Friday, February 29, 2008

i-TFTD #101: A New Age of Leadership?

i-TFTD #101: A New Age of Leadership?

A New Age of Leadership at Harvard
Linda Tischler
February 12, 2007

The naming of the first female president of Harvard University, a place where, as recently as the mid-1970s, women were barred from entering the main door of the faculty club, has prompted the expected chorus of folks wondering if Drew Gilpin Faust's gender was the main reason for her appointment. That's not an unreasonable question since her predecessor, Larry Summers, was pretty much run out of office on a rail after speculating if women were biologically cut out for quant disciplines like science and math.

But the more interesting reason for Faust’s selection may be the one alluded to in last Saturday's New York Times. Richard Chait, a professor of higher education at Harvard, told the paper that he thought the presidential search committee was attracted to Faust because of her management style. "My own sense is that it's a new template for leadership, and that probably is not unrelated to gender, but it ought not get eclipsed by it."

Dr. Chait, who studies university management, noted that several major American corporations have recently ousted their tough, even bullying leaders, in favor of more diplomatic, people-oriented managers.

It seems that the softer side of leadership is getting a lot of attention these days. Just last week, Thomas Kuczmarski, who teaches courses on innovation at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, was in our office talking about a new book he wrote about leadership with his wife, Susan Kuczmarski, a cultural anthropologist. It’s called "Apples are Square: Thinking Differently About Leadership," (to be published in July.)

One of the things he says he's now telling his budding MBAs is that the old Jack Welch model of leadership --- assertive, aggressive, controlling, and competitive has to change. "We need more feminine characteristics in management," he says.

Just don't call them that, he warned me. Might spook the fellas.

Nancy Pelosi aside, the modern workplace is not yet ready to sign on to something that might lead someone to call the CEO a girly man. The acceptable way of talking about a leadership model that's more collaborative, consensus-driven, compassionate, and inclusive, he says, is the gender-neutral term "values-based leadership."

Call it what you will. But keep your eyes open and chances are good you'll start recognizing it in the most unlikely places... like at P&G, where A.G. Lafley replaced Durk Jager (who was known as "an aggressive change agent with a confrontational style") and Disney, where Robert Iger succeeded Michael Eisner (called, by the BBC, "direct, domineering, and harsh.")

And now even Harvard. Can the Age of Aquarius be far behind?

Lately there has been a lot of focus on masculine versus feminine as opposed to male versus female, the premise being that each of us embodies both aspects. The ancients seem to have realized this, as brought out by the concepts of the Chinese yin-yang, and the Indian shiv-shakti. Could be applied to personalities, leadership styles and even problem solving approaches. On a lighter note, the essential differences are well known to anyone who is married!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

i-TFTD #100

i-TFTD #100

#100-1. Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.
-Bill Gates

#100-2. Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.

-Cecil Beaton

#100-3. It is a curious fact that of all the illusions that beset mankind none is quite so curious as that tendency to suppose that we are mentally and morally superior to those who differ from us in opinion.

-Elbert Hubbard

My first reaction on reading the first one is: if you are Bill Gates you can say anything and it will be considered profound. Well, that itself is a useful hint, isn't it? Achieve something in some area first, then expect to get a better hearing.

The third one is interesting. We either give too much credence or too little respect to difference in opinion. Rarely do we approach it neutrally. That is why we need reminders to treat different ideas as we treat complementary colors, and reminders to avoid conformity (like the second quote above).

Monday, February 25, 2008

i-TFTD #99: Listen to the Whisper

i-TFTD #99: Listen to the Whisper

Listen to the Whisper
by Doug Sundheim
None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American author, minister, & activist

When I do mission and vision work with clients, the first thing I have them do is present their current mission and vision. Most of what I hear could put you to sleep. It's formulaic. It's lifeless. And the delivery is uninspired. I then ask them them to dig a little deeper. "What's the mission that's whispering to you? - that's begging you to follow it - that might sound silly or unreasonable, but that gets you fired up as you think about pursuing it." The answers to these questions are often much different. They're electric in comparison. They're raw, but they're real. And as a result they have the ability to inspire and move people.

