Recipe to Build a Strong Successful Team

Recipe to Build a Strong Successful Team

Abstract: Team building is like making a cake. It requires the right ingredients in the right proportions. The tradeoff between people-centric and task-focused skills is needed to bake the perfect, successful team.

Too much of people-concern could jeopardize the project’s success; too much of project pressures could lead to costly re-work. The cake should bake to a golden brown; not too light and not too black. Here is the recipe for project success through good team management.

  1. Skills
    Take lots and lots of people skills: understanding, patience, listening, and compassion.
    Refer to the articles Top 10 Qualities of Great Team Leaders” and
    The Top 10 Steps to Create Winning Teams.
  1. Individuals
    Add in the interested, talented individuals. Refer to the article 10 Traits of a Good Team Member. Mix it well. Keep aside for a week.
  1. Plan
    Take up a business project. Involve the people in defining the nitty-gritty details of the timeline plan for the project. Finalize the first Plan.
  1. Anticipate Risks
    Throw in the risk elements, the expected uncertainties, and the contingency plan to mitigate or avoid these. Refer to the article Risk Management Reduces Project Fires. Add these ingredients to the Plan. Keep aside for a week.
  2. Estimate Right Fit
    Now, after a weeks’ time, take a fresh look at the team members and the Plan. Have they jelled well? If yes, continue making the Team-Project Cake; else make the necessary replacements and change the ingredients for more suitable ones.
  3. Evaluate
    Mix well the skills and the people. Is the mixture palatable? Aggressive enough for the market conditions in which the project is to live? Is the team humane enough to withstand pressures with understanding and fun-filled excitement? Can they meet unexpected obstacles with determination and persistence? Do they have the ability and intelligence, the art and the science to plan and re-plan their project and personal Plans?
  1. Execute & Analyse
    Now just allow the mixture to execute the project. Place it in the oven of business life. Bake well till tender and light brown.
    (a) Analyse the Team culture Take the cake out when the project is over. How does the finished product look? Did the members work as a team? If yes, add the icing and yellow decorative roses depicting friendliness amongst the team members. Encourage and spread the word about the exemplary working conditions to be emulated within the rest of the company.
    (b) Analyse the Customer Delight The next test: was the product and project completed as per the customer’s specifications and expectations? Refer to the articles 5 Steps to Better Manage Your Customers’ Expectations” and 5 Steps to Delight Your Customers “. Has the customer requested a repeat project? Did the customer already sign up for his next project(s)? If yes, add the red roses to the icing on the cake. Encourage and spread the word about the exemplary customer relationship building the team has achieved. Give them their promotions, monetary rewards, and awards. Recognize customer orientation in the team.
  2. Repeat Success
    Keep this recipe safely. Takedown the tips, lessons, and techniques that the team has adopted to h receive the yellow roses of a friendly atmosphere and the red roses for customer satisfaction and delight. Repeat these tips, lessons, and techniques of successful team building in the next cake that you bake.


[1] Naseem Mariam, Article “Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader”
[2] Naseem Mariam, Article “The Top 10 Steps to Create Winning Teams
[3] Naseem Mariam, Article “10 Traits of a Good Team Member
[4] Naseem Mariam, Article “Risk Management Reduces Project Fires”
[5] Naseem Mariam, Article “5 Steps to Better Manage Your Customers’ Expectations”
[6] Naseem Mariam, Article “5 Steps to Delight Your Customers “

About the Author: Dr. Naseem Mariam Ph.D. (Acu) heals people using Alternative therapies for over 10 years now. Earlier, she has worked for 24 years as a Senior Software Manager in Wipro and Aricent Technologies in the design and testing of applications and systems, managing large projects for customers worldwide.  During 2001–2003, she wrote many articles on self-development, personal health, project management, and customer satisfaction. Revisiting that treasure trove and republishing those articles. She has authored an eBook called “Project Serenity – How to gain happiness and peace” and 3 books on Lifestyle and Wellness: “Serene Wellness: Daily Practise in 7 Areas”, “Belly Loss Blueprint: Come N.E.A.R. Vibrant Health” with its companion “Belly Loss Habits: Workbook to Vibrant Health”.



Opposites Complement for Business Success

Opposites Complement for Business Success

Abstract: Opposites attract – they sure do. In the business world, we must mix management styles and personality types of leaders for stability and solid success of an organization. Let’s see a few examples in actual life.

We have often heard romantic tales of romances where the tall, dark, handsome boy meets a pale, fair-complexioned girl and they fall in love with each other. After a lot of obstacles, fighting, and misunderstandings, they finally realize that they love each other and live happily ever after. This happens both in novels and also in actual life.

Now let’s leave the mushy world of romance behind and walk over to the hard reality of business life. Do opposites attract here also? And is the outcome positive when the alchemy works? You got it wrong – here I am not talking of boy meets girl.

In the business world, we need to marry management styles and personalities. The aim is to achieve faster, better decision-making, risk-taking, and business growth. When the Board of a company is filled with like-minded people, there is not much creativity, no originality, and therefore not much room for spectacular successes!

It is when complements come together in the Board Room we see the sparks of genius fly and companies reach up to the stars. These differing personalities respect one another … mostly because they realize they depend on one another’s psychological strengths and weaknesses to attract success.

