Episode 239 – Unstoppable Leadership Expert and Executive Coach with Payal Nanjiani

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I would like to introduce you to Payal Nanjiani, an executive coach and leadership expert with over 20 years of experience in her field. Payal grew up in India and moved to America in 1997 to join corporate America after receiving bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in business in India. It is fascinating to hear Payal discuss the differences and similarities in the corporate and life cultures of the two countries. Lots of good information here.

In 2006 Payal began her own business consulting and coaching in America and then adding India as a place she felt could use the gifts she brings to the table. She has become known worldwide and has received many accolades and honors over the years.

In 2017 she published her first book. To date she has written three books on leadership and a fourth will be coming out next year. Payal gives us lots of good insights and ideas to think about. Wait until you here Payal tell the story about “The King And His Four Wives”. I hope you enjoy our conversation. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

About the Guest:

Recognized by the TIMES Group, Payal Nanjiani is a world-renowned IndianAmerican executive coach, and author.

As an executive coach, Payal Nanjiani advises and coaches’ senior leaders, CEOs, top executives, and government officials.

She is one of the world’s most accomplished and in-demand executive coaches for corporate America and India. A prominent figure in the corporate world, her trainings and coaching’s have brought about a transformation in the thinking and behavior of more than a million professionals globally.

She has spent over two decades helping organizations and their leaders become peak performers, reach their next level, and achieve extraordinary success. As an award-winning author of several leadership books, her books help you be a peak performer and reach your next level.

Ways to connect with Payal:

Website – www.payalnanjiani.com
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/payalnanjiani/?originalSubdomain=in
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/payalnanjiani/?hl=en

About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.

Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.


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Transcription Notes:

