Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ever thought what we learnt at MBA

Incidentally, I spoke with 2 of my MBA batch mates, Manish and Parag in past 1 week. Intelligent and experienced folks, they had come to do their 2 years full-time MBA at SIBM, 2001-2003, (Some call it Symbi, and many do not know that SIBM is a flagship MBA college of National and maybe Global repute). I was also there with my work ex with a PSU and Central Police Organisation. Manish had worked for Marriott and helped Marriott set up their first footprint in India (precisely Goa). He did their SOPs, training, coaching and setting up processes. It was all before he came to SIBM. BTW, he was rank-1 in SIBM entrance for MBA. Those days, it was called MPM and we were under Pune University. Symbiosis became deemed University in 2004 and the gen next got their degree titled, MBA. Somehow, I was not excited about SIBM being under Symbiosis University, for simple reason of me seeing that average professors, office staff and librarians, and also the Director remained the same.It was just a naming ceremony and so, I was proud to have my degree of MPM form Pune University. Manish did start with Ma Foi Consultant as campus offer was that for him and also for some other smarter folks. It does not mean others did not get Olam International and ITC and other big names. He quickly realized that mistakes have to be corrected immediately or it becomes part of behavior. He moved to EXL Services and did enjoy his stint, got some quick changes done, had appreciation and then again moved to more realistic world of Unilever as Assistant Training Manager. Manish is a magical trainer. He transforms people and their outlook. Beauty is, he does not talk anything about him or story around his life to motivate you. He takes you to the transforming journey slowly and you consciously hold his hand, start looking up, start feeling lighter and you would not know when you took-off. You know that the best pilots give you such smooth take-offs and soft-landings! I have attended some of his presentations and have seen the passion he brings to the moment. You get glued to the screen with him and him all around. He is very unassuming and maybe also unpredictable in how he will navigate through the presentation or training. It is like a great movie that guarantees you to take you off your feet and you love that 'zero-gravity'. Wait till the end for the biggest 'discovery', the message at the end will sweep you off your feet! It took me hours to come out of what I have gone through once in his presentation (Jonathan Livingston Seagull-A story, written by Richard Bach.) This is a story for people who follow their dreams and make their own rules; a story that has inspired people for decades.
I am very sure, there can be many people who can act passionately telling the story of that immortal "Seagull", but Manish lives it! You can watch through his passion, almost, making of that Seagull as he gathers all his energy to fly! Watch his moves! Mesmerizing!

I wish Manish does 'Open Seminar' on his way of telling the Seagull story. It will create revolutionary impact, he may like to call "total transformation".

Yes, after his presentation, I lived a brief spell of "shake-up". I missed the "transformation" though. Perhaps, I was not ready for it. I had my destiny, who wanted me to remain lost for some more time. It seems my search has begun now, with search for Manish and I found him!
Coming back to to the topic!
Did he learn all that at SIBM? Certainly not! Though yes, he got an audience of some quality. Remember  he was the best guy selected by the SIBM to do the MBA. I cannot expect that Manish was there to learn or experiment. He was there to tell us that life begins the moment you know, what is 'transformation'.
I believe, I heard him talk and present several times but could not transform myself. Not surprised that all great characters in the world needed a "Coach", a transformation agent". Arjuna had Krishna,  Mauryan king Ashoka had Buddhist monk Upagupta, who tamed his fierce and malevolent nature.(Ashokavadana, Buddhist text was written five hundred yeas after Mauryan rule, in second century AD, in Sanskrit). We all need a 'transformation agent'.Sooner the better!

Manish moved on do his research at MIT and Harvard. Now consults select enterprises and SMEs through transformational leadership and Change management.
I remember him as a guy, far ahead and beyond the scope of MBA curriculum, that SIBM followed. I remember what Winston Churchill said about learning, "I certainly like to learn but not necessarily being taught."
I have realized that with people like Manish, you need to focus on what you can collect from him.
Looking forward to working with him.

I was talking to Manish a week back and I told him that "he came to do an MBA, not to learn out of MBA professors and course. Rather he came to see, how he is mis-fit for a regular MBA course. He also learnt, how probationer MBAs are made for operating small wheels of industry.


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