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Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

Right Place, Right Time

January 9, 2012 2 comments

While I was walking out today morning to catch my office cab, I noticed the usual mendicant-young-boy. He doesn’t match with usual beggars or anything like that; he walks with some ingenuity, dignity, seldom talks, and mostly talks of either good doings and/or gods. I have seen him growing, have seen him visiting our streets several times.

What’s so special about it?

I didn’t noticed it much, but this guy doesn’t come along every now and then. He comes on specific days, only on days which hold some mythological values (in India) and when its “said” to be among good values to donate some eatables or household items on those days. This guy calls out importance of these days, and what all is generally guided to be donated on those specific days. He comes almost very early in the morning, I don’t think I have ever seen him around beyond 9 or 10AM.

Now, this guy’s chances of carrying full bags are way much higher than other’s (and he carries a large bag). And simple reason, he spends time to identify what’s the right day and time, and he is around at that time ! And his USP (unique selling proposition) is the information he repeatedly calls out at different common points in a street (and information is mostly re-validated to be always correct by the elder one’s in our family). He is prepared (like many other’s of his kind), but key differentiator is that he tries to be at right place at right time !

There are so many other cases where a person or product has reached great heights just for the reason that it hit right place at right time. There’s a book named Outliers which circumvent around similar idea (though at different intellectual levels obviously!). So, how would one know what’s the right time and right place ? Well, we are far from a formula (at least for now). Till then, follow your heart, be always prepared and look for patterns that you can make use of. Chances are that you too would know the right time and place which is right for your success !

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Handling Challenging Times…

Everybody talks of Industry been through tough and challenging times recently, and progressing into another slow down. But that’s too vast a situation. But I believe in thinking individually. You either have a job at hand or don’t. And you either enjoy the job at hand or don’t. Statistics and percentages are for Government, and they are never out of their paying job !

Problems also creep in when you are doing something “un-enjoyable” for a long slot. Chances are you wont do your best, with peers and/or leads being unhappy about it. Now, that’s too challenging / rough times in a way – you being into something that you don’t like, and which you don’t have much control upon !

What do you do then? Start saying no to everything that comes your way (that you don’t want)? Or, Switch? Well here’s the news. Switch doesn’t happen over-night. And with you saying no, chances are you would soon be shown the way out, or worst, be put on to PIP (performance improvement plan).

From aforementioned context, seems odds are all lined up against you (or who-so-ever been in such state). Well; no, that’s not the case. You have some good options which you can try:

1. Remind yourself that its just a patch and will sooner or later be over. As an employee you always have an option to quit, but real joy is in succeeding against all the odds ! Think about the fact what you would have done if you owned the “task” as its real owner.

2. Remind yourself that what you are delivering is probably not your best. And that, there are people who would be ready to do the same job, and yet it will be an upgrade for them (in some cases at least).

3. Talk about the situation with someone who can do something about it. Don’t warm up your phone receivers, or spill coffee in the corridors cribbing about what you are doing and how bad it is. They can’t do anything about it ! And believe me, same message would be something else when it eventually reaches someone who should have been approached in the first instance.

4. Take some time out, at least weekly if not daily. Go over your “wow” moments from the past. Remind yourself that people did appreciated you and your work. And if that happened, chances are that it happened because you took interest in what you were doing. And importantly, remember that if you can “fake” your interest to yourself, you would be back bang-on. 

5. Dont miss out any opportunity to take time off, not deliberate or sick-time-off’s (unless genuine obviously). Enjoy your time. Its generally being said (but hardest to follow), keep your love-life and work-life separate. That’s a really good thing if you can manage for that, atleast attempt at it (its another story though that am till struggling for this last statement). Spend time with your loved one’s. Spend time with someone who appreciates your time – be it from family or at any charity. You will cherish such moments, I can really tell you that !

Now, I am not a Psychologist or an HR pro talking about it. Am talking from my own experiences (Yes, am open to admit that I had some challenging times too, am sure everyone had). And am sure there are more good things that people (i.e. You) would have tried themselves. I will be obliged if you have anything to add to the listing.

What Can We Learn From Manmohan Singh?

