Friday, August 25, 2006

Manager's Mental Health

Sound mental health is the very goal of any human activity more so management. An expert describes sound mental health as that state of mind which can maintain a calm, positive poise or regain it when unsettled in the midst of all the external vagaries of work life and social existence. Internal constancy and peace are the pre- requisites for a healthy stress-free mind.
Some of the impediments to sound mental health are :
* Greed -for power, position, prestige and money.
* Envy -regarding others' achievements, success, rewards.
* Egotism -about one's own accomplishments.
* Suspicion, anger and frustration.
* Anguish through comparisons.

The driving forces in today's rat-race are speed and greed as well as ambition and competition. The natural fallout from these forces is erosion of one's ethico-moral fibre which supersedes the value system as a means in the entrepreneurial path like tax evasion, undercutting, spreading canards against the competitors, entrepreneurial spying, instigating industrial strife in the business rivals' establishments etc. Although these practices are taken as normal business hazards for achieving progress, they always end up as a pursuit of mirage -the more the needs the more the disappointments. This phenomenon may be called as yayati-syndrome.

In Mahabharata we come across a king called Yayati who, in order to revel in the endless enjoyment of flesh exchanged his old age with the youth of his obliging youngest son for a mythical thousand years. However, he lost himself in the pursuit of sensual enjoyments and felt penitent. He came back to his son pleading to take back his youth. This yayati syndrome shows the conflict between externally directed acquisitions, motivations and inner reasoning, emotions and conscience.

Gita tells us how to get out of this universal phenomenon by prescribing the following capsules.
Cultivate sound philosophy of life.

* Identify with inner core of self-sufficiency
* Get out of the habitual mindset towards the pairs of opposites.
* Strive for excellence through work is worship.
* Build up an internal integrated reference point to face contrary impulses, and emotions
* Pursue ethico-moral rectitude.
* Cultivating this understanding by a manager would lead him to emancipation from falsifying ego-conscious state of confusion and distortion, to a state of pure and free mind i.e. universal, supreme consciousness wherefrom he can prove his effectiveness in discharging whatever duties that have fallen to his domain.

Bhagawan's advice is relevant here :
* "tasmaat sarveshu kaaleshu mamanusmarah yuddha cha"
* 'Therefore under all circumstances remember Me and then fight' (Fight means perform your duties)
* Management Needs those Who Practise what they Preach

Whatever the excellent and best ones do, the commoners follow, so says Sri Krishna in the Gita. This is the leadership quality prescribed in the Gita. The visionary leader must also be a missionary, extremely practical, intensively dynamic and capable of translating dreams into reality. This dynamism and strength of a true leader flows from an inspired and spontaneous motivation to help others. "I am the strength of those who are devoid of personal desire and attachment. O Arjuna, I am the legitimate desire in those, who are not opposed to righteousness" says Sri Krishna in the 10th Chapter of the Gita.

Greats on Gita !

"No work in all Indian literature is more quoted, because none is better loved, in the West, than the Bhagavad-gita. Translation of such a work demands not only knowledge of Sanskrit, but an inward sympathy with the theme and a verbal artistry. For the poem is a symphony in which God is seen in all things....The Swami does a real service for students by investing the beloved Indian epic with fresh meaning. Whatever our outlook may be, we should all be grateful for the labor that has lead to this illuminating work."
- Dr. Geddes MacGregor, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of PhilosophyUniversity of Southern California

"The Gita can be seen as the main literary support for the great religious civilization of India, the oldest surviving culture in the world. The present translation and commentary is another manifestation of the permanent living importance of the Gita."
- Thomas Merton,Theologian

"I am most impressed with A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's scholarly and authoritative edition of Bhagavad-gita. It is a most valuable work for the scholar as well as the layman and is of great utility as a reference book as well as a textbook. I promptly recommend this edition to my students. It is a beautifully done book."
- Dr. Samuel D. AtkinsProfessor of Sanskrit, Princeton University

"...As a successor in direct line from Caitanya, the author of Bhagavad-gita As It Is is entitled, according to Indian custom, to the majestic title of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The great interest that his reading of the Bhagavad-gita holds for us is that it offers us an authorized interpretation according to the principles of the Caitanya tradition."
- Olivier LacombeProfessor of Sanskrit and Indology, Sorbonne University, Paris

