शुक्रवार, 25 मई 2012

.A chat between a Solider and Software Engineer in Shatabdi Train

.A chat between  a Solider and  Software Engineer in Shatabdi Train

.An interesting  and a must readl!

      Vivek Pradhan was not a happy man. Even the plush comfort of the
      air-conditioned compartment of the Shatabdi express could not cool
      his frayed nerves. He was the Project Manager and still not
      entitled to air travel. It was not the prestige he sought, he had tried to
      reason with the admin person, it was the savings in time. As PM, he
      had so many things to do!! He opened his case and took out the laptop,
      determined to put the time to some good use.

      "Are you from the software industry sir," the man beside him was
      staring appreciatively at the laptop. Vivek glanced briefly and
      mumbled in affirmation, handling the laptop now with exaggerated
      care and importance as if it were an expensive car.

      "You people have brought so much advancement to the country, Sir.
      Today everything is getting computerized."

      "Thanks," smiled Vivek, turning around to give the man a look. He
      always found it difficult to resist appreciation. The man was young
      and stockpiled built like a sportsman. He looked simple and strangely
      out of place in that little lap of luxury like a small town boy in a
      prep school. He probably was a railway sportsman making the most
      of his free traveling pass.

      "You people always amaze me," the man continued, "You sit in an
      office and write something on a computer and  it does so many big
      things outside."

      Vivek smiled deprecatingly. Aliveness demanded reasoning not
      anger. "It is not as simple as that my friend. It is not just a question
      of writing a few lines. There is a lot of process that goes behind it."

      For a moment, he was tempted to explain the entire Software
      Development Lifecycle but restrained himself to a single statement.
      "It is complex, very complex."

      "It has to be. No wonder you people are so highly  paid!," came
      the  reply.

      This was not turning out as Vivek had thought. A hint of
      belligerence crept into his so far affable, persuasive tone.

      "Everyone just sees the money. No one sees the amount of hard work
      we have to put in. Indians have such a narrow concept of hard
      work. Just because we sit in an air-conditioned office, does not mean
      our brows do not sweat. You exercise the muscle;
      we exercise the mind and believe me that is no less taxing."

      He could see, he had the man where he wanted, and it was time to
      drive home the point. "Let me give you an example. Take this train.
      The entire railway reservation system is computerized. You can book
      a train ticket between any two stations from any of the hundreds of
      computerized booking centers across the country. Thousands of tr!
      an actions accessing a single database, at a time concurrently; data integrity,
      locking, data security. Do  you understand the complexity in designing and
      coding such a system?"

      The man was awe stuck; quite like a child at a planetarium. This was
      something big and beyond his imagination. "You design and code such

      "I used to," Vivek paused for effect, "but now I am the Project

      "Oh!" sighed the man, as if the storm had passed over, "so your life
      is easy now."

      This was like the last straw for Vivek. He retorted, "Oh come on,
      does life ever get easy as you go up the ladder. Responsibility only
      brings more work. Design and coding!

      That is the easier part. Now I do not do it, but I am responsible
      for it and believe me, that is far more stressful! My job is to get
      the work done in time and with the highest quality. To tell you
      about the pressures, there is the customer at one end, always
      changing his requirements, the user at the other, wanting something
      else, and your boss, always expecting you to have finished it

      Vivek paused in his diatribe, his belligerence fading with
      self-realization. What he had said, was not merely the outburst of a
      wronged man, it was the truth. And one need not get angry while
      defending the truth.

      "My friend," he concluded triumphantly, "you don't know what it is
      to be in the Line of Fire".

      The man sat back in his chair, his eyes closed as if   in
      realization. When he spoke after sometime, it was with a calm
      certainty that surprised Vivek. "I know sir,..... I know what it is
      to be in the Line of Fire......."  He was staring blankly, as if no
      passenger, no train existed, just a vast expanse of time.

      "There were 30 of us when we were ordered to capture Point 4875 in
      the cover of the night. The enemy was firing from the top.  There
      was no knowing where the next bullet was going to come from and for
      whom.  In the morning when we finally hoisted the tricolor at the
      top only 4 of us were alive."

      "You are a...?"

