Wednesday, December 30, 2009

“Set SMART Resolutions for New Year – 2010” – Prof.M.S.Rao

“Success is the product of successive setbacks” – Prof.M.S.Rao

Dear friends,

I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year 2010

As we approach New Year we need to set our resolutions which must be SMART. First of all, take stock of your achievements in the year 2009. And, of course, look for setbacks as well. Examine why you did not reach your goals. Was it due to internal or external factors? If it were due to internal factors you need to accept the facts and own responsibility. If it were due to external factors such as disturbances or distractions you don’t have to worry much.

Before you set your goals, be specific. That means what do you want become or what do you want to achieve in the year 2010. Unless you have clarity and be specific it becomes difficult to achieve your goals.

You need to measure your goals. How long does it take to reach your goals? Quantifying the same helps you in moving forward smoothly. Thirdly you must be able to achieve the goals. If you set the goals which are beyond your human limitations, you get discouraged. Therefore, set achievable goals. The goals have to be reasonable and realistic. These should not be based on fantasy or daydreaming. Finally you need to check the status of your goals which is possible only when you can track time to time. It is also about reviewing for the results and taking feedback. If you did not achieve, you must be able to check where the problem was. It enables you to stay focused on your goals.

After setting the goals, it is time for your action, involvement, efforts and energies. If you feel that the goal is big, then break it into small parts and execute. Don’t get distracted with minor disturbances and diversions. Get back to the main track and start moving. Stay away from negative people who may throw a spanner into your good works. Keep moving ahead with a firm optimism and confidence that one day is your day.

Therefore, don’t wait. Set SMART resolutions and hit bull’s eye.

All the best

Be Well,

Saturday, December 26, 2009

"Telugu Talli Is Bleeding - Stay United, Come What May" - Prof.M.S.Rao

Love your mother but don’t hate others’ mother. Love your caste, region, religion, language and community. But don’t hate others’ caste, region, religion, language and community.

The current crisis in Andhra Pradesh has left deep scars among Telugu hearts. People are getting divided on regional lines emotionally. It is mainly due to the vested interests of political parties. It is the movement sparked by politicians who have been rejected by the electorates. It is an attempt to boost their sagging morale. Adding fuel to the fire, there are several new players who are fishing in the troubled waters. It is a situation where everyone is trying to hit the limelight at any cost in the name of fasts. If fake fasts go on in this way, nobody would take fasts seriously in future. If the current situation is not managed properly, it will develop deeper ill-feelings and further differences among the people of all regions. In that case, it would become a tough task to heal their wounds.

Politicians are poisoning the minds of the people for their political gains. Do not develop hatred against your brothers of other regions. Don’t get into the trap of politicians who never die for people, but let innocent people die for them. Spot those culprits and keep them at a bay.

Our Telugu Talli has three sons – Telangana, Rayalaseema and Andhra. She would weep when one of her sons wants to be separated. For any mother, all children are equal. No mother likes the separation of her sons as she alone knows the pain of separation. If there are any differences, let three sons sit together across the table, negotiate and resolve their differences amicably without hurting Telugu Talli.

Germans were hurt when Germany was separated. They were excited when they were united. Let us learn lessons out of unification and maintain the geographical unity of Andhra Pradesh.

Media at the regional level should play a constructive role in appreciating the commonalities rather than highlighting the differences among Telugus. It should place the facts and figures dispassionately forgetting the competition they have among themselves.

The intellectuals should come forward to enlighten the people about the facts. Let us keep the secessionist elements at bay. If a particular region has not progressed, what were the politicians of the region doing until now? It is the politicians of the region who must be made accountable and responsible for backwardness of the region. They should accept the blame and look at the ways and means to set right the regional imbalances.

Resolving the Tangle:

Telangana, Rayalaseema and Andhra have different dialects, but the language is Telugu. You cannot divide a State just because of different dialects. Address the issue of backwardness politically. If there is no proportional representation, find out and explore ways and means to represent a particular region proportionately in terms of employment, festivals and local cultures.

India is a land of unity in diversity. So is the case of Andhra Pradesh where people of all faiths and regions live together with fraternity. We need to respect the diversity not by dividing but by recognizing and acknowledging. We cannot keep dividing States just because of diversities. If it were so, then every district would become a separate State.

It appears that Telanganites are asking for fair share but not a separate State. However the Telangana leaders are asking for separate State for their political survival and success. There is a clear difference between asking for a separate State and asking for a fair share. The problem currently is for fair share. Therefore, address the issue accordingly.

Telanganites are not against fellow Andhrites and Rayalaseemites. They want fair share of cake. However the politicians are exploiting the current situation. Let us look at the root of the problem. It is basically for fair share not separate state. The Telangana leaders have converted it as a separate statehood for their political gains and survival. All Telugus are one although their dialects are different. All Telugus have one heart although their physical bodies are different. Let people realize and respect and let not the political leaders incite people on regional lines.

Role of Students:

Students should focus on their goals rather than focusing on politics in campus. They must take care of their careers. They should have clearly defined goals to stay focused. They should take care of their parents who pinned their hopes in them. If they are so much interested in politics, they can take up politics as a career after completion of their academic qualifications. They should be mature enough to realize the gimmicks of politicians who are using them as pawns. If anything goes wrong, their parents would suffer. No politician dies in fast unto death leaving exceptional leaders like Potti Sreeramulu. And everybody cannot become Potti Sreeramulu. The present day politicians focus more on their self interests rather than the interests of the people.

Stay United, Come What May:

All Telugus should rationally think and act. Don’t become emotional and get incited by notorious politicians. I emotionally appeal to all Telugu fraternity cutting across caste, religion, regional, national and geographical barriers to stay united to defeat the politicians who are misusing the youth for their political gains. I appeal them to remain calm, cool and composed.

Always take pride of being an Indian and being a Telugu but not being a Talanganite or Andhrite or Rayalaseemite. Jai Hind!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas and New Year Greetings to Bloggers - Prof.M.S.Rao, Where Knowledge is Wealth, India

Dear Bloggers,

I wish you a very happy Christmas and New Year.

I thank all of you for your overwhelming support and comments. Since I cannot reply to everyone individually, I am conveying you the greetings through this blog.

You may post your valuable comments directly on the blog itself to add value to the readers as well as to appreciate your ideas and viewpoints.

Always remember one thing in your life, 'Failure is only a comma, not a full stop'.

Be well,

Prof.M.S.Rao, India

Trainer, Teacher and Author

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

“All Telugus across the World Must Unite” – Prof.M.S.Rao

Love your mother but don’t hate others’ mother. Love your caste, region, religion, language and community. But don’t hate others’ caste, region, religion, language and community.

The current crisis in Andhra Pradesh has left deep scars among Telugu hearts. People are getting divided on regional lines emotionally. It is mainly due to the vested interests of political parties. It is the movement sparked by politicians who have been rejected by the electorates. It is an attempt to boost their sagging morale. Adding fuel to the fire, there are several new players who are fishing in the troubled waters. It is a situation where everyone is trying to hit the limelight at any cost in the name of fasts. If fake fasts go on in this way, nobody would take fasts seriously in future. If the current situation is not managed properly, it will develop deeper ill-feelings among the people of all regions. In that case, it would become a tough task to heal their wounds.

Our Telugu Talli has three sons – Telangana, Rayalaseema and Andhra. She would weep when one of her sons is willing to be separated. For any mother, all children are equal. No mother likes the separation of her sons. If there are any differences, let three sons sit together and resolve the differences without hurting Telugu Talli.

Germans were hurt when Germany was separated. They were excited when they were united. Let us learn lessons out of unification and maintain the geographical unity of Andhra Pradesh.

Media should play a constructive role in appreciating the commonalities rather than highlighting the differences among Telugus. It should place the facts and figures dispassionately whatever the competition they have among themselves.

The intellectuals should come forward to enlighten the people about the facts. Let us keep the secessionist elements at bay. If a particular region has not progressed, let us find out why it has not progressed. What were the politicians of the region doing until now? It is the politicians of the region who must be made accountable and responsible for backwardness of the region. They should accept the blame and look at the ways and means to set right the regional imbalances.


All Telugus should rationally think and act. Don’t become emotional and get incited by notorious politicians. I emotionally appeal to all Telugu fraternity cutting across caste, religion, regional, national and geographical barriers to stay united to defeat the politicians who are misusing the youth for their political gains. I appeal them to remain calm, cool and composed.

Always take pride of being an Indian and being a Telugu but not being a Talanganite or Andhrite or Rayalaseemite. Jai Hind

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

“Lagadapati is the Actor, Ram Gopal Varma is the Director – What is KCR?” – Prof.M.S.Rao

The way Lagadapati escaped from the government hospital in Vijayawada and appeared in NIMS (Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences) hospital in Hyderabad yesterday (21 Dec 2009) looks like yet another action flick of Hollywood. Lagadapati alighted the auto rickshaw and ran inside the hospital and jumped over the bed. It all demonstrates his better acting skills and, of course, his high energy levels. Probably Ram Gopal Varma (who is fondly called Ramu in the film industry) might be the script writer and Lagadapati proved well by enacting effectively. We need to applaud the media for telecasting the incident number of times in television channels.