Michael Hingson ** 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson ** 01:20
Hi there and I would like to welcome you once again to unstoppable mindset. I am your host, Mike Hingson. Really glad you’re here. We get to chat today with Payal Nanjiani, who is as she describes herself as an Indian American having come from India, and now working in both places, India and North Carolina. So where I am right now in Southern California, it’s just a little after eight in the morning. And for her it’s like after 930 At night, so we don’t want to keep you up too late. We really would like to welcome you to unstoppable mindset. Thanks very much for being here.
Payal Nanjiani ** 01:59
Thanks, Michael. It’s such an honor to be here with you and to have this conversation. Well, I’m
Michael Hingson ** 02:04
looking forward to it. I think we’ll have some fun. No, of course, that’s one of the rules. As I always tell people who are going to be guests on unstoppable mindset. It’s no good if you don’t have fun. So we got to have fun doing this.
Payal Nanjiani ** 02:14
Yes. And I’ve always had fun talking with you on the call. And on this podcast. It’s always been fun talking with you. Oh,
Michael Hingson ** 02:22
good. Well, I appreciate that. Well, why don’t we start, I love to begin this way. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about you growing up and where you came from, and all those kinds of things.
Payal Nanjiani ** 02:32
So if I just go back a little bit in the past, I come Michael, I come from a very loving family, very humble family where education is the highest priority. Okay. And so, you know, after completing my, my undergrad, I went to a B school and I went to the B school not because I had a passion for it, but purely because I was seduced by the culture and the society in India, where they would say that if you have an MBA degree under your belt, well, life is pretty much set. And so I did that. And then later on, moved, moved to America, this was somewhere in 1996, moved to America. And then I started working in giant corporate America. So, you know, years went by, and I was I was just swamped managing my work in corporate America living the so called American dream at that point in time. But it was always, there was always a feeling of unfulfillment. And I remember my, you know, my, my dad is somebody who has had a very, very crucial role in my, in my career, you know, he’s, so I was taken aback a little bit more so in India, you know, there is not much important. And in those years in 1996, there was not so much importance given to the career of a girl child. You know, so yeah, that’s how the country was at that point of time. And it’s totally different right now. Because now I’m in India after 25 years, I’m here, I see the totally difference in the culture. But in those days when this was not happening, I remember my dad really thought out of the box, and he went against the society and everything and he would keep watching me that says what you’re supposed to do, you must grow in your career. You know, he would send me cutouts and pictures of men and women who have made it big in their career. And he would send it to me so that I see it and realize that anything is possible in the world doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman. So I constantly his push was there that you know, think about your career. Think about growth, think about what you can do, you can achieve just anything that you put your mind and your heart on. And he said just put your dream out there and your body will Follow your heart will follow. And that’s exactly what happened. So a lot of my career got shaped because of my dad and his complete push during that point of time. And then like I said, I came to corporate America started working. And then there was this feeling of unfulfillment that, you know, we are in a country which is full of information, full of resources. And, and still there is lack of opportunities. So India is a land of opportunities, and still people are struggling at work, there’s a huge difference between people who are really successful and people who are not, and we’re still working hard, but not getting there. And my dad would always tell me again, I come back to him, because a lot of my, my work has come from him. So he would always tell me that, you know, uneasiness, uneasiness inside of you is a blessing, it’s really good because it can change the trajectory of your life and make you do things which you otherwise would not. And there’s that uneasiness that why am I seeing this gap in a place which is a land of opportunities? Why am I seeing this gap? That’s when I left the comfort of a well settled corporate America light and immersed in research of what is the root cause of the difference between successful few and the unsuccessful many, and when I say unsuccessful, I don’t mean in terms of money opposition’s what I mean, is the term of fulfillment and what you can achieve, are you achieving what you want, or you’re not. And all of this began that research and everything became the springboard for success within coaching and leadership, which I started. So that’s a little bit about my, my career path, and this and my going, isn’t
Michael Hingson ** 06:57
it interesting how often when we think or we look at what happens in our lives, how it comes back to our parents pushed us, they wanted us to be better. And a lot of times I hear people say that their parents wanted them to have more opportunities than they the parents had or that they didn’t, their parents didn’t get the schooling that they would like their children to have. It’s fascinating how often that is and how right that is, because that’s what parents do, right? Absolutely,
Payal Nanjiani ** 07:32
absolutely. And, and I’m sure even when you go back in your life, you will always be able to connect the dots that there was someone who was always wishing you when somebody was always inspiring you to do
Michael Hingson ** 07:45
more. Oh, and then my book center dog that we wrote after the World Trade Center, and was published in 2011. We talked about that, because my parents were told when I was born, and it was discovered about four months later that I was blind, my parents were told to send me to a home because no blind child could ever grow up and amount to anything. And my parents said, You’re absolutely wrong, he will be able to grow up to do whatever he wants. And they operated that way. And I think that happens so often with parents, the parents that really make that leap, there are so many who don’t, but the parents who make that leap and say I really am going to work hard to make it possible for my child to be all the things maybe that that I was under at least some of the things that I wasn’t able to do. And I think it’s so cool when that when I hear that story, because it does it does absolutely cause something to stir in me. And it makes me remember all the more how wonderful my parents were and how loving my family was to me as well. So I appreciate it very much.
Payal Nanjiani ** 08:50
Absolutely. And you know, when you’re speaking about this, it’s reminding me I have read about Nick ridges sync and how without limbs he has, you know, he has made himself very independent and all times he gives to his parents. So yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 09:06
Yeah. And it’s appropriate with that. Well, so, when you came over here, how was it different in America corporate wise and workwise then it was an Indian bone, you said 9096 You came over. So around that time, how was it different between the two cultures? Or was it really?
Payal Nanjiani ** 09:30
