Two Tenets of Ownership : Custodian , Possession

  • I always thought Ownership — means OWNERSHIP , complete commitment ! Like a Mother to a child or a driven person to a cause
  • However my understanding matured & expanded through what I observed around me & learnt through them . It gave me so much clarity on two extremes of shades of ‘ Ownership ‘ as is being understood & practiced – I take it as my obligation to bring to you the same enlightenment
  • I have now come to realise that in practice there are two tenets of Ownership ( one intended & one mistaken ) which form the two extreme ends of an ‘ Ownership Spectrum ‘
    • One is the “ Custodianship “ end – which is what is implicit in the concept of Ownership , &
    • The other end is “ Possession “ which is a mistaken notion of ownership
  • Custodianship
    • This is the true & larger meaning of ownership
    • It invokes a sense of belonging & is about caring about what you ‘ own’ – be it a cause , your child , your country , your community
    • It generally involves a ‘ surrender to a cause ‘ ; a selfless disposition to what you are doing / intend to do . The focus is not on self , but on the cause – which is always bigger than yourself
    • It is about focus & uncontaminated attention . It is about nurturing . You will do everything possible to ensure safety & fulfilment of the cause — often unprompted !
    • The purpose & commitment here is long sustained & approach is ‘ relationship ‘ oriented
  • Possession
    • This is grown through popular / oversimplified misconception of meaning of ownership
    • It is about ‘ owning ‘ something as your ‘ possession — as your ‘ property ‘ … This can go beyond material possessions ; can even extend to your own child !
    • Quite contrary to a ‘ surrender ‘ ; it is about ‘ subservience ‘ – about clearly establishing hierarchy & concept of supremacy / subjugation .
    • The focus is clearly & unquestionably on self , everything else is subsidiary to self interest . It is fueled by Ego & smacks of arrogance .
    • Contrary to concept of attention and care ; it is about ‘ exploitation ‘ — it is like “ I have every right over something , because I paid for it “ ( typical feel of a “ Malik “ , in Hindi )
    • The approach is logically , very transactional and opportunistic .
  • Clarity , Insight & Perspective is what I bring to the table , always – so in this case . As a committed & experienced Coach I felt it my obligation to bring you this clarity , with which you can choose the path you want to take on the ‘ Ownership Spectrum ‘ , since you take accountability for your decision ; just that you are well informed & well equipped to make a careful choice
  • I have made my choice ; for me ‘ Custodianship ‘ is not just the better & more inclusive concept ; it is the ONLY way of taking and exercising Ownership ! You need to decide for yourself , independently – It is Your Choice , because it is Your Life !

Disappointment is less disappointing than Frustration

  • Disappointment , Frustration are very commonly used words ; especially in the context of Performance management or Stress management . Probably we use them interchangeably without much bothering to think what does each mean & if they both mean the same
  • Before I do my ‘ sense making ‘ on this , I searched dictionary , to find following :
    • Disappointment : “ Sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfilment of one’s hopes or expectations.”
    • Frustration : “ The feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something.”
  • In the least I note from dictionary that while Disappointment is to do with ‘ non fulfillment ‘ ; Frustration is to do more with one ‘ inability ‘ to achieve something .While I agree with this ‘ reading between the lines ‘ ; to me there is a vast and fundamental difference between what is disappointment & what is frustration . Here is my take , my Sense making
  • Disappointment v/s Frustration
    • I agree that disappointment is about not achieving something ( result / outcome ) ; frustration is about one’s inability to be able to achieve
    • Disappointment is related to an event , a transaction , whereas frustration is about a person’s state of mind
    • Therefore disappointment is a transient phenomenon , frustration is likely to be relatively permanent state of mind . If we ( rather loosely ) use analogy of Change & Transformation , where a change is transient & reversible ; transformation is permanent – similarly in case of disappointment , frustration
    • They are also likely to be ‘ sequential ‘ … it probably takes a series of disappointing events to reach a state of frustration
    • Consequentially disappointment ( hopefully ) leads to action ; frustration is a dead end ; it leads to inaction
    • You can overcome stage of disappointment ; frustration turns you into permanent ‘ negativity ‘ … you tend to speak only negatively & link everything to your frustration .
  • Reason for me to seek this clarity for you is not just for your Knowledge . If you recollect my earlier post on KURI …. I want you / more & more people get a better understanding of this fundamental difference between the two terms & importantly reach your ‘ Realisation ‘ , which will prompt an action .
    • Understanding here is that Disappointment & Frustration are two fundamentally different states ; one takes you to action , other to inaction
    • Realisation from this can be : Since Frustration is sequential to Disappointment & it is a Dead-End , once reached that — it is almost non reversible ‘ disability ‘ of mind ; one needs to be alert at any Disappointment to address it quickly – not let it simmer & set into Frustration , which will be a  Point of NO Return ; hence one should proactively never allow him/ herself to reach that stage
  • Before I sign off , I thus urge you to not just sit on this useful Knowledge , but pick your Realisation & move into Action , so that you never become frustrated in life !

