The New York Times is one of the most respected newspapers and a column in it that I follow very closely is called the “Corner Office”. In this, Adam Bryant speaks every Sunday with a business leader on aspects of leadership and management. I am delighted to find a recent issue features, Vineet Nayar, XLRI batch of ’85, Chief Executive Officer of HCL Technologies.
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.
My Professor at XLRI, so many years ago, Fr. Ed McGrath taught us so many things.
All of us have only 168 hours each week, he used to say, make the best of it. 34 years after he spoke of it, I remember ( and try to practice) 3 techniques :
- Premack Principle: We like some tasks and dislike some others. Do what you dislike first! Doing what you like is easy but you are prone to postpone doing what you don’t like. If you have to do Tasks A & B and like A but dislike B, do B first. You will do both better. Do the unpleasant task first.
- Swiss Cheese Technique: Even if you do not have enough time to complete a top priority task, do something related to that task accomplishment instead of attending to a lower priority task. For example, if you have 20 minutes to spare before your next meeting, gather data or assign work to gather data for your top priority task, instead of reading a magazine or making lower priority phone calls.
- Act on a piece of paper only once: Don’t move it from place to place on your desk or move it from one folder to another. Act on it the first time, file it, assign a task to some one else, reply to it, make a call, do whatever but act on it the first time.
Fr. McGrath remains a major hero for XLers of my time. He uses these techniques himself because he is as cheerful as before and very active in his 80s.
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An XLRI alumnus we are proud of is K. Pandia Rajan, Founder & Managing Director of Ma Foi.
This is now part of Vedior NV, a 6.85 billion Euro staffing company and the third largest in the world.
Ma Foi says they have placed more than 1,16,370 personnel in 31 countries worldwide, over 693 of these being at the GM and above levels.
They are likely to provide more employment than all the Govenrment employment exchanges in India put together. According to statistics, the 998 employment exchanges in the country place 1.10 lakh employees per annum in various government jobs. Ma Foi, which recruits over 5,000 staffers per month, is all set to cross the 1.20 lakh within the next 12 months, company managing director K Pandia Rajan told Economic Times recently.
The company’s revenues, which were to the tune of Rs 328 crore in calendar year 2006, is poised to cross Rs 450 crore in the current year. Mr Rajan said the company is targeting revenues of Rs 1,000 crore and a presence in 20 countries within the next two years