Catch up with what has been happening the past month on Here's a quick summary. 
Ranjan De Silva

Team Leadership Excellence Newsletter

Vol.28 June 2014

 Welcome to the twenty-eighth monthly newsletter. 

Ramadan Mubarak to all my friends of the Islamic faith!


Let me share more details of an important concept I touched in last months newsletter.


What is Your Teams Burning Platform?


The concept of ‘The Burning Platform’ was first introduced by Daryl Conner who used the metaphor of an Oil Rig worker who had to leap into the water to save himself when the platform of the rig was burning. In this situation if the worker did not jump there was certain death as he would have got burned on the platform and jumping into the heated water with debris was possible death if he was not rescued within 20 minutes. So he took the call based on the odds of saving his life although both options he had had a high risk of death. What he essentially tries to say is that sometimes we need to take a call in a hopeless situation such as a burning platform and such a call can ignite and motivate us to unite as a team and do the impossible.


In the same sense countries too unify when there is a burning platform. A historic example is Japan after World War II. Similarly there are many examples of people uniting when there had been a suicide bomb attack, sports teams uniting after a heavy defeat, companies uniting when competitors launch a game changing product etc.


However the concept of burning platforms, if taken literally can be misunderstood to mean that a team needs a disaster to unite. There are 4 types of burning platforms as shown in the following matrix. 




Lets examine each of these burning platforms;


  1. The Platform is burning: This is a problem faced by the team in the present. This means we are in trouble and need to take immediate action. Examples of this situation are; competitor has launched a game changing product, one of our factories have been destroyed by fire, A quality issue that has put us in the danger of losing our biggest customer, trailing 0 – 2 in a soccer game, civil commotion affecting the supply of vital raw materiel etc.


The leadership response: In this situation the leader needs to gather the entire team and collect information regarding the situation from all team members, asses the crisis quickly, show the team how it can affect each member and the team, collect ideas on how to deal with the situation, formulate a plan and assign team members to take action. Given the situation and its personal impact, the team will (at least temporarily) put aside their differences and work together to deal with the situation. This process can bring diverse team members together, generate creativity, ignite the passion and create synergy. Teams coming out of such situations are generally stronger and are geared to achieve greater results. In this situation the leaders challenge is to convert fear and confusion into confidence and hope.


  1. There is another platform: This is a situation where a great opportunity comes up in the present. If we act fast we can take advantage of the opportunity. If we fail to see the opportunity, a competitor can exploit it and it can become a burning platform in the future. Examples of this situation are: A new township being developed, a new technology being launched, a new customer emerging, a new need emerging, a M&A deal, a tax exemption being declared etc.


The leadership response: Leaders should have mechanisms of continually scanning the horizon to look for such opportunities that present themselves regularly.  The team should also be geared to scan the horizon, as more pairs of eyes and brains are better than one. Team members bringing in such breakthrough ideas should be rewarded and recognised. Once such ideas are identified, the leader has the opportunity to ignite the passion of the team by sharing the potential and the benefit to the team members. Thereafter plans should be formulated for speedy execution since this is a current opportunity that needs to be seized speedily. In this situation the leaders challenge is to ignite passion using the potential as fuel in the same intensity of a burning platform, as not exploiting the opportunity can create a burning platform in the future.


Click here to read the whole article that includes all 4 types of burning platforms


The Super Job

Here is the quiz of the century? Can you guess the Job that needs the most hours per week?


  1. Can you guess the Job that requires staying on your feet most of the time?
  2. Can you guess the Job that requires you to have meals late and sometimes even skip them on behalf of your customer?
  3. Can you guess the job that requires staying up the whole night quite often and then starting early morning again and going on till late night?
  4. Can you guess the Job that requires a good knowledge and skills in medicine, finance, banking, teaching, home science, networking, sales, negotiating, human resources, teamwork empathy and relationships all at the same time?
  5. Can you guess the Job that needs the most amount of multi-tasking?


Click here to find out the answer


Blog posts

Two blog posts were published during this month taking the total to 59. The new blog posts along with a short excerpt is listed below for your information. 

What is Your Teams Burning Platform?


“Great team leadership is about unleashing the collect passion of teams and burning platforms are gifts of opportunity available to the leader in doing this successfully while making the team a winning team…”

Read the full post at: 

Leadership is Inefficient!

