RRGwrites

On life…and learning

Posts Tagged ‘Let’s Change

What I Learnt From My ‘Not-So-Great’ Bosses…

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Lessons Learned RRGwrites

We all love to talk about our Bosses, don’t we? And Lord knows, a minority of of us would regard our bosses as good leaders. When I wrote my earlier blog – ‘What My Great Bosses Taught Me’ – many of the readers asked me, “Hey, what about the bad bosses?”

So here it is…

The matter of fact is, I never had a really bad boss. Truly! That said, I have had my fair share of bad apples – a very insecure boss, another one who was ill-mannered and one who was simply incompetent for his job. However, none of them were awful enough for me to either loather or run away from them. In fact, I performed better under a couple of them, and was more successful under one of the tougher nuts.

There are many things I learnt from my great managers. The earlier blog enlists those. However, I learnt lot many more things from my, should I say, not-so-great bosses. A learning that proved invaluable in my later years; both, as a professional and as a people leader. Some of them were very simple, practical things and few were too profound a learning…

They are:

  1. Don’t reply to an unfavourable email in a hurry; wait till evening at least. That helps my hyper-reaction settle down and choice of words become calmer!
  2. You may be really intelligent and smart and all that, no point over-fighting your peers – functional or cross-functional. Even though they may not be able to score a point over you, they will end up despising you – something that won’t do good to the professional image in later years. From this boss, I learnt the value of building a truly well-knit peer-group, which may not be my besties, but wouldn’t despise me either.
  3. No one comes to work to do a bad job. No one joins office thinking they will give their worst that day. Keeping this in mind made me practice empathy and statesmanship, even when I was right and others were grossly wrong.
  4. Harsh language never helped the cause. If you are younger and more successful than your peers, you need to not oversell it. Success is a lousy teacher and it encourages arrogant behaviour and as rash tongue. Worse, even if you are right in what you say, how you say that will be picked, and surely used against you. Here, I learnt to be firm, yet stay polite. A learning that has held me in good stead since then.
  5. I learnt the craft of managing very senior management employees from one of my most difficult bosses. He was really good at this. I learnt the art of polite persistence, presentation skills to a senior audience group as well as how to handle tough questions from them, specifically those whose answer I didn’t know!
  6. Never work for a powerless boss. This is a great life/career-saving tip I received from one such a boss. I have written in detail about this learning here
  7. One must not feel insecure when your subordinate’s stars are shining brighter than yours. I once had a very insecure manager, who, despite being extremely competent functionally, was extremely inhibited in front of smarter juniors. He would simply feel threatened! My learning was a life-long one; that the key to success for any deputy is to do such good work that his boss gets promoted and recommends him for taking his spot! I have written in detail about this learning here…

गाँधी की मूरत और भगत सिंह के विचार – क्या चुनेंगे आप?

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Gandhi at London Square

कुछ दिनों से गाँधीजी की प्रतिमा की बड़ी चर्चा है – वो जो लंदन के पार्लियामेंट स्क्वायर पर ब्रिटिश सरकार ने लगाई है। चर्चा का मौजूं कुछ यों है कि क्या मूर्ति वास्तव में गाँधी बाबा के शक्लो-सूरत की है, या बहु-प्रसिद्ध और सफ़ल फ़िल्मकार सर बेन किंग्सले के जैसी दिखती है, वही जिन्होंने ‘गाँधी’ फिल्म में बापू की भूमिका निभायी थी।

मैं स्तब्ध सा हूँ। आज वास्तविक शहीद दिवस है, २३ मार्च, और हमारे चिंतन का विषय इतना बुतपरस्त और इतना पथरीला है…

दो साल पहले मैंने यह लेख लिखा था,  आज ही के दिन… कुछ भी नहीं बदला शायद…

‘विचारों की सान पर…’

आज ‘असली शहीद दिवस’ है – बस हम जानते नहीं हैं।

शहीद शिवराम राजगुरु, शहीद सुखदेव थापर और शहीद सरदार भगत सिंह 23 मार्च 1931 को अपना बलिदान दे कर जा चुके हैं। देश स्वतंत्र भी है, शायद। कम से कम किसी दूसरे देश का गुलाम नहीं है, बाकी तरह की गुलामियत के बारे में नहीं कहता।

