Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What Makes Great Leaders

I just received a Project Management communication which is circulated to all teams to share thoughts and improve project management competency. Somehow a thought came to my mind related to the importance of project management. Managers play a very important role and it is unimaginable for a team to work well without an effective leadership. Managers not only give direction to the team and ensure that deliverables and targets are met, they also motivate the members to give their best. Leadership styles can be different for different managers and in different environments, but role of leadership is never of less importance.

When it comes to motivate team members, I wonder how far managers or leaders of today actually go. Are they aware of the things going behind the faces (or voices in case of virtual teams)? Do they get chance to understand each members aspirations and pain-points? Do they take members’ answers and responses at their face values? Do they have opportunity to make bonding with team members so that members could trust them with what they actually think about things going around? How do they handle complaints? Do they just pretend to listen and brush aside complaints; or do they play the game of ‘punishing the victim’ to make sure members do not feel encouraged enough to even complain! It seems the creative ways in which things can go wrong are as many as there could be creative ways in which things can go right…

If we look at the real life stories of leaders like NRN, Premji, or JRD, there is an element which is common in all great leaders. That element can be described in words like humility, sensibility or empathy… A team member may be facing a low phase in his personal life; which may be impacting the way he responded on the work. May be a member is facing some problem due to which he is not performing as per expectations; a problem for which he needs your help to resolve but he is not able to mention it. A very good worker did some mistake for which he has apologized; does the leader have the heart to forgive, forget and move on? In case of conflict, may be root cause of the problem lies with a member who enjoys your rapport, but you will perhaps never see this fact since you are not going that far to analyze the situation. A lot of leaders these days play the strategy of keeping things under the carpet instead of trying to resolve real issues. No great company can be formed on the foundations of weak and short-sighted leaders.

Do managers or leaders display some level of empathy or sensibility? This is a vital pointer. Just like things from personal life can impact behaviors in professional life; things that happen in professional life also impact members’ personal lives. Do leaders care about the later as much they would care about the former? Even under constraints most of the time managers still have the power to reach win-win decisions which could be best for them as well as for members. But how many times they try to actually make win-win decisions? How many times they stop at their own benefiting positions, caring nothing for what the member wants? It feels sad for the level of frustration and suffering which young employees at the bottom of pyramid go through; and it is baffling to know that many of those sufferings could be prevented just if the leaders had a little empathy or understanding…

Individually this can still be understood and managers can make course corrections. But if this becomes collective malaise where every other manager displays apathy, insensitiveness and short-sightedness, then it is a recipe for disaster. Perhaps this is a key difference between great organizations and those which are not…

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bolt and Zest from Tata Motors

If you are planning to buy a car; you have two new options: Bolt (small car) and Zest (compact sedan) from Tata Motors. Excited to see a few more "Made in India" Brands! Way to go!

Check out: Bolt: http://tatamotorsbolt.com

and






Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ego impacting our behaviour

How ego works and how our behavior changes because of our ego-association with things can be seen in what happened a few months back. 

I was at our hometown after a long time. Normally father does all the shopping for the house. I am not used to buy things for the house in presence of father as it looks awkward. This time my nephew and niece were at home. Father used to buy for them ‘Kurkure’ snacks which they are very-very fond of and demand all the time. Once I went to market and bought them one pack of ‘Kurkure’ each. They were enjoying it when another kid from the neighborhood came and demanded some snacks for herself too (all kids are mad fans of Kurkure). My niece offered her the same, but the kid grabbed almost all that was in the packet and quickly started eating. Realizing the ‘loot’, my niece cried. Father became angry saying I should either have also bought one more pack for the neighborhood kid too since I knew about her presence, or else I should not have allowed my niece to eat it in the open in front of other kids. I noticed that I protested against this position and made my point bluntly that rather my niece should learn how to protect herself and same situation could have appeared even if I brought one pack for the neighborhood kid and yet she tried to rob my niece. While I had a valid point, but the manner in which I asserted myself in front of my father even surprised me. Why did I raise my voice and asserted myself on such a trivial issue? 

In a moment it became clear to me that my behavior was so because I felt “I” had right of opinion since “I” had bought the packets of snacks for the kids. This ego generating from “I” surprised me. I was ashamed of my behavior but by that time harm was already done. Though I don’t think father felt bad about it or remembered it afterwards but I knew I was wrong and I had a guilt feeling...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Floating

“When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown.” - Alan Wilson Watts


Friday, July 18, 2014

Perspective

“A fishnet is made up of a lot more holes than strings, but you can't therefore argue that the net doesn't exist. Just ask the fish.” -Jeffrey Kluger


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tell the truth boldly

"Tell the truth boldly, whether it hurts or not. Never pander to weakness. If truth is too much for intelligent people and sweeps them away, let them go; the sooner the better." - Swami Vivekananda


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Lootera Songs

This is a song I have loved much. I love period films set in the past and I had loved this movie too much. Here [Link] is my review from the time it was released in theaters. I am a fan of both Ranveer and Sonakshi and it helps too. Even the video of the song is too good. The rural and simplistic charms of the life we have left behind are depicted too well: 

(You can click on "Skip Ad" on bottom right corner to avoid random ads from youtube)

Shikayaten (http://youtu.be/eN5dP3BZALQ)


Other very nice songs from the same movie:

Zinda Hun Yaar: (http://youtu.be/cgHLvt0rxmM)


Manmarziyan (http://youtu.be/RFNmDyBKqk8):


Ankahee (http://youtu.be/DR0S-ocAmvo)


Sawaar loon (http://youtu.be/hIpiSI4pWwM):


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bourbon Biscuits!

