Friday, July 8, 2011

Andhi Aayi, Bhaag

True, isn't it. Every time I have a situation, these three insensitive words rhyme all around and occupy the vacant space all over my mind. Andhi aayi, Bhaag. Is it the right choice? I don't know. Is it the right approach? Dude, its not about approach, its about attitude :-). Isn't there a better way to handle a situation? Well, it depends on the situation, you'll hear me say. That's just an excuse, I know. Boy, I must grow up. Yeaaaahhh. I have tried, you know. Not to handle the situations, but to grow up. Really. I tried to be what people expected me to be. To be more sensitive to the sentiments of the irrational world all around, to be a better son, to be a better friend, to be better something than just nothing. But you know what, what I've learned, that it ain't worth it. It simply ain't worth to pretend to be someone you're actually not. Stupid or idiot, careless or money-less, I am better off being myself. Just myself. If you're one of those wise men who wake up every morning thinking about stocks you own and assets you got, you must be thinking, what kind of loser I am. Yeah, I am. And you know what, I'm proud of it and love being a wise men's loser. I've seen people losing more worth trying to be a winner than being a loser. They lost peace, harmony, pride and many wonderful lazy moments they used to spend with themselves and and their loved ones. Men, I love being with that someone I love and this feeling is just PRICELESS.

Perfect Timing

Well, to be honest, it doesn't exist. If you're holding back your precious and ambitious dreams waiting for the perfect time before you make your next move, you are not just waiting, rather you are stagnating. Perfect timing doesn't exists. It's fictional. It's a myth, nothing more than a lame excuse to hide your inner insecurities. If you really believe in yourself then you don't need to hide behind these virtual walls. You need to break free and enjoy the freedom granted to you by the nature around you. Look around you and you'll realize that you have much more freedom than you imagined. It just takes a step, a step forward to realize that wonderful dream you've been dreaming for ages. And remember that no matter when you take that step, you'll have to face your challenges, you'll have to manage risks and you'll have to make choices.Just walk up to the mirror, look straight in your eyes and say it aloud, I do have a choice. That's it, that's all it takes.Or one day, you'll wake up in your bed, all weak and dreary, just to realize that you could have done better, you could have lived better and that you could have been what you always wished to be.

“You cannot afford to wait for perfect conditions. Goal setting is often a matter of balancing timing against available resources. Opportunities are easily lost while waiting for perfect conditions.” - Gary Ryan


It should be on your mind for quite some time. Being an ardent believer in the monetary systems created by the wise and overpowered by the simple notion of "Money is next to God",it has to be the burning question on your mind. Especially when the entire world is being dragged down the streets of the likes of Wall Street, this question has gained significant urgency and importance in our lives. So, here are few of the most likely and wisely chosen investment options for you:

1. Invest in Gold
2. Invest in value stocks like Apple/Google/IBM/Tata etc. etc. and the list is huge
3. Invest in real estate properties
4. Invest in long term Government bonds


1. Invest in the people you love, the dreams you have, and living a life that matters

The choice is yours and yours alone, after all everybody has been granted the wonderful gift of being able to choose, isn't it. Having said that, I would just try to add perspectives and do nothing more to influence your choice by any means. So, here are my few cents.

If we all invest in gold then the gold prices will skyrocket. If we all invest in value stocks, we will share an equity in the ever increasing profits of the orthodox corporations. If we all invest in real estate properties, we will collect paper chits with exponentially rising market values. If we all invest in long term government bonds, then we will secure our highly unpredictable and uncertain future in a highly volatile economy. True, that these investment might turn you into a millionare by the next decade. True, these investments will help you accumulate hedonic wealth - the wealth that can be used to buy dismal, rapidly depreciating, worthless by next month commodities lined up across the shelves of huge fluorescent-lighted supermarkets spread across the urban and semi-urban globe. But, is it the best investment choice of all? Especially when looked through the lens of statistical analysis at the effectiveness of hedonistic utilitarianism in human life enrichment.

What about the other choice? What if we all invest in the dreams we have, the people we love and the life that matters.

If we all invest in what really moves us and keep investing in those dreams with the sole aim of being the best in the world at our dream and then motivate a few others to invest in their dreams and so on and so forth; we might just end up rebuilding the growth engine of our economy by creating incentives for the people who helped us meaningfully accomplish our dreams. The economy would be more predictable and the growth would be more sustainable with everyone moving towards his dream and society collaborating as a whole to realize its hidden potential.

