Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year 2009 Wishes to you all!

My wishes to you all - Happy New Year 2009!
Let the coming year fill with peace and prosperity throughout the world.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Speech to Tomorrow's Leaders

Great man delivering great speech to children. But it is not only for young children. Surely it is delightful watching this inspirational delivery.

 

 

Stop Sand Stealing

sand_stealling I saw dozens of lorries standing inside a river (Tamil Nadu, India). This is one of the place where they are taking (to be frank - "stealing") the sand for construction works. Though government approved certain agencies to take certain amount of sand per day. But there is no such measure exists and no government personnel stand there to stop illegal sand stealing. Even any one complains about it - death is sure for them immediately. See how our earth is robbed to the core.

 

Who is going to stop this? Are you building a house? then you may be using sand from these illegal sand thieves.

(Picture taken from Bus)

    STOP STEALING SAND! SAVE MOTHER EARTH!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

சிரிப்பு வெடி

இவன்: என் பையனுக்கும் அஜீத்துக்கும் ஒரே ஒரு வித்தியாசம் தான் தெரியுமா?
அவன்: அப்படியா? என்ன அது?
இவன்: அஜீத் ‘தல’. என் பையன் “தரு-தல

சன் தொலைக்காட்சியின் கலக்கபோவது யாரு? நிகழ்ச்சியிலிருந்து சுட்டது.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Buy rail tickets on your mobile

IRCTC has tied up with ngpay to let you buy Indian Railway tickets from your mobile

What is ngpay?

ngpay
is India's Fastest Growing Mall... on your mobile.
Download ngpay on your mobile phone and get ready to open your world!

To download the ngpay application, send a SMS
ngpay to 56767 or download from
www.ngpay.com/irctc

ngpay lets you shop, bank, pay and more from your mobile in a way that is fast, simple and very secure.

What are the unique features of
ngpay?
  • ngpay can be quickly downloaded on your mobile
  • Easy-to-use navigation for booking railway tickets
  • Quick and simple registration process
  • 128-bit security for smooth and secure transaction
  • No downtime with 24x7 access to IRCTC ticket booking facilities
  • Highly interactive with immediate and efficient process of your IRCTC transaction
  • Wide range of payment and service transactions
What do you need to use ngpay?

ngpay works on most JAVA enabled mobile phones. All you need to do is activate GPRS with your mobile operator.

Hurry you get Rs.50 Off every e-ticket you are booking.

For More Information & Product Demo: http://www.irctc.co.in/ngpay/ngpay_overview.htm

Thursday, December 18, 2008

2008 - A Year of Volatility

Recession, share market change, oil prices and essential commodity prices are affecting almost all country/organization/employees/citizens globally. One news item shows some 100 of our brothers dying everyday because of malaria in African countries. Thousands of Tamil people killed by government troupes in Sri Lanka’s local war. Everyone saw a major fall in the global share market this year. We are all praying for a good change in the share market.

Due to hike in global oil prices, price of grocery items gone up beyond purchasing power. As a family man, I expect reduction in commodity prices. In this situation, more rumours about possible war against terrorism & terror nations down the lane which may increase the survival fear too.

Almost whole of 2008 was so volatile which made me stronger enough to accept more challenges in future.

My New Dell D630 Laptop

I got new Dell 630 Laptop from office. For long time I was using external DVD writer & Hard disk for making copies of my folders. It was so uncomfortable to keep all connected in single place. Even I lost number of DVD discs due to corruption while writing it. As data to write in DVD exist in external Hard disk connected through USB. I could achieve writing file only by copying necessary files into my laptop hard disk from external disk. My earlier laptop was just 20 GB hard disk.


Now I got D630 which satisfies my need of storage and writing with in-built DVD writer. It is pretty faster in writing a file. Now I could write 4.5GB using CDBurner XP around 10 mins time! RAM Size 2GB. My browsing really faster now with pages downloading within seconds. I am totally happy with the laptop. DELL Rocks!

Monday, December 15, 2008

December Astrological Events

I saw 2 astrological events this week. One on 1st December another 12th December. Both are related to moon. On 1st December, I wondered by seeing the the nature. Two stars were like eyes & moon is like smiling mouth. It reminded me the usual smiley emoticons which I use : )

Another one event was on last Friday, 12th December - Moon was so bright on that full moon day. My brother told me that during its orbit rotation, moon was so near to earth on that day. It was the astrological event that occurred after about 30 years.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Join hands for Good not for bad

“Lion does not kill its species.
Elephant also does not do so.
To my knowledge, all five sense species do not kill its relatives or neighbors.
But six sense ‘Human’ beings do so in the name of Terrorism, which is absolute non-sense”

Terrorism need to be removed in any form. Let us join our hands against terrorism and keep peace in the world. It is our duty to provide required information & co-operation for security checks. So, don’t get irritated when security personnel stop you for checking. Be patient and show your acknowledgment for their good work.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Few Movie Reviews

As I saw number of movies in the last few weeks, I could not write individual reviews on each. Let me consolidate and write reviews on those movies.

1. Saroja -- Excellent thriller with young heros. Film is witty in number of places. A group of friends goes to Hyderabad to see cricket match but got into trouble when they save a kidnapped girl. But the ending is same as Dhaam Dhoom (even the actor is same).

2. Raman Thediya Seethai -- One Line Story - Belive some girl is there for you! Cheran did his piece nicely. Movie is bit deviating fully from hero in number of places to other characters. But it helped in making the hero to be comfortable on his bride search. In the end, hero gets his girl. Good movie for middle-aged guys who is waiting for loooooooog to get married.

3. Harold and Kumar - Go To White Castle -- This is the first part of Harold and Kumar. I reviewed part 2 in one of the earlier post. This one is equally comical to part 2. Nice to watch to get relax.

4. A Wednesday! -- Excellent Movie. You have to watch it if possible. Don't think it is going to eat you time. This film is just 45 minutes of action and conversation. This gives common man's reaction to terrorism. Narration of story & conversation are done perfect. Nashruddin Shah & Anupam Kher did great job in lead roles.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

GConnect - a community website for officers of Govt. of India

Are you a Indian Government Employee? Want to discuss any of you issue?

I found a site - GConnect - a community website for officers of Govt. of India, has good information on various topics from different states of India & also different departments. Current hot topic is the Sixth Pay Commission Revision especially the Arrears Calculator.

It tries to build a platform for Govt Employees to bring out their concerns all over India. It has lot of features - A Discussion Forum, Blog, Groups, Post Office, Services.

For more information: http://www.gconnect.in or http://75.125.222.138/

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dhanam - Movie Review

Dhanam - I don't know what director like to convey to the movie watching community through this film?

Though Sangeetha did an excellent job as dhanam, there is nothing new or great in the story. It is like Arengetram Movie in different version.

