Charlie T. Munger

Had a chance to read his very brief autobiography plus his buddy’s (Warren Buffett) take on partnership and business association. Great insights and ardently yearn to strike one such business partnership. The basis of the partnership is to meet one who has similar tastes, ambitions, wit, intelligence and courage. In this partnership, you can have disagreements but no arguments, never flaunt in your buddy’s actions, decisions and intelligence but be mindful of him investing his money and time for your & his sake. Critical indeed to compound money with compunction for mistakes that do creep in while betting for a cheap and best run company with a long term prospect. Essentially most of your traits that you see in another equally or better gentlemen of similar gentry.

I do have a wish to pursue multi disciplinary activities apart from same professional work monotony. This is important to hone your skills to give that multi-faceted insights into a problem or investment or whatever that requires attention and decision. This pursuit requires a stable income or rather surplus and freedom from working for someone. Hence a business venture as a co-founder that can take off to greatness is a sweet spot to be in. I believe in best of both worlds, cultivate a strong business acumen and render your services to good offices of the neighborhood, society, nation and international diaspora.

Occurrence of such association is random and do happen for good, providence has it’s own ways in establishing them or not but hopes are something we should never lose.

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Workplace Ideology

I take privilege quoting from Charlie’s Almanac, following as the advice to young aspirants moving to workforce and seasoned ones to reflect & ponder. 3 basic rules that you can abide by, meeting all 3 is nearly impossible, but you should try your best:

  1. Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t buy yourself
  2. Don’t work for anyone you won’t respect or admire
  3. Work only with people you enjoy

Spend each day trying to be little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Step by step get ahead, but necessarily fast spurts. But you build discipline by preparing for fast spurts. Slug it out one inch at a time, day by day. At the end of the day – if you live long, like most people, you will get out of life what you deserve. Life and its various passage can be hard, brutally hard. 3 things, I’ve found helpful in coping with its challenges are

  1. Have low expectations
  2. Have a sense of humor
  3. Surround yourself with love of friends and family

Above all live with the change and adapt to it

I always wanted to keep a copy of Charlie’s Almanac similar to Poor Richard’s of 18th century, which transcends time and is conventional in providing great insights to present day’s throes of all sorts. I’m on lookout for a paperback copy to fill my bureau in my study room.

Great philosopher, adviser, sage…whom you want to imitate

He’s none other than the American, all encompassing statesman and towering beacon which history has always and will remember for eternity, Benjie. Benjamin Franklin who adores uncle sam’s bills, is the quintessential of all that you expect to emulate in a man. Statesman, Diplomat, Scientist, Abolitionist, Publisher, Businessman, Adviser, Satirist, Founding Father of U.S. and many more. As the wiki reads, he’s jocularly called “the only president of United States who was never the president of United States”.

His 13 virtues are greatest boon to mankind and a must for everyone conducting the business of life till its end. I’ve the densest happiness (as in his own words) to follow Benjamin Franklin’s ways. His Poor Richard Almanac has the greatest influence on American public since its inception of print and still clamors the same influence. Let’s lit the abundance of greatness pyre he has left for us and be a beacon with steady and long lasting flame.

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Blind Leadership – Convention Centre Talk

Happen to hear my friend’s story on rechristening and re-inspiring a huddled down team in Dubai Port City – a job to be undertaken in earnest and not to be left out at any cost, which the new chief of staff for Artificial & Intelligence practice took to mettle. From his reminiscenes albiet verbatim:-
Some of the jargons that came forth:
  1. cornerstone
  2. makes customers to be sticky
  3. sell people & collect money
  4. common – old garden variety
  5. rough sore thumb assessment
  6. Live the values
  7. John Don – no man is an island
  8. riveted
  9. cash out doesn’t exceed cash in – you’re safe – which is also universal
  10. reassuringly expensive
On how to compete with mid-boys ($500 man day rate fellows) – sell value, go that extra mile to sell great value for money mantra. On availing training by consultants – strictly off project time and during bench is the best affordable time was his reply.
I still feel incompetency and no direction rules the roost. With bigger projects facing same fates as before, behold for another disaster and full wipe out of top echelon and a new team in action and it’s a never ending story. People, company, culture, technology, passion are great, but when there’s no direction, drive, respect and craving to get more projects…..all are discouraged and the cycle repeats with different actors.
Wait for end of 2010 / start of 2011 for juicy news….that’s my premonition…beginning of this Albjurj Tower meeting was not that ominous and didn’t augur well, presentation failed and after repeated attempts was ok. Let’s wait by sidelines and watch the makeover again – which has business cycle of 2 years!?! Moreover Dubai is alo caught in the economic maelstorm and has to unwind and reflect on its concrete (building) spree though.
This reminded me of what happens when people lead blindly not knowing reality, context and local knowledge – Have to wait until 2 years to see how it goes? And have to check again with my friend in Sep 2011.

