Category Archives: Parents guide

The Adams and the ‘M’adams!

A rambling rill that had started from the serenity of Gardens of Eden has created a world – wide – web of life. A fascinating, a site that is being actively surfed by many living creatures and principally by human being. A site that is operated with a public user id ‘action’ and a secret individualistic password ‘dream’. Human being: just like other organisms, we play the role of a ‘Safe locker’ and a ‘vehicle’. A Safe locker as we safe guard the precious 46 chromosomes encapsulated within our cellular nucleus and a carrier vehicle as we transcript and transport our Genome to the generation next. Thus making life the relay and genes the baton.

This is in short talking about something we are lavishly enjoying. Our brain the CPU + our mind the monitor + our intelligence the RAM + our thoughts the key board + our will the mouse = The life.

Since we have mentioned a little about Genome let’s spin a discussion out of it, let’s log on to and understand the genesis.

Our genes carry the sequence of genetic information in a language called as genetic coding. These genes are made up of DNAs. Each of the DNA is made up of four basic nucleotides. A G C & T, those stand for Adenine, Guanine, Cytosin and Thymine. These four nucleotides are arranged in specific sequence like many letters are arranged to write sentences. This sequence is passed to us from our parents and we pass them on to our offspring.

We all carry this book of the size smaller than the full stop at the end of this sentence, in our every nucleus. A book that has got 23 chapters in it and about 3 billion letters typed without spacing. I am talking about our 23 pairs of chromosomes and about 3 billion genetic codes in them.

Take out one such nucleus and then take out 23 paired chromosomes from there. Do the whole genome sequencing for all 23 chromosomes. Write the entire sequencing in A4 size pages without spacing and punctuations. Accommodate 60 such letters in one line and 24 lines in a page. Your book will have 20 lacs and 83 thousand pages to create space for entire genome sequence. If you then start reading 100 pages a day it will take 57 years for you to finish reading the entire book.

So you better agree with me that life is not a fluke but a strategy. Someone created it and went away! Few thousand light years away!


Written by Rajesh Bhattacharjee, a Harvard Alumnus (Psychology).

“One” that succeeds!

Life – needs a quality ovum and a strong jovial sperm. Unfertilized ova are shed. The womb cries. Success needs a quality desire and fertile Actions. Unfertilized desires are shed. The fate cries.

Endless attempts to fulfill desires drive our life. Desires inspire us to act. If desire was a car action must be the fuel. Actions drive desire to destination. Point to note here is that destination may not be reached if either of them stops contributing. It’s a doubles game. However most of the time in life there remains a severe man made shortage of either desire or action and in worst-case scenario there is a shortage of both.

Thus, at the fag end, for most of us, life remains as a reduced bundle of unaccomplished desires. All gone ripples of life, culminates into a gloomy melancholy sigh.

Identify and isolate quality seeds of your desires through introspection and filtration. Assist yourself to nurture and grow these seeds by discovering the driving nutrient – the fuel.

The fuel, that is sunken deepest in the subconscious mind.  Be a laborer working in the mind mine. This will drag your attention to look up inside the mind. Move head and listen to mind whispers.

Once you get to come out of the mine I’m sure you’ll be clayed with sparkling desires and laborious action plans. Churn thoughts, posses the cream. Convert thoughts into action. One at a time. This might thus help you grow your seed of desire in to a Banyan of your success.


The Rise of Singapore – And Leadership Lessons from Lee Kuan Yew (part 3)

LEE promoted savings by each individual citizens to boost wealth accumulation by giving higher interest rates in provident fund savings. He believed savings give economic power to a nation. He set up industries and created employment. Though not enough to create massive job opportunities. This farther pressed the need of inviting MNCs to come to the land. Citizens more aligned their actions with the goal that Lee had seen for the nation- be educated, be skilled, be clean, build infrastructure and bait foreign investment. All these to lead a better life style.

He projected Singapore as a trading nation harping on its geographical position. He promoted import of goods from west and export to the Far East and vice versa. This was to earn enough revenues to develop infrastructure in the country to provide facilities to the investor MNCs.

He made doing business in Singapore and getting a job in Singapore easy. He liberated various related policies to invite foreign investors and workers to come in. He amalgamated home grown talents with that from overseas to create an innovative and efficient workforce mix.

