Featured Interview with Professor M. S. Rao Ph.D.
So, Professor Rao, where do you call home?
I live in India.
Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?
I am a fulltime author. I deliver keynotes and training programs upon request.
What is your family like?
I have a wife and two sons.
If it doesn’t bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
It was a hut. I hailed from a poor family background. I rose from humble origins.
It’s impressive that coming from such a poor background, you’ve been able to do so much with your own success. Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing?
I go to the gym every day because I am a fitness freak.
That’s great. Like most people, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to get into the gym more. I’d love to just be passionate about working out like you. So, tell me, what is your greatest dream?
To become the President of India.
WOW, those are so high expectations. Obviously, you feel you are the right kind of person for that job. So, what kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
I want to become a global ambassador for peace and prosperity. It is always the external challenges that prevent me from accomplishing my goals.
Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love?
My first love is reading books.
Well stated. What is the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Many terrible things happened to me since childhood.
I can understand if you don’t wish to go into detail, I will respect your privacy on that one. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
My passion to share knowledge with the world free inspires me to write. I became an author from the year 2010.
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
I had a dream to serve my nation since my childhood and I served in the Indian Air Force.
Who is your role model?
No role model but Abraham Lincoln is my inspiration since my childhood.
That’s very interesting. You don’t hear a lot of people name Abraham Lincoln as their inspiration. What is your greatest fear?
Most times, things don’t happen the way I want. My life is full of struggles and sufferings.
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and more often than not things don’t turn out how we hope they will. So, as a reader, do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?
Have you ever read a book more than once?
Sometimes I read books a second time if I don’t understand the essence or if the book is very good.
What is your opinion of novellas?
Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
What is your favorite book genre at the moment?
Management, Leadership, and Self-Help.
What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?
My award-winning book, ‘21 Success Sutras for CEOs’ URL: https://www.amazon.com/21-Success-Sutras-Ceos-Rao/dp/162865290X
What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
Work is Love Made Visible by Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and Sarah McArthur. Hard copy.
If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, and Barack Obama because they inspired the world.
Four amazing choices, thank you.
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?
“Soft Leadership: An Innovative Leadership Style to Resolve Conflicts Amicably through Soft Skills and Negotiation Skills to Achieve Global Stability, Peace and Prosperity” URL: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1628655909 This book introduces and explores soft leadership to achieve global stability, security, peace, and prosperity. It explains the causes, effects, and remedies for global conflicts and wars. It draws a blueprint to resolve conflicts amicably. It offers innovative negotiation tools and techniques for soft leaders to resolve conflicts amicably. It illustrates with inspiring examples of great global leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela. It emphasizes Mahatma Gandhi’s twin principles of truth and non-violence. It implores to replace religion with love to build a better world. It implores to love your mother but don’t hate another person’s mother.
Is the above book part of a series?
It is exploration of ‘Soft Leadership’ from the perspective of global peace and prosperity.
How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?
The publisher designed it.
Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)?
I write books when there is peace and tranquillity.
How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?
It is based on the content in the book and search engine optimization.
What first gave you the idea for your latest book?
I wrote articles on global peace and prosperity. Since I am known globally as the father of “Soft Leadership” I applied this innovative leadership perspective to achieve global peace and prosperity.
That is interesting that you are known globally as the father of “Soft Leadership”. You must be a renowned expert in your field. What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
A plotter. I create a tentative outline of the book and write. I take deviations during the process of writing and retitle the book accordingly after completion of the book.
Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time?
Publishing books is a big challenge as I have to search for publishers. Getting timely endorsements and forewords from apt celebrities globally is another major challenge.
Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company?
Traditional publishing company.
What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
I have not received any advice from others to write books. However, I advise upcoming authors as follows: Be passionate about writing. Be patient and persistent. You cannot expect results overnight. It takes years of efforts and energies to excel as an author.
That is excellent advice, thank you for sharing it with our readers. If my reads are interested in following you, where can they find you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.
I am very active on social media platforms. I share lots of articles on my LinkedIn and my blog ‘Vision 2030’ freely without any charge. When you google my name as ‘Professor M S Rao’ you will find my social media platforms. You can follow and read free articles. My books are also available on Amazon. Here are the links of my social media platforms to join and share with your connections.
