Tag Archives: Bete noire

Does phenomenal rise invariably rings in pathetic fall in max. of 4 years?

abcIndian iconic industrialist Ratan Tata retired at the age of 75 years from chairmanship of Tata group and appointed 46 years old Cyprus Mistry as his successor. This was indeed phenomenal rise of young Mistry. But recently, 4 years later, Cyprus Mistry has been sacked from chairmanship of the group for several reasons, one of the main being allegedly not following ethos of the group.

Is the fall of Cyprus Mistry attributable to his young age, inexperience or being a non-conformist?

John F. Kennedy rode to climax of his popularity and became US president at young age of about 44 years. But, less than 3 years later he was assassinated. Dark patches in his private life and assassination still remain a mystery. Bill Clinton became US president at the age of 46 years and rose to the crest of his popular appeal in about 4 years’ time and got reelected; but within 2 years thereafter, he was impeached by house of US representatives for a sex scandal. Barack Obama came to power as President at the age of 47 years and he seems to have sailed thru choppy waters during his 2 terms totaling 8 years but did not do anything phenomenal. Now, Donald Trump, despite a trail of scandals, has risen to peak of his popularity and been elected as US president at the age of 70 years. It remains to be seen how long he is able to sustain this peak.

Phenomenal boom of dot-com companies occurred in 1995 and lasted 4 years. Dot-com bubble started to bust from 1999 and it collapsed completely by 2001. US housing bubble peaked in 2004 and it busted in year 2007/2008, shattering financial markets worldwide. Iconic PC manufacturer Dell Inc. saw peak of its performance during period 1999 to 2003. From year 2004, Dell Inc. started its downward journey.

Do the above examples suggest that a rise, if phenomenal, has a limited period – perhaps a maximum of 4 years and then pathetic fall invariably follows?Non-conformist,

4 stages of phenomenal rise

Be it an individual, industry or institution, generally there are 4 stages of evolution of an exponential rise:

  1. Revolutionary idea or step
    It starts with a dramatically different but decent idea or step (like appointing or electing a very young person as leader) to address a formidable situation, crisis or an ambition.
    This can see a radical change at the top level in an organization, business model, product mix or disrupting existing practice/s.
    This stage brings lot of hopes and optimism at individual or collective level.
  2. Raising pitch
    In order to take all stake holders, customers or public in general together, an euphoria is generated by proponent/s of stage 1. Giving new vision, nice slogan/s or high sales pitches are very normal at this stage to sway the opinion of people.
  3. Razing partly or fully the old order
    Soon, realization comes that some or whole part of existing system is a stumbling block to implementation of stage 1 and only option is to dislodge it partly or fully.
    This is the stage that brings more pains than pleasure and gives birth to bête noire. Legacies and old ethos have to be bypassed.
  4. Rise
    Original idea now starts to show results. This stage also sows the seeds of greed for growth; but no one likes to look back until a climax comes.

Phenomenal rise would always prove to be premature!

Very idea of phenomenal rise is fraught with possibilities of pathetic fall.

At no stage of such speedy rise, there is enough time to broaden the base and strengthen qualities or support structure.

When you drive for height, you lose breadth in proportion. If you are young, you have energy but lack experience; you may be tough in your targets but slip on tenacity; you have to manage conflicts but with missing maturity.

During upwards journey, you are oblivious of fact that velocity and virtues, quantity and quality are mutually exclusive.

Sharp rise is only a short cut to growth and works for a short time – may be a max. of 4 years.

So, put your faith in something steady and solid in forward direction.

Read More

World seems to promote random thinking and remembering; but that actually demotes you!

Random thinking! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Pick up popular articles on personality development. One of the traits they encourage you to develop is to entertain random thoughts for innovativeness and creativity. Mentors or coaches would surmise that uncontrolled thoughts are pre-requisite to out-of-box thinking!

Godmen, gurus and preachers would exhort you to keep god’s name on your tongue and picturize him in your mind throughout the day.

We love to remember who are dear to us repeatedly, even when we are engaged in our work. Those, who hurt us or we are biased against, never go away from our mind. We feel compelled to recall images of our role models all the time. Things we are passionate about, are just hooked in our imagination. In the name of dedication and diligence, scientists, researchers or technocrats eat, drink and dream their work.

