Lessons living with Mohanji – Days 25 and 26

by Christopher Greenwood

Day 25 Lesson – Positioning and how to build a positive reputation  

This morning I was speaking with Mohanji about the Bootcamp, which he ran yesterday. He was really interested to understand how it was received because we spoke about some really big subjects, the soul and spirit. This opened up a lot of questions from people. We were sharing how best to answer these and also formulating the next step of actions. Once this has finished in December, we’re ready to roll this out for more people to benefit from. It’s all about understanding yourself.

What we’ll be doing is working with the countries and offering it as a service to them. They can go out, bring in the audience, and run it with as many people as possible in each country. I was interested in how we can also translate this into the corporate world because spirit and soul are not the things spoken much about in the corporate world. But we won’t probably use those topics there. It will be more for the foundation.

When we got onto a topic, it was really interesting because Mohanji started to speak about his own experience from the business world, which I don’t know how many people have heard, so I thought I’d share this story.

We were speaking about the important things, anything in life, especially work, and it is about positioning. This is what generally a lot of people find hard. Like, where do we fit in society? Where do we fit within work?

He was talking and sharing that we develop many complexes from childhood: what’s okay, what’s not okay. As we grow, we take all those in from society too. Then the society places expectations on us. It’s the same if we join an organisation that will have a certain way, a certain culture, a certain expectation of being. So we’re never quite sure where we should place ourselves.

Then there are people who are overconfident and put people off and people who are underconfident, which affects their performance. So, sharing that the right positioning is important.

He said: “How do you know where to position yourself?” And that’s when you understand yourself, who you are. That’s part of what this program is about, taking people to an understanding of themselves. Then communication becomes easier because people aren’t trying to prove themselves. They’re not worried about what people think. They’ll adjust how they are, how they need to be in that situation. Whereas usually, we’re trying to always adjust ourselves to the society, where to fit in, and the idea of what we should be.

So I was asking as well how to position ourselves in work. So someone’s in a workplace, and it’s really quite maybe a toxic culture. I’ve worked in lots of these where people have many opinions on other people. There’s lots of criticism; there’s lots of politics, there’s lots of subtext and situations happening, which makes it difficult to get on with your work, especially if you are not interested in those things.

He said that the best thing to do in those situations is just to focus on the job. Do your best and focus on perfecting what you have. Because when you do that, people will notice you for the output that you do. Then naturally, the positioning happens by itself. So we don’t need to worry about where we are, what we’re doing, who’s who, who’s in contact with who, and what other people think. If you have the task, have something in front of you, do it to the best of your ability, and then the results speak for themselves. And naturally, from that, people will then reflect on the position that you have.

For example, Mohanji gave a really great one from his work life. For those who don’t know, in Mohanji’s previous work, he was really successful. People even today call him up from that work, his work colleagues. And he could just walk back into that job tomorrow because of the reputation that he had within the industry.

At 35, he had gone from starting as a sales executive and raising up through the ranks to become a CEO and the country head of five countries. This was in shipping. So this is handling big ships, handling oil tankers, car carriers, navy ships, cruise ships. These are the massive logistical operations of loading and unloading all that cargo into the ports on a fixed schedule, the timeline. You also have the unpredictability of the wild seas and the weather.

So when we spoke about positioning, he gave an example in his company where there wasn’t an overt praising or appreciation for what he was doing. But in the end, the Japanese Navy actually gave him an award for his work, for the excellence of what he was doing, which was unprecedented. Nobody gets that; only people actually in the Japanese navy get this. If you think of the Japanese, they are renowned for things like their efficiency, reliability and the navy was no exception.

When I asked how you managed to get this, he said it was very simple. You’re looking at the situation, looking at what needed to be done, finding that the Japanese navy had protocols for when a ship came into the port. He just looked at this, studied it, and just through logic, made sure everything was in order. Timelines and loading were kept making sure things were done ahead of time. Planning for it to be completed ahead of time so that it was still being delivered within the overall time if there was a delay.

They also had a protocol of reception. They have a really good culture of respect in Japan. If you’re an admiral or a certain level of office, then you should be received when you arrive with a corresponding rank of a person. So sometimes he would go as the country head. And other times, if it was more junior rank, he would send the operations manager. He stuck to that protocol well, and because of that, the expectations were completely exceeded. Although internally he wasn’t recognised, externally he was, for doing that job. He was well respected. He said that sometimes it could be like that.