भगत सिंह ने जीवन के कुल 23 वर्ष ही पूरे किये। जितना ज्यादा मैं जानता-पढ़ता हूँ उनके बारे में, मेरा आश्चर्य बढ़ता जाता है कि इस छोटी सी उम्र में उनके सोचने-समझने की क्षमता कितनी जागृत और परिपक्व थी। क्या आप जानते हैं उनके विचार और लड़ाई सिर्फ ब्रिटिश साम्राज्य के खिलाफ ही नहीं थी; सामाजिक पिछड़ेपन, साम्प्रदायिकता, अकर्मण्यता और विचारों के क्षेत्र में अन्धविश्वास के विरुद्ध भी उनकी लड़ाई थी? शायद आज का युवक ये जानता ही नहीं। और ऐसा क्यों न हो, जब हमारी अपनी ‘स्वतंत्र’ सरकारों ने ही हमारे क्रांतिकारियों के विचारों को, उनकी याद को, महज एक ‘धन्यवाद्’ का रूप दे रखा है जो आज के दिन की तरह समाचार-पत्रों में एक-चौथाई पेज में छपता है, बस।

भगत सिंह के बारे में बात करते हुए एक जगह ‘शहीद भगत सिंह शोध समिति’ के डॉ. जगमोहन सिंह और डॉ. चमन लाल ने लिखा है (पुस्तक: ‘भगतसिंह और उनके साथियों के दस्तावेज’) –

“…आज सबसे बड़ी ज़रूरत इस बात की है कि शहीद भगत सिंह के मूल वैचारिक तत्त्व को जाना व समझा जाये। यह पहचानने की ज़रूरत है कि वे कौन से सिद्धान्त थे, कौन से तरीके थे और कौन से गुण थे, जिससे भगत सिंह आत्म-बलिदान करनेवालों में सबसे ऊँचे स्थान के अधिकारी बने? वे कौन सी परिस्थितियाँ थीं, जिन्होंने भगत सिंह को भारतीय चेतना का ऐसा अन्श बनाया कि एक ओर तमिलनाडु में उन पर कविताएँ लिखी जाती हैं तो दूसरी ओर भोजपुर में होली के गीत में ‘भगत सिंह की याद में अँचरिया भीग जाती है।’ लेकिन ऐतिहासिक दुखान्त यह भी घटता है कि जब वर्तमान की समस्याओं का सामना करने के लिए हम अपने अतीत से उदाहरण खोजते हैं तो अतीत के सारतत्व को नहीं, उसके रूप को अपनाने की कोशिश करते हैं, जैसा कि भगत सिंह व उनके साथियों के साथ सरकारी और कुछ अन्य प्रचार-माध्यमों ने किया है।”

लेखकगण आगे लिखते हैं,

“शहीद भगत सिंह न सिर्फ वीरता, साहस, देशभक्ति, दृढ़ता और आत्मा-बलिदान के गुणों में सर्वोत्तम उदाहरण हैं, जैसा कि आज तक इस देश के लोगो को बताया-समझाया गया है, वरन वे अपने लक्ष्य के प्रति स्पष्टता, वैज्ञानिक-ऐतिहासिक दृष्टिकोण से सामाजिक समस्याओं के विश्लेषण की क्षमता वाले अद्भुत बौद्धिक क्रांतिकारी व्यक्तित्व के प्रतिरूप भी थे, जिसे जाने या अनजाने आज तक लोगो से छिपाया गया है।”

मैं समझता हूँ कि यह सच बात है कि हमारी सरकारों ने भगत सिंह और अन्य साथी क्रांतिकारियों के विचारों की पूर्णता को जन-मानस के सामने लाने का कार्य नहीं किया है। पर क्या ये भी सच नहीं है कि देश के नागरिकों ने, युवा-समाज ने भी अपनी ओर से ईमानदार कोशिश ही नहीं की है जानने की? क्या आज भी हम भगत सिंह का सिर्फ क्रांतिकारी स्वरुप नहीं जानते? और क्या हमने कोशिश की है कि हम भगत सिंह के बौद्धिक और वैचारिक स्वरुप को जान पाएं और उनसे सीखें?

