May 31, 2008
A nice poem on what it takes to be a boss – Don’t know who’s written it…
It is not always easy to be the one in charge
In charge of fixing the daily conundrums
That inevitably a come up at 4:30 on Friday
The Friday you have ball game tickets with a pal
Having to make the calls can cause nerves to flair
Flair with fear and raw vulnerability for what’s unknown
And the issues get more gnarly as the day wears on
Wearing patience thin and testing tired brain cells
Why would anyone want to be the boss?
The boss gets all the complaints and aggravation
Constant interruptions render plans obsolete
Obsolete and out of touch before clearing the gate
Being boss comes with these and many more challenges
Challenges roller coaster emotions and energy
These diversions don’t overshadow the reason to lead
Leading is about people, connection, and excellence
Leaders can see and develop our potential
The potential to fully express and utilize our talents
The boss cares about whether people are engaged
Engaged and unencumbered by rolling crud
Hats off to all leaders who get through the muck
The mucky muck of business to help people be great
Jobs would be unbearable without great bosses
Bosses who get what leading is really about
May 31, 2008
Posted by PA under Life Leave a Comment
While writing the earlier post – 10 ways to get out in Cricket, I remembered that I had received an interesting email quite some time back… It is one of those things that we smile a bit about… ponder a bit… even plan to implement… but generally forget in a couple of minutes-hours-days. Every time we read such articles we tend to make resolutions but…. Sometimes we do implement them though…
One: Bend down once in a while and smell a flower.
Two: Don’t go around in clothes that talk. There is already too much talk in the world. We’ve got so many talking people there’s hardly anybody left to listen. With radio and television and telephones we’ve got talking furniture. With bumper stickers we’ve got talking cars. Talking clothes just add to the uproar. If you simply cannot resist being an incompetent klutz, don’t boast about it by wearing a tee shirt that says ‘underachiever and proud of it.’ Being dumb is not the worst thing in the world, but letting your clothes shout it out loud depresses the neighbors and embarrasses your parents.
Point three follows from point two, and it’s this: Listen once in a while. It’s amazing what you can hear. On a hot summer day in the country you can hear the corn growing, the crack of a tin roof buckling under the power of the sun. In a real old-fashioned parlor silence so deep you can hear the dust settling on the velveteen settee, you might hear the footsteps of something sinister gaining on you, or a heart-stoppingly beautiful phrase from Mozart you haven’t heard since childhood, or the voice of somebody – now gone – whom you loved. Or sometime when you’re talking up a storm so brilliant, so charming that you can hardly believe how wonderful you are, pause just a moment and listen to yourself. It’s good for the soul to hear yourself as others hear you, and next time maybe, just maybe, you will not talk so much, so loudly, so brilliantly, so charmingly, so utterly shamefully foolishly.
Point four: Turn off the TV once or twice a month and pick up a book. It will ease your blood pressure. It might even wake up your mind, but if it puts you to sleep you’re still a winner. Better to sleep than have to watch that endless parade of body bags the local news channel marches through your parlor.
Five: don’t take your gun to town. Don’t even leave it home unless you lock all your bullets in a safe deposit box in a faraway bank. The surest way to get shot is not to drop by the nearest convenience store for a bottle of milk at midnight, but to keep a loaded pistol in you own house. What about your constitutional right to bear arms, you say. I would simply point out that you don’t have to exercise a constitutional right just because you have it. You have the constitutional right to run for president of the United States, abut most people have too much sense to insist on exercising it.
Six: learn to fear the automobile. It is not the trillion-dollar deficit that will finally destroy America. It is the automobile. Congressional studies of future highway needs are terrifying. A typical projection shows that when your generation is middle-aged, Interstate 95 between Miami and Fort Lauderdale will have to be 22 lanes wide to avert total paralysis of south Florida. Imagine an entire country covered with asphalt. My grandfather’s generation shot horses. Yours had better learn to shoot automobiles.
Seven: Have some children. Children add texture to your life. They will save you from turning into old fogies before you’re middle-aged. They will teach you humility. When old age overtakes you, as it inevitably will I’m sorry to say, having a few children will provide you with people who will feel guilty when they’re accused of being ungrateful for all you’ve done for them. It’s almost impossible nowadays to find anybody who will feel guilty about anything, including mass murder. When you reach the golden years, your best bet is children, the ingrates.
Eight: Get married. I know you don’t want to hear this, but getting married will give you a lot more satisfaction in the long run than your BMW. It provides a standard set of parent for your children and gives you that second income you will need when it’s time to send those children to Connecticut College. What’s more, without marriage you will have practically no material at all to work with when you decide to write a book or hire a psychiatrist.
