A leader unparalleled to any other Gave us the gift of A dream come true

A leader unparalleled to any other Gave us the gift of ‘A dream come true,’

Although I have traveled the entire world multiple times with zero dollars in my pocket and not once did I face the kind of challenges this trip presented, here’s a leader, Mr. Owen Fu. Regardless of his position with JW Marriott Beijing Central, he soon found out that most places in China don’t accept Credit Cards, including The Great Wall China tickets, The Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Tiananmen Mountain-999 stairs- Stairway to Heaven and other attractions of Wonderous recognition or the Business Class Train Tickets on the Bullet Train.

Mr. Owen Fu, next morning purchased our Train Tickets to Changsha on a Bullet train in Business Class worth a thousand dollars. When asked how will I pay him back, his nonchalant response was to pay him when I can if I can.

Our dream came true, but the dream learning in leadership had already begun as soon as we disembarked from the Delta Flight and His representative was waiting at the aircraft door to receive us and roll out the red carpet all the way through to the Marriott where the General Manager- Mr. Philip Kang, the Director Operations and Mr. Owen Fu were waiting to receive us even though it was late Sunday evening.

Getting cash advance on my American Express card or converting our US dollars in China was extremely daunting and without losing patience at this newly unfolded lessons, I got the cash and paid Mr. Owen Fu back found such a great leadership in China affirming my belief and trust in Humanity and leadership in spite of what we face and deal with in the US affecting the entire world in some small or big way.

“We will find greatness anywhere in the world if we go with the intuition and faith in humanity that whatever our mission, no obstacle or objection will ever stand in our way to not only achieve our goals but to exceed them in style.” -Ben Pandya.

Long live ‘Legacy Forward Made Easy.’

Thriving to have found indispensable leaders everywhere…on a continuum

What Legacy are you looking to leave behind??

“Legacy Forward Made Easy”, is an adventure through life whether it is raising a family, working toward a paycheck or guiding your loved ones back to the Universe.  Ravi experienced each new experience with the utmost integrity and love but with the determination of an athlete.

Men and women are given the same or similar legacies and gifts throughout their lives, wrapped up as drama, control, self righteousness, pity, leadership, decision making and most of all successes!  The gifts come in our lives subtly, surprisingly and planned self expectation which only Passion brings us.

Passion initiates the power to visualize what we want, attempt new approaches to get what we want and to experience the outcome of our dreams to have what we want.  Passion provides the light to move forward based on our experience within ourselves and with others.   Ben Pandya told us a story of his father and a roadmap handed down to him as a gift to be used as he wished.  I know Ben, he uses his gift as a precious Star that he may or may not see but is always there…similar to Passion, you may or may not experience success all the time but it is always there, you own your Passion!

Ownership provides us the opportunity to feel the positive effects of making good decisions.  We understand what is right and what is wrong, but sometimes we do not give ourselves the credit we ourselves deserve to feel good as a human much less a leader.  We own our choices, our thoughts and our dreams and we are each role models in our own right.  Ravi took his gifts and used them and gave them back for others to use IF they wished as well as an understanding the Success of Ownership in its true sense of love.

Leadership is a gift for all of us to use every day and offers us the opportunity to be the best at what we desire or wish to do, it is in our genes and we deserve the best!  As Ravi moved forward in his life, from a small boy to an adult he professed integrity in all his experiences mostly to himself and at times to others but his behavior demonstrated his consistent relationship and journey with Integrity.  We do not have to live life in fear, Ravi lived his life with love for himself and others.  We do not always sustain this level of love or leadership in our worlds due to life’s unknowns but Ravi has taught Ben and now us that leaders are role models at all times and only choices that have a true intention of leadership will experience honest success!