Human  Resonance

  • Resonance as a word , is better understood than defined in a dictionary . The very dry & restricted definition in a dictionary does not do justice to this beautiful & potent concept — so here is my sense making on ‘ Resonance ‘
    • Resonance is a state of matter where it feels abundance of energy – free flow at will , for attaining fulfillment
  • We probably first heard it in our Physics Lab in school in the context of a metal . In an experiment we were given a metal tong / fork to strike on a hard surface & watch vibrations ( & the amplitude of vibration ) created in that metal . We were told ( which is true ) that each metal has its own ‘ natural frequency ‘ of vibration . If you make the metal vibrate at its natural frequency , the amplitude of vibration is the maximum / double . This means that at its ‘ natural frequency ‘ the metal produces ‘ higher output ‘ and ‘ willingly ‘
  • This ‘ natural frequency ‘ for a metal is a characteristic of that metal , just as its density , specific gravity or melting point & other properties – which defines the metal & these properties of a metal are different from that of another metal – just like nature of human beings.
  • You can feel it happening in Music . If you pull / strike a string of a stringed musical instrument in just the right way you see the string buzzing & feel the melodious , longer lasting musical vibrations . You can hear this resonance in the sound of a ball being hit by a cricket bat , just at the right spot & at the right time ( timing )
  • I have come to believe that the concept of Resonance is also very intrinsic to Human beings . Each of us can , need to & do resonate towards attaining our fulfillment
    • I therefore believe that each of us have our own unique ‘ natural frequency ‘ if struck at that we resonate . Each one can & will , if only we can find that ‘ natural frequency ‘ for that person .
    • You can feel ( for self ) & see ( for others ) this resonance happening …this is a state of exhilaration , where you experience ecstasy & joy ‘ for nothing ‘ , in anything you do . This is a state where ‘ things happen ‘ , you don’t need to try to hard … nothing you do is a burden for you – the more you do what you do , you feel more happy ( & not tired ) ; you kind of ‘ float ‘ smoothly , everything seems to make sense to you , you have a purpose to exist , you feel life is too short for ALL that you want to do . You have a Great sense of self worth & feel immensely fulfilled . It is a very desired state of mind to be in – should become the ‘ Natural ‘ state to be in for each of us .
  • I also believe for human beings , there exists : Individual Resonance & also Collective Resonance ( like the Bees humming & working in perfect harmony )
  • When resonance happens in an Organisation set up , you see ( not just better but )outstanding results , high energy levels – almost contagious – in employees , a ‘ buzz’ around , you feel the vibrance in the ambience ; it’s a whole lot of positivity which shows not just in measurable results but also in individual fulfillment / happiness and higher employee engagement leading to high retentions .
    • When collective resonance happens , we see a multiplier effect – these organisations may even reach a stage of ‘ Collective Consciousness ‘ …. Where things ‘ happen ‘ , everyone ‘ knows ‘ – nothing needs to be told or explained or asked .
  • So Human Resonance seems to be a very desired state of being ; question is HOW ? Do we know what it takes & Do we know how do we help unfold
  • I don’t think I have a ready answer – a proven formula . But I do have a good understanding of what – why – how it works . Simply it is about ‘ striking a chord ‘ with another person . Various initiatives that we can undertake for human resonance , can be categorized into two ‘ buckets ‘ : Alignment , Ambience
    • Alignment : Each of us has a natural tendency – an inherent strength to do something very well . While a person may be average in many things , there will always be that ‘ one thing ‘ where that person can really to excel . This is what Gallup organization calls ‘ Talent ‘ . All we need to do is to know / understand an employee’s talent & align it with right role . When some one does when he/ she is naturally inclined to do , he/she will reach excellence & thereby a greater sense of fulfillment
    • Ambience : We do not need to resonate anybody , that each individual will do , all we need to do is to provide facilitative ambience for each to blossom . There are many ways / mechanisms / tools one can use to root the employee in Trust & Comfort , with the organization . Tools like : (i) Creating outstanding on boarding experience , (ii) Buddy system , (iii) KYE – Know your employee ( beyond CV & identify value you can add ) , (iv) EVP – Employee Value Proposition ( non monetary promise an organization holds to make an employee ‘ long to belong ‘ )
  • I hope above is adequate enlightenment –Of course if you need further connect or clarity on the subject , you can always reach me @ +91 99860 34443 or . All the best to all of us !

