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Archive for January 2013

शुरुआत तो करो, बदलेगा इंडिया…

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अभी कुछ देर पहले NDTV इंडिया पर टीवी एंकर शारिक की एक बेहद सरल, पर सशक्त प्रस्तुति देखी। मन को छू गयी, इसलिए आपसे बाँट रहा हूँ।

पिछले कुछ दिनों में हमने देखा किस तरह से कमल हासन की आगामी फिल्म ‘विश्वरूपम’ का विरोध हुआ; तमिलनाडु सरकार ने रोक भी लगाई, जिसे उच्च-न्यायालय ने पहले तो हटाया और फिर रोक लगा दी। चूँकि अब इस तरह की बेवजह रोक-टोक आम होती जा रही है, मन दुखी ज़रूर हुआ, पर इस पर कुछ लिखूँ, इतनी न इच्छा हुयी, न उसका फायदा लगा।

पर आज बड़े दिनों के बाद इस पत्रकारिता की राह से भटकते हुए इलेक्ट्रॉनिक मीडिया में कुछ ऐसा देखा, जो लगा की वास्तव में जन-जागरण के मानस का परिचायक है।

शारिक आज हमें दिल्ली के चाँदनी-चौक की गलियों में ले गए, ये देखने सुनने कि हमारे मुसलमान भाई इस विषय में क्या सोचते हैं। बहुतों से दरयाफ्त किया; मालूम हुआ कि  या तो आम मुसलमान जानता ही नहीं कि ये ‘विश्वरूपम’ क्या बला है, या फिर बिलकुल साफ़ सोचता है इस बारे में। जवां और बुजुर्ग दोनों दिखे शामिल इस बात को पुरज़ोर कहने में कि “अरे, पहले देखने तो दो भाई! फिर ही तो कह सकते हैं कि क्या कुछ है भी इसमें ऐसा जो हमारे या फिर इस्लाम के ख़िलाफ़ है।” कोई एक भी ऐसा नहीं मिला जो कहता की यह बेवजह की सियासतदानी नहीं है। कुछ ऐसे भी थे जो बोले कि “अमां मियाँ, देखने दो फिल्म, अगर लगा की शिकायत है कोई तो आवाम विरोध करेगा खुद, कुछ लोग कैसे अपने-आप तय करेंगे कि हमारे लिए क्या सही है…आखिर जमहूरियत है देश में!”

मैं अवध का रहने वाला, गंगा-जमुनी तहजीब का अमली-जामा पहनने वाला खालिस लखनवी ये बातें सुन के बेहद खुश हुआ। लगा कि अभी भी उम्मीद बाकी है कुछ इस वतन में।

और भी सुकून हुआ जब चलते-चलते, प्रोग्राम के अंत में एक बेहद जहीन युवक ने बड़ी ही तमीज़ से यूं फ़रमाया, …इस्लाम एक मुकम्मल धर्म है…मेरे मज़हब पर मेरा यकीन पूरा है, इसे किसी के दो बातें कह देने से कोई फर्क नहीं पड़ता…”
 
सुन के लगा, कितनी ही सरलता से इस नौजवान ने इतनी गहरी बात कह दी। आपसे इस उम्मीद से बाँट रहा हूँ कि आप इस बारें में सोचेंगे; और इस उम्मीद से कि सही ही होगा जो चर्चित फ़िल्मकार और लेखक प्रसून जोशी ने NDTV इंडिया के लिए लिखा, “शुरुआत तो करो, बदलेगा इंडिया…”
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Written by RRGwrites

January 31, 2013 at 8:55 PM

When You Let Your Performers Go…

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all-the-best-scrapsAs leader of large team, which consists of bright and smart managers, I manage a lot of tough situations. One of the most crucial such situation arises when one of my high-performer team members expresses his or her intentions to move on and pursue other interests; in short, wants to leave the job.

This is indeed a tough moment for any people manager, especially if the team is built painstakingly over years and when it consists of stars who have consistently done well for the team and the organization.

However, I do not baulk at such moments. Neither do I feel bad or act vindictive. In fact, I always feel amused when I hear about how bosses or companies change dramatically as soon as someone declares his intent to quit the job. Right from acting in a rather discourteous manner – ‘How can you?!!’, (As if the employee cheated them by choosing to resign!), to meriting a differential treatment (Why do we need to call him for this meeting, isn’t he leaving?), to alienating the employee altogether, even when he’s serving the notice period. In my book, it all sucks, big time.