Nine: When you get married, whatever you do, do not ask a lawyer to draw up a marriage contract spelling out how your lives will be divvied up when you get divorced. It’s hard enough making a marriage work without having a blueprint for its destruction drawn up before you go to the altar. Speaking of lawyers brings me to point nine and a half, which is: Avoid lawyers unless you have nothing to do with the rest of your life but kill time.
And finally, point 10: smile. You have been given a wonderful life to live. Live it.
Feel free to place a comment and add more to the list – things that have or can make a difference.
May 31, 2008
Posted by PA under Uncategorized Leave a Comment
Though cricket has never been my cup of tea; of recently since the advent of Twenty20 and more so since the advent of IPL I noticed that I have started enjoying cricket. Although I don’t really understand the nitty gritties – it’s fun. On my way to learning more about the game, I came across 10 ways to get out in cricket… I guess most of us only know about some of these. If you think there are more, please feel free to add a comment.
The 10 ways to get out in the middle are:
The 5 well-known ones:
3) Leg Before Wicket
5) Run Out
And the 5 less-frequent ones
6) Hit Wicket: Striker breaks the wicket while batting
7) Handled The Ball: without consent of the opposite side
8) Obstructing The Field
9) Hit The Ball Twice: unless he is protecting his wicket
10) Timed Out: Next batsman due takes longer than
two minutes to appear on the field.
May 31, 2008
Here’s a nice one from Seth Godin’s blog. Food for thought…
Who is Brad Pitt? [insert your brand/name here]
Get me Brad Pitt!
Get me someone like Brad PItt, but cheaper!
Get me a newer version of Brad Pitt!
Who is Brad Pitt?
I wonder what happened to Brad Pitt.
Get Brad Pitt back.
Get me someone like Brad Pitt, who was around the same time as Brad Pitt. ]
Of course, it’s hard to tell where you are when it’s about you.
May 31, 2008
Just because it’s on the menu, doesn’t mean you have to order it.
May 31, 2008
Seth Godin blog offers this list. Read on…
What Every Good Marketer Knows:
- Anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk.
- Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.
- Your best customers are worth far more than your average customers.
- Share of wallet is easier, more profitable and ultimately more effective a measure than share of market.
- Marketing begins before the product is created.
- Advertising is just a symptom, a tactic. Marketing is about far more than that.
- Low price is a great way to sell a commodity. That’s not marketing, though, that’s efficiency.
- Conversations among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not. Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations.
- Products that are remarkable get talked about.
- Marketing is the way your people answer the phone, the typesetting on your bills and your returns policy.
- You can’t fool all the people, not even most of the time. And people, once unfooled, talk about the experience.
- If you are marketing from a fairly static annual budget, you’re viewing marketing as an expense. Good marketers realize that it is an investment.
- People don’t buy what they need. They buy what they want.
- You’re not in charge. And your prospects don’t care about you.
- What people want is the extra, the emotional bonus they get when they buy something they love.
- Business to business marketing is just marketing to consumers who happen to have a corporation to pay for what they buy.
- Traditional ways of interrupting consumers (TV ads, trade show booths, junk mail) are losing their cost-effectiveness. At the same time, new ways of spreading ideas (blogs, permission-based RSS information, consumer fan clubs) are quickly proving how well they work.
- People all over the world, and of every income level, respond to marketing that promises and delivers basic human wants.
- Good marketers tell a story.
- People are selfish, lazy, uninformed and impatient. Start with that and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
- Marketing that works is marketing that people choose to notice.
- Effective stories match the worldview of the people you are telling the story to.
- Choose your customers. Fire the ones that hurt your ability to deliver the right story to the others.
- A product for everyone rarely reaches much of anyone.
- Living and breathing an authentic story is the best way to survive in an conversation-rich world.
- Marketers are responsible for the side effects their products cause.
- Reminding the consumer of a story they know and trust is a powerful shortcut.
- Good marketers measure.
- Marketing is not an emergency. It’s a planned, thoughtful exercise that started a long time ago and doesn’t end until you’re done.
- One disappointed customer is worth ten delighted ones.
- In the googleworld, the best in the world wins more often, and wins more.
- Most marketers create good enough and then quit. Greatest beats good enough every time.
- There are more rich people than ever before, and they demand to be treated differently.
- Organizations that manage to deal directly with their end users have an asset for the future.
- You can game the social media in the short run, but not for long.
- You market when you hire and when you fire. You market when you call tech support and you market every time you send a memo.
- Blogging makes you a better marketer because it teaches you humility in your writing.
Obviously, knowing what to do is very, very different than actually doing it.
May 31, 2008
Like a valley next to a mountain, like the sunshine after the rain; life is much more with some contrasts.
May 29, 2008
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” Isaiah 55:8
May 24, 2008
Posted by PA under India Files 1 Comment
Okay… here’s my current favorite…
GK (Guy Kawasaki) created the GBAT (Guy’s Bozofication Aptitude Test). It is a compilation of the best indicators of whether a company is sliding into bozosity. You can apply this test to your company and post the score.
