‘Best Songs Of 1955 …..’ — One more gem @ songsofyore.com – Part 1 of 2

Shri AKji, www.songsofyore.com   thought of taking up a massive project of taking up a year wise survey of music of films of 1953-45 in reverse order and placing it for in-depth analysis, comments and suggestions by the readers. The year 1953 was first considered as The Year to commence the reverse countdown because the first Filmfare awards were given in 1954.

Well, let us not mar the beauty of the original post – Best songs of 1955: And the winners are!– by going into the lucid details of music of the films that caught the popular and critical acclaim, presentation of trivia, debuts, special songs, some new version songs and of course, the listing of some the songs that can fill the bill for the audacious SongsOfYore Awards for the year 1955, in the categories:

  • Best Male Playback Singer
  • Best Female Playback Singer
  • Best Duet
  • Best Music Direction

The post is so enchantingly written that it was difficult not to take up the studied task of submitting a view, veritably personal and , by no means with any pretence of authority. I have already submitted the views directly on the original blog post as a series of comments.

Presently, I would re-state them so that I have a more easy access to the post, comments by other enlightened participants and to commemorate my tribute to Songs of yore.com

Best Male Playback singer:

At the very bottom of my heart, I am no doubt a stout Rafi fan – particularly when a push comes to that eventual shove. But for that matter, I am [no perjury intended] equally strong follower of Manna Dey and Talat Mahmood. Of course, the Rafi songs in this 1955 list do not appear to be his unanimously Greats Ever, but they are by no means a disparaging competition here.

My Nominations for Best Male Playback Singer:

  1. Talat      Mahmood  – Mitwa lagi re ye      kaisi anbujh aag   –   The other solo form      this film –      Kisko khabar thi kisko yakeen tha   –        Talat Mahmood – is perhaps having only one mood – deep melancholy, almost      a doused aag,      whereas this song has, as musical score, succeeded in capturing the mood      of pathos blended with a lurking anbujh      aag of faint hope of possibility of seeing the beloved one,      at least, once more, and that unfulfilled love of the      lifetime. There can be no questions for SD to have chosen Talat      for these numbers.
  2. Manna      Dey  – Tu pyar ka sagar hai       –  Manna Dey is all sublime befitting the situation of the song – a      prayer – and still touches the heights of soft ‘bulandi’ to be able to      rouse the sunken human spirit of the targeted mentally unstable      Seema.  Even if we do allocate the      due credits to SJ – for the composition and Shailendra – for so touching      poetry, Manna Dey is still left with a huge credit to his own account as      singer- the emotional listeners would find a sagar of      emotions and the puritans can find gems of technical virtuosity in his      measured ascendancy of scale.
  3. Rafi      – O door      ke musafir mujhko bhi sath le le  –  This is best      example of the type of songs which were possibly so composed because Rafi      was to render  it [and he would put      in his extra special efforts, too]or the type of songs the      composer preferred someone else to sing but had to ultimately invite Rafi,      as only Rafi could to justice to his composition in totality. This is one      of my personal favourites – among all songs as well as among Rafi songs.

[I have read somewhere that  Hemantda originally had thought of singing Hum Laaye Hain Kasti Sambhal ke – Jaagriti  himself, but had to ultimately fall back on the width of Rafi’s range of scale to enliven Utho Chhalang maar ke aakash ko chhoo lo.]

  1. Rafi  – Kahan ja raha hai tu ai janewale       –  If someone calls back me passionately, I would have turned back      even before the first line was over and then would have raptly listened to      the rest of song and would have simply wept till my heart would have      emptied out.
  2. Talat      Mahmood      – Teri zulfon se pyar kaun kare   –        Jaidev has composed this song that shade silkier in tone and a shade more      pathetic in mood than the competing Tasweer      banata hun tasweer nahi banti   from Baradari. And      possibly because of that extra, that Tasweer      banata hun tasweer nahi banti   enabled to be more      popular, because one can sing it that little easily.

In order to finally choose one among these FIVE personally equal favourites, I would choose an exotic measure – a stoke of chance cause, by which the singer appears only once in this list today. So let crown be the company to the song Tu pyar ka sagar hai  by Manna Dey..

