May 31, 2011

People who dodge questions artfully are liked and trusted more than people who respond to questions truthfully but with less polish.

May 30, 2011

We understand ourselves through stories, by making stories out of our lives. Storytellers give people structure with which they can begin to look at their own lives and try to make sense of them. With all the noise we have in this culture, it’s heartening that one person talking can still command attention.”  
At a time when corporate survival often requires disruptive change, leadership involves inspiring people to act in unfamiliar, and often unwelcome, ways. Mind-numbing cascades of numbers or daze-inducing PowerPoint slides won’t achieve this goal. Even the most logical arguments usually won’t do the trick. But effective storytelling often does.
Great leaders discover what is universal and capitalize on it. Their job is to rally people toward a better future. Leaders can succeed in this only when they can cut through differences of race, sex, age, nationality, and personality and, using stories and celebrating heroes, tap into those very few needs we all share.”  
Analysis might excite the mind but it hardly offers a route to the heart. And that is where leaders have to go if they are to motivate people to launch transformational change and spark rapid action with energy and enthusiasm. Now that most managers are being called upon to tackle the challenges of leadership, they are discovering what great leaders have instinctively known all along: it is stories that inspire and persuade.”  
Humans are too smart to be fooled by a Potemkin village, a façade that pretends to be one thing and turns out to be another. Sure, you can fool some people once or twice, but this is the key lesson of the new marketing: once fooled, a person will never repeat your story to someone else. If you are not authentic, you will get the benefit of just one sale, not a hundred. The cost of your deception is too high.”  

"Listing" and "let search engines find your blog" settings - Blogger Help

"Listing" and "let search engines find your blog" settings - Blogger Help

May 26, 2011

“The choice for managers in organizations is not so much whether to be involved in storytelling-they can hardly do otherwise-but rather whether to use storytelling (a) unwittingly and clumsily or (b) intelligently and skillfully.”  
“There are only two things that separate success from failure in most organizations today: 1. Invent stuff worth talking about. 2. Tell stories about what you’ve invented.”  
Humans are too smart to be fooled by a Potemkin village, a façade that pretends to be one thing and turns out to be another. Sure, you can fool some people once or twice, but this is the key lesson of the new marketing: once fooled, a person will never repeat your story to someone else. If you are not authentic, you will get the benefit of just one sale, not a hundred. The cost of your deception is too high.
The power to influence is often associated with force, the ability to make someone do what them to do. That suggests a push strategy. However, story is a pull strategy-more like a powerful magnet than a bulldozer.”  
“Analysis might excite the mind but it hardly offers a route to the heart. And that is where leaders have to go if they are to motivate people to launch transformational change and spark rapid action with energy and enthusiasm. Now that most managers are being called upon to tackle the challenges of leadership, they are discovering what great leaders have instinctively known all along: it is stories that inspire and persuade.”  

“At a time when corporate survival often requires disruptive change, leadership involves inspiring people to act in unfamiliar, and often unwelcome, ways. Mind-numbing cascades of numbers or daze-inducing PowerPoint slides won’t achieve this goal. Even the most logical arguments usually won’t do the trick. But effective storytelling often does.”  
“…most executives struggle to communicate, let alone inspire. Too often, they get lost in the accoutrements of company speak: PowerPoint slides, dry memos, and hyperbolic missives from the corporate communications department. Even the most carefully researched and considered efforts are routinely greeted with cynicism, lassitude, or outright dismissal.”  
Hollywood Stock Exchange, a simulated entertainment stock market in which "MovieStocks" and "StarBonds" are actively traded through a film's concept, development, production, wrap and release. There are put and call options on opening weekend losers and winners, and traders predict the four week box office take for each film. 

The traders create news with their investment decisions, so major studios and actors cannot afford to ignore this customer community when shaping their development and marketing efforts.
Each time an Customer accesses the Company's website, the online book seller provides recommendations based not only on the customer's previous purchases but also on the purchases of other people who have bought similar books. As its customers' tastes and preferences evolve, Amazon's engagement with them reflects those changes.

May 25, 2011

Most of the time, you won’t be present when the people you want to influence make the decision, choose the behaviors you were hoping to influence, or both. You don’t have much, if any, formal authority over them and you cannot easily predict the specifics of the situation in which they might find themselves, so how do you get them to do what you want? Story is like mental software that you supply so your listener can run in again later using new input specific to the situation.”  
“The good-to-great leaders were able to strip away so much noise and clutter and just focus on the few things that would have the greatest impact.”  
“It’s all invented anyway, so we might as well invent a story or a framework of meaning that enhances our quality of life and the lives of those around us.”  
The age-old practice of storytelling is one of the most effective tools leaders can use. But they need to pick their stories carefully and match them to the situation.
Discovering new stories and telling stories on a daily basis, once a habit, builds wisdom that cannot be gained from a book, a mentor, or any other secondhand from of learning.
Unlike numbers, experiences are irrefutable. You can't second - guess your experiences.
Information has perfectly increasing returns. Spend the money to learn something once, and that knowledge can be reused at zero additional cost forever. Double the number of uses and the cost per unit halves.
The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind - computer programmers who could crack code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of mind - creators and empathizers pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. The people - artists, inventors, designers, big picture thinkers - will now reap society's richest rewards and share its greatest joys.
The pure quantity of messages that go out to employees necessitates better manager communication to filter and emphasize the messages that are important.

