Acceptance

I came across this beautiful note on acceptance, that reminded me of soulfulness.. thought of sharing and having in my notes here.

When we don’t accept an undesired event, it becomes *Anger*;
when we accept it, it becomes *Tolerance.*

When we don’t accept uncertainty,
it becomes *Fear*;
when we accept it,
it becomes *Adventure.*

When we don’t accept other’s bad behaviour towards us,
it becomes *Hatred;*
when we accept it,
it becomes *Forgiveness.*

When we don’t accept other’s Success, it becomes *Jealousy;* when we accept it,
it becomes *Inspiration.*

Acceptance is the key to handling life well.
……… Have a beautiful day.

Building Self, Creating Impact, Enriching Profile

Most of us, in our youth, are enamored of the world around us that is always enticing with its glitters and sparkles. We have so much within! We hardly invest time to think about our self, not to talk of action. It is time each one of us starts doing.

We are all powerful. We can be winners. We can impact big time. We have enough examples around us – from the Prime Minister of the country to very many inspiring people from all walks of life, who are in a continuous pursuit of realizing their purpose, chasing every goal of theirs, passionately. Each one of us can be one such. The last article, ‘Ikigai’, initiates the exercise of finding our purpose and meaning of life. In this article, I am going to share about building our ‘Self’, while contributing to the context we are in, which in turn enriches our profile.

Let us look at the Abraham Maslow’s seminal work on ‘self’, hierarchy of needs. John Antonio brought it into social media context. I am creating a framework that is built upon these.

maslows-heirarchy-building-your-profile-in-real-world-and-social-world-v2-1

 

Every being goes through these phases, termed as hierarchy of human needs –

  1. Physiological needs – Oxygen(air), sleep, quenching thirst and hunger, clothing
  2. Safety and Security needs – Shelter, Protection from vagaries of weather, to safety and stability in life
  3. Belonging – love, affection, relationships and family provide the emotional needs
  4. Esteem – Enhancing and demonstrating Capabilities that builds self-esteem, reputation and status
  5. Self-actualization – Personal fulfillment, in the process contributing to larger good

Physiological and Safety needs are termed as basic needs – that of survival; while the needs of Belonging, Esteem and Self-actualization are termed as social needs. As one quenches the lower level needs, one starts thinking about the next higher level need. The journey is un-ending while it is incredibly enriching too. We grow in the process, while we keep pushing our boundaries, discovering our unknown self. More we push, greater is the realization and impact we cause and higher is the enrichment.

Each one of us, educated, is fortunate to have our basic needs – especially the physiological needs and to a great extent, the safety needs, fulfilled by our family and well wishers. Yes, with self-doubts that question our own capabilities, we may fall short on career or emotional stability. We can equip ourselves to overcome these shortcomings with positivity. Believe in our own selves, have confidence in our abilities and have conviction in our actions. We need to work on our state of mind, constantly, to be positive and purposeful.

Cycle of Excellence

excellence-cycle

Our thoughts are all powerful. Our positive thoughts influence the language, the words we use. Repeated use of the energizing words brings about the compelling action. Compelling actions will result in impactful outcomes, which reinforce the confidence and positive frame of mind. This cycle of excellence is unending. It is transformational. This fuels our journey to realize the infinite potential within.

[In this frame of positivity, it makes imminent sense to establish our profile in the social space – social media – the presence in the virtual space of this ever evolving connected world. Most of us are present in a few of these destinations like Facebook or Instagram to name a few, for fun mostly by sharing some interesting happenings in the form of stories or photos or videos. It is time we think of being in each of these spaces, with all the purposefulness that shall add to our ever evolving self, to aid our realization of the larger picture and public good ]

Once we get on to the cycle of excellence, fuelled by our purposefulness, the social context that we are in, can add that much more. Our family, friends and relationships can give the strength and confidence to head towards our larger vision. In this pursuit, we can connect with people or groups, bodies who work in our space of interest. The engaging conversations with people who share our beliefs and passions builds our community affiliations, that can further reinforce our purposeful and our journey. List out our passions and interests, and look out for people or bodies with whom we can engage to build your journey. Stretch yourselves and reach out, get involved. We need to consciously build these connects and affiliations.