Let us take the example of two managers, Larry and Kit. Larry was slow of speech. He had a tremendous memory and would remember all the details of the statistics, the reports, and emails that he had received even a year back. When asked for a decision he would take his time, evaluate all the various bits and pieces of evidence he had with respect to the issue on hand … and then he would give his opinion.

Kit, on the other hand, was very dynamic, very aggressive, and fast in making decisions. He depended on his decisions on how the issue had been presented to him, what he knew of the issue and what he felt with his heart.

Now place both Kit and Larry in the same Board Room to make the crucial decisions about a company. The discussion was about the design of the latest version of the motherboard for a switch. How much memory should it have?

The software team as usual wanted an enormous amount of memory and faster speeds. Was it possible to provide it in the hardware? Kit did some fast calculations and said Yes; hardware could provide the desired speeds.

Then Larry slowly nudged Kit, told him a few statistics, and after consulting with each other both Kit and Larry came up with the decision that only 70% of the speed requested could be provided because of reasons a, b and c. The software team was asked to revise their design to make do with the new hardware specifications.

One other day when one team wanted a quick decision and Larry was pondering about it, Kit walked in. Kit gave a few leads and triggered off the links in Larry’s mind, and together they could decide immediately.

This marriage of logical thought and empathetic heartfelt manner of deciding gave the company a very good balanced management. The impulsive, on-the-spot decision making, risk-taking attitude of Kit could achieve outstanding success when it was combined with the logical thinking and slow deliberations of Larry.

Take the case of Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Here too we have a case of opposites complementing each other, and the rest is history with the successful sustenance of Microsoft during its formative days.


[1] Naseem Mariam, Article “Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader

About the Author: Dr. Naseem Mariam Ph.D. (Acu) heals people using Alternative therapies for over 10 years now. Earlier, she has worked for 24 years as a Senior Software Manager in Wipro and Aricent Technologies in the design and testing of applications and systems, managing large projects for customers worldwide.  During 2001–2003, she wrote many articles on self-development, personal health, project management, and customer satisfaction. Revisiting that treasure trove and republishing those articles. She has authored an eBook called “Project Serenity – How to gain happiness and peace” and 3 books on Lifestyle and Wellness: “Serene Wellness: Daily Practise in 7 Areas”, “Belly Loss Blueprint: Come N.E.A.R. Vibrant Health” with its companion “Belly Loss Habits: Workbook to Vibrant Health”.

10 Traits of A Good Team Member

10 Traits of A Good Team Member

Abstract: What ATTRIBUTES do you look for in a team member? What is the mix of attributes, traits, skills, and talents that you should gather into your team?

Here are 10 traits to look out for:


Business projects require professional skills. If it is a shorter project (3 months) you should have a lot of tasks oriented, good technical experts on board; however, if the project team is large (over 8), the duration greater than 6 months, then having a few SOCIAL oriented people on board would reduce the interpersonal- communications strain from the project team.


Effective interpersonal communication is vital to the smooth functioning of any task team. COMMUNICATION skills — listening, written and oral, telephone, email — are an absolute must for each member. CONFLICT handling, negotiating skills are an added advantage. You need to know that each team member trusts, supports, and has a genuine concern for other team members.


You want a team member who shares his knowledge and expertise FREELY with team members — shares openly, with honesty and integrity with others regarding personal feelings, opinions, thoughts, and perceptions about problems and conditions. You also want to make sure team members do not engage in one-upmanship. A perfect team member gives of his time, energy, and heart to own and SOLVE the problems that arise during the project.


Your aim is a team member who has an aura of AUTHORITY around him — who gains the respect of every team member, and who respects his boss, the Top Management of the organization, and the customers’ managers. A good team member consoles and reasons with other team members and RESOLVES complaints of other team members with patience, understanding, and empathy. Each person needs to understand and is be committed to team objectives.


A desirable team member is polite to everyone, including the customers. He or she has real CONCERN and thinks of both short-term and long-term benefits from a customer’s viewpoint. Good team members negotiate well with the customer and the company’s top management to ensure less stress and strain for the team.

  1. SELF-RELIANT, HAPPY, POSITIVE PERSONYou want a team member COMFORTABLE with himself — who respects himself and will not become a sycophant (insincere compliment giver, trying to get into boss’ good books insincerely). Good team members are positively charged, full of ENTHUSIASM, and love for their work. They put in an honest day’s work and are willing to cheerfully put in a few extra hours whenever the need arises.

A valuable team member encourages feedback on his or her own behavior — then takes the CORRECTIVE and PREVENTIVE actions to ensure harmony, peace, and a joyful environment for project execution.


He has a finger on the pulse of the teams’ feelings and concerns — he helps to fix the conflicts, NEGOTIATES between conflicting parties, and negotiates a win/win ending. This type of team member is aware of what goes on around him, can sense danger, and steer the team members onto happy solutions faster.


You want a reliable, DEPENDABLE person who always keeps his promises and commitments. You need someone who informs both the customer and the boss well in advance when things go wrong — who DISCUSSES the issues and concerns and sets new commitments.


Whatever excellent qualities a person may possess, they are of no use to him or to anyone else when he does not have the integrity of character. Integrity is being true to ONESELF; honesty is being true to OTHERS. He should be trustworthy and trust others with his eyes open. He can evaluate phonies and insincere people a mile away.