Dhanam is a sex worker who spends collected money for her neighbours & friends. An orthodox brahmin guy marries her based on astrology. But luck of dhanam turned out to be misfortune after her childbirth. As whole family involved in killing the child, dhanam kills the whole family in a supper. What a pity.. Case dropped against Dhanam & she become sex worker again. :-(

Bernard - Really funny bear cartoon

I am not aware that there is a cartoon series with a funny bear - Bernard. When I saw the few episodes I really enjoyed. It is absolute hilarious. Following links give you some idea on what I am talking about:

Official Website: http://www.bernardbear.com/
Veoh Network - Bernard Channel : http://www.veoh.com/channels/bernard&

Monday, September 15, 2008

Groundhog Day - Movie Review

After a long time, I saw an excellent movie. Though it is a old one (1993), it is hilarious even today. I checked IMDb. It is 174 of Top #250.

A weather reporter guy, like every year he visits a place in Pennsylvania, this year also for Groundhog Day (Feb 2nd). But that day repeats again and again. He sees the same people - same events - same activity around him. Initially he frustrated. After that he uses the situation for his good. Excellent narration does not make anyone bored when same events repeat.

Worth watching.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Horton Hears a Who! - Movie Review

Hilarious - Animated - Ends with a message! If you have rented this video for your kid, I seriously doubt whether they understand the story.

A big elephant (Horton) tries to protect microscopic community. We see 2 world. In world, Horton takes all pain carrying & explaining about a world inside speck. Another in Whoville (inside speck), group of people living inside under mayor's governance. The Mayor of Whoville talks to Horton, and the Mayor can not believe that there is something bigger than his world. At last everyone along with Horton helps to keep the speck in safe place. I found the message is same of a Thirukural (written 2000 Years back)

"After all, a person is a person, no matter how small."

Senior Skip Day - Movie Review


Comedy film(almost comedy is based on sex). But boring in certain places as we know what is going to happen next. Not a good one.



IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0849470/

Jayam Kondan - Movie Review

This is Vinay's(Unnale Unnale hero) second venture in Tamil. In this movie he showed variation from his "Chocolate Boy" image. Story flow is very good (I found Dham Dhoom had story in bits & pieces).

After his father's demise, Vinay resigns his UK job comes back to chennai to start a own business. He found his father had second wife & a college going daughter. He gets into family issue when he knew his father spent entire his money in buying a house in Madurai. Vinay wants to recover money for business by selling it. But his sister also wants to sell to get money for her higher studies.

He stays in Madurai for selling the property - there fall in love with Bhavana (tenent in his house). Turn of events make Vinay enemy to Madurai 'Dada' Masi. At the end everything get over with big fight.

Simple story. Events are sequenced properly so no confusion. Everyone did their part correctly. Only one song is hearable. My Rating: 3*(out of 5*)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Blue Elephant - Movie Review

The Blue Elephant is a cartoon movie with baby blue elephant as hero. It has usual stuff of other cartoon films like Finding Nemo, The Lion King, etc. Here child elephant in search of its father who was once royal elephant for the country.

After hearing story of his mysteriously disappeared father, the baby elephant moves to country where he caught by elephant trainer. Our hero gets into "Royal Elephant selection contest" and become Royal Elephant to the king. After knowing his father death in a war by opponent king's elephant, he takes revenge to kill him in the current war. He accomplishes the task and marries his lover elephant :-)

You can watch once at your leisure.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dhaam Dhoom - Moview Review














If you like action packed film, then you like Dhaam Dhoom. But the story is thin line. Jayam Ravi is a doctor - travels to moscow for a doctors conference just 15 days before his marriage.

Suspense starts as soon as he enters Moscow airport. He sees one Russian model girl leaving her leather jacket with him. After sometime she picks it up. Then one day, they dances in the bar after which she get killed in Jayam Ravi's room. Ravi prosecuted in Russian court and all evidence goes against him. Jayaram (Indian Embassy official) & Lakshmi Roy (An advocate) comes in rescue for Ravi. But event turns worse when somebody tries to kill Ravi. Ravi escapes & finds who is the villain.

Heroine is utter waste. Even some of the village scenes are not interesting. If you only Mascow portion alone, it is fast paced - well knitted one. But getting diluted when love & songs are introduced. They could have shown Mascow's beauty still further (may be budget problem?)

Though a Jayam Ravi is doctor but he does not do anything related to it other than 2 scenes regarding that. Background music is thrilling in chasing scenes. 2 songs are very good. Others are just to fill time.

You can give a try. Rating: 2.8* (Out of 5*)

Movie Web Site: http://www.dhaamdhoom.com/

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Review

This is 3rd movie in the series. So, story is predictable. This time location is China. Emperor is Jet Li. Not much marshal arts. But he did his work perfectly. Nothing special in story. One king bring entire world under his control. He wants to attain immortality to rule the world forever. For that he seeks help from one lady witch. But she curses the king as he killed her lover (who was also his General).

Witch gives birth to a girl child & both of them lives for years. After hundreds of years, king comes alive to kill the witch. Researchers along with witch demolishes kings wish.

Rating : 2.5* (out of 5*)

Batman - Dark Knight Review

When I saw the reviews in IMDb about this movie - I wondered how it can be better than God Father. So I decided to watch this movie. I agree with them. Really really a superb movie! Heath Ledger has given life to 'The Joker'. As usual this is not Batman's film. It is the villain - 'The Joker' film.

I hope Heath will surely get Oscars (but it is posthumous one now!).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Movies I watched

In the last 15 days, I saw quite a number of movies. Only few of them are remembered.

1. Lost In Translation - Excellent slow moving movie. I enjoyed watching it. I can call it as 'romantic'.

2. Untraceable - After seeing this, I felt why I saw this movie.

3. Taken - Excellent fast paced movie. Though its story is same as any human trafficking film but with a difference.

4. Hancock - I always like super-hero movies. This is something like The Incredibles. Will Smith did very good job.

5. Batman - This is the first part of the Batman films. Instead of telling it is Batman Movie, I say it is character 'The Joker'(Jack Nicholson) movie. Jack did excellent job.

I have a list to finish - Batman-Dark Knight, Cloverfield, Hellboy II, Wanted, Journey to the center of earth, Transsiberian, Forgetting Sarah Marshal, Fear and Loathing in LV, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Street Kings.......................and on and on....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ayutham Seivom - Review

First thing first: It is normal masala movie. It used Gandhigiri as pickle. But message is good and strong.

Sundar C is a small street rowdy - Saidai Sathya. Lawyer Udyamoorthy (Vijayakumar) finds sathya blocking the way by sleeping in a car center of a road. Vivek, a traffic constable & friend of sathya, supports sathya in the incident. So, udayamoorthy put a petite court case in which satya & Vivek gets verdict to stay in Gandhi Museum 15 days term. Though it doesn't change them completely but they gets introduced to Gandhi principles.

Sathya does small rowdism with udayakumar in order to get a 'confidential' file for ex-minister VRB (Manivannan). Unfortunately, udyakumar dies in the incident. But udayakumar's death (and his final words Vazhgha Valamudan!) makes sleepless nights to sathya. Sathya wants to complete udyakumar's last wish of handing over the confidential file to police. It goes waste when VRB guys burns the file.

Now sathya follows ahimsa way to make VRB surrender on his own. Heroine Anjali is used just for few love sequence. All songs are Kuttu songs and music nothing new.

