Sunday, December 7, 2008

Creating Leadership Magic - Disney Way

I recently read a book - 10 common sense leadership strategies from a life at Disney, By Lee Cockerell.

I found it to be a great book, the leadership strategies being truely common sense. The point which truely appealed to me was - respect and care for your employees as much as you want them to care for the company and customers.

If employees feel truely respected and cared for, they will feel happy, truely aligned, will have a feeling of pride and ownership which will help taking your organization forward a long way.

The ways in which Lee showed the respect was communicating clearly and honestly to develop trust, avoiding micro managing, and appreciating in public and not even criticising but suggesting improvements in private.

And he cared by taking effort to know his team, greeting them sincerely, making himself always available and so on.

He made sure that everyone knew that he or she mattered in the organization, else why were they hired in the job which they are doing, right from lower ranks to the top echleons.

While recruiting he tried to make the people demonstrate their skills there and then wherever possible and didnt go by claims.

He wasnt born perfect with all the leadership skills but learnt them both easy and hard way. Now his teachings are taught in Disney Training Institute to churn out leaders.

A great book, I believe you will find some more learnings if you read it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Work - A Passion !

I believe that anyone will agree that Passion for Work is so commonplace and might be beating "working frustration" hands down. There are n number of reasons one can chalk out, like it gives you a sense of purpose, reason for existence, feeling of achievement and so on.

While discussing work, the Ist thing that comes to mind is that a person will be definitely happier or more passionate for her work if the work matches her aptitude or interest.

The other important reason for enjoying your work may stem from the feeling that you are learning something continously. Next contributing factor might be lack of monotonous work offering avenues for change and creativity.

A sense of ownership of the work and some idealistic ideas about the vision of the goals your work is going to accomplish definitely makes one love their work. Atlas Shrugged's Dagny Taggart's obsessive love for her work perhaps stemmed from her owning the heritage of the company she was at the helm of and her struggle to keep it running at any cost is heart rendering.

The critical significance of the work being done by you when emphasised definitely makes one like their work as it gives you some important place in the universe's scheme of things rather than just being a spoke in a wheel or a speck in the universe.

Coming from the generalized view to the specialized view of being an Indian, I would say that many career directions are decided not just by the aptitude, but by the probability of having a secure career path and easy buck. Still human being an entirely adjustable species mostly starts finding the satisfaction and happiness in the above chosen work area.

I for myself being interested in many work directions would have been happier in most of the directions I could have taken. The idea of work regulating your life providing you with goals and something to do is intoxicating to me at least.

I as a general rule dont say no to any work to which I can be assigned and mostly I end up enjoying the assigned work because there's something to learn from doing any kind of work. And you can have a balanced life pursuing your other interests on your own !

My above mentioned work tendencies can be credited to my optimistic never say die attitude or rather being dead patient about circumstances.

Talk about work passion is incomplete unless and until one takes the energetic action oriented attitude and the level of initiative which is taken and acted upon in account. Motivating people for doing the work with true zeal might be what the management is all about !

I think I have jotted down some of my reflections about passion for work which I could think of currently, I might expand on it, if something substantial related to this flits across my mind any time.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Recently read books !

Once upon a time I wrote my last blog entry. So I decided to come again and write a few hundred/thousand words. The topic is not yet decided, but I think discussion of recently read books should suffice!

I have read 3 mistakes of my life - latest by chetan bhagat, infact read it twice. I liked this latest literary sojourn by chetan bhagat a lot too. As per my rankings it's perhaps better than one night at the call centre, but Chetan Bhagat will perhaps never again beat his own masterpiece - 5 point someone. My taste is realistic one, and whenever anybody starts getting too imaginative I start drowning in the literal liberty taken by the author.

Coming back to 3 mistakes, the underlying theme is of the friendship of 3 friends, with cricket and religion getting weaved in the medley. The story has turned out to be interesting keeping the curious reader pasted to the book till it ends.

Another point which I have noticed about Chetan Bhagat's writing is the way he writes about the boy's angle in a relationship and his views about the girl. The guys always feel sarcastic about the way girls' behave, noticing tiny little details about personality quirks. Still the dear guy would fall hopelessly caught by visual and verbal antics of the girl.