Also, view this article at Silicon India Blogs

 About the Author: Dr. Naseem Mariam Ph.D. (Acu) heals people using Alternative therapies for over 10 years now. Earlier, she has worked for 24 years as a Senior Software Manager in Wipro and Aricent Technologies in the design and testing of applications and systems, managing large projects for customers worldwide.  During 2001 – 2003, she wrote many articles on self-development, personal health, project management, and customer satisfaction. Revisiting that treasure trove and republishing those articles. She has authored an ebook called “Project Serenity – How to gain happiness and peace” and 3 books on Lifestyle and Wellness: “Serene Wellness: Daily Practise in 7 Areas”, “Belly Loss Blueprint: Come N.E.A.R. Vibrant Health” with its companion “Belly Loss Habits: Workbook to Vibrant Health”.

Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader

Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader

Abstract: A team is as great as its leader. Leaders must guide and inspire effectively, efficiently, effortlessly. Here are the Top 10 Qualities of Outstanding Leaders.

Outstanding Leaders, Great Teachers and Inspiring Parents possess the following 10 Qualities. They guide, mentor and inspire their wards effectively, efficiently, effortlessly and with effervescence. There is a lot of goodwill, confidence, enjoyment, happiness, peace and productivity around these outstanding people.

Here are the Top 10 Qualities of Outstanding Leaders:

  1. Has Personal Integrity Deals Honestly and Gains Trust
    The glue that holds all relationships together including the relationship between the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity.” ~ Brian Tracy. “Faith in the ability of a leader is of slight service unless it be united with faith in his justice.” ~ George W. Goethals.Honest dealings, predictable reactions, well-controlled emotions, absence of tantrums and emotional blackmails, respect for others all these characteristics help a manager gain the trust of his people. He then becomes the leader of his team.What is the use of conquering the entire world if you have lost your soul? A person without personal integrity cannot predict his own reactions to various situations. Build success from within yourself.

2. Has A Clear Long Vision; Executes 1st Things First; Inspires Others to Action
The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision.” ~ Theodore Hesburgh “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” ~ Jack Welch. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams.

A great leader can visualize the future, to imagine himself already having accomplished his goals and going on to the next set of goals. The further a person can see into the future, the greater his leadership abilities.

The leader directs his actions and that of his team towards the visualized future. The great leader has both vision and discipline to work towards achieving his vision.

Freedom to be your best means nothing unless you’re willing to do your best.” ~ Colin Powell. “Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.~ Mahatma Gandhi. “Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. Don’t fall victim to what I call the Ready Aim Aim Aim Syndrome. You must be willing to fire.” ~ T. Boone Pickens.

The key is to ACT … and to inspire others to action.

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” ~ Stephen Covey,

Being a mere dreamer will not get results. It is only when the leader disciplines himself and his team to take action with patience and perseverance that sweet fruits can be achieved.

3. Is Positive Enthusiastic Committed; Has Focus-ability.
“The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale.

Having gained the team’s trust, the manager needs to keep them motivated, enthusiastic about the task on hand. The best way that he can do this is by example. Therefore, a manager should be positive and enthusiastic if he wants to become a great leader.

“If you try to catch two hares, you will get none.” ~ Proverb

A great leader knows to focus on the right activities. He communicates, educates, and teaches his group members to focus on the important things. Sometimes he directly tells them what to focus on; at other times he gently leads them towards the right activities.

4. Is Solution-oriented
Creative; Makes Top Management Efficient; Empowers Others
“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” ~ Henry Ford “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” ~ Colin Powell.

The great leader admits his handles any problem in this manner: He is always innovative & creative in his thinking, encourages and fosters creativity in others, teaches his team to be bold, and take calculated risks.

A great leader focuses on searching for and discussing solutions and does not harp on the reasons for the problem. This solution-oriented thinking results in a feeling of abundance and plenty from which the great leader operates.

This attitude empowers others to think positively and discuss their suggestions a participatory decision-making environment prevails where people are not blamed; nor are victims or scapegoats slaughtered.

Together the team compiles a list of possible solutions. Next, they brainstorm the pros and cons of each suggestion and narrow the list to the 3 most attractive solutions. The top 3 list, along with the pros and cons, will help Top Management to make better decisions faster.

Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens, people feel centred and that gives their work meaning.” ~ Warren Bennis “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Anonymous. “It’s not empowerment that’s magic, it’s accountability. Give people responsibility and the resource to get something done. Let them understand that they will be held accountable for it, that you are expecting those results, and that they are going to share in the success. Then watch what happens.” ~ Brian Tracy “ Start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” ~ Ralph Nader.

5. Is A Catalyst; Creates Pygmalion Effect; Fosters Self-Motivation
“I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.” ~ Stephen R. Covey. “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.” ~ Johan Goethe “Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens, people feel centred and that gives their work meaning.” ~ Warren Bennis.

Read the Pygmalion effect live case studies to see this aspect of a teacher’s influence in action. Refer The leader – team member relationship is discussed at .

The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.” ~ Walter Lippmann “The ultimate leader is one who is willing to develop people to the point that they eventually surpass him or her in knowledge and ability.” ~ Fred A. Manske, Jr.

