HOME IS WHERE HEART IS…

We - The Owners!!! The corporate success is co-dependent with worker fulfilment. Co owning the company by the worker and with the corporate is the way forward.

We – The Owners!!!
The corporate success is co-dependent with worker fulfilment. Co owning the company by the worker and with the corporate is the way forward.

Let’s consider page one. Everything begins with a holistic context. Here the activities are holistic. Many people articulate this as heartfelt. Every activity that emanates from the holistic context is done wholeheartedly. Doing things wholeheartedly not only brings forth commitment but also gives a sense of fulfilment to the doer.

When people attempt to decipher the holistic context, then begins an intellectual approach. Once we decipher, then everything has to start making sense intellectually. One single attribute within the holistic context is identified and extracted. It is then converted into a specific intellectual sense. For E.g. At one time eating is part of a holistic activity inside the home, among many other activities. But then one may choose to convert this, into calling it as hospitality or even catering services. Now this specific attribute is developed and worked upon. It is evolved into an industry which is not any more part of the holistic context. This intellectual sense has its own orderliness.

In this case it being the catering or hospitality service is researched and evolved into a saleable product. The subscribers of this industry are all then trained to be unifocal to the cause of this industry. More often than not, their vision is then limited to the food industry. Welcome to the world of professionalism. He then strives to perfect this product and then become its domain expert. The next in line will be efforts to scale up its production. Achievement of targets, profits, accounting procedure and other mental infrastructure would be invented. Once all the mental infrastructures are in its place, then this methodology will be fortified. Everything will become articulated and measurable Then is invention of the new persuasive narrative, of rules, laws, regulations, guidelines and strict norms. It is imperative that every operational detail is reported on a daily basis. Yes, centralising everything to one headquarters becomes essential. All communications are also centralised.

Let us now consider page two. Can you now go back to your home that was? The home that has a holistic context to the simple act of eating. At home everything was multidimensional. There were thousands of diverse activities. The relationships thrived on varieties. The routines at home flourished on a mix and match interaction. The new order of professionalism has no room to express spontaneous ideas. But at home everything could be, instantly and at will be reconfigured. At home the interactions were rich in sense of the heart.

Let us open page three. Have you ever experienced a surge within you? A surge that just may not be conforming to reason? You may be justified to call this surge as emotion. But in the business and industry, emotions have little value. The business is transacted on a different rationale. In business and industry every little bit of output is subjected to assessment. Using psychometrics every state of mind is submitted to scrutiny.

The industry and business makes sincere effort to eliminate any potential of deception. Human resource audit has enough intelligence to identify communications that may be deceptive. You have heard of emotions of the workers getting organised. Sometimes, the workers align their interests in one single order. Haven’t you heard of trade unions?

Let’s open page four. Are you ready to enhance your people skills? How to arrive at a balance? Have you attended any stipulated courses enabling you in tact of public relations? Almost everybody that I know wants to arrive at a balance of work in the office and that of living at home. The counsellors call this as work life balance. The stress is when there is no resolution. Optimizing the learning from interacting, transacting, negotiating and trading can give us pointers to new directions.

Many companies have opted to introduce meditative techniques for busting stress. Successful companies are initiating breathing techniques to address the issue of rising medical bills. Strange as it may seem, the three day business review meeting start with stretches for the body. Yoga seems to be on its way to show that productivity can be achieved without stress. It is for the human resource department to create the mental infrastructure that encourages employee participation in stress management program. It is a universal wish that the workers experience sense of integrity with the company. In short, a company is successful only if all employees have an evidence of their stake in it. In the holistic context, the home is where the heart is.

The workers must increase their stake in the corporate community. The corporate success is co-dependent with worker fulfilment. Co owning the company by the worker and with the corporate is the way forward.

THE POHA STORY

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The telephone rang at six am. They said they would join me at my home for breakfast. All six of them would arrive at my house in an hour. They were inconsiderate to my lack of resources to whip up a good cuisine. Culinary skills aside, I lack even many basic kitchen infrastructure. I knew, I had to deliver in hostile conditions. This was a time for true leadership practices.

I realigned my attention from shock to surprise. Here is a great opportunity to find solutions. I called up my network of two associates. I was open to new suggestions. One of my friend opined that  there is a shop nearby that sells cooked ‘Poha’ by kilos. ‘Poha’ is beaten rice and the chief breakfast in Indore. But that is not suitable for the six eaters who are expected in an hour’s time. My other friend suggested that we innovate to modify the ‘Poha’. So here begins the new roller coaster of true leadership.