May 24, 2011

To be an impact player in business, you simply have to know more than most other people know. That means taking the power of ideas seriously, reading books voraciously and developing a system of organizing what you've learned.
Our tendency to try to create teaching that is clear creates an untended consequences of oversimplification. When someone understands what you want them to do but doesn't buy into why you want them to do it, you will never be satisfied with their performance.
Information is now a commodity that is bought and sold; it comes indiscriminately, whether asked for or not, directed at no one in particular, in enormous volumes, at high speeds, disconnected from meaning and import. It comes unquestioned and uncombined, and we do not have, as Millay said, a loom to weave it all into fabric. No transcendent narratives to provide us with moral guidance, social purpose, intellectual economy. No stories tell us what we need to know, and especially what we do not need to know.
Tell me and I forget,
Teach me and I remember,
Involve me and I learn.
Ultimately, knowledge worker performance comes down to the behaviors of individual knowledge worker. If we improve their individual abilities to create, acquire, process and use knowledge, we are likely to improve the performance of the processes they work on and the organizations they work for.
When an idea wraps itself around an emotional charge, it becomes all the more powerful, all the more profound, all the more memorable.
We value narrative because the pattern is in our brain. Our brains are patterned for storytelling, for the consecutive. 
I have argued that a key perhaps the key - to leadership, as well as the garnering of a following, is the effective communication of a story.
Many true statements are too long to fit on a Power Point slide, but this does not mean we should abbreviate the truth to make words fit. It means we should find a better way to make presentations.
In a business setting, a Power Point slide typically shows 40 words, which is about 8 seconds' worth of silent reading material. With so little information per slide, many many slides are needed. Audiences consequently endure a relentless sequentiality, one damn slide after another. When information is stacked in time, it is difficult to understand context and evaluate relationships.
Facts are neutral until human beings add their own  meaning to those facts... The meaning they add to facts depends on their current story. People stick with their story even when presented with facts that don't fit. they simply interpret or discount the facts to fit their story. This is why facts are not terribly useful in influencing others. People don't need new facts - they need a new story.
We have spent all the money and built all of these systems to house information and learning with the expectation that we are creating value. What we've created instead are just corporate landfills.
It's the people, stupid. You can take any management discipline from the past few years; total quality, reengineering, enterprise resource planning, and now CRM. In every one of those instances, the failure has been addressing behavioral issues.
In reality there has not been an information explosion, but rather an explosion of non-information, or data that simply doesn't inform.

May 23, 2011

Can Hewlett Packard Make its Own Luck?