People love to achieve more than they thought they were capable of. Going through this process of overreaching himself (while in the presence of his leader) just once in his lifetime is very often sufficient to ensure that the staff member acquires the habit of driving himself to greater heights. This leads to self-motivation, removes the dependence on the leader and feeds back into the cycle of excellent performance.

Thus “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

6. Strives for Excellence Always; Is a Transparent Influence
“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go but ought to be.” ~ Charles A. Cerami “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” ~ Dwight D Eisenhower “As for the best leader, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honour and praise. The next, the people fear, and the next, the people hate.” ~ Lao Tzu.

A great leader exhibits excellence in his activities and expects only the best of outputs from others. He will not tolerate slipshod work, negligence, and oversight. He will create an environment where lack of knowledge is bridged through training, mentoring or coaching. Once this is done, he will not tolerate incompetence and carelessness.

You may have noticed attributes 4, 5 and 6 are three phases in the maturing of the leader and his team members. At first in step 4 the manager creates a participatory environment and empowers subordinates, peers and superiors alike. In Step 5, the leader is a catalyst helping to speed up the process of progress and success. Finally, in Step 6, the leader goes completely into the background and his presence is not noticed except as a feeling of security and existence of a safety net.

7. Is a Good Communicator; A Great Negotiator; Nurtures Relationships
“Knowing when to keep your mouth shut is invariably more important than opening it at the right time.” ~ Malcolm Forbes “One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears by listening to them.” ~ Dean Rusk “The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.” ~ Warren Bennis “Skill in the art of communication is crucial to a leader’s success. He can accomplish nothing unless he can communicate effectively.” ~ Norman Allen “Outstanding leaders go out of the way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” ~ Sam Walton “Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.” ~ Thomas J. Peters “Learn to help people with more than just their jobs; help them with their lives.” ~ Jim Rohn.

8. Is Kind-hearted, Generous and Giving; Serves Others
“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolutions.” ~ Cahill Libran “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” ~ Arnold H. Glasgow.

“When you get right down to it, one of the most important tasks of a leader is to eliminate his people’s excuse for failure” ~ Robert Townsend “Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.” ~ J. Donald Walters “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith “True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leaders.” ~ Robert Townsend.

“You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too.” ~ Sam Rayburn “All veterans know that leadership, at its best, is never autocratic, abusive, or arbitrary. Rather, it relies on commitment, communication, and character.” ~ Robert A. Lutz.

“We will receive not what we idly wish for but what we justly earn. Our rewards will always be in exact proportion to our service.” ~ Earl Nightingale.

9. Balances Confidence with Caution; Adapts Management Styles for War & Peace

“Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” ~ Winston Churchill.

A great leader can balance confidence in his abilities & that of his team with the fuzzy information available to him. He can take good decisions in a timely manner, adapting his decisions according to the level of information available about the project, i.e. Project Clarity (High/Low) and Skills of the Team (High / Low).

Decision: Accept or Reject Task Based on Team Skills vs. Task Clarity

With High Skills and High Clarity, the leader says, “Our plan is on target. I have every confidence that we are on the right track” and accepts the task.

With High Skills and Low Clarity, the leader says, “We have never done this before, there are areas to research as we proceed … but together we can get through it. There may be changes in project scope and/or schedules which can be re-negotiated as and when required”. The team then estimates the margins for error and accepts the task. He is transparent with the customer and with his team.

With Low Skills and High Clarity, the leader says, “I know what to do. But the team does not. We will extra time to train the team members. This can work if we get cooperation from the client and the team members,” and he may decide either to take up or drop the task.

With Low Skills and Low Clarity, the leader says, “This is a high-risk task. It is better not to accept it” and drops the task.

“A leader or a man of action in a crisis almost always acts subconsciously and then thinks of the reasons for his action.” ~ Jawaharlal Nehru “The ability to find meaning and strength in adversity distinguishes leaders from non-leaders. When terrible things happen, less able people feel singled out and powerless. Leaders find purpose and resolve.” ~ Warren Bennis.

The needs of War & adverse business situations require a management style very different from that required during times of peace & prosperity.

During adversity, the leader should feel the pulse more often, make and break decisions frequently; manage the resultant change and turmoil; take a more active part in operations; remain optimistic and resilient; combine the capability to adapt to change with the ability to size up situations and people in ways that help them make good choices and avoid pitfalls.

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” ~ Thomas Jefferson.

In a stable environment, an outstanding leader should
(a) have all the answers yet be willing to empower people
(b) be in charge yet delegate effectively
(c) set clear directions and guidelines
(d) then get out of the way to allow subordinates and peers to manage the operations
(d) develop strategic plans that remain valid over a longer time.