Do such random thoughts and remembrances help or hurt?

Implications of random thinking and remembering

  1. Thoughts for who you love
    It is most fascinating to keep thoughts in mind for who you love – your spouse, children or friend/s. You keep thinking repetitively how much you love them or how much they love you.
    What you don’t seem to notice is:
    1. Does repeat thinking of love enhances or endangers it?
      Studies have shown it slowly turns into obsession or revulsion!
    2. It builds up your expectations from who you love. When expectations are not met, you feel disenchanted.
    3. You tend to compare who you love more and who less, as also keep a watch on your loved ones, thereby encouraging a conflict in mind. 
    4. If your loved ones have committed mistake or misbehaved with you, your random thoughts exaggerate same.
    5. Your love could turn into lust.
    6. You tend to find flaws with loved one and that sows seed to grow your biases.
      This is how most relationships come on the rock!
  2. Thoughts for whom you respect
    There is a notion developed by most us albeit without noticing it that people we respect should be remembered frequently. Implications are:
    1. Your personality would be overshadowed by who you respect and develop a kind of blind faith in him/her.
      If he/she does good to you, you would be extra grateful; but, if he/she does wrong, you would gloss over. This is your big gaffe!
    2. Because of your respect, you would tend to suppress your feelings or dissent with the person.
    3. When your faith that the person is flawless fractures, you would be crest fallen and drift away from him/her furiously!
  3. Remembering god randomly
    We all believe that remembering god randomly and most time does good to us.
    1. What do you do by remembering god randomly – recall his image, offer prayers or gratefulness or ask for favors? You can either do it casually or seriously. If you are doing it casually, your faith is actually superficial and doing it seriously has always selfish motives attached.
    2. When you make god privy to your work, you set your expectations on him to give you results, regardless of qualitative aspect. Is not it hypocrisy?
    3. God is too great to get a credit from you; but you would conveniently discredit him for your distress or ills! 
  4. Remembering your bête noire!
    This is most easily done! Like it or not, your rivals or baiters occupy maximum space in your mind. You think randomly against whom you are biased and keep building your negative emotions. You would rarely think of them for a right purpose – align with or win over them!
  5. Random thoughts for creativity
    Common conviction is creativity needs random thoughts. But that is only partly true.
    If you think thousand different things, some are bound to be creative or off-beat. But, what we are not thinking is how much time, energy and efforts are required to think those thousand things. Is there is an easier and effective way?
    There is indeed one – your mind is most creative, when it is fully focused and has no conflict of thoughts! 

A careful thought on above would reveal that random thought/remembering promotes prejudices, pessimism, egotism, obsession or depression. It is also a huge distraction.

Thinking or remembering for a right or rational reason!

No doubt, everyone thinks or remember things for a reason; but what is regressive is mixing it with too much of random thoughts. Usual chore is – it is harmless! No, research has revealed that it is quite harmful and hurts your mental and even physical being, apart from maladies mentioned above!

When you evoke your thoughts and memories for love, respect, faith or beliefs for a right or rational reason, their value enhances and you actually take them to elevated level. If you do same randomly without purpose, you grope in past and goof in present. Your productivity, creativity and innovativeness are at peak, when you think and remember just for a rational reason!

Dropping random thinking is not easy; but practice and focused mind would minimize it. Reminding yourself regularly that random thinking creates huge problems over time would dissuade you from same. 

Thinking for a right reason means – when there is occasion to express your love to the loved one, you do it consciously and with no inhibition. Bring respect by heart when you deal with respected ones. When someone is in pains or trouble, don’t get mired in repeated thinking over his/her state. Think consciously how you can help alleviate his/her problems and provide that help; otherwise just have kind feelings for that person and stop. When it comes to work or developing innovative ideas, think and concentrate only when you are on it and not haphazardly. As regards god, be clear why and when you want to remember – want to offer prayers, do that but don’t couple that with random thoughts of ulterior motives. Expecting anything from god makes it a wrong reason to remember him!

So, thinking and remembering things for a right reason help you realize your true potential and save huge energy, which you spend unknowingly, on irrational, inefficient and inert thoughts!

