Call it what you will – “relief package” or “Bail out” it would have been unprecedented in US history as far as I know. The Government of the United States- the epitome of free enterprise- moving in to shell out $700 billion. To prop up the gasping economy by buying out what are now called “toxic” assets from banks. To breathe some relief to a floundering financial services industry- which seems to have strangled itself by extending credit, almost recklessly. With President Bush pushing his weight behind it, the bail out, many thought, would be a cake walk. A few hours ago comes the news that it was rejected by the House of Representatives.The stocks have crashed still further not only in the US but with repercussions the world over.
I liked an article by Virginia Heffernan in the New York Times. Called “Shiny, Happy Bankers” she writes of how the web sites of some investment banks hardly reflect their true state of affairs. They continue to radiate a healthy optimism which may be quite unfounded.
This prompts me to write of the importance of a corporate image. These days it is your website – and not your address- that is the first thing anyone will look for. Keeping it updated becomes that much more important. We talk of Corporate Social Responsibility. Shouldn’t this too be a part of CSR?
Some of the figures quoted make your head reel. Heart disease is surely becoming a major threat as it spreads to relatively younger people, primarily because of their stress and lifestyle. September 28 is World Heart Day. Resolve, please, for your sake and that of your family that you will spend a short time understanding your current risk of becoming a victim of heart disease.
It appears that India will have the dubious distinction of being the country with the highest number of heart ailments by 2010. India will be home to an estimated 60 million coronary patients. The age group of those afflicted with heart disease is also coming down year after year. It has become quite common for people in their 30s and 40s to fall prey to heart disease.
Today is a Saturday – a holiday and the mood is much lighter at homes the world over.This prompts me to write in somewhat lighter vein.
As the old saying goes ” God is in the details”. Often small mistakes are made which cause us a good deal of embarrassment. This may be -on the face of it- due to machines malfunctioning or a technology glitch but really it can be tracked down to a human error- plain and simple.
- At a recent health check, I got numbers which were mind boggling, particularly with reference to those of the last test. My tension was set at rest only when my doctor apologized and assured me that the digits had got interchanged.
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For decades now, by and large India has been stuck with the “Can’t Deliver On Time” syndrome. And no, I am not talking of babies because with a population of more than 1.1 billion people perhaps that’s one thing we are delivering on time. I am delighted that recent projects have shown that all this can change and we are capable of delivering complex projects on time. A case in point is the Delhi Metro. It reached its targets thanks to a sprightly 76 year old man called Dr. E Sreedharan, Managing Director of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
If you are interested in getting the best out of your people and being prepared to proactively deal with people issues, I would recommend that you track the on going series ” Carnival of HR and Leadership” started quite some time ago by the “Evil HR Lady”. Once when I was talking to a senior executive and mentioned this interesting series, he said ” Isn’t it mainly for HR folk” ? I told him that it was useful for everyone dealing with people.
Hearty congratulations to Tara Parker-Pope. Her Well Blog in the New York Times completes one year.
I have been a keen reader as I find the posts to be very informative and useful- apart from being interesting.
These days stress at the work place is creating health problems for virtually every segment of society. I am shocked to find that relatively young people in their 3os and some- unfortunately- even in their 20s have fallen prey to serious illnesses. This was something unheard of some 10-15 years ago.
The secret of good health is often in our hands. The lifestyle we practice can either improve or ruin our health. The choice is ours.
Read Tara Parker-Pope’s Well Blog from time to time. It would help keep you Well.
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This is Post No: 296 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.
An alumni network is not only for meeting from time to time and exchanging yarns about the good old days. It can be a strong pillar to fall back on when the chips are down. Like me, I am sure you know of many cases where the alumni network has helped people get jobs, settle down in foreign and nearly alien surroundings and in medical emergencies.
In business schools, career offices play the part of helping students start off on their professional careers as also helping organisations get the talent they seek. We in India are more familiar with “placement” as a term for such offices in business schools. In some schools these have been very effective. They have helped the school gain an enviable reputation for the quality of its alumni. In others, they are more mechanical- aided perhaps by the big demand for talent which makes their work much easier, anyway. In yet others, the old joke goes that they have to be woken up from their slumber as the end of another year -and the time for a new batch to pass out- draws near.
There are heaps of books on leadership. Check for definitions of leadership and you can spend the next few hours reading up tons of material. Since people look up to their supervisors and often behave as they do- let me put down what I believe isn’t leadership. Many young people beginning their careers unconsciously model themselves on their supervisors. If they have enlightened leaders as supervisors- that’s great and they will gain from that experience. But what if they don’t? Not everyone is that fortunate.
India is one of the few economies which continues to grow- although admittedly at a much slower pace than before. One of the fall outs of this is the relatively free availability of career options for talent. Gone are the days when one would join an organization and stay there – well almost for life. The rise in opportunities gives greater impetus to people wanting to make it to the top of their careers at a faster pace. Doesn’t matter if it means skipping all the time- from one company to another. Continue reading