"CEOs can't wait to read Sunny Bindra's articles every week."

Feb 18, 2024
Are you suffering from the Spotlight Effect?

Picture yourself on a dark stage, delivering the central performance of the day. A spotlight is shining right on you, staying with you as you move. All else is dark. There are hundreds of people in the audience, but you can barely make them out. All their attention is on you: how you look, and […]

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Feb 11, 2024
Some thoughts about longevity in business

Childhood is a place of magical memories—once we have left it. Our first tastes and other sensory pleasures tend to stay with us for life. We develop deep loyalties and could potentially consume our favourite products from our tender years for our entire lifetimes. But there’s a problem. Do those products and businesses still exist? […]

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Feb 04, 2024
What is there to be arrogant about?

There are so many arrogant people running around. Full of themselves, cocksure, always right, always certain of their positions, usually dismissive of others. Why, though? What is there to be arrogant about, for any human being? You are arrogant because you are rich, perhaps? But how fickle is material wealth? It can be obtained through […]

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Jan 28, 2024
Don’t be interesting. Be interested

Sometimes a thought just catches your eye and makes you think. James Clear, he of Atomic Habits fame, sent this out in a recent newsletter: “Don’t worry about being the most interesting person in the room, just try to be the most interested person in the room.” There is such pressure these days to be […]

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Jan 21, 2024
Pick a side. Actually, don’t

Pick a side. You have to be on one side, or the other. If you’re not for us, you’re against us. If you’re not with us, you’re with them. Pick a side, and stick to it all your life. That message is drummed into us soon after we are born, and then reinforced for all […]

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Jan 14, 2024
2024 might be a very tough year. That could be great for you

What kind of 2024 are you expecting to have? Across the world, the prognosis is grim at best. Economies are ailing; costs of living have rocketed; business failures are looming; debt burdens are onerous. It’s not going to be an easy year to navigate, even for the most fortunate. But there is something that a […]

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Jan 07, 2024
That’s impossible. Until it’s not

There was once someone who imagined it might be possible to place humans into a vehicle with wings, launch it into the air—and land those passengers back on earth, safely. This had never been done, please note, and it was widely viewed as a crazy, deluded idea. And yet, humans now fly across the planet […]

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Jan 05, 2024
My best books of 2023

Here are the best books I read in 2023, both old and new. The Aosawa Murders is a chilling Japanese story about an entire family being poisoned during a birthday. There is only one survivor—a young blind daughter. A remarkably well constructed, haunting mystery. Trust by Hernan Diaz was outstanding. It’s about the world’s richest man, and […]

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Dec 31, 2023
Love your life—and your death

As the year draws to a close, let’s learn some Latin. I want to dust off three two-letter phrases that are profound meditations on having a meaningful life. They express timeless philosophies, rooted in many ancient spiritual and contemplative traditions. The first phrase is AMOR FATI. This means simply to love one’s fate. It is […]

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Dec 24, 2023
Why we must honour the ordinary humans in our lives

I was once walking through the older parts of Reading, a town in the United Kingdom. I came upon a lovely old church hidden behind the town centre, and in it a cemetery. There I found this gem: a large wooden grave marker, with an inscription in memory of Henry West. Who was Henry West? […]

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Dec 17, 2023
Why do we admire the rich?

I was once in an airport immigration queue, awaiting clearance to re-enter my homeland. The queue was long, and we were all tired after a long flight.  A very well known business tycoon came in from a different flight. He took a look at the line in front of passport control and walked right past […]

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Dec 10, 2023
Why laughter is indeed great medicine

Another Sunday Nation stalwart has left us. Gerry Loughran, the “Letter from London” columnist, is no more. I will miss Gerry’s weekly missives for two things. One was the positive human spirit with which he reported on events taking place in Blighty. He often told us about things he found disturbing or distressing, but would […]

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Dec 03, 2023
What this CEO’s chaotic sacking revealed

Picture this scenario: The board of directors of an iconic organisation decides to fire its well-known CEO, without warning, issuing a cryptic announcement to that effect and appointing an interim CEO from within the organisation to hold fort. That stuff happens often, so nothing too extraordinary thus far.  All hell breaks loose, however. It turns […]

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Nov 26, 2023
How to bring the humanity back to your business

I have been saying to businesses large and small for decades now: there’s an affection button that you must press. It’s the button that, once activated, creates the emotion: “I like these people.” That is one of the most potent feelings in business, yet it’s also the most ignored. Last week I showed how small, […]

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Nov 19, 2023
Does anyone LIKE your business?

