Saturday, April 22, 2006

Friday, April 07, 2006

Attitude and My best Boss I have ever seen !

If the boss is not behaving with you properly, if the boss denies you promotion, we all go ga... gaa... and become incredibly emotional. At the same time, why don't we promote or propagate about great bosses we meet during our course of professional life. This is the idea behind this little thought provoking write up.
Now.... on attitude .... I don't know how ? this magic word 'Attitude' always haunts me. Just by hearing the word 'Attitude', I get motivated to do anything in this world, where I can contribute positively for a better society, either at work place or out of work place.
Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude. - Zig Ziglar

Life is too short to spend your precious time trying to convince a person who wants to live in gloom and doom otherwise. Give lifting that person your best shot, but don't hang around long enough for his or her bad attitude to pull you down. Instead, surround yourself with optimistic people. - Zig Ziglar
These quotes by Zig Ziglar motivated me to rebuild my Attitude from scratch, which resulted in positive, proactive and productive attitude. Thanks to my Boss Shri V.R.K.Mohan Rao, Director Technical, Emmellen Biotech Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Mumbai/Mahad. You may visit http://www.embio.co.in/ to know more about this dynamic organisation.
I strongly feel that every individual must possess this kind of Attitude, to enjoy success in professional as well as personal life. I was very self-destructive till 1999. Once I realised (self-awareness) that I am self-destructive and could not enjoy any kind of progress in life, every thing started falling in line. The Almighty has helped me to change my Attitude when I read this quotation for the first time, through my boss during my previous employment. He has helped me to overcome my problems, and permitted me to carry on with my passion i.e. educating myself not just to enhance my qualifications. He coached me, he mentored me, he guided me towards those goals which I never dreamt of. We shared every hobby and interest of each other. He likes music. I like music. He likes Philosophy. I like Philosophy. Of course, he helped me to recreate my philosophy of life. He helped me to understand people in a better manner. He has taught me why people behave differently, in different situations. Behaviour is situational. Don't judge people by way of their behaviour. Never, ever imagine about people. Imagination is the longest distance of understanding between two people. Understanding is the shortest distance. He made my world in which I am living now ! It may not be intentional, but it is his natural trait ! He is a leader whom I wish to emulate !
Hats off to my Boss ! Hats off to his Attitude ! Hats off to his commitment and loyalty !
Salutations to Almighty who blessed me with that kind of Boss !
May God bless Him and His family with all the wealth of happiness in this world !

Thursday, April 06, 2006

SOFT SKILLS AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

To enhance my learning experience through share and care, I am conducting free Soft Skills Awareness Campaign. At present, some NGOs, Lions Club, Youth Clubs are helping me in this mission. This is all about :

* To spread awareness about soft skills/Life Skills among the general public
* To help students, future managers and middle class parents to understand the vital role of soft skills in grabbing a job
* How to grab a job by mastering soft skills ?
* Free career counselling
* Free career guidance
* Placement assistance

** Soft Skills in India, World Skills in Australia, accepted by many professionals as Global Skills, are inevitable to excel in professional as well as personal life. Life Skills and social skills are also synonyms for soft skills.

What are soft skills ?
Skills needed to perform jobs where job requirements are defined in terms of expected outcomes, but the process(es) to achieve the outcomes may vary widely. Usually, an area of performance that does not have a definite beginning and end (i.e., counseling, supervising, and managing).

Life-skills have been defined by the World Health Organisation as 'abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life' (WHO 1993)
Please spread this message to your friends in Hyderabad, India, so that they can be benefitted by attending these classes. I wish to carry this campaign to all districts of Andhra Pradesh, through Schools and Colleges. If anybody interested and enthusiastic to become partner in progress, please mail me.

For further information you can aim me at aimkom2003@yahoo.com

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

‘Management can be done with nobility’ – Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, President of India

Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam is a household name since the launching of SLV-3. It has become a global synonym to missile worldwide, after the successful completion of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). He was a Project Manager. He was a Project Leader. He was a Technocrat. He was one of the greatest Rocket Scientist of our times. He collaborated with hundreds of Organizations. He managed thousands of People. He networked with every possible source to make the Missile Making Mission Impossible, a possible mission to be welcomed with millions of smiles, which made Him reach the highest seat of power in one of the biggest democratic countries in the world with great ease and with his patented simple style. Now He is the First Citizen of India. Prime Ministers, Defence Ministers trusted him to the core for his scientific, technical and above all his managerial abilities. He believes in Nobility in Management. Dr.Kalam once said that "Management can be done with nobility. The failure should be absolved by the Chief of the Mission and the success should accrue to the team." He managed many a elite groups of Scientists as a Leader of various missions he successfully completed to the satisfaction of the entire nation. His experience in managing human resources will come in handy for aspiring HR Managers and established HR experts. Recruitment, Training and Development, RelationshipManagement, Compensation and Benefits, Performance Appraisals - what not, you name it - he handled every function of HRM with great ease to make his mission possible through sheer guts and vision. He is a great Visionary with inimitable missionary zeal. Above all, He is one of the greatest motivator of our times. He is a National motivator with global vision. His life’s mission is to make India a ‘developed nation’ through motivation. To realise his vision, he is gearing up to make the Rashtrapati Bhavan, a national hub of communication with all modern facilities to propogate his dreams across the Nation. As per Dr. Kalam, Nation is also like an Organisation. India must have a vision and a mission statement to lead its talented youth towards realising the dream of transforming it into a developed nation. Being a President of the biggest democracy in the World, Dr.Kalam set his goal to do the ground work to help India become a developed nation. May his mission inspire a million and their tribe may increase a trillion !
This article is intended to explore the experiences of our beloved President of India Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam as one of the greatest HRM experts of our times. Let us delve into his experiences and valuable opinions on Human Resources Management and related functions.
On Indian Organizations and Leadership
What makes life in Indian Organizations difficult is the widespread prevalence of this very contemptuous pride. It stops us from listening to our juniors, subordinates and people down the line. You cannot expect a person to deliver results if you humiliate him, nor can you expect him to be creative if you abuse him or despise him. The line between firmness and harshness, between strong leadership and bullying, between discipline and vindictiveness is very fine, but it has to be drawn. Unfortunately, the only line prominently drawn in our country today is between the ‘heroes’ and the ‘zeros’. On one side are a few hundred ‘heroes’ keeping nine hundred and fifty million people down on the other side. This situation has to be changed.
On staffing and Leadership traits
What makes a productive Leader ? In my opinion, a productive leader must be very competent in staffing. He should continually introduce new blood into the organization. He must be adept at dealing with problems and new concepts. The problems encountered by an R&D Organization typically involve trade-offs among a wide variety of known and unknown parameters. Skill in handling these complex entities is important in achieving high productivity. The leader must be capable of instilling enthusiasm in his team. He should give appropriate credit where it is due; praise publicly, but criticize privately.
On Leaders’ style
Different leaders accommodate concern for workers while getting work done, in their own personal ways. Some shed all concern for workers in order to get results. they use people merely as instruments to reach goals. Some give less importance to the work, and make an effort to gain the warmth and approval of people working with them. On working style and personnel functionsInvolvement, participation and commitment were the key words to functioning. A basic aspect of a person’s working style is how he plans and organizes tasks. At one extreme is the cautious planner, who carefully spells out each step before making any move. With a sharp eye for what can possibly go wrong, he tries to cover all contingencies. At the other end is the fast mover, who weaves and dodges without a plan. Inspired by an idea, the fast mover is always ready for action.Another aspect of person’s working style is control - the energy and attention devoted to ensuring that things happen in a certain way. At one extreme is the tight controller, a strict administrator with frequent checkpoints. Rules and policies are to be followed with religious fervour. At the opposite end are those who move with freedom and flexibility. They have little patience for bureaucracy. They delegate easily and give their subordinates wide latitude for movement. I wanted leaders who tread the middle path, those who could control without stifling dissent or being rigid. I wanted men (as project leaders) who had the capability to grow with possibilities, with the patience to explore all possible alternatives, with the wisdom to apply old principles to new situations; people with the skill to negotiate their way forward. I wanted them to be accommodating, to be willing to share their power with others and work in teams, delegating good jobs, assimilating fresh opinions, respecting intelligent people, and listening to wise counsel. They would have to be able to sort out things amicably, and take responsibility for slip-ups. Above all, they should be able to take failure in their stride and share in both success and failure.
On Indian Management techniques
We had our home-grown, but effective, management techniques. One such technique was concerned with follow-up of project activities. It basically consisted of analysing the technical as well as procedural applicability of a possible solution, testing it with the wok centres, discussing it with the general body of associates and implementing it after enlisting everybody’s support. A large number of original ideas sprung up from the grass root level of participating work centers. If you were to ask me to indicate the single most important managerial tactic in this successful program (i.e.IGMDP), I would point to the proactive follow-up.
On listening skills
I listened carefully and it was indeed a great education for me. Ironically, all through school, we were taught to read, write and speak, but never to listen, and the situation remains much the same today. Traditionally, Indian scientists have been very good speakers, but have inadequately developed listening skills.