Ramu helped Lagadapati when they studied in Siddhartha Engineering College, Vijayawada. Of course, Lagadapati was one year junior to him in college. Ramu was basically a helpful person by nature and helped Lagadapati in college rivalries. Perhaps Ramu might have also helped Lagadapati this time also.

The incident provides entertainment for movie buffs who like to enjoy Lagadapati’s actions. It also serves as a trigger for weaving a story for making a film.

Lagadapati Rajagopal is the Member of Parliament from Vijayawada constituency of Andhra Pradesh (India) with political ambitions. He wants to fill the political vacuum created due to the death of Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy by fighting the cause of united Andhra Pradesh.

It is very strange to note the way he gave slip both in Vijayawada and NIMS, Hyderabad.

Probably K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) must be thinking for not acting so well like Lagadapati when he fasted unto death recently. It must be because KCR does not have a good friend like Ram Gopal Varma to enact better.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Do You Have Internal Locus of Control?" - Prof.M.S.Rao

Tim was laid off from research department due to recession. Most of the employees were panicked with the news of sudden lay off. Until then, a few individuals were boasting off within the research department by claiming that they had better career opportunities elsewhere. Suddenly these faces turned sorrow due to the closure. These individuals were planning to ask for a raise from the employer and they were blaming the research department for not paying handsome salaries.

Now the same people were on the run for employment as they could not digest the news. They requested the employer for outplacement in their affiliate institutions. The tone and tenor of these people subdued and there was no charm and overconfidence. These people began blaming the fate. Finally the organization was kind enough to accommodate few of them in affiliate institutions. However, Tim was cool and composed as he believed in his abilities and capabilities. He took it in his stride smilingly as he was a workaholic and who always believed in turning around the tide because he had high internal locus of control. He rose from ranks by the dint of hard work.

He applied for couple of jobs outside, short listed and joined in a better position than what he was in the research department. He never cursed his fate. In contrast, he pulled all the strings mentally and then physically and had his own way. How many people would be like Tim who could control the external forces and factors without blaming destiny?

The place where he worked went for downsizing and he was laid off again. However, he was unperturbed as he had undergone such trials and tribulations since childhood. This time, he changed his strategy and decided not to work in any organization but start freelancing in his passionate areas of teaching and training. Ultimately Tim donned the hat of a consultant because of his rich experience and expertise and began successful innings as an entrepreneur. What do you call the attitude of Tim? Was it his ability to turn around the external forces and factors to his convenient or inability to succumb to external pulls and pressures thus blaming destiny? Succinctly, Tim converted recession as an opportunity. He displayed high internal locus of control and reinvented himself.

Individuals with high internal locus of control know how to convert their weaknesses into strengths as they are pretty good at converting their external threats into opportunities. In this world, there are two categories of individuals – the individuals with internal locus of control and the individuals with external locus of control. Individuals are said to be having internal locus of control when they believe that their actions are guided by internal forces and factors. In contrast, individuals are said to be having external locus of control when they believe that their actions are guided by external forces and factors. It all depends on the individual’s mindset.

Individuals in their teenage dream and fantasize a lot and think of controlling the destiny. The same goes on as one ages up to some stage of life. However, as the individuals experience several encounters, the locus of control changes from internal to external as they think that external forces prevent them from reaching goals. As one gets older, the physical energy decreases as well. As a result, individuals become external gradually in locus of control. However, when we look at extraordinary individuals, we find them demonstrating internal locus of control throughout their lives as they strongly believe in themselves.

Individuals with internal locus of control rarely blame others for their failures. In contrast, individual with external locus of control often pin the blame on others for all their problems. When we look at leaders we find their ability to turn the tides in their favor and reaching their goals at any cost. High internal locus of control is one of the ingredients of effective leaders. To possess internal locus of control, follow the below nuggets:

• Convert your internal monologue to positive if it happens to be negative.
• Have firm faith in yourself. Never surrender yourself to fate.
• Be confident and optimistic that every dog has its day.
• Be cool, calm and composed during crisis.
• Consult others when you face uncertainty and complexity.
• Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time) goals.
• Never give in, never give up.

Everything is possible in this world when you have a strong dream with high internal locus of control. Never blame destiny. Rather bend and blend to your end.

The End

Hidden Data of Communication - Prof.M.S.Rao

“Who told you to hand over the resumes to Jim?” shouted Susan. Ron replied, “You told me when I asked”. Susan was infuriated and said, “I did not tell you to hand over to Jim but to John”. Ron responded, “You told me to hand over the resumes to HR manager and Jim is the HR manager and, therefore, I handed over to him. Why do you shout at me now? Is it a big issue worth shouting?” Susan shouted, “Stop talking all that you don’t know how to behave with others. Your behaviour is very bad.” Ron didn’t want to hurt Susan and coolly said, “Tell me, in which way my behaviour is bad so that I can correct myself.”

That was the heated conversation between Susan and Ron who were working in an organization where Ron and Susan work together. Ron did not know that Jim and Susan does not gel each other as they don’t enjoy amicable relations. Besides, there was communication gap between Susan and Ron in the office.

One of the reasons for failed communication is that people develop filters where the listener takes only what is required thereby discarding the vital information in communication given by the speaker.

Second reason is that information is not communication as any communication should have an element of feedback. No communication is effective and complete until the given instructions are confirmed. Susan failed to take feedback to her instructions. She should have asked, “Ron, I hope you understood the information”.

Thirdly, there is difference between assuming and presuming during communication. Susan assumed that Ron would hand over resumes to John whereas Ron presumed that the resumes were to be handed over to HR manager, Jim.

Fourthly, in every organization we find some people not getting on well with others due to personal preferences and tastes and temperaments. However, it is essential to keep personal preferences away from professional duties. Otherwise, the communication in organization would break down.

Above all, Susan has the attitude of ‘I am the boss’ which created attitude of ‘So what’ in Ron. Susan and Ron also don’t gel with each other as it was rumored that she troubled several colleagues whenever they had to work on projects in the organization. Ron too would have worked with Susan in a project and subsequently Ron withdrew and replaced Susan with another person with whom he was comfortable to work with. Susan also heard in the office that Ron was a difficult person to handle as he was adamant by nature. All these things led to heated conversation between Susan and Ron. In fact, something bugged Susan and she exploited the situation to tame Ron but failed.

There is hidden data in communication such as feelings, emotions and egos which needs to be observed in the given context. One needs intelligence to read the feelings and emotions of individuals which will affect the communication process. Therefore, next time when you come across with any conflict at workplace look for hidden data of communication to read between the lines and avert conflicts.

The End

Avoiding Presentation Mistakes - Prof.M.S.Rao

When Stephen was invited to deliver Pre-dinner talk for bank officers in a staff training college he was excited to deliver presentation. Stephen was given an opportunity to choose the topic and he instantly chose ‘leadership development’ as he was passionate and confident on this topic. He was a reputed teacher and trainer in the area of leadership development. Stephen was comfortable with the topic. However he prepared the content related to banking also as the leadership development was meant for the senior executives in the banking sector.

When the D-day came in Stephen broke the ice and began the presentation. The response was not extra-ordinary. The mood of the audience was not upbeat as expected. Since Stephen believed in taking the feedback, he sought feedback from the training coordinator about the presentation.

The training coordinator was tactful in giving feedback. Over the discussion it revealed that Stephen delivered presentation the way he delivered for students. Usually when students are taught in academic institutions, there is need for emphasizing on concepts followed by case studies, examples and interaction. In teaching it is more of preaching and sharing knowledge. However, when it comes to training senior executives what is needed is to share experiences rather than giving theoretical concepts. Training also involves converting existing knowledge into skills as the bank executives have already possessed the knowledge of the topic. Stephen failed to differentiate between teaching and training and failed to analyze the audience needs effectively. It resulted into an average performance.

The second mistake was that Stephen added too many slides during presentation with lot of research findings and quotations and most of the time was spent in slide show and the audience lost the touch with the speaker and interest as the interaction was less and information was more. It was a kind of information load to the audience. Teachers have the attitude to share lot of information, ideas and knowledge while the trainers have the art of delivering through visuals, interaction, with anecdotes, examples, storytelling and humor. Stephen delivered presentation like a preacher and teacher not like a trainer who activates and energizes the audience so as to make the presentation effective.

The third mistake was the timing of the presentation. During pre-dinner talk the executives have already been exhausted with other activities as it was evening time. Stephen failed to add humor in his presentation and failed to quickly connect with audience. Had the presentation been during morning time the audience would have been charged up easily to listen to several theoretical inputs as they start the day fresh. However in pre-dinner talk, the audience was already engrossed with activities till evening. And charging up the audience and during the post lunch and evening is indeed a Herculean task.

The fourth mistake he made was to deliver continuously without giving any pauses and gauging the body language of the audience. No doubt, Stephen had tremendous knowledge but he should have allowed audience during his presentation with pauses. Pause will help the audience to understand, appreciate and applaud the speaker. His presentation was like a running commentary without any let-up.