[These affiliations and connects can be further fuelled by being alive and kicking on the social media, in the current context. The social media has the power to make connects in an unimaginable way. It is a double edged sword, and certainly depends on how we put it to use. If used wisely, it can make a big difference to our journey, in the process enriching our profile.

 Think of building your own website or a blog on one of the platforms like wordpress, which is very easy to handle. Be on Linkedin that enables you to connect with professionals in your area of work. Get onto Twitter to follow people, institutions and journals of eminence while sharing your thoughts too. Start engaging and interacting with the connects in a purposeful way. Slowly build your web presence that can build your community and affiliations.]

As you become active in various spaces, engaging with people and involved in activities, voicing your thoughts and opinions while helping others also to grow in the process of your growing, the journey will start becoming more meaningful. This brings more opportunities, more doors open to push your boundaries and to realize greater possibilities and potentials. In the process, knowingly or unknowingly, your brand building is happening.

[Continue to share your learning on your website or blog as a regular process of self-growth. In the connected world, you will be surprised how you create new connections with strangers and friends, who are on their path of excellence; who feel that you resonate with their thoughts and journey. It adds the domino effect to your growth, evolution and excellence. Many an entrepreneurial journey thus began]

As you continue on this journey, you will reach new heights, of course not without a lot of struggles. The struggles are part of every success story. As someone said, “Overnight success is a result of twenty years of slogging.” The struggles actually help you realize that you are more capable and you are on the path to realize the higher goals that you have set for yourself, the big picture will continue to refine itself. Your mission of realizing your potential and goals, will certainly be aided by the profile that you have been building on the social media in more ways than you had ever imagined.

4P FRAMEWORK for showcasing your PROFILE

I shall wind up this article with my 4P framework to share your profile. Kindly dig deep and explore on each of these dimensions to give insights into who you are and will be. Work towards enriching each of these dimensions, by creating opportunities or taking advantage of one. Identify the leadership roles and activities that you have done in each of these dimensions to highlight.

Purpose

 Sharing of your larger vision and purpose conveys your outlook towards life. It conveys the direction you are heading and how your past or present connects to the future.

·         Institutions, employers and employees alike will enjoy seeing what goals a person has. Let these goals be both career oriented and personally oriented, such as scuba dive, rock climbing, music or blogging, shayari…

Professional

 ·   Learning/knowledge – Share the schools that you have attended and every degree or certification that you may have; other courses that you might have pursued beyond your graduation or academic requirements

·   Skills are important because they show Institutions / Employers and networking connections why they should connect with you. They showcase why you would be an asset to the institution/company and to the person. Skills can include leadership, management, organization, communication, hard work and interpersonal skills.

Passions

·         Interests and passions give people a feel of who you are as an individual. This makes people connect to you as a person on a personal level.

·         This also shows you being a keen learner who is not afraid of exploring the unknown;

·         As a very balanced individual with avenues to reduce stress and rejuvenate oneself to be on the path of purposefulness.

Public Good

 This is an opportunity for you to stand apart from other candidates because many people overlook this dimension.

  • Share personally meaningful values, important ones – such as innovation, health, fitness, responsibility, success, challenges or intellect, and share instances of demonstration

·         List your experience and contribution to any form charity work or public good.

Believe in yourselves. Build your profile. Enjoy the journey of realizing your larger purpose.

Why do I exist? Finding purpose and meaning in life – IKIGAI

Every year, for the last couple of decades, I have been meeting youth at CL Educate as well as across the country on my travels, while working with various institutions; most of the youth keep wondering what they want to do in life, while a few are enamored of a particular career, course or institution for what they have heard about these as “holds promise”, “Zindagi banjayegi” etc. The thought process or plan, of most of the youth is usually short term, on the basis of ‘financial returns – salary’ or lifestyle it affords.

