How To Make Your Wind Horse Fly

“Better sharpen your wits on this one…”

Riding wind horse demands more than equestrian prowess. It requires being genuine. So how do certain personalities conquer the world riding wind horse?

Examine the case of Alexander The Great. He was ambitious, stubborn and determined. What did he really gain by conquering the known world besides saddle sores and a swell head?

As Aristotle’s principle student, Alexander believed he could ride wind horse. He rode hard and swept Persia in his wake. Next on his agenda were the desert sands of Central Asia until he came upon the Indus River. At the gateway to India, Alexander felt stymied. He had lost his sense of purpose. Trying to regain his composure, he sent out two men to uncover a personage of great wisdom, which they found in a nearby village.

Alexander questioned the sadhu extensively and became even more frustrated. Threatened with death, the sadhu replied, “You have the power to take away my physical body, but you do not have power over life and death. Only the Guru has this power”.

Intrigued by the Guru principle, Alexander spared his life. He entreated the wise one to return with his men to Greece. He remembered Aristotle’s discourse. Holy men of India are reputed to have the unlimited powers Alexander craved. What he failed to see was that the sage did not ride the winds of power; he fostered the spirit of compassion.

“Because you prefer riding the winds of compassion…”

The Indian sage agreed to Alexander’s request. However, he also foretold Alexander’s destiny. The sage recognized men who exercise absolute power feel invincible. They also have no taste for the true path of wind horse.

We need not make the same misguided mistakes. There is another path. The Tibetans refer to this path as riding wind horse of wisdom. It is the path of the sacred warrior where there is no violence. The principal of wind horse is best expressed in the following quotation by Lao Tzu:

Mastering others is strength; Mastering yourself is true power”.

All warriors riding wind horse recognize the need for resilience. Training and preparedness give us the necessary reflexes to handle challenges. Attempting to ride wind horse without discipline is a dangerous exercise. It can cause the unwary untold suffering. It needs to be cultivated with awareness. Therein lies the trap. Certain personalities go for the dramatic power play. However, this path has no bells and whistles. There are either applause or bold strokes. Misguided riders just receive a heavy blow to their ego.

The key is to cultivate an invisible mala. These are the beads of gentleness, courage and self knowledge. Learning to radiate this goodness makes riding wind horse a sane proposition. Take for example, the wealth of openness. There is no need for luxury brand yoga mats or organic cotton kung fu outfits. Openness can not be fooled. It knows artifice from basic goodness.

“Putting the pedal to the metal…”

Once I met a Buddhist monk sitting in the middle of a mountain stream. It was a hot summer’s day near Almora. I could feel his playfulness and approached. He motioned me to sit next to him. The water was refreshing and felt good.

You must find your comfort zone. Observe the flow of water through my fingers. Never aim to grasp what cannot be held by the hand.”

What can I learn from this gesture?”

What you learn is to observe the inner sanctum of the closed fist. Unfurl your fingers thus”, he demonstrated.

The hand is empty”, said I.

Precisely”, he retorted.

Is this how we attempt to handle the wind horse of the unexpected?

Unwittingly, yes. The commonest pitfall every aspirant on the wind horse path falls prey is termed spiritual materialism. There is a universal tendency to see riding wind horse as a process of self-improvement. There is nothing to measure. It is a question of getting rid of what you no longer need.

The problem is that ego can convert anything to its own use,” spoke the buddhist monk, “even spirituality.” The trick is to let go of the desired result rather than mental persistence.

So instead of making a dramatic wish list of career or behavioural changes, start with just observing your nature. Let go of conflicting ideas and the wind horse will reshape your reality. The only barrier is overcoming fear. Dealing with fear is a complex phenomenon because it raises the issue of insecurity.

The more you fear, the more incapacitated you become. You become frozen in action and it becomes all-consuming if you don’t let go. Do not mistake fear for adversity. This was pretty sound counsel the monk shared.

When fear dissipates, you experience a wave of self-confidence. Alexander didn’t understand this principle. He suffered from false pride. Fear plagued his every step. His leadership was based on force not the mobile force of communal ownership for decisions taken.

Whatever you do, do not go through the motions of riding wind horse. Life does not imitate art. Life is not an action movie or video game. It just is. If you really want to accomplish something worthy of your energy, then it is advisable to execute a strategy of selflessness. The more you give, the more you will receive in return. This is not the law of supply and demand. It is a higher law, and it registers every act of selfishness.

Will you be completely understood if you pursue riding the wind horse of compassion?

Perhaps not by everyone, but then you will not mind. You will have discovered your own inner strength. Gratitude will arise from your heart. Adversity will no longer seek to cross swords with you as you gallop to the beat of a different drummer.

Join The Conversation. Let us what makes your wind horse fly.

Article Title: How To Make Your Wind Horse Fly
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building one success story at a time.

Can You Afford To Ignore Engagement

“Because you recognize business wisdom doesn’t come with job titles…”

Engagement is not about getting married. Smart business leaders understand that they must evangelize and inspire their colleagues to get the most out of their team. Engagement therefore, is fostered with trust and open exchange. The truth of the matter is leaders and particularly managers find the art of engagement difficult.

Engagement demands dialogue, participation, and connecting. Most managers feel uncomfortable with this process. They believe that it questions their authority and that people will think less of them. These individuals couldn’t be more wrong. Business wisdom and strategic planning do not come with job titles. They come with experience and more importantly an innate understanding of human values and behavior. You cannot learn this in grad school. Nor can you master this subject by reading academic journals or professional reports.

So, if something is missing, where can we learn to empathize and tap the source of engagement? Inside the human heart. To find out more, search this space and uncover what motivates you to succeed, thrive, and prosper in any environment. This process is quite difficult. It takes you out of your comfort zone because it personalizes your decisions and how you interact with colleagues. It makes you responsible.

“When you love to samba…”

Managers feel more comfortable crunching numbers, acting as policy wonks, and base every decision on what they term, the concrete data. If you walk this path of conventional wisdom, you will only reveal your lack of empathy and never succeed in getting your colleagues to engage. Grad school is partly to blame for this persistent behavior and the corporate world only serves to reinforce these attitudes for keen players who wish to make it to the top.

To illustrate this point, we know someone by the name of Bibi. That’s not his real name. He works in finance at an investment firm and his job is to get the clients he handles to make as many trades as possible during a week. Bibi is good at his job and he’s serious about his work. He manages four people, who handle a lot of his research. The overall environment is insanely competitive. Yet his job brief also states that he must coach his junior colleagues. He is uncomfortable with this because rather than see his team as individuals fighting for the same cause, he sees them as an internal threat.

Then the unthinkable happens. One of the team members got pissed after work and crashed his motorcycle skidding off the road. The team was devastated. Under his shell, Bibi realized that he was too hard on everyone at the office. Despite what senior supervisors might think, he decided to take the initiative and do something about this. He got his team together outside the office and they talked about their feelings, their expectations, and what really mattered to them. In their young faces, he could see himself. He rediscovered in his heart what it meant to aspire, be different, be successful yet still show his humanity.

When he discussed this issue with us, I realized that he had begun to tap the real meaning of leadership and to act as a mentor with dignity. It was a challenge, but his team members noticed he was no longer the same man. They went to the hospital and visited their injured colleague. Empathy was no longer a word in a dictionary. It had become an action plan.

Why does it take a crisis to make certain leaders or managers face up to the fact that we are all human beings with real feelings and dreams? The corporate world can be a rather brutish place. But it doesn’t have to be. The blue print for business can incorporate financial gain with those softer values we all cherish. It’s a matter of engagement, commitment and caring. Our experience has shown that if your employees or colleagues are unhappy at work, results suffer. Worse, everyone is demoralized and either they injure themselves or they leave as soon as they can.

Core motivation is built with passion. But passion can only be fostered when people love what they do. This can only happen when they are engaged and given positive incentives. So what in your view is the best way forward based on your experience as a business leader? How positive are you in the work place?

Join the conversation. Let us know how you engage.

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit: CAREO

12 Reasons Why MBA Admissions Is More Than Retail Therapy

“And she’s buying a stairway to heaven…”

Applying to business school is a major decision. MBA Admissions is not just about buying a stairway to heaven nor is it this seasons IT bag. It is an exercise and commitment to career development. To make the grade to step up your career is an intense exercise in personal branding, obtaining strong GMAT scores, getting great recommendations, and the ability to sell your achievements. Add a healthy dose of strategic marketing and you can get accepted just about anywhere.

Here are 12 key career counseling tips to get you started:

Tip No.1: Get A Strategy
MBA Admissions requires an actionable career management and application strategy. Career planning is your first step. Target and evaluate the business schools to which you would like to apply. Visit the institutions when possible. Discuss your objectives with alumni. Make a check list to see that your career aspirations and qualifications match the MBA Admissions criteria.