August 26, 2011 1 comment

No. This Post is not about Economics or Finance or Corruption. And, am not an Economist or a Finance guy. Not even a Politics enthusiast or critique for that matter. Am just a common man who wish to learn from common mistakes of those who were on top and fell straight back on their face – just because of small yet terrible mistakes !

Our current Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, is one such person. One might say that its too early for me to say that he has fallen. But if you have kept a tab on where he was in 90’s, and 2K era, to where his rapport is today – I bet you would agree with me. He was considered to be leading the Eco-Socio-reforms/ strategies think-tank within India. And today, even a small school going kid can mute him with his agitation and questions (but obvious, he is anyways on mute most of the times).

In my opinion, here are few things we can learn on what-not-to-do from Dr. Manmohan Singh. If you think there is anything substantial missing, then please write back and I will incorporate it.

1. Know your limits

Manmohan Singh, by profession, is a Specialist, in Finance and Economics. He was an excellent Economic and Strategy Consultant to the Governments of India. One who can stand aside, un-involved, dissect the financials data and stats, and suggest back what’s best thing to do within available constraints. His domain was best constrained within precision, numbers and statistics. And then he dodged himself into subjective, illusionary and petty Political Leadership. And not just a small department or a small project – but to lead the entire nation’s governance. In a state of its kind – India. He must have been fooling himself if he didnt knew what he was getting into. He was not much capable of balancing the act between different Ministries while he was owning Finance Ministry – and that’s a known fact. And if nothing else, the scams which happened when he was managing Nation’s Finances are a strong sign!

2. What comes as a Surprise, Goes as a Surprise

Its well known (at least, strongly rumoured) that Sonia Gandhi was to take the Prime seat after last elections. Its the Legislative Council/team of the group which called out that letting a foreign national sit on highest seat in Electoral System wont go well and might get into Judiciary clauses. And what happened next was shear History ! Pratibha Patil for President’s position, and Manmohan Singh for Prime Minister’s position. In my short career of seven years I have come across many people at wrong places, where they dont belong or not worthy of, but nothing matches what we see today in Indian Political Leadership ! If you are an Indian, ask yourself, or anyone around you and am sure you wont be surprised to know why highest positions have lost their capacity, dignity and respect today ! Manmohan Singh himself (and many others in political system) must have been surprised to see him taking the prime seat. And am sure that Manmohan is equally surprised with what has happened in last two quarters to take away all his life’s worth and credibility away from him!

3. Know your Team

In recent happenings, Kapil was let out in open to “negotiate” with Anna Jee and his movement. Why !? Before Kapil, I would rather doubt Manmohan Singh’s own consciousness on what he was playing for by empowering Kapil Sibal to take charge in such a situation ? You can’t expect a Coal Miner to be turned into a farmer overnight, right? Coal Miner’s love is to remain in dark and to remain black, he simply cant work with the upper crust of his field land that can lead to blossom! Manmohan and his team didnt learnt it from Baba Ramdev Jee’s movement, it was their first. OK. What about Anna Jee’s movement then, where the same group has failed twice already!

And when I say “Know your Team”, I meant for knowing strength and shortfall, both, of your team. Manmohan Singh is leading a team carrying some live stocks, who till date boast for scams like of 2G, CWG, Madhu Koda Money Laundering, Hasan Ali, Cash for Vote, and more. Telecom scam has surfaced twice this time round, both in leadership of Congress. Manmohan had been an Economist himself, he feels proud to be called upon with DOCTOR attached to his name for work done in Economics and Financial Management Practices, its beyond suspicion that he was never aware that his peers are cooking up the books!

I wonder, given the think-tank he loved to be part of, if he really didnt thought for once – why a common Indian isnt receiving the benefits what he is rightful for, and from where all his MLAs and MPs, and even the “damaad” of Gandhi fraternity has become Billionaire over a span of only few years – and that too in his self-proclaimed “clean” stint of 20+ years in Politics. He agreed to lead his current team who had a history of nothing but shame, and now he simply can’t step back saying am clean! If you were clean, then you should have had dragged your team’s dead meat out in open and should have refused to ignore their wrong-doing’s. Just like how APJ Abdul Kalam jee did. He was the first ever President of India, who was physically fit, intellectually superior to your complete lot put together. And yet he was brought down to give way to Pratibha Patil. How was it in India’s interest, and how was it respectful to the First Citizen of India at that time?

