Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blood Diamond, Inflight entertainment.

I arrived in to Los Angeles last night on a two week trip to the Americas. I took the Atlantic route as it made sense while coming back in 2 weeks time. 22 Hrs of flying with with rush to change terminal in Heathrow and then immigration, Baggage makes it all a 30 Hr flight. The walk to change terminals (from 4 to 1 for the flight to LA) was one of the fastest in my 14 years of international travel,(with 2 bags weighing 12 Kg) exposed me to what Power aerobics exercise was all about. I am glad BA allowed 2 piece baggage rule, as it will help to work for backup plan in case checked in luggage doesn't arrive. (Happened to me twice and yesterday my bag was almost the last piece to arrive in the conveyor).

I watched the movies on the in flight entertainment system.It was all digital with your choice of more than 40 movies in various languages and also an auto option for you to pause. (All in touch screen, forget the remote) A far cry and long way from the old days of couple of movies for the entire flight. You cant wonder where technology is going!!.

I saw the movie, Blood Diamond, It exposes, the power struggle, efforts, greed as well as political issues involved in the diamond industry. While diamonds are not our day to day issues, it also brings to the front the problems faced by people who do it for a living and how their life is influenced by situations over which they have no control. Leonardo di Capro ( Danny Archer the Agent for smuggling diamonds)at his best so was Dijimon Hounsou (Solomon Vandy) at his best as a father. It was great lesson for me as to how if you are got in conflict, the choice/ freedom/expressions are all taken away from you. I wonder about that in some countries??.

The question is do we appreciate and value it when it is with us?.

I leave you with those thoughts.
I will try to pen my thoughts as I go forward.
Till next time, take it easy and take care; live consciously.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Calcutta, Madras, Adelaide, Perth

I am on travel and I have a slow internet connection to post links. The hotel internet are very expensive more so in star hotels. It is not worth the money. That way love the USA where it is free in many places.!!!.

I am glad that my prediction of 4-0 whitewash has been proved wrong. This is a great team effort more so to come back from the trauma of Sydney. I am not a Indian cricket team supporter as indicated in early posts, but still I wont grudge this victory. What was also heartening to see was the bit and pieces contribution by all the members. They have created history in Perth, great effort!!!.

Ishant Sharma is he the new Big Bird, made Batsman dance to his Tune. Wish the guy well.

Will post detailed blog in the middle of the week once back home.
Till then
Take it easy and take care, live consciously.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Great gifts from Kids.

Today (18th January) is our wedding Day. It looks like yesterday when George Bush Sr. Gave orders to Alliance commander,Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf to bomb Baghdad in the operation desert storm. I was getting in to a life long, productive alliance with Lalitha.

This week,we did a kind of stock taking over the last 17 years and exchanged notes to see if we could have done anything different or some things which should not have happened. Happily there was none. I think we have come a long way since starting on our own(Much against tradition) in Bharuch, Gujarat.

The kids gave a great surprise, they arranged cakes, candles and gifts. They did this in a stealth manner over the last week. We could not get a clue of what they were up to. Such are the days. Even today I am not sure if I do that way back to them.
My travels start from Sunday for this year and I look forward to it.
Take care.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Manage Energy, Obama, Kalli.


So the cricket controversy raged and it almost brought a diplomatic row similar to bodyline. I am glad that the issue is resolved and that Cricket would continue. Many of my Aussie friends have expressed regret over the team behavior. But many also feel Symonds would not have reacted to something which is nothing(whether it is from that test or past is a debate).

Came across an interesting article, Manage your energy,not time in HBR. Very clearly focuses on Body, Mind, Spirit and Emotional aspect of management of a person thus manage performance. Found it very practical.

Came across 2 fabulous videos yesterday at Leading@google. Marshall Goldsmith and muti faceted personality from Chile Rodrigo Jordan. Each is 1 Hr long. I assure you it is worth watching and learn. Jordan's video talks about Leadership dilemmas.

I also heard this morning during my walk, a thought provoking, podcast by CEO, Greg Ballard who talks in heartout in Leadership speech at Stanford University.

