QAspire Blog Makes it to Top150 Management/Leadership Blogs

Top150 … and I am very proud and happy about it. Jurgen Appelo (over at NOOP.NL), whom I have been reading since last couple of years, has compiled a list of Top 150 Management and Leadership Blogs. QAspire Blog ranks 89 amongst these, when mere inclusion in the list is an honor in itself.

There are several tipping points in a blog’s career, those moments that clearly take it into the next league. This is an important milestone and an indication of growing popularity of this blog. This makes all the effort so far – totally worth it.

Thank you Jurgen – for taking an initiative to compile this list based on Google, Twitter Grader, Alexa and Technorati ratings.

Bonus Reading:

Have a GREAT day ahead!

P.S: Thanks to my friends Nicholas Bate and Kurt Harden for congratulating me via their blog posts – this only raises expectations and pushes me to do it better! BIG THANKS!

Carnival of Leadership Development and 4 Years of Blogging

2836828090_d44f5278bd[1] This month’s Carnival of Leadership Development is hosted by Sharlyn Lauby at HR Bartender blog. I am happy to have my post 3 Lessons in Building Great Relationships with Customers featured there along with some of the best posts on Leadership Development. If you are looking for some fantastic reading on leadership and allied subjects, you should quickly check out the latest Carnival.

Sharlyn and Mr. Bartender are celebrating their 23rd anniversary and hence, the posts in this month’s carnival are organized according to the blog anniversary. During the submission process, I was asked “How long have you been blogging?”

That is when I realized that I will be completing 4 years of productive blogging later this month. When you immerse yourself in doing what you love doing, all ‘metrics’ take a backseat. You just keep doing it without any expectations, simply enjoying the process.  That, to me, is the cornerstone of all success and satisfaction.

My blogging has taken me places without going anywhere. I have some great friends across the globe with whom I share ‘thought-based relationship’. We are connected by our thoughts. I am no where near to being famous or earning money through this blog (and that is not even a distant ambition!). I just love doing it – everything else is a by-product.

I started blogging in April 2006 and wrote my first post titled “Solutions Perspective”. I have come a long way since then experimenting new stuff, overcoming my own resistance to write and sometimes overcoming the “writers block”.

Why did I start blogging?

  • because I was passionate about sharing lessons I learned while doing my work.
  • because I always wanted to get better at writing and expression.
  • because I wanted to ‘explore’ this new fad called ‘blogging’.

How has it helped me?

  • It sharpened and shaped my thinking. I became an ‘observer’ to my own thinking patterns and happenings around me.
  • It helped me become a better writer and get good at expressing myself clearly.
  • I had a heightened awareness about my areas of focus and learned a great deal about them. Lessons I wrote came from things that worked for me and also from reading/thinking.
  • Blogging helped me increase my reading, subscribing to other great blogs and discovering new blogs.
  • Blogging encouraged me to do more – more reading, more writing and more thinking.
  • I understood the power of ‘contributing’ – comments, link love, guest posts and so many other ways of adding value.
  • It opened up new opportunities for me through people I came to know via blogging.
  • I get immense satisfaction after I write a good post that resonates well with so many people. If any of my blog post so far has helped even few individuals for better, I think all the effort so far is worth it.

So this month is special in more ways than one. Stay tuned for special offerings this month – to mark the 4th anniversary of this blog. I am super-excited.

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Photo Courtesy: Kristina’s Flickr Photostream

While I was away…

Last year was very hectic for me – work, travel, book, blog and a host of other things. I needed a good break to re-energize and spend quality time with my family and hence, last week, I took a one-week break to Goa – my favorite destination. Sandy and rocky beaches, palms dotting the skyline, overcast skies, the grandeur of vast Arabian Sea, Portuguese architecture (some of the world heritage sites), cathedrals and food has always enticed me. A week spent without cell phone, internet and connectivity helped me spend time quality with my family and myself. My batteries are recharged and I am ready to take on more work, more reading, more thinking and more writing.

In social media, a lot can happen in one week, and it did.

There were a number of interesting conversations on the blogs I follow and I am yet to catch up with all of them. I hope to read them all in the coming week and get back on track.

I wish you a wonderful and productive week ahead!

In the photo: Vagator beach in North Goa.

My Guest Post: “Perseverance” at LeaderTalk

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This is another high point in my blogging career. Thanks to Becky Robinson, my personal story on “Perseverance” has been posted today on Leadertalk – the blog of Mountain State University’s School of Leadership. I wrote this post when I was in Helsinki, Finland.