Masala Movie with good message only in the ending. Vazhgha Valamudan!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Subramaniapuram - Review

Main theme: 1980's, Unemployed youth, Loyalty, Friendship, Love

In 1980, three friends Azhagar, Paraman and Kasi were unemployed youth in the village. All three were loyal to local ex-councilor, let me call Somu(I don't remember exact name!). Azhagar was in love with Somu's daughter. These guys were used to perform a murder by Somu as he likes to become political party's district chief.


When Azhagar & Paraman was on jail, councilor didn't help them to come out but one guy(Say Guna) inside jail helped them to get bail. These guys wanted to kill Somu for the betrayal. But again they had to perform murder for Guna. Meanwhile all attempts to murder Somu failed. Somu's daughter(who was lover of Azhagar) helped her father's group in killing Azhagar by calling him to lonely place.

In return, Paraman kills Somu's brother. Here it is bit gory as the scene shows cutting of the neck somewhat directly. But Kasi showed Paraman's hideout place for money. This continues for years. After 28 years (in 2008) film ends by showing Kasi's friend kills Kasi in hospital as he murdered someone in Somu's family. One or the other guy would be loyal to those having money. Friendship & love will not stand infront of money.

First, I see the excellent work done by the director and the main characters. Entire story flows towards the end so nicely. Jai, Sasikumar, Swamy, Kanja Karuppu everyone did very good acting. I can say Kanja Karuppu comes all the frames and suited well in the role.

I remember few old actors of 1980's Chandrashekar, Pandiyan, Shanti Krishna in these guys. Even T.Rajendar's character's was like this in those days.

No matter whether it reaches all audiance or not, I give 5 Star (*****)

Sorry for my poor memory. I forgot few character names.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay - Review

This is funny movie. This is second part of Harold & Kumar series. Harold (a Korean guy) and Kumar (an Indian guy) are friends. They planned visiting Amsterdam to meet Harold's girl friend. But Kumar did the mistake of taking weed with some instrument and they suspected doing some terroist activity. Both of them sent to Guantanamo Bay jail. Then what? Escape from Jail. In the way they got into different troubles. Even meeting Bush happens in the movie who helped Kumar to meet his girl friend :-) More Adult comedy is there in the movie.

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0481536/
Official Link: http://www.haroldandkumar.com/

Official Trailer:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Drillbit Taylor - Review

A former soldier(Owen Wilson) turned begger recruited by three high school kids to protect them from two senior students. As Owen needs money to move to Canada, he cheats these kids in the name of protection. After funnier activities, Owen understands his mistake and tries to help the kids.

This is not a kids film. This is not a action film. This is somewhat comedy film. But not that much funnier as I expected.

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0817538/
Movie Trailer:


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

WALL-E Review

How the world look like in 2350AD?
-- No water. Full of garbage mountains. All plants dies. There will be no human life in earth.

What could be the possible measure human will do to save their species?
-- Human will find new avenues to save their species like space station with things that are necessary for human life or finding new planet with amenities. They will leave the world as it is. But they may like to come back to earth & they keep on investigate possibility of earth for living by sending some robots (like we send Rover to Mars)

Here is the story:

As year goes, human population reduces to few number, almost all mechanical work would be executed by Robots. In 2050, WALL-E is the organization which does the garbage collection using robots. When human race moves out of earth to a space station, they forgot to switch off one robot. After doing service for 300 years in 2350 AD, it finds another robot EVE coming from space station to earth for investigate about living organism. During the interaction WALL-E falls in love with EVE. EVE finds one small planet. WALL-E goes along with EVE to the space station. After that full of comical fun. Humans in space station comes back to earth after EVE handed over that plant sample to them.

I liked the excellent portrayal of love between Robots.

Official site: http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/wall-e/
IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0910970/

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Truth about Organization Leaders

Research on leadership indicates that 50-75% of organizations are
currently managed by people sorely lacking in leadership competence
[1]. They are hired or promoted based on technical competence, business
knowledge and politics - not on leadership skill. Such managers often
manage by crisis, are poor communicators, are insensitive to moral issues,
are mistrustful, over-controlling and micro-managing, fail to follow
through on commitments they've made and are easily excitable and explosive.
The result is low morale, alienated employees, and costly attrition.
Since the best business outcomes are achieved by satisfied employees, any profession can only gain by an increasing focus on the development
of managers' leadership competencies.

From 20 WAYS TO BECOME A LEADER by Ellen Ostrow, Ph.D.

Reference:

1. Hogan, Robert (2003) "Leadership in Organizations."
Paper presented at The Second International
Positive Psychology Summit, Washington, D.C

Wallace and Gromit Cartoon Movies

This is an excellent piece of work. You don't think you are watching a cartoon movie. I saw 2 movies in series.
1. Wallace and Gromit - A Grand Day Out(IMDb Link) &
2. Wallace and Gromit - The Wrong Trousers(IMDb Link)



First one was just 23 minutes. But real fun. Both Wallace & his dog friend Gormit planned to go to cheese planet for vacation. There was a robot which finds them & great laughs after that.

Second one is 30 minutes long. This has all spices for a action thriller movie. Stealing diamond, robo trousers, spoiled friendship, gormit detecting the plot, train chase(see it in the below office site).

Office website: http://www.wallaceandgromit.com/

Friday, June 27, 2008

21 - Movie Review

I visited Las Vegas in 2004. I saw lot of people spending their day & night in front of machines/cards/dice. I wondered how much money everyday each casino earns? How many of those playing really win? It is all just gambling! But I never thought there could be something like card counting that can fetch millions of dollars.

This movie is about counting and signaling in blackjack card game. Counting is mathematical approach on the probability of getting a card next. 5 MIT students joined together as a secret group working under Mathematical Professor Mickey Rosa. In the group, Ben Campbell was a brilliant student but not having enough money to fulfill his Harvard Medical study dream. He wanted to earn money for tuition fees through blackjack. But got more interested towards money, LV lifestyle & his girlfriend. Because of this he crossed limits of the group and get into the hands of casino security enforcers & also ousted from the team. Security guy asked Ben to bring the maths professor to set him free with all the money he earns.

How Ben handled the situation? Was Ben got all the money he needed for the study? See it in the Silver Screens.

Excellent movie.

Movie Official Website: http://www.21-movie.com/

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478087/

Monday, June 23, 2008

Definitely, Maybe - Review

I picked up this movie by seeing its makers. I loved their earlier films (notting hill & love actually). A divorced single-father (who is a political consultant by profession) describes his love story to his 11 Year old daughter. It is a 3 girl - 1 guy love story.

Dad started telling the story with a suspense to his daughter to find his mother in the story. In every pause - little girl eliminates the probable. Emily - Summer - April are the name of the characters. At the end she finds her mother(Emily). Story ends happily when the girl joins the hero with one of his lover April.

Definitely Good Movie. May be you like it.

ImDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0832266/

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Bank Job - Review

All of us would have seen one or the other movie on bank robbery. Till date bank robbery is a hot theme in cinemas. This movie has all the necessary spices for the bank robbery. This film comes with a tag stating - "Its a True Story".

Few photographs of royal family got into hands of some miscreant. He kept in the safety boxes of a bank. Police wanted grab those photos with the help of bank robbers. Ground work for the theft happens for few days & robbery happens. But those big villains who lost their safety boxes finds those thieves to get their boxes back. Few robbers get killed. But at last one of the robber plays nicely between villains & police to get rid of all the problem.

