Leaders Space::::

nick18_in

MP Guru
Hi all...


Introduction

A student's distinction lies in his devout pursuit of knowledge, and not merely in his heritage. This manifests in a splendid manner in Ekalavya's life. He worshipped an idol of his 'Guru', learnt his lessons in archery in the Master's absence, and mastered the art. When his master desired the thumb of Ekalavya's right hand as a fee, which might cripple him, Ekalavya smilingly sacrificed it. A boy who had grown up in the forest thus developed into a great personality - a fine example for others to emulate.

Author - Nagamani S.Rao

Ekalavya'Gurur-brahma gurur-vishnuh Gurur-devo maheswarah !
Guruh-sakshat parabrahma Tasmai sri gurave namah' !!


In our land the teacher who imparts training is held in very high esteem. The teacher is respected like a father. As the above saying describes, the teacher is considered as the 'trimurtis'- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva - all rolled into one.

In olden times, children who sought learning had to live with their teacher faithfully attend to the chores assigned to them and pursue their studies with concentration as he taught them. Such stay of the pupil with his teacher was known as 'Gurukulavasa' (‘staying and learning at the abode of the master').

The teacher was not merely teaching his pupil some subjects in a parrotlike manner. He would actually shape the boy's character and personality too by instilling in him an awareness of the world around him, and how to lead a life useful to the society and face various problems one comes across in life. Thus the tutor, who trains young boys to face life in future with success, came to be accorded a revered place in our culture.


The Brave Jungle-boy

This is a story of a boy who demonstrated to the world what an aspirant could achieve in life if he has faith and respect in his master and pursues his efforts. There are some that boast that they belong to distinguished families that they are taught by 'so-and-so'. The hero of our story should open the eyes of such arrogant men.

This ideal disciple is Ekalavya.

Ekalavya was a jungle-boy. Belonging to the hunters' community, he was a bold child. It was a time when such communities were considered socially inferior. But Ekalavya, by his actions and behavior, showed that one's inferior or superior status lies not in, which community one belongs to but in one's vision and qualities of heart.

Ekalavya resided in a small, charming forest, with his mother. They were leading a modest, contented life. His father Hiranyadhanu who was the chieftain there strove to bring up Ekalavya as a brave boy embodying good and noble qualities. But he passed away while the son was still a young boy. An ardent follower of the king, he died in a battle. Ekalavya then became the chief of the forest.



Lover of Animals

Ekalavya had developed a strong affection towards the animals amidst which he was growing up. He wanted these simple, harmless animals to grow in a loving way under his care and ensured they came to no harm. If anyone troubled them, he would feel like killing him!

A large number of wolves live in that forest and they often hunted small tender calves of deer and other animals. The calves wailing when caught by the wolves would be heart-rending, Ekalavya would upon hearing such cries, writhe in' agony. 'Can't I save these poor animals? Can't I possess enough physical strength to wipe out this menace?' he pined,

The hunters are born archers. Ekalavya too grew up mastering the art. However, he aspired to increase his physical prowess so that he can rid his forest of the wolves' menace and make it a safe haven for deer and other animals. He therefore pursued his training in archery with total concentration.



Who will be the Guru?

Ekalavya's mother, noticing her son's restlessness, asked him one evening: 'Son, why are you worried so much now-a-days?'

'Nothing to worry, mother'

'No. no. There is something which is worrying you very much, Can't you say what it is even to me?'

'There is nothing, which I have to hide from you, mother I only I do not wish to unnecessarily add to your worries. Look, our dear caives, deer, etc., are becoming game to the big cruel wild animals. We can kill a wolf if we can sight it. But often it will have made its kill and run away before we could see it, mother. Shoot wolf! But how to master archery to that extent? Which Master shall I turn to? This has been my worry.'

The mother in fact felt glad when she heard these words. She was pleased to learn of her son's concern for the harmless animals in the forest. She also felt sympathetic that her son, who was without a kill the unseen father, should take upon himself such an obligation at such a young age.

She said: 'Ekalavya, heard of Dronacharya?'

'No, who is he?

'If you want to shoot at the wolves unseen, you should become his disciple to achieve the prowess you desire.'

'Where is he, mother? Tell me. I will become his disciple', Ekalavya exclaimed with pleasure and anticipation.

'He is in Hastinavati teaching archery to the princes of Bharata clan. He is the 'guru' to the Kauravas who are the sons of emperor Dhritarashtra and their relatives. You have heard of Bhishmacharya, son of Gangadevi. It is said none can match him in battle. He was the person who suggested That Dronacharya should teach archery to the Kaurava princes. Drona's fame has spread far and wide and many princes from various other states also go to him for training.'

'How did Bhishmacharya discover Dronacharya?'

'He himself came to Hastinavati. He had learnt archery from his father sage Bharadwaja, besides being a disciple of Parashurama. It is said that persons matching.

Dronacharya in the art of wielding the bow and arrow are rare in the world. It appears he was very poor; and in the course of travels he came to Hastinavati. Bhishma heard about him. There is an interesting story about this also.' And she narrated that story.



Dronacharya

The Kaurava and pandava princes were then young boy One day, while they were playing; their ball fell into a well. However much they tried they could not recover it and were looking for help. Near-by an impressive - looking, dark complexioned brahmin was standing. The boys went to him for help. Upon listening to their request, he took out a sheaf of dry grass cuttings (used in worship), consecrated it with holy prayers and threw one piece at the ball-, following it he sent down several grass leaves all of which were now attached to the ball forming a straight line leading to the top of the well. He pulled at it and drew the ball out! The boys were surprised at this 'magic' and queried:

'0 distinguished brahmin, what is your name? Where did you come from?'

Dronacharya : 'Go and narrate what you saw to Bhishmacharya, your grandfather, and you will know everything.'

The boys ran to Bhishma and excitedly told him about the brahmin's feat. At that time, Bhishma was thinking about equipping the princes in archery with thorough training, as they had to look after the kingdom when they grew up and protect it from enemies. He was on the lookout for a suitable tutor for the boys. He had heard about Dronacharya, son of the sage Bharadwaja and disciple of Parashurama, as a master archer. The enthusiastic narrative of the princes convinced him that the brahmin they had seen must have been none other than Drona. He immediately went to Drona and offered honors requesting him to stay in the capital and be the princes' master. Drona agreed and set up his residence in Hastinavati.



'He Alone is my Guru'

Ekalavya became excited as he heard the story of Dronacharya from his mother. "0, mother! How lucky are the Kaurava and Pandava princes! Can Acharya Drona teach archery to me too?"

'Go and try, son. I wish you lucked. Do not forget ' that he is a distinguished' elderly man. Conduct yourself with dignity and respect. Never retort. Behave with humility, and accomplish your task' blessed the mother and sent the boy. Filled with enthusiasm and happiness at the prospect of meeting Dronacharya, he set Out for Hastinavati.


You Too are My Disciple"

Even before entering the city, Ekalavya sighted -the master on the outskirts. Drona was giving early lessons in archery to the princes. Ekalavya hesitated to go to him while the class was in progress. He waited near-by and watched.

Disciples surrounded Drona. He would teach each boy in an easily comprehensible manner. He would show them how to stand erect, on which leg one should rest more bodyweight, how to position the hands and fingers, how to position the arrow and mount the arrow, how to concentrate upon the object, how and to what extent one should draw the thread, when to release the arrow. And he would demonstrate to them all these things vividly and in detail. He would watch a boy send forward an arrow and show him where he was right and where he went wrong. The practice would continue.

Ekalavya was all eyes and ears as he watched this class with fascination. He was gripped with a new sensation, as he learnt new things about archery. 'Oh! What a master He can turn even a novice into an expert! And how easy it is to understand his teaching!' he told himself.

He remembered the counseling of his mother. At an opportune moment he met Acharya Drona. He prostrated before him totally surrendering himself to the Master. Drona was touched by the humility of this boy from the woods, stretched his arms to raise him, and blessed him. Ekalavya introduced himself. When the Master learnt of the boy's mighty desire, a sympathetic chord struck in his heart.

But engaged as he was in teaching the princes, he had no time to accept other students. He was also worried how he could teach. a jungle-boy along with the princes.

Drona decided against keeping the boy with him there, and told him, 'Son, it will not be difficult for you to learn this art. You are a born archer. Go back to the forest and practice well and with deep interest. You too are my disciple.'

Drona's words them were a great blessing to Ekalavya. He felt confident that the Masters good wishes were with him. Again prostrating before Drona, he sought his blessings, 'Sir, I will act as you have instructed. Please bless me that my practice will bear fruit.' 'Go, son, may you master archery as you wish!' Drona said.



Before The Guru's Image

Satisfied at having achieved something new and significant, Ekalavya returned to his forest. There he prepared an idol of Dronacharya, installed it in a particular place, and began to worship it reverently by offering flowers, fruits, etc.

Ekalavya would get up early in the morning, bathe himself and offer 'pooja' to the master’s idol. Enshrined in his mind were the words, actions and training methods of Drona he had witnessed. He faithfully followed the instructions and continued his practice; and his prowess increased as days passed.

While Arjuna had personally mastered archery from Drona, learning from him by first hand, Ekalavya achieved equally impressive skill while worshipping the Master in absentia. If he could not accomplish a pailicular technique, he would rush to Drona's image and present his problem and would wait in meditation till a solution appeared in his mind. He would then proceed further.

Ekalavya's training progressed in this manner.



Who is This Expert Archer?

The Kaurava and Pandava princes once went to the forest on a hunting expedition. Their leading dog was running forward. Ekalavya, dressed in a tiger-skin and wearing strings of conch- beads, was engaged in his practice. The dog, on approaching him, began to bark. Probably wishing to show off his workmanship, he sent down a series of arrows in the direction of the barking dog and the arrows filled its mouth. It ran back to the princes. They were astonished at this expertise in archery and wondered who the archer was.

Arjuna, seeing this, was not only surprised but felt anxious too. He wanted to be recognized as the world's foremost archer. His fame was spreading across many states.

Now witnessing an instance of this extraordinary prowess, he was concerned that there may be another strong contender for that superior position.

The princes went in pursuit of the archer who had hit their dog, and saw Ekalavya.



Two Disciples

Ekalavya was standing there- a dark complexioned young man looking like a chiseled creation, there was the bow in his left hand and an arrow in the right.

The princes wondered: Was this youngster really the one who shot those arrows? How did he acquire his training? Who taught him to use the arrows with such precision in this forest?

Arjuna felt restless. Here was a person matching him. He felt deflated.

The princes asked Ekalavya: Are you the person who sent down those arrows into the dog's mouth?'

'Yes.'

'Who are you? What's your name?’

'I am the son of Hiranyadhanu, the king of Nishada. I am the chieftain of this forest. Ekalavya is my name.

'Your prowess in archery is tremendous. Who is your master?'

'My master is Dronacharya' rep Ekalavya humbly, Arjuna was taken aback at the mention of Drona's name. Is this true? Could his dear teacher teach so much to an aboriginal boy? If so, what about the Master's promise to him?



The Guru's Promise

Drona had developed a special affection towards Arjuna. He was pleased at the extraordinary interest Arjuna evinced in his training.

There was a king named Drupada who also had learnt archery with Drona. He had learnt archery with Drona. He had promised Drona that would help him when he assumed throne. But later when the poor Dronacharya went to see, him, the king dismissed him saying 'Do you think a king can keep friendship with a wretched person like you?'

Dronacharya was enraged and retorted: 'remember this! Some day one of my disciple will bring you to me bound like a slave!' Since then, this one thought was constantly nagging in the Acharya's mind.

Drona called in his disciples and told them- "Sons, I am fulfilling the onerous responsibility of training you. I am sure all of you will meet with expected success. I have a desire to be fulfilled. You should accomplish it after your training is completed. Will you promise?'

The princes stood in silence before their tutor listening to his words. After a while, Arjuna felt that it was not proper for them not to respond to their Master. Should they remain silent at Drona's plea? Were they cowards? Rushing forward, Arjuna said: "0 Master, should you’re asking us thus? Your word is law to us. Whatever may be your wish, I shall fulfil it."

Dronacharya felt happy to discover a pupil of his heart's desire. His affection flowed forth towards Arjuna, 'I will train you to be unmatched in the world', and he promised him.

Another incident. Once when Drona and the princes were having their dinner, the light was suddenly extinguished by a drought of wind. The darkness encouraged Arjuna to ponder thus: 'now, in this darkness, our eyes cannot spot our hands or mouth. And yet the hand with food is correctly moving towards the mouth. This is the result of our practice. So, if we have thorough practice, even in darkness we can hit our target.' No sooner was the meal over, than he rushed out, and started target practice in the dark.

Drona was pleased with his dedication.



'Do Not Insult My Guru'

Arjuna grew up with the strong conviction that none in the world could match him in archery, and he was Drona's closest disciple. The sight of a jungle-boy that could challenge him set him worrying. And the boy said he was a disciple of Drona. Can a respectable person like Dronacharya fail to keep his word?

"Is it true that Dronacharya is your master?". Asked Arjuna of Ekalavya.

'Don't be so arrogant as to question my word. My father did not live long to teach me archery completely. But he taught me to be truthful and not to tolerate untruth. Do you doubting me? Who are you to doubt even my Master?'

At this retort from Ekalavya Arjuna replied in an equally spirited tone: 'I am the son of king Pandu. My name is Arjuna, and my Master is Dronacharya. He hails from a distinguished clan and would never teach a jungle-boy like you. All his disciples come from superior races."

Ekalavya felt like laughing at Arjuna's words but without making fun, he said: 'Arjuna, my Master does not bother about these classdistinctions. It matters to him little whether a disciple is an 'Arya' or a hunter. Why should it matter in one's learning of archery? As our Master says, the disciple should possess determination and concentration in practice to achieve excellence. The teacher should be genuinely interested in his pupil. My Master Dronacharya has heartily blessed me, and I am confident that I will become a master archer with his blessing.'

Arjuna could not accept Ekalavya's words. 'No', he protested, 'What you are saying is false. I won’t believe it. Did Master Dronacharya deceive me?

Arjuna's words angered Ekalavya. He suddenly whipped out his bow and shouted at Aijuna: 'You keep your mouth shut Say one word insulting my Guru, and I shall cut off your tongue!’

Sensing that the war of words was getting out of hand, Dharmaraya, the eldest of Pandavas, pacified Arjuna saying, -0 dear Arjuna, why this unnecessary acrimony? Let us go and ask Dronacharya himself.'



The Next Course

No sooner did they return to Hastinavati than Arjuna rushed to Dronacharya. His face was red and his eyes showed his anxiety. He explained to the Master what transpired in the forest and lamented: "A hunter-boy has gained superiority over me. 0 Master, he boasts that you are his 'Guru'. How can this be possible? What about your promise to me?"

Dronacharya was perplexed: He remained silent for a while. He could guess what really happened. He was caught between two foremost disciples, both dear to him.

Dronacharya was actually pleased at the enterprise of this disciple who stayed in the forest and had mastered the art of archery relying only upon the name of the Guru. '0, what an adventurous boy! What determination! Anybody should appreciate his capabilities when he could wield the bow and arrow so well as to humble Arjuna', Drona thought and felt happy within himself. He was very pleased at Ekalavya's devotion to the Master and thirst for acquiring a thorough training. He decided to show Arjuna the real qualities of Ekalavya.

And Drona also came to a painful decision in relation to his obligation as the teacher to the princes. 'God, Thy will be done', he prayed and set about his task.

Accompanied by Arjuna and Ashwatthama, he proceeded to Ekalavya's forest.



Here Comes My Guru!

Ekalavya's joy knew no bounds when he learnt that Dronacharya was visiting him. He tidied up the whole forest to welcome the Master. Thinking that Drona should not miss his path amidst darkness or shadows thrown by tall trees, he positioned his fellow tribesmen all along the route to guide his teacher to the destination without hindrance.

He decorated the idol he was worshipping with colorful wild flowers. He prayed before it again. He kept the bow and arrows properly arranged. He was full of anticipation.

Horns blew heralding the arrival of Dronacharya. Ekalavya rushed out and saw him majestically walking down. Approaching him, Ekalavya fell at his feet,- tears rolled down his cheeks in sheer excitement. His desire to welcome the Master was great; it was total surrender. Ekalavya also formally welcomed Arjuna and Ashwatthama, who had accompanied the Master.



The Guru's Agony and Ecstasy

Ekalavya treated the distinguished guests to a feast of delicious fruits, milk, etc. He later demonstrated to them his prowess in archery. Arrows flew in all directions in novel formations.

Ekalavya gratefully told Drona: 'Sir, all this is the result of your kind blessing. As long as I remember you, none of the arrows I send forth can fail to hit the target, Acharya, I have also learnt to aim at the source of any sound! I sat in prayer before your idol and during the worship; the whole knowledge came to me. How can I forget your generosity?' His eyes were closed in reverence.

Dronacharya was thrilled at the words and actions of Ekalavya. His heart melted with deep affection for this unique pupil. Seeing the devotion with which be worshipped his idol, his eyes swelled with tears of emotion. I am lucky to have such a pupil', he told himself. When he remembered the object of his visit, Drona shuddered in agony. Should this poor boy suffer because of a promise I made to a prince? Should his life's ambition collapse shatteringly? Drona felt grieved.

Arjuna and Ashwatthama sat transfixed upon witnessing Ekalavya's skills. They forgot themselves and began applauding him.



Guru-Dakshina

Drona awakened from his emotional state and remembering his objective instructed Ashwatthama to go out and make arrangements for their return journey. He was concerned that his son might oppose him.

After Ashwatthama went out, Drona, in a low voice, summoned Ekalavya.

'Yes, Guruji.'

'Your learning has been enormous, son. I am deeply satisfied. With utter devotion and practice, you have achieved something magnificent. May your achievement become an ideal for all to emulate.' Drona blessed his disciple whole-heartedly.

Ekalavya was overwhelmed. 'Thank you, 0 Gurudeva! I only wish my mother had heard your noble words. But, Sir, you blessed me with this training. You asked me in Hastinavati to pursue my training in my forest and said I too was a disciple of yours. Otherwise, I do not know whether I could have accomplished this much. May your kind blessings protect me for all time, Acharya!'

Drona said - 'If you accept me as your Master, you are obliged to pay my fee ('guru-dakshina'). Think it over.'

Ekalavya smilingly replied: 'What is there to think over, Sir? I am your disciple and you are my 'Guru'. This is as true as the existence of my mother, my forest here and my dear animal friends. Should I hesitate to pay my obeisance to you? Please say what you wish, Sir. I will fulfil it even if I have to sacrifice my life in the effort.'

Words failed Drona. He could hardly respond to the glorious devotion of the boy. He felt utterly helpless and was obliged to tell him: 'Ekalavya, your achievement is unparalleled. Any master should feel proud of such a disciple. But, son, now it has fallen to my lot to promise I made.' 'Oh, Master what are you saying? You have to break a promise? Impossible it will not happen. And that too because I got trained in this art? Bhagavan! Please tell me how I can help you solve this problem. Everything that is mine, my whole being is at your disposal.'



'Please Accept My Fee'

'Ekalavya, I have to demand a supreme sacrifice from you to fulfil my word. Pardon me, son! Can you please give me the thumb of your right hand as my fee?'

Ekalavya stared at Dronacharya for an I while. He could sense the Master's agony. He then stood up and walked. To the idol with determination, placed his thumb upon a stone and cut it off with an arrow from his left hands in an instant. Blood started gushing out.

Meanwhile, Arjuna was keenly listening to the dialogue between Drona and Ekalavya. He was worried whether he could match Ekalavya in the skills of archery, but felt confident that Drona would keep his promise. When the Master asked Ekalavya's thumb as his fee, Arjuna was shocked. By the time he collected his thoughts and turned to Ekalavya, the thumb had already rolled down to the floor.

Ekalavya then prostrated before Drona who was sitting with his eyes closed and said: '0 Master, please accept my fee.' Opening his eyes, Drona saw the thumb soaked in blood; the disciple stood before him with a smile on his face. Drona, while feeling grieved at the injury he inflicted upon Ekalavya, was at the same time deeply touched by his ardent devotion. He embraced him saying: 'Son, your devotion to the 'Guru' is unmatched. I feel a sense of fulfillment in having had a disciple like you. May God bless you.'

Arjuna was standing there dumbfounded.

Later, the threesome returned to Hastinavati.



The End

Ekalavya scored victory in defeat! With the right thumb gone, he could no longer wield the bow effectively. But he would not give up easily. He continued his practice using his left arm and achieved distinction. His accurate marksmanship became a byword. He demonstrated that nothing could be a hindrance to a totally sincere pursuit. But he was constantly nagged by one worry. As a heroic person like his father, he had desired to assist the king of the land in times of difficulties and he could not fulfill this ambition.

It was the time when the Great War of Kurukshetra was being fought. Lord Krishna, supporting the Pandavas, was thinking about talented and heroic people who may join hands with Kauravas.

Ekalavya's father Hiranyadhanu had died in the service of Kaurava kings. Now it was possible his son might also assist Kauravas. Though he had lost his right thumb, he was still one of the world's greatest archers, as
Krishna knew.

It is said in the Mahabharata that Lord Krishna, not wanting Ekalavya to assist the Kaurava army, killed him before the war erupted, ad blessed him with eternal salvation.



Ideal Pupil

Ekalavya was an ideal pupil. An intense desires for learning makes one a good pupil. Totally consumed by this desire for learning, Ekalavya, though not sitting before the Master in person, mastered archery by worshiping the 'Guru' in absence. A boy from the woods, losing his father early in life, achieved such great glory in the art of archery.

When the Master desired his right thumb as his fee, he unhesitatingly cut it off and presented it to him.

Ekalavya is a name that lives in the memory of mankind eternally like a star.
 

nick18_in

MP Guru
Leaders Space: Dhruva

Hi all....

Introduction

He was a little boy of five years when he was insulted by his stepmotherand ignored by his father. He went to a forest in search of God. With determination and devotion, he succeeded. He ruled the country in the name of God and in the interest of the subjects.To this day the Pole Starre minds Indians of this great devotee of God.

Author - 'Kakemani'

Dhruva

Who has not seen the Pole Star? It guides travelers in remote forests and sailors at night. There is an interesting legend about this star.


King Uttanapada

In ancient times, a king used to have many wives. This was a common practice. But often the wives were not friendly towards one another. Disputes arose as to who should be given a higher place and enjoy greater pomp, and whose son should be the future king.

Once upon a time there was an emperor, by name Uttanapada. He had two queens. Suniti was his first wife and the Chief Queen. Suruchi was the younger wife. But yet the King loved Suruchi more. Her word was law to him. She had no patience. She would grow angry in no time. Her own happiness and glory were important to her. Yet the king loved her. Whatever she said he accepted;he never considered whether it was right or wrong.Even when he clearly saw that she was wrong, he was not bold enough to say so.

But Suniti was of a gentle nature. She would first 'consider what was right and what was wrong and then she would choose the right course. She was patient by nature. She was helpless before Suruchi's arrogance. The status of the Chief Queen justly due to Suniti wasgiven to Suruchi. As the King was a puppet in Suruchi's hands, she exercised greater authority in the affairs of the state.

Suniti had a son, Dhruva by name. Suruchi also had only one son, by name Uttama.


Dhruva cannot live in the Palace

Suruchi was not content with her pomp and power. She did not allow Suniti and Dhruva to live in the palace. Her desire was that her son Uttama should succeed to the throne. If Suniti and Dhruva lived in the palace, people would always remember that Suniti was the Chief Queen andDhruva the first son of the King Uttama might not become the king this was Suruchi's fear. Though Suniti was the Chief Queen, she lived on the outskirts of thecity like a commoner. King Uttanapada did nothing. He would not even turn towards herhouse. He had so much fear and love for Suruchi.



Each A Comfort to the other

In spite of such sufferings Suniti was true to her name ; 'Suniti' means one who is virtuous. She uttered not a word of complaint against her husband, nor would she blame Suruchi. She always wished them well. She accepted whatever fell to her lot. Submitting everything to God, she was silent. Her only treasure was Dhruva. Every day she would call him to her and teach him the holy stories of saintly persons.Thus she would forget hersorrow. She spent her days praying for the pros- perity of Dhruva who was her only solace.

Dhruva had great love for his mother; he was devoted to God and he respected elders. Though young, he had pleasing manners. Under the guidance of the mother, he had developed great devotion to God; and it grew every day. Sometimes he thought, 'My father is a king; but why do my mother and I not reside in the palace? Why does my father not come to our house at al l? ’ Again and again he questioned his mother. She managed to console him somehow and then grew silent.

Every child wishes that his father and his mother should treat him with love. Is this not so? Dhruva's mother fondled him, told him stories and dressed him with great affection. But he was denied the father's love. This pricked his mind.



"Father, Lift Me in Your Arms"

One day little Dhruva was playing; he went to the palace. He was just five years old. The King was seated with Suruchi and Uttama on the throne studded with gems. The magnificent hall glittered with pearls and gems. Many things there delighted one's eyes - pure white cushions here and there, golden chairs decorated with silver figures and lovely figures carved on marble walls.

Dhruva entered the hall. He saw Uttama sitting on the lap of the father. He, too, wished to sit on his father's lap.Hestepped towards the throne.

Suruchi saw Dhruva approaching hisfather. Her wickedness stirred at once. Dhruva climbed the steps of the throne. Standing near his father, he said, "Father, I too want to sit on your lap; lift me in your arms."



"Are You Worthy?"

The King did not even look at Dhruva standing nearby. Poor boy! Dhruva was very eager to sit on the father's lap like Uttama. He put his hand on Uttanapada's lap.

Suruchi flared up. Her eyes seemed to send forth sparks of anger. The King also noticed her angrily glaring at Dhruva. He, too, felt pity for the boy. Yet, on one side there was the natural desire of his little son; on the other side was his beloved queen glaring at Dhruva like a provoked lioness. He did not dare to face her anger. So he was silent.

Suruchi could not control her anger. She stormed at the child. "YOU fellow, how dare you presume to aspire to sit on the King's lap? You were not born, as my sons are you worthy of touching the throne? If you aspire after the throne, perform tapas; Pray to God and be born as my son. Only then can you be like Uttama. Stand back! Otherwise you will have to be pushed out. Get out!" she said scornfully.



Back to the Mother

Poor boy! He was confounded. He looked at his father, who did not even glance at the boy. Dhruva could not bear the sorrow. He was angry, too,like a wounded serpent. He felt deeply insulted. His father had not spoken a word to him, and had remained quiet when he was insulted. Tears rolled down his cheeks. Leaving his father, he went down the steps of the throne.

A servant had watched what hadhappened and saw the sobbing boy. She felt sorry for him. She came forward to lift him up. But Dhruva escaped and ran away. The servant followed him.

Even as Suniti saw her son at a distance she felt as if the skies had come down on her. Dhruva had always been full of laughter. But here he was, coming home sobbing. Suniti ran to the child hugged him and lifted him up. She kissed him and tried to console him. But he was still sobbing. He could not speak.

A servant had followed Dhruva, hadn't she? Suniti asked her, "Why is the child weeping? Do you know?"

The servant narrated the incident.



All Is God's Will"

Suniti could not bear the anguish of her heart on hearing the servant's story the insult done to Dhruva by Suruchi, her words and her keeping him at a distance as though he had no right even toapproach his own father. Sorrow welled up in her. For a while she could not even speak. She sat silent. The selfish Suruchi had insulted Dhruva who was the real heir to the throne Suniti felt sad. Poor boy! Dhruva was an innocent child. Why should Suruchi have ill-treated him?Suniti thought,'I should have enjoyed the status of the Chief Queen. When I myself live the life of a commoner, should Suruchi take revenge upon my child?'

Shedding tears, Suniti consoled the child. She said: "My darling, no doubt you are a prince but you are not fortunate enough to enjoy the position of a prince. When God takes pity on us, our condition will improve. I am an unfortunate woman; and because you are my child, you were subjected to suffering. Everything happens according to God's will. We can only surrender ourselves to Him and beg Him to save us from difficulties. That is all. Who else will help us? Take comfort. All is God's will."


"How Can I See God?"

Every day the mother used to tell Dhruva many stories about God.The boy had heard stories about the devotees in dis- tress whom God had saved.The mother now stressed the fact that thesole strength and shelter of those in distress is God, who is full of mercy. On hearing her words, a new Hope surged in the boy's mind.

"Mother, how can I see God? Will He not appear if I appeal to Him?" he asked.

