Monday, November 26, 2007


I ran into a stranger as he passed by,

"Oh excuse me please" was my reply.

He said, "Please excuse me too;

I wasn't watching for you."

We were very polite, this stranger and I.

We went on our way saying good-bye.

But at home a difference is told,

how we treat our loved ones, young and old.

Later that day, cooking the evening meal,

My son stood beside me very still.

As I turned, I nearly knocked him down.

"Move out of the way," I said with a frown.

He walked away, his little heart broken.

I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken.

While I lay awake in bed,

God's still small voice came to me and said,

"While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use,

But the children you love, you seem to abuse.

Go and look on the kitchen floor,

You'll find some flowers there by the door.

Those are the flowers he brought for you.

He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.

He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise,

and you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes."

By this time, I felt very small,

and now my tears began to fall.

I quietly went and knelt by his bed;

"Wake up, little one, wake up," I said. "

Are these the flowers you picked for me?"

He smiled, "I found 'em, out by the tree.

I picked 'em because they're pretty like you.

I knew you'd like 'em, especially the blue."

I said, "Son, I'm very sorry for the way I acted today;

I shouldn't have yelled at you that way."

He said, "Oh, Dad, that's okay.

I love you anyway."

I said, "Son, I love you too,

and I do like the flowers, especially the blue."

Monday, November 12, 2007











Saturday, October 6, 2007

The last element of 360 degree feedback:- Self Appraisal !!!

A little boy went into a store, reached for a soda carton and pulled itover to the telephone. He climbed onto the carton so that he couldreach the buttons on the phone and proceeded to punch in seven digits. Thestore owner observed and listened to the conversation.

The boy asked, "Maam, Can you give me the job of cutting your lawn?"The woman replied, "I already have someone to cut my lawn."

"I will cut your lawn for half the price of the person who cuts yourlawn now." replied the boy. The woman responded that she was verysatisfied with the person who was presently cutting her lawn.

The little boy was even more perseverant and said, "I'll even sweepyour curb and your sidewalk, so on Sunday you will have the prettiest lawnin all of Palm beach , Florida ." Again the woman answered in the negative.

With a smile on his face, the little boy replaced the receiver.

The store owner, who was listening to this conversation, walked over tothe boy and said, "Son... I like your attitude; I like that positivespirit and would like to offer you a job.

"The little boy replied, "No thanks, I was just checking my performanceon the job I already have. I am the one who is working for the lady Iwas talking to!"

Friday, September 28, 2007

My Experience in Adherence to the Human Values !!!

“Love is the only thing that can be divided without being diminished”, “Harsh words break no bones, but they do break hearts”, etc. etc.

We have heard a lot of phrases like the above two and we liked them too. But still these quotes remained in our memory only. We have never given a thought to apply them to our practical lives when the time was critical. There is one saying by Mr. Abraham Lincoln:

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's values, give him power”.

So true, isn’t it? We all have always been the good old chaps of our respective families and neighborhood but we were always short on knowing what the human values are and how did they originated. Moreover, there is so much fuzz about this word and why one should practice them. According to Sathya Sai Baba in a lecture delivered on 26th September 2000,

“Human Values - Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-Violence - are hidden in every human being. One cannot acquire them from the outside; they have to be elicited from within. These five values are the fundamental powers of human life.”

We will now discuss about all of them in brief as to what they all mean to human being at large:

Ø Truth – honesty, intuition, discrimination, integrity, knowledge, objectivity, and more…
Ø Righteousness– conscience, morality, discipline, healthy living, responsibility, trust, and more…
Ø Peace – faith, contentment, patience, inner-silence, concentration, self-confidence, and more…
Ø Love – friendship, compassion, empathy, devotion, kindness, forgiveness, and more…
Ø Non-violence – ethics, harmony, tolerance, broad-mindedness, courage, fairness, and more…

These are the examples of the values to make them understand in the easiest way one can understand. Now some examples of each from our day to day lives:

Ø Truth – A professional would be honest about errors or delays even if it meant a reprimand.
Ø Righteousness – An office worker would do his or her best work, even if no one was watching.
Ø Peace – A supervisor would make difficult decisions with a peaceful mind.
Ø Love – A professional going for a deal would actively seek a win-win solution to a parental complaint.
Ø Non-violence – An executive would strive to reduce pollution levels, even if it was not required by law.

