Monthly Archives: January 2013

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”

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Ever heard of de-Christianized Christendom, or de-Islamized Muslim World, or a de-Buddhizised Buddhist World?

Globe and Mail correspondent Doug Sanders’s recommendation for a peaceful world in his recent book ‘Myth of Muslim World’ boils down to just that.

According to him the first part has already arrived in the West, while it is very inconceivable to expect the second.

I definitely want to agree with him. But that reminds me of Mohandas Gandhi, the famous Indian leader who mobilized the entire nation to rise against their English rulers with peaceful disobedience. Gandhi’s quote is the title of my post.

I am intrigued that the core values of every self-help and managerial best seller nowadays are the same.

All men and women are created equal. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Wisdom and the path of wisdom are the best bet for man. The secret of happiness and fulfillment is right within everyone, there is no need to search elsewhere. The past is history, future is mystery, today is a gift, otherwise called the present. In other words, the past has no influence other than that which one chooses assign to it. Or, in other words, God has forgiven your trespasses, if you also do not hold grudge against others, no matter what. Love, hope and faith (or belief) are the biggest empowering emotions. If one believes, he can move even a mountain by mere wishing (this may be an exaggeration). If one believes, he can heal every sickness. One should wish well for even his enemies. There is nothing that can be achieved by worrying. Living in the present and being alive to the world are the essence of life. If everyone behaved like this, the world will become a New World, which could be called Heaven on Earth.

Now take this metaphor – ‘me and my father are one.’ Another : ‘the observer and the observed are the same single being.’ Yet another simplification: ‘the awareness and the thinker are actually one.’ Well, many recent philosophers like Jiddu Krishnamurthy, Nathaniel Brandon and Eckart Tolle have tried to explain this concept.

I am pleasantly surprised that these are all the core values one would find in Jesus’s teachings. Of course for hundreds of years, they ridiculed him, fought him, but now it is the time of Jesus’s victory. But victory for him is the so-called de-Christianized world! That is what Gandhi mentioned too.

UN Charter of Human Rights, American Declaration of Independence, Canadian Charter of Rights, the code of ethics of every professional body (accounting, engineering, medicine, project management ), the basis of every national constitution, the list goes on… The foundation would certainly be the above inalienable rights and principles. These ‘facts’ have now become adopted as ‘truth’ into the human psyche cutting across every national boundary imaginable. Yet, these principles do not go by the name of Christianity any more, which is the secret of de-Christianized Christendom. Christendom is becoming increasingly pervasive universally and Jesus is winning; but it is a victory that started with ridicule.

 

Follow these rules and people will follow you.

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I am talking about the principles mentioned in this book. The author correctly states – I think – that if you have a checklist of 21 laws and you are also able to check them all off, there is going to be a huge crowd following you wherever you go.

But I have a question for you and for myself: ‘who wants everyone to follow them? Is that the secret desire of everyone – to be followed?’

Well, I have a friend, who is a truck driver by name John. He is a very blithesome, cheerful guy who loves life. But the kinds of things he does are not all very much in the realm of popular social expectations of behaviour. For want of time and space, and for the better part of tact, I don’t wish to go into all the details, but I can assure you that he is a very decent gentleman. He even prays every day! His prayer consists of asking for forgiveness and for a good life for himself and his kids – fairly noble goals indeed. However, there are lots of things that he needs forgiveness from the good Lord every day. Now I am sure that he doesn’t want to be in the public light and be followed by a whole bunch of people wherever he goes! No way! That is the last thing he would need.

I have reasons to believe that there are lots of Johns out there. I don’t have the luxury of the numbers here – but let me make up a percentage for the sake of argument. Let us say, 95% of the people do not want to be followed by mobs or paparazzi or peeping Toms, which is a fair intuitive estimate. In that case, isn’t John C. Maxwell talking to the other 5% of the population only? Perhaps these five percent of the people are experts like Maxwell themselves so much so that they have a few laws and tips up their sleeves that are not in Maxwell’s book.