  1. Rejuvenates Self; Sharpens his axe; Transforms his Strengths into Talent
    “To have the sense of one’s intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything.” ~ Joan Didion “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” ~ Goethe “To know yourself is the first and most important step to pursuing your dreams and goals.” ~ Stedman Graham” Act as if you were already the person you want most to be.” ~ Brian Tracy “Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dare to believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.” ~ Bruce Barton. “Make continuous learning and growth a part of your daily routine.” ~ Brian Tracy” The leader who exercises power with honour will work from the inside out, starting with himself.” ~ Blaine Lee “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” ~ Lou Holtz “Take time to sharpen your axe.” ~ Stephen Covey


[1] Naseem Mariam,  “10 Traits of a Good Team Member

[2] Naseem Mariam, Article “10 Steps to Create Winning Teams … Out of Self-Centred Individuals

Also, view this article at Silicon India Blogs 

 About the Author: Dr. Naseem Mariam Ph.D. (Acu) heals people using Alternative therapies for over 10 years now. Earlier, she has worked for 24 years as a Senior Software Manager in Wipro and Aricent Technologies in design and testing of applications and systems, managing large projects for customers worldwide.  During 2001 – 2003, she wrote many articles on self-development, personal health, project management, and customer satisfaction. Revisiting that treasure trove and republishing those articles. She has authored an eBook called “Project Serenity – How to gain happiness and peace” and 3 books on Lifestyle and Wellness: “Serene Wellness: Daily Practise in 7 Areas”, “Belly Loss Blueprint: Come N.E.A.R. Vibrant Health” with its companion “Belly Loss Habits: Workbook to Vibrant Health”.

10 Steps to Create Winning Teams

     10 Steps to Create Winning Teams
Out of Ordinary, Self-Centered Individuals

ABSTRACT: In any business, Prosperity and Success results from Teamwork and Synergy. Often, we come across a set of brilliant individuals and wish that we could make them work together for the greater good of the entire organization. Here are the ingredients of the gel that bring self-centered Individuals together to form Winning Teams.

1. Foster harmony & trust (belong)

For individuals to work as a team, there should be an environment of trust and harmony. Individuals should feel that we would treat them with fairness and care. They must trust each other and their manager to make decisions that will benefit them. A good manager can bring diverse individuals together and within a few days get them working together with mutual respect, trust, and love.

For a few ideas on how to achieve this, read “Project Serenity – How to gain happiness and peace“. In this book, Michelle is a manager who diffuses trust and peace among her team members.

2. Identify common purpose (bond)

Team members and Management should have clarity on the common purpose of the project and the reason why the individuals are being brought together. Here we should not stop with identifying the goal of the project. We should arrive at the importance of the project to the business goals of the organization.

What is the purpose of this individual project? What effect does success/failure have for the customer, for our organization, for the individuals in the team? How does this project fit into the big picture of the mission, vision of the organization?

3. Plan, monitor & track the activities (plan)

Each project has certain activities that must be finished within a schedule. These should be planned well. Discuss with the team the estimated effort for each activity and ensure that the person assigned the activity is committed to completing it as well within the schedule. We should take care of Risk Management with preventive and contingency plans.

As a manager, think of the performance management of each individual and throw in some buffer when the going is complex. Communicate the plan to your Management and to the customer and get the support from all the stakeholders. Well begun is half done.

The other half is the tough part: monitor and track the activities of the project, re-plan and re-schedule whenever necessary. When schedule pressure tries to squeeze the sense
and fun out of the team’s lives, be sure to be around with a helping hand and lots of understanding care and sympathy.

Tempers may flare, and poor decisions may be made on the pressure of the moment. Be always aware and alert to what is going on. Stimulate corrective action through group discussions, mentoring, and counseling.

4. Assign clear responsibilities (roles)

A clear definition of what is expected of each individual in the team. What are the roles that this team needs to have and who will perform the various functions of each role? This has to be clear and well defined. Once this is done each one knows what he should contribute towards the success of the team.

5. Delegate decision-making (delegate)

With the plan and roles clear, the team just has to get on with the act. As the project progresses, there will be multiple places where they have to decide on how to proceed, how to handle unexpected contingencies. Give them the freedom to decide about the technical and customer-service related aspects of the project.

They should consult or discuss things with you, but as a manager, the best help you can give them is to ask questions and lead them to arrive at the answer and solution themselves. Encourage them to make team decisions and then keep them.

6. Improve the individuals (self)

Throughout our school and college days, we have been taught to be aggressive and plan for our advancement and progress as individuals. The industry expects us to work in teams, but our inner self always asks, “What’s in it for me?”

As a manager, we should ensure that every individual grows and acquires new skills and new technical expertise and exposure. This new learning should be consciously planned as a by-product of the project activities. This happiness at learning and growing will encourage the individuals to give their best to the project activities.

7. Hold regular meetings & outings (communicate)

Lack of proper communication is quoted as the major reason for project and business failures. Creating an excellent workable plan is just half the story: keeping the entire team aware of the twists and turns in the project is the other half. Having delegated decision-making to the individuals, you as a manager should now provide them the mechanisms to discuss their problems, consult with the rest of the team, and arrive at consensus decisions.

For this, we require regular meetings & discussions. There is a world outside of the project also: therefore, the team members should be encouraged to go for picnics and outings together. Do include the support staff in these outings, since that is the next point for a winning team.

8. Ensure support from others (external)

For a project to be successful in an organization, there are external and team members, whose help and support is required at the right times. For projects, infrastructure like machines, equipment, and software is provided, installed, and maintained by the Systems Administration Group. Marketing and Engineering teams should work together to ensure Customer Satisfaction and Delight. Then we may need external peers to review our work products. Thus, we need the support of our projects’ internal and external customers.

Internal customers are the top Management with whom we have a give and take relationship: we give them successful projects and they give us the resources to succeed. An external customer is a client or an actual customer for whom the software is being created. The project manager must guide the team members to maintain good healthy relationships with these agencies external to the team.