The real mozo happens only when one finds his purpose for existence. As Late Dr. Abdul Kalam said, “Dreams are not those one sees in his sleep, but those that do not allow one to sleep.” Indeed, when one knows his purpose and meaning of life, it is a celebration. You live, breathe, eat, drink, think and sleep for that very purpose.

I have been pre-occupied with this thought of – How do I facilitate the youth to arrive at their purpose – thinking purposeful and doing purposeful. While I created a framework on facilitating the youth to think through, I came across this concept from a Japanese philosophy – IKIGAI! In this short note, I am bringing various interesting frameworks that could be of value in finding one’s own purpose for life and working towards realizing that infinite potential that exists within. This will also enable you to work on making your profile compelling, that reflects in your thoughts and actions, helps you to leave lasting impression in any face to face interaction.

IKIGAI – Purpose and Meaning of Life

Ikigai is a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being”. Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. Such a search is regarded as being very important, since it is believed that discovery of one’s ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life. Examples include work, hobbies and raising children.

The term ikigai compounds two Japanese words: iki meaning “life; alive” and kai (sequentially voiced as gai),  “(an) effect; (a) result; (a) fruit; (a) worth; (a) use; (a) benefit; (no, little) avail” “a reason for living [being alive]; a meaning for [to] life; what [something which] makes life worth living; a raison d’etre”.

In the culture of Okinawa, ikigai is thought of as “a reason to get up in the morning”; that is, a reason to enjoy life. In a TED Talk, Dan Buettner suggested ikigai as one of the reasons people in the area had such long lives.

The word ikigai is usually used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile. Secondly, the word is used to refer to mental and spiritual circumstances under which individuals feel that their lives are valuable. It’s not necessarily linked to one’s economic status or the present state of society. Even if a person feels that the present is dark, but they have a goal in mind, they may feel ikigai. Behaviours that make us feel ikigai are not actions which we are forced to take—these are natural and spontaneous actions.

In the article named Ikigai — jibun no kanosei, kaikasaseru katei (“Ikigai: the process of allowing the self’s possibilities to blossom”) Kobayashi Tsukasa says that “people can feel real ikigai only when, on the basis of personal maturity, the satisfaction of various desires, love and happiness, encounters with others, and a sense of the value of life, they proceed toward self-realization.” The very self-actualization that Abraham Maslow also spoke about in his seminal work “Hierarchy of needs”, that we will talk about later or in another article, as a frame work to build ones profile.

We’re trying to find our passion; Our purpose; What makes our lives worthwhile and will give us that joy on a daily basis.

An important distinction is that Ikigai doesn’t strictly mean your career or your economic status, but it is representative of all aspects of your life: physical, emotional, spiritual, cultural, social, professional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational and so on. It is the culmination of your life as a whole.

Moreover, Ikigai is not forced; rather it is something that emerges from within and that we are willing to do. These are natural actions and behaviors. We’re not trying to become something we are not.

ikigai-sreeni

How Do You Achieve Ikigai?

Ikigai can be achieved by answering four distinct questions.

1.What do you love?

Irrespective of all other factors, what are the things you love to do, without limiting by telling yourself how trivial it is. You probably are aware of these already, though you may not know what to do with them quite yet. If you’re not sure, try asking yourself, “What can you not ‘not do’? ”

This question is getting to the heart of who you are and what you’re all about. What are the things that you love, that you do repeatedly, that you always come back to? What is the thing that you can get lost in for hours on end, without even noticing, without even having food and sleep? The thing that doesn’t feel like work; The thing that infuses infinite energy; thing that makes you feel alive.

The thing you can not ‘not do’?