Wrong Hire — Cost of Existence


  • Talent management , Employee retention are getting to be of paramount focus for organisations & rightfully so . Increasingly it will be about our ability to spot talent , attract , nurture & our ability to create Human / Talent Resonance ( best alignment between an employee’s talent with the role requirement ) , which will be our differentiator & decider for outstanding success—it is going to be less & less about Knowledge , Capital or even Technology
  • Attrition is the opposite of retention . There are two broad categories of attrition : Desirable , Undesirable – causal factor for each is divergent . While undesirable attrition has lot to do about an organisation’s ability to positively engage the employee & retain him / her for longer ; whereas primary reason for undesirable attrition is Wrong Hire – organisation’s ability to select ( or lack of ability ) right candidature .
  • Attrition of any kind ( & for whatever reason ) and its replacement COSTS ! . There have been extensive ( research based or otherwise) accounts of estimation of cost of attrition / replacement & various reporting on different components of this Cost : Recruitment , Induction , Training , Initial warm up time , Employee morale , Company image , Cost of discontinuity … etc . Not much for me to add here .
  • However surprisingly , as much as is written about the costs post exit / replacement of a person – everyone seems to have missed on the cost of Existence of the exiting employee — I am obviously referring to Desirable attrition candidate . There are significant hidden costs of a desirable exit , while the employee is working . I call it as Cost of Existence or a Wrong Hire . Since none has focused on this real but ignored cost , I chose to bring it to attention here .
  • Every additional day of a Wong Hire in job costs organization immensely , in myriad ways , as :
    • Absorption :Since the alignment of inclination and role is low , ‘ uptake ‘ is low & slow . Hence impacts getting ‘ up to speed ‘ in time & quality of output
    • Training : Since inclination is low , efficacy of training is low . Gain for training costs is questionable
    • Productivity : Again due to low fit between role requirement & the employee talent / tendencies , work output is low , both in terms of quantum & quality
    • Substitution : Since the work output is below desired levels , most of the time to keep on track , it calls for ‘ substitution ‘ of efforts from the supervisor . This employee unfairly draws much management resource , just to keep afloat . This is draining of management time , energy , which otherwise can be redeployed in more gainful ways
    • Organisational momentum : One person operating ‘ below par ‘ does not just affect his supervisor or teammates – in a chain reaction of substitution, soon most of the organization , at all levels start operating at one level below . Beyond work output , it saps the organization of its vital vibrance , energy .
    • Negativity : All negative / below par things have a ‘ gravity effect ‘ on the organization . Most draw parallel from a non performer ( going un addressed ) to lower their performance ( if he can survive at low performance , why should I stretch for more ? ) This is indirect negativity . However non performers have a far more potential to add direct negativity , by spreading their frustrations , depressions ; they can harm the organization immensely
  • Unfortunately though most of us have experienced this “ Cost of Existence “ of a Wrong Hire , no one has paid much attention to this , either talking about or estimating the cost of this damage . I too have experienced it first hand & while I have no organized study to back up ; my hunch is that the Cost of Existence of a Wrong Hire is no less than the cost of its Replacement .
  • The cure for this is – Right Selection . We need to realise that while Knowledge , Skills can be imparted from outside , Talent or Constitution ( how is that individual ‘ made up ‘ ) comes as intrinsic with the person we hire . Hence it is important to see that we select – not the most intelligent or most knowledgeable or most skilled , but the most right in constitution . No amount of training or hard efforts can change a wrong person into right . Remember no training can convert a Donkey into a Horse … training can at best make a Donkey , a better Donkey

