India woke up to change with recent elections in Delhi. Congress which reigned over Delhi for decades finally lost the hold on the Capital of India. The interesting part is that it lost to the Aam Admi Party (AAP) – (Aam admi stands for common man). I think it is a sign of India rising. I am inspired by the youth and people of Delhi who took matters in the hand to put a stop on the corruption and inflation. These are the things that put India’s future in threat in spite of its growing GDP.
The interesting thing is that even the media is not sure what to do with the rising of the common man. They are so used to the game of power and putting a spin on things to sell their content; simplicity of this situation is beyond its comprehension. The media outlets reporting on this are trying so hard to grip the public in fear of lack of government calling not forming a coalition (since their is no clear winner) a sign of being irresponsible. Wow! how hard is it to understand that power without influence, autonomy and empowerment is like running on a tread mill – you keep running without getting anywhere.
The entire conversation is about the ambition of the incumbent party but not about the victory of the people over power. I think that traditional media now needs new ways to communicate with the youth and people. They need a mindset change. Instilling fear before anything has happened is so old school and so 1920s.
In the business world, we are always up against change and consumer is king. And politics needs to adapt this model to a certain extent. If a company does not adapt to the new disruptive technologies and user preferences, they lose market share. A new small, agile start-up has the power to overthrow BIG conglomerates. In recent times, mobile games from nimble studios has big console makers rethink their position in the market, Cloud services created new opportunities and breakdowns and retailers are already turning to digital stores. The point is that if you are not open to change, you will lose. Even a Wall street will crumble to nothing if corruption and greed is the foundation of the business – leaving everybody in a bad situation.
In India, people have been so resigned to corruption that it is refreshing that folks are taking responsibility to do something about it. All the naysayers stand corrected, the message is “Enough is Enough”. After six decades of independence, the people of the country cannot stand being part of a nation where we worship goddesses while girls don’t feel safe leaving their homes, farmers continually live in poverty in a nation which is agriculturally independent and inflation makes it harder for the people to afford a decent meal and youth miss out on opportunities for a better future based on a caste system or their economic status.
Yes, the new party has no experience, money or track record. But this is exactly the disadvantage which is a great asset. Ask anyone who is an underdog, they will tell you that experience is over-rated and not knowing is what enables them to take risks that no one will take to be successful.
I am inspired by what took place. It gives me the goose bumps to think of the possibilities in front of India – with an empowered youth who is not going to stand for fear but for change. I am grateful to people who sacrificed their careers, families and personal aspirations to show us this day. Like the Mahatma always said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
I salute India!!!
I am a fan of cricket and I am fan of Sachin Tendulkar. But I am a huge fan of the man who was fierce in his commitment to the sport of cricket and never got into a controversy that took his focus away from his desire to excel in the game. We see examples of rock stars, celebrities and champions who are surrounded with scandals and controversy. Rarely, we come across someone who bears the responsibility of expectations of nation of billion people, is treated like a “God” yet stays grounded in his values and doesn’t let his success erode his ethics.
He has never been seen turn down a fan request for an autograph, a picture or even yell at media. This is how composed he is dealing with the stress of playing at international level and expectations of a nation that treats cricket as a religion. No doubt his achievements are remarkable but what fascinates me his composure in all possible stressful situations and his gratitude for love that he gets from his fans and people who believe in him. Starting his career at sixteen, he has always kept cool and respected his team and opponents equally. This is not an easy feat. It shows respect for all.
It is clear he was ambitious – he had dreams but he is an example of someone who knows that ambition can take you places and there is a possibility of going stray. But if you stay grounded and are anchored in values you never have situations that take away your focus from what you want to create. Above all you have a lot of support from others. It is not fun to be alone on the top. You need your friends and family every step of the way and have to be grateful to their contributions they make for you to be successful.
His last speech as he bid farewell to his international career is an example of what gratitude and acknowledgement of every contribution means. It is not about him, it is about others. Nothing big can be achieved alone – the bigger your ambition the more help you need. Mahatma Gandhi did not fight for independence of India alone, Mother Teresa did not run the operations for caring for poor alone and similarly no successful business man, sport star or celebrity can succeed in his ambition without the support of others and gratitude of their sacrifice and contributions.
Check out his last speech here:
Recently, I presented at Login conference. Below are the slides from my presentation. Thanks to Seda Balci for inviting me. It was a great experience.
