Igniting the Genius Withing – Prasad Kaipa, CEO Coach and Advisor

 

About Prasad Kaipa

Prasad has been an advisor and coach focusing on innovation and leadership since 1990 for about 120 C-level executives in Global Fortune 500 companies. Prasad’s unique competence is in helping his clients find their next significant step and take it. He found that unless he helps clients to examine their signature strengths that have turned into “core incompetence” and kept them stuck, it is difficult to ignite and channel their creativity to come up with innovative decisions, products, and services. He assists clients in becoming effective in managing people as well as oneself (personal mastery), getting reenergized and building new capacities, and exploring more risk taking, innovative, and strategic decisions.

 

Interview Transcript:

Alan
Welcome back. I have here today Prasad Kaipa. And Prasad is the advisor and coach focusing on innovation and leadership since 1990. He’s worked with over 120 C level executives and the Global Fortune 500 companies. He has unique competence and helping his clients find their next significant step to take. And he’s found that unless he helps his client examine signature strengths, that they’ve turned into core competence, and they’ll help them keep them stuck, it’s difficult to really change and make sure that they have creativity within their channels of life. Prasad, welcome to the show.

Prasad
Well, thank you, Alan.

Alan
You recently wrote a book from Smart to Wise, why don’t you give me some back on how you got to where you are today?

Prasad
Sure. I’m a physicist, by training. And when I was in Salt Lake City, as a professor, I found out the science and technology will give me some elements. But if I want to resolve social problems through science, I need to really go beyond what tech technology offers. That’s when I began to recognize the tools like computers, and collaboration are more important than just how good a scientist I am. That led me to Apple Computer. And in Apple, I had an opportunity to interview and research extraordinary people to find out tools for learning, creativity, collaboration, teamwork, and leadership. And I quit apple in 1990. Since then, I have been doing executive programs, consulting, keynotes, and coaching in this areas of how one can be wise, not just smart, and how one can be innovative, these are the kinds of works that I do. And I really enjoy doing this.

Alan
You know, you talk about having a balance in your life, and there are three areas to balance what are those?

Prasad
The three areas which I found are important for me are one is I am a business consultant. That means I am in the business, but I need to keep remembering I am not off the business, I need to be a human being first and a business consultant. Next, if I forget that priority, then I get so consumed by profit, I get so consumed by what I do, that I lose who I am. So first major intersection is business. The second one for me, which is extremely important is the spirit of who I am, you know, we all talk about team spirit, creative spirit, all of that. But what it means is, there is an authentic self that I am. Sometimes people can talk about it as there is a spiritual self that actually guides and directs my actions, whether I know it or not, that’s what gives me personality or branding. So spiritual self is the second domain I need to pay attention to. And the third one is because I’m a scientist by training, I look at the science and technology that gives me tools. So to summarize, science and technology gives me tools and frameworks, business gives me results and measures. The spirit of who I am gives me meaning, purpose and passion for what I do, I believe at the intersection of these three, when I have balance of these three, then it ignites my genius. And also my work will ignite the genius of other people who might work with.

Alan
Can we introduce spiritual aspects into business leadership?

Prasad
Sure, I do believe the spiritual aspect is always part of business leadership. But we are not very comfortable talking about it because we don’t want religion and business to mix, just like politics and religion, or politics and business not to mix. But there are two elements to spirituality. One is how you practice your values, your virtues, and your integrity, your ethics are part of your spiritual self. Of course, in addition to that, there are rituals and there are spiritual and religious practices. They may or may not have place in the workplace because people are coming from different religious traditions and they may like what you are doing or they may not understand what you’re doing. So if we can divide up the religion into spirituality and the practices Yes, I do believe that spirituality has a significant role in business, because that’s the source of our passion, our calling, our purpose, especially if we want more innovation, more employee engagement, and more loyalty, we need to attend to these aspects of spirituality.

Alan
Well said, Prasad, we need to take a quick break. And we’ll be right back after this message. And I like to go on further about this from Smart to Wise. Sounds good. We’ll be right back after these messages.

Prasad
Thank you very much.