Best Female Playback Singer:

It seems that by 1955, Lata Mangeshkar was enshrined as THE [female] singer of the Hind Cinema, as I screen  though the list of songs listed out in this post.SDB is no doubt one my preferred music directors, but that has no bearing on number of his Lata-songs dominating the appearance in this list today.  Trust me, each of the song is here on its own merit. So, I hereby present my top 5 female songs, which, in effect, translates into only 2 playback singers:

  1. Lata      Mangeshkar  – Jise      tu qabool kar le   –  Well, I am no way      suited to comment why a composer has chosen the way the composition is      composed, SD’s choice of somewhat faster pace of this song may have caused      its own predicaments for the Director for creating the RIGHT situation and      the heroine to express emotions while performing such a dance. But, every      aspect of the song is just RIGHT. Another noteworthy feature of [both]      Lata songs in the film is that they stand up to two of the great solos of      Talat in the movie, in a movie which has essentially a male-character      dominant theme.
  2. Lata      Mangeshkar  – Jogiya se preet kiye dukh      hoye        – Even if the music director Amarnath would have composed many more songs,      this one would have retained its unique charm – that of subdued wailing of      deep hurt of a lady feeling betrayed by that love which fails to penetrate      the ascetic veneer of her counterpart. Lata’s voice quality and her      standard throw of words suit like a T to the mood of the song. In fact,      this quality was soon to become her indelible signature over Hindi Film      Music.

I have since downloaded other Lata songs from the film. Surprisingly, none of the other song has the calibre of the song chosen here.

  1. Lata Mangeshkar – Phaili hui hai sapnon      ki baahen OR Ghayal hiraniyan main ban ban dolun        – Almost a formula song! The movies with a very      light plot, hero and heroine sing a romantic solo each before declaration      of mutual love, then at least one romantic duet; villain would spoil the      game leading to a sad solo each from hero and heroine. SD and Lata easily      paired up a long list of such sad solos during the rest of 50s and 60s.
  1. 4.    Geeta Dutt  – Preetam aan milo   –   OP, literally, conjures up C H Atma’s natural masculine pathos in Geeta’s ethereal voice. The original post has so well presented the nuances of this song.
  1. Lata      Mangeshkar – Manmohna bade jhoothe  –  Perhaps one of      the quite underrated, whether in terms of technical virtuosity or in terms      of bringing out the best of Lata’s vocal cords, this song is in a way much      unlike that of SJ. There are noy many of SJ’s compositions where the duo      have successfully resisted fairly large orchestra to support an otherwise      an excellent tune.

Since I have exhausted the limit of 5 choices for the consideration, I will have to rest contended by listing  Ab to ji hone laga kisi ki surat ka samna by Shamshad Begum and Wo na ayenge palat ke  by Mubarak Begum as “Best Also Run’. Use of Mubarak Beguam by SDB is simply captivating. The original post has done full justice to the song, hence I may only add that Salil Chaudhary must also have been inspired from this one (!) to come up with an equally stunning ‘hum haal e dil sunaye ge  – Mubarak Begum  – film Madhumati 1958 :

I would unhesitatingly propose rendering of Jogiya se preet kiye dukh hoye  by Lata Mangeshkar to be the song that would crown her the Best Female playback singer for the year 1955 for SongsofYore awards.


[We would continue with this post in a Second Part, where we will look at  Best Duets and Best Music Direcor  nominations.]


Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and The Sea” @ Leadership Develpoment Carnival, hosted by Shri Tanmay Vora, in April 2012

We take a wide angle view of April 2012 Carnival of Leadership Development: Earth Day Edition for the Leadership Lessons by Gwyn Teatro from Ernest Hemingway’s story “The Old Man and the Sea”.

For those who are unfamiliar with the story, here is the Plot summary” of Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”, published in 1952 to wide critical acclaim.

