Sunday, July 29, 2007

Harry Potter, Manager Tools

The family had been to the movie "Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix" movie Saturday. This was a kind of an event as the movie becomes the third movie I watched over the last 18 years.(Titanic in 1998, Spiderman in 2003) as I always feel that the movies are waste of time. As the kids grow older, I realize that you may need to be accommodative to their needs and requirements. Yesterday was one of those days where you kind of change your views and marched with them to the INOX theatere. The movie itself was OK and kind of gave a first hand feeling of the Potter Mania and the magic that is going around. Bottom line, KIDS are happy, So I am happy. Personally too, it was a good feeling that I made them feel happy.

OK, I am pretty excited that my favorite podcast and blog, Manager tools is getting in to premium subscription mode from 1st Aug 07. I think Mike and Mark the show producers have done a great service to the Mangers by creating 130 Podcasts on various topics like OOO (one on ones), feedback, Performance review etc. Each is a gem with practical dos and dont's focussed on achieving the results. I think, in my opinion, their efforts are the best thing that could have happened to Managers since Peter Drucker. Mark Hostman's eight laws are the best practical dictum that a manager should follow in workplace.
Here they are:
1. It's All About People
2. More Communication is Better
3. You're Not that Smart; They're Not that Dumb
4. Control is an Illusion
5. The River is Wide, the Currents are Messy, but all the Water Ends up in the Ocean
6. There are No Secrets
7. How You Feel is Your Fault
8. The "Other" Way Often Works Just Fine

OK, I am short of time this week, Will dwell on some topic during mid week.
Till then, Take it easy and take care, Live consciously.
Karthik.





Sunday, July 22, 2007

10

I thought I would spend time on 10 to change gear this week. (Not the Bo Derek, (She was the heart throb of our college days) 10 movie, Which we bunked classes/ college to see the movie) I also spent some time yesterday picking up recordings of Beethoven, Mozart, Pavarotti Yanni and Tchaikovsky besides some Indian Classical of Zakir Hussain, Shiv Kumar Sharma. I am sure to find some time to listen to all the classics.

By the way, the Harry Potter book arrived at 11am Saturday and the kids were relieved to read that Harry is alive. The kids haven't seen the 5th movie because of ongoing exams, Got to arrange for the viewing soon.

Because of the non availability of Star cricket TV Cahnnel in Bangalore, I am delighted to go back to internet and listen to CMJ, Henry Blofeld in test match special. Its back to good old days of 70s, 80s of school days. What a great feeling to listen over Bush Baron brand transistor on the roof top of the home with cups of tea,snacks and scoldings of parents.(nee oorupada maatae- meaning you will not come up in life) Of course we miss BJ and Alan Mcgilvary of ABC radio cricket who set the highest standards for the radio commentary. (Ball by description as they say in Australia)

10 of My all time favorite Songs which takes my breath away in that order.
  1. Take On me Aha
  2. Suddenly- Billy Ocean.
  3. Heart and Soul Hewey Lewis and the News
  4. Another day in Paradise- Phil Collins.
  5. Down Under - Men At work
  6. Top of the world - The Carpenters.
  7. Greatest love of all - Whitney Houston
  8. Fields of Gold -- Sting
  9. Too late for Goodbye Julian Lenon
  10. Imagine John Lennon
I also like some of the Indian Songs which are far and few. I can put the 3 best songs.

  1. Mehabooba Sholay Video
  2. Engae Nimadhi Poodiya Paravai Tamil
  3. Paadariyen SindhuBhairavi. Tamil
10 of my great sports personalities who inspired me to watch sports (when I get time) by their sheer deeds.


  1. Super Cat
  2. Guy the Gorilla
  3. Aryton Senna.
  4. Karl Heinz Rumminegge.
  5. Johnny Wilkinson
  6. Hassan Sardar.
  7. Bjorn Borg.
  8. Michael Jordan.
  9. Hristo Stoichkov.
  10. Severiono Ballesteros
Great to share my thoughts.
Till next week, Take it easy and take care. Live consciously.

Karthik.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Chief Happiness Officer


Many thanks to those who had responded magnificently to my response to join my linkedin Network. My Network connection score reached 100. It's a small beginning compared to the 500s and 1000s I see some persons have managed to connect. I think as the saying goes in this part of the world as "Well begun is half done" is true. I am also glad that Jason Alba of Jibberjobber.com is the 100th member of my network. I was inspired by the podcast I listened to the manager's tools podcast. My idea of working the linkedin is to give give and reach out to people and have a Passion to work and interact with people.

Since fracturing his leg and was kind of immobile to do anything other than going to school and coming back as a physical activity, my son explored a lot on the web. He came across the music download website LIMEWIRE where you can download all kinds of music. He has downloaded all his favourite songs in to his Ipod. I thought after Napster, that music downloads are gone and a thing of the past and so it was a refreshing change. I am firm believer in original stuff and never believe in buying Pirated versions of the CDs or Books. (Would you buy a spurious medicine! that's what I ask my friends who buy these stuff). So I was glad that I could pay the US$18 as the licensing fee for the upgrade to the Limewirepro. I am glad I did that.