If we all invest in the people we love: spending our resources to spark their hidden talents or to create meaningful life experiences with them rather then just accumulating useless paper chits for them, the rewards would be truely enriching. The same is true if we all invested in a life that matters - working not just for the immediate paycheck but for the purpose of making a difference in the life of others, creating social organizations instead of orthodox corporations, living meaningfully well by investing in the endlessly powerful human potential.

By making a smart investment, you can accumulate true wealth - stuff that you can't buy but have to earn; you can put an end to never ending crisis and bubble burts. After all, authentic prosperity isn't about collecting paper chits that you can sell to the next guy before the house of cards collapses on itself. Authentic prosperity is watching the people you love grow and flourish and living a life that matters long after you're gone.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fastest Indian

Few months back, Mr. Rahul Bajaj and his team came out with the innovation of the century. They designed and mass manufactured a vehicle that could turn an Average Middle-class Indian into the Fastest Indian. I said “innovation of the century” because we Indians are already known as being fastest and quickest all around the world and any tool to help us being even more faster is a significant achievement. We, Indians, are quick to break a traffic signal, quick to get things off our heads, quick to put a blame on someone else, quick to launch a satellite and lose contact with it, quick to claim that we did the discovery first, quick to replicate a successful model with desi touch, quick to launch unfinished products and quick to improvise later before poor consumers complain about it, quick to pass bribery to a government official, quick to copy an international chartbuster, quick to find out ways to make easy bucks, quick to produce movies without stories, quick to forget political scams and the list is endless. Being fastest is in our genes and we have done a great job in creating an environment & a functional model that rewards only the fastest. We draw inspiration from the likes of Himesh Reshammiya who was fastest to brand himself as a great singer, actor, music composer and director or Mr. Telgi who was fastest to print and market fake stamp papers and make Rs. 30000 crores or Mr. Sehwag who is fastest to score a half century in one out of the 20 matches he plays on an average or Master Darsheel safary who is fastest to achieve stardom in film industry or Aaj Tak(Sabse Tej), a channel fastest in breaking entertaining news. Our educational institutions are not behind by any means and are fastest to teach the calculations that could help maximise the benefits for oneself, fastest to commercialize the education and make quick bucks, fastest to design and introduce a course that helps in getting a quick job. That’s right, we get an adrenaline rush every time we get this feeling of being fastest.

Anyway, coming back to the amazing vehicle designed by Mr. Bajaj. The vehicle pretty much looks like a motor bike, with two wheels similar to the other bikes available in the market, front design similar to another old bike by rival company, a 200 cc engine that is not really good enough to generate high power to beat other bikes available with 225 -350 cc engines. Still, Mr Bajaj claim that the vehicle is all set to turn any middle class Indian into the Fastest Indian. The vehicle was designed to look like a motor bike because most of the Indian roads can let only a two-wheeler move at fast speed. The choice for a motor bike was also obvious given the fact that only Indian middle class competes on the roads and any other kind of vehicle would have been too costly in terms of money, for target consumers to buy. A serious threat to the ambition of Mr Bajaj and team to make fastest bucks. Talking about the design, the idea was to create a panic situation in the closest competitors camp as quickly as possible. So, replicating an existing design with few modifications was an obvious choice to quickly mass manufacture and enter the market. The similarity in design also helps in identifying the closest rival in the market and is a bold move to tell the rivals that we will beat you with your design only. Third, but not the least, once the competitor camp gets panicked, they would start working on the next generation design for you to copy and beat them again. What about the engine power? I ain’t no bike expert, but i know that unless the engine generates significant amount of power as quickly as possible, the vehicle wont zoom past any other vehicle running next to yours. Well, Mr Bajaj and his team knew that it won’t be the power that the vehicle generates, rather it would be the adrenaline that the vehicle generates in a skilled Indian driver, that would help the vehicle and Mr. Bajaj’s aspirations zoom past the rivals.

Keep In Touch

To All Leaders With Love—-Keep In Touch

Managing a large team for a project is as much of an art as science. Most of us already know the principles of science to be followed while managing a large team but more than often we ignore the art. As a result more than often we end up wondering what went wrong as over a period of time we start realizing that things are not going the way they were supposed to be. Every task that an organization do requires a team and more than often the team is assembled with different people with different priorities, different agendas, cross functional experience and from different geographical locations. Managing such a team definitely requires some principles of art along with well known principles of science to be successful.