Tip No.2: MBA Admissions is not a cake walk. It is a snake pit. It is advisable to get professional help from someone who can give you the tools to succeed. Getting To Yes should be your career call to action. Tackle the challenges with a sound methodology.

Tip No.3: Exploit Your Personal Brand
Start by building a personal SWOT analysis. This is a cornerstone to personal branding. There is a universal principle at play here: MBA Admissions results are created twice. First, the result is created in your mind. Then, it is generated through systematic work. As in all career management initiatives, persistence pays dividends.


Tip No.4: Success starts with commitment. You must give the MBA Admissions process 100% commitment. Do not worry about who else is applying. You can only sell your own achievements. At the end of the day, it comes down to fostering a positive attitude.

Tip No.5: Make the right choice. The leading business schools recruit from a global elite. Hence, the MBA Admissions Committees are spoiled for choice. Make sure that you apply to those business schools best suited to your professional goals. Forget the business school rankings. They are no more than a glorified beauty contest. Any top MBA will deliver an outstanding education.

Tip No.6: Do not apply just to the usual suspects. Consider other programs. Most candidates apply to a minimum of four programs. There is no magical number.

Tip No.7: Examine Business School Attributes
Examine the language a school uses to “sell” its attributes. Harvard Business School is a case and point: “We encourage candidates who can benefit from — and contribute to — a transformative education in which students challenge and learn from each other as they test their growing leadership abilities.

To create a dynamic environment that mirrors the breadth and depth of our world economy, we seek diversity. Each fall, we welcome 900 students representing more than seventy countries and a wide range of interests and backgrounds. While our students’ lives and experiences vary greatly, they all share a demonstrated capacity for leadership and a desire to effect positive change. For the right person, now is the right time to apply.”

Tip No.8: Notice the stress on leadership. Most MBA candidates simply do not have this focus. If you do, make sure that you can justify genuine leadership roles. MBA Admissions Committees know that the emergence of an individual’s leadership talent does not follow a pre-determined schedule.

Tip No.9: Take Note: age, social, gender, ethnic profiling matter
All schools look for diversity. According to this logic, the more different you are, the better your candidacy looks on paper. Although there are no official quotas, political correctness plays a role in the admissions process.

Top MBAs are constantly recalibrating age profiles for class intakes. Some schools desire +3 years of work experience. Others do not. Which program are you better suited to: MBA or EMBA? Traditionally, MBA programs recruited candidates 25-28 years old. Today, the age has dropped. If you are +30, does this matter to you? If it does, perhaps European MBAs are a better fit. EMBA candidates are typically +35.

Tip No. 10: The Financials Influence Choice
Another key point: Carefully review the MBA Admissions and Financial Aid sections before you apply. Begin with their Admission Criteria pages. Take advantage of any MBA Admissions events in your area and network with alumni.

“When getting accepted to a top MBA makes you sprezzy…”

Tip No.11: Which MBA is best for me
Choosing the appropriate school is like a marriage. I recommend the following schools for serious consideration. They are not listed in any particular order. Please note that European MBA programs are more transparent when it comes to counseling potential MBAs.

They also recruit more mature and seasoned candidates. If you have deep experience, you will find these programs better value for money. They provide excellent networks. If you plan to live and work in Europe, they can serve your career aspirations with more intimacy.

Tip No.12: European v. American MBAs
In our opinion, the leading programs are: INSEAD, London Business School, IMD, IE Business School, IESE Business School, HEC-Paris, Said Business School at Oxford, and Judge School of Business at Cambridge. Are there others? You bet there are! As George Orwell might have stated, “Some MBAs are more equal than others”. My only counsel is to choose wisely. It is not necessary to go to the USA as it once was.

In addition, please note that there are outstanding MBA programs all over the world. It depends on you, what you really want, and how much this degree really is worth to you. An MBA is a major investment in time, money, and sweat equity.

In the USA, American business schools market their programs like tupperwear parties. The usual suspects in this category are for the most part household names. Depending on the source, ranking criteria bring up similar names but not necessary in the same order.

The MBA top 10 wish list include: Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, Wharton Business School, Columbia Business School, Tuck at Dartmouth, Yale School of Management, Stern at NYU, Anderson at UCLA, Haas at UC-Berkely, University of Chicago-Booth, and Kellogg at Northwestern. Are there others?

Of course there are. MIT-Sloan comes immediately to mind. US News publishes a comprehensive catalog worth consulting. In the States, there are literally thousands of schools from which to choose. Americans do not choose their MBAs with the same criteria as non-American MBA applicants.

Although top MBAs are more international in their outlook, many others are still very provincial. If you are not an American and you want to do an MBA in the States, think the process carefully through. For example, do you really want to be in Ann Arbor, Michigan?

Ross might offer an excellent education, but if you are from a cosmopolitan city, you might find yourself out of place. We had one client the other year, who did and regretted her choice. Don’t make the same mistake.

An MBA has the potential to dramatically alter the course of your career. Despite criticism in the media on MBAs, this form of education has the power to act as a career catalyst. Although an MBA is not for everyone, it can be a transformational experience if properly exploited. To give yourself the best chance to get accepted, your application merits feedback from an objective and knowledgeable source.

Join The Conversation. Let us know what you think.

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand, building one success story at a time.

For further inspiration

What Makes Successful People Successful

“Because you want to know what makes successful people successful…”

What makes successful people successful? Just look at the stats. Successful people come from diverse backgrounds, love sushi, a good wager, and are unafraid of standing out in a crowd. However, you would be hard pressed to know considering they’re dressed like everyone else.

Don’t be fooled by the Deus Ex Machina T-shirts. In my world, success is there for everyone. However, you must generate this perception by altering your definition of successful. Believe in goodness and you can change your corner of the world. Current events can lead us into a cul de sac, but you understand that life is a metaphor. Learn to write your own music. In a world of too much information or disinformation, start by straining all you hear and broadcast the goodness that keeps this planet on track.

Here are 12 qualities that can make you successful. Isn’t it time to change your inner calculus?

“When you’re trying to figure everything out…”

They Leave Politics To The Wannabes
Successful people can’t stand playing politics. They couldn’t care a tinkers curse for brown nosing nor do they care about being right all time. Their focus is on accomplishment. Forget the dialectics of hostility. Master the language of joy instead. Where one flower is planted others can grow and prosper. Even in the desert, beauty can survive. Cling to the language of your divine spirit. Forget the absolutes proselytized by the ignorant.

They Love Helping Others Succeed
Small people feel diminished by the success of others. Great people give hugs all round for a job well done. Create a better working environment. Inclusiveness feels so much better. After all, nobody succeeds by themselves. The idea of competition is to raise one’s own game not pummel every else into the tarmac. When everyone is praised, everyone benefits.

They Love When Ideas Bear Fruit
Whether the idea is theirs or a colleagues, it gives them great pleasure to see new ideas blossom into a fruitful project with definitive results. Best of all, successful people like doing things nobody else has dared do before. They love the nuance of suggestion and realize anything is possible if you have a noble heart.

They Love Out Of The Box Solutions
We find successful people love big ideas. The greater the challenge, the greater the pleasure gained. Problem solving is cat’s meat. It gives them the inducement to simplify worn out and tired ways of constantly repeating the same pattern of performing. You don’t need all the answers. Assimilate, conjugate, and go forward. Every act of accomplishment starts with an idea in the mind. Only afterward does it appear as a foregone conclusion to those with less insight.

They Love Burning The Rule Book
Although successful people recognize rules are necessary to any endeavor, they are unafraid to walk the talk. Innovative ideas lead to developing rules no one knew before but now cannot live without. Think Ibrahim Malouf and your jazz music will stand out in a tempest. Inspire respect for simplicity. There’s nothing better than grilling your own octopus to put things in perspective. Just ask Socrates.

They Know Nothing Is Sacred
Successful leaders know there are no clay tablets. The great thing about working today is that you can try, adapt and change within seconds. They also recognize that conventional wisdom is just what it sounds like: conventional. Change is welcomed like a breathe of fresh air. The Buddha knew all there was to know about temptation, which is why he tuned his heart to all that is noble in the human character.

“Perhaps the only thing sacred is eating great ice cream…”

They Love Solving Problems
My Mom says, when you’re dead, you’ll have no more problems to solve. Mother’s know this sort of thing. Embrace your challenges and you become the master. No point sticking your head in the sand. Brutality has become so banal that certain people believe that we live in a video game. The greatest game you can play is called life. So what are you waiting for? Happiness is not a warm gun. Distinguish truth from fiction and become an inner mounting flame.

