M.S. Rao – Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants

Be passionate about what you do. Don’t bother for setbacks. Think out-of-the box. Remember, entrepreneurship is for brave hearted people, not for faint hearted.

Professor M.S.Rao is an international leadership guru and an internationally acclaimed executive coach, educator, author, speaker, and consultant. He earned a PhD in Soft Skills in 2011. He has 34 years of experience in leadership development and conducts training programs for various corporates and educational institutions. His areas of interest include Leadership, Executive Coaching and Executive Education. His vision is to build One Million Students as Global Leaders by 2030 which is the winner of Leadership 500 Excellence Awards 2015.

He is the Father of ‘Soft Leadership’ and Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He has made the biggest impact on the world with his Soft Leadership which can be applied for companies and countries to achieve excellence. He is the author of 30 books including award-winning 21 Success Sutras for Leaders and Success Tools for CEO Coaches: Be a Learner, Leader, and Ladder. He has published more than 250 papers and articles in international publications including Leadership Excellence, Leader to Leader, T+D Magazine (ASTD), Personal Excellence, Talent Management, Chief Learning Officer Magazine, Training Journal, UN Post, Emerald, and Sage.

He has been honored as an upcoming International Leadership Guru by ‘Global Top Gurus 30 Leadership’. His award-winning book, “21 Success Sutras for Leaders” has been selected as one of ten finalists for the Department of Leadership Studies Outstanding Leadership Book Award – 2013 at the University of San Diego. His book “Success Tools for CEO Coaches” is the Award Winner from Small Business Book Awards, USA for 2014. His award-winning book Smart Leadership: Lessons for Leaders has been published as a Spanish language e-book. He received International Award – ‘International Coach of the Year 2013’ from Prestigious ‘Comprehensive Coaching U, Inc’. He coined an innovative teaching tool – Meka’s Method; leadership training tool – 11E Leadership Grid; and leadership learning tool – Soft Leadership Grid, based on his new leadership style, ‘Soft Leadership’ which is most frequently downloaded research paper in Industrial and Commercial Training, Emerald, UK. He successfully led a webinar titled, “Soft Leadership: A New Leadership Perspective” organized by International Leadership Association. He serves as an Advisor and Judge for several prestigious international organizations Global Leadership Awards, Malaysia. He presided as a judge for Global Leadership Awards – 2011 and 2012 Malaysia video: http://globalleadershipawards.com/HTML/judges.html and for Small Business Book Awards, USA.

He serves on the editorial boards of various prestigious international journals including Development and Learning in Organizations, Industrial and Commercial Training of Emerald, U.K, and The Journal of Values Based Leadership USA. He is the book reviewer for Human Resource Management International Digest, Emerald, U.K. His Amazon book URL:

Most of his work is available free of charge in his four blog:

Where did the idea for MSR Leadership Consultants come from?

After leaving Indian Air Force, I wanted to start my own company to train and groom executives as leaders. Since I have many qualifications and rich experience from Indian Air Force and training, I founded my company, MSR Leadership Consultants India in 2007. Globally there is a looming leadership crisis as the Baby Boomers are retiring and the Gen Y is not ready to take up leadership roles and responsibilities. Since I belong to Gen X, I consider it an opportunity to become a bridge between Baby Boomers and Gen Y to prepare the next generation of leaders

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I am an early riser and I get up early morning at 3 A.M every day. I author books and prepare the content to train and groom students and executives as global leaders. I provide leadership development training programs. If I don’t have any training programs, I author books in the area of executive coaching, executive education and leadership. Every day, I go for gymming for one hour in the morning and running for an hour in the evening. I sleep at 10 PM, and before I go to bed, I prepare for what I have to do the following day.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I have the habit of writing journal every day. I always carry a book to read and a notebook to write whenever I get ideas. It helps me capture my ideas and execute them when I get time. I implement ideas without any delay. I make lots of mistakes during execution. But I still persist to do it better as I learn from my mistakes. Additionally, I strongly believe in taking my own feedback regularly.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Globally people are eager to learn many things. Lots of knowledge is available online free. Only challenge is to differentiate between chalk and cheese. There are plenty of opportunities available. We must have an open mind to identify the opportunities and have ability to take risk to achieve success in life. The present world is truly amazing and exciting!

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

There are two habits that made me stand out globally – continuous learning and constant feedback. I have been learning since childhood and I take my own feedback and also from others after giving my training programs. I correct my mistakes to improve my behavior and skills.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I entered into some business without having clarity and financial reserves ready. I was too aggressive without any foresight. I did business by taking high rate of interest which dented my capital leading to heavy losses in business. I trusted people blindly and a few of them cheated me thus landing in lots of financial hardship. Now I have learned lessons and I am moving cautiously.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I won’t borrow money on high rate of interest. I would like to enter into services sector only. I will be more careful in selection of my team.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Be passionate about what you do. Don’t bother for setbacks. Think out-of-the box. Remember, entrepreneurship is for brave hearted people, not for faint hearted.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Having clarity about the products and services I offer. Building a strong team. Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I depended on single product and service thus landing in financial hardship. I started diversifying in various services which helped me minimize risk and maximize returns.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

It is essential to enter into technology areas and services where the opportunities are plenty and less capital and a few employees are enough to start with.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I always spend money for buying quality books on executive coaching, executive education and leadership. I lean a lot and implement the best ideas.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Blogger and Online orientation, ActionHRM Personnel Training.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I have authored 30 books on leadership and two of the books titled 21 Success Sutras for Leaders was ranked as one of the Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year – 2013 by San Diego University, USA and Success Tools for CEO Coaches: Be a Learner, Leader, and Ladder is the Community Award Winner for 2014 by Small Business Trends, USA

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Abraham Lincoln is my inspiration since my childhood.

What is your lifetime goal?

My vision is to build One Million Students as Global Leaders by 2030. I want to make a difference in the lives of others.


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