“OWNERSHIP ” as distinct from ” SINCERITY “

Right person ‘ profile

To me , selection of a ( right )team member is a fundamental process for Business Success — it is actually not a recruitment , but a Quality Control process . To me ‘ Right ‘ person is by his / her Constitution and not by education or knowledge / skills . Essence of my experiential learning in this subject has helped me distill 5 distinct attributes of a ‘ RIGHT ‘ person in our business context :

– Independent thinking

– Ownership

– Self management

– Learning ability

– Problem solving ability

While entire thought process behind ‘ Right selection ‘  ( including knowing Horses from Donkeys ) deserves to be a separate topic & on which I promise to share with you my enlightenment next month , special purpose behind this note is to awaken you to the distinct difference between Ownership & Sincerity .

Many take these two words / attributes ( Sincerity , Ownership ) as interchangeable — they do not know / understand the difference . Many of the rest of us probably subliminally know some difference but are either confused or can not articulate well , the way I will now lay out for you

It started with , when I asked my team members to self rate on the 5 ‘ Right ‘ person attributes I listed above . I saw many of my team members rating themselves 4 out of 5 on Ownership , which got me thinking …. It was clear to me that they were no where even 3 on this … yet as individuals , they have been dedicated , sincere , intelligent & interested — then where is this ( my ) perceived discordance coming from … when I reflected deeper , I realised that they were probably rating themselves on ‘ Sincerity ‘ , when thinking of ‘ Ownership ‘ ( I could understand & agree if they rated themselves 4/5 on Sincerity ) , when I interacted with them on my dilemma my understanding was confirmed . That prompted me to give them clarity on the difference between the two concepts , I hope it will help you too .

# Sincerity is an attribute ( inside )of a person , Ownership exhibits ( externally ) in outcome . Sincerity is about what you are ; Ownership is about what you achieve

# Sincerity is to do with Efforts ; Ownership is about Result

# Effectively , Maids are Sincere ; Mothers are Owners  !

” Maid to Mother ” is yet another of my proprietary , IP registered program about Organisational Transformation ….. but about that , some other time … In the meanwhile & till I connect back with you next month with more on Right person selection ; please share your views / perspectives on if & how different you feel is Ownership from Sincerity .

Success of Democracy is in knowing where it ends

  • Success of Democracy is in knowing where it ends  
    • I do not know whether people who swear by Democracy , understand what it means . Let’s see how
      • For most it is unidirectional
        • They understand it only in one way … from ‘ me to you ‘ & not from ‘ you to me ‘ . What it means is that I have full freedom to say & do what I like . You accepting my freedom is incumbent on you ( you don’t have a choice ) . If you don’t , you are intolerant . However the reverse is not true ; Under your ‘ freedom of expression ‘ you can not say anything that ‘hurts ‘ me . Interestingly in today’s context with growing impatience & politically nurtured ‘ sensitivities ‘ … there is practically very little that you can say (except praising me ) that does not have a chance to hurt me . Hence it is not pure democracy …. It is  “ My Democracy “  v/s “ Your Democracy “  which I propose to promote and protect
      • For most it is unilateral
        • Me declaring or claiming my freedom is the only perquisite for me to exercise it . It does not require your consent , let alone comfort . My freedom is about how I feel , not about how you feel .
        • The problem is that this is possible only if each individual is living on isolated islands ( in their own world ) where there is no interdependence . However in today’s ‘ connected’ world where , what I do or do not do , impacts you ; it is not possible to unilaterally ‘ declare ‘ or exercise my freedom , without thinking of the repercussions of this on my ecosystem  . It is like if I have a sick person at home , I may not exercise my freedom of playing out music loud . Then it is not an academic debate whether I have the right , more important is me choosing not to exercise my right if it encroaches on someone else’s right to peace .
      • For most it is Absolute & unlimited
        • Democracy or freedom is not absolute … anywhere . Each country , each community has rules , code of conduct and there is a rule of law . There are legally enforceable & morally acceptable restrictions ; e.g. I can not have a freedom to kill some one , even if I want to … the law prohibits that . So is the case of a Code of conduct or Rules or Policies … on one hand they restrict individual freedom ; but they are created with a larger purpose ; it overall optimizes harmony & advantage for everyone .
        • This is necessary , because my freedom need not constrain someone else’s freedom . Traffic signal is a great example . Should a free individual not have freedom to walk or drive vehicle in any part of a free country … off course one should . But just imagine chaos & damage / loss such unrestricted freedom will cause at a traffic junction . Putting traffic signal there is constriction of my right to move freely ; but I must understand that this restriction maximizes advantage for all , on a larger scale .
        • Hence freedom is never absolute , it comes with a framework , rules dos/donts . For best exercising freedom , it needs to be channelized . Exactly as channelizing flow of a forceful river to convert it into positive energy …. Unrestricted river force will cause devastation
      • For most it is Subjective
        • Once we set a framework to freedom , everyone should have equal & transparent access to exercising it . Then there should not be ifs & buts . And there can not be two / different ways for two people to exercise the freedom . There can’t be different interpretations , based on convenience … there cant be different rules for different individuals . Restrictions are not harmful as is the discrimination .
        • Here is where most make mistake ; some knowingly ( exploitation ) & some unknowingly ( lack of awareness ) . Each ‘ interprets ‘ the way it suits her/him & then ‘ explain ‘ how that is the right way . This is not freedom / democracy . This is hypocrisy & chaos .


