The Four Jobs of a Boss

The Four Jobs of a Boss

Being the leader of people is an honor. The leader must ask every day, “Am I worthy of discharging my responsibility? Do I have what it takes to lead them today?” That means doing these 4 tasks without fail.

Just Post-It

Just Post-It

These yellow Post-It notes are an essential part of my life. I have used these yellow thingies to write welcome notes and bid goodbye. To share a word of appreciation for my team members. To say thank you for great work done. Several appraisals and many bosses later, my team members still have the fading thank you notes and cartoons on their desk.

Building Leadership Development Programs

Building Leadership Development Programs

BCG estimates more than 4,000 companies with formal corporate universities across the world. The former Chief Learning Officer (CLO) of BBC, Nigel Paine’s new book explores what it means to choose a high-investment option like GE did. What makes Crotonville relevant even today? If a company wants to invest in leadership development is it necessary for them to invest millions of dollars and build a clone of Crotonville? Is that the only approach to leadership development?

What does it mean to live in Perpetual Beta

What does it mean to live in Perpetual Beta

How do I explain Perpetual Beta? Hmm… let me ask you a question. What would you do if you were the CEO of a rapidly growing business worth $30 billion? The business operates in every country in the world except Iran, Syria, Sudan, Crimea and North Korea. Every other celebrity is among the 100 million customers who gushes about the service and that leads to more business and more growth. […]

a16z interviews Yuvi Harari

a16z interviews Yuvi Harari

The podcast explores more provocative questions. With all the data that we are giving freely to Facebook and Amazon etc, one day they will be able to predict our tastes better than loved ones and maybe even better than what we can. What happens then?

We have to look at the issue of job losses not from one country’s perspective but from multiple perspectives. If the technology developed in say US, leads to job losses of factory in Bangladesh, who should compensate whom and by how much? Who will determine the level of compensation? How will AI impact the way schools are designed and structured? And of course, what happens when techno-religions gather more followers?

The new language of leadership

The new language of leadership

The leaders cannot engage employees until they start levelling with them as equals. They have to stop looking at employees as fans who have gathered to watch the leader shake hands or make a brief appearance. The new media is all about two-way communication, conversations and deep engagement. They have no choice but to learn the new rules. That means rethinking the power equation between leaders and followers.

Leapfrogging

Leapfrogging

I was catching up with an erstwhile colleague, “K”, who was smarting from being passed over in the office. He had expected the big corner office and the perks that go with it. Instead life offered him a googly. Someone his junior had been handpicked by the board to head the function. The tables had been turned. “K” would now report to someone who had once been a reportee in […]

Should Professors Get Tenure

Should Professors Get Tenure

Teaching has long been considered to be a “noble” profession. They shape the future of our progeny. But the path towards becoming a professor is hard and time consuming. In US, they chase the mirage of becoming a “tenured” professor – a process that lasts up to a decade if one is lucky. “Publish or perish” keeps them doing research and writing papers that no one may read or use. […]

Introduction to Storytelling by Pixar

Introduction to Storytelling by Pixar

I am a fan of Pixar’s storytelling style. I don’t know if you have ever read their famous 22 rules of storytelling? If you have not, you must. Some of the tips are really super useful to newbies like me who are fascinated enough by the magic to want to be a magician. But for now one has to be grateful that I am getting to read the magician’s book of spells before he returns. I make a quick note of rule number 2 in the Book of Spells.

Half Pants Full Pants

Half Pants Full Pants

If you have read Malgudi Days, you will love reading Half Pants Full Pants. It will make you think of your childhood. In retrospect, those wonder years were truly magical. This book captures the magic of wearing half pants and the exasperation of dealing with adults who wear full pants. He says, “The book is set against a backdrop of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Apart from the excesses of childhood madness and adventures that we indulged in, the book captures nuances of social mores, traditions and mindsets of South Indian Brahmins in a small town.”

Can we teach people the way we teach machines?

Can we teach people the way we teach machines?

Affectiva has gathered more than a billion data points to learn how human emotions differ based on the device, the content and of course, the individual viewer. These data points are then analyzed based on inputs from psychologists and experts. The machine tries to identify emotions in real time. The human experts coach the machine and tweak its algorithm and help it improve. Why don’t we teach humans with the same rigor.

The secret of feeling motivated at work

The secret of feeling motivated at work

Mastery is an endless pathway that you can use to stay motivated regardless of the work you do. A barista could build further expertise by learning about different recipes of coffee. Or about the rituals around coffee in different parts of the world. And become a storyteller who tells a new story involving coffee to a customer. Maybe you could have storytelling sessions about all the interesting people who love coffee. The day you can discover that the opportunities for mastery in your field, whatever that might be, is really endless, you will stop dreading the beginning of the work week.