Here is an excerpt:

“In the equation of success, having a purpose is one part, another is one’s ability to persist. I have seen a number of people who, when faced with difficult situation, just did what their heart told them.”

Read the full post here. Thanks Becky, for this opportunity.

Readers, I await your comments!

Announcing my new book: #QUALITYtweet – 140 bite-sized ideas to deliver quality in every project

Writing a book (at least one in my lifetime) was my dream and I am glad to announce that my dream is finally coming true with my first book titled #QUALITYtweet – 140 bite-sized ideas to deliver quality in every project”.

QUALITYtweet_cover_l

This book is a compilation of 140 ideas on quality management. Each idea is in form of a tweet – no longer than 140 characters. Twitter’s popularity has proven that you can indeed say a lot in 140 characters.

The inspiration for this book came from Rajesh Setty – my mentor and a very good friend. This book is a part of Rajesh Setty’s #TH!NKtweet series. I cannot thank him enough for his generosity.

The basic premise of this book is that Quality is still a very heavy subject with lot of focus on models, frameworks and theories. With limited time to read, people want short and practical insights on how quality can be managed. This is a book you can read in less than 30 minutes. You can read it over and over again, because each tweet will prompt you to think.

The foreword of #QUALITYtweet is written by Dr. Pankaj Jalote who is an accomplished author, academician and a veteran in the field of Software Quality and Processes. You can read more about him here. Many thanks to him.

I also thank Lisa Haneberg, Skip Angel, Phil Gerbyshak and Michael Wade for their kind words of advance praise. They have been great teachers for me over past few years and they continue to enlighten me. Utpal Vaishnav is a cool friend who reviewed the book with lot of love and care. I thank all my peers at Gateway TechnoLabs who have been extremely supportive and encouraging. Readers of this blog have never failed to inspire me.

The book will hit the stands on 11/11/2009, my daughter’s third birthday! Stay tuned for more updates on #QUALITYtweet in the time to come.

Be Defiant!

Here is yet another proof of how powerful social media can be. I am very glad to announce the official launch of my friend and guide Rajesh Setty’s new free eBook – defiant! Practical Tips for Thriving in Tough Times

Here are some of the key highlights of the book:

  • Its completely FREE and you can download it from here. (No Registration Required)
  • The entire project was conceived, created and implemented using the power of social media. The key tools used were LinkedIn Answers, Blog, Facebook and Twitter.
  • This book includes a collection of 80+ tips from 50+ smart people (including yours truly) who contributed to the project and shared their tips/ideas on how to thrive in a difficult time. I have shared the tip on how remaining alternatively skilled can really help you find your next opportunity. You can read my tip (#46) on page 64.

It is very inspiring to see how you can use the power of social media to create very relevant content.

I am sure you will enjoy the book as much as I did. If you like it, drop a note in the comments section.

Happy reading!

Selected Photos at my Flickr – Helsinki and more!

I have recently updated my Flickr Photostream with some new chosen pictures. Enjoy the photos at http://www.flickr.com/tnvora. Your comments are priceless.

Here are some highlights:

 

This is a peepal leaf against light. The veins of leaf came so clear that this looks like roads of a well planned city.

This is a beautiful flower at Esplanade Park Helsinki Harbor. More pictures of Helsinki Harbor at my Flickr Stream.

Lutherian Cathedral – Dome View. Also called Helsinki Cathedral, this monument is like Taj Mahal of Finland. It looks even beautiful when viewed from the sea.

If you enjoyed these, I am sure you will enjoy the rest. So what are you waiting for? Jump on to Flickr to see more.

What 5 things you do everyday to be successful?

There was an interesting question on LinkedIn Answers recently – “What 4 or 5 things do you do each and every day to be successful?“. Now that was thought-provoking.