    • Democracy or freedom is not absolute – exercising it has rules / regulations , framework , it has restrictions in larger interest . Hence it is not easy . It is a responsibility as much as it is a privilege . It involves pain & patience in the short term for a long term enduring advantage . And it is not in isolation … it is my freedom in the context of equal freedom for my fellow citizens . In fact the test of maturity for Democracy lies in me being more sensitive and protective of your right to freedom & in turn you doing the same for me . Evolving to that level is what makes democracy strong & enduring . Today everybody is zealously self guarding in the garb of upholding democracy . That is not democracy , that is being pure selfish …. Democracy does not require aggressiveness to drive ; it requires selflessness to thrive .


  • Adequacy / inadequacy are not physical boundaries but , states of mind , it depends on what you believe . That’s why what is adequate for one may not be so for someone else , similarly what was adequate today , may not be same tomorrow or vice versa
  • What is a good fashion ?… there is no one all encompassing answer , fitting all . Good fashion for a person is what he / she can carry off comfortably & confidently . That’s why if someone is awkward wearing the trendiest of clothing , it’s bad fashion for him ; on the other hand if Gandhiji was comfortable moving around in one cloth around his waist , that was most appropriate fashion statement for him .
  • What is good / appropriate donation in quantum or form , for a person ? Here too there is no ‘ one size fitting all ‘ , nor is there any absolute threshold . To me that ( amount of ) donation / charity is your threshold , which after you give away , you should be able to ( mentally ) forget . A good donation for you needs to fulfill following criteria :
    • It should not create a feeling of ‘ loss ‘
    • It should not create a sense of ‘ ownership ‘ … it is that amount which should not make you ‘ follow through ‘ to see what use the receiver is putting it to … it no longer belonged to you
    • It should not create a sense of inflated ego of having done a huge favour ( & in turn to expect the receiver to be ‘ indebted ‘ to you )
    • It should not create / retain any ‘ attachment ‘ . Your satisfaction / happiness should come from the fact that you did what you wanted to for a good cause , your attachment ended there …. What the receiver does with it is neither under your control nor should be your concern . You should neither have a judgment on how ‘ appropriately ‘ the receiver is using it nor should it make you unhappy , even if you think he/ she is ‘ misusing ‘ your generosity or even is ‘ disrespecting ‘ your gift .
    • Overall once done , you should be able to forget the details of the ‘ good deed ‘ you did . It should not prompt you to flaunt your ‘ generosity ‘ at any possible forum / opportunity . You should be able to sleep peacefully without a thought about what is / will happen to the object of ‘ your charity ‘ .
    • For any donation / charity where above criteria are not likely to be fulfilled , you are better off without donating .
  • Similar is the case for investment . Your capacity to invest is not defined by your affordability or the accumulated wealth , but by your ability to ‘ carry off ‘ the investment in amount & form . That amount is appropriate for you , which after investing ( God forbid not , but should it happen ) if you happen to lose , you should have the capacity to gather yourself up & stand on your feet … you should be able to take that knock without collapsing .

Focus On SELF – Get BETTER

Where should one focus on : Self or Others ?

