Tonight is a night of celebration. It’s time to pop open the champagne and garnish with fresh red strawberries! Its more than a Diwali or a Christmas (those have had very little meaning anyway in the past year with deadlines at 11:59, clouded by double submissions on the ‘due list’ and the terror of getting a ‘D’ in most subjects), more than a ‘Celebration of Life’. Its exuberance, its ecstasy, its sheer madness. For I’ve become a 50% MBA!
This blog post reflects on the ‘Take-Home‘ from this experience. It talks about things that I have learnt and those unlearnt. Lessons taken, choices made & crossroads chartered. It talks about the more action packed half of arguably the most academically rigorous course, an MBA!
- Time Deadlines are read ‘DEAD’lines. Past year has taught me that 11:00 hours are better read 10:59 hours if you have the uncanny habit of popping in on the wrong side of 59 seconds. So seminar and sessions are invariably on time zones other than ‘IST‘ (Indian standard Time, which is the colloq. For a time which lags the official time by a princely sum of 30 minutes!)and in case you are late, you are a million times better away from abstaining to attend it.
- Talent is never short, seek and you shall find. We dug and you can’t believe the booty we found. We found people who made fantastic movies, people who design amazing T-Shirts, People who are split second organizers, people who are enthralling Radio Jockeys and people who are the most gifted negotiators. All this in a B-School in which you hardly have time to breathe and try out your hobbies! I have found two new things that I am really good at; photography and negotiating,
- You never know how much you are capable of. Last I knew my limits were on working for about 28 hours without significant rest. As I write I have slept for not more than 12 hours in the past 6 days and yet I am not exhausted (if you forget the momentary bouts of yawns which are a giveaway!)
- Mantra of Life: Decide what you want, find out its price and be prepared to pay it! It’s that simple! So if you want to be a top of the line Investment Banker, that extra dose of B-School frill affectionately called ‘life‘ would have to wait. So skip the Cul-nites, the booze parties and skip the treks and excursions. Come on, if you want a merc you got to pay the huge price!
- Murphy forgot the Thirteenth law: Whatever you desire, most previously undecided fools will start desiring. So if you are not gathering enough support for something. Go Right ahead (As Rabindranath had said ‘Jodi tor daak shune keu naa aashe tahole ekla cholo re’ !). You would need to do some internal selling and probably a bit of viral marketing here and there. But, you would soon find a lot of people who are undecided till then would start falling in line, if only to get good riddance of the dilemma of ‘decision making’!
- Murphy forgot the Fourteenth law: When you put all you have at stake for a solitary cause, the odds fall apart! As Mark twain once said, ‘There are three types of lies. While Lies, Black Lies and Statistics!‘ So don’t bother too much about your odds. If you want something pretty bad and you know it might be a colossal task, spare a thought about alternatives. Mind you, don’t compromise, but look at more acceptable routes to that goal. And if there aren’t any, stop giving a damn about what your chances of winning are (as said in Gone with the wind to Scarlet O’Hara: Frankly my dear, I don’t give a Damn!). Go ahead and put everything you have into it. Look around, all the super achievers are people who never gave up on their dreams and fought hard for it!
- You can never be good at EVERYTHING: It is a most obvious fact of life which we somehow manage to disbelieve. We have our own set of queer notions about our Superhuman abilities. Truth be told, you do not need superhuman abilities to do superhuman stuff. The key is in surrounding yourselves with people with very good abilities. Together the team works in a mutual embellishing mode to achieve what would not have been possible individually. In science we call this ‘Resonance‘
- Pygmalion Effect is for Real! This HBR article has not entered the ‘Hall of Fame’ without adequate reasons. The Pygmalion Effect is true and here to stay. So high expectancy of the boss does have a tremendous effect on the morale and the performance of all his subordinates. So in case you are up agains t a super talented team with a bunch of mediocre yourself. Don’t lose heart! History bears easy evidence to the fact that Supercharged teams of Mediocre caliber have far outshone the super-talented geeky but unmotivated ones. Set high standards, believe in them and then sell then to your team. Do what it takes till you have washed their doubts clear and have belief in them. Then jjust sit back and enjoy their stellar performance as they break all moulds to fetch the ‘Unfetchable’!
Be good to people on your way up, cause you will need them on your way down (And also in the un-eventual scenario that you have to stay up!)
And to end it all, the Best of them all, ‘We Don’t need no EDUCATION’