Don’t get me wrong; I also do not want my best lieutenants to leave. However, I also feel good when they leave in pursuit of something ambitious; something they find more engaging and rewarding. Over the period of years, I have, should I say, tried to build a culture of sincerity and frankness amongst my teammates about their career aspirations; not only within the team’s boundaries/domain, but also with other functions within the organizations and at times, even with other companies. All my teammates are encouraged to share openly any meetings they have had with other companies and/or offers they get; and since I haven’t witnessed almost anyone of them trying to use this allowance of forthrightness as a tool of negotiation for a promotion/career-advancement with me, I see this honesty paying off.

Every time when a teammate has shared such a development with me, the first thing I’d say “Great! Congrats, mate!” Often thereafter, I get bombarded with questions about the pros-&-cons of the said offer, and in past, three out of five such teammates have left my office with a decision not to leave the job! And even the ones who chose otherwise left with my best wishes!

I follow this approach, as I don’t think staying with the same company till one retires is necessary. Moreover, the Gen-Y young talent doesn’t operate in ‘one-life, one-company’ manner. While I believe working longer years for an organization pays off in long term and don’t think job-hopping every two years is good either, it isn’t certainly a crime to ‘resign’. Merely because one didn’t stay long-term with the team or the company doesn’t make that employee any less valued in my books.

In my view, leaders should take pride in not only their work, but also in the teams they have built. And just the way a great leader or company attracts quality talent; better and greater companies and/or opportunities shall attract the same quality talent away from you at times. Taking pride in your team will help you let go, when merited. After all, would someone have decided to make a non-turn-down-able, lucrative offer to your employees, if they were not any good? When great businesses can get bought, why wouldn’t great talent be hunted for?

All of us did leave some job to join the one we are in; thus, I am a firm advocate of doing a superb job while working for a company, with utmost focus and commitment, giving it all. Yet, I do appreciate if one pursues better opportunities elsewhere. Chances are, and my experience says surely, if your offerings are better, (Read: authenticity, respect, learning & career-opportunities and challenges), all ‘well-meaning’ talent will stick with you for the time your offerings stay this way.

This approach, when deployed authentically, does a few things right for me; it permeates a culture of trust and openness, doesn’t leave anyone harbouring any ill feeling at the time of separation and yet, establishes the fundamental fact that no one is irreplaceable, howsoever outstanding he is at his work. This approach makes me value all my teammates, regard the great performers even more, and yet, helps me not look at them with disdain when they wish to move on.

I would rather engage my teammates by what I can offer fairly, every day, than to keep my best offer saved for the last day. And then, when they still decide to take the plunge, I wish them farewell.

What do you do?

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Image-credit: vkrmphoto.com

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are author’s own and not of the organization he is associated with.

Words Have Power…

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The-power-of-wordsWords have power. They do. And it has been some good time since I realized this. Over a period of years, I have developed a habit of using words to my advantage, albeit in a different manner than merely communicating. I pick every year some words of wisdom and make them my goal-sheet for next twelve months, and even beyond. Sometimes they are quotes, sometimes proverbs, or even stories…they all guide me. Depending on my own needs of personal & people leadership, self-improvement and focus, these words help me stay determined on my chosen path of the year.

Here are my 12 guiding quotes for 2013:

  • “Small details make for perfection, and perfection isn’t small.”

 – Aditya Vikram Birla, visionary Indian entrepreneur

  • “Lost yesterday, sometime between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours; each set with sixty diamonds minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.”

– Horace Mann, American education reformer

  • “I don’t have to attend every argument I’m invited to.”

– Author Unknown

  • “As you climb up the corporate ladder, be wary of the trap, where, as a professional nobody could touch you, but as a person, nobody would touch you.”

 – Prof. Dipak Jain, Kellogg’s School of Business

  • “You cannot be really first-rate at your work, if your work is all you are.”

 – Anna Quindlen, Pulitzer Prize winning American journalist 

  • “There is too much said for the sake of argument and too little said for the sake of agreement.”

– Author Unknown

  • “The peacock must not be replaced as the national bird by the ostrich.”

– Nani Palkhivala, legendary Indian lawyer and statesman

  • “I never could have done what I have done, without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one object at a time.”

– Charles Dickens, in David Copperfield

  • “I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside me.”

