Tuesday, February 9, 2016

HOW TO LIVE & DIE by Late Khushwant Singh

I recieved this forward a few days back, and it stayed with me for a very long time.. In this post I am sharing it with the intent that it might get you to think, introspect and re-calibrate some paths you take...

I’ve often thought about what it is that makes people happy—what one has to do in order to achieve happiness.

1- First and foremost is good health. If you do not enjoy good health, you can never be happy. Any ailment, however trivial, will deduct something from your happiness.

2- Second, a healthy bank balance. It need not run into crores, but it should be enough to provide for comforts, and there should be something to spare for recreation—eating out, going to the movies, travel and holidays in the hills or by the sea. Shortage of money can be demoralising. Living on credit or borrowing is demeaning and lowers one in one’s own eyes.

3- Third, your own home. Rented places can never give you the comfort or security of a home that is yours for keeps. If it has garden space, all the better. Plant your own trees and flowers, see them grow and blossom, and cultivate a sense of kinship with them.

4- Fourth, an understanding companion, be it your spouse or a friend. If you have too many misunderstandings, it robs you of your peace of mind. It is better to be divorced than to be quarrelling all the time.

5- Fifth, stop envying those who have done better than you in life—risen higher, made more money, or earned more fame. Envy can be corroding; avoid comparing yourself with others.

6- Sixth, do not allow people to descend on you for gossip. By the time you get rid of them, you will feel exhausted and poisoned by their gossip-mongering.

7- Seventh, cultivate a hobby or two that will fulfill you—gardening, reading, writing, painting, playing or listening to music. Going to clubs or parties to get free drinks, or to meet celebrities, is a criminal waste of time. It’s important to concentrate on something that keeps you occupied meaningfully.

8- Eighth, every morning and evening devote 15 minutes to introspection. In the mornings, 10 minutes should be spent in keeping the mind absolutely still, and five listing the things you have to do that day. In the evenings, five minutes should be set aside to keep the mind still and 10 to go over the tasks you had intended to do.

9- Ninth, don’t lose your temper. Try not to be short-tempered, or vengeful. Even when a friend has been rude, just move on.

10- Above all, when the time comes to go, one should go like a Person without any regret or grievance against anyone.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What are the must-have skills for B-school pass-outs?

Last week, I had the opportunity to be an invited guest for a tweetchat on "Navigating long term careers in large organizations" exclusively for B-school students (More details below)

It was interesting and exciting to be part of the tweetchat - primarily to interact with B-school students from all over India. It was very well attended, and a busy 1 hour- I really don't know how the time zoomed by. While the discussion covered a range of questions on career choices, work motivation, new age skills and work - life balance.. 

The Storify of the session is here. A snapshot overview of the summary is here

One question which was particularly interesting during this interaction was "What are the must-have skills for B-school pass-outs?

In this post, I am sharing my views based on my experiences, interactions with B-school students and basic expectations from any professional enterprise.

A few years ago, I was officially mentoring a fresh B-school graduate and asked him to get some information on a newly passed financial regulation from the public domain. 1 hour passed - no response.. 2 hours passed - no response.. The whole day passed - no response.. The next day when I quizzed him on what he had gathered, here's what he said "I Googled and Googled the whole day, but could not get any information". Honestly, that was the last response I expected. So I asked him to open Google and type the keywords which he did.. The answer we were looking for was listed right at the top on Google search. Google did its job (like it always does).. Now you can guess who wasn't doing their job?

Here's the thing - Any B-school student should know how to use Google - to get data, information, visuals, news, research insights, people profiles, etc. etc.. You should know how to use to power of Google to do your everyday work. 

2) Fantastic analytical skills
When I was a student at IIM Bangalore, in my innocence and curiosity as a student I asked my Strategy professor "What is the biggest benefit of doing an MBA program?" He said something which I will always remember "An MBA program opens your mind to different ways of thinking". Looking back, I can say he was 100% right. Most importantly the rigor of any good B-school program gets one to think analytically - under any circumstance. And that analytical mind-set comes naturally to some, but to many it is a skill that needs to be nurtured and most B-schools lay a solid foundation for analytical thinking (which included problem solving). The reality of most enterprises is that there are all kinds of problems which exist - technology, product, process, people, customer experience, design, architecture, user experience, customer expectation management, etc. And one's ability to truly understand and solve a problem usually makes all the difference So any career choice you make, the expectation from you is that you will be able to think analytically..

3) Effective communication skills (both oral and written)
Clarity, Correctness and Confidence are the most important 3C's of effective communication. For clarity in expression, the only pre-requisite is clarity in thought. For correctness, one needs knowledge or access to knowledge (data / information / insights, etc.) to state his / her point of view. Confidence is a function of individual personlity and experience - which comes with time and practice. But there is a start somewhere, and for many B-school students the beginning is in B-school. So it is important to hone your communication skills (both oral and written) as that is a key exqwpectation from any corporate role.