We may not have taken the time to notice these parts of our life before, but when you ask these sorts of questions, they come to the fore. You may be staring that skill or idea or field in the face, but simply never thought of it in that way. You just have to notice.

Let me bring my dear friend Dina Ralte as an example here. Dina was my classmate at IIM Bangalore and has been crazy about music since childhood. She could not ‘not do’ without music every day. That passion, like a powerful tsunami found its destination. Found a soulmate in Sonam Sherpa and thus formed one of the most popular musical band of South-Asia. You will see her in the first visuals here, crooning with her guitar and also Sonam.

2. What are you good at?

Everyone typically has some traits or skills that they excel at. They may not like it or want to pursue it, but if you look at yourself, you have inherent strengths, as well as weaknesses.

If you don’t enjoy your talents, it may be a matter of applying them differently. If that doesn’t work, the beautiful thing is that you can become good, if not great, at a lot of things. Putting in the time and effort is key and can even be easy, when you’re working to get good at the things you love.

As I travel, I document stories of people who are pursuing their lives with gumption, who asked “What am I good at.” Enough stories here, on this very website of mine about UNSUNG Heroes – Ponnuchammy and others

Ponnuchammy, The Madurai soupman
Ponnuchammy, The Madurai soupman

These first two questions I think are the core of finding Ikigai. They build the foundation for you to find many avenues with the help of the next two questions.

3. What does the world need?

A lot when you think about it. In our own cities and countryside in India, to half way across the world, there are a lot of problems to be solved – clean air, food, housing, energy, water conservation, sanitation, waste management, transportation, connectivity, financial access, education, skills, livelihood, human excellence etc. If you can find one that interests you, then explore the advances in that domain, where is the world heading, how a few people are making a big difference – read about it, watch on Youtube, TED and other sources to be aware and to guide you.

I bring in here, two inspiring individuals, who have been students in my/our classrooms – Nirmal Kumar, an MBA aspirant in 2005 in the classrooms at CL Educate and Jaydeep Mandal, a student who did his MBA at our business school, Indus World School of Business in 2008-10  IWSB

Nirmal Kumar introducing G-Auto concept (2013)

Jaydeep Mandal talking about Aakar innovations‘ ANANDI (low cost sanitary napkin)

4. What can you be paid for?

Anything that you are good at! You just need to find people who need what are you capable of, what good are you good at, passionate about or what are you selling. You may have to get a bit creative, but there’s something of value within the things you love and what the world needs. You just have to seek it out.

Putting these together allow you to find different parts of yourself. Understanding what you love and what you’re good at leads you to passion.  On the other hand, finding what the world needs and what you can be paid for identifies your vocation.

Here I bring in an inspiring friend, Arun Pai, who is the initiator Bangalore Walks.

Also checkout what Anamik Nagrik behind “The Ugly Indian” is doing.

The intersection of all of these is where you achieve Ikigai. Of course this isn’t something that happens over night. It takes many of us years or our entire lifetime just to realize our passion, so I can only imagine finding your Ikigai would be that much more difficult.

Even so, it’s the ultimate form of self-actualization and a worthy one at that. Hopefully these questions can help you start to discover where you should be going to achieve your own reason for being.

So the question is, are you excited to wake up tomorrow?

Visit www.sreeni.org for a detailed article on Ikigai

Happy Ikigai-ying! 😉

Ref: Wiki, Youtube and various articles by thinkers on the net. Thanks to each one.

VCCircle conference on Edu-Investments, November 18, Gurgaon, India – My notes as a Panelist

I was part of two sessions, one as a panelist and the other as a special invitee… Here is my notes – Pre-event, during Event and post thoughts…

PANEL

Edupreneurs: Revolutionising the Effectiveness of Education Delivery Systems (How can edupreneurs work in a dichotomic market like India to merge the chasms between the organized and highly unorganized education sector in the country, mainly higher education? Building sustainable businesses is the key to being a successful entrepreneur. How should entrepreneurs and institutes walk away from working in silos and leverage each other’s strength in creating a robust education system?