HP finds itself in a complicated position. While the technology giant's second-quarter revenue increased by 3%, its relatively new CEO, Leo Apotheker, was forced to lower the forecast for revenue for the fiscal year. He blamed the Japan earthquake, the anemic PC market, and a troubled services organization.
Wall Street did not take kindly to the news. While HP was once the technology leader that could do no wrong, market watchers are now concerned that the company does not have a clear strategy to overcome its problems. Not surprisingly, the stock price has tumbled.
The technology market is the epitome of creative destruction. It can be easy to dramatically expand revenue and profits when you are the upstart in an emerging sector — but once you're on top, sustaining this leadership position isn't easy. Hewlett Packard is a case in point. To overcome three major challenges in particular, it will need both luck and smarts:
Challenge 1: HP needs to change its revenue mix to higher-margin offerings. HP has long been and continues to be the leader in personal computers. However, tablet computers and smart phones are challenging the PC market. Hardware remains the linchpin of HP's enterprise revenue. Software, on the other hand, is only 17% of the company's revenue. Services, strengthened by the acquisition of EDS several years ago, are both a blessing and a curse: While EDS has many lucrative deals, it also has time-intensive and costly outsourcing deals to manage.
What's the smart thing to do? Probably the most powerful decision HP could make to shift its revenue mix would be to transform its consumer business into a subsidiary. It's a strategy the company has used before, when it spun off its test and measurement business into a publicly traded company called Agilent. In the current case, the subsidiary company could include the tablet business, the printing and imaging business, and the low-end of the server market. It could also include sophisticated software based on the WebOS (the operating system HP leveraged from the Palm acquisition). The rest of the company would remain focused on the enterprise market, including software, data centers, cloud computing, servers, and storage — elements certainly complex enough to require significant focus. Assuming smart execution, creation of a subsidiary would allow a strong management team to own its success in the consumer market and build a strong competitor to take on Apple. But a lot would still depend on luck: in a market already crowded with strong brands, its timing would have to work out.
Challenge 2: HP needs a strong culture. HP's culture has gone through a transformation since it hired its first outside CEO, Carly Fiorina, and at least some of that change was necessary. The industry was getting more competitive and the unquestioned values the organization placed on teamwork, service, and engineering — the DNA it had inherited from its founders — were no longer keeping it ahead of the pack. But today, HP is characterized by fiefdoms. While there are many strong managers in place, they not only have different goals but different ways of pursuing them. It's a striking change for a company that once had a unifying philosophy to be at a point where people, both inside and outside the organization, can't say what it is known for. That is a real problem because, from customers' perspectives, the value to be gained from a vendor the size of HP is its ability to have a consistent method of executing to meet their broad range of requirements.
What is the smart thing to do? In this case, the good — but challenging — news is that luck has little to do with it. If HP puts its mind to cultivating a unifying culture, it is within its power to pull it off. It should resolve to tie all the pieces of its strategy together, create a management team that is in lockstep across the company (or perhaps two companies, as I mentioned earlier), and make HP at least the sum of its parts. The organization will have to go through a painful process of figuring out what type of company it really wants to be and what business problems it wants to solve for customers — and this won't happen without a cohesive leadership team setting the cultural tone for the entire company. But if all those parts are brought together, HP will be stronger than any set of smaller and less powerful companies.
Challenge 3: HP needs to revisit and energize its partnerships. HP's strategy for decades has been to not have a single approach to solving customer problems. Instead, it offers customers flexibility with regard to choices like operating systems and software. Taking that tack from the beginning was lucky; it's doubtful anyone anticipated how huge the partnering opportunities would turn out to be once other firms recognized the value of the platform HP was providing. It was something they could be part of without fear of being overwhelmed and undercut. Meanwhile, the approach allowed HP to expand revenue without having to reinvent what others had already accomplished. For example, HP abandoned its own processors to partner with Intel; for database, it had a strategic partnership with Oracle; and for networking it embarked on a strategic alliance with Cisco. These and other partnerships helped HP grow significantly, and helped its partners become powerful market forces. However, over the past several years these partnerships have shown signs of wear. Intel has moved on to other platforms while HP would like to continue to invest in a processor that is no longer as strategic to Intel. Cisco decided to compete in the server market against HP. In reaction, HP, through acquisitions, began competing with Cisco in the networking market. While HP continues to be a close partner with Oracle, the partnership has been strained as HP begins to move into the data management space and Oracle enters hardware with its Sun acquisition.
What's the smart thing to do? The next phase of partnering is going to be tricky for HP, and here again a dose of luck will be required. The ever-increasing variety of software, hardware, and services makes the whole ecosystem more complex, and outcomes even harder to anticipate. But partnering well is mainly a matter of smarts, and HP needs to return to its roots in this regard. One good approach would be to find new ways for its partners to leverage HP's intellectual capital in their marketing and selling efforts. For example, HP's consulting organization has gained deep expertise in some critical industries. It could focus partnering programs on helping partners enter new markets and grow revenue in ways they could not manage alone. In general, HP needs to think creatively about how its size and market strength can make partners more successful. The new partnering model can't be passive. It has to be well designed, well explained, and most importantly, well executed.
* * * * *
It's hard to point to a company that has prospered in the technology sector that hasn't had some major lucky breaks as well as world-class smarts. (Indeed, that's why I was able to fill a book calledLucky or Smart? with their stories.) HP itself lucked out when its very early bet on calculators and small computers turned out to be extraordinarily well timed, and beat just about every other vendor in the world. That put it in the right place at the right time as the technology revolution was beginning. It was able to leverage the knowledge it gained in those early markets to develop more capabilities and build a powerful company.
Did its luck simply fail it when it came to software and services? While HP has purchased hundreds of software companies over many decades, the stars never seem to align into a comprehensive software strategy. It was arguably unlucky in its attempt to acquire PriceWaterhouse's consulting business — and doubly so, since that asset went to IBM, which turned it into its highly successful Business Services organization. Until HP purchased EDS in 2008, it had a very small services business.
It's hard, however, to claim that these were matters of luck. More likely, because HP had become so steeped in its hardware heritage, the company had trouble understanding the economics and dynamics of these other businesses. And then there's the fact that it is difficult to even recognize a lucky break when, from the inside, it appears that all is well and no luck is needed.
As markets change, and competitive threats increase, managers in well-established firms too often react by grabbing for power and looking for easy answers to tough questions. Older product lines that are a drag on the bottom line linger indefinitely because no one has the nerve to endanger the substantial revenues they bring in. Hot startups and technologies look like saviors but acquiring them is so expensive that the bottom-line payoff is a long time coming.
But companies can reinvent themselves, and many have. In my book, I track the fortunes of IBM and Apple, both clear leaders with huge revenue and market clout who — like HP today — faced the need to change in order to avoid extinction. It's true that, the bigger the company, the more complicated and painful that process can be. But I don't see HP heading into a tailspin. It just needs to think hard, and think as one, about the smartest future for HP and how to get there — and then capitalize on whatever luck comes its way.