Very good portrayal of incidents. Flow of movie is good.

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0200465/

Be Kind Rewind - Review

It is a good comedy movie. If you want to get out of all day to day worries for sometime then you go ahead and see this movie.

Story is this - One guy want to do sabotage on a power plant but his head got magnetized. He spoiled all VHS cassettes in his friend's video shop. After that both hero & his friend started creating all old videos in their own way. These videos became hit in that area and grow as celebrities. Enjoy the movie.

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0799934/

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Kung Fu Panda - Movie review

I found Kung Fu Panda stood first in the box-office only after I saw the film. It is a very good movie and you can spend just more than an hour without any worries. "Good learnings are there" - is the immediate feeling I had as soon as I finished watching the movie.

A lazy panda wants to see dragon warrior contest, but got announced as dragon warrior for the group due to circumstances. After that it learns Kung Fu from the master and kills the old contestant for the position.

Here is the learning part. First is 'Believe others & You'. Second 'Nothing special in anyone & it is possible even for YOU'. When the tortoise guru announced panda as the dragon warrior no one believe he could do the job. But tortoise tells one word to the Kung Fu guru - 'believe'. Also the secret message kept in dragon mouth does not have any words but have a mirror showing the face of panda - that is the secret. Finally, when panda talks to its father, he tells - though he sold soup with 'special soup' but nothing special added in it & it is the normal soup sold with the 'special' word.

Good time pass. I loved it.

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0441773/

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dasavatharam - Review

Yeah. I saw this film today. This is the second film I saw on the opening day itself. Kamal did an excellent job. When you see the film you don't feel all the character is done by the same guy. He showed noticeable variation which makes you think they are different people. One telugu police guy role(good hilarious one), old lady role, social activist role, george bush role are ultimately portrayed.

Ok. Here is the story. It is about a scientist who wants to save the world from the effects of biological weapon. But all of them have a connection with issue between devotees of God Shiva & God Vishnu. But it is just used as pickle in the story. Story moves from US building & streets to Chidambaram streets and it is running in possible vehicles - Car, Helicaptor, Airplane, Train, Lorry, etc.

Asin is the heroine, but do you believe there is no duet song? But Asin comes throughout the movie. Villain is also Kamal in Ex-CIA Fletcher role (talks only english) who appointed to bring the virus weapon box.

How come Kamal missed Nassar?

Full of action - less of comedy. But a good attempt. You can watch.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

A smart model to beat the oil prices. Is it possible?

I like to present 2 news items here.

The biggest gainer, though, is arguably BCCI - which is projected to rake in a profit of Rs 350 crore from IPL in the first year itself. This would be more than BCCI's profit of Rs 235 crore for all of 2007. In all, IPL will bring revenue of Rs 1,200 crore a year into cricket, more than double the government's entire sports budget of Rs 490 crore. --- Times of India dt:30 May 2008

In Tamil Nadu, self-managed private engineering colleges earned Rs. 240.62 Cr in a year from their students. -
Ramadoss on private college Fees hike.

What we understand from above news? Money is abundant. With the money that is collected as part of something else can be diverted to solve different problem i.e. like oil price hike. As we all do, government can take control of one department's profit and to use it for other ailing department for the betterment of the whole country.

But is it possible? Who is ready to bell the cat?

Soaring oil price affects middle-class badly

Recently government has increased petrol, diesel & LPG prices. That has direct & indirect impact on all item prices. Those having 2 wheelers & 4 wheelers for their travel has to shed more amount from their pocket. Also, vegetables, grocery, food items, and almost everything is going to have price increase which indirectly affects everyone.

Are you a frequent hotel visitor? You need to think twice before taking your family to hotel. Food item prices is going to go high. Increase in salary happens only once every year, that too it is not confirmed increase. But the oil price & other item increase happens at least 5-8 times every year :-(

If the status of middle-class itself is like this then thinking about those below poverty line? Oh-no!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Failed Successes

I found an excellent article on ‘failed successes’ in CIO Magazine - “Applied Insight - Tracks in the Snow” By R. Ryan Nelson.

When Success Is Failure

We call these "failed successes." For example, a real estate management company successfully completed a two-year project to develop a Lotus Notes–based CRM application that was designed to provide strategic advantage in leasing vacant space. The project met all the project specifications but didn’t successfully integrate with the company’s business processes. So in the end, no one used it. The company’s CTO put it best: "The application is 100 percent effective at 100 percent participation and zero percent effective at 95 percent participation."

Similarly, projects considered failures according to traditional IT metrics may wind up being successes because despite cost, time or specification problems, the system is loved by its target audience or provides unexpected value. For example, at a financial services company, a new system to enable rapid development, testing, deployment and measurement of collections strategies and to improve collections performance was six months late and cost more than twice the original estimate (final cost was $5.7 million). But the project ultimately created a more adaptive organization (after 13 months) and was judged to be a great success—the company had a $33 million reduction in write-off accounts, and the reduced time-to-value and increased capacity resulted in a 50 percent increase in the number of concurrent collection strategy tests in production.

Full Article Link: http://www.cio.com/article/24423/Applied_Insight_Tracks_in_the_Snow

Though the article dated Sep-2006, It is worth reviewing even today.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Nothing fails like success

Arnold Toynbee, great historian said that you can pretty well summarize all of history-not only of society, but of institutions and of people-in four words:Nothing fails like success.

In other words, when a challenge in life is met by a response that is equal to it, you have a success. But when the challenge moves to a higher level, the old, once successful response no longer works - it fails; thus, nothing fails like success.

-- by Stephen.R.Covey

Monday, April 14, 2008

John Adair on time management

John Adair is the world’s leading authority on leadership and leadership development. Over a million managers worldwide have taken part in the Action-Centred Leadership programmes he pioneered. http://www.johnadair.co.uk/ - Website fully dedicated to Leadership & Management.
Here is his ten principles of time management from "The John Adair handbook of Management and Leadership"

1 Develop a personal sense of time
2 Identify long-term goals
3 Make medium-term plans
4 Plan the day
5 Make the best use of your best time
6 Organize office work
7 Manage meetings
8 Delegate effectively
9 Make use of committed time
10 Manage your health

Sunday, April 06, 2008

How misinformation influence sense of reality

Professor Alex Bavelas, a noted expert in small-group interaction, has shown in several experiments that misinformation has a powerful influence on a human being's sense of reality.

In one experiment, two subjects, A and B, are seated facing a projection screen. There is a partition between them so that they cannot see each other, and they are requested not to communicate. They are then shown medical slides of healthy and sick cells and told that they must learn to recognize which is which by trial and error. In front of each of them are two buttons marked "Healthy" and "Sick," respectively, and two signal lights marked "Right" and "Wrong." Every time a slide is projected they have to press one of the buttons, whereupon one of the two signal lights flashes on.

"A" gets true feedback; that is, the lights tell him whether his guess was indeed right or wrong. His situation is one of simple discrimination, and in the course of the experiment, most "A" subjects learn to distinguish healthy from sick cells with a fair degree of correctness (i.e., about 80 percent of the time).

