Tag-Li!

Nothing to do with the likes of Bruce Lee, have you ever wondered, why tags are so significant in one’s life?

If you think about it, the digital world, where tags bring in lot of visibility to one’s posts etc.;

Is not very different from the physical world, where tags bring in social recognition and in turn lucrative professional prospects.

Be it ones who have done their bachelors from the likes of IITs,

or

The ones who have done their masters from IIMs or ISB.

With time, though, things are changing;

With online platforms of learning propping up day-in-day-out,

With more and more students dropping out and choosing to become entrepreneurs,

With advertising platforms talking about success of people, who might not have the luxury of owning the much wanted tags, yet have done some fantastic work, solving people’s problems e.g. “water-man of India“.

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Slowly, but surely the tags seem to be moving from an institutional construct to a knowledge and impact based construct expressed via different channels of communication.

The social hangover seems to be fading fast enough, with companies beginning to realise that their core hiring policy needs to focus on one’s ability to make things happen with relevant skill sets.

Does it mean that educational institutions would loose their relevance and importance in, say the next decade or so?

Well, it depends on how institutions respond to this dynamics and how flexible they are in terms of framing their own strategies, based on a fundamental understanding of the evolutionary process.

For those, who are at this point of time, wondering whether to go for an expensive Ivy league university course which brings in loads of debt to cater to after graduating and force oneself into the rat race,

or

To take up an area of interest, where one wants to create some positive impact and thereby indulge in self- and manav-nirmaan, 

The choice seems to be obvious!

The question, though is, whether one is prepared to do so?

Source for the Image: http://www.psdgraphics.com/psd/red-tags/

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Bossing the GURU!

One of the most challenging of problems that an organization faces is to have a succession plan in place.

Going by the expectations, a boss is supposed to train his subordinate and if he does his job well, the organization would perform well in times to come.

Let us look at what might be the incentives he has, courtesy the very structure of the incentive mechanism in the organization, vis-a-vis insecurities that might pop up in the very act.

Having an employee learn the art of the trade, makes one insecure about what if the employee becomes a good shishya and goes beyond the capabilities of a guru. 

And if such insecurities were to become true, the employee becomes a much better candidate to bossing his own boss at a certain point of time.

Why would a boss want to do that to himself? Inherently, this doesn’t make sense for the boss.

Another scenario: What if, the company became prohibitive about the very concept of not allowing the worthy to become a boss? Huge opportunity cost for the company, having lost the chance to grow faster and better.

How does one deal with this kind of a situation?

Should the boss stop training his subordinates?

Well, if we go back to the good old times of guru-shishya parampara, the only incentive that a guru had for training his shishyas well was to enhance his and his gurukul’s reputation along with creating good citizens in society, and didn’t have any kind of skin in the game of taking up different roles in society, in his individual capacity.

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Does it mean that only if one doesn’t have a stake in the entire scheme of things, can make him/her willing to do his/her job of training the employees in the best possible manner, keeping in mind the good of the organization in particular and nation in general?

Does it mean that the very concept of boss training his own subordinate is invalid, considering the inherent nature of the same?

Does it mean the on-job training needs to be supplemented by an external entity, intending to create successors?

If it were so, how does one deal with the boss’s insecurity?

Does it in turn mean, that all roles should be treated as equals, accomplishing a feat together, rather than looking at it from a top-down approach?

If yes, then would it make more sense to have flat organizations for the long-term sustainability of the same?

Well, different structures have succeeded to different extent in different geographical set-ups.

Does it mean going to the very fundamentals of education, inculcating a sense of considering oneself as less important than the collective self?

Does it in turn mean building a consciousness which goes beyond the concept of self and becoming inclusive in turn?

A call that needs to be taken by the founders in building up the culture is to evaluate various factors before they jump to any conclusion of sorts and more importantly, by the policy makers of a nation, to lay down well the very fundamentals of education.

In an ideal consciously awaken world, the problem may not exist,

Though, till we achieve the feat, bossing the guru or guru-ing the boss might need to find some kind of an equilibrium.