Today, it is hard to imagine a day without mobile phones. Yet with every opportunity comes a breakdown. In the current ecosystem, mobile app discovery and distribution is getting harder. And this has forced some great game developers out of business. But the people in this space work for the love of the game – so future is very bright!
The Topic – Mobile Gaming – A journey – Past, Present & Future.
Below are my slides:
This morning, I was at my Bodycombat class (is a fiercely energetic martial arts workout where you are totally unleashed and empowered. Karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai enthusiasts especially enjoy this class). And that is where I met Jennifer, who was teaching the class or in other words was my teacher.
Now a little introduction to Jennifer, she is young, around twenty, well built (of course, she is the instructor) and has a ton of stamina. The thing what is most striking about her is not how she looks but that she is damn good at Bodycombat.
But the lesson I got from this young woman is that, no doubt, you need to be good at what you do but you also need to inspire others. This is not as simple and it requires a lot of attention to details…
Here are my first observations:
- She had the best and current Rock music playlists. In leadership terms, the environment and ecosystem in business.
- She had a command on the class with her voice and clarity of instructions. In management terms, clarity of communication and vision.
- She was having fun and pushing herself and I did get carried away . In motivational terms if you are having fun doing what you do it is likely your enthusiasm is contagious.
I never thought I would say it, however, I have to say “I saw my younger self” in her. Well! that is not important point here…
What is important though is that – older or younger – we all can learn from each other. I am going back to my teacher for more Bodycombat cause she rocks it all the way…And I am learning to ROCK from the BEST!!!
The Application Developers Alliance, in partnership with the Business and Revenue Working Group, hosted a series of Monetization Workshops to help developers, startups and app publishers find the path to mobile app profitability.
I was invited to the Publisher panel – Monetization Strategies: to contribute to the conversation. It was a fun discussion. Check it out…
Its Ironical that the weekend I picked to see Miss Representation , a documentary by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and aired on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (The film explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence), is the weekend when Miss America 2014 is a young woman from Indian hertiage, Nina Davuluri.
So what is the Irony? Check out the trailer first: I had tears in my eyes after I finished seeing this on Netflix.
I think winning a beauty pageant is a a good achievement. However, this content is aired on National TV and is purely for advertisers who are not interested in any cause but in eyeballs they get. So, the TV networks are pressed to drive higher ratings and have no interest in covering events where women became doctors, engineers or leaders in any field (they are boring and of course it helps if the social media is fired up on an issue that is truly not relevant to beauty) LA Times reports increase ratings for ABC…
The irony is that Nina Davuluri (an aspiring doctor to be) , Miss America 2014, will not get so much coverage the day she graduates as a Doctor.
I agree with Jennifer Siebel Newsom, we as women are more than just beautiful and sexy. We need to tell stories of women being acknowledged for their intellect, professionalism and leadership. So that, more younger women and our future generations have opportunities to express their power and influence in public offices, corporations and in all domains of careers across the board.
All I am saying, it is great to win beauty contests but it is also great to be a leader in your field as doctor, engineer, journalist etc. I call on you all for making a world where we truly own what stories about us will media tell…
Recently, someone asked me “What is beauty?”
It got me thinking…When I was little, the most beautiful person I had seen ever was my first grade teacher. She had long black hair parted in the middle and tied in a long braid, she used to elegantly drape a cotton sari and pair it with simple sandals, she had long eye lashes, freckles on her face and a very soft voice, and she had a stern look and a powerful gait that reflected an inner strength. To me, she was beautiful – intrinsically and extrinsically.
I remember my first trip to Paris. It was my first international trip outside of India, where I grew up. I still vividly recall first time setting eyes on the Eifel tower; I recall walking under the giant structure and feeling overwhelmed with the well put up structure of wrought iron. As I took the elevator to the top, I was struck by the complete view of the city of Paris, Seine River flowing close to the majestic tower structure; its history feeling like the triumph of mankind. To me, the entire experience was beautiful – as if I was in a communication that generated an intense emotion of joy and sense of accomplishment and transcendence.
Beauty is found is something done well. It is observed in the elegant shape and in superior craftsmanship that goes with it. It is a virtuous display of art.
E.g. Natural beauty is in a landscape with mountains in the background, trees and flowers with perfect lighting and a stream of water at a distance.
E.g. Artistic beauty is found in a beautiful diamond necklace – in its symmetry and meticulous workmanship. It also triggers an assessment of intelligence, access to rare materials and planning ability.