During presentation it is essential to gauge the body language of the audience and change the strategy accordingly. For instance, when the audience feels bored with content, it is time to switch over the content to couple of examples and anecdotes. Else it is advisable to make them participate by shooting them with questions, “How many of you agree with this information?” Posing questions will make the audience alert and get into the presentation process effectively. Interaction is the key to effective presentation, when the audience happens to be small.

Therefore whenever you are invited to deliver your presentation, find out the timing, share your experiences by adding humor if it happened to be post lunch and evening. Assess the body language and change your strategies accordingly. Above all, you need to differentiate between teaching and training. Good luck.

The End

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Benjamin Franklin's Greatest Soft Skills

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.” - Benjamin Franklin

Usually we find leaders like Alexander the Great and Abraham Lincoln doing extraordinary things but not writing enough intellectual material during their lifetime. We also find philosophers like Socrates and Plato not doing extraordinary things but writing lot of intellectual material leaving for the mankind to think and practice. However, Benjamin Franklin (Ben) was one of the few exceptional leaders in the world who was not only a writer leaving lot of intellectual contributions to the mankind but also did extraordinary things in various capacities in his lifetime providing lot of space for others to write about him. Ben was blend of both words and deeds.

Ben’s character has been built on the virtues and values crafted by him. He followed all these throughout his life. The list of these skills can be called as soft skills in the contemporary context. These skills can also be called as employability skills as every employer looks for these virtues and values.

Every recruiter looks for certain values, virtues, skills and abilities in potential recruits. The expectations and requirements of the employers are rising with the rapid growth in technology. Although technology is a boon to mankind it has become a bane as well due to the rising complexities and uncertainties in the world. The organizations are constantly innovating and evolving themselves in order to stay ahead of others. It is possible only through right selection of people who have basic virtues and values apart from skills and abilities. In this context, it is essential to explain briefly about Benjamin Franklin’s biography.

Ben’s Brief Biography (1706-1790 AD):

“For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.” - Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 17, 1706. He was a multifaceted personality who had the uncanny ability to write as well as to achieve successfully. He was a soldier, writer, thinker, inventor, statesman and politician. He was one of the founding fathers of America. Ben was ambitious and intent on self-improvement right from his childhood. He learnt throughout his life. He invented stove, lightning rod and bifocal lens

Because of his multifaceted personality Franklin has been honored on coinage and currency. Many educational institutions, organizations and places have been named after him because of his outstanding contributions in various capacities. His photo appears on postal stamps as well is a tribute to this legendary leader. Franklin was awarded with honorary degrees in 1753 by both Harvard and Yale University. He was also awarded with honorary doctorate by Oxford University in 1762 for his scientific accomplishments.

Ben was fondly called as Dr. Franklin. He was curious about the things around him. He published ‘Poor Richard’s Almanac’ under the pseudonym of Richard Saunders. His writings influenced many including Andrew Carnegie and Dale Carnegie. He was the brainchild behind self-improvement and personality development books. He was the first American to write autobiography. Ben died on 17 April 1790 leaving trail behind for the mankind.

Ben’s Soft Skills:

“Those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory, sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them.” - Benjamin Franklin

He had passion for learning and growing. He rightly quoted, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” He always championed to open up minds and be receptive to new ideas. The same can be observed from his quote, “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” He inculcated right attitude, personality and behavior through continuous learning. He was almost self-educated without formal education.

He was a good listener as it was evidenced by his quote, “Not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own and more is to be learned with the ear than the tongue.” Listening is one of the traits of effective leaders. With his negotiation skills, he persuaded the French to support American Revolution. He successfully demonstrated his diplomatic skills.

Ben never believed in wasting precious time. He was a very good time manager. Else he would not have achieved all these things within his lifetime. Ben’s slogan was “Time is money.”

He was a risk taker with entrepreneurial bent of mind. He was a net worker and motivator who emphasized on self-improvement. He was an excellent communicator. He built successful teams and led from the front whether he set up franchise system of printing shops or in politics. He was a skillful negotiator and diplomat. All these skills of learning, listening, time management, team building, leadership, listening, negotiation and communication skills fall in the category of soft skills. These skills are much sought after by the employers currently. Therefore, these can be called as employability skills.

Ben listed 12 virtues to follow and declared them to his friends proudly. One of his friends a Quaker criticized him for not having included humility which was essential for everyone and especially more for Ben as he was always boastful. Subsequently Ben included humility as the thirteenth virtue in the list thereby making thirteenth virtue. These 13 virtues of Ben can be called as soft skills and also as employability as the potential recruiters are looking for these values.

Ben stands for success. At 17 he was penniless and at 42 he was wealthy. It could happen because of his 13 virtues. Let us look at the thirteen principles listed in his autobiography which are worth following for becoming all-rounded personality. Follow these skills regularly with each skill for a week continuously to integrate and ingrain within your personality. These virtues build right attitude and personality thus bringing out behavioral changes for your personal and professional success:

1. Temperance: Eat not dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself, avoid trifling conversation.
3. Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have it's time.
4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; waste nothing.
6. Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. Sincerity: Use no harmful deceit; think innocently and justly; and if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. Justice: wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. Moderation: Avoid extremes; forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.
11. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, nor at accidents.
12. Chastity: Be chaste in matters with the opposite sex.
13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Interpretation of Each Virtue:

“It is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness and I pronounce it as certain that there was never a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.” - Benjamin Franklin

Each virtue of Ben is substituted in the present context as:
1. Temperance: Eat and drink within the healthy limits.
2. Silence: Always talk meaningful and avoid gossips.
3. Order: Organize yourself properly.
4. Resolution: Set your goals firmly and proceed with energy and enthusiasm.
5. Frugality: Don’t waste anything unnecessarily.
6. Industry: Don’t waste your precious time. Always employ and engage yourself productively.
7. Sincerity: Have integrity and honesty.
8. Justice: Always be fair and just.
9. Moderation: Lead balanced life but not with eccentricity.
10. Cleanliness: Always be clean physically and present yourself professionally.
11. Tranquility: Don’t bother for external disturbances arising out of external forces and factors beyond your control.
12. Chastity: Maintain purity. Good character.
13. Humility: Be simple, humble and assertive


“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” - Benjamin Franklin

Ben was a legend in the history of America. He had fascination for innovation. He was respected initially because of his scientific inventions and accomplishments. Humility is the hallmark of Ben. Although he was immodest in his initial period of life, he reinvented himself and became simple and humble.

Ben was an altruist. His virtues and values depict the present day soft skills and employability skills. These are essential forever as long as the human civilization survives. Ben walked the talk throughout his life. He was a trailblazer. Several American leaders follow the ideals and ideas and the virtues and values of Benjamin Franklin. It is time we cherish his ideals and ideas and follow his virtues and values for global peace and prosperity.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Training the Leadership Talent - Prof.M.S.Rao

“A business short on capital can borrow money. But a business short of leadership has little chance of survival.” - Peter Drucker

Currently some companies are struggling for their survival due to recession. It indicates that there is dearth of leadership talent across the world and urgent need for honing the same. Warren G. Bennis rightly put, “Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led.” Both the failing and struggling organizations need to realize that it is more of leadership rather than managerial challenge.

Recession has thrown several challenges across the world. But when viewed positively, recession offers more opportunities than threats. With an intention to cut the costs the organizations are in a hurry to axe on training and development. It is indeed a retrograde step.

In fact, it is the right time for companies to concentrate on training and development as during peak times they are all busy with booming economic activities. Now it is the time to cool off from overheated work activities.

Engage the employees actively in learning and development as it prepares the ground for booming period. It is like grooming the employees ready for a bullish period. If the budget is not adequate, engage the senior managers and leaders from within the organization in taking up the training programs for their employees so that they get in close touch with their employees in the name of training programs. They get to know the practical problems faced by the employees at the lower level as well. It engages the senior staff actively and briskly for institutional building and organizational development rather than being concerned about recession. The employees too appreciate the good gesture of their employers for widening their mental horizons as well as for not firing them during downturn. Since employers handhold their employees during downturn, the employees will extend their hands to their employers during upturn. It promotes long term bonding between employers and employees leading to better productivity and performance and employee loyalty.

If organizations feel that it is inevitable for budget cuts, they can cut down expenses arising out of hiring external facilitators and trainers and bank on existing in-house experts in building strong leadership potential.

During downturn the organizations should upgrade the talent by engaging employees constructively and creatively. Instead of fighting against their employees they should take the support of their employees and fight against recession. They should explore other areas and avenues of cost cutting.

The secret behind the success of several global companies is their continuous investment in the learning and development. These companies focus more in innovation and creativity during downturns and reap rewards during subsequent upturns.

We encourage unemployed individuals going for higher studies and courses during downturns. Similarly organizations should encourage their existing employees to prepare ground for organizational growth and prosperity as it is the right opportunity. Instead of treating training as an expense the companies should treat training as an investment and hone the skills of their employees.