They Love Self Awareness
Successful people are only too aware that today’s success is tomorrow’s history. You’re only as good as the last results you’ve delivered. Successful people don’t mind because their sense of self awareness is tied to a place beyond superficial accolades. Believe in hope and share your gratitude for the nobility of all things. Remember, one candle can light thousands of lamps. I’ve seen this done in India. I felt so much joy, I cried for a week.

They Embrace Feedback
Successful people understand that to grow requires constant improvement. They are open to feedback from any source. You can learn from a tortoise as well as a leaf floating on a lily pond. Becoming all you can be requires letting go of your ego. Why carry more baggage? Travel light. The journey is long.

Taking input from others makes you aware of how much and exciting it is to learn new things and do things differently from the way you solve problems now. Your personal growth expands and at the end of the day you still feel life is exciting. Successful people never become blasé.

“Because you love messin’ about in boats…”

They understand the principles of personal brand management
Successful people know we can make mistakes. Mistakes come with the territory. What they won’t do is to become their worst enemy. Why beat up on yourself? Quite pointless don’t you think? Go with the flow and float like a butterfly.

They Believe In Self Control
Successful people understand the true meaning of self control. It’s not about denial or wearing a hair shirt. It’s about living a principled set of guidelines which put you touch with your inner self. Although this is a stretch experience, successful people recognize with each day they are that much nearer to mastering their own purpose in life. Routines and compulsiveness are for people who are afraid of being free. Let go of everything which holds you back.

They Understand That Life Is A Journey Not A Destination
Many people are always looking for closure. However, successful people know that when one thing is done another project or challenge will take its place. They don’t mind, but take this in stride. They understand that the true purpose of life is to live a life of purpose. Trinkets and trash hold no allure. Their true pleasure is making a difference.

Join The conversation. Let us know what makes you successful.

Article Title: What Makes Successful People Successful
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

22 Beach Holiday Essentials For Career Planning

“Emptying your mind is harder than you think…”

If Beach Holidays didn’t exist, we would have to invent them. However, when the party’s over, it’s time to clean up and reboot our career planning. Rather than lament, perhaps it is better to give thanks for all the blessings we’ve received. Let me share with you a list of 22 essentials worth keeping whether you’re career planning or not.

Sorting out the jewels in your life is more than downsizing. It is really a question of recalibrating your career calculus. Nothing is really ours in the first place. Does anybody have 22 essentials worth keeping? Well, it’s a question of perspective.
My dear friends, L & K recently emailed me this rather curious list. They are currently staying at a cedar bungalow in one of those charming Hill Stations nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Certain sages in India claim that “You are what you eat” – and what you don’t eat. Similarly, life depends on what you keep and what you don’t keep. There are many things in life that people keep, but only a few are truly worth holding on to. I hope you find their career planning chart as inspiring as I do.

1) Keep Calm
Life can be unnerving. If you don’t make an effort to keep collected and focused, you could easily lose your cool. Take regular, conscious deep breaths to center yourself. This is a more sanguine approach to running through the streets shouting, “Godzilla, Godzilla, Godzilla…

“Stop thinking about tomorrow…”

2) Keep Your Chin Up
Great for your posture. Guaranteed to diminish your double chin. Best of all, it helps you maintain an I can handle this attitude. By keeping your chin up, you keep your head above water.

3) Keep Your Spirits High
Hanging out with Bob Marley’s heirs in Kingston doesn’t count. Always maintain a joyful attitude. No one can do this for you. When the going gets rough, count your blessings. Don’t be cynical. Everyone has blessings. So do you.

4) Keep Your Word
A gentleman or gentlewoman’s word should be their bond. Stand by what you promise. Think before speaking. Once a word is uttered and released into the ether, its vibration can never be erased. If you need inspiration, consider John Lennon’s refrain in Across The Universe.

5) Keep In Time
Don’t be swayed by others. Swing to your own rhythm. Although everyone must adapt to their circumstances, it is best to dance to your own soul music. Remember what Aretha Franklin said, R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

6) God Bless The Child
Billy Holiday was right. God bless your inner child. It is your access point to creativity. Marvel, imagine and invent with a carefree smile. Have doubts? Examine the creativity of Picasso and Matisse during their mature years. Playful as kittens, don’t you think!

7) Keep Abreast Of The Times
At a certain point in our lives, we feel swept away. Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t get caught in a time warp. No need to become a fashion victim either. The joy of living in any time is to be present. If you start asking yourself, Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb? This should be a signal to get out of your mental closet.

“When you’re in the pink…”

8) Keep In Shape
Your shape reveals your state of health. Remember, the body is the vessel in which you journey through life. Always carry a first-class ticket by keeping it healthy and strong. It’s not for nothing that the people from Crete and Okinawa climb trees well into their 90s.

9) Keep Your Mouth Shut
Some people talk too much. Avoid being too verbose. Sometimes, silence speaks more eloquently than words. Miles Davis was right when he explained to some know-it-all that the space between notes is silence. The melody of his music is carried on the back of the absence of sound.

10) Keep Good Friends
Real friends are hard to find. Nurture friendships that make your life more wonderful and meaningful. Truly poor is the man who has no genuine friends.

11) Keep Great Memories
Each day you breath, you have the power to leave a potent legacy. Memories of cherished moments stand out and are more valuable than a jeweled necklace. When you live each moment beautifully, you string together these magical episodes and they truly sparkle. Just ask Jimmy Stewart. It’s a wonderful life.

“Because inner elegance is timeless…”

12) Keep A Journal
Writing a journal is therapeutic. It allows you to speak to your inner being. Jot down your dreams and aspirations. Inspiration and strength are nourished in the manure of experience. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

13) Keep Giving Thanks
Not many people say grace before meals these days. Yet giving thanks builds a positive energy frequency and feeds the power of bringing more abundance into your life. Remember, the story of “the glass is always half full“. So which part of the glass are you staring at?

14) Keep Going Forward
Even if you scream, Stop the world I want to get off, this is not happening. Learn to be comfortable with change. Emotional baggage only weighs you down. Why not float like a butterfly? Mohammed Ali did.

15) Keep Out Of Danger
Most of us are not thrill seekers. If you love extreme sports, go for it. However, there is no need to seek out trouble unless you are a danger junkie. Life is full of surprises. You never know what fate has in store.

16) Keep Up The Good Work
Just as unhappiness feeds on itself, so does success. The more you do, the more you achieve; the more you achieve, the better you become. Success is the fruit of your engagement. Enjoy the process. Pat yourself on the back.

Why act like a sloth weighing moss spores between your toes, when unleashing your inner dragon is more thrilling. Kundalini awakening is more fun than collecting postage stamps.

17) Keep Young
In our youth obsessed culture, many people think it’s all over once you hit thirty.
Such souls couldn’t be more wrong. This is where your journey first starts to pick up steam. Youth is an attitude. This does not mean you should neglect your body. Keep it strong and supple. One pundit I know stipulates: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

“Because you want a touch of class…”

18) Keep On Dancing
Life is a dance through time and space. You can Cha-Cha, Tango, or Rock ‘n Roll. Embellish whatever music life plays for you. Pretend you’re the conductor. Now orchestrate your own soundtrack. Get excited and script the choreography, which pleases you best. When you’re light on your feet, you’ll feel happiness swell in your heart.

19) Keep On Loving
Without trying to sound silly, you wouldn’t be here if your parents didn’t hug each other in a tender embrace. Love makes the world go round and is the noblest sentiment a human being can share with another. So share the wealth. Best of all, you understand that real love is not about sex. It’s a state of consciousness.

20) Keep On Dreaming
Dreams keep us alive and vibrant even under the most challenging of circumstances. Master the power of manifestation and learn to turn your dreams into reality. Everything starts as an idea. Hard work and perseverance lubricate your actions. Before you know it, your achievements will start pouring in.

21) Keep On Hoping
Never lose hope. “Tomorrow is another day” as Scarlett O’Hara once quipped. However, you don’t live in tomorrow land. You only live now. It is in this moment you change your approach to career planning. It is the only time you every have. Think about this and not only will you agree, it will revolutionize your approach to life. Be all you can be and leave worrying to the dogs.

22) Keep On Believing
Belief is the mother load. What you believe you are is what you are. No matter what spiritual path you find yourself on, recognize that belief is not carved into clay tablets. They are energy vibrations, which can change. Make your beliefs a direct experience. Don’t just mechanically repeat the jargon we all learned as kids. Blind belief is what it sounds like. Simply blind. Strain your beliefs like a chai wallah makes tea.