Accountability enables our strength to do anything we can dream of and own it!  Owning something invisible is a daunting approach to life but Ravi used accountability as gift to others by demonstrating that what he did for his family, for the people and for the Universe was done with love and integrity.  You might notice Integrity plays a major role in our lives, surprise it does!  Integrity is our accountability,  it will help us understand the difference in our feelings between right and wrong or love and hate.  Our everyday lives demand us to take accountability as Ravi did in decisions and actions that he took on, not the inadequate decisions or bad decisions of another that does not elect to use the gift of integrity.  Ben has taught us by his example and his father’s example that the ability to stand up for what we believe in to be right helps everyone including the individual that claims or demands accountability but accepts none.

Results of Success are obvious if we are able to believe in ourselves and use integrity as our guide post.  Ben has proven to me through his fresh new writing approach in teaching the basics, the gifts we are born with, the right or wrong approach to passion, the different levels of leadership as we move forward, the accountability that comes with honest evaluation and passion for good.  Ben has used a story of a man who found himself as a role model not even knowing that his son would use his life as an example of living to his and our fullest with what we have been given to enjoy our journey.

Take this lesson with you, reread the story, the steps, the underlying love to make sure you have not missed anything and take off in the best direction of your life, your Successful Life that you can pass on to the world!  I have learned to own my Passion, my Accountability, my Leadership attributes and my results as the pavers to my success and will continue to do so as well as pass on the message…Integrity lives within us, use it, a gift from the ages and for the ages to come!

It is really “Legacy forward made Easy”, pass it on! DSC_0367

Reciprocity & Paying it forward lives on for Legacies…

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One leader, one reader, one community at a time; regardless of the location- people are the same anywhere we go…

Machu Picchu, Cusco, Lima- Peru or Rio De Janeiro showed and displayed exemplary leaders in every sense of the word.

Generations after generations, communities continue to thrive…irrespective of the meager resources available to them. They thrive, in spite of the limited possessions available to them. When an 86 year old woman spins the weaving tool with the agility of a teenager, it shows, the inner most passion and energy she has towards her life, mission, and her affection for the age-old culture she has lived through and aspires her small community to thrive on a continuum…All this she makes it possible, while carrying her 2 year old grandson in a pouch on her back, so that he can sleep and rest.

These leaders have not known the concept called competition, because at the end of the day, they all share all the income of the day at a community dinner.

What a lofty idea! What legendary ideals!! What fantastic reciprocity!!! If we, somehow, instill even a portion of these philosophical teachings in our communities and cities, we will have taken our first steps towards Utopia!!!

What actions and decisions will you take today to begin this ‘Reciprocity’ journey for others to follow you? Be the change you wish to see in the world…One person at a time, one percent at a time!

How do you manage change in your life?

Accountability.  Rules are only rules if they are enforced.  People are always looking for boundaries and trying to figure out where the limits are.  In the context of change, if I adopt the desired behavior will my sacrifices be rewarded and conversely if I ignore them will there be negative consequences?
In the absence of accountability change will not happen for the good.  Altruistic motivation has its limits.  Cultural norming takes over and individuals adapt to herd.  Each step in the change model brings with it a new level of accountability and each time members of the team will look for reinforcing justification of why they should or should not conform.  These justifications have significant influence on the effectiveness of the change initiative.
Unfortunately there is not a one for one exchange for accountability.  If you are consistent in your standards for applications to the change, but then backslide on a seemingly trivial point it could have reverberating negative consequences. 
Each level is interrelated as the boundaries are tested in the strength of the integrity of accountability.            
Lessons learned from answering Ben’s questions to us and our combined brilliance.
We found the dialog with Ben to flow nicely going back and forth in an exchange of experience and insights.  One of the key learning moments came when we acknowledged the universal need for trust in change.  Even though we all brought different experiences to the discussion which crossed age, language and culture, trust was a common theme. 
Organizations, at their core are just people.  People want to be appreciated and feel that their contributions are appreciated and that they will be treated fairly.  We are typically skeptical people that have had our trust betrayed at varying levels in our relationships.  In order for change to be welcomed, trust needs to be high.  When trust is low, costs go up and speed goes down.  All of the most brilliant models and smooth talking cannot compensate for the human need for certainty and trust.
We are confident that Ben also found value in discussing these topics.  He seemed genuinely interested in our backgrounds and asked thoughtful follow-up questions to our stories.  This is consistent with his character as seeker of knowledge and not being a respecter of persons. 
Fresh perspectives on the possible strengths or weaknesses of the 8 step model.
The 8 steps as they are diagramed seem to insist on a linear stacking arrangement.  There is validity in the argument that if a foundational step is missed, the longevity or probability of success is in jeopardy is not necessarily true.  Each of the steps will carry different significance depending on external and internal factors unique to the organization.
For example, creating short-term wins could be going on from the very beginning if that is what the team needs to build momentum.  On the other hand a team could be so well conditioned to change that short term win recognition would be less significant. 
The strength in the model comes from offering insights and a process that encourages thoughtful introspection when initiating a change.  The magic is not in the model or the linear process. The power of Kotter’s 8 step process is from the awareness and application of the human elements in leading change. 
Individual insights