I am still neutral on US presidential election, watching for things to develop, ( I tend to be more democrat in the past, but that is more on candidates, I was happy when Carter won, When Regan won, Bush, Not so when Kerry lost last time). So let us see where things head, I watched with interest yesterday 1 Hr interaction of Barack Obama. I am impressed with his approach and his response to questions at Google. Lets see. I plan to watch a bit more of other candidates before I form an opinion. How much technology has your aid to come to judge things.!!!.

This week is the Tamil festival of Pongal (The harvest festival on Tuesday) and Boghi Monday. I plan to enjoy the holiday. I would miss the Madras cricket test match during Pongal holidays. The famous Al Kallicharan, quote of Anna Statue, as Umpire Satyajit Rao, as a respect for Umpire. (Kalli was given dubious runout when he was going great guns!!!, Vishys great innings too!!!)

I am now a proud subscriber to Fortune, Economist, HBR Print editions. Also to Mint, the wall street journal Indian edition.

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

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Kid in the candy Shop, Expesnes, Diary, Wayne, No shedding tears

My wife promised me that she would sponsor some books for me to read. We did that last Saturday(29th Dec) After ages, I went to the book shop in Bangalore. Its like a Kid in the candy shop feeling. You see too many good books, the Budget also pinches. Anyway She was kind enough to allow me to pick what all I wanted. Still I could have picked up more, we were also short of time to finish other rituals planned for Saturday.

I did pick the following books to go through during the year. Ofcourse, was disappointed many of the books I wanted to buy were not out there. (Erica Andersen, Bill George etc). Let me work out next time.

  1. Who would cry when you Die -Robin Sharma
  2. Effective Executive - Peter Drucker.
  3. Managing for results - Peter Drucker.
  4. Good to Great Jim Collins
  5. Build to Last Jim Collins.
  6. Go put your strengths to work - Marcus Buckingham.
  7. Strength finder II - Tom Roth.
  8. Toyota Talent
  9. Toyota Way.
  10. How to stop worrying and stop Living -Dale Carnage.
  11. Know How -Ram Charan.
  12. How to enjoy your life -Dale Carnage.
  13. Playing for Pizza -John Grisham. (Fiction book, I purchased after ages !!!!!)
I have began the new year that this year I would write Diary every day on all the work/ personal aspects as well as learning. I found digital diary very easy to use. It is very compact. Let me see how far I go using this. I have done so far for 6 days. So if it hit the 21 day barrier, I think I would sustain I guess.

Found the IEMS Expense report tracker to track and post my sundry expenses during travel, this is one area I need to improve. I am too lazy to work out cash expenses. I feel that The time spend on it to prepare laborious/ elaborate protocol is some times not worth it and it accumulate a lot. Let me see how much prompt I become in settling this year. Never bothered about Money for the last 22 years of work and further spoiled by wife who manages all the funds. So I need to work on this. Will report progress in 52 weeks.

I came across, John Baldoni's podcast through Patricia Wheeler's tele forum archives. Baldoni relates to personal development to Supply chain/ manufacturing which works well to me. Give his podcasts and his Website a try. I got hold of Summary of his Book" How great Leaders get great results.

I was delighted to participate in the Wayne Turmel's new venture on launch. The session was on managing teams in remote environment. I was one of the 9 participants from 5 countries in this web meeting. DIMDIM did work ok. Great initiative by Wayne. I wish it all success.This will take managing remote meetings to the next level.You dont need telephone to call. Yes, decent web connection is the need.

So Aussies, Made it 2-0, but the victory is spoiled I guess by poor umpiring. India did make a good fight, one feels bad. But as long the best talented players who are available are not selected for various reasons to the squad, which are non cricket one,(the Badrinaths, the Pujaras, the Majumadar, the Bose etc) you can be rest assured that I am not going to shed tears for their loss. Yes, I did feel sorry for Kumble, a nice guy. (Not that he is from Bangalore!!). (My Head is still safe for 4-0 prediction) Yes, I wouldn't rate this Aussie side anywhere near the Windies of the 80s as said by David Gower. They played the game in spirit and it was fun as seen here with Big Curtly. Winning and loosing were no big deals to them and there were no controversies or bitter after tastes.

Till next week, take it easy and take care, live consciously.


John McCain.

#329 Very sad to wake up to the news of passing away of Senator John McCain aged 81 (4 days short of his 82nd Birthday).  He was a true ...