A Success Philosophy for the 21st Century Student – Dr P V Ramana

Often I have felt whether a MBA is needed for success in the big game of LIFE! I spoke many times to incoming batches in my own institution about this. I have tried below to briefly put up my thoughts to you:

1. We are living in an age of Excess Information. I will call this the EI age. This is characterized by abundant information universally available and the universal access to powerful search tools to find out what we need, when we need. EI is also available on the go, instantly at your command by a variety of devices – Cell Phone, iPod, PC, Tablet PC etc

What do we do with this veritable sea of information? I submit that all this information is to be used somewhere and it is your duty to make Information useful to you or some one else.

PROPOSITION NO #1:   INFORMATION MADE USEFUL IS KNOWLEDGE

2. Then what do we do with this knowledge? Knowledge without action is like a vessel from which no one drinks! Behavioural Scientists tell us that between Knowledge and Action there is a trigger called Attitude. It is Attitude that determines our actions, with or even without knowledge. Attitude can be Positive or Negative. You are helpful if you are positive, and withdrawn or even destructive if your attitude is negative. While a Negative Attitude almost always has bad consequences, a Positive attitude leads to Positive results more often than not.

PROPOSITION NO #2:  KNOWLEDGE WITH ATTITUDE LEADS TO ACTION. A POSITIVE ATTITUDE LEADS TO POSITIVE RESULTS. A NEGATIVE ATTITUDE LEADS TO NO ACTION, OR ACTION WITH NEGATIVE RESULTS.

3. All actions lead to consequences good, bad and ugly. Who is responsible? Of course You are responsible. Why? You had the information, you made this information useful and acquired knowledge. You had the action attitude, and hence You alone are responsible for your actions. Can you accept responsibility for all your actions? If You are such a person, you will notice many people start to gather near you, ask your advice, request your help and are at peace only because You are there to accept responsibility! It is evident that this is the making of a Manager.

PROPOSITION NO #3: YOU MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT YOU DO AT ALL TIMES. THIS BUILDS RESPECT AND FOLLOWERSHIP AND MAKES YOU A MANAGER.

4. What next? My idea is that not only you are responsible for your own actions, but you are also responsible for the actions of all those around you, peers, colleagues, bosses, subordinates, family and friends. There is a good reason why this is so. Let us recount again: You collated the information. You made it useful and acquired knowledge. You have a Positive attitude. People trusted you and followed your advice and instructions, being safe in that you will take responsibility. Since you are in a position to impact the behavior of those around you, then You are responsible for them! If you are the source of Knowledge, Advice and Action, and hold yourself responsible, you become a true Manager!

PROPOSITION No #4: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR NOT ONLY YOUR OWN ACTIONS BUT ALSO THE ACTIONS AND RESULTS OF ALL THOSE AROUND YOU!

5. When does a Manager become a Leader? The answer is when you can tell the Truth. The simple unvarnished tell-it-as-it-is kind of Truth. Why? Simply because in this dual world of deceit and corruption, people are hungry for Truth, and they will worship it when they see it. This capacity to tell the truth at all times is the hallmark of a Leader! We know it to be true, but do not practice it. Can you maintain a Friendship or nurture Love without Truth? Can a Liar face his or her spouse, or the children with respect and affection? Can we bring home-values into the work place? Business demands truth, since it is clear, the faster You know and disseminate the Truth, the faster can the enterprise act on it! Also Technology makes truth telling imperative, since the communication and information systems are telling the truth in real time, and instant cross checking reveals any Misinformation or a Lie in the system. If you tell a lie, the system will catch you! Truth leads to Trust, which is the significant mark of a True Leader. If you have it, then you can Manage and Lead

PROPOSITION No #5: TELL THE TRUTH AT ALL TIMES, SINCE TRUTH BEGETS TRUST, AND MAKES YOU A LEADER FROM BEING A MERE MANAGER.

It is time to tell a story now. I heard it myself, and believe in it. let historians debate if it actually happened. Here goes:

Marcus Aurelius is indisputably the greatest Consul of the Roman Republic that ever lived and served. He was elected Consul an unprecedented 3 times in a row, retired, and came out of retirement to save Rome and got elected another  3 times in a row. One fine  evening he was playing with his 5 year old great grandson, who asked him ” Great Grandpa, people call you the Saviour of Rome. How did you get elected as a Consul? I want to know since I want to become a Consul too!”

