The Race

As I began my race, the wise sage remarked, “Life is too short to be spent on worrying”. I believe it too not because life is too short, but because my dreams are too big to be wasted on worries.

Half way through my race, happiness abounded me and the wise sage once again remarked that “happiness does not remain long so try to enjoy when you have it”. I believe in that too, happiness does not remain long, but it does not mean I cannot enjoy the tough times.

As the race continued, troubles and sorrow overtook me and the old sage laughed and said “Troubles are reserved for the unwise”, it may be true that I was not wise enough, but to be honest to myself was far better than to be wise.

Finally I ran my race and completed the journey and the old sage came and whispered to me “you could have done better; this was not your best effort’. I looked him into his eyes and said “I could have done better as you say, but I have given it all and don’t regret for it, this was my race and not yours”

JBF

I have a Dream

‘I have a dream’ these are the words immortalized by Martin Luther King Jr in his famous address at the Lincoln Memorial in 1968. As I had the luxury of time and did not know how to spend it, I was thinking about my options. It is very important to know that you always have options (one of the key learning from my Finance course), in this case I had two options, either I go home and dream (which is the best option) or to stay at the school at the middle of the night and scribble something about dreams. If I had a little bit of common sense, I would have chosen the practical approach and dreamed but as an MBA student, I picked the theoretical approach hence decided to write about my dreams.

 

Before I get into details about my dreams, I need to define what I mean by dream. The dreams that I talk about here are not a laundry list of lofty goals and aspiration on what I want to achieve in my professional career (in MBA parlance it is called as elevator pitch there is another name for it in laymen terms it is called boasting about oneself). This dream I wanted to write about is motivated by the thought that as a society if we are interconnected then what should one dream for. So having established the context these are my dreams –

 

I have a dream that one day, the lady (or should I say a skeleton wrapped with some flesh) I saw begging for food at the corner of my primary school will not be there anymore, because she could make her own living and be not dependent on anyone.

 

I have a dream that one day, the taxi driver (with Masters Degree in History), who dropped me at my workplace, could go to a University and pursue his research interest, without worrying about his next meal and where it would come from.

 

I have a dream that one day, the migrant workers from my country (treated like slaves with no dignity), I saw in Qatar Airport, will not have to leave their homeland to seek opportunities in other countries, to provide a better life for their families.

 

I have a dream that one day, the women who sell their bodies to make a living can find alternate means to live a life of dignity and respect

 

I have a dream that one day my kids and grand kids will follow their passion and live their life without worrying about getting rich or powerful.

 

My dreams are not lofty enough to change the society in a radical way so that I can label it as entering the Promised Land. However, these are dreams that are simple yet powerful which could charter the course towards the Promised Land, even though it might take years to enter. As an MBA student, I am taught to ask question than to write answers so if these are the dreams that could charter the course towards the Promised Land, what should I do? As I said before, as an MBA you ask question not answer them. Having said that I found someone who answered it better than I ever could and his name was Henry David Thoreau and he stated “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”

JBF

Who is a leader?

One of the most discussed topics in business school is leadership. Every individual wants to be a leader. Some wants to lead by control, others by delegation and few others by manipulation. Everyone has a definition of leadership, some call it the ability to lead others towards a common purpose, and some refer it as an ability to influence stakeholders to achieve a common outcome, while others articulate it as a trait that helps one to attract followers. Although, these definitions express what a leader does, what it fails to address is who is really a leader?

This is the key question that drove me to search for answers and after six months in the MBA program, I can proudly state this is the one answer you will never get out of your business school education. Isn’t it surprising that individuals spend a fortune to attend business school to develop themselves as a leader, but this is the most elusive goal to evade them in their journey.

So who is a leader? Is he/she the one who turnarounds the company, is he/she the one who creates value (the most overrated business school lingo, I apologize for using it) for stakeholders, is he/she the one who fights for peoples’ freedom, is he/she the one who strives for the betterment of others. To be honest I really don’t know and a MBA has not helped me either, so if business education does not help you find the answer for who is a leader, where should one turn to find the answer? The answer is quiet simple, look at people around you in your daily life, how many occasions have they depended on you, for you to help them, to care for them and to make them feel wanted, if you have ever been of help then they have followed you for that moment and you are already a leader. Because by simple definition a leader is one who has followers. These are followers, who follow you not because of your authority or control or your wealth, these are followers you earned out of love and respect and this is the leadership that you can be proud of. Next time when you hear a business school student proclaim that he/she is a leader, don’t worry for they do not know what they are talking about. I am no exception to this fate of MBA’s.

JBF