3. Elephant and Jackal


Once upon a time, there lived an Elephant by the name of Karpuratilaka in a forest. He was brutal and haughty by nature. He used to roam in the forest without restraint. All the animals of the forest were afraid of this wild Elephant. Without any purpose, he used to pull down the trees and ripped the branches. In this way, he destroyed innumerable nests with eggs and crushed the nestlings under his massive feet. In short, he had created all round chaos in the forest. Fierce animals like Lions and Tigers also kept themselves at a safe distance from this Elephant. Once it happened that he destroyed the burrows of the jackals in his merciless stroll. This action of Elephant was not tolerable to the animals and all of them wanted to kill the Elephant. They had a conversation regarding this but thought it was nearly impossible to kill the Elephant due to his gigantic size. The Jackals were full of rage and planned to call a separate meeting. They were ready to do anything to get rid of the mighty Elephant. But killing the huge Elephant was not a tiny task to do. All of them had a discussion that how could they kill the Elephant. Suddenly, an old Jackal said,”Leave everything on me. I will cleverly bring about his death”. Everyone gave his consent to the idea of the old Jackal. The next day, old Jackal went to the Elephant, bowed respectfully before him and said, “My Lord! Favor me with your royal glance”. The Elephant looked at him and said in a loud voice, “Who are you? Why you have come here?” The intelligent Jackal replied, “I am only a poor Jackal. Your Majesty, no one can deny your greatness. You are kind-hearted, gentle and possess all qualities of a ruler. Taking these things in the mind, all the animals have chosen you to be their King. Please accept this offer and make us obliged”. The Elephant appeared to be happy with all the praise thrown by the Jackal. Jackal found the time to be appropriate and further acclaimed, “Your Highness, all the animals are eager to see your kingship ceremony. It will be held in the middle of the forest, where thousands of animals have already gathered to get your glimpse. Our astrologers have told this is the auspicious moment for your crowning. Time is slipping fast. So, please come with me without any delay”. The Elephant was really pleased by the Jackal’s talk. He always dreamt to become a King. He contemplated that the kingship ceremony will be matter of honor to him. Instantly, he got ready to accompany the Jackal to the place where ceremony was to be held. The Jackal took the Elephant deep into the forest. On the way, they had to walk through a swampy area by the side of a lake. The Jackal walked across the swampy region easily. But as soon as the Elephant stepped on the swamp, he got stuck in it. He tried his best to come out of the swamp, but to no avail. The more he tried to move out, the more he went deep into it. He got frightened and called out the Jackal, “Friend, Please help me to come out of this mud. I am sinking deep into the mud. Call other animals quickly to help me otherwise I will die”. The Jackal replied, “I am not going to save you. You deserve this conduct. You are a cruel, arrogant and a merciless creature. You killed our siblings and kids. You have destroyed our burrows and nests of poor birds. You knew everything, but remained indifferent. I am sorry to say that your end has come”. The Jackal left the place immediately and the Elephant kept shouting for help. In a little while, the Elephant disappeared from the scene, sinking into the deep mud.

Moral: Every despot has to meet his doom.

Ministry wise PIB releases

Ministry-wise PIB releases Vice President Inaugurates World Urdu Editors’ Conference at Hyderabad Vice President Addresses International Seminar on ‘Islamic Art And Culture’ at Hyderabad Vice President Greets People on New Year 2012 Capacity Building and Containment of Violence were Watchword in 2011 Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal Addresses Post Winter-Session Press Conference India’s External debt Stood at US$ 326.6 billion at End-September 2011; an increase of 6.6 per cent over the Level of US$ 306.4 billion at End-March 2011 Calendar for Auction of Government of India Treasury Bills for the Quarter Ending March 2012 Issuance Calendar for Marketable Dated Securities for Jan-March 2011-12 Anand Sharma Interacts with Fashion Industry Achievements and Initiatives of the Ministry of Steel in the Year 2011 2011 Marked by Important Initiatives in Oil and Gas Sector All-India Consumer Price Index Numbers for Industrial Workers on Base 2001=100 for the Month of November 2011 Planning Commission Approves Upper Kundlika Project of Maharashtra RAILWAYS REVENUE EARNINGS UP BY 10.20 PER CENT Wheat Sown in 276.43 lakh Hectares and Pulses in 138.54 lakh Hectares 3815 MW Grid Connected Renewable Capacity Added During 2011 New System of Coal Grading from January 2012 Year End Review-2011 Jawaharlal Nehru Port Gets ISO Certification Achievements of Ministry of Heavy Industries During the ! Year 2011 Achievements of Department of Public Enterprises During the Year 2011 Provisional Results of Annual Survey of Industries 2009-2010 Year-End-Review of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs for the year 2011

2. Blind Vulture n Birds

Once upon a time, there was a hill that sloped down to the banks of a river. At the bottom of the hill, there was a tree which made the shelter for many birds. One day, a blind old Vulture came to live in the hollow of the tree. The birds welcomed the blind vulture and decided to give him a share of their food since he was old. When the Blind Vulture saw birds’ concern for him, he was overwhelmed with gratitude. He thought to himself, “As these birds are being so kind to me, it has become my duty to protect their young ones when they are away gathering food”. After this, the Vulture used to get his food from the birds and in return, he took care of their young ones while they were away. So like this, all of them were passing their days happily. One day, a cat passed by that tree when the birds were away. Hearing the noise of the young ones, she came near the tree with the hope of catching and eating the baby birds. But when the young ones saw her coming, they made a chirrup. The blind Vulture heard them and shouted, “Who is there?” On seeing the Vulture, the Cat got frightened and said to herself, “O God! I am as good as dead. But I need to be brave. I should try to gain his confidence”. At once, the Cat replied, “O wise one! I just came to pay my homage to you”. The Vulture asked, “Who are you?” The Cat answered, “I am a Cat”. The Vulture shouted, “Go away otherwise I’ll eat you up”. The Cat was clever and she made quick responses to the Vulture. She innocently said to the Vulture, “Sir, Listen to me first then you can decide further. It is not good that you are discarding me as I belong to a particular race”. The Vulture decided to listen to her. The Cat said, “I live on the other side of the river. I don’t eat meat and take bath everyday in the river. I am doing great penance for my sins. I have heard much about your intelligence from the birds on the banks of the river. They told me that I should learn more about religion from you as you possess all knowledge. So, I came here to become your disciple and seek your blessings”. She further said, “But, I don’t feel what the birds told me is true, when you got ready to kill a poor cat. You should have treated me well, after all guests are form of God. Even if you don’t have any food to offer me, at least you could say something kind to me”. The Old Vulture replied, “How can I trust you since you are carnivorous and young birds reside here”. The Clever Cat was well-versed in tantrums. She touched the ground and her ears as a sign of her honesty and replied, “I’ve read all scriptures and came to know that killing is immoral. The entire forest is full of herbs and vegetables. So why should I commit sin by killing birds?” The Vulture believed her and allowed her to stay with him in the hollow of the tree. With the passing days, the Cat started eating the young birds one by one without the knowledge of the Vulture. When the birds found that their young ones were missing, they started looking for their kids. As soon as the Cat realized that situation is not in her favor, she quietly slipped away. Unknown about the happening, the blind Vulture lay down near the hollow of the tree where the Cat had thrown the bones of some of the birds eaten by her. When the Birds saw the bones of their young ones, at once they shouted, “The blind Vulture has eaten our innocent kids”. All of them got enraged by the ingratitude of the Vulture and they pecked him to death. The poor Vulture didn’t even get the chance to defend himself.

Moral: Never treat someone whom you hardly know as a friend.

1. Old Tiger Greedy Traveller


I wish to begin a 100 blog series and begin here with some Folk tales.

Once upon a time, there lived a Tiger in a forest. With the passing years, he became too old to hunt. One day, the Tiger was walking by the side of a lake and suddenly, a gold bangle came across his sight. Quickly he picked up the bangle and thought that he could use it as an allure to catch someone. As he was under the thought process, a traveler happened to pass through the opposite side of the lake. The Tiger instantly thought to himself, “What a delicious meal he would make?” He planned a scheme to attract the traveler. He held the bangle in his paw making it visible to the traveler and said, “Would you like to take this gold bangle. I don’t require it”. At once, the traveler wanted to take the bangle, but he hesitated to go near the Tiger. He knew that it was risky, yet he sought the Gold Bangle. He planned to be cautious, so he asked the Tiger, “How can I believe you? I know you are a beast and would kill me”. The Clever Tiger innocently said, “Listen Traveler, in my youth, I was wicked unquestionably, but now I have changed myself. With the advice of a Sanyasi, I have left all evil. Now I am all alone in this world and have engaged myself in kind deeds. Moreover, I have grown old. I have no teeth and my claws are blunt. So, there is no need to fear from me”. The traveler’s was taken in by this smart talk and his love for gold soon overcame his fear of the Tiger. He jumped into the lake to wade across the Tiger. But as per the plan of the Tiger, he got trapped in the marsh. On seeing this, the Tiger consoled him and said, “Oh! You need not worry. I’ll help you”. Gradually he came towards the traveler and seized him. As the traveler was being dragged out, onto the bank, he thought to himself, “Oh! This beast’s talk of saintliness took me in totally. A beast is always a beast. If only I had not let my greed overcome my reason, I could be alive”. However, it was too late; the Tiger killed the traveler and ate him up. Like this, the traveler became victim of greed and Tiger was successful in his evil plan. Moral: Greed never goes unpunished.

