- All of us have born with equal rights to achieve our goals in our life.
- If you have poor academic score, it does not mean your IQ is low. You need not have to feel helpless. It may be you are destined to lead people with high IQs.
- The limitations are the shackles we ourselves put upon ourselves.
- The so called IQ is only an insignificant factor to decide your growth as always if you use your EQ, RQ & SQ you can always use everyone around you as a resource to progress. You can intelligently use others IQ for your advantage and that is what leadership is all about.
- Producing extraordinary results with ordinary people is really leadership is all about. This needs EQ, RQ, LQ and SQ.
- Watch carefully when an intimidating moment of truth is stunning against you – It is a great opportunity to explore within yourself. If you do, then you emerge as a great leader.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
- You belong to the most evolved version of Nature – Human being with rationale and creativity. You have the power of creating anything if you believe
- If you choose, you can create a future which you dream about.
- Be optimistic – as it produces better results than pessimistic attitude
- Be the captain of your soul and take charge of your life.
- There is no age to aim high; all achievers started their life after 50.
- Cultivate the possibility thinking as a habit
- Don't blame any one for your failure as you are the creator of your destiny
- This World is for those who dare to explore the "Path less traveled"
Sunday, December 6, 2009
- Making decision is an inevitable part of Life
- Only Decision makers become leaders
- Rely on yourself for making choices because you only know your passion well
- Accept the “moment of truth” when life presents what is real.
- Don’t become an “adapted child" - sitting in a dark room, sucking your
- No one knows “The path less travelled” is the one which will take you to great heights
- Explore the “Master” within you; only who dare to try new path have brought all their
- The secret of success lies in accepting what is in store and trying new avenues.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I had the biggest blow in my life when I had to end up in a poly-technique at the age of 16 when I had the dream to enter an engineering college. Now I know why nature planned my life that way. I knew more about myself as a “self-made person” by pursuing my education till I got my M.Tech from IIT. I have the great joy of fighting with road blocks and converting them as a stepping stone. “Problems are manures; it stinks but helps to grow” is the wisdom Shri. Ravishankar has given to the modern mind.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
We have no choice in life upon two things; the birth in this planet and leaving the same. The interim period between these two events is called “Life”. It is a collection of fleeting experiences which can neither be re-played nor stored. There are two paradigms about Life; one “it is a benediction to be a human” and another is result of “Karma” – the inevitable choice. The paradigms are the “Basic assumption” upon which all our beliefs and actions are based. Let’s examine the manifestation of these two basic assumptions.
When we come from the paradigm “life is a result of an inevitable choice” we tend to believe that our state of happiness or sorrow is decided by an external source. We tend to blame our parents for not sending us to a good school, our spouse for not supporting us and so on. In this state of mind one does not want to take responsibility for everything that is happening in their life. Once we blame external sources for our state, we have no responsibility to change anything. It is the best recipe to remain where we are. This state of melancholy is where many choose to remain and don’t want to rock the boat.
When we choose the paradigm of “It is a benediction to be a human”, we take life with a sportsmanship and play joyfully as play itself is the reward. In this state, we take charge of our life without blaming anyone for our progress or lack of it. We become the captain of our soul and steer our life for ourselves and the betterment of our fellow human being. People who lived with this paradigm have believed that in ultimate analysis “Nothing matters”. Think for a moment the anxiety our grand parents (who are in heaven now!) have gone through during their life. Does that have any meaning now? Similarly our concerns now will have no meaning later when we quit this planet. We will not be remembered as Jesus who is worshiped even after 2000 years of his earthly abode.
Alexander died at the age of 32, Jesus was in human form only for 37 years and Adhi Sankara lived only for 33 years in this planet. The foot prints these human beings have left are not erasable for many more millenniums. The contributions made by Edison by illuminating the world, Mother Theresa by bring smile in the face many poor, Mary Curie giving the great invention of radium and so on are the monuments of meaningful life lived by great people. All these people have come from the paradigm that “Life is a benediction” and “Nothing matters” which means that the doing is important rather than the fruits of action. If we are caught up with the fruit of action, we miss the target.
Life is a pair of opposites by design; hot & cold, happiness & sorrow, light & shadow and so on. If it is not so, one cannot appreciate the favourable ones. For example white cannot be defined if black is not there, light cannot be understood if darkness is not there and happiness cannot be recognized if sorrow is not defined. When we have faced ill health we have appreciated health. When we had headache we realized that we have something called head! It is like two ends of the same stick and trying to pick one without the other is foolishness. When we transcend these pair of opposites, we have arrived to our destination.
