Team & Leadership Excellence

Sri Lanka

Purpose of Living – Part 8: The Ecological View Point

mahogany landslide may 2017

Natures Wrath: Landslide of a Mahogany Plantation

We explored the notion of purpose from the viewpoints of Abrahamic Religions, Eastern Philosophies, Early Sciences, Modern Sciences, Philosophy and Psychology in the last few blog posts in this series. Let’s now have a look at this notion from some of the Ecological viewpoints.

It’s May 2017. I got a call from the account manager from the company that manages my Mahogany plantation in the Ratnapura district of Sri Lanka. I have some bad news to share with you. What is it? I ask. One of your Mahogany plantations in Munihinkanda has got affected by the recent landslides. We have not been able to access the plantation yet as the authorities have restricted access to the plantations until they are able to confirm that it is secure. What is the extent of the damage? I ask. About ten acres of the plantation has slid down to the river below and we feel it includes one of your plots too. Interestingly I was calm as I heard this news, although the financial loss was going to be quite severe. As I digested this news my mind went to the time that a rubber plantation of a larger extent belonging to my father was destroyed due to a cyclone about 40 years ago. I remembered my involvement in the process of transporting the fallen trees to help my father recover at least a part of the losses. My mind wonders to the hundreds of lives lost due to this storm and thousands who have lost their livelihood as a result. Perhaps the reason for me to be emotionally unmoved by my financial loss could be because these are more severe than the personal financial loss I have incurred. I have watched with dismay so many natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunami’s, floods, landslides, forest fires etc. happening in various parts of the world. It seems like it is getting more and more intense.

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Christmas for Joy and Peace

family greeting 2015Christmas is here again. Let me wish each and everyone of my network a merry Christmas.

 

It was amazing how yesterday the 24th of December 2015 had so many religions converging. It was Poya and one of the most holy days of significance for Sri Lankan Buddhist. It was the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (Sal); Peace be upon him. And it was Christmas Eve, moments before the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ. What an amazing opportunity for peace and yes it was so holy and peaceful.

 

It’s amazing to see Sri Lanka whose Christian population is a minority celebrates Christmas like in any predominantly Christian county. A drive a round the city with all the decorations will make this evident. I have non-Christian friends who decorate their homes with Christmas trees. What an amazing mindset to have.

 

Lets take this feeling of unity, peace and happiness deep in to the hearts and minds of all people in our beautiful country and the people in this world so that we can have unity, peace and happiness in our families, work places, societies, countries and between countries.

 

Mat God Bless you all.


Does Top Talent always become a Top Team that delivers Top Performance?

Omar Khan 2012

Creator of Radical Action Conversations

Ever had a situation where you had top talent in your team perhaps a great track record of performance supported by great processes and a super brand, but with no results to justify these inputs.

In our leadership consulting work we have found one of the key reasons for this. This happens when top leadership does not recognize the fact that the fastest way to improve organizational results is through the key teams that are accountable for delivering that performance.

Organizations need to be strengthened horizontally not vertically, and by ratcheting up the capabilities of top teams, we can increase the value of our organizational assets ten-fold, and every penny invested, will give a hard dramatic ROI as each of these teams are in charge of strategic business results!!

Driving up business performance through our key teams require; growing our leadership throughout the team as way to driving key results, aligning teams so they can execute and get past blocks and plateaus, having an expanded concept of individual and team accountability, improving the quality of decision-making in ways that shows up on our bottom-lines and tangibly improving ‘conversational capacity’ through the ability to have radical action conversations.

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Attitude of Gratitude to my Alma Mater

When I feel blessed about what I have achieved my mind automatically takes me to people and events that I am grateful about. Whilst having a deep sense of gratitude to my parents, family, friends and social contacts, one major aspect that made the difference to me is my Alma Mater St Anthony’s College Katugastota in the hill capital of Sri Lanka.