HR Headlines – Naukri.com

No Christmas Break For 71% Indians
An average of seven in every ten employees in India will work during the holiday season, as per a latest survey conducted by Regus. As many as 71 percent of workers will be involved in office work during the year-end Christmas and New Year break. The survey covered more than 12,000 people across 85 countries. More than half of the global respondents said they will be working during the year-end holiday season. In India, 59 percent of respondents working during this break will travel to their offices. Despite this, the level of productivity is expected to remain low, resulting in little value addition to the employers and wasting time meant for home and family, the survey found. The trend would be more visible in small firms in India, where 71 percent respondents are likely to work compared to 56 percent in large businesses.
Source : 22-12-11   Hindu Business Line   Compiled by www.naukri.com
India To Take Up Call Centre Bill With U.S.
India’s ambassador to the U.S. Nirupama Rao said the government will raise the issue of the U.S. Call Centre Worker and Consumer Protection Bill at the appropriate governmental forum to safeguard the interests of the Indian IT industry.Ms Rao said on the sidelines of a Confederation of Indian Industry conference that a detailed impact analysis of the bill was being made in terms of the scope of its business coverage. “We are in touch with NASSCOM and the relevant government departments on this issue,” she said. “We have also conveyed that protectionist barriers in this field tend to be counterproductive in their outcome,” she added. Citing a study by the Indian industry association, she said IT companies from India support approximately 98,000 jobs in the U.S.
Source : 25-12-11   Hindu Business Line   Compiled by www.naukri.com
Pharma Industry Drawing More Women
Women are entering the pharmaceuticals industry in a big way, judging by the number of applications being received by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. “There has been a spurt in applications from women candidates,” says Vice-President, Corporate-HR Rajorshi Ganguli. The Hyderabad-based firm is hiring more women at entry-level posts, including chemists. Women constitute 14 percent of its total workforce of 14,000. “If the current trend continues, this would go up significantly over a couple of years,” adds Ganguli. Some special privileges extended by big companies are also drawing women to the sector. Dr Reddy’s, for instance, offers incentives such as flexible working hours up to one year from child-birth and extended maternity leave. The trend can also been seen in Pharma institutions, where enrollment of women in pharmacology and Pharma analysis has increased.
Source : 25-12-11   Hindu Business Line   Compiled by www.naukri.com
Piramal Healthcare Names ED & COO
Piramal Healthcare has named Vijay Shah as executive director and COO with effect from January 1. He is currently managing director of Piramal Glass. Mr. Shah has also been inducted as a director on the board of Piramal Healthcare, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Source : 25-12-11   Hindu Business Line   Compiled by www.naukri.com
Cabinet Clears Bill Regulating Higher Education
The Union Cabinet has approved a bill seeking to set up an overarching body to supervise and regulate higher education in universities and technical institution. The National Commission of Higher Education and Research (NCHER), proposed to be set up under the bill, will include all existing higher education regulatory bodies, including the University Grants Commission and the All India Council for Technical Education, associated with the Human Resource Development Ministry. NCHER will have a significant number of experts in various fields of higher education. Its 70 members will represent every state and other higher education regulatory bodies, other than those regulating medical education, such as the Medical Council of India.
Source : 23-12-11   Deccan Herald   Compiled by www.naukri.com
More Global Recruiters Flock To IIT-B
Students of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), received 800 offers during campus placements which started on December 1.Multinational companies have recruited 60 students so far. The number of international companies visiting the campus increased dramatically this year. “While four to five such companies had come to IIT Bombay last academic year, the number has doubled this year,” said Ravi Sinha, professor in charge of placements. Around 1,380 students are participating in the process this year. While 200 companies have already participated, an estimated 150 more are likely to visit in the following months. Placement of MSc, MDes and PhD students begins a few months before the study programmes end. The second phase will start in January.
Source : 23-12-11   Indianexpress.com   Compiled by www.naukri.com
Now MPOs To Support Marketing Efforts
With companies fast realizing the benefits of outsourcing routine marketing operations, MPO, or marketing processing outsourcing, has become the latest buzzword in the BPO industry. Vinod Harith, founder, CMO Axis Outsourcing Services, says that instead of dealing with separate firms such as a web design agency, an e-mail marketing agency and a database agency, it’s simpler for companies to deal with one agent handling all these functions. CMO was set up four years ago and claims to be India’s first MPO, looking to tap the lower end of the market. It sees this as a multi-billion-dollar opportunity. Other firms in the MPO space are Wipro, which does business with large companies, Champions Group, William Lea and a few emerging smaller firms from Coimbatore that offer marketing support.
Source : 23-12-11   Hindu Business Line   Compiled by www.naukri.com
U.S. Labour Market Looks Up In November
The U.S. labour market showed signs of recovery in November with payrolls increasing in 29 states, while the jobless rate dropped in 43.New York was ahead with a 29,500 increase in jobs, followed by Texas with 20,800. Michigan saw the largest drop in unemployment, with the rate failing 0.8 percentage point, to 9.8 percent, as per figures from the Labor Department. Unemployment figures in Alabama, Minnesota, South Carolina and Utah dropped 0.6 percentage point each in November, the second-biggest decline. The U.S. added 120,000 workers in November and the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 8.6 percent, the lowest since March 2009, the Labor Department reported December 2. The economy expanded 2 percent in the third quarter. This follows an average 0.9 percent growth in the first half of the year.
Source : 20-12-11   Business Standard   Compiled by www.naukri.com
Traders Leave Banks To Set Up Hedge Funds
Commodity traders from banks are quitting their jobs in the face of tough regulations to join or launch their own hedge funds. George Taylor, 41, who was head of global commodity proprietary trading at Credit Suisse Group, started a hedge fund in February. It now has more than $1 billion inassets. Traders in energy, metals and agriculture are leaving financial firms as U.S. and European regulators seek to limit holdings across raw materials and ban so-called proprietary trading. Bloomberg data shows the financial sector saw 2,33,000 job losses this year. Exits of commodity traders from banks probably rose 10 percent this year, according to Commodity Search Partners, a U.K. recruiter. Pay for that group will drop 24 percent on average, estimates Options Group, a New York-based recruitment firm.
Source : 20-12-11   Financial Express   Compiled by www.naukri.com
Avoiding Double Social Security Coverage
A concern among cross-border movement of executives is the double impact of employee’s social security costs and compliance with relevant regulations in both the home and host countries. Employers are required to contribute under the Indian Provident Fund Act with respect to international workers (IWs) who do not qualify as excluded employees. IWs include foreign nationals working for an employer in India to whom the PF Act applies and Indian employees working abroad in countries with which India has signed a social security agreement (SSA). The SSA includes a detachment benefit, which generally provides for avoidance of double social security coverage if the duration of the assignment in the host country is for a period as specified in the SSA. For example, under the SSA with Korea, detachment is available for a short-term contract up to five years.
Source : 20-12-11   Financial Express   Compiled by www.naukri.com
Digital Freedom At Workplace A Security Hazard
With mobile devices and social networks erasing the boundaries between work and home, enterprises now face security issues.Seven out of 10 young employees frequently ignore IT policies, and one in four is a victim of identity theft before the age of 30, according to a global study by Cisco. Ponemon Institute estimates the cost of just one data breach can be staggering for an enterprise, anywhere between $1 million to $58 million. Damage to the company’s reputation and loss of customers and market share are the other outcomes of a high-profile data loss. Rebecca Jacoby, CIO, Cisco says, “As workforces become increasingly mobile, security and risk management concerns inevitably grow. The findings indicate the real need for better corporate policies, end-user education and stronger, trusted relationships between employees and IT departments.”
Source : 20-12-11   Financial Express   Compiled by www.naukri.com
Yum! Restaurants Names Pizza Hut GM
Yum! Restaurants India has appointed Sanjiv Razdan as general manager of Pizza Hut Delivery. Prior to this, he was brand development director of Pizza Hut in the U.K. Razdan was part of the core team which launched Pizza Hut in India during the mid-1990s.
Source : 14-12-11   Exchange4media   Compiled by www.naukri.com
Dupont Names South Asia President
DuPont has appointed Rajeev Vaidya as South Asia president,. He takes over from Balvinder Kalsi, who has moved to DuPont’s headquarters in Wilmington, U.S., to head corporate strategy. Vaidya joined the firm in 1985. He was until now regional business leader for DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts.
Source : 20-12-11   Hindu Business Line   Compiled by www.naukri.com
India Scores Low In Global Learning Study
A global study assessing learning standards in 74 countries has placed India near the bottom. The study, Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), coordinated by Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), assessed education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students in participating economies. India’s participation was in a pilot project, confined to schools from Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh.In Tamil Nadu, only 17 percent of students were estimated to possess proficiency in reading that is at or above the baseline needed to be effective and productive in life. In Himachal Pradesh, the level was 11 percent. A similar trend was observed in mathematical and scientific literacy, too.In Malaysia, 56 percent of students were found to be proficient in reading and 41 in mathematics. The figures for the UAE were 49 percent and 60 percent, respectively.
Source : 20-12-11   Mint   Compiled by www.naukri.com
Hyundai Eyes Talent From IITs, IIMs
Hyundai Motor is turning to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) to recruit talent for its global marketing operations. The Korean auto maker has hired two engineers from IIT Madras at a salary topping $50,000 each per year (more than Rs 27 lakh). The next recruit will be from IIM Bangalore at a salary of $70,000 (roughly Rs 39 lakh) a year, with benefits such as housing allowance, health insurance and a visit to their home country. The company has initiated programmes such as ‘Leader Waves’ for engineers and ‘Professional Waves’ for management graduates. Recruits under the ‘Leader Wave’ will be offered a job in the company’s Seoul office, where they will be trained across various functions for two years, before being deputed to one of Hyundai’s overseas facilities.
Source : 20-12-11   Hindu Business Line   Compiled by www.naukri.com

infogrinfographic.png (879×1194)

Harvard Infographic: Harvard Law School — By The Numbers – Column Five Media

Ministry-wise PIB releases

Gen Y Workers to Employers: Flexible Hours, Not 9 to 5 | Moneyland

Bikes Can Save Us! [infographic]

Some photos

Assorted photos and learning to draw

Top Social Media Influencers of 2011

Marshall Goldsmith: Managing Up: Getting Your Higher-Ups to Pay Attention to You

Peter Drucker once said, “Great wisdom not applied to action and behavior is meaningless data.” How true this is! As a knowledge worker, if you haven’t got the attention of the higher ups, your greatest ideas probably won’t ever see the light of day.

First, what is a knowledge worker? Knowledge workers are people who know more about what they are doing than their boss does. My guess is that you, like most of my readers, are a knowledge worker. Many knowledge workers (especially those with technical backgrounds) have years of education and experience that enable them to come up with great ideas.

Yet this same group has almost no training in how to “influence up” and ensure that their great ideas actually get accepted. Great ideas that are never implemented don’t make much of an impact on the organization.

Now, as a knowledge worker, how do you improve the odds of your boss taking your suggestions? The guidelines listed below are intended to help you do a better job of influencing your upper management. They won’t always ensure your success, but they will definitely improve your odds!

Take responsibility. Think like a salesperson–not a technician.

In many ways, influencing up is similar to selling products or services to external customers. They don’t have to buy — you have to sell!

Any good salesperson takes responsibility for achieving results. No one is impressed with salespeople who blame their customers for not buying their products. When making your pitch, treat upper managers like great salespeople treat their customers.

While the importance of taking responsibility may seem obvious in external sales, an amazing number of people in large corporations spend countless hours blaming management for not buying their ideas, as opposed to blaming themselves for not selling those ideas. If more time were spent on developing our ability to present ideas and less on blaming management, a lot more might get accomplished.

Focus on the big picture — not just what’s in it for you.

An effective salesperson would never say to a customer, “You need to buy this product, because if you don’t, I won’t achieve my objectives!”

Effective salespeople relate to the needs of the buyers. They don’t expect buyers to relate to their needs. In the same way, effective “upward influencers” relate to the larger needs of the organization, not just to the needs of their unit or team.

When influencing up, focus on the impact of the decision on the overall corporation. In most cases, the needs of the unit and the needs of the corporation are directly connected. In some cases, this connection isn’t so obvious. Don’t assume that executives will automatically make the connection between the benefit to your unit and significant, positive impact for the larger corporation.

Strive to win the big battles. Don’t waste your energy and psychological capital on trivial points.

An executive’s time is very limited. Do a thorough analysis of your ideas before challenging the system. Don’t waste time on issues that will only have negligible results. Focus on issues that will make a real difference. Be willing to lose on small points.

Be especially sensitive to the need to win trivial, nonbusiness arguments on things like restaurants, sports teams or cars. People become more annoyed with us for having to be “right” on trivia than our need to be right on important business points. You are paid to do what makes a difference and to win on important issues. You are not paid to win arguments on the relative quality of athletic teams.

Present a realistic cost-benefit analysis of your ideas. Don’t just sell benefits.

Every organization has limited resources, time and energy. The acceptance of your idea may well mean the rejection of another idea that someone else believes is wonderful. Be prepared to have a realistic discussion of the costs of your idea. Acknowledge the fact that someone else’s cause may have to be sacrificed in order to have your plan implemented.

By getting ready for a realistic discussion of costs, you can prepare for objections to your idea before they occur. You can acknowledge the sacrifice that someone else may have to make and point out how the benefits of your plan outweigh the costs.

Realize that your upper managers are just as “human” as you are. Don’t say, “I am amazed that someone at this level…”

It is realistic to expect upper managers to be competent; it is unrealistic to expect them to be better than normal humans. Is there anything in the history of the human species indicating that when people achieve high levels of status, power and money they become instantly wise and logical (or even sane)?

How many times have we thought: “I would assume someone at this level…” followed by “should know what is happening,” “should be more logical,” “wouldn’t make that kind of mistake,” or “would never engage in such inappropriate behavior”?

Even the best of leaders are human. We all make mistakes. When your managers make mistakes, focus more on helping them than on judging them.

Make a positive difference. Don’t just try to “win” or “be right.”

We can easily become more focused on what others are doing wrong than on how we can make things better. An important guideline in influencing up is to always remember your goal — to make a positive difference for the organization.

Corporations are different from academic institutions. In a university the goal may be sharing ideas, not having an impact on the world. In faculty meetings, hours of acrimonious debate on obscure topics can be perfectly normal.

In a corporation, sharing ideas without having an impact is worse than useless. It is a waste of the stockholders’ money and a distraction from serving customers.

When I was interviewed in the Harvard Business Review, I was asked, “What is the most common area for improvement for the leaders that you meet?” My answer was “winning too much.”

Focus on making a difference. The more other people can “be right” or “win” with your idea, the more likely your idea is to be successfully executed.

In summary, think of the years that you have spent perfecting your craft. Think of all of the knowledge that you have accumulated. Think about how your knowledge can potentially benefit your organization.

How much energy have you invested in acquiring all of this knowledge? How much energy have you invested in learning to present this knowledge so that you can make a real difference? My hope is that by making a small investment in learning how to influence up, you can make a large, positive difference for the future of your organization — and the future of your career.

For greater detail see, “Effectively Influencing Up” in Leading Organizational Learning, Goldsmith, Morgan and Ogg eds., Jossey-Bass, 2004.

Follow Marshall Goldsmith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/coachgoldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith: Excuses, Excuses

I am probably the only executive educator that you have ever heard of who actually measures if the participants in my leadership development courses do what I teach — and then measures if they are seen as becoming more effective leaders.

At the end of my sessions, I ask leaders (who have received 360-degree feedback) to follow up with their co-workers and ask for ongoing ideas about how they can continue to become more effective. A year later about 70% end up doing some version of this recommended follow-up (not as reported by them, but as reported by their co-workers). About 30% do absolutely nothing.

I am not ashamed of these numbers. I am proud of these numbers! I have good news — the 70% that do their follow-up are seen as becoming better leaders. I have even better news — the 30% that do nothing don’t get any worse!

Dropping the Ball

When one of my clients — which also happens to be one of the world’s most respected companies — asked the participants in my course if they were planning to do the follow-up that I suggested, 98% of them said yes. But of course, just as at most companies, 30% of the people at this company ended up doing nothing.