Popularly known as the architect of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew composed a country with passion and sustainability. Singapore today stands as a realized dream of Lee. It stands as the monument of dedication, discipline and development. It’s a testimony of what good governance can do. Many world leaders today follow footsteps of Lee to create a garden city nation, like what Lee had made possible in his lifetime.

Rising from a poor country in 1960s today Singapore is a world trade center. A transformation that amazes all brilliant economists of the world. Thanks to stringent laws of the land that has taken a little of freedom from every citizen but in return has given a world full of opportunities and economic freedom to each one of them.  Thanks to a hardworking and ready to compromise citizen force of the country too who together with Lee composed the story.

In today’s context there are about 7000 MNCs who had put up their manufacturing base in glittering, sky kissing Singapore. Thanks to liberal industrial policies. Inviting these investments was a persistent move that has helped mass employment for 49 lacs of people out of it’s total population of 50 lacs. Yes you are reading it right. Only 2% of the Singaporeans are jobless. A citizen in Singapore earns an average salary of INR 2.5 lacs per month according to://

Today the world leaders recognize Singapore’s transition story from third world to fastest grown developed country as a true Asian ‘economic mirracle’. Singapore is world’s most researched case study in business schools. ‘Lee the leader’ made it.

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The Rise of Singapore – And Leadership Lessons from Lee Kuan Yew (part 2)

No one counted Singapore when it took birth in 1965 as an independent Republic. The primary challenges those Lee faced after becoming the first prime minister were disciplining the citizens, creating jobs, establishing sources of revenues, and building potable water facilities to reduce dependence on Malaysia. He continued addressing all these issues without any diversion over a period of 3 decades from 1959 till 1990 as the prime Minister of the nation. During this regime he brought in very strict laws and punishment systems and tamed the citizens to behave within framed code of conducts. He promoted education for all. He focused on to cleanliness of the tiny city nation as preparatory work towards his vision: prepare the nation to bring investment from MNCs.

Spitting in public, smoking in public, chewing ‘chewing gums’, even wearing wrong dress may not only warrant for fine but also put one in jail! So strict is the law there, easily one can guess the punishment for serious crimes!

Result? The moment you walk in to the city nation you feel like you have entered a huge holiday resort.

He made it mandatory for every 18 years old or more to serve country’s defense services. This was to tighten nation’s security system as it had a very week defense force post freedom and was threatened by confronting Indonesia from the neighborhood and communism from within.

He promoted child birth by educated graduate women. This was to produce an educated skilled workforce generation. He in fact set up a match making agency to socialize graduate man and women. MNCs would certainly look for a ready workforce once they were in and that was the agenda. To control population boom on this tiny land ‘Stop at Two’ policy was enacted. More than 2 children would attract social bias in availing government facilities.

He scrapped freedom of press to tame opposition and rebellion. That reduced political instabilities caused by unnecessary criticism of policies. He introduced canning as a corporal punishment. Drug addicts, illegal immigrants and 42 other crimes still invite canning in Singapore.

Singapore had corruption in it’s political system. Lee believed one way to stop this bug was to pay ministers well in order to fulfill their requirements. He equaled salaries of ministers, judges and top civil servants with that of top private sector professionals. He took only the most honest ministers in his cabinet to mitigate any kind of corruption in the system. He provided the nation a distinction that was severely absent in it’s neighboring countries. A corruption free governance.  Continue reading The Rise of Singapore – And Leadership Lessons from Lee Kuan Yew (part 2)

The Neuroscience of Leading through POOR performance?

Have you ever thought why you feel happy and excited even with the thought of having a cup of coffee? Or why you feel happy with the thought of having a go flying in the evening with your best friends and champaign? Do you get tempted to just buzz in and savour some sweets at one go when passing by a mouth watering Sweets shop. Well in the language of psychology this behaviour is called as craving. Craving gives us ecstasy even with the thought of indulging into a habitual behaviour. Craving gives us the happiness before we indulge into the real or actual act of physically exposing our body to that particular stimulus. When for a substantial period of time we practice a particular behaviour be it smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol or getting up early in the morning and going for exercise or having certain type of food, we form particular habits. Craving drives our habits. Though drugs form dependence later on, at the initial phase any habit formation follow this Loop CUE, CRAVING, ROUTINE and REWARD.

