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