कई बार सुनता हूँ कि किस प्रकार से देश में नेतृत्व का अभाव है, ज्ञान का तो और भी ज्यादा। शिकायत है कि नेता नहीं मिलते। और सिर्फ राजनीति की बात नहीं हो रही यहाँ पे, कार्य-क्षेत्र में तो नेतृत्व-क्षमता के अभाव का रोना लगभग रोज़ ही सुनता हूँ। आप भी शायद मानेंगे। पर फिर पूछने की इच्छा होती है कि क्या हम वास्तव में सीख रहे हैं पुराने नेतृत्व से, विचारों से? वो नेतृत्व और विचार जो सिर्फ समय के हिसाब के पुराने होंगे, पर परिपेक्ष्य, उपयोगिता और प्रासंगिकता के हिसाब से बेहद कारगर हैं आज…

“स्वतंत्रता का पौधा शहीदों के रक्त से फलता है”, भगत सिंह ने लिखा था। शहीद राजगुरु, शहीद सुखदेव और शहीद सरदार भगत सिंह के विचारों व कर्मों से रोपित और रक्त से संचित आज ये पौधा भले ही पेड़ बन गया हो, मीठे फ़लों से बहुत दूर है।

आओ दोस्तों, आज शहीदी दिवस पर ये प्रण लें कि जानना शुरू करेंगे उन सिद्धांतो को, उन विचारों को, जिन्होंने एक 23-वर्षीय युवक भगत को ‘शहीद सरदार भगत सिंह’ बनाया। शायद ये हमारे भी कुछ काम आ जायें…

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मैंने लंदन स्क्वायर पर स्थापित गाँधी-मूर्ती का एक चित्र देखा… कुछ चिंतामग्न प्रतीत होते हैं वो। क्या हम भी चिंतन करेंगे कुछ आज? बताइएगा…

Written by RRGwrites

March 23, 2015 at 12:09 AM

When will we not have religion rule our politics?

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It is election time in the largest democracy of the world – India. INDIA – A land, where “…we are all drunk on change”, as I read Sir Mark Tully quoting an Indian sage.

Indian Politics and ReligionI am baffled, though. Every time I switch on the TV, I hear terms like – Hindu, Muslim, Dalit, Sikh, Jat, Yadav… And everyone uses these terms – whether it is the proclaimed Dealer-of-Hope, change-specialist Narendra Modi, or the Ray-of-Hope for Congress – Rahul Gandhi. Sonia, Priyanka, Rajnath, Arun Jaitley, even AK – everyone without an exception does that. National Leaders or the regional ones – Mulayam, Mamata and Maya alike!

Quite evidently, no one is wooing just an Indian!

If we are so drunk on change as a nation, and this is claimed to be the most crucial elections this country has ever witnessed, I wonder when will a time come when I will switch on the television and NOT hear these divisive terms, and our country, society and polity will only be concerned and talking about us just as citizens, just as Indians!

In my lifetime? Not sure…and yet, hopeful.

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Image-credit: indianmuslimobserver.com

If you liked this post, you may also like reading these earlier blogs:

गरीबी, धर्म… और वोट…

Banana Republic…

Hey Gurgaon! Lets Go Vote…

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RRGwrites Lets Vote

 

It was a great morning today, and these are greats blue spots that my family and I carry on our fingers!

Where are you? Have you voted as yet, Gurgaon? Or you are still in a holiday mood? If you aren’t one of those inhabitants of this millennium/corporate city who have already flown out for a ‘long weekend’, do go vote…

Let’s be the change this time; let’s go vote, let’s get our very own stamp of believing in democracy…

वो कहते हैं ना, यह दाग अच्छे हैं…

Written by RRGwrites

April 10, 2014 at 12:45 PM

5 Things We Can Change This Women’s Day…

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RRGwritesInternational Women’s Day is round the corner; and like every year, quite a lot is being said and written about the subject. My view; every such day is a soft reminder to all of us that some things should change, and they better change for good, else, what’s the point in the entire fuss we make about this day! More importantly, such change should bring about simple, yet meaningful difference in lives of those around us…in our daily lives.

