A profound Business lesson

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One of my all time favorite characters is Mullah Nasrudin. He is one character that besides being witty is the most practical; always means business, provided solutions in ever so subtle manner. This guy is definitely the best among equals in the same genre; namely Birbal, Tanali Ramam & many more.

Over the years I have learnt so much by reading Mullah’s stories. Let me share with you an interesting anecdote.

Long ago, one day Mullah Nasrudin was looking for something next to a lamp post in the street. A friend saw him and asked what he was doing. The Mullah said, “I’m looking for my key which I lost.” The friend decided to help and started searching for it under the lamp post along with Mullah.

Half an hour later the friend asked, “Are you sure you dropped your key here?”

Nasrudin replied, “Oh no! I lost it inside my house in my bedroom.”

The friend screamed, “Why in hell then, are you searching it here?”

Nasrudin smiled and said, “There’s much more light here than in my bedroom.”

Well at the surface this is just a witty story. But scratch a little & you will find a profound business lesson. ‘Lost key’ in the story is the ‘Problem statement’, ‘a business problem’. Mullah’s effort to find the lost key is nothing but a manager’s attempt to “Solve a problem statement”.

And then Mullah by searching lost key at a lamp post though he lost it in his bedroom points to umpteen failed attempts that so many managers make just because they tend to find solutions in territories which are not even remotely related to problem statement. How many times does it happen that mangers continue to work on trivial many while vital few remain hidden in zones of darkness?

And if this is not all, Nasrudin also talks about the importance of visibility which is nothing but importance of data driven decision making.

What a lesson!!!…. your thoughts pls

Importance of sharpening your Axe daily

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About a fortnight back I read a blog by Chetan Khosla, (for his blog please visit http://chetankhosla.wordpress.com) which I found overwhelmingly important for young professionals. The title of the blog was “Everyday learning” (http://chetankhosla.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/everyday-learning-10/).

Chetan talked about the importance of continuous learning, if possible learning one new thing daily before one ends his/her day.

& yesterday I read a story to my daughter from her “Bedtime story book” which gave similar message in ever so subtle manner. I just can’t resist myself to share it with all of you.

The story goes like this:-

Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter asked for a job with a timber merchant, and he got it.

The salary was really good and so were the work conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work. The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees “Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!”

Very motivated by the boss’ words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but could bring 15 trees only. The third day he tried even harder, but could bring 10 trees only.

Day after day he was bringing less and less trees. “I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.
“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked. “Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”

Over the years, following our daily routine, doing more-or-less similar stuff in office, back home etc most of us usually end up in similar state. And as the woodcutter boss said, it is important to continue to sharpen your axe if one wishes to continue to “Add Value” & “Remain Useful”

Thoughts Please!!