Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A No-Tears Approach to Life (By Keeping Soap Away From The Naked Eye)

It hurts me see people cry.

The tears flowing down their cheeks, & eyes red due to the strain, makes me wonder what I can do to help prevent the agony. What distresses me even more is the knowledge that this pain of tearful eyes is self-inflicted, & that applying soap to ones eyes would most certainly (& naturally) cause tears to flow……….

It gets more interesting when you see them go on & on & on & on & onnnnnnnnnnnn about the pain, the stress & the fact that they wished they didn’t have to cry. Guess what folks; you needn’t apply soap to your eyes in the 1st place. Try telling this to my tearful friends and they’d snap back at you:

“Ahsan, you think I don’t know that? Stop patronizing me!”

So, in essence what we are saying is we know that applying soap to the naked eye hurts, it has hurt the 1st time you did it, it hurt the 2nd, the 3rd & the 4th time, & yet you have allowed the slippery criminal to go back to offence this time, and when I tell you it is avoidable & that there is no reason why you should be in this agony, you feel I am at fault in telling you the obvious?

Hmmm, right. Me & my big mouth!

Losing cash, borrowing cash, making losses, not controlling expenses are some of the leading international brands of soap. Apply any to your eyes and you can trust the latter to cringe.

Don’t believe me? Try asking your best buddy for $700 and then treat yourself with the beauty of a sleek iPhone 6. Or for that matter, borrow $50 and buy a not-to-be-shown phone or ice creams, for all I care. Wait till the deadline when the loan becomes due for payment, and tell your friend you won’t, can’t or don’t want to pay. In fact, tell her you need a little more to get back the initial amount she had lent.

I’d love to know what happens. You may email me, call me, Whatsapp me or engage me on Skype. Something tells me I know the answer already.  And you know what, my friend, I think even you know that right now.

So my question is, why is it that you mismanage CASH and make decisions that ensure someone is always there at the door, or on the couch, demanding you to pay her? The answer is in the word “self-restraint”, or the lack of it. If you know that you wouldn’t be able to pay on time, or pay at all, just don’t borrow. If you are so freaking good that you would be able to pay in X moments from now, why doesn’t Superman wait those X moments, save that much and buy when cash is in hand? The creative bull**** I get to hear as a response to that is called “Self-Belief” & if you’d want to get technical & throw that Wall Street crap on me, it is called “Leveraging”.

Folks, choose whatever science, philosophy & terms to justify your actions but that fact remains the same. If you want a no-tears life, try following the simple words of ultimate wisdom:

“Dainay wala haat lainay walay sai behtar hai”.  (The hand that gives is better than the one that takes).

Hope you’d choose sensibly if you haven’t already & you’d help your friends too if they are in tears. Till next time, adios amigos!

Friday, May 2, 2014

What we can learn from some traits of 50 leaders (Fortune.com)

  1. Saved the company without resorting to bankruptcy or bailouts
  2. Changed risk-averse, reality-denying, CYA (cover your ass) culture
  3. Hands-off style that gives managers wide leeway and incentivizes them like owners
  4. Three rules of success. The first? Surround yourself with good people. Over the years I’ve forgotten the other two.
  5. Highly demanding
  6. Never offer excuses or give less than maximum effort
  7. Exhorted employees to think big and work for their dreams.
  8. Someone who sees beyond existing constraints to imagine novel solutions to once intractable problems.
  9. Get players working in harmony
  10. Empower the players by sometimes stepping back
  11. Care more about players than to win
  12. Undertake multiple missions
  13. Ability to group employees into small, self managing teams that choose their own managers, compete for internal talent, and can earn big bonuses.
  14. A low-ego leader with big dreams
  15. Still pushing (and pushing)
  16. Understood that he was not just selling a product, he was creating an experience.
  17. He saw value of offering medical insurance to all employees, even part-timers, and pursuing environmental and social projects that inspire employees and attract customers.
  18. Thinking different
  19. Stood up to resistance
  20. Fierce and outspoken defender (of beliefs and values)
  21. Persuasive
  22. Sees each meet as a new chance to change things up
  23. We can do better!
  24. Aggressively expanded (through acquisitions)
  25. Maintaining reputation as one of the most sought-after employers
  26. Infectious optimism, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy
  27. Pursue a long impossibly audacious plan of consolidation—working with governments, powerful labor unions, and other constituencies to rewrite the rules of the game in tough times.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Tribute to the Mentors…..

I have had 2 solid years since I left Pizza Hut. Alhamdolillah!

I feel I need to thank all my mentors who stepped in and tamed me for I was an absolute mess. It wouldn't be possible for me to thank all but the ones who have had the most profound impact on my development were the following individuals:

1. My uncle, Mr. Meherally Mahmud:

1A. "Always have a back-up".

Wow! What a lesson! If only one could pay attention to this and spend time creating back-ups before the crisis hits you.

1B. "Even if you are asked to be a dispatcher, do it in a manner no one else can"

Job description doesn't matter. Pay scale doesn't matter. If one can instill this element in him or her, job security/ success etc would never be an issue.

1C. "Ahsan, you will have to weather the storm!"

Uncle, couldn't you give me an easier way out? ;) Best advice ever!

1D. "Stop comparing yourself to your ex-company"

A very recent advice that has changed the way I am approaching my current assignment.

2. My ex-boss, Richard Unsworth:

2A. "Every problem has 2 legs"

A simple diagnosis of alllllll our personal and professional problems.

2B. "Grab those ***** and jump in"

This line simply extended my shelf-life in retail business. There is no way one can succeed without the mindset of an Operator.

2C. "The 3 N's of fixing someone"

Richard, you need to consider writing a book on this. It is a beautiful and simple way of fixing sooooooooo many problems.

3. My last boss, Rasikh Ismail:

3A. "You're on holidays. Just rejuvenate"

He wouldn't take my calls or let me stay connected to work while I was at home. A difficult route but if done well, it can ensure such calmness in life.

3B. Have the ability to prevent work & personal stresses to overlap and affect each other.

4. My friend, my mentor, the late Babur Firoz Sahib:

4A. "Don't leave Pizza Hut. What you will learn here is something even Universities cannot teach"

During the period when my bottom was getting whipped for my casual, irresponsible behavior. Had I run away from PH in 2009, I would not have been able to get a grip on my internal weaknesses. A big thank you, Babur Sahib for guiding me back then.

4B. "Na jaanay kon duayon mai yaad rakhta hai, mai doobta hoon (aur) samundar uchaal daita hai"

Wah! Babur Sahib, you were one of a kind. :)

4C. A master negotiator thanks to his great ability to keep his emotions' buttons firm within his fingers.

Well, this is something I can probably achieve only with age. Still a long way to go.

A big thank you to these individuals and all the others who have been around me. Still a long way to go before I am able to achieve my vision. And yes, how can I forget Yameen Bhai, Suleman Bhai and Rehan Bhai for shaping my vision.

Alright, back to work now. :)