  • Majority is focused on others … they derive their sense of self relative to others , because they do not really know self
  • What is missed out is attention / focus on self , as a result , they miss out majorly on self enhancement . They spend their time , energy and attention in either criticizing or ( corrective ) advising others , with an implicit base line assumption that , ‘ there is nothing that needs to be changed in me ‘ . In any case , there is nothing you can do about changing some one else ; it is only you yourself , who you have a complete control on .
  • My advise to them is to just focus on ‘ SELF ‘ , with a keen desire for continuous self evolution , along 3 aspects – just ask yourself following :
    • Focus / introspect on “ What have I gained from life “ rather than what I missed out in life
    • Ask “ What are the next 3 points I need to improve on as a better person , rather than criticizing others
    • For any issue under consideration ( be it personal , work related , social , political ) ask self “ What can I do to help address the matter ( or make things better ) “ rather than legitimizing that … some one else needs to work on this
    • Ask yourself everyday : ” Am I a better person today than I was yesterday ”  … keep the journey on , relentlessly

Responsible Parenting — What is that we are not doing for our beloved Children

I came across news about 3 incidents which happened in the recent past ; they are 3 very different types of incidents , happened in 3 different cities and yet something struck me as a common thread running through them all .

It is not important to recount vivid details of what happened , for reference I just do a quick recap here :

(i)   4 Young college going friends died in Bangalore in car crash in what appears a case of reckless driving (ii) Accident which happened in a road tunnel in Jaipur , where many cars passed without stopping by the dead body of the lady killed in an accident  (iii) Recent gang rape in Delhi … victim lying below flyover with passersby not bothering to help .

 Many disturbing questions in the aftermath …. Who’s responsible for the death of students in the car crash …… the students themselves for reckless driving or their Parents who thought giving car was a better gift than the wisdom to handle it in a responsible manner ?

Why is it easy for us to quietly slip through in the comfortable confines of our car than stop by to help a dying woman on the road  ?

What has blunted our senses , our sensibilities & our values that we are no longer moved to help a hapless crime victim lying on the road  ?

Are we unfit for community living or are we completely insensitive to what is happening around , as long as it does not affect us as an individual or as a family ?

 Were we always like that or are we changing ( for worse ) ?

 The evolution of grey matter over my head reminds me that we were NOT always like this . We were probably not as uncaring , as insensitive , as self centered , with uncouth / unruly social behaviour as some of the recent incidents bear out .

What has caused this change . It is not unreasonable to believe that neither our physical constitution nor genetic composition has changed much . Neither our education level or Urbanisation or so called Prosperity has dwindled .

Yes may be our ‘ Wealth quotient ‘ has gone up & as a trade off our ‘ Values quotient ‘ has deteriorated . The ‘ Value transition ‘ across generations seem to have diluted from what my & prior to my generations have received from their elders . Sense of right / wrong , sense of social consciousness , society living , mutual respect , human dignity has seen rapid deterioration .

 If we are unhappy at what is going around our society , especially in our social behaviour …. We need to think hard as to who is responsible – where is the root cause . It is not the children / young generation , but their parents who are fully responsible for the outcome we see on the road . We can’t blame children for not displaying something ( discipline , social behaviour ) that they don’t know . we can’t hold them responsible for not knowing what they don’t know , because we didn’t tell them .

If we think that today’s generation has lost sense of what is right / what is wrong , it’s their parents who have failed miserably to develop the sense of discretion in them in the formative years — Parents have failed because they did not have time or mind space for transmitting Values , because that time & mind space was fully occupied with a single minded pursuit of amassing wealth in an illusion as the only asset they thought their children need  

 This sense of right / wrong , social consciousness is not ‘ innate ‘ , nobody carries it through genetic inheritance … this is a matter of habit formation , which intrinsically means that someone elder need to imbibe this into growing children , need to orient them , equip them to grow into alert , sensitive , responsible citizens .

Unfortunately when we are proving our superior aping ability to copy Western lifestyle , we have not copied from them the good values like Discipline , Work ethics , Community living , Human dignity .

 Who needs to do this ? In growing up phase two biggest exposures & hence influencers for a child are : Home & School . Schools never had it on agenda — it’s not really an academic curriculum – It was Parents ( Grandparents in Joint families ) who used to do that . Today’s parents , like for everything else they do , seem to have ‘ outsourced ‘ this responsibility of inculcating social / moral values to no one . With money becoming common substitute for all our emotions and expressions , there is no space for Values , parents have ‘ no time ‘ for this .

 Finally we as Parents need to introspect as to what do we really want to give to our next generation in inheritance …. Is it only Money / material wealth ….but then even the next generation is capable of making lots of money . Or is it the Values / “ Sanskaars ” that we want to gift —  Helping children develop a sense of right / wrong , to be able to grow as responsible citizen of this country , a responsible community person ?

In sum if we feel there is deterioration in our social behaviour & we need to change it — I’m fully convinced that we need to hit at the root cause . To create Responsible citizens of tomorrow we need to first develop Responsible Parents —- What do you feel ?