We have discussed in our previous post that habit formation requires three basic ingredients namely a cue, a routine and a reward. But when you continue a certain behaviour for a long period of time the reward which initially comes at the end starts coming immediately after Cue. That means the happiness is already experienced before actual act. We understand from this discussion is that it is not only cue and a routine and a sense of the accomplishment associated happiness that helps us form various behaviours or habits, it is also the craving for that particular moment that solidifies those habits in us. Craving repeatedly invites us into the execution of our those behaviours. Examples: It is the THOUGHTS of endorphin rise and the happiness felt therefore after exercise is the motivation behind exercising. It is the preemptive FEELINGS of euphoria after taking a particular drug like caffeine or alcohol that creates a craving. Craving is FELT in thoughts and  is powerful to drive actions, when repeated in autopilot are called as HABITS.

Having understood how habits form and how they are persistently driven now the challenge is to understand how do we change habits.

Let’s take the example of Indian cricket team during Greg Chappell’s coaching period. It is known to everyone today that Greg Chappell as a coach almost destroyed a very well knit Indian cricket team. Out of many new habits good or bad, those were formed during this period of anarchy one we could discuss is when the players used to go to the net for practice. There were cues. The cues were the alarm clock in the morning, or the call from other colleagues, or all the habituation of the players since very long, of getting up early, putting the shoes and tracks and moving towards the field.

Now look at the changed routine during Greg’s time. Previously these same players used to look at each other as synergistic contributors. But under the coaching period of Greg Chappell these bunch of legends started looking at each other as  competitors. A competition to stay in the team by overpowering the other. People started focusing on individual records. Team went south. There always lurked the risk of loosing out from the team. Many legends were temporarily destroyed during that time like the Ganguly’s. These players started guessing every morning who’s from who’s camp! From the coach’s camp or from the captain’s camp. Whom they could trust sharing their feelings and whom to not. There were massive ideological differences between the captain and the coach. All these gradually divided the team into fragments of nonperforming individuals. This was the CHANGED routine from the previous base line routine that took away the element of CRAVING for team performance from each players psyche. Though the reward for habit formation was high: only to remain fit and retain post in the team that too just to hang on there.

The changed ROUTINE changed the performance of the team India. They lost their chances in the qualifiers during the World Cup in 2007. After a lot of brawl between the coach and the captain the board took a decision to Fire the coach under media pressure and even public pressure. A new coach Gary Kirsten took over. He got a team which was no more a team but a bunch of devastated, demoralised, dissociated individual players.

Gary’s primary goal was to built trust and respect for talent in each of the morally down legends of the team. Don’t forget the likes of Sachin, Saurav, Dravid, Laksman, Jahir Khan, Harbhajan all were a part of that team. There was no dearth of talent or potential. There was a need to change the habits of the team members. Habits those developed in those years of highly polarised political environment were mistrust, nonperformance, low self esteem, procrastination, passing the buck, instability, indiscipline and shaken beliefs on the entire system. Goals were invisible, misty and murky.

Through many scientific research by that time it was well established that when you try to change performance of people you don’t alter the CUE neither alter the REWARD but alter the ROUTINE leg of the Habit loop. Particularly this formula is very popular  among the coaches who coached big football teams or cricket teams or any other teams who play international standard games. Sporting psychology explains it better.

So what did Gary Kirsten do?

He did not change the cues or the rewards. They all remained the very same. Kirsten only targeted Routines of the team. He established himself as an enabler and not a destroyer. He established that he was not an administrator but a facilitator. He restored TRUST among team players and recreated that respect for each other’s capabilities. He became a dependable bridge to communicate between team and board. He respected talent in the team. He set fitness and performance as the only  yardsticks in being in the team not mere age or previous performance. Team players started looking at each other as performance partners and not competitors. A lot of synergy flew in immediately with the trust flying in. This lens of looking at their own performance had put the focus back on self performance rather than the external environment. Threat was abolished. Practice sessions became fun. Gary himself became the CHEER LEADER of the Team India. Soon came back CRAVING to go out there in the field and perform for the team. Self esteem was restored. This Gary’s team ended up winning the mighty World Cup in 2011.

So what do the leaders who almost always COACH, should do in getting the performance back on the track out of ruckus? Well research recommend that they should not try and CHANGE the performance by trying to change everything at a time. They may rather only change the HABITS of their people. In the habit loop of CUE, CRAVING, ROUTINE and REWARDS change only the ROUTINE, HABIT will change as an effect! Positive Performance will just follow as the outcome.