Here is my list of 5 things that I do (or try to do) everyday to be/remain successful:

  • Eat healthy and walk to stay fit. No fun being successful and sick! :) Get 7 hours of sleep and maintain a mental balance that is needed for managing difficult situations at work.
  • Be thankful for what I have. Everyday for 5 minutes, I think of what I have that others only yearn for. Being thankful for gifts you have (health, intellect, family, passion, willingness, work, kids etc.) is essential part of “success-thinking”. Be thankful to the family for they are the ones for whom you want to be successful.
  • Observe/Learn. Observe patterns in the way things happen, in the way people behave, mistakes made by others. When I observe and learn something, I blog about it. Blog is an important knowledge management tool for documenting my learnings. Part of my success project. :)
  • Aspire for Quality – quality in interactions, quality in client calls, quality in work products I generate. Quality everywhere. Because Quality delivers an experience. Quality drives success. Good quality means a pleasant experience that is memorable. Challenge though, is to balance quality with timeline. Tight deadlines does not mean poor quality. Isn’t it?
  • Delegate. Doing everything yourself is a sure way to limit your capacity. One of the most important traits of successful people is that they are able to multiply their capacity by virtue of delegating. By delegating, you also give others a chance to lift their game up and be excellent.

What does your list look like? Well, I am curious to know. Give it a thought and share it in comments.

Image Courtesy: Yogi’s photostream on Flickr

Welcome to QAspire.com Blog

Welcome to newly hosted QAspire Blog – a blog from Tanmay Vora. If you are a first time visitor, I have been blogging since last 3 years and you can explore all my previous posts/thoughts/comments by browsing the categories at right. Its great to have you here.

My old blog was at: qualsys.wordpress.com and it will still remain live, but new posts/updates will be posted here.

QAspire.com/Blog’s NEW RSS Feed: http://qaspire.com/blog/?feed=rss2. If you have been a regular reader of the old  blog, please use the above RSS feed location to re-subscribe. If you are a first time visitor, you can do a fresh RSS subscription using the link above. I look forward to have some great conversations on quality, management, improvement and leadership here.

Thank you for stopping by!

Tanmay

Big THANKS to Nicholas Bate for a gift of ideas!

I referred to few great lists from Nicholas Bate – “Professionalism101“, “Be Different25” and “Outrageous101” earlier on this blog. I mentioned earlier that I felt very upbeat after reading these lists.

I would like to express a BIG Thanks to Nicholas Bate for sending me autographed copies of his books How to Sell and Market Your Way Out of This Recession and Get Your Business Buzzing Like Never Before (even Though Your Customers Don’t Want to Know!) and Instant MBA: Think, Perform and Earn Like a Top Business School Graduate (52 Brilliant Ideas) along with host of other small booklets and a wonderful greeting card signed by him.

Over at About page on his blog, Nicholas has written that he is passionate about supporting people to ensure they realise and release their true and full potential. This gesture goes on to prove that he lives his passion.

These books are a valuable addition to my collection and I am sure to pick up some very valuable insights. Thanks to blogging, I have been able to communicate and build relationships with some of the most eminent thinkers. It can’t get better than this.

Thanks Nicholas, and I look forward to reading more of those thoughtful and provocative lists. This is certainly a high point in my blogging career.

Leadership Development Carnival – April Edition

The April Leadership Development Carnival is up at “Great Leadership” blog by Dan McCarthy. For those who are aren’t aware of Carnival concept, Carnival is a blog event where excellent insights on a particular topic are hosted in form of single post with links to original blog posts.

Great Leadership” is an excellent Leadership blog which offers remarkable insights on Leadership and related subjects and is also the host of Leadership Development Carnival.

I am happy and proud that one of my posts “Personal Leadership – It shines in difficult times” has been included in the Leadership Development Carnival along with other great blog posts on Leadership subject. I am particularly excited because this was my maiden participation in a blog carnival.

Recognition is important because it pushes you to do better – and inclusion of my post on Leadership Development Carnival just does that!

I recommend you to drop by the Leadership Development Carnival to read some very useful and practical insights on Leadership.

"Be Different" and other great lists from Nicholas Bate

Nicholas Bate is at it again – lists I mean. He is simply too good at articulating his thoughts in lists of 10, 25 and 100 points. Lists that are provocative and call for action. I did refer to his “Professionalism 101″ list earlier. This time around, its “Be Different 25” – list of 25 things you can do to be different.

You should read the full list on his blog, but here are 10 that I liked the most:

    • Be punctual;
    • Encourage others;
    • Listen to understand;
    • Get really, really good at some things;
    • Accept the above may take you years, but it’ll be fun;
    • Lead whether or not you have manager/leader/supervisor in your job title;
    • Grab every damn opportunity;
    • When those run out: create your own damn opportunities;
    • Say thank you;
    • Be grateful;

By the way, there is one more list titled “Outrageous101” – I like it each and every point mentioned there. So if I try to list down my favorites, I am afraid, I will end up reproducing the w hole post!

