s a metaphor. Which means there will be few external reasons that will motivate your work and the reason for doing it.

Keep the search for your passion alive.

Get your team motivated

This is a common question that strikes your mind even if you have a team of one member. Surprisingly we don’t have any definitive answer for it.

Here is our way of handling this challenge

  1. Always keep a positive attitude in any given situation. I had been a very positive guy but in my last project I allowed Mr Negative to get in me and it had troubled my mind and the project as well.
  2. Always have a non-monetary target for the team to achieve. For example learning new technology at work, inter-personal skill improvement during the work, learning better development practice. Once the team member leaves the team, they must be a better person then they were before.
  3. Keep an open communication while you work with the team. Make sure you have practical and clear deadlines. Even if you are chasing a moving target make sure that all stakeholders are aware about it.
  4. Keep a Fun team session related to non-project activity. This will help your team to understand each other personally. The team will be in a better position to accept each other strength and weakness. It can be as simple as half hour lunch in afternoon.
  5. Take risk along with the team. Make every one aware about the risk for the most challenging task and go for it. Since a nail biting victory will keep the momentum going within the team.

Leadership Training

I had First Time Leadership training in my company. It was a 5 day workshop.
The whole experience gave me completely different perspective on day to day basis of normal work day. I realized how we view everyone as we are and as we will react to a particular situation. Thus a common feelings like Why isn’t my new team member involved in the project ? or Why this new senior team member not giving his absolute best productivity to the project ?

There where many techniques and activity involved in the training but I cannot explain it all right now. What I will try to do is give 2 examples which I used in my team.

Why isn’t my new team member involved in the project ? For this person a directing instruction daily on the tasks was applied. A well detail plan of action and the step by step execution was instructed to the resource. Their complete understanding on the subject are verified before giving the assignment. The assignment was given with specific task and timeliness. This technique was applied because the resource was new to the team, located remotely and had strict deadlines.

Why is this new senior team member not giving his absolute best productivity to the project ? Coaching via video training in technical topic for the new technology in project was given to this type of resource. This was basically and on demand video session. This helped the person to gain more knowledge on the subject and improved their understanding and filled their gaps in the skill-set area. Post session we assigned an related project task with specific time lines to complete it. Thus the resource managing their deliverable on their own, that helped to set expectations and realization of the same by showing methods and opportunities for improvement by raising their performance bars. This technique was applied because the resource was new to the technology and had not worked on it before. 

Happy Teamwork!

Roy Osherove’s appreciation

I has watched an conference video on Team Leadership by Roy Osherove author of The Art of Unit testing. After which I create a one pager image and posted it on twitter referencing him. The image can be viewed here. It got some really nice points on leadership.

On 2nd June I got an appreciation from him. It was really kind of him to acknowledge such a tiny task by me.

@vikramshettyc woah

The original tweet is here.

The Trainner in me

When I gave my offical training session on Dot Net WCF to a group of teammates. I learned few lessons and here are those:

  1. Make sure your voice is audible in the class room.
  2. Keep asking team questions to keep them involve.
  3. Since you are using business hour make sure the session is productive.
  4. Keep a coding example to make the group understand better.
  5. Take a feedback from the group.
  6. Send across the content and feedback to entire team via email post session.

Happy Teaching!