Source for the Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4HvJaAdgDI

In Need of a Poker Face?

The first time I came across something that was close to a professional relationship, sort of opening up to me, over a couple of drinks (had to be), and the first advice that came across was, “you need to be a poker face in the office!”.

Not knowing what to do with such an astonishingly unique advice, in the first instance, I thought about ignoring the same, but on second thoughts, I wondered whether what he was telling was true, considering that he was supposed to be the poster boy of the company, worth few crores at least, going by the little that I could think off at that point of time in my life.

I wondered whether all his success came from the magical formula that he had shared with me, or was it because he was trying to act wise after giving up his inhibitions, courtesy, the wonderful drinks that we were having.

I decided to observe. The more I did, the advice seemed to find validation in the offices that I happened to spend time within.

Though, a very poor emulator of sorts, I could never get into the groove and probably stayed away from treading the so called successful path.

Now that I look back at what has happened over the past decade or so, he has gone on to become one of the who’s who of business (wouldn’t want to get into the names 😉).

Had the pleasure of meeting him few days back, again over a couple of drinks, and reminded him of the good old days and his dynamism and of course his magical formula that he had been kind enough to share with me as part of the mentoring process, admitting at the same time, that I had been a bad student all through having not implemented the same.

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He kept silent for a couple of minutes, then looked straight into my eyes,

You know what, that was probably the most wise and the dumbest of advice that I ever gave you, depends on how you look at it. 

Wise, because of what seems obvious, and dumb, because what the world probably cannot see but has definitely transpired within me and throughout my life. 

Poker did bring some luck, but never brought friends, poker did help me accumulate the wealth, but never helped me experience the wonderful emotions, which I always controlled to the best of my ability, poker did fulfill lot of aspirations and aims, but never got me the peace of mind that I have been craving for. 

Good, that you were a bad student, I just pity those, who became the best students I ever had.”

And then we went on to spend the entire night, chit-chatting about what if!

Which makes me wonder, how many out there, spend their entire lives, playing to the tune of what the office politics has to offer, getting into a deep learning mode, where everyone is bent upon how to behave and what to do, in order to benefit the most from the system they happen to be in.

Food for thought, “should one really care about the same, and do you really need a poker face to succeed?

Source for Image: http://www.parkingsuns.com/2015/04/16/parkinsons-poker-face-pays-off-pedagogically/

Doing what you Love?

It’s really heartening to see many batch mates of mine and otherwise as well, young folks plunging themselves into this wonderful and exciting arena of start ups, few forming their own ventures and others becoming a part of the ecosystem, joining the founders in their journey towards solving one or another issue that a modern consumer faces in today’s hectic style of living that all have got so accustomed to, thanks to the materialism which all of us tend to be running after, voluntarily or involuntarily, getting inspired from the rat race.

On one hand where it’s a real pleasure to witness the above, on the other, I cannot help but wonder what makes people to be drawn into this world of startups and entrepreneurship. Is it because of the extreme distress and dissatisfaction that they tend to face in their current jobs? Is it because they perceive a chance to make it big sometime in the near future and thus choose to join the bandwagon? Is it because that’s the in thing to do and coming from a generation that is into everything that’s in, how can one miss upon yet another in-thing? Is it because of the freedom and ability to decide upon one’s schedule? or Is it because of the thought of being able to make a difference?

Whatever it might be, the reality today is, that even students graduating from the likes of IITs and IIMs are either grabbing start up offers or preferably forming their own ventures in collaboration with their colleagues.

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No matter how successful one goes on to become, with success being gauged from the amount of VC capital pouring in, one aspect that is found to be lacking in nearly 99% (might be less 😉 ) of startups today is the ability to go from “zero to one“.

Though one gets to see innovations in the manner in which the start up is being run, yet more often than not, either they are carbon copies of the flourishing ones in Europe or America or are the same of the ones operating in the Indian ecosystem, primarily a meta-copy of our much aspired western neighbours.