So, I would recommend that you read it yourself – Outrageous101. Outrageous thinking, outrageous goals, outrageous value and outrageous living!

I feel so upbeat when I read these lists and I am sure you will too! Enjoy!

Twitter Updates – March 2009 (Great Quotes)

Here are a few selected Twitter updates I posted through March 2009. March was a month of quotes and I found a lot of appealing and interesting quotes from people whom I follow on Twitter. While I love all of them, I specially like the ones marked in bold.

For those new toTwitter, RT stands for Retweet which simply means re-posting the tweets posted by others.

If you enjoy these tweets, you can start following me @tnvora! See you on Twitter.

  • Great RT @rosasay A conversation is like a dance. Someone leads, someone follows. Try to lead at the same time, you’ll end up with sore toes.
  • RT @silixell “If you posses something that you can’t give away, then it posses you.” Frank Sinatra #quote
  • Note at my dentist’s office: “Your teeth – you get them free twice, third time you have to pay for it”
  • “Workaholsim is as bad to productivity as alcoholism.”
  • No matter what business you are into, you are in the people business!“- heard Tom Peters saying this in one of the podcast!
  • RT @SusanOrchard A lady at a recent networking event had on a button that said “I refuse to participate in the recession.” – What about you?
  • RT @Mike_Wesely #QUOTE: “Love is a game that two can play and both win.” ~Eva Gabor
  • Spend just a bit more timewith all your staff:(1) to show that they are valued and (2) to check they know EXACTLY how to do their job well.
  • Stars shine brighter when surrounded by other stars. Questn: Are you a star? If so, are you surrounded by stars who help you shine brighter?
  • RT @raj_bokdia “I would rather be able to appreciate things I can not have than to have things I am not able to appreciate.” Elbert Hubbard
  • RT @Mike_Wesely #QUOTE: “Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says “Go!” – a leader says “Let’s go!” ~E.M. Kelly
  • #GreatQuote “If you want to know what a man is, place him in authority.” – Yugoslav proverb
  • “Leaders live in fish bowl and are always being watched. They should always be conscious of that fact and take advantage of it.” Gene Klann
  • “Men don’t follow titles they follow courage…” – this quote emphasizes that leaderships is not about title, position or rank!
  • RT @wclements “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” -Mark Twain
  • RT @Ben14864 #QUOTE “Most people fail in life because they major in minor things.” – Anthony Robbins
  • Very Interesting – RT @BreakThruGuy “Worry is like a rocking chair – it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” ~Unknown
  • RT @rosasay “The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret.” —Nido Qubein
  • #GreatThought If ethics are poor at the top, that behavior is copied down through the organization. –Robert Noyce
  • #GreatQuote “There is good in everybody – Boost, don’t Knock.”
  • RT @BreakThruGuy RT @iquote “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” — Jesse Jackson
  • RT @nametagscott To bring more of yourself to any situation, just ask: Am I currently acting in harmony with the way I see myself?
  • “All things being equal people will do business with people they like. All things not being equal, they still will.” -John C. Maxwell
  • Expect the best only after giving your best, consistently!
  • I think that failure is acceptable after you have given your best. Accepting failure without giving your best attempt is criminal.
  • RT @UpbeatNow Very nice. RT @janebutton “Wisdom is knowing the right path to take…integrity is taking it.” — M.H. McKee
  • Insightful Question: “If you don’t enjoy what you have, how could you be happier with more?” – RT @BreakThruGuy @ChipEFTRT @HemalRadia
  • RT @alexmalave Environment beats Discipline.
  • MUST READ: A truly inspiring story at Boston.com – that “E” in CEO can sometimes stand for “Empathy”. http://tinyurl.com/c7gh9l
  • #QUOTE “Nearly all men can stand adversity – but give him power, and the extent of his character will be revealed.” -Anonymous
  • RT @SKanderson “The desire to win only matters when coupled with the desire to prepare.”10:41 PM Mar 16th from web
  • RT @Mike_Wesely #QUOTE: “I’ve never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful.” ~~Author Unknown
  • RT @MarvinTowler “The world is full of willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.” -Robert Frost
  • RT @BreakThruGuy @silixell “Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself.”–Lois McMaster Bujold
  • A gem from Seth Godin – “The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” http://tinyurl.com/bsd4us
  • “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience – well, that comes from poor judgment.” -British author A.A. Milne
  • #QUOTE “Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.” -Josh Billings
  • #QUOTES “Life is luck, make it.” – Mother Teresa
  • #QUOTE The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. –William Pollard
  • #QUOTE “If it wasn’t for the rocks the river would have no song.”
  • #QUOTE “Life is a grindstone whether it grinds you down or polishes you up – it depends on what you are made of.”
  • #QUOTE “Needs can be met, greeds never.”
  • RT Ben14864: #QUOTE “Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.” – J. Donald Walters
  • RT @Mike_Wesely #QUOTE: “He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody. ~Joseph Heller. (Just loved this one) Good Day!
  • RT @Mike_Wesely “If Columbus had an advisory committee he would probably still be at the dock.” ~Arthur Goldberg
  • RT @Ben14864 “The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” – David Russell
  • RT @JayKoch @Ben14864 “The world has the habit of making room for a man whose words and actions show that he knows where he’s going.- N.Hill
  • @Mike_Wesely “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and to discover that the prisoner was you.” Read more @ my blog http://tinyurl.com/dmr4vh
  • #GreatThought “Some people just don’t want freedom of choice though, they want freedom from it.” http://tinyurl.com/brf5eq
  • RT @Mike_Wesel #QUOTE: “Rather lose in a cause that will some day win, than win in a cause that will some day lose.” ~~Woodrow Wilson
  • RT @JayKoch “People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • #PowerQuote “The most effective marketing is human to human; everything else is a compromise.” http://tinyurl.com/agu93u10:50 PM Mar 5th from TwitterBar
  • RT @nametagscott MANAGER: “But my door is always open!” EMPLOYEE: “True. My question is – Are your mind and heart open too?
  • #TRIVIA When month & day form square root of year,math geeks celebrate “Square Root Day”. 3/3/09 was that day which comes only 9 times in a century.

