Mentorship lessons from Grand Master Yoda

yoda-mentor

“Always two there are, no more, no less: a master and an apprentice.” – Grand Master Yoda

The Jedi Order had it all figured out “a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away”. Most trades had also figured it out since in the middle ages. But, it is high time that the Corporate World actively promotes the idea of building a Knight-Padawan relationship to hand down knowledge and skill and build masters and leaders of the future.

Every new employee joins the organization with unlimited potential and a drive to rise to the top. Let’s call this employee Deb. With no mentorship program in place, Deb feels lost about what to do and how to do. A 4 years experienced team member, let’s call him John, lends a helping hand and gets Deb started and trains her. 6 months in, Deb is considered an expert and given independent assignments for which the Johns step in, stays up extra and trains Deb. In return, Deb finishes up low-level work for John. Voila!!! Establishment of Master-Apprentice relationship in the team. What’s sad about this is that John goes completely unrecognized for his leadership and initiative by the “Managers”, but he does it anyway without expecting results.

“Always pass on what you have learnt” – Yoda Continue reading


Redefining role of Information Technology

Photo Credit: http://www.managementinnovation.it/en/it-vision-strategy/

“The business has too many strategic projects going on, let’s look at these capital IT projects after 3 years”.

“Our ERP is outdated now, give us the cheapest upgrade option to keep it supported”

“We have a business to transform, just keep the lights on

“Our applications are good enough, they capture transactions and provide us reports, no need for a change”

“Unless there is a hard financial ROI with a payback in 3 years, it’s a no”

I’m sure most of you have heard or seen this conversation or a form of this conversation happen among CEO, CFO and CIO from CEO/CFOs to CIOs. And if you are a thought leader somewhere in the organization, you shake your head and are like “Darn! I hate this strategy of doing nothing” and then think if it even is a strategy.

Let’s see what are the flaws in each of these arguments.

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Lesson to be learnt from Superbowl XLIX

During the 2 weeks build-up and from where I was looking at things, Seattle Seahawks entered the game as the underdog. They surely did not claim that on national TV, but behind closed doors, their assessment may have been similar to mine. The domination and control of the football demonstrated by New England Patriots offense was phenomenal and the Hawks were smelling defeat a quarter and a half into the game.

Towards closure of the second quarter, Pete Carroll made an unconventional call… instead of settling for 14-10 with a Field Goal to enter Q3, he asked his offensive unit to go all in and even the game out. He made a call… an unconventional call… a risk… he cause a shift of momentum… he gave a huge morale uplift to his team… he made Seahawks look like they mean business and would not go down easy… We could see the subtle risk in many Seahawks offensive plays in Q3 resulting 10 points.

When he made the call that cost them the Superbowl, he was in the same tempo. He calculated that the Pats had successfully stopped Lynch multiple times and the entire Pats defensive muscle would stop Lynch. So he made an unconventional call… he took a risk… he wanted to surprise the Pats. His bad luck caught him over there and the risk was realized. Just going by the pattern of plays being made by the Hawks, I was not surprised by the play call.

In all honesty, if he would not have been taking risks in the game, their second TD would have been an FG and the Q4 interception a TD pushing the game to a 2 point conversion followed by OT. <with a lot of assumptions… yada.. yada… yada… >…………..But, by taking the risks, he set the stage for a definite victory.

So, the lesson I learnt was that to attain success risks should be taken, but only in moderation and with calculation, not with momentum and emotion.


When my jeans went out of fashion, I Quit !!!

Summer of ’99

My second year Engineering summer was in the college workshop working the tools -welding, casting, etc. One evening, a buddy of mine (let’s call him… Slash) and I were sitting outside the cafeteria under our University’s symbolic “Polo Hut” and he lit a cigarette. After 3-4 puffs, he casually dragged his hand towards me and I took it from him with the same amount of casual attitude… It was a Marlborough Light (it’s a “Light”! What the Heck!!!)… kept it between my lips and the rest is history… well, not exactly..

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The Quiet Call

Originally posted on Amanda Mininger:

As elections draw near for all of us, I’m going out on a limb and saying what I’m not supposed to say:

Which is that the best of humankind has never been determined by a formal process. It’s never been legislated, upheld in a court of law, or spun from a series of campaign ads. The best of humankind starts before all that, before any governing body intervenes or eager politician shakes a constituent’s hand. It starts with that magical moment when humans somehow come to understand that change is nigh, indeed it is ordained, and moving forward is the only option.

It’s not even a conscious decision. Collective humanity doesn’t wake up one morning and while in the shower, declare loudly: “I am deciding right here and now that this issue shall have a new outcome!”

Rather, as with The Hero’s Journey (thank you, Elizabeth Gilbert, for reminding us)…

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Finding Vegetarianism in Indian culture

The “Vegetarian” v/s “Non-vegetarian” debate has been on for centuries in India. The debate comes  with mockery, disgust, guilt, doubt and confusion. I happen to be a classic specimen of a confused vegetarian (or not) Indian .

