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‘No business problems, only people problems’

Vishnu Makhijani
(Vishnu Makhijani can be contacted at vishnu.makhijani@ians.in)
There are no business problems, only people problems — and once these get resolved, so do the business problems, says motivational guru Shiv Khera, whose fifth book has just hit the stands while the first one has entered its 20th year and is set to be relaunched.
“I am not an expert in any industry, but having lived in the US for over 40 years and worked in over 25 countries, I find that, all over the world, we don’t have business problems, we have people problems and when we take care of our people’s problems, most of our business problems are automatically resolved,” Khera told IANS in an interview.
Does this not sound like a one-size-fit-all sugestion? Khera disagreed.
“People problems are not identical but they are very similar. Many times I am asked, ‘Don’t you find cultural differences in your audiences?’ My answer is, ‘I find more similarities than differences.’ Emotional appeals are identical; integrity and cheating are given the same meaning in New York, New Delhi and New Zealand. There is no difference. The differences are many times cultural, which to me are very surface issues though they may not end up as surface issues,” he explained.
What then does his latest offering, “You Can Achieve More”, have to offer?
The message in his current book, he said, can be captured in the following sentences:
* If you want to stand out, then you need to do something outstanding
* A person with a positive attitude cannot be stopped; and a person with a negative attitude cannot be helped
* Time teaches us the value of life; life teaches us the value of time
* Accidents are no accidents. Casual attitude always leads to casualty
* Winners make the days count, losers count their days
* Winners live by the philosophy ‘prepare and prevent’, not repair and repent
* Achievers do today what others don’t, so they can enjoy things tomorrow which others won’t
* To change reality, you must change mentality.
* Achievers recognise that a big pay cheque and lack of accountability seldom go together.”
“It’s all very well to say ‘if you want to stand out, do something different’ — but how do you then deal with half-a-dozen people who want to pull you down?
“Pulling people down is neither new nor is it confined to any country or society. It is universal. People who want to move up in life, constantly not only reinforce the positive but also insulate themselves from the negative. If we want to be in good health, exercising alone will not do the job, we also have to stay away from junk food. They go hand in hand,” Khera explained.
Noting that only internal strength of character can help a person overcome the external forces that pull him or her down, he said this strength can only be built by reinforcing the positive. “Just like an athlete builds physical strength with constant practice, similarly we build mental strength with constant practice.”
In terms of competitiveness, how has the world changed in the 20 years since “You Can Win” was published?
“I have always felt that competition is good to have. Reason: It makes the good look better and the bad look worse; because people have something to compare you with. If the buyers do not have anything to compare you with, then how do they know you are good?
“When buyers get value for money, they buy. My objective has always been that if I get one dollar, I must give them 10 dollars worth value. With this kind of mindset, you have no competition, you become the competition,” said Khera, who has some of the top Fortune 100 companies as his clients.
About his 20-year journey from the time his first book was published, Khera said he formally started penning down “You Can Win” in 1992, before which he had been capturing his thoughts on napkins, loose papers while sitting in restaurants or in transit during flights. He finished the manuscript somewhere in 1997; it was picked up by Prentice Hall in Singapore and published in the same year. It has since sold 3.7 million copies and will be relaunched this July.
“Being an unknown author, getting your book to become an international bestseller was not easy. I travelled to different parts of the world, spoke at every conference that I could, whether paid or unpaid was immaterial. As people liked my message, they started buying my book.”
His roadmap for the future?
“To institutionalise my messages by creating a programme online and also collaborating with some educational institutions helping them set up a Centre of Leadership Excellence to build good future leaders,” Khera said. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita