Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chanakya's Quotes

"A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first."

"Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous."

"The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody! It will destroy you."

"There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth."

"Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions - Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead."

"As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it."

"The world's biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman."

"Once you start working on something, don't be afraid of failure and don't abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest."

"The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction."

"Whores don't live in company of poor men, citizens never support a weak company and birds don't build nests on a tree that doesn't bear fruits."

"God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple."

"A man is great by deeds, not by birth."

"Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness."

"Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends."

"Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person."

"Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Environment Initiative - Which could be taken across the ITP

Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen) - Baz Luhrmann

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '99...

Wear Sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….You're not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind…the race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own..

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time it's 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Stabilizing Effect of Good Leadership – S. E. R. V. E. Model

In their book The Secret: What Great Leaders Know—And Do, authors Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller, vice president of training and development for Chick-fil-A, use the acronym SERVE to help readers remember these simple principles for success.

S stands for See the Future.
E stands for Engage and Develop People.
R stands for Reinvent Continuously.
V stands for Value Results and Relationships
E stands for Embody the Values

How you handle a situation and what you learn through the process, is what determines whether it is good or bad. Remember

“Tough times don’t last, but Tough people do”

S stands for See the Future. This has to do with the important visionary role that leaders play in an organization. A compelling vision allows people to be proactive and move toward what they want rather than reactively moving away from what they don’t want. A vision builds trust, collaboration, interdependence, motivation, and mutual responsibility for success. Vision helps people make smart choices, because their decisions are being made with the end result in mind.

Consider these questions as you think about Seeing the Future in your organization:

  • Where do you want your team to be in five years?
  • How many members of your team could tell you what the team is trying to achieve?

E stands for Engage and Develop People. As a leader, once the vision and direction are set, you have to focus on engaging and developing your people so that they can live according to the vision.

People need to be trained in self leadership. While many organizations teach managers how to delegate, there is less emphasis on developing individuals to pick up the ball and run with it. Organizations on the leading edge have learned that developing self leaders is a powerful way to positively impact the bottom line.

For example, one of our clients, Bandag Manufacturing, experienced the value of self leadership after a major equipment breakdown at its California plant. Rather than laying off the affected workforce, the company opted to train them in self leadership. When the plant’s ramp-up time was compared to the company’s other eight plants that had experienced similar breakdowns in the past, the California plant reached pre-breakdown production levels faster than any other. The manufacturer studied other measures, too, and concluded that the determining factor in the plant’s successful rebound was primarily due to the proactive behavior of the workers, who were fully engaged and armed with the skills of self leadership.

Consider these questions as you think about Engaging and Developing People:

  • To what extent have you successfully engaged each member of your team?
  • How are you encouraging the development of your people?

R stands for Reinvent Continuously. Great leaders are always seeking answers to questions like these:

  • How can we do the work better?
  • How can we do it with fewer errors?
  • How can we do it faster?
  • How can we do it for less?
  • What systems or processes can we change to enhance performance?

One of the biggest challenges leaders face when they look to re-invent processes to better serve the customer is inertia. Many people assume that an organizational structure is permanent. In many cases, the organizational structure no longer serves the business—the people are simply serving the structure.

It’s good to have a plan; it’s good to have your structure in place. But always be watchful and determine whether it’s serving you, your customers, and your people well. If it’s not, change it.

V stands for Value Results and Relationships. Great leaders—those who lead at a higher level—value both results and relationships. Both are critical for long-term survival. Not either/or, but both/and. For too long, many leaders have felt that they needed to choose. The way to maximize your results as a leader is to have high expectations for both results and relationships. If leaders can take care of their customers and create a motivating environment for their people, profits and financial strength are the applause they get for a job well done. Success is both results and relationships.

Consider these questions as you think about Valuing Results and Relationships:

  • How much emphasis do you place on getting results?
  • How many of your people would say that you have made a significant investment in their lives?
  • What are the ways in which you have expressed appreciation for work well done in the last thirty days?

E stands for Embody the Values. All genuine leadership is built on trust. Embody the Values is all about walking your talk.

Many organizations—including The Ken Blanchard Companies—were negatively impacted by the events of September 11, 2001. In Blanchard’s case, the company lost $1.5 million that month. To have any chance of ending the fiscal year in the black, the company would have to cut about $350,000 a month in expenses.

The leadership team had some tough decisions to make. One of the leaders suggested that the staffing level be cut by at least 10 percent to stem the losses and help get the company back in the black—a typical response in most companies.

As they do before making any major decision, members of the leadership team checked the decision to cut staff against the rank-ordered organizational values of ethical behavior, relationships, success, and learning. Was the decision to let people go at such a difficult time ethical? To many, the answer was no. There was a general feeling that the staff had made the company what it was; putting people out on the street at a time like this was not the right thing to do. Did the decision honor the high value that the organization placed on relationships? No, it did not. But what could be done? The company could not go on bleeding money and be successful.

The leadership team decided to draw on the knowledge and talents of the entire staff. At an all-company meeting, the books were opened to show everyone how much the company was losing, and from where. This open-book policy unleashed a torrent of ideas and commitment. Small task forces were organized to look for ways to increase revenues and cut costs. This participation resulted in departments throughout the company finding all kinds of ways to minimize spending and maximize income.

Things were tough for awhile, but over the next two years, the finances gradually turned around—as they will this time also. By 2004, the company produced the highest sales in its history.

The Importance of Good Leadership

Continually doing a good job in each of these areas is a significant task, yet it’s worth it. We believe that servant leadership has never been more applicable to the world of leadership than it is today. Not only are people looking for deeper purpose and meaning as they meet the challenges of today’s changing world, they are also looking for principles that actually work. Servant leadership works. Servant leadership is about getting people to a higher level by leading people at a higher level.