Archive for April, 2015


The art of managing people has been analysed in great detail by theorists in the past, and commendably so. McGregor was bang on target when he came up with the X and Y approach to managing people. Also, Robert R. Blake and Jane Mouton came up with their Management Grid concept, where the X-axis has ‘Concern for Production’ and the Y-axis has ‘Concern for People’. This proved to be a very useful tool to classify leadership styles.

With due respects to the brilliant work done by those mentioned earlier, one would like to make the concept of a Management Grid more contemporary by adding a new dimension, Z. This axis covers our ‘Concern for Ethics and Values’.

Based on the concept of this grid, leadership styles may well be categorized as follows:

1,1,1: Charmless Charlies
One can only wish their organizations the best of luck.

9,1,1: Road Rollers
They would achieve a target by ruthlessly crushing anything that comes in their way.

1,9,1: Sponge Comforters
As long as employees have an identity crisis, they are in high demand, ready with a bucket and a towel to listen to their woes and comfort them.

9,9,1: Arsonist Achievers
Under them, short-term goals would get achieved. Means be damned.

1,1,9: Missionary Zealots
Saint-like souls who have willy-nilly ventured into the business world.

9,1,9: Crazy Conformists
Those working under them could soon get referred to a lunatic asylum.

1,9,9: Armchair Revolutionists
They could be assets to political outfits owing an allegiance to some outdated doctrines.

5,5,5: Incompetent Chiefs
A middle-level successful manager on whom greatness has been thrust by a benevolent fate.

9,9,9: Super Leaders
A balanced Chief Executive Officer who leads his team successfully in the long run. To be spotted, head-hunted, and hired without further delay.

When it comes to corporate governance, most businesses are driven more by greed than by the norms of propriety. Compliance with statutory provisions and indulging in tax avoidance rather than blatant tax evasion are given a short shrift. As a repercussion, we end up having more controls and complex laws, thereby making non-compliance even more attractive.

The good news is that there are indeed enlightened businesses and right thinking managers who score high on the Z-axis as well. Such businesses have been around for more than a century and have done well for themselves; they have also given back to society in terms of advanced medical facilities, support to fine arts and sports, and several other Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. The Tata group of India is a shining example of the same.

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O Divine,
I often dream of you,
I wrap these dreams in a soft illumined air,
Which lies in between the violet and the red colours.

Help me to make a colourful highway,
Connecting the Earth and the Heavens above,
Help me to plant seeds of the Infinite,
On this finite lump of dancing mass we call the Earth.

Over time these seeds would grow into powerful creepers,
Gently opening the new life’s doors of bright white hue,
Giving us a peek into a magnificent palace,
Of an ornamental roof and gleaming floors.

These dreams of a new race I do believe in,
With Your grace, these would surely manifest on Earth,
Eventually, these would become the living truth,
Making humanity experience unalloyed joy and infinite bliss.

(Contributed by Usha)

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Like in so many other realms of knowledge, P G Wodehouse displays great expertise in being a meteorologist as well.

Here is yet another delightful post from the inimitable Honoria Plum. Enjoy!


1939 Uncle Fred in the SpringtimeIt is commonly understood that, far from representing a bygone age, P.G. Wodehouse created an  idealised England that never really existed. Personally, I remain determined to find fragments of Wodehouse in reallife, and last October I immigrated to England in search of Plumtopia.

I arrived in time for a glorious Autumn –  my favourite season. Surprisingly, Wodehouse sets only one novel in Autumn (that I can recall).

I reached out a hand from under the blankets, and rang the bell for Jeeves.
‘Good evening, Jeeves,’
‘Good morning, sir’
This surprised me.
‘Is it morning?’
‘Yes, sir.’
‘Are you sure? It seems very dark outside.’
‘There is a fog, sir. If you will recollect, we are now in Autumn – season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.’
‘Season of what?’
‘Mists, sir, and mellow fruitfulness.’

The Code of the Woosters (1938)

Autumn 2012 in Berskhire

After a stunning Autumn – mellow and…

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No one grudges producers of Bollywood or elsewhere laughing all their way to the bank. But when the social responsibility aspect yields to commercial pressures, it hurts. Given the reach and the influence of movies, one shudders at the blatant use of vulgarity and profanity in movies – particularly the ones which are churned out by some of our highly respected production houses.

Here is a thought-provoking post on the ‘loo’ mania in some of our Bollywood flicks.

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/can-we-have-some-decency-please)

My Views On Bollywood

By  Sharada Iyer

One fails to fathom the current obsession of Hindi films to include Loo scenes/Urinating scenes under some pretext or the other in most of their films.It is one thing to have newcomers or side-kicks doing such scenes to grab attention but it is shameful to watch our established stars and talented actors resorting to such inexcusable and atrocious gimmicks.   

In the last few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of movies purposely incorporating such scenes which not only seem totally unnecessary to the story of the film but are also unleashing blatant vulgarity on the unsuspecting audience…

PK, Shamitabh, Gunday, Besharam, Humshakals, Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani, etc., are some of the recent examples of films which had some of our top stars flagrantly being part of these nauseating scenes and had the audience squirming in the seat out of sheer disgust.

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LEADERSLet us say that you happen to be a very successful CEO. A spate of rewards, tons of recognition and loads of adulation has left you with an after-glow of inner contentment. Entrapped by the spoils of success, have you started taking life easy? Have you started believing that you are infallible?

It is perhaps a good time to introspect. Here are seven habits which highly successful CEOs never get addicted to. Let us check our present score and evaluate where we stand.