I had a chance to interview many of the “do-nothings” a year later to try to ascertain why they had completely dropped the ball on their follow-up commitment. Their answers had nothing to do with integrity, ethics, or values. The “do-nothings” were good people with good values. They generally felt bad about doing no follow-up with their co-workers. Their answers had nothing to do with intelligence. The “do-nothings” were smart people. From all indications they were as smart as the people who met their commitment to follow up.

So, why did 30% of the participants in my courses leave with the idea that they were going to put what they were taught into practice — and then let an entire year pass with no visible effort?

Excuses, Excuses

The answer has to do with a daydream. I have indulged in this daydream for years on a recurring basis. I don’t know you, but I am willing to bet that you have had this same daydream. In fact, like me, you may have had this same stupid daydream for years.

This daydream explains why the participants in my courses don’t end up doing what they know they should. It also probably explains why you don’t do many things in you own life and career that you know you should.

I know what you are probably thinking right now. This guy doesn’t know my daydreams! What is he talking about?

Let’s see how accurate I am in my guess that this is your daydream.

The daydream goes something like this:

You know I am incredibly busy right now. In fact, given the pressures of work, home, and new technology (which follows me around everywhere), I feel as busy as I have ever felt in my life. Sometimes my life feels a little out of control. But I am dealing with some very unique and special challenges right now. I think that the worst of this will be over in five or six months. After that I am going to take a couple of weeks to get organized, then spend some time with my family, start my ‘healthy life’ program, and begin working on personal development. And it won’t be crazy anymore!

Tough Questions

Have you ever had a daydream that vaguely resembles this? How long have you been having this same idiotic daydream? Most leaders that I meet have been having it for years.

Here is my free coaching for you. I have learned a hard lesson trying to help real people change real behavior in the real world. The “couple of weeks” that you are fantasizing about are not going to happen. Sanity is not going to prevail. Look at the trend line. There is a good chance that tomorrow is going to be even crazier than today!

If you want to make real change, ask yourself this tough question: What am I willing to change now? Not “in a few months.” Not “when I get caught up.” Now.

Just do that.

Now I have even tougher advice. Take a deep breath. Forget the rest of your glorious plans. Accept the craziness of your life. Do what you can do now. Let go of everything else. And make peace with what is.

Follow Marshall Goldsmith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/coachgoldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith: Who Are You, Really?

Most of us use our ideas of who we are to rationalize all kinds of behavior. What do I mean by this? Well, each of us has a bunch of behaviors that make up what we define as “me.” These behaviors are both positive and negative, and they make up who we think we are. Some of these behaviors are positive, like “I’m smart,” or “I work hard,” some are negative, like “I always drop things,” or “I’m always late.”

If we buy into our definitions of our behavior, which most of us do, we can excuse almost any annoying action we take by saying, “That’s just the way I am!” It’s when we let go of these limiting definitions that we can do our best work, be our best selves.

Years ago, I worked with a high-level executive who was seen by his people as lacking in the ability to provide recognition. When reviewing his feedback, he told me he didn’t want to appear phony by giving people recognition who didn’t deserve it. We spent quite a bit of time on this. He defended his poor scores on giving recognition by saying people didn’t always meet his high standards, that he didn’t like to hand out praise too often because it would cheapen the value of praise that was actually deserved, and he thought that singling out certain individuals might weaken the team.

What he didn’t do was recognize that there were lots of times when he should give positive recognition. I told him that no matter what rationalizations he came up with, that his real problem was his self-limiting definition of who he was — someone afraid to recognize others because then he wouldn’t really be being himself.

We delved a little deeper. I asked him, “Why can’t doing a great job of providing positive recognition be you? It’s not immoral, illegal, or unethical is it?”

“No,” he conceded.

“Will it make people feel better?”


“Will they perform better as a result of this well-deserved positive recognition?


“So please explain to me — why aren’t you doing it?”

He laughed and replied, “Because it wouldn’t be ME!”

In that moment, change became possible. He realized that he was not only hurting his employees and his company, but also himself. He understood that he could shed his “excessive need to be me” and not be a phony. He could stop thinking about himself and start behaving in a way that benefited others. He finally understood that giving recognition when deserved didn’t damage his reputation as a leader who had high expectations.

The payoff was enormous. Within a year his scores on giving recognition were in line with his other positive scores on leadership — all because he had lost his excessive “need to be me.”

The irony was not lost on him. He accepted the fact that the more he focused on his employees, the more they worked to benefit the company — and that benefited him.

Keep this in mind the next time you find yourself resisting change because you are clinging to a false — and/or probably pointless — notion of “me.”

Follow Marshall Goldsmith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/coachgoldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith: Get the Job! Get the Job! Get the Job!

When you are faced with a career change, and you’re not quite sure where you want to go, don’t waste time speculating. Sell yourself, get real offers and then decide.

We all face times of transition. Sometimes these changes are planned, such as graduating from college or pre-set retirement. Sometimes they are unplanned, such as dismissal from a job or company bankruptcy.

Over the years, thousands of people have told me the stories of their lives and their hopes for the future as they anticipate change. A frequent obstacle I see when professionals are facing big life decisions is analysis paralysis. They get lost in debating the desirability of options they don’t even have yet!

My friend Jessica is an excellent example. Jessica had a fantastic career in a top professional-services company. In spite of her outstanding contribution to the business, she was in her early 60s, and, according to this company’s published guidelines, it was time to go. She had no interest in traditional retirement. She wanted an exciting new career challenge, but wasn’t sure what that might be. We discussed her future and she started thinking about leadership in the nonprofit sector.

Debating Change

“Perhaps I should be a leader in a human services firm,” she said enthusiastically. “I really don’t need much money, and this would give me an opportunity to make a positive contribution to society. I believe that a lot of what I have learned in business could be applied in the social sector. And who knows? At my age, this type of change might be great fun for me!”

Her face changed expression as she began to debate with herself. “On the other hand, I’m not sure that I want to spend all of my time taking rich old people out for lunch and begging them for money,” she fretted. “That may be a large part of my job as a nonprofit leader. And sometimes those nonprofit people look down on business people like me. They think we are all just greedy capitalists with no real values.”

Jessica had similar debates with herself about consulting, private equity, and a couple of other future careers. As she began her search for a new job, she didn’t do very well. Some potential organizations saw her as arrogant. They felt she showed more interest in “What can you do for me?” than “What can I do for you?” She asked a lot of questions she could have answered herself had she done more homework; they felt she communicated with ambiguity and showed a lack of genuine desire for the new job.

Offers First, Decisions Later

Jessica became a little defensive as we discussed some of the feedback from the companies where she had interviewed. “I am not really sure what I want,” she snapped. “What’s wrong with me asking a few questions? And by the way, I’m not so sure I would have wanted those jobs anyway!”

I gave Jessica the career advice I give most often: Get real offers.

“Why don’t you go out, do your homework, sell yourself better and get some specific offers in writing?” I asked. “Until you get real offers, most of your internal debating is just hypothetical, a waste of time. From what I have heard from you so far, I think that there are some positions in the nonprofit world that you would love — and others that you couldn’t stand. My guess is that the same thing is true for private equity or consulting. Get real offers — with real salaries, real job descriptions, real co-workers and real board members. Then you can do apples-to-apples comparisons and figure out which position you like the best. It doesn’t really matter how you feel about a job you will never get anyway.”

Finding The Fitting Offer

Jessica changed her attitude, did her homework and started going for real offers. She dropped her “are you good enough for me?” questioning and started selling herself and her potential to make a contribution. She quit doing informational interviews that made it seem as if she were judging the organization’s worth and focused on organizations that might be a fit.

Within a few months, she had some real alternatives. Although there was much she liked about the nonprofit world, she realized that her options there were not nearly as exciting (to her) as leadership in a venture capital firm. She decided that she could help society more by making money and giving it to other nonprofit leaders who would be better at human services management than she was. She deeply respected the specific board members and co-workers in her new VC firm and decided that she was going to have a lot of fun as a venture capitalist.

If you’re facing transition and you are getting stuck in a mental debate among competing potential career options, focus your energy on getting offers. When you get real offers, you can make real decisions. At the end of the day, all job offers are good. And even if you say no to an offer, you will probably have learned something in the process — even if it’s learning what you don’t want. And it’s always nice to be asked.

Follow Marshall Goldsmith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/coachgoldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith: Determination — Is Yours Holding You Back?

Working with many of the most successful people in the business world, one thing I’ve noticed about them is their unflappable optimism. I’ve had the good fortune to watch many of these leaders pursue opportunities with an enthusiasm others might find mystifying.

Successful people also have an intense need for self-determination. They believe they do what they do because they choose to do it–not because they have to do it! The more successful someone is, the more likely this is the case. These two characteristics are connected. When we do what we choose to do, we’re more committed to it and enthusiastic about it. When we do what we are expected to do or even forced to do, we merely are compliant and more apt to go through the motions just to get it done.

You see the difference in attitude in any job, even when money isn’t related to performance. When I attended high school in Kentucky, even an attitudinally challenged student like me could see some teachers had a calling for the profession, whereas others did it to make a living. Not surprisingly, the best teachers were the former. They were committed to teaching and to the success of their students–rather than being controlled by external forces, such as a steady paycheck or summer vacations. Successful people have a unique distaste for feeling controlled or manipulated. I see this in my work every day.

Cognitive Dissonance

Even when I’ve gotten the greatest introduction as someone who can help others change for the better, I can still meet game-breaking resistance. I have made peace with the fact that I cannot make people change; I can only help them get better at what they choose to change.

Unfortunately, getting people who think “I have chosen to succeed” to add “and I choose to change” is not easy. The more we believe our behavior is a result of our own choices, the less likely we are to find behavioral changes desirable.

There’s a reason for this, and it’s one of the best researched principles in psychology. It’s called cognitive dissonance, which refers to the disconnect between what we believe in our minds and what we experience in the world. The underlying theory is simple: The more committed we are to believing something is true, the less likely we are to believe the opposite is true, even in the face of clear evidence that demonstrates we are, in fact, wrong.

For example, if you deeply believe one of your colleagues is a jerk, you will filter everything he does through that belief, regardless of his actual conduct. No matter what he does, you’ll see it through a prism that confirms your preconceived views. It might take years of saintly behavior on his part to overcome this negative perception. That’s cognitive dissonance applied to others, and it can be a force of disruption and inequity in the workplace.

Prevailing Over Hardship

Yet, this same principle can actually work in favor of successful people when they apply it to themselves. It’s the reason successful people won’t buckle or waver when times get tough. Their commitment to their goals and beliefs allows them to view their reality through rose-tinted glasses and happily prevail over almost any hardship.

That’s a good thing in many situations. Personal commitment encourages people to stay the course and not give up when the going gets tough.

Similarly, as you embark on changes large and small, try to keep your eyes on the prize and put a positive spin on setbacks. In other words, choose to change, and stick to it. Yet realize your very commitment is going to make it hard to hear negative feedback. Successful change occurs when we can walk the fine line between stubbornness and spinelessness — and demonstrate sincere commitment along with thoughtful openness.

Follow Marshall Goldsmith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/coachgoldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith: Why Hollywood is Placing its Bets on Viral Video

Summer blockbuster season is here, and Hollywood studios are pulling out all the stops to promote their big films. Aside from TV commercials, billboards, product tie-ins, and the usual ilk, Hollywood is trying something new this year to promote their summer flicks: viral video campaigns. In fact, Hollywood is leading the charge when it comes to this emerging marketing medium — combining their long-held creative and distribution prowess to produce slick viral videos that get shared by millions of viewers.

This is such an interesting subject to me that I met with Dan Greenberg, CEO of social video ad company Sharethrough, recently to talk about some of the ways Hollywood is setting the pace for viral video.

MG: What makes a video go “viral”?

DG: Viral video is both an art and a science. The science behind making a video “go viral” involves creating content that’s likely to be shared, using new distribution techniques and social tactics to increase sharing, and optimizing content in response to sharing patterns.
Videos that get shared have three main psychological motivators: emotion, identity, and information.

Creating an emotional video that is touching, sad, funny, or scary will boost its chance of getting shared. Sharing feelings is a basic human need. If your video captures a human emotion, users will share it, because they are not just sharing your content, they are sharing the feeling your video has created.

Videos that tap into people’s individual identity also get shared a lot. When you recommend a movie, band, or book to a friend, these recommendations partly define your tastes, thoughts, and personality. When creating a viral video, it’s important to ask: “When a user shares this video, what are they saying about themselves?” No one wants to share a video that would reflect badly on them, so viral videos tend to have messages that people want to align themselves with. If you want your video to go viral among a certain demographic, make sure the content maps to this group’s taste, sense of humor, or collective beliefs.

Informational videos also get shared widely. People are hard-wired to teach, learn, and share information, and if they see an online video that contains interesting or useful information, they will be highly likely to share it.

MG: What’s the “state of the industry” when it comes to viral video?

