On life…and learning

Archive for August 2014

5 Questions You Need to Answer If You’re Being Promoted

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The Leader In Me

Were you promoted recently or are you being promoted? And will you now be a manager to those who were your peers till yesterday?

What are your feelings? Happy? Apprehensive? Both…?

I recently got a chance to interact with a bunch of such promoted senior managers; people who grew from within ranks, sales folks with tons of experience and hard-earned credibility. Upon hearing the news of their elevation, they were initially ecstatic! Then, as the conversation proceeded, I observed myriad emotions emerge – happiness, apprehension, thoughtfulness, even over-conficence – ‘I will deliver to all expectations types’… some also asked about improvement areas…

Having worked with leadership talent all across the spectrum, I wanted them to succeed in their new roles and not fall prey to a leadership nemesis several go down to – THE I know it all!

I asked them these five questions… it left them thinking!

  1. Why are you being promoted? Because of the old good phrase – ‘I am THE best performer’ OR, there is more to it that your boss and company saw in you and which you need to be more self-aware of?

  2. What are the top five expectations your boss and company have from you in your new, enlarged role?

  3. What are the top three or five things that you will start doing from tomorrow; things you weren’t either aware of or focussing upon till now?

  4. More importantly, can you list down top three or five things you will stop doing, as you take charge of your new role?

  5. Why should till-yesterday-your-peers agree to be led by you? What is your leadership quotient with such people? Remember, these are as bright, as seasoned, as performing as you were! Even bigger question… why should anyone be led by you?

A found the group staring at me… some mustered answers to few of these questions; other few went into a deep thought. A couple of rather over-confident ones also put up a brave exterior – that of ‘I have figured it out all!’ Incidentally, almost everyone had said in earlier conversations that they will deliver upon all expectations and yet, when they drew up the list to answer the second question, as mentioned above, I could observe a lot of mismatches!

And the boss of these recent promoted ones? He too went thinking!

Your thoughts? Do you think I asked right questions? Do you want to add any questions?


Image-credit: sheroes.in

Are You An Authentic Leader?

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Ever thought that in leadership, ‘trust’ and ‘authenticity’ are two different words? Yes/No? Read on…


AuthenticityOften in the corporate world’s setting around us, we hear the magic word, ‘trust’. There isn’t any dearth of literature on this subject, especially when it comes to importance of ‘trust’ in relationships at work; more so, in the manager-subordinate relationship.Trust me, please’ is writ large over every leader’s forehead; you must have observed nearly every leader wanting to secure his team’s trust; so much so, that we HR folks often end up conducting developmental workshops, engagement surveys and what not more around this area of organizational effectiveness.

I agree that trust can be easily termed as one of the most important pillars of organizational effectiveness. However, to my mind, there is an even more crucial aspect to work-relationships – authenticity. Being trustworthy and being authentic are often confused as the same attribute. It isn’t so, in my opinion; they are two distinct behavioural attributes that…

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Written by RRGwrites

August 24, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Posted in Leadership

Women In India; What Has Changed Since Draupadi?

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Prime Minister Modi spoke on the Independence Day… and how! Strongly worded views on this son vs. daughter divide… What has changed since Draupadi…?


Women of IndiaThey say, when you read something that is thought-provoking and worth sharing, do share with as many as you can. I am attempting the same with this blog.

Long ago, I had read a poem titled, ‘I Draupadi’. This was over a decade ago and I was deeply moved by it. Kartikeya Sarabhai, son of legendary Indian space scientist Vikram Sarabhai, penned this gem of a work in 1989, in an spontaneous afterthought having watched the performance of great Indian epic Mahabharata, a play directed by Peter Brook. I was in law-school when I read this, I thought it was a classic.

However, while reading a recently published book, ‘The State of the Nation’, (Hay, 2013), written by eminent jurist Fali S. Nariman, I came across this poem once again. Mr. Nariman, in his unique style, mentions about this poem while explaining the constitutional and…

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Written by RRGwrites

August 17, 2014 at 1:02 AM

Posted in Life

Hey Baba, I miss you…

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BabaIt is two years today that Baba passed away. I was with him in his very last moments… I saw him slipping away… in front of my eyes, all by myself… it was the same humid, scary August night like today…

Lord knows I miss him. I have missed him every day in these last two years… There hasn’t been a day that I do not think of my father and talk about him. Those who get to know me, get to know him too. Every day as I leave my home and come back, he looks at me from that huge portrait hung in the living room and I can see the very same old charming and infectious smile! Something he always reserved for me. When I close my eyes, I can see that smile and feel it in my bones.

Folks, if you are fortunate and blessed to have your father with you in this world, do take out time and tell him and then show him you care. Do not miss out the opportunity to love him and seek his blessings… before the chance slips away.