Consider this:
Mediocrity is easy - follow the masses. Excellence, however, is not - that's a path you've got to carve on your own. Your guide is often no more than a faint whisper inside of you. To pursue it takes courage. And to succeed takes imagination and hard work. However, the payoff is big if you stick to it. You will have built something from nothing. And you will have forged your character and legacy in the process.

Try this:
1. What whisper do you hear?
2. Put it on paper - I recommend doing this even if you think you know it already - it forces you to articulate it more clearly.
3. Recognize that this is
your sweet spot - the place where you'll find more creativity and success than anywhere else.
4. When the time is right, follow it. Slowly at first if you have to.
5. Revisit this whisper at least once a year as it can change and grow as you begin to listen to it.

We all know at least one or two kinds of activities in specific situations where we simply shine. Effortlessly. And have won admiration from others though we probably felt it was no big deal. Such talents provide clues to our core strengths. We wish that somehow this should be more repeatable; we get the feeling that if our work was such that we could apply these talents regularly, we could operate with excellence and life would then be more fulfilling. The strengths-based approach is all about channelizing our areas of passion into our roles. This is the ultimate career planning secret.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

i-TFTD #98: Letter to Son's Teacher

i-TFTD #98: Letter to Son's Teacher

There is an alleged "true story" about Winston Churchill and Alexander Fleming that is often circulated via e-mail. It is in fact a popular myth. The value of that story diminishes if it is a concocted one.

On the other hand, there are other popularly misquoted items that are worth reading anyway. The following is widely circulated even by many authoritative sources as written by US President Abraham Lincoln to his son's teacher. I find it touching, even after knowing that he did not.

Letter to Son's Teacher
(by Anonymous)

He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true.
But teach him that for every scoundrel there is a hero,
that for every selfish politician there is a dedicated leader.

Teach him that for every enemy, there is a friend.
It will take time, I know but teach him if you can,
that a dollar earned is of far more value than five found.

Teach him to learn to lose and also to enjoy winning.
Steer him away from envy if you can, teach him the secret of quiet laughter.
Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick.

Teach him if you can the wonder of books,
In school teach him it is far more honourable to fail than to cheat.
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if every one tells him they are wrong.

Teach him if you can, how to laugh when he is sad.
Teach him there is no shame in tears.
Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness.

Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders
but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul.
Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob and to stand and fight if he thinks he is right.

Treat him gently, but do not cuddle him,
because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
Let him have the courage to be impatient.

Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself,
because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind.

This is a big order, but see what you can do.

He is such a fine little fellow, my son.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

i-TFTD #97: Anand Mahindra Inspires Indian IT

i-TFTD #97: Anand Mahindra Inspires Indian IT

The following speech by Anand Mahindra at the Nasscom Leadership Summit on February 13, 2008 is worth reading for the following:

-A good speech with interesting analogies, down-to-earth tone but unmistakable points
-Many quotable quotes
-Good advice for the Indian IT industry

(i-flex solutions charted a different path and became the world's #1 banking back office product solution provider though not mentioned here probably because it is a rare exception.)

IT industry has its own Hiranyakashyap to battle
14 Feb, 2008, 1830 hrs IST

More articles from Nasscom Summit at,prtpage-1.cms

Nasscom Leadership Summit has always been a place for good story-telling and provocative thoughts. This year, the spark came not from a software veteran or a BPO moghul, but a captain of an old economy industry. Anand Mahindra, vice chairman and managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra drew from mythology to call for game-changing innovation from the IT industry.

One of the tasks we at the Mahindra Group have set ourselves is to aspire to be recognized as the most customer-centric organization in India, and why not, in the world!

In order to walk the talk, every time I'm asked to speak at a conference, I have made it a default option to ask what the audience--my customers--might expect of me.

And so I found myself wondering what this conclave of IT wizards expects from a predominantly right-brained character like myself. You certainly haven't called me here to deliver a sermon on technology. And I wouldn't even risk doing that with Nandan (Nilekani) and Kiran (Karnik) sharing the dais!

Of course, I might have been able to do that by getting one of my IT colleagues to write this speech, but then it would have been comprehensible to you, but incomprehensible to me!