– Abraham Lincoln

  • “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

– Babe Ruth, the all time baseball great

  • “न दैन्यम, न पलायनम।” (No misery, no running away)

 – Bhagvad Gita

  • “मालिक को मालिक बने रहने के लिए नौकरों से ज़्यादा काम करना चाहिए।” (The owner of the enterprise must work harder than his employees in order to remain the owner…)

– Balraj Sahni, Hindi Film Great, in a movie dialogue

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Photo-credit: holistichealthandme.com

Written by RRGwrites

January 21, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Confessions Of A Doping Athlete…

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CheatingFinally, Lance Armstrong came clean…

This was the talking point amongst all the sports-fans I know since yesterday after the news broke out that Armstrong accepted he used performance-enhancing drugs, or doped, as they say in the parlance of sports.

Many I spoke with praised this act of confession; one even termed it brave. Somehow, I couldn’t help remembering all those unnamed athletes who came second, third and even lower in order, only because the erstwhile champion(?) consumed the prohibited drugs, in what is now being called ‘the most sophisticated, organized and professional doping scheme’ in the history of sports.

While this is indeed a sad day for sports, I am sure this turn of events must have also provided some solace to those athletes who, despite all their genuine efforts, were made to appear secondary to Armstrong in the numerous championships he ended up winning…

Nicole Cooke, the 2008 Olympic and world road-race champion British cyclist, was scathing in her criticism. One of the things she said echoed with my sentiments;

“When Lance cries on Oprah later this week… spare a thought for all those genuine people who walked away with no reward – just shattered dreams…”

At this moment, I am reminded of a piece I had read during my college years. Don’t really remember who said it, but it is so apt for all those athletes who were at the receiving end of, should I say, Lance’s act of cheating:

…and to get there is an incredible journey.

The athlete delays marriage, 

he hocks his car,

he lives in dormitories,

soaked in sweat,

his legs ache as if amputated

but there is still 30 kilometers to run;

every single day the demons of pain & fatigue come visiting,

telling him to forget it.

And sometimes,

even God forgets to look his way.”

Well, I’m happy God finally chose to look the way of all those truly deserving, clean athletes…they ultimately won their race today.

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Photo-credit: sportige.com

Written by RRGwrites

January 17, 2013 at 12:26 AM

बीता साल…

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बीता साल कई सालों तक सालता रहेगा… कुछ न कर पाने की टीस हमेशा मन में रहेगी। ये सिर्फ दिल वालो की दिल्ली की सड़कों की बे-दिली ही नहीं, अपने खुद के पुरुष होने की शर्म का अहसास भी दिलाता रहेगा…

मैं उसे कई नामों से जानता हूँ – वो माँ है, बीवी, बेटी, बहन और मित्र भी; हमेशा इन्ही नामों से जानना भी चाहता हूँ। लेकिन 2012 सिर्फ उसे ‘निर्भया’ के नाम से जानेगा, ये त्रासदी हमेशा सच रहेगी।

और सच रहेगा इस त्रासदी के साथ उमड़ा जन-आक्रोश भी… जो कि उम्मीद है इस बार सिर्फ हल्ला बोल के, क्रोध दिखा कर, आंसू बहा के ही शांत नहीं हो जायेगा। वो सिर्फ दूसरों में कमी दिखा कर अपनी तसल्ली नहीं करेगा, और सिर्फ सरकार और तंत्र की नपुंसकता की दुहाई नहीं देगा।

उम्मीद यह है कि इस बार वो युवा असल बदलाव की ओर बढेगा – खुद। वो बदलाव अपने खुद के अन्दर लाएगा, सर्वप्रथम। वो दिन प्रतिदिन स्वयं उस परिवर्तन का अंश बनेगा, जो दूसरों में चाहता है। उस बदलाव की बानगी बनेगा, जो दूसरों से मांगता है…

नया साल शुभ हो, इस उम्मीद के साथ कि हम नए साल में उस युवा की तरह बनेंगे, जिसकी परिकल्पना स्वयं शहीद सरदार भगत सिंह ने कुछ यों की थी …

“16 से 25 वर्ष तक हाड़-चर्म के इस संदूक में विधाता संसार भर के हाहाकारों को समेट कर भर देता है… 
युवावस्था में मनुष्य के लिए दो ही मार्ग हैं – 
वह चढ़ सकता है उन्नति के सर्वोच्च शिखर पर; 
वह गिर सकता है अध:पतन के अँधेरे खन्दक में। 
चाहे तो त्यागी बन सकता है युवक, चाहे तो विलासी; 
वह देवता बन सकता है तो पिशाच भी…”

Written by RRGwrites

January 1, 2013 at 1:00 PM

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