Whenever I lay my hands on these biscuits, I feel life is beautiful; God is great; there is goodness still left in this world; and a lot other sweet feelings :)


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Send multiple ITR-V forms in one envelop to CPC Bangalore

Hi all,

Do you know that sending multiple ITR-V forms in one envelop to CPC Bangalore is allowed by the Income Tax department? Many of us file IT returns of our family members and hence if we send all forms together to CPC Bangalore (by Speed Post), it will save us money and at the same time it will be environment friendly since it avoids paper and transportation.

So please send multiple ITR-V forms to CPC Bangalore in a single envelop as per your convenience.

Regards,

Rahul

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Expectation

"Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting a bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian." - Dennis Wholey


Friday, June 20, 2014

SP office, District Pune Rural, Chinchwad

While searching for the given office address - “SP office, District Pune Rural, Chinchwad” on web, I am not able to get pointers. Can someone help as I am not able to get exact address to reach. If you have been to the place, please help how to reach, or help with exact address. Please post it in comments.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Two New Blogs on Hinduism

Happy to inform that I have launched two new blogs as below. Their titles tell the theme these are based on. These are still in nascent stage and I hope to keep posting with time.



Friday, May 30, 2014

Do Unfair People Deserve Fairness?

When a corrupt but well educated person ridicules an honest but less educated person on the basis of qualifications, people are likely to support the later. One, as a society our culture does not encourage us to ridicule or look down at others. To do so in public is a graver sin. Secondly, in such times we also think about "who" are the persons involved and judge them based on their characters. In Ramayan, Lord killed an evil person who accused him before dying of using a trick to kill. Lord is said to have said something which means - you employed evil and unfair means for your whole life to subjugate others and when it comes to your end, you are citing fairness of methods only in order to save your life. 

Do unfair people deserve fairness? 

As someone said, we think of moral and ethics only when these serve our own selfish motives. When it comes to think of moral and ethics which could harm our selfish interests, we tend to ignore these.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Life and Mystery

I remember the days when I was reading Paulo Coelho. His writing full of mystery and symbolism impacted me and for some time I took his things seriously and literally. So when I spotted a white pigeon among a colored flock, or heard a new bird's voice, saw some new flower, or clouds forming a different architecture, I wondered if those were for some specific "reasons" :) When I look back, I don't see any significance of all those "phenomena" happening around :) But yes, life was more interesting when I took his mysticism too seriously. In fact nothing can beat childhood when it comes to seeing life differently and seeing same things with more interesting angles than the boring grownup people do :) I wonder if we tend to think differently either when we are too innocent or too wise...

Friday, May 23, 2014

One Photograph

When I saw this picture - what came to mind first? Moochen hon to Natthu Lal jaisi ho. .warna na ho! :) What second? Was he some friend of the photographer or the later just got lucky? Third? We can know who is more powerful by looking at breadth of the smiles...


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Perspective

“All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.” - Swami Vivekananda



Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book: I have a Dream by Rashmi Bansal

Finished reading “I have a dream” by Rashmi Bansal. It is a collection of real life stories of 20 entrepreneurs who contributed to the society through their ventures and efforts. Rashmi has done a great job with this book.


The book starts with the story of Bindeshwar Pathak of Sulabh International fame and goes on to describe many brillient individuals with kind souls like Anand Kumar (Super 30), Dhruv Lakra (Mirakle Couriers), Anshu Gupta (Goonj), Madhu Pandit Dasa (Akshaya Patra), Vinayak Lohani (Parivaar Ashram) and Shreesh Jadhav (Belur Math) among others. Each individudal tells his or her story full of struggles, setbacks and successes. While all are ver y inspiring, some really touch our soul. The book has been written in conversational style. While the book is very soul touching, at times the manner in which conversations are recorded irritates readers since it is difficult to find if the statement is made by the author of the book or by the person narrating his or her story. The paragraphs are in the form of one sentence each and at many places it looks like scrapbook or a blog not well edited. Apart from the lacking in editing, which can be improved upon in future editions, the book is a master piece. I highly recommend all to read this book; it is very special one you will surely remember for life. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Narendra Modi to be Our PM

It seems like a personal achievement! Thank you everyone who voted for BJP/NDA, supported Narendra Modi and helped him win in any manner big or small... It is certainly a historical victory. It is a moment of pride for India and our democracy! Let us hope India takes fast lane of growth and let us continue to contribute towards our national causes.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Just Thinking...

In childhood, we had three small gardens/ kyaari of plants and flowers - one for each sibling. Each had plenty of roses and other flowers in it - mine had white roses and its plant climbed over our house's walls to reach even the roof. We kids used to maintain our gardens, water the plants, remove the weeds, also apply ash as insecticide at times. Till our younger sister was a too young, my elder sis and I used to maintain her garden also. Once father planted a coconut plant each in my sisters' gardens and also three Ashoka trees which have over the years grown into big trees. We also had guava trees, papaya plants and lemon trees - in which many birds made their nests, tweeted around the branches and played hide-and-seek with us.

I think growing up took so much toll that I closed all those nice real memories in a shell and tried to behave as if nothing really happened. About two years back when we moved to our own flat, my wife bought many plants and we kept several flower pots in our balcony. Since then, we see flowers in our balcony daily; we water the plants; worry about them on vacations; and rush to see them first thing when we are home. She also managed to grow some green chilies in the flowerpots! Of course we have Tulsi ji in one pot too; and she leaves children before going dry every time.

When children traveled far, our mothers would give us something to cling on - a hanman chalisa, some beaded garland, or some piece of cloth. Once I saw a stranger boy on the road bringing out his wallet which had passport size pics of both his parents - how positive was the feeling! I think the idea is to keep us connected to our true self... This is how human civilizations survive and keep moving without losing the soul...