And although the title of this session is 'Building a Knowledge Economy for Growth', I believe that a) All of you out there have helped build the foundations of a knowledge economy, so again, you don't need me to pontificate to you about that and b) I think there are some urgent pressures and imperatives the industry has to deal with at this point.

So, I'm going to talk about something completely different: I will talk about the Trimurti.

Most of the Indians in this audience will know the Trimurti the trinity in Indian mythology of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the sustainer and Shiva the destroyer. There is a wonderful depiction of this in stone, just ten kilometers across the bay, at Elephanta. Both as a businessman, and as someone who tends to see life in visual images, the Trimurti reminds me of India's IT industry. Think of it.

You people have gone through a stage, where like Brahma, you created something out of nothing. You created a new and global industry. You created a service sector that is today, a major pillar of our GDP. But most importantly, you created a perception of a new India, both in the world and in Indian hearts and minds.

CK Prahalad once told me that in universities in America today, there are almost unfairly high expectations from Indian students, because there is a huge perception that all Indian students are brilliant, outstanding. You created that perception. And within India, what you created was self-belief. You showed us what Indians could do, and now the rest of India believes that Indians can do anything. Brahma created a physical landscape; you sowed the seeds of a new mental and psychological landscape. In that sense, you are truly the Brahmas of the age of liberalisation.

But creation is only the first phase. You then have to move on to the next phase of sustaining that creation - to the realm of Vishnu the preserver. Creation is a one-time affair. Sustaining that creation is obviously a longer haul, subject to many attacks and crises. Perhaps that is why Vishnu comes not in one, but in ten incarnations.

Every time there is a new danger, he changes his avatar to a form best suited to meet that danger. At various times he has come as a fish, as a tortoise, as a dwarf. But his most interesting avatar came when he had to fight the demon Hiranyakashyap. Hiranyakashyap was a bad guy, who had obtained an amazing boon from the gods. Neither man nor beast could kill him; he could not be killed by daylight or at nighttime, within his home or outside it, on the ground or in the sky. All this made him pretty invincible he went on a rampage, and only Vishnu could tackle him.

The IT industry today faces challenges every bit as complex as those Hiranyakashyap posed for Vishnu. It is hit by a macroeconomic tsunami of adverse currency changes, rapidly escalating costs in both salaries and infrastructure and inadequate talent pools below the tier 1 and 2 institutions.

At the Company level, firms are begin to feel the penalties of poor differentiation and lack of focus (trying to be all things to all people); and an over-emphasis on high volumes and price competition.

Suddenly, the industry seems to have fallen off its pedestal; You are facing your very own Hiranyakashyap.

It's interesting to see how Vishnu dealt with him. How do you destroy someone who can't be killed by man or beast, inside or outside, by day or night etc etc. The demon pretty much had all bases covered. So Vishnu took on the Narasimha avatar to bypass the boon. Narasimha was a hybrid creature, half man half lion, and therefore neither man nor beast.

He killed Hiranyakashyap at twilight, which is neither day nor night. He killed him in the courtyard, which is neither inside a house nor outside it. And he killed the demon by placing him across his knee and tearing him apart, thus circumventing the terms of the boon that he could not be killed either on the ground or in the sky. Now that's what I call an innovative algorithm!

So what are the lessons for the IT industry in this story? Well, the first thing Vishnu did was to reinvent himself. It was not the gentle and contemplative Vishnu who fought Hiranyakashyap it was the fearsome Narasimha avatar. Vishnu reinvented himself to suit the circumstances. The circumstances have changed drastically. Reinvent yourselves.

Do I have all the answers on the modes of re-invention? No, obviously not, otherwise I'd be out there filing patents, although I can suggest two broad approaches.

First, why don't we design business models that challenge traditional industry approaches and then transform our organizations, people and processes to execute. If we simply keep knocking on the doors of clients with our traditional offshoring options, we'll meet the fate of hearing aid salespersons: our best customers won't hear the doorbell!

For example, software-on-demand and open source models changed the rules of the software game. Can we not try to change the rules of the game this time around? Why didn't we invent Zoom technology or Virtualisation? Thus far, India's brand of innovation has been identified with the IT industry, but is it truly innovative, is it really game changing? Ironically, you can now look to the old smokestack industries for inspiration.