"I have had the opportunity of examining several volumes published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and have found them to be of excellent quality and of great value for use in college classes on Indian religions. This is particularly true of the BBT edition and translation of the Bhagavad-gita."
- Dr. Frederick B. UnderwoodProfessor of Religion, Columbia University

"...If truth is what works, as Pierce and the pragmatists insist, there must be a kind of truth in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, since those who follow its teachings display a joyous serenity usually missing in the bleak and strident lives of contemporary people."
Dr. Elwin H. PowellProfessor of SociologyState University of New York, Buffalo

"There is little question that this edition is one of the best books available on the Gita and devotion. Prabhupada's translation is an ideal blend of literal accuracy and religious insight."
- Dr. Thomas J. HopkinsProfessor of Religion, Franklin and Marshall College

"The Bhagavad-gita, one of the great spiritual texts, is not as yet a common part of our cultural milieu. This is probably less because it is alien per se than because we have lacked just the kind of close interpretative commentary upon it that Swami Bhaktivedanta has here provided, a commentary written from not only a scholar's but a practitioner's, a dedicated lifelong devotee's point of view."
- Denise Levertov,Poet

"The increasing numbers of Western readers interested in classical Vedic thought have been done a service by Swami Bhaktivedanta. By bringing us a new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, he has increased our understanding manyfold."
- Dr. Edward C Dimock, Jr.Department of South Asian Languages and CivilizationUniversity of Chicago

"The scholarly world is again indebted to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Although Bhagavad-gita has been translated many times, Prabhupada adds a translation of singular importance with his commentary...."
- Dr. J. Stillson Judah,Professor of the History of Religions and Director of LibrariesGraduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California

"Srila Prabhupada's edition thus fills a sensitive gap in France, where many hope to become familiar with traditional Indian thought, beyond the commercial East-West hodgepodge that has arisen since the time Europeans first penetrated India."Whether the reader be an adept of Indian spiritualism or not, a reading of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is will be extremely profitable. For many this will be the first contact with the true India, the ancient India, the eternal India."
Francois Chenique, Professor of Religious SciencesInstitute of Political Studies, Paris, France

"As a native of India now living in the West, it has given me much grief to see so many of my fellow countrymen coming to the West in the role of gurus and spiritual leaders. For this reason, I am very excited to see the publication of Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It will help to stop the terrible cheating of false and unauthorized 'gurus' and 'yogis' and will give an opportunity to all people to understand the actual meaning of Oriental culture."
- Dr. Kailash Vajpeye, Director of Indian StudiesCenter for Oriental Studies, The University of Mexico

"...It is a deeply felt, powerfully conceived and beautifully explained work. I don't know whether to praise more this translation of the Bhagavad-gita, its daring method of explanation, or the endless fertility of its ideas. I have never seen any other work on the Gita with such an important voice and style....It will occupy a significant place in the intellectual and ethical life of modern man for a long time to come."
- Dr. Shaligram ShuklaProfessor of Linguistics, Georgetown University

"I can say that in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is I have found explanations and answers to questions I had always posed regarding the interpretations of this sacred work, whose spiritual discipline I greatly admire. If the aesceticism and ideal of the apostles which form the message of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is were more widespread and more respected, the world in which we live would be transformed into a better, more fraternal place."
-Dr. Paul Lesourd, AuthorProfesseur Honoraire, Catholic University of Paris

When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous.
-Albert Einstein

When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day.
- Mahatma Gandhi

In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial.
- Henry David Thoreau

The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions.
- Dr. Albert Schweitzer

The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every civilization.
-Sri Aurobindo

The idea that man is like unto an inverted tree seems to have been current in by gone ages. The link with Vedic conceptions is provided by Plato in his Timaeus in which it states..." behold we are not an earthly but a heavenly plant." This correlation can be discerned by what Krishna expresses in chapter 15 of Bhagavad-Gita.
- Carl Jung

The Bhagavad-Gita deals essentially with the spiritual foundation of human existence. It is a call of action to meet the obligations and duties of life; yet keeping in view the spiritual nature and grander purpose of the universe.
- Jawaharlal Nehru

The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life's wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion.
- Herman Hesse

I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

In order to approach a creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-Gita with full understanding it is necessary to attune our soul to it.
-Rudolph Steiner

