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Showing posts from March, 2015

If I want your opinion.

It was the year of 1992 and I one of the proud owners of our family's rather large  manufacturing business.

The head of engineering Mr. Pange and I had just reviewed his very attractive proposal to save our company a great deal of money and also improve quality significantly.

I gazed at this soft spoken man with amazement and respect and asked Mr.Pange,  "we are lucky to have you on our team. I am sure  you must have saved your previous employer a lot of money and problems?" 

He replied "Not a single rupee,Sir"
"Why?" I asked incredulously.

He said, "I presented my boss with an fantastic proposal which would have done wonders for the organisation, but he refused to even listen. It was the first and last time I made a suggestion until I joined you."

His boss insultingly dismissed him saying, "If I want your opinion, I will give it to you. Now get back to work"

Release the Genie carefully

Every child learns about the all powerful genie trapped inside a bottle or lamp. This genie needs a master to release it from the bottle. The master gets his or her one or three wishes and then what?


The genie that has power to give whatever is desired is obviously very powerful. It does not want to return to the lamp or bottle and the master cannot force it to return. The genie MUST have purpose or else it becomes a nuisance to itself and to everyone.




We humans are not much different from the genie in the bottle.  Once discovered and released like the Genie the power of individuals and teams and organisations can be immense and once they get committed to a cause they are virtually unstoppable.


Most of us have some form of genius within us, but we have to discover it.
Sadly most of us are in a kind of stupor imposed  on us by our social conditioning. Our family, teachers, governments, society and employers.  They do this because all they want is to use people, rather exploit would be more…

No heart, no mind, just bodies

We had invited a niece for dinner. She works for a famous but struggling information technology company.

Arriving rather late, she explained, "Actually my work got done quite a long while ago but we just hang around because that is our company culture. They say that it is the responsibility of employees to hang around for longer periods at the workplace on their own time."

Could it be insecure managers and leaders, or employers trying to extract the maximum from their people for what they pay them, that cause such a culture to be imposed.  Such behaviour is mostly counterproductive as I learnt.

I asked her what she felt about having to work an extra 2 to 3 hours of her time?

She said, "It is unfair and stupid. Most people have no inspiration, are mostly demotivated, in fact they are anti organisational and often work against the organisation's interest, by doing the minimal amount of work, slowing things down, not pointing out problems or weaknesses, and not attent…

An idea is a delicate thing.

A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn. 
It can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man's brow.


- Ovid

Which type of leader is best?

Most people have ideas, but only few express them and fewer have the courage to share them and rare are the people who get the opportunity to implement them.  

In that sense I have been fortunate to be bursting with ideas and concepts, articulate them freely and had great opportunities to try them out. I am often invited to speak to students, and various groups. The topics vary but leadership is rather high in demand.

There seems to be very many myths about leadership. There is a belief that leadership is about amassing power and repeatedly demonstrating that power. 

When leading blood thirsty hordes then physical control is preferable, and the leader may have to be at the front of the mob or troops to inspire them. Leading from the front is sometimes required, but only under exceptional circumstances like a grave crisis. However the leader who demands that he or she be central and involved in every thought and action of the organisation or family is actually doing  great disservice t…