Monday, June 1, 2009

The Resurrection....!!

I know it's been quite a while ('s still not a year !!) since this post was last updated. Thought of updating this gazillion times while doing my MBA in Chennai, but couldn't find 5-mins at a stretch to do this (I was a busy man there u know). So current post is a kinda attempt to break this 'brief' hiatus.

For folks who're not in touch with me these days, I've left B-school and am back in corporate world working for a US headquartered Fortune 500 company based in Hyderabad.

Check out this space occasionally to have a peek inside to know the latest happenings in my life.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

He Came, We Saw, and We were Conquered... !!

Well I am talking about CEO of Capgemini's Financial Services SBU, Mr. Raymond Spencer, who had come to visit us at Great Lakes today as Guest Lecturer.

During the course of one hour with us, he shared his experiences on many things including "How to successfully manage a Business", "Keys to becoming a good leader" & "Successfully managing one's Career". By the way, Mr. Spencer, also happens to be on BAC (Business Advisory Council) of our Institute.

On Successfully managing a Business
While telling us about how to successfully manage a business, he laid special emphasis on 3 dimensions of Business Management namely - Customer, Organization, Employees. Apart from setting the Organization's processes right & following world class standards and keeping the morale of Employees high by taking care of their professional growth, it is very essential to understand the aspirations of your Customers. You have to know your Customer's business and the needs of your "Customer's Customer" to successfully come up with effective solutions for your own Customers. Most of the senior managers, said Mr. Spencer, manage the parts and not the whole of business. This has to be addressed by focusing on all 3 aspects of business to be a successful enterprise.

On Becoming a Good Leader
There are 3 dimensions of effective Leadership : Knowing, Doing & Being. While 'Knowing' is related to the intellectual rigor of a leader and 'Doing' is the art of skillful execution with discipline, 'Being' is something which has to be understood in context. This is the inner arena of a leader which forms the fundamental core and here lies his inner strength. This aspect is the very basis upon which the other two dimensions i.e. 'Knowing' & 'Doing' are built. As per him, this foundation can be made strong by regular meditation, introspection or by taking a 'Daily Sabbatical'.

On Managing One's Career Effectively
First and foremost, one has to have a powerful vision of what one wants to be in future. This vision should be nothing short of a clearly projected picture/painting or a snapshot of what one aspires to become. Secondly, one has to introspect and come up with a set of values which will form the basis of one's day-to-day decisions and behavior. The third element of managing one's career is to set specific career goals which will show the course of direction to one's life. After setting goals, one has to inculcate a habit of doing daily action towards achieving these goals. And finally, one should have what he called "Personal Board of Advisors" in life as one cannot know everything and hence cannot succeed in isolation. Therefore one should actively seek advice and rely on other's help to be successful in life.

All in all, it was a great experience for all of us listening to the success mantras from somebody who's been there and done that and that too splendidly !! By the end of the session, (to say the least) we were all sitting there in Lake Superior, totally spellbound by his charm, amused by his wit and overwhelmed by his profound insights.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Are you a CEO ??

A very interesting definition of CEO given by one of our profs :-

"You are a CEO if you're there in Golf course by 11:00 o'clock in the morning everyday and your company is able to run without you" !!
(Of course, you're there to play Golf with other CEO golfers while charting out plans for your company's new Strategy)

Now thatz something called practical knowledge :o)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

You must be in Management !!!

A man in a hot air balloon realised he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below.

He descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The woman below replied, "You're in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You're between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude."

"You must be an engineer," said the balloonist.

"I am," replied the woman, "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I've no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help at all. If anything, you've delayed my trip."

The woman below responded, "You must be in Management."

"I am," replied the balloonist, "but how did you know?"

"Well," said the woman, "you don't know where you are or where you're going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you've no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Groundhog Day

What would you do if you are stuck in a seemingly endless "time loop" in a way that you are living the same day again and again. To understand it better, let's imagine a scenario where one is living every day of one's life in exactly the same manner i.e one is seeing the same people daily, facing the same set of scenarios and one's life becomes nothing but a perfect sequence of predictable events.

