Take my advice, I dont use it anyway !


I saw this poster among the poster collections of Rosanna. It sounded funny and at the same time, it was connecting me to some of my life experiences.There is something very unique about this, which was preventing me from forgetting it.

We come across many people who is very good in providing advise, and at the same do not practise any. In many occassions, I am no exception to this. This is one of the easiest things to do. This is very evident when we get into a book stall. The tiles may read like this and my immediate response is in the brackets;

I am OK, you are OK (Are you OK?:-)

Think and grow rich  (Are you a billionaire?:-)

Good to great (Are you great?. How many great organizations did you build?. I think those who did, do not have the time to write a book:-)

Life beyond coding (How many kilo lines of code did you write first?. If Bill gates says it I understand it. I think he does not have the time 🙂

Google story (Larry and Page did not have the time 🙂

The list is pretty huge. The current trend is to write something controversial. Jesus christ lived in India :-))

Sometimes I feel that I should be a stupid, to read some of these crap, where the author have not experienced anything about he/she is writing about. They are writing about other’s experiences.

This pattern is even more prevailant among managers. They expect lot of things like timeliness, quality, capability…..etc…etc from all their team members, customers, superiors and when it comes to themselves, they have enough reasons for not being there on time. They have one standard for themselves and another one for others (majority do not fall into this category and at the same time, a sure 20% falls into this).

Very often as a trainer, the majority of the participants will be waiting for a few. Then the dilema is, ‘should I punish those guys who are on time, becuase some one is not on time’.

Still recollect those days, when my team members wishes ‘Hi Aby’ when I am on time to office, and a special ‘Good morning Sir’ on those days when I am late to office. That was the time when I insisted my team members to reach office on time and leave atleast by 7 p.m. It was part of a corrective action, when my colleague’s wife came to our office at 6 a.m in search of her husband, and started screaming at me, when we were busy working to make a release happen (this colleague of mine left his job within two months) !

Take my advice, I dont use it anyway !

Which one is better? PRINCE or PMBOK

This is a question one of my workshop participants asked me yesterday, and the reply is;

“All models are like parents. They treat you like children. They keep telling you the ‘what,how and when to do s’. We must listen to parents, and at the same time bank on our own learning and experiences. There is a very high degree of intersection among PRINCE2, PMBOK, Agile methods, CMM, ISO, ITIL etc. Understanding the common thread, cutting through these models , will make life easier. As an Asian, I am previleged to look at these methods, models, frameworks with the same degree of attachment or detachment, becuase I dont adore any of these models completely. Everything has their own merits and demerits. What works for my project’s sucess is the best for me, because my professional life is dependent on the success of the project. Then my personal life is also tightly dependent on my professional life. For me, my project is more important than following just one framework or method from the purist’s view.”

Knowledge of all models helps one to choose the most appropriate for the project under consideration.

SEASONAL magazine

Yesterday from the Bangalore airport I picked up the complementary copy of the seasonal magazine. I liked this magazine for the high standard and usefulness of it’s contents. The contents of Issue3 May-June reads like this;

  • Five inspiring role models – Talks about Sam Pitroda, Azim Premji, Kiran MAzumdar, Captain G.R.Gopinath and Dr.Abraham George.
  • Cool schools – Festuring the best of the schools in India
  • How exercise fights ten diseases – A very useful article on the value of exercise in preventing, controlling diseases
  • Sleep and wellness – the five connections
  • 7 organic myths – talks about biodynamics in organic foods and farming
  • Keep Kalam going – About Abdul Kalam
  • Done in by stardom
  • Lessons from Munnar

The presentation is excellent and very userfriendly. In India it is priced at Rs.50/copy. For more details visit their site at www.seasonalmagazine.com

Freedom lost and found

Nightmare is over!. I lost my passport at the Dubai airport on the 16th, and ever since, it was a night mare till yesterday, when the Dubai police called me and told me about them receiving it. In fact I lost at the Dubai international airport. While checking in at the hotel, I realized that I lost it. Since I am a known guest, the hotel guys gave me a room, otherwise it would have been impossible even to get a room at Dubai without a passport. Then it was a mad rush to the police, court and immigration offices. Without my passport there was no way to even go back to my home country. It was as if Iam imprisoned in a foreign country.