      "I am Subedar Sushant from the 13 J&K Rifles on duty at Peak 4875 in
      Kargil. They tell me I have completed my term and can opt for a soft
      assignment. But, tell me sir, can one give up duty just because it
      makes life easier. On the dawn of that capture, one of my colleagues
      lay injured in the snow, open to enemy fire while we were hiding
      behind a bunker. It was my job to go and fetch that soldier to
      safety. But my Captain Batra Sahib refused me permission and went
      ahead himself.  "He said that the first pledge he had taken as a
      Gentleman Cadet was to put the safety and welfare of the nation
      foremost followed by the safety and welfare of the men he
      commanded... ....his own personal safety came last, always and every
      time.  "He was killed as he shielded and brought that injured
      soldier into the bunker. Every morning thereafter, as we stood
      guard, I could see him taking all those bullets, which were actually
      meant for me . I know sir....I know, what it is to be in the Line of

      Vivek looked at him in disbelief not sure of how to respond.
      Abruptly, he switched off the laptop.  It seemed trivial, even
      insulting to edit a Word document in the presence of a man for whom
      velour and duty was a daily part of life; velour and sense of duty
      which he had so far attributed only to epical heroes.

      The train slowed down as it pulled into the station, and Subedar
      Sushant picked up his bags to alight.

      "It was nice meeting you sir."

      Vivek fumbled with the handshake.

      This hand... had climbed mountains, pressed the trigger, and hoisted
      the tricolor.

      Suddenly, as if by impulse, he stood up at attention and his right
      hand went up in an impromptu salute.
      It was the least he felt he could do for the country.

      PS: The incident he narrated during the capture of Peak 4875 is a
      true-life incident during the Kargil war. Capt. Batra sacrificed his
      life while trying to save one of the men he commanded, as victory
      was within sight. For this and various other acts of bravery, he was
      awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the nation's highest military award.

      Live humbly, there are great people around us, let us learn!
      Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the
Tips for Leadeship..~~~ Energizer.
  Some people become leaders no matter what their chosen path because their positive energy is so uplifting. Even in tough times, they always find a way. They seem to live life on their own terms even when having to comply with someone else's requirements. When they walk into a room, they make it come alive. When they send a message, it feels good to receive it. Their energy makes them magnets attracting other people.
Just plain energy is a neglected dimension of leadership. It is a form of power available to anyone in any circumstances. While inspiration is a long-term proposition, energy is necessary on a daily basis, just to keep going.
Three things characterize the people who are energizers.

1. A relentless focus on the bright side.
 Energizers find the positive and run with it. A state government official in a state that doesn't like government overcomes that handicap through her strong positive presence. She dispenses compliments along with support for the community served by her agency, making it seem that she works for them rather than for the government. She greets everyone with the joy generally reserved for a close relative returning from war. I can see skeptics' eyebrows starting to rise, but judging from her success, people love meeting with her or getting her exclamation-filled emails. She is invited to everything.
The payoffs from stressing the bright side can be considerable. In my new book, SuperCorp, I tell the story about how Maurice Levy, CEO of the global marketing company Publicis Groupe, tilted the balance in his company's favor when his firm was one of several suitors for Internet pioneer Digitas. At one point in a long courtship, Digitas hit problems, and the stock collapsed. One of Publicis's major competitors sent Digitas's head an email saying, "Now you are at a price which is affordable, so we should start speaking." Levy sent an email the same day saying, "It's so unfair that you are hurt this way because the parameters remain very good." Levy's positive energy won the prized acquisition.

2. Redefining negatives as positives. 
Energizers are can-do people. They do not like to stay in negative territory, even when there are things that are genuinely depressing. For example, it might seem a stretch for anyone to call unemployment as "a good time for reflection and redirection while between jobs," but some energizers genuinely stress the minor positive notes in a gloomy symphony. A marketing manager laid off by a company hit hard by the recession saw potential in people he met at a career counseling center and convinced them that they could start a service business together. He became the energizing force for shifting their definition of the situation from negative to an opportunity.
"Positive thinking" and "counting blessings" can sound like natïve cliches. But energizers are not fools. They can be shrewd analysts who know their flaws and listen carefully to critics so that they can keep improving. Studies show that optimists are more likely to listen to negative information than pessimists, because they think they can do something about it. To keep moving through storms, energizers cultivate thick skins that shed negativity like a waterproof raincoat sheds drops of water. They are sometimes discouraged, but never victims.
An entrepreneur who has built numerous businesses and incubated others had a strong personal mission to raise national standards in his industry. He began that quest by meeting individually with the heads of major industry organizations, all of whom told him that he would fail. He nodded politely, asked for a small commitment to one action anyway, just as a test, he said, and went on to the next meeting. Eight or nine meetings later, he was well along on a path everyone had tried to discourage him from taking.

3. Fast response time. Energizers don't dawdle.
Energizers don't tell you all the reasons something can't be done. They just get to it. They might take time to deliberate, but they keep the action moving. They are very responsive to emails or phone calls, even if the fast response is that they can't respond yet. This helps them get more done. Because they are so responsive, others go to them for information or connections. In the process, energizers get more information and a bigger personal network, which are the assets necessary for success.
The nice thing about this form of energy is that it is potentially abundant, renewable, and free. The only requirements for energizers are that they stay active, positive, responsive, and on mission. Are you an energizer? Any tips you'd like to share?