So, beauty is in design. It’s in simplicity, it’s a warm invitation, it’s the joy of discovery, a creative quest for mankind. It tells a story of wisdom, an ecosystem and time that is immersive.
And now the most beautiful thing to me – It is air travel.
The idea of airports designed to facilitate take off, landing, departures and arrivals is fascinating. My favorite is the take off – the tiny window of the airplane captures an amazing scene – at the take -off, the building get smaller slowly as elevation increases, the view of the horizon and clouds close by is breathtaking. The airplane pierces through the wind to get to cruising elevation and makes a roar as it fights gravity. When it reaches the cruising elevation, the idea of sitting in steel tube 30,000 feet over ground simply is exhilarating. And then there is a sense of peace that takes over and new possibilities of experiences open up as you get to your destination.
There is a story of evolution of collective wisdom of mankind, collaboration and planning that leaves you feeling fortunate about being born in modern times. You feel a sense of pride for your community who overcame a physical limitation to fly and made it a new way of travel for generations to come.
I have been on diverse teams and have had many bosses in my career–some leaders inspired me, while others didn’t. Those that did had one thing in common, they trusted the people who worked for them. Here’s a story to illustrate what I mean.
Continue Reading…Here is the link to my post on WomenWorking.com: Do people Trust You?
We all have seen two sides of President Obama, in 2004, he was the incumbent and had a valor in his narrative. In the last debate, we saw a President, who has been jaded by the system. And is defensive to the attacks of the opposition. It all makes sense that sometimes “Ignorance is Bliss”. In 2004, his agenda was to get elected and his daring and challenging posture inspired the nation. This time, he is wise to see the whole picture and to be focused on elections is not entirety of his being.
As I have enjoyed debates as a debater and as a spectator, I wanted to share what has worked for me:
Tell a story – In these debates, it is critical to narrate a story, be it someone you spoke to at a town hall or it is something from your personal experience – it helps people identify with what you are trying to convey. There is always an intrigue in the audience if there is a story – everybody is going “What happened next?”
Be Assertive – Yes, we need to say things with conviction and be very assertive in driving home the point we are trying to make. It is important to be respectful and at the same time it is important to make a compelling rebuttal to the opponent’s point.
Humor hails – It is natural that the witty humor takes you a long way. The audience likes a bit of entertainment and it is good to be able to provide some of that. This is where those on the fence tend to shift their positions in your side.
Look into the eyes – It is critical to turn yourself away from the opponent and the moderator and look directly at the audience. This is when your objective is to connect to people directly and acknowledge those who you can’t see.
Be Genuine – Be good in arithmetic. No one likes to be treated like a fool who cannot do math. If you are opposing something, back it up to demonstrate that it does not add up. Finally, share from the heart. It is likely people will see how much you care and that is the is what counts most.
Let the best man win!!!
Most recently, we heard a lot of about the Lance Armstrong in the newspaper. A cyclist extraordinaire who had numerous unparalleled accomplishments and just like that one day he was stripped off of all his laurels. It makes me wonder when someone who had worked so hard and relentlessly and surpassed human feats looses everything in a split second for their sudden lack of judgement. Here I mean to say – their lack of judgement of the people around them.
Let me elaborate, it is true man is known by the company he keeps. It is also true that man becomes like the people he is surrounded with. In essence, sometimes, pressure of the task ahead coupled with some misleading company has an adverse impact. If you are surrounded with well-meaning friends, mentors and coaches, their wisdom and intelligence will give you the foresight to do the right things. On the other hand, if you are surrounded with people who are short-sighted and self-centered, they will hurt your reputation for their short-term goals.
This brings forth the distinction between “clever” and “intelligence”.
Cleverness is short-sighted and is motivated by self-interest. Most business people and politicians are likely to be clever. Like the people surrounding Lance Armstrong who were invested in his success for their self-interest.
Intelligence is seeing everything connected as a larger whole. Intelligent folks do that makes sense for everyone in the group. They are more likely to keep you focused on the path to success without any shortcuts.
Making distinctions that help you make good choices is key to where your journey will take you. Are you looking for a clever, self-centered short-run or an intelligent and all inclusive long-run in your career and personal life. Surround yourself with people more intelligent than yourself!!!
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With the current globalization and technological advancements, we are seeing an exponential growth in diversity in our world. People are transcending cultures and geographies and are embracing diversity in their experiences and interactions with others. Most importantly, this book is a thought provoking resource for managers and those who work with a diverse group of people, be it in the workforce, community projects, team building assignments, social gatherings, or business meetings.
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