"B's" situation is different. His feedback is based not on his own guesses, but on A's. Therefore it does not matter what he decides about a particular slide; he is told "right" if "A" guessed right, "wrong" if "A" guessed wrong. B does not know this; he has been led to believe there is an order, that he has to discover this order, and that he can do so by making guesses and finding out if he is right or wrong. But as he asks the "sphinx" he gets very confusing answers because he does not know that the sphinx is not talking to him

In other words, there is no way in which he can discover that the answers he gets are non contingent -- that is, have NOTHING to do with his questions -- and that therefore he is not learning anything about his guesses. So he is searching for an order where there is none that he could discover.

A and B are eventually asked to discuss what they have come to consider the rules for distinguishing between healthy and sick cells. "A"'s explanations are simple and concrete; "B"'s are of necessity subtle and complex -- after all, he had to form his hypothesis on the basis of very tenuous and contradictory hunches.

The amazing thing is that A does not simply shrug off B's explanations as unnecessarily complicated or even absurd, but is impressed by their sophisticated "brilliance." "A" tends to feel inferior and vulnerable because of the pedestrian simplicity of his assumption, and the more complicated "B"'s "delusions", the more likely they are to convince A.

Before they take a second, identical test (but with new slides), A and B are asked to guess who will now do better than in his first test. All B's and most A's say that B will. :-)

Know the root cause for any problem within 5 whys

Ask the question “Why?” five times, you will surely get the root cause of any problem. This technique, taught us by the Japanese, allows us to pursue the deeper, systemic causes of a problem and correspondingly deeper solutions.

Let us take an example and deal with it:

Shop floor supervisor approached you and said - "There is a puddle of oil on the shop floor"

Here you may tell him to clean the floor and continue work. But you are interested in finding the root cause, so you asked "Why there is a oil spill?"

He replies "Because the machine is leaking oil"

You asked "Why is the machine leaking?"

He replied "Because the gasket is deteriorating"

Here you may give a reply to change the gasket and continue the work. You thought that the problem may be something else. So, you asked, "Why gasket is deteriorating?"

He replied "Because we bought gaskets made of inferior material"

You may ask him to buy a better quality gasket and replace the existing one. You may instruct your buyers to go for high quality one in future purchases. But you wanted to know "Why inferior material goods purchased at the first place instead of high quality?"

He replied "Because we got a good deal on them."

At last you asked the fifth "Why we went for that deal?"

He replied "Because the purchasing agent gets evaluated on the basis of savings over normal price tags"

"Oh Yeah. Now I found the root cause" you replied and suggested to change the buying strategy and existing policy.

Congrats, you did an excellent job in finding the root cause of the problem. After that instance now there is no leakage for past few years. :-)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In search of answers....

There is a story of a shepherd boy. The boy was supervising his flocks one day in hillside. He was climbing up on the steep hill, Suddenly he slipped , lost his balance, and began sliding toward the edge of the twenty-foot drop.

Panicking, he cried out, 'Please God, help me.'

Just at that moment, his pants caught on a sharp tree branch and he stopped sliding toward the edge.

He looked up and said, 'Never mind, God, my pants are caught on a tree branch.'

Is this story witty? But many of us are like this little boy. We keep on talk about the problems and pray for solutions. But we don't recognize the help when it comes. Be alert - answers can exists in any form. Look for it and use it appropriately.

The Leader of the Future

This was an excellent discussion (Q&A type) on Leadership by William C. Taylor with Ronald Heifetz -- one of the world's leading authorities on leadership.

Article link location: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/25/heifetz.html
Single Page view - link location: http://www.fastcompany.com/node/37229/print

Heifetz, 48, director of the Leadership Education Project at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, is a scholar, a teacher, and a consultant. This article explains number of questions under headings - "How Leaders ..."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fire you? You must be kidding!

This is a story about Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the founder of IBM. One day, Watson called a young vice president into his office after the vice president had just spent $10 million of the company’s money developing a new product line that had failed.

The vice president came into Watson’s office and said immediately, "I know that you are going to fire me for losing all of that money. I just want you to know that I am sorry, and I will leave without causing any problems."

Watson replied with these famous words: "Fire you? You must be kidding! I’ve just invested $10 million on your education. Now, let’s talk about your next assignment."

Is these type of answer really possible in our organization?

Even if a guy who did a mistake which didn't cost much to the project?

I don't see any manager takes mistakes as the learning activity and they shout at the employee. In some cases thrown the employee out of the job.

Friday, March 21, 2008

There ain’t no free lunch

There’s a old story about a king. One day, the king called his chief adviser and told him, ‘‘Go out and find the secret of success. State it simply and concisely so the people will do it.’’

The adviser spent a year researching the topic and came back to the king with three books full of his findings.

The king said, ‘‘That’s not simple or succinct enough. The people are lazy. They won’t read three books.’’ So, the adviser spent another year and came back with one book.

The king said, ‘‘That’s not simple or succinct enough. The people are lazy. They won’t read a book.’’ So, the adviser spent another year and came back with one chapter.

The king said, ‘‘That’s not simple or succinct enough. The people are lazy. They won’t read a chapter.’’

Finally, the adviser spent another year and came back with five words. The king said, ‘‘Now you’re talking. The people will relate to something that’s that easy to digest.’’

The adviser said, ‘‘Here’s the piece of paper with the five words.’’

The paper said, ‘‘There ain’t no free lunch.’’

The adviser was killed.

---- Here is the principle according to economists ----

"The fundamental principle on which this strategy is built may be expressed in a simple slogan—There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, the "TANSTAAFL principle," for short.

The TANSTAAFL principle is closely related to the fundamental theorem of ecological economics, that everything depends on everything else.

Everything worthwhile has a cost.
Whenever you think you are getting something for nothing, look again—someone, somewhere, somehow is paying for it.
Behind every free lunch there is a hidden cost to be accounted for.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why stock markets tumbles...

Recently, stocks are sold heavily and price of stocks are coming down very fast. Everyone gets panic and coming out of market even though they are in loss to reduce further loss. This behavior was very well explained by Merton in his book Social Theory and Social Structure. He wrote a fictional story about a bank.

There was a bank of Cartwright Millingville. It is a typical bank, and Millingville has run it honestly and quite properly. As a result, like all banks, it has some liquid assets (cash), but most of its assets are invested in various ventures.

Then one day, a large number of customers come to the bank at once —the exact reason is never made clear. Customers, seeing so many people at the bank, begin to worry. False rumors spread that something is wrong with the bank and more customers rush to the bank to try to get some of their money out while they still can. The number of customers at the bank increases, as does their annoyance and excitement, which in turn fuels the false rumors of the bank's insolvency and upcoming bankruptcy, causing more customers to come and try to withdraw their money.

At the beginning of the day — the last one for Millingville's bank — the bank was not insolvent. But the rumor of insolvency caused a sudden demand of withdrawal of too many customers, which could not be answered, causing the bank to become insolvent and declare bankruptcy.

Merton concludes this example with the following analysis:


The parable tells us that public definitions of a situation (prophecies or predictions) become an integral part of the situation and thus affect subsequent developments, This is peculiar to human affairs. It is not found in the world of nature, untouched by human hands. Predictions of the return of Halley’s comet do not influence its orbit. But the rumored insolvency of Millingville’s bank did affect the actual outcome. The prophecy of collapse led to its own fulfillment.