Read More

Biggest blunder in our world – dealing with “wrong” by going wrong!

When things go wrong! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

To deal with what has gone wrong, we tend to adopt wrong ways! Most of us feel justified in doing so and in that process, we go more wrong and commit more blunders!!

Above self-justification usually comes in 2 ways:

  1. No; we are not doing anything wrong by going wrong, since that is the only way a wrong person or thing can be corrected!
  2. We can’t help going wrong; after all we are human beings!

Justifying what one does is in our DNA. Therefore, we generally don’t care whether our actions bring right results or make things worse.

Open any chapter of history or observe current happenings; writing on wall is very clear –

“Whenever things had gone bad, people had lost their balance or goodness, resorted to bad means and hit the wall. Then either they had come to their senses to do right things and restore normalcy or continued to struggle with no sign of “bad or wrong attitude, approach, behavior or things” abating!”

This saga continues at all levels – from personal to companies to countries. If employees could not meet their targets, hell would be broken loose by bosses. If some sub-ordinates are weak in performance or personality, first thing that a supervisor would do is to ignore or avoid communicating with them. If a profit center in a company has incurred losses, heads would roll. If a kid or household help has broken a glass, we will break lose our temper.

Let us look at what happens when there is conflict among a group of people. Emotions and temper would run high. Conflict escalates. But it ebbs, when counsel by one wise person within the group or from outside prevails on wisdom of the rest and if that does not happen, the conflict would only engulf many more!

Take fanaticism or fundamentalism in several parts of world at this time. Some people are imposing their doctrines or dogmas at global level through terror and killings. To counter or suppress that, some countries use their weaponry technology, power and money muscles, resulting into more killings and further maligning and multiplying those, who are already malignant!

When something goes wrong with our health – common cold, catch in the legs to cancer – most manage to mess it up further. We would become pessimistic, sad, irritated…, though every doctor would advise – be cheerful and hopeful! No doubt, treatment would do its job to cure/heal; but all researches show that evergreen advice of doctors and a good frame of mind would accelerate restoration of health and/or make it much less painful!!

Simplest problem like being in rush, majority mismanages to do everything (avoidable) to go in reverse gear! 

From above examples, it is very clear that wrong approach can never mutilate wrong; instead, it would help it mutate and multiply!

Why nearly all of us go wrong in dealing with wrong

Here is the deal:

  1. Action on basis of 1st reaction of our mind is the easiest thing to do!
    Majority confuses 1st reaction of mind as their instincts and that is a worse gaffe!!
  2. Above spontaneously satisfies our ego and that gives birth to our biases and a feeling of being justified in our actions.
  3. It then leads to cementing the thoughts at the back of our mind that what we perceive as bad or wrong things must be dealt by giving back, pointing fingers, banging, anger, accusation or shouting to physical harm in worst case.
  4. Negativity always sits on our nose and hence is handy; whereas positivity needs patience and peace of mind that we find difficult to practice!
  5. Our history and hormones have inculcated hero cult in us, which gives us sadistic pleasure of seeing offenders or villains being thrashed out verbally or bodily or even finished.
  6. It is for above reason that we feel compelled to retaliate against wrong doings!

Why only “right” has possibility and power to root out “wrong”!

We seem to ignore the simplest analogy or logic, nature has beautifully presented to us:

Identical polarities or charges repel each other e.g. two negative or positive charges would move apart and can’t impact each other; therefore, the two survive individually. But, a positive and a negative charge would collide and cancel each other. By the same token, a wrong or bad can be corrected by right or good, but never by another wrong or bad action! It is also precisely for same reason that wrong brings reaction and retribution, whereas right bestows reconciliation and restoration!!

Unfortunately, aforesaid 6 points create illusion in minds of most what exactly is wrong or right. Clearly, wrong is what creates reactions, raises emotions or temper, conflict or controversy and interference with others.

Right is clearly what creates solutions initially or eventually and would result in:

  1. Evoking tolerance, patience and positive vibes
  2. Eliciting understanding and acceptance of the way others are and why they do things in consonance or contradiction to your expectations
  3. Encouraging open communication on your part
  4. Ebbing or Erasing past memories of your prejudices
  5. Evolving your response, action or judgment without fear but with fairness and frankness

So, if you can rely on what is right as above, you can comfortably deal with or manage what is not right or conflicts, controversy, crisis or even crime at personal, professional or public level, regardless you are employer, employee, supervisor, sub-ordinate, buddy or bête noire!