Add one point for each
1. The two most popular words in your company are “partner” and “strategic.” In addition, “partner” has become a verb, and “strategic” is used to describe decisions and activities that don’t make sense.
2. Management has two-day offsites at places like the Ritz Carlton to foster communication and to craft a company mission statement.
3. The aforementioned company mission statement contains more than twenty words–two of which are “partner” and “strategic.”
4. Your CEO’s admin has an admin.
5. Your parking lot’s “biorhythm” looks like this:
* 8:00 am – 10:00 am–Japanese cars exceed German cars
* 10:00 am – 5:00 pm–German cars exceed Japanese cars
* 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm–Japanese cars exceed German cars
6. Your HR department requires an MBA degree for any position; it also requires five to ten years work experience in an industry that is only four years old.
7. Time is now considered more important than money so you have a company cafeteria, health club, and pet grooming service. Moreover, the first thing that employees show visitors is the company cafeteria, health club, and pet grooming service.
8. Someone whose music sells in the iTunes store performs at the company Christmas party.
9. An employee is paid to do nothing but write a blog.
10. Some employees read this blog to find out what’s happening in the company.
11. The success of a competitor upsets you more than the loss of a customer.
12. Your middle managers all worked at big-name consumer goods companies.
13. You hire a big-name consulting firm who brings in MBAs with one year of experience to re-think your corporate strategies.
14. Your company likes some of these MBAs and hires them away from the big-name consulting firm.
15. The front-desk staff gets better looking and less competent.
16. The only time you see your CEO is when you’re watching CNBC.
17. You watch CNBC during the day and don’t feel guilty.
18. The ratio of engineers to attorneys dips below 25 to 1.
19. The company has created a “company values” poster.
20. “Leveraging core competencies” and “maximizing shareholder value” show up in official documents, in the same paragraph.
21. New executives campaign to improve the product before they understand how to use it.
22. Your company outsources its mission statement.
23. Your CEO’s chair is more expensive than your first car.
24. You have more than two execs with the word “chief” in their title.
25. The company becomes a schwag fountain: pens, bags, notepads, messenger bags.
Add two points for each
26. Your CEO writes a book.
27. Your CEO gets invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos where he gives advice to the presidents of Eastern European countries.
28. Your company has a corporate jet.
29. Your company hired a retired professional athlete as a motivational speaker.
30. Your company hired a retired politician as a motivational speaker
The highest possible score is 35 points. God help you…
May 24, 2008
Okay… here’s a funny one… this one has been doing the round of the internet for quite some time now… it started of with some 3-4 companies… and now the list has gone up…
You have two cows. You go to Stanford. Then you come back to India and
work your ass off. You get 33 million cows. You keep them all of them.
You have no cows. You go hitch-hiking to Bulgaria and get arrested.
You come back to India and work your ass off. You get 36 million cows.
But you give 35.9 million of them to your employees. You still sweep
the floor at home.
You have two cows. You like running after other cows. Uh oh…
You have a zillion cows. You refuse to share them with your employees
because you need them to subsidise your other businesses. Your
employees are one really pissed off bunch.
You have lots of cows. You sell all of them and keep just 30 cows, on
whom you will focus your attention. Oh shit, your farm is still in the
You have two cows. You sell the milk at rock-bottom prices, forcing
your competitors to panic and re-look at their whole way of doing
business. You make really irritating jingles
You have no cows so you go to Aden to milk other people’s cows. You
come back to India and start a small egg business. Then you integrate
furiously: chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, cattle, cattle-feed,
cattle-feed machinery, etc etc etc. You end up with one humongous
farm. You die. Your daughters-in-law hate each other. So what happens
to the farm now?
You have lots of cows. They are big and lazy and slow-moving, but at
least they’re clean
Your grandfather had lots of cows, but he had a really lousy
reputation. Your father and you clean up that reputation. And now you
have even more cows than before. Well done!
You have two cows. You work your ass off and build a great farm with
lots of cattle and lots of dairy products. Your employer thinks you’re
too big for your boots and sacks you. Don’t worry, at least you’ve got
a few cows from the deals you’ve made on the side
You have lots and lots of cows. Everybody wonders who the actual owner is.
You have a million cows. You and your family squabble over them. You
lose them. You now have two cows.
You have two cows. Hey, who cares about milking them?! All you want is
to win lots of awards, along with your brothers and nephews and uncles
There are no cows here. All bull. And at the end of the day bullshit
for the investor.
You have two cows. You take them to the market and free them there. In
the ensuing chaos, you run away with all the goodies when you can.
Because after all we must believe in free markets. Where else can you
get such stuff for free?