As a man who works in offices, travels extensively, meets hundreds of people every week, and observe myriad human behaviour, here are the five extremely easy (and yet, quite apparently difficult for a lot of us!) things I believe we can change, in recognition to the Women’s Day:

  1. At work, let’s acknowledge that women are equal in all aspects, if not better; and let’s do so purely on merits and not merely because some ‘increase-the-female-ratio’ campaign of your organization says so.
  2. Cease our boys-like addiction to pornography. It is disrespectful… and not worth the time and energy either.
  3. While travelling in locals, metro, tube, buses, let’s vacate seats meant for women. And not because it is chivalrous to do so, because it is their right to take that very seat reserved for them. You want to do it even better? Please vacate the seat for a lady even when you aren’t seated on the reserved ones!
  4. There isn’t any real fun in passing on those ubiquitous, lewd SMS-jokes on women; real men don’t need to resort to such biased acts to have fun. For a change, let’s try cracking jokes and laughing at ourselves at times; it is indeed funnier!
  5. Let’s start looking into the eyes of the women we speak with, and not stare elsewhere.

These five changes, trust you me, will be the real change in the lives of the women around us.

With this thought, wish all a very happy Women’s Day…

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PS: Only 3 days after the Women’s Day, this image clicked by a commuter inside a Delhi Metro train became viral on the social networking sites… This is what needs to change….image

How Will You Fare As A Boss, As Compared to Your Own Boss?

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Time for LeadershipHow often you’d observe someone cribbing about his or her boss? Quite ubiquitously, you’d say. And how often YOU would do so yourself – crib and find follies in your own boss?

Every day, I meet a LOT of people complaining and finding errors in their bosses. However, in my experience, only a rare few also try and look inside inwards, check their own leadership styles and introspect, asking self, “What kind of a supervisor am I?” and “How do I better myself so that at least my juniors do not crib and complain against me, especially for the same very things that I find objectionable in my boss…”

Now, isn’t that’s one hell of a difficult question to ask self?

This one is to all the supervisors, bosses, managers and leadership aspirants – let’s spend some time introspecting on this moot question, at the very outset of this brilliant, promising new year 2014, and become better people leaders.

To help you begin this journey of introspection, I am leaving you with what F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of the finest American authors of the 20th century, wrote in his novel, ‘The Love Of The Last Tycoon’:

“Credit is something that should be given to others. If you are in a position to give credit to yourself, then you do not need it.”

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Image-credit: practiceprinciples.net

Let’s Be The Real ‘Straight’ Ones…

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Well, Supreme Court of India tells us that gay & lesbian sex is yet again a criminal offence under the Indian Penal Court! That one needs to be ‘straight‘ and not gay in this country. And that if you do not harbour any interest in companions of the same sex, only then you have a right to be addressed as straight, rest all are under some form or deviation and hence, needs to be criminally tried under the law of the law of this cultured land!

q020_displayLet me tell you what I think a ‘straight‘ and ‘cultured‘ person is:

  • One who doesn’t abuse, rape, molest women on the roads.
  • One who doesn’t take bribes, evades taxes and jumps traffic signals.
  • One who is not a religious extremist and fanatically looks down upon other religions.
  • One who is not prejudiced against caste, colour, creed or race and allows a bias-free society to thrive in an open, accepting manner.
  • And before I miss, also the one who, again unlike our Lordships of the Hon. Supreme Court, does not think that while a particular section of the society may constitute “a minuscule fraction of the county’s population“, they TOO have a right to life, respect, non-discrimination and equality under the Constitution of the very same country.

That one person, to my mind, is far, far straighter and cultured than any one who merely prefers to sleep with a person of different gender only.

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