This makes me wonder even more whether the choices that we are making is influenced for the love of success or for the love of what we actually want to do and might love doing. As is said, “chadte suraj ko sab salaam karte hain“, would just like to add, “kahin suraj itna na chadh jaye ki wo badalon mein aisa kho jaye ki koi use dekh bhi na paye aur fir wo khud se pooche, kaash!

Source for Image: http://smspunch.net/single-article-forum-post-3412.aspx

The Mediocrity!

Why is it that some of us go on to carve a successful life for ourselves and some are left behind in this race? Is it because they are class apart or are more intelligent than the rest or is it because of their attitude towards hard work and dedication?

Some would want to argue that the luck is on their side, or they are more practical and opportunist. Some would say they happen to be at the right place at the right time. Some might even say that this is all written up there and it had to happen.

Without going into the nitty gritties of what’s written and what’s not, the crux is that those who go on to become successful are motivated individuals who are ready to devote their time and will to the one goal or mission that they chose for themselves.

It is their sheer conviction to get up each morning thinking about their goal and what all activities they should be doing in order to move closer to their self-nurtured goals. They don’t waste their precious time gossiping or loafing around.download

If you are wondering where this attitude which leads to the genesis of real success comes from, it’s within us. It is us and our attitudes that shape who we are going to become, say ten years down the line.

Often, in interviews, it’s asked of us, as to where we want to be in 5 or 10 years down the line. The rationale behind asking such questions is to make you ponder over your goals, inspire you from within, motivate you to do hard work.

At the end of the day, it’s not the interviewer who gains from all these questions, but the individual who takes cues from the questions asked and works towards carving a wonderful life for not only himself but also for his near and dear ones.

So, all those out there, who want to be successful, stop behaving like a mediocre and think about that one thing that you really care for, think about that one thing that you would want to do in life and get up each day dreaming about achievement of that one thing and working towards accomplishing the same, till you get it.

Source for Image: http://bobmaconbusiness.com/?p=7340

The Crappy Interview!

It is believed that the toughest part and the most subjective of all for any sort of examination is the last and final stage which everyone in the World seem to call “the interview”.

Well, most of the times the guys from IITs or IIMs tend to believe that they are big shots and want to be treated in high regards, but sometimes the breed and the likes of the very same can be on the receiving end and below I take great pleasure in illustrating one such incident where an IITian cum IIMian (if I can call him so) (G) found himself to be on the receiving end of the scheme of things that ensued after he happened to step into a room where the factory manager (FM) was eagerly waiting for him.interview 2

May I come in, Sir?”—-G

Yes, of course. Please have a seat.”—FM

Thank you, Sir.”—-G

Well, I won’t ask you questions like tell me something about yourself, because I know you will give me the crappy stuff that you have done and I personally won’t be impressed by what you have to say, just because I am different from the other morons who try to bask in the glory of the past and forget the task at hand and indeed the future ahead. So I will come straight to the point.”—–FM

Sure, Sir.”—G 

Ok, since you have got the point that it doesn’t matter who you are, what you have done in the past, considering that you don’t have any prior experience working in a factory, give me one good reason as to why should you be hired?”—-FM

Sir, yes I haven’t had the experience of working in a factory, but my credentials speak a volume…”—-G 

Again you are giving me a crappy answer. I told you I am not interested in your tags that you have happened to achieve during your so called illustrious academic career. What I am interested in knowing is how on earth can you increase my revenues?”—-FM

Sir, for that I will have to look at the processes and the implementation of the same in your factory.”—-G

See, that’s the problem with you A League people. You come here for an interview without knowing about the set up and believing that you would be able to do practically anything on this planet. Such arrogance, I must say, will lead to your downfall. And that’s the precise reason why you guys end up doing some silly 9-5 job. By the way, have you ever thought of opening your own firm or a factory?”—-FM

Not really, Sir. May be after a while when I am experienced enough.”—-G

See, the kind of answers you are giving. Such low risk-taking ability is a killer when it comes to a career. What will you do after gaining experience, sit on it all day long. You got to take risks in life if you want to achieve something big. Yes, if you don’t have any ambition what so ever then it is alright to think like what you are thinking. By the way, where do you see yourself, say ten years down the line.”—FM