I was listening to the Podcast on the Anna Farmery show (The engaging Brand) and came across the podcast on "Chief Happiness officer and Emotions at work". The Blog by Alexander Kjerulf (First Danish personality, I have come across, I guess, other than Hans Christen Andersen ). More like the rare breed of Norway Music Group, A-ha of the 1980s. (Of course, their song "Take on Me" is my Number one favourite even after 23 years. I will stop anything I do and listen to it with my closed when I get a chance to hear it). I suggest that you do browse through his site and has lot of good information as to how to be happy as well as keep emotions on play at work.

Please visit Tom Peters website and down load the fantastic PowerPoint slides of 7 presentations. I did shamelessly Steal from his site. A very good information to have and mull over.

I just finished reading the 8th Habit by Dr. Stephen Covey for the second time. I analysed myself and practicalities around me the as I read the book this time. I suggest that its worth reading and gives lot of perspective of Spiritual, physical, emotional, Inteligence Quotient. The books is also about listening to your inner voice and make other people hear their voice. The video that accomapnies the book gives a lot of practical insight. It Costs Rs.495.

So I am fast approaching to complete my first year with Honeywell. Time just flies, looks like yesterday. Somethings are definitely different in the year I think. (The 8th Habit book was purchased when I went to Pune for the Honeywell Interview last year).

Untill next time, Take it easy and take care and live conciously.

Karthik.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

EVIL HR Lady

Hi,
I am amazed at the response I am getting to my request to my network thro Linkedin. This is a good tool to establish your contacts and networks. I thank all those who accepted my request(some of them blind) to be part of my network.

Ok, on to the subject. I came across the interview with the Evil HR lady at the Cranky middlemanger podcast. The lady who is HR manager at fortune 500 Company, anonymously blogs on HR aspects. HR is mostly Evil, I guess, and many of us would agree. I think HR is mostly set out to Hire and fire in most sense and most of the time are there to make the hiring of people at the lowest cost to the organization. I waned to see how it is to be a HR person, thats why I chose to do my MBA in HR. Its an interesting experience, Will share that some other time. I also agree with the Evil HR lady that one thing that an organization really need to introspect and work is the compensation structure.

My interaction with HR during offer stage has been mixed. In 2 situations, I was extremely fortunate. I have my own personal doubt such HR professionals do exist any more. One was my Sandoz hiring in 1991. The HR Manager stunned me completely (after 3 rounds of interview) by offering me a monthly basic salary in the offer, which was more than the monthly gross salary at that time (all perks included). At that situation, I was so raw person, (Forget soft skills I was just 5 years in to my career) that I asked for Still Rs. 100 more in Basic salary, ( I was just married and I thought that Rs. 100 would help me for the Milk powder for the Baby that was to come in 10 months time) and he readily agreed even to that and increased the offer by Rs.100/-. I was on the 7th Heaven so to say, I can still remember that moment as to where it happened and how it happened. So that was a great experience in contrast to these days where everything is calculated in terms of % increase. Of course, Sandoz always valued people the most. We always worked there with the philosophy that rules are meant to be broken and are to be used as an exception.

The second experience was the BASF offer in 1997 for safety Manager, the then GM BASF HR, sent me the offer letter, (there was no discussions at any stage during the interview about compensation) and I just went through the offer letter (Waited for 2 days anxiously as there were no courier service) and joined the company. The offer was more than I could have even imagined in my wildest dreams. (More of perquisites too,which was till then unknown commodity to me).

All the other job offers were kind of bargain and negotiations which calls for a kind of compromise on both sides. No wonder, I gave my best best of the best effort from my heart in these 2 organizations. I had to leave these two organizations for totally very personal reasons where the Job situation mattered a little in making the decision to move. Also the Sandoz and BASF experience made me a complete HSE professional and career Manager respectively.

My thoughts to pen the blog were also triggered by the Manager tools podcast on Set the bar on effective hiring by Mike and Mark. My 2 job offers are the real life situations which are explained in the podcast which go above and beyond the need.

Also wanted to touch up on the liveearth concert. I remember the 1984 Band aid concert for the famine stricken Africa, where we struggled even to listen to it live on Radio. So much technology has moved. The global warming is a big concern, no doubt. I am touched by the efforts kid put in to it to make the earth a better place.(My thoughts on that later).

I have subscribed to the Economist magazine, I tell you,its a great one stop source of information to know all the happenings in the world. My Sunday morning,is spent in completing the 100 page magazine. (8 to 12). No Email, computer till 4 pm on Sundays.

PS: I was also excited by the comments posted in my Blog last week.

