Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Future Manager by Lynda Gratton

I think, particularly as a manager, we have to have something that’s valuable and difficult to imitate.  And the challenge with the future is that artificial intelligence and technology, in many ways, gets rid of the job of the manager.  In fact, I’ve written an article that got a lot of press called “The Death of the Middle Manager.”  And what I argued is that actually Gen Y don’t want to be managed, and if you think your job is about being the conduit for information, well, open innovation gets rid of that because everyone can talk to everybody else.  And if you think your job is about collecting information and assimilating it, giving it out again, well, artificial intelligence can do that.  If it’s not doing it now, it will in the future.  So actually, potentially, the job as a middle manager disappears.

So what then should we be doing?  The point I want to make is that the interesting research on technology shows that actually what technology does is it gets rid of a lot of the simple jobs but it also requires people conceptually to think, to imagine, to articulate, and so the marvelous thing about the future, potentially, is the manager’s job becomes more interesting because more of it either can be done by team members, or can be done by artificial intelligence, or can be done by technology.  And so I think that being good at something really is important because if you want to manage others, they have to believe that there’s something about you that they can learn from.

So management becomes as much about coaching and training as it is about supervising.  But to be a coach or a trainer, you have to know something well, and to know something well, you have to become a master of it.  And to become a master, you have to be prepared to put in the hours to learn something and to be coached and to apprentice yourself.

One of the things that worries me about our contemporary life is that shows like America’s Got Talent makes you think that everyone can be famous and it doesn’t take much to be talented.  Well, that just is not the case.  You have to work hard to actually learn something and to gain mastery.

So one of the questions I would invite people to think about is, what do I love doing?  What do I have that others don’t have?  And what am I prepared to do to get better at that?  What would it take for me to master that skill, that network, that set of ideas?  And if you can do that, then that puts you in a very, very good position for the future

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mr Dead Man

A young man named Rama Swami died an untimely death.

His parents, wife and nine year old son were crying bitterly sitting next to his dead body.

They all happened to be disciples of a holy man whom they called ‘Maharaj Ji’. When Maharaj Ji learnt that Rama Swami had died, he came to visit the family. He entered the house and found the family wailing inconsolably.

Seeing Maharaj Ji, Rama’s wife started crying even louder. She sobbed saying, “Maharaj Ji, he has died too early, he was so young… Oh! I would do anything to make him alive again. What will happen to our son? I’m so helpless and miserable.”

Maharaj Ji tried to pacify the crying lady and the old parents, but the loss was too much for them to come to terms with so easily.

Eventually, Maharaj Ji said, “Alright, get me a glass of water.”

Maharaj Ji sat near the dead body and put the glass next to it. He said, “Now, whoever wants that 
Rama Swami should become alive again may drink this water. Rama Swami shall come back to life, but the person who drinks the water shall die instead!”  

Hearing this offer the entire family was in deep Silence..! 

“Come, did you not say that Rama Swami was the sole bread earner of the family? Who would die instead of him? It is a case of fair exchange, isn’t it?”

The wife looked at the old mother and the old mother looked at the wife. The old father looked at Rama Swami’s son. But no one came forward…then Maharaj Ji said to the old father, “Babuji, wouldn’t you give your life for your son?”

The old man said, “Well, I have my responsibility towards my wife, if I die who will look after her? I cannot offer my life to you.”

Maharaj Ji looked questioningly at the old woman and said, “Amma?”

Amma said, “My daughter is due to deliver her first baby. She will be coming to stay for a month… if I die, who will look after her and the newborn. Why don’t you ask Rama Swami’s wife?

Maharaj Ji smiled and looked at the young widow.

She widened her tear filled eyes and said, “Maharaj Ji, I need to live for my son… if I die, who will look after him? He needs me.

Please don’t ask me to do this sacrifice..

Maharaj Ji asked the son, “Well little boy, would you like to give your life for your father?” before the boy could say anything, his mother pulled him towards her and said, ..

“Maharaj Ji, are you insane?.. My son is only nine. He has not yet, lived his life. How could you even think or suggest such a thing?”

Maharaj Ji said, “Well it seems, that all of you are very much needed, for the things you need to do in this world… 

It seems Rama Swami was the only one that could be spared… 
That is why God chose to take him away.

So shall we now proceed with his last rites?… It’s getting late, having said that, Maharaj Ji got up and left.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Donkey

One day a farmer’s donkey fell into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw.

With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake
it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells by not stopping, never giving up!
Shake it off and take a step up.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Work For It

The difference between what you want, and what you have, is what you do. The bridge that spans from desire to fulfillment is action.

Every moment is an opportunity to act. The more of those momentary opportunities you make use of, the more quickly and richly your dreams will become real.

It doesn’t really matter what you say you want or what you wish for. What matters is what you choose to work for.

What matters is what you use your precious and irreplaceable time to accomplish. This day is filled with valuable time, so make purposeful use of it as it comes.

To have an exceptional, fulfilled life, work for it. Work for it now, today, from where you are, with what you have.
You deserve more than just empty wishes, so get busy and give yourself the best of what you deserve. Work for it, and delight in the outstanding experience of bringing your most treasured dreams to life.