Height of Impulsiveness

I decided to leave half day from office. While driving alone to home, I felt the desire to be away from home for the weekend.

I thought about bike ride to Rishikesh. But then opted to try for Ranthambore National Park. I been frequenting this national park for several years now. Most of times I have been lucky to sight a tiger here atleastin one of safaries. 

With no reservations for the safari or in train, I opted to call my contact in Ranthabore and help with lodging and safari booking. Train booking was managed by paying a diferential fare of Rs 775. 

Why am I turning out to be a person who is eagerly looking for adventure and excitement? This is unlike me. 

Its just the passion for photography that is making me go out and try clicking as many pictures as possible. 

Impulsiveness comes at a cost but its limited to money if its with the support and encouragement of my family.

I am grateful to them to accept me the way I am.

It’s Strategy otherwise!

In continuation of my previous post ‘Facts about Strategy’, there are other aspects to having a strategy function.

In early days of my career as a Corporate Planning manager, I was busy developing models that were simply quantification of hunches. I was appreciated for rationality used in building the assumptions bottom-up. This to some extent offset my limited understanding of business. I was transforming into an excel wizard but it was strategy otherwise.

With every year of added experience, I oriented myself to be able to ‘execute’ as well. I was getting tired of working endlessly on excel models that actually did not translate into action on ground. The business models that I developed were at best for pitching to prospective investors.

Within few weeks of my joining Denave, the CEO was not having much of planning work for me. I was amongst the top 10 high-paid employees. My first task outside the excel world was to get interest cost reduced. It was a blessing in disguise for me.

Over time my CEO kept on transferring a lot of routine work to me. He sensed value in what I did. There was a phase when no sales proposal went out without I whetting it. I put my head down and looked to make most of this exposure. Later, I even accepted the role of Business Development. Otherwise it was Strategy.

When I moved on with my current company, the plan for me was well laid out. It was an execution-oriented profile but otherwise it was strategy. A road map was agreed on how I will work across all divisions to get improved results. It started with Channel sales and later to lead the finance and accounts function.

Last week I sent out an email, 5th such communication in last 12 years explaining my unavailability for what I am not suppose to do. So while I have been mastering how businesses are run its still strategy otherwise.

I feel the ‘Change’ is needed

I have been at the center of the several long chatting sessions in person either at pubs or in office. Somehow I have been able to read the mind of the person sitting opposite to me and understand what he feels and also frankly express what he feels about me. But then I have two issues:

1. A feeling of regret- Why do I need to be so transparent about all my feelings, thoughts and plans? Had this information advantage not delivered I could have proved any opinion formed or possessed as false.

2. I fail to know what is to be changed within me. I know something has to change but most often it boils down to meet less, speak less an avoid more. Is this the right way to lead and life a life?

I fear when I return to managing life rather than living it.

Bedtime Stories for Ruhin – Custom-made for lessons on life (Part 2)

The second story followed the next day in the same setting. She wanted a Barbie story so here it goes…

Anjum was a young girl who had a lovely doll called Dolly. Both of them were very good friends and cared for each other a lot. Anjum use to always give a special treatment to Dolly over other toys she had. Dolly took pride in this special treatment.

Things were going fine till Anjum liked Barbie Doll at a toy store. She returned home to share her desire of having the Barbie doll as well. Dolly was sad and reasoned that they were good friends and they should not have any new Doll coming in between them. Dolly complained, “You always cared for me so much and I always played with you even when I felt like taking rest.”

Anjum in response said, “We are good friends and will continue to be. With Barbie coming you will get to play with her as well when I am at school. I always felt that you should have a beautiful doll friend as well.” Dolly seemed convinced and said Yes to the idea of having Barbie at home.

Next day Barbie – a young slim doll with golden hair, dressed in pink skirt and blue T-shirt was home. Anjum excitedly introduced Barbie to Dolly. Both of them shook hands with smiles on their faces. Anjum being an intelligent girl decided to spend first few hours together with both the dolls sharing her experience with Dolly and how special she was. Later, Barbie talked to Dolly about her likes and dislikes. Soon Dolly sensed that Barbie was a great friend to have and she thanked Anjum for having Barbie as well.

Message intended to be delivered – Be prepared for change and continue to be accommodating. Ruhin is quite good at this and I feel she should not lose this trait when she grows up.

Bedtime Stories for Ruhin – Custom-made for lessons on life

After a long day at work, I was lying on bed with Ruhin – my younger daughter next to me. Its winter time (Dec 2014) in Delhi when we have tucked inside the thick cotton blanket. My left hand fingers locked with her right hand fingers. Our exchange was usually uninterrupted except when my wife asked to finish our respective glasses of milk.

The first story:

There was a boy named Amit who went to a temple. A river flowed past the temple as well. The sleepers could be removed before entering the temple with a person stationed at a small store house – meant only for keeping shoes for the visitors to temple. When Amit asked for the token in return for his shoes so that we could take them back on return the person refused to give him a token saying, “You are a young guy and you will not spend more than 5 minutes inside the temple. Just leave your shoes here and return to take them back.” Amit did what we was suggested.

On return Amit could not find his shoes. He inquired and looked around but could not. On asking the same person he asked him to visit the banks of the river and see if he could find his shoes there. He went on to explain the ritual followed at the temple – Any visitor who wants his wish to be fulfilled by the Deity should steal a pair of shoes from outside the temple and throw them into the river flowing next to the temple. 

Amit was disappointed and unhappy. He could not believe the ritual and logic of doing this. He complained this to his parents on return. His father said, “Never mind. Atleast someone was happy and hopes to have his wish fulfilled by the deity of the temple. Never regret what is lost.”

So Ruhin the moral of the story is – “Believe in actions that give happiness to others whether by choice or by accident. Also try not to regret a loss of a material thing like a pair of shoes.”

She is too young to understand the moral in its entirety. Also when the story is an extempore from her father. 🙂 

Exercising helping me endure work pressure

With my boss deciding to operate from a different office than mine, I am spending more than 4 hours per day on con-calls. The week gone by was one of those rare weeks when I may have been talking on phone for more than 20 hours. I sensed a strain on my ears and head. Finally, I have resorted to hands-free to have a little more comfort. We are in midst of finalizing our strategy going forward (starting April 2015).

With little over of 5 effective working hours left, I have to rush through a lot of working and calculations. Whats new! when I am a finance professional, as well. Its not just about having a basic template populated. I have to think through using the mind of an entrepreneur and ensure that I too have a success story to narrate later in my life.

I start my day at 4:30 – 5:00 am everyday. I am either out for jogging or cycling by 5:30 am and now in winters max by 6:00 am. Later by 7:00 am I help my younger daughter with breakfast and school uniform. I also do her hair and then drop her to bus stop. By 8:30 am I rush back to take bath and leave for office by 9:00 am.

I am usually back home only by 8:30-9:00 pm. I spend zero hours before television. I am in bed by 9:30 – 10 pm.

When I compare this schedule of mine to some years back, I realize that I am more fitter to manage the existing schedule. Work pressure was never less, for me atleast. I am able to concentrate much more and still stay calm to manage all the priorities at work and my attention to hobbies that I pursue.

So its all about exercising and stamina whether its in sports or in life.