Let me give a little background, I was born and raised in a North Indian Orthodox Hindu (Sanatan Dharma) environment, which in general, prescribes a Vegetarian life as the right way-of-life (Dharma). I accepted this as truth, and remained a strong promoter of vegetarianism for very many years without question. Very few people around me ate meat, which was obviously aDharma (sin).

The first seeds of doubt came during my under-Grad days, where out of my gang of 12 friends, only 2 of us were vegetarian and we were the butt of many jokes due to this. Using quick Math, only 17% of my group of friends was vegetarian, then 83% were serious sinners. Extrapolating the numbers to the world (assuming everyone outside India ate meat), only about 3-5% people on earth seemed to be vegetarian from that angle (there was no Google back then to confirm this). I used to wonder – with so many people eating non-vegetarian food, Hell (Narka) would be very a very busy place.

Well, I had the doubts but I stuck to my strict vegetarian regime. A few years later, I was reading about how all religions tie together and came across a clear reference in the Book of Genesis that eating meat was allowed by God !!! My image of “Dharma” started to shake… Religious differences apart, God is undoubtedly One… How could different people have different Dharma for something as fundamental as food, based on the religion they were born in??? There had to be a prescription that works for all because God created everyone alike. Politicians carved out religions. (We all get to use Azithromicin during strep-throat infections).

When staged with such fear and doubt about one’s belief system,a person has 2 choices:

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Open letter to Mr. Vadhera from a well-wisher

Dear Mr. Vadhera,

Since the very day you tied knot into the royal family of India, I have admired the courage, yet have been concerned for about your shortsightedness in the decision of falling in love with Biancaji. I understand Mr. Vadhera, that love is blind and one does not get one’s beloved’s color of blood checked, but your enthusiasm in bringing Indian industry’s standard on top of the world was so much that you may have not noticed that Biancaji belonged to “the” royal family and had very blue blood. At times I wonder, you may have known this all along and your heart just over-powered on your logical part of of the brain.

Mr. Vadhera, you have been anything but an honest businessman contributing to the growth of the country. Your manufacturing and Real Estate businesses are growing above he clouds and the world has its eyes on you to be the next Ambani. But, I’ll tell you a secret today… These opposite party people are jealous of your progress and they are unfairly trying to taint your name with some dirty titles like “corrupt” and “extortionist” and many others I can’t recall at this time. In addition, I must tell you that the people of this country and this evil social media thing is not helping you. I may be alone in this battle, standing by your side, argue with my friends that you are the best possible human being in the world, but what can one voice do Mr. Vadhera? For what it’s worth, people of India didn’t listen to Kejribal ji, how can you expect them to listen to me. Continue reading


कभी धूप में, कभी छांव में

कभी धूप में, कभी छांव में
चर्चा तेरे हुस्न का हर गांव में
तू दरिया किनारे ढूँढे राही प्यार का
एक सौ सात तेरे आशिक़ बैठे इस नाव में

कभी मेले में, बाज़ार में, कभी राहों में
बिछी फूलों कि चादर तेरी चाहों में
नजर तेरे इश्क कि उस नचीज़ पे होगी
डालेगा जो झांझर तेरे पाँवों में

कभी बारिश में, जाड़ों में, कभी हवाओं में
फैली बात हमारी हर तरफ़ फिज़ाओ में
पाजेब की आवाज़ ये राज़ रख ना सकी
सुकून “आदि” को आता है बस तेरी बाहों में

                                            – आदित्य “आदी” सिंग्ला (04 Mar’14)

English Translation


In sunshine and in shade (Translation of Kabhi Dhoop Kabhi Chaav)

Sometimes in sunshine and sometimes in shade

Your beauty is being discussed in every town and village

You’ve been looking for your soul-mate on the river bank

107 men are on a boat waiting for you to make your pick

 

Sometimes in the fair or the market or sometimes on the way,

A bed of flowers is laid in your feet everywhere.

But, you will give your look of love to that humble one

who puts a pair of anklets in your feet

 

Sometimes in rains or winter or with blows of wind

Rumors of our relationship are spreading all around in the air

Sound of these anklets was unable to keep the secret

that “Adi” takes relief only in your arms

 

Original Poem in Hindi Script


दिल की दास्तान (Hindi Poem)

This is the first time I am attempting lines in Hindi, with a Pen Name “आदि”. Must admit, I had forgotten how to write some of the Hindi letters… as haven’t written anything in Hindi since about 2 decades now. I hope you’ll enjoy this.

खामोश दीवारें मकानों में

भीगे नैन अनकहे अफ्सनो में

काँच कि खिड़की बस हिली थी थोड़ी

दिल चूर से टूटा तूफानों में

 

दिल काट के भेजा पैगामो में

कहूँ मन की बात अंजानो में

भूल गए सब रास्ता यहाँ का

तेरी आह ना आयी ज़मनो में

 

क्यूँ “आदि” दरवाजे के पास खड़ा है

उठा ले जो ये बचा हुआ दिल पड़ा है

और छोड़ आ जहाँ जल रही उसकी चीता है

डूबा रहूंगा तेरे अह्सानो में

                                            – आदित्य “आदि” सिंग्ला (17-Mar ’14)

Types using phonics typing section of this.

English Script and Translation below

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