Well this fictitious, yet very interesting, scenario was the plot of a movie called "Groundhog Day" released in 1993. This was the story of an egocentric TV weatherman named Phil Conners (played by Bill Murray) who while carrying out a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event (February 2) in Punxsutawney, found himself repeating the same day over and over again.

Now think about the significance of this plot in day-to-day context. Try to see how true and valid this concept is in our lives ? I am sure most of you will agree that more often than not, we find ourselves complaining about the humdrum of our daily lives while at the same time knowing (from the deepest core of our hearts) that we can NOT do anything to break this vicious cycle !!!!

This movie presents some very beautiful ideas to beat this monotony of life, the lessons which Phil Conners learnt after lots of trials and errors !!

Well you gotta watch this movie by yourself to believe me :-)

Some Lessons from "Groundhog Day" :-

a) Find meaning and purpose in your life.

b) Experiment with new thoughts and behaviors till you find what works for you and what does not.

c) The only variable which you can change in the whole world is YOU.
(i.e one has absolutely no control over external factors as external reality is fixed)

d) Recreate yourself by focusing all your attention on Inner change; on becoming a more mature, loving and giving person.

e) Inner change is the key to all our personal growth and happiness.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Essence of Karma-Yoga

"I owe my success to the basic, underlying philosophy of India. It goes back to the fundamental philosophy of the Gita, which is that you worship work and do it for its own sake and don't judge it by what results you achieve. Concentrate on doing your best in what you do."

- Rajat Gupta, Ex-CEO of Mckinsey & Co.

This is the man who by becoming first Indian CEO of Mckinsey in 1994 made waves all over the world on successfully breaking through the "glass ceiling" of corporate America. This is the man who by sheer grit and determination overcame all vicissitudes of life (it's noteworthy to mention here that Rajat lost both his parents by the time he was 18) and went on to become one of the true icons of Indian diaspora, the face of global India, and hence making Indians all over the world proud by his towering achievements. When a man of this stature attributes his life success to Gita philosophy, then that is something to pay heed to.

Karma-Yoga, as defined by Sri Krishna in "Bhagavad Gita", is working to the best of one's abilities without becoming selfishly attached to the fruits of work. It is Doing One's Duty to the best of one's ability abandoning worry and selfish attachments to the results, and remaining calm in both success and failure. This calmness of mind is the essence of Karma-Yoga. It can also be defined as doing work for the greater good of all without having "what-is-in-for-me" mindset. Paradoxically enough, the Karma-Yogi, by giving up the fruit of his action, does not lose it, but gains it in infinite measure.

As can be seen above, Karma-Yoga is a philosophy of life which if adopted in true spirit, has the potential to alter the course of one's life by giving it a sense of purpose. This purpose driven life has the power to uplift the collective destinies of Individuals, Societies and even Nations alike.

So let's all earnestly seek (if not pledge) to follow this philosophy of Karma-Yoga in our work and strive to become true Karma-Yogis who can make difference to our society and World at large.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Can CREATIVITY be taught ???

Boy, you must be kidding !! Nothing can be farther from the truth and this subject statement is completely B**S**.

Well this bold statement was made by Mr. K R Ravi who'd come to deliver us a guest lecture on "Lateral Thinking & Creativity". One has to keep one's eyes and ears open when the speaker is none other than a well known management guru who also happens to be South Asia's First Dr. EDWARD DE BONO certified public trainer in Lateral Thinking.

But then, I must admit, he definitely had some point.

Contrary to popular perception, Creativity is not only something which Mr. M F Hussein or Mr. Javed Akhtar are bestowed with. Even generation of new ideas during brainstorming session in a Boardroom can also be termed as Creativity. Looking at the same problem with altogether a different mindset is another example of being creative. And this Creativity, Mr. Ravi emphasized, can be very well taught and learnt. So Creativity is nothing more than a skill with a specific set of techniques which can be learnt by anybody.

Some other management gyaan from this guru :
- If you have defined a given problem in only one way, you might not have defined the problem completely.
- If you have come up with only one solution to a given problem, you might not have got the complete solution.

His final words of advice to us :
Keep on challenging the existing notions, beliefs and assumptions as they are the biggest stumbling blocks in way of Lateral Thinking and Creativity.

Well said Mr Ravi.....!!