Friday, October 10, 2008

Lessons from the Trenches !

Session By Mr. Vishwakiran, Senior Manager – Alliances & Partnerships, HCL Technologies

It was an usual Saturday morning at CBS campus for the Marketing, Marketing Communication and Retail varsity Students. But, what made the Saturday special was an almost four hours of informative session on managing career and corporate world by Mr.Vishwakiran.

Mr. Kiran started off the session from the evergreen dream of any MBA student, ‘hands full of job offers’ and the subsequent reality-bites stories in the corporate sector. The entire presentation was about career options, choosing the best career and the best practices for succeeding in the same.

The entire process was covered under 8 different themes; very comprehensive, useful and interesting indeed.

1. Create Your Value System
He asked us to create an own brand for ourself to sell us in an interview. Many a time it is an under current fear factor that spoils a good interview in spite of being knowledgeable. At this phase he quoted the phrase “What are you prepared to do?” from the movie Untouchables to correlate the slide on the topic how to overcome fear. He touched upon being dependable and punctual on creating the value system of a person.

2. Dealing with Others
We gradually moved to the theme of how to handle people and to deal with them. The major concentration on this theme was on making an impact and having a positive influence with people, which will make people feel special and build relationship. And Mr. Kiran had a spot on how we should inspire people while talking to others and always be on others’ shoe before taking a call.

3. Stay on Top of Life
The next theme was on how to think, ask questions, to plan and to execute. Moving further we got some tips on how to prioritize our work and the importance of maintaining a dairy. And whatever it may be, he asked us to take notes for future references. From his personal experience he said he had taken about 8 notebooks of notes on joining HCL within few days. He ended this theme by ‘Sunday reflections’ how a good manager will plan on Sunday what he is supposed to do in the coming week. Surely, we could feel the learning for the real world stuff. Yup, this is what we wanted

4. Create Lasting Impression
‘Differentiate Yourself’ is one point which still rings in my mind when I think on the theme ‘Create Lasting Impression’. He clearly explained us how one can differentiate one from others. And the discussion continued about establishing credibility to a personality and how to position one in a competitive environment.

5. Overcoming Hurdles
To overcoming hurdles, a person should cultivate the following attributes Viz, not being over-confident, knowing your limitations, getting set to learn. He added on about ‘Fix Your Weakness’, where one can know what his negatives are and to practice on how to eliminate. He ended the theme by stating anything can be done to the hurdles with one’s own hope and self belief.

6. Survive at Work
To survive modern work place, one need to be professional in approach and activities and also have an eagle-eye for the finer details. Here popped a brilliant quote “Anything worth doing is difficult” from the movie Patch Adams. We got the information on the importance of paying attention to small things at work place and also how to manage expectations. The theme ended with the twinkling words ‘Praise in Public and Criticise in Private’ which is very important at a work place.

7. The Art of Communication
A simple one but an important aspect of a business life, apart from the well known communicate slowly & clearly, he explained us on how to think analog while communicating and also the art of telling stories while presenting to capture the targeted audience. The mantra was “Always keep to the point, keep it simple and do not get diverted from the topic”.

8. Realising Your Potential
The final theme covered on how to learn from ones own mistake and to master the craft. He also explained us about success which is a long haul. Gradually moved up the ladder, enlightening us on knowing what one want and how to accept and face reality. He ended the theme by quoting “Do what you love, Love what you do”.

The whole presentation was interspersed with lots of quotes from movies such as, Star Wars, The Shawshank Redemption, Patch Adams, Awakening, Platoon, Matrix, Terminator, Aviator, The Godfather, Message in a Bottle, The Rookie, Remember the Titans, Any Given Sunday, Million Dollar Baby, Alexander, Miracle, Wall Street, The War etc. That really drove home the important points clearly and at the same time made the whole session highly enjoyable

I would say this is the best presentation I have ever come across; Mr.Kiran also promised to have a separate session on movies and management. Thanks Sir, really waiting for that session to come alive. With out doubt, it will be another exciting encounter. Surely I will share the same with you all very soon.

Contributed by Uma Shankar Pandian , Marketing Varsity

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