1. Being partial or dishonest

You would always find them transparent and fair in their dealings. Never would you find them cheating. They set high standards in conduct of business, based on values and principles they cherish and believe in.

2. Dwelling on the past

It is not that they have not made their share of mistakes in the past. But they have learnt from them and marched on towards the future. Never would you find them gloating about their past companies and victories. They live in the present, never allowing their past to define them.

3. Letting down their team members

They would never let down a team member. Praising in public and firing in private is one of their key personality traits. They identify, nurture and mentor talent. They take good care of their people, earning life-long loyalty. Those who have hung onto their coat tails would be willing to make important sacrifices for them.

4. Being conformists

They know what they want. They are willing to get off the beaten track and achieve what they have set their hearts and minds on. They know how to manage controversies. They have the requisite skills to bring even their worst critics on board.

5. Saying ‘Yes’ when they mean ‘No’

They tend to be good listeners. Whether they agree or disagree with you is entirely a different matter. They can argue out their case well. They have mastered the art of putting across a disagreement without breaking a relationship.

6. Being surrounded by sycophants

They encourage dissent. They believe that healthy disagreements form the bedrock of good decision-making. Listening to – or indulging in – gossip or lose talk is never one of their favorite activities. Attention to detail is one of their key characteristics.

7. Being late

Unless they have a very good reason to have got delayed, highly successful CEOs are downright punctual. And we are not talking of client meetings alone. We are also speaking of internal meetings, with their own team members. This trait keeps others in the company on their toes, invariably following the dictum of punctuality.

Are we guilty of having cultivated any of these habits? If so, can we make a conscious attempt at overcoming these?

Which are the habits you try not to form, so as to sustain your progress in life?

Would you like to add some more habits to the list above?!

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Bertie imageAs one of the foremost champions of true blue chivalry, Bertie Wooster might have never suspected that the f of the s could even be disliking it. It transpires that some of the delicately nurtured find it stifling. They resent it. They detest it.

Here is a juicy post which draws our attention to this aspect of chivalry. Members of the so-called sterner sex stand warned.

There Are So Many People in the World

These days denizens of India are smarting in the aftermath of the airing of the documentary ‘India’s Daughter’, and crimes against women in general. However, this post is not about rapes, molestations, domestic violence and other kinds of harsh slings and arrows of life the female of the species face. Instead, it is about the softer kind of harassment we, the f of the s, beget from some of the members of the so-called sterner sex. It is the harassment of chivalry – feigned or otherwise. I believe it is equally discriminatory in nature.

The softer variety of discrimination robs us ladies of the kind of equality we secretly yearn for. It is the persecution of the “parfait gentle knights”, who abound in our society. Fuelled with a misplaced sense of chivalry, they are determined to serve the fairer sex, come what may. In a milder form, it…

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Winds of hope and change appear to be sweeping the skyline of Pondicherry these days.Sydney_Opera_House

Here is my humble take on what the denizens of this quaint little territory can wish for by way of reinventing Pondicherry.


1. A Sydney-like Opera House could come up at the Old Distillery on the Beach Road. The terrace could be designed in such a way so as to serve as an open air theater. An exhibition hall and a food park could be planned.

2. A sound and light show devoted to the rich history of Pondicherry, starting from the Roman connection and endingAgasta with its independence from French rule. The narration could include the story of Sage Agastya, Ayi, Subramaniam Bharati and Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The show could be in three languages every day – Tamil, English and Hindi. Can be planned either at the Old Distillery or at the Botanical Garden.

3. Developing Arikamedu into a heritage walk park.

4. An Oceanarium could be set up. People could walk in and have a look at the rich diversity of undersea marine life.

4. A special tourism circuit showcasing the locations where ‘Life of Pi’ was shot.

5. An annual event of international importance, concerning theater, movies or literature could be planned. Can also capitalize on Ashram and host an international spirituality event where well-known personalities from diverse streams of spirituality could be invited.

6. Existing museums to be upgraded. Interactive museums to be set up, dedicated to our oceans and the Bay of Bengal.

7. A Planetarium would add immense value to the education of young and adults alike.


8. A six-lane highway bye-passing city areas, starting from near PIMS and ending near Kanniakoil.pondy movie Life_of_Pi_2012

9. Railway link to Chennai via Mahabalipuram.

10. Introduction of Shatabdi-like trains to and from Chennai, with a journey time of less than two hours.

11. A mini golf link near Auroville.

12. Battery operated vehicles in the White Town area.

13. Closure of shops jutting on to Ambour Salai.

14. Convex mirrors at corners of all street junctions in the White Town area.

15. Beautification of the twin canal roads.

16. Feasibility of (a) Metro connecting the General Hospital to far-flung reaches of the territory and (b) An elevated monorail within the boulevard area.

Smart City Project

17. A broadband roll out, backed by IT infrastructure which is designed to assist citizens from cradle to grave. Appsinternet image 2 for traffic conditions, crime reporting and for all other citizen services.

18. All public services to be available on-line, with system being managed by an organization like TCS, just like the Regional Passport Offices.

19. Introduction of re-chargeable Parking Fee cards which can be swiped by vehicles entering such areas as J N Street, M G Road and Mission Street.

20. A new Master Plan for Extended Pondicherry Region (EPR), comprising Villupuram, Tindivanam, Cuddalore and Marakkanam, along the lines of NCR around Delhi.

21. All schemes to include EPR, wherever feasible.

22. Implementation of a scientific garbage disposal plan for EPR.

Would you like to add a few more ideas to this list? Go ahead!

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/puducherry-2025-a-traveller%E2%80%99s-memoirs)

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