So the message he reinforced, or what I took away, is that – applying yourself fully to the task that you have at hand, doing the job as much as possible, and forgetting what others may think because the efforts speak for themselves. I’ve taken that into my own work and practice, here especially, I can see that too, because I’ve heard that message before and thought: Okay, some things I’m good at, some things I’m not so good at, so I’ll just do my best as I can, knowing that sometimes it’s not perfect, sometimes there’ll be mistakes. But if at least I’m applying as much as I can, I can be content that I’ve done all I can.

Even in the end, Mohanji was sharing from this type of work ethic and way of being that people were even happy to pay his company more to do the work. Because they knew just from him being part of it that it would be done well, the job will be completed, and it will be hassle-free.

And how we develop that over time, that reputation, he distilled down into a very simple recipe. Just four bullet points, which I’ll share with you now, which is something you can take into the day.

1. Reliability

That was the first one that he came up with within that line of work and for anything. Reliability. Keeping our word at all times – it’s incredibly important. It is remembering that we don’t have to say or agree to anything which we can’t do or don’t want to do. But when we do, then it’s keeping that word.

2. Promptness 

It is sticking to timelines. Making sure that whatever is needed to leave his desk was done promptly or within 24 hours. And this is definitely something which he trained us well within the office, this is how we should be effective, and we should be making sure that we’re clearing things within 24 hours. If it’s not possible, then at least we’re sharing a message to say that it’s been acknowledged and it’s in progress; it may take a little bit longer. But at least then, there’s a response within that time. So promptness is important.

3. Information flow

I think with shipping, it must have been incredibly important. It’s a continuous flow of information to people. If he had foreseen delays with the weather situation or anything that was out of his control, then the right people were always informed immediately. He would do the same if there were some complications where he was expected to incur a loss as well as the customer. So they would be in conversation to make sure that any deficit or balance was understood, even to the point where because of that, information flow was so consistent that they would be able to share in the losses. They both helped each other out and almost developed a companionship. So that any unprecedented losses in those situations, such as petrol price increase, were accommodated on both parts. So, keeping that information flow.

4. Companionship in work

He was not treating people like customers but treating them as if they were companions, same within the team as well. If he heard some information that was relevant for somebody else, he would pass it on. He would say, ‘Hey, I heard this, not so much of interest for me, and I don’t know whether it would be useful for you, but please have it; it could be interesting for you.’ So anytime some information was heard or there was an idea to be shared, keeping that companionship with the other.

He shares the four things as the recipe: reliability, promptness, the flow of information and companionship in work—doing it together rather than a customer-supplier relationship.

Day 26 Lesson – Mohanji as a friend and tips for increasing efficiency 

I wanted to start today by sharing a different dimension to Mohanji, one that I haven’t really spoken about before, but something which I really appreciate a lot. And this is his friendliness and his approach to some really deep matters, which I approach with a lot of seriousness, but he makes it really a matter of fact and very casual, in fact, even bringing humour into it.

For me, I think this is what sets Mohanji apart really, that approachability, the fact that he is a friend. And if people approach him that way, regardless of what’s happening in their life, he is there; he can be trusted. He gives his perspective and the teachings with both humility and humour, too.

And he’s rarely very serious. Most of the time, he shares some of the most profound teachings in the lightest of ways. But again, as I’ve mentioned before, you have to keep an eye out sometimes because he will share it with such lightness and ease, but underneath, there’s always a deeper meaning. Even the jokes that he has, and the humour that he brings, it can be really funny.

Today, for example, in the morning, he was talking about a film or TV show that he had watched. I can’t remember which one of those two it was. But in this film, let’s say it’s a film, there’s one scene and it’s a very auspicious day, a religious day. What you’re meant to do at your first sight on opening your door, whatever you see sets the tone for the year ahead, whether it’s going to be an auspicious year. People will dress up as deities; there will be brightness etc. When you see that, that’s what you’re going to see for the year to come. There was a guy who was very angry with his boss; he didn’t say what happened. But essentially, he turned up at his boss’s house and rang the doorbell. When the door opened, he showed his boss his butt. His butt was the first thing that the boss saw on this auspicious day.