Oh, yes. You know, if you talk about a personal culture versus professional culture, I think both of them are very different. In a personal culture, or you know, India is, is a place which is very close knit, in family, very close knit. So there’s a support system that is built in families. You never have that feeling of aloneness or loneliness and you can really depend on one another parents and children, children and parents, grandparents. aunts, uncles, everybody is very interconnected, you know, there’s a lot of support system that you build, it’s like a complete you know, someone has your back in the family all the time versus when in the United States, what I noticed a lot is you have to be self dependent. And I think both cultures have their own advantages, you have to be very self dependent, you cannot have a huge family around and you can your parents and children have, have a limit where they are with each other after some time the child grows and Michael, are born and brought up completely the United States. So you know, after a certain period of time they go to their high school and they go to the college, the university is alive is life is becoming independent for them, as well as the parents. So I think that’s one cultural, cultural difference that I have seen. And the other professionally or I have seen is, we have so much of resources in the United States. And we have so much of learning and development and it’ll the market is so mature when it comes to leadership when it comes to coaching, whereas India is an emerging market. It’s an emerging market. Nevertheless, it has it has reached to great heights in the in many fields that we see. And I think, overall, overall, the globalization in which we are, Michael these days, each country, whether it is India, or America, each country is learning from from each other. Nobody is independent right now, nobody is a solo country. So we are constantly imbibing each other’s culture, like now I see in the United States. I see there is there are so many articles being floated, where teens, you know, teens, or those are the youth who are going into colleges are preferring not to stay in the dorms, but to stay at home. So I think each culture is learning from each other, quite interwoven.
Michael Hingson ** 12:17
Yeah, I do here in America. So often, though, I did it or I need to do this alone. And we haven’t yet learned the level of in interdependence, that really would strengthen us because in reality, teams are really what it’s all about. And having a real team effort implies and in a sense, demands, interdependence. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Payal Nanjiani ** 12:51
Absolutely. So just with what you said, What reminds me is, I remember one day, I was making my daughter learn history, my older one, and the entire history was American history. Whereas in India, you learn about, you learn about history, or you learn about geography, and it is the world, right? And he or she is learning the geography or the history only of America. And that’s the world for her. So I think like what you said, you know, there is a lot of independence that this is who we are, which I think, you know, in ways everything I feel has its own advantages. I don’t think anyone is right or wrong. But now with so much of globalization, we’re just learning from each other. Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 13:34
It has to be that way. I think it was Gandhi who once said, interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as his self sufficiency. And I think he’s absolutely right. I learned that at an early age, working with a guide dog. And people don’t really understand what guide dogs do and what they don’t do. guide dogs and their handlers, their masters, if you will work as a team and the dogs job is to make sure that I walk safely, but the dog doesn’t know where I want to go. And the dog doesn’t know how to get there. And I don’t want the dog to know that, because I want the dog to focus on what it’s supposed to do, which is to make sure we walk safely, but it’s an interdependent team. And we both have to absolutely, just like with any team, respect each other’s jobs.
Payal Nanjiani ** 14:22
Correct and professionally. I’ll add one more thing, Michael is that in India is because I work now in India also I do a lot of coaching and leadership programs in India. What I’ve started to notice is that many companies, most of the companies in India, they invest in short term trainings, okay, short term training programs. And and, and they’re not committed to long term development of the Empower leaders while in the United States when I’m working with corporate America doing these coaching and training programs. What I’ve noticed is that our focus is more on the long term development Have the people, the long term development of their leaders with a primary objective of helping them reach their full potential? And I think this is something that, you know, I’ve been trying and it’s been successful to a large extent of helping companies in India to think long term when it comes to developing their leaders. Yeah. Well,
Michael Hingson ** 15:21
there’s there’s value in that, because training is is an investment or it should be. I think a lot of a lot of times people don’t recognize that or look at it that way. And again, there’s no right or wrong, but there is, there is what will help a company in a team be better. And so the idea of talking about and thinking about long term investment makes a lot of sense. Absolutely. I agree. So you came to the US, and where did you go to work? What did you start to do?
Payal Nanjiani ** 15:55
Oh, so that’s that? I don’t even remember now. But yeah, many places, you know, most of them weren’t our village places. And slowly I ran into so I didn’t work much i by the Europe 2008 or 2007, I stepped out of corporate America to do what I’m doing. So my memories are more fresher on what I have been doing, rather than what I’ve been doing, but yeah, who mainly I was with government agencies and school districts and becoming the regional head before I stepped up. All
Michael Hingson ** 16:27
right, and what made you decide to switch to going into coaching? And helping corporate America as a consultant and so on? Ah,
Payal Nanjiani ** 16:39
see, why am I started Miko. With that question. One question that I was constantly having in my mind is that what creates the gap between where we are and where we want to be? Everybody has that gap. But for some people, Michael, that gap is so huge, and it never gets filled. And the gap between where you are and where you want to be in your career is the most killing gap in a person’s life. They do everything to get there, but it just doesn’t happen. And ultimately, I saw people resign, they leave the accounts to the end of their career, and they are so unfulfilled, they just feel they went from one position to another one role to another one company to another, but he really did not become what he wanted to become, they did not make the difference that they wanted to to which they signed up. So that is question of how do you fill this gap? How can every individual fill this gap between where they are and where they want to be made me realize what it takes. And that’s where the entire success within leadership and coaching program had started.
Michael Hingson ** 17:52
It’s interesting how many people say they want to be successful. And then their view of success is how much money they get on how much money they earn. And when they get it, they want more. And And the real question is, have they really become successful? Because they’ve earned a lot of money. And I’m, I’m hearing you and I understand what you’re saying. And I appreciate it a great deal that is great to talk about how much money we’re in. But is that really being successful and it’s not successful is? Do you feel that you’re really living up to your potential and your self worth? Right, I agree. And so that is what you teach primarily, right? Is is getting people to recognize their idea of their own personal value. And I don’t mean that in a negative egotistical way, but where they are really living in their own mind up to their potential, right.
Payal Nanjiani ** 18:54
