Most industries and educational institutions focus too exclusively on technical skills that they forget the importance of the “soft” skills, especially in leadership. This global drought of “soft leadership” in organizations is what prompted Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. to get educated in the soft skills and share that knowledge to the whole world. A prolific author, Professor Rao has had 48 books to his name and counting, including the bestselling book on mindfulness, See the Light in You, which he talks about in this episode with Terri Levine. Being prolific authors on business, leadership and personal development, Professor Rao and Terri share a deep connection that pervades this whole conversation. Join in as they trade wonderful insights on soft skills, leadership, connections and living in the present.
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The Art Of Being Present With The Father Of Soft Leadership, Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D.
We want to thank you always for being part of our Heartrepreneur family or community for tuning in. We also have Heartrepreneur Magazine. We have Heartrepreneur.com/blog. We love to share content, information, and experts in business, life and management. That’s what we’re here to do. I want you to take a moment and think about how present you are in your personal heart-to-heart connections. Are you doing your best to make a difference in business, life, and to connect? We are going to connect and this is so much fun for me. I have known the gentleman that I have on my show through social media for many years. We never had the opportunity of having a live conversation and even seeing each other live.
We’ve supported each other through books. We shared books and many things in common. Now I have the honor and the privilege of interviewing him. His name is Professor M.S. Rao. He has a PhD and he is the Father of Soft Leadership which is something we’re going to focus on. He is also the Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants. He is with us all the way from India, which is exciting. He is an international leadership guru. He has 39 years of experience. Wait until you hear this. He beats me. I’m the author of 45 books and I thought that’s a big deal. He’s the author of 48 books and they keep coming. They’re amazing. One of the books I recommend is See The Light In You. We’ll talk about that. He’s a C-Suite advisor and he is definitely a sought-after keynote speaker. Globally, he is someone that I want you to meet. I am thrilled to finally have the honor and privilege of being west.
Professor Rao, welcome. I’m happy to have you.
Thank you, Terri. It’s a great honor to be on your show.
Thank you. First, how did you get into what you’re doing? What led you here?
I was one in a toxic family, full family in India. At the age of eighteen, I joined the Indian Air Force because I had a passion for serving my country especially for wearing military uniform. After I joined the Indian Air Force, I started growing as a leader. I got more interested in leadership because the different slate is disciplined and dedicated. I was passionate about education right from my childhood, but my parents won’t push to promote my education. When I joined the Indian Air Force, I was not even a graduate. I completed my graduation after that. I have a Master’s in Art. I acquired a couple of qualifications like PGDBM. I also acquired an MBA, Master of Business Administration.
I acquired my Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering from Indian Air Force. I acquired many qualifications. I sacrificed my leave and dedicated my time in acquiring qualifications. I did my business for some years in India. It didn’t work out then I became a faculty member in an education institution. I joined and acquired my PhD in Soft Skills in the year 2007. By 2011, I got my PhD in Soft Skills. After I became a faculty member and acquired my PhD, I became a professor. I started writing books from the year 2000 to 2010.
I started writing many books. Now I have 60 books and 48 have been published. I’m glad to tell everyone that Terri wrote foreword for one of my books. I’m grateful to you because at that time, nobody wants to write foreword for my book because I was not known to anybody. I didn’t have any credibility. You gave me full support with your kind heart and you wrote the foreword for my book. Gradually, many people came like Marshall Goldsmith wrote a foreword. Many eminent people came forward to write forewords. There are some people who have helped me to become successful. You are one of those people. Behind the success of every person, there is someone who laid the ladder for his success. You are one of the coaches who laid the ladder for my success indirectly.
It’s an interesting journey of how we get to where we are. I’m always fascinated by how people get to where they are. You blew me away with something. Time goes by quickly and I didn’t realize that it was 2010 that you started in the book industry. The amount of books that you have, 48 books from 2000. I started in 2000. It’s amazing. I want to say something for you to hear from my heart. I want our readers to know, I get asked to write forewords four times a month. I typically don’t because I don’t want to put my endorsement on a lot of the books that come across my desk.
I remember looking through your book and saying, “This speaks to my heart and the kinds of work that I like to share in the world.” The soft skills which we’re going to talk about or soft leadership is necessary in today’s world. It partners with Heartrepreneur and you write in such a great way where it’s easy to digest, it’s easy to understand, you get the takeaways and the key points. A lot of books aren’t like that. I want you to first know that it was my honor and privilege to endorse and to write a foreword. Second of all, I don’t always suggest to my audience to get every author’s books.