"True, my child, we should think of God, that
Ocean of Mercy, and pray to Him. Then we can be sure of His help," replied Suniti.

Dhruva said, "But how can I see Him at all? I will see Him, tell Him about our sorrows and try to get His help."



Let me go to the Forest and See God"

Suniti smiled at the words of the child, but she also felt pity. She said, "My darling, there is no place where God is notpresent. In different forms, He pervades all places. He is present in all men. He is in the good and in the evil, in joy and in sorrow. But it is not easy to see God. He will be pleased with the devotion of a pure mind. My child, you should have a firm mind, absolute 'devotion and perfect faith."

"But mother, you have often told me that sages and ascetics go to the forest to see God. Is he present there, too?'

"Yes, my darling. He is everywhere. But, Dhruva, to perform tapas in a forest is not an easy task. The forest is full of wild animals like tigers and lions. There are poisonous creatures like serpents and scorpions. Whatever roots and fruits are found is all the food. One has to put upwith everything like the rain, the winds, cold and heat. A little boy like you cannot do all this, my love" Suniti said.

A firm decision shone in the innocent face of Dhruva as he heard these words.

"Mother, I will go to the forest and see God. I will please Him with my devotion and secure boons. Bless me that I may succeed." With these words, he respect- fully touched her feet.


"Not So Easy, My Child"

Suniti was taken aback at these words. She had not thought that Dhruva would take such a decision. A little child to go to the forest? A little child to perform tapas? She could hardly believe her ears. But he had made up his mind. She spoke comfortingly and lovingly, and said, "It is not so easy to see God my darling. Singleness of purpose is necessary to please Him. You must have faith that nothing can shake; your heart must be full of the nectar of devotion. All this is beyond a child like you. We must accept whatever falls to our lot - joy or sorrow. Whatever joys and sorrows we may face, we should consider them the gifts of God and surrender everything to Him.This is theonly way left to us." With these words Suniti lifted the boy in her arms.


"I Shall Surely See God"

But the mind of the innocent Dhruva was distrubed. He was determined to see God, whatever the difficulties he had to face. He had resolved to place his sorrows and sufferings and those of his mother before God and put an end to them. He rose from his mother's lap.

Mother,I cannot delay any longer.Whatever may happen,whatever hardships I may encounter, I will see God. Do not be anxious till I come back. The sages have seen God; will He not appear to me? Send me with your blessings,' so saying, he again touched her feet.

Suniti heard the words of her son. "You were not born as my son. Do you deserve the throne?' - these words of Suruchi to Dhruva she remembered. She too felt that the way he had chosen was the only way left for them to wipe out the insult. She said, "My love, what your step-mother said is true. Your father is ashamed even to admit that I am his wife. Then,how can you, my son, become the king? It is useless to blame Suruchi. The only right thing to do is for you to worship God. Pray to Him with single-minded devotion. May you succeed!"

Dhruva bowed to his mother. She took him in her arms and fondled him, and blessed him.The little boy, barely five years old, went to the forest determined to see God.

Dhruva had only one goal before him, and that was to see God. He walked on, unmindful of the stones and the thorns in his path, and of the Lips and downs; he had no thought of hunger,thirst and fatigue. The name of the Lord was ever on his lips. His mind was filled with the nectar of the Lord's name.


In The Forest

Walking without rest, Dhruva entered a thick forest. He walked on, struggling to find a path. Stones and thrones hurt his tender feet. All day long the boy walked on. He was hungry and thirsty. He was very tired. Darkness was descending. The forest was full of terrifying sounds. Ele- phants trumpeted, lions and tigers roared. But Dhruva was not conscious of them at all. H e was chanting the sacred words, 'Obeisance to Lord Narayana'. The words were his sole protection. It grew dark. He could not find his way in that thick forest. Unable to do anything and utterly ex- hausted, he collapsed under a tree. But the lips still uttered the name of the Lord. The tiny boy, exhausted by thewanderings, soon fell asleep.

The night passed.Day dawned.The chirp- ing birds came out of their nests. Little animals, which crept out of their holes, noticed the child asleep on dry leaves. The deer timidly and cautiously approa- ched Dhruva and smelt him. One creature attracted another, and soon a number of birds and animals gathered there and surrounded the boy. The noise woke him up.He opened his eyes and lookedaround. He saw it was morning and stood up. The birds and animals were all frightened and ran away in different directions.

Only the words. 'Obeisance to Lord Narayana' came from the lips of Dhruva. He was quite certain he would see the Lord.


Revered Sir, Guide Me"

Dhruva had comb with the yearning to see god. He got up in a hurry, and began his journey. Wandering in the wild forest full of stones and thorns, his tender little feet were already bleeding. He could hardly take a step.

Just then the great sage Narada un- expectedly appeared there. Narada was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu (Narayana). He visited the three worlds. Dhruva was filled with joy at the sight of the holy sage with cymbals and the 'tamboora' in his hands, who was singing the glory of the Lord. He bowed down and touched Narada's feet.

By intuition, the sage had understood everything about Dhruva. He raised the boy. Dhruva said, "Sir, I must see God. That is why I have come here. You are a holy man. Show me the way."

Stroking his back, Narada said with affection, "My child, you are a very small boy. In your mad desire to see God, you have come to this thick forest and exposed yourself to danger. What a difficult task you have undertaken!" The touch of Narada's hands infused a new spirit in Dhruva.


"Now Go Back"

Dhruva narrated everything in detail - how his stepmother had insulted him, how his father had ignored him and how his mother had advised him. Embracing Dhruva, Narada said, "Dear child, your parents are really fortunate. I am filled with joy at your determination to see God. But child, it is not so easy to see the Lord Sages have performed tapas in several lives and yet have not seen the Lord. If you give up your food and wander in a forest, you cannot see Him. Today you yearn to see God because a great sorrow has bewildered you. But only a man who can treat both joys and sorrows equally can see God. Hurt by your stepmother's words, you now seek God to get relief. But he who wishes to see the Lord should give up desire and anger. The desire for this thing or that must leave you. Look! You came here because your stepmother insulted you, didn't you? You were angry at her words. If you were wise, you should have remained calm, whatever your stepmother might have said. Without peace and calm of mind, how can you see God? If you gain experience of worldly life and attain maturity of mind, you can see Him. Now go back. Live like the others. Experience joys and sorrows. When you grow old, come to the forest and perform tapas; then you will see God."


Initiation

But, though young, Dhruva did not relish these words. 'Great Sir, I belong to the warrior caste. Your advice cannot alter my decision. I came here to see God. Show me the way and bless me. My mother has told me that He is visible to the sages doing tapas in forests. According to her, God will look after the person who loves Him. Now I do not seek the throne. I want a position which none of our elders has so far obtained. When I see the Lord, that is what I will beg of Him. Show me the way, Sir," he said to the sage and bowed down and touched his feet. The little boy's courage and confidence pleased Narada. He said,'Look, my child, do you remember what your mother told you?That is valuable advice. Forget everything else and pray to God.There is a place by name Madhuvana on the banks of the Yamuna. Go there. Bathe in the river. Think of God with a pura mind. Have His image fixed in your mind. His face is lovely and innocent like that of a sweet child. His face is radiant. His lips are ever smiling. His is an enchanting figure, shedding light all around . Have that image fixed in your mind. ' Make that image the center of your thoughts, and pray. Control your mind so that it may not turnelsewhere. The Lord will be pleased with truedevotion. May you prosper!' The sage then taught him the sacred words of prayer to Vasu-deva (Narayana). He also blessed the boy.

The venerable sage had initiated and blessed him. So Dhruva's heart was 'filled with joy. He forgot all fatigue. Elated at the joyful thought of seeing God, he bowed down to Narada's feet and set out to Madhuvana.


"I Did Wrong"

After parting from Dhruva, the sage Narada went to the
palace of Uttanapada. When Suruchi insulted Dhruva, the King was afraid of her and so he kept silent. But he could not forget the boy's sorrow and tears. He sent his servants to Suniti's house to bring Dhruva. They returned with the news that the boy had gone to the forest to see God.Grief flooded the King's heart.

When Narada arrived, Uttanapada was full of repentance for his inaction. Every one was cursing Suruchi. Suruchi, who was once so arrogant, was now ashamed to show her face and crouched in a corner. Having lost her son, Suniti had given up food and had become weak.

The great sage Narada arrived at the court of Uttanapada. The King received him with all honor. He offered him a seat of honour. Narada said, "Great King, your face shows deep misery. What is the reason?" "'Venerable sage," replied the King, "unfortunately 1. Did wrong. Because of my love for Suruchi, I drove away my sweet, child with his mother. Dhruva was happy with his mother. I insulted him and sent him to the forest. So I have become a sinner." And the King broke down with grief.


Good Will Result From All This"

Narada consoled. The King saying, 'Great King, your son Dhruva is an exceptional child. God himself looks after him. Do not be troubled. With his firm mind, Dhruva will earn such a place as no one else has attained, and will come back. Take courage."

Full of repentance, Uttanapada said, "Revered Sir, I acted blindly and thought- lessly. I have committed a hundred sins. Forgive me," and he fell at the Sage's feet. Then Narada consoled the King and advised him. He Said, "Oh King! What you have done is wrong. Yet good will come of all this. Bring your Chief Queen Suniti to the palace and treat her with all honor." Then the Sage went away singing the sweet name of Lord Narayana.



"Dhruva Arise!"

Dhruva did not move from his seat. Reciting the divine name of Lord Vasu- deva,he fixed the divine, auspicious image of the Lord in his heart. Without food, with out caring for heat and cold, and not even conscious of the world around him,he went on reciting the divine hymn only. One day passed, two days passed; a month went by. Dhruva's tapas grew more rigorous. He dedicated himself to the merciful image of the Lord fixed in his mind. Months passed. In the beginning, he used to eat whatever fruits he could get. Gradually all thought of food disappeared. Both his mind and his body were absorbed in praying to God. Because of his rigorous tapas, a divine light shone round him. Terrified by it, the wild animals of the forest fled from him. The flame of Dhruva's tapas began to burn the three worlds.

Lord Narayana was pleased with Dhruva's devotion and his determination. He appeared before Dhruva in his divine radiance. A conch shone in one hand, a discus in the second and a mace in the third. Placing His divine hand on Dhruva's head, the Lord said, "Dhruva, arise. I am pleased with your devotion." Dhruva opened his eyes. He saw before him the Lord whose auspicious image he had fixed in his heart. He had left behind him his loving mother and his kingdom, and had gone without food, all because he yearned to see God. Now, that All-Merciful Lord stood before him smiling.

Dhruva was thrilled. Wonder and joy made him speechless. He prostrated before the lotus-like feet of the Lord. Then he gazed on the divine, auspicious figure, as if he would contain the - Lord in his eyes. He was eager to speak to God and praise Him. But joy had sealed his lips. The Lord affectionately touched his cheeks. That divine touch enabled him to speak.


"Enough if I Am Your Devotee"

Dhruva praised God with all joy and gratitude. "Lord, I cannot describe your greatness. You are a fountain of bounty. You are everywhere in creation. Even the wisest of men cannot understand you. What, then, of me, a mere child! As a cow protects her new-born calf, you must protect me," he prayed.

Dhruva had only one desire before going to the forest; and that was to see God. But on seeing him, the boy did not know what to pray for. He said, "Lord, I performed tapas in order to see you. What can I seek after seeing you? I am young. I do not know how to worship you and honor you. I ask for nothing. Only grant me the highest of all positions - that of Your devotee."

The boy's words brought great joy to the Lord. Embracing him again, the Lord said, "Child, all your desires will be fulfilled. Go back to your kingdom now; at the right age become the king and rule with righteous- ness. See your image in each of your subjects; share their ambitions, honor, prestige, joy and sorrow. Rule your king- dom righteously. Then enter the world of stars and adorn the highest position which none has secured so far." So blessing the boy, God vanished.

After God disappeared, Dhruva grieved like a fish out of water. 'Did I conduct myself properly before the Lord? Was there any lapse on my part? I do not know. I did not achieve the goal of merging in Him; alas, once again I am to be caught up in the affairs of this world!' He was un-happy. He said to himself, 'I should have begged of the Lord to make me a part of Himself. Instead I asked for something trivial! I am like a man who begs the emperor for a handful of rice!' So he was displeased with himself for a while. But had not the Lord himself asked him to go back and rule the kingdom? Now once again Dhruva's mind turned to his mother. He set forth for his kingdom. He was troubled fearing that separation from himmight have made his mother unhappy. But he had seen God and the experience had brought him a new vigor, a new delight and a new splendor.


Back To the Palace

King Uttanapada learnt that Dhruva had fulfilled his oath and was returning to the kingdom. His anxiety ended, he was supremely happy. Accompanied by his ministers and the elders of his state, the King went forth to greet Dhruva with auspicious music. As soon as he saw Dhruva, he affectionately embraced him. Then Dhruva respectfully fell at the feet of his stepmother Suruchi. Overjoyed, she lifted him up and blessed him. His mother Suniti's joy knew no bounds. Sorrow mixed with joy made her speechless. She held him tight to her heart. Then at Uttanapada's command Dhruva was seated on a royal elephant and the procession moved towards the city. The enthusiastic citizens had decorated the city with archesbunches of flowers and pearls. Every house was brightly illuminated. Women stood on both sides of the road, holding plates of flowers and fruits. Honored by all citizens, Dhruva received their blessings and reached the city.



Dhruva the Emperor

Uttanapada gave him excellent education. Dhruva mastered all the arts. When the king grew old, he decided to crown him King. As he desired, Dhruva married Brahmi, the daughter of king - Prajapati Simsumara and Ila the daughter of Vayu. Dhruva became the king. Then Uttanapada went to the forest to perform tapas. Dhruva ruled over his subjects with affection. Suruchi's son Uttama followed Dhruva in loving devotion.


The City of the Yalkshas in Ruins

Once Uttama went out hunting. When he was roaming about the forest, a powerful Yaksha killed him. His mother Suruchi was troubled in mind that he did not return. She went to the forest in search of him. The Yaksha caused a wild fire in the forest and Suruchi perished in the fire. Dhruva got the news that his loving brother and his step- mother were killed by the Yaksha. He was filled with grief. At the same time he was angry. He made preparations to fight. With the Yakshas.

Dhruva invaded Alakapuri, the city of the Yakshas. He began to strike them down. Dhruva rained arrows on the Yakshas and they fell down like dry leaves in a storm. They used their supernatural powers. It grew dark. A terrible storm arose.Serpents and lions chased Dhruva. He grew angry. From his quiver, he took the arrow named after Lord Narayana and shot it. All the Yakshas, their wives and children were killed. The city of
Alakapuri became a graveyard.

"Grant Only This - "

Dhruva belonged to the dynasty of Manu. His grandfather Swayambhuva Manu saw that the Yakshas were being killed need lessly. His heart melted. Accompanied by many great sages, he went to Dhruva. He taught him the path of wisdom. Dhruva bowed to his grandfather.

Swayambhuva Manu said, "Dhruva, you are killing the innocent people for the wrong committed by some one. Get rid of anger; for anger is the root of all troubles. Ignorance leads to anger. You are a wise man; how could you become involved in this highly sinful act? One devoted to God will never be angry and act rashly. You are a holy man, for you have seen Lord Narayana you must not do such a cruel act. It is your duty to have patience with those who do wrong. You should be patient with criminals. Pity those in sorrow and be friendly towards all creatures. Don't you know that the Lord is present in all living beings? You have now killed the Yakshas and thus hurt Kubera's feelings. The Yakshas are the followers of Kubera. Now go to Kubera, be respectful and win his favor."

The advice of his grandfather Swayam- bhuva Manu brought down Dhruva's anger. He stopped fighting. This news pleased Kubera very much. Accompanied by his people, he himself went to see Dhruva. Seeing Kubera, Dhruva bowed down respectfully to him and sought his bless- ings. Kubera ' was pleased with Dhruva's modesty. He said, "My boy Dhruva, I am pleased with your goodness. I am not at all displeased with you for killing the Yakshas. You did not disobey your grandfather Swayambhuva Manu. You curbed your anger and ended the fighting. I am therefore pleased. Every being born in this creation must die one day or the other. So do not grieve over the death of yourbrother and your stepmother; and do not be angry. Ask for whatever you wish. I will gladly Grant the boons."

But Dhruva did not wish to ask for anything. He had worshipped Lord Narayana even in his childhood and had secured His grace what could he desire in his old age? Hearing Kubera's words, Dhruva humbly said, "Master, I do not seek any kind of pleasure now. Just grant me this boon - that the auspicious form of Lord Narayana may ever shine in my heart." So saying he bowed to Kubera. Kubera was much pleased with his devotion to God. He said, "So be it!," and vanished.



The Pole Star

Dhruva returned to his capital. He ruled his kingdom, always helping those in need; his heart was ever with God. He considered the people's happiness his happiness and was a just ruler. The auspicious image of the Lord was ever in his heart and before his eyes. Whatever he did, he did in the name of the Lord.

Dhruva became old. He entrusted his son with care of his kingdom. Going to the holy Badarikashrama, he forgot the world in praying to the lord. And one day he departed from this world.

According to the boon granted in his boyhood by Lord Narayana, Dhruva became as it were, the crowning of the entire galaxy of stars. Also he became the lord of stars. Also he became the lord of the world of Dhruva. To this day when Indians see the Pole Star they remember Dhruva, the devotee of perfect purity of mind. His fame is deathless.
 

nick18_in

MP Guru
Leaders Space: Teacher

This is might have been featured in the groups earlier but thought we might need it again.

Teacher

There is a story that happened several years ago with of an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson...and as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie.

Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same... But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn't play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath, and Teddy could be unpleasant.


It got to the point where Mrs.Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers....

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise:

Teddy's first grade teacher wrote,
"Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly
and has good manners. He is a joy to be around."

His second grade teacher wrote,
"Teddy is an excellent student. Well-liked by his classmates, but he
is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home
must be a struggle."

His third grade teacher wrote,
"His mother's death had been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but
his father doesn't show much
interest. And his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't
taken."

Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote,
"Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He
doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class."

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of
herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas
presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except
forTeddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper
that he got from a grocery bag.

Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other
presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a
rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that
was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's
laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it
on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say,
"Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to."

After the children left she cried for at least an hour. On that very
day she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic. Instead,
she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention
to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive.
The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of
the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class
and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same,
Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets."

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her
that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.
Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then
wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she
was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.
Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while
things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with
it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors.
He assured Mrs.Thompson that she was still the best and favorite
teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he
explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, the decided to go a
little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and
favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little
longer-the letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.

The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter
that spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was going to be
married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago
and he was wondering if Mrs.Thompson might agree to sit in the place
at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.
Of course Mrs.Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet,
the one with several rhinestone missing. And she made sure she was
wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their
last Christmas together.

They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs.Thompson 's
ear,
"Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for believing in me. Thank you so much for
making me feel important and showing me that I could make a
difference." Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back.
She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught
me that, I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until
I met you."
 

nick18_in

MP Guru
Leaders Space : To Get Ahead, Use Your Head

To Get Ahead, Use Your Head

I'm the last person in the world who would tell you not to work hard. I'm also the first one to remind you that working hard must also be tempered by working smart, or you might just be wasting a load of effort. There is a reason why we were born with both muscles and brains.

Consider the story of two lumberjacks in a tree-cutting contest.

Both were strong and determined, hoping to win the prize. But one was hardworking and ambitious, chopping down every tree in his path at the fastest pace possible, while the other appeared to be a little more laid back, methodically felling trees and pacing himself. The go-getter worked all day, skipping his lunch break, expecting that his superior effort would be rewarded. His opponent, however, took an hour-long lunch, then resumed his steady pace. In the end, the eager beaver was dismayed to lose to his "lazier" competition.Thinking he deserved to win after his hard work, he finally approached his opponent and said, "I just don't understand. I worked longer and harder than you, and went hungry to get ahead. You took a break, and yet you still won. It just doesn't seem fair. Where did I go wrong?" The winner responded, "While I was taking my lunch break, I was sharpening my axe."

Hard work will always pay off; smart work will pay better. Remember back in college, there were the kids who studied all day and all night, but still struggled to pass exams? Then there were the kids who studied hard but also found time for a game of cards or basketball, and still aced every test. Both groups studied the same material, attended the same lectures taught by the same professors, and took the same test. Was the second group just that much more brilliant? Maybe, but my money's on the way they approached their material and learned how to study. If they were smart, they applied those same principles after graduation: work hard, but work smart.

That's a lesson that can be learned by even young children.

A little girl visiting a watermelon farm asked the farmer how much a large watermelon cost. "Three dollars," he told her. "But I only have thirty cents," the little girl said. The farmer looked around his field, and feeling sorry for the little girl, pointed at a small watermelon and said, "That one's thirty cents." "Oh good," she replied as she paid him, "Just leave it on the vine and I'll be back in a month to get it."

Call it creativity, call it ingenuity, call it whatever: I call it using your head
. Knowing how to analyze a situation and how to execute an action plan will put you ahead of the game in the long run. There's nothing wrong with having a leg up on your competition - it's how you win. The combination of hard work and smart work is the formula for success. Think about what needs to be done, and then think again about the best way to accomplish it - not necessarily the way you've always done it, or the fastest way, and certainly not the hardest way. Never make work harder than it has to be. That's just a colossal waste of time.

Perhaps the ingenuity award goes to the fellow who came to the Canadian border on his motorcycle, carrying two saddlebags strapped across his seat. The border guards asked the obvious question, "What's in your saddlebags?" "Rocks," was the reply. So the guards emptied the bags to check out his story. Sure enough, all they found were rocks. So they sent him on his way. The next week, the same fellow came to the crossing, again on a motorcycle, again with the same payload. The guards checked once again, and found more rocks. Off he went. The scene repeated itself weekly for several months, until finally the guards couldn't stand it any longer. "We know you are smuggling something across the border, but every time we inspect your saddlebags we find only rocks. Please tell us what you are up to, and we promise not to turn you in." "Well," the fellow replied, "It's really very simple. I'm smuggling stolen motorcycles."

Mackay's Moral: It's good to work hard. It's great to work smart. But it's best to work hard and smart.
 

nick18_in

MP Guru
Leaders Space : Why the spiritual person is a better manager of people ??

Why the spiritual person is a better manager of people

In the ultimate analysis it is people who make the difference. To organizations, governments, and nations. The leadership of these people makes the difference between success and failure

Religion is the way you treat people
No truly religious person will treat others unfairly. Like needy people give you an opportunity to do charity, people at the workplace are a chance for you to grow people.

To quote Emerson “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”

The karma of comrades
If we delve into the theory of Karma for a moment – the belief is that we pick the family we are born into and the circumstances surrounding our life through our karma.

Taking that further, every person’s success or failure is decided by the people around him/her. All our skills come to zero if our people skills are crude.

Every professional should be a people person
Every working person has to deal with people who are juniors, seniors, management, clients, suppliers …

The relationship struck with these groups can decide the growth path of the individual and the organization.

The role of the senior - mentoring
Mentoring has been called ‘The art of achieving through another person’.

A senior has many roles to play where junior talents are concerned. The senior is involved in hiring people, working smoothly with them, nurturing them, and promoting them.
This is where ethics, religious beliefs, professional responsibility, and personal maturity come into play.

Hiring
Are you scrupulously fair when you hire? The ideal would be to stay uninfluenced by any personal bias – caste, language or region. Also assess the highly recommended candidate on par with any other. The recommendation should be seen as an entry point after which everything else equals out. Merit is the only issue.


Working
Have you ever enjoyed work in an atmosphere of fear? What do you do to provide an open, enjoyable atmosphere? And can you do that and still ensure a high quality of work? Easier said than done but the only way to go.

In a world full of choices, fear is no longer a motivator

Nurturing
Disregard personal bias when it comes to giving opportunity to the deserving. Training is to be given to the ones who need it more. In reports to the seniors do you name the high performers and detail out their contributions, or do you take credit by being deliberately vague?


Promoting
Is there a junior who sucks up to you? Or constantly points out the shortcomings of others? Every organization will have a few of those.

These are the insecure ones. They need to be counseled. Don’t use them as a source of feedback on your team or how people see you. You will get only a conveniently distorted version.
Promote based on professional assessment procedures, attitude and potential. It pays off very soon for you and the organization.
Besides which, your conscience will rest easy.

Dealing with your equals – healthy competition
These could be your competitors, this is where the concept of healthy competition comes in. They are still within your organization, it would be better to outshine them and not outfox them.

For example if marketing is doing a brilliant job and the head of customer service is deliberately not doing the same…that is a house divided and will soon shake if not fall.
Or when the content team in a web company is delivering great content, and the tech team is not uploading these, simply by complicating things, as techies can so easily.
There are instances of techies tampering with the internal email accounts of various department heads, to ensure they don’t get memos to prepare for meetings, and end up looking amateurish due to lack of preparation.
Ethics goes out the window, and along with it hopes, ambitions, commitment to the organization and so on.

What goes around comes around
Why risk sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind? Experienced, older professionals will tell you that the scheming, unnecessarily aggressive person usually grows to a certain level, and then stagnates. Without the active goodwill of people around you it is next to impossible to grow to your full potential.

Years from now, old and feeble with life’s work over, you can choose what you will see when you look back. Imagine for a moment, however unpleasant it might be, that the newspaper at some future date is carrying your obituary:

When you look back, at the end of life
Imagine the reactions of the people you work with. Will they tell their families

“He made me what I am today.” Or “Never met a nicer person.”
Or at the other extreme “The old idiot finally died.” Or “Wonder whom he’ll pick on in the next world.”
Now how would you like to be remembered?
The most spiritual definition of leadership seen so far is: “Leadership is the ability to develop leadership qualities in others.”
 

nick18_in

MP Guru
Leaders Space: Sudha Murthy

Sudha Murthy


An angry letter from a young lady made JRD Tata change his rule Sudha was livid when a job advertisement posted by a Tata company at the institution where she was completing her post graduation stated that "Lady candidates need not apply". She dashed off a post card to JRD Tata, protesting against the discrimination.

Following this, Sudha was called for an interview and she became the first female engineer to work on the shop floor at Telco (now Tata Motors). It was the beginning of an association that would change her life in more ways than one."

There are two photographs that hang on my office wall. Everyday when I entered my office I look at them before starting my day.

They are pictures of two old people. One is of a gentleman in a blue suit and the other is a black and white image of a man with dreamy eyes and a white beard. People have often asked me if the people in the photographs are related to me. Some have even asked me, "Is this black and white photo that of a Sufi saint or a religious Guru?"

I smile and reply "No, nor are they related to me. These people made an impact on my life. I am grateful to them." "Who are they?" "The man in the blue suit is Bharat Ratna JRD Tata and the black and white photo is of Jamsetji Tata."

"But why do you have them in your office?"" You can call it gratitude."

Then, invariably, I have to tell the person the following story. It was a long time ago. I was young and bright, bold and idealistic. I was in the final year of my Master's course in Computer Science at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, then known as the Tata Institute.

Life was full of fun and joy. I did not know what helplessness or injustice meant.

It was probably the April of 1974. Bangalore was getting warm and gulmohars were blooming at the IISc campus . I was the only girl in my postgraduate department and was staying at the ladies' hostel. Other girls were pursuing research in different departments of Science.

I was looking forward to going abroad to complete a doctorate in computer science. I had been offered scholarships from Universities in the US. I had not thought of taking up a job in India.

One day, while on the way to my hostel from our lecture-hall complex, I saw an advertisement on the notice board. It was a standard job-requirement notice from the famous automobile company Telco (now Tata Motors). It stated that the company required young, bright engineers, hardworking and with an excellent academic background, etc.

At the bottom was a small line: "Lady candidates need not apply.?
I read it and was very upset. For the first time in my life I was up against gender discrimination.

Though I was not keen on taking up the job, I saw it as a challenge. I had done extremely well in academics, better than most of my male peers. Little did I know then that in real life academic excellence is not enough to be successful?

After reading the notice I went fuming to my room. I decided to inform the topmost person in Telco's management about the injustice the company was perpetrating. I got a postcard and started to write, but there was a problem: I did not know who headed Telco.

I thought it must be one of the Tatas. I knew JRD Tata was the head of the Tata Group; I had seen his pictures in newspapers (actually, Sumant Moolgaokar was the company's chairman then). I took the card, addressed it to JRD and started writing. To this day I remember clearly what I wrote.

"The great Tatas have always been pioneers. They are the people who started the basic infrastructure industries in India, such as iron and steel, chemicals, textiles and locomotives. They have cared for higher education in India since 1900 and they were responsible for the establishment of the Indian Institute of Science. Fortunately, I study there. But I am surprised how a company such as Telco is discriminating on the basis of gender."



