Friday, July 27, 2012

The Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome

When an employee fails - or even just performs poorly - managers typically do not blame themselves. The employee doesn't understand the work, a manger might contend. Or the employee isn't driven to succeed, can't set priorities, or won't take direction. Whatever the reason, the problem is assumed to be the employee's fault and the employee's responsibility.

But is it? Sometimes, of course, the answer is yes, some employees are not up to their assigned skills and never will be, for lack of knowledge, skill, or simple desire. But sometimes - and we would venture to say often - an employee's poor performance can be blamed largely on his boss.

Perhaps 'blamed' is too strong word, but it is directionally correct. In fact, a research from Harvard Business School strongly suggests that bosses - albeit accidentally and usually with the best intentions - are often complicit in an employee's lack of success. 


By creating and reinforcing a dynamic that essentially sets up perceived underperformers to fail. If the Pygmalion effect describes a dynamic in which employees perceived to be mediocre or weak perfomers live down to the low expectations their managers have for them. The result is that they often end up leaving the organization either of their own volition or not.

Leaders Need Many Styles

Many studies have shown that the more styles a leader exhibits, the better. Leaders who have mastered four or more - especially the authoritative, democratic, affiliative and coaching styles - have the very best climate and business performance. And the most effective leaders switch flexibly among the leadership styles as needed. Although that may sound daunting, we witnessed it more often than you might guess, at both large corporations and tiny start-ups, by seasoned veterans who could explain exactly how and why they lead and by entrepreneurs who claim to lead by gut alone.

Such leaders don't mechanically match their style to fit a check list of situations - they are far more fluid. They are exquisitely sensitive to the impact they are having on others and seamlessly adjust their style to get the best results. These are leaders, for example, who can read in the first minutes of conversation that a talented but underperforming employee has been demoralized by an unsympathetic, do it the way I tell you manager and needs to be inspired through a reminder of why her work matters. Or that leader might chooses to reenergize the employee by asking her about her dreams and aspirations and finding ways to make her job more challenging. Or that initial conversation might signal that the employee needs an ultimatum: improve or leave.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Maruti declares Lockout at Manesar Plant

Two days after violence erupted at Maruti's Manesar plant, the firm's chairman reacted to the incident calling it 'shattering'. He said that production of the plant will resume after the probe is completed. 

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Maruti Suzuki chairman R C Bhargava said that that the employees' safety is more important than making cars at the plant. "We cannot risk any further risk to our employees, including workers, we cannot endanger our people any further. For that reasons, we are not in a position to start production at the factory", he said.  

Expressing his grief over the death of his senior human resources manager, Awanish Kumar Dev, he said that over 90 senior employees were injured in the violence, and four are still in intensive care. The HR manager was killed in fire on Wednesday evening. 
He said that he had never thought a day like this would come. The workers have rights to put their demands, but he had never expected that it would lead to this kind of incident. Bhargava said that he has been in regular touch with the union leader. He rejected the speculations that the plant will be shifted from Manesar. "There is no question of moving out of Manesar. This thought of us moving out of here is complete fiction. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater", he said.
He admitted that there will be pressure from the Haryana chief minister on the firm following the incident to move quickly on this matter. It impacts the whole matter of investment in Haryana. 

"Maruti is the flagbearer of investment in Haryana. Investors will say 'If Maruti cannot function, how can we function?'. Gurgaon plant is running at full capacity already", he said. 

He made it clear that no worker has been hospitalised and there is no outstanding demands from workers, except the wage negotiations.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Write Thank you Notes

The thing that are easy to do are also the things that are easy not to do. The more the pace of our lives speeds up, the greater the impact the simple gestures of life will have on those most deserving of them. And near the very top of my list of simple gestures that have profound consequences is the lost art of writing thank you notes.

Everyone loves getting mail - it's a fact of human nature. We all have a deep-seated need to feel important. I truly love receiving letters from people who have read my articles and used the lessons within them to make positive changes in their lives. Few things exciting me as much as receiving a bag full of mail from men and women who have attended one of my lectures and seen their careers take off and their personal lives improve. And knowing how much joy I feel when I receive mail from others, I try my best to respond to every letter that comes across my desk with a thank-you note of my own.

Even in the case of the people I deal with on a daily basis - executives calling to book me for a speaking engagement, people who attended my personal coaching programs, members of the media requesting an interview and businesspeople calling me with new opportunities - I try to follow up on every encounter with a sincerely written thank you note. Sure, it takes time. Sure, there might be pressing things on my agenda. But few acts have the power to build and cement relationships like a heartfelt letter of thanks. It shows you care and that you are considerate and human. So this week, go out and buy a package of the blank thank-you cards that are now available in bulk at your local office supply warehouse and start writing. You - and all people that you deal with - will be glad you did.

Talk to Yourself

Years ago, When I was a MBA student who had many of the material trappings of success yet little in the way of inner peace, I read a book called 'As a Man Thinketh' by James Allen. 

The book discussed the enormous power of the human mind to shape our reality and attract great happiness and prosperity into our lives. The work also mentioned the profound influence of the words and language we use on a daily basis to create a more enlightened pathway of thought.

Fascinated, I began to read more and more wisdom and self-help literature. And as I did, I discovered the profound impact and importance of the words we use in our daily communications (both with others and with ourselves) on the quality of our lives. This knowledge also caused me to become aware of the personal dialogue that each of us has going on within us every minute of every hour of every day and to vow to improve the content of what I was saying to myself. To achieve this, I began to apply a strategy developed by the ancient sages over five thousand years ago. And in many ways, it changed my life.

The technique is a simple and one and involves nothing more than selecting a phrase that you will train your mind to focus on at different times throughout the day until it begins to dominate your awareness and reshape the person you are. If it is inner peace and calm you seek, the phrase, known as a mantra, might be, 'I am so grateful that I am serene and tranquil person.' If it is more confidence that you want, your mantra could be 'I am delighted that I am full of confidence and boundless courage.' If it is material prosperity you are after, your saying might be, 'I am so grateful that money and opportunity is flowing into my life.'

Repeat your mantras softly under your breath as you walk to work, as you wait in line or as you wash the dishes to fill otherwise unproductive times of your day with a powerful life improvement force. Try to say your personal phrase at least two hundred times a day for at least four weeks. The results will be profound as you take one giant steps to finding the peace, prosperity and purpose your life requires. As Hazrat Inayat Khan said, 'The words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels.'

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Marissa Mayer

As a VP at Google, Marissa Mayer leads the product management and engineering efforts of Google’s local, mobile, and contextual discovery products including Google Maps, Google Maps for Mobile, Local Search, Google Earth, Street View, Latitude and more. At 36 years old, she is also the youngest member of Google’s executive operating committee. During her 12 years at Google, Marissa has led product management and design efforts for Google web search, images, news, books, products, toolbar, and iGoogle. She started at Google in 1999 as Google’s 20th employee and first woman engineer.

Marissa’s contributions and leadership have been recognized by numerous publications including the New York Times, Newsweek and BusinessWeek. Fortune magazine has listed her for the past 3 years on their annual Most Powerful Women’s list, and she was the youngest ever to appear on the list. In 2010 Marissa was honored by the New York Women in Communications, Inc. with a Matrix Award. She also been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and Woman of the Year by Glamour Magazine. Marissa serves on the board of various non-profits, including the Smithsonian National Design Museum, the New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Prior to joining Google, Mayer worked at the UBS research lab (Ubilab) in Zurich, Switzerland, and at SRI International in Menlo Park, California.

Marissa received her B.S. in Symbolic Systems and her M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University. For both degrees, she specialized in artificial intelligence.


Marissa Mayer added a position as CEO at Yahoo!. (7/17/00)

Marissa Mayer added a position as Vice President, Location & Local Services at Google.  

Marissa Mayer invested in uBeam. (7/10/12)

Marissa Mayer invested in Brit. (4/30/12)

Marissa Mayer invested in Minted. (11/15/11)

Marissa Mayer invested in Airtime. (10/6/11)

Marissa Mayer invested in One Kings Lane. (2/11/11)

Marissa Mayer invested in Square. (11/1/09)

Monday, July 16, 2012

NDA names Jaswant Singh as Vice-Presidential Candidate

Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh was finally nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate for the NDA. He will contest against UPA's nominee Dr Hamid Ansari. 

Jaswant Singh's name was announced after a meeting in New Delhi on Monday morning. Senior BJP leader LK Advani said that Jaswant Singh's name was nominated as the JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav did not want to contest the poll. 

Reacting to his nomination, Singh said that he was honoured. NDA fielded its candidate for the poll not to give a walkover to the UPA. 

He will challenge Hamid Ansari, who has been nominated by the UPA for a second term in office.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Arun Mishra to take over Charge as new DGCA Chief

Senior IAS officer Arun Mishra will be appointed as the chief of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) succeeding EK Bharat Bhushan. He will take over the charge by the end of this month July.  Mishra is likely to hold the post for one year. Currently, Joint Secretary Prashant Sukul is in charge of the aviation regulatory body after Bhushan was dismissed from the post as the DGCA chief with immediate effect, six days after his tenure was extended till end of 2012.  The Civil Aviation ministry dismissed the 1979-batch IAS officer as the chief of the aviation regulatory body citing no official word on the reasons for his removal. However, there were speculations that he had warned Air India and Kingfisher airlines to pay dues to their employees, for which he had to lose his post.

The aviation ministry officials said that the DGCA is slated to be converted into the Civil Aviation Authority through an Act of Parliament. Therefore, the ministry is giving priority on the qualifications for DGCA chief.  Bhushan will take the charge as additional secretary and financial advisor in the steel ministry. His counterpart S Machendranathan will take the charge in the aviation ministry. However, standoff was reported between the civil aviation minister Ajit Singh and the cabinet secretariat over the appointment of the DGCA head. Former cabinet secretary TSR Subramaniam said the recent change is an utter disregard for the post of the Prime Minister. He alleged that PM's order has been overruled and new person was posted by the minister.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Congolese Warlord Thomas Lubanga gets 14 years in Jail

Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga on Tuesday was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. He was convicted by the International Criminal Court in March for recruiting and using children in his rebel army in 2002 and 2003. 

Lubanga will now serve 8 years in jail as he has already spent 6 years in custody. The 51-year-old man was the first person to be convicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) since it was set up 10 years ago. 

He is accused of sending child solders to kill and be killed during war in Congo’s eastern Ituri region in 2002-2003. However, it is unclear where he would serve his sentence as the ICC has no prison for keeping the convicts. 

Judge Adrian Fulford's ruling reflected the need to protect children in wartime. The hearing could be termed as a milestone in efforts to prevent widespread use of child soldiers during conflict and war.  

Lubanga had played a key role in conflict between ethnic groups in Ituri, north-eastern DR Congo, which is estimated to have killed 60,000 people. 

He had led Union of Congolese Patriots, an ethnic Hema militia. It was active in the war, which began in Ituri region in 1999. 

The local conflict had left 5 million people dead, mostly from hunger and disease.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Girl Student forced to drink Urine in Shantiniketan

In a shocking incident of corporal punishment, a class 5 girl student was forced to drink her own urine for bed wetting. The report came from the university founded by legendary poet Rabindranath Tagore, Visva-Bharati's Patha Bhavan in Shantiniketan. 

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has sought a probe into the matter. The media reports said that the class 5 girl of Visva-Bharati University’s Patha Bhavan was forced to drink her own urine because she wet her bed. 

The girl's family lodged a police complaint against the warden at the girls’ hostel of the residential school. The girl's mother said that her daughter will never recover from this incident. 

NCPCR member Vinod Kumar Tikoo said that the corporal punishment has been banned in West Bengal. If the warden is found guilty, would be punished. NCPCR Chairperson Shanta Sinha said that this is a very shocking incident. The concerned warden should be punished for this act and she should be suspended. 

A four member fact-finding committee has been constituted to look into the allegation.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

વાંચો રંગીલા વિજય માલ્યાના 7 મોંઘા શોખ

લિકર કિંગ વિજય માલ્યાની આર્થિક સ્થિતિ ભલે કથળી છતાંય જલસો તો ખરો જ 

કિંગફિશર એરલાઇન્સની બદતર સ્થિતિ અને તે બંધ થવાની આશંકા બાદ એક વખત ફરીથી એ પ્રશ્નો ઉઠવાના શરૂ થઇ ગયા છે કે કિંગફિશરની બદતર સ્થિતિ માટે કોણ જવાબદાર છે. જો કે એર ડેક્કનને ખરીદીને કિંગફિશરનું બજેટ ખરાબ કરનાર વિજય માલ્યાના કેટલાંક મોંઘા શોખ છે, જે તેના પાછળના રાઝ ખોલી શકે છે. એક એવી વ્યક્તિ જે પોતાના મોંઘા શોખ અને તેના અવનવા રોકાણને લઇને હંમેશા ચર્ચામાં રહે છે.

કિંગફિશર એરલાઇન્સની ખરાબ સ્થિતિ માટે વિજય માલ્યાના અવનવા રોકાણ જવાબદાર છે કે પછી બીજું કંઇક?

હોટ અને સેક્સી કેલેન્ડર : કંપનીની આર્થિક સ્થિતિ સારી ન હોવા છતાંય આ વર્ષે પણ માલ્યાની કંપનીએ હોટ અને સેક્સી કિંગફિશર કેલેન્ડર પ્રકાશિત કર્યું છે. કેલેન્ડરને પ્રકાશિત કરવા માટે માલ્યા દર વર્ષે કરોડો રૂપિયા ખર્ચ કરે છે. કેલેન્ડર માટે દેશ-વિદેશની મોડલોના ફોટો શુટ કરાય છે. આ કેલેન્ડ પરથી મોડલ પૂનમ પાંડેને પબ્લિસિટી મળી હતી. સૌથી ખાસ વાત એ છે કે માલ્યા જાતે જ આ કેલેન્ડર માટે મોડલ્સની પસંદગી કરે છે.

ફોર્મ્યુલા-1ના માલિક : માલ્યાના શોખે હિન્દુસ્તાનને એક એવી ઓળખ આપી દીધી છે, જેને ભારતીય ક્યારેય ભૂલી શકે તેમ નથી. 2007માં માલ્યાએ 90 મિલિયન યુરો ખર્ચ કરીને ફોર્મ્યુલા-1 'ફોર્સ ઇન્ડિયા' નામની ટીમ ખરીદી. એફ-1 ટીમ ખરીદ્યા બાદ ભારતને પણ મોંઘી રમતોમાં આંતરરાષ્ટ્રીય સ્તર પર ઓળખ મળી. ઓકટોબર 2011માં સહારા ઇન્ડિયા પરિવારે વિજય માલ્યાની સંપૂર્ણ માલિકીવાળી ફોર્મ્યુલા-વન ટીમમાં 42.5 ટકા હિસ્સો ખરીદી લીધો. ત્યારબાદ નવી ટીમનું નામ ફોર્સ ઇન્ડિયામાંથી બદલાઇને 'સહારા ફોર્સ ઇન્ડિયા' થઇ ગયું.

લક્ઝુરિયસ યૉટના ગ્રાહક : માલ્યાની પાસે 80ના દશકાથી જ શાનદાર યૉટ્સ છે. તેમાં સૌથી ખાસ છે એક 315 ફૂટ લાંબી લક્ઝુરિયસ યૉટ. જેની કિંમત 450 કરોડ રૂપિયા છે. આ યૉટ્સમાં માલ્યાએ કેટલીય જગ્યાઓની મુસાફરી કરી છે, જેમાં લક્ષદ્વીપ તેમની સૌથી પસંદગીની જગ્યા છે. તેઓ મોટાભાગે પોતાના મિત્રોની સાથે લક્ષદ્વીપ જઇને જબરદસ્ત મોજ-મસ્તી કરે છે. સ્કૂબા ડાઇવિંગ માલ્યાનો વધુ એક પસંદગીનો શોખ છે. તે પોતાના દિકરા સિદ્ધાર્થની સાથે સ્કૂબા ડાઇવિંગથી દરિયામાં ઊંડે સુધી ઉતરીને ખૂબ જ મજા લે છે.

હવામાં મહેલ એ-319 : કિંગફિશર એરલાઇન્સના માલિક માલ્યાની પાસે પોતાના કેટલાંય વિમાનો છે. પરંતુ તેમાં સૌથી ખાસ એ-319 છે. તેમને એ-319ની સજાવટ અને ફાયરપ્રૂફ અપહોલ્સ્ટરી લગાવા માટે અંદાજે 180 કરોડ રૂપિયા ખર્ચ કર્યો. આ વિમાનમાં એક સાથે 24 લોકો બેસી શકે છે. ઘર અને ઓફિસ બંનેની સુવિધાઓ તેમાં સામેલ છે. વિમાન વચ્ચમાં એક વખત ઇંધણ ભરીને લંડન કે અમેરિકા સુધીની ઉડાન ભરી શકે છે. એ-319 સિવાય માલ્યાની પાસે ગલ્ફસ્ટ્રીમ, હૉકર અને બોઇંગ 727 વિમાન પણ છે.