The End

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Book Review by Prof.M.S.Rao – “Leadership and the One Minute Manager” by Ken Blanchard, Patricia Zigarmi and Drea Zigarmi (Harper Collins Publishers)

Today I read a book titled ‘Leadership and the One Minute Manager’ by Ken Blanchard, Patricia Zigarmi and Drea Zigarmi (Harper Collins Publishers). It took four hours for me to read this book. It has valuable takeaways for all and especially for managers and leaders.

The entire book revolves around the first hand experience of an entrepreneur with One Minute Manager (OMM) and his people. The book dwells at length on situational leadership and how to use a specific leadership style as per the situation. OMM dons several hats as per the situation.

The book sets a conversational tone between the entrepreneur and the OMM and OMM’s partners. At the end; the entrepreneur takes away the skills and styles essential for becoming a situational leader. The book provides several exhibits which are informative and interesting for the readers.

The book briefly explains four basic leadership styles such as directing, coaching, supporting and delegating.

The directing (Style 1) is for people who lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed (D1). They need direction and feedback to get them started. The coaching (Style 2) is for people who have some competence but lack commitment (D2). They need direction and feedback because they are still relatively inexperienced. They also need support and praised to build their self-esteem, and involvement in decision-making to restore their commitment.

The supporting (Style 3) is for people who have competence but lack confidence or motivation (D3). They do not need much direction because of their skills, but support is necessary to bolster their confidence and motivation. The delegating (Style 4) is for people who have both competence and commitment (D4). They are able and willing to work on a project by themselves with little supervision or support. In all these styles the support of the leader decreases gradually from Style 1 to Style 4. For instance, when a fresher (fresh graduate) joins in an organization the leader has to adopt S1 style. As the fresher learns, the leader has to shift the style of orbit to S2, S3 and finally S4 where the fresher becomes non-fresher, i.e. experienced individual.

Directive vs. Supportive Behaviour:

Directive behaviour contains structure, organize, teach and supervise and it involves: clearly telling people what to do, how to do it, when to dot it, and then closely monitoring their performance. On the other hand, the supportive behaviour needs praise, listen, ask, explain and facilitate and it involves: listening to people, providing support and encouragement for their efforts and then facilitating their involvement in problem solving and decision-making.

The book uncovers that directing style is appropriate during time constraints and for inexperience people. However, coaching works best when disillusionment sets in the individuals. Participative management style suits best for experienced individuals.

Competence and Commitment:

The person should have both competence and commitment while doing a task. Competence is a function of knowledge and skills, which can be gained from education, training, and /or experience. However, commitment is a combination of confidence and motivation. Confidence is a measure of a person’s self-assuredness a feeling of being able to do a task well without much supervision, where as motivation is a person’s interest in and enthusiasm for doing a task well.

Sutras for Success:

It unveils several sutras for practicing managers and leaders to execute their tasks effectively such as:

1. Don’t work harder – work smarter.
2. Different strokes for different folks.
3. There is nothing so unequal as the equal treatment of unequals.
4. When I slow down, I go faster.
5. Everyone has peak performance potential – you just need to know where they are coming from and meet them there.
6. You can expect more if you inspect more.
7. “When the best leader’s work is done, the people say, ‘we did it ourselves’”- Lao-Tzu.
8. Situational leadership is not something you do to people but something you do with people.
9. Everyone is a potential high performer. So some people just need a little help along the way.

What OMM Says?

• Managers should work for their people.
• Deal people differently. Change style depending on the person working with and on the situation. That is different strokes for different folks and also different strokes for same folks.
• Flexibility, diagnosis and partnering are essential while leading.
• A whole manager is able to use four different leadership styles such as directing, coaching, supporting and delegating.
• Good performers don’t grow on trees. You have to diagnose people and train them.

Leadership Lessons:

• When someone does not understand and doesn’t do well, you need to say, “I made a mistake. I must have given you something to do that you did not understand. Let’s backtrack and start again.”
• Leaders need to do what the people they supervise cannot do for themselves at the present moment.
• Always catch the people doing right things and applaud them.


The OMM concludes with Buddhist saying, “To know and not to use is not yet to know!” At the end of the book the entrepreneur dons the hat of a situational leader with several valuable takeaways from OMM. So do you?

To sum up, OMM walked the talk with flexibility, diagnosis and partnering with entrepreneur by donning several hats as per the situation. The book is a must read for all. It not only gives you valuable inputs but also makes you don as a smart manager and leader as per the situation.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

“Indian President Pratibha Patil’s Historic Feat – Symbol of Indian Women Power” – Prof.M.S.Rao

25 November 2009 is the historic day for the women of India. It is the historic day for the Indian Air Force. It is the historic day for the Indian Armed Forces and to the entire Indians where our President Pratibha Patil who is 74 years old flew Sukhoi-30 MKI supersonic plane successfully.

It is unique in many ways as Pratibha is the first woman President to fly in a war plane and also she is the oldest women to fly in Sukhoi-30 MKI. It is not the success for Pratibha alone. It is, in fact, the success for all Indian women who dare to dream and think big beyond gender barriers.

Pratibha has become a symbol of inspiration for Indian women to look for career in defense forces also by coming out of traditional mindset of working in civilian organizations. It helps Indian women to break the glass ceiling and achieve big. In this context, let us know what ‘glass ceiling effect’ means.

Glass Ceiling Effect:

The glass ceiling effect is all about the artificial barriers that prevent women from moving up to the senior positions within the organizations. It is mainly based on attitudinal or organizational prejudices towards women. In fact, there are certain myths that prevent women from rising from ranks such as women are weak physically and cannot don leadership roles. The truth is that women are better at interpersonal relations and they are emotionally more intelligent than men. They gauge the body language better than men as they are smarter in gauging the hidden data of communication such as egos, emotions and feelings.

It is unfair not to treat women on par with men. Indian organizations should remove the barriers and allow women to rise from ranks on par with men. Indian women are no way behind men in terms of capabilities and competencies. When we look at Indra Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsi company, she broke all traditional barriers and currently she is one of the top powerful women in the world.

The successful flying in Sukhoi by Pratibha Patil is a laudable one. The aircraft flew 2 kilometers above the ground with a speed of 700 to 900 kilometers per hour and the sortie was for 30 minutes. With her inspiring act she connected with Indian women successfully. Indian women should break their mental barriers based on gender and must dream that everything is possible in the world.

With her bravery act Pratibha achieved twin objectives of proving that Indian women have full capability to perform and sent a message to Indian women to seek career in Armed Forces.

Dear President, I salute you wholeheartedly for your act of bravery and inspiring Indian women to dream big. You proved that you are the real Supreme Commander of Indian Armed Forces with your personal example. Keep soaring high.

The End

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sachin Tendulkar – A Living Legend in Indian Cricket

“There are two kinds of batsmen in the world. One, Sachin Tendulkar. Two, all the others.” - Andy Flower

The State of Maharastra would come to a grinding halt if any untoward incident happens for two great personalities – Bal Thackeray and Sachin Tendulkar. Both are living legends but in different fields.

Sachin’s completion of two decades in cricket is a milestone for any player. He is a master blaster and master laster who survived for 20 years in a game called cricket especially where people come and go away from this sport in a short span. The secret of his success is very clear as he always reinvented himself with changing times. He has redrawn the rules of the game with creative strategies and techniques. No amount of his body pain and pressures deterred him from moving ahead. His first and last passion is only Cricket.

Sachin has an amazing talent with great humility. He remains cool and composed both in victory and defeat. His achievements and records are endless. He is highly focused and always believes in hitting the bulls’ eye. During course of cricket journey he shattered several stereotypes and overcame obstacles. Mark Taylor rightly commented, “We did not lose to a team called India … we lost to a man called Sachin Tendulkar.”

He contributed his best without any false ego and is a team player who says, “The important thing is to know your role and play according to the situation. To me, nothing has been more important than winning and whatever my team requires I will try my best to fulfill it.”

Sachin lives in the hearts of billion people across the world. He not only lives in the hearts of Indians but also in the cricket lovers across the world cutting across nationalities. We have been blessed with a great legend like Sachin who makes all Indians to hold their heads high. He says, “I would like to be remembered as someone who tried hard and always gave his best for the country.”

Let us congratulate and salute this living legend on completion of two decades of his dedication and contribution to the sport as well as to our country.

The End

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Skill, Drive and Motivation for Success" - Prof.M.S.Rao

“Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning.” - Denis Waitley

People often confuse between skill and talent and between drive and motivation. While there is a thick line between skill and talent, there is a thin line between drive and motivation. Let us see both the thick and thin line.

Talent and Skill:

Talent is an inborn quality. It is an inborn trait acquired through parents. In contrast, skill is a learned one. You can learn by training, practice, reading, experience and observation. It is an irony that people run in search of skill without focusing on their inborn talents. Success can be easily acquired by focusing on where you are strong at. You need to discover your inner talents and passions to achieve success. However, you cannot downplay the importance of skill. When you emphasize on your talents and acquire skills related to your area of interest, you can taste success easily.

Drive and Motivation:

There is a thin line separates drive and motivation. Motivation is the initial action to start any work while drive takes you forward to complete the task. Drive lies within while motivation comes from outside. When you are passionate about something you get motivated to start off as well as drive yourself with pleasure in pursuing. You need to break the big task into small chunks to get motivated. You need to be driven to complete each small chunk. Thus both motivation and drive are essential to achieving success.