I posted the letter and forgot about it. Less than 10 days later, I received a telegram stating that I had to appear for an interview at Telco's Pune facility at the company's expense. I was taken aback by the telegram. My hostel mate told me I should use the opportunity to go to Pune free of cost and buy them the famous Pune saris for cheap! I collected Rs 30 each from everyone who wanted a sari. When I look back, I feel like laughing at the reasons for my going, but back then they seemed good enough to make the trip.


It was my first visit to Pune and I immediately fell in love with the city. To this day it remains dear to me. I feel as much at home in Pune as I do in Hubli, my hometown. The place changed my life in so many ways.
As directed, I went to Telco's Pimpri office for the interview. There were six people on the panel and I realised then that this was serious business.

"This is the girl who wrote to JRD," I heard somebody whisper as soon as I entered the room. By then I knew for sure that I would not get the job. The realisation abolished all fear from my mind, so I was rather cool while the interview was being conducted. Even before the interview started, I reckoned the panel was biased, so I told them, rather impolitely, "I hope this is only a technical interview."



They were taken aback by my rudeness, and even today I am ashamed about my attitude. The panel asked me technical questions and I answered all of them.

Then an elderly gentleman with an affectionate voice told me, "Do you Know> why we said lady candidates need not apply? The reason is that we have never employed any ladies on the shop floor. This is not a co-ed college; this is a factory. When it comes to academics, you are a first ranker throughout. We appreciate that, but people like you should work in research
Laboratories." I was a young girl from small-town Hubli. My world had been a limited place. I did not know the ways of large corporate houses and their difficulties, so I answered, "But you must start somewhere, otherwise no woman will ever be able to work in your factories."

Finally, after a long interview, I was told I had been successful. So this was what the future had in store for me. Never had I thought I would take up a job in Pune
. I met a shy young man from Karnataka there, we became good friends and we got married.

It was only after joining Telco that I realised who JRD was: the uncrowned King of Indian industry. Now I was scared, but I did not get to meet him till I was transferred to Bombay. One day I had to show some reports to Mr. Moolgaokar, our chairman, who we all knew as SM. I was in his office on the first floor of Bombay House (the Tata headquarters) when, suddenly JRD walked in. That was the first time I saw "appro JRD". Appro means "our" in Gujarati. This was the affectionate term by which people at Bombay House called him.


I was feeling very nervous, remembering my postcard episode. SM introduced me nicely, "Jeh (that's what his close associates called him), this young woman is an engineer and that too a postgraduate. She is the first woman to work on the Telco shop floor." JRD looked at me. I was praying he would not ask me any questions about my interview (or the postcard that preceded it).

Thankfully, he didn't. Instead, he remarked. "It is nice that girls are getting into engineering in our country. By the way, what is your name?"

"When I joined Telco I was Sudha Kulkarni, Sir," I replied. "Now I am Sudha Murthy.
" He smiled and kindly smile and started a discussion with SM. As for me, I almost ran out of the room.

After that I used to see JRD on and off. He was the Tata Group chairman and I was merely an engineer. There was nothing that we had in common. I was in awe of him.

One day I was waiting for Murthy, my husband, to pick me up after office hours. To my surprise I saw JRD standing next to me. I did not know how to react. Yet again I started worrying about that postcard. Looking back, I realize JRD had forgotten about it. It must have been a small incident for him, but not so for me.

"Young lady, why are you here?" he asked. "Office time is over." I said,


"Sir, I'm waiting for my husband to come and pick me up." JRD said, "It is getting dark and there's no one in the corridor. I'll wait with you till your husband comes."


I was quite used to waiting for Murthy, but having JRD waiting alongside made me extremely uncomfortable.

I was nervous. Out of the corner of my eye I looked at him. He wore a simple white pant and shirt. He was old, yet his face was glowing. There wasn't any air of superiority about him. I was thinking, "Look at this person. He is a chairman, a well-respected man in our country and he is waiting for the sake of an ordinary employee."


Then I saw Murthy and I rushed out. JRD called and said, "Young lady, tell your husband never to make his wife wait again."

In 1982 I had to resign from my job at Telco. I was reluctant to go, but I really did not have a choice. I was coming down the steps of Bombay House after wrapping up my final settlement when I saw JRD coming up. He wa
s absorbed in thought. I wanted to say goodbye to him, so I stopped. He saw me and paused.

Gently, he said, "So what are you doing, Mrs Kulkarni?" (That was the way he always addressed me.) "Sir, I am leaving Telco." "Where are you going?" he asked. "Pune, Sir. My husband is starting a company called Infosys and I'm shifting to Pune."


"Oh! And what will you do when you are successful." "Sir, I don't know whether we will be successful." "Never start with diffidence," he advised me. "Always start with confidence. When you are successful you must give back to society. Society gives us so much; we must reciprocate. I wish you all the best."

Then JRD continued walking up the stairs. I stood there for what seemed like a millennium. That was the last time I saw him alive. Many years later I met Ratan Tata in the same Bombay House, occupying the chair JRD once did. I told him of my many sweet memories of working with Telco.

Later, he wrote to me, "It was nice hearing about Jeh from you. The sad part is that he's not alive to see you today."

I consider JRD a great man because, despite being an extremely busy person, he valued one postcard written by a young girl seeking justice.

He must have received thousands of letters everyday. He could have thrown mine away, but he didn't do that. He respected the intentions of that unknown girl, who had neither influence nor money, and gave her an opportunity in his company. He did not merely give her a job; he changed her life and mindset forever.

Close to 50 per cent of the students in today's engineering colleges are girls. And there are women on the shop floor in many industry segments.

I see these changes and I think of JRD. If at all time stops and asks me what I want from life, I would say I wish JRD were alive today to see how the company we started has grown. He would have enjoyed it wholeheartedly.

My love and respect for the House of Tata remains undiminished by the passage of time. I always looked up to JRD
. I saw him as a role model for his simplicity, his generosity, his kindness and the care he took of his employees. Those blue eyes always reminded me of the sky; they had the same vastness and magnificence.

(Sudha Murthy is a widely published writer and chairperson of the Infosys Foundation involved in a number of social development initiatives.)


Article sourced from: Lasting Legacies (Tata Review- Special Commemorative Issue 2004), brought out by the house of Tatas to commemorate the 100 th birth anniversary of JRD Tata on July 29, 2004
 

nick18_in

MP Guru
3 Essential "E"s For Leaders... Engage, Empower, Encourage!!

"Enflamed with the study of learning and the admiration of virtue; stirred up with high hopes of living to be brave... and worthy..., dear to God, and famous to all ages." - John Milton

Leaders are by definition "stewards" of the trust, hope and beliefs of others. To perform their acts of stewardship, leaders must practice and master three essential tasks:

=> Engage people
=> Empower people
[FONT=times
new roman]=> Encourage people[/FONT]

Many leaders have a problem applying those 3 "E"s to their leadership goals, actions and conversations. Here are a few strategic ideas you can use to inject the three "E"s into your leadership styles and behaviors.

Engage the Hearts, Minds & Wills of People!
"No seed shall perish which the soul hath sown." - John Addington Symonds.
When you plant a positive vision into the fertile fields of their hearts, minds, wills and emotions, your venture is sure to succeed.
Your task is to help your partners, associates, peers and constituents or clients to

=> Connect with,
=> Believe in,
=> Commit to,
=> Organize for

performing that mission-critical activity, reaching for a desired objective or completing some specific task.
The intent, consistency and integrity of your leadership style, behaviors and attitudes must demonstrate the worthiness of your visionary ideal or principles.
In a word, you use your dreams or ideals to motivate and inspire the confidence and commitment of others.

Empower the Skills, Performance & Competencies of People!

Empowering people means
-> linking them with the knowledge, resources, assets and processes they need,
- preparing them for the tasks, activities, objectives, challenges and problems they will work through,
- directing them to the sources of tools or materials, supplies and resources, specialists or networks to enable their efforts,
- guiding them in identifying, classifying, mapping or modeling, learning, analyzing, evaluating, innovating and creating, managing, venturing and leading for any situation.
By empowering, we mean facilitating the supply of energy, mass and capability to perform the work at hand. To provide people with the energy of a belief, competence or meaning.

"True hope is swift, and flies with swallow's wings; Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings." - William Shakespeare

Leaders encourage us to have hope, we use that hope to add speed and give flight to our dreams, our hope transforms our lives into the lofty desires of kingly beings, and transmutes our efforts into a reality of kingly treasures.

Encourage the Endeavors, Strengths & Confidence of People!

When you lead by encouraging people, you give them a:

=> purpose for being, for their inclusion, for making a difference and contribution, for reaching upwards or towards a higher plateau
=> obligation to the mission, to help others, to fulfill an ideal, to belong, to a higher power or greater good
=> trust in the common purpose, in goodness of others, love and mercy of God, in a promising potential for the venture,
=> affinity with a noble or worthy enterprise, with other positive or success-oriented people, with a great and righteous goal
You encourage people because you realize they will become transformed by the hope of a positive image or possibility.
"None without hope e'er lov'd the brightest fair, But love can hope where reason would despair." - Lord Lyttleton.

LOVE is an act of the will, to love is a willful decision to show a loving concern, care and compassion for another - love gives hope the solid support of a strong foundation.

"Growth is the only evidence of life." - John Henry Newman

If it is possible to encourage an energizing yet positive growth of people, then you are engaged in a worthwhile endeavor.

When we analyze the styles and behaviors of our greatest leaders like , Gandhi, King, Churchill, Tolstoy and Mother Theresa, they share a common trait - they applied all three "E"s to their practice of leadership.

Leaders in government, business and public services can easily find ways to use one or more of these key actions -

1) They can engage the hearts or minds of people through compelling ideas or inspiring principles;
2) They can empower the ability and desires of people by connecting or educating them through applied energy;
3) They can encourage the commitment and heroism of people by showing them the hope or belief in a better reality.
Try out these concepts - when you do, you'll see a real improvement in your leadership effectiveness!

"We have two lives about us, Two worlds in which we dwell, Within us and without us, Alternate Heaven and Hell: Without, the somber Real, Within, our hearts of hearts, the beautiful Ideal." - Richard Henry Stoddard.

It's up to you to decide, do you believe there are 3 "E"s in "leadership"? Stretch forth your hope and see the possibility - engage, empower, encourage your people to win!


By Bill Thomas
 

nick18_in

MP Guru
Leaders Space: Dr. Stephen R. Covey

About Dr. Covey
Internationally respected leadership authority, family expert, teacher, organizational consultant, and author, Dr. Covey dedicates his life to teaching principle-centered living and leadership to individuals, families, and organizations. Holder of an MBA from Harvard and a doctorate degree from Brigham Young University, Dr. Covey is author of the international bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, named the #1 Most Influential Business Book of the Twentieth Century, and other best sellers that include First Things First , Principle-Centered Leadership, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families .
A recipient of awards ranging from International Man of Peace to the National Fatherhood Award, Stephen R. Covey is continuously engaged in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding through reading and through interaction with the diverse, inspirational people he encounters the world over.
Professional Biography
n 1996, Stephen R. Covey was recognized as one of Time magazine's 25 most influential Americans and one of Sales and Marketing Management's top 25 power brokers.
Dr. Covey is the author of several acclaimed books, including the international bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It has sold more than 15 million copies in 38 languages throughout the world. Other bestsellers authored by Dr. Covey include First Things First, Principle-Centered Leadership, with sales exceeding one million, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families.
Dr. Covey’s newest book, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, which was released in November 2004, has risen to the top of several bestseller lists, including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today Money, Business Week, and Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. The 8th Habit has sold more than 360,000 copies.
  • <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; LINE-HEIGHT: 19.65pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">In 2002, Forbes named The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People one of the top 10 most influential management books ever. <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; LINE-HEIGHT: 19.65pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">A survey by Chief Executive Magazine recognized The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as one of the two most influential business books of the twentieth century. <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; LINE-HEIGHT: 19.65pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People audiobook on tape is the best-selling nonfiction audio in history, selling more than 1.5 million copies. <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; LINE-HEIGHT: 19.65pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in">Over two million copies of First Things First have been sold. Simon & Schuster expressed the opinion, "...First Things First is the best-selling time management book ever."
  • Dr. Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families was released in October 1997 and ranked fourth on the New York Times list within three months of its release date. It is the No. 1 best-selling hardcover book on family.
Dr. Covey is cofounder and vice chairman of FranklinCovey, the leading global professional services firm with offices in 123 countries. FranklinCovey shares Dr. Covey’s vision, discipline and passion to inspire, lift and provide tools for change and growth of individuals and organizations throughout the world.
Dr. Covey's organizational legacy to the world is Covey Leadership Center. On May 30, 1997, a merger of Covey Leadership Center with Franklin Quest created FranklinCovey. Dr. Covey's vision of empowering organizations to implement "principle-centered" leadership in their cultures continues to be an important focus of FranklinCovey.
http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/Career Highlights

Captain David Marquet
President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia
AB Combs
Throughout his career, Dr. Covey has had many unique and fascinating experiences. Here are a few highlights:
http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/Captain David Marquet
I was training U.S. Navy officers in leadership during the dot.com era, when someone told me about an exemplary leader named Captain David Marquet, Captain of the U.S.S. Santa Fe, who never lost anyone, in spite of the hellish conditions submarine personnel are required to endure.
An opportunity arose, which I jumped at. I was invited to board Captain Marquet’s sub and interview him. Never before had I observed such empowerment. We stood on the bridge of this multibillion-dollar nuclear submarine with a football field of vessel in front of and behind us. A young officer approached the Captain and said, "Sir, I intend to take this ship down 400 feet." Captain Marquet asked about the sonar and sounding and then instructed this young man to give us another twenty minutes on the bridge before carrying out his intention.
Throughout the day, people approached the captain intending to do this or do that. The Captain would sometimes ask a question or two, but then say, "Very well." He reserved only the top decisions for his own confirmation and empowered others to make the rest. He said he wanted to empower his people as far as he possibly could within the Navy’s confines. He felt if he required them to own the problem and the solution to it, they would begin to view themselves as a vitally important link in the chain of command. He created a culture where those sailors had a real sense of adding value.
Months after my sub ride, Captain Marquet wrote to inform me that the U.S.S. Santa Fe was awarded the Arleigh Burke Trophy for most improved submarine, ship, or aviation squadron in the Pacific.
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http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia
We met at the Presidential Palace with President Alvaro Uribe and his cabinet for nearly two hours. We were impressed that he spent more time with us than had been scheduled. He was warm, open, humble—a real visionary. We talked about the importance of giving attention to things that may not be urgent and about creating a clear vision of what you want your legacy to look like. He had been struggling with urgent issues such as current terrorist activity, so we talked a lot about communication. President Uribe really opened up to the idea of working internally and with other government leaders with whom he has disagreements to practice Indian talking stick communication and try to work out third alternatives. However, his skepticism was evident as he considered how to apply this to communications with terrorist groups. My response was that you don’t attempt to negotiate with evil and I think that eased his mind a bit. He invited me to return next year and teach his congress and governors about it.
http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/AB Combs
In 2001, I was invited to visit A.B. Combs elementary school in North Carolina . I was awed by what the principal of the school, Mrs. Muriel Thomas Summers, had been able to accomplish. Her success has inspired many educational institutions around the world, and I share her story wherever I teach.
Mrs. Summers envisioned introducing principle-based character education into the curriculum of a K-5 school (little children ranging from about ages 5 through 10), and of involving fellow administrators, faculty, and families in the preparation. She chose The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as the curriculum.
When asked how introducing principle-centered character training into the curriculum had impacted academic performance, she replied that the impact had been profound. "Eighteen months ago, 67 percent of our students performed at or above grade level in national academic standards; today 94 percent are at or above grade level." Consider the significance—the same families, the same facilities, the same core curricula and learning materials, the same buildings—only one variable—character principles were integrated into the classes and lives of these students for 18 months.
During my visit, they unveiled the "Wall of Wonder." It was made of 560 ceramic panels, each painted by a child and all blended into a montage of beautiful colors. In the center was depicted the four needs—to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy. Many of the children, of 56 different nationalities, wore their native costumes and carried their native flags for my visit. I've never seen diversity that compared to this.
A.B. Combs School has received numerous awards, including:
  • <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; LINE-HEIGHT: 19.65pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list .5in">National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence (given by the U.S. Dept. of Education) <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; LINE-HEIGHT: 19.65pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list .5in">National Magnet Schools of Excellence Award, three years running ( highest award given by the National Magnet Schools of America ). Named one of the top five magnet schools (out of thousands) in the U.S. in academic performance, with 98 percent of their students performing at or above grade level. <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; LINE-HEIGHT: 19.65pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list .5in">North Carolina School of Excellence (based on academic achievement) <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; LINE-HEIGHT: 19.65pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list .5in">North Carolina Governor's Entrepreneurial Award ( awarded for leadership and risk-taking in education) <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; LINE-HEIGHT: 19.65pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list .5in">Winner, National Schools of Character <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; LINE-HEIGHT: 19.65pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo2; tab-stops: list .5in">Invited to present at the Model Schools Conference, 2004
  • Finalist for the 21 st Century Award for Educational Excellence, 2004
In November of 2003, I was once again in North Carolina, and Mrs. Summers invited my assistant and me to visit the school. All of the students, grades K-5, knew and found ways to practice the 7 Habits. The principles taught had literally become a way of life for these students. We went on a tour of the school and visited all of the classrooms, meeting staff, teachers, and students. The feeling there was extraordinary and the attitude of everyone was one of passion for teaching and developing the leader within each child.
Every class had a mission statement, and each student was encouraged to write his or her own. It was inspiring to catch a glimpse of what these students have the potential to become in their lives because of how deeply they believe in themselves and the habits they were acquiring at such a young age.
I spoke at a leadership conference later that day in which the children were invited to participate. They formed a parade and carried the flags of all of the nations they represent, some wearing the traditional clothing of that country. They sang "It Takes a World of Differences to Make a Difference in our World," a song about celebrating diversity. One little girl soloed throughout as the choir backed her up. It was very touching. A young boy named James stood at the podium to give a short speech. Although James had received a prepared speech, he had wanted "to make some changes," which he did. I was impressed with the confidence demonstrated by this. I only wished all children could be afforded the opportunities children at A.B. Combs School enjoy. It will be interesting to follow these children as they grow. I can only describe what I saw as amazing.
Personal Biography
r. Covey earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Utah, his MBA from Harvard, and completed his doctorate at Brigham Young University. While at Brigham Young University, he served as assistant to the president and was also a professor of business management and organizational behavior.
He received the National Fatherhood Award in 2003, which, as the father of 9 and grandfather of 44, he says is the most meaningful award he has ever received.
Dr. Covey currently serves on the board of directors for the Points of Light Foundation. Based in Washington, D.C., the Foundation, through its partnership with the Volunteer Center National Network, engages and mobilizes millions of volunteers from all walks of life—businesses, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, low-income communities, families, youth, and older adults—to help solve serious social problems in thousands of communities.
Beginnings
ome years before writing The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I took my family on a sabbatical leave from the university at which I was teaching. We lived for a year on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii, and I spent much of the time writing. It was very beautiful there and conducive to contemplation. After an early morning run on the beach, I would retire to an isolated office next to the canefields on the outside edge of a college.
While wandering the book stacks in the college library one day, I noticed a book that piqued my interest. Looking through it, my eyes fell upon a paragraph, which powerfully influenced the rest of my life. I read it over and over.
The paragraph communicated the simple idea that there is a space between any stimulus and the response to it. The key to our growth and happiness is how we use that space. The idea hit me with fresh, unbelievable force. It was like an inward revolution. I reflected on it again and again. It was as if I had become an observer of my own participation. I began to stand in that space and look out at the stimuli. It would change my life and the way I communicated forever.
To read more about how Dr. Covey incorporated the stimulus/response concept into his life, read the chapter “Inside-out Again” in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Awards
2003 National Fatherhood Award
As the father of 9 and grandfather of 44, Dr. Covey received the National Fatherhood Award, which he says is the most meaningful award he has ever received. Each year since 1997, the Fatherhood Awards have been presented to individuals, corporations, and organizations that significantly contribute through their work or personal lives to strengthening involved, responsible, and committed fatherhood. Past Fatherhood Awardees include James Earl Jones, Tom Selleck, Stephen Collins, Tim McGraw, and NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly.
1999 Speaker of the Year Award
1998 Sikh International Man of Peace Award
1994 International Entrepreneur of the Year Award
National Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership
1990 Thomas More College Medallion
Dr. Covey was awarded the first Thomas More College Medallion for continued service to humanity. The Honors Leadership Seminar at Thomas More College includes a component based on Dr. Covey's approach "principle-centered leadership" concepts.
Dr. Covey has been awarded eight honorary doctorate degrees.
Reading List


Where you’ll find a list of authors and works Dr. Covey recommends.

Wisdom Literature
Basic Works
The Analects of Confucius. Translated by Arthur Waley. Vintage, 1938.
The Art of Virtue. Benjamin Franklin. Acorn, 1986.
As A Man Thinketh. James Allen. Running Press, 1989.
As A Man Thinketh, Volume 2. James Allen. MindArt, 1988.
The Bhagavad Gita. Translated by Eknath Easwaran. Nilgiri Press, 1985.
Book of Hopi. Frank Waters. Ballantine, 1963.
The Book of Mormon. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1986.
The Collected Dialogues of Plato. Edited by Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns. Princeton University Press, 1961.
The Dhammapada. Translated by Eknath Easwaran. Nilgiri Press, 1985.
The Essential Gandhi. Edited by Louis Rischer. Vintage, 1962.
The Holy Bible.
The Instruction of Ptah-Hotep and the Instruction of Ke'Gemni: The Oldest Books in the World. Translated by Battiscombe Gunn. London: John Murray, 1912.
The Lessons of History. Will and Ariel Durant. Simon & Schuster, 1968.
The Meaning of the Glorius Koran: An Explanatory Translation. Translated by Mohamad Marmaduke Pickehall. Mentor Books, n.d.
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Translated by George Long. Avon Books, 1993.
The Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle. Oxford University Press, 1991.
The Opening of the Wisdom-Eye. H. H. Gyatso, the Dalai Lama Tenzin. Quest Books, 1966.
Ramayana. R. K. Narayan. Penguin, 1972.
The Sayings of Confucius. Translated by Lionel Giles. London: Charles E. Tuttle, 1993.
The Sayings of Mencius. James R. Ware. Mentor Books, 1960.
Siddhartha. Hermann Hesse. New Directions, 1951.
Sufism, The Alchemy of the Heart. Labyrinth Publishing, 1993.
Tao Te Ching. Lao Tzu. Penguin, 1963.
Tao, to Know and Not Be Knowing. Labyrinth Publishing, 1993.
The Torah. Translated by W. Gunther Plaute. Central Conference of American Rabbis, 1981.
The Upanishads. Translated by Eknath Easwaran. Nilgiri Press, 1987.
Walden, Or, Life in the Woods. Henry David Thoreau. Shambhala, 1992.
The Way of Chuang Tzu. Thomas Merton. Shambhala, 1965.
The Wisdom of Confucius. Peter Pauper Press, 1963.
The Wisdom of the Vedas. J. C. Chatterji. Quest Books, 1992.
Wisdomkeepers: Meetings with Native American Spiritual Elders. Steve Wall and Harvey Arden. Beyond Words Publishing, 1990.
World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts. International Religious Foundation. Paragon House, 1991.
Zen, The Reason of Unreason. Labyrinth Publishing, 1993.

Collections
The Art of Peace. Translated by John Stevens. Shambhala, 1992.
The Art of Worldly Wisdom. Balthasar Gracian. Translated by Joseph Jacobs. Shambhala, 1992.
The Book of Virtues. William J. Bennett. Simon & Schuster, 1993.
The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry. Edited by Stephen Mitchell. HarperCollins, 1989.
The Enlightened Mind: An Anthology of Sacred Prose. Edited by Stephen Mitchell. HarperCollins, 1991.
Light from Many Lamps. Edited by Lillian Eichler Watson. Fireside, 1979.
Native American Wisdom. Running Press, 1993.
Oneness. Jeffrey Moses. Fawcett Columbine, 1989.
The Pocket Aquinas. Edited by Vernon J. Bourke. Pocket, 1960.
Prayer of the Heart, Writings from the Philokalia. Translated by G. E. H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Kallistos Ware. Shabhala, 1993.
The Sayings of Muhammad, Allama Sir Abdullah Al-Mamun Al-Suhrawardy. Charles E. Tuttle, 1992.
Spiritual Illuminations. Edited by Peg Streep. Viking Studio Books, 1992.
Thoughts in Solitude. Thomas Merton. Shambhala, 1993.
Wisdom: Conversations with the Elder Wise Men of Our Day. James Nelson. Norton, 1958.
Wisdom Is One. B. W. Huntsman. Charles E. Tuttle, 1985.
Words of Wisdom. Ariel Books, 1992.
Words of Wisdom. Thomas C. Jones. Chicago: J. G. Ferguson, 1966.
A World Treasury of Folk Wisdom. Reynolds Feldman and Cynthia A Voelke. HarperCollins, 1992.

Commentary and Analysis
Proverbial Philosophy: A Book of Thoughts and Arguments. Martin Farquhar Tupper. E. H. Butler, Philadelphia, 1892.
Ways of Wisdom. Edited by Steve Smith. University Press, 1983.
Wisdom. Edited by Robert J. Sternberg. Cambridge University Press, 1990.

The 8th Habit
Literature Review of Leadership Theories
Results-Based Leadership. Ulrich, Senger, & Smallwood (1999); Nohria, Joyce & Robertson (2003).
Servant Leadership. Greenleaf (1996); Spears & Frick (1992).

References Consulted
Discover Your Strengths. Buckingham, M., and D.O. Clifton. New York: Free Press, 2001.
First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently. Buckingham, M., and C. Coffman. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.
Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don't. Collins, J.C. Good to Great: New York, HarperCollins Publishers, 2001.
Capturing the Heart of Leadership: Spirituality and Community in the New American Workplace. Fairholm, G.W. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1997.
Perspectives On Leadership: From the Science of Management to Its Spiritual Heart. Fairholm, G.W. Westport, Conn.: Quorum Books, 1998

Other
Man's Search For Meaning. Frankl, Viktor. New York, A Washington Square Press Publication, 1959.
A Guide for the Perplexed. Schumacher, E.F. New York, Harper and Row Publishers, Inc., 1977.
 

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MP Guru
Leaders Space: Michael E. Porter

Michael E. Porter

Personal History
Professor Porter was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has lived and traveled throughout the world as the son of a career Army officer. He was an all-state high school football and baseball player. At Princeton, he played intercollegiate golf and was named to the 1968 NCAA Golf All-American Team. After graduating from college, Professor Porter served through the rank of captain in the U.S. Army Reserve. He maintains a long-time interest in the esthetics and business of music and art, having worked on the problems of strategy with arts organizations and aspiring musicians. Professor Porter serves as a trustee of the Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School (Cambridge, Massachusetts). Professor Porter and his two daughters reside in Brookline, Massachusetts.


Bishop William Lawrence University Professor
Michael E. Porter is the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, based at Harvard Business School. A University professorship is the highest professional recognition that can be awarded to a Harvard faculty member. In 2001, Harvard Business School and Harvard University jointly created the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, to further Professor Porter’s work.
Professor Porter, the author of 17 books and over 125 articles, is a leading authority on competitive strategy and the competitiveness and economic development of nations, states, and regions. He received a B.S.E. with high honors in aerospace and mechanical engineering from Princeton University in 1969, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. He received an M.B.A. with high distinction in 1971 from the Harvard Business School, where he was a George F. Baker Scholar, and a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University in 1973.

Teaching
Professor Porter's ideas on strategy have now become the foundation for the required strategy course at the Harvard Business School, and his work is taught in virtually every business school in the world. Professor Porter’s primary course for Harvard graduate students is a University-wide course, Microeconomics of Competitiveness, which is taught not only at Harvard but at 56 other universities around the world using video content and instructor support developed at Harvard. Professor Porter also created and chairs Harvard's program for newly appointed CEOs of billion dollar corporations.
Professor Porter speaks widely on competitive strategy, competitiveness, and related subjects to business and government leaders throughout the world.