“The Old Man and the Sea is the story of an epic battle between an old, experienced fisherman and a large marlin. The novel opens with the explanation that the fisherman, who is named Santiago, has gone 84 days without catching a fish. Santiago is considered “salao”, the worst form of unlucky. In fact, he is so unlucky that his young apprentice, Manolin, has been forbidden by his parents to sail with the old man and been ordered to fish with more successful fishermen. Still dedicated to the old man, however, the boy visits Santiago’s shack each night, hauling back his fishing gear, getting him food and discussing American baseball and his favorite player Joe DiMaggio. Santiago tells Manolin that on the next day, he will venture far out into the Gulf to fish, confident that his unlucky streak is near its end.

Thus on the eighty-fifth day, Santiago sets out alone, taking his skiff far onto the Gulf. He sets his lines and, by noon of the first day, a big fish that he is sure is a marlin takes his bait. Unable to pull in the great marlin, Santiago instead finds the fish pulling his skiff. Two days and two nights pass in this manner, during which the old man bears the tension of the line with his body. Though he is wounded by the struggle and in pain, Santiago expresses a compassionate appreciation for his adversary, often referring to him as a brother. He also determines that because of the fish’s great dignity, no one will be worthy of eating the marlin.

On the third day of the ordeal, the fish begins to circle the skiff, indicating his tiredness to the old man. Santiago, now completely worn out and almost in delirium, uses all the strength he has left in him to pull the fish onto its side and stab the marlin with a harpoon, ending the long battle between the old man and the tenacious fish. Santiago straps the marlin to the side of his skiff and heads home, thinking about the high price the fish will bring him at the market and how many people he will feed.

While Santiago continues his journey back to the shore, sharks are attracted to the trail of blood left by the marlin in the water. The first, a great mako shark, Santiago kills with his harpoon, losing that weapon in the process. He makes a new harpoon by strapping his knife to the end of an oar to help ward off the next line of sharks; in total, five sharks are slain and many others are driven away. But the sharks keep coming, and by nightfall the sharks have almost devoured the marlin’s entire carcass, leaving a skeleton consisting mostly of its backbone, its tail and its head. Finally reaching the shore before dawn on the next day, Santiago struggles on the way to his shack, carrying the heavy mast on his shoulder. Once home, he slumps onto his bed and falls into a deep sleep.

A group of fishermen gather the next day around the boat where the fish’s skeleton is still attached. One of the fishermen measures it to be 18 feet (5.5 m) from nose to tail. Tourists at the nearby café mistakenly take it for a shark. Manolin, worried during the old man’s endeavor, cries upon finding him safe asleep. The boy brings him newspapers and coffee. When the old man wakes, they promise to fish together once again. Upon his return to sleep, Santiago dreams of his youth—of lions on an African beach.”

[The full text can be seen here or a pdf version can be downloaded from here.]

Literary Value:

It had been twelve years since Ernest Hemingway’s previous critical success, For Whom the Bell Tolls. A year later, Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Nobel committee singled out the story’s “natural admiration for every individual who fights the good fight in a world of reality overshadowed by violence and death,” (noted Susan F. Beegel in “Conclusion: The Critical Reputation of Ernest Hemingway”). Although Hemingway’s writing continued to be published, much of it posthumously after the author’s suicide in 1961, The Old Man and the Sea is generally considered by many to be his crowning achievement. The work was especially praised for its depiction of a new dimension to the typical Hemingway hero, less macho and more respectful of life. In Santiago, Hemingway had finally achieved a character who could face the human condition and survive without cynically dismissing it or dying while attempting to better it. In Santiago’s relationship with the world and those around him, Hemingway had discovered a way to proclaim the power of love in a wider and deeper way than in his previous works. [Courtsey: http://www.enotes.com/old-man-and-the-sea ]

Themes, Motifs & Symbols  [http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/oldman/themes.html ]

Themes   (Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.)

The Honor in Struggle, Defeat & Death

From the very first paragraph, Santiago is characterized as someone struggling against defeat. He has gone eighty-four days without catching a fish—he will soon pass his own record of eighty-seven days. Almost as a reminder of Santiago’s struggle, the sail of his skiff resembles “the flag of permanent defeat.” But the old man refuses defeat at every turn: he resolves to sail out beyond the other fishermen to where the biggest fish promise to be. He lands the marlin, tying his record of eighty-seven days after a brutal three-day fight, and he continues to ward off sharks from stealing his prey, even though he knows the battle is useless.