KURI :Intent –Action Bridge

  • It is my conviction that
    • What you do” is a function of “ How you see
    • It is not “ What is “ , but what of what is happening , makes what sense to you will decide what you do
    • Therefore Life is about ‘ Sense Making ‘ ; you ( need to ) constantly try & make ‘ sense ‘ of what is happening around you . You need to think & reflect on what is ( & will ) happening – as to what does it mean – is it good / bad , therefore what do I need to do … What sense you make of what you ‘ see’ , is what is ‘Real ‘ to you  – in a way , your World is inside you
  • Therefore I have reached a conclusion that in the ultimate leadership / achievement quest ; it will not be the Talent deficit, but it will be the Perspective deficit – which will make decisive difference .The constraint to Human achievement, at the highest level will be Self & Own thinking


  • In this context I want to share with you another enlightening concept – KURI – created ( not by me but) by one of my entrepreneur colleague & friend . I will share it with you , along with my own ‘ Sense making ‘

KURI stands for Knowledge –> Understanding –> Realisation –> Implementation , in sequentially progressive stages which connects Knowledge ( & intent ) to Action . My take on this

  • Knowledge – What ( is happening around )
  • Understanding – What does it mean ( to me / my circumstances ) my insight / interpretation
  • Realisation – Therefore , what do I need to do
  • Implementation – Act on the realization , as above
  • ‘ Knowledge ‘ & ‘ Implementation ‘ is ‘ outside ‘ of you / your system ; whereas ‘ Understanding ‘ & ‘ Realisation ‘ happens ‘ inside ‘ you – It is your inside ‘ processor ‘ which makes sense of what is happening around – which is different from person to person – which is why different people react to the same situation differently – THE Unique Differentiator !
  • This inner processing is ‘ internalization ‘ which is very critical to one’s effectiveness – is your ‘ sense making ‘ , which actually ‘ empowers ‘ you to effective action , without which you are ‘ floating ‘ , – clueless
  • For most people in India , this bridge , this inner processor is missing ( or broken or rusted ) , hence we notice that while India is high on Knowledge , it is weak on Action . The reason lies in this broken bridge . Since the bridge is broken to logically walk across from Knowledge to Action , in India we jump from Knowledge to Action – which is the ‘ areal route ‘ – reason why most in India speak in the air – pure Gas without Substance . Reason why we in India make good Advisors , Academicians , Consultants , but poor Implementers .
  • Unfortunately most are not even aware of it … only when we realise this gap & revive the bridge , will most of us start making sense & get more effective .
  • In India we mistake Knowledge for Action or for Wisdom . I use this KURI bridge for my colleagues & clients , to bring in them the awareness & push them from ‘ Knowledge ‘ stage to ‘ Realisation ‘ stage ; because , unless the Realisation ‘ hits you ‘ ; action does not start