Wade- Leading change is a process that is directly influenced by the culture of the people.  As you work as a change agent people will be scrutinizing your every move looking for ways to validate their own self-justifying images.  The greater certainty and integrity you can project the greater chance you have in leading change.  In that process you need to be a situational leader that can respond to the audience and see the bigger picture and not get caught up in the nuances which can be a distraction to the vision.  When you take on the responsibility of a leader you need to commit and not oscillate.  When you hesitate that is when people get hurt.  Be bold and communicate with integrity.   

Leading change successfully…a look ahead!

Leading Change and Transformation successfully…..
Wade Sutton, Delphi Manager interviews Ben Pandya
Ben Pandya has lead and been part of many change initiatives.  Professionally Ben spent more than 16 years at AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company.  The drug industry is one that is constantly changing, and with high dollar amounts at stake, making sure those changes are successful is big business. 
In recent years Ben has built a small consulting, Just AIM 4 Success, company that specializes in training corporate officers, Executive Coaching and how to communicate and enact sustainable changes.  To support his work, he has also written a book, Legacy Forward Made Easy, which is a narrative that teaches several of his management principles.
Mr. Pandya is an alumnus of Thunderbird and lives here in the Phoenix Valley with his wife and son.  He is passionate about what he does, and loves to share energetic excitement with others.
Situational Adaptability- large and small organizations and regional impact
Leading change in an organization can have an unlimited number of variables, two important contributing factors to consider are the size of the organization and regional cultural variations.  Ben shared an example from his work at AstraZeneca, which has thousands of employees across several countries.
In a small organization you can wield the banner of change and command the troops, which allow you to control the message and consistency.  It becomes more difficult when you cannot be in every location and articulate the change; in that case you need to ‘deputize’ change leaders.  When you delegate you have to give up some control to empower others, people will not do it exactly your way, but you have to trust them or it will undermine their authority and capability to confidently hold the line of change. 
Ben emphasized the importance of transferring authority to your leaders so they can scale your vision.  If the rank and file team members feel that the change leader is weak, or lacks power to enforce accountability there will be those that will just wait and see what the ‘real boss’ will do.  When that happens you lessen the chances of a stage 8 change where it becomes part of culture.  In that case you create a ‘cult of personality’ where the initiative is shouldered by the sponsor and can just as easily crumble with that one person.  Delegating the responsibility with authority to your change leaders is imperative to enacting change in a large organization. 
What works in America will not likely transfer directly in China or other places.  This goes along with setting the vision of what you would like the change to accomplish and allow those directly involved with leading it to work on how to implement the vision.  For example in a culture that is comparatively hierarchical when a leader speaks the debate is effectively over.  Even if there are unresolved concerns or even blind spots that could hinder the results of the action, some lower status team members may feel unqualified to express their descent. 
In a more Western culture direct debate and challenges can be seen as a natural way to build consensus.  Ben suggested that if there was change initiative that required substantial commitment and buy in from the team within a collective culture that values harmony, engaging in one on one conversation vs. a boardroom environment would be a potential option.  You need to know your audience and meet them where they are to resolve their concerns and bias.

