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Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

Yes we can

Barack Obama is the new president elect of the USA. I heard snippets of his Chicago victory speech and (the lover of good speeches that i am ) I think it was a very firm and confident Obama delivering the message of change and inspiring a vision of a new America on which the world so much today depends for a stable economic order.

Barack Obama- President elect of the USA

Barack Obama- President elect of the USA

Being a citizen of the worlds largest democracy and observing the election results of the worlds oldest democracy I realized some unusual differences between the two.

1. Most Americans have a strong emotional connection with their president elect. I wonder how many of us here think the same way about our Prime Minister or President. The closest to this feeling was when i read or heard Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam when he was our President. He was different.

2. The post victory speech of Obama has a positive message for all be it his republican competitor, be it his heroes of the gone days, be it an ordinary 106 year old voter, be it the people who voted for McCain, be it the other Nations of the world or be it the environment. Being positive and thinking simple good things indicates his affirmative plan of action. I wish him very well.

3. The grace with which the loser surrendered was also remarkable for a man of McCains stature , he only grew larger in everyone’s eyes by acknowledging his defeat with the same mark of respect. I have still to see this elegance in the political class of my country. Honestly we are not anywhere near.

4. Finally the whole idea of a junior Senator running an intense and hard campaign to become the youngest President of the worlds most powerful country not withstanding his race or color not shrouded by political game play makes a really prolific and inspiring journey. To say the least i am amazed. Think about such possibilities here ?

This election has been a watershed in more ways than one not only for America but for the whole world order.  It reflects the massive change in mindset of the average American who has voted this little known black Senator from Illinois into becoming the 44th President of the United States of America. From the other side of the world we sincerely hope that he delivers what he promised.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you: We as a people will get there. – Barack Obama

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One topic, which every one from economists to common man is discussing today is the high Inflation in our country. For starters, Inflation refers to the general rise in prices over a given period of time. Let us not discuss the statistics behind inflation, that’s not interesting for many of us. What is important though is the fact that prices are rising and the power of your rupee is decreasing. The rupee can buy lesser of a commodity than it used to.

For me and you :

(more…)

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Not all people that you interact with or you have to deal with are examples of trust, kindness and humbleness. Even though in general people are indeed good , there are occasions , sometimes more than a few, when a handful of these people do hurt you. There is nothing new in what i said here. But the important things is what you do when someone does hurt you ?

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Everyone has his/her personal way of dealing with hurt. I have observed these “personal” ways in many people and here are a few:

a) Inflict harm to yourself and pain yourself
b) Feel sad and use this change in mood to inflict scorn on those near you who have nothing to do with all this.
c) Contract and withdraw yourself into a shell and become extremely closed
d) Cry
e) Ignore the hurt and carry on with life as usual
f) Team up with a close friend and discuss the issue
g) Make plans on how to avenge your hurt ….. This list can go on an on but these are by far the most frequent reactions i could observe

The toughest reaction for me so far has been (e) but i know people who do that and these are pretty strong individuals. I sometimes do (b) and (f) at other times.

What do you do ?

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What motivates you ?

I have been using all my past few weekends to do stuff needed for our new home hence i have struggled to nourish my blog, but my very dear blog, i have not forgotten you, i always had you in my mind and always wished i could come back to you and speak to you and to the whole world through you. It does not matter if someone reads my thoughts or not but i know you will understand my need to speak with you. So what have i planned to tell you today ?

Something very important for me today is the topic of Motivation. I am no guru on motivation but in my experiences as a son, student, friend, brother, husband, father and co-worker gave me so many opportunities to understand the reality of motivation.

First and foremost, I have to say that the truth is that for every role played by a person the factor for motivation is different. Further more, every individual i have interacted has a different way to get motivated. But stop ! why should you be motivated at all ? My definition: You need motivation to do drive enthusiastically towards your goals and accomplish your dreams with a feeling of great elan ! In my experience i have seen the following motivational factors affecting people (top factors as i understood in that order).

Co-Workers & Subordinates : Recognition, Money, Leaders, Responsibility

My wife: Love & Recognition

My son: Love & Gifts

My parents : I have not understood so far, I am trying to find that out now as a father myself.