This article is written by Rajesh Bhattacharjee,  a Harvard  Extension School Alumnus,  Psychology. He is a technical Coach and a Leadership trainer.

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Images courtesy : Google images 


Which of the socks you put first, left or right?

Which side of your face you start with while making your shave every morning? After taking a shower which pattern you follow in wiping your body with the towel? Is there a left first or right first kind of a pattern when you brush your teeth? How do you light your cigarettes , lighter in left or right hand? After entering the grocery mall every month for your monthly picks which corner of the mall you start with? What time your sleep breaks in the morning everyday? How do you sort and put your clothes into washing machine daily? How do you put those masalas in the mixer grinder machine everyday while cooking? Which of the sock you put first, left or right? You put on your trouser or shirt first while grooming yourself for the office? How you park your car in the garage every evening? What road you take for your morning walk every morning? How do you travel to your work place every day? How you tie your Tie knots? How do you indulge yourself into physical exercise everyday? How do you practice music on a particular part of the day – everyday? How do you develop a particular eating HABIT and a routine lifestyle?

Do you really even pay much attention while performing all these daily tasks on a routine basis?

These endless list of repetitive daily activities make our day, everyday! After attaining a particular age and mastery in accomplishing such tasks we don’t really engage our brain much in making those mundane decision in performing through these activities. Rather these activities are performed in individualistic formats repeatedly everyday on autopilot. If you recall or observe how you perform a particular task every day you may not be surprised when you find that there is a repeated pattern of your actions in accomplishing such day to day tasks.

These are our habits. Habit formation is an ancient neuro biological process or tactics of our brain that enables brain to conserve energy and concentrate on a decision making process that is more important at that particular time putting routine works on autopilot. Brain at that time rather engages on doing something more worthy when you are on autopilot. Remember synchronising your speech while driving to office or recalling lines of a song while cooking? It has been scientifically now observed and documented that habits manifest even without interacting with memory.

The person I am going to talk about here is one of the most famous patients in the history of medical advances. EP as he was popularly known as was Eugene Pauly. He was a patient who had lost his memory to viral encephalitis as the infection damaged his hippocampus, a part of the brain that stores information as memory. Every 30-40 seconds he used to get a complete cleaning of his memory slate. He failed completely to store any new learning as memory. Every 30-40 seconds he would introduce himself to his attending doctors. Have multiple meals, ask repeated questions to his wife though been answered several times. Looking at his growing body weight his team of doctor researchers advised his wife to take him for morning walk everyday. After a while his wife noticed that Eugene goes for morning walk alone and not only that he even comes back home sits on his chair and switches on the TV. He does them unconscious and without being aware that he was doing it. Almost instantaneously he used to forget everything about the entire episode of going out and walking and coming back home. This incident surprised the researchers and made them curious enough to understand that habits can be develop without help from memory. And ultimately led to the discovery that if memory lies in the hippocampus habits are stored in a different location in the brain called basal ganglia. They are formed out of repeated practice of a particular task over and over again. Doctors asked Eugene to draw his morning walk route map or tell the address of his house which he could never answer. Confirming habits are independent of memory.

This has led to the understanding that habit has a loop for it’s formation. It needs a cue to start a routine to follow and after all a reward to enjoy the outcome and motivate repetition of the action. Let’s think about Eugene. His cue for morning walk was looking at the outer world, routine was following the same routes, passing by the same trees, taking the same curves every day. His motivation was bringing some souvenirs for his wife like some fresh flowers.
Let’s think about brushing teeth everyday. Cue: bad smell. Routine: toothpaste and brush on display everyday and the actual act of brushing. Reward: Beautiful Shiny smile that adds to Confidence. This habit loop is universal and is followed in every single habit formation. Though Eugene had forgotten essentially all memories about his recent past he exhibited those habits like getting up from bed in the morning and going to the washroom and flushing the toilet after use. However he could never tell someone where in his house was the washroom.

Habits are our universal accompany. We don’t take birth with but we make them in our lifestyle. We compose them with effort, conscious or subconscious. We have our own sleeping habits, eating habits exercising habits addictive habits and cognitive habits. Cognitive habits are nothing but the way we think about incidences and people around us.