DG: Viral video has moved from an experimental practice to an established, measurable marketing tactic that delivers real results. Videos that “go viral” aren’t just happy accidents anymore: when you see a video with over a million views, there’s typically some smart distribution and optimization strategies involved. We actually use the term “social video advertising” to refer to our category, because advertisers can now invest in making their video content go viral, just like they would invest in distributing a TV commercial. This is definitely becoming a much more mainstream practice; a few months ago, we crunched numbers at my company and found that the average viral video campaign budget tripled from a year earlier – which goes to show how seriously brands are taking viral video.

Why is this approach becoming so much more common? Because people will watch videos that feel like “experiences” where they won’t watch videos that feel like ads. Your garden-variety video ad is typically just a TV commercial distributed on the web, which we’ve all learned to ignore. Social video is about content that people enjoy and will want to share.
In the very near future, sharing will become the Holy Grail for advertisers. A shared view is not only “earned media” that advertisers don’t have to pay for, but studies also show that when a brand video is shared, viewers will spend up to three times more time watching it.

MG: How has Hollywood led the pack around viral video?

DG: When it comes to movies, word-of-mouth has always been a key factor in success. Hollywood has always found innovative ways to combine creativity and distribution to build buzz around a film. Viral video isn’t that different. It’s about creating exciting, engaging, thought-provoking content, then using innovative social distribution tactics to get people to share this content with friends.

Hollywood understands perhaps better than any other sector that people embrace and share content, not ads. The old-fashioned movie trailer is actually a pre-cursor to viral video. People have been sharing movie trailers online before the term “viral video” even existed, and trailers are shared more than twice as often as other video content! Now Hollywood is leveraging this huge head start to create specific videos to boost movie buzz before and during a film release.
Hollywood really gets the idea that great content gets shared. They start with creating gripping content, such as a trailer, then devise a distribution strategy to make sure that content is seen by as many people as possible. In the past decade, they’ve also learned how to distribute trailers online (sometimes “leaking” them) to boost viral sharing.

Hollywood is now getting more sophisticated with trailer marketing, and taking full advantage of the flexibility of social video to distribute “red band” (racy or R-rated) clips, long-form trailers, and subversive, funny, or tangential viral videos that are only lightly connected to a film along with their standard trailers to keep things interesting. This non-standard content actually generates much higher rates of sharing than regular trailers because of the feeling of exclusivity as stand-alone content.

Movie marketers are also taking steps to distribute videos to a social audience – the people most likely to watch and share their content. For example, Hollywood was among the first to test drive distribution of movie trailers into social games on Facebook. Movie marketers are also trailblazing trans-media distribution across tablets, mobile apps, video games, e-books and e-comic books, and other related online media.

MG: What do you see coming down the pike from Hollywood?

DG: Hollywood is already doing interesting work in measuring the impact of viral video. They are using advanced analytics to measure the reach and sharing patterns of video trailers among different demographics, then using this data to understand demographics and potential markets where they should first release films.

Movie marketers were also among the first to measure social video metrics such as “sharethrough rate” — which measures the rate at which a video is shared — in order to quantify viral success. By measuring sharethrough rates, movie studios can better understand which trailers to use for online advertising campaigns targeted to specific demographics; which demographics to include in campaign targeting; and even which potential markets hold the most potential for high ticket sales.

MG: What are some recent examples of innovative campaigns?

DG: We loved Disney’s short original video they produced to promote the new Muppets movie Green With Envy that is a parody of The Hangover II — this is a great example of moving away from traditional trailers to more original content.

Another great example of non-standard content is the interactive YouTube video page for Kung Fu Panda 2 that features a mix of videos of Jack Black and the animated main character, Po.

We also think the promotion for Super 8 has really taken things to another level. For example, they actually placed an interactive video ad for the movie as a playable level inside of the video game, Portal 2. Look for more of this type of social video integration in the future, both on console games as well as inside social games on Facebook.

If you want to find out more about viral videos and how you can use them in your business and leadership, Dan is presenting a two-hour workshop on making videos go viral on June 22nd at the Cannes Lions conference. This is a fascinating subject that is definitely key to a successful future.

Follow Marshall Goldsmith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/coachgoldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith: The Indispensable Leader

My good friend Jack Zenger, author of The Extraordinary Leader, has just written an article, entitled “Making Yourself Indispensable.” This is a skill that nearly every leader, employee, manager, and team member wants and should have! In the article Jack focuses on focusing on strengths over fixing weaknesses. It’s a great approach that I’m happy to share and hope that you will get as much out of this short interview with Jack as I did.

MG: The article, entitled “Making Yourself Indispensable,” focuses on how leaders can develop their strengths. But most people tend to think of “improvement” as fixing weaknesses. Why is it so important for leaders to build strengths instead of focusing on shortcomings?

JZ: There are at least three different viewpoints about how leaders can excel. One view is that I need to be without any weaknesses. Another is that I need to be relatively good at everything. A final one is that I need to be extremely good at a few things. Our research, based on studying the data from over a quarter of a million 360 degree feedback instruments on 30,000 leaders, strongly indicates that extraordinary leaders are defined by being outstanding on 3 to 5 competencies. Being devoid of weaknesses doesn’t do it. Being moderately good at lots of competencies doesn’t do it either. So here’s the data—those with no profound strengths (something at the 90th percentile) are roughly in the bottom third of all leaders in an organization. Add one strength, and they catapult to nearly the top third, to the 64th percentile to be exact. Then if you add one more strength, they are now at the 72nd percentile, three strengths puts them at the 81st percentile, four strengths move them to the 89th percentile and 5 strengths puts them at the 91st percentile.

MG: You mention that the process of building strengths is different than that of fixing weaknesses. How so?

JZ: When leaders are moderately good at a competency they often feel stuck. They’ve done all the obvious things. They are much like the runner who has reached a certain level of speed and endurance; and who just can’t get to the next level. So the runner hears that there is a way to enhance their current training regimen with cross training. The runner starts swimming, bicycling, weight lifting and yoga. Why? Excelling at those activities spills over to running. They increase endurance, muscle tone and strength. These are complementary athletic skills. Success in performing them correlates highly with success in running.

MG: Can you give an example of a leadership strength and how competency companions could help build that strength?

JZ: We’ve done research that identifies the complementary skills for over 40 important leadership competencies. Let’s use as an example the differentiating competency of strategic thinking. Chances are that in your practice as an executive coach, you’ve talked with many executives who have received feedback that indicates they are “just so-so” when it comes to strategy. Yet they’ve read the usual books. They’ve attended seminars. Some have been to university sponsored programs on the topic. Is the answer then to read more books? Subscribe to more business journals? Attend more seminars? Those won’t hurt this leader; but maybe something else can help even more.

One of the powerful complementary skills to strategic thinking is focusing on customers. The act of getting out and visiting customers has consistently been shown to increase a leader’s success in strategic thinking. When you stop and think about it; it makes sense. The process of visiting customers gives you a sense of where the market is heading. It lets you know what customers are thinking about. It forces you to be more outwardly focused, rather than inwardly focused.

MG: Your research shows that an individual is the worst at knowing their own strengths and weaknesses, so how do you get a more accurate picture of yourself?

JZ: Marshall, not only are we the worst at knowing our own strengths, we’re only about half as accurate as our immediate boss or our direct reports. The most accurate picture comes from us participating in a high quality 360 degree feedback process. I say “high quality” because anyone can slap several questions together. But constructing a complete, scientifically constructed 360 instrument takes some expertise. The fact that 85 or 90% of the Fortune 500 companies use this technique says something about the perceived value that is derived from this. Having all your subordinates, many of your peers, your boss, and others groups (such as customers or suppliers or people two levels below you) complete an anonymous instrument is the best way to get the most accurate picture of your strengths and any flat sides you may have. I’m constantly amazed at what profound changes can come about when people do this and decide to take advantage of this important gift.

MG: Once you’ve identified which competencies are your strengths, how do you choose which one to develop? How do the competency companions play in to your development plan?

JZ: In some ways these are hard choices. Why? It isn’t the choice of something bad versus something good. Instead it is the choice between two good things. That can be really hard. The good news is that there is seldom a bad choice. Because the competencies are so linked, improving any one will generally lift several others up with it.

So here’s our suggested process for making the choice. It involves three filters. First, choose something you’re quite good at, usually well above average, but also not at the 90th percentile. This gives you some room to get better. Second, choose something that the organization values. Choose a competency that others perceive to be important for someone in your job. If it doesn’t have importance to the organization, then it could be labeled as your hobby. Third, choose something for which you have some juice or passion. As you think about working to get better at this, do you feel excited and energized? Would the time spent in developing this competency be fun or would it be a chore?

Once you’ve selected a competency to work on, then ferret out the companion behaviors to that competency. We published those in the October issue of the Harvard Business Review in the article “Making Yourself Indispensable.” For more detailed information, contact us at www.zengerfolkman.com. Choosing one or two companion behaviors will provide the business corollary of cross training in the world of athletics. Then begin applying these.

MG: Why does developing strengths make you “indispensable”?

JZ: Well, this takes us right back to the beginning of our conversation. It is the leader with a handful of strengths who is making the most important contributions to the organization. Think of every objective measure of organizational performance that you can — whether it is employee turnover, customer satisfaction, employee commitment, productivity, innovation or net profitability. In every case the differences are not slight, they are huge. Every one of these outcomes correlates highly with leaders who possess 3 to 5 strengths. These are the leaders who no organization wants to lose. They are the ones who top management and the front-line workers see as being truly indispensable.

Follow Marshall Goldsmith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/coachgoldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith: When Service Turns to Sales

As my co-authors, Don Brown and Bill Hawkins, and I researched and developed the content for What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – in Sales, we spoke to hundreds of “buyers,” within our own customers’ organizations and many within organizations that were new to us. As we uncovered why what gets you here won’t get you there in sales and service, we also discovered some of the ineffective habits that result when people try to push the outcome!

Countless industries are drafting service providers into sales; it’s happening in call centers, car dealerships, medical and dental offices, and even on airplanes.

Our collective economy and culture has brought about this conscription into the ranks of sales because more conventional methods of reaching out are either impractical or illegal. The shift from landline phones to cellular, the advent of “do not call,” and the expense of traditional mailings have created the need to find some other way to reach out and touch someone.

At the same time all of this was developing, the ranks of service providers exploded. In call centers, customers were already making contact; they already were calling us! In car dealerships, customers were already calling in to schedule vehicle maintenance. In professional offices around the world, we already had service providers in regular scheduled contact with our customers. It seemed like a natural fit, didn’t it? We need to reach out and sell in a new way, and we have a human resource on the payroll that already gives us the new conduit to the customer: Let’s turn service into sales! Thousands of service providers become salespeople overnight. We can’t lose, right?

Perhaps. Whereas the single determining variable for the effectiveness of a sales veteran seems to be comfort, we found mindset to be the successful factor for salespeople new to the game. Would you like to make a guess about the mindset toward sales of those drafted into sales? During workshops we regularly ask sales draftees to play a word association game around the term “salesperson.” Easily 95 percent of the terms they associate with that term are not just negative but derogatory. Many have been pulled into a profession that they find, dishonest and distasteful.

Remember that mindset is more than a simple opinion or point of view. It is the foundational set of assumptions we have about the world around us, and those assumptions are the genesis of our behaviors. Some organizations have found a way to tap into the base assumptions of their service providers to move them from service to sales. They have done this by transferring the service provider’s focus from problems or issues to people and by separating the customer’s service agenda from the sales agenda. Where we find an effective transition from service to sales, we see a partnership using solid, compatible analytics and, more important, an honest acknowledgment of the task at hand.

Where we find disaffected salespeople, we find organizations simply dumping sales pressures on top of the duties of service and satisfaction (at times even competing with service and satisfaction objectives).

What are the relevant trends that have seemed to drive and affect this movement from service to sales? Technology and the evolution of customer communication.

The development of the customer contact technologies of voice recognition, real-time on-screen delivery of customer data, market penetration, and sales conversion analytics–even social media–has contributed to the utilization of those technologies in up-selling, cross-selling and “service-to-selling.”

Communications has contributed to this surge of unconventional outbound selling in that the methods work; organizations are achieving results by using them. Whether it is automotive manufacturers using Facebook for new product introduction, airlines gaining an extra $6 billion by up-selling preferred seats and other amenities, or retailers pressing for “extended warranties” and “fabric protection,” organizations are desperate to maintain quarterly dividends and are concerned with the short-term financial horizon. Right or wrong, this is what drives the service-to-sales dilemma.

With these organizational dynamics, what personal habits do we find to be the most common ineffective behaviors for the new sales draftee?

  • Habit 2: Vocal filler–the overuse of unnecessary (and meaningless) verbal qualifiers.
  • Habit 3: Selling past the close–the irresistible urge to verbalize and execute every possible step in the sales process.
  • Habit 11: Explaining failure–behaving under the erroneous belief that simply being able to assign blame, fault, or guilt is enough to satisfy the customer.
  • Habit 12: Never having to say you’re sorry–the personal inability to apologize or accept responsibility for personal or organizational error.
  • Habit 13: Throwing others under the bus–sacrificing a colleague– often anonymous, often vulnerable, and usually innocent–by blaming him or her for the one’s own functional failure.
  • Habit 14: Propagandizing–overreliance on organizational rhetoric and themes.

