The house where Drama comes visiting

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With the first notes of the first overture at the Royal Opera House I got introduced to many new forms of drama.

Possibly inconceivable once, but today, the ROHM is part of Muscat mundane. Heroes are born, villains vanquished and romance celebrated. All part of a season ticket.

Fun. Beautiful. Entertaining. Lively. Energising. Different.

#TheYeahWay: mundane is no reason for the drama to cease

Saying Yes to a No

Some months back a leading head-hunter called. They had a mandate for a real cool opportunity in the region (Middle East). Nice company. Nice job.  With all the benefits and limitations of a Middle East opportunity.

The head-hunter did his job (real well) and got me to start the process.

Online psychometric tests with results not shared with me. Followed by many phone conversations. And then the first interview. They wanted me to travel to the city where their head-office was located. And I was ready to. Until I was told that this was merely a screening interview by the HR Chief and a potential peer in the C-suite. I found this very odd. So, I insisted they do a tele-interview. They countered by flying down to my city – for a face-to-face. I was impressed by this earnestness. And happy with the meeting. The three of us had good, intelligent, probing conversations and promised to meet again. And we did meet again. Albeit after six odd weeks. And this time I went to their head-office. 

Prior to this meeting the head-hunter called. I was to meet the CEO and the leadership team – all six of them. And they wanted me to make a formal presentation. In the beginning I found this request rather ridiculous. But then I realised that this was possibly a great way to filter out the bullshitters from the doers. So, i prepared a presentation. And I made the presentation. The seven of us had brilliant conversations. Prodding, sharing, explaining, laughing, testing. Post which I was told that I would be contacted shortly and driven back to the airport.

After few more weeks, the head-hunter called. The message was that I was selected and a formal offer would be made but before that, purely as a formality, they wanted me to meet their Directors (to the Board). By this time around 10 weeks had elapsed since the process commenced. There had been something nagging me about this offer. While I could not pin-point the cause, it was clear that I did not have a warm-fuzzy feel about this opportunity. And so, I said No to the meet-the-directors meeting.

The head-hunter called. His boss called. And they pushed, sold, cajoled. The HR Chief called. And made the offer. Attractive. After a day’s consideration, I sent an email apologising but regretting. Three days passed. I had more or less forgotten this opportunity. Until the head-hunter called. With a revised offer. Which was nearly 25% more than the original attractive offer. I slept over this revised-very-attractive offer and said No the next day.

The meandering, bureaucratic, committee style decision-making process demonstrated by this potential employer was the reason for my No. I know I have compromised my potential economic wealth by not grabbing the offer. But I have saved myself the irritation of being trapped in effective in-activity.

#TheYeahWay: choose a orgnisation that demonstrates a conscious bias towards action. Always.

God once played cricket

I was 28 when i first witnessed Sachin play for India.

And I was hooked.

It was possibly the combination of his vulnerable child-like looks, his immaculate politeness & humility combined with his magical, smooth yet make-no-mistake aggression and ability to dominate that grabbed attention.

This was an infatuation that would become love with the many high-fives, pumped-up-fists, midnight celebrations and those quite smiles of victory while pretending to be working.

sachin tendulkar

Ahhhh #tendulkar: well played and #thankyousachin for all the smiles, the high-fives, the punches-in-the-airs, satisfied celebrations at random times & locations.

God can now go back to normal godly stuff and pack up his pads.

Some sun-lotion and be sure to pack that umbrella?

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di·lem·ma
diˈlemə/
noun
a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives….

Its been months in planning. A gathering to celebrate young love. Celebrate friendship. Celebrate parenthood. Celebrate all this and more at the great-food-happy-feni-laid-back-musical-swaying-beaches of Goa. And the flight to Goa is now.

And then I decide to check the weather. Forecast: rainstorms, cloudy, hazy, humidity and hot.

New Plan:

Celebrate all this and more at the great-food-happy-feni-laid-back-musical-swaying-beaches which we can still see from the windows of the air conditioned rooms of Goa.

Oh Yeah!

Some days you just got to fort up!

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Yes, somedays you just gotto fort up. These are days when you stand alone. Solid, even under an intense spotlight. Secure, even in isolation. Royal, even amidst the ruins. Yes, there are days when you need to fort up. And become a beacon, a symbol, nearly an icon. A catalyst.

Are you having enough of such fort days?

Love on the Sill

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Monday morning. Adrenalin building for an imminent business meet. Suddenly I spy. Love at the work-place. Love on the edge. On my office window-sill. Unabashed, unapologetic, intimate, tender. Monday morning blues? Whatever.

And if I had, the sun and moon

And they were shining

I would give you, both night and day

Love satisfying

Feel like making love

– Bad Company

Just a moment said the Moon to the Minaret

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And the moon continued to climb. And soon it was above the minaret. And the moon looked down. But then, it started slipping. And the moon soon disappeared.

The minaret stood where it was. Unmoving. Unchanged but for the light that fell on it and reflected sundry shadows.

And waited for tomorrow. For the moon rise. Again.

Don’t follow the Script (or how to recruit well)

I was out today trying to recruit a suitable person. And realized, as i have many times over, that i struggle while recruiting. And that there is something flawed about the current process.

Let me try and explain:

A Company is chugging along. A gap is felt. Often triggered by an emotive experience – gap in service, gap in capability or simply to do more for more. And this gap becomes a vacancy to be filled.

This rather emotive need (gap) then goes through the soul-stripping resource allocation budget funneling process. And if it comes out from the right (tight) end, the bureaucratization, in terms of efficient industrialization of a process begins.

The search is most often out-sourced (to a head-hunter). And to assist this search a job description (JD) is constructed.

Most JD’s are generic in nature unless until the search is extremely specific. Thus, a JD would indicate years of exprience, area of experience and certain attitudinal traits viz. energy, extrovert, etc. And the JD has a whole lot on the Company. And this is where a Script (to sell an opportunity in a Company) takes over the real corporate need.

And from my experience, i know, most CVs comply neatly with the way JDs are constructed (fun question: what came first – the CV or the JD). But the problem is that these CVs are written with extreme bias and are simply Scripts to sell (an individual).

Thus, we have a market with two ‘sell’ mandates and no ‘buy’.

So imagine, if this search was not for talent but say a book. And my JD for such a search was ‘english, thriller, interesting, fun’. If Google was my search agent, i would end up with zillions of possible options which meet my search criteria. Which also means that my search has failed! But hey, with books, there is help available. The professional literary critic. So i could still filter these zillion options by those reviewed and rated by – say Buzzfeed.

But unfortunately no such independent critic for talent exists – and we all know the fallacies of reference checks. These ‘referees’ should come with explicit warnings: they are part of the ‘sell’ contract!

Thus i stress when i recruit. In an ideal world……

The ideal market for talent would be a transparent 24 x 7 x 365 process where supply (of talent) and demand (to recruit) is constantly matched by an optimal and efficient allocation of talent devoid of all that shit that unnecessary Scripting brings.

So Linkedin exists but does it move beyond the Script? Should it?

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