Life is not a cake walk. Negative feelings and painful experiences happen to us all. They can be hard to handle. The best way to get through the sticker bushes is to forgive, forget, and move on. A heavy heart will only weigh you down. When I feel a bit down in the dumps, I quickly remember the advice I received from a Buddhist monk. Here’s what he said:

Feel comfortable with flowing water through your fingers. Do not envy the poor soul who tries to grasp the water by closing his or her fist. When such a person opens their fingers, they find their hands empty. Just be content to hold the sound of water in your heart.”

Article Title: 22 Beach Holiday Essential For Career Planning
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

Exercising The Power Of Gratitude

“Because gratitude is more than skin deep…”

Exercising the power of gratitude is amazing. However, how often do we give thanks for what we have rather than bitch and moan about what we lack? Start by looking out of your window. Feel the sun’s rays caress your cheeks. Drink a double espresso. Smile. Now you are on your way to eliminate all those toxic feelings, which have been cluttering your life.

Don’t stress too much about that party you went to last night. Sometimes letting off steam by having a great meal with friends can be just the ticket to get you back on the road to sanity. Forget the calories. A positive emotional spark sprinkled with laughter is great for your emotional and spiritual health. A simple and practical approach to spirituality is to give back. This is a great expression of gratitude. It’s like hugging all the people who have selflessly helped you in the past.

When we find ourselves under stressful conditions, the human psyche desperately seeks a release hatch. If you keep it bottled up inside yourself, you are guaranteed to explode one way or another. Anger and hostility are not just bad for your mind. They can impact on your body. They open the door to disease or accidents. As a great being I know in Bangalore says, “Gratitude is healing”.

“When you recognize your own reflection…”

She teaches a fabulous prayer. Now I can hear people thinking that spirituality has nothing to do with business or professional life. You couldn’t be more wrong. Life experience cannot be compartmentalized. It is an integrated whole where each piece of the puzzle is interconnected. Prayer and gratitude change your vibrational frequency and open your path to well-being. It shifts your focus away from pain and from what is eating you up inside. Moreover, it starts the healing process. Well-being is more than an attitude. It is a state of consciousness.

Each one of us has the power to heal ourselves. Once you do, you then have the power to heal others. This doesn’t mean your challenges will go away like a stiff wind blowing the pollen off the street. It means your mind will be stable and your biochemical equilibrium will be in balance.

Engaging gratitude in our complex world is simple as it is direct. It cuts to the core of authenticity and business leadership. Best of all, you needn’t go searching for it in the marketplace. It is not for sale. It lies within your heart.

“Who doesn’t love a great club chair…”

Now go to a quiet place. Ideally you should sit in a lotus position, spine erect, and close your eyes. However, if you are more comfortable in a straight back chair that’s fine. Take three deep breathes and we’re ready to start. Now repeat to yourself:

I forgive my self

I trust my self

I love my self

I am happy healthy and full of abundance

I give thanks for the meaningful people in my life.”

Practice this prayer and you will see a change in your immune system and a shift in your hormones. You have just begun to stamp and recode your inner cell structure with positive energy. Wait. It gets better. Continue by watching your breath go in and out. Center your attention on your heart. Feel the pulsation and your inner divine energy will start to expand and cover you in an envelope of well-being. When you are finished after 15-20 minutes, gently bow and thank your inner being. This is the ultimate gratitude.

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

How To Inspire Your Leadership With A Higher Purpose

singing_leadership_mba-admissions_mba-admissions- consulting
“Because you love singin’ in the rain…”

Is your management threatened by disruption? Then it’s time to take the bull by the horns. If you are a business leader put your employees first and set a healthy vibe in the workplace. Change management should start with a smile. The secret is to generate trust, which should be central to any working relationship.

Without trust, nobody will take risks. Sure, they’ll do their jobs, but at arms length keeping their heads in the sand as a form of protection. Everyone has had the experience of working with individuals not worthy of their trust. The atmosphere is deadly and we are highly unlikely to engage our full potential for fear of criticism or worse.

It goes without saying that change management is disruptive. To step up to the leadership challenge, inspire your mission with a higher purpose.

Start by demonstrating respect for your employees. They are after all, the front line between you and your clients. They are your brand ambassadors. People speak. Spread the word. Share the wealth. The negative tactics of force and manipulation are so yesterday.


Here are just a few cues to change your leadership style in order to inspire your business with a higher purpose. Start by Implementing a positive incentive program and build your CLQ (company likability quotient).

I know like you do that the raison d’être of an enterprise is to generate loot. Nobody is debating this simple fact. It doesn’t mean that you must run your business like a sweatshop manufacturing T-shirts in Bangladesh.

Take the example of Richard Branson. This guy leads the Virgin Group front and center. He knows everyone’s name. He asks employees about their children’s football matches. He’s engaged, and his employees know he cares about their welfare and growth. The final result: they work twice as hard because they believe what they do matters. Every person feels empowered and valued.

RB emphasizes coaching skills. His managers are effective because they support their teams. When managers coach employees, positive outcomes become reality. Empathy and a respect work wonders. Test this out and you’ll witness a dramatic change. Nobody wants a guerrilla in the room. When employees harbor resentment, it will be terribly hard for you to win back their trust and allegiance.

Recently Seattle CEO, Dan Price cut his salary 90% so he could increase his employees’ wages to $70k. “There’s greater inequality today than there’s been since the Great Recession,” Price told The Huffington Post.

“I’d been thinking about this stuff and just thought, ‘It’s time. I can’t go another day without doing something about this.'”

Because it was unexpected, every employee was thrilled to bits. Why did he do it? Because he felt it was the right thing to do. Talk about social responsibility and inspiring his work force.

“Because there are times you need to think the business through…”

How Employees View Their Organization
I find it fascinating how employees rate their organizations. It is quite revealing. It takes you to the heart of the mechanics underpinning organizational culture. Before you start tooting your own horn, remember admiration and respect must be earned. Leadership that get’s it understands. They don’t live in a glass tower.

Just For Fun
Just for fun conduct a survey and tally the results. Do you work in a culture where collaboration and unselfishness are business mantras? Do appreciation, compassion, and respect flourish? Does C-suite generate a culture of respect where everyone is really on board?

Clearly great leaders don’t need to be told about their greatness. It would be meaningless. They strive to invest their energy into productivity, profitability, and client satisfaction. However, they also recognize that nothing would happen if they didn’t express their gratitude to their team for making it happen.

The team here is not an inner circle of psychopaths. The team is everyone who works for or at the organization. This includes the guys who sweep up at the end of each working day. When everyone is valued, the pulse of a vibrant business environment becomes a sine quo non. Work should be a passion not just a job.

Why You Should Inspire Hope
People need a reason to wake up in the morning. Even a great paycheck is insufficient. You need more to inspire your team to greatness. This is where hope comes into the picture. Everyone wants to believe that what they do matters. In my experience at WCW, everyone knows that our future lies in our hands. We thrill to the challenges as a team. We recognize that changing people’s lives is a privilege, and we strive to do this one person at a time. Does everything run smoothly? Not always, but together we laugh, joke, and drink barrels of espresso.

I recognize that not all business organizations are the same. Some are more vertical than others. However, you have the power to put into place a culture of hope no matter what your firm’s activity is. It is easy to calibrate lists of things that don’t get done fast enough, why goals are hard to obtain, or why certain initiatives cannot generate successful outcomes sooner.

To do this consistently creates a negative atmosphere. Not only will talented employees leave your organization so will you if you look in the mirror. Every great business leader understands that people need to dream and hope. A corporate culture void of hope is doomed to implode at some stage.

“When the time has come to change your tapes…”

Take A Reality Check Jack Welch once stated, “Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it were.” Unconsciously, he reiterated one of the old and noble Vedic truths: “The world is as you see it. Embrace it.” This is what I refer to as crazy wisdom. Injecting a small dose of crazy wisdom into your business will work wonders.

As a business leader, you clearly want to be frank with everyone on the team. However, frankness doesn’t give you license to exercise bad manners. Nobody wants to work with an ogre. If you are having a bad sales quarter, firing the sales team is not necessarily the solution. Maybe your strategy needs recalibration? Perhaps rather than thinking within a box, you should drop your box mentality completely. Learn to be more flexible. Above all, learn to laugh at yourself. Be serious, but take yourself less seriously.

Lastly, we counsel building alliances. Work should be a collaborative experience. Fostering steadfast relationships ensure that team members have opportunities to fulfill their own developmental goals. This builds a sense of reciprocity. When you’ve done so, trust will flourish and harmony in the workplace will dominate.