This article is written by Rajesh Bhattacharjee, a Harvard Alumnus, Psychology. He is currently a technical Coach and a Leadership trainer. You may reach him at

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How Habits Put Our Brain on Autopilot

One of the important activities of the brain is converting certain day to day activities into habits. Brain does this to save or conserve energy in doing mundane or routine works of day to day life. How the habits form? Habits form through continuous practice and learning.  But there is something beyond this layman understanding. And in particular when we learn or practice a particular thing repeatedly for a prolonged period of time that information gets stored at a specific location in the brain to form habits. Question here is why we repeat certain behaviour and not certain others.

Since a long period of time neuroscientists and behavioural scientists and the psychologists have researched to understand where exactly the habits or the information about habits are stored in the brain. Initially it was thought that information about habits were stored in the same area where memory is stored. However certain dramatic studies in the field of neuroscience and cognitive psychology have revealed that long term memory and habits are not stored in a common place in the brain. For that matter hippocampus, one of the ancient most internal structures of the brain, is the area where memory is stored. In various medical studies with patients who lost their hippocampus either in accidents or to viral encephalitis where observed doing well with their old habits though their recent memory was erased along with damaged hippocampus. Also it was found that they even retained their ability to forming new habits.

This had posted a big question in front of the neuroscientists that if the hippocampus was gone then where did the habit formation happened in the brain. In this quest of finding this highly specialised zone scientists found out that it is the basal ganglia where information about habits get stored. It was further confirmed through many experiments on mice where they have confirmed that with damaged basal ganglia mice failed to form new habits.

It is our habits those put us on autopilot in performing many day to day activities in our life without even thinking about them. Habits save the activities of the brain to perform ‘repeat works’ and allow it to concentrate pinpointed on what is important at that point of time. Brain engages then into all kinds of complex decision-making activities of life without thinking much about routine works of life. Examples could be taking your car out or putting it back into the garaged or brushing teeth every morning or going to the kitchen and opening the door of the refrigerator finding something to eat getting up early morning and going for Yoga and many other such activities. Habits good or bad are stored there in the basal ganglia. Bad habits like not getting up early in the morning, not going for physical exercise, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes et cetera are also formed with the same effort that we put in to develop good habits. And therefore changing our habit whether good or bad is very challenging and tough. It takes a good deal of effort to do that or achieve a change from the current.

So the point of discussion here is to help children develop good habits.  So good habits like getting up early in the morning, saying good morning to parents, studying regularly at a particular time in the day, getting involved in to physical activities, developing good hand writings, eating healthy food, sleeping at a particular time or maintaining a sleep cycle, learning music, washing hands, keeping house and belongings clean, being courteous to others, respecting others and being empathetic to others, being helpful and many more are the habits those may be formed during early childhood. Through continuous practice these good habits may be ingrained into the basal ganglia.

The mantra is arranging for a Cue – following a Routine- and realising the Rewards for adopting a particular behaviour which would be converted into a habit through repetition of the behaviour. Cues are the triggers for adopting a particular behaviour. Routine is the continuous repetition of the behaviour within the same environment.  And Reward is the benefits or enjoyment out of the behaviour. We as parents need to just make sure that this sequential pathway is provided per every habit to our children. And so parental leadership is about living those habits  those we would like our words to adopt. It is tapping the power of silence. Teachers, leaders are you already practicing this model? Behaviours are formed early in the age specially from eight months of age in the mothers womb to about three and a half four years. so providing the right atmosphere for expression of behaviour in the early age is very very crucial. However any such behaviour when repeated regularly, routinely over a period of substantial amount of time, that behaviour turns into habit. And this can be developed at any age.

Habit is the Bass Guitar, only loud enough to feel in a song. But immensely enhancing the performance of our life.


This article is written by Rajesh Bhattacharjee, a Harvard Alumnus on Psychology. He is a technical coach and a leadership trainer. You may contact him at

Leaders of Small Things – 1

Limbic system is the area in our brain where sits our emotions. Prefrontal cortex is the region where sits our operating memories. Behavior and ability to make decisions also sit in there.  Hippocampus is the area in our brain where sits our long term memories. Alas!  There is no zone in our brain called as Leadocampus where would sit our neurons for leadership behaviour.

So there are no born leaders. Leadership is a skill learnt. If you agree to this proceed reading the rest else you may press the back button and eject out of this cockpit.