Research on Strategy
Professor Porter’s core field is strategy, and this remains a primary focus of his research. His book, Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, was his first book-length publication on strategy. The book is in its 63rd printing and has been translated into 19 languages. His second major strategy book, Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, was published in 1985 and is in its 38th printing. His book On Competition (1998) includes a series of articles on strategy and competition, including his Harvard Business Review article 'What is Strategy?' (1996). 'Strategy and the Internet' was published in 2001.
Professor Porter’s next major book on strategy will be completed in 2006.

Competitiveness of Nations and Regions
Professor Porter's 1990 book The Competitive Advantage of Nations was motivated by his appointment by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 to the President's Commission on Industrial Competitiveness. This book kicked off his second major body of work, which addresses competitiveness and economic development. The book presents a new theory of how nations, states, and regions compete, and their sources of economic prosperity. It was followed by an extensive body of publications on the influence of locations on competition, with a special focus on the role of clusters. These ideas have guided economic policy throughout the world.
National Competitiveness. Building on The Competitive Advantage of Nations, Professor Porter has published books about national competitiveness on New Zealand, Canada, Sweden, and Switzerland. Most recently, his book Can Japan Compete? (2000) challenges long-held views about the sources of Japan's economic miracle and offers a new path for that nation's future. It was selected as one of the top three non-fiction books of 2000 by The Economist.
Professor Porter co-chairs the Global Competitiveness Report, an annual ranking of the competitiveness and growth prospects of more than 100 countries released by the World Economic Forum.
Clusters. Professor Porter’s ideas on clusters, first introduced in 1990, have given rise to a large body of research on cluster-based economic development and hundreds of public-private cluster initiatives throughout the world. Professor Porter’s research on clusters is summarized in “Clusters and Competition: New Agendas for Companies, Governments, and Institutions” in On Competition (1998) and other publications listed in his curriculum vitae.
Regional Competitiveness. Professor Porter has extended his work on competitiveness to sub-national regions. He led the Clusters of Innovation project (2001-2002) which studied five major U.S. regions, developing new theory, new sources of data, and new methodologies for fostering innovation and prosperity in regional economies. Growing out of this research, the Harvard Cluster Mapping Project was developed and provides rich data on the economic geography of U.S. regions and clusters from 1990 to 2003. The Cluster Mapping Project has over 8,000 registered users. His article ‘The Economic Performance of Regions’ (2003) summarizes some of the important findings from this data.
Innovation. Professor Porter is co-author (with Scott Stern) of a body of work on the sources of innovation in national economies, including The New Challenge to America's Prosperity: Findings from the Innovation Index (1999), 'The Determinants of National Innovative Capacity' (2000), and 'Measuring the 'Ideas' Production Function: Evidence from International Patent Output' (2000).
Related Topics. Professor Porter has led studies on the role of private capital investment in competitiveness, including Capital Choices (1992) and Lifting All Boats (1995). He has also written on competition policy, including 'Competition and Antitrust: Towards a Productivity-based Approach to Evaluating Mergers and Joint Ventures' (2002).

Competition and Society
Professor Porter's research on economic development gave rise to his third major body of work: the relationship between competition and society.
Inner Cities. Professor Porter has conducted extensive research on economic development in America's distressed inner city areas, beginning with the Harvard Business Review article 'The Competitive Advantage of the Inner City'. In 1994, he founded The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a non-profit, private-sector organization to catalyze inner-city business development across the country. Professor Porter is Chairman of the ICIC, a national organization with a staff of more than 40 professionals. The ICIC has conducted extensive research and practiced extensively in this field, and a bibliography of work is available on the organization’s website.
Rural Development. In 2004, Professor Porter published a study commissioned by the Economic Development Administration on rural development, Competitiveness in Rural U.S. Regions: Learning and Research Agenda. This study marks a new stream of work on economic development in sparsely populated rural regions which have weak economic performance relative to urban areas.
Environment. Professor Porter has examined the relationship between competitiveness and the natural environment. His Scientific American essay 'America's Green Strategy', showed that economic competitiveness and environmental improvement could and should be complementary. This essay triggered a body of literature and new policy thinking, including publications by Professor Porter: ‘Green and Competitive’ (1995), 'Toward a New Conception of the Environment-Competitiveness Relationship' (1995), and 'National Environmental Performance Measurement and Determinants' (2002). The so-called “Porter Hypothesis” has been much studied in subsequent literature.
Philanthropy and Corporate Responsibility. Professor Porter has devoted growing attention to philanthropy and especially the role of corporations in society. His Harvard Business Review article with Mark Kramer, 'Philanthropy's New Agenda: Creating Value' (1999), offers a new framework for developing strategy in foundations and other philanthropic organizations. He co-founded the Center for Effective Philanthropy, an organization dedicated to creating concepts and measurement tools to improve foundation performance.
Professor Porter’s Harvard Business Review article, 'The Competitive Advantage of Corporate Philanthropy' (2002), addresses how corporations can create more social benefit by integrating their philanthropy with their business context. A forthcoming article tackles the strategic underpinnings of corporate social responsibility.
Health Care. Recently, Professor Porter has devoted considerable attention to competition in the health care system and addressing the problems of the U.S. and foreign health care systems. His article with Elizabeth Teisberg, ‘Redefining Competition in Health Care’ (2004), has stimulated a national dialog. Based on two years of additional research, his joint book with Professor Teisberg, Redefining Health Care (Harvard Business School Press) will be published in May 2006.

Advisor to Business and Government
Professor Porter has served as a strategy advisor to numerous leading U.S. and international companies, among them DuPont, Entel (Chile), Edward Jones, Navistar, Procter & Gamble, Royal Dutch Shell, Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Sysco, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.
Professor Porter also serves as a senior strategy advisor to the Boston Red Sox, a major league baseball team.
Professor Porter currently serves on the boards of directors of two public companies, Parametric Technology Corporation and Thermo Electron Corporation. He has also advised community organizations on strategy, including the Institute of Contemporary Art, WGBH public television, and others.
Professor Porter is also a counselor to government. He plays an active role in U.S. economic policy with the Executive Branch, Congress, and international organizations. He chairs the selection committee for the annual Corporate Stewardship Award given by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Professor Porter is a member of the Executive Committee of the Council on Competitiveness, a private-sector organization made up of chief executive officers of major corporations, unions, and universities, and has provided intellectual leadership for a number of the Council's major programs.
Professor Porter has also advised national leaders in numerous countries. He has personally led major studies of economic strategy for the governments of such countries as Canada, Kazakhstan, India, New Zealand, Portugal, Thailand and most recently Libya. He has advised national leaders on economic policy in dozens of countries including Armenia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom, and his ideas have inspired national competitiveness initiatives in Ireland, Finland, Norway and elsewhere. His thinking about economic development for groups of neighboring countries has led to a long-term initiative within Central America, including the formation of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS), a permanent institution based in Costa Rica.
Professor Porter has also assisted many state and local governments in enhancing competitiveness. His work has inspired competitiveness initiatives in regions such as the Basque Country, Catalonia, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. In his home state of Massachusetts, Professor Porter's work led to a new economic strategy, beginning with the report The Competitive Advantage of Massachusetts (1991). This effort resulted in new legislation, numerous state initiatives, and the creation of Governor William F. Weld's Council on Economic Growth and Technology, which Professor Porter chaired.
Professor Porter has also served as an advisor to the state of Connecticut since the mid-1990s in creating a new economic plan. In addition, Professor Porter has advised Governors and private-sector leaders on economic policy in states and regions such as Mississippi, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio.


Honors and Recognition
The awards and honors won by Professor Porter include Harvard's David A. Wells Prize in Economics for his research in industrial organization. He received the Graham and Dodd Award of the Financial Analysts Federation in 1980. His book Competitive Advantage won the George R. Terry Book Award of the Academy of Management in 1985 as the outstanding contribution to management thought. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Management in 1988 and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences in 1991. In 1991, he received the Charles Coolidge Parlin Award for outstanding contribution to the field of marketing and strategy given by the American Marketing Association. Professor Porter was honored by the Massachusetts State Legislature for his work on Massachusetts competitiveness in 1991. In 1993, Professor Porter was named the Richard D. Irwin Outstanding Educator in Business Policy and Strategy by the Academy of Management. He was the 1997 recipient of the Adam Smith Award of the National Association of Business Economists, given in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the business economics profession. A Fellow of the International Academy of Management since 1985, he received that group's first-ever Distinguished Award for Contribution to the Field of Management in 1998. In 2001, the annual Porter Prize, akin to the Deming Prize, was established in Japan in his name to recognize that nation's leading companies in terms of strategy. The Academy of Management recognized Professor Porter with its highest award, for scholarly contributions to management in 2003. In 2005, Professor Porter was honored by the South Carolina legislature for his efforts in assisting and promoting economic development and competitiveness in that state. In 2005, Professor Porter became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was awarded the John Kenneth Galbraith Medal (presented by the American Agricultural Economics Association. He was also honored as the recipient of the 2005 Distinguished Contributor to Case Research and Teaching by the North American Case Research Association.
Professor Porter has received five McKinsey Awards for the best Harvard Business Review article of the year, including an unprecedented three first-place awards.
Professor Porter has been awarded honorary doctorates by the Stockholm School of Economics; Erasmus University, the Netherlands; HEC (Hautes Ecoles Commerciales), France; Universidada Tecnica de Lisboa, Portugal; Adolfo Ibanez University, Chile; INCAE, Central America; Johnson and Wales University; and Mt. Ida College.
Professor Porter has also been awarded national honors including the Creu de St. Jordi (Cross of St. George) from Catalonia (Spain) and the Jose Dolores Estrada Order of Merit, the highest civilian honor awarded by the Government of Nicaragua.



Books
Porter, Michael E., and Elizabeth O. Teisberg. Redefining Health Care: Creating Value-Based Competition on Results. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2006.
Porter, Michael E., Hirotaka Takeuchi, and M. Sakakibara. Can Japan Compete? Tokyo: Diamond Publishing, 2000. (English ed., Basingstoke: MacMillan, 2000; New York: Basic Books, 2000.)
Porter, M. E. On Competition. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1998.
Porter, M. E., and The Monitor Company. Canada at the Crossroads: The Reality of a New Competitive Environment. Ottawa: Business Council on National Issues and Minister of Supply and Services, 1992.
Porter, Michael E., Orjan Solvell, and I. Zander. Advantage Sweden. Stockholm: Norstedts Forlag AB, 1991. (Second ed., Stockholm: Norstedts Juridik, 1993.)
Porter, M. E., S. Borner, R. Weder, and M. J. Enright. Internationale Wettbewerbsvorteile: Ein Strategisches Konzept fur die Schweiz (International Competitive Advantage: A New Strategic Concept for Switzerland). Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag, 1991.
Porter, M. E., G. T. Crocombe, and M. J. Enright. Upgrading New Zealand's Competitive Advantage. Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Montgomery, C. A., and M. E. Porter, eds. Strategy: Seeking and Securing Competitive Advantage. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 1991.
Porter, M. E. The Competitive Advantage of Nations. New York: Free Press, 1990. (Republished with a new introduction, 1998.)
Porter, Michael E., ed. Competition in Global Industries. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1986.
Andrews, K., J. Bower, C. R. Christensen, R. Hamermesh, and M. E. Porter. Business Policy: Text and Cases. 6th ed. Homewood, Ill.: Richard D. Irwin Inc., 1986.
Porter, M. E. The Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. N.Y.: Free Press, 1985. (Republished with a new introduction, 1998.)
Porter, M. E. Cases in Competitive Strategy. N.Y.: Free Press, 1982.
Porter, M. E. Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors. New York: Free Press, 1980. (Republished with a new introduction, 1998.)
Caves, R. E., M. E. Porter, and A. M. Spence. Competition in an Open Economy: A Model Applied to Canada. Vol. 150, Harvard Economic Studies. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1980.
Caves, R. E., M. E. Porter, A. M. Spence, and J. T. Scott. Studies in Canadian Industrial Organization. Toronto: Canadian Commission on Corporate Concentration, 1977.
Porter, M. E. Interbrand Choice, Strategy and Bilateral Market Power. Vol. 146, Harvard Economic Studies. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976.
 

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MP Guru
Leaders Space : Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson was born in 7/18/1950 and educated at Stowe School. It was here that he began to set up Student Magazine when he was just 16. By 17 he'd also set up Student Advisory Centre, which was a charity to help young people.
In 1970 he founded Virgin as a mail order record retailer, and not long after he opened a record shop in Oxford Street, London. During 1972 a recording studio was built in Oxfordshire, and the first Virgin artist, Mike Oldfield, recorded "Tubular Bells" which was released in 1973.
This album went on to sell over 5 million copies! Since then many household names, including Belinda Carlisle, Genesis, Phil Collins, Janet Jackson and The Rolling Stones have helped to make Virgin Music one of the top six record companies in the world. The equity of Virgin Music Group - record labels, music publishing, and recording studios was sold to THORN EMI in 1992 in a US$1billion deal.
The Virgin Group has now expanded into international music Megastores, air travel, mobile, financial, retail, music, internet, drinks, rail, hotels and leisure, with around 200 companies in over 30 countries. Yes, we've been busy!
Virgin Atlantic Airways, formed in 1984, is now the second largest British long haul international airline and operates a fleet of Boeing 747 and Airbus A340 aircraft to New York, Miami, Boston, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Las Vegas, Delhi, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Shanghai and the Caribbean. The airline is based on the concept of offering a competitive and high quality Upper Class, Premium Economy and Economy service. The airline has won many major awards, including Airline of the Year Award several times.
During 1997 Virgin took over Britain's two most run-down rail franchises, CrossCountry and the West Coast Main Line. Virgin is currently engaged in a £2billion fleet replacement programme.
In 2002, the combined sales of the different Virgin holding companies exceeded £4billion. In addition to his own business activities, Richard is a trustee of several charities including the Virgin Healthcare Foundation, a leading healthcare charity which was responsible for the launch of a health education campaign relating to AIDS in 1987.
The Foundation has also become involved in a lobbying campaign called Parents Against Tobacco, which aims to restrict tobacco advertising and sponsorship in sport. His help in the initial funding of charity projects helped that organisation to raise over £100 million, through campaigns such as Comic Relief and many other charities.
And to keep his adrenaline levels high, Richard has been involved in a number of world record-breaking attempts since 1985. In 1986 his boat, "Virgin Atlantic Challenger II" rekindled the spirit of the Blue Riband by crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the fastest ever recorded time. This was followed a year later by the epic hot air balloon crossing of the same ocean in "Virgin Atlantic Flyer". This was not only the first hot-air balloon to cross the Atlantic, but was the largest ever flown at 2.3 million cubic feet capacity, reaching speeds in excess of 130 miles per hour (209 k/ph).
Still after the ultimate adventure, in January 1991 Richard crossed the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Arctic Canada, the furthest distance of 6,700 miles. Again, he broke all existing records, with speeds of up to 245 miles -per hour in a balloon of 2.6 million cubic feet.
Between 1995 and 1998 Richard Branson, Per Lindstrand and Steve Fossett (who joined the team after the tragic death of Alex Ritchie), made a number of attempts to circumnavigate the globe by balloon. In late 1998 they made a record-breaking flight from Morocco to Hawaii but their dream of a global flight was shattered by bad weather, and then a Swiss team successfully circumnavigated the globe in early 1999.
In December 1999, Richard Branson was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's Millennium New Year's Honours List for "services to entrepreneurship". Well done, Sir!
Virgin: a retrospective
It's hard to believe that we've been around since the 60s! We're still growing strong, and still having fun. And in true rock 'n' roll style, here's a collection of our greatest hits!

THE TIME LINE :

The 60s: They say if you remember it, you weren't there. Well, we have proof!
http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1968: On January 26th, the very first issue of Student Magazine went to print. This was Richard's first ever business venture.

The 70s: Glam rock. Platform shoes and flares. It's all about the music.
http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1970: Richard started selling records by mail-order.

http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1971: The first Virgin record shop opened on Oxford Street, London.

http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1972: Richard opened a Virgin recording studio at "The Manor" near Oxford.

http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1973: Virgin was launched as record label. The first person to sign up was Mike Oldfield. His album, Tubular Bells, became one of the biggest selling records of the decade! The album was even used as the soundtrack to The Exorcist.

This year, Richard also started up a music publishing company.


http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1977: We'd heard the music, made the music and bought the record. Now it was time to get down at the club. The Venue opens in London.

Human League came to the party, too.


http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1979: The Sex Pistols were too much of a risk for EMI and A&M. That was music to Richard's ears. Sid signed on the dotted line.

The 80s: We took to the airwaves and the skies, while the world wore fishnets.
http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1980: Virgin Records went international. At first we were just on a licensing basis, but then we established our own subsidiaries. We started in France, but then grew into all major territories.

http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1981: Phil Collins signed to Virgin label for the UK.

http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1982: Boy George and the Culture Club signed to us for worldwide rights. Let's hear it for the boy!

http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1983: Virgin Vision (later to become Virgin Communications) formed to distribute films and videos in the television and broadcasting sector.

Vanson Developments formed. It's aim was to look into opportunities in retail, commercial and residential property developments in
UK.

We started playing games. Well, actually Virgin Games launched.

The Virgin Group's combined pre-tax profit reached £2m with a turnover of just under £50m.


http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1984: They say the sky's the limit. We pushed the boundaries, and launched Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Cargo.

We also invested in a luxury hotel (it's all ours now!) in Deya,
Mallorca. We started thinking about other exotic destinations, too!

Virgin Vision launched 'The Music Channel', a 24 hour satellite music station. We also produced a film called 1984, starring Richard Burton and John Hurt.


http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1985: The finances were looking good! A £25m private placing of 7% convertible stock was completed with 25 English and Scottish institutions.

We won the Business Enterprise Award for company of the year! Our Group now included record labels, retail outlets, exported music publishing, broadcasting, satellite television, and film and video distribution. Phew!

By October, we were distributing film and video in
Europe, the USA, Australia and the Far East.

We needed a break, so we started up Virgin Holidays. It's now one of the
UK's largest long-haul tour operations, specialising in East and West coast USA.

http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1986: Virgin Group, comprising of the music, retail and property, and communications divisions, floated on the London Stock Exchange, with 35% of the ordinary equity being acquired by 87,000 shareholders. The airline, clubs, holidays and aviation services stayed part of a privately owned company called Voyager Group.

http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1987: A busy year!

We took Virgin Records to the states! This investment in new
US record labels was key to the development of our worldwide music coverage. We set up a subsidiary in Japan soon afterwards.

The BSB (British Satellite Broadcasting) was awarded a
UK licence to broadcast five new TV channels by satellite in the UK from Autumn 1989. The Virgin Group, along with Granada, Anglia and Pearson, were founder members of the BSB.

Virgin set up 525, a post production facility in LA, to work on high end commercials and pop videos. Among other things, we specialised in special effects, graphics and video editing.

We sold the controlling interest in 'The Music Channel' to ITV. We then set up 'Music Box' as an independent producer of music programmes.

Virgin bought a 45% stake in Mastertronics Group, which included
UK distribution for Sega computer games. Virgin Mastertronics later became a wholly owned subsidiary which created, marketed and distributed computer games software. We also distributed Sega consoles in several European countries.

Virgin also bought Rushes film and video post production house that year, as well as Rushes Post Production in
London.

We launched Virgin Airship & Balloon Company, too, so we now had more than just planes in the sky!

On the financial side, the first annual results of Virgin Group plc were above expectations at £28 million pre-tax on continuing businesses, with a turnover of £279 million. Our company was also listed in the
USA on the NASDAQ Exchange, and we established a Euro-dollar and Sterling Commercial Paper programme.

http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1988: The first book about Richard was published. It was written by Mick Brown.

We were proud to open Olympic Recording Studios in Barnes,
London – it was the most modern studio complex in Europe!

We also launched another international record label, Virgin Classics. Virgin Classics specialised in high quality classical music… the name speaks for itself, really!

We sold some of our smaller
UK retail outlets (not the Megastores!) to WHSmith for £23m. We put more time and money into Virgin Megastores, opening new stores in both the UK and abroad.

We set up Virgin Broadcasting to take our radio and television ideas to the next level.

Virgin Atlantic won 3 major business class awards for its Upper Class service. They also became
Britain's No.2 long-haul carrier.

Richard Branson announced a management buyout following the October 1987 stock market crash. An offer of 140p per share, valuing the Group at £248m, was accepted by the 41,000 shareholders, and Virgin Group joined Voyager Group as a private company in December.

Virgin Hotels came into being, with 3 properties: Norton House Hotel in
Edinburgh, Crathorn Hall hotel in North Yorkshire, and Rhinefield House Hotel in Hampshire.

Virgin sold it's shareholding in BSB to Bond Corporation. And yes, we made a profit.


http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1989: Virgin Atlantic Airways announced doubled pre-tax profits at £10 million! They also established their own engineering operations.

Virgin Mastertronics signed a long term European distribution deal for Sega Video Games. Sega then became the No.1 brand for computer games in
Europe.

Voyager Travel Holdings, the holding company for Virgin Atlantic Airways, (which later became Virgin Travel Investments), sold 10% of its equity to Seibu Saison International, one of Japan's largest retail and travel groups. In return, they gave us an injection of £36m of equity and convertible loan capital.

Virgin Vision was sold to Management Company Entertainment Group (MCEG) of
Los Angeles for US$83m.

Virgin Music Group partnered with Fujisankei Communications Group. The US$5billion Japanese media group paid US$150m for a 25% stake. New record companies in the Pacific were planned.



The 90s: Living it up in our twenties!
http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1990: The Virgin Retail Group signed a 50:50 joint venture with Marui, one of the major Japanese retailers. We got together to operate Virgin Megastores in Japan – the first one opened in Shinjuku, Tokyo, in September.

We also formed Virgin Lightships, to manage a new type of advertising helium airship that illuminated internally at night.


http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1991: WH Allen Plc, Allison & Busby and Virgin Books were all combined into one company – this became Virgin Publishing, a subsidiary of Virgin Communications.

Virgin Communications sold Virgin Mastertronic to Sega for £33m. We kept the publishing division, though, and started to expand Virgin Games.

In the aviation world, Virgin Atlantic won a historic ruling by the CAA, allowing it to operate extra services to
Tokyo through the transfer of rights from BA. Virgin Atlantic also won the right to operate services out of Heathrow (London) in addition to Gatwick (London).

A 50:50 joint venture between the Virgin Retail Group and WHSmith was announced, with the aim of further developing Megastores throughout the
UK.

http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1992: The Virgin Music Group was sold to THORN EMI in 1992 in a US$1billion deal. The deal allowed the Virgin Music Group to remain independent within THORN EMI, and Richard remained the non-executive President.

The Radio Authority granted Virgin Communications Ltd and TV-am Plc the license for INR2, Britain's first national commercial rock station.

Our post production interests were reorganised under a new holding company called Virgin Television – with the aim to expand worldwide. Rushes
London and 525 Los Angeles expanded their digital capabilities.

Virgin Retail opened stores in
Spain, Netherlands, Australia and USA.

Virgin entered into an important joint venture agreement with Blockbuster (USA), the world's largest home video retailer. They became equal partners in its expanding into Continental European and Australian Megastores chains. Virgin managed and operated the stores.

Virgin acquired 100% shareholding of Euro-Magnetic Products, a specialist in personal computers.


http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1993: A very important year for Virgin Atlantic Airways! We won a historic libel settlement of £610,000 plus all legal costs from British Airways. This related to a dirty tricks campaign by British Airways against Virgin Atlantic and allegations surrounding it.

We were also voted Executive Travel's "Airline of the Year" for the third year running!

Virgin 1215 launched. It was
UK's first national commercial rock music station broadcast on 1215 AM. Virgin owned 75% of the station and Apax Partners and Company Ventures Ltd 25%.

South East European Airways of Greece launched a daily service between London Gatwick and
Athens using a 737-400. The aircraft flew under licence from Virgin Atlantic in Virgin colours.

Virgin Hotels got its first management contract for The Close Hotel and Restaurant in Tetbury.

Virgin Games is renamed Virgin Interactive Entertainment plc. Hasbro Inc, the world's largest toy-maker, acquired a 15% stake.

Virgin Euromagnetics enters the PC market by launching it's first ever range of personal computers.

Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation acquired a 20% stake in Virgin Interactive Entertainment, joining Hasbro as strategic minority shareholder.


http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1994: Virgin Atlantic launched daily non-stop scheduled service from Heathrow to Hong Kong in February using new Airbus A-340 300 aircraft. In May daily services also commence from Heathrow to San Francisco and the first of two new Boeing 747-400 aircraft join the Virgin fleet.

Virgin Megastores in Hong Kong was formed as a joint venture with Wheelock Pacific (one of Hong Kong's largest groups) to develop the Megastores home entertainment retail concept in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the People's Republic of China.

In the
UK and Ireland, Virgin Retail acquired the Our Price chain. WHSmith owned 75% of the new venture and Virgin Retail Group owned 25%, but they both had equal board representation. Virgin Retail became the UK's largest music retailer!

Virgin acquired 50% of Sound Solutions as an associate for Caroline International.

It was a big year for the Virgin Hotels Group! We entered into a joint venture with Shirayama Shokusan to develop County Hall into
London's premier family hotel and leisure complex.

We acquired 50% interest in Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, one of the
UK's premier hotel and restaurants, and gained 100% ownership of Norton House, Crathorne Hall, and Rhinefield House.

We were also awarded the contract to manage Seiont Manor Hotel, Coed-y-Mwstwr Hotel, Cwrt Bleddyn Hotel and
Mickleover Court Hotel.

Virgin Hotels Marketing Ltd was launched in November to market small hotels who were managed by owners whose hotels were similar in style to Virgin's. Taychreggan Hotel on the shores of Loch Awe was the first hotel to join the consortium.

Virgin Management and Rodney Fitch and Company formed a 50:50 joint venture offering a creative design and brand development consultancy.

Virgin announced that Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation increased its stake in V.I.E. to 75%. Virgin shareholders still maintained a minority share holding in the company.

Virgin Television opened it's first new facility, Virgin Television
Mexico, in Mexico City. Virgin's first operation in Latin America offered a complete range of digital post production services in the commercials market. Rushes in London and 525 in Los Angeles opened multimedia post production services.

Virgin Trading Company formed to market a range of FMCG goods under the Virgin Brand name. The company planned a number of separate joint ventures.

Virgin Trading Company and William Grant & Sons announced a commercial agreement to market Virgin Vodka in the
UK.

Virgin Radio was awarded a new London FM licence by the Radio Authority. The station launched its national AM station, Virgin 1215 in 1993 and by September 1994 had nearly 4 million regular listeners.

Virgin Group announced the formation of The Virgin Cola Company Ltd. Virgin Cola produced, marketed and distributed drinks under the Virgin brand name to a select number of markets around the world. The company initially concentrated on the development and sale of premium quality cola beverages.


http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1995: Virgin Atlantic and Malaysia Airlines announced a unique partnership agreement to operate a double daily scheduled service from London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur with onward flights to Australia. The new service started on 1 June 1995.

The readers of Which? Magazine voted Virgin Holidays as the best long haul tour operator in both the
UK and the USA.

US Department of Transportation finally approved the partnership and code sharing agreement announced by Virgin Atlantic Airways and Delta Airlines in 1994. The deal, commenced in May 1995, was a unique marketing agreement involving the purchase of block space on all Virgin's transatlantic flights by Delta. Other aspects of the agreement included a frequent flyer programme and use of Delta terminal space by Virgin in the
United States.

Virgin Direct Personal Financial Service launched in March 1995. The company was established to sell financial services by telephone at a significantly lower cost than traditional financial services companies. The first product sold was an ‘Index Tracking' personal equity plan (PEP).

Virgin bought MGM Cinemas, the largest cinema operator in the
UK. A 5-year expansion of the chain was planned. Some of the smaller cinemas were subsequently sold, leaving 19 multiplex and 5 traditional cinemas.

Australian Mutual Provincial (AMP) bought a 50% stake in Virgin Direct, buying out Norwich Union, the original partner.


http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1996: Virgin Atlantic launched a new scheduled service from Manchester to Orlando. New daily services from Heathrow to Washington DC commenced as well, and Johannesburg followed shortly after. With the addition of five new aircraft – two 747-400s and three A340s – the total fleet now became 20.

Virgin Travel Group acquired EBA (Euro Belgian Airlines) for £38m, and renamed it Virgin Express. This was a short haul airline based in
Belgium offering a low cost, no frills service, flying from Brussels to Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Milan, Vienna and Nice with a new route linking Rome and Madrid.

