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« Lessons about life from Vajubhai, our school Principal | Main | Who can guess that precise moment when your world is going to change? »

February 24, 2009

Comments

fridayreflections

Good one. Also there is another message here too. It is also the story of not giving up and motivating others to reach new heights.

Management is about persuading people to do things that they typically do not want to do. Leadership is about inspiring people to reach heights/achieve things that they never thought they could.

Gayathri

Reminds me of the reflection about Motorola. Good one.

micro CEO

As a university student, I learned one key thing about taking classes. That was to select classes (wherever possible) according to the teachers rather than the title of the course. The teachers who were passionate about their subjects would "stick out like an awl in a burlap sack", i.e. you could spot them a mile away, since their classes were the most popular, and their office hours were always packed with a large number of students coming in for extra advice or help. Students talked about these professors and their subjects with stars in their eyes. It was evident that this enthusiasm washed off quite readily.

Any other classes quickly turned into a mundane drudgery, no matter how promising the subject-matter seemed when I had signed up... The profs of such classes might be smart, patient, even somewhat charasmatic. But it did not matter. One could simply attend the classes to ensure that one was covering the right textbook chapters and problems (i.e. the ones that would be tested). Details and examples would be furnished but rarely a new insight or analogy to facilitate understanding and broaden the scope of applications. With any luck at all, the textbook would be the remaining source of encouragement, only if the author had approached the subject with enough passion to sweeten the otherwise dry and static organization of most such books...

I had one such physics teacher, Dr. Broshar who gratiously appeared in my 2nd year class and happily gave us lectures on the joys of welding, the challenges of optimizing energy effeciency in a house, and other hands-on engineering topics that had been totally devoid of the ivory tower physics lectures that were so obligatory in my first year. Upon my (miraculous?) graduation, I sold or discarded roughly 99% of my text books. My accumulated notes were mostly illegible after a few months had passed, too. What remained for me to keep were only a few projects, papers, and lasting memories of the few professors who had been inspirational.

If I look back on my career and life since then, I realize I owe a huge gratitude to a few passionate and caring individuals--- teachers, relatives, friends, managers. Perhaps others have been similarly influenced by a few key mentors or leaders?

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