Srikumar Rao

Best-Selling Author and Expert on Management
Srikumar Rao
  • Created the innovative course, “Creativity and Personal Mastery,” the only business school course to have its own alumni association
  • Bestselling business author helping executives discover deep meaning and take quantum leaps in effectiveness
  • A contributing editor for Forbes, writing regularly on management practices, leadership, and personal mastery
  • Professor at Columbia Business School, London Business School, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

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When you wake up in the morning is your heart singing about who you are and what you do? Dr. Srikumar Rao believes that having this kind of life is achievable. He has helped thousands of executives all over the world discover deep meaning and his methods have enabled them to achieve quantum leaps in effectiveness. Graduates of Dr. Rao’s workshops have become more creative and more inspiring leaders. Above all they have developed an inner serenity, that comes from the confidence a that they will be able to appropriately handle whatever comes their way—be it a small wave or a tsunami. His students become resilient and bounce back nonchalantly from reverses that would floor most peers.

In his talks, Dr. Rao discusses achieving goals, creating a successful business environment, and how individuals can become inspiring leaders.

Worldly Wisdom. Dr. Rao created an innovative course called, “Creativity and Personal Mastery.” Students found it so overwhelmingly powerful that it remains the only business school course in the world to have its own alumni association. He developed the basic building blocks for a more successful life by learning from the world’s spiritual masters and taking world’s greatest wisdom traditions and applying them to the busy business world. He examines how most of us try to bring about profound change by an effort of will. Dr. Rao explains why this almost never works and takes the audience through a demonstration of their mental models and how they can change.

Dr. Rao has taught at Columbia Business School, London Business School, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Haas School of Management at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served as a marketing advisor to the national board of MENSA.

He Wrote The Book On Personal Success. Dr. Rao is the author of the best-selling Are You Ready to Succeed: Unconventional Strategies for Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life. His latest book Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated and Successful – No Matter What, is also a business best-seller.

He has been a contributing editor for Forbes and writes regularly on management practices, leadership, and personal mastery.

Dr. Rao was an executive with Warner Communications, Continental Group, Data Resources and McGraw-Hill. He is an expert on marketing strategy and has taught in the corporate programs of companies such as Verizon, Northrop-Grumman, Symbol Technologies and General Instruments as well as in the executive programs of London Business School, Columbia Business School and the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.

He received his PhD in Marketing from the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University. He has a degree in physics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

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TED Talk: Plug Into Your Hard Wired Happiness

Feeling Stuck? Engineer A Breakthrough: How To Achieve A Quantum Leap In Effectiveness & Inner Peace. Are you confident that, right now, you are functioning at the highest level possible for you? Have you achieved all that you are capable of? Odds are you are painfully aware that, successful as you are, you could have done more. Dr. Rao believes that in fact, greater effort actually compounds the problem and gets you spinning your wheels fruitlessly. The only way to achieve such a quantum leap is to adopt an unconventional and different worldview. You actually get more done while working less. There is less stress in your life and more joy. There is a sense of effortlessness and a feeling of exhilaration. You truly enjoy each day while accomplishing more than you ever dreamed possible.

Inspiring Leadership. Beginning from a position of gratitude, Dr. Rao helps audiences break from their “me-centered universe” to put them on a path to become inspiring leaders. His talk seeks to end a system that manipulates employees to do what is expected but instead create a system that communicates an inspiring vision that encourages others to excel for a greater cause.

Personal Success. In today’s increasingly globalized business environment, we are under more stress than ever before. Dr. Rao believes the way people work today is unsustainable. The answer? A shift in our thinking about our goals, about our activities, about where we expend our energy. His unconventional guide to personal transformation in work and life has helped thousands of executive achieve huge leaps in personal success and corporate productivity.

Change and Productivity. Dr. Rao has done pioneering work in motivation and helps senior executives become more engaged in work and discover their inner purpose as they go about their tasks. He also works with teams and groups and has been extraordinarily successful in using group dynamics to foster lasting personal change. Many who have been through his program experience exponential jumps in personal and professional productivity.

Happiness At Work. In a talk based on his best-selling book, Rao teaches audiences how to create resilience and happiness no matter what’s going on in their lives. In these tough times, there are few people who are completely happy with the current conditions. From business executives to the everyday Joe or Jane, everyone seems to be going through a rough economic and personal crunch. But Rao says that we can learn to create joy no matter what else may be going on around us. He shows audiences that it isn’t the negative thing that happens to people that causes their unhappiness; it’s how they see it. Happiness at Work is thought-provoking and moves the mind away from negativity. Rao shares insights on the vital wisdom necessary to achieving a joyful, successful life as defined through greater resilience and a strong inner core.

Stress Reduction. What most don’t realize is that there is a single root cause underlying all stress – a desire for the universe to behave in a particular way, and the universe is not cooperating. Our need for ‘control’ is not being met. It is possible, nay necessary, for us to let go of the need for control. And there are several strategies that can be used for this. Paradoxically, once we release the desire to control the outcome, the probability that we will reach the outcome we want actually increases.

Build A Network Of Deep & Long-Lasting Relationships. Suppose it were possible to set up a system whereby you did not have to build a network. Anytime you needed help, a person would appear who had precisely the knowledge and/or resources you required. There are many prerequisites, the most important being that whatever you are trying to accomplish brings material and spiritual good to a larger community. Another condition is that you learn how to let go. You have to relinquish the ego driven need to be “in control”. When you have the right mixture of passion for what you want to accomplish, detachment, and acceptance of whatever actually happens, you will be amazed at how locked doors mysteriously swing open.

How To Be Resilient. Perhaps the most important characteristic that determines whether or not a person succeeds in today’s business world is resilience – the ability to bounce back after setbacks. Competition is global and can come from anywhere. An Internet start-up like Craig’s List decimated the classified advertising business for newspapers and drove many into bankruptcy and mergers. Upstarts like Uber and AirBnB are upending long established industries like taxis and hotels. Resilience in such an environment is an essential survival skill. I go beyond that and advocate ‘extreme resilience’. In extreme resilience you recover so fast that an external observer may not even notice that you have suffered a reverse.

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