It was funny, and Mohanji was laughing; he was really laughing at this. But the message was there as well that some people will do anything for revenge. That was the subtle message. Humour is there as well when we meet in the mornings.

Today I was sharing with a person in the team working practices that I’ve learned from Mohanji.

And this comes from his efficiency, how he manages to address so many tasks in the day. I think he said before on the podcast that he has the same amount of hours in the day as anybody else. Practically, he’s just making the most of that time. When he’s involved in a task, he’s completely focused on that task, just that task. That means he’s minimising distractions.

He said people don’t progress with pace and efficiency because they are distracted most of the time with the tasks they’re trying to perform. So, when he’s doing something, he’s fully occupied. I’ve seen that as well; when he’s writing a message or having a conversation, his attention is fully there. Sometimes I’ll come in, and I’ll need to speak to him about something, and he says, “Just wait, I need to finish this first.” I’ll wait, and his attention is completely there.

No distractions – the key to efficiency.

Also, side by side with that is the focused attention, which can help us, and has helped me actually. One of the things I’ve learned is to move forward when you have many simultaneous activities taking place at the same time. 

Now in the office, this is essentially what it is; we have many activities to handle, as you’ve probably seen from the dashboard. So the only way to be successful is to dedicate, set time each day to a task and stick to that. Say, for example, I have a lot to do in a day; maybe I have to look at Invest in Awareness. This is a big one at the moment because we’re running the Bootcamp. There’s the taking of questions, updating of slides, preparing for the next sessions as well. Alongside there is the Early Birds Club. Then Mohanji’s general activities, he has a lot going on too, also other office activities and some of my personal things as well.

So there’s a lot, and the only way that it’s possible to do all these is to structure the day in a way that I’m at least giving an hour to each of these within a day. I know if I’m fully concentrated within that hour, and I know what I want to achieve as the end goal, I can just fully come to that time and take the step. So one hour each day in a week. That’s seven hours. And you accomplish a lot like that.

At first, I didn’t quite catch on to that; it took me a while. But it’s been the only way really to make sure that when you have many things lined up for yourself, as long as it’s not an urgency that it has to be done that day or within 24 hours if it’s things that can just have progress, then set aside the time planning the day well, so that you just have the hour, you make sure that you’ve got everything you need for that hour’s time to be productive, and you give yourself fully to it and take away the distractions. That brings movement. What I’ve learned also brings self-esteem because this is an accomplishment.

Another one of Mohanji’s big things is improving efficiency, not stagnating. He says the only person that you should really compete with is yourself. What can you be doing better? Can you improve yourself? Can you do better today than yesterday? The only way you can do that is to measure and structure time in that way. Now, it might sound a bit over the top, but it actually brings freshness; there’s no stagnation. And it gives motivation too, like small challenges for yourself.

Now, the pace of Mohanji is increasing. People may have felt that there’s a definite mission that all these foundations are looking to achieve in the organisation. All these platforms are looking to achieve raising awareness, changing the frequency of the Earth.

In order to accommodate that speed, I now have to look at how we can grow and how my personal team can handle that. Because, once you reach a point where there’s only so much you can do in a day, and there’s only so much the team can do, then you have to look to start growing it.

At the moment, I’m really, really privileged to have a great team. I wouldn’t say everybody’s name because maybe they don’t want to be included. But they are fantastic. And the only reason why the office has been able to do so much work is because of all those contributing to it. And that’s for me; I think Mohanji’s grace of bringing the right people together.

Now we’ll bring in more people as well. People who really want to make a difference and push themselves to be working with that pace and efficiency grow and transform. This will be the next challenge for me, how to keep building out that team so that we keep that same efficiency to help Mohanji do more in the world.

That was the message for today. A little bit about Mohanji’s different dimension, his humorous side.

He really is friendly and approachable. I really appreciate this. And then the lesson that I was sharing with some other people which I’ve really valued, which is this concept of focusing all your attention on one activity for a set period of time each day so that each day you’re taking steps. If you want to really bring efficiency, then the only way to do that is to give focus to the task and reduce distractions, minimise them. 


Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 25th May 2021


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