A few weeks ago, an Indian car company made a game-changing move. Maybe the Nano will ultimately not retail for a hundred thousand rupees. Maybe it won't have great margins, or replace as many motorcycles as it would like to, but it was a game changing move; it fired a shot that was heard around the world. Can the IT world make any such claim?

There was an old saying, apparently adopted by the IT industry, that the secret of success is to jump every time opportunity knocks. And how do you know when opportunity knocks? You don't, you just keep jumping!

So when are we going to stop simply jumping every time a client seems to sneeze, and actually create products and IP that become their own opportunities?

Let's look at new areas where India may have natural advantage. I remember C.K Prahlad telling us that we didn't realize how important it was to leverage emerging innovation ecosystems in our country. He gave us the example of how, due to a fortunate coincidence, India's IT and automotive industries were situated in roughly the same geographic clusters. So why wasn't, according to Michael Porter's competitive theories, a world beating automotive telematics industry taking shape here.

Why aren't IT companies using the massive potential of India's soft power, the film and TV business to exploit technological dominance of what Telco's call the 'last mile' but is actually the 'first mile' in the brave new interactive world?

Secondly, why don't we try to focus on a vertical industry (e.g., telecom) or horizontal domain (e.g., supply chain management) selecting the key dimensions of competitive differentiation product vs. service, breadth vs. depth, speed of delivery, customer service responsiveness, fixed or outcome-based pricing, proprietary technology or intellectual property, and so on.

And let's be prepared to make hard decisions along the way change people who don't fit, walk away from businesses that doesn't fit.

It's essential, while attempting this, however, to recognize that focus, differentiation and brand building require time and investment. Selling value or doing business differently than the norm tends to elongate sales cycles, which tends to put pressure on cash flow and we need to resist the temptation to broaden our offerings or slash prices just to win the business and keep people busy.

Along with re-invention, during the course of reinventing himself, Vishnu figured out the loopholes in the boon, and regrouped his physical and mental aspects to take advantage of these loopholes. That's something the IT industry can do as well. Its often been pointed out that in the Chinese word for crisis is also the Chinese word for opportunity. I love that mindset. I truly believe that the adverse rate of the dollar can be viewed as the glass half empty or the glass half full. Sure it affects margins. But it's also a chance to take advantage of the loophole and buy yourselves what you don't have, so that you can regroup your structure to meet the challenge.

To me the fact that our currency is more valuable and our price earnings ratios are still higher than average, means that we can acquire the front-ends and the large IT businesses that we never thought we could before. And the bigger the better. If people are egging us on to leapfrog, then they should also cheer as you bid for companies that seem bigger fish than you. It's happening all the time today in the manufacturing sectorTata Corus being the stellar exampleand we at Mahindra, while starting from scratch, have inorganically compiled together a portfolio of acquisitions that make us the fourth largest steel forging company in the world today.

This is not without historical precedent. If you look at Japan and South Korea, both of them went through a phase of enduring the worlds' skepticism, then painstakingly building strong and competent domestic businesses, and then on the back of global liquidity support and strong price earnings ratios, compressing time by acquiring global firms and their customer credibility.

In effect, by acquiring the strengths and skill sets you need, you will regroup your profile and create a new entity, which can vanquish your challenges as effectively as Vishnu vanquished Hiranyakashyap.

And finally, while reinventing yourselves, you will have to bring in some of the aspects of the third element of the Trimurti that of Shiva the destroyer.

Destroy for example the premise that cost arbitrage is the way to go. Recognize that the low cost, high volume offshore outsourcing battle has already been fought and won. Often, when strategic frames grow rigid, companies, like countries, tend to keep fighting the LAST war. If you are not already on the winners list, you need to think of other ways to compete on value and differentiation, rather than price and scale.

Destroy the premise that success comes only from size, and desist from comparisons with other Indian companies. There are still many IT companies in India who define success as "we want to be one of the top ten Indian IT companies". Why not, for example, "we want to be the world's #1 banking back office solutions provider"?

And lastly, perhaps the time has come to destroy the notion that the world may be your oyster but India is not. There is a huge domestic market in middle class and corporate India that has not been plumbed. Even selling to the bottom of the pyramid is profitable today. But it needs a creative destruction of the current mindset and a re-think on many of the assumptions we hold dear.