Alan
Welcome back. I’m visiting here today with Prasad Kaipa. And he’s the author of the book from Smart to Wise, the presiding the first segment we were talking about the balance within our careers, and we talked, touched on the topic of our spirituality and, and sometimes saying that it’s taboo in the workplace. So we just don’t want to talk about it. Yet every individual has a driving force within themselves. I want to expand upon this principle, though, what is the difference between, you know, having wisdom versus our spirituality?

Prasad
The difference between wisdom and spirituality Alan, it is about practical elements of spirituality. When you talk about how spirit shows up at workplace, it could be innovation and creativity. It could be engagement, it could be team spirit, or it could be my willingness to be humble, and give other people opportunity, and humility. These are virtues that are valued in any business. So to have this discernment, in terms of quality of decisions we make, and the quality of attitude that you show towards your customers, to your store, employees and colleagues. That’s what you call the spiritual wisdom, but brought into practical domain. Interestingly, even Aristotle talked about spiritual wisdom as Sophia, and practical wisdom as phronesis. So what we are addressing in this book, by the way, I’m a core author of this book, NaVi Raju, is another gentleman who co wrote it with me, we looked at practical wisdom, taking the spiritual principles, through stories, and through other means to apply it in a way that benefits the larger good. So when you bring spirituality into leadership, it is about how you make other people leaders, how you make your organization succeed. It is not just about me, me, me, it’s also about how you make customers succeed. That’s what this book is about.

Alan
I love that because So oftentimes, the leader feels that they need to be the traffic cop directing, and steering and telling people what to do. Where that true leader is the person that empowers. It’s elevating, like the people around over the years, you’ve worked with all these C level executives, and how do you find and you’ve seen all sorts of different styles of leadership? Yeah. Do you see a style that works better than another in terms of people being able to lift and inspire?

Prasad
What I found is, leadership has to be flexible, and resilient. Recognizing there are times when you lead from the front. There are times when you lead from behind by coaching, motivating, encouraging, and there are times you step away and let other people lead. I call that as role clarity. Interestingly, the leadership style that seems to work with has, in my opinion has got about six capabilities. I could put them into an acronym wisdom. You know, W stands for working with authenticity, and appropriateness. I can just say I’m always authentic, but I’m not appropriate to the context or vice versa. I is for intelligent and flexible fortitude. If I’m an entrepreneur, if my My project is not going well. I need to know when to hold on when to let go. Yes for shifting my perspective, from what is in it for me, to your noble purpose, what is in it for the people in the ecosystem? The for knowing my decision logic, I need to know how I use my instinct, intuition and emotion, not just the data and logic in making decisions and openness to lead from anywhere is the fifth one. And knowing my motivation, drivers short term medium term is the last one. So I believe these six capabilities are great to work with.

Alan
Prasad, that’s well said we need to take a quick break. And when we come back, I like to move back into Smart to Wise and find out some more stories about you know, styles of leadership over the years of help person to take the genius within and ignite it.

Alan
Welcome back and visiting today with Prasad Kaipa. He is the author of co author the book from Smart to Wise, and Prasad has been since 1990, advising close to 120 CEOs of sea level organizations and and helping them understand how to connect with themselves. And in leading in accomplishing visions. We have been talking in the last segment about wisdom and also getting connected with spirituality. What’s What would you say the common struggle is why people are not able to connect with spirituality in the workplace?

Prasad
I find that many people think spirituality means when I’m older, or when I have a crisis, or I will go to God when I can do it myself. And they associate ego or self with being able to make it happen. There are lots of false notions about wisdom and spirituality at workplace. For example, there are several 1000, people who went to from smart device.com downloaded the chapter, many people bought the book in India, it’s a best seller. But I found many of them read just the first chapter and stop it. Because they are comfortable being smart. But being smart is only about the small amount of your personality. But if you want to get in touch with all of you, if you want to create a brand in the social media, if you want to differentiate yourself from other people, you have to use a lot more of who you are not just what you do. So when you begin to ask the question, Who am I? What is my authentic self? What is my unique value proposition? How do I differentiate myself from others? Then you have to touch upon? What is my authentic self? What is my spiritual self? And how do I bring my unique wisdom, unique genius, not just about how smart can I be? How can I leverage this for my own self interest?

