Why we buy what we buy and sell what we sell?

I have been in a lot of situations with my friends where I have debated about my craze and love for Apple products. And I always tell them it just doesn’t feel right to buy some other competitive products, no matter how good the specification is or value of money it be. I invest into buying the products thinking about the long-term and intrinsic value it creates. I came across this video at the Bootcamp session in the first week of the Master of Entrepreneurship Class and it just iterated and explained exactly how I feel about products I buy and the services I have subscribed to.

The idea of Golden circle: Why, What and How should exactly be the criteria of thinking about growing your business or buying products and services from other businesses. And that makes all the difference!

Sorry for irregular posts, I have never dealt with such a crazy schedule before. And that is my learning curve in gaining the social, developmental, technical and managerial skills all in one go!

And coincidently, one of the missions of Ross School of Business is Action based Leadership! Enjoy this awesome video.



The White Leopard (Not Snow)

So this has been a long break from writing and I suddenly feel an urge of starting it all over again. But a lot has happened all this while in countries, businesses and people. There are elections coming in the US, the internal conflicts in India has been rising over corruptions and scandals, the Chinese businesses are leading their way in producing cheaper consumer products, the world is turning to renewable energies, Apple is making amazing products, Samsung is jealous and climate change, we realize, is not a hoax. But, in between all of these the best thing that I did my dream internship at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and then went to Berlin to visit a friend and then Falera, Switzerland (Breathtaking village between the swiss alps and 2 hours ride from Zurich) for an International Summer University in Energy. The urge to travel from a long time finally got fulfilled, and trust me friends travelling alone is the best thing you can ever do to yourself.

Soon after my stint from the Summer program, I am finally back to my place and nothing is as beautiful as your home and the of course food with spices you get in India (which was badly missing in Europe). Just when I was sorting out my library (with sole intention to dust it), I got my hands on a book called The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, which won the booker prize in 2008. I completed that book in one go and I liked the way the author described the rave India with a lot of intended pun addressing the story to the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. This book is a story of a poor young boy from Rural India on how he gets corrupt and transform himself in the process of becoming an Entrepreneur. I realized that’s true with most of the people in India who actually don’t earn their Cheeseburger in a day, and there are millions of them. From the rich tradition to ravanous politics, this is the story of India. The India of all small things, we’ll talk about god later.

We talk our Indian Premier, who is known as the Silent man of India, the prime minister. He recently introduced FDI in retail, hiked diesel prices etc to give a boost to the Indian Economy despite of failed attempts to stop corruption in his own team. There were protests meanwhile from various personalities and all of them are tired and quiet now. The opposing government tries to pinpoint the government on policy changes and various other issues in the states or elsewhere. This is how the coalition government works and in democracy, there will always been someone losing in the whole process, that is the Common man. Just as described in the book The White Tiger, the boy who understands the system, gets into it and become successful from misdoings ( there are a lot of ‘success stories’ like that) and then become the Entrepreneur of principles for the people of his own company. And he was called the White Tiger. We need someone like that to run our country. The one who adapts to the system, gets into it and has one vision in his/her mind, to grow urban India as well the rural India and nor his team or him has accounts in Swiss banks. Then, he will be known as the White Leopard among the Black bulls. I believe there is some white leopard in the making. The Leader of leaders.

Ah, I love Swiss chocolates!

A Piece of Paper

As the clock struck past thirty minutes to seven, I approached the tutor who just left the class with a spellbinding session on English Usage and Vocabulary. I introduced my blog to him, and asked him for a topic to crib upon. In a fitting second, he tore a piece of paper from a book and gave it to me. And this left me baffled for a moment with a subject I can creatively ponder upon.

A Piece of Paper 

What does a piece of paper mean to all of us? Metaphorical or hyperbolical?

For some its an unfulfilled dream. For some a leadership style. For some a factoid. But for many, it was living.

Piece of paper is a symbol of creating history. Today, the essence of paper is soft-pedaled due to the emerging work-flow on the internet and the discovery of manmade machines. All the ancient scriptures, manuscripts, inventions and stories are made on this finest invention of the Chinese. Without it, the world would not have been more compact. The world’s best poetries were written on that piece of paper in the woods, or in the dark. It has an impact which is far-lived and implausible. A best piece of paper is often a rare piece of art and thoughtfulness. It is a tool, not just for those creative heretics, but for the commons.

A dream is not broken, until it’s not lived. A piece of paper symbolizes dream which is not lived. I believe, until and unless we don’t put in enough efforts to live it, we are like that torn piece of paper. As we say nothing is rewritten, but pre-written. With that one piece, we can make destiny dance over dreams.