London & Continental Railways, in which Virgin was a minority shareholder, won a £3billion contract to build the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and operate Eurostar services by rail to
London, Brussels and Paris.

V2 Music launched, comprising of the
UK label, V2 Records and V2 Music Publishing with affiliates in France, Germany, Scandinavia and the US. The Stereophonics and the Kings of Infinite Space were the first two bands signed to the label.

Virgin Net launched as an internet service provider (ISP) with the most up to date technology.

Virgin Bride opens its doors promising to revolutionise the wedding industry in the
UK. It was the largest bridal retail outlet in Europe.

Virgin Rail Group Ltd was awarded the CrossCountry Trains Ltd passenger rail franchise. It operated InterCity and Express services linking over 130 stations across
England, Scotland and Wales.

Crathorne Hall Hotel was awarded the AA Holiday of the Year Award!



http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1997: Virgin was awarded the 15 year rail franchise for operating the InterCity West Coast and planned to introduce 40 high speed tilting trains on the routes to the Midlands, the North West of England, North Wales and Scotland to cut journey times considerably.

Virgin Hotels Limited was awarded RAC Credit to the Industry Award for 1997. The Virgin Hotels Group bought three of the Welsh Hotels we managed: Cwrt Bleddyn Hotel, Coed Y Mwstwr Hotel and Seiont Manor Hotel.

Kinko's and Virgin announced plans for a
UK and French joint venture to bring 24-hour business services to London for the first time, under the Kinko's brand name.

Virgin Atlantic reintroduced a Gatwick -
New York service and increased numbers of flights, including a double daily Los Angeles service. The airline also announced plans for an order of up to 16 Airbus A360-600s for the year 2002.

Richard Branson acquired a 55% stake in the London Broncos rugby league team. We all need our own team, don't we?!

Virgin Radio and Capital Radio announced merger plan. The result was Virgin taking a 17% stake in Capital, and Richard Branson joining the board. Chris Evans and venture capital group APAX then approached Richard Branson and, as a result, Ginger Productions acquired Virgin Radio for £85m. The new company, renamed Ginger Media Group, was managed by the existing staff and the station continued to operate as Virgin Radio.

Virgin Express announces its intention to become a quoted company by listing on the
Brussels and NASDAQ exchanges.

Virgin Cinemas and Virgin Megastores Worldwide (excluding the
UK) merged to form the Virgin Entertainment Group.

It's also the year we became pretty! Virgin Vie, a new joint venture cosmetics and beauty care company launched its first four flagship stores in
Oxford Street (London), Bromley, Meadowhall (Sheffield) and Lakeside, Thurrock.

Virgin Direct launcheed its first banking product, Virgin One, a joint venture with the Royal Bank of
Scotland.

Woodhouse Securities purchased Buxted Park Hotel, which became one of the 30 properties in the Virgin Hotels Collection brand.


http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1998: The year we turned 30!

Richard Branson won the G-Tech court case, involving G-Tech the lottery equipment supplier and Guy Snowden its former chairman.

V2 Records released 'Diana', the tribute album for Diana, the Princess of Wales, on behalf of the record industry. It raised over £40m for charity.

Virgin Holidays launched Virgin Sun to look after short-haul holidays.

Virgin Express started flights from Stansted to Continental Europe.

The Rail Regulator, John Swift, approved Virgin Trains' and Railtrack's massive upgrade of the
UK's West Coast Main Line.

Stagecoach bought 49% of the Virgin Rail Group and Virgin increased its stake from 41% to 51%.

Virgin Entertainment Group bought out WHSmith's 75% holding in Virgin Our Price retail chain in
Great Britain and Ireland. It's all ours now!

http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/1999: Virgin Rail Group completed the financing of new high speed tilting trains for both its franchises - West Coast and Cross Country. A total of over £4 billion of private sector investment in Britain's most run down railways was now secured with the introduction of the new trains still on track for 2001-2002.

Virgin Atlantic announced further expansion plans, and Virgin Atlantic's fleet of wide body jets grew to 28. 1999 saw the launch of new routes to
Chicago, Shanghai and other destinations. Virgin Sun's first charter flights began in May 1999.

In December, Singapore Airlines and Virgin announced that Singapore Airlines would buy a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic for £600m cash. The deal valued the airline at £1.2billion, and resulted in a wide range of benefits for both passengers and the company. In the same month, Virgin Atlantic announces a deal with Air
India thatl give the airline access to the sub-continent for the first time, with flights due to start in July 2000.

Virgin continued its expansion in e-commerce, with a wide range of services including Virgin Megastores online, and the ability to book train tickets online.

Virgin Mobile, Virgin's first consumer telecommunications venture, announces creation of 500 jobs in Trowbridge, West Wiltshire. We launched in November 1999 as a joint venture with One2One, which later became T-Mobile. Virgin Mobile really shook up the telecoms industry, and was the first to introduce free voicemail retrieval and one simple, decreasing tariff.

Virgin Megastores continued their expansion worldwide with store openings in
Miami, Glasgow, Piccadilly Circus, Bluewater, Strassburg, Okayama in Japan. The total number of Megastores was now 381!

The Virgin Entertainment Group accepted an offer of £215m from UGC of France to buy Virgin Cinemas.

Virgin Active launched a health and lifestyle centre, in
Preston, Leeds and Stockley Park.

Virgin Express began a new service from Stansted to
Berlin. Virgin also confirms that they intend to set up a new independent low cost airline in Australia.

Virgin opened Ulusaba, a private game reserve in the Sabi Sands region near
Kruger National Park in South Africa. The company also confirmed the sale of some of its smaller UK hotels to a private investor as part of its plan to refocus on exclusive properties around the world.

The 00s: A new decade in a new century.
http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/2000: Virgin Mobile's partner One2One won one of the new 3G mobile phone licences for enhanced technology wireless telephony services. This gave Virgin potential access to this valuable new mobile infrastructure. By November 2000, we'd grown to over 500,000 customers and won Network of the Year from Mobile Choice Magazine.

The Virgin Rail Group bid for the East Coast Mainline, competing against existing operator GNER. The first new tilting trains and diesel trains for the West Coast and Cross Country franchises rolled off the production line.

Virgin Management Asia was formed – one of its first deals was a billion dollar joint venture agreement with Singtel to set up mobile phone operations throughout
Asia.

Virgin launched a series of new businesses including Virgin Cars, Virgin Wines, Virgin Student, Virgin Money.com, Virgin Energy and Virgin Travelstore.com.

Virgin Atlantic's £600m joint venture deal with Singapore Airlines completed in April. The expansion of the business continued with the launch of routes to
Las Vegas and Dehli. The airline's new flat sleeper bed went into service for the first time in Upper Class.

V.shop, a new retail concept set up to replace the Our Price brand acquired from WHSmith in 1998 was launched. Between September and November over 100 shops were converted, making it the fastest retail roll out in history.

Virgin Blue, the low cost airline in
Australia, launched with flights operating between Brisbane and Sydney.

NTL signed an agreement to buy Virgin Net's ISP business for around £90m in cash and shares.

Virgin bought a stake in Lynx New Media, a venture capital fund set up with Bear Stearns to invest in new media and technology start ups.


http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/2001: Virgin Mobile reached 1,000,000 customers, making it the fastest-growing mobile start-up ever seen in the UK, and among the top performers ever in the world. They then launched a new service in Northern Ireland.

Virgin Megastores opened a new store in
Tokyo, making that 33 Japanese stores. Virgin Megastores also opened its first Middle East Megastore in Beirut, operated by a franchise with the Murr TV Group. The 20,000 sqft Megastores was built inside a restored historic cinema in the center of Beirut, and became the flagship store for Virgin in the Middle East. Virgin Megastores opened its door to the first Megastore in Dubai in October.

Virgin Bikes launched.

Sprint and Virgin announce new joint venture to offer pay-as-you-go wireless communications services and phones to the
U.S. market under the Virgin Mobile brand.

Virgin Active raised £100 million to enable them to become the world's fourth largest health and fitness group. The financing was used to roll out of 17 health and fitness clubs throughout the
UK and South Africa.

Virgin Atlantic launched a new route to
Nigeria.

Virgin Entertainment Group, sold its French Megastores business to Lagardére Media. The deal allowed Lagardére Media to operate the 16 Virgin Megastores under the Virgin brand. Lagardére gives Virgin the rights to sell mobile phones in its outlets in
France.

Virgin Mobile expands its business to
Singapore. Under the terms of the agreement, Singapore Telecom will take a 50% stake in Virgin Mobile (Asia) PTE Limited.

AMP and Virgin combine Virgin Direct and Virginmoney under a single Virgin Money brand. Virgin sells its share of the Virgin One business to the Royal Bank of
Scotland.

Virgin Trains delivers its first Pendolino 140 mph tilting train at Alsthom Factory in
Birmingham. New Voyager 125mph diesel trains go into service on the Cross Country rail network.

Virgin Blue continues to expand following the collapse of Ansett, and Virgin Express expands following the collapse of Sabena Airlines.

Virgin Atlantic restructures following the tragic September 11 attacks in
New York.

http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/2002: Virgin Atlantic finalised a deal with Airbus to become the launch customer for the A340-600 – its inaugural flight took place on August 1 to New York.

Virgin Blue reached 5 million customers!

Patrick Corporation signed an agreement to acquire a 50% shareholding in Virgin Blue, as a cost of $260m.

Virgin Express became the largest passenger carrier from
Brussels to European destinations.
Virgin Money launched a new credit card company.

Virgin Rail replaces every train in its Cross Country franchise with new 125 mph rolling stock.


http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/2003: Virgin Atlantic launched a twice-weekly service between London Gatwick and Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Virgin Atlantic also increased its destinations to 22 by introducing flights between Gatwick and Tobago and Grenada.

Virgin Atlantic operated a first aid relief flight to
Basra.

Virgin Atlantic introduced its revolutionary new Upper Class 'Suite', the longest and most comfortable flat bed and seat in the airline industry.

Virgin Cars opens the first ever vehicle department store in
Manchester.

Virgin Trains runs first "Pendolino" tilting train on the West Coast Main Line with passengers onboard.

Richard Branson bought Makepeace in
Queensland Island. His main reason for buying it was for staff to celebrate the success of Virgin companies around the world.

Virgin Blue's Initial Public Offering (IPO) has closed more than 10 times oversubscribed. The final price for the offering has been set at $2.25 per share.

Virgin Money launched a credit card company in
Australia.

Virgin Pulse, a line of 'lifestyle electronics', launched in the
US with 15 consumer electronic products.

http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/2004: Virgin Atlantic announced new routes to the Bahamas and Cuba.

Virgin Blue flies 20 million guests!

Virgin Mobile attracts 4 million customers!

Virgin Atlantic celebrate it's 20th Birthday.

The launch of Virgin Digital is announced offering; Digital downloads, Subscription music club, Digital radio and complete media management.

The Launch of Virgin Nigeria is announced.

Virgin.net launches £17.99 broadband.

Virgin announces the launch of Virgin Galactic, to undertake the challenge of developing space tourism for everybody.

Virgin Atlantic launches the
Hong Kong to Sydney route.

Virgin Atlantic offers upper class passengers suit-er dreams with double suites onboard.

Ntl acquires the remaining 51% of Virgin.net to become the sole owner.

Virgin Blue launches new
Fiji flights.

Virgin Atlantic announces $5.5billion order for 26 Airbus A340-600's.

Virgin Money win four top awards at the Your-Money Directs Awards 2004.

The first passengers travel all the way between
London & Glasgow onboard Virgin's new £11million Pendolino train.

http://www.managementparadise.com/forums/2005: The year so far....

Virgin Mobile launched in
Canada

The Virgin Atlantic Globalflyer successfully took off for round-the-world record attempt.

V Festival line up includes; Scissor Sisters, Franz Ferdinand, Chemical Brother's, and the Prodigy, with many more.

Virgin Atlantic introduced Sunday Roast for their passengers.

Virgin Atlantic introduced increased services to
Shanghai and new services to Beijing.

Virgin Atlantic celebrated the reveal of the A380 and promises that it's super jumbos will not just be bigger but better than other aircraft.

Virgin Blue launched the world's first permanent sale 7 days a week 'Happy Hour' innovation with fares from just $1!

Virgin Atlantic introduces state of the art self service check in for all passengers.
 

nick18_in

MP Guru
Leaders Space: Bill Gates - Business @ the Speed of Thought

Business @ the Speed of Thought


Summary
The twenty-first century will be about velocity: the speed of business and the speed of change. To stay up with and anticipate change, businesses need radically better information flow. To get a better flow of information to develop the right processes and strategies, they need a digital nervous system. Most organizations don't have enough data to understand key aspects of their business well enough. A digital nervous system will help you understand your business better and then act more effectively on that understanding. An infrastructure designed around information flow will be the "killer application" for the twenty-first century.
Excerpts
If the 1980s were about quality and the 1990s were about reengineering, then the 2000s will be about velocity. About how quickly the nature of business will change. About how quickly business itself will be transacted. About how information access will alter the lifestyle of consumers and their expectations of business. Quality improvements and business process improvements will occur far faster.



We have infused our organization with a new level of electronic-based intelligence. I'm not talking about anything metaphysical or about some weird cyborg episode out of Star Trek. But it is something new and important. To function in the digital age, we have developed a new digital infrastructure. It's like the human nervous system. The biological nervous system triggers your reflexes so that you can react quickly to danger or need. It gives you the information you need as you ponder issues and make choices. You're alert to the most important things, and your nervous system blocks out the information that isn't important to you. Companies need to have that same kind of nervous system-the ability to run smoothly and efficiently, to respond quickly to emergencies and opportunities, to quickly get valuable information to the people in the company who need it, the ability to quickly make decisions and interact with customers.



The successful companies of the next decade will be the ones that use digital tools to reinvent the way they work. These companies will make decisions quickly, act efficiently and directly touch their customers in positive ways. I hope you'll come away excited by the possibilities of positive change in the next ten years. Going digital will put you on the leading edge of a shock wave of change that will shatter the old way of doing business. A digital nervous system will let you do business at the speed of thought-the key to success in the twenty-first century

I. Information Flow Is Your Lifeblood
Chapter 1. Manage with the Force of Facts
Summary
Information flow is the major differentiator for every business-the lifeblood of your company. Information first and foremost can help you determine what business you should be in. An historical GM example shows the importance of information in a traditional smokestack industry. A digital nervous system enables "Information Work" by providing digital processes that empower better decision making. Middle managers as well as high-level executives need access to the numbers, uniformly reported. Examples include how Microsoft consolidated different financial reporting formats among foreign subsidiaries, and the evolution of Executive Information Systems.
Excerpts
This book will help you use information technology to both ask and answer the hard questions about what your business should be and where it should go. Information technology gives you access to the data that leads to insights into your business. Information technology enables you to act quickly. And it provides solutions to business problems that simply weren't available before. Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don't think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.



Information work is thinking work. And, when thinking and collaboration are significantly assisted by computer technology, you have a digital nervous system. It consists of the advanced digital processes that knowledge workers use to make better decisions. To think, act, react, and adapt.



A company's middle managers and line employees, not just its high-level executives, need to see business data. It's important for me as a CEO to understand how the company is doing across regions or product lines or customer segments, and I take pride in staying on top of those things. However, it's the middle managers in every company who need to understand where their profits and losses lie, what marketing programs are working or not, and what expenses are in line or out of whack. They're the people who need precise, actionable data because they're the ones who need to act. They need an immediate, constant flow and rich views of the right information. These employees shouldn't have to wait for upper management to bring information to them. Companies should spend less time protecting financial data from employees and more time teaching them to analyze and act on it.

Chapter 2. Can Your Digital Nervous System Do This?
Summary
A parallel is drawn between the three major aspects of the human nervous system and the business nervous system. In addition, the four chief benefits of a digital nervous system are discussed. This chapter raises the question: Why is it that companies go to a lot of trouble to make data available for special uses, such as analysis by outside consultants, but do not make the same effort to provide better data about the company to its middle managers every day? Examples include Microsoft's investment in data gathering and how the digital tool, MS Sales, has enabled the creation and monitoring of specific marketing programs and has changed role of district sales managers.
Excerpts
Like a human being, a company has to have an internal communication mechanism, a "nervous system," to coordinate its actions. All businesses focus on a few basic elements: customers; products and services; revenues; costs; competitors; delivery; and employees. A company has to carry out and coordinate the business processes in each area, especially activities that cross department lines. Sales needs to quickly find out whether the company has the inventory or can get it quickly before promising delivery on a big order. Manufacturing needs to know what product is selling like gangbusters so that it can shift production priorities. Business managers throughout the company need to know about both and a whole lot more.



If consultants get more insight from your systems than you do, it should be because of their unique abilities, not because you prepare information especially for the consultants that isn't otherwise available to your staff. ...Not all of your managers will have the expertise or breadth of knowledge that a consultant brings to your business, but your managers should have access to data of the same quality. They should be able to walk into work every day and see the freshest data and be able to analyze it in numerous instructive ways.



If you're a district manager at Microsoft today, you ...have numbers to help you run your business. ...Now, you can look at sales figures and evaluate where your business is strong, where your business is weak, and where your business has its greatest potential, product by product, relative to other districts. You can try out new programs and see the impact... .Being a district sales manager in our organization is a much broader role than what it was five years ago because of the digital tools we've developed and their ease of use.



You know you have built an excellent digital nervous system when information flows through your organization as quickly and naturally as thought in a human being, and when you can use technology to marshal and coordinate teams of people as quickly as you can focus an individual on an issue. It's business at the speed of thought.

Chapter 3. Create a Paperless Office
Summary
Electronic forms make life easier for every employee, enable process breakthroughs and reduce costs. Process breakthroughs require people to redefine their roles while using technology for new solutions. A "day in the life" section demonstrates how Microsoft is streamlining administrative processes and business planning. A campaign to improve charitable giving led to the first electronic form at Microsoft, which has exploded into a fully developed Intranet. Read about how Bill uses the Intranet himself.
Excerpts
Digital technology can transform your production processes and your business processes. It can also free workers from slow and inflexible paper processes. Replacing paper processes with digital processes liberates knowledge workers to do productive work. The all-digital workplace is usually called "the paperless office," a phrase that goes back to at least 1973. It's a great vision. No more stacks of paper in which you can't find what you need. No more pawing through piles of books and reports to find marketing information or a sales number. No more misrouted forms, lost invoices, redundant entries, missing checks, or delays caused by incomplete paperwork.



Using our intranet to replace paper forms has produced striking results for us. As this book goes to press, we have reduced the number of paper forms from more than a thousand to a company-wide total of 60 forms... .Of the 60 remaining paper forms, 10 are required by law and 40 are required by outside parties because their systems are still based on paper. The last 10 paper forms are used so seldom that we haven't bothered to make them electronic, yet. Businesses have an incentive to persuade partners and governments to accept information electronically so that everybody can get to a fully digital approach with no paper.



Once in place, a digital nervous system is easy to build on. A good network, a good e-mail system, easy-to-build Web pages are everything you need for eliminating internal paper forms, too. You can add any number of intranet applications easily once this infrastructure is in place.


II. Commerce: The Internet Changes Everything
Chapter 4. Ride the Inflection Rocket
Summary
Bill's experience with a bank leads him to summarize the major inflection points that are just now beginning to happen as we enter the digital age. This chapter includes a discussion of the major business and technical points distilling from the book. Understand how to get your business or organization focused on a digital approach.
Excerpts
Complex customer-service and business problems will require powerful computers on both sides of the relationship-customer and employee. The new relationships will be augmented by various electronic means such as voice, video, interactive use of the same computer screen and so on. We'll see a world in which fairly simple personal companion devices proliferate side by side with incredibly powerful general-purpose PCs that support knowledge work at home or the office. Life's going to be pretty exciting as these changes come about … and within a decade it's likely that most of them will occur. This world will be radically different than the one we live in today.



If you're going to lead the digital age, you need to become familiar enough with the Internet to be able to imagine what the Web lifestyle will mean for your industry -- even if the change is going to take years. You should find ways to immerse yourself and your other executives in these new approaches and have retreats where you can determine the right strategy for applying them to your own business.



For years and years enthusiasts have been saying that the Internet will happen "tomorrow." You're going to keep reading prognostications that the big change will happen in the next twelve months. This is just baloney. The social adaptations that have to occur take years and the infrastructure has to be built out. But when the social and technical changes reach critical mass, the change will be quick and irreversible. The point will come where the Web lifestyle really will take off, and I believe that's sometime in the next five years. As I said in The Road Ahead, we always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.

Chapter 5. The Middleman Must Add Value
Summary
The Internet is driving down transaction costs and value of distribution. The Web is moving us toward friction-free capitalism. The middleman must respond or suffer. Only a few will win the "volume" game, so almost every entrant has to have a service strategy for differentiation. You must define your value-add and use technology to deliver it. Merrill Lynch responded by using digital tools to empower its knowledge workers and ended up empowering its customers.
Excerpts
Here on the edge of the twenty-first century, a fundamental new rule of business is that the Internet changes everything. At minimum, Internet technologies are altering the way every company, even a small one, deals with its employees, partners and suppliers. Not every company needs to use the Internet to interact with its customers right now, but someday soon a corporate Web site where customers can do business with a company will be as essential as the telephone and a mailing address have been.



In 1995, in The Road Ahead, I used the term "friction-free capitalism" to describe how the Internet was helping create Adam Smith's ideal marketplace in which buyers and sellers can easily find one another without taking much time or spending much money. Achieving Smith's "perfect price" comes not just from eliminating the middleman but also from the additional information available online. The Internet makes it easy for a buyer to get background information about a product-how it's rated by consumer organizations or other independent reviews-and to compare prices easily. Buyers can also tell sellers more about their requirements, and sellers will be able to target their wares to the people most interested and to cross-sell related products.



Many Web sites ask users for registration information, including name, address, demographic data and credit information. While this data enables businesses to offer better services and support for customers and do more targeted marketing, consumers should be able to approve in advance the use of any personal data and whether that data can be passed on to other entities. Today, e-commerce runs on the honor system, with vendors asking users their permission for information use. We're working on technology that would let consumers predefine the type of data that their PCs would make available to other systems over a network. The software will put the control with the user, where it belongs, while also eliminating the need for the user to reenter the same data over and over.



Now that customers can deal directly with manufacturers and service providers, there is little value added in simply transferring goods or information. Various commentators have predicted "the death of the middleman." Certainly the value of a "pass-through" middleman's work is quickly falling to zero. Travel agents who simply book plane fares will disappear. This kind of high-volume, low-value transaction is perfect for a self-service Internet travel reservation site. In the future, travel agents will need to do more than book tickets; they will need to create a total travel adventure. A travel agent who provides highly personalized tours of, say,
Italy or the California wine country will still be in great demand.

Chapter 6. Touch Your Customers
Summary
Electronic commerce is rising but a breakthrough requires much more than just digital sales. Smart companies find that "transactions" more often involve service and support rather than sales. Dell is the leading e-commerce company and one day expects to be doing half of its business on the Web. Its online strength is personalized corporate pages. Marriott began with an online reservation system and ultimately provided a highly customized, highly personalized site focused on destination information. The key to success is internal corporate support of Internet strategies, interactive sites for customers, and a service focus.
Excerpts
Some companies will use the Internet to interact with their customers in ways that haven't been possible before and make the sale part of a sequence of customer services for which the Internet has unique strengths.



Rapidly growing categories for online commerce include finance and insurance, travel, online auctions and computer sales. Today's Internet customers are the technically savvy.… Tomorrow's customers will be the mainstream. Even the most conservative estimates project an annual growth rate of about 45 percent for online sales. The highest projections are for more than $1.6 trillion dollars in business by the year 2000. I think this number is too low.



In the future, hotels will integrate the Internet into more than just the process of learning about travel and accommodations. They will also make Internet access far more of a feature of the rooms themselves. Most major hotels now make modem connections reasonably simple from the room, and they usually have business centers where guests can get more computer-related facilities. In the future, hotels catering to business travelers will make high-speed connections a standard in every room, and leading hotels will offer docking stations and large easy-to-read screens so that business travelers can plug in their portable devices and be as productive on the road as they are in their office.



You want to move pure transactions to the Internet, use online communication for information sharing and routine communication and reserve face-to-face interaction for the activities that add the most value. In addition to using the Internet to simply make reservations or place product orders, customers find the Internet the perfect medium for gathering information, assessing product value and price/performance, checking order status, diagnosing and solving simple problems and other relatively straightforward tasks. More and more, in this scenario, sales personnel become consultants.

Chapter 7. Adopt the Web Lifestyle
Summary
This chapter explores the relatively revolutionary advance of "the Web lifestyle" vs. the more evolutionary progress of "the electrical lifestyle." Gates explores the many ways that our lifestyle will benefit from technology. The Web lifestyle's critical mass is tied to improvements in devices and software, but bandwidth availability is the biggest factor. The Web will change boundaries around communities, too, dramatically increasing the number of organizations you take part in. The Web is also creating more personal service, not less, and will throw off existing limitations.
Excerpts
Because the Internet is a worldwide communications infrastructure that depends on electricity, you could say that its popular acceptance is an extension of the "electricity lifestyle." But the Internet is enabling a new way of life that I call "the Web lifestyle." The Web lifestyle, like the "electricity lifestyle," will be characterized by rapid innovations in applications. Because the infrastructure for high-speed connectivity has reached critical mass it is giving rise to new software and hardware that will reshape people's lives. Intelligent devices such as the PC are becoming more powerful and less expensive. Since they are programmable they can be used for many different applications. Within a decade, most Americans and many other people around the world will be living the Web lifestyle. It will be a reflex for these people to turn to the Web to get news, to learn, to be entertained and to communicate. It will be just as natural as picking up the phone to talk to somebody or ordering something from a catalog is today.



As consumers rapidly move online, one of the most fundamental shifts will be the degree to which consumers will manage their finances, including banking, mortgage, utilities and credit cards online. In 1998, only about one million of the fifteen billion total bills in the
U.S. were paid electronically. Little online customer service was available. In fact, though consumers can pay some bills online, in almost every case they still receive them on paper. When consumers are able to pay online, the U.S. Commerce Department estimates, processing costs will drop more than $20 billion annually.



Using speech to interact with the TV, PC or other personal companions will be common within ten years. The technology will combine speech recognition and natural language understanding, so that the computer can determine your intent. Speech synthesis will improve dramatically from the robot-sounding voices you hear today. Your TV and PC will include a camera so they can recognize gestures and facial expressions. They will be able to tell whether you're talking to the device or someone else (or another device) and determine your emotional reaction... .Computers that "see, listen and learn" will extend digital technology into many new areas where the keyboard or mouse interface makes interaction impractical.



Community building is going to be one of the biggest growth areas in the next few years on the Web. The Web dramatically increases the number of communities you can bond to. In the past, you might have had time to be a part of your neighborhood community and one or two social organizations you took the trouble to join. In the Web lifestyle, you are limited only by your interests. One of the most powerful socializing aspects of the Web is its ability to connect groups of like-minded people independent of geography or time zones. If you want to get together a group of avid bridge players, or talk issues with people who share your political views or stay in touch with your ethnic group scattered all over the world, the Web makes it easy to do. If you want to keep up with the goings-on in your hometown, the Web can help. ...A Web site such as Third Age, which offers an electronic community space for seniors, illustrates the power of electronic community building. The site provides advice on family, health, technology, warnings about scams targeting seniors and discussion groups on topical issues.

Chapter 8. Change the Boundaries of Business
Summary
The "Web workstyle" of using digital tools and processes enables both organizations and individuals to redefine their roles. Web technologies mean that a company can, for many projects, create a web of partnerships and take a "studio" approach in a general trend toward smaller internal workforces. Larger companies will use the Web workstyle to carry out core competencies better. Smaller companies will use the Web to assemble a virtual large company bid on business unavailable to them before. The Web offers new choices for workers that weren't available before, and many will become freelancers. The worker can change from cog to empowered employee or free agent. The Web workstyle will ease geographic constraints.
Excerpts
The Web workstyle makes it possible to deal better with unpredictable demand. Because you have an intense need for a skill, and then you don't, for some areas you want flexible staffing to deal with peaks and valleys. The Internet means that more companies can take a "studio" approach to running major parts of their businesses. Big Hollywood studios have regular employees to handle finance, marketing and distribution and other ongoing projects, but the creative side of the business, the full-time moviemaking staff, isn't very big at all. When a movie concept is agreed upon, the director assembles a large group of people to create the film. When they're done, they disband. Everyone, from the director to the actors to the cinematographer to the key grip, goes on to other projects.