Panel Members –

– Manjula Pooja Shroff, Chairperson, Kalorex – Moderator
– Bindu Rana, Director, Millenium schools
– Prachi Windlass, Director, Michael and Susan Dell foundation, INDIA
– Gopal Devanahalli, VP, Manipal Global Education, Manipal Group
– R. Sreenvasan, Co-Founder, CL Educate

cxsotorxeaanhw6-jpg-large

Each one planned to introduce oneself and ones work, in short….

My Pre-Event NOTES of CL Educate Intro…

Career Launcher is a leader in –
– Test Prep
– K-12 education – Indus world schools
– Skill education – skill schools

Also through the following entities, CL does capacity building of University and Corporate

– CL Media – Digital Presence
– GK Publications – Curricula and Pedagogy; Curriculum Support & Publishing
– 361 degree – On Demand  Learning
– Accendere – Research Incubator
– Bilakes – Business Incubation & Seed Funding
– Kestone – Corporate empowerment and building institutional Partnerships

Statistics in Numbers

CL – 265 locations, 1.5 million engaged, over 1.5 lakhs more than 50 hours
Accendere – Research incubation, Patenting, Journal publishing
CL Media – 163 institutions trust with us for branding, outreach and awareness building
Kestone – integrated marketing,events, customer activation, training, staffing; 100 corporates, 500 events – wipron nokia, microsoft, snapdeal, PayTM
G K P – 1.5 million books.. career and education
361 degree – largest in India – online enabling partner for University and corporates over 20K learners

Footprint – 20K schools and colleges; 1.5 lakh students > 18,200 hours on our web offerings per week

What CL does at UNIVERSITIES AND INSTITUTIONS

Academic Thought Leadership, International Presence, Institution Credibility

– Capacity building of universities and institutions, learning institutions
– Consulting Visioning Strategic Thinking
– Faculty, Academic development, Research and innovation
– Admissions: Outreach and Application – TAAF Services
– MARTECHING
– skill education
– Incubation and entrepreneurship
– Career Development Center – Employability, Higher studies facilitation

—CONTEXT——- current market scenario —–challenges for the nation

Only 18% graduates are employable in India
91% software professionals lack programming and algorithm skills while 60% lack domain skills
71% lack soft and cognitive skills while 73% lack English speaking and comprehension skills
57.96% have poor analytical and quantitative skills
For core jobs in mechanical, electronics/electrical and civil jobs, only a mere 7.49% are employable


The session was supposed to be on higher-education, but the panel felt that the continuum from school to university has similar challenges and reforms are needed across the segments. Also opportunities and investment needs do exist across. So the pre-session discussion covered the entire spectrum.

Pre-event notes of each of the panelists..

Issues I noted down ..

– Democratization of Learning and its access
– Contestability of markets, access to Universities
– Digital technologies and creating impact
– Mobility and the influence in learning; Global Mobility
– Integration with industry; Industry funding research
– Opportunities for entrepreneurs and Funding possibilities

– Life-long LEARNERS, COURAGE, HUMILITY : Key, How to instill?

Gopal Devanahalli wanted to talk about

– I would like to focus on higher education and continuing education for working professionals.
– Changing learning needs of working professionals – esp in certain industries like IT
– Online courses & types of courses that are relevant to the learners
– The effectiveness of the online delivery model and how to make it more effective.
– Regulatory issues

Prachi Jain Windlass  wanted to talk about the following –

– Opportunity areas in K12 education, college entrance and career readiness.
– Opportunities for collaboration and leveraging the ecosystem. Many of our portfolio companies: Avanti, Convegenius and OnlineTyari are taking this approach. understanding their core and leveraging the ecosystem for non core areas.
– Our experience in breaking down the silos in the govt education system, and the role that private sector players can play, risks involved.

