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       Volume 10 |Issue 03 | January 21, 2011 |


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The Guru of Inducement

Aantaki Raisa

Wajed Salam

Wajed Salam is a Bangladeshi born US best-selling author of several books on sales and marketing, he is a recipient of “Thought Leader of The Year 2010” award from the National Academy of Best-Selling Authors. Chairman and founder of The Winners Circle (TWC), he was listed as one of the top Mastermind leaders on America’s Premiere Experts. This charismatic speaker came to Bangladesh last week with his signature annual seminar called, “How to Have Your Best Year Ever”. Seminars and sessions with professional speakers to motivate oneself or the employees of a company for better performance and personal development is an unfamiliar concept in Bangladesh. Wajed Salam introduced the effectiveness of this popular motivational method in the west to Bangladeshi entrepreneurs through his seminar and with his unique talent of inspiration and motivation. In an interview with The Star, he talks about the what’s and how’s of motivation, The Winners Circle, his plans for Bangladesh and unravels the story behind becoming the enchanting public speaker that he is now.

What are The Winners Circle and the Mastermind Forum?
There is an 80-20 principle existing in every system. Let me explain the 80-20 formula: suppose a company has 100 employees. According to the formula, the decisions and actions of 20 of those employees make 80 percent development or difference in the company; the remaining 20 percent of difference is made by the rest of the 80 employees. Those 20 employees, as we call them, are the successful ones or the difference-makers. I have always been intrigued by the story behind the success of the people who we call successful. What makes them different from others? What did they do in their lives that others didn’t, that helped them achieve their goals? Studying successful people is my passion and out of this desire, I devoted my life to researching the secrets of success and I surrounded myself with people who have achieved what they wanted to achieve. The Winners Circle is an invitation-only group of successful people where we sit together, discuss our problems and try to solve those problems through mutual help. The first principle of success is definiteness of purpose, one must know what s/he wants to achieve. And the second principle is of success is the Mastermind- which we create in The Winners Circle. Now the question is, what is this Mastermind? Well, you see, none of us is smarter than all of us. When two people, experts at their respective fields sit together, they can solve any problem more efficiently and in a shorter time than a single expert could have done alone- when two specialists work together they create a 3rd mind- the Mastermind. The Winner Circle is the world’s largest and most popular Mastermind Forum where successful experts of different fields come together to help each other solve their problems and reveal the secrets of their success. I merely conduct the sessions; my benefit here is that I get to study my passion- I get to study the most successful people in the world!

Motivational speaking as a profession is quite unusual, especially for a Bangladeshi. How and when did you decide to become one?
I was brought up in Dhaka and I went to University of California, Los Angeles for higher education. I completed my degree and while working I participated in a life changing workshop- Fire walk experience: Unleash the Fire within- conducted by the world-renowned motivational speaker and peak performance coach Anthony Robbins. In that workshop I had to take a walk on fire, all participants had to. That walk changed my life; in that workshop I found my passion. I loved what Tony Robbins was doing and I wanted to master his expertise. At that very moment, I had decided to become a pupil of the master himself to become an expert at it. It was 1989 and since then I had been his number one trainee for five years and never second. I was successful because I wanted to master the skill and I never ever approached that as a job.

How did you figure out that motivating people was your passion?

Wajed Salam doing what he does best: motivating others.

Well, the best way to find out your passion is to ask yourself “What would I love to do even if it were for free?” The answer to this question is your passion. Public speaking is the number one phobia in the world; people fear it more than death! But this is something I would love to do, even for free. I was naturally good at it, but I became great by honing my ability. In schools and in most of our lives we are taught to find out our weaknesses and try to conquer it. But I don’t think people can excel at what they are weak at. I believe in focusing on what one is good at, focusing on one’s strengths and nurturing it. I did that and turned my passion into my profession. These days there are software and books like “Strength Finder 2.0” to figure out your “gift” or what you are good at; you don’t have to spend your whole life finding that out. You motivate people, what motivates you?

My eagerness to be a better person than yesterday is my motivation and this motivation never dies. See, no matter what you do in life, there will be someone better than you and someone worse. You can be jealous or sad for the person who’s better or you can be happy with where you are thinking of the ones who lag behind. But this attitude will not get you anywhere. That’s why I want to be better than yesterday; I want this year to be better than my last year. I live my life with “the attitude of gratitude”; I am happy with what I have and I don’t lament on things I don’t have. No matter how much you achieve in life, there will be things missing. You have a choice to either accept it this way or to get frustrated with failures and negativity. I choose to do the first one. Every moment, life is about making choices and I choose to be happy. I live my life with knowledge in mind, honesty in heart and strength in body to build true confidence. It’s not one single thing that motivates me; I have engineered a lifestyle that itself is motivating.

Studying successful people is your passion and your circle is full of such people. Why?
Who you associate with and listen to determines your destiny. I don’t judge a person’s smartness with his skills; I judge their calibre by the company they keep. When progressive and positive minded people come together they create great ideas, they share their skills for a better purpose or to solve others’ problems. Another key point here is that my circle is not just about successful people; they are people with a mentality of abundance, not with a mentality of security. We believe in giving first before receiving. Because there will be a time when I will need someone’s help and it will come back in ten folds if I believe in giving.

What is your New Year resolution?
I have motivated, helped and associated myself with many of the topmost people in the US. Now I want to do something for my motherland. I grew up watching Bangabandhu who had inspired a whole nation. From his leadership I learnt that all the armies of the world cannot stop an idea whose time has come; speed of the leader is the rate of the pack. When I talk about motivation and I see people being inspired, when I get “thank you” calls from people whose lives were changed because of me- I get a feeling of fulfillment and if I can do the same for my own country I would feel that I have returned a bit of what my country did for me. In my seminar, I was approached by many entrepreneurs to conduct sessions for their institutions. I want to do such sessions in universities as well because the youth of today is the leader of the future. I believe hope is the best gift one can give and if I could feel I have contributed to the pleasure and pride of 160 million people of Bangladesh- that would perhaps be the best feeling.

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Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” is regarded as one of the best motivational personal development and self-help book ever written. Wajed Salam is called the Napoleon Hill of the 21st century. He takes inspiration from every aspect of his life, ranging from movies to books, daily life to extraordinary experiences. His novel idea of The Winners Circle has motivated dying businesses to revive, not-so-great soccer teams reach tournament-finales. Wajed is also one of the four directors of Club Asteria, an organisation bringing entrepreneurship and financial independence to individuals in developing nations, with 60,000 members worldwide and Bangladesh is proud of producing such a guru of inducement.


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