The Web lifestyle will increasingly equalize opportunities for skilled people around the world. If you had to guess someone's approximate income today and were limited to a single polite question, a good one would be: "What country do you live in?" The reason is the huge disparity in average wages from country to country. In twenty years, if you want to guess somebody's income, the most telling question will be: "What's your education?"



As a business manager, it's critical to take a hard look at your core competencies. Revisit the areas of your company that aren't directly involved in those competencies, and consider whether Web technologies can enable you to spin those tasks off. Let another company take over the management responsibilities for that work and use modern communications technology to work closely with the people-now partners instead of employees-doing the work.

Chapter 9. Get to Market First
Summary
This chapter offers a survey of time to market in various industries. Automakers cut time to market and defects in half from 1990 to 1998. Intel keeps production cycle at 90 days and reduces defects as chips become astronomically more complex. Book publishing cuts 18-month publishing cycle in half. The Banco Bradesco example shows how an anything-but-staid bank uses technology to get to market quickly with a variety of new services from kiosks, and smart cards to Internet banking. Compaq's ERP system enables the company to cut its planning cycle from months to a week.
Excerpts
Information technology has become a major contributor to the faster turnaround, the higher quality and the low inflation that have characterized business in the last decade.



In some industries, the issue is not so much faster time to market as it is maintaining time to market in the face of astronomically rising complexity. The Intel Corporation, for instance, has consistently had a 90-day production cycle for its chips, which power most PCs. Intel expects to maintain this 90-day production rate despite the increasing complexity of the microprocessor. The number of transistors in the chip has increased from 29,000 in the 8086 in 1978 to 7.5 million in the Pentium in 1998, and the microprocessor's capability has grown ten thousand-fold over the same twenty years. By 2011, Intel expects to deliver chips that have 1 billion transistors. This exponential improvement stems from
Moore's Law, which says that the power of microchips doubles every eighteen to twenty-four months. To put Moore's Law in perspective, if products such as cars and cereal followed the same trend as the PC, a mid-sized car would cost $27 and a box of cereal would cost one cent.



Ultimately, the most important "speed" issue for companies is cultural. It's changing the perceptions within a company about the rapidity with which everybody has to move. Everybody must realize that if you don't meet customer demand quickly enough, without sacrificing quality, a competitor will. Once the mindset adapts to the need for action, digital technology enables fast reflexes.

III. Manage Knowledge to Improve Strategic Thought
Chapter 10. Bad News Must Travel Fast
Summary
The best companies always worry and seek out bad news, as a way of staying on their toes. Microsoft's reaction to the rise of the Internet shows how a digital nervous system helped to respond to bad news as a company. Historical examples establish that leaders must encourage, listen to, and act on bad news: Intel Pentium chip story; Digital Equipment Corporation; Wang; Ford; Douglas Aircraft; and Pearl Harbor. A competitive company must maintain an underdog attitude.
Excerpts
An essential quality of a good manager is a determination to deal with any kind of bad news head on, to seek it out rather than deny it. An effective manager wants to hear about what's going wrong before he or she hears about what's going right. You can't react appropriately to disappointing news in any situation if it doesn't reach you soon enough.



The impetus for Microsoft's response to the Internet didn't come from me or from our other senior executives. It came from a small number of dedicated employees who saw events unfolding. Through our electronic systems, they were able to rally everybody to their cause. Their story exemplifies our policy, from Day 1, that smart people anywhere in the company should have the power to drive an initiative. It's an obvious, common sense policy for Information Age companies, where all the knowledge workers should be part of setting the strategy. We could not pull off such a policy without the technology we use. In many ways, technology has shaped the policy. Do people all over my company feel free to send me e-mail because we believe in a flat organization? Or do we have a flat organization because people have always been able to send e-mail directly to me? For years, everybody at Microsoft has had a PC and e-mail access. It's a famous part of our corporate culture, and it's shaped the way we think and act.



I like good news as much as the next person, but it also puts me in a skeptical frame of mind. I wonder what bad news I'm not hearing. When somebody sends me an e-mail about an account we've won, I always think, "There are a lot of accounts nobody has sent mail about. Does that mean we've lost all of those?" This reaction may seem unwarranted, but I've found there's a psychological impulse in people to send good news when there's bad news brewing. It's as if they want to lessen the shock. A good e-mail system ensures that bad news can travel fast, but your people have to be willing to send you the news. You have to be consistently receptive to bad news, and then you have to act on it. Sometimes I think my most important job as a CEO is to listen for bad news. If you don't act on it, your people will eventually stop bringing bad news to your attention. And that's the beginning of the end.

Chapter 11. Convert Bad News to Good
Summary
Use technology to convert bad news to good. Read a history of Microsoft failures and how it learned from them to improve its products. Promus Hotels uses a digital nervous system to support service guarantees that convert customer complaints into meaningful action by the hotels. Microsoft Technical Support uses a digital nervous system to understand customer complaints and issues and rapidly convert them into product improvements, new features and better tools. Fewer but more substantive phone calls result as a website handles easy customer problems.
Excerpts
Once you embrace unpleasant news not as a negative but as evidence of a need for change, you aren't defeated by it. You're learning from it. It's all in how you approach failures.



Unhappy customers are always a concern. They're also your greatest opportunity. Adopting a learning posture rather than a negative defensive posture can make customer complaints your best source of significant quality improvements. Adopting the right technology will give you the power to capture and convert complaints into better products and services fast.



Listen to your customers and take their bad news as an opportunity to turn your failures into the concrete improvements they want. Companies that invest early in digital nervous systems to capture, analyze and capitalize on customer input will differentiate themselves from competition. You should examine customer complaints more often than company financials. And your digital systems should help you convert bad news to improved products and services.

Chapter 12. Know Your Numbers
Summary
Capturing data digitally at the outset and driving the use of digital data through a company will speed processes and reduce errors. Jiffy Lube, Siemens, and Marks & Spencer use numbers to change their sales and marketing processes and their interactaction with customers and partners. Digital technology is enabling the creation of virtual companies through a web of partnerships. Using computers for routine processes frees people to do more productive things. Line managers must know their numbers in order to impact their business, which requires accurate numbers and insightful analysis of them.
Excerpts
"Know your numbers" is a fundamental precept of business. You need to gather your business's data at every step of the way and in every interaction with your customers and with your partners, too. Then you need to understand what the data means. I'm not saying that you should be single-mindedly driven by bottom-line concerns. I'm saying that you should objectively understand every aspect of your business that you can. If you're considering trading off short-term profits for long-term gains, for instance, you need to know as precisely as possible the cost of that tradeoff. Companies can use the data they collect to improve the efficiency of their core businesses, strengthen their relationships with both customers and partners, extend their businesses in new ways and develop better service and new products.



There's no substitute for understanding your numbers at a working level. Sometimes my friend Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's president, surprises the members of a product group by knowing their pricing schemes and sales numbers-and the competitors'-better than the people presenting a plan to him. He has a way of striding into a room and immediately asking the one question the team doesn't have an answer to. He's done his homework, and he's thought hard about the issues that come out of the numbers. He sets a high priority on fact-based decisions.



Not enough people are using digital data in the office. Existing paper systems lead people to assume that data is hard to get and customize. Because their data isn't digital, they have to work with stacks of paper they can't navigate or analyze. They can't find patterns in their data. They can't turn their paper information into action. Because so few companies are using digital tools internally or with partners today, those firms that act quickly to create a digital nervous system have the opportunity to jump ahead of their competitors.

Chapter 13. Shift People Into Thinking Work
Summary
Smart systems will shift people from non-thinking work to more productive activities. Data mining is defined and explored, including its importance in marketing and in determining pricing for both hard goods and financial industries. The powerful capabilities of data mining will help companies to be more profitable and efficient. PCs makes data mining available to all companies at reasonable cost. This intelligent software won't replace people. A good knowledge worker will add value to the work of a computer. This chapter demonstrates how HarperCollins uses OLAP to track sales and meet demand just in time, thereby reducing returns.
Excerpts
Using software to handle routine data chores gives you the opportunity to provide the human touch where it really matters. There's a pretty dramatic difference between getting a note that was clearly written by a person vs. a computer-generated form letter, or receiving a phone call about some new product or special event from a person vs. a computer. It's of incredible value to have a person working with a customer who is unhappy about something really important or who has special needs. In a hotel, for instance, smart software can dramatically shorten the check-in and checkout time and solicit routine feedback, freeing up staff time. How much more would people enjoy their hotel stay if there were half a dozen additional people acting as a concierge instead of as a clerk?



Using software algorithms to find useful patterns in large amounts of data is called data mining. ...Among the challenges that data mining can help with are these: Predicting the likelihood of customers buying a specific item based on their ages, gender, demographics and other affinities. Identifying customers with similar browsing behaviors. Identifying specific customer preferences in order to provide improved individual service. Identifying the date and times involved in sequences of frequently visited web pages or frequent episodes of phone calling patterns. Finding all groups of items that are bought together with high frequency. This final technique is usually valuable for merchants to uncover buying patterns, but a correlation between two billing codes for the same procedure enabled an Australian healthcare provider to uncover more than $10 million in double-billing fraud.



The greatest value of data mining will be to help companies determine the right products to build and the right way to price them. Companies will be able to evaluate a variety of packaging options and price points to see which ones are most appealing to customers and profitable to themselves. Such capabilities are of special interest to companies that sell information products. Unlike a car or chair, products such as insurance, financial services and books have far more cost tied up in development than in production and have a value determined more by the customer than by the physical of cost of goods. The secret to success with information products is understanding the profile and buying habits of your most likely customer.

Chapter 14. Raise Your Corporate IQ
Summary
Microsoft's campus blueprints expose the need of a central knowledge base of construction-related data, one of many forms of "knowledge management" that every company needs. The goal of knowledge management is to increase corporate IQ by sharing history and current knowledge. Executives must lead the way, establishing open communications and proper tools. Market analysis replaced cost analysis as the biggest user of technology at Coca-Cola. Yamanouchi Pharmaceuticals and Microsoft use Web tools to ensure timely responses to complex product questions. Digital systems improve collaboration in product development at Nabisco. Online tools solve training problems. Sharing information is key to recruiting and retaining smart people. Global access to information doesn't mean centralized management. The CEO must foster a collaborative, knowledge-sharing corporate culture, provide the digital tools, and reward knowledge sharing.
Excerpts
Knowledge management as I use it here is not a software product or a software category. Knowledge management doesn't even start with technology. It starts with business objectives and processes and a recognition of the need to share information. Knowledge management is nothing more than managing information flow, getting the right information to the people who need it so that they can act on it quickly. It goes back to Michael Dertouzos' idea that information is a verb, not a static noun. And knowledge management is a means, not an end.



The workers in a company with a high corporate IQ collaborate effectively so that all of the key people on a project are well informed and energized. The ultimate goal is to have a team develop the best ideas from throughout an organization and then act with the same unity of purpose and focus that a single, well-motivated person would bring to bear on a situation. Digital information flow can bring about this group cohesiveness.



To recruit and retain smart people, you need to make it easy for them to collaborate with other smart people. That makes for a stimulating, energized workplace. A collaborative culture, reinforced by information flow, makes it possible for smart people all over a company to be in touch with each other. When you get a critical mass of high-IQ people working in concert, the energy level shoots way up. Cross-stimulation brings on new ideas-and less experienced employees are pulled along to a higher level. The company as a whole works smarter.

Chapter 15. Big Wins Take Big Risks
Summary
Companies need to risk big or they risk losing their edge. What do aircraft design projects and DNA research projects have in common? Both the need to take big risks in order to succeed and need good information flow to advance modern scientific research. Both industries require the best in knowledge management and modern production techniques.
Excerpts
To be a market leader, you have to have what business writer and consultant Jim Collins calls "Big Hairy Audacious Goals." You can't just look at the past or current state of the market. You have to also look at where it's likely to go, and where it might go under certain circumstances, and then navigate your company based on your best predictions. To win big, sometimes you have to take big risks.



Information technology in science is about getting the most out of the brains of talented scientists. In the past, scientists-even more than other knowledge workers-have spent the vast majority of their time collecting data and only a small part of their time analyzing it. As better tools enable researchers to apply most of their brainpower to the tough problems rather than to data collection and verification, it's exciting to think how much more progress there will be.



Because of the nature of the people they hire and the nature of their work, biotech companies are great examples of the application of the Web workstyle. And since many of them are new, the firms have been able to start from scratch with digital tools. If you ask the employees what's unique about their workstyle, they'll shrug and say they're not doing anything special-just using PCs and LANs and the Internet. Employees take electronic tools for granted.

IV. Bring Insight to Business Operations
Chapter 16. Develop Processes That Empower People
Summary
A business has the equivalent of autonomic processes, those processes that simply have to run efficiently in order for the company to survive. Even previously automated processes can use information technology to better understand and improve the inner workings of the production process. Feeding the data from your production process to your line workers enables them to improve the quality of the product itself. Extracting data from the production process to inform your other business systems improves the company's overall efficiency. Workers are no longer a cog in a machine but rather are an intelligent part of the overall process.
Excerpts
An automated production process is necessary but not sufficient if a company is to be competitive today. A good digital nervous system can help you develop your line employees into knowledge workers, transforming your company's core production processes into a competitive advantage.



In the new organization, the worker is no longer a cog in a machine but is an intelligent part of the overall process. Welders at some steel jobs now have to know algebra and geometry to figure weld angles from computer-generated designs. Water-treatment companies train assembly-line workers in computerized production measurements and math. New digital photocopiers require the service personnel to have an understanding of computers and the Internet, not just skill with a screwdriver.



Having people focus on whole processes will allow them to tackle more interesting, challenging work. A one-dimensional job (a task) will be eliminated, automated, or rolled into a bigger process. One-dimensional, repetitive work is exactly what computers, robots and other machines are best at-and what human workers are poorly suited to and almost uniformly despise. Managing a process instead of executing tasks makes someone a knowledge worker. And it is good digital information flow that enables knowledge workers to play their unique roles.

Chapter 17. Information Technology Enables Reengineering
Summary
Reengineering principles combined with digital processes can lead to dramatic breakthroughs in speed, efficiency and corporate intelligence. An important rule is to create simple processes and link them rather than try to create one huge, complex process. Microsoft's use of HeadTrax personnel approval application shows the symbiosis between process and technology. Dayton Hudson significantly reduces its merchandising cycle. Business leader ownership is necessary for new technology to succeed.
Excerpts
Creating a new process is a major project. You should have a specific definition of success, a specific beginning and end in terms of time and tasks, intermediate milestones and a budget. The best projects are those in which people have the customer scenario clearly in mind. That's true of process projects, too. The customer may be outside the company or inside, but the idea is the same: how will the person use the product or the process you're developing? How will it be better than the one before?



We avoid long development cycles for internal applications. Too much time often nullifies any benefits because business needs change along the way. Smaller, decentralized processes are usually best. Only a few applications, such as our financial reporting system, require centralization. As we have undertaken other business solutions internally, we have kept teams and projects small, keeping in mind the motto of our product development teams: "Shipping is a feature."



It's impossible to properly reengineer a process using technology without the oversight of someone who can bridge the business and technical teams. This business process owner doesn't have to be the most senior or the most technical person on the business side of your organization, but the person does have to understand the business need and how the technology will be used in actual work. The person must be respected enough in the organization to make decisions stick. That's the person most likely to have insight into developing newer, simpler processes and negotiating tradeoffs between business and technical requirements.

Chapter 18. Treat IT As A Strategic Resource
Summary
The CEO should become as engaged in IT as in any other important business function. The CEO needs a baseline understanding of technology. CEO and CIO need to regard technology not as a cost but as a strategic resource for the business side. CIO needs to participate in business strategy sessions and should report to the business side rather than to the financial side. The chapter includes guidelines for assessing infrastructure and making IT purchasing decisions, advocating a modern infrastructure based on PC and Internet standards.
Excerpts
Since the founding of Microsoft, I've always applied technology before applying labor to try to solve business problems. Integration of our IT world with our business objectives begins with the business, marketing and sales plans of the senior executives-Steve Ballmer, Bob Herbold, Jeff Raikes and others. After reviewing their plans, John Connors, the Microsoft CIO, creates an initial IT plan. John further develops his plan through a series of meetings with COO Bob Herbold, the VPs of all the lines of business and John's IT heads. This plan, which now contains all the technology initiatives and financial costs, goes to Steve for review, and a consensus plan then comes to me.



You should measure IT costs carefully, of course, but ultimately you should judge your infrastructure in terms of the business value it gives you. If you're going to spend the money anyway, wouldn't you rather spend it on solutions than on simply keeping the engine running? A good infrastructure will cut baseline costs, but a CEO should always be asking what the infrastructure enables rather than what costs it reduces. It's a matter of emphasis. Each year, the company should strive to spend a smaller percentage of resources on routine functions and a greater percentage on new business solutions.



It's not a coincidence that most of the companies I've described in this book have taken the approach of driving IT to undertake specific projects that help increase revenue through improved products, reduced product costs, faster delivery and improved customer service. These companies have learned a valuable lesson: the purpose of IT is to make money!

V. Special Enterprises Provide General Lessons
Chapter 19. No Health Care System Is an Island
Summary
Health care organizations spend large amounts of money on specialized diagnostic systems but little on information flow, which is why paperwork absorbs as much as 30 percent of all healthcare spending. Approaches built on information flow and standards demonstrate the potential for building a low-cost, integrated health care systems that will improve diagnosis and patient care through the entire cycle of care: emergency services, hospital care, follow-up, and long-term trend analysis. Examples include Acadian Ambulance and Air Med Services, Sentara Health System, Children's Hospital in Seattle and the U.S. Air Force.
Excerpts
Curiously enough, the managed care that many physicians love to hate may turn out to be the primary driver that extends information systems into patient care and returns control of patient care to doctors. When you get enough clinically helpful information in front of physicians they see the benefits and ask for more. Patients, meanwhile, are recognizing how much more information is available to them on the Web and the sense of control and responsibility that better information gives them in the maintenance of their own health.



I've personally spent many hours on the Web reading information about health issues facing my friends and family. The degree of detail in medical information on the Web is stunning. But there's lots of quackery out on the Internet, too, so don't believe everything you find there. Evaluate the credentials of the people or organization providing the information.



The Internet is also being used to broadcast important medical conferences for people who can't attend in person. The first broadcasts, in the spring of 1998, were of a pair of Johns Hopkins conferences on clinical care and issues for patients with HIV. Thousands of online participants sent positive feedback, encouraging Johns Hopkins to schedule video coverage of several upcoming AIDS conferences-one of which will be broadcast in three languages-as well as other conferences.
Chapter 20. Take Government to the People

Summary
Government can benefit more from digital processes than probably any other organization, but in general governments have done less. Governments must think beyond internal organizational issues and view problems from the point of view of overall information flow and designing integrated systems that provide better service to citizens. Examples show innovative government agencies at all levels reducing paper flow and streamlining processes through digital systems.
Excerpts
Just as businesses can make better use of productivity tools and e-mail to get far more benefits from technology investments, so too can government. In developed nations, many government employees and public officials already have PCs on their desks. And developing nations can put in a PC infrastructure for a modest cost. The use of e-mail alone promotes inter-agency cooperation and enables public officials to be more responsive.



Less developed countries may assume that a digital approach to government is out of reach, but countries without systems can start fresh with new systems, which will be less expensive than manual approaches. Developed countries have older systems that often must be integrated to manage a transition. Leadership examples around the world make it clear that much of the innovation is happening in smaller governments-smaller nations and municipalities, counties and provinces, and the state levels of larger nations. Smaller governments, being less fragmented and less complex, can experiment and deploy solutions on a smaller scale.



Deregulation of telecommunications is probably the single greatest step that a country can take to create a digital economy. Replacing telecommunications monopolies with open competition around the world will stimulate innovation in Internet service delivery and reduce rates, which are high and discourage use in many countries.

Chapter 21. When Reflex Is a Matter of Life and Death
Summary
Examples from the military (U.S. Air Force, Marines, and Navy) demonstrate that corporate reflex is a matter of life or death. Digital systems change the nature of warfare and the speed of training, as well as improving the conduct of routine business that supports a military effort. Many of the lessons apply to other organizations as well.
Excerpts
After the Gulf War, the U.S. Air Force, like all the services, held a lessons-learned conference. High on the Air Force list for running a future high-intensity air war was better flight planning for pilots flying into harm's way. While some active-duty Air Force personnel wanted to address this need with the military's traditional computer systems, members of the U.S. Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard, who had civilian experience, immediately said, "We gotta do this on a PC."



Another exciting aspect of a digital military is its ability to dramatically increase rates of learning. Instead of having to fight three wars and lose hundreds of planes and thousands of men to learn which procedures and tactics work, the Air Force can now examine the records of a few missions and learn the same kinds of lessons a lot sooner. In earlier air wars, including the Gulf War, debriefing was often inconclusive. Combatants in debriefing sessions tended to remember the action through only their narrow views of the situation, and their recollections were usually blurred by the fog of battle. It was hard for commanders to reconstruct the overall battle in order to understand how to improve next time.



With declining military budgets, the possibility of continual outbreaks in hot spots around the world and the unwillingness of the American public to accept high casualty rates, the
United States is counting on technology to win wars. Technology doesn't mean simply smart weapons. It means smart soldiers. The rules of war haven't changed. The victory goes to the side that can strike the quickest with the best intelligence. Whether the intelligence is gleaned from spy satellites, unmanned reconnaissance drones or operatives on the ground, information must get to the warriors in action. And first-hand, site-specific information from the battlefield must get back to the strategists as the battle flows back and forth.


Chapter 22. Create Connected Learning Communities
Summary
A digital nervous system will empower teachers and students more than any other group of knowledge workers. Teacher involvement is a necessity and community involvement is vital. A connected school can become the basis for a connected learning community that encourages lifelong learning and training for all citizens.
Excerpts
The success of PCs as educational tools requires teacher involvement. Without teacher training and integration into the curriculum, PCs will not have a big impact. Many PCs have gone into computer "labs" where they sit, seldom used. Schools need to shift from treating the PC as a subject unto itself-teaching about technology-to integrating the PC throughout the curriculum, teaching with technology. More and more school districts are now demonstrating that with the involvement of teachers, PCs used as learning tools can have a profound effect.



Most school systems around the world are just beginning to bring PCs into the classroom. To get started requires leadership at the school board and superintendent level and a technology plan that provides a blueprint for developing and managing the technical infrastructure, for integrating technology with curriculum and for training teachers. Finally, rallying community support is critical. Voters have proven willing to vote for measures to fund concrete, well-fashioned plans. Communities should think of connecting the schools as the start of a broader effort to create a connected learning community among all civic organizations and to think of technology-enhanced education as a lifelong activity not restricted by age or to schools.



Web connectivity builds on the PC's capabilities by enabling students to find other people who are exploring the same topics or to find approaches to a subject that might be more helpful or interesting to them than the approach used in class. They may find a nugget of information that they enjoy bringing back to the class, or one that confused them and the teacher can address for the benefit of everybody. A common assignment will be for students to go out and explore a topic on the Internet, then come back together in a group to discuss what they learned.

VI. Expect the Unexpected
Chapter 23. Prepare for the Digital Future
Summary
A new way of doing business is based on moving information. Empower individuals with new technology. Make every aspect of business digital. Embrace the digital age.
Excerpts
Business leaders who succeed will take advantage of a new way of doing business, a way based on the increasing velocity of information. The new way is not to apply technology for its own sake but to use it to reshape how companies act. To get the full benefit of technology, business leaders will streamline and modernize their processes and their organization. The goal is to make business reflex nearly instantaneous and to make strategic thought an ongoing, iterative process-not something done every twelve to eighteen months, separate from the daily flow of business.



A belief in empowerment is key to getting the most out of a digital nervous system. It's knowledge workers and business managers who benefit from more and better information, not just senior management. When employees get a couple of good tools that deliver better results, they demand more. It's another positive cycle.



Empowerment of employees on the line requires smart machines at their fingertips. A system built on the concept of "central" vs. "personal" computing is insufficient for a widespread and mobile work force. Such a system also represents a hostile view of the worker. It says that employees are still industrial-age cogs, that they should be doing repetitive, single-task jobs. It says that workers should not step outside the box to do their job-the tool, in fact, will prevent them from stepping outside the box.

Build Digital Processes on Standards
Summary
The appendix describes how to build a digital nervous system using the new hardware and software standards. The appendix describes a framework for how to develop a digital nervous system; what phases of development are; and how to decide what to buy and build. Special emphasis is placed on PCs and the rate of technological advance created by the new horizontally integrated computer industry.
Excerpts
In the old vertically integrated computer industry, a customer would buy almost all of the elements of a solution from a single company-the chips, the computer systems built on the chips, the operating system, the network hardware and service. Every vendor had its own vertical solution. Sales volumes were low and prices were high. Integration between different vendors was difficult and expensive. Switching costs for customers were very high since every piece of the solution would have to change. These vertically integrated vendor solutions are being displaced by the PC approach, in which specialized companies give customers a choice in each of the infrastructure layers: chips, computer systems, system software, business applications, networking, systems integration and service. If packaged software does not solve your business needs out of the box, look for software products that are easy to customize. It's better to start with commercial software and customize the package than to build a custom application from scratch. A three-tier architectural blueprint combined with commercial software that uses a component approach makes customization much more possible.



Scale economics for research and development in the PC industry dwarf what any one company can do in an old vertical approach. . . . By staying in the mainstream, businesses can ride the massive R&D investments and the innovation that is concentrated in the horizontal model. Quite simply, the high-volume world is beating the low-volume world in the speed of technological advance. Over the years, more and more of the traditional vendors have taken an increasing PC focus, including Fujitsu, HP, ICL, NEC, Unisys and others. IBM is not purely in either camp, continuing its vertical strategy with mainframes and minicomputers while also developing a business around the horizontal PC model.
 

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MP Guru
Leaders Space: Bill Gates

William H. Gates
Chairman and Chief Software Architect
Microsoft Corporation


William (Bill) H. Gates is chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corporation, the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft had revenues of US$39.79 billion for the fiscal year ending June 2005, and employs more than 61,000 people in 102 countries and regions.

Born on Oct. 28, 1955, Gates grew up in Seattle with his two sisters. Their father, William H. Gates II, is a Seattle attorney. Their late mother, Mary Gates, was a schoolteacher, University of Washington regent, and chairwoman of United Way International.
Gates attended public elementary school and the private Lakeside School. There, he discovered his interest in software and began programming computers at age 13.

In 1973, Gates entered Harvard University as a freshman, where he lived down the hall from Steve Ballmer, now Microsoft's chief executive officer. While at Harvard, Gates developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer - the MITS Altair.

In his junior year, Gates left Harvard to devote his energies to Microsoft, a company he had begun in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Guided by a belief that the computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home, they began developing software for personal computers. Gates' foresight and his vision for personal computing have been central to the success of Microsoft and the software industry.

Under Gates' leadership, Microsoft's mission has been to continually advance and improve software technology, and to make it easier, more cost-effective and more enjoyable for people to use computers. The company is committed to a long-term view, reflected in its investment of approximately $6.2 billion on research and development in the 2005 fiscal year.

In 1999, Gates wrote Business @ the Speed of Thought, a book that shows how computer technology can solve business problems in fundamentally new ways. The book was published in 25 languages and is available in more than 60 countries. Business @ the Speed of Thought has received wide critical acclaim, and was listed on the best-seller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and Amazon.com. Gates' previous book, The Road Ahead, published in 1995, held the No. 1 spot on the New York Times' bestseller list for seven weeks.


Gates has donated the proceeds of both books to non-profit organizations that support the use of technology in education and skills development.
In addition to his love of computers and software, Gates founded Corbis, which is developing one of the world's largest resources of visual information - a comprehensive digital archive of art and photography from public and private collections around the globe. He is also a member of the board of directors of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which invests in companies engaged in diverse business activities.
Philanthropy is also important to Gates. He and his wife, Melinda, have endowed a foundation with more than $28.8 billion (as of January 2005) to support philanthropic initiatives in the areas of global health and learning, with the hope that in the 21st century, advances in these critical areas will be available for all people. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed more than $3.6 billion to organizations working in global health; more than $2 billion to improve learning opportunities, including the Gates Library Initiative to bring computers, Internet Access and training to public libraries in low-income communities in the United States and Canada; more than $477 million to community projects in the Pacific Northwest; and more than $488 million to special projects and annual giving campaigns.