 No matter how big the organization or where it is located, organizations are made up of normal people that have normal concerns that if treated with dignity and respect with good intentions your odds of success improve significantly.

Leading change is easy, if you stay humbly focused…

1.       Key success factors for Step Two-Building a Guiding Team and best ways to accomplish them?
Gather them in a room.  At AstraZeneca change in products and regulations are necessary to stay competitive, but when that happens it disrupts systems and power.  Ben shared an example when a change was being met with significant resistance, which resulted in conflict of how to adapt.  Several ideas immerged around the water cooler, which ultimately divided the team.  If there was not a single vision and process adopted the financial blowback would implode the sales region.
In an effort to get the team to become unified and have ownership in the plan, Ben brought everybody into one room and shared the directive; when we leave this room there will be one plan.  By creating a safe place for people to debate and resolve concerns the team worked through the problem together.  This allowed them to hear a variety of perspective and build trust. 
Ben felt that empowering the team to come to consensus on how they were going to achieve the vision increased ownership.  When the group left the room they had participated in the process and had clarity of what was at stake.  Maybe they didn’t completely agree, but they embraced the plan.  You know your KPI has been achieved when everyone is saying the same plan consistently.  The best way to accomplish that is to empower the team to own the process in a high trust, solution based debate.
2.      What typically results in these steps being poorly managed?
Your side, my side and the correct side.  Not all defiance is created equal.  Most people when they are resisting change are really just trying to tell you that you have not resolved their concerns.  The vast majority of people fall into that ‘undecided’ category, and if you can communicate in a way that resolves those concerns they will come along.  People will change when they are ready to and not a moment sooner.
Ben shared the example of when his company was making the transition from paper checks to direct deposit.  There were those that were upset about the change.  Their side felt that having bank information was a breach of privacy and exposed them to potential fraud. 
The paper vs. electronic payroll was the change, but not the concern.  It took a skilled leader like Ben to ask discovery questions and then share the benefits and resolve the privacy concerns.  Too often a lack of clear communication causes undo conflict which is why many of the steps in change are unsuccessful.  Taking the time to understand their side, explain your side and come to an understanding of the constraints will lower the friction inherent in change.
3.       What would you recommend be done differently during each step of change?
Communicate, communicate, and communicate.  From the very beginning of creating urgency people need to understand what is at stake.  Communicate the value proposition or consequences of action or lack thereof.  If people are left to their own imagination when it comes to the purpose of change chances are you will not like the results.
 In stage two with building guiding team, people want to know who is steering the ship.  If they lack confidence in the sponsor it will not get off the ground.  When getting the vision right and communicating for buy-in, everybody wants to know how the change will impact their life.  If the team feels that the change is threatening their livelihood and the communication is unclear it will continue to be a distraction.  In communication it is important to share enough to enable action, but not too much that the details distract from the purpose.
When progress begins, building momentum is important.  By communicating and rewarding and holding everyone accountable those short term wins reinforce those demonstrating the desired actions.  However it is common to backslide or revert to old habits.  Continuing to communicate often and consistently allow the change to take root in the culture creating a state of continual slush.  Meaning the team is change ready and is agile.  All of this hinges on communication.  Simple as it sounds, too often the executive team bullies people with formal authority and miss out on the engagement of their team to create solutions to problems that could be better than the prescribed plan.
4.      Additional insight you would like to share?
Integrity.  Everybody is watching to see if you are willing to make the hard decisions.  Ben shared an example where one of the top performing members of his team repeatedly submitted falsified expense reports.  In a multibillion dollar company does it really matter if a one becomes a seven on a receipt?  Ben shared with us his philosophy when it comes to managing members of a team that are not in alignment with expectations; you can ignore them, develop them, move them or separate them. Each of the actions has inherent tradeoffs that vary in complexity, but the options are the same.
Ben called the individual into his office and presented the evidence and offered two options- the individual could clean out his own desk and leave or be formally disciplined.  Could the deceit been ignored, or even rationalized?  Sure, but what message would that send to the rest of the team.  As far as developing the individual, if they are willing to sell their integrity for pocket change as an adult, chances are this is simply a manifestation of a deeper character flaw.  Consequently moving the individual to another function would not solve the problem, which brought him to the conclusion that separation was the best course of action.
As a leader you will have to make value decisions of how you will react and people will be watching.  It is better to make the hard decisions early and live with integrity so when you do make unpopular choices you have the trust in your emotional bank account with your team.  That can be the deciding factor in leading change, if your team trusts your integrity to make the right decisions regardless of popularity. 