Vision 2030: https://professormsraovision2030.blogspot.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Professor-MS-Rao-451516514937414/
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+ProfessorMSRao
Soft Leadership: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1628655909
Can you explain your Vision 2030: One Million Global Leaders?
I served in the Indian Air Force due to love toward my nation and passion for the uniform. I served for some years and acquired several qualifications including DME, BSc, MA, PGDCLL, PGDBM, and MBA. After I left the Indian Air Force, I pursued research and earned a Ph.D. in Soft Skills in 2011. I led a painful life both in defense and civil as I was born into a poor family and encountered innumerable challenges in my personal, professional and social life. Additionally, I encountered some rogue relatives who were responsible for financial challenges to me, my wife and two sons. While serving in the Indian Air Force I acquired knowledge on leadership as military makes the best leaders due to the kind of tough training soldiers receive and the kind of unique challenges they encounter during war and peace. Hence, I developed a passion for leadership. While serving in the Indian Air Force, I did not appreciate the way things were happening in India due to the unscrupulous politicians dividing society in the name of region, religion, caste, and communities. Additionally, lots of money goes into the private coffers of politicians rather than reaching to the poor people in India. I was very much disturbed with the conditions in the Indian society. In fact, corruption has become cancer to the Indian society. Hence, I thought to train leaders with a global mindset to enable them to develop the nation, promote fraternity and work for global peace and prosperity.
I entered into the teaching profession as educational institutions are the ideal places to shape students and equip them with leadership skills and abilities. Second, I focused on students as they are in teenage, and they can be molded easily as leaders the way military recruits the young cadets and grooms them as soldiers and leaders. I started getting overwhelming support from students as they were inspired during my teaching and training programs in educational institutions. Students loved me and crowned me with a title, ‘Professor M.S. Rao is Born for the Students’ URL: http://professormsrao.blogspot.com.
As a leadership researcher, I do a lot of research on various leadership styles and how leadership can be used for the benefit of global society. During my research I came to know that there is a looming leadership challenge globally due to the retirement of baby boomers (old people) and the Gen Y who is also known with different names including millennials (young people born between 1980 and 2000) are not geared up with global leadership challenges due to lack of effective leadership development training programs. That means when the experienced leaders exit from service there is an alarming leadership vacuum globally as the young inexperienced people are not ready in the leadership pipeline to take up the leadership roles and responsibilities. Although it is a threat globally, I viewed it as an opportunity to contribute my best. I decided to train students as global leaders to enable them to grow with leadership skills and abilities. So far, I have taught and trained more than 35,000 people. I started taking the support of social media to articulate my vision and share my articles and videos regularly URL: https://professormsraovision2030.blogspot.com on my social media accounts. Since I belong to Gen X (middle age) I can serve as a link between the baby boomers (old people) and the Gen Y (young people) to bridge this global leadership deficit. I considered my age and experience in military and academia, and above all, my interest in leadership and passion for students an opportunity to serve students to groom them as global leaders. Hence, I pray to God to give me health, knowledge, wisdom, strength, and lifespan to build one million students as global leaders by 2030.
Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. International Leadership Guru
Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with 38 years of experience and the author of over 45 books including the award-winning ‘21 Success Sutras for CEOs’ URL: http://www.amazon.com/21-Success-Sutras-Ceos-Rao/dp/162865290X. He is a C-Suite advisor and a sought-after keynote speaker globally. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision given his multifaceted professional experience including military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications. His vision is to build one million students as global leaders by 2030 URL: http://professormsraovision2030.blogspot.in/2014/12/professor-m-s-raos-vision-2030-one_31.html. He advocates gender equality globally (#HeForShe). He was honored as an upcoming International Leadership Guru by Global Gurus URL: https://globalgurus.org/upcoming-leadership-gurus/. He serves as an Advisor and Judge for several prestigious international organizations including Global Leadership Awards in Malaysia and Middle East Business Leaders Summits & Awards in Dubai. He coined an innovative teaching tool―Meka’s Method; leadership training tool―11E Leadership Grid; and leadership learning tool―Soft Leadership Grid. He invests his time in authoring books and blogging on executive education, learning and leadership. Most of his work is available free of charge on his four blogs including http://professormsraovision2030.blogspot.com. He is a prolific author and a dynamic, energetic and inspirational leadership speaker. He can be reached at email@example.com.
* * * * *
Comment below if you have additional questions for Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D.