By seven am, in my house was four kilos of plain cooked ‘Poha’. Along with it my friends had brought embellishments; proportionate quantity of cashew nuts, raisins, ghee, few spices, aromatic leaves and other condiments.  At first I measured the restlessness, anxiety and nervousness in all the minds. The leader has to get concurrence from his team on the plan of action. I described to them that we start our work established on contentment within ourselves. The mind which is devoid of severe fixation on the result was needed. Having established contentment, we then proceeded with our innovation. All three of us had to have six hands at its busiest. We had to establish a synergy. Preparing food is a task that none of us were familiar with. Yet leadership demands the ability to switch tasks. So devoid of any expectations, we relented to this demand to be of some utility to the six hungry visitors. Chopping onions and tomatoes, frying the cashew nuts, raisins and other dry fruits, boiling the carrot, beans, garden  peas and capsicum, all had to happen with extreme accuracy and speed. Identifying and washing the appropriate utensils was a practice that we severely disliked. Though it’s a compulsion, yet it was a great learning about how to make a new start and graduate to the  next level of dexterity. Everybody had to deliver to perfect timing. Each person’s efficiency had to correspond with the other person’s sincerity.

Boiling, frying, mashing, grinding, mixing and crushing opened our camaraderie to new levels of work alignments. All three of us seemed to have a sense of purpose. This sincere effort was punctuated with electricity cuts at intervals. The erratic behavior of our induction stoves was a challenge to focus on our work target. This was in extreme sense of helplessness in constructing a tasty breakfast from minimal resources. Do I deserve to get any credit for this work? If I am undeserving, then the credit may just slip away. I had to agree that at first, one has to deserve and then desire.  This is the moment for extreme humility. We have come this far in this task of preparing breakfast from almost nothing. Our attention had to fall on a leadership attribute of ‘gratefulness’. In effect we had plenty to be happy about. Little resources seemed to fall in place, once the ingredients had taken shape.

The garnishing required artistic creativity. My friend focused on the  colour combination of yellow, red, green, black and purple from the strands of Chinese cabbage. The other friend suggested the shapes of leaves of ‘dhaniya’, ‘pudina’ and basil leaves. In all  the ‘Poha’ was looking very appetizing.

We also wanted to indulge in this new taste that we have created. My visitors called up to say that they would be late by half an hour. This is the test for leadership quality. It has upset our own time keeping. It was difficult to restrain our own salivating tongues from quick indulgence to the fabulous wok-toasted ‘poha’.

Quickly I had to throw in the ingredient of patience. Ensure that there is great emotional appeal in our presentation. The plating, the choice of cutlery, table decor, seating for the six visitors had all drawn meticulous preparation and planning. We had to give a memorable impact of not only breakfast but an entire eating experience. Intuitively we created some ‘dips’ from curd, we innovated a ‘masala chutney’ for additional taste. Our variety of ‘onion  rasam’ was made to add moisture to the ‘poha’. We needed to lace it with some banana chips for crisps and some roasted   ‘papad’ for crunch.

We were ready for the interaction with the visitors. In the past one hour we had submitted ourselves for a decade of tutelage in leadership. Innovation,   intuition,  contentment,  gratitude, humility, patience and synergy. These are the ingredients for true leadership.

The good leader has to know to protect his education of leadership

The good leader has to know to protect his education of leadership

The doorbell rang and in came the six visitors. They were experts from various trendy leadership streams. Hearing the ‘poha story’ they relented that their leadership was all context specific. Converting a holistic context into an intellectual sense was their profession. As such they branded the ‘poha’ leadership as generic leadership. Once again the leadership values are revealed by the ‘poha’ story. It should not be converted into marginal framework. Can we protect the interest of the ‘poha’ leaders from it being converted into yet another fragment? Leadership needed inclusiveness and be made equitable to all its stake holders. The good leader has to know to protect his education of leadership. Welcome to ‘the art of poha leaders’. Are you ready to convert from a trendy leader into a true leader?

THE STUBBORN LEADER

Was Mahabali a victim of ego of virtuousness?

Was Mahabali a victim of ego of virtuousness?

You may have heard the word ‘shanty town’. In malayalam  we call it the ‘ Chandha ’ . Even in good rains, people go to the vegetable ‘ Chandha ’ . As you walk, the packing debris and much vegetable-wastes on the roadside cannot go  unnoticed. Move through the entrances and there is a blast of vibrant colours, right into your eyes. Brinjals, carrots, lady fingers, melons, yam, drumsticks and Kerala bananas are all there. They are stacked into looking like hills of vegetables.