Paul, Steven and Ken:

“Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do” - Norman Vincent Peale

When we look at three individuals – Paul, Steven and Ken, they have unique qualities. Paul has a great skill for writing. He can write any topic at ease. But he is a poor starter and finisher as he lacks motivation and drive. Steven also has skill for writing and has motivation to start off easily but fails to complete the total topic as he lacks drive. Steven starts with a bang and ends with a whimper. When we look at Ken, he is far ahead of both Paul and Steven. He has great skill to write anything and everything. He has motivation to break the big topic into small pieces and completes the task with drive. Therefore, Ken is successful most of the times as he has skill, motivation and drive.

To conclude, talent is innate, skill is honed, and motivation gives you momentum and finally drive takes you forward till end.

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” - Jack Welch

The End

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Case Study from Prof.M.S.Rao - "‘I Am The Boss’ & ‘So What?’"


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to focus on the hidden data of communication such as human feelings, egos and emotions at the workplace resulting into conflicts. It emphasizes the need for independent thinking, (i.e. avoid being instigated by others) and also on the active listening skills that can minimize conflicts. It also outlines the need to separate personal emotions from professional activities.

Design/methodology/approach – It provides a detailed case study in an organization where Susan has the attitude of ‘I am the boss’ and Ron has the attitude of ‘So what?’ resulting into conflict in the workplace.

Findings – The case study highlights the need to communicate with each other rather than developing filters in their minds. Those who work in organizations should not act under the influence of others and they should not misuse their official authority. It concludes that those who are in superior position should open up their minds and set the process of dialogue before taking any extreme action such as humiliating or silencing their subordinates. It provides a few takeaways for working executives to prevent conflicts based on human emotions and feelings.

Research limitations/implications – It outlines the analysis and interpretation of the author. It presents several solutions by looking at the issue from multiple perspectives. It helps the readers to develop their thinking, analytical and creative skills.

Originality/value – The main contribution of this case study is to add value by narrating the incident sequentially thereby creating curiosity among the readers. It provides new perspectives and the real reasons for conflicts at the workplace.

Keywords: Communication and conflict, Conflict management, Hidden data of communication, Personal and psychological conflict, Workplace relations.

Target audience: HR professionals, Researchers, General Managers, Academics, Students and Consultants.

Article Type: Case Study.

Word count: 2430


“Never look who is right and wrong. Always look what is right and wrong.” – Prof.M.S.Rao, Corporate Trainer in Leadership Development.

When you look at individuals there will be involvement of egos and emotions. In contrast, when you look at the issues there will be no individual preferences and prejudices. Better judgment prevails.

Susan was working in a multinational company in India as a Human Resource (HR) Manager. Her role was to recruit the candidates for the company and to ensure smooth functioning of office administration. She was a smart worker and built reputation for herself from superiors for the last five years. The top management also respected and consulted her on crucial decisions. She did not talk to anyone unnecessarily at the work place and she meant business. She was 32 years old. She was bold and beautiful. She was polite and well mannered. She was a woman with strong character. But she was stubborn by nature. However, it was rumored within the organization that she was divorced by her husband because of arrogance and stubbornness.

Ron joined in the same company who was hard working and was yet to prove his abilities and establish his credentials. Before joining this organization, he had 18 years of industry experience in several companies and he was 39 years old. As per the rules of the company, Ron had to work with Susan initially for some period. He was a hard worker and rose from ranks. He learnt bitter lessons in his life and knew the value of life. But he was adamant by nature. Both Ron and Susan respected each other and had been working together.

Susan was introvert, by nature, and rarely mingled with other employees. At the same time, she never kept ill will against anybody. She was a principled woman with worldly experience. She was combination of education, intellect and beauty with grace which was a rare combination for any woman. She was good at heart and helpful. Seeing the close and cordial relations between Susan and Ron, a few people working in the office felt jealousy. Since Susan rarely socialized with others and her cordial relations with Ron upset a few of their colleagues especially two female colleagues - Ann and Beth.

Ron also never socialized with anyone as he believed in his office work although he was an extrovert by nature. Ron initially moved closely with a colleague by name John. But John started speaking ill of Susan to Ron which Ron did not appreciate. John said that Susan was a divorcee and her husband divorced because of her arrogance. He also said that Susan was a woman of weak character. Gradually Ron distanced himself away from John who tried to settle his scores with Susan as they worked together in the past on a project. Ron was basically an independent thinker and never paid attention to such negative comments and he followed his heart rather than looking things from the mind of others. Ron did not appreciate negative things being talked by John against Susan whom he respected from the core of his heart.

Ron’s gelling with Susan cordially upset a few and especially two female colleagues Ann and Beth. They tried to create rift between them by talking ill of Susan with Ron. Ron never liked to entertain negative people and was totally against office politics. Since their strategy failed to work, they attempted to poison the mind of Susan who initially resisted the same. Gradually Susan stopped talking to Ron and the latter did not know the reasons but Ron sensed some problem. However, he interacted with Susan in the same way to keep the things going on smoothly. Since Susan began neglecting Ron, he also began concentrating on work and avoided Susan totally except whenever there was need for official interaction and communication.

In fact, Susan touched the subconscious mind of Ron. As a result, Ron began thinking about Susan oftenly and deeply. Ron was not able to concentrate on his work properly. At heart, Ron was thankful to Susan as she helped him to groove within the system. He developed admiration towards her but never revealed to others at the workplace even to Susan. In brief, Susan touched the heart of Ron.

One day, Susan told Ron to collect resumes from the candidates who came in for walk-in interview. Ron got up from his cubicle and asked her whether to hand over the same to Senior Manager - Rick. She said, “Yes”. Ron was energetic by nature; he rushed immediately to get the resumes and collected from the candidates. Subsequently, Ron rushed to the Senior Manager and handed over the resumes and had conversation with him for some time and came out from the room.

Susan who was waiting outside the Senior Manager’s cabin took Ron to nearby room with anger and shouted at him. Both had heated conversation for some time which is mentioned below:

Susan questioned Ron, “Who told you to hand over the resumes to Senior Manager?”

Ron replied, “When I asked you, you told me to hand over to Senior Manager. Therefore, I handed over to him.”

Susan shouted, “You rushed inside the room. But I told you to hand over to Jim.”

Ron said, “You told me to hand over to Senior Manager. Therefore, I handed over to Rick.” And he added, “Why do you make it a big issue?”

Susan shouted, “You did not listen properly and your behavior is not good”.

Ron did not want to hurt her and asked, “Ok! Tell me, in which way my behavior is bad? I will change my behavior.” He added further, “You keep something else in your mind and talk something else outside. I don’t like this. I am straightforward. I respect you a lot from the core of my heart. But every time, you listen to negative people and rush to wrong conclusions about me.”

Susan said, “Stop talking all that! Next time don’t repeat like this.”

Ron pacified, “Ok! I will not do like this. But it all happened due to your miscommunication and let us close the issue here itself.”

Ron finally said, “I am sorry if there was any mistake on my part”

Susan cooled down her temper and said, “Now you go outside the cabin.”

Ron left the cabin puzzled and shocked. It was first time in his life a woman took him to task for none of his mistakes. Since he respected Susan he didn’t like to hurt her in any way by arguing with her.

Outside the cabin, a few office friends enquired Ron to find out what had happened inside the cabin. He did not reveal what really happened inside the room as he was basically a confidential person by nature.

After 15 minutes, Ron called Susan telephonically and explained clearly that things went wrong due to improper communication. He once again apologized her for the incident. Susan said that she was in a position to take action against him but said that she would not initiate any action against him. Ron asserted that he was not concerned for any kind of action but concerned if Susan was hurt.

The incident depressed Ron for many days as he failed to understand where he went wrong. He was not worried about the incident but more worried as he liked Susan very much. It disturbed his peace and sleep. He sought an appointment with Susan several times to communicate the same but the latter never gave such an opportunity.

Questions to Ponder:

Was it a conflict? If it were a conflict, what led to this conflict?
Was it due to clash of egos or emotions or feelings or miscommunication?
Who was responsible for this conflict - Susan or Ron or both Ann and Beth?
Was there anything hidden between these two personalities?
Did the real issues come up or anything still hidden between these two personalities?
What were the other hidden reasons, if any?

Case Study Analysis:

In any communication, there has to be feedback whether the receiver has understood the message. In this case, Ron rushed to hand over the resumes without taking clear confirmation from Susan. It was mistake on the part of Susan for not taking feedback after her communication. Whatever it may be, it is not an issue worth to become a conflict. There are hidden data of communication such as feelings, emotions and egos which have not been clearly expressed by Susan. Both Susan and Ron developed filters in their minds. In fact, both are equally responsible for this conflict.