Mindset makes all the difference. So, sales draftees – take a tip from this little article that what got you here won’t get you there!

Follow Marshall Goldsmith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/coachgoldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith: Coaching the “Uncoachables”: Forget About It!

Even if you are the best coach in the world, if the person you are coaching shouldn’t be coached, the coaching isn’t going to work. The good news is that the “uncoachables” are easier than you think to spot. How do you know when someone is uncoachable? How do you detect a lost cause?

Following are four indicators that you are dealing with one of these people:

1. She doesn’t think she has a problem.
This successful adult has no interest in changing. Her behavior is working fine for her. If she doesn’t care to change, you are wasting your time! Let me give you an example of a nice woman who didn’t think she had a problem. My mother, a lovely woman and much-admired first-grade teacher, was so dedicated to her craft that she didn’t draw the line between inside and outside the classroom. She talked to all of us, including my father, in the same slow, patient manner, using the same simple vocabulary that she used with her 6-year-olds every day. One day as she graciously and methodically corrected his grammar for the millionth time, he looked at her, sighed, and said, “Honey, I’m 70 years old. Let it go.” My father had absolutely no interest in changing. He didn’t perceive a problem. So no matter how much, how hard, or how diligently she coached, he wasn’t going to change.

2. He is pursuing the wrong strategy for the organization.

If this guy is already going in the wrong direction, all you’re going to do with your coaching is help him get there faster.

3. They’re in the wrong job.

Sometimes people feel that they’re in the wrong job with the wrong company. They may believe they’re meant to be doing something else or that their skills are being misused. Here’s a good way to determine if you’re working with one of these people. Ask them, “If we shut down the company today, would you be relieved, surprised, or sad?” If you hear ‘relieved,’ you’ve got yourself a live one. Send them packing. You can’t change the behavior of unhappy people so that they become happy: You can only fix behavior that’s making people around them unhappy.

4. They think everyone else is the problem.

A long time ago I had a client who, after a few high-profile employee departures, was concerned about employee morale. He had a fun, successful company and people liked the work, but feedback said that the boss played favorites in the way he compensated people. When I reported this feedback to my client, he completely surprised me. He said he agreed with the charge and thought he was right to do so. First off, I’m not a compensation strategist and so I wasn’t equipped to deal with this problem, but then he surprised me again. He hadn’t called me to help him change; he wanted me to fix his employees. It’s times like these that I find the nearest exit. It’s hard to help people who don’t think they have a problem. It’s impossible to fix people who think someone else is the problem.

My suggestion in cases like these? Save time, skip the heroic measures, and move on. These are arguments you can’t ever win.

Follow Marshall Goldsmith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/coachgoldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith: Coaching the "Uncoachables": Forget About It!

Even if you are the best coach in the world, if the person you are coaching shouldn’t be coached, the coaching isn’t going to work. The good news is that the “uncoachables” are easier than you think to spot. How do you know when someone is uncoachable? How do you detect a lost cause?

Following are four indicators that you are dealing with one of these people:

1. She doesn’t think she has a problem.
This successful adult has no interest in changing. Her behavior is working fine for her. If she doesn’t care to change, you are wasting your time! Let me give you an example of a nice woman who didn’t think she had a problem. My mother, a lovely woman and much-admired first-grade teacher, was so dedicated to her craft that she didn’t draw the line between inside and outside the classroom. She talked to all of us, including my father, in the same slow, patient manner, using the same simple vocabulary that she used with her 6-year-olds every day. One day as she graciously and methodically corrected his grammar for the millionth time, he looked at her, sighed, and said, “Honey, I’m 70 years old. Let it go.” My father had absolutely no interest in changing. He didn’t perceive a problem. So no matter how much, how hard, or how diligently she coached, he wasn’t going to change.

2. He is pursuing the wrong strategy for the organization.

If this guy is already going in the wrong direction, all you’re going to do with your coaching is help him get there faster.

3. They’re in the wrong job.

Sometimes people feel that they’re in the wrong job with the wrong company. They may believe they’re meant to be doing something else or that their skills are being misused. Here’s a good way to determine if you’re working with one of these people. Ask them, “If we shut down the company today, would you be relieved, surprised, or sad?” If you hear ‘relieved,’ you’ve got yourself a live one. Send them packing. You can’t change the behavior of unhappy people so that they become happy: You can only fix behavior that’s making people around them unhappy.

4. They think everyone else is the problem.

A long time ago I had a client who, after a few high-profile employee departures, was concerned about employee morale. He had a fun, successful company and people liked the work, but feedback said that the boss played favorites in the way he compensated people. When I reported this feedback to my client, he completely surprised me. He said he agreed with the charge and thought he was right to do so. First off, I’m not a compensation strategist and so I wasn’t equipped to deal with this problem, but then he surprised me again. He hadn’t called me to help him change; he wanted me to fix his employees. It’s times like these that I find the nearest exit. It’s hard to help people who don’t think they have a problem. It’s impossible to fix people who think someone else is the problem.

My suggestion in cases like these? Save time, skip the heroic measures, and move on. These are arguments you can’t ever win.

Follow Marshall Goldsmith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/coachgoldsmith

Hunch Infographic: Have You Ever? – Column Five Media

AnatomyofaDoctorLrg.jpg (800×1735)

Ministry-wise PIB releases

How an economy really works – Global Edition « Wired And Ready- The blog

Ministry-wise PIB releases


Zendesk_Online_Customer_Support-c5.jpg (918×2497)

Ministry-wise PIB releases


The age of corporate social responsibility | Arrive Prepared – The business and market research blog from HighBeam Business

The days of expecting a company to turn a profit and nothing more are gone. The new driving force in business is corporate social responsibility. Investors and consumers expect the companies they do business with to keep an eye on the impact they have on the social and global environment as well as keeping an eye on the bottom line.

What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?

An October 13, 2011 report for Europe Environment titled, “ENTERPRISE POLICY: A BATTERY OF MEASURES TO ENHANCE CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY,” defined corporate social responsibly (CSR) this way: “Corporate social responsibility refers to the voluntary inclusion by enterprises of social, environmental and ethical concerns in their business activities and relations with their stakeholders, which go beyond legal requirements and collective agreements.“

What does CSR look like in practice? It can be enacted through such measures as:

  • treating employees fairly and providing equitable pay and benefits
  • environmental protection
  • community involvement
  • establishing and upholding core values

Why Companies Engage in CSR

The traditional source of legitimacy for corporations, profit, is no longer enough to satisfy the various groups of stakeholders who interact with and are affected by corporate policies. Even investors seeking profits are beginning to turn toward the practice of socially responsible investing (SRI) when choosing what companies will benefit from their investment dollars. According to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (USSIF), socially responsible investing presently includes an estimated $3.07 trillion out of $25.2 trillion in U.S. investments.

Socially Responsible Investing

Why is socially responsible investing important to business owners? One opinion can be found in the October 28, 2011 post for Currency of Giving.com titled, “Socially Responsible Investing Basics,” which said, “As the economy continues to shape-shift and evolve, investment that focuses on long-term sustainability will become increasingly important. Our prediction is that SRI will become more and more common for non-profits, foundations and social entrepreneurs, rivaling grants, donations and more traditional investing.”

Sustainability and CSR

CSR activities are often concerned with sustainably and include efforts to reduce packaging and materials use to create products that can be reused or recycled. Gregory Unruh addressed the sometimes confusing nature of sustainability in his October 27, 2011 post to the Forbes CSR Blog titled, “Sustainable Consumption is a Myth.”

According to Unruh, there is no such thing as “sustainable consumption” because materials are not consumed — they merely change form. Unruh explained, “Example: Coke. The Coca-Cola Company realized that while the soda may be ‘consumed,’ the packaging endures as litter. In fact it’s branded litter and not something a company working to develop a reputation for sustainability likes its customers to see lying in gutters.”

As a result of this revelation, Coke came up with the plant bottle, the first recyclable plastic container made partially from plants. Since then, Heinz has adopted the plant bottle for its ketchup packaging and Unruh expects that other companies will adopt the bottle, resulting in cost savings through a shared materials platform and lower unit costs.

CSR in the U.S.

Since their launch in 1999, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) have tracked the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. The indexes identify those companies that operate in a sustainable and ethical manner, measuring performance in terms of:

  • climate change mitigation
  • labor practices
  • social responsibility
  • supply chain standards

In the 2010/2011 DJSI report, the 19 performance leaders included Germany, Brazil and Spain. The U.S. did not appear within the highest ranking companies on the index.

Why Care About CSR?

Companies generally tend to practice CSR because they are pressured to do so by their stockholders, or customers. At first, the typical company reaction is defensive with companies using public relations campaigns as a means to control the conversation and maintain their brand. But web technologies such as Facebook and Twitter allow stakeholders to discover and share information about a company instantly, thus removing control of the message from the company.

This is the kind of scenario seen several years ago when an article in The New York Times focused attention on Nike’s use of child labor in its affiliate shops in Asia. Nike’s attempts at controlling their brand through a public relations campaign fell flat as public ire grew. Nike gradually accepted the fact that it had to change how it interacted with the companies that it employs in its manufacturing process, as well as how it communicates with the public.

It is no longer sufficient for a company to maximize profit. In order to attract investment dollars, highly qualified employees and loyal customers, companies are expected to acknowledge their obligations to engage in ethical and socially responsible behavior and to act accordingly.

China’s doom story: The signs of a downfall – Rediff.com Business

A farmer carries a shovel over his shoulder as he walks to tend his crops in a field that includes an abandoned building, that was to be part of an amusement park called Wonderland.

Among its various records, China now has the world’s largest vacant malls, empty cities, and stalled amusement parks.

Wonderland was slated to be Asia’s biggest theme park. Spread across a sprawling 100-acre plot of land on the outskirts of capital city, Beijing, it was modelled on the lines of the famous Disneyworld in the United States.

However, as farmers and government disagreed over property prices, the construction was stopped in 1998. The efforts to build it again is 2008 also failed.

Today, remains of a castle and several pavilions remain in the land in Chenzhuang village.
As sales of residential property dropped for the third month in November, there are big worries on a real estate crash in China.

The world fastest growing economy has tough times ahead as it faces a realty doom.

PHOTOS: A Russian ‘hunk’ all set to enter Indian Navy – Rediff.com News

File image of a Russian Akula-II class 'Nerpa' nuclear attack submarine

The Akula-II class submarines are equipped with 28 nuclear-capable cruise missiles with a striking range of 3,000 km. The Indian version is reportedly expected to be armed with the 300-km Klub nuclear-capable missiles.

According to earlier reports, the lease contract is estimated to be worth between $650 to 900 million. India had funded the completion of the Nerpa nuclear submarine at Amur Shipyard before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991

Print Release

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Corporate Affairs

16-December-2011 18:56 IST

Ministry of Corporate Affairs to Organize India Corporate and Investor Meet in February 2012

sudhirTiware Normal PIB-NIC 2 4 2011-07-08T10:33:00Z 2011-12-16T13:00:00Z 2011-12-16T13:00:00Z 1 354 2019 Hewlett-Packard Company 16 4 2369 11.5606 Clean Clean false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4


The Ministry of Corporate Affairs will organize a week long India Corporate and Investor Meet from February 6 to 12, 2012 in the five metro cities, namely, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting chaired by Dr. M. Veerappa Moily, Union Minister for Corporate Affairs yesterday. The senior representatives from leading trade chambers of the country, namely, CII, FICCI, PHDCCI, IMC and ASSOCHAM were present in the meeting besides the Secretary, Corporate Affairs, Shri Naved Masood and other senior officials of the Ministry. The officials from the three professional institutes attached with the Ministry i.e. ICAI, ICSI and ICWAI, were also present during the deliberations.


The theme of the event will be ‘Corporate Growth, Governance and Inclusion’.


The Meet will be a full day event in all the selected metro cities and will focus on subjects like investor related issues, corporate governance and CSR, followed by an “Open House” discussion to summarize the deliberations. The objective of this meet is to create awareness as well as impact through discussions on the issues considered to be important both from the perspective of the corporate as well as the investors.


The calendar of events for the Meet is as under:


Location of Events

Lead Partner


















                The event at Delhi will be at the end of the Meet on a national level, where the ‘Analysis Reports’ of the events would be discussed and deliberated for a final document containing inputs for framing a roadmap for future progress of Indian Economy and Corporate sector.


It may be noted that the Ministry is already conducting programmes through its professional institutes (ICAI, ICSI and ICWAI) and other trade and business chambers. The Ministry also organized ‘India Investor Week’ (IIW) from July 12-17, 2010 in order to bring a national focus on the subject of investor awareness. The Ministry also started the initiative of bringing national focus on the role and contribution of the corporate sector in the Indian social and economic development through the “India Corporate Week” (ICW) in association with the national and regional trade and industry chambers and the professional institutes.