At this stage, the techings of Prof. Morrie helped. I just accepted the fact that I lost my passport and I cannot get out of the country without one. I was mentally prepared to take what it takes to resolve. I lodged a complaint with the Dubai Police. To my suprise I found the Dubai police as very nice people. They infact even made tea for me. This was in full contradiction to the image of police I had. In my native land, when kids dont eat well, parents threaten them by saying ‘I will call the police’ and almost every kid grows up with a feeling that ‘Police’ as bad guys and Police stations as the place for bad guys. So whenever I enter a police station I am very nervous and in this case, I found a set of very friendly and helpful gentlemen at the Dubai airport police station. My special thanks to them.

I knelt down and prayed to Mother Mary and St.Antony and to Jesus. The very thought of my 83 year old mother and the possibility of her health deteriorating further and my inability to get out of the country had a compunded negative effect on me. It was draning me out of my peace and energy. I kept on praying, and at the same time was getting the paper work for a new passport done with the help of Mr.Bali, my friend. In Dubai, without a vehicle it is very difficult to get things done and in many places it is very difficult to get a taxi. Mr.Bali accompanied me to all these offices, proving once again that ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’!.

I did not communicate this bad news home, to avoid them getting anxious about all these. Finally one day I decided to call them tell them all that is happening to me. I picked up my mobile and dialled my home number. The call did not go through as I did not have sufficient credit. Within seconds I got a call from the Dubai police informing me the good news….’someone has deposited my lost passport at the lost and found section of dubai police at the airport’. Oh dear, the nightmare is over.  

This experience made me realize the value of freedom. Now I understand much better the agony of the masses who do not have freedom. It is miserable.  Now I understand better the power of prayer, when there is no hope…. 

If you loose ypur passport, the key steps to be done immediately;

1) Lodge a compalint to the police. This will help to avoid others misusing your passport and at the same time, police will be able to contact you, if they receive the passport.

2) Advertise in the local news paper about the loss of your passport

3) Get a letter from the police department, stating that you lost your passport

4) Contact the embassy of your country, in the country where you lost your passport. They will guide you with the subsequent formalities.

5) As far as possible, try to get a new temporary passport.  Another option available is to get an outpass. Normally outpass is used for deportation, and can make your re-entry to the country difficult, hence it is always better to get a temporary new passport.

6) In case you get the passport back, after lodging a police compalaint, ensure that there is no block on your passport by neither the immigration authorities nor the police, before you leave the country. If there is a block, then you will be stopped at the airport by immigration.

7) Wherever you go, carry all the documentation, pertaining to the lost passport.

Parent,Adult,Child and professional evolution

Do you remember your earlier bosses?. May be the first one?.

When all of us entered the corporate life (first job), professionally we all started as a ‘child’, carrying IAM NOT OK – YOU are OK life position. The first boss was acting as a corporate PARENT, and telling us what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in corporate life, and we believed whatever he said and did, and we we were totally dependent on him. Our position was of a ‘CHILD’, totally dependent on the ‘PARENT’. During this phase od career development, our life position was ‘Iam NOT OK, and YOU are OK’.

Then, our own experiences in the corporate world taught us lot of things and we slowly started filtering out what is right and wrong, some of these in conflict with our earlier PARENT (first boss) teachings. As a corporate adult, we develop the capability to compare the reality with the teachings of the ‘PARENT’ and merge it with our own learnings and experience as adults to arrive at our own decisions. Here slowly we move from ‘Iam not OK and You are OK’ to I am OK, and you are OK or not OK’ positions, based on situations.

Very often people ask me, whether PMBOK is better or PRINCE2 is better?. As far as Iam concerned, these are just bodies of knowledge, which in turn is nothing but a group of ‘parents’ telling me, what should be done, and what should not be done, in project management. If our corporate position is of a ‘CHILD’, we follow these blindly, as we dont have our own experiences and learnings to validate these ‘PARENT’ view. May be, that is the smartest thing to do, till we develop a life position of ‘Iam OK and You are OK’.  Once we gain enough expeience and insight, we take the position of an ‘ADULT’ and will learn to arrive at our own decisions after synthesising the teachings of the parents and our own experiences and learnings.