Monday, May 26, 2014

My Role Model: NaMo

The country has a new leader and role model in Narendra Modi. The way he led the campaign has set new standards not only in politics but also in the areas of leadership and organizational performance. As individuals and as an organization, we can draw a very large number of lessons in leadership studying the way he has conducted himself. I will list out some ten things that Narendra Modi has become my role model for. I am sure you will find many more such things that one can take away from his style of leadership.

Thought Leadership: From his early days as Chief Minister, Narendra Modi has focused on bringing in new thoughts and ideas –in governance and on India and its people. This thought leadership made him the natural leader for the party and now the nation. His extensive travel and interaction with people at every level helped him gain the pulse of every section of society. In turn, it helped him look at India from a very unique perspective and when he spoke, he touched every single individual by focusing on professional groups, language groups and age groups individually.

Hard work, passion and dedication: Narendra Modi proved that there is no substitute for hard work and hard work is always rewarded above anything else. He also proved that age is never a constraint. He sleeps barely for three or four hours. His commitment is only to the nation – and everything else whether it is his family or his own pleasure is inconsequential. He will become a role model for hard work and dedication and it will influence all of us to put in more hard work, commitment and effort in everything we do.

Turning adversity into an opportunity: Narendra Modi was able to convert every challenge into an opportunity, every unfounded criticism – including the reference to chaiwalla – into an advantage.  In the face of criticism, he never tried to defend himself. Instead he made his action speak for himself.

Planning, meticulous execution and discipline: Looking at the results it is evident that every single detail was looked into, every scenario was imagined and accounted for and every step was meticulously planned and executed with the maximum discipline.

Team work and decentralizing execution: As a leader, he was able to attract some of the best brains, identified each one’s strengths and built together a team that multiplied every effort of his. He relied on them, trusted on them and decentralized and delegated adequately to achieve the maximum potential.

Believing in one self and in India: As a leader he showed conviction and confidence in his own abilities. His belief in the idea of India, the potential of India and in the Indian values and culture has made him dearer to everyone.

Simplicity in thought and communication: His campaign focused on the basics of communication rather than complicated messages. His message was all in one-liners – aab ki baar…, acche din aane wale hain, Congress-mukt Bharat etc, was easy to understand and even easier to replicate into memes that moved from person to person. His heavy reliance on symbolism – whether the selfies or contesting from Varanasi, and the high sense of aesthetics – from his dresses to the ad campaigns, transformed the discourse of the election in every single way.

Agility and nimbleness: Before anybody could expect, Narendra Modi and his team would react to every single development during the campaign. Even though it was meticulously planned, his team always retained the ability to change course, take advantage of a development or amend the strategy before anyone else could.

Being relevant: When it came to ideas, technology or social media, he was willing to learn from the best in the world and adapt fast to be relevant in the current context.

Power of the youth: The ten crore young, new voters possibly made one of the biggest difference in the outcome. And Narendra Modi possibly believed in the power of the youth first and more than anyone else. He was able to understand and utilize them.

This election and the emergence of Narendra Modi as a national leader could well be a turning point for politics, society and economy of our nation. I see a new era beginning, a nation that much more confident of itself and therefore more open to change. For example, I feel that Hindi and Indian languages will gain prominence over English in national discourse, a lot more people from very diverse economic and social backgrounds will gain leadership roles in society, hard work will be much more valued, a new sense of pride and self-belief in all things Indian will emerge and positivity and optimism will take our nation to new heights. It is an opportunity for all of to learn from his leadership and gain from it.

I am writing about #MyRoleModel as a part of the activity by Gillette India in association with

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Top 10 Six Word Stories

I'm writing a 'story' post after a seven month writing hiatus. But let me tell you beforehand, these stories are not mine. Instead of penning down stories myself, I've been reading a lot lately and I was amazed by the brilliance of the following stories.

1. Strangers. Friends. Best Friends. Lovers. Strangers.

2. The smallest coffins are the heaviest.

3. 'Just Married!' Read the shattered windshield.

4. An only son. A folded flag.

5. "Passengers! This isn't your captain speaking."

6. Brought roses home. Keys didn't fit.

7. Jumped. Then I changed my mind.

8. "It's our fiftieth, table for one."

9. "What's your return policy on rings?"

10. I met my soul-mate. She didn't.