4) Have Knowledge on the areas / topics of study / specialization
So if you are an Marketing major by education you should "know" what you learned by virtue of your degree. After all, if the threshold qualification for the job is of a B-school Marketer, then you should at least demonstrate that you have the marketing knowledge and background to qualify for the job. So this will be reflected in the way you participate and understand 'marketing talk'.. and your competency to complete any marketing related tasks. 

5) Be Willing to learn
Learning is a continuous journey, and those who show that they are willing to learn - be it new technologies, domains, processes and ways of working are the one's who end up with more opportunities, challenging work assignments and diverse projects as a part of their career portfolio. This is absolutely true for anyone, but even more for B-school pass-out students since they come with the a plethora of knowledge and diverse experiences which can be leveraged in any work environment

(6) Be Open to work
Again, you should be open to take up work assigned to you - at least in the initial few years of your career. Every single assignment adds to your own understanding of the business, and as you grow - you will appreciate how understanding different facets is so critical in your career growth. As long as you get to do "real work", and are contributing towards the success of your team - you should be willing to do work.

(7) Be professional
Make an effort to understand the company policy and corporate culture - Be it in work hours, employee perks work attire, etc. Be professional in your interactions with colleagues and managers. Most importantly, draw the line between your personal life and professional life - It makes a lot of difference in how other perceive you!

Helped you? Share it with anyone in your network who might benefit from reading this..

As I sign-off, I am sharing some links / references which might help any B-school student who is starting their career...

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Nischala's writings of Jan 2016 | A round-up

Starting 2016, I will be sharing a curated list of my writings for the month here on this blog.. I hope you enjy reading as much as I enjoyed writing.

Blog titled Nischala's Space, Thoughts and Expressions

Marketing Campaigns - 12 points to fast-track your success

Round-up of all the Marketing Awards you can apply to

Women led startups - What impedes growth?

Keen to attend a marketing event in India? Here is a list for you

Blog titled Verve : The Quintessence of my life

The best thing you can sometimes do

At the cross-roads


The attitude matters : more than knowledge and skills? Leadership Lessons from kids

10 (+1) choices which can transform your life (and career)

After 100+ LinkedIn posts the most important lesson is | "The (personal) story matters, but the publishing platform matters even more"...

Why you should NOT do a startup?

What are your objectives for 2016?

The Attitude matters | Leadership Lessons from Kids

Time Management Tips to boost your productivity at work

My Payments Wishlist as a consumer - for 2016 and beyond


Why you should NOT do a fintech startup?

What is the most important decision a corporate treasurer makes?


Got cash? Invest in a startup


How to get what you want? Leadership Lessons from kids

Huffington Post

10 M's which can make or break a woman's career

10 fail-proof ways to love yourself everyday

Total Published Posts = 21

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How to live fully and not die slowly...

A few days ago I came across this beautiful forward on WhatsApp. It connected with me at very deep level. In short, I loved it so sharing on my blog...

You start dying slowly - By Pablo Neruda

You start dying slowly
if you do not travel,
if you do not read,
If you do not listen to the sounds of life,
If you do not appreciate yourself.

You start dying slowly
When you kill your self-esteem;
When you do not let others help you.

You start dying slowly
If you become a slave of your habits,
Walking everyday on the same paths…
If you do not change your routine,
If you do not wear different colours
Or you do not speak to those you don’t know.

You start dying slowly
If you avoid to feel passion
And their turbulent emotions;
Those which make your eyes glisten
And your heart beat fast.

You start dying slowly
If you do not change your life when you are not satisfied with your job, or with your love,
If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain,
If you do not go after a dream,
If you do not allow yourself,
At least once in your lifetime,
To run away from sensible advice…

As I mulled over this and the key essence - Here it is..
Below is the list of things one should do
Listen to sounds of life
Appreciate yourself
Change your routine every now and then
Walk on a new path everyday
Wear different colors
Take help from others
Speak to strangers
Feel passion
Do what you believe in
Chase a dream
Do something crazy
Take risks
Live Life..

What all have you done in 2016 so far? Not to worry - only 1 month up.. 11 more to go :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The best thing you can do sometimes...

The best thing you can do sometimes...
for yourself and them

Is to acknowledge
Is to accept
Is to step-back
Is to speak-up
Is to say it loud
Is to hold-on
Is to let-go
Is to break free
Is to move on
Is to stop
Is to start
Is to move
Is to stay still
Is to ignore
Is to invest
Is to cut-off
Is to cross the bridge
Is to be
Is to smile
Is to nudge
Is to hold
Is to pray
Is to start over....

What did you choose for 2016?