Mentorship lessons from Grand Master Yoda


“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 “Mentorship lessons from Grand Master Yoda”

Redefining role of Information Technology

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“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“Our ERP is outdated now, give us the cheapest upgrade option to keep it supported”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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Why reporting OT hours is important – A Lesson I learnt from my mom

When I was young, I got a fixed weekly allowance. I was expected to do my chores of cleaning, laundry, grocery runs, et al, But, no matter how good or bad I was, whether I helped mom with the dishes or not, I would get that allowance and I would not be asked how I spend it or ever be threatened that you would not get it. You would think I was not motivated to do my household chores, but you’re wrong… Every school year my allowance went up slightly and I was allowed to marginally negotiate for my allowance. So, I grew up in an environment where I was an Exempt employee.

As I was growing up, I kept a journal and on the last page of the journal was the year’s calendar. I gave myself a star everyday I went overboard to help mom. During my appraisal, I would count my stars and remind mom of the incidents when the stars happened. She remembered all the black stars, so am sure she had a journal of her own 🙂 Turns out I was mostly a star employee of my mom and used to work much more than expected and it helped with my annual raise or she was not maintaining her journal well enough. Most importantly, it taught me the importance of maintaining a quick record of any extra time spent on doing my normal job duties.

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