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« Men are not disturbed by things, but the view they take of things* | Main | Cream or Sugar »

August 11, 2016



What a concise and power packed summary, Anand!!
You made my day!

This I could connect with another recent experience in course of a "mandatory" training program i was attending couple of days back titled "Build and Lead".
There, we were made into groups of 4, blindfolded and asked to form a five pointed star with a rope - all time-capped. Enthusiastic as always, we "all" took charge, discussed, progressed and lost track multiple times - finally, a situational leader emerged among the 4 of us - who was otherwise holding a low profile until then; He seemed to have the most clarity on how to achieve this. And with no arguments/ego, in an unsaid manner rest of us trusted him and contributed to a common goal. And voila, we could form a perfect star while none of the other 3 teams were anywhere close to completion.

The question here is - who is the leader/manager here?
The one who was followed
The one who allowed some body else to lead
The one who trusted and followed
In my eyes, all showed immense courage in passing/holding control with trust and contribution.

My take away from that experience is , a leader's job is to bring out the leader in others.

I spend this time amidst the chaos of my current work day, all because your article inspired me to pen this down.

Thanks Anand...


Ha! Ha! Good analogy.


This is great… a real keeper.. and should be taught in every management class ever offered.

Thanks for sharing!!!


Insightful as always. And extremely timely (for me) with a new grandson due within the next week. Hope all is well with you and the family.


Reading this makes me think of the managers that I thrived under, where I was able to accomplish the most and grow the most, were the one's who trusted me to get the job done and didn't regularly tell me 'how to do it'. Sure I would ask questions from time to time and use my manager as a sounding board but I never felt 'directed' like 'this is where you need to go' and I was able to shape my own vision of what I wanted the world to look like and go work to make it happen. My hope is that everyone has the opportunity to work for such a manager (leader).


It seems to me that your wise wife had the true leadership role in this story. Interestingly this LEAN manager neither took charge of the diaper change, nor took responsibility when the delegated change was probelmatic. Is this good leadership? LOL. Well, perhaps all's well that ends well.

In Japan, there is a aphorism, "If you want good mochi rice, go to the mochi rice shop." (Mochi wa, mochi ya). The intended meaning is, leave it to the professionals if you want a professional job.

But I have always disliked this phrase, since I believe it is best to try things for oneself, even if failure results. If at first you don't succeed...try, try again. When I was learning to repair bicycles as a university student, I volunteered to restore a friend's bike for free, providing he bought me the parts and any necessary tools. We went together to the bicycle shop and bought some parts, but then I made a mistake and broke one of the new tools for removing a chain link. So we went back to the bicycle shop to get another one of those tools. The shop owner chastised me, "mochi wa, mochi ya". And I replied to the man, "Well everyone has to start somewhere. Were you born with your expertise, or did you acquire it through practice and learning from errors?". I never went back to that shop. And I am still quite happy to tinker with things, even if I might run some risk of not getting it right the first time.

So in the position of this grandpa, I hope that I would not hesitate to "get my hands dirty" at least once and learn to change the diaper myself first. Leading by example before delegating is sometimes important. However, I admit there are times when delegating a task can both contribute to career growth of team members, and simultaneously keep me from getting my hands too messy.

Pulao Penang

Well, you know what? This story brings back memory of my dad..
When my first son was born, he was left with him at home..
Well, fair enough that during our childhood, there were no such thing as disposable diaper.. Well, for some reason, my dad had to change my son’s diaper.. and guess what? He wore them the wrong way. Instead of zapping them in front, he zapped them behind.. and you know what, he blamed the vendor for not providing any manual.. Guess guys work better with manual..


I love reading Friday reflections and today's diaper lesson is funny and true and anyone in office environment can relate to it :)


Ha ha. Nice lesson in management Anand. Hits the point home much better than those mgmt books. There was a hidden point in the conversation, something we all take for granted. Seniority == experience == de facto wisdom (in all areas) and obviously that wisdom not only tries to control the team but also influences their performance (wait! I have seen someone doing that.... Me!!!).

This story made me laugh, think and learn all at the same time :-). With your permission, would like to share it onwards.

Keep the wisdom coming :-)


thank you for sharing :)


hahaha, it was such a funny story that you made me laugh in tears!! very wise sayings below, and I think when we give instructions to our employees in areas they're content experts while we don't know much about, we still feel obliged to help, and the help often times translated to some better thoughts/ tips/inputs/instructions on top of their actions/plans. It might be the "eagle" thing inside ourselves as "Manager". It's actually perfectly ok to add mgmt. value in the last phase of recognition/positive reinforcement/and retrospective on what could be done to make it even better!!

•Having good people and not know them
•Knowing good people and not use them
•Using good people and not trust them.
Giving instructions about something you don’t know anything about.


To Mujesh and all the readers of Friday Reflections
It is OK to share any article of FR as well as cartoons (keep the original source reference that is under the cartoons) to any one in the world. The theme of FR is Things that are given away are never lost. So in that spirit share as much as you like. Let Good things only multiply.


Great story on how to effectively apply managerial, quality and logistical skills to very complicated process of changing diapers;
We all know, w/o right management, this process can get very messy...

ShardaMandir student

One of the best reads of the weekend :)


I just love it. Diaper lessons should be read by managers....

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