Life will be joyful experience only when we understand these realities of Life as a whole and live every day with a missionary zeal which will make our presence in this planet more meaningful.
Wish you a Great Life ahead.
Monday, November 16, 2009
In English language there are several words having the same connotation for “happiness”; joy, pleasure, glee, ecstasy, Bliss and so on. If the word Happiness is specific and beyond interpretation, there cannot be many words in the language. Lets us examine in details.
Before that let me deal with the confusion whether “Happiness” is a cause or an effect? This is important because, cause precedes effect. If we say happiness is an effect, we need to figure out what is the cause. There are two schools of thoughts; in material domain we need a cause to be happy – example: food closer to your choice makes you happy. In the spiritual domain “happiness is a state of mind” and hence you don’t need any cause to make it happen! In fact all Vedic literatures say that our real nature is happiness.
Let’s examine the different words and their connotations for better appreciation of our true nature:
Pleasure is the “effect” of physical indulgence; as an example, an ice cream gives you a pleasure. Pleasure is in the lowest rung in the happiness scale. The same ice cream is taken beyond a point at a stretch, it will lead to nausea. It is also a fleeting experience and not lasting.
Joy is at the emotional level and also the effect of a cause; for example when we have become the father of the child first time, we have experienced the joy. Although Joy is in the higher rung than pleasure, but still it depends on an external object to make us happy.
You don’t find the exact meaning for the word Glee from the dictionary. The happiness we get when we see someone in trouble is “Glee”. For example we tend to laugh when someone slipped and fell down; catching ourselves immediately that it is indecent to do that. The cause here is someone else’s problem and it de-generates our being.
Bliss and ecstasy falls in the spiritual domain of happiness which comes from the paradigm that your very nature is “happiness” and you don’t need any external objects to act as a cause. For no reasons you are happy is a state of bliss. It only means all that you have to do is “Choose to be happy”. When the mind is in constant material pursuit, it is perennially looking forward to a physical indulgence or a material object to make you happy.
When one experiences a thoughtless state during the meditation, you experience the Bliss.
Ecstasy in spiritual domain is “Nirvana” the state one attains when he transcends the mind. This is an irreversible state of happiness. Vedic literatures argue this as the very purpose of our life.
What is the earthly use of knowing all this? For a modern man of material madness, these are Greek and Latin. Modern man is swayed like a ship in the rough sea without a compass and a captain. We always chase and amaze wealth hoping that it will give happiness and security. Alas! Only to find that object which gave the happiness on the day of acquiring it, failed to do the same all the time. On the other hand, the desire for a big car, upon acquiring it gave the anxiety of driving without a problem of parking or someone scratching it!
As the famous Zen proverb “You cannot pick the one end of the stick alone”. The happiness through material acquisition has its own share of misery. Beware of their limitations and move upwards in the rung of happiness ladder.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Only few organizations managed to become multinationals and still very few of them could become fortune 100. In India 98% of the industries belong to micro, small and medium enterprise category (MSME) which by definition is less than 10 crores capital investment. I was curious to understand the root causes which made these achievements possible only by few enterprises. All enterprises are founded by an entrepreneur who made a difference from the salaried clause and demonstrated his leadership. Presumably, the entrepreneur had a vision to make a difference in founding an organization. Then why they lost their steam on the way?
I had several opportunities to discuss with the first generation entrepreneurs to know the reason why they did not expand their organization beyond a point. Invariably, the answer was “My children are not interested in taking over my business and no one is there to inherit the institution I passionately founded and hence I have stopped my efforts to expand”. The other reason given is “Already I am overstretched beyond my elastic limits working 24 by 7 and where is the band width to take more?”
If we take a look at corporate, there are plenty of king elephants which had 10 years order book at one time and enjoyed highest customer satisfaction, although their quality and delivery was pathetic. May be in a protected economy, where the customer has limited choice, the true health of the organization is not known to the management. These elephants had their natural death although took long time to die. In spite of poor response to customer needs, few of the corporate survive the onslaught of globalization due to the brand identity created over centuries.
If we examine the key ingredients of successful organizations you will find they are overwhelmingly common sense; very obvious but difficult to practice. Lets us look at each one of them:
In a ship, the captain is the most relaxed person, but highly paid. He is a non-doer and doer at the same time. He is the cause for everything that will happen in the ship and the buck stops with him as he is accountable for everything going well or otherwise. There is an individual behind all great institutions whose character shadows in every brick. His ideologies and vision shapes up the institution and become the DNA of the organization. Be it a Sam Walton of Wall mart or Bill Hewlett & David Packard of HP, their ideologies became the core principles of the Organization. “Respect the individual” is the core value of HP and “Imagination & Wholesomeness” is the ideology of Disneyland which emanates from the strong principle cantered leadership of the founders.
