TECH TALK: Points To Ponder: Points To Ponder – II

This week, we have Something Different once again – a collection of on technology and management. I’ll be back with more of my own thoughts next week. (Read the first Points to Ponder series.)

Jack Welch on Passion in his autobiography, “Jack: Straight from the Gut”:
Whenever I went to Crotonville and asked a class what qualities define an “A player”, it always made me happiest to see the first hand go up and say, “Passion.” For me, intensity covers a lot of sins. If there’s one characteristic all winners share, it’s that they care more than anyone else. No detail is too small to sweat or too large to dream. Over the years, I’ve looked for this characteristic in the leader’s we selected. It doesn’t mean loud or flamboyant. It’s something that comes from deep within. Great organizations can ignite passion.

Dan Bricklin in his article “Natural-Born Entrepreneur” in Harvard Business Review (September 2001):
Even with good training and strong motivation, being a successful entrepreneur is tricky. You have to live with having control and not having control at the same time. It’s like this: In big business, when you need to cross a river, you simply design a bridge, build it, and march right across. But in a small venture, you must climb the rocks. You don’t know where each step will take you, but you do know the general direction you are moving in. If you make a mistake, you get wet. If your calculations are wrong, you have to inch your way back to safety and find a different route. And, as you jump from tock to slippery rock, you have to like the feeling.

Uday Kotak, Vice-Chairman, Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd:
Follow your ambitions, even if they appear to be unreasonable. Because, only an unreasonable person has the chance to excel and succeed, as reasonable person always believes in adapting to the world. Reasonable persons generally adapt to the world, instead of trying to conquer the world. But unreasonable persons force the world to adapt to their needs and end up conquering the world. Thus, success goes only to the unreasonable, ambitious, and not to the reasonable, realistic.

From a presentation by General Colin Powell on Leadership:
Don’t be buffaloed by experts and elites. Experts often possess more data than judgment. Elites can become so inbred that they produce hemophiliacs who bleed to death as soon as they are nicked by the real world. Small companies and start-ups don’t have the time for analytically detached experts. They don’t have the money to subsidize lofty elites, either. The president answers the phone and drives the truck when necessary; everyone on the payroll visibly produces and contributes to bottom-line results or they’re history. But as companies get bigger, they often forget who “brought them to the dance”: things like all-hands involvement, egalitarianism, informality, market intimacy, daring, risk, speed, agility. Policies that emanate from ivory towers often have an adverse impact on the people out in the field who are fighting the wars or bringing in the revenues. Real leaders are vigilant, and combative, in the face of these trends.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.