Judith Hurwitz is President & CEO of Hurwitz & Associates and focuses on the business benefits of emerging enterprise technology including cloud computing, service management, and information management. She is the author of five books, including the recently published Smart or Lucky? How Technology Leaders Turn Chance into Success.
It is safe to assume that any individual or group you wish to influence has access to more wisdom than they currently use. It is also safe to assume that they also have considerably more facts than they can process effectively. Giving them more facts adds to the wrong pile. They don't need more facts. They need help finding their wisdom.
I sometimes think we have become so obsessed with the means of communication that have been developed, that we have lost all contact with the message that is being conveyed.
Get to the Point... I don't have all minute!
When the bullets are flying, no one is safe.
Imagine what we could accomplish if we spent the same time, energy and money to use the information skills we already know as we do on the tools and technologies otherwise labeled as Information Technology.
To perform an office job today, it seems, your attention must skip like a stone across water all day long, touching down only periodically.

May 21, 2011

Andy Grove, Chairman of Intel, in 1995 was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He researched the causes of the disease and, with his doctors, developed a unique treatment plan. Now, you may expect someone like Grove to take his treatment into his own hands. The availability of medical information on the Internet, in magazines such as Time, Newsweek, and Readers's Digest, on TV, and in local Newspapers is helping more and more patients enter into a dialogue with their doctors.

Cisco gives its customers open access to its information, resources, and systems through an online service that enables Cisco's customers solve the problems encountered by other customers, and each customer has access to Cisco's knowledge base and user community. They are engaged in helping one another.

May 20, 2011

Merely recognizing talent does not work, you need to couple it with ceremonies where recognition is broadcast. Looking at the Dollar Check is often less significant than listening to the thunderous applause by colleagues in a public forum.

May 19, 2011

How a Man and Woman withdraws cash from ATM ?

How a man withdraws cash from ATM ?

- Park the Car
- Go to the ATM
- Insert Card
- Enter PIN
- Take Money
- Drive away.

How a Woman withdraws cash from ATM:

- Park the Car
- Check Make Up
- Turn off Engine
- Check Make Up
- Go to ATM
- Hunt for ATM Card in the Purse
- Insert Card
- Hit Cancel
- Hunt in purse for the piece of paper with the PIN written on it
- Insert Card
- Enter PIN
- Take Cash
- Go to the Car
- Check Make Up
- Start Car
- Check Make Up
- Drive for a Smile
- Release the Hand Break!

One of the most remarkable features of the theory of multiple intelligences is how it provides eight different potential pathways to learning. If a teacher is having difficulty reaching a student in the more traditional linguistic or logical ways of instruction, the theory of multiple intelligences suggests several other ways in which the material might be presented to facilitate effective learning. Whether you are a kindergarten teacher, a graduate school instructor, or an adult learner seeking better ways of pursuing self-study on any subject of interest, the same basic guidelines apply. Whatever you are teaching or learning, see how you might connect it with
  • words (linguistic intelligence)
  • numbers or logic (logical-mathematical intelligence)
  • pictures (spatial intelligence)
  • music (musical intelligence)
  • self-reflection (intrapersonal intelligence)
  • a physical experience (bodily-kinesthetic intelligence)
  • a social experience (interpersonal intelligence), and/or
  • an experience in the natural world. (naturalist intelligence)

The Revolution Theory holds that the creation and nature of the universe and all living things are best explained by a revolutionary process involving an infinite number of infinitely smaller revolutions, or alterations, of the substance of the universe. Revolution Theory is thus a scientific disagreement with competing theories of the creation of the universe, including, among others, the Theory of Evolution and the pseudoscientific Intelligent Design theory.

Revolution Theory proponents, like all scientists, believe that science should be conducted objectively, without regard to the implications of its findings, and without philosophic or religious assumptions. Some people believe that this is particularly necessary in origins science because of its historical (and, thus, very subjective) nature, and because it is a science that can be perceived as impacting religion. However, like all true science, Revolution Theory is neutral with regard to religion. It is neither compatible with religion or incompatible with it. Revolution Theory makes no postulation as to whether the revolutions themselves are guided or unguided by any force, religious, intelligent or otherwise.

Changing Minds

Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner offers insights into the phenomenon of changing minds.
Why is it so mysterious? How do people become set in a certain way of thinking? And what does it take to change a perspective? As he did previous books about intelligence, creativity, and
leadership, Gardner challenges traditional thinking.

He draws on decades of cognitive research to show mind change not as a sudden "epiphany"
but as a gradual process that can be actively and powerfully influenced. He identifies seven levers that aid or thwart the process of mind change and provides an original framework that shows how individuals can align these levers to bring about significant changes in perspective and behavior.

Development and Education of the Mind

In the World Library of Educationalists series, international experts themselves compile career-long collections of what they judge to be their finest pieces- extracts from books, key articles, salient research findings, major theoretical and/practical contributions--so the work can read them in a single manageable volume.

Readers will be able to follow the themes and strands of their work and see their contribution to the development of a field.

A developmental psychologist by training, Howard Gardner has spent the last 30 years researching, thinking and writing about the development and education of the mind. He has contributed over 30 years researching, thinking and writing about the development and education of the mind. He has contributed over 30 books and 700 articles to the field. He is best known for his critique of the notion that intelligence is one single human intelligence that can be assessed through psychometric tests. Instead Gardner developed the theory of "multiple intelligence" which states that an individual has eight relatively autonomous intelligence:

· Language
· Music
· Emotional
· Logical-mathematical
· Spatial
· Kinesthetic
· Creative
· Interpersonal (understanding oneself)

This theory has proved popular, particularly with those who see the IQ testing a relatively narrow set of abilities.