ધનિકોને ટક્કર આપશે મહેલ : દેશના ધન કુબેરોની વચ્ચે આલીશાન મહેલ બનાવાની હોડ લાગી ગઇ છે. તો માલ્યા કેમ પાછળ રહે. તે પણ એક આલીશાન મહેલ બનાવા જઇ રહ્યા છે. આ મુકેશ અંબાણીના મહેલ 'અંટીલિયા'ને ટક્કર આપશે. માલ્યાનું 34 માળનું નવું ઘર બેંગલુરુના યુવી સિટી ટાવરમાં બનશે. ગગનચુંબી ટાવરની આ બિલ્ડિંગમાં સૌથી ઉપર એક એકરમાં માલ્યાનું પેન્ટહાઉસ હશે. આ બિલ્ડિંગમાં પ્રાઇવેટ લિફ્ટ, વાઇન સેલર, ઇનડોર ગરમ પાણીનો પુલ, આઉટડોર પુલ, જીમ, સલૂન, સ્પા અને હેલિપેડ હશે.

ભારતીય વારસો સાચવયો : માલ્યાની પાસે ટીપૂની તલવાર અને મહાત્મા ગાંધીની કટોરી-ચમચી ખરીદવાનો શોખ ધરાવે છે. 2003માં લંડનમાં થયેલી હરાજીમાં તેમને 350000 પાઉન્ડમાં ટીપૂની એક તલવાર ખરીદી હતી. તેમને મહાત્મા ગાંધીજીની સંપૂર્ણ ખાનગી વસ્તુઓ ખરીદીને પણ ખૂબ નામના મેળવી છે. આ વસ્તુઓમાં ગાંધીજીના ચશ્મા, 1910ની સાલની ઘડિયાળ, એક જોડી ચપ્પલ, કટોરો અને એક થાળી સામેલ છે. આ વસ્તુઓ માટે માલ્યાએ 18 લાખ ડોલર ચૂકવ્યા હતા.

Will Sadananda Gowda resign as Karnataka CM?

Since the political crisis in Karnataka over a change of leadership deepening, according to unconfirmed reports, Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda is all set to resign and BJP's central leadership will announce Jagadish Shettar as the new CM of the state. 

Reports said that BJP leader Shettar has a strong backing of former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, who has support of majority of MLAs. 

However, the central leadership will take the final decision at 6 PM on Saturday. Gowda has already headed for Delhi for the meeting to test his destiny. 

Sources said that the resignation of Gowda is final as the decision to replace the present CM has been taken at the BJP core group meeting held today at party president Nitin Gadkari's residence in Delhi. 

Even senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh will visit Bangalore shortly after the meeting. 

However, party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad refuted the reports saying that that the final decision will be taken after Gowda meets the BJP leaders in the evening today. 

Sources said that Shettar is likely to be sworn in before July 16. The crisis again hit headlines after Yeddyurappa revolted again and his loyalists resigned demanding the change of leadership in the state. However, they withdrew their resignations later. 

The name of Shettar came in frontline as Yeddyurappa wants his loyalist to be the new CM. Yeddyurappa had been demanding to reinstate him as the CM. But when the central leadership made it clear that he cannot be reinstated, he demanded for Shettar, another leader from his Lingayat caste, to be installed as the CM to remove Gowda.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

With Teams, Clarify Each Person’s Skills

Team members don’t need to see eye-to-eye on every issue. But unhealthy conflict can arise when teams misunderstand each others’ skills — for example, when a team member is overlooked for a role he thinks he is most qualified to do. Here are three ways to prevent this sort of disagreement: 

Be aware of perceptions. Know that people will always hold varying opinions of each other's expertise. Being sensitive to this may help you avoid conflict.

Communicate your rationale: When assigning a task or asking someone's advice, be explicit about why: "I'm asking for your input because of your knowledge of X." Explaining your thinking may keep people from feeling slighted.

Encourage people to speak up: Tell people to ask questions when someone else gets an assignment they thought they were better suited for.