ROSABETH MOSS KANTER  is a professor at Harvard Business School and the author of Confidence and SuperCorp

Presented by: Mr. Rajendra Deshpande

गुरुवार, 24 मई 2012

There were about 70 scientists working on a very hectic project. All of them were really frustrated due to the pressure of work and the demands of their boss but everyone was loyal to him and did not think of quitting the job.
One day, one scientist came to his boss and told him - Sir, I have promised to my children that I will take them to the exhibition going on in our township. So I want to leave the office at 5 30 pm.
His boss replied "OK, You're permitted to leave the office early today"
The Scientist started working. He continued his work after lunch. As usual he got involved to such an extent that he looked at his watch when he felt he was close to completion. The time was 8.30 PM.
Suddenly he remembered of the promise he had given to his children. He looked for his boss, He was not there. Having told him in the morning itself, he closed everything and left for home. Deep within himself, he was feeling guilty for having disappointed his children. He reached home.
Children were not there. His wife alone was sitting in the hall and reading magazines.
The situation was explosive; any talk would boomerang on him. His wife asked him "Would you like to have coffee or shall I straight away serve dinner if you are hungry.
The man replied "If you would like to have coffee, i too will have but what about Children??"
Wife replied "You don't know?? Your manager came here at 5.15 PM and has taken the children to the exhibition “
What had really happened was ...
The boss who granted him permission was observing him working seriously at 5.00 PM. He thought to himself, this person will not leave the work, but if he has promised his children they should enjoy the visit to exhibition.
So he took the lead in taking them to exhibition. The boss does not have to do it every time. But once it is done, loyalty is established.
That is why all the scientists at Thumba continued to work under their boss even though the 
stress was tremendous.
By the way, can you hazard a guess as to who the boss was..?
He was none other than Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Former-President of India . . . 

I just finished a two-year project looking at Michael Porter's most important insights for managers. Connecting the dots between his classic frameworks (the five forces, for example) and his latest thinking (the five tests of strategy) gave me a new understanding of the most common mistakes that can derail a company's strategy. In a previous post, I focused on the fallacy of competing to be the best. Here are five more traps I've seen managers fall into over and over again. Understanding Porter's strategy fundamentals will help you to avoid them.

Mistake No.1. Confusing marketing with strategy.
Correction: A value proposition isn't the same thing as a strategy. If you're trying to describe a strategy, the value proposition is a natural place to begin — it's intuitive to think of strategy in terms of the mix of benefits aimed at meeting customers' needs. But as important as it is to have insight into customers' needs, don't confuse marketing with strategy. What the marketing-only approach misses is that a robust strategy also requires a tailored value chain, a unique configuration of activities that best delivers that kind of value. This element of strategy is not at all intuitive, but it's absolutely essential. If you perform the same activities as everyone else, in the same ways, how can you expect to achieve better performance? To establish a competitive advantage, a company must deliver its distinctive value through a distinctive value chain. It must perform different activities than rivals or perform similar activities in different ways.

No.2. Confusing competitive advantage with "what you're good at."
Correction: Building on strength is a good thing, but when it comes to strategy, companies are too often inward looking and therefore likely to overestimate their strengths. You might perceive customer service as a strong area. So that becomes the "strength" on which you attempt to build a strategy. But a real strength for strategy purposes has to be something the company can do better than any of its rivals. And "better" because you are choosing to meet different needs and performing different activities than they perform, because you've chosen a different configuration for your value chain than they have
Mistake No.3: Pursuing size above all else, because if you're the biggest, you'll be more profitable.
Correction: There is at least a grain of truth in this thinking, which is precisely what makes it so dangerous. But before you assume that bigger is always better, it is critical to run the numbers for your business. Too often the goal is chosen because it sounds good, whether or not the economics of the business support the logic. In industry after industry, Porter notes that economies of scale are exhausted at a relatively small share of industry sales. There is no systematic evidence that indicates that industry leaders are the most profitable or successful firms. To cite one notorious example, General Motors was the world's largest car company for a period of decades, a fact that didn't prevent its descent into bankruptcy. To the extent that size mattered at all, it might be more accurate to say that GM was too big to succeed. Meanwhile, BMW, small by industry standards, has a history of superior returns. Over the past decade (2000-2009), its average return on invested capital was 50 percent higher than the industry average. Companies only have to be "big enough," which rarely means they have to dominate. Often "big enough" is just 10 percent of the market.
Thanks to Joan Magretta / Blogs HBR / Harvard Business School Publishing