Alan
You know, it’s interesting that in that so well said, you know, a lot of us, we fail to acknowledge who we really are in and we’re all born with some very unique gifts. So, you know, in your your your motto of the business is igniting the genius within Yeah, how does a person get in touch with who they really are?

Prasad
The first way in which one winner needs to ask oneself is where do I want to be? You know, 10 years from now 20 years from now? What is my larger purpose? Or even ask a question? You know, when you tell your grandkids, some 2030 years from now, what would you say about yourself, you can’t say, oh, I was the CEO of the company or I made so much money or I have all this property, that doesn’t mean much to the grandchildren. So you have to say what you contribute it to other people, what is the legacy that you left behind for others? So, the key is about what is the noble purpose what is the larger good, that drives your behavior. Now in the short term, also in the long In turn, so first, I need to focus on what is the purpose? Why do I do what I do? But very rarely people ask that question. And then comes the question of meaning. When I do what I do, do I feel connected with my work? Do I know how my work is affecting my organizational goals? Are my customers going to be fulfilled, because of the work that I do in coming up with the products and services, that is where the meaning gets connected, especially because of organizational engagement issues that are there only less than 30% of employees are connected with their work? That is because they don’t find meaning they don’t find the connection, and passion. Third, passion and creativity are extraordinarily important for you to come up with products and services that leapfrog the competition, where will they come from? So passion, meaning, purpose, all of these are not connected with the show that you put on being smart. But digging deeper into your own wisdom, igniting the genius that comes. So figure out a way to ask these questions. What is my purpose? What what gives me meaning? How do I actually execute on the passion that I have? What is my larger purpose that will benefit others, like my customers and other people, in addition to benefiting myself? These are the first set of questions that allows people to ignite their genius, because in contribution, we come alive. In consumption, we lose ourselves.

Alan
Would you say that when a leader is able to step out and ignite this genius by allowing their spirituality to enter into their leadership style? does it inspire those around them? To do the same?

Prasad
No question. Alan Mulally is one great example. You know, when I met him and talked with him in Boeing, before he went to Ford, I was amazed at the amount of enthusiasm. You know, enthusiasm is a very special word actually. It is connected with the spirit already. It is infectious. You know, I had to cut when I came out, I asked his secretary, is Alan always this way? Is that Yep. Alan is excited, enthused, and he does more homework about you before you meet, even though he’s the president of a company, and I’m just a small lowly consultant. He made me feel special. He did a lot of research. He knew a lot about me. I felt like I was honored and respected. Imagine if other people make you feel great. You know, whatever you appreciate, gets appreciated. Whatever you depreciate, disappears. This is the foundation for positive psychology. And this is the foundation for good human relationships. Where when other people are happy, they make you happy, and they are productive. They are creative. That is the secret of igniting the genius within.

Alan
You know, it’s really interesting. You said this, so well. Thank you. And, you know, it’s all about what am I doing to better the lives of those around me tight lift and elevate. I love all this here. Prasad. I want to hold you over for another segment. Sure. And talk more about from Smart to Wise. It’s a remarkable book, I understand this is on the top 10 list or business books?

Prasad
A top 10 lists are business books in India already. It was we just got an award from San Diego university to be the top 10 business books and we will know in ILA conference in October where it ends up in the top 10 But thank you.

Alan
Excellent. We’ll be right back after this message with more from Prasad I’m from Smart to Wise.

Alan
Helping you welcome back I’m visiting today with Prasad Kaipa is the author of the book from Smart to Wise is becoming a quick selling book is on the tip top 10 books business books in India and also has just been recently released here in the US and is also quickly climbing in the charts in which excellent book in which it talks about, you know, not just applying your knowledge, but moving into the wisdom. And also spirituality is a big part of this. You know, we were talking about the break about, you know, how everyone within them as a spirit that helps them to think helps them to understand, helps them to drive and do what they do. How do you get them to ignite that spirit into acknowledge, allowing them to, to follow after their own passions and desires?