On creating good working environment
We had gone through an elaborate exercise of goal-setting and enthused the young scientists about these goals. At the review meetings, I would insist that the youngest scientists present their team’s work. That would help them in visualising the whole system. Gradually, an atmosphere of confidence grew. Young scientists started questioning senior colleagues on solid technical issues. Nothing daunted them, because they feared nothing. If there were doubts, they rose above them. they soon became persons of power. A person with belief never grovels before anyone, whining and whimpering that it’s all too much, that he lacks support, that he is being treated unfairly. Instead, such a person tackles problems head on and then affirms, ‘As a child of God, I am greater than anything that can happen to me’. I tried to keep the work environment lively with a good blend of the experience of the older scientists mixed with the skills of their younger colleagues. This positive dependence between youth and experience had created a very productive work culture at DRDL.

On dreams, growth and career path
I am aware that one of the most constant and powerful urge I experienced was my desire to be more than what I was at that moment. I desired to feel more, learn more, express more. I desired to grow, improve, purify, expand. I never used any outside influence to advance my career. all I had was the inner urge to seek more within myself. The key to my motivation has always been to look at how far I had still to go rather than how far I had come. After all, what is life but a mixture of unsolved problems, ambiguous victories, and ambiguous victories, and amorphous defeats?
On motivation and change management
To motivate people to enhance their performance and deal with depression is always a challenge for a leader. I have observed an analogy between a force field equilibrium and resistance to change in organisations. Let us imagine change to be a coiled spring in a field of opposing forces, such that some forces support change and others resist it. By increasing the supportive forces such as supervisory pressure, prospects of career growth and monetary benefits or decreasing the resisting forces such as group norms, social rewards, and work avoidancethe situation can be directed towards the desired result - but for a short time only, and that too only to a certain extent. After a while the resisting forces push back with greater force as they are compressed even more tightly. Therefore, a better approach would be to decrease the resisting force in such a manner that there is no concommittant increase in the supporting forces. In this way, less energy will be needed to bring about and maintain change.
The result of the forces I mentioned above, is motive. It is a force which is internal to the individual and forms the basis of his behaviour in the work environment. In my experience, most people possess a strong inner drive for growth, competence, and self-actualization. The problem, however, has been the lack of a work environment that stimulates and permits them to give full ex-pression to this drive. Leaders can create a high productivity level by providing the appropriate organizational structure and job design, and by acknowledging and appreciating hard work.
On motivational inventory
The motivational inventory of a leader is made up of three types of understanding: an understanding of the needs that people expect to satisfy in their jobs, an understanding of the effect that job design has on motivation, and an understanding of the power of positive reinforcement in influencing people’s behaviour.
On needs and satisfaction
People seek to satisfy their social, egoistic, and self-actualization needs at their workplaces. A good leader must identify two different sets of environmental features. One, which satisfies a person’s needs and the other, which creates dissatisfaction with his work. We have already observed that people look for those characteristics in their work that relate to the values and goals which they consider important as giving meaning to their lives. If a job meets the employees’ need for achievement, recognition, responsibility, growth and advancement, they will work hard to achieve goals. Once the work is satisfying, a person then looks at the environment and circumstances in the workplace. He observes the policies of the administration, qualities of his leader, security, status and working conditions. Then, he correlates these factors to the interpersonal realtions he has with his peers and examines his personal life in the light of these factors. It is the agglomerate of all these aspects that decides the degree and quality of a person’s effort and performance.
On team building and team spirit
In their formative stages, teams are much like children in spirit. they are as excitable, full of vitality, enthusiasm, curiosity and the desire to please and excel. As with children, however, these positive attributes can be destroyed by the behaviour of misguided parents. For teams to be successful, the environment must offer scope for innovation. I always ensured for my teams an environment which allowed innovation and risk-taking. When you work as a project team, you need to develop a complex view of the success criteria. There are always multiple and often conflicting sets of expectations that exist about a team’s performance. Then, quite often, the project teams are virtually torn apart in their attempt to accommodate the needs and constraints of sub-contractors outside the organisation and specialist departments within the organisation. Good project teams are able to identify quickly the key person or people with whom negotiations of the success criteria must take place. A crucial aspect of the team leader’s role is to influence and negotiate with these key people for their requirements, and to ensure that the dialogue continues on a regular basis as the situation develops or changes. If there is one thing outsiders dislike, it is unpleasant surprises. Good teams ensure that there are none. A project team member must in fact act like a detective. He should probe for clues as to how the project is proceeding, and then put together different bits of evidence to build up a clear, comprehensive and deep understanding of the project’s needs and requirements.
On Management
The concept of Technology Management has its roots in the Developmental Management models which originated in the early Sixties out of a conflict between harmony-seeking and output oriented management structures. There are basically two types of management orientations: primal, which values an economic employee, and rational , which values an organisational employee. My concept of management is woven around an employee who is a technology person. While the primal management school recognises people for their independence, and rational management acknowledges them for their dependability, I value them for their interdependence. Whereas the primal manager champions independent enterprise and the rational manager serves cooperation. I moot interdependent joint ventures, getting the forces together, networking people, resources, time schedules, costs, and so on. Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam has become a legend in his life time for his inimitable and towering achievements in the field of technology. He walks his talk. He conquered the past, motivates the present and continues to inspire the generations of future. May his tribe increase manifold to take us towards a developed India!
(Excerpts from His Excellency Dr.Kalam's book 'Wings of Fire')