Yeah, I’m also you know, there is this thing, which I have always been speaking about aloud is that your success leadership, specifically success is is an inner game, you really cannot win outside it from inside, you are broken, if you’re inside, you don’t know what how to lead yourself, which is so imperative. Working with so many of these executives, you know, for example, I’ll give you a very quick example. How many of us really, in the workforce when we are working, we believe and we practice the things like following your gut, you know, really believing your gut, some of these top executives, Michael Bay, have a lot of belief in their gut feelings. They go with it rather than just going with data and information. So how many of us believe that how many of us are willing to put out what we want, really what we want to achieve out there in the universe, knowing that the universe listens, and then how do you get that back? So, my major, major work Michael comes in helping people to change their behaviors and their thinking patterns and to really become the best version of them. That’s where the game changing happens.
Michael Hingson ** 20:04
All too often we get confronted with a problem or we get confronted with something. And as you put it, our gut or our mind or our heart, gives us a solution. But we say to ourselves, oh, that’s way too easy. It can’t be that simple. And we look for something else. And we come up with something else. And it turns out that what our mind our heart, our gut told us was really the right solution all along. But we seem to have a really hard time ever catching up to that and learning. Go with your gut. And my favorite example is Trivial Pursuit the game, how often do you get asked a question in Trivial Pursuit? And you’re, you suddenly have an answer, but you go, that can’t be it. And when you go with something else turns out that that was the right answer in the first place. And we don’t seem to really want to learn from those kinds of issues. How do we change that?
Payal Nanjiani ** 21:03
Yeah, right. We don’t learn from them again, we don’t pay attention to them. So there was this nice movie, I’m not sure if you’ve had a chance, an opportunity to watch it in pursuit of happiness. Have you watched that movie?
Michael Hingson ** 21:15
I haven’t. But go ahead.
Payal Nanjiani ** 21:17
It’s really nice. So in pursuit of happiness, there is one scene in this way, the entire story is based on Chris Gardner’s inspiring story. And the character is played very well by Will Smith, and there is one, one scene I remember where he talks with China, and he says, Never let anyone talk you out of your dreams. And the question I was asking myself at that time is more than the people it is we who walk ourselves out of our dreams, you know, we each of us, we, you know, we we have to, you know, we build two walls inside of ourselves. One wall is a wall of doubt, and wall of doubt, which is created by outside people will tell us, you know, this is not correct, and you build that wall. But there’s another wall that we built inside ourselves, which is built by us. And that is the most difficult wall to build, because it is built from inside of you, and you’re very strong over it. So every time we have a self doubt, you don’t take time to reflect, you’re going to get caught up in the noisy corporate world, and you’re not going to have time to really come out of the things. So if you’re really looking at ways on how you can really improve how you can really work on yourself, you have to give time to yourself, you have to give time to yourself. I’ll tell you a story, Michael, which I’ll tell you very quickly, it’s about this king who has poor whites. And on 111, late evening in the dark, the Lord of Death comes to him and asked him tells him that it is time for him to leave to the king. He says, Oh, I don’t feel like leaving. He says no, but it’s time for you. You have to leave all of this kingdom, the money, the wealth, the name, fame, everything, you need to come with me. So the king says, okay, at least give me one more day. So the Lord of that says Fine, I’ll give you one more day. And the next morning. You know, Nick, on the same night, the king calls one of his wife, and he says, Look, the lord of that came to take will take me and don’t want to go alone. I want you to come with me. Devices. No, I cannot come them with you. I love where I am. I love this kingdom. Are you like you please go alone. So he feels very sad. He says I’ve done so much for you. And this is what you tell me. So he calls the second wife, second wife, he says the same thing. He gets the same answer. She says I cannot go cause the third wife or wife says the same answer. And the king is very dejected, very feels very, very alone. And he’s like, I’ve done so much for all of them. And this is what I get in return. Nobody wants to come with me. So he’s sitting in the dark morning and feeling sad. And you know, thinking of what’s going to happen in the next day with a lot of dead counts. That’s when he hears his voice. And the voice says very sadly, the voice says, You don’t worry. I’m going to come with you tomorrow when the Lord of Death comes to take you. So he looks and he sees a very feeble looking figure. And he says, Who are you? He says, Hey, I’m a fourth wife. So he says, Oh really? You look so feeble. You look so weak. And she says Oh yeah, you forgot about me I guess but I can come with you tomorrow. And that’s the time he feels really sad. He says I neglected her and don’t pay attention to her and he or she is willing to come with me. The entire model is that in our corporate worlds, you know in our in our in our corporate life. We are also like the king who has four wives the first why is our company and we give everything to the company and in you know ultimately not really realizing that you’re supposed to leave the company one day, and we’ll change it, we’ll go somewhere else. The second is our teams, you know, we get very attached to our, you know, we do everything for our teams to motivate them. But ultimately we don’t, we know that this team is going to change, we are going to move somewhere else. Third is our positions, our titles, we again give so much of you’re so attached to them, becomes it defines us, we don’t know who we are, if we don’t have a title, if we don’t have a vote, we just don’t know who we are. All of this is going to leave us. And the fourth one is we ourselves, which I call as the inner leader, it’s a concept I have introduced for which I got recognized, it’s called the inner leader, you are going to take yourself with you everywhere, your inner leader is going to accompany you everywhere. So you have to pay so much attention, so much of attention to it. So that wherever you are, whatever business circumstances, you can come out strong. So that’s the whole idea of this entire concept.
Michael Hingson ** 26:05
It’s a great story. And it is it is so true. We don’t look at ourselves, we don’t spend time, every day, looking at what we did, how it worked out why it worked out the way it is, what can we do to change it? How does it really help us? We, in this country, at least, so seem to not want to look at introspection and self analysis on anything and everything we do, which is so unfortunate, isn’t it?
Payal Nanjiani ** 26:38
Absolutely. We are so busy with so many achievements, Michael?
Michael Hingson ** 26:43
Yeah, that makes it really sort of difficult for us. But the reality is, it is part of our lives. And we should be studying what we have done, and how it’s worked out. Even the things that which were successful. How can we make them better? What can we really do, but it’s the internal part of us that we need to look at most of all, and we we in this country, keep saying, Well, I don’t have time to stop and do that. Well, yes, you do. If you make the time, and it’s just something that we just tend not to really like to do very much.
Payal Nanjiani ** 27:21
Do you take the time Michael like to introspect and everything every night?
Michael Hingson ** 27:26