In this book, he brings together over 20 of his key writings in one place. The book begins with a specially written Introduction, which gives an overview of Howard's career and contextualizes his selection in this book. Through his selection we can see the development of his thinking as well as the development of the field. This is the only book that offers this insight into his great scholar's work.

Multiple Intelligence - New Horizons

Gardner's seminal 1993 account of the practical applications of Multiple Intelligences theory is now completely updated and expanded to reflect the latest developments in the field Howard Gardner's brilliant conception of individual competence has changed the face of education in the twenty-three years since the publication of his classic work, Frames of Mind. Since then thousands of educators, parents, and researchers have explored the practical implications and applications of Multiple Intelligences theory--the powerful notion that there are separate human capacities, ranging from musical intelligence to the intelligence involved in self-understanding.

The first decade of research on MI theory and practice was reported in the 1993 edition ofMultiple Intelligences. This new edition covers all developments since then and stands as the most thorough and up-to-date account of MI available anywhere. Completely revised throughout, it features new material on global applications and on MI in the workplace, an assessment of MI practice in the current conservative educational climate, new evidence about brain functioning, and much more. 

Five Minds for the Future from Harvard Business School Press

Gardner's newest book, Five Minds for the Future outlines the specific cognitive abilities that will be sought and cultivated by leaders in the years ahead.

They include:

  • The Disciplinary Mind: the mastery of major schools of thought, including
    science, mathematics, and history, and of at least one professional craft.

  • The Synthesizing Mind: the ability to integrate ideas from different disciplines or spheres into a coherent whole and to communicate that integration to others.

  • The Creating Mind: the capacity to uncover and clarify new problems,
    questions and phenomena. 

  • The Respectful Mind: awareness of and appreciation for differences among
    human beings and human groups.

  • The Ethical Mind: fulfillment of one's responsibilities as a worker and as a

In the book, Gardner draws from a wealth of diverse examples to illuminate these ideas, designed to inspire lifelong learning and also to provide valuable insights for those charged with training and developing organizational leaders.

Drawing on decades of cognitive research and rich examples from history, politics, business, science, and the arts, Gardner writes for professionals, teachers, parents, political and business leaders, trainers, and all who
prize the cognitive skills at a premium for tomorrow.

May 17, 2011

Integrity - You Can't Fake It!

I had heard a story regarding integrity several years ago when I was in the Marine Corps. I had spent twelve years as a Marine - and it will never leave me. You know what they say - once a Marine - always a Marine.

Now I don’t believe for a minute that this story that I’m about to tell is true - but - it gives a perfect illustration of what integrity is.

There was a General that used to love to take his Marines on forced marches every so often. There was just something about it that he loved.

Now if you do not know what a forced march is - it is where the Marines get into full combat gear - which includes their rifles - wearing their helmets - sometimes flak jackets - full pack - and then you would march out over rough terrain to a predetermined destination - and then back. Sound easy doesn’t it - yah right!

Now I will tell you that I have been on several forced marches and they are just a blast - almost as much fun as having a tooth pulled.

"If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original."

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions

Creativity is thinking up new things. 

Innovation is doing new things.

May 16, 2011

સમય સમયે આ વિશાળ બ્રહ્માંડના સાપેક્ષમાં પોતાના જીવનને જુઓ. તે સમુદ્રના એક ટીંપા જેટલુ પણ નથી. બસ માત્ર આટલી જ જાગૃતતા તમને તમારી હીનભાવનામાંથી બહાર લઈ જશે અને તમે તમારા જીવનની દરેક ક્ષણને જીવવા માટે સક્ષમ થઈ જશો. 
પોતાની જાતને જીવનના સર્વોચ્ચ લક્ષ્યની યાદ અપાવો. તમે અહીંયા ફરીયાદો કરવા માટે કે ચીડચીડ કરવા માટે નથી આવ્યાં પરંતુ કંઈક મોટુ કામ કરવા માટે આવ્યાં છો. 
વિશ્વાસ રાખો કે દિવ્ય શક્તિ તમને સૌથી વધારે પ્રેમ કરે છે અને સૌથી વધારે તમારૂ ધ્યાન રાખે છે. એવી આસ્થા અને વિશ્વાસ રાખો કે તમારા જીવન માટે જે કંઈ પણ જરૂરી છે તે તમને જરૂર મળશે. 

ધર્મના મુખ્ય બે અર્થ છે. એક છે સંસ્કૃતિ જેનો સંબંધ બહારથી છે. બીજુ છે આધ્યત્મ, જેનો સંબંધ અંદરથી છે. ધર્મનું તત્વ અંદર છે, મત બહાર છે. તત્વ અને મત બંનેનું જોડ ધર્મ છે. તત્વના આધાર પર મતનું નિર્ધારણ થાય છે તો, ધર્માની સાચી દિશા હોય છે. મતના આધારે તત્વનું નિર્ધારણ થાય તો વાત કુરૂપ થઈ જાય છે. 

