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Irrespective of whether you have left the portals of your business school last year or 30 years ago, the good old alma mater continues to be a big draw. It influences our thinking and approach to issues in many ways. It builds a strong network which can provide you with different perspectives in times of need. I am proud of my Alma Mater, XLRI in Jamshedpur, in the state of Jharkhand in India. XL , as it is widely known as, completes 60 glorious years in 2009.

In this connection, I have kicked off a discussion in the XLRI Alumni Group in LinkedIn. I asked: ‘What Have You Gained From XLRI ? “.  I believe the results will be useful to the present leaders and students -as they look at themselves and reflect on the years and challenges ahead.

For my part, here’s what I have gained:
* Deep insight into the power of people relationships. ( Thanks to Fr. McGrath )
* A collaborative rather than confrontation approach to issues
* The value of superior communication skills ( This one is for Fr. Tome )
* Simplicity and non-hierarchical way of managing.
* Friendships that have lasted for keeps:)

Much of your network flows from contacts made with people you studied with. It gives you access to their networks. Use them with care. Networking is not one way street where you take without giving back anything in return. There is a delicate balance between professional and personal relationships. Recognize and honor these differences.

XL has done so much for me. It has been- and will always be- an integral part of my life as I am sure your Alma Mater is for you.

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This is Post No: 358 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.