There are several scientific theories that explain motivation and motivational techniques, but what is most important is to know exactly what is the technique which works for the person in question. If you have understood that , your task is half done. (of course the next half is to act on it).

More Motivation than you will ever need !

Rudy Garcia ::: More Motivation than you will ever need.

In the recent hit of the year Chak De India, you can see two basic forms of motivation at work. Extrinsic motivation where Shahrukh creates the atmosphere in which every player must win for India and(for him to regain his lost pride) not for their respective states and Intrinsic motivation where the girls play but are self motivated, some to prove a point to their families, boyfriend etc, others to prove that they are better players than other team members.

Acknowledgments :picture from http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourrunning/372638903

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I respect salesmen

Last week I had the chance of making an out of turn contribution towards our sales activities by accompanying my company’s Customer Team (CT) on a visit to a major potential customer in India. The discussion was to be focused on convincing the customer about the power and purpose of our product. We were a team of four, 2 colleagues from the CT, my Boss and myself. To those of you who are thinking what propels me to write about this fairly straight forward activity here my answer is that it was the day that changed me and my attitude towards the guys from sales. I underwent a sea change of attitude towards these poor fellows who deserve more respect than what they get.

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By observing the way they struggle in the corridors of a potential customer, arguing, convincing, selling the software we develop, negotiating product capabilities and comparing with our competitors, accepting brickbats and arrogance from the person on the other side of the table without losing their calm. I think they are doing an excellent job. It is easy to fight out at the development center to get the creamiest of development tasks to be implemented in the latest jargon-ed programming language on the most hep operating systems with the most comfortable of deadlines but it takes a lot of character to really face the customer on his territory trying to sell this stuff. At the development center in our air conditioned offices when we blame sales guys of selling junk, seldom do we remember that they are sweating it out on the negotiating table to get the customer to at least listen to their side of the story. In the end the latest technology and the latest development method does not matter to anyone – what matters is numbers. How much sold and what was the margin.

David Ogilvy the ad genius once said In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.”

 

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Dear Reader,

Your truly attended a 2 day course on “Negotiation Skills”. I must tell you folks that I approached the training with some suspicion of what good it would bring, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had completed the most fascinating training experience in the last 5 years.

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The trainer Mr. M Gopakumar in particular had a wealth of knowledge to share with us and more interestingly he had just the right proportion of role plays, team games, exercises and presentations etc. I mean overall I can safely say that I am definitely going to make a sincere attempt at negotiating better with the goal at clinching Win- Win deals. To tell you the truth I already tried it once and the result was just spectacular. I am now planning to read the book “Getting Past No“.

All of us negotiate at different times with different people be it family members, team mates at work, bosses, sellers etc. Who ever be on the other side of the table Negotiation has some basic principles and these are simple commonsense things which we overlook. It was interesting to know that in every negotiation a huge 83% of the time is spent in doing “home work”, 10% of the time is the face to face talk and 7% is spent post the deal is struck.

I recommend each and every one of you who is serious about improving your relationship with the people around you to undergo this training. It is an eye-opener and a wonderful starting point in your journey towards being a Win – Win negotiator.

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I was just reading an article from HBR( Harvard Business Review ) that immediately struck a few chords of agreement within me. The article* is titled “In Praise of the Incomplete Leader”. The writing is centered around the fact that there is no one such as a complete leader. According to the author there are four capabilities of leadership.the first two are the enabling capabilities of leadership and the remaining two are the creative and action oriented leadership capabilities.
1. Sensemaking (Making sense of the world around you in simple terms, understanding people and processes)
2. Relating (Connecting with people and networking)
3. Visioning (putting forth a compelling vision that will inspire everyone)and
4. Inventing (ways of overcoming a previously insurmountable obstacle, or doing things differently)
The author argues that no leader is perfect in all the four capabilities , everyone has his / her strong areas and the strength in the other areas come from other people in the organization, leadership is effective when it is distributed across the board.
*access to the article is subscription based.


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