Well, more more at night than in the morning? In the morning, I have a cat who, in the morning, I have a cat who wakes me up and she wants to eat first. And but no, I do. I do that at night. I do that at night. And I and I actually often think about it during the day. But yes, because I’ve learned to do that. And I value that time. It’s important to do that. Yeah,
Payal Nanjiani ** 27:53
isn’t it it just gives you so much of control over yourself and your day.
Michael Hingson ** 27:58
And it’s not a bad thing. And you’re not looking to say how great I am you’re looking at how am I doing? And how am I doing? And really the the inner eye as much as anything the I Am That tells me what to do?
Payal Nanjiani ** 28:15
Michael Hingson ** 28:16
So you, you started, you moved here and then you started your coaching program? I think you said in what 2006 or 2007. And you’ve been doing it ever since. So you started in in America to do that. But you’ve also added doing coaching in India? What prompted that and how that worked out? It must be somewhat different still.
Payal Nanjiani ** 28:39
Yeah, I’m very grateful for that question, Michael, because that’s a question which is extremely close to heart. So like you said, yeah, for 21 years, I’ve been working and helping corporate America and the Western world develop, you know, leaders, world class leaders and live up to their potential. And during that time, I remember every time that I would travel to India to you know, I, I was invited to speak at companies or do these high end executive coaching things. So every time I would travel to India, I noticed that a theme is a big problem. And that was that which was that corporate America was still so in corporate India was still following the concept of trained leaders, you know, where leadership is based on position titles where there’s a lot of focus on skills. And India was still getting recognized as for churning out MBAs and engineers, rather than churning out leaders who can think like leaders and grow an organization. So I decided to unite my vision with the Prime Minister and the now now India’s Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, and his vision of India being a developed country so that’s where I most my vision and It became one of the biggest purpose of my life and that that’s what I have come down to India for, you know, a massive chunk of the economic growth of a nation, any nation comes from the organization, for me leaders they have in the organization and how they can take the organization and with youth. And I have seen that India has excellent talent, rich talent, a considerable workforce, which is growing. And when this workforce develops itself into world class leaders, it significantly impacts not only the organization’s growth, but also the economic development of our country. So, personally, Michael, I feel really very honored. And very, you know, humbly, I would say that I feel very honored and proud that I’m now associating myself not with only corporate America, but also organizations and youth peer in India so that they can become the best version of themselves, they can be inspired to do more, and they can learn what it takes to be, you know, the best version of themselves. So yeah, that’s exactly where it all started from. It just started with this focus.
Michael Hingson ** 31:14
But are you still doing that in America as well? Or are you really focusing now? Okay, so you do both?
Payal Nanjiani ** 31:20
Well, yes, yes. The only difference is first, I used to travel from America to India. Now I traveled from India to America.
Michael Hingson ** 31:29
And you have a home and both, and you have a handle on both places? Yes, yes, I do. So you get to, to travel. It’s a long a long flight. But yeah, that that’s okay. As long as you’re yet to do.
Payal Nanjiani ** 31:45
So you enjoy traveling too.
Michael Hingson ** 31:47
I do enjoy traveling, it’s actually the time that I get to sit and think because I, I deliberately try not to do a lot of work when I travel, be on airplanes, especially because I think that’s a great time to sit and relax, and reflect and think. And so I do try to do that. As opposed to I
Payal Nanjiani ** 32:06
love to read I read a lot in the trains on my mind books, I write my books in the plane. Yeah,
Michael Hingson ** 32:11
I’ve done that too. But I do enjoy that as opposed to doing work, you know, you get on the airplane. And the first thing you do is grab your computer and the next thing you know you’re landing and you’ve done this work or whatever, but you don’t relax at all. And then you get there and you’re tired and you wonder why Yeah. So, what what are the differences today in coaching in India as opposed to coaching in North America in the United States?
Payal Nanjiani ** 32:45
No, there is not, I think like I said in India, the market is still becoming very mature, it is not a very mature market, yet it is still developing in in the United States, I have seen that it is still it is a very very matured market. Right it is basically people are aware of coaching, people are aware of the process of coaching. So for example, in America, while I’m coaching somebody in the United States, I feel it is something that we are looking forward to that, yes, we need a coach versus in India, we are still I’m seeing people try to push it to a way they feel there’s something I think in me, that is why I need a coach, there must be some problem in me. Whereas in America, it’s like, wow, I have a coach, I have an opportunity to develop myself much more. So I think that’s one of the differences because it’s an emerging market. And the other thing that I’ve noticed is, a lot of a lot of people believe that if you take a certification course in coaching, etc, you become a coach. There are hundreds and 1000s of them out there. And it’s so difficult in Illinois to pinpoint exactly who is the correct one for you. And I think whenever people are looking at coaches, you need to see the credentials, you need to see what all they have impacted who all they have impacted. What is the work that has gone behind? How well can they take care of your career and of you as a person as an individual? Because ultimately, it is some you know, it is somebody’s career you’re you’re taking care of. So I think that is some of the differences that I have noticed, as
Michael Hingson ** 34:21
a person who’s spent a lot of their life in sales. Obviously, in India, the opportunity is greater, although it takes a lot of education. But is it harder? Because there is more opportunity and less understanding of what coaches do? Or is it harder in America because there are so many coaches that you have to really filter to get to the right person? Sounds like two different kinds of challenges. Well,
Payal Nanjiani ** 34:48
yeah, I try this in workplaces, because in both places, you have to filter it out as to who’s who and who has done what work for for your credit ability. So yes, absolutely.
Michael Hingson ** 35:01
So, it, there are differences, but, but still it amounts to the same thing. And when you have a breakthrough and somebody truly understands, then you have a breakthrough, which is really wonderful to, to be able to, to have that. So for you that must be part of what the interviewer really likes is when you do have those breakthroughs. And you you get someone who really gets it. How do you keep up with all of the changes in trend trends and best practices in coaching and developing leaders? And how do you implement them? How
Payal Nanjiani ** 35:39
do I keep up? Well, Michael, I truly believe that if your cup is not filled, you cannot pour from an empty cup, right? So you have to fill up your cup before you pour into someone else. So I spend a whooping 70% of my time on myself. And when I say on myself, what I need is on developing myself on keeping up with what I need to learn before I can even share it with someone else. So it’s, that’s my simplest answer that I can give you is that I work a lot on myself before I work with others or on others.
Michael Hingson ** 36:16