Manjula Pooja Shroff of Kalorex wanted to focus upon
– Changing scenarios
– Integration of k-12 to Higher Ed
– Teaching Learning delivery process

Bindu Rana’s concerns included

– Challenges in running schools – to deliver the intended
– Regulations stifling the effectiveness
– Challenges in setting up rural schools – quality, price point, training, delivery

– Why cannot the government see education as any other industry? With challenges of access and quality existing all across..

  • Promote PPP models across
  • Engage and bring in private partners to collaborate in school and university systems
  • Use technology to improve training of teachers in enriching content, pedagogy and all processes
  • ….

Other Issues discussed across panels – My notes

Is the nation ready for only digital? Is that trend every where?
– hybrid model is the most successful one
– engaging is the key, mentoring, giving the confidence

Lessons from failures? Key to success
– Team with vision
– sustainable relationship within and with customer
– respect with disagreements in board room and among the team members

Skill education went through cycles.. now we are in the third..
A. IT education – 80s and 90s
B. Sales upgradation – 2000 onwards..
C. now vocational? Entrepreneurship
– quality of higher education is lacking
– rote to conceptual learning, how will we make it happen
– concept of job, loyalty shifting
– nature of learning will have to shift
– propensity to entrepreneurship
– learning to learn paradigm

How do we enable learners to face VUCA?

– VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity
– learning, calling passion from within, help others raise their capabilities

Public education….how to revive?
– policy enablement

– Rote to Conceptual learning?
– edtech – retrain teachers, students,
– appraising teachers, reward them, being discipline,monitor

Home schooling
– becoming popular
– investment opportunities?
– work-life, work-home balancing

Key to succeed in Education space

Quality first, then scale
Be prepared for long haul, then scale
Then comes franchising

—————————————————– As a special invitee..

AKAMAI Presentation – Digital delivery platform, especially Video that will be 80% of the content on-line in the near future..

– formats : 5 min and 20 min content
– launch has to be fast, else you lose the client/subscriber

High quality
– no stalling/no buffering;
– always available, relevant,
– no data plan restrictions

Education on mobility? what are the trends, and what will be challenges of the future..

Instant user experience – FB provides
Consume as much as possible
Offline content goes online – you tube
Download during nights, local content play while travel
Challenges about space on device
Battery running out – delete the app

Here is the link to a set of photographs of the event uploaded by VCCircle on their FB page https://www.facebook.com/VCC-Events-1176152369113449/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1355409131187771

Save

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Empowerment to Excellence Program @ Dibrugarh University

The EMPOWERMENT TO EXCELLENCE Programme by CL Educate at Dibrugarh University has been a big learning experience for every active participant of the programme, including me in some sense. The impact in the four days has been no less than ‘transformational’, as most students shared. Of course, a 2-day outbound program preceding this would have been even more impactful and life-changing.
‘Empowerment to Excellence’ at Dibrugarh University was a four-day intense, interactive programme to initiate and facilitate every student of Engineering and Management faculty to –

  • Understand one-self
  • Create a vision for oneself, for one’s career and life
  • write a “Statement of Purpose” : Set Long term and Short term goals
  • Realize the elements of personal effectiveness, and plan to work on self
  • Understand the secrets of an effective communicator
  • Identify ones strengths and areas of concern for improvement
  • Be a good participant and contributor in group discussions and group activities
  • Be an effective presenter and communicator
  • Reflect, introspect and realize areas for action, from ones participation in the program
  • set an agenda and action plan for personal growth
  • Commitment to one’s own development and also development of the entire group

The program schedule, session plan and process were as per the agreed frame work. We adhered to the schedule given, to a great extent. The session plan for GD / Communication underwent a little change due to change in the number of participants.

