John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut’s book Compelling People tells us that the truly influential people have strength and warmth. If you show neither strength nor warmth, you will evoke contempt and will be ignored. If you only show warmth but no strength, people will pity you. Show brute force without warmth and the person generates fear or envy. We admire those who show both. But this is hard.
It is funny how our view of what it takes to succeed changes over time – especially if you are at a B- School. In the pre-liberalization era, people who planned to pursue Human Resources would start their career on the shop floor. The job interviews would inevitably focus on testing the students on their depth of knowledge in labour laws. Trade Union leaders like Datta Samant would hit magazine covers as often as the movie stars – even if it was for the wrong reasons.
Hiring someone for a job is a critical decision every leader has to frequently take. Outside of work, choosing the right life partner can have far reaching consequences. People decisions change our world dramatically. But most of us are not trained or skilled enough to do it right.We could make one of the two mistakes – we hire the wrong person or worse still, we reject the right person. So […]
Have you read the Mahabharata? Which version of the Mahabharata did you read? Therein lies the genesis of this book Duryodhana by V Raghunathan. Who do you think is the hero of the tale? Is it Arjuna? Is it Krishna? Is it the five Pandavas and Draupadi? Was it Karna? Could it be Duryodhana? After all if history is written by the victors, how would you know that the version you have grown up knowing is the correct version?
We were meeting after a long time. I remember Shantanu Moitra who used to be the guitarist in school and now a successful composer in Bollywood. We were all waiting to hear Shantanu tell us stories. He is now on a mission to save Indian folk music. The stories about his early attempts at composition and more. “Remember the rock show you pulled off. We actually sold tickets – and […]
When you get inspired by Bill Gates and build another five companies like Microsoft then you go from 1 to n. But when you create something unique that did not exist before you are going from zero to one. This book is all about inspiring you to think about grand ideas and not for those who are looking to merely tinker. Unsolved problems are hotbeds of opportunity. Conventional education leads […]
Look at all the places that live and die by sheer talent – Bollywood, the cricket teams, the advertising fraternity and even publishing – no one has a Chief Talent Officer. So do we really need one of these fancy titles in the workplace? If it really mattered wouldn’t these places have one? How do you explain this?
Cinephiles from various eras and geographies use the term “superstar” to describe different people. The term has been used to describe many people in Indian cinema from KL Saigal, Ashok Kumar, Dev Anand, Rajnikanth, Amitabh Bachchan, NT Rama Rao, Kamal Hasan, Mohanlal, Shah Rukh Khan … the list goes on. What makes Rajesh Khanna unique is that his movie hits started in 1969 and went on till 1971-72. In those […]
The corner office and its incumbents fascinate us. They are in the news. They earn the big bucks and control the destinies of the corporation and investors. This is the most complex job in the organization. Adam Bryant’s book The Corner Office tries to distil the wisdom of CEOs and make it available to us. <Read my review of this book> With Indian companies going global, we now have more […]
Originally educated as a chemist, Professor Teresa Amabile received her doctorate in psychology from Stanford University. She studies how everyday life inside organizations can influence people and their performance. Teresa’s research encompasses creativity, productivity, innovation and inner work life – the confluence of emotions, perceptions and motivation that people experience as they react to events at work. I spoke to her about creativity and finding happiness at work. Abhijit Bhaduri: […]
Is there a simple test you can give to find out how siloed or collaborative your organisation is? For that we need to create the equivalent of the “marshmallow test”. Fifty years ago, Walter Mischel, a professor of psychology had given a bunch of preschoolers the famous “marshmallow test,” to gauge the level of self-control of children. Five-year olds sat at a table with their favourite treat, in this case, […]