Thus, now we know of five human values that one must practice. However, the irony is that the meaning of these values changes from person to person. In a recent event, one of the applicants has been asked to pay Rs. 2000 for the job he was qualified and most deserving. Here anyone can point out that the HR professional was of cheap values. Just remember that there are no cheap or rich values. It’s the circumstances that makes or breaks a person’s values and beliefs. Who knew that the above given HR professional had an ailing mother at home and despite being continuously asking of help from the company, he hasn’t got any. And still he is not cheating his profession because who knew that he asked of the money only from the most deserving candidate. According to Shakespeare,

“There is nothing either good or bad but the thinking makes it so.”

Now this arouses some thoughts in our minds that values are individual based or community based. We know from the above example that circumstances mould values for a human being. So why we say that we have Indian values or American values? The answer lies within. Our society plays an immensely large role in shaping us. Most of us have seen the jungle book where “mowgli” brought up in the jungle from his birth with some jackals. He knew each and everything about the law of jungle but when encountered with human beings, he faced a lot of difficulties in adapting their values. Thus we can say that the values are both individual as well as community based. Even, cross-cultural expressions of the human values are found across all cultures and societies, though we may have variations and different emphases depending on the society we were born in and the experiences we’ve had in life.

Now we know as what these values mean, now we will focus on from where they come from. In the earliest days of Homo sapiens a centrifugal force caused humans to spread, slowly, over the earth. They developed highly resourceful ways of coping with the extreme variations. Later, as the groups increased in size and individuals started to specialize, factors of integration and interdependence became paramount. Individuals had to learn to accept more fully the idea that responsibility to the group must sometimes override their personal self-interest. This is a value which, to a material extent, seems to be in jeopardy today. For many millennia the values suitable for the family unit and the tribe were all that mattered. Then (it seems somewhere around 10,000 years ago) came the earliest civilizations of which we have any real evidence. This led to the recording in the written form of knowledge involving more complex and sophisticated set of values, thus encouraging and facilitating more complex interactions and enabling the group, and the culture to be maintained against the challenges, both human and natural, they faced. It is worth recording that the earliest statement I have so far found comes from about 2000 BC. The deterministic and in deterministic principles that scientists have discovered that govern the natural world are impersonal. The purely natural evolution process is ultimately a result of impersonal random processes as explained by the leading evolutionist Richard Dawkins (7). "All appearances to the contrary, the only watchmaker in nature are the blind forces of physics, albeit deployed in a very special way. ... Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life has no purpose in mind. It has no mind and no mind's eye. It does not plan for the future. It has no vision, no foresight, no sight at all. It can be said to play the role of the blind watch maker." According to the theory of evolution, if some impersonal molecule did not randomly interfere with the DNA replication of some past creature's (i.e. single cell bacteria or ancient ape) DNA, then humans most likely would have never come into existence which shows that pure naturalism is completely impersonal. I do think that evolution has occurred (4); however, I do think there is evidence that the supernatural was involved (5). Since natural principles do not consider anything more important then another, human values cannot rationally be derived from just an understanding of the natural world. Thus, it is no wonder why the leading evolutionist Stephen Gould said,
"(Natural) Science as an enterprise is a discipline that deals with the factual state of the (natural) world, and you don't derive ethical beliefs from factual statements (of the natural world). The most (natural) science can do is to supply information that may be relevant to ethical decisions, but it is never going to tell you what proper behavior is. It just can't."
Since values are so fundamental, determining values depends upon basic presuppositions. The presumption that humans are important is a required fundamental concept for human values and could be used as a fundamental basis for determining human values. Based on this presumption that humans are valuable, one could assert more general values such as human survival, human satisfaction, human happiness and a healthy human condition. Aside from basic survival, humans put most of their effort into relationships with other humans. Good relationships are important for human satisfaction, human happiness and healthy human condition. If God played a crucial role in the creation of humans, then everything humans have or are capable of doing is provided to them by God; thus, God would deserve respect from humans. If a good relationship is truly a purpose for which God created humans, then it would be appropriate to value a good relationship with God as well as humans.
If a person is thinking through their decisions about how to behave, then each decision at least involves some consideration of their values. This involves thinking through the things involved and prioritizing them to determine how they should or should not behave. Thus one more point to remember which I learned while adhering to the human values is that these are the things that are considered and given priority to.