Prasad
I think it connects with your show, Alan, you talk about the dreams, when we are dreaming, when we are envisioning, we do not look at the obstructions in making them happen. So first, we need to learn to dream. Sometimes people let their logic or the data get in the way of having big dreams. But of course, you have to also ask a question, what am I dreaming for? And who am I dreaming it for? So that means if I can expand my horizon, and think about not just me, my family, my community, my organization, my nation, I mean, if I can keep expanding, to the extent that is possible, that will be very powerful. That’s the first step. Second step is once you dream and envision, what you want to create, and why you want to create second is to passionately go after it. But when you go after it, don’t look at it like my project, and it is all for myself. But keep remembering to enroll other people in your ecosystem to be part of it. And you help them to make their dreams come alive. And they will help you to make your dreams come alive. That is where the enlightened self interest will produce significant results not only for you, but also for them. That is the second part of it. And the third part of it is when you are executing, when you are focusing on acting, make sure you are detached from the outcome and what that outcome means to you. Focus on the passion, focus on the process, focus on the people, but don’t get emotionally entangled with what will I do if I get this money or if I become successful, so that detached engagement will give you roll clarity, and also make sure your ego gets out of the way. And that humility and hard work will allow you to ignite your genius and become a wiser leader.

Alan
So often I think we we fall for the notion that acquiring more wealth, acquiring more status, acquiring more position. And the net result is when we started on this journey, we realize it’s not what the journey should be. You look at some of the greatest leaders who walked the face of this earth. You got like Jesus Christ, or Mahatma Gandhi, or even Viktor Frankl who said, but none of these people really ended up with a lot of wealth, yet they ended up with a lot to contribute to us. We’re running up against the end of the show here. I want to give the listeners an opportunity to learn more about your book and also how do they reach you.

Prasad
They can reach me by going to from smart to wise.com. There is there a free chapter they can download. There are lots of articles. Even more importantly, there is a free assessment, a five minute assessment to know where you are on the wise leadership path. Then it can give you gaps. Take that assessment, read the book. You can get it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Any of the places has got it. So get the book and I even recommend create a wise leader circle around you get other people to read it with you and read one chapter at a time and look at how you can practice it. If you can do that. Then not only you become wise you help others to become wise.

Alan
Prasad, thank you for joining today’s show.

Prasad
Thank you Alan. I really enjoyed the interview with you. Appreciate it.

Alan
Join us again next week on am 12 20k Do W right here with American Dreams.

 

 

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Alan Olsen, CPA

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Prasad Kaipa on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
Prasad Kaipa

In his journey spanning decades, Prasad has been an author, leadership coach, adviser and researcher. Amidst changing roles, the only constant in his life has been a desire to delve deeper into his essence and sensibility. This essence has been shaped by other roles he has played, like those of a father, brother and husband. Prasad strives to bring Indian Vedantic wisdom into management theory and practice. Just like the Japanese contribution to management and manufacturing, he believes Indian wisdom can contribute to change management, leadership development, employee engagement and motivation. Cognitive and neurological sciences along with brain research also hold Prasad’s deep interest. While Vedantic wisdom is more about purpose and passion, behavioural sciences help validate the direction in which we apply our passion in a scientific manner. He uses these neurological capabilities to help others’ spirit, heart and mind work harmoniously. Artificial Intelligence is something Prasad has seen ‘grow up’ – and has been hooked on, ever since his days at Apple University. AI today is much more than it was 20 years ago; it has the potential to give humans emotional support and shield them from vulnerability. His current passion project is to find ways to instill compassion and empathy into Alexa, Siri, Cortana and their friends. Prasad is always on the lookout for those who share his vision and want to collaborate with him to make these dreams a reality. Bio Source: https://prasadkaipa.com/about.html

Alan Olsen on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
Alan Olsen

Alan is managing partner at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., LLP, (GROCO) and is a respected leader in his field. He is also the radio show host to American Dreams. Alan’s CPA firm resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and serves some of the most influential Venture Capitalist in the world. GROCO’s affluent CPA core competency is advising High Net Worth individual clients in tax and financial strategies. Alan is a current member of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (S.I.E.P.R.) SIEPR’s goal is to improve long-term economic policy. Alan has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting and develops innovative financial strategies for business enterprises. Alan also serves on President Kim Clark’s BYU-Idaho Advancement council. (President Clark lead the Harvard Business School programs for 30 years prior to joining BYU-idaho. As a specialist in income tax, Alan frequently lectures and writes articles about tax issues for professional organizations and community groups. He also teaches accounting as a member of the adjunct faculty at Ohlone College.

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