The Haja Sheriff Blog

Striving for Perfection

Posted by in Career, Perfection, Personal Effectiveness

While reading the book “Lessons Learned – Loving your work” ,  I came across this article from Peggy Fleming, who was a Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medallist. 

I quote-

“What that instilled in me was to practice perfection. Every time I skated and had a lesson from my coach, I tried to think of a performance- I tried to think of the crowd. I tried to think of how that pressure would feel. I actually came up with a game that I did at every lesson: I would try to do a perfect lesson.  That made it even more difficult; I didn’t want to make one mistake in the hour I had with my coach. It was fun. I think he respected that to: and it was fun for him to have a student who was giving it her all at a practice. 

What I learned was that practicing perfection, not cheating yourself, is the best way to go through life.

Even today, when I go for a run, I hear that little voice in my head saying, “I have committed to this hour. I am going to keep running the whole time. If I stop, I am cheating, and I’m not getting the benefit out of this. I’m only cheating myself”.

I obviously was very impressed with this article.

And I suspect most of us don’t go on to win gold medals in the Olympics because of this single attitude gap! (maybe there is a talent gap as well – but hey, we don’t know that)

Strive for perfection- every day with a conviction that you are doing it to get the best out of life- small steps every day.

I am making an effort every day to strive for perfection – in everything I do. 

Perfection, in my mind, does not mean, having to drop everything else and focus on just achieving that “perfect” output- and if the right inputs are not there, to drop the project altogether.

Perfection to me, is to take what you have, put quality thinking behind it- think from the target audiences point of view – and roll it out as soon as you can, when you are confident that the quality is as good as it can get and any other inputs/insights will have only a marginal improvement. 

Perfection is NOT dropping the project and waiting for the perfect inputs to come through before rolling this out.

How do you strive for perfection? Do you? If you don’t, this is as good time as any to start!


Love what you do..

Posted by in Goals, Management, Personal Branding, Personal Effectiveness



This is an oft repeated advise in various personal development courses (and books).   Many a motivational speaker has become richer telling this- and here we are, reading this blog, and wondering, how many more will say this.

And you know what? So it is.

If you don’t love what you are doing, you won’t be happy at it or good at it- and worse, it will show.…and , this is great advice on paper for people who have an option.

For many of you (as it is for me), that option does not exist.

You are doing things which you just have to do because you have very limited choice.

So how do we make work life totally enjoyable?

First find something that you love in your job.  There must be SOMETHING in your job that you love (apart from shutting shop end of the day). Find that.  Focus your energy around that area- and bring in one new thing into that circle (of things you love doing) everyday.  You will be surprised at how your energy levels will start going up post that- and your work will start shining. 

From a job that was “boring”, “not stretching my abilities”, it will become more interesting & the passion will rise every day.

Stardom is just one task away!

Let me know if this works.


Are you a Cowboy or a Team player? Your future depends on this answer!

Posted by in Leadership, Management

Picture courtesy-

"The man who gets the most satisfactory results is not always the man with the most brilliant single mind, but rather the man who can best coordinate the brains and talents of his associates." Alton Jones, industrialist

Really- there is no other way to succeed.

The cowboy days are long gone.

To succeed, one must, I repeat, one must, work with the broader team. You need to get off the horse and join the crowd.

The more people who share a common purpose, a common goal, and committed to the same outcomes, the better it will be for you to overachieve.

Think about what you are doing today – and how many projects that you are trying to carry on your shoulders!

Shrug off the old sentiments (of sole glory) and work towards team glory.

Success will follow.

Branding will follow as well.

Step back and think… it could change your life!


Eleven Keys to Increasing your Productivity- Brian Tracy

Posted by in Goals, Leadership, Management, Personal Effectiveness, Time Management

No one can put it better than the guru of productivity- Brian Tracy. This is from one of his newsletters – which is exactly how one should improve their productivity.

Zero value add from my side Thumbs up

  • Develop clear goals and write them down.
    Because higher productivity begins with clear goals, goal setting is a key component of our coaching program. As you know, a goal must be specific and measurable to be effective in guiding your behavior. It must reflect your beliefs and be within your power to achieve.
  • Write a clear action plan.
    Next, if you want to turbo-charge your productivity, make sure you have a clear, written plan of action. Every minute you spend in careful planning will save you as many as ten minutes in execution.
  • Set your priorities.
    The third step is to prioritize your list. Analyze your list before you take action. Identify and start with the high-value tasks on your list.
  • Concentrate and eliminate distractions.
    In this step, choose a high-value activity or task, start on it immediately, and stay with it until it is done. Focusing single-minded attention on one task allows you to complete it far more quickly than starting and stopping.
  • Lengthen your workday but increase your time off.
    By starting your workday a little earlier, working through lunchtime, and staying a little later, you can become one of the most productive people in your field.
  • Work harder at what you do.
    When you are at work, concentrate on work all the time you are there. Don’t squander your time or fall into the habit of treating the workplace as a community where socializing is acceptable.
  • Pick up the pace. At work, develop a sense of urgency and maintain a quicker tempo in all your activities. Get on with the job. Dedicate yourself to moving quickly from task to task.
  • Work smarter.
    Focus on the value of the tasks you complete. While the number of hours you put in is important, what matters most is the quality and quantity of results you achieve.
  • Align your work with your skills.
    Skill and experience count. You achieve more in less time when you work on tasks at which you are especially skilled or experienced.
  • Bunch your tasks.
    Group similar activities and do them all at the same time. Making all your calls, completing all your estimates, or preparing all your presentation slides at the same time allows you to develop speed and skill at each activity.
  • Cut out steps.
    Pull several parts of the job together into a single task and eliminate several steps. Where you can, cut lower-value activities completely.

Express Case Study- Building a brand- Illy

Posted by in Business, Leadership, Management, Personal Branding

While recently reading about building a brand, I was stuck with the work that Illy does for their coffee.. Not a very fond drinker of these coffees, I have noticed this brand of coffee and machines across the world..

This is what I found very interesting-

  • They are the largest seller of espresso coffee in the world
  • They buy coffee from 18-19 countries
  • But they have only ONE blend… (think about it – so many different coffees but only one blend)
  • They have coffee tasters sitting around for weeks trying to mix this one with the other one and so on, to have the one blend that they figure is the best.
  • They then finalize that blend and then do all kinds of roasting (deep, medium, light and decaffinate as required). 

Why? So that the customer has the same experience everywhere.

That- to me, is what it takes to build a brand.

Something that involves a great vision, complete clarity on how to execute it, and then execute it flawlessly.

No different from what we should do, to build our own “Brand” out there. 

Courtesy Source: DNA News (6 September, 2010).