Challenging personal early environment situations were the architectural blueprints of many unforgettable leadership sagas of the world.

Mahatma Gandhi or Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose or Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela or Barak Obama or Narendra Modi, one thing that strings them together is the socio political challenges they faced in their early life periods. They were all common men but made to uncommon leaders – by themselves. They were all me too individuals who delt with common crisis uncommonly.

They took either the assertive,  or the aggressive or arrogant or audacious ways to handling issues of injustice and inequality.  Where a major chunk of people would normally keep mum frightened of poorer consequences if  raised voice, these people have travelled and played around with more number of wins to their records than

 Presenting a testimonial epic. Completing his studies in England he joined a contractual job for an year in South Africa. It was early 1893. At that period racism was at its pick in SA.  Rights of human was divided unequally between so called whites and Indians. A law called as racial segregation rule was in act. June 7, 1983 this young short heighted lightly built man when boarded a first class compartment of a train was pushed down on ground at Pietermaritzburg. Defeated but not perished this young man raised up and moved mountains without a single incidence of violence later on in his life. He forced the SA government to bring legislation and amend a few keeping in mind the rights of the Indian labours there. That was the beginning.  Rest we know him as MAHATMA GANDHI.

Leaders aren’t born as leaders but are being crafted to one by their very own thoughts and initial experimentations with truth. They become addicted to causes. They gain faith on themselves when they believe that the cause for their actions are defined and unalterable.

They give power to people and get it back even without asking for it when needed. They create followers not slaves.

Later on when Gandhi moved to India and fought for its freedom British government had put him in jail many occasions. But every time had to release him due to follower pressure.

True Leaders don’t focus on creating followers, instead followers give birth to Leadership. Before Big Leaders were big they were leaders of small things.

The whole brain is involved in cushioning the leadership attributes and not any particular compartment of the brain.  Through thoughts,  actions, experience and learnings  leadership neuro connections are born all across the brain and a leader is made to be.


This article is written by Rajesh Bhattacharjee, a Harvard Alumnus on Psychology. He is a technical coach and a leadership trainer. You may contact him at

Leaders of small things – 2

Early 1916, an incident rocked not only Calcutta but the  entire country shortly after its occurance. An English professor Prof. E F Oaten was beaten by a group of Indian students within the Presidency College premise. His mistake was he frequently exhibited racial behaviour in the class. Once he was recorded saying “The Indians should admit and accept the simple fact that the British is ruling India because they are morally superior to the Indians, and a frank admission of this position would do away with a great deal of mutual misunderstanding”. This statement invited this real trouble for him.

Those Indian students were expelled from the college of this British ruled India’s capital city. The leader of the mob was identified as a brilliant student in the college named  Subhas Chandra Bose. That was the first ever exuberance of patriotism from this great Indian soul. Yes this was his beginning.

After being rusticated from the college he got about one and a half years of time to organise groups of students for social work. In 1917 his rustication was revoked and again he got admitted in Scottish Churches College of Calcutta and graduated from there with a first class in Philosophy. He went to London to crack the ICSE (Indian Civil Service  Exam). He cleared it but refused to work under British Government. He did that as a part of his plan announcing his fight against British.

His rustication and refusal  of highly prestigious ICSE position made him a natural choice and a popular leader, very quickly.

We know his later life that he initially galvanised a huge support from Germany and then from Japan and established a huge Army force called INA – Indian National Army. He played a major role in India’s fight for FREEDOM. In fact very less known is the fact that he was the first prime minister of free India, of Japan occupied Andaman and Nicobar islands province for a very short period of time.

Leaders aren’t born as leaders. Leadership is a Choice. Leadership is born when Common people handle common situations uncommonly. Exhibition of courage comes from those neuronal connections of fearlessness. Those connections start forming during, and get consolidated after, each small strugles and wins.

Big Leaders are first leaders of small things.


This article is written by Rajesh Bhattacharjee, a Harvard Alumnus on Psychology. He is a technical coach and a leadership trainer. You may contact him at

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Passion, Patience, Perseverance and leadership

A fine morning a mother opened a baby food tin to prepare a serving for her 6 month old baby. To her shocking surprise she found a dead butterfly in the sealed tin. She screamed and screamed well. The news became viral in local newspapers within no time. Manufacturer denied any responsibility doubting pretention of the incidence and also questioning evidence for the insect been found in a sealed tin. No snag was found whatsoever in the quality control procedures following consequential investigations. However the sales of this particular brand nosedived in 6 adjacent states of India. Within next few months almost all the distributors denied to keep any stock owing to very low demand from end users in the region.