I am just taking my imagination down a tizzy path. For all I know, Mr. Maxwell has put together everything that there possibly is in his cute book.

Lunch packed with love

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This morning I happened to see the little strip of paper on a ziplock pouch. And I thought – ‘isn’t it awesome?’

Whoever thought a little lunch packed in a hurry could be a love statement?

However, for a message to be effective there are three elements that must all come together.
1. Encoding with true spirit. For example, if you yelled and called names and also put this sticker, then the words don’t mean anything.
2. Transmitting, which is the medium, in this case lunch box.
3. Decoding by the receiver. It may be unnoticed, may sleepwalk over it, whatever, in which case, the message doesn’t serve it purpose.

You know what I mean. #1 and #2 are very important and lots of times, one or the other or both may be out of whack.

If everything works out, it will be a long moment of joy for the sender and the receiver, that is truly one of the most beautiful memories that can last for ever. It is true that the most beautiful things in life are absolutely free. Think about it.

Norman Schwarzkopf’s leadership view

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Norman commanded the operation Desert Storm to oust Saddam Hussein. He passed away recently. Here’s a summary of what he thinks about leadership.

1. Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be it without strategy!
2. Any soldier must be antiwar; but there are things worth fighting for.
3. The more you sweat in peace, the les you bleed in battle.
4. When placed in command, take charge!
5. It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle, but to one of those men who goes into battle.
6. Courage is being afraid and going ahead and closing.
7. Truth is you know the right thing to do, hard part is doing it.
8. Ware is a profane things.
9. Learn more from negative leadership.
10. Do what is right, not what headquarters want or what you think.

Iacocca’s 9 C’s of leadership

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1. Curiosity : even opposite views, newspapers.
2. Creative: Something different, outside the box. Leadership is about managing change. One needs creativity to solve.
3. Communicate ; telling the truth.
4. Character : Differentiate right / wrong.
5. Courage also called balls – swagger isn’t courage. Courage is commitment to sit down and talk.
6. Conviction: Fire in your belly!
7. Charisma : Quality that makes people want to follow you, to inspire.
8. Competent:
9. Common sense
10. Crisis – leaders are made, not born!

Napolean Hill’s leadership view

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New age leadership has to be by consent; leadership by force and exploitation will not endure. Leader must have the following qualities.
1. Unwavering courage.
2. Self control
3. Keen sense of justice
4. Definiteness of decision
5. Definiteness of plans.
6. Habit of doing more than paid for.
7. Pleasing personality.
8. Sympathy and understanding.
9. Mastery of detail.
10. Willingness to assume full responsibility.

According to Hill, the ten major causes of failure are the following:

1. Inability to organize details.
2. Unwillingness to render service.
3. Not doing, only knowing.
4. Fear of competition from followers.
5. Lack of imagination.
6. Selfishness.
7. Intemperance.
8. Disloyalty
9. Authority by fear
10. Emphasis of title.

Where have all the leaders come from?

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This is a counter question to Iacocca’s: ‘where have all the leaders gone?’

My surprise finding is:

From common relative obscurity.

In many cases the super, duper leaders were not conventional high-IQ, Ivy League, big-mo stuff.

In Jesus’s case, he speaks about him as the stone that the builders rejected becoming the cornerstone. He is talking about not playing even a normal role in society before he became the big guru that everyone sought after!

Iacocca himself says that crisis creates the leader.

Let me tell this about Indira Gandhi, former prime minister of India. I remember reading about her Oxford student days – if the classmates were offered a guess at naming a future world leader from among them, Indira Gandhi would have beeen the last one of the list! Yet she was the one who made it!

Let me make a prediction about Justin Trudeau. Before his appearance on the scene, Liberal party was all but written off! Now there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm about the liberal party. Why is that?

Leaders are normal people who are born in the moment of a crisis and who are willing to take charge when opportunity presents itself.