Because Santiago is pitted against the creatures of the sea, some readers choose to view the tale as a chronicle of man’s battle against the natural world, but the novella is, more accurately, the story of man’s place within nature. Both Santiago and the marlin display qualities of pride, honor, and bravery, and both are subject to the same eternal law: they must kill or be killed. As Santiago reflects when he watches the weary warbler fly toward shore, where it will inevitably meet the hawk, the world is filled with predators, and no living thing can escape the inevitable struggle that will lead to its death. Santiago lives according to his own observation: “man is not made for defeat . . .  man can be destroyed but not defeated.” In Hemingway’s portrait of the world, death is inevitable, but the best men (and animals) will nonetheless refuse to give in to its power. Accordingly, man and fish will struggle to the death, just as hungry sharks will lay waste to an old man’s trophy catch.

The novel suggests that it is possible to transcend this natural law. In fact, the very inevitability of destruction creates the terms that allow a worthy man or beast to transcend it. It is precisely through the effort to battle the inevitable that a man can prove himself. Indeed, a man can prove this determination over and over through the worthiness of the opponents he chooses to face. Santiago finds the marlin worthy of a fight, just as he once found“the great negro of Cienfuegos” worthy. His admiration for these opponents brings love and respect into an equation with death, as their destruction becomes a point of honor and bravery that confirms Santiago’s heroic qualities. One might characterize the equation as the working out of the statement “Because I love you, I have to kill you.” Alternately, one might draw a parallel to the poet John Keats and his insistence that beauty can only be comprehended in the moment before death, as beauty bows to destruction. Santiago, though destroyed at the end of the novella, is never defeated. Instead, he emerges as a hero. Santiago’s struggle does not enable him to change man’s place in the world. Rather, it enables him to meet his most dignified destiny.

Pride as the Source of Greatness & Determination

Many parallels exist between Santiago and the classic heroes of the ancient world. In addition to exhibiting terrific strength, bravery, and moral certainty, those heroes usually possess a tragic flaw—a quality that, though admirable, leads to their eventual downfall. If pride is Santiago’s fatal flaw, he is keenly aware of it. After sharks have destroyed the marlin, the old man apologizes again and again to his worthy opponent. He has ruined them both, he concedes, by sailing beyond the usual boundaries of fishermen. Indeed, his last word on the subject comes when he asks himself the reason for his undoing and decides, “Nothing . . . I went out too far.”

While it is certainly true that Santiago’s eighty-four-day run of bad luck is an affront to his pride as a masterful fisherman, and that his attempt to bear out his skills by sailing far into the gulf waters leads to disaster, Hemingway does not condemn his protagonist for being full of pride. On the contrary, Santiago stands as proof that pride motivates men to greatness. Because the old man acknowledges that he killed the mighty marlin largely out of pride, and because his capture of the marlin leads in turn to his heroic transcendence of defeat, pride becomes the source of Santiago’s greatest strength. Without a ferocious sense of pride, that battle would never have been fought, or more likely, it would have been abandoned before the end.

Santiago’s pride also motivates his desire to transcend the destructive forces of nature. Throughout the novel, no matter how baleful his circumstances become, the old man exhibits an unflagging determination to catch the marlin and bring it to shore. When the first shark arrives, Santiago’s resolve is mentioned twice in the space of just a few paragraphs. First we are told that the old man “was full of resolution but he had little hope.” Then, sentences later, the narrator says, “He hit [the shark] without hope but with resolution.”The old man meets every challenge with the same unwavering determination: he is willing to die in order to bring in the marlin, and he is willing to die in order to battle the feeding sharks. It is this conscious decision to act, to fight, to never give up that enables Santiago to avoid defeat. Although he returns to Havana without the trophy of his long battle, he returns with the knowledge that he has acquitted himself proudly and manfully. Hemingway seems to suggest that victory is not a prerequisite for honor. Instead, glory depends upon one having the pride to see a struggle through to its end, regardless of the outcome. Even if the old man had returned with the marlin intact, his moment of glory, like the marlin’s meat, would have been short-lived. The glory and honor Santiago accrues comes not from his battle itself but from his pride and determination to fight.

