Ordinary vs Extraordinary

Posted in Pulpit, Quotes by Harsha on October 9, 2009


I’d rather be ordinary than extra-ordinary!!

The Internet was alive with commentary from journalists, political leaders and ordinary people.

That Old Saying Needs To Be Replaced

Posted in Business, People by Harsha on March 15, 2009

Someone did re-invent the wheel, sorry.

CNN video or Wikipedia entry.

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Over exposure, Extra! Extra!

Posted in Big Thought, People by Harsha on March 14, 2009


Talking about over exposure, the dutiful wife of a guy called Mike has put up a website and headlined on CNN.

I checked out the website and while on the outset it seems like a very creative idea, there are some fundamental issues with it.

  1. Guy got wife to look for a gig for him.
  2. Wife finds reason to spend tax refund on a cool computer
  3. More-than-what-I-need-to-know content
  4. Guy comes off looking like a d-bag
  5. Weird picture on “Contact Mike” page
  6. Inappropriate Q&A

So doing some great personal networking or posting resumes on websites and following is not enough exposure for Mike. We need CNN to find us gigs.

Sorry for the sarcasm, but just wrote a post on over-exposure, but I hope he finds a gig.

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Problems of Over-exposure

Posted in Big Thought, People by Harsha on March 14, 2009

Popularly delusional media hound, Ms. Ann Coulter is apparently losing the battle with her own hitherto success. Oops, America is starting to get it right! For a media-savvy, politically incorrect and almost-a-million-copies published, Ann is quite the bookworm!

Over exposure. Something none of us are worried about in today’s day and age.

When do you become too public for your own good?

When will Facebook’s 175 million users implode on each other because they are so tired of being so wired all the time? ESPECIALLY the gen-x segment!

With the risk of over-exposure comes the need to constantly give reason to remain in the spotlight. Even bloggers feel the pressure, hence the countless coaches and teachers on writing better blogs. Write more, say more, see more, do more.

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Good Boss, Bad Boss

Posted in New by Harsha on April 3, 2008

If you’re a regular reader, you already know I don’t believe all people are intrinsically bad. Of course, some are born that way (dictators) and some become that way (tyrants) but most people, in my opinion, cannot be classified either this way or that way. Everyone has a bit of bad and good in them.

CNN has a great article written by Martha Beck of Here is a snapshot of the good boss/bad boss qualities; I agree with all except one:

Bad-boss self-concept: As a leader, I’ll be a higher-up.
Good-boss self-concept: As a leader, I’ll have to go lower down.

Bad-boss target setting: Now that I’m the boss, I give orders to others.
Good-boss target setting: Now that I’m the boss, I bring order to what others do.

Bad-boss position on feedback: Now everyone must tell me when I’m right.
Good-boss position on feedback: Now everyone must tell me when I’m wrong.

Bad-boss protection strategy: As a boss, I’ll be protected from taking blame.
Good-boss protection strategy: As a boss, I’ll protect others by taking blame.

Bad-boss problem solving: Being the boss means I can avoid problems.
Good-boss problem solving: Being the boss means I must seek out problems.

I think people can get carried away with the point highlighted in red; even good people can get lynched from time to time for various reasons. I think moderation will be important because it depends on the situation when you hear a resounding NO. I also think that you MUST acknowledge someone (including your boss) when they are right. I’d do that more often than saying no.

Lao-tzu said it best, hundreds of years ago – “If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them”. The boss who starts wiggling his/her finger at the underlings is no longer objective. The article said it best – “Good-boss target setting: Now that I’m the boss, I bring order to what others do”. That is such a cool, zen-like idea because no matter what position you are in, you need to make someone else’s day go by smoothly. I don’t care if you’re in sales, operations or HR or in a workshop cutting wood. Pick any occupation.

Bringing order to others’ chaos is a beautiful and philosophical way of looking at what you do, even if you hate it.

Update: just noticed a great blog that also commented.

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Futility of polls

Posted in Big Thought, Business by Harsha on March 18, 2008

If you have been living in a bubble or on Mars, you will find the CNN article as a very interesting read. I chanced on it because I was surprised to read the headline “Inflation is top economic worry”. I thought we were in a recession, but apparently it is some form of stagflation (inflation with prices going up while having jobs and economic growth in recession).

This survey of 1000+ American adults reveals some really invaluable quotes:

“86% said they are worried about jobs”

“65% said they are “very concerned” about inflation”

“unemployment concerns loom large, with 59% saying they are “very concerned””

“76% of Americans are concerned about the recent drop in the stock market”

“77% are worried about the drop in the amount off money homeowners get when they sell their houses”

BW’s Christopher Farrell has this article about how we might be talking ourselves into a recession. Really?