Till next time, take it easy& take care and Live consciously.
Regards
Karthik.




Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ganesh, Robin Sharma and New Generation.


Hope all are doing fine. Looks like rains are playing havoc everywhere in Western parts of India. I remember the July 05 deluge in Bombay. I must tell you that I was very lucky to miss the whole episode of July 05 by just few hours. The night before I was in transit in Bombay for my visit to Aurangabad and flew in to Aurangabad the night before. Yes, I got caught in the after effects of rain at Bombay on the way back home, through delayed flights and mad rush in the airport as well as lack of even basic facilities etc at the Airport. I must tell you that the way Bombay responded to the whole situation is remarkable and seeing many cities in the world, I can bet that many cities would have fallen flat. (Yes, New Orleans was a classic case where things just collapsed).

OK, then, I must tell you that after 20 years, I got a chance to meet my classmate Ganesh in Madras. We did our graduation in Madurai (Thiagarajar College of Engineering in 1983, we passed out) and studied in different colleges for Post graduation in Coimbatore. I met Ganesh last in 1987 when he came to Ankleshwat to meet me. After that we lost track of each other for about 11 years as Ganesh moved to USA. Thanks to internet, I could trace him back in 1999 and we were in touch through email and phone. This time, when I was in USA in March 07, we decided that we would meet each other before the end of the year. So When Ganesh was in Madras for a couple of weeks in May 07, I squeezed in about 4 Hrs to visit Madras and we could meet. It was a great feeling to discuss and to assess the way we had moved forward and where the life has taken us. We could trace back couple of more of our classmates, But still got to plug out for the other 30 guys. It looks like yesterday and 24 years have just passed in a flash since I finished my graduation. Makes you feel a long time.

I am very much impressed with Robin Sharma's writing, I have just finished reading his book the "Monk who sold his Ferrari". Unlike the book written by Western Authors on personal development, he explains and coaches people for personal development with a lot of Indian way which are very practical and you are able to correlate many things with the preaching and instructions heard from Grandparents at our young age. I have purchased the complete set of books and would give my comments. He also has excellent podcasts which you can download from his website. His articles in his daily blog are very thought provoking.

Robin Sharma Podcast

I also wanted to touch up on some aspects of the new generation of students. I was almost surprised with the students turnaround in temples. (Lalitha and myself make it a point to visit the SHIRDI SAI BABA temple and the Sani Bagawan temple in Indra nagar) I am amazed at the number of college and school students who turn up at these temples to seek the blessings. I see many students and their prayers appear genuine ( You can hear them mumbling Hindu prayers which cant come unless you have mastered it with a bit of devotion). This made me feel that, contrary to hype played out in Media about life and style of present day students, things are just as same as it was in my days at Madras, Madurai or Coimbatore. One more reason to stop watching the IDIOTIC INDIAN TV Channels who show the unreal India. Of course, I always tell my foreign friends, when they are curious to know about India, I tell Bombay, Bangalore, Madras and Hyderabad don't even add up to 100 million people out of 1600 million Indian people. My message to them always has been, Quote" So don't go by what you see and these Idiotic things or way life out there don't even count for statistical sampling to consider validity." Unquote.

I am also touched by the Voluntary efforts done by students in community service, Yesterday as I was going to Airtel shop to work out repair for my daughter's mobile connection which didn't work for 3months despite paying all the money.( That's for some other blog some story for customer satisfaction!!!???) I was approached by a III year BCA Students, who is working out charity work like collecting donations for a orphan home. I called him home today and he brought all the documents. I was amazed by the efforts put in by these students for social cause. I even felt kind of guilt feeling that I could never find time to do these kind of social work in my college days. (Of course the economic/social scenario was vastly different). I have always made a point to make up for that by doing my bit through monitory aspects. Of course, over a period of time I plan to find time for that too. The Charity foundation is doing a great cause. Pl see what you can do.

Ok, On to some of the interesting websites I came across this week.

Social Networking and Relationship management software and a good blog site too. You may need to register, I find it good. Let me see how I develop. Jibijobber blog is also good. Check that out.

Hear Subroto Bagchi's podcast. I always admired this man, I never missed his writing on Business world. Here he is at Whartion Podcast.

Marshall Goldsmith is a class. I found his Podcast very thought provoking. His Books are also great. I got to buy them soon.

Finally, The Cranky Middle Manager Show is a must not miss it. Its great show. I have downloaded the 100 podcast. Will have to find time to listen to all like Anna Farmery's. Anna's show is more a closer to home feeling being British and you will be able to correlate many things.

OK so long, I am enjoying the 5th week of my stay with out travel any where and I am really Enjoying this. Its given me time to look deep in to whats happening at home, as well as keep the excercise schedules. Looking forward to another 4 weeks in July as no travel is planned as of today.

Till next time, Take it easy and take care; Live consciously.

Karthik.


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