Law of Attraction

How to practice law of attraction and gain what you want in life

Step #1: Identify your desire  –> draw a list of contrast & clarity
Step #2: Give your desire your attention
Step #3: Allow it

Allowing…..how to allow and make it work:

#1. Celebrate the proof (evidence that it worked)
#2. Record proof of law of attraction
#3. Appreciation and Gratitude –> “Vibrational Bubble“
#4. Use the expression – “I’m in the process of obtaining my ideal job”
#5. Use the expression – “I’ve decided to attract my ideal job”
#6. Use the expression – “Lots can happen in teh next few days, weeks, 30 days”
#7. Ask for information – “I’d like to start attracting information about my desire to get me started”
#8. Make yourself an attraction box – each time you put something into your attraction box, you’re offering “Vibrational” hope – could be cut out of magazine, newspapers, biz cards, brochures
#9. Create a void or vacuum to be filled –> create an entry in calendar
#10. Allow the law of attraction to figure it out

Step #1 example:

Contrast Clarity
No belittling, bias a great MNC and equal opportunity provider
No barriers to expression Freedom of expression and thoughts
Captivate audience
Sedentary work & hectic Challenging, stimulating with work life balance
  Marketing, technology oriented, research work
Can meet numbers? Meet my targets early
Will be away from home? Travel 10%
   

Long weekend

Understood how positive feelings can attract positive and negative attracts negative. This very fundamental and profound that we always miss its essence and benefits in life. We loathe with negativity and build it always and never replace it with positivity.
I missed the toastmaster chapter speech as there was lot of chores in office and  a couple of customer meetings. Also the vibe wasn’t great at toastmaster as attendance was paltry and TME was so novice & naive that the evening was sober and customary, not very inspiring and awesome.

I’ve finally decided to give a try on “law of attraction” to domestic as equally to professional affairs. Hope it can make wonders and bring me the next decade to equal footing or better than the previous decade. Also in words, I could see positive words bring profound change in people. Even with my kid who is very naughty, I could positively persuade and discipline her compared to “Spare the rod & spoil the child”.

Every negated word has a equivalent & opposite positive word. Like in our emails, we tend to write, please don not hesitate to call for any assistance, can be more positively written as – please feel free to call us for any assistance. Sounds great. Sent my ramzan greetings to muslim friends by SMS. Communication has spared us the closeness and made it very customary and automated. Have to improve it though

Timely shower of knowledge

With uncertainty looming still, I happened to frequent the library near my dwelling place, as time permitted before turning up home. Stumbled upon this mind blowing book “Failure to communicate”, by Holly Weeks. A great eye opener to teach taking midpoint in difficult conversations and retaining 3 way respect – self respect, respect for the opposite party and the conversation itself. Even though it deals with conversation in workplace, can be equally applied in family setup too.
A great read not to be missed and practiced life long.
As toastmaster chapter meeting is nearing, I decided do a speech on this topic, which is also dear to me now. Hope my 9th speech is well received and again have very little time for preparation, 2 days left with tons of work to attend.

Origins of words

Myths & misconceptions of the English language:

In British to “table it” – bring it to table, American is to putting it aside

Similarly lot of Atlantic differences were discussed in the book.
Some French words were dissected for their reason – some I remember – nom de plume, cul de sac, quid pro quo, etc.
I had to drop this book prematurely without completing reading and had to switch to a more profound one

Buck up when you’re down

Off late my great companions were

  1. The truth about getting your point across
  2. The truth about managing your career

Certain things became very clear and as part of my myelin burn, will stay forever in my professional life, inerasable:

  1. Communicate expectations, work streams and deadlines as clearly as possible
  2. Kiss the ring of hierarchy, improve likeability, go that extra mile
  3. Never say no immediately to customer/manager but get back with facts and options to choose from later
  4. Be a superstar or a rock star in any field chosen
  5. Make your boss great but don’t be stupid for him to trample, also talk to his boss too – which is called “cover 360 degree”

Happen to reflect on the golden words of Billy – “Success today is no guarantee of success tomorrow”. His intellectual sidekick Nathan Myhrvold once said – “No matter how good your product, you’re only eighteen months away from failure”. This is very much true in your career and it’s paramount to keep a check on whether you add value in workplace or outstrip real estate – it’s a measure to reckon, improve and outlast.
Another great theme I came across – “Love your work, hate your job” – especially true for globalized companies that hire lots of temp and move towards “perma-temps”. So you have to constantly gauge your ‘work askance and relevance’

Months of Uncertainty

Aug and Sep has been months of mental furor. Sometimes even when you were careful and cautious, things never work out. Time to reflect & move on as real estate has dwindled. Irony is new dwelling place is not aplenty to choose for best fit. Traditionally stock market around Sep/Oct is jittery and same reflects in job prospectus too. It has been treacherous and sneaky two months with no ominous portends as to what’ll happen next and the wait has been excruciating.

Deep in me, there has been a desire to move to prospective role that encompasses marketing, pre-selling, research and strategy, helping customers to win the next big deal as the recession peters into a “W” path trajectory until next peak hits around 2012. Mental torments exhaust and keep swirling back with fury to be attended by grace of good book’s wisdom. 1st of Sep ‘09, coinciding with a training planned for real estate team, invoked jittery vibes that forced me to take an emergency day off to plunge myself in NLB’s quarters. What a great way to spend entire day at the company of great books. Ultimately this lifted my spirits and provided great comfort. Managed to read a couple of books

  1. How to be lucky – forgot to memorize the author
  2. Peaks & Valleys – Spencer Johnson
  3. A word etymology book – pyrrhic victory and lots of words with their name reasoning

Finally on that day, decided to leave the real estate once for all but stumbled at stagnant market conditions. Perhaps a lull before the next bull run. That’s how storm brews with a eerie quietness – for goodness sake, the next bull run will be quick, sharp and rides out quickly paving the way for next big wave.