My reflections at the end of the programme –

  1. “Awakening”: Managed to infuse energy and purposefulness among the participants
  2. Every participant has been shaken, active ones have woken up to his or her potential and the possibilities; they are charged to push themselves to give their best
  3. Many have started working on their “Statement of Purpose”; the dialogue is on regularly in the whatsapp groups
  4. The barriers between the departments have been broken; For the first time they got to know about the students from other departments as they worked in cross-functional teams in various sessions. By the end of the programme they gelled as if they all are one.
  5. The realization among the students that the campus has enough resources within to create productive interactions and activities to sharpen their skills; They have promised to engage themselves at least once a month
  6. The participants realized how they can effectively use the social media platforms to further their career goals; They shared about these as the sessions progressed

At the end of this program, and with my experience at IWSB and other universities, I am convinced that –

  1. “Empowerment to Excellence” programme should be preceded by an outbound program, where the participants have to challenge themselves in many situations, mostly physical or strategic in nature; that helps every student push boundaries and realize his or her immense capabilities.
  2. “Empowerment to Excellence” should be integral to every university programme, especially every university that we are facilitating. All our other programmes will be immensely effective if we take student through this programme.
  3. This program should be in the second year of the four-year undergraduate program (like BE/BTech) and in the first year of Post-grad programme; We should have this before the academic year commences. And must be a compulsory programme, as it is beyond imagination of any student, how it can really impact.

With such a series of initiatives, students will become very purposeful and it will become integral to every students thoughts and actions. This could make a huge difference to their journey in the university, with student working towards his/her goal, empowering oneself with all that he or she needs to excel in career and life.

Student’s Presentations, Reflections and Feedback

A. Kindly watch the videos of a few presentations and reflections of the participants at the end of the programme, uploaded on the youtube channel of CL Educate, under

Dibrugarh University : Empowerment to Excellence playlist –

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYIF2mj1kyOCmToc2rx3pJsgw3qMI-3dx

Presentation sample – Most of them were presenting for the first time ever in front of a couple of hundred audience from across the departments of the University

Reflection of learning – Sample –

These set of videos also showcase the effectiveness and impact of the programme through

– The reflections of shifts made by the participants and

– Commitment of participants for their own future and that of the group


Delighted to see the feedback of students on SURVEYMONKEYt –

– Over 80% of the students have rated the conceptual sessions ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very good’

– Over 70% have rated the Drills / Group Activities / Presentations sessions ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very good’. We made sure that every one got a couple of drills, still that is not enough. More and more practice needed here. Unfortunately we had time constraint. I have asked the students to do their own drills. Shall continue to push them through Whatsapp.

– Over 90% have rated the facilitators ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very good’

Of course we can always be better than what we are. Hope we will continue on that path.

In another post, I shall share part of the PDF with detailed feedback that a few students shared. Their delight in their personal growth through the four days comes through these sharing.

Education, a space to create lasting impact for generations

Going by the consumer behavioural studies, researchers in marketing have documented that, every DELIGHTED customer shares with at least 6 of his friends / families about his great experience with a brand. He becomes a brand ambassador to endorse your brand among his friends and acquaintances. It has been estimated that in the era of social media, this effect multiplies to about 60 folds (spreads across the country and the world).

On the contrary, a DEJECTED and DISAPPOINTED customer, shares with no less than 20 of his friends/acquaintances/strangers about the abysmal service rendered, and this spreads anywhere between 80-100 folds! People take pleasure in sharing ‘Khundak’ wali stories….

Now look at the impact every DELIGHTED customer is going to cause and every DISAPPOINTED one is going to cause……… More and MORE Delighted students and families we make, we not only get their heart-felt blessings, but they also drive more walk-ins who need no convincing…They come to pay and join.

Especially, in the space of Education, the impact is unimaginable. Every family will bless for generations to come.

