3 Powerful Mind Tricks to Finally Outsmart Your Mental Blocks and Achieve Your Greatest Goals

by Peter Economy

What’s blocking you from your success? Is it an incompetent boss? Toxic coworkers? Your work environment? Or, surprisingly, could the one thing standing in the way of your dreams really just be…you?

It can be wildly challenging to create your own opportunities and make headway toward your goals if you’re facing powerful mental blocks. It doesn’t matter how simple or complicated the task is, any serious attempts to accomplish something will be thwarted if something called “defensive failure” happens.

A term created by cognitive psychologist, Dr. Amanda Crowell, defensive failure refers to what happens when we constantly think about achieving something, but end up thinking about it so much that nothing happens.

So how do we combat this special type of failure?

Here, according to Crowell and her research, are three mind tricks you can use to outsmart some of the common most mental blocks we all face:

Mind trick #1

Remember: failure is something we all experience throughout our work, career, and life–it’s a natural part of being human. One mental block many people face is thinking they simply cannot do what they want to do. This block becomes strengthened especially if our first attempts at doing something are full of difficulties or are not successful at all. But you must remember that successful journeys don’t involve victory at every step. Learn to embrace the failures you face, because each misstep brings you closer to success.

Mind trick #2

Find your role models. It can be so easy to believe that you have to be born with a certain skill set in order to succeed. If you find yourself thinking, “People like me aren’t going to be good at this,” then you are creating an obstacle for yourself. Instead, study the people who are like you, who are already getting the job done. Reach out to them for advice, and spend time with them, if possible. Doing so will give you the confidence boost you need to continue your journey.

Mind trick #3

Find your purpose. Do you really want to do something, or do you simply feel as if you should do that thing? Why do you want to accomplish a certain goal? What intrinsic reasons do you have? Be honest with yourself about what you really want to achieve, otherwise you will be hard on yourself for failing at something you never wanted to really do in the first place.

Source: Inc


As a part of our talent acquisition engagements, we ask our clients how they define “top talent” and how they would assess those traits in the interview process. Reflecting on the insightful comments we hear every day, we thought there would be great value in a new blog in which senior executives/thought leaders share their “Take on Talent.”

This is the twenty-third in a series of blogs/interviews with senior executives who are thought leaders in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Career Development and Leadership who will share their perspectives on this ever present question.



Kevin S. Parikh is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of one of the world’s leading Business Transformation, Technology Strategy and Sourcing Advisory firms, Avasant.

As an attorney by trade, Parikh specializes in negotiating complex global transactions working to bridge the gaps between legal counsel and business team objectives. Over his career, Parikh has been involved in more than 350 IT sourcing and business transactions. These deals have ranged from US$20 million to US$2.5 billion, involving major Tier 1 and Tier 2 service providers.

A renowned author, and industry leader, Parikh regularly speaks at economic development forums, including the World Bank and United Nations SDG forums.

Parikh’s book, Digital Singularity: A Case for Humanity, lays out the opportunities and challenges technology’s omnipresence poses, while providing a framework for approaching innovation and remaining competitive in a digital world.

Before joining Avasant, Parikh led the Global IT Sourcing practice at Gartner Consulting.  Mr. Parikh specialized in IT and business process (BP) outsourcing, contract and service?level negotiations, joint ventures, captive centers, strategic management, business risk evaluation and software licensing. His practice engaged in both nearshore and offshore sourcing solutions.

In 2011, following a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, Parikh founded the Avasant Foundation, focusing on youth training and employment for the digital economy.

Parikh received his Juris Doctorate from American University, Washington College of Law, and his bachelor’s degree from University of California, Davis.


Please share with us the top five characteristics (in priority order, first to fifth) of the most talented people you have encountered during your career, and your definition of each.

Integrity: People who do the right thing. Those who possess a strong moral compass and embody a set of high-character principles are the people I strive to surround myself with, in life and bring onto our team.

Intellectual Curiosity/Creativity: People who have a deep and persistent desire to learn. Seeking to understand the world around us drives innovation and allows us to achieve great things. Curiosity ignites creativity, which inspires others to think outside the box to solve grand challenges. This is an inherent part of our team’s DNA.