9. Have escalation points (back-up strategy)

Murphy’s Law states: If anything can go wrong, it will. We made contingency plans as part of the planning process. Now we need to create escape routes through which we can salvage the project when disaster strikes.

Who are the people whom we can contact to take the tough decisions like how much of the project and customer relationship we should salvage when the going gets disastrous? In the normal course, we may not need to request the help of our escalation points, but identify them upfront before the emergency situations arise.

10. Give Rewards, awards, and promotions (encourage)

The best way to encourage and create winning teams is to have rewards, awards, and promotions that emphasize the importance of teamwork. Define the criteria for winning teams and then select the best team of the organization periodically and give each individual in the team an award. Only what we recognize and praise exists and flourishes. By encouraging good teamwork, you encourage the formation of winning teams.

Follow these 10 Tips to turn any set of individuals into a winning team: whether it is in a sports team or a business project team. In today’s world, the ability to make winning teams and throw in the gel of teamwork into a group of individuals is a much-needed skill.

Keep in mind the above 10 steps each of which helps in creating and keeping a winning team together.

Ten Teamwork Quotes
1. What do you really believe makes a difference in the company? For me, it’s really clear. It’s about customers and employees. Everything else follows. If you take care of your customers and you have motivated employees, everything else follows. ~ Anne Mulcahy, CEO Xerox Corp.
2. The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side. ~ Margaret Carty.
3. Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success. ~ Henry Ford.
4. Most teams aren’t teams at all, but merely collections of individual relationships with the boss. Each individual vying with others for power, prestige, and position. ~ Douglas Murray McGregor.
5. We have always found that people are most productive in small teams with tight budgets, timelines, and the freedom to solve their own problems. ~ John Rollwagen.
6. When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing. ~ Bo Schembechler.
7. The key elements in the art of working together are how to deal with change, how to deal with conflict, and how to reach our potential … the needs of the team are best met when we meet the needs of individual persons. ~ Max DePree.
8. Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. ~ Anonymous.
9. None of us is as smart as all of us. ~ Ken Blanchard.
10. The strength of the team is each individual member … the strength of each member is the team. ~ Coach Phil Jackson

Related Reading
a. Naseem Mariam, eBook “Project Serenity: How to gain happiness and peace”
b. Naseem Mariam, “Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader
c. Naseem Mariam, “10 Traits of a Good Team Member
d. Naseem Mariam, “How to Align Your Goals for Success”
e. Naseem Mariam, “Nested Plans: 6 levels of Planning

About the Author: Dr. Naseem Mariam Ph.D. (Acu) heals people using Alternative therapies for over 10 years. Earlier, she has worked for 24 years as a Senior Software Manager in Wipro and Aricent Technologies in the design and testing of applications and systems, managing large projects for customers worldwide.  During 2001 – 2003, she wrote many articles on self-development, personal health, project management, and customer satisfaction. Revisiting that treasure trove and republishing those articles. She has authored an ebook called “Project Serenity: How to gain happiness and peace” and 3 books on Lifestyle and Wellness: “Serene Wellness: Daily Practise in 7 Areas”, “Belly Loss Blueprint: Come N.E.A.R. Vibrant Health” with its companion “Belly Loss Habits: Workbook to Vibrant Health”.

Extra Income as Health and Beauty Icons

Health and Wellness is an evergreen niche. Many people need the services of health care professionals. Work from home, flexible hours at a career in alternative therapies like Acupuncture. Also, earn extra passive income through Affiliate marketing of Health and Beauty products

Niche Selection

IKIGAI: Intersection of 4 Questions:
What you are good at (Your Talent & Skills),
What you Love (Your Passion),
What the world needs, and
What people will pay for

Ikigai to select Niche

Ikigai way to identify your niche and micro-niche

  1. What I am GOOD AT
    Trainer: Skills and certifications help me be a trainer: Soft skills, Experiential Learning through Games, certified Master Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), Pranic Healing Teacher, certified SuJok Trainer, Director of Acupuncture and Alternative Medicine Academy
    Healing: 10+ years’ experience in Acupuncture, SuJok, Hijama
    Affiliated to All Tamil Nadu Acupuncture and Alternative Medicine Association (ATAMA),
    Indian Academy of Acupuncture Sciences (IAAS), International SuJok Association (ISA), and
    International Cupping Association (ICA).
  2. What I LOVE
    Healing people, counseling and coaching them to better health
  3. What the world NEEDS
    Natural alternative therapies and Ancient healing secrets to Vibrant Health
  4. What people will PAY for
    Solutions for any or combination of:
    Weight loss, belly fat, fatty liver, Digestive issues, heart issues,
    Breathing issues, skin problems, constipation, piles,
    Hormonal issues, fertility issues, Stones (Kidney, GB, UB),
    Urinary Incontinence, insomnia, stress, mental health issues,
    Calm mind, improve focus and attention, and many others.

1. Are you clear about your niche? My niche is clear.

2. What are the biggest challenges & fears you are facing when trying to choose your niche? (If you have already chosen your niche, please talk about how you chose your niche). *

My niche is Health & Wellness as I am an acupuncture professional and trainer. My micro niche is reducing belly fat. I have a personal success story. There are 4 daily habits that help bring Vibrant Health into a person’s life. They take a person N.E.A.R. Serene Wellness.