Susan has the attitude of ‘I am the boss’ and Ron has the attitude of ‘So what?’. Probably Susan lacked independent and original thinking as she was under the influence of Ann and Beth who were litigants and did not like Susan gelling well with Ron in the initial probationary period. Finally, both Ann and Beth were successful in separating both Susan and Ron by flaring up the issue. In contrast, Ron was not influenced by the negative comments made against Susan by John such as she was a divorcee and she was a woman of weak character with lot of arrogance. Ron was intelligent enough to smell the differences John must have had with Susan as they collectively completed a project in the past. Ron, being an experienced person knows that some differences must have cropped up between both Susan and John while execution of project. Ron was good by nature as he did not like the badmouthing of Susan by John. Right from the beginning Ron had good impression about Susan. Ron never hurt Susan although he was humiliated by Susan in the cabin. Ron was always defensive while Susan was offensive. It shows Ron’s character. Ron was also a gentleman as he did not carry forward the negative comments made by John to Susan. However, Ron was also at fault as he mixed his personal emotions with professional activities thus weakening his position within the organization.

In fact, something bugged Susan that resulted into sudden outburst and thus humiliating Ron. The solution lies only when both Susan and Ron come together and take a relook at the issue and communicate with each other. It not only removes the barriers but also builds the bridges between both of them. It helps in better relations and ensures peaceful working environment.

In any conflict, the real reasons usually don’t surface. Besides, it is very difficult to probe the heart of a woman. Probably Susan was influenced by two negative colleagues Ann and Beth as she lacked independent thinking. She looks like an intellectual fool as she was easily instigated by both Ann and Beth. In brief, Susan was a puppet and Ann and Beth were puppeteers.

It is also a classic example of emotions playing a crucial role in deciding professional relationship. In any working environment, people of opposite sex often develop soft corner and admiration for each other. Same thing happened between Susan and Ron. It seems Ron and Susan like each other internally but they failed to express themselves properly.

At the instigation of Ann and Beth, Susan being a senior succeeded in silencing and humiliating Ron by misusing her official authority as she might have read the signals of Ron’s body language as he liked her. There is also a possibility that Susan made Ron a scapegoat to protect her professional image built over for the last 5 years within the organization. When Ron apologized once again just after the closed door cabin conflict, Susan’s threat of initiating action against Ron was an indication of her superiority complex (bossism, of course, not sadism) and stubbornness and also growing insecurity within herself.

They should keep their personal emotions and feelings away for making the working environment conducive and productive. The attitude of ‘tit for tat’ is no solution for managing the conflicts within the organization. Probably it was the reason why Ron apologized and came out of the cabin after heated arguments. He was intelligent enough to apologize and to come out the cabin, else Susan might fix Ron on sexual harassment case as she was not at all in a mood to think independently and also she was poisoned by Ann and Beth who vitiated the working environment by badmouthing and bringing politics within the organization.

John told Ron that Susan as a woman of weak character with lot of arrogance and it was rumored within the organization that Susan was divorced by her husband due to these reasons. However, Ron did not pay heed to John as it was Susan’s personal matter; if it happened to be true. Ron looked Susan from a very positive perspective like a woman who has huge potential and a long a way to go in her career. Ron was also the kind of person who separates personal matter from professional matter. As Ron distanced John for badmouthing against Susan, Susan too should have distanced from the badmouthing and litigant colleagues. If it were done so, the conflict could have been averted.

It becomes obvious from the case study that Ron is ENTJ (Extravert, Intuitor, Thinker and Judger) type while Susan is ISTJ (Introvert, Sensor, Thinker and Judger) type as per the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). Therefore, it is a clear clash between ISTJ and ENTJ.

Key Learnings:

Both have many similar qualities such as avoiding organizational politics, not meddling into others’ activities, being disciplined and dedicated professionals and confidential (not revealing their inner feelings to others). They both are like poles and repel and only way they attract with each other is that they belong to opposite sex. In fact, both Ron and Susan could make as an excellent team if they come together and it helps the organization as well.

It is essential to emphasize here that personal human weaknesses should not overtake the professional activities. It is also improper to exploit the weaknesses of human beings to establish superiority. If it were so, such conflicts would arise.

Succinctly, the conflict is the result of Ron looking at Susan positively and the Susan looking at Ron negatively under the instigation of her two negative colleagues. In fact, both were good by nature but the way looked at each other resulted into conflict. Therefore, Susan should reconsider Ron on a clean slate so that such conflicts could be averted in future.

To conclude in the words of Oscar Wilde, “Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.”

The End

Friday, October 30, 2009

Why to Write a Failure Résumé? - Prof.M.S.Rao

"When I was young, I observed that nine out of 10 things I did were failures, so I did 10 times more work." - George Bernard Shaw

Robert joined in a research center as a researcher where he had to do extensive research in his passionate area of leadership and soft skills for authoring books. He found out a few triggers and authored a book. Unfortunately the book did not sail through as it lacked research depth. But he was not worried but analyzed the reasons for the failure. After thorough research he came to know the real reasons for debacle and tried again and succeeded in authoring a book on leadership which became a runaway hit. Likewise, we find many people like Robert who learns from failures and stage a smart come back.

Importance of Failures:

"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, this time more wisely." - Anonymous

Failure is like a mother who teaches many lessons. As mother stands by you through thick and thin the failure always remains with you and teaches several lessons. In contrast, success is like a beautiful girl who may go away at any time. Everyone loves to taste success but nobody loves to face failure. People treat failure as a stigma. In fact, failure is a great teacher. It reminds you constantly not to repeat mistakes whenever you take up any challenge. Initial failures are blessing in disguise as otherwise people would remain complacent without churning any valuable takeaways throughout their lives.

The former American President Abraham Lincoln underwent several trails and tribulations throughout his life. He was a self educated man. He rightly quoted, “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” He failed several times. He failed to establish as a businessman. He failed in his love. He had nervous breakdown. After suffering several defeats in politics he rose to the highest position in America as the first Republican President. He failed differently but he was never dejected. He learnt lessons whenever he failed and moved forward thereby becoming stronger and successful. In brief, Lincoln lost a few battles initially so as to win a war finally.

Everyone Fails:

"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure." - George Woodberry, Poet

The fact is that everyone fails in life. If anyone claims not having encountered failure probably s/he has not tried anything worth in life. We take several decisions in our lives. All decisions may not sail through smoothly. A few fall flat. It could be due to wrong decision making or could be due to the external forces and factors which are beyond human control. Therefore, here is a failure resume which minimizes failures and maximizes successes.

What is a Failure Resume?

“Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success ….” – John Keats.

Everyone speaks of success resume but here is an exception where failures are focused and we can name it as a failure resume. It is a document that lists out the number of times individuals have failed in their lives with an objective of key takeaways at the end. It should list out if there are any failures in the academic area such as failed to score high marks or failed to be a school topper. It should then focus on the failures in personal life. It could be about marriage, or career, or love or other debacles in personal life. Outline the failures in professional life. For instance, the examples in this category are inability to grow in career, inability to get along with colleagues or subordinates or superiors and inability to handle key challenges. Finally make a list of failures in your social life. Precisely, any failure resume should contain on four key areas such as academic, personal, professional and social life.

Once the list of failures is written in a resume format, then it is time to analyze why have you failed. You have to be impartial to make the exercise meaningful and successful. Were the failures due to dearth of your efforts or energies or due to the external forces and factors? If things went wrong due to your personal mistake it is time to pull up your socks. On the other hand, if it were due to external reasons beyond human control you don’t have to regret as most of the failures are the result of the same reasons. If you find that you have failed by repeating the same mistakes it is time to change your thinking and execution process. In contrast, if you failed differently, that means, you have tried worthwhile in your life and learnt lessons out of them.

Why a Failure Resume?

"Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable." - Coco Chanel

Life is full of highs and lows. We cannot take the things for granted with growing uncertainty and complexity arising out of rapid technological changes.

A failure resume makes you more humble as it is full of tumbles in your life. It makes you to think more logically, analytically and improves your decision making skills. It makes you to empathize with others especially who failed in life. It connects you with others sympathetically thereby building good relations. It enhances your maturity levels and keeps you cool and composed whenever you are faced with failures in future.

Students and working professionals should be asked to write a resume of failures and it should be submitted to the potential recruiters. Currently few recruiters pose questions related to failures during employment interview. The same can be extended to writing a failure resume and submitting to the potential employers. ‘Failure resume’ can be prepared at any stage of life. I could be during your academic life or professional life. There is no specific time for learning mistakes in life.

How to Write a Failure Resume?

Writing a failure resume is a four step process where in the first column; write down what are the major failures in your life. In the second column, mention why have you failed? In the third column, state how you have failed and finally in the fourth column outline the lessons learnt from these failures.


"Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don't look back at it too long. Mistakes are life's way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit. Your turn will come." - Og Mandino

Writing a failure resume is essential to everyone. It is a kind of intrapersonal feedback for improvement and career growth. It provides several meaningful takeaways. As organizations encourage self-appraisals after joining, they should insist on a failure resume before joining in their organizations from their potential candidates for bridging the failure rate and broadening the success rate.

The End

Does Obama Deserve Nobel Peace Prize? - Prof.M.S.Rao

“Before you become a leader it’s all about you. After you become a leader it’s all about others. The path to your personal fulfillment is through them” – Kelvin Droegemeier

Barack Obama’s nomination to Nobel peace prize invited both bouquets and brickbats across the world. Is it because he is too young to receive the prize? Or is it because he is yet to prove his credentials? Did he win the award because of his star power or real power?

