Raj's Lab

Strategy and Entrepreneurship


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On Leadership: Clarion Call For Clarity

One of the first things which demarcate successful leaders from others is their clarity. Clarity is not just the ability to clearly think through situations. It is to understand the intention of the company, its purpose, its goals, its ZooAfricanLionculture, its strategy, its people and amongst other things, themselves. When a leader clearly understands each of these, they becomes light, free, aggressive and action oriented. What stops execution most of the time is not lack of energy, but dissipation of it due to confusion. When senior leaders in a firm are confused because of changing signals from the external environment, it makes the situation worse for others associated with the firm.

Successful leaders need to be sure about what they want to achieve and not keep changing them too often. The ‘how’ may need to change often especially in today’s turbulent world. But a changing ‘what’ – just confuses all who deal with the leader and the firm. Employees, vendors and even customers become confused. They see changing signals – leading them to distrust the firm and the individual.

If you want to keep you staff together, keep them energized, keep them action oriented – first develop the clarity for yourself. With clarity comes conviction and energy to persist. When people see a person with clarity and conviction – they automatically tend to follow.

So begin now and seek clarity! That is what is needed today, interestingly at all levels of leadership!


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Lofty Resolutions And The Smaller Resolve!

Its another first day of another new year. Time for a fresh set of resolutions and goal setting. While setting goals that too800px-Mountaineers_in_High_Tatry_mountains_winter ambitious ones are important, what makes the real difference are the concrete steps that one takes towards them.

More important than having a list of lofty goals on the first day of the new year, is the small step that we take towards them. The best goal is one where the destination gets defined along with the determination that everyday we will take one step towards achieving it. No mountain was climbed through inconsistent leaps. They were all scaled by taking consistent steps throughout the climb. This resolve to keep moving forward each day is what makes a resolution of ours a reality. The resolve to plough through with a little action every day, towards the pre-set goal is the proven way to realizing results.

So here’s wishing all of you a great 2013 filled with lofty resolutions and the smaller resolve to act on them everyday!


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Vedantic Wednesday: Vedanta in your backyard

When we close our eyes and think of any self-realized master – the image that we conjure up is almost always a person in an ochre robe, thin, maybe bearded, with intelligent eyes, no family ties, no friends, no cell phones and definitely no twitter account. We also know they were very contended and happy.  But then the description for many of us is far from the happiness we know of. The price that we need to pay – moving away from family, giving up business, senseless chatting, the air conditioner and the branded shirts, etc seem quite high in comparison with a ‘probable state’ of happiness in almost assured obscurity. This is what if one would notice keeps many of us from embarking on the journey to discover our inner selves. The journey that seemingly says you need to trade everything of your today for not so assured tomorrow – will NOT entice many.

Having started the baby steps on reading Vedantic texts and listening to some of the masters (ochre robed and otherwise), I have just begun to understand the ignorance associated with our seeking of SELF.

It is not necessary for us to become a person of austerity. It is not necessary for us to stop reading paper backs and start reading large voluminous terse texts. It is in fact not even necessary for us to stop anything.  You don’t have to join a course, leave your family or enrol under a realized master so that you can become realized.  All you have to do is to decide that you want to take this journey.

If from your day at your convenience you even take out 15-20 minutes just to sit by yourself and contemplate on what is the purpose of life – you will be surprised at where you reach. If you decide to dedicate amidst all your commitment – one listening of even a soothing chant like the Bhaja Govindam, everyday as you drive or walk – you will be surprised at the calmness that it will bring.

This is one road trip where there is no preparation required for the traveller. The road adjusts its contours to match your heart beat. It is one walk where the milestones pace themselves to encourage you. It is a journey where fellow travellers join you from nowhere and leave you more enriched, moving away from you as quietly as they came – in the form of books, people, CD, dreams and even your own thoughts.

Start the journey of your search for the self and enjoy every bit of it!

Happy Journey!


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Vedantic Wednesday: The Desire for Punya

Doing is a part of our nature. Constantly involved ourselves, in some activity or other is almost involuntary. But the central premise behind every action is the expectation of a desired result.  Whether it is studying for an exam, going to work,  writing a book, making a music album or even doing charity. Whatever be the nature of activity human beings are today unable to go through an activity or do an action without result in mind.  Infact many times you would see schools and colleges training people to be result oriented.  Through this article I am not trying to find fault with being result oriented. But if being result-oriented is the best approach – then why are most people who achieve results not happy?

When I went through the talks of sages I found a reference to a word called ‘Punya’ – I immediately thought it referred to some religious methods/practices, which can help us reach god.  But I was in for some surprise.  The ‘Paramacharya’ interprets ‘Punya’ as “Virtuous Action”, that is actions done without any desire for the fruits thereof.

It might even sound unreasonable in today’s circumstances to involve or act without any result in mind. But the perspective that emerged which could be useful for daily use  is the difference between expected results and expectations. Very often what we think of is desired results, which are in reality expectations.   Expectations are very closely related to emotions, hence mismatch between outcome and expectation cause unhappiness

Every action will have a result and in most cases it will be predictable and hence can be expected. If actions are done with this perspective in mind, unhappiness or sorrow cannot occur.  Hence the possible approach to achieve lasting happiness through action is to understand the idea of “Virtuous Action”

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