Article Title: High To Inspire Your Leadership With A Higher Purpose
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

Why Mentorship Must Embody Human Values

“She sells seashells at the seashore…”

Mentorship is the path of true business leadership. It’s like opening the window and letting the light enter the human heart. Acting as a mentor is a responsibility many shirk. Either they feel they can’t spare the time or they feel there is no return on investment. If this is how you feel? However, reflect on how you are where you are today? It’s a no-brainer. You become the leader you are because others selflessly took the time to counsel and help you grow, stretch, and reach out of your comfort zone. Now is the time to give back. Not because you must, but because you want to. This feeling doesn’t originate in the head. It comes from the heart and is the true hallmark of business leadership.

Contrary to the popular view that most people are inherently selfish, self-centered and narcissistic, there are many who hold the opposite view. To succeed in any field, we all require role models. These unique personalities inspire us to do more, be more, and share more. Think of that great sage from Arunachala Mountain, Ramana Maharishi. He rarely spoke. He taught from the depths of silence because he understood the nature of mentorship.

“When you cherish the words of wisdom in silence…”

This is particularly true in business education and career management. People in these fields have the power to help shape the destiny of another individual’s life. Remember, “A life is a terrible thing to waste.

Acting as a mentor or coach is not about bottom lines. Leave this to the humorless accountants who would outsource every person’s job to God knows where on behalf of their soulless masters. Mentorship is about building relationships, authenticity, and recognizing that we belong to one family, the human family. When you see each individual as part of your Self, how can you turn someone away? This is why many societies are in meltdown mode. They were brought up to believe that only the Darwinians survive. They have forgotten that zero sum games have only losers. The rest of us were inspired by respected and successful people, who helped change our corner of the world.

The Beauty Of Mentorship
There is nothing more beautiful than watching some else succeed when you facilitate a growth environment. Sharing your expertise and experience is not just a way to leave an invisible legacy. It challenges you to use your knowledge in a creative and dynamic format.

Although you may have no wish to become the Dalai Lama, the mentoring experience will deepen your sense of humility and appreciation of everything around you. In this sense, we act as bridges across cultures, diversity, and even generations. Each of us was born with a sense of uniqueness within set communities. It is when we step beyond these frontiers and confront what is different do we optimize our potential and see that once superficialities are stripped away, we are indeed all the same.

“Because one size doesn’t fit all scenarios…”

This is a particularly useful skill set if we manage people. Managing people is not about giving orders like a drill Sargent having a bad hair day. It’s leading by example. Some individuals believe that a title empowers them to use authority and control to manipulate, humiliate, and intimidate. This is what one of my colleagues refers to as the France Telecom mentality. This is a casebook example on how not to manage or lead teams. Coercive leadership corrodes the heart and soul of the organization. It is a destructive path, which leads to negative outcomes and unproductive scenarios. Mentorship cannot flourish under these conditions.

A Question Of Balance
Mentorship requires an open heart. Having an open heart does not imply as Cole Porter wrote, “anything goes”. It demands honest criticism, which enhances the role of the protégé through guidance. Putting somebody down is not criticism. It is an exercise in bad behavior and at best stupidity. Demonstrate to junior colleagues that improvement comes through determination and the willingness to adjust by being pragmatic.

“Because nobody lives on Gilligan’s Island…”

Fostering and retaining talent in any group demands a light hand not a hammer blow to an individual’s head. By providing a support network, careful planning, and implementation systems establish a series of reachable benchmarks. When you walk this path, you are building confidence. Remember that line in Skyfall: “Youth is no guarantee of innovation; Age is no guarantee of wisdom.” What is required is balance as the Buddha would say.

When people reach out, they help one another. Ultimately the path of mentorship gives satisfaction to everyone. Changing somebody’s life by providing them with the tools to build a successful future is beautiful indeed.

Article Title: Why Mentorship Must Embody Human Values
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

Business Success: When Is The Best Time To Apply For An MBA

“Because you ready to make the leap…”

If you are serious about an MBA, then our advice is do it. There are excellent choices. Depending on your status, there are a host of programs to match your aspirations. Don’t just consider the usual suspects. Think outside the box. Top European business schools are world class. Whether you want to study in Europe is another issue. Australia and Asia also have excellent options.

“Gather round MBA candidates from across the land…”

Here are a few keys to consider:
* Eleven of the top 100 programmes cost +$100k in the USA. European programs are a bargain in comparison.

* In India and China, many MBA candidates prefer to stay at home. Cost is one factor. Recent MBA grads testify that the Asia-Pacific region offers the best job opportunities. Is it any wonder that non-Asians are looking for alternative solutions?

The traditional MBA degree program still dominates the North American market. Part of this is historical. Schools continue to recalibrate the age groups they want to attract. Young and recent undergrads are solicited to apply sooner. If you are 27-30, do you want to study with 21-22 year olds? Most don’t. Simply put, they prefer to be with their peers.

In Europe, there have also been drastic shifts. Pre-experience Masters in Management degrees still dominate. However, change is afoot. This has more to do with how the business education system is built rather than a degree preference. For example in France, business school students within the “Grandes Ecoles” system are all awarded a Masters degree.

“Because we’ve got you covered…”

Is this the equivalent of an “American” masters? Clearly it is not. However, the Europeans have blended the undergrad curriculum with the masters. Some students therefore, do not feel the immediate need to do an MBA.

First, when they graduate they are older than their North American counterparts. Secondly, these programs have required internship components built into their education cursus. Some benefit from Erasmus exchange programs. European partnerships with leading Asian institutions have also created a two-way traffic, giving students exposure and internships in constituent countries.

Europeans who do decide to pursue an MBA have a different professional requirements. They tend to be +26 and know where they want to push their careers. They do not want nor need a 2-year program. Schools such as INSEAD, IMD, and IE Business School offer one-year accelerated programs to meet this demand. Some Europeans wait until their thirties before seeking an MBA. These candidates opt for an EMBA.

Asian MBAs
Although the Americans invented the MBA curriculum, global audiences are looking for different variants of program delivery. Take ISB (Hyderabad) and Ceibs (China) for example. The Indian School of Management in Hydrabad offers a great education, placing grads in leading firms from Mumbai to Bangalore.

Ceibs is clearly the business school beacon in China. If you really want to capitalise on doing business in China, then perhaps you should be here.

These changes are forcing more American business schools to start changing their business models. The Dean of Columbia Business School in New York was quoted stating: “I think people may want to get an MBA in a slightly different way”. Clearly the dean was referring to another trend, which is gathering steam: blending classroom-based learning with online teaching.

Online Options
Kenan-Flagler at UNC launched MBA@UNC in 2011. Is it successful? Ask UNC for direct feedback. Online learning is not for everyone. Another key issue the business schools are grappling with deals with culture. What impact does culture have on teaching business? As one analyst puts it, “business schools will need to move from content to the context in which the business operates”.

There is much food for thought here.

“Because you want to take this challenge in stride…”

Up Close & Personal
The current dean at Stanford GSB, Garth Saloner, who was appointed in 2009 has been responsible for instituting sweeping reforms and changes. The key term here is his personalized approach. This is something many business schools still don’t get. If you create a factory, you get factory workers. A personalized approach to education delivers people who are innovative, creative, and go on to do amazing things.

Just to prove my point, Stanford GSB has the smallest class size of any American MBA: 397. That’s less than half the class size of either Harvard or Wharton. Their career services department is outstanding with facilities second to none. Perhaps, Stanford will become the business education template of what a business school can become if it puts its mind into generating real business leadership.

Just think, a revolutionary course delivery system has left the Stanford entrepreneurial incubator. Tom Freidman of the New York Times waxed lyrically over Coursera, which is an NGO dedicated to delivering free classes online.

That’s right folks: F-R-E-E!

The catch is that there is no credit or pedigree. However, the plus side is quite impressive. We stand on the cusp of a complete rethink on the value of education and its delivery to those who do not possess the financial means to buy their pedigree.

Join the conversation. Let us know if you are applying for an MBA. Better still, send us an email. We can help you meet your MBA targets.

Article Title: Business Success: When Is The Best Time To Apply For An MBA
Photographs curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

How To Gain A New Sense Of Harmonics

“Because choosing the right cocktail is not enough…”

According to the New York Times, more MBA candidates are hiring coaches in order to learn to be audacious. Rather than creating a more level playing field, the advantage has shifted to those MBA candidates savvy enough to engage professional assistance. So what should you do? Perhaps the time has come to contact MBA coaching Paris: CAREO.

It is no longer enough to have an excellent track record. This has become a sine quo non. Bog standard won’t get you accepted. You will need to be audacious. You will need to know how to differentiate your profile. So we’ve decided to cut out some of the guesswork and give you a leg up. Start by following the steps listed below Get inspired, and your MBA application will stand out like a diamond in the window of Cartier.

| Step 1: Choosing The Best Business Schools|
Choosing the best business schools is easier said than done. We advise consulting the rankings such as those cited in the FT, US News, and BusinessWeek. Recognize that rankings are essentially beauty contests. However, the rankings are a good place to start and identify where you think you might want to be. Some candidates prefer a one year program and others prefer a two year program.