So, in conclusion, perhaps there really isn't that much distance between avatars in the mythological sense and avatars in the technology sense. Perhaps they are both symbolic expressions of the same reality. In their different ways, they both underline the same message that it is necessary in any situation to reinvent, regroup and re-think our way out of whatever challenges confront us.

I'd like to close with one of my favourite quotessuch a favourite, that I can't even remember where I first read it:

My father thought the world would be same;
My children, however, wake up EVERY day thinking the world will be different.
Let's begin emulating our children. Time to wake up and make the world different.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

i-TFTD #96

i-TFTD #96

#96-1. We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.

#96-2. One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.
-Arnold Glasow

#96-3. Happy moments, praise GOD.
Difficult moments, seek GOD.
Quiet moments, worship GOD.
Painful moments, trust GOD.
Every moment, thank GOD.

We all have heard the cliché, "Problem and opportunity are two sides of the same coin," but do we approach a situation looking like a problem in the same way as we approach one looking like an opportunity? Could we train ourselves to do that?

The second one is true. I think two organizational practices act as opposing forces to encourage such behavior: one is the tendency to idolize crisis handlers and the other is that the chances of recognition for someone who prevented a crisis are low when it is not apparent that the preventive step taken on a small-looking problem actually prevented a crisis. Think of how many heroic stories you have heard of someone who worked to turn around on a disastrous project and how many stories you have heard of someone who brilliantly identified a potential problem. A proportion of time spent on recognizing and rewarding crisis managers should be spent on identifying the crisis creators.

For those who do believe in some kind of universal superconsciousness, the first and last are good reminders. The other three occur spontaneously.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

i-TFTD #95: Work Like the Rain

i-TFTD #95: Work Like the Rain

Work Like the Rain
by Doug Sundheim

We should work like the rain. The rain just falls one rain drop after another. It doesn't ask: Am I making a nice sound down below? Will the plants be glad to see me? Millions and billions of raindrops, only falling.

-Jakusho Kwong, American Zen Buddhist Monk

Consider This:

Paradoxically, when you're obsessed with results, you're less effective at producing them. This is because your head isn't in the present moment. It's off in the future - worrying about the result. It's like a basketball player trying to win a game by staring at the scoreboard. It doesn't work. Focus on playing the game and the score will take care of itself.

One of my clients uses a creative exercise to get into the present moment when he finds he's obsessing about results. He closes his eyes and visualizes taking an excellent golf shot. He explained it like this, "My best shots always come when I approach the ball slowly and intentionally. I look down the fairway to where I want to hit the ball and I align myself. Then I take my mind away from the target and focus on the swing. And I've found through the years that if I don't take my mind away from the target, my swing suffers. It's the same in my business."

Try This:

1. Think of something you like to do.
2. Close your eyes and imagine yourself doing it at your best.
3. Begin to understand why you are/were so good at it - what were you thinking? Feeling? Doing? Notice how present you were.

4. Reconnect with what it feels like to get lost in that moment (and work like the rain). It's your blueprint for success.

Question: How do you bring yourself back to the present moment?

The above can be related to the "Concentrate on the action, the fruits of the action will be taken care of" advice from The Gita. It is also related to the concept of "flow experience" described by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Monday, February 11, 2008

i-TFTD #94

i-TFTD #94

#94-1. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.
-W. Griswold

#94-2. A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.
-William Blake

#94-3. The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
-Mark Twain

The first one is a mighty useful thing to remember in those meetings and conference calls. It also provokes one to focus on the purpose instead of reacting.

I have validated the third through personal experience. Try it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

i-TFTD #93: Body Talk

i-TFTD #93: Body Talk

Body talk
by A G Krishnamurthy (Ad industry veteran, writes a weekly column in Business Standard India)
February 23, 2007

Experts have concluded that it takes only 90 seconds for a stranger to form an impression about you especially in formal, business situations where an introduction invariably takes places in a highly charged and judgmental environment.