Integrated insights of how the steps are interrelated and KSF to lead change effectively.

If we are adrift, what are we doing to search our road to our passionate destination?

If we are not adrift, what are we doing to help others find their road to their destination? Awake, arise, align, and empower…Life is short & too many people to help!
Multiple recent events reiterate the magic and phenomenal stories that prevail around us in others; we have not paid attention to those stories or have become truly myopic in our views.
Change management interview brought me to re live memories of my days of leadership in corporate America. The more stories I hear of Leadership within corporate America in the last decade, the more I come realize and believe that the word: Leader is taken out of the term “Leadership” and what is left behind is “Ship” with no one at the helm.

Have we become that helpless to learn of ‘Leadership’ only in books, from books and limit it to books?

Focus, patience, determination, integrity, empowerment, intuition for learning…..There is light and you will find your direction regardless of what the source and what direction it comes from.

Live a Legacy to leave a Legacy…..

A leader once in a century for once in a century…Are you ready?

There are no accidents or coincidences in life. If you plan well and are persistent towards your aspirations, you will accomplish your goals to the fullest. One of my goals in 2013 was to arrange a face to face meeting India’s current prime minister, Mr. Narendra Modi. 
After meticulous, rigorous planning and security clearances, I finally had the opportunity to meet with him.  Although my meeting him may not be significant, I assure you that Mr. Modi’s leadership style garnered my deepest respects for him. In spite of his arduous travel schedule, he met with me on December 23rd for what will be my most memorable 20 minutes. My immense gratitude to him for his humble leadership through servitude. 
It was at that meeting that I had envisioned him to be on the national stage and lead glorified India on the global platform. That vision has now materialized for the foreseeable future.
My blog of that time will speak in detail about it, however, should we need to explore more on the said topic and how can I be the conduit between you passion and the growth of India, I would be more than eager to discuss every aspect. I am also ready to share the insights I have gleaned from Mr. Modi and many other venerable mentors.  

If success leaves clues let’s discover and investigate together.
Everyone has a powerful story. Leadership is a game of creating and writing memorable stories so that leaders like yourself will leave a memorable legacy behind after each assignment, role, contribution to a country, team, or responsibility. 
Life is short and the globe is finite. If that holds true, then I possess a heightened sense of urgency to decisively impact as many people, executives, and leaders in the shortest possible time. You are doing that very thing by providing key insights to various sides of society.
My immense gratitude for your time and your courage to explore multitude of options you face… 

A Radio show is worth a million messages….Listen in…


An author with a famous Screen-play writer, Mr. Abhijat Joshi, while in Phoenix shared his views on making lasting stories.

This radio show is a conversation on other stories and bringing our own stories to life.

Listen, enjoy, learn, share, and build other stories. 

Top 10 leadership areas to explore through a Radio show…

This is your boarding pass, your ticket or your passport for the radio interview with 2 authors: Sandra Saenz and Ben Pandya. 

Listen, Enjoy, Introspect, Learn, and Implement….Success may put you at the peak, happiness has no ceiling. 

Online Pop Culture Radio at Blog Talk Radio with KWOD Radio on BlogTalkRadio

Need I or dare I say more?