I have a question for you: is your business liked by anyone? We don’t usually view businesses in that way, do we? It’s not one of the regular aims of a business, to be held in affection by any party. We are far more transactional than that. We provide a product or service, customers gain […]

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Nov 05, 2023
My encounter with a life of modesty after power

Last year I happened to be visiting the United Kingdom. I found myself in a department store, looking through the clothes section. A lady passed by me, and I caught a glimpse of her face. It seemed vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. Had I seen her on the news in years past? […]

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Oct 29, 2023
We can be true to ourselves even as we thrive in a group

A close reader of this column pointed out to me last week that my recent offerings are displaying a certain pattern. When I asked him to elaborate, he pointed out that there is recurring theme, and it’s all about authenticity. Rereading my own work, I saw his point. In recent weeks I have highlighted three […]

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Oct 22, 2023
Do you have the courage to be disliked?

Years ago I was watching The Simpsons, that cartoon series with a real bite to it. Young Bart faced a moral dilemma at school, and was asking his dimwit father, Homer, for advice: “Dad, is it more important to be popular, or to do the right thing?” Homer’s quick response: “You’ve gotta be popular, son. […]

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Oct 15, 2023
Being held to high standards early in life pays off

I recently commended a food & beverage manager at one of our leading coastal hotels on the efficiency with which her staff were handling a packed-out dinner service, and the attention to detail they were demonstrating. Rather than bask in the praise, she immediately told me that she had an early mentor to thank for […]

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Oct 08, 2023
Could you have a more successful business by NOT competing?

Last week I offered some life advice: don’t compare, don’t compete. The key points were these: that you will have a richer life if you focus on yourself, not others; that you will actually thrive more by comparing yourself against your earlier selves rather than outsiders; and you will be released from the daily angst […]

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Oct 01, 2023
We have richer lives when we are not consumed by competition

You’re a schoolchild, doing your best in your lessons. You get good grades most of the time, sometimes exceptional ones. You’re not top of your class, but you’re in the mix. All is well, right? Not really. Because your teachers and parents keep pointing you to the achievements of your classmates who are clocking the […]

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Sep 24, 2023
Do you have substance, or are you just ‘fru-fru?’

My wife has an interesting word she uses to describe many aspects of life: “fru-fru.” Today’s column is written not with the help of my new friend, ChatGPT, but a longstanding one, Mrs B. What is fru-fru? A superficially frilly, misleading appearance. It can be used to describe people or offerings that emphasize sweet, empty […]

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Sep 17, 2023
Stop using this word, unless…

This word is everywhere. Everyone seems to be using it, without understanding it. What’s the word? Passion. Every human, it seems, is passionate about something these days. I’m passionate about protecting the planet, say some. Others are passionate about social justice. In professional circles, many will tell you they are passionate about corporate governance, or […]

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Sep 10, 2023
A culture of service is a huge business advantage

A recent experience at a hotel made me pause and reflect. I had looked over the wide array of desserts available in the lunch buffet, and chosen a nice looking mousse in a long-stemmed glass. After carrying the sweet dish back to my table, I noticed that the dessert spoon already laid out there was […]

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Sep 03, 2023
How engaged are the employees where you work?

Employee engagement is a very big deal. Much of what differentiates mediocre organizations from excellent ones is this very simple thing: do the people who work there care about their work? Will they give of their best, and will they go the extra mile? High employee engagement, though, is very rare! The people at Gallup […]

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Aug 27, 2023
What would you do if you faced this business dilemma?

Gary Vaynerchuk, serial entrepreneur and digital marketing evangelist, begins his new book, Twelve and a Half, with an interesting anecdote. GaryVee, as he is known on social media, runs VaynerMedia, a creative agency. He tells us he once had to attend a very difficult meeting with a leading client. This stemmed from a bad mistake […]

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Aug 20, 2023
This young woman spoke for us all

Well done, Mercy Tarus. The young woman from Uasin Gishu stood up at a public meeting in Eldoret recently and said her piece, with no filter. She had every right and every reason to do so. She was on the attack because of the county’s botched airlift education programme. Parents paid big money under the […]

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Aug 13, 2023
Waiting for a better time? Don’t.

Arthur Ashe was a true trailblazer. He was the first black player to win tennis’s grand slam tournaments. He won Wimbledon in 1975, and became the world’s number-one ranked player in that year. Ashe’s life reflected some very famous words: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” So much said, […]

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