Motifs (Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.)

Crucifixion Imagery

In order to suggest the profundity of the old man’s sacrifice and the glory that derives from it, Hemingway purposefully likens Santiago to Christ, who, according to Christian theology, gave his life for the greater glory of humankind. Crucifixion imagery is the most noticeable way in which Hemingway creates the symbolic parallel between Santiago and Christ. When Santiago’s palms are first cut by his fishing line, the reader cannot help but think of Christ suffering his stigmata. Later, when the sharks arrive, Hemingway portrays the old man as a crucified martyr, saying that he makes a noise similar to that of a man having nails driven through his hands. Furthermore, the image of the old man struggling up the hill with his mast across his shoulders recalls Christ’s march toward Calvary. Even the position in which Santiago collapses on his bed—face down with his arms out straight and the palms of his hands up—brings to mind the image of Christ suffering on the cross. Hemingway employs these images in the final pages of the novella in order to link Santiago to Christ, who exemplified transcendence by turning loss into gain, defeat into triumph, and even death into renewed life.

Life from Death

Death is the unavoidable force in the novella, the one fact that no living creature can escape. But death, Hemingway suggests, is never an end in itself: in death there is always the possibility of the most vigorous life. The reader notes that as Santiago slays the marlin, not only is the old man reinvigorated by the battle, but the fish also comes alive “with his death in him.” Life, the possibility of renewal, necessarily follows on the heels of death.

Whereas the marlin’s death hints at a type of physical reanimation, death leads to life in less literal ways at other points in the novella. The book’s crucifixion imagery emphasizes the cyclical connection between life and death, as does Santiago’s battle with the marlin. His success at bringing the marlin in earns him the awed respect of the fishermen who once mocked him, and secures him the companionship of Manolin, the apprentice who will carry on Santiago’s teachings long after the old man has died.

The Lions on the Beach

Santiago dreams his pleasant dream of the lions at play on the beaches of Africa three times. The first time is the night before he departs on his three-day fishing expedition, the second occurs when he sleeps on the boat for a few hours in the middle of his struggle with the marlin, and the third takes place at the very end of the book. In fact, the sober promise of the triumph and regeneration with which the novella closes is supported by the final image of the lions. Because Santiago associates the lions with his youth, the dream suggests the circular nature of life. Additionally, because Santiago imagines the lions, fierce predators, playing, his dream suggests a harmony between the opposing forces—life and death, love and hate, destruction and regeneration—of nature.

Symbols (Symbols are objects, characters, figures, and colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.)

The Marlin

Magnificent and glorious, the marlin symbolizes the ideal opponent. In a world in which “everything kills everything else in some way,” Santiago feels genuinely lucky to find himself matched against a creature that brings out the best in him: his strength, courage, love, and respect.

The Shovel-Nosed Sharks

The shovel-nosed sharks are little more than moving appetites that thoughtlessly and gracelessly attack the marlin. As opponents of the old man, they stand in bold contrast to the marlin, which is worthy of Santiago’s effort and strength. They symbolize and embody the destructive laws of the universe and attest to the fact that those laws can be transcended only when equals fight to the death. Because they are base predators, Santiago wins no glory from battling them.

Interestingly, Alexander Petrov’s created in the year 1999 paint-on-glass-animated short film , The film won many awards, including the Academy Award for Animated Short Film. Work on the film took place in Montreal over a period of two and a half years Work on the film began on March 1997. It took Aleksandr Petrov and his son Dmitri Petrov (who helped his father) until April 1999 to paint each of the 29,000+ frames. The film’s technique, pastel oil paintings on glass, is mastered by only a handful of animators in the world. Petrov used his fingertips in addition to various paintbrushes to paint on different glass sheets positioned on multiple levels, each covered with slow-drying oil paints. After photographing each frame painted on the glass sheets, which was four times larger than the usual A4-sized canvas, he had to slightly modify the painting for the next frame and so on. For the shooting of the frames a special adapted motion-control camera system was built, probably the most precise computerized animation stand ever made. On this an IMAX camera was mounted, and a video-assist camera was then attached to the IMAX camera. It is possible to enjoy this short film on You Tube –