High EQ (Emotional Intelligence): Those who are highly self-aware of their thoughts and emotions, and how they control and express them to make better decisions, solve problems, and communicate with & lead others. Many studies have shown that Emotional Intelligence is essential for personal and professional success, and I believe it enables one to have greater empathy and remain calm while looking objectively at opportunities from different perspectives.

Responsibility: Taking ownership for one’s actions. We strive to maintain a culture of empowerment and trust, as transparent accountability is a core part of developing talent on any team. The most dynamic and talented people I have come across during my career live by this motto, and they are unstoppable.

Vision/ Passion: Working with purpose and a clear vision. Enables innovation, drives focus and enhances the desire to pursue excellence. When you are passionate about the work you do and have a clear vision, others will be motivated to adopt the same mentality.

When people who embody these five characteristics above come together, it enables greater collaboration and a stronger unified team.


How do you communicate these characteristics to your HR and senior management team?

I believe having a shared consciousness around our core values is fundamental to shaping the future of our organization and continuing to build our team. We pride ourselves on having a lateral organizational structure that leads by example and welcomes open communication and collaboration to ensure everyone is aligned. Culture is omnipresent and must spread in all directions and at all levels.  Our Leadership team is fully aligned and actively communicate throughout the organization to reinstall this way of thinking. The characteristics mentioned above are the foundation of our company’s culture, and we are continually engaging our team to reinforce these values and evolve as a collective whole. Through our training, mentor ship program where senior mentors work with their mentees to guide and help them achieve our company values, and annual global offsite, where we bring the entire company together to spend quality time together dedicated to reinforcing our company values, our ideals touch every aspect of our organization. Additionally, when recruiting new talent, our candidates most often come from our employees, which further promotes our strong company culture and mission.


How do you handle challenges to the existing culture by talent you have brought in?

When building a diverse, global team, it is paramount to invest in resources and influential leaders who become advocates of culture, and drive it consistently across the board. We are growing quickly, and attracting talent with diverse skills, work experiences, and geographies. We pride ourselves on welcoming new perspectives, as I believe fresh ideas have the power to make our team that much better. Culture is the most difficult aspect of a successful business to build, and the easiest to lose. With that said, handling challenges with a new hire can be difficult. I think it is important to diagnose if someone is seeking to change our core values (which have not wavered) or help the organization evolve positively. We have invested in certain programs like our fitness program Avafit, social platforms like Yammer, to build culture. We encourage practice leadership at our annual offsite and encourage employees to explore their passions in areas where they want to grow that is aligned with the company mission

VP Life Sciences BPS Sales

Vice President Life Sciences BPS Sales

The Senior BPS Sales Executive is responsible for achieving profitable sales growth by managing/closing multiple sales campaigns using deep sales process and offering or product expertise within a complex market or emerging market/white space. The role report to the SVP & Strategic Business Unit Head and is focused in Life Sciences

Responsibilities: Grow the Business:  Drives sales opportunities to closure – increasingly selling a mix of defined solutions/extensions and new offerings or products into white space; wide range of service group offerings and deal structures

Develop Key Relationships:  Develops strong relationships with key client buyers: the Divisional head/C-Suite level; client decision making spanning multiple layers of organization.

Services offered: We offer strategic Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) solutions that are tailored to help our customers across industries to run, change, and grow their businesses, while enhancing the end-user experience across channels.


  • 10- 15 years’ experience in BPS business development in Life Sciences
  • Proven ability to develop new BPS business and meet quotas ($2-$5 million)
  • Excellent communication skills and high level of maturity
  • Superior relationship management and networking skills for both internal and external customer/s
  • Excellent client handling skills, with ability to present and articulate various points of view
  • Ability to forge relationships across and throughout the internal organization

Personal Characteristics:

  • The ideal candidate is able to operate successfully in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment.  Energy, drive and an entrepreneurial spirit are necessary characteristics for success.
  • Strong and capable leader, able to win the confidence and trust of his/her team, shape the culture, and exert influence both internally and externally
  • Ability to establish immediate credibility among his/her peers, a professional who is respected for his/her leadership, intelligence and expertise
  • Superb negotiator and communicator