Ministry-wise PIB releases


Ministry-wise PIB releases


Comment: Road Accidents and Statistics are age old with this Ministry.  Why don’t they keep the information current?

SHOCKER! Re loses 46 paise to breach Rs 54/$ mark – Rediff.com Business

Students make a formation of the Indian rupee symbol.

The domestic currency had tumbled by 48 paise to close at a record low of Rs 53.71/72 per dollar in the previous session on strong demand for the American currency and strengthening of the dollar against its rivals overseas.

The Millennials – The Best Generation Ever

Ministry-wise PIB releases


Vintage radios repurposed as iPod speakers – Holy Kaw!

Vintage radios repurposed as iPod speakers


Forgotten technology gets a rebirth for the modern age thanks to the electrical wizardry and creative mind of Devin Ward. Ward tinkers with vintage radios, transforming the old AM/FM broadcasters into sleek looking iPod speakers with a retro flair.



Via Shortlist.

Available for purchase on Etsy.

Ten Buzzwords To Take Off Your LinkedIn Profile Now | NewsFeed

Ministry-wise PIB releases


Use Jugaad to Innovate Faster, Cheaper, Better – Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu, and Simone Ahuja – Harvard Business Review

We recently attended the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit 2011 in Mumbai, where we moderated several panels and workshops on the topic of innovation. The experience gave us some insights into a unique approach to innovation called jugaad, which entrepreneurs and enterprises are practicing in complex emerging markets like India.

Jugaad is a Hindi word that loosely translates as “the gutsy art of overcoming harsh constraints by improvising an effective solution using limited resources.” Jugaad is an antidote to the complexity of India: a country of mind-blogging diversity; pervasive scarcity of all kinds; and exploding interconnectivity (India is adding 10 million cellphone subscribers every month).

This highly resource-constrained and chaotic environment inspires jugaad innovators — i.e., the Indian entrepreneurs and corporations who practice jugaad to develop market-relevant products and services that are inherently affordable and sustainable. Jugaad innovators are modern-day alchemists who transmute adversity into opportunity, and in so doing create value for their organizations and communities. And while we first learned about jugaad while conducting field research in India over the past several years, we’ve found that jugaad innovators exist around the world, including right here in the U.S.

There are three aspects of jugaad that make it particularly effective. Specifically:

Jugaad innovators innovate faster: Jugaad innovators don’t use linear, pre-planned, time-consuming R&D processes. Rather, they rely heavily on rapid prototyping techniques — i.e., they collaborate intimately with customers and use their constant feedback to zero in on the most relevant product features. For instance, Jane Chen and Rahul Panicker, Stanford graduates and co-founders of Embrace, worked closely with village pediatricians and patients in rural India to iteratively optimize the design of their breakthrough portable infant warmer — which costs less than 5% of incubators sold in the West (which are typically priced around $20,000).

Jugaad innovators innovate cheaper: Jugaad innovators are very frugal. Rather than reinventing the wheel or splurging on expensive R&D projects, they develop new solutions by building upon existing infrastructure and assets, as well as by recombining existing solutions. In doing so, they can pass the cost savings on to their customers. For instance, YES Bank, one of India’s leading private banks, has deployed a mobile payment solution that enables money transfer via cellphones without the need for a bank account. This solution piggybacks on India’s existing robust mobile telephony infrastructure that extends to the remotest of villages in India (a country where nearly 870 million people have cellphones, but 600 million or so do not have a bank account).

Jugaad innovators innovate better: Jugaad innovators recognize that consumers in emerging markets are low earners, but high yearners. As such, jugaad innovators attempt to meet customers’ high aspirations by developing solutions that are not only affordable, but that also deliver superior value. In sum, they strive to deliver more (value) for less (cost). Take, for instance, SELCO, an Indian renewable energy firm founded by the U.S.-educated Harish Hande. Recognizing the diverse needs of the Indian rural population, SELCO set out to personalize the value proposition of its solar lanterns to individual customers — be they a village midwife who doesn’t want the toxic fumes of a kerosene lamp polluting her patient’s environment; a rosebud collector looking for a modular lighting solution that can be repaired quickly in a remote location; or a vegetable seller who doesn’t want to contend with the electrical outages that are typical across India. As a result, more than 115,000 rural customers now use SELCO’s solar lanterns — not only because they are affordable, but because they deliver superior value by addressing customers’ unique needs.

What makes jugaad innovators so adept at innovating faster, cheaper, and better? The answer lies in their unique mindset — characterized by two key attributes: adaptability and inclusivity.

Jugaad innovators are highly adaptable: Indian entrepreneurs who practice jugaad are a resilient bunch: they continually find ways to bounce back from the adversity that permeates every aspect of their lives. Jugaad innovators sense and respond to rapid changes in their environment by dynamically reinventing their business models. For instance, Chen and Panicker, co-founders of Embrace, initially set out to design a fixed incubator at a low-cost — but once they discovered that Indian village women preferred to hold their newborn babies close to their bodies, they quickly adapted their business model around a portable infant warmer.

Jugaad innovators are inclusive: In India, more than 800 million citizens lack access to healthcare, 600 million are unbanked, and 400 million live off the electricity grid. While most corporations view these marginal segments as being unprofitable, jugaad innovators like YES Bank’s Rana Kapoor and SELCO’s Harish Hande have invented inclusive business models for profitably serving the millions who live on the margins of society. For these entrepreneurs, including the margin not only provides for greater social good, it also makes great business sense.

Interestingly, we have noticed that jugaad is practiced not only by Indian entrepreneurs and corporations, but also by some pioneering multinationals in India. Take GE Healthcare, for instance,which used the flexible jugaad mindset to make high-quality cancer diagnosis and treatment accessible to underdeveloped communities across India. Until recently, India had been importing the radioisotopes required for nuclear imaging such as PET/CT scans. This was not only unaffordable for many rural hospitals, it was ineffective because the radioisotopes decay over time (in hours or even minutes), so they need to be administered to the patient soon after they’re produced. GE Healthcare partnered with private diagnostic centers and airline companies to locally produce radioisotopes — and make deliveries on a just-in-time basis to small-town hospitals around the country. Now, with GE Healthcare’s frugal “pay-per-use” pricing model and just-in-time delivery mechanism, the supply of radioisotopes has become affordable and dependable for many rural hospitals.

The jugaad mindset — and its associated principles and practices — is increasingly relevant for companies worldwide who are seeking to grow in an increasingly complex and resource-constrained business environment. Unlike traditional, structured innovation methods that rely on time-consuming and expensive R&D processes, the more fluid jugaad approach delivers speed, agility, and cost efficiencies. Jugaad is a “bottom up” innovation approach that provides organizations in both emerging and developed economies the key capabilities they need to succeed in a hypercompetitive and fast-moving world: frugality, inclusivity, collaboration, and adaptability.

Is your organization using the jugaad approach — and its underlying principles — to innovate faster, cheaper, and better? We’d like to hear about it in the comments section below.

‘UID’, Losing Its Own Identity

Allowed Business Expenses: Learn From Other’s Mistakes | Fox Small Business Center

Allowed business deductions are those that are “ordinary and necessary” to your trade or business. You can put quite a spin on this when determining what to write off. I hear it every day: “But I’ve got to have this for my business.” Sometimes it’s true, and sometimes it’s a far reach and I always admire those who can proffer an anticipated and outlandish deduction request with a straight face. When it comes to determining what will qualify as a valid write off, it’s important to understand the intent of the tax code.

Personal expenses are not deductible. It would be nice to say that you need certain items in order to maintain a “professional appearance.” But beware: A recent court case: Hamper v. Comm’r, T.C. Summ. Op. 2011-17, says no way. TV news anchor, Anietra Hamper attempted to write off clothing, accessories, makeup, grooming supplies, contact lenses, and self-defense classes. But the court made the following determinations:

  1. Her clothing and accessories were suitable for general wear and therefore not deductible. Along with business suits and shoes, Hamper attempted to write off lingerie, bikini and thong underwear from Victoria’s Secret; I can see the judge rolling his eyes right now. Not even the business suits are deductible. Certain clothing is however. Purchase and maintenance of protective gear such as aprons, scrubs, coveralls, specialty shoes, and steel-toed boots are legitimate write offs. So are uniforms. If you emblazon your company name and logo on articles of clothing, you may write those off as advertising and promotion.
  2. Makeup and grooming supplies were considered personal expenses for the same reason: it was suitable for general wear. We should all be well-groomed. If, however, you are in a profession that requires special makeup and costumes – maybe you are a professional clown – then you would have a legitimate write off.
  3. Contact lenses cannot be deducted. Hamper claimed that she bought a separate set of lenses to read her work teleprompter. However, there was no proof that she needed a different prescription for work purposes. Of course, she would be allowed to take the cost of contact lenses and eye exams as a medical expense.
  4. The subscriptions she attempted to deduct were for general-interest magazines like Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Nickelodeon. Hamper claimed that she needed to stay abreast of current events but the judge rejected her selections. She would likely have no problem deducting these magazines as a business expense if she owned a hair salon.
  5. When it came to the self-defense classes, Hamper claimed that as a public figure, she’s affected by stalkers and the police advised her to learn to protect herself. That one might have slid by, but all she could come up with was a gym membership. She couldn’t prove she had actually taken self-defense classes. It was therefore decided the gym membership was to ensure her continuing good health, which is not even deductible as a medical expense.

Vehicle, cell phone, and meal and entertainment expenses were disallowed as well due to lack of documentation. Of all the audits I have been involved in, not a single client has maintained a vehicle log. But I have been able to push through this requirement to have a reasonable amount allowed by reconstructing the activity for the year. I don’t know a single business owner with the time–much less the inclination–to record each and every business mile traveled. What I suggest is that you record in your tax file the odometer reading at the beginning of the year and again at the end of the year. This way you have your total miles (personal and business) driven. It may then be a simple matter of using your appointment book, Mapquest, and best guesses to determine your deductible business miles. The IRS requires contemporaneous records and can ignore a reconstruction if they so desire. However, no auditor has turned away a reconstruction that I have offered.

When it comes to cell phone use, the IRS requires that you allocate personal from business and deduct only the business portion of the bill. Most billing companies no longer record each and every call on your cell phone bill. But if you download a three-month history, and make an allocation to keep in your tax file, that is acceptable to the IRS in the event of an audit.

Meals and entertainment is a favorite category for the IRS to audit. Most business owners do not know the rules and are shocked when they discover that much of their claimed expenses are disallowed. I urge you to check out my article about holiday entertaining:  Also check out IRS Publication 463 for more information on the rules.

By the way, the court imposed accuracy-related penalties (those can be as high as 25%) on Hamper because it found no reasonable cause for her failure to understand the tax code. So check it out and save yourself some heartache.

Bonnie Lee is an Enrolled Agent admitted to practice and representing taxpayers in all fifty states at all levels within the Internal Revenue Service. She is the owner of Taxpertise in Sonoma, CA and the author of Entrepreneur Press book, “Taxpertise, The Complete Book of Dirty Little Secrets and Hidden Deductions for Small Business that the IRS Doesn’t Want You to Know.” Follow Bonnie Lee on Twitter at BLTaxpertise and at Facebook


I DESERVE to be re-elected: Obama – Rediff.com News

Performance of Gandhis in LokSabha | News of Delhi


This is a comparison between “Gandhis” of parliament. Presently we have four Gandhis and they are widows and sons of Rajiv and Sanjay Gandhi who are sons of Indira Gandhi who is inturn the daughter of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. It is yet to find out whether there existed any period in which no one from Nehru-Gandhi bloodline was present in a parliament session. However this study is regarding the performance of the present Gandhis in Indian parliament (Lok Sabha) using the data available in Loksabha.nic.in in the year 2011.

We compare Sonia (SG) ,Rahul(RG),Maneka(MG),Varun(VG) performance on the basis of

  1. Attendance percentage.
  2. Number of questions asked.
  3. Participation in Debates.

Attendance Percentage(last 3 sessions)

  6th 7th 8th Average
SG 26 52 0 26
RG 17 30 26 24
MG 78 82 65 75
VG 43 26 88 52


It is important to note that Rahul Gandhi’s attendance was pretty better in the first four sessions in 2010. But not a single session in 2011, RG scored more than 30 percent. Sonia Gandhi was out of station when the 8th session was happening(treatment in US). However ,Varun Gandhi was pretty better than his cousin, while his mother is the topper of them all.


Questions asked

SG 0
RG 0
MG 156
VG 392



In fifteenth Loksabha, Varun Gandhi’s questions were based on Piracy,Defence ,Health,Irrigation,Education  etc and Maneka’s were also on the similar topics.


Varun participated in three debates 1) maoist attack on CRPF personnel at Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. 2) Introduction of the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2009 3) Lokpal while Maneka had debated 8 topics. Rahul participated in a single debate on Lokpal while Sonia did not participate.