What do you do a lot of reading? Or is it thinking or what do you do? Yeah,
Payal Nanjiani ** 36:21
yeah, everything reading, seeing what’s new, researching, you know, keeping up with the time seeing what changes are happening. So for example, I also teach at various colleges, you know, and that makes me understand what is the youth looking at? You know, that’s the only way I can understand what new which new mindsets are entering into the workforce? What is our what are they thinking? What are the what are the likes and dislikes? Like? What are we bringing into the workforce sitting here in a closed room, I can understand that. That’s the type of work that you have to do on yourself before you go out there and say, I can help you.
Michael Hingson ** 37:05
I’m sorry, filling my cup more filling your cup more? Yes. Do you find when you’re teaching, sometimes it’s a challenge is to stay ahead of the kids in the classroom.
Payal Nanjiani ** 37:18
Absolutely. Such great minds, they are such great minds, both your both your and in America. Such great minds questions, hunger for learning, you know, quick learning, because they are in an instant age of social media. So they are very instant and everything. So you learn to pick up speed from them.
Michael Hingson ** 37:40
Yeah, they’re, they’re incredible desire to learn. And just the enthusiasm has to be a wonderful thing to experience. And I know that every time people ask me questions, I know that they just want to learn. And I love curiosity. And I wish we had more. But all too often, I think in this country, we don’t encourage curiosity, especially with little children, they get sheltered so much, and they don’t get to explore and be as curious as it would it would be helpful for them to be No,
Payal Nanjiani ** 38:15
I think, in fact, I see quite opposite in America, we do have a lot of curiosity, where we promote questions where we do promote experimentation. And I think education system may not be to that extent, but overall as compared to other parts of the world that I have been in I feel in America, we do have an open education system, which is more on your curiosity and your, your, your learning, at least with my two kids growing up there and, you know, finishing their undergrad there. At least that’s what I have experienced.
Michael Hingson ** 38:55
And that’s great. That’s, that’s exciting to hear. Because we don’t learn if we’re not curious. Absolutely. In, in, in our world today, what would you say? Are the key qualities that define a successful leader? You know, people talk about being leaders, they you know, I’m a leader, and all too often I think what they really are as a boss and not necessarily a leader, but what what really is a leader in America or India or anywhere in the world because I would think that the the answer ultimately is pretty similar wherever you go.
Payal Nanjiani ** 39:35
Yeah, I think it first comes on top of my mind what I teach people, three, three things. Number one is you have to have a winning mindset. We have way too many people these days, Michael, who are wanting to work hard and just give their best but I think the world has moved on now you have to know how to go beyond your best that is very necessary. They can die I would say is you have to be very relentless in your game, you cannot have a net, you know, you have to have a never give up attitude, you have to know how to stay in the game longer challenges are going to be coming, you’re going to be, you know, going to have those obstacles, but every single day, are you waking up thinking that, you know, that’s it? I’ve had had it enough, tried too long doesn’t work? Or are you the one who says okay, it’s another day, another try another day, another try. I just keep on going in the game, you strategize, re strategize, and you just know that you are not going to throw in the towel over there. And I think number three, which is very, very crucial these days, specifically, post COVID Is that you have to have control over your mind. You have to have control over your mind over your emotions, something my mom has taught me right from the beginning. Those who cannot control their own mind can never control or take charge of anything else. So if you’re able to control your mind, if you’re not in charge of your own emotions, then guess what you’re going to allow everyone and everything to disturb you. And in these times, we add in dystopias, which go on social media and you’ll be disturbed. So don’t be a victim, don’t be a slave to people’s behavior and circumstances. Otherwise, you’re going to be on everybody’s agenda. So I decided, according to me, these three to begin with, if we can imbibe these three, it can take us a long way, have a winning mindset. be relentless in your game, and control your mind and take charge of your emotions. And
Michael Hingson ** 41:38
let’s look at number three a little bit. How do you do that? How you know people say but we’re emotional. That’s what human beings are? How did we learn to take more control? And how do we really learn to control our own minds?
Payal Nanjiani ** 41:53
Yeah, I mean, we are emotional beings, no doubt about it. We should be emotional beings, we are we you know, even like disabled animals have emotions. So emotion is a is a given. It’s God gifted to everybody. When I say control your emotions or take charge of your emotions. What I mean is, you can’t be allowing every little thing around you to disturb you, you can say my happiness. So for example, say in the morning, you wake up and you decide, oh, it’s a great day, and I am going to be really happy today. And driving to work, you reach work, and your boss tells you, hey, you know what, you’ve done a fantastic work on this project, we’re really proud of you. So you’re, you know, you feel more happier, you feel more happier when you hear this. And then after some time someone comes and tells you, you know, the sales are going down and our stakeholders are completely you should have been more careful. There goes your emotions, now you are feeling down all the time. Now how do you get back to that happy zone, where you will not be able to get back to their happy zone until somebody else comes and tells you something more better that can take your emotions a little more onto the higher level. So we call this as RCA in reality check analysis that you have to know exactly how to come back to the emotion that you wanted to stay with. And I can guarantee you, Michael, if you know we call it a remote control, if each of us were in control of our emotions, we have that remote with us, we would do so much bigger and better. We would not let other things disturb us we would not let our energy drain in what he said. And she said and how did they make us feel? And you would just know that how to come back how to come back and and how to get started and how to move ahead and keeping the remote with you. So I think one of the major things to start with is to be conscious of who all have you given your remote to? And do you plan to keep the remote with you want to make that conscious decision that yes, my remote is with me, I have decided consciously to be in a state of happiness in a state of winning mindset. You will not allow people to easily take control over
Michael Hingson ** 44:10
you, you actually hit on I think the most crucial point what you described was a person who decided to be happy. But then they went to work and they they heard something that made them more happy. But then someone came along and made them unhappy. And what I’m hearing you say is you don’t need to lose your happiness, your emotion of joy, just because someone came along and said something that’s negative. My immediate reaction to that would have been and and actually has been at times. Well, let’s look at what really is going on here. And if there’s something that I need to fix, I will go fix it. But I’m not going to lose my happiness over it. It’s going to help me become more strategic and and take more responsibility if that’s what I need to do. Or if there is something somewhere else that needs to be addressed that I want to try to help them where I can. But I can’t worry about things over which I don’t have control. Absolutely.