Lord Krishna – The Apostle of Life Skills


Lord Krishna is one of the greatest Management Gurus, whom we can emulate without second thought. He is the Mentor of Mentors, Coach of Coaches and Guru of all Motivational Gurus. He is the greatest life skills expert and demonstrated every skill in the court of Dhritharashtra during his diplomatic tour to Hasthinapuri (now Delhi), which was taken up only to avoid war between Kauravas and Pandavas.

His inimitable communication skills are evident in every word expressed in the Court of Kauravas. Lord Krishna during his Negotiations, to avoid war between Kauravas and Pandavas demonstrated perfect communication skills. As he doesn’t want to avoid war between them, he manipulated his words with diplomatic jargon and tried to instigate fear motivation in Duryodhana by way of illustrating the greatness of Pandavas on and off the field of war.

Life-skills have been defined by the World Health Organisation as 'abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life' (WHO 1993). We can see this ability abundant to face challenges of everyday life in Lord Krishna and this article is intended to analyse the same.

Happiness is the aim and ambition of any individual in this world. Whatever a person takes up in his life, it is to attain one and only objective – Happiness; says Sigmund Freud, the Father of Psychology. All religions and philosophies aim is to achieve happiness for mankind. Character only can give that kind of total happiness for mankind. Lord Krishna proved this in his life by becoming ideal personality. The preacher of Gita, Lord Krishna’s life is an example, which reflected the power of character.

Lord Krishna is God for faithful devotees. He is a magician for non-believers. He is a romantic Hero for some and a great manipulator for many. He is the greatest Philosopher who has given Gita to the mankind. For some, he is just a character in the Mahabharat of Sage Vyasa. Irrespective of any kind of faith and devotion, He is the Great Guru for Psychoanalysts and Psychologists. He is the first counseling psychologist.
He is a complete man. If we observe his life critically from all angles, we can have glimpses of this kind of characteristics in the life of Lord Krishna.

Lord Krishna is not so taller and handsome like Lord Rama. He is not having beautiful, expressive eyes. He is black in complexion. He faced many problems during his life. He never felt depressed. He has never given up. He always faced problems and got them solved. He faced problems with cheerful attitude. He stood beside his people like rock. Reason – His total personality.

Some may argue that Sri Krishna is just another character in the epic Mahabharat, written by Sage Vyasa. Then, why this balanced approach towards life is not seen in the avatars of Rama, Parasurama and Vamana. Why Sage Vyasa didn’t create the characters of Brahma and Siva also in this mould? There may not be answer for this kind of questions. We may get the answer by thinking that every character will have its own characteristics. Whether Lord Krishna is there or not in the history of mankind, or he is just a character in Mahabharat, certainly he is the example of a complete man.

A true disciple to a great Guru!
Lord Krishna is the disciple of Sage Sandipani. After the completion of his education, he came to know that the young son of his Guru Sandipani has met with an untimely death. Lord Krishna fought with Yama, the God of Death and brought back life to his Guru’s son and presented him as Guru Dakshina. How many disciples of this age are paying just fees for the survival of their Guru’s family? These are the days where people expect freebies even in education!