Taking Yourself Too Seriously

Posted in Business, People by Harsha on December 13, 2007

If you want to break a stereotype in your head, then enjoy this video on CNN. If you remember to come back to this post, then here are some interesting thoughts for us all.

A cop is a serious, life-endangering job. You can get killed on a routinge traffic violation stop. This guy in RI takes the image of a serious (looking) cop and throws it out of the window. He could be your average cop on the street directing traffic. He could not care less about you in your car driving past him for a fleeting few seconds. Yet this guy is doing what he is doing, right in the middle of the street. It got serious for me when I saw him do the move where he bends backward and bounces off each hand side to side. That is a tough move.

I could not help smiling throughout the video (he busted a few Michael Jackson moves as well) and it reminded me not to take myself so seriously. We all put up these fronts or masks pretending to be more important than we might be and others do the same. We want others to think we’re smart, aggressive, excellent negotiators etc. not at once accepting ourselves for who we are – I struggle with this concept on a daily basis and it is a continuous improvement process. So in this cop’s case, would you be “scared” of him less? Would you respect him less? If he is the same guy who gives you a ticket are you more prone to fight back or buddy him up? What is your reaction to this guy?

People who work in large organizations are like cops who take their jobs too seriously. They have their hand on their gun at all times. Others are petrified in dealing with them and I am sure you deal with such people too. In response to their mask, you need to put up yours.

Take a moment and step back and realize that if one person can take one of the most dangerous jobs in the US and turn it into something that is really funny to look at (some may call it stupid) and totally opposite of what 99.99% of people think a cop should be, then why can’t you do it? How dangerous is your marketing job that you can’t even loosen that tie?

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Another Hilton Review

Posted in People, Reviews by Harsha on December 12, 2007

This is a great post by the incomparable Richard Quest. He has a Hilton review that seems to agree with my crash course in hospitality this past week on the road trip. That would be the subjectiveness of the service offerings across their hotels. If you visit McDonald’s around the world, then you will understand what ubiquity means. In Hilton’s case, when I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Virgina Beach, VA, they had coffee-to-go in the lobby. So you see, they don’t seem to have standards when it comes to amenities in their hotels.

It is mind-boggling for me to think about the various moving parts in a hotel and it’s hotel room. To even think about the planning it takes from thinking about things that can be kept in a room for the user’s convenience to keeping the room clean, is head spinning! Maybe they need to hire a franchising expert to figure what is the best way to solve this problem, that is obviously global for Hilton.

LinkedIn Going Nowhere

Posted in New by Harsha on November 29, 2007

I’ve found that LinkedIn is little more than a name generating tool. It is great to find out names and titles of people who you won’t find in the company directory. But what else? I’m flabbergasted that revenues are predicted to be “$75 million to $100 million next year” as made by the new CEO. Am I missing something here?

Paradoxically, the “power” users or LIONs as they pompously call themselves, are probably not paying a dime because they have so many people in their network that their extended networks are wide and far-reaching. So literally no need to pay to contact 3rd and 4th degree folks. If you are part of a LION’s network, then chances are you’re happy to pass on the request-for-introduction hoping to get something in return. Right?

So, the numbers are not adding up in my head. Obviously, at the current level of 17 million users, they are not even making $75 million (gleamed from the interview). They’ve doubled their user base in 2007 (9 million “earlier this year” to 17 million now). So let us assume they more than double next year same time to 50 million users.

I tried a bunch of options to see how 50 million users will translate into $100m next year. Power users are not going to pay $200/month for deal #3. I’ll agree with their claim that deal #2 is the most popular, I can see why. Deal #1 is just too uneconomical for sales folks and I think it is for comparative pricing and to also hook the stragglers and dilly-dalliers. What percentage do you think are paying? I don’t think it is more than 2% of total users. I just can’t fathom someone paying for LinkedIn, when so much of it is given away by vast access to 3rd and 4th degrees of separation through a large network. They’re probably generating $30 million today with the hope of tripling it next year. I also don’t think the advertising revenue is adding up to much, it never does for these websites.

LI is a really cool tool. I don’t buy the CEO’s assertion that they’re sticking around for the long haul. Only a damn fool would pay $1 billion to acquire what is essentially a bunch of electronic business cards or resumes. You’re better off acquiring Monster, which has the level of detail that LinkedIn can only dream to have. Having said that, LI is probably a good recruiting tool.

This is based on a Go West post on the interview with the LinkedIn CEO.

Big Luxurious Green Lies

Posted in Pulpit, Roadtrip, TOOBs by Harsha on November 28, 2007

Andrea Barnett of Travel And Leisure writes on CNN about the hospitality industry’s Eco lies.

I saw some of what she writes (like being “asked to recycle towels and use a key card that controls your room’s lights and climate” on my recent road trip).

But here is something I wrote about what Auden Schendler now says, in a recent BusinessWeek article.

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