Congratulations to one of India’s more dynamic entrepreneurs, Anand Mahindra. Ealier this month, Mahindra, the 53 year old Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra was awarded the Alumni Achievement Award, one of the highest honors to come out of the Harvard Business School. Other distinguished winners of the Alumni Achievement Award have included GE’s Chairman & CEO, Jeff Immelt and John Doerr, Partner of the venture capital firm:Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers.
What’s the job of your leadership team? You may say this is pretty obvious. But -is it? Are they on the same page as regards what they need to focus on? In any case, when was the last time you had a conversation with them about what you expected of them? What, anyway, should a senior executive do? In times of economic crisis when the business prospects of many organizations are shaky to say the least, it is probably the best time to do some introspection on this. These and more thoughts come to me prompted by a recent blog post by Peter Roche. I found this to be very pertinent. He writes in his blog on Executive Coaching about
Just read a blog post about Work-Life Balance that I thought was very well written and specially meaningful. It is by Dr. Mary Coussons-Read in her site Powerful Mind Coaching. She is the Professor of Psychology and Health & Behavioural Science at the University of Colarado, Denver.
She writes of how we have grown to believe that work is supremely important. We end up with a sense of guilt that we have not been able to spend as much time on other non-work events- which are equally important.
It’s part of our present day life that we are forced to “multitask”. Skip the technical definition because in today’s street talk, it simply means your ability to do several things at the same time. You see people read mails while grabbing a quick lunch. Dashing off messages while attending meetings and catching up with mails while someone else is talking to them in their places of work. I have even seen a young lady walk through heavy traffic while messaging text on her cell phone- entirely oblivious to the chaos around her.
You might argue that the sheer pace of life compels us to try to do several things at the same time. There’s some truth in what you say. However, when we do more than one thing at any time, something is bound to give. We lose focus.
Uncertain times create stress in all of us. The causes of worry are manifold. For someone, it is the sinking value of investments made over time in the stock market. The last few sessions have blown away everything you had gained. Many are in grief when they see the levels to which their stock values have fallen. For others, the job scene is a source of stress. From walking around exploring numerous job offers- each one more lucrative than the other- to lying low and hoping that your name is not in the next list of lay offs, is a sea change.
They say time is relative. If you are enjoying an activity, time simply seems to fly. If the activity is not to your liking, time seems to drag on remorselessly.Time also seems heavy when you start something which must take its own course of time and there’s nothing you can do to reduce that time. An example that readily comes to mind is the frustrating wait while your PC or laptop boots up. When I have an important presentation to make, I keep the laptop on standby or walk in with the presentation ready for my client. But this doesn’t work always. Sometimes, they want to talk about other things to start with.
We are facing tough times. The Sensex like all the other barometers of economic progress is nose diving. Job offers are hard to come by. People fear imminent job cuts in many industries in different parts of the world. There is a certain amount of gloom- but don’t lose heart. The Festival of Lights is around the corner. Diwali signifies the victory of good over evil in every human being. May the festival of lights bring peace and happiness to you and yours. Happy Diwali.
Distractions do to you what they do to others as well. Try this little test sometime. Look out for someone who is on the phone in your office. Make eye contact with that person, smile and wave or say “Hello”. That’s the first part of the test. The second is to observe the actions that follow. More often than not, people look puzzled or irritated as they try to get back to their conversation. Test over. You have just seen one effect of distractions at work.
I continue to marvel at some of India’s achievements. I wonder if being of a generation that largely grew up in an environment of scarcity makes us marvel at these more than others. The most recent of them was the flawless launching on October 22 of Chandraayan-1 spacecraft-on a mission to the moon. This makes us extremely proud of India’s space scientists led by the Indian Space Research Organisation, here at Bengaluru.
If you were to ask me about the most striking difference between today and a decade ago, I would have no hesitation in saying it is the extent of connectivity we enjoy. Born out of this is the mushrooming of opportunities to get involved in and even start social networks. I have had the pleasure of reaching out to and interacting with people in different parts of the world-which would have been beyond possibility a decade ago. Starting from the pioneering Yahoo Groups, I got involved in Ryze and LinkedIn. I now have over 500 contacts in LinkedIn and have gained from my interactions with most of them.