The other one which I bought is Andy Grove's biography, one of the many books written about the persona. It gives an insight in the managment guidelines, observed from the way people and processes are managed in Intel. An interesting and knowledgable read, no doubt about it.

The third one I recently tried to read was Paulo Coelho's Brida which turned out to be simply disappointing. All that spiritual connect, the twists and the realtions to the old mythology lure present in all Paulo Coelho books turned out to be missing. I havent managed to complete it and my best friend reading the same copy condemned it too. Still I think I will try to read this "set of pages cast in a good cover but bad content" once again to get some value of my hard earned money spent on this book.

And the book I am planning to read is "Almost Single" by Advaita Kala. I believe I will enjoy that book having sampled an excerpt. And I plan to read "The Living" by Ayn Rand too, but I think it's a sad book, hence never managed to make myself read it.

I think I am done with the current review, and will continue with the next review some time later, perhaps the next review might be about latest movies.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Harry Potter - My interpretation !!

I am a huge fan of Harry Potter and I have read and reread all the volumes and even seen all the movies again and again. Hence I have tried to think why Harry Potter is such a charming force !!

If I start thinking,the Ist thing that comes to my mind is that I should analyze the way I feel about it. And that feeling is a feeling of joy, interest, enjoyment and warmth. Its a story you can relate to, feel as if its a story of your own real cool school life !!

Now let's come to the strength of Harry Potter character !! He's courageous and the greatest quality which is amazingly visible through his actions is his modesty, humility and concern for all living beings. Some of the credit for inculcating modesty in Harry Potter will have to be given to Dumbledore for keeping Harry unaware of his famous status in Wizarding world by keeping him away from it in his early childhood. The kindness in his nature has been attributed to his mother Lily too as told by Dumbledore to Snape.

Whatever might be the reason, there's a natural empathy in Harry Potter for all living beings especially if they belong to some disadavantaged place in social hierarchy and thus he shows a polite demeanour to everybody.There might be some influence of Dumbledore too as he famously belived in giving second chances to people and his basic trust in goodness of all.

There might be one exception where Harry failed to understand true nature of a person, i.e. Snape and Snape's own attitude didnt help the situation as well. Actually Snape and Harry both had their prejudices because of an ancient conflict between Harry's father James and Snape.

The next most endearing character is ofcourse Hermione and her intelligence. She's almost perfect with no major flaws that I can think of. She provides a major part of thinking and analysis going on, though Harry pitches in more as he starts understanding Voldemort more than anybody else in later books.

Harry's willingness to believe in fables, old tales and old magic helps too, whereas Hermione is more analytical and rational and hence fails to have faith in things like Hallows and thus is unable to understand them.

The above qualites are in direct contrast to the Voldemort who's cruel, proud, arrogant, selfish, without friends and doesnt care for any form of life like elves. He has no respect for life and has no regrets for killing any human being or breaking his own soul in parts to try to attain immortality. He doesnt care for anybody's emotions and doesnt try to understand them. He has an incomplete knowledge and doesnt find it worthwhile to understand something which doesnt seem as a means to attaining more power. He has a few devout followers like Bellatrix or Crouch's son, rest all seem to follow either for gaining power or for survival or they are just plainly scared.

The last and seventh episode is a very intelligent one as it ties all loose ends and provides backdrop stories to understand the nuances of charactersitics of people. Voldemort's cruelty is attributed to his genes, or rather his ancestory which was full of violence. The other idea might be that he was raised in an orphanage and didnt receive any loving homely environment, but genetic factors have been given more weightage by author, atleast I think so. Even the story of why Harry is good at flying on broom is also explained, Sirius gifted Harry his ist toy broom when he turned 1 year old, thus Harry already had good flight hours behind him when he came to school :)

Dumbledore though the greatest wizard ever is shown to have an inability too i.e. at a certain time of his life he became far too ambitious for his own good. And if he thinks he's in a powerful position he will be inclined to attain more power, and thus because of his slightly selfish aim wont be able to utilize that power effectively or for greater good. Here Dumbledore concedes that Harry is better than him at handling greatness or power.

Thus one of the greatest capabilites of author might be to avoid painting all characters in black and white and providing multidimensional characters. Background stories help in understanding current behavior of characters too.