None can say that I cannot give priority to a human value. We might not be known to our inner self and may say this in sub consciousness but we all follow some or the other values. It’s not about what the human values are but what are the values a person values. During my journey, I have seen many a people following certain values that may not be a part of the values I listed above but they found there place somewhere or the other. I have a friend who says that he doesn’t follow ant of the above given values and he values only money. Does that mean that he is not a human being? It’s just about the research that we make and then how our mind bends. Unconsciously he forgets the second value- righteousness. He is right to himself and doesn’t bother whether someone is watching him or praising him or not. He works due diligently, cheats people due diligently and then counts his money at the end of the day. So the main values for him are cheating and righteousness.

The only point that I want to make is that it is not necessary that you will face good consequences by following the human values. We all have values that we adhere to but we all must remember the 80:20 rule in following our human values in the case of adverse circumstances:
ü 80% of the punctures happen in the last 20% of the tyre life.
ü 80% of the financial worries are due to 20% of over spending.
ü 80% of your friends will hurt you & only 20% will support you.
ü 80% of the work can be done by your subordinate, only 20% need you.
ü 80% of your work is routine, only 20% need in depth analysis.
ü 80% of the people around you are reasonable, only 20% need tactful handling.
ü 80% of the tension is due to 20% of carelessness.
ü 80% of your good impression can be spoiled by 20% of your mistakes.

Thus we must remember to set our priorities while deciding upon our values and making a choice. It’s our choice to ruin our 80% of life just by selecting 20% of the values that are not meant for us. If we will live by chance, and not choice, we will get everything by chance only but if we will choose to live on our own terms and values, we will get whatever we want. If a person is thinking through their decisions about how to behave, then each decision at least involves some consideration of their values. The better a person considers their values in their decisions the more their decisions are value based. When a person makes a decision they typically have many different choices they could make. Some of the choices would not support their values at all while other choices support their values to different extents. There are different levels at which people can consider their values. A minimal level is where a person just requires that there is something of value in what they are doing. For example, a person could spend a 100,000 dollars on a car and considered it consistent with their values because the car provides the means for them to work so that they can support their family. The next level up is called the prioritized approach which is where a person considers if the way they invest their resources is prioritized in a way that is consistent with their values. Under this approach the person considers more than just whether or not there is something of value, but of the available choices which one is prioritized in a way that is most consistent with their values. The highest level up is called the optimized approach which is where a person considers if the way they invest their resources is the most efficient way to promote their values. For example, if the person does not value the car's appearance, then they will just pay what is needed to provide the function of safe, comfortable and efficient travel and not pay extra for the other things they do not value. The higher the level of value based thinking the more effort one does in evaluating the choices and opportunities. This will make the person aware of more different choices and it will also make them realize more that certain choices promote their values better than others. This should result in improving their ability to better promote their values through their decisions.
By rationally thinking through one's values one is in a better position to live out their values. The sooner this process gets started and maintained the more likely the person will be maturing themselves emotionally and intellectually and developing friends and communities that they can share in promoting these values. I think this gives one the best opportunity for living out a satisfying, fulfilling and happy life.
I have the area for improvement in the values I follow, what about you? At last no one is going to ask you anything but it’s you who will answer to yourself. The choice is yours. Be true to yourself or keep craving for a valuable life.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Job loss is one of the most difficult work related situations that a company and an individual may encounter in the present scenario. Yet, sometimes job loss may also turn into a blessing in disguise. Combining the career literature with the literature on unemployment, the current paper addresses potential positive outcomes of job loss by focusing on specific career adaptability activities that individuals can undertake to obtain these outcomes.

Live case:
Infosys is planning to hire 25,000 people this year. That is almost 500 a week or 100 a day for each working day of the week or about 12 every working hour of the day or about 1 every 5 minutes!

This rampant hiring raises several issues. By announcing that Infosys will hire 25000 engineers this year, they might have satisfied their shareholders. But what message they are sending across to existing and prospective employees? That Infosys is no longer an exclusive club? Can their big bosses anymore claim with any credibility that they hire only the best? However big the candidate pool may be, you cannot find 25000 “best” engineers in a year. The reason why big companies can get away with not so top notch talent is because their processes are so well defined that software development almost mirrors an assembly line. The creativity of the individual hardly seems to come into play.