One can’t ask for a better place than St Anthony’s to shape up a young mind and body to become prepared to take on the world. I believe great products from college would have felt the same. Beneficiaries of our alma mater are old Antonians of the calibre of Sir William Gopallawa, the first President of Sri Lanka, Mr. T B Illangaratne, renowned politician and dramatist, Justice Asoka De Silva, World famous professionals such as Prof. Malik Peiries, Dr Patrick Nugawela, Dr C. R. Panabokke, Prof C Suriyakumaran, World class sportsmen such as Mr. Muthaiah Muralitharan, Entrepreneurs such as Mr. Sumal Perera & Dr Lawrence Perera, Musicians such as Mr. Rookantha Gunatilleke & Mr. Stanley Peiris, Military officers such as Colonel A C Lafir and hundreds of other Ministers, Officers of the armed forces and police, academics and business people.

As I look back with an attitude of gratitude to St Anthony’s, I get a deep urge within me to do what I can to help the college continue to do the good work it has done for me. This was further reinforced when I was honoured as one of the top 100 Old Antonians during the 150-year celebrations of the college. Therefore when the opportunity came for me to be a part of the Antonian Rugby Trust, I was delighted to take it; I continue to serve in the advisory committee. I also had the privilege of providing mental toughness training to the rugby team.

The motivations of different people are different. Some do it for the gratitude, some do it for the glory, some do it for social status and others do it to develop business networks. When the motives are different there is bound to be conflict. Such conflict can make those who do things with nobel motives disgruntled. When this happens some feel like walking away, minding there own business and not doing anything for the college and some others decide to persist. I always believe such obstacles helps us to further develop our goodness. Such opportunities help us to help others to become better people. Such opportunities strengthen our resolve to be more generous.

We all belong to various religions and philosophies and we learn the need to give back to the world, do good to others and do our part to make the world a better place. When we split due to differences we lose the opportunity to accumulate goodness credits. On the other hand when like minded people like us who have walked the nooks and corners of the college, who have sat in the same class rooms, who have listened to the same teachers and who have sung our college anthem proudly gets together we can do wonders. So lets get together re-energize ourselves with nostalgia and do what we can do to uplift the standards of our alma mater so that we can celebrate the successes from a far and accumulate stories of before, during and after our time to tell our children and grandchildren.

The Motto of our alma mater ‘Lux De Coelo’ means light from heaven and was taken from a prayer sent from the Vatican when college was inaugurated. I consider this true when it comes to my life. So let the light from heaven that has brightened our being continue to shine in us, our families and the generations of Antonians to come. May god bless you all.


A Sri Lanka Node – to develop our beautiful Motherland

LMD, Sri Lanka’s leading business magazine should be congratulated for launching the ‘Sri Lankans Overseas’ blog to provide a forum for Sri Lankan’s living overseas to contribute to the nation building effort. Link to the blog: http://lmd.lk/?p=11555

Sri Lanka’s post-war renaissance is in need of the shot-in-the-arm from Sri Lankans living overseas. I would like to summarize the key points made in the various comments made so far;

  1. Wherever we live Sri Lankan’s are Sri Lankans… blood is thicker than water and this is a fact we can’t avoid.
  2. Each of us has our own dreams and goals and for this reason we may have migrated and this is an important factor we need to respect.
  3. It is not about getting everyone to come back to Sri Lanka, it is more about seeing how we can contribute. Some may come back if the opportunities are good and returning meets their life goals, some others can continue to live overseas and help building Sri Lanka.
  4. It is important for us to have Sri Lankans all over the world so that we can sell Sri Lanka through them.
  5. There is also a role to be played by government to facilitate this process by allowing tax breaks, making the process of getting dual citizenship easy etc.

May I suggest an idea that was picked up from NASA Astronaut Ron Garan, who is working on building an open source network named; Unity Node, to connect the 20 million plus social businesses in the world. Ron Garan’s story is amazing and I had the privilege of listening to him at the Social business day in Bangladesh recently; please read; http://ranjandesilva.com/2012/06/29/anything-is-possible-creating-a-world-without-poverty-with-inspiration-from-outer-space-and-inner-space/  if you would like to read this amazing story. 

The idea is for someone to create a; Sri Lanka Node to connect all businesses run by Sri Lankans in Sri Lanka and overseas so that we can share resources, share information and help each other to make Sri Lanka one of the best places to live and visit; a little miracle that has happened