As they gain Vibrant Health, they can do 2 things to earn extra income working from home: Affiliate and/or network marketing of Health and Beauty products

Professional Career as an Acupuncture and Alternative Therapies Healer.

Belly Loss Blueprint and Belly Loss 5 habits Workshop fill the GAP to take the lady to her desired state of Vibrant Health and Serene Wellness. All you need to do is hold on to 5 N.E.A.R. habits. N.E.A.R. stands for Natural Nutrition, Easy Exercises, Attractive Attitude, Rejuvenating Rest using Alternative therapies and Ancient Healing Secrets of India. This is the first step towards Serene Wellness in 7 Areas.
  1. Which category will your niche fit into? *
The 7 Areas of Serene Wellness creates the holistic human being. First balance the individual level (PV,EW,SC); Then work on your relationships (RP, SC), Balancing the 2 Abundances of Time and Money.

Health [Now Serene Wellness Area 1,2 and 3]

Wealth [Later Serene Wellness Area 4 and 5]

Relationships [Later Serene Wellness Area 6 and 7]

Hobbies / Arts / Crafts [Story Telling to kids: Serene Wellness Area 6 and 7]

Entertainment [Story Telling to kids: Serene Wellness Area 6 and 7]

“Serene Wellness Daily Practise in 7 Areas” by Healer Naseem Mariam

4. What do you think about the competition in your niche? Are you afraid and worried that there are too many players? Or do you think that you can do better than them? (Try to give a detailed explanation).

Yes. There is a huge competition. I am not afraid or worried. My competition is always with myself. My results and feedback received from batch 2 must be better than batch 1 participants. I improve my game every step of the way.

My ideal customer avatar is Mrs. Seetha, aged 35-55 years married with teenage children. First demography is Chennai, then 6 major cities in India, then onto rest of the world. Social media edutainment is a great way to locate these ladies.

  1. What are some of the niche ideas you have in your mind right now? *

My niche ideas are:

Belly Loss Blueprint: Come N.E.A.R. Vibrant Health, Weight Loss Enhance Immunity and Calm, Focussed Mind

Belly Loss Blueprint – Weight Loss Book

My 2nd book “Belly Loss Blueprint: Come N.E.A.R. Vibrant Health”,
and it has a companion workbook called “Belly Loss 5-Habits Workbook”:
The 5 habits are Natural Nutrition, Easy Exercises, Attractive Attitude, Rejuvenating Rest … woven together with Alternative therapies & Ancient Healing Secrets.
#workfromhome #healthywealthywoman #vibrantHealth #ReduceBellyFat

  1. What is the No.1 Thing you want to learn from your mentor about niche selection? *

Siddharth Rajsekar, my Tribe Building Mentor, Sidz ( asked me to research 1000 questions in at least 10 sub-areas of my micro niche and create a swipe file.

To Deepak Kanagaraju (, my Internship Master, I ask how to attract my 50 to 100 ideal customers, gift them to take a survey. free 121 consultations. I could offer them free or subsidized access to my online courses for feedback.

I learn the 9 skills of Digital Marketing till I Master them in order that I may more effectively, speedily meet, build trust, and nurture my target audience.

9 Skills of Digital Marketing
  1. What tools, methods, or approaches that you have used to discover your niche (or try to discover) in the past?I am happy with my niche and sub-niche also my USP “N.E.A.R. Vibrant Health”, an undertaking of Serene Wellness Academy. (Serene Wellness defines 7 Life Areas).

Research completed till now:
queries available in answerthepublic,
Amazon search for books,
Coursera and udemy search for courses,
blog search, free pdf downloads search.

Research in Aug 2020: (sidz challenge):
swipe file & buzzwords
quora to pick up related questions;
Clickbank (inspired by the copy), for headlines,
Buzzsumo for trending content in my niche and micro-niche.

Actions to do:

(i) Build a swipe file and scrapbook,
(ii) 1000 Questions at least 10 for ten chapters,
(iii) create survey gifts include 2 questions:
“What is your biggest #1 challenge you want to learn?” or
“What prevents you from enjoying good health today?”
(iv) My Healthy Habits Evaluation Quiz is already available.
(v) For taking the survey they win free 121 for 15 minutes with me to understand their needs better
(vi) get 50 to 100 people to take the course and get amazing feedback and video testimonials: then split the video into 111 pieces of social media content as per Alyssa’s method


A. FREELANCE PROJECTS F1. In training to earn thru freelancing and execution of full-funnel projects as a team. I like content marketing and copywriting, Google My Business, WordPress 5-page website. Create transcripts in pdf and eBooks from webinar and video content.


T1. My books: “Serene Wellness: Daily Practise in 7 Areas” is a Blueprint for 7 books. Kindle or pdf version of the book as a free gift. the tripwire is 7 days online course, 7 weeks Serene Wellness Habits Workshop as Core Product. Profit Maximisers: Group weekly Masterminds, High Ticket 121 Coaching, Monthly membership community

T2. My 2nd book on Physical Health is nearing completion. “Belly Loss Blueprint: Come N.E.A.R. Vibrant Health” kindle, paperback, and audio version as Tripwire or free.