Moreover the story is such a long one, so you can keep on reading ang being able to understand more and more as you reread something and understand more from subplots.
As if you read sixth part after reading seventh part, then you might notice Marvolo shouting that the family inherited ring had a coat of peverell brothers on it which becomes important in context of Hallows.

The words created specific to the world of magic are wonderful too. Each word has such an interesting ring to it like "Hallows, Horcruxes". If you notice then, the character H has great importance in Harry's life. The main words which you can observe are :- Harry, Hogwartz, Hermione, Hagrid, Hallows, Horcruxes.

The mantras or spells sound fascinating too - "Avada Kedavra", "Alohmora and etc...
My mom has just said that "Avada Kedavra" sounds like "Abra Ka Dabra".
The telepathic connection between Harry and Voldemort's minds is a great way of story telling too and keeps everybody updated about Voldy's thoughts and actions.

The devotion and love of people like Hagrid, Lupin, Sirius, Weasely family, Hermione and Dumbledore for harry feels wonderful too. Love and friendship are something of importance too which Harry has in plenty and Voldemort lacks badly. There are numerous instances about power of love like Harry's mother giving away her life for saving his son's life, Snape saving Harry just because he's Lily's daughter and Hagrid's unconditional love for Harry.

The story is a magical one and thus might be deriving magical creatures from old magical historical fictions like Tolkien's elves, goblins and all, but I am not sure about all the inspirations.

The story of Prophecies and predictions reminds of Bhagwan Krishna's story, where Harry just like Krishna lives without the parents who gave birth to him and is destined to kill almost unbeatable villain.

Moreover the story has its own lot of funny instances. Harry doesnt have a smooth sailing life as such. He's surviving through all the struggles which might be as big as facing Voldemort or as insubstantial as loads of homework. So it becomes the story of everyone of us who are struggling with something or anything and worrying about it in our own lives.

Essentially the story is about goodness winning over evil and upholding all moral values like honesty,courage, kindness, friendship and love.

Its my understanding as of today and I will keep on trying to learn more,actually read more and hone my opinions, ideas, understanding and Interpretation :)

Hail Harry Potter !!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Creative Dent Speak !!

Though the blog title refers to "I think therefore I am" and its my blog, still I have been stuck in the negation of another concept "A good blog today is better than a great blog never". Thinking of that perfect entry, I wrote nothing till date. So today at last I got inspired not by my creativity, but by the creativity of my cousin brother who has almost become a dentist and thus even writes poems about teeth !! Actually he has sort of written a self speak by a tooth which I thought was quite good. Now my appreciation might be a bit on the higher side as it has been written by my sibling with whom I have shared a major part of my life !! The brat has lived with us since he entered school and has played the part of a sibling/real brother.

I can write a lot abt him. To start with he's a food junkie which ended up making him a looming giant. At least he seems so when we walk together on street. We hv watched a lot of TV together, though he's much more passionate about it. He remembers all the scenes of all that doordarshan or 100 other odd channels have ever displayed to his eyeballs and even enacts well. He once enacted whole Godzilla movie for my benefit !! I talk a lot too, but he's a level up in this field too.

Now he writes well too, draws gud cartoons too !! And he claims to be inspired by me in lot of his talents !!

Now let's not delay the dental speak any more !! here's the poem by him. He is chief editor of the inaugral issue of his college magazine and is calling it DentalSpeak !! Needless to say he has taken lot of initiative for it !!

So at last here we present A poem by a tooth !! Other articles might be posted as well if deemed worthy by me after multiple editions :)

Everyt ime you speak,I help you,
beautify your smile,yes that’s what I do.
All the sweets and candy,
all the colas and brandy,
all cold and hot,
pleasures you had
and neglect I got.
I was so shiny,I was so strong,
Can’t u think what went wrong.
I thought you loved me,
I thought you will care,
But your apathy my dear;
has been my nightmare.
Today I hurt, I m your pain,
but with all this carelessness,what else could you gain.
Now you curse me ;
but couldn’t you brush me.
You have been so mean,
not to keep me clean.
I m dark and decayed today,
all strength I have lost.
I will fall anyday
hope than you will appreciate my cost
So mind what you eat,
mind your food
don’t be so rude.