There is lot of connectivity about the story of Millingville's bank and current stock market. Hope you agree with me.

Slideshow on Level Five Leadership

Slideshow on "Our Iceberg is melting"

In January 2007, I reviewed a book titled "Our Iceberg is melting". I found a slide show with all learnings of the book.

Few Good English Album Tracks...

For a change, I want to post few good English album tracks here. It is not hosted by me.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Collect, categorize and relate

Yesterday, my friend took me to mall in his Maruthi ALTO Car. I was sitting in the front seat and he was driving. He had a year long dream of buying that car.

After we hit the main road, he pointed me the car that crossed our vehicle and told 'See that guy is also driving an ALTO'. When we stopped for the traffic signal he showed the ad board & told 'see even in the ad they showed my car color only'.

Once we entered into the parking lot of the mall, he started analyzing the cars that were parked. He raised his voice whenever we crossed an ALTO car on the way before we find our parking lot.

When I analyze my friend's behavior now, I found this is the basic one exists within everyone of us. Yeah. My friend notices all car & ads that pass by because he pays attention - a conscious attempt to gather information - now only. This is the basic function of the brain - collect, categorize and relate things of same sort. Not only the visuals, we also have all our 5 sensory organs(nose, skin, tongue, eye, ears) provides information to brain, and the same set of activity(collect, categorize and relate) performed by brain.

With conscious effort on Collect - Categorize - Relate activities one can perform better in every learning attempt and get easy success.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Quit.. Is it the only way?

‘‘Before success comes in any man’s life, he is likely to meet
with much temporary defeat, and perhaps some failure. When
defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to
do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do.’’

NAPOLEON HILL

As Napoleon told quit may be the easy way and most of us follow, but it is away from SUCCESS.

‘‘The greatest test of courage is to bear defeat without losing heart.’’
—ROBERT INGERSOLL

Friday, March 14, 2008

We do not see things as they are, but as we are...

There is an excellent quote on attention in The Prepared Mind of a Leader by Bill Welter and Jean Egmon

“Attention is a requirement for the skill of observing. It is the filter through which we choose what to sense and what to make sense of”

Our sensory organs are keep on working in identifying or noticing something everyday and for the whole day. Lot of information collected by brain through these external factors. Processing of information inside brain happens in nanoseconds.

Though a lot we observe, only few attracts our attention. What are they? They are things you like or considered to be important and things which are strange or new.

I went to a dance show with my friend. After the program was over, we chatted about the show & the performers. My friend got fascinated by the stage settings and the ambiance, but I concentrated on dance steps because I love to watch dance. I hadn't showed much interest on the stage.

“We do not see things as they are, but as we are.”

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Learned to walk....

Do you remember how you learned walking in childhood?

Not much? Feebly?

Have you learned walking after you became a grown adult?

No. Right?

But I did.

I got affected by Guillain Barre Syndrome which made me immovable at the age of 17. I was on bed for 3 months. After removal of ventilator, doctors took lot of effort first to make me stand on my own leg :-)

After few days, with enormous physical support, they started teaching me how to walk. I was scared of standing up on my own as I thought that I may fall. I was afraid of bruises and further complication by standing up.

Every day my mom, brothers & sister helped me in doing my activities. Frustration, anger and pain on everyone's mind built pressure on me. I thought that I had to do my essential activities without someone help as soon as possible.

My brother & one other guy(name:Kali), helped me to walk - I put my hands around their shoulders and they almost carried my entire weight. Just few steps make me tired and I used to sit on a chair. Then walk few more steps. After few days, I started walking on my own with a walker.

Initially, while walking with walker I fell often. I started analyzing my walking style. I found I fell down because I didn't keep my steps firmly. Even I took time to walk, I started ensuring firm steps while walking. Sometimes, my knees folded as I didn't have control. On every forward move, I concentrated both firm placement of foot and control of knee folding.

Slowly, my walking style became consistent. I felt very happy day by day. I learned a new stuff. Yes, I learned how to walk. I was able to walk independently(with a walker but without anyone's attention). Now, I am walking without any support.

It was amazing experience to learn walking at the age of 17. Now after narrating my experience, I understood how human learning cycle works.

Have an experience
- Observe & analyze the experience - Generalize the result of experience & take necessary action to increase positive outcome
.


I found this is same across all learning activity I involved till date. Hope you also agree with this.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Start learning with Beginner's Mind set - It's a whole new ball game

"It's a whole new ball game"


You come across the above phrase in every Cricket match - either from commentators or from players, even sometimes, you used it to imitate them.

What is the phrase conveys?

This is an indication of operating with a beginner’s mind: people know they have a lot to learn.

About Beginner's Mind-set, Shunryu Suzuki wrote in his book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (2006) that

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few”

Let me ask this question - "How likely are you to learn something new if you already consider yourself an expert?"

Your answer would be "I don't learn anything".

Yes, You cannot learn anything from a workshop or training which you are attending but thinking “I already know this. This is a waste of my time.”

But there is a difference between being proficient or “knowing what we are doing” and assuming we have (or need to have) all of the answers. One needs to learn with open-mind(beginner's mind) to know some answers and new set of questions.

So what does a beginner’s mind look like?

* Beginners are secure enough in themselves that they can say, “I don’t know,” to themselves and to others. Interestingly, I have heard many people say they admire others who can admit when they don’t know something, but it’s much more infrequent that people are comfortable saying it themselves.

* Beginners don’t connect their self-worth to their expertise. They are more likely to tie their internal worth to their ability to get the answer, to be adaptable, and to be resourceful in learning what is needed.

* Beginners are willing to ask for help, and they actively seek out experts as resources to help with the quest for continual learning.

* Beginners recognize other beginners and support them however they can.

* Beginners recognize there is always more to learn about learning. As such, they learn not only about things they want to know or be able to do, but they learn about learning and spend time and effort on improving as a learner.

* Beginners realize that all learning is a journey or a process without a final destination. They recognize the value of learning something new every day and aren’t discouraged by the fact that there is no real end. They recognize learning as valuable in and of itself.


Interestingly when we truly are starting to do something for the first time—a new job, a new procedure, a new hobby, a new sport—and are a beginner by the classical definition of the word, we naturally do the first four items above. Our challenge, and opportunity, is to continue to do those four when things aren’t new and to add the last two to our regular habit patterns.



Expectations - Live up to it...

Take the following scenario:

You were driving your car. If a police officer stopped your car & simply to tell you a joke that had been heard on television the previous night, what would be your reaction?

Don't you think him as a mad guy?

Why so?

You have preformed ideas on role of each individual with whom you interact. If they behave differently from what you expected then you think the guy is crazy. In the same way, how you think about others, they also think about you. You are having a role and people around you expect something from you.

So, try to Live up to the expectations of others & surely others will reciprocate it.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Internet Explorer 8 - Getting Ready

Do you know? IE 8 development is started & it is on its way. What a fast phase !

Internet Explorer 8 can be installed on Microsoft Windows Vista® Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Vista, Windows XP® Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Server® 2008 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2).