Gates was married on Jan. 1, 1994, to Melinda French Gates. They have three children. Gates is an avid reader, and enjoys playing golf and bridge.
 

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MP Guru
Leaders Space: The Richest in the world

#1 William Henry Gates III
Net Worth: $51.0 billion
Source: Software, Microsoft Self made

Age: 49
Marital Status: Married, 3 children
Hometown: Medina, WA
Education: Harvard University, Drop Out

Microsoft's chief visionary moving further away from day-to-day corporate work. For the first time did not offer a strategy outlook at this year's financial analyst meeting. Instead, prefers to dive into innovative projects, foster collaboration among Microsoft's many divisions. Microsoft aims to be omnipotent, selling software for PCs, servers, cell phones, television set-top boxes, gaming consoles, the Web. Fifteen product launches slated for the next year and a half, including new version of Windows, called
Vista, and gaming console Xbox 360. At the ripe (tech sector) age of 30, Gates' company impressively beats rivals in profit margins, market capitalization and R&D budget, but its sales growth is slowing to a (recently) single-digit percentage pace. Like elder statesman of computing, IBM, has been investing heavily in its own stock ($8 billion worth so far). Diversifies methodically, selling 20 million shares every quarter, reinvesting through Cascade Investment. Big stakes in Canadian National Railway, Republic Services, Berkshire Hathaway. Philanthropy, via $29 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aimed at fighting infectious disease (hepatitis B, AIDS, malaria) and improving high schools.


#2 Warren Edward Buffett
Net Worth: $40.0 billion
Source: Investments,
Berkshire Hathaway
Self made



Age: 75
Marital Status: Widowed, 3 children
Hometown: Omaha, NE
Education:
University of Nebraska Lincoln, Bachelor of Arts / Science
Columbia University, Master of Science


Revered investor taking it on the chin over Berkshire Hathaway's General Re insurance unit; SEC threatening civil fraud suit against General Re Chief Joseph Brandon over questionable transaction with American International Group. Also getting it for his board seat at Coca-Cola, where his "independence" might be compromised by
Berkshire's ownership of Dairy Queen, which buys lots of Coke products. Buffett: "Do they want us to favor Pepsi?" At Berkshire set in place two governance reforms: regular meetings of directors without Buffett present; whistleblower line for employees. Sitting on $43 billion in cash, hoped to make some big acquisitions last year, "but I struck out." Instead, invested in foreign currencies: $21 billion bet against the dollar and in favor of various other currencies. "In no way does our thinking about currencies rest on doubts about America." Newspaper delivery boy filed first 1040 at age 13; claimed $35 deduction for bicycle. Studied under Benjamin Graham at Columbia. Applied value-investing principles to build Berkshire Hathaway. Portfolio includes utilities (MidAmerican Energy Holdings), insurance (Geico, General Re), apparel (Fruit of the Loom), flight services (FlightSafety, NetJets). Also chunks of American Express, Coca-Cola, Gillette, Wells Fargo. Instructs managers to run a business as if it's the only asset the manager's family will own over the next 100 years. Prefers his investors to buy equities only after careful analysis. "If they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful." Says he underestimated the severity of certain stocks' overvaluation during the tech bubble. "I talked when I should have walked." No matter. Since taking control of Berkshire 40 years ago, has delivered compound annual return of 22%. "No wonder we tap-dance to work."

#3 Paul Gardner Allen
Net Worth: $22.5 billion
Source: Software, Microsoft, investments
Self made




Age: 52
Marital Status: Single
Hometown:
Seattle, WA

Education: Washington State University, Drop Out

Microsoft cofounder, "wired world" proponent lately finding more promise in pipes delivering oil instead of information. Bought energy outfit Plains Resources for $460 million, controlling stake in Plains All American Pipeline, operator of 15,000 miles of oil pipelines. Through Vulcan Energy unit, paid $250 million for natural gas storage business from Sempra Energy. Hasn't given up entirely on the future. Still maintains dozens of investments in media (Charter Communications), technology (set-top box manufacturer Digeo), biotech. Ten-year-old investment in wannabe
Hollywood studio DreamWorks finally showing some returns after company took its animation unit public but planned secondary offering of mostly Allen shares postponed for now. Good times elsewhere in sports (owns pro football's Seattle Seahawks, basketball's Portland Trail Blazers), space (funded SpaceShipOne, first to launch private flight into suborbital space), the open seas (413-foot yacht Octopus armed with 2 helicopters and a 60-foot submarine). His Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has donated heavily to education, art and science causes. Joined buddy Bill Gates in 1975, left the company in 1983 to fight Hodgkin's disease. Has been slowly selling off Microsoft stake ever since.


#4 Michael Dell
Net Worth: $18.0 billion
Source: Technology, Dell
Self made



Age: 40
Marital Status: Married, 4 children
Hometown: Austin, TX
Education: University of Texas Austin, Drop Out

Founder, former chief executive of world's largest PC maker feeling tremors at the top. Second-quarter revenue up 15% to $13.5 billion, still missed analyst expectations. Stock sank 13%, biggest dip in almost 4 years. Soft-spoken Texan started selling computers from
University of Texas dorm room 1984; dropped out to start Dell Computer. Went public in 1988, grew fast with direct-sales model, kept R&D costs low. Ironfisted chief info officer Randall Mott led charge to trim spending; swiped by rival HP in July. Steady seller of Dell stock, pumps cash into private investment firm MSD Capital. Assets include 377-room Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea, Hawaii; stakes in IHOP, NorthWestern, Indiana restaurant chain Steak n Shake. Devoted Republican sits on U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science & Technology. Wife, Susan, created fashion label Phi, sells through Neiman Marcus.

#5 Lawrence Joseph Ellison
Net Worth: $17.0 billion
Source: Software, Oracle
Self made




Age: 61
Marital Status: Married, 2 children, 3 divorces
Hometown: Silicon Valley, CA
Education: University of Illinois, Drop Out

Brash software executive holds Darwinian view of his industry, believes that fewer companies peddling software will be better for business. In the past year made 9 acquisitions totaling some $17 billion, including a pending $5.9 billion for Siebel Systems, $10.6 billion for PeopleSoft. "I don't think you'll see another major acquisition anytime soon." Already strong in database management software, the newly combined companies will make Oracle the dominant player in customer relationship management applications. Addition of boutique software shops I-flex and ProfitLogic will move Oracle into retail and banking. For now expanded Oracle looking stronger: sales up 16% this year. But so-called project Fusion, blending Oracle's database technology with PeopleSoft's business wares, not expected until 2008.
Chicago native cofounded database software firm in 1977, took public in 1986, a day before Microsoft. Maintained rabid rivalry ever since. Also competitive on the high seas: BMW Oracle Racing team aiming to win America's Cup in 2007. Recently purchased a dozen residential and commercial properties in Malibu, Calif. Might have to rethink furnishing plans in light of pending $100 million charitable gift on behalf of Oracle to settle insider trading suit.


#6 Christy Walton
Net Worth: $15.7 billion
Source: Retailing, Wal-Mart inheritance
Inherited





Age: 50
Marital Status: Widowed, 1 child
Hometown:
Jackson, WY

Education:

Widow of John Walton, Wal-Mart heir who died when his ultralight aircraft crashed in late June.
Vietnam vet was director of company, focused on improving education system, helped more than 67,000 children attend private schools through Children's Scholarship Fund. Wal-Mart stake believed to be inherited by wife, Christy, and son, Luke. Fortune created by Sam Walton (d. 1992), J.C. Penney clerk who opened first discount store in Rogers, Ark. 1962. Took Wal-Mart public 1970. Spectacular growth since, but stock down 15% this year on shrinking profits. Wal-Mart still world's largest retailer: more than 5,100 stores serving 138 million customers per week. Sales: $285 billion. Family controls 40% of Wal-Mart. Rob serves as chairman; his other siblings not active in company.



#6 Jim C Walton
Net Worth: $15.7 billion
Source: Retailing, Wal-Mart
Inherited


Age: 57
Marital Status: Married, 4 children
Hometown:
Bentonville, AR
Education:

Son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton mourning loss of brother, John, who died when his ultralight aircraft crashed in late June.


#8 S Robson Walton
Net Worth: $15.6 billion
Source: Retailing, Wal-Mart
Inherited



Age: 61
Marital Status: Divorced, 3 children, 1 divorce
Hometown:
Bentonville, AR

Education:
University of Arkansas, Bachelor of Arts / Science
Columbia University, Doctor of Jurisprudence

Brother of John Walton


#9 Alice L Walton
Net Worth: $15.5 billion
Source: Retailing, Wal-Mart
Inherited





Age: 56
Marital Status: Divorced, 2 divorces
Hometown:
Fort Worth, TX

Education:
Trinity University of San Antonio, Bachelor of Arts / Science

Sister of John Walton



# 10 Helen R Walton
Net Worth: $15.4 billion
Source: Retailing, Wal-Mart
Inherited


Age: 86
Marital Status: Widowed, 4 children
Hometown:
Bentonville, AR

Education:
University of Oklahoma, Bachelor of Arts / Science

Mother of John Walton


#11 Steven Anthony Ballmer
Net Worth: $14.0 billion
Source: Software, Microsoft
Self made



Age: 49
Marital Status: Married, 3 children
Hometown:
Redmond, WA

Education:
Harvard University, Bachelor of Arts / Science
Stanford University, Master of Business Administration

"Some people may think we're standing still, but we're not," Microsoft's chief cheerleader says when asked to explain the company's recent doldrums. Revenue growth only 9% this year, first time ever in the single digits. Microsoft stock, once-unstoppable market climber, flat for several years now. But
Redmond's rabble-rouser emboldened by Xbox and cell phones. Detroit native dropped out of Stanford M.B.A. program to join former Harvard classmate Gates in 1980. Microsoft employee number 30, chief exec since 2000.


# 12 Barbara Cox Anthony
Net Worth: $12.5 billion
Source: Media/Entertainment, Cox Enterprises
Inherited

Age: 82
Marital Status: Married, 2 children
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
Education: High School, Diploma

With sister Anne Cox Chambers, two daughters of James M. Cox (d. 1957), newspaper reporter who bought the Dayton Evening News for $26,000 in 1898. Three-term governor of
Ohio, Democratic presidential nominee in 1920 (FDR was his running mate). Built media empire: newspapers (17 dailies, including flagship Atlanta Constitution), 15 TV stations, 79 radio stations, cable systems. Sales: $11.6 billion. Also automobiles: Manheim Auctions the nation's leading used-car auction business. Majority owner in AutoTrader.com, world's largest online auto classifieds site. Last year family took cable arm Cox Communications private in $8 billion deal, but shares of Cox Radio business still trade on the Big Board. Anne: former ambassador to Belgium under Carter, personally knocked on doors to recruit Ohio Democratic voters in 2004 election. Barbara's son, James Cox Kennedy, runs the business.



#12 Anne Cox Chambers
Net Worth: $12.5 billion
Source: Media/Entertainment, Cox Enterprises
Inherited

Age: 85
Marital Status: Divorced, 3 children, 2 divorces
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Education: High School, Diploma

With sister Barbara Cox Anthony, two daughters of James M. Cox (d. 1957), newspaper reporter who bought the Dayton Evening News for $26,000 in 1898. Three-term governor of
Ohio, Democratic presidential nominee in 1920 (FDR was his running mate). Built media empire: newspapers (17 dailies, including flagship Atlanta Constitution), 15 TV stations, 79 radio stations, cable systems. Sales: $11.6 billion. Also automobiles: Manheim Auctions the nation's leading used-car auction business. Majority owner in AutoTrader.com, world's largest online auto classifieds site. Last year family took cable arm Cox Communications private in $8 billion deal, but shares of Cox Radio business still trade on the Big Board. Anne: former ambassador to Belgium under Carter, personally knocked on doors to recruit Ohio Democratic voters in 2004 election. Barbara's son, James Cox Kennedy, runs the business.

#12 Abigail Johnson
Net Worth: $12.5 billion
Source: Finance, Fidelity

Inherited and growing


Age: 43
Marital Status: Married, 2 children
Hometown:
Boston, MA

Education:
William Smith College, Bachelor of Arts / Science
Harvard University, Master of Business Administration

With family, controls Fidelity Investments,
America's largest mutual fund company. Assets under management: $1.1 trillion. Firm founded by grandfather 1946. Frugal father, Edward III (see), joined company as an analyst in 1957, took reins of flagship Magellan Fund 4 years later. "Abby" studied art history at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Spent 2 years at Booz Allen Hamilton after graduating in 1984. Interned at Fidelity while pursuing Harvard M.B.A. Returned full-time 1988, tracked industrial equipment stocks, then telecom. Ran her first diversified fund 1993, became president of company's mutual fund division 2001. Avoided taint of corruption during 2003 scandal; kept money managers from market timing, picked up $31 billion in fund assets during first 6 months as competitors Janus Capital, Strong Capital Management, Bank One withered. This May took over Employer Services division; administers payroll, employee stock plans. Father reduced ownership in 1995; Johnson family still FMR's largest shareholder with a 49% stake.



#15 Sheldon Adelson
Net Worth: $11.5 billion
Source: Gambling /Leisure, casinos, hotels
Self made


Age: 72
Marital Status: Married, 5 children, 1 divorce
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Education: City College of New York, Drop Out

Cabdriver's son hit jackpot in December public offering of Las Vegas Sands; company's stock surged 61% on first day of trading, net worth up nearly fourfold from a year ago. Owner of Venetian casino in
Las Vegas also entrenched in Asian gambling mecca Macau: $265 million Sands Macau casino opened in May last year, entire investment recouped in first year. Ramping up construction on Cotai Strip: $6 billion project will put 7 hotel-casinos between Macau's 2 islands, Taipa and Coloane, and become epicenter of Chinese convention universe. In Vegas, building the Palazzo, $1.8 billion casino, next to Venetian. Broadway enthusiast studied voice in teens, plans to bring The Phantom of the Opera to Vegas in 2006. Made first fortune in trade shows, selling Comdex to Softbank for $862 million 1995.


#16 Sergey Brin
Net Worth: $11.0 billion
Source: Technology, Google
Self made



Age: 32
Marital Status: Single
Hometown:
San Francisco, CA

Education:
University of Maryland, Bachelor of Arts / Science
Stanford University, Master of Science

With partner Larry Page, billionaire founders inspiration behind quirky, smarty-pants culture of Google. Since taking company public August 2004, the partners' meteoric rise in wealth outpaces the rate set by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Even their affable ad-cum-search-engine begins to trump Microsoft as it spreads tentacles into shop bots and blogging and digital libraries and satellite mapping. Recent $4 billion secondary offering (exact number of shares tied to the infinite numerical string in pi) fuels rumors of possible acquisitions: TiVo, Chinese search engine, Internet telephony. Russian immigrant Brin met Page at Stanford grad school; dropped out, launched Google from friend's garage 1998. Moved to bigger digs, hired seasoned tech exec Eric Schmidt (see) to run company. Brin serves as president of technology, Page heads product division. The digital duo together already have sold more than $1 billion in stock.



#16 Larry E Page
Net Worth: $11.0 billion
Source: Technology, Google
Self made


Age: 32
Marital Status: Single
Hometown:
San Francisco, CA

Education:
University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts / Science
Stanford University, Master of Science

With partner Sergey Brin, billionaire founders inspiration behind quirky, smarty-pants culture of Google. Since taking company public August 2004, the partners' meteoric rise in wealth outpaces the rate set by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Even their affable ad-cum-search-engine begins to trump Microsoft as it spreads tentacles into shop bots and blogging and digital libraries and satellite mapping. Recent $4 billion secondary offering (exact number of shares tied to the infinite numerical string in pi) fuels rumors of possible acquisitions: TiVo, Chinese search engine, Internet telephony. Russian immigrant Brin met Page at Stanford grad school; dropped out, launched Google from friend's garage 1998. Moved to bigger digs, hired seasoned tech exec Eric Schmidt (see) to run company. Brin serves as president of technology, Page heads product division. The digital duo together already have sold more than $1 billion in stock.


#18 Pierre M Omidyar
Net Worth: $10.2 billion
Source: Technology, Ebay
Self made





Age: 38
Marital Status: Married, 2 children
Hometown:
Henderson, NV

Education:
Tufts University, Bachelor of Arts / Science

French émigré and programmer started online auction site in 1995, allowed consumers to buy and sell everything from Alaskan acreage to vintage haute couture. Knew idea was a hit when traffic zoomed within first few weeks. Recent 10th anniversary gala punctuated by first-quarter-record $1 billion sales. But Ebay stock lately on bumpy ride: criticized for increasing vendor fees, inadequate policing of bogus bids; shares sank 40%. Jumped 20% when second-quarter sales topped expectations. With Meg Whitman (see) running Ebay day-to-day, concentrates on venture capital, philanthropy. Omidyar Network makes grants, donations to myriad nonprofit and for-profit businesses.



#19 Kirk Kerkorian
Net Worth: $10.0 billion
Source: Investments, investments, casinos
Self made




Age: 88
Marital Status: Divorced, 2 children, 3 divorces
Hometown:
Los Angeles, CA

Education: High School, Diploma

Low-key investor with eighth-grade education scored big with $7.9 billion takeover of Mandalay Bay Resorts last year. MGM Mirage now owns more than half the hotel rooms on the Las Vegas Strip. Stock up 100% in the past year. Born in
Fresno to Armenian immigrants, flew planes across Atlantic during World War II. First fortune: selling Trans International Airlines for $104 million profit in the 1960s. Invested proceeds in Sin City: acquired Flamingo hotel 1967, built International hotel 1969. Sold both properties to Hilton Hotels in 1970. Built first MGM Grand (now Bally's), opened second incarnation 1993. Took over Steve Wynn's (see) Mirage Resorts in $6.4 billion buyout 2000. Longtime romance with MGM movie studio now over: 3-time studio owner closed $5 billion deal with Sony, 3 private-equity firms and cable giant Comcast in April; netted $1.8 billion. Former DaimlerChrysler shareholder now buying General Motors stock; owns 9.5% stake. Tennis junkie, said to play every day.

#19 Forrest Edward Mars Jr
Net Worth: $10.0 billion
Source: Food, candy
Inherited and growing

Age: 74
Marital Status: Married, 4 children
Hometown:
McLean, VA
Education:
Yale University, Bachelor of Arts / Science

Grandfather Frank Mars started making chocolates from his kitchen in
Tacoma, Wash. in 1919. Father, Forrest Sr., took over, introduced malt-flavor nougat, which became cornerstone of Mars candy bar line: Milky Way, Snickers, 3 Musketeers. Also M&Ms, Twix, Skittles. Added pet food (Whiskas, Pedigree), Uncle Ben's Rice. Today Mars the nation's largest confectioner. Sales: $18 billion. This year launched Ethel's Chocolate Lounges: Chicago boutiques allow customers to sample new Ethel chocolate line.



#19 Jacqueline Mars
Net Worth: $10.0 billion
Source: Food, candy
Inherited

Age: 66
Marital Status: Divorced, 3 children, 2 divorces
Hometown: Bedminster, NJ
Education: Bryn Mawr College, Bachelor of Arts / Science

Grandfather Frank Mars started making chocolates from his kitchen in Tacoma, Wash. in 1919. Father, Forrest Sr., took over, introduced malt-flavor nougat, which became cornerstone of Mars candy bar line: Milky Way, Snickers, 3 Musketeers. Also M&Ms, Twix, Skittles. Added pet food (Whiskas, Pedigree), Uncle Ben's Rice. Today Mars the nation's largest confectioner. Sales: $18 billion. This year launched Ethel's Chocolate Lounges:
Chicago boutiques allow customers to sample new Ethel chocolate line.



#19 John Franklyn Mars
Net Worth: $10.0 billion
Source: Food, candy
Inherited and growing

Age: 69
Marital Status: Married, 2 children
Hometown:
Arlington, VA
Education:
Yale University, Bachelor of Arts / Science

Grandfather Frank Mars started making chocolates from his kitchen in
Tacoma, Wash. in 1919. Father, Forrest Sr., took over, introduced malt-flavor nougat, which became cornerstone of Mars candy bar line: Milky Way, Snickers, 3 Musketeers. Also M&Ms, Twix, Skittles. Added pet food (Whiskas, Pedigree), Uncle Ben's Rice. Today Mars the nation's largest confectioner. Sales: $18 billion. This year launched Ethel's Chocolate Lounges: Chicago boutiques allow customers to sample new Ethel chocolate line.

 

nick18_in

MP Guru
Leaders Space: Michael E. Porter

Michael E. Porter

Personal History
Professor Porter was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has lived and traveled throughout the world as the son of a career Army officer. He was an all-state high school football and baseball player. At Princeton, he played intercollegiate golf and was named to the 1968 NCAA Golf All-American Team. After graduating from college, Professor Porter served through the rank of captain in the U.S. Army Reserve. He maintains a long-time interest in the esthetics and business of music and art, having worked on the problems of strategy with arts organizations and aspiring musicians. Professor Porter serves as a trustee of the Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School (Cambridge, Massachusetts). Professor Porter and his two daughters reside in Brookline, Massachusetts.


Bishop William Lawrence University Professor
Michael E. Porter is the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, based at Harvard Business School. A University professorship is the highest professional recognition that can be awarded to a Harvard faculty member. In 2001, Harvard Business School and Harvard University jointly created the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, to further Professor Porter’s work.
Professor Porter, the author of 17 books and over 125 articles, is a leading authority on competitive strategy and the competitiveness and economic development of nations, states, and regions. He received a B.S.E. with high honors in aerospace and mechanical engineering from Princeton University in 1969, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. He received an M.B.A. with high distinction in 1971 from the Harvard Business School, where he was a George F. Baker Scholar, and a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University in 1973.

Teaching
Professor Porter's ideas on strategy have now become the foundation for the required strategy course at the Harvard Business School, and his work is taught in virtually every business school in the world. Professor Porter’s primary course for Harvard graduate students is a University-wide course, Microeconomics of Competitiveness, which is taught not only at Harvard but at 56 other universities around the world using video content and instructor support developed at Harvard. Professor Porter also created and chairs Harvard's program for newly appointed CEOs of billion dollar corporations.
Professor Porter speaks widely on competitive strategy, competitiveness, and related subjects to business and government leaders throughout the world.

Research on Strategy
Professor Porter’s core field is strategy, and this remains a primary focus of his research. His book, Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, was his first book-length publication on strategy. The book is in its 63rd printing and has been translated into 19 languages. His second major strategy book, Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, was published in 1985 and is in its 38th printing. His book On Competition (1998) includes a series of articles on strategy and competition, including his Harvard Business Review article 'What is Strategy?' (1996). 'Strategy and the Internet' was published in 2001.
Professor Porter’s next major book on strategy will be completed in 2006.

Competitiveness of Nations and Regions
Professor Porter's 1990 book The Competitive Advantage of Nations was motivated by his appointment by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 to the President's Commission on Industrial Competitiveness. This book kicked off his second major body of work, which addresses competitiveness and economic development. The book presents a new theory of how nations, states, and regions compete, and their sources of economic prosperity. It was followed by an extensive body of publications on the influence of locations on competition, with a special focus on the role of clusters. These ideas have guided economic policy throughout the world.
National Competitiveness. Building on The Competitive Advantage of Nations, Professor Porter has published books about national competitiveness on New Zealand, Canada, Sweden, and Switzerland. Most recently, his book Can Japan Compete? (2000) challenges long-held views about the sources of Japan's economic miracle and offers a new path for that nation's future. It was selected as one of the top three non-fiction books of 2000 by The Economist.
Professor Porter co-chairs the Global Competitiveness Report, an annual ranking of the competitiveness and growth prospects of more than 100 countries released by the World Economic Forum.
Clusters. Professor Porter’s ideas on clusters, first introduced in 1990, have given rise to a large body of research on cluster-based economic development and hundreds of public-private cluster initiatives throughout the world. Professor Porter’s research on clusters is summarized in “Clusters and Competition: New Agendas for Companies, Governments, and Institutions” in On Competition (1998) and other publications listed in his curriculum vitae.
Regional Competitiveness. Professor Porter has extended his work on competitiveness to sub-national regions. He led the Clusters of Innovation project (2001-2002) which studied five major U.S. regions, developing new theory, new sources of data, and new methodologies for fostering innovation and prosperity in regional economies. Growing out of this research, the Harvard Cluster Mapping Project was developed and provides rich data on the economic geography of U.S. regions and clusters from 1990 to 2003. The Cluster Mapping Project has over 8,000 registered users. His article ‘The Economic Performance of Regions’ (2003) summarizes some of the important findings from this data.
Innovation. Professor Porter is co-author (with Scott Stern) of a body of work on the sources of innovation in national economies, including The New Challenge to America's Prosperity: Findings from the Innovation Index (1999), 'The Determinants of National Innovative Capacity' (2000), and 'Measuring the 'Ideas' Production Function: Evidence from International Patent Output' (2000).
Related Topics. Professor Porter has led studies on the role of private capital investment in competitiveness, including Capital Choices (1992) and Lifting All Boats (1995). He has also written on competition policy, including 'Competition and Antitrust: Towards a Productivity-based Approach to Evaluating Mergers and Joint Ventures' (2002).

Competition and Society
Professor Porter's research on economic development gave rise to his third major body of work: the relationship between competition and society.
Inner Cities. Professor Porter has conducted extensive research on economic development in America's distressed inner city areas, beginning with the Harvard Business Review article 'The Competitive Advantage of the Inner City'. In 1994, he founded The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a non-profit, private-sector organization to catalyze inner-city business development across the country. Professor Porter is Chairman of the ICIC, a national organization with a staff of more than 40 professionals. The ICIC has conducted extensive research and practiced extensively in this field, and a bibliography of work is available on the organization’s website.
Rural Development. In 2004, Professor Porter published a study commissioned by the Economic Development Administration on rural development, Competitiveness in Rural U.S. Regions: Learning and Research Agenda. This study marks a new stream of work on economic development in sparsely populated rural regions which have weak economic performance relative to urban areas.
Environment. Professor Porter has examined the relationship between competitiveness and the natural environment. His Scientific American essay 'America's Green Strategy', showed that economic competitiveness and environmental improvement could and should be complementary. This essay triggered a body of literature and new policy thinking, including publications by Professor Porter: ‘Green and Competitive’ (1995), 'Toward a New Conception of the Environment-Competitiveness Relationship' (1995), and 'National Environmental Performance Measurement and Determinants' (2002). The so-called “Porter Hypothesis” has been much studied in subsequent literature.
Philanthropy and Corporate Responsibility. Professor Porter has devoted growing attention to philanthropy and especially the role of corporations in society. His Harvard Business Review article with Mark Kramer, 'Philanthropy's New Agenda: Creating Value' (1999), offers a new framework for developing strategy in foundations and other philanthropic organizations. He co-founded the Center for Effective Philanthropy, an organization dedicated to creating concepts and measurement tools to improve foundation performance.
Professor Porter’s Harvard Business Review article, 'The Competitive Advantage of Corporate Philanthropy' (2002), addresses how corporations can create more social benefit by integrating their philanthropy with their business context. A forthcoming article tackles the strategic underpinnings of corporate social responsibility.
Health Care. Recently, Professor Porter has devoted considerable attention to competition in the health care system and addressing the problems of the U.S. and foreign health care systems. His article with Elizabeth Teisberg, ‘Redefining Competition in Health Care’ (2004), has stimulated a national dialog. Based on two years of additional research, his joint book with Professor Teisberg, Redefining Health Care (Harvard Business School Press) will be published in May 2006.