You have a tabela full of cows. The navratnas included. You fatten
them and take them to the bazaar. You sell them in the morning more
for the fat than the cow. In the heat of the market, at the end of the
day, the cows look thin and pale. All the fat’s melted away.The buyer
wants to get rid of them in a hurry. You buy them back at the going
rate.At godhuli time,you have your cows and the fat too. The trick is
not to let the glee show at any point of time.
You have two cows. You make them graze on either side of the fence.You
convince both the cows that the grass is greener on the other side.You
yourself sit on the fence.
May 24, 2008
For quite some time I have been thinking of doing a ‘wholesome’ search on Multanis… whatever I know about our caste, community and language… it is thanks to my parents and grand parents… although I can understand multani to an extent… speaking in multani makes me sound like an alien. It is time now for multanis in India to come together and spread the rich culture that we belong time (beside ofcourse learning the language which my mom says is relatively easy). Although Parsi community as they say is diminishing… then what will I say about Multanis… I wonder what’s the total multani head count in india is!
Well… coming back to the ‘wholesome’ research that I did on the Internet about Multanis in India… this is what it yielded … nice article which was published in the TOI couple of years ago… it brings back memory of those days in school and college when the world used to think that I am either Sikh or mona sikh or hindu-punjabi
Punjabis, but not quite Punjabi
Multanis? But aren’t they same as Sindhis? That’s not an uncommon reaction. For the record, Multan is not a part of Sindh but of Punjab in Pakistan. Hear them chat and you realise where this misconception comes from: a slight nasal twang combined with a crisp dialect.
Listen carefully and you’ll find that Multani is much closer to Punjabi. Indeed, the Multanis’ greater dread today is to have their identities confused with the larger mass of Punjabis. Multanis like to be known as what they are: Multanis.
Being one is as much about language and festivals as about cuisine, especially sohan halwa (a delicacy made from germinated wheat flour, milk and sugar) and mukand vadis .
Even today, Multani women keep their own version of the popular Punjabi karva chauth. ‘‘In Multan my mother used to keep a fast for my father on Gur Purab. I still follow the tradition,’’ says Savitri Narula, married into a Punjabi family.
Like making Multani delicacies. So karva chauth also becomes the time the younger generations of Multanis get to taste some of their best traditional dishes: a special kind of meethi roti baked over low fire and rali-mili subzi, a spicy mix of seven vegetables.
A lot of Multani culture obviously remains in their kitchens and Multanis proudly declare that malpuas are not made in Punjabi homes. And while kachori is as common in Varanasi or Indore as in Amritsar or Multan, moong-chawal or moth-chawal are not to be got anywhere in Punjab.
The children, now in their 20s and 30s, are just as cosmopolitan as their next-door Tamil or Bengali neighbours. And unlike what people believe, they are not businessmen — another legacy of that Sindhi twang. There are as many doctors, engineers, fashion designers, MBAs, IT professionals among the Multanis as among the new-age Gujaratis or Andhrites. When the Multanis who fled Pakistan came to Delhi, a lot of them did get into business.
A large number of them settled in Paharganj where they were given compensation land. Even today, if you visit the dusty bylanes of Multani Dhanda you will see a good example of how a small part of Punjab that is not quite Punjabi retains its character. This is where you find some of the refugees who still run small shops that sell Multani delicacies.
But most people in the community have moved on. The only other concentration would be in Multan Nagar, a housing colony on the outskirts of Delhi. A larger number, however, can be found in posher, more central areas.
Edited to Add: New space on Multanis Worldwide!
May 24, 2008
Posted by PA under Poetry 1 Comment
It doesn’t matter what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain!
I want to know if you can sit with pain,
mine or your own,
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy,
mine or your own;
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
remember the limitations of being a human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
I want to know if you can
to be true to yourself;
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty
even when it’s not pretty every day.
And if you can source your life
from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure,
yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair,
weary and bruised to the bone,
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know,
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside,
when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.
By Oriah Mountain Dreamer
From the book, The Invitation, published by Harper San Francisco, 1999.
May 24, 2008
Happened to read this on a friend’s profile and loved it every bit… since then it has become one of my favorites’
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!
- Rudyard Kipling
May 24, 2008
Posted by PA under Life
, Poetry 1 Comment
To laugh often love much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
And the affection of children;
To earn the approbation of honest critics
And endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To give one’s self;
To leave the world a little better,
Whether by a healthy child,
A garden patch,
Or a redeemed social condition;
To have played and laughed with enthusiasm
And sung with exultation;
To know even one life has breathed easier
Because you have lived…
This is to have succeeded
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
May 24, 2008
This is something that i read long ago while on my net-reading spree as against the good old book reading spree… wonderfully describes a lot of what I wanted to write since the long time…
I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it’s bad for you
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self esteem
I believe I’m loved when I’m completely by myself alone
I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy
I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold
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