You can go ahead and download the beta & test it from this site:

IE 8 - Beta Site

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

How to turn your childhood dreams into actions...

This wonderful lecture is by Randy Pausch - He is a professor giving his last lecture to his students. (He knows that he is going to die in a few months).

Friday, February 29, 2008

Start a long term goal today...

I want to share one real-time incident my trainer told me when I attended a training program few years back on motivational skill.

"In an organization, they were conducting fresh graduates recruitment drive. The trainer was one among representing the organization. As the turnout was huge, they conducted first level of written test. Only a handful of candidates got into second level -which was a Group discussion.

In Group Discussion candidates were asked to group themselves and talk for or against a given topic. The topic given is - "Current political scenario works for the common man". One candidate reacted to the group discussion and started arguing.


Candidate asked the trainer - "For which position are you recruiting us?"

Trainer politely told - "For junior java programmers role"

Candidate told - "So, we are just junior programmers. we are going to work in computer with the java compiler. If you ask each one of us on coding & working knowledge on computer then that would be somewhat relevant. How do you think group discussion is important for us?"

Trainer told to the entire group of candidates - "If anyone thinks that they are going to be just programmers for the whole life, then please leave this place. We are only recruiting future aspiring CEOs, CIO and Managers and not just programmers."

Then that candidate ashamed for his argument with the trainer and continued participation in the group discussion."

This story reveals the mind of present youngsters and the statement indirectly shows the broad career vision of the trainer. Even some of us thinks in the same way as the candidate whenever a meeting is arranged with managers or other groups. Remove the barrier and get into long term goal.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Because that's the way it's always been done...

Last September I blogged about Positive Thinking. In that I mentioned a small event in George Dantzig's life. I also explained about our belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before through an elephant story.

This is another fantastic story about five monkeys to give an insight about thinking process & forced restrictions among ourselves.

It all started with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, a banana was hung on a string and a set of stairs was placed under it. Before long, a monkey went to the stairs and started to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touched the stairs, all of the other monkeys were sprayed with cold water. After a while, another monkey made an attempt with the same result - all the other monkeys were sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, anytime another monkey tried to climb the stairs, the other monkeys tried to prevent it.

One monkey was removed from the cage and replaced with a new one. The new monkey saw the banana and wanted to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attacked him. After another attempt and attack, he knew that if he tried to climb the stairs, he would be assaulted.

Next, another of the original five monkeys was removed and replaced it with a new one. The newcomer went to the stairs and was attacked. The previous newcomer took part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, a third original monkey was replaced with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth.

Every time the newest monkey took to the stairs, he was attacked. Most of the monkeys that were beating him had no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they were participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys had ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approached the stairs to try for the banana.

Why? If the monkeys could talk, they would say, "Because that's the way it's always been done around here."

Though we, human beings, are more different from monkeys. But putting ourselves in the context, I think we are also
executing certain activities in the same way as others without knowing why we are doing in that way.

Friday, February 22, 2008

What does a Project Manager do in cooking?

Here is the lighter side of my Project Management.


Last week, I had an interesting discussion with my wife. During the discussion, she challenged me on my cooking abilities.


I told her "Today I am going to show my cooking skills to you".


As a Project Manager what do I do now?


I am good in Project Management and not with cooking! Now, I thought why can't I use project management skill in cooking?


I took a paper and pen and started my "Project Ratatouille" :-)


Listed all the project objectives - Cooking delicious food for lunch


Listed all project requirements - vegetables, oils, cereals, etc.


Listed all project activities, their dependencies and duration - buying vegetables, cutting vegetables, cooking food, arranging dining table, washing vessels, etc.


Listed all project cost estimates - for buying vegetables, cereals, oil, etc.


I did a bit of Risk management too - Listed alternatives in case of the expected items not available - and thought of what if scenarios - what if cooking gas gets over?


I started my project around 10.30 am. While I was cooking, I sent my neighbor's kid to buy certain spices from the near by shop(which I forgot to buy during my visit) and i gave him chocolates in order to appreciate him - a bit of fast tracking, HR management.


At last around 1 pm, I finished my project. The end result was an 'Excellent' grade in cooking from my wife.


Thanks to Project Management!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What am I doing?

I am writing blog for more than an year in blogger.com. Even some of the topics are copy-paste from the articles which I read, I do it very sincerely to the level of my satisfaction. My attraction to do blogging grows day by day. Past few days, I was trying out blog using wordpress.com.

I have passion towards Leadership and Project Management. I am learning about Leadership, Project Management, Strategy and like to make most out of it. I am practicing Project Management for past few years.

One of my lifetime goal is - I want to contribute to Project Management community - by finding new method of managing projects and people. Areas of interest now is Communication, Risk management, Strategy.

In order to fulfill part of my wish, I created new blog for Leadership and Project Management called Leadership Champions

Though both Blogger.com and Wordpress are having same functionality but they are having different set of features and they need to be rated differently.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Where we lost our creativity?

A few years ago my son, Parker, walked into the room as I was looking for my wallet. When he asked me what I was doing, I replied, “I’m looking for my wallet.”

“I’m sorry you lost your wallet, Dad.”


“I didn’t lose it, Parker. I had it this morning,” I replied, as I continued to look.


I didn’t have to look up to feel the sense of bewilderment my son was feeling. I’m sure he was thinking, “Dad must be crazy. If he can’t find his wallet, it must be lost.” But like a good son (and a smart one too) he didn’t comment on my apparent craziness.


After a couple more minutes of searching, I said, “Found it, Parker.”


He couldn’t resist any longer: “I thought you hadn’t lost it Dad.”


“I hadn’t lost it Parker. It was just misplaced,” I replied somewhat matter-of-factly.


The wallet wasn’t lost: I knew that I had had it earlier in the day. But it was misplaced because I couldn’t locate it.


Author and speaker Brian Tracy (2007) cites on his blog a research study done with children aged two to four that found that 95 percent of them were rated as “highly creative.” They assessed those same children at age seven and found that only 5 percent still tested as “highly creative.” The number doesn’t get any better as children turn into adults.


It seems that creativity and my wallet have something in common: neither was lost (the wallet was still in my house, and our creativity doesn’t vanish), but both certainly were misplaced (I couldn’t access my wallet, and we can’t always access our creativity either).


What is creativity? In The Social Psychology of Creativity, Teresa Amabile defines creativity in part this way: “A product or response will be judged as creative to the extent that it is both a novel and appropriate, useful, correct or valuable response to the task at hand” (1983, p. 360).


All of us were born creative, and everyone on your team is creative, but like my wallet, their creativity (and yours) might be misplaced. Remarkable leaders know and deeply believe that everyone is creative and use that belief to support, draw out, and help people find their creativity again. When creativity is in play, great new ideas can be applied to the organization’s challenges and opportunities.


This interesting excerpt about creativity is from Remarkable Leadership - Unleashing Your Leadership Potential One Skill At a Time by Kevin Eikenberry.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Give Your Brain a Boost - 20 memory tricks you’ll never forget

--- By Patricia Curtis


Can't remember where you put your glasses? Blanked on your new colleague's name? "Forgetting these types of things is a sign of how busy we are," says Zaldy S. Tan, MD, director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. "When we're not paying good attention, the memories we form aren't very robust, and we have a problem retrieving the information later."