A companion workbook called “Belly Loss 5-days Habits Workbook” with 5-days online course Habits of Vibrant Health (currently ongoing as WhatsApp workshop with daily Zoom calls) and Healthy Habits Evaluation Quiz.

Belly Loss Blueprint and Habits Workbook

The core product is 3 months Habits of Vibrant Health.
Profit Maximizers: Group weekly Masterminds, High Ticket 121 Coaching,
A monthly membership community, Serene Wellness Associates (Health & Beauty Affiliates like network marketing)

Tripwire: Rs. 4999 (start and in 3 months upgrade to Rs. 14999)
Core Product: 3 months Rs. 14999 (in 6 months upgrade to Rs. 29999)
Profit Maximisers: Group weekly Mastermind Rs. 19999 for 6 months or Rs. 29999 for a year

T3. Specific daily healthy habits for the following:
Diabetes & BP, Kidney, Liver & GB Health,
Gut Health, Healthy Heart,
Hormonal Health, Fertile Families,
Age Gracefully etc.

T4. Similarly, the other areas of Serene Wellness also will have the same structure. The other 6 areas are Emo/Mental, Spiritual, Time Priority, Financial, Relationships (storytelling to inculcate values and strong beliefs), and Community Service.

T5.  PROFESSIONAL courses: Train graduates to become Acupuncture specialists (1 Lakh),
Hijama practitioners (25k) and SuJok therapists (50k).

T6. Affiliate and Network Marketing of Health & Beauty products and services identified by Masterminds in our tribe “Belly Loss Oaks & Olives” (Oaks and Olives as per Bach remedies have these character traits: Oaks are ladies who overwork physically, they are drained out yet will not rest or cannot rest. Olives are ladies who are mentally exhausted).

MY experiences in Marketing, Sales & Branding
1. Customer Support for 250 software “products” (digital products in Datacomm and Telecom area). Coordinated with Sales & Marketing teams to write project proposals and get the sale. Also was in charge of huge client-specific software projects with up to 100-member teams.

  1. As a healer handled marketing and self-promotion through seminars and lectures.
  2. After starting Digital Marketing, ran few FB Ads. Got inquiries for Acupuncture and SuJok courses. The best most fruitful experience was after lockdown.

(i) Acupuncture Ad in Tamil sent thru Instagram Ad to ladies 25-50 years, around 20kn radius of Alandur. Both times some 10+ ladies responded with health queries. I sent them the solutions thru pictures and text instructions. They followed the instructions and had good relief.

(ii) Binge marketing 2 batches of BL5HW (Belly Loss 5-days Habits Workshop) conducted. The first batch had 10 participants all free. 2nd batch had participants a few Rs. 199 others Rs. 499. Many appreciated the reading material. Early results are positive. Waiting for testimonials from them after a month or 2.


I thank God that by profession I am in a very popular and high paying niche. Learning the basics of digital marketing. Freelancing jobs will help me learn various aspects of Digital Marketing life cycles.


A. Further Reading

  1. Online Business: Simple, Easy, now (Simple Easy Now Book 1) Kindle Edition by Gaurav Gurbaxani (Author)
  2. GIG ECONOMY IN INDIA RISING: GEN X-Millennial-Z [Print Replica] Kindle Edition by AMITAVA GHOSH (Author)
  3. The Gig Is Up: Thrive in the Gig Economy. Where Old Jobs Are Obsolete and Freelancing Is the Future Kindle Edition by Olga Mizrahi (Author)
  4. The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want Kindle Edition by Diane Mulcahy (Author)

B. Read these eBooks

  1. This eBook gives you a ground reality on what it takes to successfully create an income stream apart from your day job. A Step-by-Step Guide to Earn ₹70,000/- a Month by Freelance Digital Marketing
  2. Accomplished Freelancers who make Lakhs of Rupees each month reveal their business secrets for the first time for you! Stop Working for Peanuts – Freelancer Guide eBook Bundle

C. Join these courses & community

Health & Wellness Niche Belly Loss 5-day Habits Workshop by Dr. Naseem Mariam

Get certified by Online Business Organization in various streams of Digital Marketing

The freelance community at

Online Business Mentorship by Gaurav Gurbaxani


Ladies can apply for membership to the Belly Loss Oaks & Olives FB Group. You will get free training to be an Entrepreneur and Health & Beauty Affiliate. DM Dr. Naseem Mariam with your name, cell number, city, and email id.

Stay Connected

Instagram    @naseemmacu
FB Group    Belly Loss Oaks & Olives
Twitter        @naseemmacu
Website(s): ;
YouTube    Serene Wellness Academy
Google My Biz

Keywords: work from home, Health & Beauty Ambassadors, Professional Healers, extra passive income, freelancing, GIG economy, Reduce Belly Fat, Vibrant Health, Serene Wellness



Dr. Naseem Mariam photo

Dr. Naseem Mariam PhD (Acu) loves to heal people. Her mission is to inculcate the 5 N.E.A.R. habits of Vibrant Health in her tribe. N.E.A.R. stands for Natural Nutrition, Easy Exercises, Attractive Attitude, Rejuvenating Rest using Alternative therapies, and Ancient Healing Secrets of India. This is the first step towards Serene Wellness in 7 Areas.




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