Not so long ago, vegetables were cultivated on hill slopes. They became to be called as ‘ Malacurry ’ ; ‘ Mala ’ meaning hill. There are hundreds of shops in  this ‘chandha’ .  Thousands of customers are choosing to get the right pick of each vegetable. You have seen these festive sights   throughout  the Kerala state. All the shops looks full, complete and total. There is an abundance everywhere. People are all neatly dressed, cheerful and celebrative. Welcome to ‘ Onam ’ .

Why not greet each other on this new year day? Yes, this is the first month called ‘ Chingam ’ in the malayalam         calendar. Each day has a name. They are as Aswathy, Bharani, Karthika, Rohini and many more. The twenty second day in this sequence is called ‘ Thiruvonam ’. It is from this name of the day, that the festival gets the name  ‘ Onam ’ .

It is a festive day for all Keralites. No Keralite can be blind to the market realities of the ‘Onam’ season. The turnover of sales of electronic goods, food, clothes, jewellery and other white goods will increase over ten times than other months. Students look forward for holidays from schools. Employees look for ‘Onam’ bonus from companies. Every Keralite has a reason to be happy.

The neighbours connect with each other. All the friends get together. The colleagues  discover the camaraderie and all the relatives come to feast together. The enterprise of clubs, housing colonies and malayali associations develop to provide the cultural, traditional and entertainment    values to its members. Competitive sports of various sorts has an important place during this  Onam season. Vallamkali, Pulikali, Kummattikali, Kaikottikali are few of them. Many hotels flaunt the iconic floral decorations. The shutterbugs and the tourists find that, this season has a lot to occupy their mind.

The businessmen must respect the opinions of the consultant. The businessmen should be open to the suggestions from their advisors. The objective of a business should be to give service to the customer. Only through consumers delight, can the profits be enhanced.

Active participation and consumer engagement will assure the sustainance of a business. As you know, the consumer behaviour is subject to the universal behaviour called ‘change’. The businessmen has to have flexibility to         upgrade their approaches. They should update their research and learning so as to position their product and services appropriately. Much humility in the business man will allow him to accurately poster his personality.

Posturing the personality of a businessman into the  community is a great learning from ‘Thiruvonam’. Are you stubborn?

It is important to know the correct timing to kick start their business. Even more important is to know when to exit from the industry. If the utility of the product diminishes, then one has to be ready to diversify. SLR cameras, Kodak, typewriter companies, tobacco products, mechanical wrist watches, cathode ray televisions have all seen the inevitabilities of change.

Many textile companies that manufactured traditional attire had to give in to fresh trends and new fashions. Vintage cars though may look good, but makes little business sense.

Successful business men have all had a mentor. This mentor is wise and is out of realm of the business activity. Yet is participative to ensure the well being of the businessman. You may call him a ‘business guru’.

An unassuming boy with little height ‘Vamana’ came to deceive the mighty king. The mighty king was called   ‘Mahabali’. His reputation of nobility and generosity is  unparalleled. His reputation of delivering on a commitment is unmatched. No management pandit could have predicted the downfall of Mahabali.

Was Mahabali a victim of ego of virtuousness? He postured his personality as the most successful king, to one and all. But Mahabali was incapable to make the exit. He was not flexible to accept a graceful exit.

The guru had warned him. “ The little boy Vamana who  requested just three feet of land has come to deceive you ” said the guru. Mahabali could not relent from his stance of that of a perennial giver. Discarding the advice of his mentor, Mahabali postured his personality of an emperor, who towers above all.

His downfall was imminent. He was compelled to bow down to Vamana. Vamana pushed him out of sight. Vamana succeeded in eliminating the emperor.

Can the ego of personal stance become, the burden to businessman?

Many are not able to relent and let go. This entanglement with a habit called leadership has caused the deletion of many, from the industry itself.

The business guru may have advised against further pursuits of loss making venture. But your ego positioning may tell you differently.

Mahabali was a wise emperor. He was humbled in his defeat. Yet boldly made a redemption. That is to grant him access to his erstwhile kingdom. In good faith, the request was granted. One day in a year was designated for his visit. The emperor had to ascertain that his people are happy, wealthy and had access to abundance. He needed assurance that there is harmony and equality.

The Keralites decided to resonate the sentiments of their dear emperor. They eagerly await and welcome the annual arrival of emperor Mahabali. Can you see the business lesson in ‘Onam’ ?