Thursday, February 7

How mentors help..

A great article on how mentors help..I will just quote a bit

How Are Mentors Valuable to You?

Mentors are helpful because, in addition to expertise in their field, they have a network of business professionals and, most importantly, they are willing to share what and who they know. People who mentor are likely to have had mentors at some point who helped them understand their industry better, hone their strengths or sharpen skills.

The mentor/ mentee relationship is a symbiotic relationship. "It is important to remember that this is a two-way relationship. While you are looking to benefit from the mentor, you are also looking to help the mentor," says Imad Lodhi, a veteran of IBM and the outsourcing industry.

While many times the mentee seems to get the better part of the deal, the person doing the mentoring gets something out of it, too. He or she can directly impact another person's life for the better. "By helping another person succeed, you help create a brighter future for all of us, and gain the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference in someone's life," Lodhi says.

That said, mentees should also do what they can to help their mentors. For example, a younger mentee may be more knowledgeable about building an online brand or being a social influencer. Sharing your knowledge is one way to contribute to the relationship.

I have the privilege of having some great mentors and the reverse as well. This week, had a good session and met up with several new mentees and students. I asked my friends, what is a group of mentees called and these were some of the suggestions:

  • telemachi
  • mentos (womentos as well..)
  • mentees gmbh
  • coo
  • cuddle
  • consultation
  • tutelage
  • gurus
  • classment

heh, nice one, but it is nice to be in this kind of a relationship and help them..

Wednesday, February 6

Solitude and Leadership


Here's an interesting lecture. Focus. Discipline. Some of the interesting aspects that we miss out on. I'm guilty of the same. Too much multi tasking. 

But solitude is important and I'm happy you are self confident enough to be comfortable with being alone. People rush about wanting to be social but if one is comfortable, has books, they have all the company they need. 



"Solitude and Leadership" by William Deresiewicz [Send Me a Story]

A speech on the value of being alone with your thoughts, delivered to the plebe class at West Point.

Solitude and Leadership
On the enduring value of being alone with your thoughts.
William Deresiewicz | The American Scholar | Apr 2010

The lecture below was delivered to the plebe class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in October 2009.

My title must seem like a contradiction. What can solitude have to do with leadership? Solitude means being alone, and leadership necessitates the presence of others—the people you’re leading. When we think about leadership in American history we are likely to think of Washington, at the head of an army, or Lincoln, at the head of a nation, or King, at the head of a movement—people with multitudes behind them, looking to them for direction. And when we think of solitude, we are apt to think of Thoreau, a man alone in the woods, keeping a journal and communing with nature in silence.

Leadership is what you are here to learn—the qualities of character and mind that will make you fit to command a platoon, and beyond that, perhaps, a company, a battalion, or, if you leave the military, a corporation, a foundation, a department of government. Solitude is what you have the least of here, especially as plebes. You don’t even have privacy, the opportunity simply to be physically alone, never mind solitude, the ability to be alone with your thoughts. And yet I submit to you that solitude is one of the most important necessities of true leadership. This lecture will be an attempt to explain why.

We need to begin by talking about what leadership really means. I just spent 10 years teaching at another institution that, like West Point, liked to talk a lot about leadership, Yale University. A school that some of you might have gone to had you not come here, that some of your friends might be going to. And if not Yale, then Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and so forth. These institutions, like West Point, also see their role as the training of leaders, constantly encourage their students, like West Point, to regard themselves as leaders among their peers and future leaders of society. Indeed, when we look around at the American elite, the people in charge of government, business, academia, and all our other major institutions—senators, judges, CEOs, college presidents, and so forth—we find that they come overwhelmingly either from the Ivy League and its peer institutions or from the service academies, especially West Point.

Monday, February 4

"The Girl Who Tried to Save the World"


What an great story about a girl who saved the world in her special way. 

She is an extreme example of what I call as people who refuse to work to society's usual somnolent standards. Most folks are vegetables son, only concerned with their immediate family and friends. That's all. Which is ok. Each have their own views and rights to do what they want out of their lives. 