Leadership is a behavior which is observed and experienced by many. Be it small or big. A piece of paper is a piece, even if its big or small. Just like it, leadership is like that piece of paper. Some have more stories to the journey, and some just enough to inspire. Leadership is not just leading by choice, but by example. A piece of paper is a simple epigram to those journeys based on values and leadership without complexities.

A factoid is an information bowl shared and exchanged from nations to companies to individuals. It is an agreement, a bond, a policy, an article and a shredded trash. A piece of paper is thus a utility for the commons, and a more day-to-day necessity. Be it anything, anywhere.

When I talk about living, ask the ones who have lived their heart out on a novel, a book, a prose or a poetry which instigated revelations and revolutions. To those ancient messengers, an eighteenth century poet, a twentieth century architect or a nineteenth century infamous sci-fi novelist, they know how understatement a piece of paper is. That was a living worth the dime, and for the dime. It has created almost everything and anything we see around. And we know that life’s simple inventions has created the best discoveries. That is living, by that piece of paper, and for that piece of paper.

Just so that we don’t make a satire out of sarcasm, we can add meaning to it ourselves.

One important task to do : Take an A4 Size paper, and list down all the words which you want to live, or experienced before. And then encircle it if lived. And then see a story taking over. You never know, if history has it.

I have been doing it myself and I love it when I glance it each morning. The feeling makes me want to experience more and live more.

Geese and Team Leadership

From the times of Local Congress and finally discharged from the role I took one year back, played a part and lived the moments. There is one session which was much-needed and the things which I learned last year was portrayed by the Vice Chancellor of Auro University, from his experience. Team Leadership is not a one time thing, but a role vital enough to grow forward. Organizations are not run by individuals, but in synchronization with different people in your team and outside it.

One example, which he gave was that of a fleet of geese flying in sync at the time of migration from one place to another, thousand miles away. The fleet of those geese has a behavior in shape of “V’. Why this shape? What is the significance? And as we find out , the geese collectively are 71% more efficient than a single goose flying. They support each other, and take positions and the leader geese is the one exposed to take maximum air resistance in the front, and as soon he is tired, he goes at the end of the “V” fleet and the one who was behind leads the front complementing each other. They quack, just so that the momentum keeps on going and they could cover the distance more effectively. This is what is with Team Leadership. Individuals are not successful, until they have a successful team to work with. We are a geese in a team, and not the permanent geese. Soon, as one goose is sick and tired and is out of the “V”, the geese who are flying together comes to support him and make a fleet of “V” there.

We talk about leadership and people, but the individuals are not where they are until they are a good team leader. Thus, in human behavior too, this “V” signifies WE and not ME. I believe in it.

People always can have their own stint, but there are other people making what you are and taking you to the pinnacle.

Jokes and Leadership

Reading the modern classic The Joke and its relation to the unconscious by Sigmund Freud, the introduction quoted that jokes are more or less like dreams, it comes from the  intricacies of an unconscious mind. And when I stressed the brain vein, I feel there is a co-relation between the attribute of Leadership and the witticism of intended puns.

Leadership, I believe is the sum of all the experiences which are of external relevance and internal realizations. Leader is always a joker, not literally but unconsciously. He is the one who manages the minds of the people, taking care of the processes and making it efficient, imbibing rationalism and cultural democracy and is the representation of a department or an organization. So externally, he is the one who deals with the different chords and strings. But internally, he is the most silent person.

Americans always believe in the power of words and the reason to comment. That ways, they are rationally more sound, democratic and are effectively using the freedom of speech. A leader, thus has to be the one who penetrates till the bottom of the pyramid to make himself socially more approachable and for that jokes is the most effective tool.  In my term as a president of a student-run organization, someone asked me ” Why are you so serious always?” and that statement recapitulated me and I thought over it and from then on there was a huge change in my approach of dealing with different minds.

The best example of a leader and a joker is that of Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin who was the legendary artist in the silent film era, who eventually co-founded the United Artists film distribution company and turned out to be an independent film-maker. He made a difference in million lives towards his approach towards the society and its political happenings. He was a joker for all, but a leader in a true sense.

Balancing the conscious self and the unconscious with an art to pursue people by charm and wit is one attribute of an effective leader. This will help one revive and revise the art of being a leader.

So, Be a joker of your life, no matter what position you hold or what organization you belong.

Take it, to the limit, one more time.