Identity between 4-6 MBA programs geared to your professional objectives. Sometimes, the usual suspects are not necessarily the best fit. Besides investigating online, which is relatively an easy affair, try to visit the campuses you hope to enroll in. MBA campus culture varies at each business school. Get beyond the cocktail-marketing brochures. Get in touch with real alumni. Contact the school and ask to speak either with admissions officers or the school administration. Feel out your prospects. You are about to embark on a marketing offensive in a highly competitive and saturated market.

| Step 2: Analyze Your Profile |
Conduct a type of SWOT Analysis of your profile. Identify your strengths both inside and outside the workplace. Try to list points that make your candidacy shine. Be clear in your mind as to what you hope to achieve. List your real developmental needs. What do you really want to gain from an MBA aside from acquiring another diploma? You will need to build a strong case as to why the schools should accept you rather than someone else with a similar profile.

“When you’re still undecided…”

| Step 3: Handling The Entrance Exams |
Make yourself a study agenda for the required entrance exams, which concern you. For the majority of MBA candidates, this means tackling the GMAT & TOEFL. The number of schools, which will accept your profile without these exams, is extremely limited. Test prep should be taken seriously. Plan on taking the exams more than once. Most people do.

| Step 4: How To Study |
Determine whether you can prepare by yourself or need help. Most people enroll in organized Test Prep centers where large group classes are the norm. Some organizations are better than others. Look at the results of the organization you wish to enroll. The quality of the teachers coupled to your own sweat equity will determine your test prep success. The key here is practice, practice, and yes, practice. Average GMAT scores at the top MBAs are +680 (GMAT) & +105 (TOEFL).

| Step 5: Learn To Build Persuasive Essays |
Once the GMAT & TOEFL are out of the way, the time has come to tackle the MBA essays. The essays must engage. Think storyline. Build the type of content, which makes your profile stand apart. Everyone of us is unique. However, as George Orwell might have said, “Some of us are more unique than others”. Differentiators will set your MBA application apart from the pack.

With so many applicants, the schools are spoiled for choice. Make sure that your professional objectives are clear and concise. One way to convince the Admissions Committee is to go outside the box with subjects on non-work related activities, which demonstrate your vision, achievements, and skills.

Most schools field different questions. This is done on purpose so that you do not copy and paste. Getting the essays right is not just about writing. Essay writing is really an exercise in strategic marketing to a highly targeted constituent audience. The MBA Admissions Committees will give you no slack. Therefore, you must be persuasive.

| Step 6: How To Train For Your Interview |
Interviews are not required for every MBA applicant. However, most of the top schools have made this part of the MBA application process. The point is to meet the person behind the written word. To go to an interview unprepared is sudden death. We advise serious training with someone in person. Practice until you are comfortable and can manage the unexpected.

| Step 7: Find A Unique Sense Of Purpose |
For inspiration, take Mohammed Ali’s advice: “Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

Although you can sting, you should prefer to float like a butterfly. Manifest your own beatitude. Believe that you can give joy to many. By doing so, you will show that you have the perception to think beyond your own sand box. A butterfly serves its purpose with a fruitful and productive life. You can too. It is just a question of direction and will. As human beings, we feel the need to do more than just drive to the office in the morning doing the same old, same old.

“When you’re looking for a whole new sense of harmonics…”

Many of us are truly blessed and do not lack a sense of prosperity. Wealth is such an open-ended term. It is not about bags of gold. It is about health, humour, and love. As they say in social media: share the wealth. Prosperity is about the privilege to access opportunity. Harvest the resources at our command. It does not mean living in a dwelling so large that you need a GPS to find you’re way from room to room.

There is a beautiful verse in Sanskrit, which will give you a whole new sense of harmonics. It is from the Gunaratna of Bhavabhuti:

“For the wicked, knowledge is used for conflict or war, wealth is for pride and vanity, and strength and power are used to oppress or torture others. For a noble person, it is completely different: Education is for knowledge to make everything better, wealth is for charity, and strength or power is solely for protection.”

There is much food for thought here.

I therefore urge you, if you are planning to do an MBA: Become audacious. Jump and be free of the expectations of others. Find your true fulfilment and a transformational educational experience in the bargain. If you have wealth or resources, then share them with those in real need. If you are strong and have a sense of purpose, then use your strengths in the service of your community. By doing so, you hold the keys to business leadership in the real meaning of the term.

(If you enjoyed this article, please click the thumbs up icon and let us know! Be social & share.)

Article Title: How To Gain A New Sense Of Harmonics
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO:

An MBA Coach’s Content Strategist Playbook

“Building one success story at a time…”

In recent conversations at an impromptu forum, I found myself challenged by several professionals contemplating the use of MBA Admissions consultants. It was interesting what they said.

One flannel suited chap blithely stated, “MBA Admissions consultants are for losers. I have no interest. Besides, they’re costly and make promises they cannot fulfill.

Another Chanel suited figure added, “You would think that. However, I have it on good authority that a great consultant can give you a leg up. Given the intense competition to get accepted, I want the best shot I can get.

Now, please understand I am not trying to change people’s minds. I’d rather discuss why strategic planning can make your career aspirations happen. In my experience, I found that the terms of engagement must be personalized and well thought out. Were I an MBA candidate, I would relish an actionable step-by-step roadmap to eliminate the guesswork and the anxiety.

How To Choose
There is not one road to get accepted to a top MBA. The more savvy MBA candidate realizes that the MBA Admissions game has changed. Professional counsel can deliver quantifiable results when you know what you are buying. The best advice I can give to someone shopping around for help is to choose an organization you feel comfortable partnering with.

Many firms on the market peddling services are just coaching factories. Is this what you want? Or do you prefer the counsel of professionals who really care about you?

The Value Proposition
Fees vary among service providers, but the variations are negligible. Some firms offer packages. Others charge by the hour. Packages appear to be the best deal with their all inclusive features. However, sometimes an hourly rate is more appropriate. Why pay for something you won’t take advantage of?

“Because everyone needs a personalized game plan…”

To the uninitiated, the entire MBA application process appears as an exercise in witchcraft. The magic is hard work. To not loose time, work with people who understand how the admissions process actually works. Working with a former admissions officer is not guarantee that you will be accepted at Harvard or Stanford. What you really need is content strategist familiar with the science of personal brand management.

So what should an MBA Admissions consultant provide?
Outstanding knowledge of the business education industry. Secondly, they should match your aspirations with your career objectives. Sometimes, there is no point to just applying to the top 4 business schools unless your credentials are exceptional. Choosing the most appropriate target schools is the first key step to success.

This is where content marketing can help you make the sale. An expert can position your pitch on the basis of what you’ve actually done. Most essays or personal statements submitted to the leading MBA programs read like they were written by an admissions consultant. Don’t fall into this trap. Avoid cliches and flamboyant prose.

Some of us are advised by friends or family. This may work for you. Our advice is to choose professional counsel with discretion. Make sure that the firm you work with actually cares about you and your ambitions. Service must be personalized to be effective. Otherwise, it is bog standard and a waste of time and resources.

“Yes, I’d like to book an appointment…”

Where most MBA candidates make mistakes is when they try to cut corners. So, they write their own essays. Afterward, they approach an MBA Admissions consultant, asking for a quick edit. Why pay someone when you have a spelling & grammar check on your computer? What you really need is powerful feedback that generates original ideas to brand your MBA application.

Considering the cost of an MBA, don’t you think it is worth the investment to go all in? We do. For that reason, we’ve listed below a few suggestions to get you started:

7 Pointers From The Content Strategist Playbook
1. Assessment
Assess your strengths and weaknesses. List the key attributes which makes your profile distinctive. To be successful, you will need to highlight your UQ (uniqueness quotient). Each one of us is distinctive. However, as George Orwell might have stipulated, some of us are more unique than others.

2. Strategic Plan
Outline a strategy, confirm your call to action, scalability, and opportunities. Start with a professional evaluation from your current employer. Next draw up a target list of desirable business schools. Keep abreast of deadlines, the financials, recommenders to be selected and contacted.

3. Personal Brand DevelopmentHave you identified the DNA of your personal brand? If not, find someone who can assist you. It will make your essays personal as well as professional. The business schools are seeking a well rounded and cultured audience. To learn more, study the culture and the curriculum. By doing so, you will better understand your target market audience.