Most of us know that Napoleon’s invasion of Russia failed because his army faced one of the worst winters of that time, for which his army was not well prepared. Definitely, winter was one of the most important reason but not the only reason for his failure. Napoleon failed because of his ignorance and poor resource management by himself. To invade Russia, Napoleon assembled the biggest army ever of that time. In spite of containing some of the best forces it was never an efficient fighting force. It had people who spoke different languages and few of them had been traditional enemies before that. So, what they lacked as an army was that they never cohered as a whole and as a result never fought the battle as a team. Napoleon completely ignored this fact and never tried to make sure that in spite of geographical or personal differences, entire army must fight as a team. One of the most important parts of his leadership was his rapport and personal relationship with his army. By staying close to his army, he always got the first hand feel of their morale and readiness for the battle. He could also sense that he needs to take few steps to boost the morale of his troops. Many at times, only his presence was more than enough to do wonders in inspiring his army. But in Russian campaign, he ignored this hands on approach for different reasons like ill health and the size of the army. Instead he started relying on his subordinates for the first hand information about the morale and readiness of his troops. Many at times they told him about the lack of supplies and confidence. Instead of understanding the facts, Napoleon abused his subordinates for inappropriate supplies and low morale of the troops and even demoted some of his ordinates. As a result, just to avoid the consequences and for their own sake, his subordinates started giving him false information that all is well. They began exaggerating the readiness of the forces they commanded. Ultimately it caused Napoleon to underestimate the extent of upcoming difficulties until they moved far into the battle. By the time he realized that his army is crumbling in an exposed position cut off from the supplies, the only option left open was to retreat.

Most of us know very well that Napoleon was a great leader of his time, but the fact that a leader like him could lose a battle just because of few mistakes even after having the largest army with so much of armor, artillery and expertise, stresses out the importance of these principles most of us term as PR (personal relations) principles. Whether you are leading a project team or an army, make sure you stay close to your team/army. Make sure you get the right information from your subordinates and not just blindly trust them without analyzing the actual metrics or facts. Make sure you build a good rapport with everyone in your team and create an environment which brings everyone moving not only in the same direction but also in the right direction with utmost confidence. Make sure that the entire team realizes the goal and work towards achieving that goal. Make sure you have the art of motivating people of your team, art of infusing energy, confidence and vision, art of healing everyone in your team with your miraculous touch.

Keep In Touch

Crazy Superman

Well all of us know our super hero Superman, who is always there to help out his people in times of need. This Superman is a fictional character and regarded as the most influential and popular superhero of DC comics, but the superman I would like to talk about is a real character and is regarded as the most influential and popular superhero of Software Industry. Think for a moment, what if the superman starts helping people even if they don’t need his help. Your mother asked you to prepare some tea for her and the moment you enter the kitchen, superman comes up and starts telling you how to make tea. You went to the market to buy some vegetables and the moment you reach the vendor, superman comes up and starts helping you out in picking up the right vegetables. What do you think would be the result of that??? Well, our superhero will end up running from one place to another helping out so many people and as a result will get tired and all stressed out. With his overly ambitious task, ultimately he will miss out people who really need his help with all his superpowers. Would you still call him Superman??? I guess you would better like to call him Crazy Superman. Hey you started laughing, right. Well you disappointed me because I expected you to start thinking about why your superman doing this all.

Well, Superman is doing this because he is taking his job quite seriously accepting responsibility for everything that’s done. Because of his obvious super powers he feels that everything must be done well and if he wants something done well, he got to do it himself. He doesn’t have enough confidence in his people. He feels that he must personally make every decision, take a lead role in every significant task and must dictate every step his people take. He constantly hovers over the people who are trying to get their work done and rarely considers their ideas and opinions. But with such an ambitious task, the superman ends up helping one person for a moment and then suddenly disappearing for a couple of weeks while he runs around helping out other people. He doesn’t realize that he literally doesn’t have enough time to help people at such level because there simply aren’t enough Superman’s and even if he work through late nights and weekends, he alone won’t be able to help out everyone with everything. Finally, all he ends up with is disturbing everyone every once in a while, leaving them wondering what to do with their task for the next couple of weeks, till the superman returns.

Researchers have termed this as micromanagement and define it as a style of management where a leader closely observes or controls the work of his people. In micromanagement, instead of giving general instructions on smaller tasks and supervising the larger concerns the leader monitors and asses every step getting into the minute details. I would like to term this as “Too Much of Management” which leaves OOPs (Overburdened, Overstressed, Programmers) effect in the team.

“If I go crazy will you still call me Superman” — 3 Doors Down

Watch out next time someone calls you Superman.