But every now and then, a great soul like this come along and blows you away (no pun intended). They have maniacal energy. They do not respect boundaries. They achieve huge things. 

Very impressive son. Dream big things and never let anybody say no. Make it happen. 




The life and death of Marla Ruzicka, a young aid worker in Baghdad.

The Girl Who Tried to Save the World
The life and death of Marla Ruzicka, a young aid worker in Baghdad.
Janet Reitman | Rolling Stone | Jun 2005

On the afternoon of Saturday, April 16th, Marla Ruzicka sat in her unarmored Mercedes, talking on the phone with her friend Colin McMahon, a reporter in the Baghdad bureau of the Chicago Tribune. She’d had a “great” round of meetings in the Green Zone, she told McMahon, and was just leaving the fortified compound in the hopes of squeezing in one last meeting before the end of the day. The Green Zone, which sits on the west bank of the Tigris River, used to be the heart of Saddam’s empire, and now houses the U.S. Embassy, the Iraqi Parliament and other offices of the new Iraqi government. Outside of the Green Zone, in Baghdad itself, the security situation changes hourly. A route that was safe at noon could be unsafe at 1 p.m. A neighborhood that was peaceful at dawn could be in flames by lunchtime.

A petite, blond, twenty-eight-year-old humanitarian-aid worker from Northern California, Ruzicka knew the volatility of Baghdad as well as anyone. She was virtually the only American aid worker in the Iraqi capital. She was the founder of a small nongovernmental organization called CIVIC — the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict — which assisted families whose lives had been ripped apart in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Passionate and driven, Ruzicka worked seven days a week, eighteen hours a day, driving around the city with her Iraqi colleague Faiz Ali Salim. The two spent most of their days compiling data on the number of civilian casualties in Iraq, which Ruzicka then used to lobby American officials to compensate the victims’ families, often arranging for wounded children to be evacuated in order to receive medical treatment in the United States. It was revolutionary work — virtually no other aid group or worker has negotiated with the U.S. government on behalf of civilians injured in American military actions — but it was exhausting. Ruzicka, who had begun to demonstrate some of the classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, was preparing to leave Baghdad the next day for a vacation in Thailand and then a long rest back in the United States. Leaving was difficult. “This place continues to break my heart,” she wrote to a friend in London earlier in the month. “Need to get out of here — but hard!”

Sunday, February 3

What are the odds of having a pee free pool?

heh, nice question.

Many of us have spent time beside a pool. And you have probably wondered: what are the odds that no children (or adults, for that matter) have peed in the water? When pressed, we'd have to admit that the odds that the pool is pee-free are close to zero, but the lack of absolute certainty allows us to relax and swim anyway. We may comfort ourselves with some fuzzy thought about chlorine, or the immense volume of the pool relative to a few bladders, and our concerns slip away.

When things are very close to being certain, but we are still able to pretend otherwise, we are experts at using this window, small though it may be, and expanding it. For example, lots of people don't wash their hands after visiting the lavatory. We all know this, but we can happily imagine that everyone who cooks and serves in a restaurant we patronise does. At least until we see a server leave the stall, straighten their shirt in the mirror, and walk out without so much as a rinse. Dinner is served ruined! It's only when we face direct evidence that we can no longer put our heads in the sand.

Quite an interesting psychological insight into our behaviour, no? But then, the follow up question is, how many people will start washing their hands after seeing that behaviour? Take my own example, I have pee’ed into the pool when I was a child and teenager and then stopped. Washing hands after taking a pee? only idiots who didn't wash their penis’s and keep it clean and manage to get pee over their hands need to wash. Or so I thought.

Its only much later that I realise that the reason you wash your hands is not because of the bacteria on your wee or penis, but because more we wash, the more the overall toilets are cleaner. You have a bigger chance of catching an illness from the taps, the door handles, etc. etc. than from having a few spots of wee on your hands from your tinkle..