The movie version of “The Old Man and the Sea” seems to have been released in 1958, Directed by: John Sturges and starring Spencer Tracy, Felipe Pazos and Harry Bellaver and in 1990 starring Anthony Quinn, Gary Cole

Gwyn Teatro presents Leadership Lessons from Ernest Hemingway’s story “The Old Man and the Sea”.

Have a clear goal

Spend some time envisioning the goal. In your vision, where are you fishing? How much and what kind of fish are you catching? How big is your boat? What equipment do you have? Who is giving you support? What have you learned that you don’t know now? How did you learn it?

Build a plan to support the goal.

Being able to clearly imagine the goal is important but you must also have a realistic plan for achieving it. This includes ensuring you have sufficient resources and capability to execute the plan. And, by the way, a good plan is only good when it is acted upon. Otherwise it becomes an exercise in wasting your time.

Consider the potential risks and rewards

Before venturing into uncharted waters, it’s a good idea to first reflect on what you stand to gain and lose by doing so. If the risk seems greater than the potential reward, you might want to re-think the strategy.

Develop Solid Relationships with others

John Donne once said, “No man is an island entire of itself”. With that in mind, consider inviting others to share the goal and be part of the venture. Protect your interests from becoming shark bait by offering other, like-minded people of your choosing to participate and share in the rewards.

Think Beyond the Achievement of the Goal

To consider achievement of the goal as the end would be a mistake. You also have to anticipate what might happen in the event of a huge success. What then? How will you manage it? What more will you need? How will it change you? How will it change your company?

Know When to Cut the Line

There is of course a point of no return on just about everything. In the case of Santiago in the original story, going further and further out to sea after he had caught the fish ensured that by the time he made it back to shore, there would be nothing left of it. In business we also have to know when to stop.

The bottom line is that striking out to explore new territory is an essential part of leadership. However, the success of such exploration and the achievement of goals rely on one’s ability to marry leadership skill with management ability. Perhaps if Santiago had understood this, the outcome of his story might have been more positive.

Does It Make Sense to Have an Industrial Policy?

Whenever an industry runs into trouble — and especially when it starts hemorrhaging jobs — demands for support and subsidies are heard. But does having an industrial policy really make sense?”

This interview , at Knowledge@Wharton, with Howard Pack, a professor of business and public policy at Wharton indeed does  lot of plain speaking in terms abuse of the policy interventions by the Governments.

But that is not the reason why I have re-posted it here!

The interview has ended on somewaht ambivalent note when it came up with the issue of handling market failures vis-a-vis policy interventions. First what is said in the interview:

Knowledge@Wharton: One final question: You’ve made a very compelling case that the results from industrial policy are quite mixed, and there are strong grounds for skepticism. Again, instead of being interventionist, in the absence of industrial policy, what can be done to deal with market failures?

Pack: For the kinds of things I was talking about earlier — namely, training takes place, firms pay for it, and then other firms benefit from it — you do need tax and subsidy policies. But you have to identify where the failure is and address the specific failure…. That is really different from a generalized, blunderbuss industrial policy where you say, “Let’s protect an entire industry,” rather than trying to target the particular sources of market failure.”

Well, we have three of the classic cases – 2G spectrum distribution, licensing of coal mines and licensing of Iron Ore Mines, where apperently the Policy  blatantly was seen to favour the [private] industry Well, the Government policies were meant for that purpose only when suddenly CAG and Judiciary spoil the game!!!!????

Obviously, there are hardly any noticeable resposnes from the quarter that matter.

But none the less the future outcomes would make intersting study.

And, hence the re-blogging of the interview.