Reference : Data available in LokSabha.nic.in

Submitted and Written by Ashok (@Nationalizer)

Bikes are our Rescuers – Infograhics

Economics Journal: Why Did Indian Retailers U-Turn on FDI? – India Real Time – WSJ

No, Entrepreneurs Like Steve Jobs Do Not ‘Create Jobs’ By Inventing Products Like The iPhone

burning-fuel-car-vs-human_infographic-e1323570235169.jpg (640×376)

Can you be a graphic designer, and what to expect [infographic] – Holy Kaw!

Hotelicopter! – Funny Mike

BraveNewTalent Blog » Blog Archive » Infographic: Are British jobseekers missing a trick? – Career Social Network

Ministry-wise PIB releases


Santa’s Carbon Footprint [infographic]

BBC News – EU nations and the euro: What they want

EU nations and the euro: What they want


Eurozone map Eurozone map

  • 27 member states
  • 17 countries adopted the euro – the eurozone
  • 15 told their credit ratings are likely to be downgraded – including Germany and France*
  • 3 eurozone bailouts: Greece, Ireland, Porugal
  • 2 countries have received informal bailouts: Italy and Spain

The Euro: Who wants what

The groups Who they are What they want What they don’t want

The Drivers

France and Germany

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy joined forces to call for treaty changes to be signed by all 17 eurozone (at least) by March. They want a balanced budget “golden rule” adopted by all; automatic sanctions if deficits exceed 3% gross domestic product; harmonisation of eurozone corporation taxes and a tax on financial transactions.

France averse to Brussels having greater power over national budgets – ruling out any veto by European Court of Justice. Germany against European Central Bank intervention to buy up errant countries’ debts in the form of bonds. Mr Sarkozy, initially in favour, decided against eurozone bonds.

The Piigs – the eurozone’s most indebted nations

Portugal, Italy, Ireland Spain and Greece

Desperate for deal to convince markets to cut national borrowing costs. The EU/IMF bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal were all conditional on stringent austerity measures. Dublin, Athens and Lisbon have all responded to pressure to slash their deficits with recent austerity budgets. Italy’s new technocratic government has too while Spain’s new centre-right leaders are urged to follow suit.

All five against surrendering budget decisions to Brussels and adamant about staying in the euro. Ireland will not allow any change to its 12.5% corporation tax rate which it sees as its main source of growth; fears loss of sovereignty. Spain backs treaty reform but Irish government opposed.

Out of the zone – for now

Poland, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary Romania, Bulgaria

All eight want to avoid a two-tier EU as they are obliged to join the euro, eventually. Poland wants say in eurozone decisions. Latvia, recipient of 2008 EU/IMF bailout, expects other countries to endure similar fiscal discipline. Lithuania avoided bailout but shares Latvia’s position. Czechs are in no rush to join. Hungary, latest victim of the debt crisis, has sought IMF/EU funding. Romania wants to stay on course to join in 2015; says huge efforts made to meet deficit targets after 2009 EU/IMF bailout. Romania and Bulgaria anxious to join passport-free Schengen zone soon.

Although not part of the eurozone, Bulgaria will be deeply opposed to the threat to its 10% corporate tax – the EU’s lowest – from the Franco-German proposals. Sofia was eyeing up 2015 as entry date. Most Swedes do not want to join the euro (voted against it in 2003) but have no opt-out. All but Sweden and the Czechs have agreed to limits on the scale of their debts. Latvia and Lithuania aim to join in 2014 and Warsaw sees euro entry as a “strategic objective”. Czechs wary of Franco-German plan for centralised budget control.

Staying out – for good

UK and Denmark

UK and Denmark secured euro opt-outs but want a say in decisions about it. UK says the more it is asked for, the more it will ask in return – and any treaty agreed by the UK would have to go through parliament. Denmark wants speedy resolution to crisis with minimum treaty change.

UK PM David Cameron, under political pressure for a referendum on the EU and for repatriation of powers from Brussels, wants to avoid major treaty change and a tax on financial transactions that would affect the City of London. Denmark, taking over rotating EU presidency on 1 Jan 2012, wants to avoid change that would trigger referendum.

The other triple-A euro states

Austria, Netherlands, Finland, Luxembourg

All four alarmed by warnings of possible credit-rating downgrade that would affect cost of borrowing. Austria wants decisions with quick impact involving all 27 EU members voluntarily signing up to agreed debt and deficit limits. The Dutch and Finnish want tighter controls on rule-breaking states. The Netherlands argued for a Brussels commissioner to have power to expel member states from the eurozone.

Austria reluctant to have treaty change, complains fiscal union a “long-term process” of 3-4 years. Luxembourg also very wary. Dutch adamant they want no referendum and no loss of sovereignty to Brussels. Helsinki opposed to Franco-German plan to stop smaller EU countries (eg Finland) blocking permanent eurozone bailout fund decisions.

Smaller eurozone economies

Belgium, Estonia, Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia

Belgium’s new government, faced with high public sector debt, needs low borrowing costs. Estonia, in the euro since Jan 2011, wants to be among the decision-makers. Cyprus, buckling under the EU’s biggest public sector spending bill (15.4% of GDP) promises austerity measures but needs help to tackle spiralling deficit. Malta, with 2% growth, backs strong action for rule-breakers. Slovakia wants strong, automatic, enforceable rules to ensure fiscal discipline. Slovenian aims are unclear as the country has just chosen a new government.

Belgium against major treaty change – approval required by 9 parliamentary chambers. Estonia, against new EU institutions to tackle crisis, prefers to focus on Commission and ECB. Cyprus anxious to avoid “endless discussions” on automatic sanctions. Slovakia ready to see other states leave euro to protect eurozone. Malta against long treaty change process but will accept the Merkel/Sarkozy plan if no alternative.

Unstuck iPad app – How to live better every day – Unstuck

Forbes India Magazine – The Education Of Carlos Ghosn

The Education Of  Carlos Ghosn
Image: Amit Verma

Carlos Ghosn, Global CEO of Renault Nissan

J oseph Campbell, in his The Hero with a Thousand Faces, explained the making of a hero. The hero starts out ordinary; gets a call to adventure; undergoes severe tests and on survival gets a great boon. After this, he returns to an ordinary life and uses that boon to improve the world. In the past 40 years, the world of business would have produced a handful of leaders who can truly fit the concept of a hero. These would be Lee Iacocca, Jack Welch, Lou Gerstner, Steve Jobs and perhaps Ratan Tata.

And then there is Carlos Ghosn. He is a hero who is still stuck in the ‘call to adventure’ phase. He manages two car companies, one French (Renault) and the other Japanese (Nissan), and has made both profitable. And yet he is passing through his severest test in two markets — India and China — that will determine his legacy. In both these markets Renault, and to a lesser extent Nissan, are non-entities. In China, at least Nissan, in an alliance with Dongfeng Motor, has managed to make some headway, but in India Ghosn has little to show. A man who is known to rescue sinking companies, who can navigate extremely complex alliances can only show the lessons he has learnt.

To be sure, some of those lessons are reflected in his recent decisions. He has a new target for India. “The objective is for both companies [Renault and Nissan], from 2011 to 2016, to reach a 10 percent market share. Why 10 percent? Because this is the average market share we have, globally. Renault and Nissan globally represent 10 percent market share so there is no reason that in India we don’t do the present average of the two,” he says. Ghosn is after the Holy Grail of building a small car, one that will be popular in India. But that will take time. So, right now he is focussing on localisation and rolling off as many different models.

In the past 12 months, both Renault and Nissan have laid out a product strategy of launching five vehicles each by 2013. At the alliance’s manufacturing plant in Chennai, work is on in full swing to execute this, which entails significant amount of work in localising engines and transmission components.

In February 2012, Renault will launch the Pulse, a premium hatchback which is based on Nissan’s V platform, on which the Micra has been built. Another assembly line is being set up to ready the manufacturing of the Duster, Renault’s offering in the entry level sports utility vehicle segment.

Another small car, called the A platform has reached a critical stage where the purchasing team is actively working on building a supplier base.

Nissan, on its part, is working on building a small car especially for India. A sports utility vehicle is also on its way, which the company is building on the ‘Dost’ platform, the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) from its alliance with Ashok Leyland. The alliance (Nissan Ashok Leyland) will launch another LCV later in 2012. Ghosn says the goal of the India strategy is to localise more than 85 percent of the products and expand dealer network.

But it is going to take more than just that to achieve a 10 percent market share. Being a marginal player in the country for about four years, he now knows exactly who the alliance is competing against. “We know their products very well, we know the price, we know the engine and you know the name of the game in India is fuel efficiency. That’s No. 1. Price, that’s No. 2 and third is design and functionality. If you come with an offer that is better than the competition, then you have a shot at it. We have nothing [to lose] in India. Here, we are the challengers,” he adds. Much of this confidence comes from the lessons Ghosn has learnt in India.

Demanding Partners

Carlos Ghosn admits Logan, which was Renault’s first foot forward in India, was not its best. “Oh, the Logan was too expensive. Second, it was not sufficiently localised,” he says. Logan was launched in 2007 and the Union Budget of that year changed the duty structure on cars that were more than 4 metres in length. Logan was 4.247 metres long and was taxed at 20 percent, while cars up to 4 metres were taxed at 8 percent. “This was absolutely not expected,” says a Renault India official.  

M&M, Renault’s JV partner in the Logan project, wanted the Logan’s length to be reduced to less than 4 metres, but Renault did not agree. “How can you cut a global platform just like that? And we were not sure if that was the only reason the sales were floundering,” says a Renault India official.

M&M was tired of the stubbornness of the French car company. Renault was not sure if M&M’s communication and sales strategy was right.  


This article appeared in Forbes India Magazine of 16 December, 2011

After two failed partnerships in India, Renault-Nissan’s CEO has learnt the hard way that he cannot look at all emerging markets through the same lens
by Ashish K Mishra | Dec 8, 2011

Read more: http://business.in.com/article/boardroom/the-education-of-carlos-ghosn/30962/…

Ministry-wise PIB releases


Minority Report in Real Life? An Infographic

Minority Report
Created by: Criminology

[Infographic] Malaria, the Possible Eradication of the World’s Greatest Killer – Assay Depot Blog

How long does it take to become an Expert – An Infographic

Are you really an expert? An infographic by udemy.com
Source: Udemy Blog

Harvard snubs Subramanian Swamy, drops courses taught by him – Rediff.com India News

Harvard University has decided to dissociate itself from Dr Subramanian Swamy’s controversial article in a Mumbai [ Images ] newspaper. George Joseph reports from New York.

<A href=”http://ads.rediff.com/RealMedia/ads/click_lx.ads/innewsA.rediff.com/news-article.htm/L-35/738923791/x15/OasDefault/Kotak_Spon_Ros_Island/Kotak_Spon_Ros_Island01497333497426.html/63322f664b3037674d4a554144625a69?_RM_REDIR_=http://www.kotak.com/kotaklp/SavingsAccount/SavingsAccount.html?utm_source=Rediff&utm_medium=BANNER&utm_campaign=6percentIMPACT_Rediff_180x150&#8243; target=”_new”><IMG SRC=”http://imads.rediff.com/0/OasDefault/Kotak_Spon_Ros_Island/kotak_180x150.gif&#8221; WIDTH=180 HEIGHT=150 BORDER=0></A> <A href=”http://ads.rediff.com/RealMedia/ads/click_lx.ads/innewsA.rediff.com/news-article.htm/L-35/738923791/x15/OasDefault/Kotak_Spon_Ros_Island/Kotak_Spon_Ros_Island01497333497426.html/63322f664b3037674d4a554144625a69?_RM_REDIR_=http://www.kotak.com/kotaklp/SavingsAccount/SavingsAccount.html?utm_source=Rediff&utm_medium=BANNER&utm_campaign=6percentIMPACT_Rediff_180x150&#8243; target=”_new”><IMG SRC=”http://imads.rediff.com/0/OasDefault/Kotak_Spon_Ros_Island/kotak_180x150.gif&#8221; WIDTH=180 HEIGHT=150 BORDER=0></A>

A meeting of the faculty of arts and sciences at Harvard University in the United States has voted to remove the summer economic courses taught by Janata Party leader Dr Subramanian Swamy.

The decision was taken after a heated debate, according to The Harvard Crimson, the campus newspaper.

Comparative Religion Professor Diana L Eck brought the amendment to exclude Dr Swamy’s Economics S-110 (Quantitative Methods in Economics and Business and Economics) and S-1316 (Economic Development in India [ Images ] and East Asia) from the Summer School catalogue.

Dr Swamy got his PhD in economics in 1965 from Harvard and served as an assistant and associate professor.

