Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Go Kiss the World

Author: Subroto Bagchi
Published: 2006
Publisher: Penguin Books India

It is an autobiography of Subroto Bagchi who is a well respected personality in Indian IT industry. He is one of the founders of MindTree.
"Go Kiss the World" is what his mother told him when she was on her deathbed. And that proved to be the inspiration for this book.

The book is in three parts.
Part I talks about his birth, childhood days , his first job as a clerk in Orissa government and then his first corporate job in DCM.
Part II is about his career with many IT companies culminating with a 10 year stint in Wipro
Part III deals with founding of MindTree and shares his views on leadership, management and life in general.
The book is subtitled "Life Lessons for the Young Professional" Sure enough it has a vast array of nuggets of author's experiences interspersed throughout the book.

Highly readable account . I recommend it not only for young professionals but for all the professionals and entrepreneurs.

Some inspiring excerpts from the book :

1. It's all in the mind. Everything we achieve begins in our mind.

2. The power to receive is far more important than the power to give. What matters is the capability to catalyze what you have received.

3. To get, you must first give. We need to believe that there is more in it for everyone if everyone is involved and benefits. Leaders must develop a mindset of abundance, not scarcity, as they build their organizational vision.

4. Connect with people. When a leader connects at the level of feelings, he can get his people to aspire to dizzying heights and create in them the will and ability to scale them.

5. Life is constant negotiation. Such is the dynamic nature of the world that we need to face an emergent situation with an even temperament and look for the most beneficial outcome for all concerned, given the new set of cirumstances. Leaders must look at things as they are, not as we wish they should have been. While a leader's job is to alter the reality, he cannot begin by looking at life with an altered reality.

6. Overachievement comes with a price tag. If not handled well, there is a danger that things will spin out of control at the very height of your professional career for reasons that often beat common sense. Many overachievers create their own perception of reality and develop resultant problems in dealing with other people. Sometimes one has to blessed to be ordinary. The capacity to overachieve needs to be seen as a gift from above, something we simply hold in trust, a capacity that has been given to us to create larger benefit for others; it is something that can be taken away at a moment's notice. Viewing it in this sense creates humility, which is essential when fighting the sense of altered reality most overachievers create for themselves.
One frequent theme for high achievers is frustration. Frustration without the capability to change things is like a radioactive material burning inside you. Your frustration is the difference between your ambition and your capability. Either improve your capability or lower your ambition. Do not just sit there with the radioactivity turned inward.
Not everything around you can be changed by you. The world's job is not to follow you just because you have figured things out before others. You should only be pained to change things that you can take charge of and create a sustainable impact.

7. The marginal person is important. Trying to please your boss is not beneficial in the long run. If you are consiserate towards your juniors you will be remembered for a lifetime.

8. Passion is what passion does. Too many people know what is wrong with the world. Their knowledge and intensity do not matter. What matters is making a small but real difference. That is why the Mahatma said, "Be the change you want to see".

9. Sometimes it is not inherent competence but one's resilience that decides who the winner is, particularly in the long run. Success is about your capability to withstand pain, longer.

10. The key to happiness is not money. You can acquire any amount of material success you want, but do not expect that to be the source of your happiness. This does not mean you should give up the desire to earn, but in doing so, keep low expectations on its ability to give you happiness. Money is important in life but not the source of any lasting happiness.

11. Look beyond yourself. Your pain is only as large as your inability to see pain elsewhere.

12. Real men say sorry. Great leaders are people who can quickly and genuinely say that they are sorry. By saying sorry, you do not become weak. You shorten the path from the head to the heart.

13. In life, one must learn to forgive others and, sometimes oneself.

14. Self-doubt is positive. Periodically we are all entitled to sef-doubt. There will be moments when you feel you are at a crossroads; times when you question the very meaning of life and the existence of god. You are not the only one to feel this way. It is rite of passage. People who create great impact suffer from moments of great soul-searching. In itself, it is a good sign because from the depth of our self-doubt we learn to let go; from that emerges a conviction and with it comes the capability to go kiss the world.

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