If this could be of interest , please let me know

Larry Janis, Email: Janis@issg.net


Manager Sales & Consulting

  • Includes top tier NGO’s (and second tier opportunistically) in the US, centered in DC, NYC & Boston
  • Includes Caribbean geography focused on Governments
  • Solution Portfolio focused on:
    • Microsoft Dynamics; ERP, SharePoint, CRM
    • Secure credentialing for Caribbean governments
    • Tax & Revenue for Caribbean governments
  • Possible secondary market eastern US (Boston hi tech corridor)
  • Application testing for east coast app development businesses- this is an offshore BPO-like service

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Meet sales objectives through sale of consulting solutions and products to core markets
  • Identify, create win scenario and pursue where appropriate upcoming tenders in the Caribbean countries
  • Build and maintain relationships with NGO clients in the US.  Identify NGO’s most likely to utilize Techno Brain solutions
  • Work closely with Techno Brain consultants and market segment leaders who reside in Kenya & India
  • Identify and participate in conferences (Humentum for NGO’s as an example) to drive new contacts and business
  • Further develop the partner model in the Caribbean
  • Create strong relationships with key client stakeholders at both senior and mid-management levels.
  • Ability to identify and solve client business needs and issues.
  • Generate and maintain accurate account and opportunity plans.
  • Lead proposal development and tender responses.
  • Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops, reviewing professional publications; establishing personal networks; participating in professional societies.
  • Develop and manage an effective partner channel network that is aligned on business plans and objectives.
  • Manage and implement the sales forecasting, planning and buyer driven sales and marketing processes, establishing high levels of quality, accuracy and process consistency for the sales and marketing organization

Required credentials, skills and expertise:

  • Bachelors degree
  • 6 years of selling experience in IT solutions industry
  • NGO experience preferred
  • Proven IT solutions & services sales experience with a good record of achieving targets.
  • Experience managing multiple clients
  • Understands central government business, roles and decision processes
  • Ability to work independently
  • Negotiation, prospecting skills, presentation, manage relationships, sales planning etc.


Greater Washington DC preferred

If you are interested or know someone who might be, please let me know


Larry Janis, Managing Partner I Integrated Search Solutions Group


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How Do You Know If You Have The Right Talent To Be Positioned For Success?

by Larry Janis

Having the right talent in the right roles is essential for a successful business strategy. Strategy execution demands a thorough evaluation of not only people, but also of their roles and responsibilities, their impact and their alignment with the company’s business goals.

Corporate leadership and business leaders focused on strategy execution need a talent assessment program that functions as an extension of their strategy planning that addresses the following thoughts and processes:

  • An understanding of the talent implications associated with the strategy. Without this context, talent reviews may provide a false sense of security and lead to misaligned, well intended talent plans that actually work against the strategy.
  • Differentiation between important and critical roles. The successful execution of strategy requires talented people, more importantly talented people in the right roles. Without clear differentiation the people most likely to positively impact strategy may be in the wrong roles or not in the organization at all!
  • A facilitated talent discussion that evaluates talent in an integrated manner; standardizes the organizations’ talent “language” and calibrates talent between divisions, departments and teams.
  • A talent map that summarizes the organization’s talent “picture” in a simple, powerful format. The talent map can be easily referenced for future planned, or unplanned talent decisions.
  • A talent plan that captures the key talent actions required to support the strategy; assigns accountability for completion; encourages all leaders to accept responsibility for the organization talent pool; and provides a mechanism for tracking progress.
  • A partnership with an external recruitment firm that has a solid knowledge of your industry, your competitors and has the ability to react in a timely fashion to acquire the talent you have defined as essential to your business goals.

When planning changes to your staff, consider the following timing considerations:

  • Bringing in someone from the outside to fill a role lacking the talent required for a business initiative would typically takes four to six months.
  • Add in the time for onboarding, learning how your firm does things and understanding the capabilities of your firm: your talent acquisition time frame may extend upwards of one year for your new hire to be fully engaged and productive.
  • If your company operates in a competitive industry, factor in additional time to work through thinned out talent pool: your key competitors are likely seeking the talent they need to drive their businesses to the next level.

Talent processes linked to business strategies offer a considerable competitive advantage. Streamlining the implementation of the timeline, understanding the talent implications of your strategy and recognizing the talents you have and don’t have are critical to successful strategy implementation and differentiating your organization from the competition.