4. Lay An Appropriate Foundation
It’s not enough to simply put up your name on essays someone wrote on your behalf and call it a day! Make your working relationship with an MBA Admissions consultant a partnership.

5.Stand Out
Apply strategies, which make your profile stand out. Evangelizing your personal brand is only part of the picture. You will need a compelling storyline to make your profile stand out from the crowd.

“Because we’ve got you covered…”

6. Contact Alumni
Speak with alumni. The more recent the alum, the more valuable their insight will be on how the school currently operates. It is always wise to visit the campus and attend an information session when feasible.

7. The Interview
When you are invited to an interview, you are almost there. Leave nothing to chance. Train with an communications specialist used to handling the press. If they’ve trained CEOs, they can certainly train you. Remember, this is when you must seal the deal.

If you have questions, contact CAREO for a free professional evaluation.

(If you have enjoyed this article, please click the thumbs up icon and let us know! Be social & share.)

Article Title: MBA Coaching: The Ultimate Content Strategist Playbook
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Life In The Fast Lane

MBA Admissions: Getting Started? Fast Track Your MBA !

“With our MBA Admissions Consulting services, you can be on easy street…”

Years ago, we pioneered a series of MBA Admissions strategies to fast track any MBA candidate’s applications to the top business schools. By doing so, we removed the guesswork and counseled MBA wannabes to foster their personal brand. I reasoned that successful branding strategies used in the corporate world could work just as well for an individual. When I launched CAREO, I was pleased to see our clients empowered with the opportunity to fulfill their professional MBA aspirations.

As a boutique MBA Admissions consultancy, we specialize in personalized attention. Why loose time or make mistakes? Our holistic approach will maximize your an MBA admissions with a positive outcome. I have outlined below the advantages of partnering with us as your personal brand and MBA admissions evangelists.

“Why leave your future to chance…”

1. Personalized Service
We start by helping you harmonize your professional aspirations with your personal goals. Our holistic approach to MBA admissions begins by getting to know you. We help you target the most appropriate MBA programs. With a workable timeline and actionable plan, you are ready to take on the world.

2. Establishing An Action Plan
With our comprehensive approach to business school admissions, why not take advantage of services we pioneered. Once you sign-up, we plan your strategy, create a PowerCV, give you feedback, and offer suggestions on what to include in your essays.

Once your target MBA programs are selected, we examine the details and attack the requirements. With guidance each step of the way, success lies in your hands.

3. MBA Essay Analysis
Don’t kid yourself. You can have a brilliant track record and a great GMAT and still be rejected. Your MBA essays must be powerful and persuasive. We’ll show you how to write compelling stories to make your essays stand out. Constructive feedback guarantees that what you submit will portray your candidacy in the best light.

A word of caution: Do not worry about the competition. It is pointless. What you can do however, is to manage the assets you have on your side. Having a strong personal brand will mark out your profile for serious consideration. Let our keen marketing strategists show you how. The sweat equity is on us.

4. MBA Application Procedures
Application creation also demands a well-crafted CV, selecting and preparing the ideal recommenders corresponding to your MBA targets. Rely on us to empower your CV, navigate your essay drafts, whilst polishing them like the diamonds you can see at Cartier. Getting a ‘yes’ on your MBA Admissions is so much easier.

5. The Final Touches
Just when you think the process is over, there is always one last thing to do. Count on our feedback sessions and interview training. When you are called to interview, you will have the confidence to shine like a star.

Getting Started? Fast Track Your MBA Admissions!
Let’s Talk. Email us directly and submit your contact details. Let’s discuss your requirements. We offer both package rates and hourly fees. Choose the option best suited to your schedule.


For further tips and inspiration:

MBA Admissions: How To Master Personal Branding

“Because you’re worth it…”

If you are headed over the cliff driving a vintage Vet, then clearly you are not thinking about personal branding. Howling Wolf is belting out a tune and the wind is in your hair. Is this what we need to do to get career clarity? You know that if nothing is done, there will be fanfare but not fluttering banners and trumpets. Taking five is the logical thing to do under these conditions of personal branding.

You want to stop or at least slow your emotions down. Somehow your nerves freeze and you cannot find the control panel. This is the exact predicament professionals find themselves in when it comes to career change. They are afraid to call out. Further education is probably indicated according to some reports in the press. We just need a nudge in the right direction.

Perhaps the sort of personal branding we need is to add an MBA to our quiver. MBA Admissions however has a specific set of requirements. Personal branding techniques can kick off the process with a professional evaluation. Call it a SWOT analysis of your career evolution to date. It also indicates that an overdue change in attitude is in order.

Start by giving thanks for what you have and who you are. Self love is not narcissistic. It demonstrates self appreciation. The first step to personal branding is as simple as that. You do not need to wear a necklace of garlic to ward off demons of your own making.

Visualization techniques are quite persuasive. Ask anyone who practices yoga. If you know where you would like to be, then you can navigate your Ferrari to any destination with safety.

“When life is more than a road movie…”

One of our clients said recently that she wanted to move into management consulting. She was afraid however,that her background in operational marketing was inappropriate. From the start her problem was clear. She had not convinced herself that her goal was attainable. She was even unsure whether an MBA was the best way forward. If you don’t convince yourself, how do you expect to convince somebody else? The fine art of persuasion as they say in personal branding, begins at home.

At our first meeting, we talked through her goals. By cutting away the emotional dross, she saw the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Not only was there a solution; there were several. Afterward, we trained and she regained her composure. Did she loose her self confidence? Not really; It was misplaced. By clearing her mind, her vision became tangible.

Now, she could taste success. It was just a question of enacting an action plan. Her bridge to nowhere had no real foundation. Since it had been self-imposed, it was easily destroyed. It was nothing more than a shadow. If you find yourself at a similar crossroad in personal brand management then answer the following question: Where does the source of your vision come from?

The answer lies inside your heart, but we often need a catalyst to make our vision concrete. Don’t make the cardinal mistake that Nasruddin did. He went out of his house looking for light in the pitch of night while he held a torch in his hands. The right catalyst enables you to build a strategic road map. An actionable plan delineates developmental needs. Personal brand management also highlights your strengths for future success.

Any one can point out what you might have done, but this is a fruitless exercise, which creates a state of dependence. By expressing your career goals in a concise fashion, you gain the root of leadership, which lies at the core of all professional endeavors. You will feel a sense of freedom and lightness of being. After that applying for a top MBA becomes a snap if this is what you choose to do.

Article Title: MBA Admissions: How To Master Personal Branding
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO Whitefield Consulting Worldwide

Close Encounters Of Personal Branding

“Because you have a touch of class…”

Now a DJ might very well save your life if you’re a big music fan. However, personal branding is more than finding the right sound track. Because career management matters, you need to master the tricks of the trade. The question is how to grab someone’s attention. Your birthday suit might turn heads at the Pamplone beach in Saint Tropez, but is this the type of attention you really want?

Let’s start by changing your approach to personal branding. Start with a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain. The smell alone of this roast will show you why personal branding is most feasible when we are clear-headed.

In our view, personal branding has several components. This includes a well-written CV, updated social media profiles, and paying attention to your appearance. Think of personal branding as an exercise in product management. It constitutes the sales pitch and raises the bar of your attractiveness quotient. Is your profile engaging to an anonymous reader? If it isn’t, then a serious rethink is in order. Perhaps, you should start by deleting those Facebook photos of that lost weekend in Capri.

Take for example, someone I was counseling in the hospitality sector. The first faux pas was a three-page CV. Nobody is going to read this. Measure each word. Tailor your skills and achievements to the type of job you are seeking. If you are required to attach a photograph, make it a pro show.

Using social media today is old hat. Everyone does. The question is how. You can start by studying LinkedIn strategies for sound advice. Otherwise, hire someone to help you harness the power of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or any other social media you feel valuable to personal branding.

Dealing With Age
Someone once quipped that “youth was not a guarantee of innovation nor age a sign of wisdom”. Although questions of age are shallow and discriminatory, be prepared. Some firms will not hire people of a certain age. Others value experience. Make sure you demonstrate how indispensable you can be to the organization you desire to join. If you do, you should land an interview.

The Impact Of Physical Appearance
This almost sounds trite. No matter what you might think, first impressions do matter. They counted when you were young and inexperienced; they count even more in today’s youth inspired culture. People are drawn to packaging. If you think of your appearance in this way, you will better understand the necessity of dressing for success. How you dress reflects the inner you. It is not as superficial as you think. This does not mean that you should be a show pony.

“This may not be the attention you wanted to grab…”

If you have questions on what you should wear or how to rebuild your wardrobe with panache, I counsel finding a professional look that suits your personality and the field you are intent on entering. It is as simple as that. Don’t overdress. However, make sure you fit the corporate culture you want to be part of.