I happened to work for the famous south Indian business house “TVS” founded by Shri. T.V. Sundaram Iyengar hailing from a Brahmin community. He founded a bicycle shop against the custom of Brahmins as they are not supposed to get into business on those days. He had an ideology “Customer is the King” and all processes and people of the organization should align with this one single motive. When TVS was running a town bus in the city of Madurai, the driver and conductor demonstrated this ideology through their behaviour and processes. Even after TVS discontinued bus services, people in Madurai used to say “We can adjust our watch by seeing the TVS bus”. This compliment from general public praises the punctuality of the buses ran on those days. This is the result of people alignment and shared vision across the organization which a leader achieves by his presence and walking the talk. TVS today is several thousand crores turnover business house still known for its Quality Focus; the founder lives in every DNA of the institution.
We have seen the foundation of any successful institution starts with the Core ideologies which is the result of principle cantered leadership. Hence there is an element of an organization which is constant such as the core ideologies and another which is changing with respect to time such as its vision – where it wants to reach & strategies which will be the means to achieve its vision. One of the hardest parts of any organization is visualizing the future and passionately pursuing it through clear strategies with the alignment of every one. The organization need to create a management system to achieve this as their people are quite comfortable with the status quo. The strategy changes the process and people over the period of time in alignment with the core ideologies of the institution. The ability of the organization is to keep an eye on the changing environment and manage change internally. Hence Change management is the next capability the Fortune 500 companies could do better.
The core ideologies, vision and strategies can be given life only by the people in the organization. Ironically, people want prosperity without realizing that it is a result of improvement coming through CHANGE! While people wants prosperity but RESIST changes! They wish to have the result opposing the MEANS! Hence alignment of the people attitude and competency is the next big challenge these organizations tackled well.
The next big hurdle for achieving the vision of any organization is the “Processes”. Many organizations are people dependant and hence influenced by the attitude and competency of the people. The successful organizations have shifted from people dependency to process dependency. A simple example is Mc Donald and similar franchisee managed businesses. One cannot fry finger chips any way he/she likes as the process is standardized and the system does not allow individuals work their ways. The “repeatable excellence” is possible only through de-skilling and standardization of processes. The changing aspect of the organization is the processes which have to continuously evolve over the period of time aiming the customer needs.
The next most important aspect of the successful organization is self assessment on a periodic manner. These successful organizations believe in the stakeholder’s satisfaction as the very purpose of its existence. The stakeholders could be customers, employees, investors, suppliers and dealers / business associates. Unless otherwise there are performance metrics, organization may not come to know how it is performing. Often, organizations review financial metrics which are lag indicators and can show its health only after it has deteriorated. Intelligent organizations measure means more than the results. Adopting Key Performance Index – KPI is one of the characteristics of the successful organization. Managing an organization without KPI is like driving a car without a dashboard! The vehicle may come to a halt without any indication.
6. CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT:
Accepting the status quo is acceptable for the mineral, plant and animal kingdom as they have no faculty to challenge them. Human species has the potential to challenge status quo and evolve. Accepting the status quo and living with mediocre results is a sin human being should not commit. The automobile and aircraft are the example for achieving perfection closer to zero defects. Today motor cars are produced with 2 parts per million defects which is a result of continuous improvements over the period of last 10 decades. Hence the most successful companies have built a management system to involve people to challenge the defects and continuously improve processes.
7. RESULT FOCUS:
We have looked at the enablers of any successful organization so far. This takes care of the “Process Focus” ie P- Criteria. The last aspect of any successful organization is “Result Focus” ie R-Criteria. Many organization over emphasizes profits and gets lost in driving its core values. Although profit is an important aspect of any business model, focusing only on “profits first” philosophy will drive people to achieve the bottom line by any means. The most successful organizations kept their larger purpose in mind and profit became the reality by default. However it is not only taking care of the means, but also having an eye on the end is important. This is emphasised by Stephen Covey in his second habit, “Begin with the end in mind” and what Mahatma Gandhi said “Take care of the means and the end will take care of itself”.
In summary, the successful institutions are built around the strong ideology coupled with a desire to grow without violating the principles of a larger purpose than earning profit. The key elements are:
· Purpose (larger than profits)
· Vision (end in mind)
· Strategy (mean to progress)
· People (alignment & engagement)
· Process (means to meet customer expectations)
· Measurements (Performance indicators)
· Continuous improvements (change to suit environment).
Wish you happy reading.