Refrence, with due acknowledgements: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2982

The Boss . . . . @ the April 2012 Leadership Development Carnival by Shri Tanmay Vora

[The Boss is widely discussed, most hated, most often the butt of the jokes, mostly hated animal of the organizational zoo. The Boss articles in the present April 2012 edition of Shri Tanmay Vora’s  Leadership Development Carnival explore a different dimension of the Leader in the role of the Boss.]

The demographic distribution in any organization obviously puts The Boss at a natural disadvantage. But this is not the reason why Mr. Wally Bock   “urge(s) to try it out, before commit(ting)”.  Mr. Wally Bock has seen the first-time bosses “unfold” and sometime “unravel” for over 25 years. In his experienced view, the boss is a leader who is “responsible (and accountable) for a group and the group’s performance”. Helping his team and team members to succeed is so very different work that becoming a boss amounts to “a career change”.

As the Boss, he needs to natural inclination to accept responsibility, has to make decisions, talk to others about performance and has to love helping others to succeed – all the characteristics of a true leader.

Mr Bruck also cautions that “It takes a decade or more to achieve any sort of mastery and you will never master it all.”

Becoming a good boss and maintaining the position is akin to Alice In Wonderland where one has to keep running in order to stay where you are. Mr.  David Burkus quite succinctly puts forward the concept of “an S-curve  where entropy begins near the top.As we move toward the top, we start to change the way we behave. Our days seem mindless, we experience more anxiety and our less likely to be growing and learning. In addition, we find ourselves in conflict more with our environment and peers. O’Neil argues that when we reach this top, we need to take a step back and observe our needs and ourselves.

Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at Duke, offers an addendum to O’Neil: we don’t just need to step back to observe, we need to step back to avoid hurting ourselves and others.

Ariely (2010) introduced the concept of “self-herding,” which is to say that humans make decisions about future behavior based on past behavior. Therefore, when we act out in anger in a situation we are more likely to behave the same way the next time we encounter that situation, whether angry or not.

This is how well meaning leaders develop into terrible bosses. As they approach the tip of the S-curve, as burnout and entropy sneak in, they act out against their people. The next time they face a similar situation, whether rested or not, they may act the same way. Gradually, they turn toward this dark side.

Leaders must develop awareness for when anxiety, conflict and burnout creep in. When this happens, the not only need to observe but they need to resist negative actions – as they may have lasting effect on themselves and their team.”

In a related video talk , Mr. Burkus goes on elaborate why the boss afflicted by the Peter’s principle   ‘sucks’ his team and provides means to keep away from this pitfall.

On a very different note, Art Petty lists At Least 10 More Things to Stop Doing if You’re the Boss .  Never preach what you will not do for yourself, not only handle difficult issues relating to the team performance but also be seen to act , do not act like a friend if you cannot indeed be a friend, never try to see over the backs of the team, ensure that your own goals remain tightly aligned to that of your team, share praise in public and criticism in private, do listen to your team’s views, never be seen to shy away from the inherent role-based responsibilities and be ready to share the due credit of a good job are her simple sounding tenets. When I was reading the complete article, I could not stop looking at myself, because it seemed that this is some sort of confession. And it seems that there many more who also share similar apprehensions, since she was soon flooded by four times the comments on her article enumerating “At Least 20 Things to Stop Doing as a Leader”.

This brings us to a question: Is your Boss killing your ideas?. Mr. Rajesh Setty is his usual to-the-point in this no holds-barred, but a neatly balanced article. Mr. Setty here focuses on a triad possible solution of how to handle the issue of Your Boss killing Your Ideas.

“The first thing to remember is that an idea is rarely looked at its merits on a standalone basis. Your idea is one of the many on his or her table and he or she has to pick among the best available options at that point in time.

Antidote: The way capitalize on this is to clearly know both your organization’s priorities, your Boss’ priorities and what else is on the table of your Boss. With that knowledge, you can paint a picture with your idea

The second thing to remember (and probably more important than the first one) is that every idea has a weight associated with it and the major part of the weight for your idea comes from “who you are” to the Boss and to the organization.

The third thing to remember is that while you are thinking about the “idea,” your Boss is thinking also about the “execution of the idea” and ALL changes needs to be made with people and systems to make this a reality. If the story does not pan out well in his or her mind, the idea gets rejected quickly.