Eight wives and infinite problems !
Many feel that Lord Krishna means eight wives and his romance with them. He mesmerized people with his cheerful presence and playful attitude. His life started with problems. He was born in the prison. He was separated from his mother immediately after his birth. He suffered with ‘separation anxiety’ since his birth. He has spent his life in Brindavan with cowherds’ families, instead of enjoying pampered life in Madhura on the lap of his grand father Ugrasena. He never had great education also. His uncle Kamsa hatched many plans to kill Krishna in his childhood. Kamsa has sent demons every year to kill Krishna. Krishna, the kid could over come all these troubles with his determination. Due to deadly problems arising every moment, his friends also might have faced traumatic stress disorders. Many parents might have stopped their kids playing with Krishna, as it is dangerous. Krishna never bothered with this kind of problems. He has learnt many lessons of life playing on the shores of river Kalindi along with his friends. He has spent his childhood playing divine flute and doing mischief with his friends.
A friend in need !
Lord Krishna is a friend for needy indeed. He has helped his friend Kuchela (Sudama) to overcome his penury. He also helped Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas, who has immense faith in Krishna.
A politician par excellence but compassionate !

Krishna fought with his uncle Kamsa and crowned his grand father as King. He got his parents released from prison and fulfilled his responsibility as Son. Though he has able army, he never tried to invade other kingdoms. But he never showed any compassion towards Kings like Jarasandha who declared war against him. He fled from the war field to avoid unnecessary loss of lives, and killed enemy without loss of single life.

Personified love
Love is natural at a particular age. Many may dare to do anything to achieve their love. Krishna resorted to fight battle, to achieve his love Rukmini and became ideal for the world of lovers. Though there are legends that Lord Krishna has 16,000 Gopikas, he never tried to woo a single woman. He attracted them with his talkative talent. Nobody ever branded him as womanizer. He was always regarded as personification of love and affection.
Emotionally intelligent

He was not at all an arrogant and adamant husband. He was having highly adaptable and adjusting nature. Though Satyabhama kicked him with her leg, Krishna never got angry
with her. Moreover, he took her feet in his hands and mellowed her down by saying whether hitting him injured her feet. He always stood as ideal husband and tried to balance his family life.

A real leader!

Great physique is not the real asset for anybody. Character is the true asset for any individual. Krishna’s kingdom is very small in size and so his army. But King Duryodhana came down to ask for his help in the royal battle of Kurukshetra. Though Krishna said that the whole army is one side, and I will be helping one side, Arjuna selected Krishna, only because of his character. A leader is not the one who walks, but the one who leads walking ahead of others.
A great warrior !
He never fought. He is not having any powerful position. Even then everybody knows that Krishna lead the army of Pandavas. Just by having army, no one can win the battle. One needs to have war strategies and intelligence to assess the power of enemy. A leader of army has to plan ahead of others and win battle with minimum loss of human life. Krishna succeeded in fulfilling this responsibility with all the ability it demands. That’s why he is the real and great leader.

A great communicator !
When Krishna went to Hasthinapuri as an ambassador of Pandavas to express their piece of mind to King Dhritarashtra, his communication skills reached pinnacle as an avoider of war but not as an instigator of destruction. He pursued Kauravas to avoid war with Pandavas and urged them to do so by just giving them five towns to rule. When Kauravas refused to do so, he has analysed the strengths, opportunities of Pandavas, weaknesses and threats for Kauravas if they didn’t avoid war in the first place. Krishna always took responsibility for his acts, and helped Pandavas to overcome their problems and ultimately to win the war of Kurukshetra.

Small vices in great characters
It is natural that great characters will always flourish with small vices. Even Krishna is also not an exception to this rule. Krishna thrown bait to Karna to join Pandavas and marry Draupadi. He only knows on why he did like this. Karna refused politely to budge at the behest of Krishna. Even then, Krishna may have tried to expose the greatness of Karna to the world.

When Arjuna was jumping with joy after killing Karna, Krishna warned him on behaving in such a manner. This shows his respect towards a great warrior and ideal friend like Karna. If Karna is personified charity, though he is with his enemy, Krishna realized the greatness of Karna, and treated him with high regard. That is the greatness of Krishna and this reflects his unique character.

Nobody is perfect, even Lord Krishna. He also acted like human being in many situations. To help and uplift mankind without any selfish motive, one can lie here and there and can manipulate if the situation demands. Krishna took some decisions only to prove this point. That is why Lord Krishna is complete man and an apostle of life skills.

To succeed in professional or personal life, one has to learn and try to emulate Lord Krishna to become complete man.

- Challa S.S.J.Ram Phani
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Welcome folks !

Hi folks worldwide,

This is Phani from Hyderabad, The Attitude City of India.

This is my first post in this blog and I look forward to share more and care more.

Take care.

Phani