The Haja Sheriff Blog

Achieve your potential #497 – Answer this- “What have you done today for someone?”

Posted by in Personal Brand, Personal Effectiveness


I recently watched Sully on Amazon Video. And I watched it again. I am seeing this movie a year too late. I am to blame for it because I read film reviews and decided it was not something I want to pay and watch. And it was one of the movies I should have watched when it was playing in the theaters.

I was amazed at the story and went and bought the book Highest Duty by Sullenberger (also known as Sully). The experience humbled me. It gave me goosebumps. I remember when I got it earlier. It was when I watched Schindlers List. At the end of the movie, they show all the survivors and their descendents who visit Schindler’s grave and place a stone. The impact of having saved those people – and how many they grew into!

It is a powerful lesson for us. What we do to someone has a much more profound effect on humanity than we can fathom. It is not just the person who we help, but also their extended families. When we get a chance to help – in any way we can, we are impacting a person and their future generations. At the same time, I believe, we are doing our future generations a great deal of service because we are teaching them the power of giving! And it always pays back manifold.

So think about it. What have you done today for someone?

And Captain Sully, I hope I get a chance to meet you in the future! I would like to thank you for teaching me something very meaningful.


Gratitude – 4 steps to say thank you

Posted by in Blogging, General Interest, Motivation, Personal Brand


My mother passed away in 2013. After 35 days in a leading hospital in Chennai. She had gone in for a complicated but not a life-threatening operation. In my opinion (unsubstantiated, and entirely emotional) one of the doctors was responsible for her condition post her operation. But that is not the point. She went into a coma on the 9th of December. She never came out of the coma.

But during those days, I observed how the doctors and nurses in the ICU took care of her. They were selfless, committed, and took care of her as if she were their own. But they made the last days for her, and for us, her family, a bit more manageable. Our doctor friend in Bangalore who kept advising us and giving us moral support.

But she still passed on. A couple of days after her last rites, we made a tough journey back to the hospital. My wife and I went and met every doctor who took care of her, the ICU staff, the nurses and even the receptionist we had got to know during her stay there. We thanked each and every one of them personally. If my mother were alive, she would have wanted it that way. That is the way she was. We felt it would be tough.

But it changed me that day. We saw doctors and nurses tearing up, and thanking us for coming back and acknowledging them. One of them told us that very few people come back to the hospital, let alone thank them. I don’t know what it felt like for them, but we felt lighter and happier.

There is a lot in life to be thankful for. If we ever took the time to think, we would realise miracles happen around us all the time. People who touch us in many ways. And there are those who work in our offices that we interact with, day in and day out. The peers who have helped us when we needed help. The Administrative staff that went out of the way to assist us with a meeting room for that very important meeting. There are always reasons to thank a person.

Being thankful for others. To show our gratitude to the people who supported us. Acknowledging their efforts in our lives.


When was the last time you took time off to thank someone for what they did for you?

Not just a thank you in a formal manner. But a heartfelt thanks, explaining how you felt about what they did. How it was helpful for you, and why you appreciate the time and energy they took to support you.

Here are four tips on saying thank you from your heart. And making a difference to the other person.

  1. Mean it – Whatever you do, mean what you say. Look at the people who helped you, into their eyes, shake their hands, smile and thank them. Wholeheartedly.
  2. Say it – Explain the background of what you were going through when the other person stepped up to help. Saying “the why” in detail and explaining how you felt, makes the entire experience that much more authentic.
  3. Do it – Say it in a way that matters. Personally. Or by email, if it is someone who is far away. Call them if you need to. Irrespective of the medium you pick, just do it.
  4. Often – Become the channel through which positive energy passes. Touch people’s lives in such a manner that they feel compelled to pass it forward to other people who have helped them as well.

Go ahead.

Make someone’s day.

Be part of a movement.


The Best Tool For Planning

Posted by in Leadership, Motivation, Personal Brand, Time Management

imageI have tried just about every possible way to keep track of my to-do’s (which are always behind schedule).  I tried reading books. I watched Videos. I downloaded Apps in my laptop, my tablet, my mobile phone.  I also paid (yes) for some apps (Wunderlist)

I did just about anything I could think of – to ensure I could get my life back in order.

Without luck.

After a long and hard search, I have reached a conclusion.

The best way to keep track of your activities is – write it down.

I read it in Brian Tracy’s book – Goals… almost 10 years ago… and it took me such a long time to follow what he advised then! Write the damn thing down! 

That is what I will do from now on.

I have it all written down.. look out for more blog entries Smile


12 Principles of Personal Branding

Posted by in Personal Brand, Personal Branding

Another great presentation that articulates the Steps to building a great brand. I personally liked the following principles. This is done by Robert Earl Reed.

  1. Clarity
  2. Availability/ Presence
  3. Communication Channels
  4. Quality Contributions
  5. Your brand in 5-6 words (Mine would be “Making a Difference”)
  6. Credible & Authentic
  7. Carry the torch
  8. Recognized by your peers

For a more detailed presentation visit-

Picture courtesy:


Stay safe and say the right things on Twitter

Posted by in Personal Brand, Personal Branding

While your personal brand can be accentuated with your online presence and your ability to manage the discussions on Twitter, there are downsides – and this is, unfortunately, an example of what can go wrong.

Be very careful about what you say and put up on the Social Sites. 

You never know what comes back to bite you- with more and more reference check being done online…   be careful, be very careful.

Screenshot from 2013-04-10 23:15:35

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