MANAGEMENT is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; LEADERSHIP determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall - Stephen Covey

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Lessons learnt from Meg Whitman

I recently heard a 52 minute online speech of Meg Whitman (eBay) at Stanford GSB on May 23, 2006 and this is what Ms. Whitman had to say…truly inspiring!

1. If you have to go global, go soon & go fassssst!

2. eBay thought normal ordinary people to do business in an auction format.

3. PayPal becoming the wallet of eBay & its vision of being the world’s online payment standard! Skype’s acquisition – WOW!

4. Common theme across eBay – “Expanding their vision, Expanding their market & Expanding their opportunity

5. There is more of e-commerce that takes place today OFF eBay than ON eBay.

6. Lessons learnt:
a) USER EXPERIENCE IS EVERYTHING (it all begins & ends with the quality of user experience. Period.)
b) Art of Strategy = Art of Exclusion i.e. what NOT TO do rather than what TO DO!
c) Anticipate change ALWAYS. The price of INACTION is far greater than the cost of a mistake. Inaction is sometimes a STRATEGY!
d) Mistakes are OK. Just fix them FAST.
e) Build a gr8 team and be fun to work with.
f) NEVER compromise your integrity.
g) Always stay FOCUSED. Pick right people for the right job & have the right strategy & Execute the strategy
h) Have a lessons learnt NOTEBOOK and jot down ALL / MOST IMPORTANT lessons you have learnt (anywhere, anyplace, anytime). Read them.

7. Challenge for eBay – How do you grow BIG and yet stay SMALL?!

To conclude, Ms.Whitman shared her personal philosophy, to quote the legendary A.G.Lafley – “Know thyself. Be thyself”. She said that "The ability to pretend like someone else is not sustainable."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Leadership Creed

1. An uncanny ability to pick people - a.k.a. talent scouting / hiring
2. Intelligent, competent & confident (NOT complacent!)
3. Democratic, caring & compassionate
4. Futuristic thinking – predicting the future business outlook / trends etc…
5. Unparalleled mission, vision & action (execution)
6. Think Global – Act Local attitude
7. Dispense enthusiasm, motivation / morale
8. Be a team-player (Player!)
9. Be fair & considerate
10. Demonstrate ethical behavior & act with highest of integrity
11. Self-controlled
12. Innovative & take calculated risks
13. Balanced yet Outgoing
14. Subtle yet Distinct
15. Strong yet Gentle

Friday, June 23, 2006

Brilliant Answer!

One fine day, a mechanic was removing the cylinder heads from the motor of a car when he spotted the famous heart surgeon in his shop, who was standing off to the side, waiting for the service manager to come to take a look at his car.

The mechanic shouted across the garage,” Hello Doctor! Please come over here for a minute." The famous surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to the mechanic.

The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked argumentatively, "So doctor, look at this. I also open hearts, take valves out, grind 'em, put in new parts, and when I finish this will work as a new one.

So how come you get the big money, when you and me is doing basically the same work? The doctor leaned over and whispered to the mechanic…"Try to do it when the engine is running".

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Well, I recently read an article written by W.Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne in the Harvard Business Review (Oct’2004 issue) which mentions that rather than competing within the existing industry (which is over-crowded) or stealing customers from rivals, an organization can develop an uncontested market space that makes the competition irrelevant. WOW! Radical Thinking!?

The authors say that competition is indeed very important but by merely focusing on competition & competitive advantage, leading authorities, experts, scholars, consultants have ignored TWO major points:-

1) To find and develop BLUE OCEANS and;
2) To exploit and protect BLUE OCEANS

They conclude by mentioning that in blue oceans, demand is created rather than fought over and there is ample opportunity for growth that is both lucrative & rapid. Interesting indeed...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Football (kick-off!) Quotes!

We all know that the 2006 FIFA World Cup is around the corner (starting June 09, 2006) and since the football fever has caught up like crazy, I thought it would be apt for me to post a few out-of-the-ordinary ‘kick-off quotes’ on football…here goes the list…

1. I don’t know much about football. I know what a goal is, which is surely the main thing about football. – Victoria Beckham

2. Five days shalt thou labour, as the Bible says. The seventh day is the Lord thy God’s. The sixth day is for football. – Anthony Burgess (English Novelist)

3. A penalty is a cowardly way to score – Pele

4. Winning doesn’t really matter as long as you win – Vinnie Jones (British footballer turned actor)

5. Sometimes in football, you have to score goals – Thierry Henry, French footballer

6. The rules of soccer are very simple. If it moves, kick it, If it doesn’t move, kick it until it does. – Phil Woosnam (former US soccer coach)

7. If god had wanted man to play soccer, he wouldn’t have given us arms – Mike Dikta, American football coach

8. Soccer is a game for 22 people that run around, play the ball, and one referee who makes a slew of mistakes, and in the end Germany always wins. – Gary Lineker, former English national footballer.

Did you know that football also denotes a briefcase that holds the nuclear codes available to the President of the United States? Oops…did someone kick the briefcase to crack the code?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Do you wanna

Did you know that there is a search site called which has been evolving for quite a while and one never knows when things EVOLVE completely in the IT space (or do they..?). Research suggest that the activity most performed in the internet is SEARCH and it’s surfacing by leaps & bounds! Thanx to the young tech-turks at leading universities world over trying to come out with newer user-friendly robust search applications (search engines).

I recently read a FORTUNE article on where Jim Lanzone,'s CEO effortlessly explains “What really differentiates us is our focus on search. Other companies are partnering with content companies and launching wi-fi networks. But we're not building a rocket ship. We're building a better car. It's not what people will want in five years. It's what they want now”. Is there a message to the world at large? Well, let’s wait and see what the forces of free market have to offer?

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