  • #GreatQuotes “It isn’t the mountain that wears you out, its the grain of sand in your shoes”
  • A professional knows it is very easy to attack/destroy, much harder to build, augment, be help and think abundant. http://qaspire.com/
  • On web, why would someone connect to you if you have not built a value-based relationship? Even if they connect would that be helpful?
  • Ten Personal Commandments of Management/Leadership at http://www.qaspire.com/ What commandments do you follow to lead?
  • #SundayHumor Palmist to a Politician: You stand a good chance of winning elections since both the head and heart lines are missing!
  • #SundayHumor Palmist to a man: You have nothing left in your right hand and you have nothing right in your left hand!

Twitter Mania

Twitter is catching up on me.

I am too excited to have people like Guy Kawasaki (his blog “How to Change the World“, his twitter feed, his new book “Reality Check“) and David Zinger (his blog on Employee Engagement, his other blog on Strength-Based Leadership) follow me on Twitter. There are other followers too who come  different walks of work life (PR, Marketing, SEO, HR, Sales etc.) and bring interesting insights on board. I follow them too.

My focus on ROII gets more intense with such an elite following.

Here are some of the tweets I posted in Feb 09 – for you to catch up.

  • Wise owl lived in an oak, more he saw less he spoke. Less he spoke more he heard. Can’t we all be like that bird? http://tinyurl.com/lstng
  • The person who works harder when the boss isn’t around is headed for a better future. – via an email forward.
  • “People Don’t Hate Change, They Hate How You’re Trying to Change Them.” – Mike Kanazawa. http://tinyurl.com/bms6jm
  • The triggers of recession are different but economic basics are same. In any case this could be a good time do things differently
  • I learnt from 2001 recession that if you resist bad times, you fall victim to it. If you thrive on it, you flourish. Time to re-apply.
  • Simple Rule: People cooperate if you cooperate. You defect and people are more likely to do the same with you. http://tinyurl.com/c6b98u
  • If your intent is to get it done, time is generally not an problem. We always have ample time to do things we really “want” to do.
  • Planning is fine but you only get oil if you drill wells (Tom Peters). Execution trumps planning! Specially in troubled times. What say?
  • If each communication with others is an experience, what experience are you extending to people you talk to? Experience builds memorability.

Earlier, I thought micro-blogging was time consuming and non-productive. As I use these tools more, I realize that they have a potential to generate a tribe that follows you and your thoughts. Immense potential when you want to reach out to many people.

Follow me on Twitter

Follow me on Twitter

 (Image Courtesy: Vincent Abry’s Twitter Button Collection)

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