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

Team Leadership Excellence Newsletter

Vol.30 August 2014

 Welcome to the thirtieth monthly newsletter. 

August was a month of learning and inspiration as I continued to help leaders become better at what they do in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The journey continues in September with my first visit to Algeria coming up as I visit this beautiful North African country to guide the leaders of Unilever. 

Is your team alignment around critical goals?

In my blog post on the 7th of May 2015 titled ‘How great is your team?’, I promised to go into details of the 11 different aspects that makes a great team. The first aspect regarding ‘Burning Platforms’ was detailed in my blog post on the 30th of June and here is the second instalment; is your team aligned around critical goals?

This is one of the key reasons for team performance below potential identified by me in many of my team leadership consulting assignments.

During a consultation for a global company in the manufacturing industry, senior leaders were asked to list down their critical goals. While there was one which was common in everyone’s list, it was fascinating to see the differences in the rest of the items.

You must have guessed right, the common item was profit targets and the list that varied included quality, sales, technological advancement, cost reduction, attrition, team work, brand image etc. What was also interesting was that the HR head had attrition in her list while the CFO had cost reduction in his list; they turned out to be more their own functions goals.

During the rest of the day I facilitated the team to conduct radical conversation around the various goals and we ended up the day with a few simple but powerful goals all team members were aligned with.

During the session I cited the metaphor of ‘will this make the boat go faster’ to underline the fact that; If our goals are clear we know what we should do and should not do. When the British rowing team was preparing for the Olympics and had to make a decision they asked the question, ‘will this make the board go faster?’ This helped them to turned down dinner invitations and they even decided not to attend the opening ceremony. The net result they improved their speed by a few seconds and ended up winning the gold.

The phrase; ‘will this make the boat go faster’ became an interesting anchor during the discussions of the day and is been still used in meetings and planning session.

Following are some of the criteria to be used in setting goals that everyone can get aligned around;

1. Are the goals in alignment with the mission, vision 2017 (we recommend companies to go with dated vision rather than the traditional dateless visions which failed to give meaning to the team). The ‘will this make the boat go fast’ test was used a lot during this discussion.
2. Are the goals cross functional in nature, is there a need for a majority of the functions to work together in achieving these goals, if not they should become functional goals.
3. Are the results of the goals visible to the majority of the team members in the organisation?

Click here for the whole article that includes all 7 points and the conclusions.



Blog posts

One blog post was published during this month taking the total to 61. The new blog post along with a short excerpt is listed below for your information. 

Is your team aligned around critical goals?

“Once the team is aligned behind the goals, all energies could be invested in achieving the goals as a team, rather than engaging in ego battles, conflict resolutions and proving one is right and the other is wrong.”

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 


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


  1. Breath consciously, take a full breath of air, fill your lungs fully and breath out gently – and feel great. 
  2. Rest before you get tired. Rest your body with short breaks & rest your mind by changing mental activity every 30 mts 
  3. Appreciate the little things in life like the fragrance of flowers, innocence of a child, beauty of a sunset etc etc. 
  4. Have a senses of humor, laugh a lot, take yourself lightly and laugh at your own imperfections – and feel great 
  5. Develop your team and delegate work they love to do & good at so that you can do what you love to do & good at. 
  6. Meditate twice a day as you wake up and before you go to sleep for a minimum of 10 mts, aim for 20 mts or more. 
  7. The more FREE DAYS you have up to 150 days a year, the more successful you become. Aim at large blocks of FREE DAYS. 
  8. Ensure 100% free time on FREE DAYS, 70% focus time on FOCUS DAYS and 70% buffer time on BUFFER DAYS – and feel great. 
  9. Schedule BUFFER DAYS at least once a week to set up processes, train self & team, delegate work and clean up messes. 
  10. Do your most value adding work on FOCUS DAYS and scheduled them soon after your FREE DAYS – and feel great. 
  11. Plan FREE DAYS with non-work activities you love to do, so that your mind does not go back to work – and feel great. 
  12. Follow the post on the next few days to learn the meaning and values of free days, focus days and buffer days. 
  13. Meditate twice a day as you wake up and before you go to sleep for 20 mts,  minimum of 10 mts – and feel great.    
  14. #RobinWilliamsWillLiveOn ... So many people started living life because of you ... we celebrate your life while we grieve your death. RIP.
  15. RIP Robin Williams ... you brought joy to so many million lives ... never expected you to go this way. We will love you forever!
  16. Calm your mind with prayer, mediation, soothing music, light reading, be happy 15 mts before bed and sleep peacefully
  17. Exercises 30 minutes each in the morning and evening of which 20 mts each @ aerobic heart beat – and feel great. 
  18. Natural sugar rich breakfast, high fiber protein rich lunch and high fiber carbohydrates for dinner – and feel great. 
  19. Sleep before midnight, wake with the sunrise and start the day with prayer, meditation, mental rehearsal & exercises. 
  20. Breakfast before 7 am, lunch before 1 pm, dinner before 7 pm, a yoghurt at 10 pm – and feel great. 
  21. Give a little bit more than expected from you consistently all the time - to build credibility 
  22. Own the problems coming your way and help solve them - to build credibility.
  23. Learn from everyone, even from the 'perceived' uneducated - to build credibility.
  24. Show gratitude to everyone, even for the smallest deed - to build credibility.





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 August 2014

  • I started the month in Colombo and had some great family time.
  • Thereafter I travelled to Dhaka on the 3rd of August and conducted training and coaching for Grameenphone, Coats, Berger and BRAC Bank.
  • I also conducted the first 2 days of the Mastery of Self through NLP session in Dhaka.
  • Then I travelled to Qatar to do the 2nd phase of the leadership development process for Mashreq bank.
  • Thereafter I spent a few days in Dubai with Mashreq Bank before going to back Bangladesh to conduct more leadership development work for Coats and to do the final two days of the public Mastery of Self through NLP session.
  • The responses of participants at all these sessions were amazing and inspired me so much to continue to travel with confidence in the chosen vocation. 



What’s in store for September 2014

  • I start the month in Dhaka developing leaders at Coats and then I travel to Colombo to do training for MIT and Amana Takaful.
  • I look forward to some solid family time as I return home after a month.
  • Then I travel to Dubai and Algeria to develop leaders at Mashreq Bank and Unilever before returning to Colombo end of the month. 









The website has had 456 views for the month of August. The highest number of visits have been from Bangladesh, with Sri Lanka in second place and United States in 3rd place. 

This month the blog has had 127 views taking the total number to 27,801 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. 
Copyright © 2014 Ranjan De Silva, All rights reserved.
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