Obama is the third incumbent American President next to Theodore Roosevelt (1906) and Woodrow Wilson (1919) to bag this prestigious prize. He grabbed the attention of the world within a short time through his persuasion and oratorical skills. He is humble to admit the fact that “I don’t deserve to be in the company of so many transformative figures who have been honoured by this prize.” A few opine that the award is premature. In fact, it is an award to an untried President to accomplish the unaccomplished goals. Everyone was surprised over his nomination including Obama himself who humbly admitted “I am both surprised and humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee”

About Obama:

There is nothing strange for the world to be surprised over the award when the recipient himself was surprised. But what matters most are not his age but his energy and enthusiasm. He rode to power with his oratorical skills rather political acumen. He is yet to prove his credentials as a President. Can the decision of the Nobel Committee be treated as a slap to his predecessor George W. Bush who was a war-mongerer?

Obama is blessed with both sagacity and intelligence. He is honest and humble to admit the fact that he doesn’t deserve to be in the comity of great leaders. He is a global leader. He is not the leader of America alone. While accepting the nomination he shared with the world citizens. He rightly put it as, “This award is not simply about the efforts of my administration; it’s about the courageous efforts of people around the world. And that’s why this award must be shared with everyone who strives for justice and dignity.”

Although he checked nuclear proliferation and became the pioneer of new climate in international politics he is yet to demonstrate his leadership abilities in several issues facing the world. However he is a ray of hope to mankind for preserving global peace and tranquility in the current context. He is a charismatic leader who is yet to evolve as a transformational leader for making difference to global citizens.

Does Obama Deserve?

“Only very recently has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention.” – Nobel Committee.

He removed the big brother attitude which earlier American presidents demonstrated to the rest of the world especially to the developing countries. He reached out to Muslims globally unlike his predecessor who antagonized Muslims by venturing into Iraq. The world appreciates his earnest efforts for global peace and security and also his concern for environment. He achieved several things silently and modestly.
It is unfair to criticize Nobel Committee for the decision whose intention is to promote global peace, prosperity and ecology. Perhaps Obama was the most visible nominee for the Nobel Committee. It was a practical approach based on ground realities. The committee weighed all the pros and cons before declaring the award. In the case of Obama it is very clear in the mind of Nobel Committee to impress upon the world that it is not the results but the efforts and energies that count in changing the world for betterment.

It is improper to judge a person based on age as people opine that it is too early for him to bag this prize. In fact, the prize is more of pressure rather pleasure for Obama as he is expected to execute lot more things. He has to focus on current economic turmoil as well. He has been repairing America’s relations with Muslims across the world, prioritizing in containing climatic changes and bringing Israelis and Palestinians into negotiations. However, his critics point out that he gives statements, promises and hopes but does not do anything concretely. It seems he should be more practical and realistic in his approaches.


It is a prize not only to Obama but for the entire mankind. He undoubtedly deserves this coveted prize. The award encourages multilateralism rather unilateralism that prevailed until recently before he became the President of America. His greatest challenge now is to convert his charisma into actions. America has to play a crucial role for preserving and promoting global peace and security. It is hoped that he will strive for global peace and leave a mark behind for future generations.
To conclude, it is an award not only for Americans but for the entire mankind. God bless Obama. God bless Americans. And God bless mankind.

The End

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Are Bankers Servant Leaders?" - Prof.M.S.Rao

“Good bankers, like good tea, can only be appreciated when they are in hot water.” - Jaffar Hussein

There are several challenges in the banking sector due to the rising expectations and aspirations of the customers. Let us briefly explore the challenges and then explore the ways and means of overcoming them.

Challenges in Banking Sector:

The current challenges in the banking sector are: customer retention, growing competition, rapid growth of technology, lack of customer intimacy and business turnover. The world economy opened up due to globalization throwing many challenges for business organizations. Everyone tries to woo others’ customers with several innovative products and features. Retaining the existing customers has become a Herculean task. The growing technology made things easier as both suppliers and customers to have variety of services and products at competitive prices. It has also thrown another challenge where there is lack of customer intimacy as transactions are done electronically. Thus technology has become both as a boon and a bane – boon because of the comforts and bane because of the complexities.

It is always profitable to retain the existing customers as you have already put in your energies and efforts in getting the customers. At the same time you can look for new clients and customers but certainly not at the cost of your existing clients. The findings of Harvard Business Review reveal that, “The cost of acquiring a new customer is 10 times the cost of selling to a current customer”.

In these days of growing competition it is not easy to have higher profits from customers. There is limited scope for monopoly in the current context. The other option is to have more customer base with thin margins. That means sticking on to volume business. Simultaneously there is need to tailor the products to suit the clients’ needs.

Expectations of Bank Customers:

The bank customers are basically looking for good products with multiple features. They also look for fair and just treatment from bankers. According to Michelson Associates, “60% of customers leave because of poor service, only 13% leave due to product dissatisfaction” From this finding it reveals that customers can be retained effectively if they are provided better services with multiple features.

Customers expect quick service with smile from bankers. They expect that the bankers must have cross product knowledge. They look for tailor made solutions to their existing problems. They also expect that the bank employees must be thorough with their products and features. Over and above, customers want their services to be cost-effective and they want more for less.

Bankers as Servant Leaders:

Bankers need to reinvent themselves with changing times. They need to get out the old mindset where customers would come to them for delivering their goods. Now the present scenario demands that they have to come out their comfort zones and reach out to their customers in extending their services. It is no more a sellers’ market but a buyers’ market. The private sector banks have thrown a great challenge for public sector banks and they reminded to public sector banks that the rules of banking business have changed. In a nutshell, the private sector banks have rewritten the rules of the game.

Bankers need to cultivate the attitude of service orientation and must deliver goods like any other leaders who serve people. It helps in percolation of banking services to the common man, winning their support and thus leading to all round prosperity. They should always think of how much value they can add to their customers by being different in delivering goods and by being proactive in providing services. They should act as change catalysts in transforming the banking sector.


It is rightly said, “If we don’t take care of our customers, someone else will.” It is the customer who gives us business. We would not be there if there were no customers. Therefore, is essential to find out the pulse of the customers to keep them in good homour for making businesses flourishing irrespective of sectors.

“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill

The End

“Emerald Management eJournals are unique in nature. They uncover what is neglected by others. ” M S Rao, Soft Skills

Dear All,

I am excited to share the successful entry of the above caption in the 'Emerald Management eJournals - Name change competition'. The above caption has been selected as one of the best entries by 'Emerald Management eJournals'.

How to Handle Your Customers?

“60% of customers leave because of poor service, only 13% leave due to product dissatisfaction” – Michelson Associates.

Handling the complaints of the customers is a tough task. It is always easier said than done. It is always advisable to retain the existing customers rather than searching for new customers as the costs involved in creating new customers are higher. There is also a mistaken belief that customers leave because of availability of better products and features elsewhere. However the majority of the customers leave if there is improper treatment and inadequate service. Let us take a quick look at the ways and means to handle customers.

When you find customers coming out with complaints, you need to listen to them keenly first. Find out the real reasons and issues that pressed your customers. Find out what really they want instead of assuming their requirements. Unfortunately, during conversation people assume about what other person is going to say. Human beings love to talk more and listen less. But when it comes to handling customers it is necessary to listen to them closely and paraphrase the essence and then proceed with your responses.

It requires empathy where in you need to get into the shoes of your customers and find out their needs. It is essential to observe their body language as body language plays a crucial role in any communication. At the same time it is necessary for you to demonstrate positive body language to reach out to your customers. Simple signs such as nodding your head in acceptance of whatever they say would be of immense help.

Never have any pre-conceived notions such as customers always come out with complaints and they don’t appreciate your good work. Such an attitude will not help but harm your prospects of winning them.

In case of any conflict with customers, find out the issues involved rather than the individuals involved and also find out the behavioral aspects rather than personal aspects. People, in general, tend to convert the issues into individual’s behaviour thus aggravating the situation further. Every effort should be made to look at the issue purely from the perspective of the issue alone for resolving complaints and conflicts. Efforts must be made to minimize the conflicts through timely intervention and appreciating others’ perspective earnestly.

Continuous feedback is essential for improvement. Take feedback from your customers about improving services. Many ideas and solutions come from common people only not from the top. Make bottom-up approach rather than top-down approach in finding out the needs of the people as it helps in catering better services and products adding value to your customers.

If a customer is annoyed with your services, first step is to admit the mistake by saying ‘sorry’ as it immediately diffuses the situation and asking further ‘How can I help you?’. Demonstrate your willingness to serve with smile and resolve the problem. In brief, you need to possess three Ps - passion, patience and perseverance to handle and retain your customers.

Services sectors are growing rapidly and they are going to lead in future. Therefore, it is essential to emphasize on the needs of the customers. Companies should create customer-centric culture for retaining and expanding their customer base. Peter F.Drucker rightly said, “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.” Let us create more customers so that we can create more businesses for all-round prosperity.