It’s unusual for me to say each book that I have read has a specific and unique lesson. This is an author that you want to follow. You don’t want to read one book, trust me. You’re going to get hooked. You’re going to say, “What else does he have to say?” As I listened to your background, you have so much experience. You truly are a guru in my view. I said that in the beginning, I don’t say that a lot. I’d love to hear in your words what is soft leadership?Behind the success of every person is someone who laid the ladder to that success. Click To Tweet
Let me add one more thing in this regard. You’re one of the finest coaches in the world and you also connected me to publishers globally. That’s the second reason why I am able to publish more books. It was hard to publish some of my books because I was not getting publishers. I sent you an email, then you connected me to a couple of publishers. I’m grateful to you in this manner. I thank you for your foreword, secondly for connecting me with publishers who are ethical and eminent across the world. Coming to the soft leadership, I gained my PhD in Soft Skills. I have done research for four years from 2007 to 2011. Why I did the PhD Soft Skills? Because in India, many industries, when I was out in the education institutions, they lack the soft skills. They have strong technical skills.
Even if you look to Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, he is from India. He is from my place. If you look at Google’s Sundar Pichai, they are strong in technical skills, not that they used to. Many Indians become CEOs for global organizations. They are strong in art skills. I started focusing on soft skills because they have the technical mind but most of the industries, they had a challenge in communicating. That communication is an integral part of soft skills. I did a PhD in Soft Skills because I’m passionate about soft skills. I want to bring one million soft skill global leaders. I gained my PhD in Soft Skills and I wanted sanctity to the domain of soft skills. I have a couple of books. Leadership is close to my heart because I started in the Indian Air Force.
I was fascinated with leadership. I blended leadership with soft skills and coined soft leadership. Why I did this soft leadership was that when I gave training programs for executives in the various corporates around any spec, they were unhappy with the prevailing leadership states like autocratic, various charismatic and transactional like that. There are many leadership states that work there. I thought there was a gap in the current world to explore leadership. I then acquired soft leadership then I asked Dave Ulrich, the father for modern HR many years back. He has written foreword for my book on leadership and he has created a soft leadership core for my concept.
He has given credible tip to soft leadership. I was so much to Dave Ulrich. I have various research papers and published in the Emerald slate series, Emerald Generals, and Leader to Leader publish my research papers, but then I have many books on soft leadership. The soft leadership is all about leading people with the soft skills and focusing on people’s skills without compromising task for English. Soft leadership is more or less like a partnership. That means there is no boss or subordinate. People don’t do average issues due to bad bosses, because bad bosses was not comfortable to the people especially the Millennials. I partner soft leadership and it’s doing good. I’m sure it will work out not only for our relation so that we know our equality. We are all equal. We are partners. The mindset has changed globally with Millennials.
Let me interrupt you to ask an important question here because I want the audience to understand. I love that you’re using the word partnership and it’s still in line with Heartrepreneur. It’s an important question for the audience. What is the difference in your words between leadership and management?
Management is doing things right and leadership is doing the right piece. That’s the whole definition. That differentiates managers and leaders. Managers are visionaries whereas leaders are missionaries. There’s no way to go. Leaders are like directors and managers are like actors. The director can tell actors to act that’s why they are known as leaders.
In my view when I wrote Stop Managing, Start Coaching, I was talking in that book about management in my view dead because you can’t manage people. You can manage people’s behaviors but you cannot manage people. I’m with you on it is about leaders. It is about the soft skills. I do want to make sure that we cover, where can people get your books? I want to talk about See The Light In You. First, where can people get your books?
My books are available on Amazon. If you can Google my name as Professor M.S. Rao, they can find my Amazon link. There are five books mentioned so they can buy the books. My books are also in Amazon India as well as Amazon.com. My books are available both in India as well as in Amazon. If anybody wants to buy my books, they can Google my name Professor M.S. Rao at Amazon. They can find the link of all the books that are there.
Tell me about See The Light In You. Tell the readers about that book because that is one of your many books that’s award-winning. The folks reading will resonate with it.
I have written books in various areas like experience, management, coaching, leadership, education. For the last few years, I started thinking to write books on mindfulness. I started doing research, and because of the technology, people are getting lonely, anxiety, and depression. There’s need for mindfulness across the world. Especially for COVID-19, there’s more emphasis on mindfulness. I started focusing on mindfulness so I wrote a book, See The Light In You.
Let me speak to that as well. I want the audience to take this time, pause and breathe for a moment. You may be thinking what does that have to do with leadership? What does it have to do with Heartrepreneur? What does it have to do with marketing? What does it have to do with business? I always tell my client family members, everything starts with you being present and you being in the moment. That for me is mindfulness. It’s so interesting when a new client family member comes to Heartrepreneur. They want to get more leads, sales, revenue and profits. I say, “I’m not going to give you those strategies and tactics yet. First, we’re going to get you mindful and in the present moment.” I want to say for the audience, this is totally aligned with the Heartrepreneur philosophy.We can’t get back to the past, nor can we predict the future. All we can do is to live fully in the present. Click To Tweet
What you said is right. I was going to say, mindfulness is all about living in the present. We can’t neglect the past. Everyone has some stories. Let me add one more thing. I read your autobiography. I also want to write a book on biography. Maybe after a few years, I’ll write my autobiography. Everyone had challenges. Coming back to this mindfulness, mindfulness is our network, not too much about the future because we don’t know what happens. We can’t change the unpleasant past.
