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Some Thoughts on Leadership by Civil Servants

Civil Servants are associated with the task of nation building - both at policy level as well as implementation.  A Civil Servant is expected to be a Karamyogi. Shri K Srinivas, Director LBSNAA defines a Karamyogi as one having qualities of austerity, ability and anonymity. Austerity means discipline of body and thoughts. It also means both effective and efficient use of resources. Ability means competence to do tasks successfully. It requires an attitude of lifelong learning. Anonymity means giving credit for a successful task to people, democratic processes, people's representatives, team members. It is putting "We" before "I". Dr R Balasubramanian, Member, Capacity Building Commission in his book "Leadership Lessons For Daily Living" has shared his learnings about meaningful leadership from lives of common people who are taking lead to address challenges facing people. His learning: a selfless attitude and a central focus on public good are powerful

Random Thoughts about Leadership

Gandhi jee describes the power of Leadership in these words. "A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." Swami Vivekananda jee describes India in these words. "Our motherland has religion and religion alone for its backbone, for the bedrock upon which the whole building of its life has been based." For Gandhi jee, the essence of a Leader. " There goes my people. I must follow them, for I am their leader." What does Leadership do? The energisation and transformation of people by knowledge into people of action working towards constructive purposes. How to facilitate learning of leadership? Following steps can be planned. Self-awareness Self-Improvement Working with others Case Studies Practice - Project/On the Job The end goal: a democratic India in which citizens are easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern but impossible to enslave.

Challenges of conducting Backlog course

When different groups of working people who studied/trained together are brought together again, the reunion allows sharing of experiences, exploring common interests, renewing relationships and hopefully shared vision of future. The dynamics change when purpose of coming together is completion of a backlog course. People feel that they are well trained already as they are handling their responsibilities well and a backlog course is unnecessary. If backlog course is necessary for completion of probation or promotion, they attend but with their personal agenda. For some, their personal agenda is reading books, some fitness, some attending family issues, some travelling, some relaxing and so on. Some are interested in the backlog course but they are in a minority.  Discipline is the major casualty. They pursue their personal agenda and are resentful when they are marked absent, pulled up for leaving campus unauthorizedly, caught cheating on assignments and many other transgressions. Visi

Mission Karamyogi to re-invigorate and re-invent Indian Bureaucracy

What is India of future? Two ideas : from the sixth largest economy in the world to the third largest by 2050 which shall generate large and meaningful employment in the way and from a provider to a regulator to participatory governance. Both ideas are interdependent and one affects the other and vice versa. What is Indian Bureaucracy? Indian bureaucracy is an inclusive meritocracy who have proven themselves repeatedly as crisis managers par excellence. However, with time it looses its idealistic energy and dissipates itself. Mission Karamyogi is the seed that shall re-invigorate and re-invent Indian bureaucracy.  IGoT is a vehicle for it. It shall have six hubs: Learning Hub, Competency Hub, Career Hub, Discussion Hub, Networking Hub and Events Hub. OTs of Spl FC were invigorated and made several suggestions to Sri R Balasubramaniam, Member HR, Capacity Building Commission . One Indian Postal Service trainee wanted to know how he can pursue a Course on Data Sciences along with his job

Behind a successful woman are her parents

We all know P V Sindhu, the sporting icon, the great fighter, first Indian woman athlete to win two Olympic medals, a consistent performer at the highest level. In her interaction with OTs, one could see in her the "girl next door" - serious, respectful, childlike, warm with dedication to badminton. P V Ramana, member of 1986 bronze-medal Asian Games volleyball team, a fierce spiker and blocker, man with "killer instinct" and father of P V Sindhu.  We have great sporting talent in India but we need more P V Ramanas who see talent, facilitate proper coaching and opportunities for talent to grow and flower.  P V Ramana, the father who did not want her daughter to miss her education and used to write notes for her to study. P V Sindhu completed her graduation on time and her love for education led her to do MBA thereafter. Vijaya, a volleyball player who played for Railways and mother of P V Sindhu. "My mother's role cannot be quantified and measured. Simply p

Conquering Ones Everest by Atul Karwal, IPS

Comfort zone is safe and our anxiety levels are low. But change is law of nature. To adapt to change, learning is essential. To learn, one has to leave the comfort zone. To be the change, one has to start with our inner world. Be the change that you wish to see in the world. Once your goals are set, work out the process to achieve those goals. Once the process is determined, devote completely to the process. Goals will follow. Atul Karwal at age of 45, scaled Mount Everest in 2008. He engaged in a very intensive training regime - starting at midnight at 12 am and running with a 50-55 kg load on his back till 5 am. He also climbed 17 storey building with a 25 kg load at least 15 times. Angela Duckworth said that talent mattered but grit mattered twice, not once. Practice built skills and practice made skills productive. Too many people quit far too early. Consistency of effort over long run is everything. Atul Karwal jee embodies grit. He put his heart and soul into conquering Everest a

Sportsman spirit by P Gopichand

P Gopichand in his interaction with OTs gave deep insights into a mind of a sportsman. Life and its gifts are big blessings. Discipline in both body and mind is needed to receive the gift of life and use it correctly. Playing sports to win Olympic medals alone is setting very very high expectations. It is like studying engineering to be a Noble laureate. Parents do not expect their children studying engineering to be a Noble laureate but expect their child playing sports to win an Olympic medal,  Benefits of playing sports go beyond Olympic medals. Our parents played sports as a normal part of their life  and were fitter than us. The younger generation is loosing the habit of playing sports and are less fit. The OTs can do a lot to promote sports as a way of life in their future postings. Indigenous sports like kabaddi, kho-kho, malkam, gathka, chess require less equipment and have greater participation. Those sports should be selected which encourage others to play rather than being j