 

The key, says Harry Lorayne, author of Ageless Memory: Simple Secrets for Keeping Your Brain Young, is to get your brain in shape. "We exercise our bodies, but what good is that great body if you don't have the mental capabilities to go with it?" Sure, you could write everything down, keep organized lists and leave electronic notes on your BlackBerry, cell phone or PDA. But when you don't have access to those aids, or if you want to strengthen your brain, try these expert-recommended strategies to help you remember.

 

Brain Freeze #1
"What the heck is his name?"

 

• Pay attention. When you're introduced to someone, really listen to the person's name. Then, to get a better grasp, picture the spelling. Ask, "Is that Kathy with a K or a C?" Make a remark about the name to help lock it in ("Oh, Carpenter -- that was my childhood best friend's last name"), and use the name a few times during the conversation and when you say goodbye.

 

• Visualize the name. For hard-to-remember monikers (Bentavegna, Wobbekind), make the name meaningful. For Bentavegna, maybe you think of a bent weather vane. Picture it. Then look at the person, choose an outstanding feature (bushy eyebrows, green eyes) and tie the name to the face. If Mr. Bentavegna has a big nose, picture a bent weather vane instead of his nose. The sillier the image, the better.

 

• Create memorable associations. Picture Joe Everett standing atop Mount Everest. If you want to remember that Erin Curtis is the CEO of an architectural firm, imagine her curtsying in front of a large building, suggests Gini Graham Scott, PhD, author of 30 Days to a More Powerful Memory.

 

• Cheat a little. Supplement these tips with some more concrete actions. When you get a business card, after the meeting, jot down a few notes on the back of the card ("red glasses, lives in Springfield, went to my alma mater") to help you out when you need a reminder.

 

Brain Freeze #2
"Where in the world did I leave my glasses?"

• Give a play-by-play. Pay attention to what you're doing as you place your glasses on the end table. Remind yourself, "I'm putting my keys in my coat pocket," so you have a clear memory of doing it, says Scott.

 

• Make it a habit. Put a small basket on a side table. Train yourself to put your keys, glasses, cell phone or any other object you frequently use (or misplace) in the basket -- every time.

 

Brain Freeze #3
"What else was I supposed to do today?"

 

• Start a ritual. To remind yourself of a chore (write a thank-you note, go to the dry cleaner), give yourself an unusual physical reminder. You expect to see your bills on your desk, so leaving them there won't necessarily remind you to pay them. But place a shoe or a piece of fruit on the stack of bills, and later, when you spot the out-of-place object, you'll remember to take care of them, says Carol Vorderman, author of Super Brain: 101 Easy Ways to a More Agile Mind.

 

• Sing it. To remember a small group of items (a grocery list, phone number, list of names, to-do list), adapt it to a well-known song, says Vorderman. Try "peanut butter, milk and eggs" to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," "Happy Birthday" or even nursery rhymes.

 

• Try mnemonic devices. Many of us learned "ROY G BIV" to remember the colors of the rainbow, or "Every Good Boy Deserves Favors" to learn musical notes. Make up your own device to memorize names (Suzanne's kids are Adam, Patrick and Elizabeth, or "APE"), lists (milk, eggs, tomatoes, soda, or "METS") or computer commands (to shut down your PC, hit Control+Alt+Delete, or "CAD").

 

• Use your body. When you have no pen or paper and are making a mental grocery or to-do list, remember it according to major body parts, says Scott. Start at your feet and work your way up. So if you have to buy glue, cat food, broccoli, chicken, grapes and toothpaste, you might picture your foot stuck in glue, a cat on your knee looking for food, a stalk of broccoli sticking out of your pants pocket, a chicken pecking at your belly button, a bunch of grapes hanging from your chest and a toothbrush in your mouth.

 

• Go Roman. With the Roman room technique, you associate your grocery, to-do or party-invite list with the rooms of your house or the layout of your office, garden or route to work. Again, the zanier the association, the more likely you'll remember it, says Scott. Imagine apples hanging from the chandelier in your foyer, spilled cereal all over the living room couch, shampoo bubbles overflowing in the kitchen sink and cheese on your bedspread.

 

Brain Freeze #4
"What's my password for this website?"

 

• Shape your numbers. Assign a shape to each number: 0 looks like a ball or ring; 1 is a pen; 2 is a swan; 3 looks like handcuffs; 4 is a sailboat; 5, a pregnant woman; 6, a pipe; 7, a boomerang; 8, a snowman; and 9, a tennis racket. To remember your ATM PIN (4298, say), imagine yourself on a sailboat (4), when a swan (2) tries to attack you. You hit it with a tennis racket (9), and it turns into a snowman (8). Try forgetting that image!

 

• Rhyme it. Think of words that rhyme with the numbers 1 through 9 (knee for 3, wine for 9, etc.). Then create a story using the rhyming words: A nun (1) in heaven (7) banged her knee (3), and it became sore (4).

 

Brain Freeze #5
"The word is on the tip of my tongue."

 

• Practice your ABCs. Say you just can't remember the name of that movie. Recite the alphabet (aloud or in your head). When you get to the letter R, it should trigger the name that's escaping you: Ratatouille. This trick works when taking tests too.

 

Brain Freeze #6
"I just can't memorize anything anymore!"

• Read it, type it, say it, hear it. To memorize a speech, toast or test material, read your notes, then type them into the computer. Next, read them aloud and tape-record them. Listen to the recording several times. As you work on memorizing, remember to turn off the TV, unplug your iPod and shut down your computer; you'll retain more.

 

• Use color. Give your notes some color with bolded headings and bulleted sections (it's easier to remember a red bullet than running text).

 

• Make a map. Imagine an intersection and mentally place a word, fact or number on each street corner.

 

From http://www.rd.com/health/brain-and-nervous-system/retrain-your-brain/article.html 

See more articles in Reader Digest website www.rd.com

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Greatest principles of listening

Two of the greatest principles are:

1. I do not have the power to make anything all better for anybody.

2. I am not responsible for solving the problems of everybody else.


If these two principles are understood and practiced, the pressure is off and you are able to listen completely. That’s when true communication occurs. The next step is to let the other person know you are listening and genuinely care.

--- from I DON’T HAVE TO MAKE EVERYTHING ALL BETTER by Gary & Joy Lundberg

Monday, February 11, 2008

Blood Brothers - A film where we can learn a lot

 

It is just 18 mins story. Siddharth is a well-settled guy with excellent career, pragnent wife & a 5 year old child. Change in his life occurs when he does blood test and comes to know he is a victim to HIV +ve. He runs away from home - settles with railway beggers. One day, during the fight with fellow beggers, he gets hurt - safeguarded by another doctor who finds that he is not HIV +. Siddhu comes back home. He wants to find the truth about his report. He finds another guy with the same name having HIV +ve. He searches for that guy - who is a coach of a local football team. When he tells the news, the coach already knew about that. Coach says that having HIV +ve is not the end of life - it is also similar to other diseases like diabetics, tuberclosis , blood pressure, etc & one can achieve a lot even after being identified as a victim.

Siddharth portrays exactly how an educated professional feels when he hears the news.