Last year, attrition rate in Patni Computers was 26%, more than double the industry average of 11% and management is not recruiting any Tom, Dick and Harry. Non performers were asked to leave, and management has decided to revise upwards (in some cases up to 50%) the salaries of their best brains. Profit guidance for the year 07 has been brought down, which is not good news for investors. The reason given is higher salaries. Now this system is in contrast to Infosys and Wipro.
Is it a Blessing in Disguise?
People say attrition is the big bane of the industry. I think it is a blessing in disguise. Following are the main reasons to support my statement:
Ø It helps transfer "people capital" from inefficient companies to the better ones helping the Darwinian cause of weeding out the weak.
Ø The day is not far when Bangalore will get "Vietnamed" just like New York got "Bangalored". Indian companies would need to learn to let go of people. High attrition lets you learn to handle the people risk better.
Ø Forces companies to focus on processes to derisk the people issues better. In a commoditizing business, good processes become a basic necessity not a differentiator.

Good or bad, the fact remains that attrition is a reality and there are companies that manage it well and there are those that do not.

What the companies can do?
An optimum mix of freshers is critical to maintain margins. Typically at least 30-40% of a project needs to comprise freshers (<1>
What the HR can do?
The key measure for a HR professional attached to a business unit knows who would be 'potential attrition' cases and why. The only way a HR person can know this if they interact and hang out with the employees a lot. Knowing the dissatisfied employees and the reasons of their dissatisfaction can result in preventive actions being taken to retain them.Of course, the real driver for this becomes a business leader or manager's desire to decrease attrition. That only happens if attrition becomes one of the measures for how a leader or manager is doing. Many a times when this idea gets mooted by someone from HR, business managers immediately throw up their hands.

"It's the generation they come from". "They only leave for higher salary". "The issue is common to the whole industry". These become the excuses for not linking attrition to a manager's performance. However, if these generalizations are indeed true then it becomes all the more reasonable to make that linkage, to assess who can retain high performing employees better amongst them. And yes, that’s the key! Not merely retaining all employees but managing to retain and develop only the high performing employees.
The vacuum created by the exit of a few senior project managers or a delivery head are routinely being filled by eager second-line managers. More than a conscious risk mitigation strategy, the existence of a ‘pyramid structure’, coupled with aggressive hiring during the past few years has ensured an abundant supply of talent in many of the large organizations. So we are not bound to say that attrition leads to employee loss and in turn the loss of business. However if one is not performing, he/she is bound to go. With a large talent pool, companies are replacing the old generation with the new one which is infact good because it helps in continuous flow of fresh ideas in this knowledge based economy.
And to conclude, I would like to say some golden words:
“If the Indian industry continues to grow, a few large players—especially those that are merely banking on past performances and goodwill—are bound to falter. What would it take to trip the 800 pound gorillas that are merely moving because of sheer inertia?”

Sunday, August 12, 2007


“A manager always needs to be a good leader but the vice versa is not a pre requisite for a leader though”. Throughout our life times we have read & listened to this phrase a thousand times and we agreed to it. B-schools across the globe were into producing good, infact, great managers. It was always believed that a manager always possesses the leadership qualities because initial part of his job is always to get the work done through others. Also, there was a myth prevalent that leaders are born, but the question is that ‘is it true?’ Many debates have been held and we have a lot of reviews but no results. Irony, isn’t it?

Well, leaving the past reviews and not indulging in one more debate, I would like to draw your attention to this new buzz word- LEADERSHIP. A leader is always believed to be an influencer; the person who is like the sandpiper whose flute has the magic to lead all the mice. He is the one who has the capability to be the role model. As a manager has functions like planning, organizing, directing, controlling & coordinating to perform, a leader has just one function, i.e., to influence. Now, who can be a leader?

Just to make a distinction, I would like to give an example. You are in your campus/office and suddenly you get to know that in the next building of yours, two eminent people are coming in different auditoriums- Mr. Asaram ji Bapu & Mr. Xyz, COO of ABC CO. You have an option to go for one, who you think you will go for? You, and infact, 99% people of your age might go to attend the session of Mr. Xyz as you think you will gain some knowledge from him. But the irony is that if you compare the fan following of both, you will notice that Mr. Asaram ji Bapu has much larger, may be more than 10 times, fan following than Mr. Xyz.
This was the same point I wanted to draw your attention towards. Mr. Xyz is a manager; however, Mr. Asaram ji Bapu is a leader infact. He has the capability to draw a larger audience than Mr. Xyz. Now, we can mention as many leaders from different walks of life as you want, e.g., Amitabh Bachchan, Rajni Kant, Ratan Tata, Dhirubhai Ambani, George Bush, Osama Bin Laden, etc. We know that all these people have such a charisma that whatever they say, whatever they do, people follow. Now are there any pre requisites to be a leader?

