Rajat Gupta’s is yet another story of great learning for every one of us. It has every aspect of a typical movie script worked out to the last detail in real life. He was also the typical example for the American Dream. He was also the embodiment for young indians (asians) dreaming of going to the west and reaching great heights in the global arena. Undeniably he was a spoken of example worthy of emulation – until recently! The one securities exchange fraud (of which Mr Gupta claims innocence in terms of personal gains) was enough to destroy the reputation, hard work, success, riches and stardom that took a life long journey to achieve.
What makes one who has reached the so called pinnacle of achievement (which is itself reached by a very few) want more? Why can’t people become contented at some stage in their life? Why is the so called contentment only an external statement, not something that comes out of self understanding? What makes these temptations irresistible even for people who have had enough?
Many times it is almost impossible to define the terms: ‘more’ and ‘enough’! Understanding them makes a world of difference. What will happen if we all understand these two terms and begin using them consciously. When i read the various news reports of Rajat Gupta and the related stories around the securities fraud – i could not but hold to point out this one thing: lets not write off the man for the slip alone, his earlier story is still worth emulation.
Whenever i am called to speak and / or conduct workshops at corporates, executive education programs, management courses, faculty development initiatives and entrepreneurship development courses, participants incessantly ask for real life examples. Here i thought was one such brilliant example worthy of serious study. When we look at Mr Rajat Gupta’s life we should not look only at his indulgence in a fraudulent action but take all possible lessons.
One thing that i am convinced of after seeing his life story is that the so called ‘law of karma’ works with tremendous precision – it rewards and punishes without differentiation. My learnings are:
1. Be aware and conscious in every action.
2. Act with a conscience.
3. Understand the true meaning of the words: ‘more’ and ‘enough’.
4. Honest, hard work will yield results.
5. Doing good is not an antidote to doing bad.
6. In the overall scheme of things – nothing will go un-noticed.
Read the story of his life to the detail possible and take home as many lessons as you can! Happy Learning!