From a clear knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita all the goals of human existence become fulfilled. Bhagavad-Gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures.
- Adi Shankara
The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity.
- Aldous Huxley

The Bhagavad-Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to reveal the science of devotion to God which is the essence of all spiritual knowledge. The Supreme Lord Krishna's primary purpose for descending and incarnating is relieve the world of any demoniac and negative, undesirable influences that are opposed to spiritual development, yet simultaneously it is His incomparable intention to be perpetually within reach of all humanity.
- Ramanuja

The Bhagavad-Gita is not seperate from the Vaishnava philosophy and the Srimad Bhagavatam fully reveals the true import of this doctrine which is transmigation of the soul. On perusal of the first chapter of Bhagavad-Gita one may think that they are advised to engage in warfare. When the second chapter has been read it can be clearly understood that knowledge and the soul is the ultimate goal to be attained. On studying the third chapter it is apparent that acts of righteousness are also of high priority. If we continue and patiently take the time to complete the Bhagavad-Gita and try to ascertain the truth of its closing chapter we can see that the ultimate conclusion is to relinquish all the conceptualized ideas of religion which we possess and fully surrender directly unto the Supreme Lord.
- Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati

The Mahabharata has all the essential ingredients necessary to evolve and protect humanity and that within it the Bhagavad-Gita is the epitome of the Mahabharata just as ghee is the essence of milk and pollen is the essence of flowers.
-Madhvacarya

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Serving Society through Soft Skills !

Recently, I had the opportunity of a life time to impart language skills and soft skills to the children of labourers who are working in a construction site. We had a formal meeting with the teenagers, degree holders, B.Eds and with everybody who wish to improve their language skills and ready to groom themselves to invite success into their lives at any cost. Here it is free of cost as the pioneers of this social initiative are a brand in the filed of education i.e. ICFAI.

ICFAI Republic School (A social initiative of ICFAI Group) doing yeomen service to the poor by establishing schools to impart result-oriented education, resulting in grabbing the opportunities for a better tomorrow. They are providing free education, free clothing, free meals and free books to the needy and doing their bit to eradicate illiteracy from India.

After the successful establishment of ICFAI Republic School at Fatehnagar, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, ( http://www.icfai.org/irs ) they started a School in the huge campus of ICFAI to provide education to the children of construction workers.

My self, along with my Team leader Ms.Subhodaya visited the place and identified students to groom and to impart language skills. This mission called ‘Education for all by 2020’ will be strengthened by many individuals and organisations like ICFAI.

It is my dream to join such like minded people and organisations which was fulfilled in this way.

The big question is what about you? Are you ready to join me in this mission to educate the needy for their better tomorrow?

As a soft skills trainer, I wish to give back the society and share my little knowledge with the needy. I got my clarion call to help the youth to groom themselves and to grab opportunities of their choice. I am here to coach, mentor the ‘not so privileged’ who are deprived and cannot afford to join corporate educational institutions where ‘soft skills’ were taught with the help of hi-tech audio visual aids, which would ultimately result in less learning and more promoting in style.

You want to help your friends from your tiny town to train in soft skills.
You cannot afford style and can identify substance to improve your life skills.
Can you arrange a ‘LECDEM” of Soft Skills in your Alma Mater? If you can…


Your search for success ends here. Please identify group of people and mail me/call me for a ‘Soft Skills Awareness Program’ which forms part of my campaign to propagate the importance of skills to grab a job of your choice and enjoy life with ease.

Visit my website: http://www.aimkom.com Choice of Achievers

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hate Your Job? 10 Ways to Cope

By Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder.com

Having a job you just hate is never an easy thing to deal with, but sometimes you just need to grin and bear it until another good opportunity comes along. Whether you're currently stuck because you just have to pay the bills or are holding out for the next great job, here are some things you can do to help you get through the day.
1. Set weekly goals for yourself. Sometimes it is easier to get through the day when you can keep your eye on the prize. Even if you hate your job now, there is something out there that will make you happy. Make weekly goals to help you find that golden opportunity. One week you might strive to send out five resumes or attend one networking event. Setting these goals will give you something to work towards.
2. Do one thing each day to help you reach your goals. You don't need to cross all your goals off your list every day, but you can chip away at it. When wake up, set a daily objective for yourself and make sure you achieve it. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and keep you feeling good about your progress.
3. Give yourself "me time" before work. Going into a job you hate will be worse if you get to the office feeling rushed, stressed and frazzled. Set aside some moments of solitude each morning. Develop a positive morning ritual. Treat yourself to a latte, get up early enough to read the paper, or just set your alarm to play upbeat music when you wake up. Improving your mornings can do wonders for your afternoons.
4. Create a diversion for yourself in the office. Does being in your office make you yearn for the outdoors? Are the incessant ringing phones driving you batty? Do something to brighten your mood while you're at work. Take in a tropical picture and use it as your screensaver. Buy yourself a "joke of the day" desk calendar. Plug headphones into your computer or bring your iPod to work. Go out for lunch.
5. Use your time to develop your skills. Hating your job doesn't mean you can't learn new skills. Use your time to make yourself a better candidate down the road. If your company offers training courses, take advantage of them. Use downtime to learn something new on your computer. Pick up a management development book and read it at lunch. Turn this job into an opportunity for self improvement.
6. Blow off some steam. Most people have an activity that helps them unwind and get rid of tension. Go for a run after work, go swimming on your lunch hour, or take a nice long walk. Put this time on your schedule so you will have something to look forward to every day.
7. Treat yourself. To make up for your office misery, find little ways of treating yourself. Buy a good book to read. Treat yourself to ice cream. Buy some flowers. Shop for a new interview suit. Plan your next vacation. Find out what makes you feel better inside, no matter what is going on outside.
8. Maintain your performance. It is important to continue to do your work and do it well, regardless of your current situation. Set personal performance goals. Then use the accomplishments in future interviews.
9. Keep your bridges intact. It really is a small world, and you never know when you will run into co-workers from your past. Don't burn any bridges at your company because you are unhappy. Maintain your contacts and keep your relationships on a positive note. You might just need a reference or a good word from one of your colleagues in the future.
10. Realize that this too shall pass. Right now, it might seem like you will be stuck in this job forever. Keep your chin up and remind yourself that you are in charge of your destiny. Search internal postings for new positions. Start your search for a new job externally. Kate Lorenz is the author of the article and advice editor for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Three Tips for Coping With a Nightmare Boss