The brand died. 2 years later the manufacturer launched a new team and a new sales manager joined the company in that region. In charge of those 6 states this new guy was not aware of this two years old story. He approached distributors to book orders along with his teammates. But then everyone denied placing any order for the particular brand. He came back to local office and asked the branch manager about the matter. The branch manager then made him aware of this 2 years old story and sincerely advised him not to focus on this brand but on other products of the division. That very night the manager spoke to the national sales head. Even the he echoed the same and advised him not to focus on baby food range and build other brands in the region. Manufacturer was convinced that the baby food range was a “DEAD BRAND” in those states.

But this sales manager who’s a local guy from the region asked himself a question “how come I do not know anything of such a big incidence?”.

Next very day he announced to the national sales head “Boss we are going to make the baby food range a big one in my region”. NSH was in denial but surprised. This manager decided but. He started exhibiting a lot of passion to make the baby food range a big one. Slowly and passion and patiencegradually the passion exhibited by the manager infected everyone in the team. Everywhere he went he showcased an urgency to establish this infant food range.  The entire team started meeting pediatricians of the region and exposed the brand to them as many times as possible.  Pediatricians would ask questions about the incident but every individual had one answer- with a big honest smile they would say “Doctor that was our past, let’s try the present”. No denial, no altercation, no apology but pure assertion. Data presented, evidence of quality presented, continuing medical educational programs arranged in small groups, chemist shop displays been made, etc. But most important of all – the team presented bagful of confidence and passion for the brand to the potential patrons. Emotional and rational appeals were made to the trend setters. The entire team had projected a huge degree of patience and perseverance along with passion towards reaching the Moms (through doctor’s and chemist’s endorsement) with the benefits of the brand.

Slowly, very slowly a few of the prescribers started endorsing the brand while advising mothers on breast milk substitutes. Demand reached chemists and subsequently to the distributors. Few tins, about a 100 a month, started moving in 6 states, here and there. But for the manager these 100 tins were not less than a thousand, psychologically.

1 year of passionate display of eager had shown the team success. A year later the team clocked a sales of about 800 tins a month. Which by the end of next year touched 8 thousands tins a month. That was in 2003. Today the brand is a household baby food brand and can be found in every chemist shop in those 6 states. Not only that the brand is now available even in grocery shops and supermarkets. It’s a mega brand for the manufacturer too. One man’s passion changed complexion of a story.

No earth shattering marketing strategies but pure passion of sales team revived a brand, against all odds. Later on the manager investigated by interviewing the older sales representatives about the debacle. He could find that the butterfly news affected the failure is not tryingpsyche of those older sales people more than anybody else in the market. Whereas, ignorance of the incidence helped the new team and the manager to believe that – this news was hyped out of proportion by the local sales team more so within the organization than in the out. They were tired and clueless attending doctor queries. They gave up first before the mothers stopped feeding the brand or doctors stopped endorsing it. They believed that was the end of the brand and asserted that it would be a big waste trying to revive it. They tried to face the heat but only burnt their fingers. They all failed to rise from the ashes as they lack resilience killed by fear.

The take home of the case is that it’s the degree of passion and the resultant determination of a sales team that either mars or Builds BRANDS across industries. At the same time a leader has to be a sublime character who keeps away from snatching credit rather is generous in giving it away. A leader who is verbally silent and loud in action, steers team through exhibited behavior. People follow him as the moon follows the earth. It’s natural. They don’t focus on the development of this force, it occurs naturally to them. A leader’s relentless conviction to possibilities clears off cloud from the mind of followers. They start believing on the possibilities. They then together make possibilities come real.

A leader’s constructive thoughts thus are the biggest assets of an organization, pessimism – the liabilities. A good orator may win psyche of common men and become a minister. But to become a true leader one needs to win the hearts of followers. And there it takes a leader’s ACTIONS.  Effective leadership is about exhibiting passion and acting on it. This action galvanises inspiration to achieve the unachievables. Passion, Patience and Perseverance move mountains.


This article is written by Rajesh Bhattacharjee, a Harvard Alumnus on Psychology. He is a technical coach and a leadership trainer. You may contact him at

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