We should learn to live in the present. This mindfulness is all about living in the present without bothering about your future unnecessarily, and without thinking about unpleasant past. That can’t be changed. Coming to this mindfulness, in every book, I have given a message. In this book, what message I have given is health first, education second, and mental third. These are the priorities I have given. That is we have to care for our health. If you’re healthy, you’ll be able to focus your energies in education, and once you have good education, you can think better.
This is the slogan I have created from this book. This book talks about various aspects of mindfulness, how to be mindful, how work on depression and anxiety, how to stop suicides, and then how to obtain healthy mind. My mind bombards with too many ideas at a time. What I’ll do is I take notes of the ideas that’s in my mind and write them down. I then start focusing on my work because our mind is mighty. We are bombarded with too many things. It talks about healthy mind. It talks about various aspects of mindfulness so that people can be a leader. It talks about yoga, health and education.
For the audience, Professor Rao talked about my book which is an autobiography About To Break: The Path To True Forgiveness. Interestingly enough, we’re similar. I talk a lot about the monkey mind and turbocharge your business. I want people to understand and breathe this in, we cannot go back to the past. It’s a fact. We also don’t know what’s going to happen in the next five seconds, nevermind the next five years. If you want to live your life fully and enjoy each moment, for example, right here, hopefully, you’re not multitasking while you’re reading.
You’re doing what we’re doing. We’re fully present in this moment. I’m not thinking about my next show, my next appointment, the last show, the last appointment. I am here fully with Professor Rao and deeply tuning in. I’m listening and I’m getting all the gifts from this interview. I want to make sure that people know also how to connect with you. His books are on Amazon. Trust me when you Google his name, Professor M.S. Rao, you’re going to find a ton of books with so much value. Where’s the best place for people to connect with you and to find out more?
The same story. If they will Google my name, Professor M.S. Rao, they can find a lot of free articles, free knowledge that I share with people across the world. I have a blog, Vision 2030: One Million Global Leaders. I’m on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channel. I upload videos regularly. If they Google my name, they can find me on many pages. I have many pages on Google.
For the audiences as I conclude, his articles, his blog posts, his books, when I tell you they’re valuable, every one of us, no matter what we do in life needs leadership skills even in your own personal life and in your family. We all can learn and breathe in more mindfulness. First, I want to say thank you. It has been a privilege and an honor to finally make a video connection with you. I’m so happy to have you here as a guest. For the audience, I want you to think about what are the top 2 or 3 takeaways. Every time that you listen to whether it be a podcast or watching a TV show, what you can ask yourself is, what do I do now? What do I do with this information?
I recommend that you Google the professor. I recommend that you read a couple of his books. You’d be addicted. You’ll want more. Here’s the other piece. This show is not here to be shelf help. What do I mean by shelf help? We listen, we watch, we read, we go, “That was nice,” then we put it behind us on the shelf. We’re here to truly make a difference. A lot of people use the word transformation. We’re here to help you and to make that transformation. That requires you not just to listen, it requires you to leave and say what did I learn? What can I use? I recommend that you read this again and absorb the information.
Finally, the biggest thing that we’ve heard in a survey that we ran at Heartrepreneur is that many businesses are having difficulty getting qualified prospects. Professor Rao talked at the beginning about connections. He and I connected. I joyfully wrote a foreword for his book. I connected him with a publisher. Everything is about connections. If you want more qualified prospects, I call it a conveyor belt. Every day at Heartrepreneur, we have an average of nine people asking for help. That’s what we’re here to do.
If you want to learn how to do that, we put together for free a series of video trainings to teach you step-by-step how we do it. That is over at TheUltimateBusinessGrowthSystem.com. I want to thank you for reading and we will see you next time. Please share the show. If you happen to be watching or listening to the show on Apple then please give us a five-star rating and a review. That makes all the difference. We couldn’t do the show without you. We’ll see you next time.
- MSR Leadership Consultants – Facebook
- See The Light In You
- Professor Rao – LinkedIn
- Stop Managing, Start Coaching
- About To Break: The Path To True Forgiveness
- Vision 2030: One Million Global Leaders
- LinkedIn – Professor Rao
- Twitter – Professor Rao
- Instagram – Professor Rao
- YouTube – Professor Rao
- Apple – Heartrepreneur Radio
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