My father, he was gone too soon… I am sure he is spreading smiles up there. I just wish I could get to hug him, just one more time…

Written by RRGwrites

August 13, 2014 at 1:23 AM

Posted in Life

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अलविदा, कार्टूनिस्ट प्राण साहब…

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Cartoonist Pranमहान कार्टूनिस्ट प्राण साहब नहीं रहे… मालूम होता है कोई बड़ा अपना छोड़ के चला गया। एक-एक कर के बचपन के दिन आँखों के सामने घूम गए। पिंकी, बिल्लू, साबू, राका, रमन, चन्नी चाची – कितने ही अमर चरित्र उन्होंने रचे! कौन भूल सकता है उनके कालजयी चरित्र – चाचा चौधरी को! वो चाचा, जो शायद हम बच्चों को अपने सगे चाचाओं से भी ज़्यादा पसंद थे। जिस उम्र में मैंने और मेरे साथ के अनेक बालकों ने ना तो कंप्यूटर देखा था ना उसके बारे में जानते थे, हमें यह ज़रूर यकीन था कि, “चाचा चौधरी का दिमाग कंप्यूटर से भी तेज़ चलता है”!

प्राण साहब के कार्टून-चरित्रों के साथ एक पूरी पीढ़ी बड़ी हुयी है। वो पीढ़ी, जिसके कई कान्वेंट-शिक्षित नौनिहाल शायद हिंदी बोलना-पढ़ना जानते है इस-अंग्रेज़-दां ज़माने में, तो इसका बहुत श्रेय प्राण साहब की कॉमिक्स को जाता है। स्पाइडरमैन, सुपरमैन, डेनिस-द-मेनेस, फैंटम, इत्यादि के ज़माने में हमें अपना देसी सुपरमैन देने वाले आप ही थे। आपके चरित्र हमारे जैसे थे, हमारी भाषा बोलते थे, हमारी समस्याओं से जूझते थे; उन्हें हम रोज़-मर्रा की ज़िंदगी में अपने आस-पास, गलियों-मुहल्लों में देख पाते, उनसे राब्ता कायम कर पाते।

बड़े लोगों के निधन के बाद ऐसा अमूमन कहा जाता है कि एक युग बीत गया इनके जाने के साथ। प्राण साहब के लिए ये जुमला एकदम मुफीद होगा। जैसा आप कहते थे, “महंगाई और अन्य समस्याओं से बोझिल आम आदमी को हँसा सकूँ, ये मेरा प्रयास है”, अब ऐसा कहने वाले कहाँ मिलेगा…

जनाब प्राण साहब, आप बहुत याद आएंगे। और मुझे पूरा यकीन है, चाचा, बिल्लू, पिंकी, रमन और चन्नी चाची के रूप में आप हमेशा हमारे मन में रहेंगे, हमें गुदगुदाते रहेंगे।

इस यकीन के साथ कि खुदा ने अपने खुद की हँसी के वास्ते आपको जन्नत ही बख्शी है, अलविदा…


Image-credit: Caricature by Raghupati Sringeri on Facebook


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Abba jee!” I heard my friend’s five-year old daughter calling him today; we were speaking over phone and he was telling me fascinating stories about how fast kids grow. As a father of a 2-month old, I couldn’t agree any less. Yet, what stayed in my mind, and heart, was the word, ‘Abba’

dear_abbaFrom the time I remember, I always addressed my father as ‘Baba’; while Daddy’s, Dad’s and Papa’s were the most commonly used terms in family, friends’ circles and society at large; no one of my generation that I knew addressed their father as Baba. An occasional Babu jee or Pita jee could still be heard, but the numbers were too far in between, and surely none of these kids came from the convent-educated elite and bourgeois class!

To me, ‘Baba’ was sweet and personal. And to my father, it meant the world… the very sound of the word was pleasant to his ears, so he would say…

All these memories came back to me today, when I heard my friend’s daughter addressing him in the most affectionate manner… Abba

I am reminded of something I read long ago, in Thomas Smail’s book – The Forgotten Father –

“Abba is not Hebrew, the language of liturgy, but Aramaic, the language of home and everyday life… We need to be wary of the suggestion… that the correct translation of Abba is ‘Daddy.’ Abba is the intimate word of a family circle where that obedient reverence was at the heart of the relationship, whereas Daddy is the familiar word of a family circle from which all thoughts of reverence and obedience have largely disappeared… The best English translation of Abba is simply ‘Dear Father’.”

 Does this strike a chord with you?


Image-credit: divineviewpoint.com

Written by RRGwrites

August 1, 2014 at 10:43 PM

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