According to a survey published in Paris, the stats are revealing on how people are judged. HR pros state that you are judged in the first 30 seconds. A favorable impression sets the tone for the substance to follow.

Look at the breakdown on a scale of 1-10:

  • General Appearance: 8
  • Manners & Speech Articulation: 7
  • What you actually say at the interview: 5
  • Chemistry: 7
  • Now you can state that first impressions are not fair. However, let’s be honest. When has any interview or judgment process been fair?

    HR people have a list of written and unwritten criteria. Offering you a cup of coffee is just good manners. If you pass muster, then you are called back for successive interviews. At this stage your personal branding strategy should shift gears. Focus on your competencies and added value. Dressing well just states, you are one of team.

    In general, women pay closer attention to social indicators than do men. Creating the right style voice depends on the organization. All corporate cultures have a dress code. Dressing well should begin when you are young. Pay attention to color and accessories. The key colours for suits are midnight blue and anthracite grey. Shirts can be white, blue and even stripped. Ties should be sober. Jewellery for women should be discrete and unfussy.

    Hygiene is paramount. This includes hairstyles, nails, teeth and complexion. Your personality is best exhibited by your demeanor. See your clothes as an investment. Get the most flattering cuts for your body morphology.

    The next important factor to getting a “yes” is your attitude. How you feel about yourself will radiate. Be proud of yourself and what you can do. Know your profile attributes. Personal branding means making a sale. Do not put yourself down even to yourself. A positive attitude carries a certain energy vibration. Even the most unspiritual human being will pick up on it. Exude confidence. Every one likes a success story. Do not confuse confidence with arrogance.

    “Because you want your profile to stand out…”

    The real trick to personal branding is to be light on your feet, seize opportunities as they present themselves, and think like an entrepreneur. Some professionals take charge of career change by actually launching their own enterprise. If you choose this path, no one will ever tell you that you are too young or too old. Not a bad option, when all things are considered. Just think, you even get to decide which coffee to drink at the office.

    (If you’ve enjoyed this feature article, click the thumbs up icon and let us know! Be social & share.)

    Article Title: Close Encounters Of Personal Branding
    Photographs: curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit CAREO: Life In The Fast Lane

    Why Corporate Stewardship Demands Leadership

    “At least dress the part…”

    Stewardship always matters. Corporate stewardship is best summed up by social responsibility and sound business leadership practices. To illustrate this point a rather quaint tale crossed my desk last week. It gets to the heart of stewardship, empowering employees, and continuing a legacy of innovation. It reinforces that stewardship goes beyond numbers. It implies engendering a sane corporate culture, which promotes human values over power and greed.

    Let me give you an example of how one business leader taught his team the principals of sound stewardship. Not far from my office is an innovative IT firm, dealing with social media solutions. The CEO understood the tenants of stewardship. It was his belief that an organization runs like a clock and that succession had to be planned. However, he wanted to make sure that the organization he built was passed on to an appropriate successor.

    The person needed to embody meritocracy, honesty and integrity. So to choose the next head of Wise Guy Media, he devised a small game. He opted for an out-of-the-box approach rather than selecting a high ranking board member. Then, he called the core team to a meeting. Everyone attended and were seated around an impressive mahogany table. The game of stewardship was about to begin.

    Once the throng was settled in with a cup of coffee at everyone’s elbow, he expressed to his colleagues the time had come to organize his departure. He explained his reasons for wanting to leave. His team understood why he desired to shuffle off and start an NGO dedicated to education in rural districts.

    “I have decided to call everyone here today in order to choose the next CEO of our group. Since it has always been the policy within Wise Guy to reward top talent given our flat hierarchical structure, I will select one of you. The game we will play is called stewardship.

    To play this game, I’ve placed a terra-cotta pot in front of each of you. Now, I will walk around the room and hand out a special seed to each of you. Your sole function during the game is to nurture the seed. Do whatever you think it takes. Stewardship is an often tricky game and calls for insight.

    Obviously, to get a seed to grow, you will need to water and fertilize what you have planted. One year from today, I will ask you to return to this office and we shall discover and discuss the strategies you have used. I will give careful consideration to each result and determine what you have harvested. Following my examination of your efforts, I will select the next head of our noble institution. Stewardship, keep in mind, is serious business.”

    “Because the best leaders set an example…”

    All the executives present at the meeting were a bit surprised. They knew their CEO’s penchant for being different. After all, under his stewardship the firm had won many awards for clear thinking and innovative content marketing and advertising campaigns. If he felt that stewardship was so important, then it must be so.

    “He practices yoga”, whispered a pin stripe suit to a charcoal clad marketing expert.

    “Perhaps, it’s all that wheat grass juice, he’s been drinking at lunch”, added a lipsticked financial analyst to the accountant.

    Since the CEO wanted a buy-in to his game of stewardship, he asked everyone present to vote by a show of hands. One by one, they raised their hands in consent.

    Among the team, there was one gentleman present whose real name I won’t disclose. He was nicknamed Sai by his colleagues. He didn’t really get the point about the seed and the pot. However, he thought, if everyone else is going to play this game of stewardship, I will go along.

    After the meeting, like his colleagues, he took the plant home and gave it a prominent place in a sun baked window. Sun he thought would be key. His inquisitive wife thought this was an odd way to choose a successor, but kept her thoughts to herself. She did think that this was another way for Sai to shine since he was a great gardener. Day after day, before going to work, Sai meticulously watered the seed.

    Within three weeks, colleagues started to recount how sprouts were popping up out of their respective pots. Tales varied. Sai, who was valued at the firm for his story telling and wordsmith skills, had nothing to report. As time slipped by, you would think from the communal discussions at the water cooler, this company had became a nursery rather than a communications agency.

    Sai however, shrugged his head when he listened. His seed was taking forever. Still, he watered his pot. Hoping that his seed was just a late bloomer like the Gingko.

    Six months into the stewardship exercise, Sai felt he must have done something wrong. Not only did he not see foliage, he saw zilch. His colleagues on the other hand were exuberant. Some even repotted theirs to accommodate the larger roots. Sai continued to keep calm and put on his best smile every time corporate discussions turned to the stewardship game.

    Finally the year passed. The moment everyone had waited for had arrived. The boardroom was filled with lush growth of countless descriptions. That morning before going to the office, Sai was ready to call in sick. His wife disagreed.

    “Look, there’s no point in bringing in an empty pot. I’ll look ridiculous in front of my peers. Even the CEO will laugh. If I couldn’t get a silly seed to grow, I certainly couldn’t be trusted to run an enterprise. Who knows, I might even get fired.”

    “You did the best you could. Now go.”

    And so Sai, took the pot, put it into the car and drove to work.

    When he showed up there was much commotion. Some plants had flowers and others were small trees. Sai wanted to crawl into a corner. Despite the unpleasantness, he had to see this through. So, he sat in the back hoping nobody would notice him. Then the CEO blew in slapped backs, shook hands all around and gazed at the flora on the huge table in front of him.

    “My my. This is very impressive. You have all been as busy as beavers.” Then his eye spied Sai and the empty pot. He then motioned to Sai to come forward.

    “So what’s this my lad?”

    With all eyes on Sai, he was visibly shaking. There’s nothing for it, he thought. I must have somehow killed the plant. Tell the CEO the truth, and be done with it. So he recounted how he tended the seed, but despite his diligence nothing worked. Sai felt he let down the side, and certainly flunked the game of stewardship. He ended his small discourse with an apology.

    At first, he CEO said nothing and then stood up to address the group of contenders.

    “I hope you’re all listening. I’ve made my choice. Now, congratulate Sai. He is the next CEO.”

    The room was dumbfounded. To break the silence, the CEO started to walk around the table as he continued to address his colleagues.

    “A year ago, we began to play the game of stewardship. I entrusted each one of you with a seed. What none of you knew were that the seeds were boiled. Therefore, nothing can sprout from a dead seed. When you found that your seed would not grow, you substituted another for the one I gave you. Sai was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me his pot with the actual seed I entrusted him to safeguard. By doing so, he has demonstrated the lessons of stewardship. Therefore, he is the only one among you who is worthy of this office.”

    As the meeting adjourned, the CEO handed out an envelope to each of the participants. This is what the paper inside stated:

    * If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
    * If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
    * If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
    * If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
    * If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
    * If you plant hard work, you will reap success
    * If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

    Be careful what you plant now; It will determine what you reap later.

    Join The Conversation. Let us know what you think.

    Article Title: Why Corporate Stewardship Demands Leadership
    Photographs: archival, curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit CAREO: Building one success story at a time