By Andrea Coombes Provided by CareerJournal.com

Meryl Streep's cold-hearted character in The Devil Wears Prada has nothing on real-life bosses gone bad. Consider the boss who gave an employee a written reprimand for "leaving work without permission"--after she passed out in the bathroom and was whisked by ambulance to a nearby hospital.
Or the school principal who forced a teacher to work through the day even after the teacher said her arm was throbbing after slipping on ice outside the school. "He decided there was no way I could have broken my arm, probably just bruised it," the teacher wrote in an e-mail to MarketWatch.
"During first period, my arm hurt horribly, but I continued teaching. But when I reached for chalk, and my fingers would not move, I did go [to the hospital] where my broken arm was set."
Those are just two of the "bad boss" stories MarketWatch readers e-mailed in. But does your demanding boss really fall into the category of a bully?
That depends, said Dr. Gary Namie, a psychologist and senior consultant at The Work Doctor, a consulting firm that helps companies deal with workplace bullying.
Bullying is "repeated, health-harming mistreatment," Namie said, and it usually includes "verbal abuse, behavior that's threatening, intimidating or humiliating, or work interference."
When the behavior perpetrates the boss's own agenda at the expense of the company's goals, you've got a boss who's going too far, Namie said.
It's likely the sales manager who encourages her workers by firing a stun gun behind their heads as they enter a weekly sales meeting would qualify as a workplace bully.
"The crackle of a stun gun firing still crackling in our minds, we sat there mutely staring at our boss as she launched happily into her meeting. The next meeting she tossed candy at us, literally, and told us she was trying a different way to help us make sales," the worker wrote.
That's just one of the horror stories posted at WorkingAmerica.org, a worker advocacy group that is running a "bad boss" contest. Workers e-mail their stories for the chance to win a vacation.
Working America is running the contest because, in its door-to-door membership drives, "we heard the most astonishing stories about what's going on in workplaces," said Karen Nussbaum, the group's executive director. "That inspired us to say we need to get this out in the open."
Working America is not verifying the stories it receives, but "you couldn't make up this stuff," Nussbaum said.
At least one in four firmsHow pervasive is workplace bullying? That's hard to pin down.
About 24 percent of companies said workplace bullying had occurred "within the past year," according to a survey of 516 firms in 2004 by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). In that survey, bullying is "repeated intimidation, slandering, social isolation, or humiliation by one or more persons against another." It includes workers who bully other workers.
But that's a survey of managers, so it's likely an understatement. The survey respondents "may not be aware of what is going on, or they might want to present the company in a positive light," said Paula Grubb, a research psychologist with NIOSH and researcher on the study. "If they're managers, they tend to identify with management."
Between 10 percent and 16 percent of workers say they are currently experiencing "regular bullying" by their supervisor according to a separate series of studies focusing solely on supervisors who bully subordinates (rather than workers who bully their colleagues), said Bennett Tepper, in an e-mail message. Tepper is a professor of managerial sciences at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
When you ask workers to look back in time, however, that figure skyrockets: 50 percent of workers say they've had an abusive boss at some point in their working career, Tepper said.
Meanwhile, a separate survey finds that workers' top pet peeves hint at some forms of bullying: 44 percent said "condescending tones" are the most annoying workplace situation, followed by 37 percent who said public reprimands are the top pet peeve, according to a survey of 2,318 U.S. adults in February by Harris Interactive for Randstad USA, the staffing firm.
The revenge-seekersWorkplace bullies might want to take note that workers who feel abused don't always take it lying down.
"About six out of ten people who are abused by their bosses plan revenge," said Harvey Hornstein, professor emeritus of psychology at Columbia University and author of Brutal Bosses and their Prey. Hornstein bases that estimate on interviews with workers who say they've suffered with an abusive boss. He's working on a book about workplace revenge.
Workers' revenge ranges from the minor, such as not sending an e-mail when told, to the major, such as calling the boss's spouse to divulge the boss's extramarital affair, Hornstein said.
Wide variety of problem bossesMarketWatch readers shared a variety of bad boss tales, including managers who constantly yell, consistently ignore just one worker, or those who waste hours by micromanaging.
One of the most haunting stories came from a former auto-parts plant manager who said that, years ago, a fire broke out in a restaurant near the factory. "I received a panicky phone call that one of my employee's wives was trapped in the burning building," the former manager wrote in an e-mail.
"That employee ran out of the plant to get to the fire. My boss wanted me to write him up for 1) leaving the plant without proper approval, 2) running through the plant, and 3) running through the plant without his safety glasses on (he left his safety glasses on his machine and took off running as soon as I gave him the message)."
The worker's wife died in the fire. Yet, "after the funeral, my boss put a letter in my file because I failed to take action against an employee who violated work rules," the manager wrote.
Steps to takeIn that situation, most workers would probably just want to quit. But workers who face an abusive boss should consider taking three steps before they quit, Namie said.

1. Acknowledge the problem. "If you name it, you externalize the problem and reduce self-blame," Namie said.
Hornstein agreed, noting that workers should talk about the problem with trusted family and friends. "Don't pretend to be thick-skinned about it," Hornstein said.
Hornstein finds that people who say, "Oh, I can take it" fare much worse over time than those who talk to friends and family. Those who talk are "much less likely to be anxious and depressed, and much more likely to look sensibly for a new position," Hornstein said.
"It allows you to start to come up with ways of managing the problem, rather than holding it in and finally exploding."

2. Take time off if your health is at risk. "Make sure you don't slide into anxiety, panic attacks, depression," Namie said. Get a physical, he suggests, and then start looking into company policies that might offer a solution.
"See if you have any recourse within the company based on laws and internal policies. The antiviolence policy may apply," Namie said.
While you've got time off, gather any data on how your boss's behavior is hurting the company's bottom line, such as turnover rates and absenteeism, he said. That generally requires calling fellow workers to find how long they've been on the job and how often they call in sick.

3. Present your case to the company. Once you've gathered some data, take your case to a higher-up not connected to your boss. "Don't go to the bully's boss. That's the one that supports him or for years has done nothing," Namie said.
That might mean quitting if you work at a small or family-owned firm where everyone is likely to support your supervisor. At a larger firm, he said, "you can make a rational, cost-based argument that this person is a threat to the bottom line."