The End

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Prof.M.S.Rao’s Publication in The Times of India Newspaper

Dear Friends,

I would like to share the successful publication of my article titled “Enhancing Employability Through Soft Skills" vide link: http://timesascent.in/article/6/2009100420091004195854437654b1788/Enhancing-employability-through-soft-skills.html

The article is beneficial for the students who are looking for placements. You may post your comments directly on the post.


Prof.M.S.Rao, India
Corporate Trainer in Leadership Development & Soft Skills

Monday, September 21, 2009

"How to Choose the Right Business School?"-From Prof.M.S.Rao

"The function of the university is not simply to teach bread winning, or to furnish teachers for the public schools or to be a centre of polite society; it is, above all, to be the organ of that fine adjustment between life and the growing knowledge of life, an adjustment which forms the secret of civilization. "-- W.E.B. Du Bois

It is the time for students to take the call in joining Business school for acquiring MBA. Making right decision will help them to come out with quality management education. The time students spend in B school is very precious. Money is the secondary as it can be earned. But when student joins in a wrong b-school s/he has to regret for wasting precious time of two years. Below are a few tips for choosing the right B-school.

Branding of B-school plays a crucial role. Here is a caveat as all branded B-schools may not deliver the goods because of complacency. There are few business schools that have just come up may do better in future.
Before taking admission in any B-school both parents and students should know the profile of academicians with their research publications, accreditation and affiliations of the institution. They should also look at the profile of visiting and adjunct faculty and the eminent speakers delivering guest lectures.

Few B-schools have niche areas such as in Human Resources, Marketing, Finance, Operations, Supply Chain Management etc., The students who are passionate about specializations may look at niche area of the institution.

Course curriculum should be benchmarked against top business schools and it should focus on building the competency levels of each of its students so that their employability index becomes high. It should be crafted for discovering leaders among the students.

The teaching methodology should be student centric not faculty centric. The faculty should provide education what is relevant and appropriate to the students. They should deliver the goods what the students are looking for.

Look for academic ambience whether the institution is in serene place favorable for learning and development. In addition, check whether the institution is professionally run.

Look at the Return On Investment (ROI). Is it worth to invest hard earned money into the B-school should be verified.

Above all, it should build and blend both art and craft for effective management education. It should bridge the gap between the campus and industry thus enhancing employability of students.

The right Business school is the one that provides quality management education. Ultimately at the end of the course there has to be valuable takeaways and suitable placements for the students in the corporate world.

Do You Want Qualification or Degree?

"The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows."-- Sydney Harris

Choose the business school that gives qualification not degree. Here is the difference between the both. Degree is what you get on paper. For instance, if you read a book on driving and take a written test you can pass as you have read about driving. But when you are asked to drive the car physically, you will meet accident as you are not equipped with the competency of driving. In contrast, if you really learn driving and take a test drive you will drive successfully because you are competent and confident. Therefore, having licence to drive is based on reading books is like having degree and having competency in driving the car is qualification. That is how we can compare between the degree and qualification. Hence the B-schools should focus on building competencies and capabilities which provide qualification to succeed in the corporate world.


"The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future."—Plato

To put it succinctly, an ideal B-school should have appropriate curriculum that reflects industry needs and expectations. It should have strong faculty who can teach with industry exposure with research orientation. It must have quality infrastructure such as library, online platform to meet the growing needs of the students. It should have sharp corporate focus with industry exposure, providing guest lectures and offering placements. Finally an ideal B-school should have associations and affiliations such as accreditation, reviews, rankings and blogs.

In western world, parents have the freedom to visit the prospective business schools for looking at their infrastructure such as library facilities, classrooms, seminar halls, accommodation, and transportation etc., before getting their children admitted.

Choosing the right Business School is a strategic decision. You need to go by head rather by heart. Therefore, make your decision carefully and acquire this prestigious qualification for fast career growth.

The End

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Prof. M.S.Rao's Publication in Emerald Journal

Dear All,

I would like to share the successful publication of my intellectual contribution titled “Is cutting development and training in a recession a good idea? Looking at the IT and ITeS sector in India” in the Journal ‘Development and Learning in Organizations’ in 2009 of Emerald Group Publishing Limited vide link: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/14777280910982915

Monday, September 14, 2009

“Stages of Decision-Making” – Prof.M.S.Rao

“Decision making is the specific executive task.” - Peter F. Drucker

We all make decisions in life. But making an effective decision is indeed a tough task in today’s borderless world. The challenge with decision making is that you won’t always have all the data you would like. However you need to make decision within the given constraints. Given below are the stages of decision-making that help in arriving at the right decisions.

Before arriving at the decision, it is necessary to establish a positive, healthy and conducive environment. It helps in free flow of ideas, opinions among the participating members. The leader of the team should not bias the members with his/her own opinions and options as it stifles the decision-making process. Once the stage has been set the members must be allowed to provide divergent shades of opinions through several techniques like brainstorming, Delphi, mind mapping, reverse brainstorming etc., Evaluate the multiple alternatives by weighing the pros and cons through discussion and deliberation and followed by taking a call. Once the decision has been made it is time to check the viability and feasibility of the decision. And communicate the same to the team members and execute the decision. Finally it is time to check the validity and reliability through feedback

The above decision-making process helps in generating qualitative solutions for several business problems.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Soft Skills and Johari Window

Soft skills are all about skills, abilities and traits related to personality, attitude and behavior related to non-technical skills. It is also about communication skills and focuses more on how rather than what an individual communicates. It focuses about the pleasant and polite presentation during communication. In the process of improving communication skills, the Johari Window helps a lot in bringing about awareness of oneself and in fostering better human interaction. In this context, it is desirable to know briefly about Johari Window.

What is Johari Window?

Johari window was coined by Joseph and Harry Ingham in 1955. The name Johari has been drawn from the names of both Joseph and Harry Ingham.

Johari window has four quadrants. Each of these quadrants indicates information about feelings, motivation etc., The first quadrant is all about what we see and others see. The second quadrant is all about what others see us but we are not aware of the same. The third quadrant depicts where we neither know about ourselves nor others see. And finally in the fourth quadrant reflects what we know but keep from others. The four quadrants are represented by Arena, Blind Spot, Unknown and Façade respectively.

In a nutshell, Johari Window outlines about communication both at overt and covert level. At the overt level, it actually touches on what is actually said and at covert level it highlights on what is actually meant.

Advantages of Johari Window:

• The tool brings out awareness about individuals thereby helping in their personality development.
• It also promotes team building skills and leadership skills among the people as people are conscious of their abilities and skills and also the strengths and weaknesses.
• It furthers soft skills thereby ensuring the survival and success of the people at their workplace.
• It minimizes if there is any communication gap thereby promoting effective human interaction and relations.
• It enhances better production and productivity.


Johari Window is widely used in training and development. It brings out awareness about oneself. Finally it promotes soft skills among the people thus bringing out overall growth and prosperity for the individuals as well as institutions.

The End



Friday, September 4, 2009

Health is Wealth

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Now-a-days, people give so much of importance to materialistic considerations rather than to health. They earn a lot but unfortunately they shell out a lot to medical expenses. Besides, they don’t enjoy blissful life due to health complications although they have lot of money. They are subject to fatigue and mental tension. When people focus too much on materialistic and worldly pleasures they tend to neglect their health. As a result, they suffer at the end. For instance, the pop star, Michael Jackson had lot of wealth but unfortunately he had poor health and it cost his life. A few celebrities suffer with several health complications despite being blessed with lot of wealth. In this context, given below are a few tips for maintaining good health.

Tips for Good Health:

“The first wealth is health.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

• Hit gym regularly. A regular exercise enhances life expectancy and longevity and keeps agile and active.
• Involve in physical activities wherever it is possible. Prefer to climb stairs rather than to escalators or elevators.
• Avoid alcoholism. Excessive drinking is always unhealthy.
• If you lead a sedentary lifestyle then it is time you need to exercise your body. Those who work with computer systems should take break at regular intervals of time and walk around for lifting their energy levels.
• Go for swimming regularly as entire body gets worked out during swimming resulting into overall physical fitness.
• Drink lot of water as it energies body and hydrates the system.
• Always take nutritious food especially fruits and salads. Avoid junk food. And also oily and fatty food.
• Consume a diet that is rich in carbohydrates just before and after a heavy work out for better health.
• Take food at regular intervals of time for better digestion.
• Go either for yoga or meditation.
• Go to a serene place and spend time as solitude is fortitude.
• Say no to drugs and tobacco.
• Go to bed at regular time everyday.
• Go for regular medical check up.
• Never brood over the unpleasant past as it not only disturbs peace of mind but also wastes time.
• Go for a stroll with family members once in a while as it promotes better understanding among the family members as well as relaxes your mind.


"He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything." -Arabian Proverb

Although technology has brought several comforts to mankind it has also brought out several health hazards. Life has become highly challenging with lot of uncertainty and complexity. People should realize the importance of health and spend some time daily on health oriented activities. Spending time on regular fitness should not be treated as an expense rather an investment. You can achieve anything and everything if health is good. To sum up, health is more important than wealth.

The End