I am a tiny drop of blood, barely half of a thousandth of a milliliter in volume. There are over ten million droplets like me and, together, we slosh around frenetically each day to make up the body of a vibrant and hugely productive individual. This person is called Miss Mumbai, unique among her peers. She means everything to us, she nurtures us and has made us whoever we are; we drops of blood, in turn, nourish and serve her with loyalty and gratitude.
While reflecting about the column on careers and business life, I asked myself what purpose could be served by such an effort. A simple idea, supported by a simple story, could be a positive format for learning and reflection and practising managers could find that useful.
We thought of writing this piece when recently, we were seated adjacently at a national chamber of commerce meeting. The mood was euphoric and kudos is due to our economic policies, the corporate sector and to those selling the India story. Ministers Lalu and Chidambaram have both delivered their magical budget acts, sending the mood index to stratospheric levels.
Adhyaksha means official in Sanskrit, and the chief among officials is the Raja Adhyaksha. It is rare to be a fine gentleman as well as a successful chief executive. It is even rarer to possess a surname that describes such a characteristic; It is a one-in-a-zillion coincidence to have a real-life personality that matches your name and profession.
Just as microorganisms grow better in some mediums, the leadership ‘microorganism’ grows very well at IITs. This statement is made, not to exclude others, but to underscore the uniqueness of IIT as a medium to multiply the leadership trait.
As the Dutch firm Akzo Nobel assimilates its latest acquisition, the famous ‘ICI’ brand will fade into history. Along with HLL and ITC, ICI pioneered the management profession in India for eight decades. Despite some initial similarity, the divergent destinies of these British subsidiaries exemplify lessons in corporate strategy, which is about the choices made over time.
On a cold January morning in Boston, I discussed conflict and transformation management with a leading professor. As he made room for me in his car, he apologized for the mess by saying, “I am going through a divorce and it was my turn to drop my daughter at school.” It was unfortunate for the person and odd as a circumstance.