//Who made the difference in your life?

Who made the difference in your life?


Quality & Me

Subir shares his own personal efforts to work toward continuous improvement within his own community, among his friends and family.


Books by Subir

The Power of LEO
The Ice Cream Maker
The Power of Design for Six
The Power of Six Sigma
Organization 21c

Books read by Subir

I recently attended an event that included bestselling authors, and wildly successful business entrepreneurs. But this one young man stole the show for me, and helped me understand what redefining success means. Here I am with Emmanuel Kelly:

Subir Chowdhury and Emmanuel Kelly

Some of you may remember him from the TV show X Factor. Rather writing his story here, please watch this 8 minute video.

I had honor of meeting Emmanuel after his performance. When I asked him about his dream, he smiled and said that he wants to be one of the top singers in the world, and will make sure that anyone can make a difference if they want to.

In his life, his mother made a profound difference in helping him pursue his goals. When I speak to so many successful people, they can often look back on a key person whose support shaped their potential.

Bill Gates recently shared a story he had never before told anyone publicly. He cited his elementary school librarian as someone who made a profound difference in h is life. She encouraged him to read and made books feel exciting and accessible to him.

Emmanuel is an inspiration to all of us, shows us that anyone — despite where they come, their circumstances, or financial means— can achieve success. When he sang, half of the audience were in their tears listening to his life story and mesmerized by his commitment to make a difference.

I would like to end with a simple question inspired by a speech Fred Rogers, of the TV Show Mister Rogers, once gave:

“Would you just take 10 seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are.”

When the 10 seconds were up, he said this:

“Whomever you have been thinking about, how please they must be, to know the difference you feel they have made.”

That “difference” is something I am obsessed with. Thank you for being on this journey with me.


How to make everyone a S.T.A.R.

One company had a return that equaled 5 times the cost of their investment in the program. Another company had a return that equaled 100 times the cost of their investment! It’s a true story. I know, because both companies were clients of my firm. Both companies got a return on their investment, but I still felt both frustrated and perplexed that one had done so much better. The reason for the difference kept puzzling me—why would one company do so much better using the same processes?

Global Quality Awareness (GQA) Initiative

Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are? Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence?

When has pride pushed you back?

Pride exists at the organizational level and can just as easily become tainted.  Think about it.  How many times have you witnessed senior level executives not acknowledging a problem? The reason?  Pride.  Ego.  They don’t want to admit that there is a problem because of ego:  someone else will think they’re weak, or that they’ll lose face.  To admit your decision was wrong means you are weak, correct?  Absolutely the opposite!

Do you work in a fake culture?

If you are not being true to yourself in all aspects of your life, you’re living in a fake culture. As a leader, a fake culture makes it impossible to develop a caring mindset. Without a caring mindset, you’ll never make a difference, or be the difference.