Payal Nanjiani ** 45:12
And that’s why I tell people I said it is it’s, you know, your work environment is not because of your boss or something. So many people say, Oh, I’m working in a very toxic work environment, or it’s very negative. Well, what’s your contribution to it? There’s a lot of negativity coming into the organization because of you, too. So what’s your contribution? Yeah,
Michael Hingson ** 45:34
that’s exactly right, you have control over some things. And I know in this country, all too often people focus way too much on so many things over which they have no control. And we allow things like social media and everything else to affect us. I hear a lot about cyber bullying and how children, youth are, are affected by that, and I understand it. But what we don’t learn is how to be able to truly step back. And I hate to use this word, but raise our defensive defenses, so that we don’t let that affect us. But at least not pay attention to all of it, but rather deal with the things that we really can deal with and not worry about the rest. That’s hard for us to do. And it’s and it’s so, so much a problem if we don’t learn how to do it. Yeah,
Payal Nanjiani ** 46:27
definitely. Because if you don’t learn how to do it, then you’re going to be on everybody’s agenda. Again, you’re just going to be pulled in all directions. And you just don’t know who you are as a person. So in one of my books, I think the first chapter itself was Who am I need to recognize yourself before you define anybody else?
Michael Hingson ** 46:46
How many books have you written?
Payal Nanjiani ** 46:49
Three plus one is under contract?
Michael Hingson ** 46:51
Wow. Well, I think that’s pretty good. And we’ve got pictures of book covers in the podcast notes, I hope people will go look at those. Just for fun. Tell us a little bit about a typical day in the life of pile Nanjiani.
Payal Nanjiani ** 47:11
Typical day, so my day Michael starts very early. I’m up sometimes by 4am. up sometimes by five, just depends on how the previous day or night has been. But I wake up very early. And when I wake up, the first thing I do, Michael is just to be grateful. There’s nothing else in the very first thing while I wake up on the bed is I am grateful for two or three things every single day, I must say that wish to three things I’m grateful for. And then after I freshen up, I start my day with yoga and meditation. I’m a big believer of yoga, big time and meditation. So I give myself at least an hour to do meditation and yoga. And that’s my reflection time. That’s the time when I go inside. And a lot of you know, it gives you a lot of peace specially because it’s so early morning, and everybody else is, you know, on this side of the world is sleeping. Yeah. So like they say that, you know, that’s the most auspicious time when everything is silent. And you know, the powers are the highest during that time, the earliest time of day, I was at the highest. So that’s what my day starts. And then I begin my writing, either by book writing or an article, whatever I have to write the first two or three hours are non negotiable for me, I’m not in the kitchen or not doing housework, I’m not with my daughter, I’m not with my husband. I’m just with myself. So those two three hours give me a lot of time on myself. And then the routine starts you know, all of the a little bit of buy a house well, breakfast before I start my office meetings. I one thing in the entire day, you know whether they’re gym, whether I’m walking during meetings, and then I have to go for coaching sessions, workshops, the whole day starts. But if there’s something constant in these days, it is the first few hours in the morning, which are non negotiable. And the other is, every single day, I make a call to my parents come what may just come what may however, the tough the day is However busy and after my schedule is just wherever I am in the world, as long as I’m alive and good. I must make that call to my parents just even if it is for a minute or two.
Michael Hingson ** 49:38
Wow. And you’re close to them and they have helped you so much. Yeah,
Payal Nanjiani ** 49:42
and I think all parents help their children. All parents do everything that isn’t their capacity to bring up their children. And you know, the least they can expect is you be in touch with them every day they hear your voice they know you’re safe. They Good, you know, they are safe, they are golden. I think the time that we can give our parents, you know, my mom always says that after the after people are dead, you can just put candles or flowers on their picture, it doesn’t make a difference what you do while they are alive, is what makes all the difference.
Michael Hingson ** 50:18
Yeah. And that makes a lot of sense. They, they brought you into the world, and hopefully they spent a lot of time giving you all that they could and, and helping you progress. Yes. So as a leadership expert, what motivates you to continue the work that you’re doing? And I guess what really makes me wondering, what are your long term goals as you go forward?
Payal Nanjiani ** 50:47
What motivates me is my purpose, like I said, getting more and more people to become successful in what they are doing, in really understanding that your true success is really within you. And if you can tap that, you know, just like some of these world class successful leaders that we read about, they’re the ones who are tapping their inner resources more. So at the end of the day, I think it’s people who make me do what I want to do. When I when someone comes to me and says, Hey, you know what your book changed my life or your podcast changed my life where techniques helped me grow. When I get these fan messages when I read them, and I never answered them, all I take every day, I’m sorry, every week, one, one day is only to reply to the fan messages. My call was to my people. And that gives me immense pleasure. So I think at the end of it all, Michael, and I’m sure that exactly what you’re doing and what you believe in, that’s why you’re doing this podcast is you want to make a difference in the number of lives of the people, as many as you can impact. You know, I’ve impacted more than a million now. And I hope to be going strong with God’s grace and blessing so that I can make a difference in the lives of people I can help them. I really sincerely wish and pray that God gives me the courage, the health and everything to, to keep impacting people’s life in the best way so that at the end of it all, you know, when I’m gone from the world, what I would like to leave and go is my work because work is divine. For me, workers divine every single night before you sleep, I before I sleep, I owe her my work to the Lord saying that this is what I’ve done, I hope I’ve done my best. And I hope tomorrow is another day that I can impact more people before I leave the world. So I think that’s a bigger thing that I worked towards, I
Michael Hingson ** 52:46
can appreciate that a great deal. I think that it’s it’s important that we know, and that that we learn to recognize when we’re doing a good thing, you know, a lot of people can say a lot of things, and a lot of people can remember us in one way or another. But I do think ultimately, we have to come to understand what differences we’ve made and why perhaps we’ve made a difference. And that we learn to feel positive about that. Or we learn to understand the value that we bring in the other part about it is, for me even a more exciting thing is I don’t know what seeds I’m planting that I may hear about in 1015 or 20 years or, or may never know about, but they’re out there, or I hear about them sort of indirectly. And that’s okay. As long as we’re having an effect. I think that’s the important part about at all.
Payal Nanjiani ** 53:46