Ever since Dr Swamy wrote an op-ed article in the Mumbai newspaper DNA in July, calling for the disfranchisement of non-Hindus who do not acknowledge Hindu ancestry and a ban on conversion among other contentious demands, he has been in the eye of a storm. Dr Swamy’s article came days after the serial bombings in Mumbai on July 13.

Two PhD students, Umang Kumar and Sanjay Pinto, started an online petition asking for the removal of courses taught by Dr Swamy, which received more than 450 signatures from students and faculty. However, Harvard sided with Dr Swamy on the principle of free speech.

‘Swamy’s op-ed clearly crosses the line by demonising an entire religious community and calling for violence against their sacred places,’ Eck said, adding that Harvard has a moral responsibility not to affiliate itself with anyone who expresses hatred towards a minority group.

According to the Crimson, ‘There is a distinction between unpopular and unwelcome political views.’

Many faculty members felt the article was not free speech, but hate speech. “Swamy’s position on disenfranchisement is like saying Jewish Americans and African Americans should not be allowed to vote unless they acknowledge the supremacy of white Anglo Saxon Protestants,” said History Professor Sugata Bose, a grandnephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Dean of the Summer School Donald H Pfister explained that courses included in the catalog are chosen by individual departments. ‘I find (Dr Swamy’s) position reprehensible, but on the other hand, it is our duty to support departments and their offerings,’ he said.

‘I was persuaded… that the views expressed in Dr Swamy’s op-ed piece amounted to incitement of violence instead of protected political speech,’ Philosophy Department Chair Sean D Kelly wrote in an e-mail to the Crimson.

Umang Kumar and Sanjay Pinto’s petition was launched under the banner of Coalition Against Bigotry at Harvard.

It said ‘Swamy’s views are deeply offensive; they are also dangerous. The measures he proposes — far out of step with the everyday secularism and tolerance embodied by most Indians — would threaten to tear apart the basic fabric of India’s pluralist democracy. And, as Indians know too well, the brand of rhetoric that he employs has fueled violence against religious minorities in the past.’

According to Kumar and Pinto, Swamy’s comments crossed a line. “They stereotype an entire population of people. How can this man who expresses these views, who’s basically saying that India should only be for Hindus and not for other people, and denigrating all Muslims, how can he teach students at Harvard?” asked Pinto.

“Both of us decided we really needed to take action. His comments are wrong on many levels. They put forth a vision of Indian society in which not all religious groups are welcome, which is very different from the India that both of us know,” Pinto said after the petition was launched.

Dr Swamy told the Crimson that he was a religiously tolerant person. ‘I can’t condemn all Muslims. I’m not against them. I never said Muslims as a whole are terrorists.’

He claimed that the response in India to his op-ed was positive. ‘I don’t think anyone in India, except the left wing, has been upset by my article. There has been wholesale support,’ he said.

Ultimately, Harvard university said it was distressed by his statements, but stood by Dr Swamy on the principle of free speech.

In a statement, Division of Continuing Education spokesperson Linda A Cross said, ‘It is central to the mission of a university to protect free speech, including that of Dr Swamy and of those who disagree with him. We are ultimately stronger as a university when we maintain our commitment to the most basic freedoms that enable the robust exchange of ideas.’

The petitioners later said they were not aiming to silencing Dr Swamy. ‘Rather, it calls on Harvard to dissociate itself from someone who engages in hate speech… Dr Swamy’s comments stand in opposition to the goal of fostering reasoned civil discourse at Harvard,’ they said in a statement.

‘In short, we the undersigned condemn Subramanian Swamy and the views that he has expressed in the strongest terms,’ they added. ‘Someone who voices such ideas while continuing to teach at Harvard seriously compromises the university’s integrity, undermining its commitment to diversity and tolerance.’

The Difference Between Being a Lone Nut and Being a Leader (or How Solar Became Viral) | CleanTechnica


Somebody has finally put a number on something we have all had a gut sense about: people are far more likely to follow a trend (in this case, installing solar panels) when it is clearly a trend. But the natural follow-up question is: “when does a trend officially become a trend?”

There is an amusing and inspiring TED talk (core part of it above) that uses a popular YouTube video to illustrate a fairly universal human tendency — to dismiss a true trendsetter as “loonie” until a certain threshold, whereupon, suddenly and magically, what they’re doing becomes a trend. Perhaps you’ve seen the video above before — it’s a lone guy dancing up a storm, painfully alone in a sea of a mostly sedentary audience. You can feel the scorn of those who presume him to be either crazy or drunk — who does that anyways? But this dancin’ fool doesn’t care, he’s oblivious to conformity, and ends up triggering a human landslide. There is a difference between “crazy” and “I don’t care if people think I’m crazy” though, and there is an important lesson to be learned about leadership — and it isn’t obvious, you have to watch the TED talk to get it.
When I put my architecture career on hold to enter into the red hot Ontario microFIT solar market, it was because I knew a sure thing when I saw it. Highest feed-in tariff in the world, highest in world history. Why on Earth would someone say no to earning 14% ROI, protecting your roof, reducing your carbon footprint, ensuring energy independence, boosting your local economy, and displaying what some might argue to be the strongest symbol of environmentalism after the bicycle? You don’t need to be a strong salesperson, this sells itself!
Turns out it wasn’t so easy. Everybody embraced the idea, but it seems many were afraid of looking like a freak. In the early months, aesthetics seemed to be the number one concern, and I frequently questioned my sanity for having left my original career path.
Well, what a difference 18 months makes. I am seeing the solar version of the dancing guy, and I have a few observational notes of my own. Gone is the worry about how panels will look — it is already something people want to show off. Referrals make up about a third of all sales, and there is a spike of interest right after a new installation. The main question now is not ‘if,’ but ‘when,’ and ‘how big.’
So, back to this study I mentioned at the beginning — what effect does it have on people when solar panels are installed near you? If you start with a neighborhood with 25 solar installations, where it was 100 days between the 24th and 25th installation, this peer pressure effect will reduce the time between installations to just 10 days by the 250th [photovoltaic] project.

To summarize, being near solar panel installations seems to step it up within our personal priorities. Otherwise known as “keeping up with the Jones’s.” Everyone has their own reasons, but the link is clear. No real surprise, but it’s great to have a peer-reviewed study to back it up.
Does this make people dumb as sheep? As my mother used to ask me, “if everyone jumped into a lake, would you do the same?” Trends are not always sensible. In 1637 Holland, people had whipped each other into a frenzy to buy tulips; everybody had them and everybody wanted more, literally trading away their houses until the tulip market crashed. And what about powdered wigs? Don’t laugh, everyone was doing it at one time. I don’t pretend to have the answers to what drives certain modes of conformity, but it is important to make a distinction — the people who got up to dance didn’t do so because they wanted to emulate the dancing guy,… they did so because they wanted to dance.
Anyone comparing solar panels to fashion or fads needs to research what peak oil and climate change is. There is not enough room in this article for science lessons, but suffice it to say that environmental awareness is at an all-time high for one simple reason — we are in the age of information and awareness. You can probably thank the internet for a lot of that. And once you learn something, you do not “unlearn” it. We have a truckload of problems bearing down upon us, and solar just happens to be a “shovel-ready” solution which some jurisdictions have made it profitable to participate in. It seems once people discover these issues, they prefer to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. This is why anyone new to the program naturally becomes the best advocate for it. It isn’t surprising that within weeks, all his cousins and his accountant want to get a solar evaluation too.
Awareness is contagious. It doesn’t work the opposite way. Thank God for that!
This guest post came to us from Yoshi Hashimoto, an architect/energy auditor/solar specialist out of Windsor Ontario. Big thanks to Yoshi — I’ve been wanting to write about this for awhile and haven’t been getting to it (and I think he does a much better job of it than I would have), and I hadn’t actually seen news of this new Yale study before he shared it with me. Thanks, Yoshi!
Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/14yrh)

GOOD.is | Smoking Around the World (Raw Image)

How to navigate your way through the holiday credit maze [infographic] – Holy Kaw!

The many faces of the business conference [infographic] – Holy Kaw!

The evolution of the GEEK

evolution of the geek

Source  chelseykilzer for Daily Infographic, 2011. 

PRS | Parliament Track | Report Summaries | FDI in Retail Sector

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce examined the subject of Foreign and Domestic Investment in the Retail sector beginning April 5, 2007 under the chairmanship of Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi. The Committee placed its report before Parliament on June 9, 2009.

Key Issues

The Standing Committee identified certain key issues while analysing the impact of FDI in the retail sector. These are:

a. Modern retail would displace a large number of jobs.

b. Global retail chains would adopt predatory pricing tactics to wipe out domestic competition (small retailers).

c. Once global retail chains are established, they would be in a position to dictate prices for both buying wholesale, and selling retail products.

d. Retailing itself cannot boost GDP. The growth in manufacturing sector needs to be increased.

Findings and Recommendations

Brand product retailing

FDI in retailing of products under a single brand is permitted upto 51% with prior government approval.  Many shops and malls do not adhere to this provision.  


Blanket ban should be imposed on domestic and foreign corporate retailers from entering into retail trade in grocery and food items, and restrictions should be imposed on sale of other consumer products.  Further licences should not be issued for ‘cash and carry’ retail.  Reservation policy should be adopted for small and medium retailers, and financial assistance should be provided for their modernization.

Unemployment created by corporate retail

Over 200 million people in total are dependant on the retail sector.  There exists no built-in policy to relocate or re-employ those dislocated by corporate retail. 


a. Built-in policy to re-employ those dislocated by corporate retail or shopping.

b. A regulatory framework to prevent displacement of small retailers through unfair practices.

c. Traditional system of the small trader must be protected by improving institutional credit for expansion and modernization.

d. A National Commission may be set up to study the problems of the retail sector, and two laws to look after the interests of small retailers, and to regulate anti-competitive practices of corporate retailers respectively, should be enacted.

e. Study of the economic and traffic impact of any large retail store must be made by an independent institution before allowing it to open.

Practices of big retail companies

Big retailers use large amounts of land, space and electricity, and have standards of buying farm produce which promote excessive use of pesticides.


a. Set up a Retail Regulatory Authority to act as a whistle-blower.

b. Planning and environmental laws should be used to curb the growth of malls. Transparent criteria for the granting of licences for setting up such retail outlets should be devised.

Other Recommendations

a. Entry of foreign companies into book publishing needs to be carefully regulated.

b. Creation of safeguards to prevent diversion of agricultural land for setting up malls and retail stores.

c. A model central law should be created to impose strict regulations on big malls and their adherence to labour and environmental laws, etc.


Image Credit: ManagementFunda.com

India urges social media sites to block objectionable content – reports | Reuters

India has asked operators of social media networks, including Facebook, Google (GOOG.O

) and Yahoo (YHOO.O) to screen user content from the country and prevent any “disparaging, inflammatory or defamatory” content from getting published, local media reported on Tuesday.

Telecoms minister Kapil Sibal met executives at those companies on Monday to ask them to implement a monitoring mechanism, but no solution was reached, the reports said.

Sibal is expected to address the media later on Tuesday.

A source with direct knowledge of the development told Reuters that a meeting did take place, adding, the government often asks the companies to remove objectionable content.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment, when contacted by Reuters, while a spokeswoman for Facebook’s external communication could not be reached.

Yahoo India could not offer any immediate comments.

A New York Times report on Monday said Sibal had called the same executives about six weeks ago and had shown them a Facebook page that maligned ruling Congress Party chief Sonia Gandhi and told them it was “unacceptable”.

An official at the ministry of communication and information technology cited Sibal as saying that India does not believe in censorship, but in self-regulation.

The Hindustan Times newspaper said the companies told Sibal that it was impossible to meet his demands given the sheer volume of user-generated content from India.

India now has 100 million Internet users, less than a tenth of the country’s population of 1.2 billion, but still the third-largest user base behind China and the United States. It is seen swelling to 300 million users in the next three years.

(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy in NEW DELHI and Shilpa Jamkhandikar in MUMBAI; writing by Anurag Kotoky; editing by Malini Menon)

What is the deal with Green jobs [Infographic]

This is no Laughing Gas! – London Olympics 2012 – avalokarts

National Voluntary Guidelines for the Social.Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business 2011

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India has formally released the ‘National Voluntary Guidelines for the Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business, 2011” on 8th July 2011.

National Voluntary Guidelines for the Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business, 2011

The guidelines have 9 basic principles as  listed below.

  1. Businesses should conduct and govern themselves with Ethics, Transparency and Accountability
  2. Businesses should provide goods and services that are safe a and contribute to sustainability throughtout their lifecycle
  3. Businesses should promote the  well being of all employees
  4. Businesses should respect the interests of, and be responsive towards all stakeholders, especially those who are disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised
  5. Businesses should respect and promote human rights
  6. Businesses should respect, protect, and make efforts to restore the environment
  7. Businesses, when engaged in Influencing public and regulatory policy, should do so in a responsible manner
  8. Businesses should support Inclusive growth and equitable development
  9. Businesses should engage with and provide value to their customers and consumers in a responsible manner