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If someone were to have told you a year ago that Lehman Brothers would file for bankruptcy in the foreseeable future, you would think the guy was nuts. After all it was one of the world’s venerable financial services firms- having stood strong through rough weather many times in its 158 year old history.

In India, it was a famous name and while IT companies vied to grab a share of the IT spending in the financial services market, employees saw Lehman as a strong brand- their job offer being much sought after in top end campuses.

Today, Lehman has become a casualty in In our fast moving world. They have applied for bankruptcy and what will happen to their thousands of employees world wide remains to be seen.

In an entirely different setting, recent reports speak of US troops entering Pakistan to find and destroy Al Qaeda and Taliban strongholds. A school of thought believes this was something that they should have done years ago.  But they didn’t or couldn’t because Gen Musharraf, President of Pakistan claimed to be the biggest ally of the US in its war against terror.

Today he is no longer the President. Press reports say that US choppers were fired upon by Pakistani troops. An article in the Times of India says that the US could well find themselves facing the very F 16 fighters they supplied so readily to Pakistan.

In both these stories, I am sure many – including leading pundits- would have been proved wrong. In my view, the lesson to be learnt from both these stories seems to be simple and straight forward: ” Expect The Unexpected” .

It’s useful as you plan your growth strategy to look ahead and attempt to anticipate what could go wrong.

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This is Post No: 287 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.

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