Win- Lose or Win –Win – Actually it is much beyond that

  • I am sure everyone is well familiar with ‘ Win-Lose ‘ , ‘ Win-Win ‘ scenarios and that everyone understands / enlightened on , how Win-Win is better , including in negotiations situations
  • However it is likely that you may not have heard that there is something beyond ‘ Win – Win ‘ & better and in fact worth striving for – though not so easy to reach there . You are unlikely to have known this before because no one told you , what I am going to share with you .
  • I do not know what to term this as , but it is a scenario which sees self win , as a subset of other’s win .
    • Can you envisage your win as a part of your customer’s ( or any other party , you are dealing with ) win & not separate from it , to be counted as ‘ Win – Win ‘ — it is NOT Your Win and ‘ his ‘ Win as two ( may be interrelated , yet ) distinct happening ?
    • Can you feel as happy with the other person’s win , you are dealing with ; as much as you would be ( /would have been ) happy with your win – regardless of how you define your win & regardless to whatever happens to what you defined as your win ?
    • Are you willing & happy to ‘ dissolve ‘ your win into someone else’s win , like sugar into milk – so that you can single mindedly focus on achieving only One WIN , that is of the ‘ other person ‘ and feel overwhelmingly & genuinely happy about the remarkable outcome ( like sugar made the sweetened milk ) you helped create , without really bothering to count – ‘ what did you get ‘
  • If you have experienced any of above or if you can relate to the scenario above ; you will understand the concept I am bring to you . Those now enlightened but skeptical about its ‘ practicality ‘ will ask me …if anyone in this world does this , except God & the kins thereof …. I would say YES , Very Much . Each Mother I know , practices that every time with her child
    • I am not aware of any mother , who in any scenario , operates with her child in a ‘ Win –Win ‘ scenario , forget about ‘ Win –Lose ‘ !
    • I am not aware of any mother , who has any ‘ own ‘ agenda , separate from her child’s that makes her count her ‘ win ‘ or  ‘What did I get for what I did ‘ .
    • I have not seen a mother who is not single mindedly focused on her child’s win – that being the only win for he in that situation . And her life is an endless Sum of all such situations
  • I took ‘ Mother ‘ analogy , because it is so visible , happening in each of our lives . However practicing this concept of Win within Win ‘ is not restricted to ‘ biological ‘ mothers . It applies to each that person , who ‘ Mothers’ whatever he / she is involved in – be it person , product , process , cause , nation , entity & I have seen it being practiced
  • Now I will tell you , why I am fascinated with this concept , why I consider it a higher level concept , where can it be applicable & who are well poised to practice it
    • The flaw in ‘ Win – Win ‘ concept – however flaunted & promoted is that … whether ‘Win –Lose ‘ or ‘Win –Win ‘ ; both are ‘ Transactional ‘  …. It has to do with “ What do I get for what I did “ . Even if you are conscious about & calibrate to see each party gets happy , the mind set is still “ What do I get for what I did “  . “ Win within Win “ , goes much beyond to be a ‘ Relationship ‘ approach
    • Other shortcoming in any transactional v/s relationship approach is that in the former ( like in Win –Win ) there are two entities , in the later ( as in Win within Win) there is only one entity . This does not only afford single minded focus of your efforts & energy – quantitatively leading to outstanding outcome ; it also attains ‘ purity of purpose ‘ & qualitatively too attains higher level
  • This concept – rather a Life Approach has not only universal application in whatever you do , but more particularly potently useful in Service industry – for better customer focus . And with its purity of purpose , every step you take on this path enhances your enrichment & happiness quotient
  • Having said that let me caution you that practicing Win within Win is none too easy . Win-Win itself is difficult to practice . Practicing Win within Win will take much more level of mental strength , conviction & determination . I am not sure how many can , but it is certainly very desirable – aspirational journey
    • It will come easy to those who are convinced about & dedicated to creating “ Greater Good “ for the world and have deep intrinsic faith that their share of “ Greater Good “ will be Greater than the ( usual )Good , without having to separately count . It is for those people who take as their obligation to contribute to creating a better World and take themselves as inseparable constituent of the better world , than the other way round
    • It is for that “ Sugar “ who unquestioningly dissolves into the Milk with deep commitment to make the World a better place with it than without – it is not for that ‘ sugar ‘ who refuses to lose its identity by dissolving & in turn makes , self & the surrounding – unfulfilled
  • This piece is therefore dedicated to All Mothers & to All Those who take themselves as Mothers to Whatever they do . This World is a better place , essentially because of them !

Sponge v/s Stone — You have a Choice

# As a person , you can either choose to be a ‘Sponge ‘ or a ‘Stone ‘ .


# A sponge has a tendency to absorb liquid poured on it , a stone does not . In a way a sponge is receptive to what it receives .

A sponge does not differentiate between (quality of )liquids poured on it nor does it apply selective judgement

# Its structure follows its belief system . keenness to absorb is evident though very many pores it has on its surface – so that it can absorb as much as it possibly can

# Consequently , it has a reciprocal ability to squeeze out what it does not need . In a way , a sponge can exercise  discretion to say Yes or No to whatever it receives

# These abilities of absorb & squeeze out gives a sponge an advantage to seek & choose to retain what it needs . A sponge’s life is blessed — It has a choice to enrich itself as much & as & when it wishes


# A stone on the other hand is stubborn , non receptive

# Its structure follows its belief system. It’s closeness to receive is evident in its solid structure with no pores

# Consequently a stone does not have an ability to squeeze out , what it does not need . Its nature disallows it the discretion to say Yes to what it may want

# A stone does not have a choice of seeking or retaining , what can enrich it ; never mind , a stone does not even wish to

# A stone is oblivious to & untouched by what can add value to it .


Unfortunately in real life , many of us , most of the times , act with a Stone’s attitude ; little realizing that a Sponge’s attitude gives them the power to choose what to Accept rather than Reject ( like a stone ) because of lack of ability to choose to Accept 


Whether to be a Sponge or a Stone is your choice , because , after all , it is your life  !