An article that explores 10 common areas where leadership inefficiencies happen.

“Developing team members requires time. Therefore leadership is inefficient in the short run. However it is a great investment of our time and energy to reap near medium term to long-term results, as having a developed team will help produce more value and great results…”

Read the full post at:




Photos of various events conducted by Ranjan and Sensei can be viewed at:!gallery/cirw 


14 articles have been published since the launch of this website . They are in the areas of leadership, teams, personal excellence, marketing and world affairs with relevance. Please click below to read them;!articles/cp7n 


7 tweets were sent out during the month, some of which are listed below:

  1. What is your teams burning platform? 
  2. What is IVF ….. ? 
  3. Well done England for fighting till the end and Sri Lanka for the determined fight back. A classic example of the inner game of growth.
  4. WOW! What an end from Lord's. England thought they had done it, but the review saves Sri Lanka! 
  5. Never realized test cricket can be so exciting.... Well done England and Sri Lanka for an amazing game of test cricket.
  6. Leadership is inefficient! 




Other Pages

The following pages have more information of interest and value:

Online Videos

Four videos of testimonies of the Mastery of Self programme can be found on the testimonials page:!testimonials/c1qb1 
  • Testimonial by Anika 

  • Testimonial by Ejazur Rahman 

The other online videos have had over 3000 views. We have got positive comments and we would like to hear from you too. 

My Journey in June 2014

  • I started the month in Bangladesh where I start a corporate culture transformation process for COATS Bangladesh titled ‘Let’s Grow With COATS’.
  • Then I travelled to Dubai on the 3rd of June to conduct workshops and coaching for 50 leaders of Mashreq Bank as a part of the 6-month process. This included ’Leadership Breakthrough’ workshops and one –on-one coaching for the leaders.
  • Then travelled to Sri Lanka for a week where I conducted a leadership workshop for Pearson Lanka and spent some quality time with the family.
  • Thereafter I travelled to Casablanca in Morocco to conduct training on Professional and Personal Excellence for Unilever. This was an amazing session and I really enjoyed working with the responsive professionals from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and India.
  • I finished of the month with a 1-day strategy brainstorming session for ‘Right Selection’ the leading event management company in the middle-East who also represents me. 


June was a month of learning and growth with new types of organizations, people, trainings, consultancy, coaching and travelling to a new exciting destination for the first time: Casablanca. 


What’s in store for July 2014

  • I start the month Dubai conducting the second phase of leadership development for 50 leaders of Mashreq Bank as a part of the 6-month process I described in the last newsletter.
  • Thereafter I travel to Doha, Qatar to train a team of Leaders of Mashreq Bank who run the operation in Qatar.
  • Thereafter I travel to Colombo to conduct leadership development work for Pearson and Hirdaramani and spend some quality time with my family. 









The website has had 477 views for the month of June. The highest number of visits have been from Bangladesh, with Sri Lanka in second place and Morocco in 3rd place. 


This month the blog has had 359 views taking the total number to 27,475 views from over 105 countries. The lists of countries are given below;  

Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, United States, United Kingdom , India , United Arab Emirates , Canada , Australia , Switzerland , Saudi Arabia , Portugal , Singapore , Netherlands , Qatar , Pakistan , Norway, New Zealand  , Italy , France , Malaysia , Sweden , Uganda , Algeria , Japan  , Indonesia  , Maldives, Russian Federation , Georgia , Bulgaria , Brunei Darussalam  , Thailand  , Fiji , Iceland , Germany , Spain , Egypt , Israel , Poland , Republic of Korea , Czech Republic, South Africa , Turkey , Mongolia, Ghana, Philippines , Croatia , Greece  , Hong Kong , Malta, Nepal , Kenya , Ecuador , Viet Nam , Bermuda , Ireland, Bahrain, Brazil, Jamaica , Bahamas, Ukraine , Cayman Islands , Morocco, Senegal  , Grenada , Nigeria, Gambia, Finland , Austria , Afghanistan , Azerbaijan, Colombia , Argentina , Panama, Oman, Jordan, Romania, Benin, Slovenia, Belgium , Trinidad and Tobago , Denmark, Swaziland , Zambia, Mauritius, Costa Rica, Palestinian Territory , Mexico, Slovakia, Puerto Rico and Myanmar. 
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