એક સંત હતો. અંદરની ગુફામાં જઈને ધર્મના તત્વ આધ્યાત્મને જાણતો હતો. પછી તે ચાલ્યો જાય છે. પછી મત બચેલ રહે છે. તેના આધારે એક સંસ્કૃતિ વિકસીત થાય છે. સંસ્કૃતિના ફૂલ ખીલે છે. કાળ ક્રમમાં સંસ્કૃતિ મુખ્ય થઈ જાય છે. આધ્યાત્મ ગૌણ થઈ જાય છે અને પછી એક સંતને એક જીવીત સંતને આ ધરતી પર આવવું પડે છે. ફરીથી અંગારા સળગાવવાના હોય છે, ફરીથી દીવિ પ્રગટાવવાનો હોય છે. 

જે દિવો ક્યારેક પ્રગટ્યો હતો, તેના આધારે જે ગીત રહી ગયાં હતાં, તે જુના થઈ જાય છે. ફરીથી એક નવો દીપક સળગે છે. નવો પ્રકાશ આવે છે. નવું ગીત ફુટે છે. નવી નદી વહે છે. બધુ જ નવું થઈ જાય છે. તો કહીશ કે તમે જાણો કે ના જાણો તમે બધા ધર્મના માર્ગ પર જ છો. કોઈ વ્યક્તિ એવો નથી જે ધર્મના માર્ગે ના ચાલતો હોય. 

તે વાત અલગ છે કે તેને આ વિશે ખબર છે કે નહિ? પરંતુ ધર્મનું તત્વ શું છે? ધર્મનું ઉદ્ગમ શું છે? ક્યાં પહોચવાનું છે આપણે? ગંતવ્ય શું છે? 

તે વાતને કહેવા માટે જ સંત આ પૃથ્વી પર આવે છે. સ્વામી વિવેકાનંદ પણ આવ્યાં. અને સંત એવું યાદ અપાવવા માટે આવે છે કે તમે કોણ છો? 'અમૃતસ્ય મુત્રા:'. તમે રામ કૃષ્ણના જ સંતાન છો. તમે કબીર અને ગુરૂનાનકના સંતના છો. તમે બુદ્ધ અને મહાવીરના સંતાન છો. તમે કેન ગરીબ, દુ:ખીયારૂ અને દરિદ્ર જેવું જીવન જીવી રહ્યાં છો? કેમ અશાંત છો? કેમ દુ:ખી છો? અમારૂ સ્વરૂપ અમે ભુલી ગયાં છીએ. લગભગ આપણે આપણા વાસ્તવિક સ્વરૂપને ભુલીને આવું જ જીવન જીવીએ છીએ. 

આ જીવનની કેટલી ગરીમા છે. આ જીવનની કેટલી ક્ષમતા છે. અનંત આનંદનો ખજાનો જે અમારી અંદર છે. તેની તરફ આપણે પીઠ કરીએ છીએ. મહર્ષિ નારદની જેમ ફરીથી કોઈ સંત આવે છે આપણી વચ્ચે. ક્યારેક બુદ્ધ, ક્યારેક મહાવીર, ક્યારેક ગુરૂનાનક, ક્યારેક મીરા, ક્યારેક દરિયા, ક્યારેક સહજો અને ક્યારેક દયા બનીને આવે છે અને આપણને કહે છે કે ચાલો તે માનસરોવર ચાલો જ્યાંથી તમે આવ્યાં છો.

રોજ ચાલવા માટે થોડોક સમય કાઢો. સંગીત, પ્રાર્થના અને મૌનથી પોતાનું પોષણ કરો. થોડીક મિનિટ ધ્યાન, યોગ અને પ્રાણાયામ કરો. આ તમને રોગમુક્ત રાખશે અને તમારી અંદર નવી ઉર્જા પણ ભરશે તેમજ તમારી અંદર ગહનતા અને સ્થિરતા લાવે છે
જેવી રીતે આપણે કેલેંડરના પાનને પલટતાં જોઈએ છીએ તે જ રીતે આપણે આપણા મનને પણ પલટતાં રહેવું જરૂરી છે. ખાસ કરીને આપણી ડાયરી યાદોથી ભરેલી રહે છે. ધ્યાન રાખો કે તમે તમારા ભવિષ્યની તિથીઓને ભુતકાળની યાદોથી ન ભરી દો. પોતાના ભુતકાળથી કંઈક શીખો, કંઈક છોડો અને આગળ વધો. 
પ્રત્યેક ઉંચી સફળતા માટે પહેલા દ્રઢ આત્મવિશ્વાસ હોવો જરૂરી છે.
યશ ત્યાગથી મળે છે, વાતો થી નહિ.
સફળતાનો દીપક પરિશ્રમ દ્વારા પ્રગટતો રહે છે 
અહંકારના વિનાશ પછીજ મજબુત મનોબળનું સર્જન થાય છે.