Sir, I didn’t think about it. I have no clue. Now since, you have asked me to, I would indeed give it a thought.”—-G

No aim in life, no ambition, no risk-taking ability, no sense of responsibility, no vision, why do you think I should hire you?”—-FM

Sir, just because, if I had all the above, I won’t be sitting here asking you for a job and just because of all people in the world, the benchmarks that you have created might be too high for 99.99999% of the people and I am the best pick that you can have from the remaining 0.00001%.”—-G

Well done, good answer. See, now you are talking. You need to leave that “please give me a job” attitude. You need to come out in the open showing your true self. By the way, you are hired. I want to see you tomorrow 9 am sharp :)”—-FM

Thank you so much, Sir.”—G

Well, not the conventional of interviews that tend to go on and on talking about the credentials and how wonderful one is. But indeed an eye opener for the aspirants who tend to go to any level and go on compromising just because they want a job.

What can be seen in the corporate world today is implicit exploitation of the job seekers and employees, just because the company bosses know that they will not come out in the open with their grievances. Imagine a guy working from 10 am to 2 am in an investment bank. He doesn’t even realize the kind of health problems that he will surely get in terms with in future.interview

Well, you can argue that it is his sweet will to chose such a profession. Indeed it is, but that doesn’t give any company a right to exploit people.

So, all people out there, who are working in corporate sector, if you feel exploited or if you feel that your company is taking undue advantage, then come out in the open and speak against the same; for it is this very attitude that will help you take big strides and indeed will prove to be a harbinger for happiness and success.

Source for Image: http://todaycut.com/customer-relationship-manager-interview-questions-and-answers/, http://www.adeptresources.com/blog/how-to-stand-out-in-the-interview

I wanna become Miss India

Its not often that you see youngsters involved in outdoor sports these days, thanks to the emergence of the phenomenon we all call video and computer games. So, when I do see them doing the same, I am reminded of my own days.

And today was one such day. A group of 4 including 2 young guys and 2 girls, into their teens, were playing a mixed doubles Badminton match in my neighbourhood. The kind of quality and skills they demonstrated made me stand there to watch the match until it was over.

After the match, one of the girls approached me: “Bhaiya, I saw your column in the newspaper and I really like it, the advice that you give to students like us regarding their career. I wanted to ask you something.”

Thanks, haan poocho.”–Me

Bhaiya, do you think a girl like me can become Miss India?”–Girls

To be frank, I have answered questions regarding all the career options that one can think of, but I have never been asked this before. Considering what I know about the contest and the kind of skillset plus the personality traits that are required for the same, that I am aware of, plus my perception of the girl’s personality and since, I am a strong advocate of doing things of one’s liking (in case a person was really interested in doing the same), I answered:

Why not? You can become Miss India if you really want to and if you work hard at it, giving your 100% to things that are required for one to hold the title, which of course you will have to research upon.”

Having said the above, I just wondered and was in fact curious about why she wanted to become Miss India and in order to feed my curiosity I thought of asking the same to her.

“Well, I think I have got all that it takes to become Miss India. And moreover, I will become famous and rich, at the same time, I will get a chance to act in the Bollywood, which I so want to do :). “–Girl

The answer was quite straight to the point. I gave her a smile and decided to move on with my journey to meeting a friend.

While I was driving, I realized how times have changed. It was not long back, when kids in my neighbourhood would not think beyond the conventional career options as the others were considered too risky to even have a go at.

And today, there seems to be no boundations what so ever, when it comes to chosing a career, especially in bigger cities and the metropolitans.

Credit for this must also go to parents who have become more liberal and are accepting, at the same time giving encouragement to the wants and wishes of their children.

As I was about to reach my friend’s place, I wondered:

What would my newly born American niece want to become,say, 15 years down the line? 🙂 ”

Source for Image: http://yellowpages.sulekha.com/jaipur/miss-india-exports-m-i-road-jaipur_contact-address.htm