The answer is both yes & no. Yes if you take a macro view of whatever I am going to mention below now and No if you take it specifically. So here are certain musts to be a great leader:
People Skills: No followers, no leader. Develop a liking for you in the hearts of the “junta”. No matter, be a heart-throb.
Voice: The best example is Amitabh Bachchan or for that matter, any of the movie star. Whatever they say becomes a dialog. Have a good tone.
Communication: Whether you have a great voice or not, if you are unable to send your message across, you can’t be a good leader. Learn to imbibe all the principles of communication.
Memory: Sharpen your memory. You must remember your followers to make your impact not just a one time exercise but continuously. It’s a process, remember it. Start remembering the faces, names, telephone numbers, and their last comments.
Appearance: It is not necessary that you must be tall like Amitabh Bachchan or powerful like Muhammad Ali to be a leader. But appearance means that you must display an image with which you want to get recognized. It includes your inner charisma too. Also, remember that you must be conscious about your cleanliness and hygiene.
Aggressiveness: “slow & steady wins the race”, “speed thrills, but kills” and similar phrases I would associate with losers. The person, who is not aggressive in his approach and is not fast, can’t be a good leader. By aggressiveness and speed, I do not mean that you should work in haste but do not waste time. Kill the snake as soon as you see its tail; don’t wait to see his head or you will be killed.

The list is not exhaustive. One can go on and on but these are the qualities one must have or develop to be a great leader. So now the question comes, if there is so much buzz about leadership, what about management? Is it a waste material to study? Are managers somewhat below the leaders?

Well, I have started writing with the answer only. Look at the first line of the article. And that is the answer. It’s not about who is above or who is below, it all about who can do what. I would say that it’s easy to be a leader than a manager as leadership is an integral part of management. As of today we have a dearth of leaders in India but might be with some insight we can produce great leaders within home.

So what are you waiting for guys, get up, the world is yours,

“Let’s make a dent in the universe.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


He met her on a party.

She was so outstanding, many guys chasing after her, while he so normal, nobody paid attention to him.

At the end of the party, he invited her to have coffee with him, she was surprised, but due to being polite, she promised.

They sat in a nice coffee shop, he was too nervous to say anything, she felt uncomfortable, she thought, please, let me go home.... suddenly,

he asked the waiter. "would you please give me some salt? I'd like to put it in my coffee." Everybody stared at him, so strange! His face turned red, but still, he put the salt in his coffee and drank it.

She asked him curiously; why you have this hobby?

He replied: "when I was a little boy, I was living near the sea, I like playing in the sea, I could feel the taste of the sea, just like the taste of the salty coffee. Now every time I have the salty coffee, I always think of my childhood, think of my hometown, I miss my hometown so much, I miss my parents who are still living there". While saying that tears filled his eyes.

She was deeply touched. That's his true feeling, from the bottom of his heart. A man who can tell out his homesickness, he must be a man who loves home, cares about home, has responsibility of home.

Then she also started to speak, spoke about her faraway hometown, her childhood, her family. That was a really nice talk, also a beautiful beginning of their story.

They continued to date. She found that actually he was a man who meets all her demands; he had tolerance, was kind hearted, warm, careful.

He was such a good person but she almost missed him! Thanks to his salty coffee!

Then the story was just like every beautiful love story , the princess married to the prince, then they were living the happy life...

And, every time she made coffee for him, she put some salt in the coffee e, as she knew that's the way he liked it.

After 40 years, he passed away, left her a letter which said: "My dearest, please forgive me, forgive my whole life lie. This was the only lie I said to you---the salty coffee. Remember the first time we dated? I was so nervous at that time, actually I wanted some sugar, but I said salt. It was hard for me to change so I just went ahead.I never thought that could be the start of our communication!
I tried to tell you the truth many times in my life, but I was too afraid to do that, as I have promised not to lie to you for anything..
Now I'm dying, I afraid of nothing so I tell you the truth: I don't like the salty coffee, what a strange bad taste..
But I have had the salty coffee for my whole life! Since I knew you, I never feel sorry for anything I do for you. "
Having you with me is my biggest happiness for my whole life.
If I can live for the second time, still want to know you and have you for my whole life,even though I have to drink the salty coffee again".

Her tears made the letter totally wet.

Someday, someone asked her: what's the taste of salty coffee?

It's sweet. She replied.

* Love is not 2 forget but 2 forgive, not 2 c but 2 understand, not 2 hear but 2 listen, not 2 let go but 2 HOLD ON !!!! *