Everybody is sizing each other up and this is how the cookie crumbles: A huge 55 per cent of the first impression you make is formed by your body language, a non-committal 38 per cent is awarded to your articulation and a meagre 7 per cent to content! I went through most of my career blissfully unaware of the nitty-gritty behind a "Hello, I am so and so..." but looking back on all my first encounters with clients and colleagues, I realise that there is a lot of truth behind this analysis.

A lot of what went into my 'gut' feeling about people lay in the volume of communication that preceded the actual conversation. Come to think of it, I would invariably make up my mind whether I liked, disliked, trusted or was suspicious of a person long before we actually had a conversation!

The rest was just a confirmation of my initial impression. Every single detail gives you away in an encounter the firmness or the slackness of your handshake, the length of your gaze stare too long and you will be considered rude and intrusive, too little and it means you are ignoring their presence. The ideal length of a look apparently is 10 seconds. Look away after that, else your intentions will be misconstrued!

The general impression is that most people react positively when you have pleasantness about your face all the time, if you know how to listen and then answer, rather than doing a "fastest finger first" and blurting out an opinion before you understand the context. Most newcomers seem to have the impression that expressing an opinion on everything is a good thing.

To sum up, even though the extent body language can impact your career can be frightening, the good news is that if you are a good person your personality will manifest itself in subtle ways to win the day, even when all else seems against you.

Despite the research and simple tips available today on body language, it is amazing how many people violate these norms and unfortunately give negative impressions of themselves. Presentations and speeches without conveying energy and enthusiasm, talking without varying tone, avoiding eye contact in one-on-one meetings... One does not have to read the many good books on body language to know these basics and I certainly would not advise taking a formulaic approach like, "Oh, this person folded his arms, his mind is closed to any suggestion..." but an awareness of your own habits and avoiding simple mistakes can go a long away in creating a favourable impression.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

i-TFTD #92

i-TFTD #92

#92-1. Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

#92-2. To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.

#92-3. The man who never tried vodka doesn't know the taste of water.
-Russian saying

Big achievements require us to dare to be different, go against the crowd, swim againt the current. Safety and comfort have to be abandoned if we wish to reach someplace new.

In our blind quest for recognition, we sometimes forget to thank, appreciate and pay attention to those who value us.

Try substituting various pairs in place of vodka/water.

Monday, February 4, 2008

i-TFTD #91: Don't Invite Wealth or Success

i-TFTD #91: Don't Invite Wealth or Success

A woman saw 3 old men sitting in her front yard and said, "You look hungry. Please come in and have something to eat."

"We do not go into a house together," they replied. "Why is that?" she wanted to know.

One of the old men explained: "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, "He is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your family which one of us you want in your home."

The woman went in and told her husband. "How nice," he said. "Let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!"

His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?"

Their daughter-in-law, who was listening, jumped in with her own suggestion: "Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will be filled with love?" The couple decided to heed their daughter-in-law's advice.

The woman went out and said, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest."

Love got up and started walking towards the house. The other two also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked, "I only invited Love, why are you coming in?"

The old men replied together, "If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would've stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever he goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!"

One of my new hobbies is to extract useful tips from treacly stories (that earlier used to irritate me -- I am not fond of sweets). So what did I see in the above story? In the context of our work life Love could be interpreted as Passion or Excellence. Most of the really wealthy and successful people never really went after wealth or fame as their goal, they were driven by an intense desire to be the best in something. They pushed themselves and others around them with that vision. Wealth and success automatically followed. Eventually. So Patience and Persistence were probably two other old men already inside their house!

Friday, February 1, 2008

i-TFTD #90

i-TFTD #90

#90-1. If you are doing your best, you will not have time to worry about failure.
-Robert Hillyer

#90-2. It's not good enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.
-Winston Churchill

#90-3. It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly.
-Mabel Newcombe

The first step is optimistic action, aiming for personal excellence.

Periodically examine whether you are comfortable in superficial efficiency at the cost of effectiveness. An example is when I do not delagate because it means I have to spend time handholding and grooming my subordinate so I give the excuse of getting the job done very fast and to higher quality by continuously doing myself and also getting to blame the incompetence of my subordinate.

Not to forget that knowing the target/goal clearly up front is a necessity. Otherwise how we do periodically assess effectiveness and correct our course?