Read More

Why bosses need to believe in balancing!

I need balancing! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

How often do you come across bosses or top management, whose approach is highly balanced? I am afraid that answer would most probably be – “Seldom”!

Whole environment, in which bosses or managers evolve, develop and operate, is highly skewed towards running year’s business figures. It is almost like a doctrine drilled in their mind that success has to come at any cost, business slowdown is a shame and cost has to be ruthlessly controlled to secure healthy bottom line. Yet, some years are exciting by performance and bosses get rewarded; some are disappointing and employees get reprimanded! Do cycles of good and bad years teach a lesson? Rarely, since there are standard explanations available to them from leadership discourses!

Coming to management or leadership development programs, comprehensive or concise, all are structured around single sided stories. These glamorize failures and then, swear by successes! These programs do serve a good purpose albeit limited, as the same do not bring out why successful persons and businesses fail, and how to prevent or delay that. These simply pass on advisories – be a visionary, be in driver’s seat, lead from front, be focused, be strategist and analytical, have managerial courage….; but do not stipulate how to be. It presupposes that everyone can and will get there. This is what a gross gaffe is!

Both managers and management programs need to consider one very vital aspect – when you are focused on one side of the story, you would also commit flaw to comprehend other side of the same. This is where balancing acts or views acquire substantial significance.

Biases of bosses!

Bane of too much focus is the bias! You can see how problems creep in corporate life, if more focus is directed at left part of following points:

  1. Higher quantity can only come at the cost of quality!
  2. Increased speed decreases accuracy.
  3. Higher throughput or output would lower productivity.
    Often, it goes unnoticed and managers then cry for more man power for more output.
  4. If you chase figures, you would compromise values.
  5. High business growth is often accompanied with lower time and money available for personnel development.
  6. Put more structure and material to measure performances of personnel, you would spoil the beauty behind spirit!
  7. Hold hands of strong performers, lose helping hands of majority and middle order.
  8. Set stretched targets, upset work-life balance!
  9. Banking on long hours of working, beating down smart way of working!

Above clearly indicates adverse implications of one sided view or approach, which is widely practiced in corporates. This is one of the main reasons, why you witness cycles of ups and downs.

Bet not on brilliant but on balanced bosses!

This may not go down easily in the brains of many; but then brainy things are always simple but difficult to believe!

Are you not witnessing sudden spurt in articles on social and print media on how to hire, hire the best, spotting the talent and so on. It sounds as a very sound idea! But, hold on a bit.

A boss or a future leader has to be fair, flexible, forthright, punctual, healthy, communicative, sincere, honest, kind, courageous, generous and more! This elevates her/him next to the God!! Is not it? How do you develop leadership pipeline aligned to the God? I do not believe that current business schools, management development programs or leadership coaching is geared up handle this. These all narrow down to hire or develop the most brilliant or intelligent. How many most brilliant people do you think you can get in the market place? And to spot such talent, you need more talented people on panel! Do you have such people on board?

Few would admit it, but blatant fact is that popularity of a program is directly proportional to its ability to create dreams that are difficult to achieve! 

Most organizations or managements commit blunder in putting too much faith on –

  1. Strong personalities
    Bosses or managers having strong personalities would polarize company environments – a divide between right and wrong, strong and weak and wreak havoc in longer term.
  2. Intelligent class
    2 or more intelligent people put together can only give birth to insanity!

My advice would be to encourage balanced personalities. Mentor, harness and cultivate center of each qualitative attribute in employees. That alone can bring fairness, flexibility, sincerity and all what is needed for long term sound health of an organization.

In above, we would create bosses, who are more of buddies than bête noire, more rational than emotional!

Read More

Being poor in fulfilling promises makes you poorer!