As I’m sitting here, Michael talking with you, looking at you, I’m looking at the difference that you are making in the lives of people. You’re inspiring them to do so much more.
Michael Hingson ** 53:58
Well, and I hope that that we’re we’re successful with that. And I guess time will will tell whether anybody, anybody attributes it to me directly or not as long as it happens. That’s all I can ever ask for.
Payal Nanjiani ** 54:11
I think it’d be an awesome book.
Michael Hingson ** 54:13
So what got you started in writing books?
Payal Nanjiani ** 54:16
And that’s a very fascinating story. You know, for many years, I whichever company I used to be invited to speak and train them that they would ask me that, do you have such more tips and practices? You know, which can help us more and almost every time I would say yes and immediately following that question would be okay, so where do I find them? And I had no answer because I used to not put them out anywhere. So one evening, I remember I was flying from San Jose back home to North Carolina where I met this one gentleman who absolutely don’t know who approached me at the airport. And he asked me that, you know, are you are you and this is exactly what he said. He said I He was that famous coach fine. And Gianni. And I said, Yeah. And he said that he introduced himself. He said, I’ve seen you. I’ve watched you on television in some interviews. And we introduced himself. I remember at that time as a director of some midsize firm, and he said, you know, he works hard. He does everything that he got a few of my techniques and helped him grow in the company. He’s ever I don’t see anything else where I can get some more techniques from you. And you know, you’re associating yourself with so many great leaders and successful people in the world. Don’t you think there should be more out there from you for people like us who not have direct access to you? And that prompted me to think on the way back home in the flight is when I was thinking that in what other way? Could I do it? And I’m not very social media person, you know, I don’t have the time to sit and watch on social media do my team does a great job now. So people do connect with me on Instagram and on LinkedIn, where we post those tires book is what came to my mind that why don’t I start writing and I had no idea of how do I write a book? What do I do? I could you will be surprised. They were 22 book rejections. Not surprised? Yeah. Well, the 23rd attempt was a one that one of the publishers Mike Routledge publishers in New York, they accepted the manuscript, they love it. And today, my fourth book is also with them. So I think it’s it’s that I don’t know where that came from, who he was. But he did wake, that deep calling inside of me that I always wanted to do more for more people. And I thought that would be the best way then to do it.
Michael Hingson ** 56:47
There you go. And, you know, I think all of us have stories in us and all of us have books in us. And it doesn’t matter that we don’t know how, at any given point. The question is, do we want to learn it’s a part of another adventure, which is part of life? And good for you that you’re now on? Number four, when will it be out? Oh, I
Payal Nanjiani ** 57:12
think that should be next year.
Michael Hingson ** 57:13
Oh, cool. When did you write your first 120 17?
Payal Nanjiani ** 57:18
Or 20? Yeah, 2017, I started writing 2018 and Co published,
Michael Hingson ** 57:22
that is exciting. Well, when 2018 2020
Payal Nanjiani ** 57:25
and then 2023.
Michael Hingson ** 57:30
And now next year, God will think that’s exciting. I’ve written two and number three will be out next year. And that’s we’re excited about? Well, the first one was really my story. Both are in the World Trade Center. And lessons I learned that helped me in the World Trade Center. lessons I learned as a blind person. So it’s called vendor dog. It’s been on the New York Times bestseller list, and it was published in 2011. Then we wrote a children’s version called running with Roselle, which isn’t so much about the World Trade Center as it is about growing up as a blind boy. And then Roselle, who was the dog with me in the World Trade Center, her growing up how we met. And then we, of course, do talk a little bit about the World Trade Center, but it’s mostly about us growing up and our lives together. And the third book really came about because during the beginning of the pandemic, when travel for speaking, died down, somebody pointed out, you know, you weren’t afraid in the World Trade Center, got to talk to people about controlling fear. And I agreed and thought a lot about that. And so started working on that. And it will come out next year. And the idea is, it’s a story about me and the eight dogs I’ve had his guide dogs, as well as Fantasia who was a breeder for guide dogs for the blind who became our our family dog as well, but also my wife service dog. And it’s, what we do is we talk about lessons that each of those dogs taught me about fear and how to control fear, and how to work through fear and recognize that we don’t need to be as I call it, blinded by fear, but rather, not overwhelmed by fear, but learn how to control fear, and use fear as a very powerful tool to help us. And so it will, it will help people I hope learn more about how they can not have to live their lives in fear. So it really talks a lot about a number of the things that we’re talking about here. And, and that we’ve talked about in the course of the day and learning to control the things we can and not worrying about the rest. So the title is live like a guide dog. And it’ll be out next July or August. I believe. I look forward to it. It’ll be fun. Well, I want to thank you for being on unstoppable mindset with us today. This has been Absolutely enjoyable. How do people reach out to you if they’d like to talk with you more maybe explore getting some assistance from you
know, Miko, they could reach us out on LinkedIn. They could say that they have heard us on this show with you and they can connect with us on LinkedIn, they can follow us on Instagram. The website is payalnanjiani.com. And exactly.
Michael Hingson ** 1:00:10
Can you spell that please?
It’s P as in Peter, a, y a l. N, as in Nancy, A n j i a n
Michael Hingson ** 1:00:33
and I, and what’s your LinkedIn profile name?
Payal Nanjiani.
Michael Hingson ** 1:00:37
There you go. So it makes it easy.
Payal Nanjiani ** 1:00:40
Everything is easier, so they can always connect with us connect with that team. Delete us off for anything. Well,
Michael Hingson ** 1:00:48
I hope people will do that you have offered a lot of great insights and things that we should learn and take to heart. So thank you very much for doing that and for being with us. And I want to thank you for listening. I would really appreciate it if when you think about it, you would rate us and give us a rating of we would love a five star rating for this podcast. We hope that you liked it and you’ll give us a five star rating. I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at Michaelhi at accessibe.com That’s m i c h a e l h i at A c c e s s i b e.com Or go to our podcast page www dot Michael hingson.com/podcast and Michael hingson is m i  ch a e l h i n g s o n So www dot Michael hingson.com/podcast. I love those five star reviews love any comments. And I’m sure Payal would really appreciate you reaching out to her as well. So again, pile I want to thank you for being here with us and helping us learn a lot in the course of this podcast and that a lot of people will reach out to you and that that we’re both able to help people moving forward. Michael,
Payal Nanjiani ** 1:01:58
it’s been an honor and a pleasure to be on your show. Thank you so much.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:02:07
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com . AccessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for Listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.

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