Why be conformist in your career and lifestyle?

by Anil Salick on July 5, 2017

The paradigm in which most of us grew up taught us the following: “Go to school, study hard, get good grades, go to university, work for a good company, save, buy a house, get married, have kids, retire financially secure, visit the world/ spend time playing golf, fishing or taking care of the grandkids, and live happy/ fulfilled”

Did you get them right in that order?

Success, in the mainstream, is pretty much defined by the above.

Let’s consider if you broke the rules, or worse ‘failed’:

  • You got bad grades
  • You didn’t go to university
  • You didn’t earn enough and invest wisely
  • You got divorced
  • You didn’t/ couldn’t/ wouldn’t have kids
  • Etcetera..

Some lessons:

  1. No matter what happens to you, you should not allow yourself to be defined by what society deems the norm
  2. You have the power to change your situation around at any point if you view whatever is happening in context
  3. None of us are automatons. No matter what has influenced our views or aspirations, our journeys are unique and we script a story to inspire others. Even if what you went through appears a failure to others

“For what is a man, what has he got
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way
Yes, it was my way”

– Frank Sinatra, My Way



Why We Must Think About Strategy

by Anil Salick on May 8, 2017

‘Strategy’ is a noun. ‘Strategically’ is an adverb. An adverb describes more about the verb or doing.

Each of us can ask ourselves, “How is my ‘doing’? Is it strategically – i.e. with purpose, consideration, intent, big picture driven, tactical? Or – is my doing – chance, hope, without end in mind, going through the motions, without thought or advantage?”

What is Strategy?

Strategy (from Greek strategia, “art of troop leader; office of general, command, generalship”) is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. Strategy is born out of the idea of war, military, competing for resources – scarce or desired, in other words: competitive advantage.

Strategies normally come down to two options:

  1. Do what everyone else is doing. This is strategy can help you survive. If you wish to get ahead or be more effective, you have to somehow do ‘what everyone else is doing’ more ‘economically’ i.e. cheaper, better, faster, best. But, consider what would happen if ‘everyone’ was doing this strategy? We would have a “pie that shrinks”. In fact this is what is described as “red ocean” (blood) – all competing to survive and seeing everyone else as a competitor. And, still this could be a viable option ‘to make it’.
  2. Do something that no one else is doing. Most would think that this can help you become separate, different, unique, in your own lane, a trendsetter – innovator – disruptor, or apart from others. Here you could create new markets, and simply make the competition irrelevant. Each comes with risk, rewards and different potential futures.

In the animal kingdom, humans are the only specie ‘thinking’ like this. All else are seem guided by instinct, survival, training, limited awareness of their environment and awareness, but importantly the ability to adapt (give credit to each specie being here against compared to some 95% of species which are extinct). And yes animals can think. But, only this animal: humans – can think about their thoughts. This puts us on top of the food chain as elite species – both responsible for ourselves and everything around us. And, that’s Why we Must Think about Strategy. It affects not just our personal or work success – but the earth, animals, our planetary citizenship, climate, responding to a vast array of challenges and priorities.

I help organisations, teams and individuals explore current perceptions and realities. I help them consider imagined and unimagined futures. I help connect the dots. I meet with key managers one on one, and help facilitate workshop sessions with strategists and participants. I get them to consider costs, opportunity costs and potential consequences. I explore the importance of discipline and being an example. Without it, we shouldn’t consider ourselves strategists or strategic.

Contact me to help you and your organization.


“You’re a racist!” – the new jab in SA

April 12, 2017

“You’re a racist!”…. “That’s racist”… “That’s white privilege”… “White monopoly capital is our enemy”… The recent weeks and months have highlighted the following: “If you are critical of Jacob Zuma’s ANC government – then you’re a racist. If you support Helen Zille’s tweet that colonialism was not ALL bad – then you’re a racist. If you […]

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A twitter survey on #ZumaMustFall

April 10, 2017

After a day of #AntiZumaMarch and protests held all over South Africa, I posted the following tweet survey – and this was the result 24 hours later. Let’s dissect and explore some meaning: Zuma will go, in… #AntiZumaMarches #zumamustgo — Anil Salick (@AnilSalick) April 8, 2017 Of 1779 responders on twitter:

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5 Valuable Leadership Lessons from Zuma

April 5, 2017

When a group of people lack leadership – they are normally or merely just that: “a group” – individuals together,  without purpose, vision, direction or cohesion. Today, under the rule of Pres. Jacob Zuma – South Africa feels like that: “a group” – individuals and factions with different agendas. Not “a team” or a nation – united, purposeful, goal oriented, productive and with pride. Even […]

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