A promise to keep! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Statistics shows that 9 out of 10 people are poor in delivering promises. Nearly all of us are prompt in making promises, committing to do something; but when it comes to doing it, delivering it, we take a backseat. Promises could be as small as “I shall phone you back” or as significant as “I shall help you to develop and grow”. I have been frequently witnessing that way too many people commit or promise small or big things out of good intentions or emotions; but they hardly care to fulfill. Yes, when promises are self-serving or would help make money, those would be fulfilled promptly!

Promising people are those, who would fulfill what they commit at 1st very attempt! You would find that if you don’t do it when it is due 1st time, you may deliver it on 2nd occasion but with reluctance. If you fail on 2nd occasion, it would be harder for you doing it on 3rd one i.e. resistance. If by any chance you skip to deliver on 3rd occasion, you would go in reverse gear. Instead of delivering promise, you would deliver “excuse”! So, amazing rule of 1-2-3 & Go applies!!

If “considering promises casually” becomes a habit, worst casualty would be no one but you! On other hand, “drive to deliver what is promised” is one of the foundation pillars of true leadership!

Why people make promises which they don’t mean to deliver!

There are varieties of reasons why most are tempted to make false promises, primary reasons being:

  1. To create good impression, especially on bosses, beloved or buddies
    Political class would do it to masses.
  2. For one-up man ship over bête noire or rival
  3. For fear of offending a person or being seen in bad light
  4. To avoid arguments
  5. Yielding under pressure or compulsions
  6. Under bout of emotions
  7. Out of superficial respect or empty obligation

Naturally, people find it difficult to deliver promises made under above situations and therefore, they make easy escape routes through excuses! 

Managing or mismanaging promises reflects make up of a person!

It is very important to understand that the manner in which one commits or promises and then fulfill his/her obligations has a lot to do with personality of that person. Here below are some clues:

  1. Men, who make and honor nearly 100% of their promises!
    Population of such people is not big – probably less than 5 %. Highlights of their characters are:
    1. They would not rush to make a promise. They would contemplate first and then make it consciously.
    2. If they cannot deliver a promise given, they would revert back in advance, share reasons about their inability to fulfill and be apologetic for same!
    3. They are consistent and persistent!
    4. They are upright and sincere.
    5. They are decent and dependable.
    6. They are confident and eloquent!
    7. They are committed and caring!
    8. They are highly successful and prosperous!
  2. People, who deliver some and dodge some!
    Such people are in majority and you can watch out for the following:
    1. They pretend to be serious in making promises.
    2. They are emotional and deceptive at the same time!
    3. They have split personality.
    4. What they talk would not walk.
    5. They are extra humble many times but hollow from inside.
    6. They are opportunist and therefore, can bend easily, which most people or companies confuse as flexibility!
    7. They appear sensitive on surface; but vindictive underneath.
    8. They are political and play games.
      They change color like a chameleon – one for making promise, another for delivering and third for avoiding it!
  3. Men, who can promise a moon but deliver miniscule!
    Their number is not small; but less than category 2 above and far more than category 1.
    1. They are ever eager to make promises and that too promptly.
    2. They are boisterous and loud talkers.
    3. They can laugh a lot and heavily!
      One can easily confuse them as jovial!!
    4. They reflect overconfidence, which is often misunderstood as expertise by companies or communities.
    5. They appear extra respectful; but could be equally revengeful in disguise! 
  4. People, who hesitate to promise and deliver!
    There number is next down the line after category 3; but their personality is opposite:
    1. It is not easy to extract promises or commitment from such people.
    2. They lack courage, conviction and commitment!
    3. They are short on initiative and usually introvert.
    4. They are pessimists.
    5. They communicate less.
    6. They lack transparency and consistency.

Be a person of promise!

So, it is very poor idea to be poor in fulfilling promises to self and anyone else! Delivering promise, be determined, dedicated, committed and resolute are part of same trait, without which leadership qualities just can’t survive! So:

  • Never rush to make a promise.
  • Make promise, what you can deliver.
    It is best to make written note of all promises, you have made and review time to time to monitor your performance.
  • If you realize anytime that you can’t make it or would be delayed, go back immediately to concerned person and make him/her aware with apologies.
  • Deliver 100% of your promises on 1st occasion or attempt.

If you want to stand out of the crowd and establish/enhance your credibility, your natural choice should fall on “Being a Person of Promise”!

Read More
1 2 3