If Manmohan didn’t knew his team and what they are upto – then Manmohan Singh failed as a Leader. If Manmohan did knew his team (which my gut feel says, he was) and yet kept mum, then Manmohan Singh isnt clean and is equally responsible for corruption charges brought out against his team members !

4. Know when to call Quits

Since school, we have learnt that real men fight! They fight till death, and never call Quits ! If that’s for his mother nation’s or individual’s life and pride, yes, that’s how a man should live. But that’s where it logically should end.

For one like of Manmohan Singh, it doesn’t suite for him to be a Sardar (the entire community of which is considered to be rightful, truthful and pride in their ancestry) and yet be watching all what’s happening and not be doing anything about it. Its said that a Sardar can bring more glory then hundred enemies put together. But sadly he didn’t proved it when entire nation was looking upto him ! I don’t want to communalize this post by saying so – I have utter respect for anyone who respects and loves India, as much as I do. And, I just hope that some of my peers and friends don’t feel offended because I still think Manmohan Singh is a Sardar, somewhere, if not at core. Really, call out one good reason why Manmohan is standing in way of what this country and its masses need today. Why Manmohan is becoming the shield and shelter to the Corrupts and the Gandhi’s. Gandhi fraternity in today’s leadership is and will remain biggest blot on India’s future, but what stops Manmohan today. Entire nation is standing with Anna for what’s right, why not Manmohan ! He too comes from masses only ! One might say that he is protecting and balancing the Democratic System – but what System is it if a mass of more than 2 crore has formally declared to be supporting Anna Jee, and there are crores-and-crores of more who haven’t hit the roads as yet, but are supporting the Anti-Corruption Movement just like anyone else! Its true, that for some fights, you have to call quits first. India’s independence followed the movements from Shaheed Bhagat Singh, and a “Quit India” movement from Gandhi Jee. Subhash Chandra Bose had to even quit India for the greater interest and goals. Another Quit India movement is in making today, and yet Manmohan failed to realized when he should have called Quit !

5. Nothing lasts forever, except for your Values

Whole India seems to be standing besides Anna Jee today. Ever wondered why? He is not a MBA from IIMs or Harvard or Oxford, specializing in Leadership or Entrepreneurship. He is not born to any billionaire or Politician or some god-like figure (Buddha!?).

Its his values!

In last two quarters, petty Political parties have done everything to defame Anna Jee. They cursed him, challenged him to prove dignity, even man-handled him before on-going movement. And yet, this man stood by his values! Values are like meditation, more you see them getting practiced, more you are attracted to them. And in contrast to it, we have mind-boggling bureaucracy and governance system, and utter Politicians themselves. And guess who’s standing taller than ever? Guess who’s feeling more energetic – the one aged 74yrs, fasting since last 11 days or those feasting at PMs house in name of Iftaar!?

Our current constitution was defined by a great man (Baba Bhimrao Ambedkar). And then, some not-so-men-kind, got into power to sit in Parliament and defined laws in ways so they can do anything they like. And from last 60+ years, common masses of India are made to believe that Constitution is something Alien! That it cant be changed for them, but can be changed for those sitting in Parliament, and in just no time! The only trouble for Manmohan is that in past, such anti-corruption movement either didnt arise or they were settled out smartly (or rather, politically). In his utter Leadership, this topic was loud then ever. And reasons are obvious. Masses are done with what’s going on. Tax, Income, Expenses, Inflation, Corruption – everything has soared up, except for quality and just of common man’s life.

But Manmohan and his team has forgotten one thing – Nothing lasts forever; not you, not this continent, not the political power, AND not even the Constitution behind which they are attempting for an hide ! Even the Sun has to set everyday, and will as well vanish one day, what are the chances of this System then !

So, every occasion when you find yourself empowered or over-powered, remind yourself if your action leads to something that will last forever. And if it doesn’t, then be ready for a change !

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