He replied thus – “The first quality to be considered for election is to have Veritas. This is a quality, an aura that surrounds a person who is known to tell the truth at all times. If you have it, then people will believe you without question. ”

PROPOSITION No #6: TELLING THE TRUTH AT ALL TIMES LEADS TO A QUALITY CALLED VERITAS, ESSENTIAL PRE-REQUISITE OF LEADERSHIP

Piped in this 5-year old  – “I got it. What the second quality? Tell me quickly”

You might wonder why a 5-year old is thinking of leading his country at that age. Do not forget that in those time average life expectancy was 30 to 40 years, and you could conquer the known world, as Alexander did, between the ages of 14 and 28. You have to start early!

Aurelius replied thus – “The next quality is known as Gravitas. This is the capacity to command and get people to obey you. Remember if You do not have Veritas, Gravitas is of little consequence”

PROPOSITION No #7: IF YOU HAVE VERITAS, THEN YOU CAN DEVELOP GRAVITAS, THE QUALITY OF GETTING PEOPLE TO OBEY YOU, IN LIFE, FAMILY, BUSINESS, WAR AND EVEN UNTO DEATH!

Pat came the next question: What is the third quality? If I have these qualities can I stand for election?

Aurelius replied: “These two are not enough. If Veritas and Gravitas are seen in the same person in great meaure, then such a person has Imperium, the Right to Rule. Only such persons, who are perceived by the public to have Imperium can stand for Election”

PROPOSITION No #8: VERITAS AND GRAVITAS TOGETHER BESTOW IMPERIUM. IF YOU HAVE THIS, YOU CAN LEAD YOUR FAMILY, YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR COUNTRY TO GREATNESS, POWER AND PROSPERITY!

Needless  to say, the 5-year old is Julius Caesar, who became the first Roman Emperor!

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6 Responses to A Success Philosophy for the 21st Century Student – Dr P V Ramana

  1. Anupam Sinha says:

    Great motivational post, Sir. I shall try to learn few of these valuable proposition in life and implement.

  2. Neeraj Yajnik says:

    This is a completely bogus article.
    Marcus Aurelius was NOT a Roman Consul, he was a Roman Emperor from 161 AD to 180 AD.
    He was born in 121 AD, a full 221 years AFTER Julius Caesar.
    Moreover, Julius was NOT the first Emperor, that was his nephew Augustus. If you remember, Julius was offered the crown thrice, and thrice did he refuse it.
    So, “Doctor” Ramanna, Please wise up and read history.
    Alternatively, just give us your own experiences, they are surely more valuable than all Aureliuses.

  3. Surendra Reddy Challapalli says:

    Thanks for sharing your life time experiances & learnings.

  4. Saima Nafis says:

    Respected Sir
    I am highly enlightened by your great thought sir.
    I am an MBA aspirant. For many people, the term “MBA ” is fascinating. Seldom they realize that MBA is just a degree which is offered by an University with a fixed syllabus while the real learning of management skill/ tools is available in PGDM which is closely linked to business actually taking place in the market/industry. Thus PGDM is more of a technical nature rather than academic and this is precisely why a PGDM course offered by a B- School is approved by AICTE.

    Sir I fully agree with you on EI. I have heard people saying he/she is very knowledgeable. In my opinion, the definition of knowledge is “set of information, applied.” Merely having set of information is no knowledge. What is important is the later part in the definition of knowledge that is “applied”. A good B- School teaches us the art of applying the set of informations pertaining to business/industry and makes us knowledgeable in the field of of business management.

    Sir you are absolutely right on your thought on leadership. In todays era of competitiveness what matters is the entrepreneurship in an individual/student besides the academics.

    In today’s “business” , it’s emotional intelligence (EQ) than IQ what matters most. I hope you will agree sir.

    Regards,

    Saima Nafis
    Dehradun

  5. Dictionary meaning of two concepts – Information and Knowledge is different. Information leading to enhance ones understanding or and skill development THROUGH EXPERIENCE is knowledge. There is stress on EXPERIENCE. Unfortunately education has become business of transferring information rather than acquisition of Knowledge.

    The Experience part is missing in all types of education. It is unfortunate.
    That is the problem of education.
    Regards.. dr mandi nitie

  6. Santosh Deshpande says:

    Great post sir, Thank you for your insights

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