Antidote: There are two things you need to become really good at – 1) continuing beyond the idea alone and thinking about all aspects of execution 2) the art of telling a great story.”

You are smart and the idea that got rejected is not the LAST great idea that you will ever get.

And still, If you’ve been hitting the snooze button lately on weekday mornings instead of hitting the shower—or find yourself taking the long way around to avoid passing by the corner office, you may just be working for a TOT, that is, a “Terrible Office Tyrant.”

TOTs are bosses who act strikingly similar to children, oftentimes toddlers in their Terrible Twos. Why does this happen? Because we’re all human, and behind the professional facade are grown kids who act out and can’t moderate their power.

However the modern boss – colleague [no more a subordinate!] relationship is expected to be built on the foundation of a transparent two-way communication. Mr. Dan McCarthy strongly advocates that you have got nothing to lose, and everything to gain by talking to the boss in his article How to Discuss a Problem with Your Manager. He explains that “if you talk to your boss, chances are, one of four things will happen:

1. Your boss may have had no idea that whatever he/she was doing or not doing was having an impact on you.

2. Your boss may be dealing with some other issue that has nothing to do with you, and again, was unaware of his/her behavior.

3. In either scenarios #1 & #2, your boss may be perfectly happy with your performance, and you’ll feel much better knowing that (and withdraw those job applications on Monster).

4. Your boss may actually be upset with you – and for some reason, has been avoiding telling you. In this case, you’ll at least have an opportunity to find out what the problem is.

Once you know that, you can work on making it better. If it’s something you can’t make better or don’t want to, then at least you’ll know where you stand and can pursue other options for the right reasons.”

Here is a small piece of advise I read while I was re=freshing my search about Shri Azim Premji’s famous talk about the employees leaving a boss rather than a company:

CALM: Communicate, Anticipate, Laugh, and Manage.

  • Keep the lines of communication open; anticipate problems and solutions; use humor (it is the great diffuser); and      manage up by being a positive, proactive problem solver.

(this is the first of the detailed exploration of the previous post:  Carnival of Leadership Development – April 2012 – By Tanmay Vora

Carnival of Leadership Development – April 2012 – By Tanmay Vora

Shri Tanmay Vora, originally a core quality professional, also has inherent natural knack  to look at the world around from a human perspective. He is also, inherently, very innovative in his observations about what he sees or reads or expereinces.

I have had benefit of a chance visit to his blog , which has now been my regular joint to visit. Each visit is a treat in itself.

Leadership Development Carnival is one of such activities where we have the benifits of his innovative and creative bent. The Leadership Carnivals is an intititive led by Shri Dan McCarthy.

He has edited the carnival for April,2012 .

Shri Vora has cast his net wide quite wide and has thus presented a gourmet bouque of  around 26 articles in the present edition.

I plan to take each of the articles for an indepenedent review in subsequent posts during the month.

Can responsibility be made commensurate with authority? – Peter Drucker’s interesting views

Peter Drucker was of the considered views that “…it was dangerous to hand out authority without responsibility, that if we decentralize we have to make people responsible and accountable. Otherwise. . . . it would be chaos.”

For Drucker, few principles were more sacrosanct: “Whoever claims authority thereby assumes responsibility,” he wrote in Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices. “But whoever assumes responsibility thereby claims authority. The two are different sides of the same coin.”

In Concept of the Corporation, Drucker was even more blunt: “Authority without responsibility is tyranny, and responsibility without authority is impotence.”

What is this life if, full of care,We have no time to stand and stare. — from “Leisure,” by W.H. Davies

Can one of the nation’s great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour? Let’s find out. – By Gene Weingarten Washington Post Staff Writer , Sunday, April 8, 2007  in Pearls Before Breakfast

Many of us have seen a video clip on YouTube of Joshua Bell playing violin “AT THE L’ENFANT PLAZA STATION AND POSITIONED HIMSELF AGAINST A WALL BESIDE A TRASH BASKET. ”

This report in Washington Post has quite an intersting analysis on this event.