May 14, 2011

The Rumsfeld Diaries

Donald H. Rumsfeld has a résumé that might make even God a bit envious. Princeton wrestler; Navy pilot; U.S. representative by the age of 30; counselor to the President of the United States; U.S. ambassador to NATO; White House chief of staff; chief executive of two Fortune 500 companies. He was the youngest Defense Secretary in U.S. history—and also the oldest.
Yet, to paraphrase Euripides: Those whom the gods would destroy, first they endow with golden résumés. Rumsfeld's stewardship of George W. Bush's Iraq War has left his once-undented reputation looking like it was hit by a roadside IED. His critics blame him for—where to begin?—going after Saddam Hussein in the first place, the lack of much-touted WMDs, the looting of the Iraqi National Museum, the obscenities of Abu Ghraib, water-boarding, Guantánamo, and pretty much everything else. By the time Bush asked for his resignation—one that Rumsfeld writes he'd already twice volunteered—Rummy had been teed up by journalists, quick-draw historians, and the left-wing punditariat as a Robert Strange McNamara 2.0. They even kind of look alike.
Rumsfeld may also be the only cabinet secretary in American history to have blurted out spontaneous Zen koans in the midst of press conferences. His now famous utterance about "known knowns"—and "known unknowns"and "unknown unknowns"—has not only been turned into poetry (albeit by mischievous satirists) but has also been set to music. Now it's the title of a book.
I've known Don Rumsfeld for 15 years, and I approachedKnown and Unknown with some trepidation. I was against the Iraq War from the outset. After its brilliant and efficient initial phase, I became deeply disillusioned. Like many of my generation, I felt I'd seen this movie before, in the late 1960s. I'd read Bob Woodward's books and a number of others that filled me with anger and left the unpleasant aftertaste that a man I admired had plunged the country into another awful quagmire. And that he'd done it, moreover, with what his old boss might call "Grecian" hubris.
Known and Unknown changed my mind. Rumsfeld doesn't suffer from Testosterone Deficit Syndrome, and he comes at the reader with his jaw full out. Yet even his critics will have to strain to assert that he's dishonest. He takes his share of blame for the Administration's overemphasis on WMDs. (There were, he writes, many other valid reasons for taking out Saddam Hussein—among them, Saddam's more-than-numerous violations of U.N. resolutions.) He makes no claims to being a PR genius and acknowledges that the "Old Europe" crack didn't help. But he insists America did the right thing in Iraq and that he would do it again. He believes that Bush 41 should have finished the job on the first go-around, but he doesn't buy into the Oedipal theory, much in vogue, that Bush 43 went back to upstage his old man.
Readers will be reminded that Rumsfeld has been something of a Republican Zelig. Known and Unknown opens with his famous 1983 handshake with Saddam in Baghdad. Pages later, he's under rocket attack in Beirut, sidestepping pools of blood at the presidential palace. Then there he is—oh, so wisely—turning down Nixon's offer to head up CREEP, the exquisitely titled Committee to Re-Elect the President. Later he's in the White House Situation Room on Apr. 29, 1975, as Saigon was being evacuated, insisting America not end its saddest engagement with yet another lie.
Later still, he's in the motorcade with President Ford when—look out!—their car is accidentally rammed by four teenagers, leaving Ford with a nasty bump on his head. A few days afterward, as the two left the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, Rummy suggested Ford move quickly to the limo so that no one would notice the ding. (Chevy Chase didn't need any more material.) It was Ford's quickened pace that gave Sara Jane Moore a faster-moving target and resulted in her bullet whizzing between the President's and Rumsfeld's heads. What else? Yes, of course: On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, he was at his desk at the Pentagon when the whole building suddenly shook.
While it isn't always thrilling—meditations on interoffice memoranda don't often make for Tom Clancy-quality suspense—Known and Unknown is a meaty, well-written book that will be a primary source for historians. For the truly insatiable, and perhaps the socially challenged, he's putting a zillion supporting documents online. Please, be my guest. Yet this power memoir deserves to be read with the care that went into writing it. Too many Washington tell-alls are dashed off or left to hapless ghostwriters because the—ahem—"author" was racing off to another $100,000 speaking gig in Orlando.
Known and Unknown is also assiduously, almost mind-numbingly footnoted and sourced. Perhaps it's a sign that Rumsfeld has spent enough time in Washington to know most readers start at the index. Here's a short tipsheet of who comes out well, and who doesn't.
At the top of the latter list: Condoleezza Rice. Rumsfeld writes without any flavor of score-settling, but it's pellucidly clear he views her as a disaster from start to finish, both at the National Security Council and the State Dept. Others who may want to chew a Pepto-Bismol tablet or two before looking themselves up: Colin Powell, George Tenet, Jacques Chirac, Richard Armitage, Paul Bremer, formerNewsweek editor Mark Whitaker, Dick Durbin, and more or less the entire U.S. State Dept. The praised include George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, George Shultz, and the U.S. military (with a few high-level exceptions).
Rumsfeld's essential theme is that Americans don't tolerate long engagements. (Though the country managed a long one, albeit of a different kind, between 1949 and 1989.) He cites, and dwells on repeatedly, America's rapid pull-outs from Beirut after the Marine barracks bombing in 1983, and from Somalia following the "Black Hawk Down" episode a decade later. These departures give assurance to our enemies, he writes. Rumsfeld explains that Saddam told his interrogators he viewed America as a "paper tiger," though the Lion of Iraq may have entertained a different view once the noose was put around his neck. The Rumsfeld Doctrine is, of course, contestable—what were we doing there in the first place, anyway?—but he defends it nevertheless with muscle and vigor.
A thoughtful man and an avid reader of history, Rummy delights in collecting maxims, which he publishes privately as Rumsfeld's Rules. Many of those nuggets are sprinkled throughoutKnown and Unknown, and provide a glimpse into the inner workings of the man. Some of the most telling include: "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything" (Dwight Eisenhower); "If you get the objectives right, a lieutenant can write the strategy" (George Marshall). The next few hail from his seven years running G.D. Searle, during which profits rose from $35 million to $162 million: "What you measure improves"; "You get what you inspect, not what you expect"; "A's hire A's; B's hire C's." It has been a pleasure to know Donald Rumsfeld. Thank God I never worked for him.
During the worst moments of the Iraq War, though, I came across another one of Rumsfeld's bits of Zen: "If you can't solve a problem, make it bigger." I loved that line, and quoted it often, adding with a laugh, "Well, I guess that worked." I still like the line, but I'm no longer laughing quite so hard.

Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All and The Soul of Leadership

It takes nerve to charge readers $22.50 for a book that lectures them about why they should give away their work for free. It takes even more nerve to write a book about why money doesn't matter and call it Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All.
Yes, Russell Simmons has moxie. Give him his due, though: He also has his finger on the pulse. He made his first fortune with Def Jam, a record label that did the seemingly impossible—sell rap acts to a white suburban audience. Then he started Phat Farm, a clothing line that brought inner city style to the hinterland. Later he branched into the movie business, even producing a remake of The Nutty Professor with a largely African American cast.
As Simmons edges into his mid-fifties, he's on to the Next Big Thing: enlightenment. To be more specific, enlightenment without those pesky restrictions on greed and ego. Call it Buddhism for the boardroom.
It's no accident that the endorsement adorning the jacket of Super Rich comes from spiritual baron Deepak Chopra, who has been working similar territory for what seems like several lifetimes. (Who knows? If you accept the Buddhist worldview, perhaps he has been.) Chopra's latest work in the great wheel of being, The Soul of Leadership, is itself positioned in the enlightened management genre. It's his 60th book. While Judaism, Christianity, and Islam can contain their major insights in a single volume each, Chopra needs an entire shelf.
Unfortunately, he has yet to address the greatest riddle of them all—why anyone should think that Eastern mysticism will lead to material success. At the heart of yoga, Buddhism, and similar traditions—all previous Chopra topics—is the notion that worldly goods don't matter. But let's not nitpick. In deference to Buddha, who was, after all, something of a spiritual entrepreneur, let's explore some of the noble truths revealed in these business texts:
I. Success is elusive. In both authors' works, it's difficult to find concrete business lessons. And perhaps that's the point. For example, writes Chopra: "Your body is a constant projection of you in the world. Every cell eavesdrops on your thoughts." The author views our metabolisms as chat rooms, with epidermal cells listening in to what's going on in the cranium. If you don't understand what he means, your foot can explain it to you.
II. Be. And just keep being… While Chopra encourages leaders to "be here in the present," Simmons says to "approach all of your work with a smile." According to the authors, the promises that follow are worth it. Simmons assures us that "within a few years you will be able to transform from the unpaid intern into the multimillionaire CEO." Chopra vows that those who lead from the soul will gain the support of invisible powers and can expect miracles to happen—a useful strategy for any executive.
III. Work for free, seek enlightenment, bling it up. Simmons insists the first priority in life is to move toward enlightenment. Why? "Because the road to enlightenment is paved with gold!" According to Super Rich, if you attain a holy state, oodles of money will soon follow. Somewhat mystifyingly, Simmons also argues that people should work without expecting payback. He extols yoga, preaches veganism, and gushes over Transcendental Meditation even though he earned his money the old-fashioned way: by working 16-hour days and by promoting groups like South Central Cartel, fonts of deeply spiritual insights such as, "When I let these bullets fly, from this heat, you goin' die."
IV. The pain leads to insight. It's easy to mock Simmons for sprinkling product mentions among his yogic revelations or to snicker at Chopra's pseudoscientific bromides, which would be a lot more effective if he occasionally cited the scientific research he vaguely alludes to. Although anyone who perseveres to the end of both books will be struck with a revelation—we've heard a lot of these tips before. Usually from our mothers. And often before the age of five.
V. Appreciate the wonder. Do readers need Simmons to explain that people don't like being around grouches? Or to be reminded by Chopra that we should take other people's feelings into account? Probably not. Yet many remain eager to be reminded so long as such basics can be linked to making a fortune. Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking, Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, and other enlightened-management tomes have espoused much the same advice for decades. The only thing that changes in these new works is the wrapper. Yoga, hip-hop, and references to cellular biology now dress up the same old pointers on working hard and keeping your chin up. Though give Chopra and Simmons some credit: Their books reawaken a sense of wonder—that such stuff still sells. That's something worth meditating on.