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Last month I was invited to speak to the executives at a management college in Mumbai. Of the many leadership lessons I shared with them from my personal life, one of the most crucial ones is about uneasiness.

Uneasiness can be useful in leadership

Mine is a story of big dreams in small-town America. Twenty five years ago, when I moved to the US, everyone told me I was going to the land of opportunity. But the reality was very different. Despite all the resources and opportunities, most people were struggling to make it through the day, some were well settled in their jobs or businesses, and only a few were super successful.

As I made my way into corporate America, looking forward to achieving the American Dream, I began to feel uneasy and dissatisfied. I saw that people around me were frustrated with their jobs and lives.

As I delved deeper into the cause of this enormous gap between the “successful few” and the “unsuccessful many”, I realized that it was a global phenomenon. I began exploring different philosophies and techniques to achieve better satisfaction and results in life and work.

I shared these findings with my peers and friends, and the results were great. I then decided to make this system available worldwide to help more people know that achieving success is not rocket science. In the process, I discovered some compelling tools and wrote about them in my book, Success Is Within. That launched my career as a leadership speaker and author.

All the uneasiness inside of me formed the springboard of the leadership, training, and coaching company I founded in the USA, which has to date helped numerous people and organisations become better, more fulfilled leaders.

Your focus mustn’t be what people think about you. Your focus should always be on what you want people to think about you.

Success does not discriminate between men and women; people do.

The #1 challenge for me as a speaker and executive coach was being a ‘woman of colour’ in the States. So while white American women were coming up against what is famous as the “glass ceiling,” women like me were hitting a “cemented ceiling”, which is much harder, and where you have no clue what’s on the other side!

I remember how when I approached organisations with my work, there would be a look of shock on people’s faces and at times I was even mocked. I was told bluntly and directly “It’s very uncommon to see an Indian woman in the field of speaking in America.It’s impossible for you to get through in this field.”

Well, it taught me that there’s no way you can accomplish anything of value without encountering challenges.

I feel blessed today to be often recognised as the only woman of Indian descent to be one of the most sought-after executive coaches, leadership speakers and authors in America (and now globally).

I say this not to impress you, but to express to you that your focus must not be what people think about you. And that all the uneasiness is gearing you up for something better.

Your focus should always be on what you want people to think about you. Once you

know that, speed up in that direction.

Hope this helps in your journey toward success.

Your Good Friend + Mentor

Payal Nanjiani

Leadership Expert | Author| Executive Coach


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