DSC_0096 web1
Here is a small episode that happened yesterday…

I finished my class at CP and came out. It was evening, about 5:30pm. I was strolling in CP and clicking a few interesting pictures (you can check on twitter @sreenindia) on the occasion of Independence day. Suddenly three youngsters came to me and asked me whether I will give them a short interview on five questions based on the relevance of INDEPENDENCE DAY! They run a channel on YOUTUBE… I interacted and responded to their questions.. When they got to know that I am part of CL, all the three youngsters who were till then a little haughty, melted like anything. Two of them told how CL has impacted their families, by helping their brothers/sisters realize their dreams… They profusely apologized. They stayed for a while to ask advise for their journey of life, business, channel etc.

Another episode happened, on the last Saturday. I was waiting outside Manav Rachna university for a pick up, looking into my mobile and responding on whatsapp. Suddenly I had a tap on my shoulder. When I turned around, I found a family, husband-wife with a kid in arms smiling at me. The couple were students of IWSB in 2008-2010. I just hugged them. They noticed me standing by the road, as they drove and took a turn to come and stop, to ask if I need any help, to be dropped….

I can keep narrating many stories…I am sure each one of you is creating such an impact that is far reaching…which you will narrate your lifetime.

Let us be the catalysts for transformation of the families that we touch. Let us make it happen.

9/11 Gander Story : Welcoming with open arms…gratitude !

This inspiring story that came my way on WhatsApp touched me immensely. I did some research before blogging for eternity, by borrowing relevant photographs from the web. The copyright holders kindly pardon me.

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Here is an amazing story from a flight attendant on *Delta Flight 15*, written following *9/11*. [This operation is called YELLOW RIBBON by GANDER people. A video story, very moving, at the end of the post here]

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic.

All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that “All Business” look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta’s main office in Atlanta and simply read, “All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination.”

No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, New Foundland.

He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately — no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

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While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.

We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander , New Foundland, to have it checked out.

We promised to give more information after landing in Gander .. There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that’s nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM …. that’s 11:00 AM EST.

There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the US.

After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason.”

Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the US. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.

The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the aircrafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane.

In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were US commercial jets.

Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC.

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Kent Kobersteen, former Director of Photography of National Geographic
“The pictures are by Robert Clark, and were shot from the window of his studio in Brooklyn. Others shot the second plane hitting the tower, but I think there are elements in Clark’s photographs that make them special. To me the wider shots not only give context to the tragedy, but also portray the normalcy of the day in every respect except at the Towers. I generally prefer tighter shots, but in this case I think the overall context of Manhattan makes a stronger image. And, the fact that Clark shot the pictures from his studio indicates how the events of 9/11 literally hit home. I find these images very compellingÑin fact, whenever I see them they force me to study them in great detail.”

People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada . Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.

Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm.

We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.

We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning.

Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.

Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing.

And they were true to their word.

Fortunately we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.

After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander!

 

We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the US airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.

We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.

Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the “plane people.” We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.

Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days.

What we found out was incredible…..

  1. Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers.
  2. Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up
  3. ALL the high school students were required to volunteer theirtime to take care of the “guests.”
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  6. Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged.
  7. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes.
  8. Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility.There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.
  9. communicating from School computer centre
  10. Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day. During the day, passengers were offered “Excursion” trips.
  11. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests.
  12. Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests.
  13. homecooked food
  14. Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft.

In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers.

Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully.

It was absolutely incredible.

When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling.

Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.

And then a very unusual thing happened.

One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said “of course” and handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days.

He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers.

He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.

“He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte.

He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!

“The gentleman, a MD from Virginia , promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.

As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.

“I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a faraway place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them.

It reminds me how much good there is in the world.”

“In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in today’s world this story confirms that there are still a lot of good people in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward.

*This is one of those stories that need to be shared. Please do so…*

Here is the in depth story by NBC on the enormity of challenges that Gander took upon itself. This video appeared a good decade later. It is a moving and overwhelming story. I was in tears, watching.


A very inspiring narration of what every human being and community can really do, if only we wish to. Why wait for an adversity, can we do a small way every day!

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