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Achieving Excellence in Work and Life. With Subir Chowdhury [Episode 556]

Subir Chowdhury, CEO of ASI Consulting Group and author of The Difference: When Good Enough Isn’t Enough, joins me on this episode.


Subir says the single biggest challenge facing sales professionals today is understanding the customer; wanting to make sales too quickly, rather than truly understanding what the customer needs are. They must listen first, then sell.

Subir tells why he wrote his 15th book, after a career of process improvement, saving companies billions of dollars. He talks about seeing some companies hit a wall, with less improvement, even though they had good processes to use.

Subir noticed excellent companies have many people who have a caring mindset. Subir lists the attributes of a caring mindset: Straightforward, Thoughtful, Accountable, Resolve.

There is a story in the book about toothpicks, and how people discard them. Subir ties the success of a process to the prevailing mindset of the people using it.

We lack confidence in the institutions that serve us, and we accept an indifferent mindset on the part of the people who serve us. It’s a leadership crisis. Subir says don’t wait for a leader. Think of a good thing you can do for someone today.

Subir explains what he means by Straightforward. Be honest in everything. Fear and pride, or ego sometimes lead to dishonesty. Subir quotes Randy Pausch, “It’s interesting the secrets you decide to reveal at the end of your life.”

Subir has a story of a CPO who used others to succeed, firing some and causing some to quit the organization. When faced with a terminal cancer, he sought advice from Subir how to earn forgiveness. Subir tells what happened next.

Be straightforward first with yourself, then with others, in a meaningful way. Subir talks about being Thoughtful. Listening requires observing first, and then understanding with empathy. Subir has a United Airlines story.

It’s very important to find your self-respect and self awareness, and what you can do for other human beings. Just do the basic things as a human being. Do little services for people. Subir recalls helping a boy looking for food in a gutter.

 Accountability is taking personal responsibility. Mother Teresa said, “Do not wait for leaders. Do it alone.” Do what you can to make things right. Trisha Prabhu, age 13, developed the ReThink app against bullying. It reduces cyberbullying by 93%.

Do your actions, as a rep, inspire others to want to do business with you? Accept responsibility, then act. Think deeply about the consequences of the choice, positive or negative. Always have high expectations for your actions.
 Resolve is the the determination and perseverance to meet challenges. Subir achieved his graduate degree with no money, after asking the chairs of 21 university departments for a fellowship. Once you have resolve, anything is achievable.