Advisor to Business and Government
Professor Porter has served as a strategy advisor to numerous leading U.S. and international companies, among them DuPont, Entel (Chile), Edward Jones, Navistar, Procter & Gamble, Royal Dutch Shell, Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Sysco, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.
Professor Porter also serves as a senior strategy advisor to the Boston Red Sox, a major league baseball team.
Professor Porter currently serves on the boards of directors of two public companies, Parametric Technology Corporation and Thermo Electron Corporation. He has also advised community organizations on strategy, including the Institute of Contemporary Art, WGBH public television, and others.
Professor Porter is also a counselor to government. He plays an active role in U.S. economic policy with the Executive Branch, Congress, and international organizations. He chairs the selection committee for the annual Corporate Stewardship Award given by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Professor Porter is a member of the Executive Committee of the Council on Competitiveness, a private-sector organization made up of chief executive officers of major corporations, unions, and universities, and has provided intellectual leadership for a number of the Council's major programs.
Professor Porter has also advised national leaders in numerous countries. He has personally led major studies of economic strategy for the governments of such countries as Canada, Kazakhstan, India, New Zealand, Portugal, Thailand and most recently Libya. He has advised national leaders on economic policy in dozens of countries including Armenia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom, and his ideas have inspired national competitiveness initiatives in Ireland, Finland, Norway and elsewhere. His thinking about economic development for groups of neighboring countries has led to a long-term initiative within Central America, including the formation of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS), a permanent institution based in Costa Rica.
Professor Porter has also assisted many state and local governments in enhancing competitiveness. His work has inspired competitiveness initiatives in regions such as the Basque Country, Catalonia, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. In his home state of Massachusetts, Professor Porter's work led to a new economic strategy, beginning with the report The Competitive Advantage of Massachusetts (1991). This effort resulted in new legislation, numerous state initiatives, and the creation of Governor William F. Weld's Council on Economic Growth and Technology, which Professor Porter chaired.
Professor Porter has also served as an advisor to the state of Connecticut since the mid-1990s in creating a new economic plan. In addition, Professor Porter has advised Governors and private-sector leaders on economic policy in states and regions such as Mississippi, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio.


Honors and Recognition
The awards and honors won by Professor Porter include Harvard's David A. Wells Prize in Economics for his research in industrial organization. He received the Graham and Dodd Award of the Financial Analysts Federation in 1980. His book Competitive Advantage won the George R. Terry Book Award of the Academy of Management in 1985 as the outstanding contribution to management thought. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Management in 1988 and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences in 1991. In 1991, he received the Charles Coolidge Parlin Award for outstanding contribution to the field of marketing and strategy given by the American Marketing Association. Professor Porter was honored by the Massachusetts State Legislature for his work on Massachusetts competitiveness in 1991. In 1993, Professor Porter was named the Richard D. Irwin Outstanding Educator in Business Policy and Strategy by the Academy of Management. He was the 1997 recipient of the Adam Smith Award of the National Association of Business Economists, given in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the business economics profession. A Fellow of the International Academy of Management since 1985, he received that group's first-ever Distinguished Award for Contribution to the Field of Management in 1998. In 2001, the annual Porter Prize, akin to the Deming Prize, was established in Japan in his name to recognize that nation's leading companies in terms of strategy. The Academy of Management recognized Professor Porter with its highest award, for scholarly contributions to management in 2003. In 2005, Professor Porter was honored by the South Carolina legislature for his efforts in assisting and promoting economic development and competitiveness in that state. In 2005, Professor Porter became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was awarded the John Kenneth Galbraith Medal (presented by the American Agricultural Economics Association. He was also honored as the recipient of the 2005 Distinguished Contributor to Case Research and Teaching by the North American Case Research Association.
Professor Porter has received five McKinsey Awards for the best Harvard Business Review article of the year, including an unprecedented three first-place awards.
Professor Porter has been awarded honorary doctorates by the Stockholm School of Economics; Erasmus University, the Netherlands; HEC (Hautes Ecoles Commerciales), France; Universidada Tecnica de Lisboa, Portugal; Adolfo Ibanez University, Chile; INCAE, Central America; Johnson and Wales University; and Mt. Ida College.
Professor Porter has also been awarded national honors including the Creu de St. Jordi (Cross of St. George) from Catalonia (Spain) and the Jose Dolores Estrada Order of Merit, the highest civilian honor awarded by the Government of Nicaragua.



Books
Porter, Michael E., and Elizabeth O. Teisberg. Redefining Health Care: Creating Value-Based Competition on Results. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2006.
Porter, Michael E., Hirotaka Takeuchi, and M. Sakakibara. Can Japan Compete? Tokyo: Diamond Publishing, 2000. (English ed., Basingstoke: MacMillan, 2000; New York: Basic Books, 2000.)
Porter, M. E. On Competition. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1998.
Porter, M. E., and The Monitor Company. Canada at the Crossroads: The Reality of a New Competitive Environment. Ottawa: Business Council on National Issues and Minister of Supply and Services, 1992.
Porter, Michael E., Orjan Solvell, and I. Zander. Advantage Sweden. Stockholm: Norstedts Forlag AB, 1991. (Second ed., Stockholm: Norstedts Juridik, 1993.)
Porter, M. E., S. Borner, R. Weder, and M. J. Enright. Internationale Wettbewerbsvorteile: Ein Strategisches Konzept fur die Schweiz (International Competitive Advantage: A New Strategic Concept for Switzerland). Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag, 1991.
Porter, M. E., G. T. Crocombe, and M. J. Enright. Upgrading New Zealand's Competitive Advantage. Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Montgomery, C. A., and M. E. Porter, eds. Strategy: Seeking and Securing Competitive Advantage. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 1991.
Porter, M. E. The Competitive Advantage of Nations. New York: Free Press, 1990. (Republished with a new introduction, 1998.)
Porter, Michael E., ed. Competition in Global Industries. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1986.
Andrews, K., J. Bower, C. R. Christensen, R. Hamermesh, and M. E. Porter. Business Policy: Text and Cases. 6th ed. Homewood, Ill.: Richard D. Irwin Inc., 1986.
Porter, M. E. The Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. N.Y.: Free Press, 1985. (Republished with a new introduction, 1998.)
Porter, M. E. Cases in Competitive Strategy. N.Y.: Free Press, 1982.
Porter, M. E. Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors. New York: Free Press, 1980. (Republished with a new introduction, 1998.)
Caves, R. E., M. E. Porter, and A. M. Spence. Competition in an Open Economy: A Model Applied to Canada. Vol. 150, Harvard Economic Studies. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1980.
Caves, R. E., M. E. Porter, A. M. Spence, and J. T. Scott. Studies in Canadian Industrial Organization. Toronto: Canadian Commission on Corporate Concentration, 1977.
Porter, M. E. Interbrand Choice, Strategy and Bilateral Market Power. Vol. 146, Harvard Economic Studies. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976.
 

bhavin_3

Par 100 posts (V.I.P)
Aha a complete Leaders Space..

Here u can put in some of ur biz related idols nd why is it so in da sense dey accomplishments..

Its pretty much taught in mngmt that great leaders do the same things jst they do it different.. A different approach towards tackling the problem or scanning biz environment.. So here u can post different leaders and what are the qualities which separate them....!! :tea:
 

vengabeats

Par 100 posts (V.I.P)
Peter Drucker

Peter Ferdinand Drucker (November 19, 1909November 11, 2005) was an Austrian author of numerous economics-related literature. The son of a high level civil servant in the Hapsburg empire, Drucker was born in a suburb of Vienna in a small village named Kaasgraben. Following the defeat of the Austria-Hungary in World War I, there were few oppurtunities for employment in Vienna so he went to Germany after finishing school, first working in banking and then in journalism. He also earned a doctorate in International Law while he was there. The rise of Nazism forced him to leave Germany in 1933 and after four years in London he moved for good to the United States in 1937, where he became a professor as well as a freelance writer. In 1943, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He taught at New York University as Professor of Management from 1950 to 1971. From 1971 to his death he was the Clarke Professor of Social Science and Management at Claremont Graduate University.
His career as a business thinker took off in the 1940s, when his initial writings on politics and society won him access to the internal workings of General Motors, which was one of the largest companies in the world at that time. His experiences in Europe had left him fascinated with the problem of authority. He shared his fascination with Donaldson Brown, the mastermind behind the administrative controls at GM. Brown invited him in to conduct what might be called a political audit. The resulting "Concept of the Corporation" popularized GM's multidivisional structure and led to numerous articles, consulting engagements, and additional books.
Drucker was interested in the growing importance of people who worked with their minds rather than their hands. He was intrigued by employees who know more about certain subjects than their bosses or colleagues and yet had to cooperate with others in a large organization. Rather than simply glorify the phenomenon as the epitome of human progress, Drucker analyzed it and explained how it challenged the common thinking about how organizations should be run.
His approach worked well in the increasingly mature business world of the second half of the twentieth century. By that time, large corporations had developed the basic manufacturing efficiencies and managerial hierarchies of mass production. Executives thought they knew how to run companies, and Drucker took it upon himself to poke holes in their beliefs, lest organizations become stale. But he did so in a sympathetic way. He assumed that his readers were intelligent, rational, hardworking people of goodwill. If their Organizations struggled, he believed it was usually because of outdated ideas, a narrow conception of problem, or internal misunderstandings.
Drucker is the author of thirty-one books, which have been translated into more than twenty languages. Two of his books are novels, one an autobiography. He is the co-author of a book on Japanese painting, and has made four series of educational films on management topics. His first book was written in 1939, and from 1975 to 1995 was an editorial columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and was a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review. He continued to act as a consultant to businesses and non-profit organizations when he was in his nineties. Drucker died November 11, 2005 in Claremont, California of natural causes. He was 95.
Contents



Basic ideas

Several ideas run through most of Drucker's writings:
  • A profound skepticism about macroeconomic theory. Drucker contended that economists of all schools fail to explain significant aspects of modern economies.
  • A desire to make everything as simple as possible. According to Drucker, corporations tend to produce too many products, to hire employees they don't need (the better solution is contracting out), and to expand into economic sectors that they should stay out of.
  • A belief in what he called "the sickness of government." Drucker made ostensibly non-ideological claims that government is unable or unwilling to provide new services that people need or want - though he seemed to believe that this condition is not inherent to democracy. Even successful programs, such as US Social Security, long ago ceased to be interesting to an increasingly alienated citizenry.
  • The need for "planned abandonment." Corporations as well as governments have a natural human tendency to cling to "yesterday's successes" rather than seeing when they are no longer useful.
  • The lasting contribution of the "father of scientific management", Frederick Winslow Taylor. Although Drucker had little experience with the analysis of blue-collar work (he spent his career analyzing managerial work), he credited Taylor with originating the seminally important idea that work can be broken down, analyzed, and improved.
  • The need for community. Early in his career, Drucker predicted the "end of economic man" and advocated the creation of a "plant community" where individuals' social needs could be met. He later admitted that the plant community never materialized, and by the 1980s, suggested that volunteering in the non-profit sector might be the key to community.
  • He wrote extensively about Management by objectives
  • Companies have three responsibilities: 1) make a profit, 2) satisfy employees, and 3) be socially responsible.
Awards and Critique

Drucker was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President George W. Bush on July 9, 2002. He was the Honorary Chairman of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, now the Leader to Leader Institute, from 1990 through 2002. His most controversial work was on compensation schemes, in which he said that senior management should not be compensated more than twenty times the lowest paid employees. This attracted criticism from some of the same people who had previously praised him.


List of publications
  • The End of Economic Man: The Origins of Totalitarianism (1939)
  • The Future of Industrial Man (1942)
  • Concept of the Corporation (1945) (A study of General Motors)
  • The New Society (1950)
  • The Practice of Management (1954)
  • America's Next 20 Years (1957)
  • Landmarks of Tomorrow: A Report on the New 'Post-Modern' World (1959)
  • Power and Democracy in America (1961)
  • Managing for Results: Economic Tasks and Risk-Taking Decisions (1964)
  • The Effective Executive (1966)
  • The Age of Discontinuity (1968)
  • Technology, Management and Society (1970)
  • Men, Ideas and Politics (1971)
  • Management: Tasks, Responsibilities and Practices (1973)
  • The Unseen Revolution: How the Pension Fund Came to America (1976)
  • An Introductory View of Management (1977)
  • Adventures of a Bystander (1979) (Autobiography)
  • Song of the Brush: Japanese Painting from the Sanso Collection (1979)
  • Managing in Turbulent Times (1980)
  • Toward the Next Economics and Other Essays (1981)
  • The Changing World of the Executive (1982)
  • The Temptation to Do Good (1984)
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles (1985)
  • The Frontiers of Management (1986)
  • The New Realities (1989)
  • Managing the Non-Profit Organization: Practices and Principles (1990)
  • Managing for the Future: The 1990s and Beyond (1992)
  • The Post-Capitalist Society (1993)
  • The Ecological Vision: Reflections on the American Condition (1993)
  • The Theory of the Business (1994)
  • Managing in a Time of Great Change (1995)
  • Drucker on Asia: A Dialogue Between Peter Drucker and Isao Nakauchi (1997)
  • Peter Drucker on the Profession of Management (1998)
  • Management Challenges for the 21st Century (1999)
  • Managing Oneself (1999)
  • The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (2001)
  • Leading in a Time of Change: What it Will Take to Lead Tomorrow (2001; with Peter Senge)
  • The Effective Executive Revised (2002)
  • Managing in the Next Society (2002)
  • A Functioning Society (2003)
  • The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done (2004)
  • The Effective Executive in Action (2005)
 
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nick18_in

MP Guru
Leaders Space: Bill Gates:- Inside Out

Bill Gates:- Inside Out
Introduction
It amazes me how far we've come.

The story of Microsoft really began in December 1974, when my friend Paul Allen and I saw an article in Popular Electronics describing a new "personal computer" called the MITS Altair 8800. The Altair was very different from the mainframe computers that we were used to back then. It was a build-it-yourself kit for hobbyists--what arrived in the mail wasn't a fully assembled computer, just some bags of parts and a set of photocopied instructions. After a few days (or weeks) of soldering, you ended up with a computer roughly the size of a bread box, with rows of switches and blinking lights.

It wasn't much to look at, and it was pretty much impossible to make it do anything useful, but right away we thought the Altair was the start of a revolution that would change the world. The "brain" of the Altair--the inexpensive Intel 8080 microprocessor--made possible a truly human-scale computer that could fit on a desk. In those days, when computers usually lived in air-conditioned glass rooms surrounded by trained technicians, that was an amazing achievement.

To transform that achievement into a breakthrough, the Altair needed software that could make it perform useful computing tasks. That set Paul and me on the path to forming our own software company.

We knew that microprocessors would become more powerful and less expensive, so the cost of computers would come down. We figured that would bring them within reach of far more people, from entrepreneurs to students to home users. And we concluded that this would create a huge demand for software. We formed a little partnership called Micro-Soft so we could be a part of this transformation.

Over the years, the PC has grown from a hobbyist's toy into an indispensable tool that continues to change the world. It's revolutionized how we deal with information, how we communicate, and how we work, learn, and play. And the little company Paul and I dreamed up sitting around my college dorm room is now the world's biggest software company, employing almost 40,000 people in more than 50 countries. From our roots in programming languages and operating systems, we've ventured into just about every kind of software you can imagine, from industrial-strength servers to games.

We started with a vision of "a computer on every desk and in every home." This book tells the story of how we turned that vision--which many critics saw as nothing but a fantasy--into reality. Hundreds of current and former Microsoft employees were interviewed about our first 25 years--the successes and failures, the personal and professional challenges, and their dreams for the future.

Those stories--which could fill ten books--chronicle our growth from scrappy start-up to industry leader. They tell of the risks we've taken, the intense competition we've weathered, and the new trails we've blazed. They explain the complex process that takes us from good ideas to great products. They reveal what we're thinking about how technology can improve society and change the world. And they offer insight into the principles and values that make our company tick.

We don't often look back at what we've accomplished, but now seems like a good time to do so. Not only is nostalgia fun, but it's important to be reminded from time to time that anything is possible. In 25 years, we've accomplished so many things that people said were impossible, and we've shattered every myth about what the PC can't do. As ambitious as we were at the outset, we had no idea that we'd become such a large and influential company, or that we'd lead an industry that's come to play such an important role in the global economy.

Looking back at what we've achieved in 25 years, I feel certain that we'll have even more impressive things to remember in our 50th year. Every day, we're finding new ways for technology to enhance and enrich people's lives. We're really just getting started.
Think it, Build it, Bit by Bit
What does it take to create revolutionary software? Does it mean being first to come up with a new idea, or being first to turn that idea into a product? Does it mean carrying out pioneering research, or making incremental improvements to what's already there until you get it right? Does it mean becoming a giant, or standing on the shoulders of giants? Usually, the answer is a bit of each. Most software blends innovation, inspiration, and incremental improvement in equal measure.

Whatever the blend, great ideas alone don't guarantee success--you have to create an environment where those ideas can be transformed into products and services that are easy to use, a great value, and widely available. You also have to make big, do-or-die bets on the future, committing to technologies and strategies that may not pay off for years. It's easy to spend so much time thinking about today's markets and competitors that you're not ready for those you'll encounter tomorrow. That's why I schedule "think weeks" several times a year--so I can spend time reading up on trends that are just beyond the horizon.

Second-guessing the future isn't easy. Back in 1975, everyone thought the personal computer industry would look very much like the entire computer industry did at the time--you'd buy your software from the company that built your computer. Few people even thought there would be a distinct "software industry." Paul and I disagreed. We believed that computing power would be cheap, that there would be computers everywhere made by lots of different companies, and that software would be needed to take advantage of these trends. So we decided to write and supply software for personal computers without getting involved in making or selling the hardware itself.

Our first product was Microsoft BASIC. The BASIC language was already used on larger computers, but we knew it would also be ideal for the PC--it was simple and easy to learn, yet powerful enough to create complex programs that made the computer do useful things. Once we created a version of BASIC that fit into the limited memory of early PCs, we started extending it--adding new commands to take advantage of the richness of the machine. Today, Visual Basic is the most widely used programming language in the world, and it's just amazing what people have been able to do with it. Over the years, BASIC in all its forms has been the key to much of our success.

Our belief in the potential of the PC also led us to a different licensing approach. Instead of licensing our software to a single hardware vendor at a high price, we licensed software at extremely low prices to all computer makers because we were betting on volume. At the time, most other companies charged high prices, assuming that they would sell very few copies of their products. In addition, when we developed our MS-DOS PC operating system, we worked closely with all the PC makers to ensure that every feature they wanted was incorporated as quickly as possible. We didn't want to lose a single customer.

Developer support for MS-DOS was crucial to bringing the PC into the mainstream. Early on, young PC companies like Compaq understood the need to make computers that were compatible with each other and gave users a familiar and consistent experience. Because MS-DOS helped hide the differences between computers, it rapidly became the most popular operating system for PCs. Software developers who were building applications to run on it knew that their products would run on millions of computers. It started a positive feedback loop: as more and more applications became available for the PC, more and more users had a reason to buy one--and then even more software developers wanted to write applications for PCs. That's what made the PC such a runaway success.

As the PC became powerful enough to handle rich graphics, we saw another opportunity to move computing forward: the graphical user interface. The GUI had been around since the mid-seventies, and some companies had already started building GUI-based computers, but we saw that our experience in building platforms and nurturing standards would be useful in popularizing the GUI--so we bet the company on Windows. At first, people thought we were crazy--after all, why would anyone switch to Windows when everyone had just gotten used to MS-DOS?

But after several years of hard work to improve Windows, we started seeing a repeat of what happened with MS-DOS. Windows made the PC easier to use, which led more people to use it. That, combined with Visual Basic, which made it easy to write software for Windows, encouraged developers to create lots of Windows-based applications. And just as we evolved BASIC over the years, we made each new version of Windows better and better--we greatly improved its performance and multitasking support, and we continuously added new elements to the GUI. This endless evolution--of ideas building on ideas--is what has always set Microsoft apart.

With Microsoft Office, we changed the way people think about business computing by looking at productivity as a whole and developing tools that bring together the many different tasks you do every day. While most software companies were still focusing on stand-alone applications, we realized that most people wanted to be able to share text, data, and graphics across applications. They also wanted those applications to work together seamlessly and have a common look and feel. Office created a whole new product category that met those needs.

At other times, we've bet on totally new concepts. Obviously, one of our biggest bets has been on the Internet. But there have been many others. With Windows NT, we made a huge long-term bet that PCs would become powerful enough to be the backbone of enterprise computing. With our ClearType font technology, we bet that most people would one day read eBooks. And with Microsoft Bob, we bet on a social interface that "humanized" the PC. It was a little ahead of its time, and PCs weren't yet powerful enough to handle what we wanted Bob to do, so the product was a commercial failure. But we learned a huge amount from the experience, and some of the ideas we pioneered with Bob are already appearing in other products.

We're lucky enough to live in an age where the potential of computer technology to change our lives still appears limitless. The combined power of the PC, the Internet, and wireless and broadband technologies is revolutionizing the way we work, learn, and play. We're betting on this revolution with Microsoft .NET, which we hope will do for the next generation of computing what MS-DOS and Windows did for the PC--change our lives through software that's inexpensive, widely available, and easy to use.

Although I sometimes get a little apprehensive when we take big risks like this, I wouldn't do it any other way. I've always enjoyed building new things and coming up with creative solutions to hard problems, so I look forward to the challenge of creating the software that will shape computing in the next 25 years. I'm confident we'll succeed--we've got the people and the skills to make it happen, and we're just as passionate about technology as we were back in 1975.
From Inspiration to Market
In the early days of Microsoft, it often seemed like I was responsible for almost everything. I was managing the payroll, calculating the taxes, drafting the contracts, and figuring out how to sell our products. Everybody else in our tiny company was a programmer, and I did a lot of that, too. In fact, we all wrote an immense amount of code. It was our life--we'd wake up, write code, maybe catch a movie, grab some pizza, write more code, and then fall asleep in our chairs.

We were hard-core about writing code and selling software, and we didn't have much time to do anything else. This worked just fine for us, because our customers were hard-core computer enthusiasts who weren't bothered by a small feature set, a limited manual, or an advanced user interface. That was the way PC software was back then. Some companies shipped their software in plastic bags, with a one-page photocopied manual and a phone number that you could dial for "technical support." At Microsoft, when a customer called us to order some software, whoever answered the phone was the "shipping department." They'd run to the back of the office, copy a disk, put it in the mail, and then go back to their desk and write more code.

As our customers became more sophisticated, we became very focused about making quality software, which is more than just quality code. Creating software has become an incredibly complex process. I'll always view good software as a work of art, but in many ways creating our products is a science, from beginning to end. To make today's software really sing, you need people with a wide range of specialized skills. Of course, you still need good programmers, but you also need just as many people to test and support the software that the programmers create. You need product planners and architects, documentation writers, usability specialists, and smart managers who help them all work well together. You need technicians to answer customers' questions, and you need consultants who help customers be more successful with your products. And none of these areas is a luxury that only larger companies provide. Every software company must address each of these areas.

As our company grew, we had to learn these lessons for ourselves. In the beginning, I had some reservations about hiring people who couldn't write code--we were a software company made up of really great programmers, and I thought we should stay focused on that. I also thought we didn't really have to manage our programmers in a traditional way because the quality of their work was in the source code--you managed them by reviewing the code. But I came to realize that we needed smart non-technical guys like Steve Ballmer to work with our developers to turn our software into successful products. In fact, bringing Steve to Microsoft was one of the best decisions I ever made.

These days, we hire all kinds of smart people, most of whom don't write code. They talk with customers, learn what the marketplace wants today and will want tomorrow, and make sure that those needs are communicated to developers. They localize our software into dozens of languages. They design user interfaces that make it easy for our customers to be productive with our software. They work closely with businesses to make sure our software does what they need it to do. They help corporate IT managers deploy massive computer networks, and they help grandparents send their first e-mail to their grandchildren. And they explore cutting-edge technologies that will enable our company to be a future leader.
When we started Microsoft, we always thought we'd remain a relatively small company. Even though we had dreams of putting "a computer on every desk and in every home," we didn't fully appreciate how much software people would really need. When I drive onto our campus or go to a company meeting, sometimes I'm just amazed at how our company has evolved over the years.
But although we've grown from a room full of programmers to a 38,000-strong corporation, the typical "Microsoftie" isn't much different from how we were back in 1975. They still work hard, order pizza, drink Cokes, and play practical jokes on each other. Whether they're writing code or not, everyone here is still passionate about technology and focused on building great products and services for our customers.

The enthusiasm and focus I see all around our company is what keeps me coming into work every day.
What it Takes
From the very beginning--and much to our surprise--Microsoft was pretty successful. In large part, that was because we lived and breathed software, stopping only to eat and catch a few hours of sleep here and there. We were totally hard-core about succeeding right out of the gate. But we also made what turned out to be some good business decisions, like focusing our early efforts on the Intel 8080 chip and licensing MS-DOS to IBM--although in those early days, they looked like anything but sure bets.

Sometimes, we bit off more than we could chew, promising more to our customers than anyone could realistically deliver, but we'd make up for it by staying up even later, working even harder, and challenging ourselves to beat every impossible deadline. And sometimes we came pretty close--when Intel first licensed software from us, they didn't believe us when we said we could get it written in 5 or 6 days. They thought it would take several months. As it turned out, it took us about 10 days to do it--and that was because it took us 5 days to set up their computers.

It was always a thrill for us to surprise our customers like that. We've thrived on doing things people thought were impossible. Throughout our history, we've exploded myth after myth about personal computers. In the beginning, few people thought the PC would become a mainstream success, but we got a kick out of making that happen. People thought you couldn't make high-quality software for the PC, back it up with real technical support, and make it available to millions of people at low cost. But we did. Today, some people think that PC technology isn't powerful or robust enough to run high-end servers or handle mission-critical business processes. We're driven to prove them wrong.

In the early days, we were just a bunch of programmers in a small company with some big ideas, and our offices were more like a college campus than a typical firm. We kept things informal and avoided hierarchy where it didn't make sense--anyone could walk into my office if they had a question or concern, an idea for a new product, or thoughts about what our competitors were doing. We didn't care how programmers dressed or how well they could run a meeting. All we cared about was making great software. We felt that our excellence was in our products--everything else was secondary.

We knew that as our company grew, we'd need to preserve much of the freedom we had when we were small. With nearly 40,000 employees, you obviously can't be as informal as when you have 10, and it's physically impossible for me to meet with every single person on campus. But we've hung on to the same spirit we had back then, and I think that's a key to our success.

We still behave like a small company in countless ways. We do everything we can to stay lean, using our resources wisely and avoiding wasteful, unnecessary expenses like first-class airline seats and expensive hotels. And we still have an open-door policy where people can talk candidly to their managers about what's happening on their team, in the company, or in the industry.

But the most important thing we haven't changed is this: we hire smart people. There's no substitute for that, and it's not as easy as it sounds--some people perform great when you interview them but turn out to be much less impressive when you work with them day to day. Others totally flunk the interviews, but you just know they're going to be big contributors. Often, it all comes down to your gut feeling.

We really dedicate ourselves to finding the right people. We ask our employees to be involved in interviews throughout the year--not just for openings on their team, but for positions anywhere in the company. I didn't realize that this was unusual until we hired Mike Maples from IBM. We asked a few of the more senior people from several teams to interview him--people who would be working for him. That seemed very odd to him, but to us it was just normal practice. A hire is so important you have to be sure they have what it takes, and that they'll work well in our environment.

Once you have the best of the best, I think it's really important to put trust in them. From the beginning, I've relied on others to apply their thinking and expertise to support my own, and in many cases they've filled in where I've felt my own knowledge has been lacking. We put people in small teams, empower them to shape the direction of our products, and offer them the technology and resources they need to get the job done. We give them the opportunity to succeed but also the latitude to fail--as long as we learn something from their mistakes. And, of course, we give them the opportunity to share in the success they help create.

But all the smart people in the world still won't do any good if they're in a company that's bureaucratic, impersonal, and resistant to change. Companies fail for lots of reasons--sometimes they're poorly managed, sometimes they simply don't make the products customers want. But I think the biggest company-killer of all, especially in fast-moving industries like ours, is the reluctance to adapt to change. Change is unavoidable--technology will always evolve, markets will always change, and people will always want more from products.

The history of business is littered with companies that got too set in their ways and were so comfortable with success that they didn't realize the world was going to change, with or without them. So above all else, I've valued Microsoft's ability to turn on a dime--to grasp new industry directions and reinvent itself to stay successful as technology evolves. The industry today still reminds me of how it was in Microsoft's early years. By the early 1980s, the personal computer had seized the public consciousness and technology was advancing at an incredible rate. At times, it seemed as if significant new companies were appearing almost every day. Plenty of great products--and some crazy ones--emerged during that time. But many of the companies founded during that era--including a few one-time industry leaders--no longer exist.

Today, the Internet is inspiring the same fervor. Competition is more intense than it's ever been. And since we're a much larger company than we used to be, the stakes are much higher. If we make the right decisions, the positive impact on our world, not to mention ourselves, will be tremendous. But if we make the wrong decisions, everything we've built over the last 25 years could be history.
I believe we have what it takes to succeed. We've always stayed on our toes, watching out for the new trend or competitor that could put us out of business, and we've always loved to solve tough problems and overcome big challenges. So I'm not only confident that we'll succeed in the coming years, but I'm excited about the smart thinking and hard work we'll have to do to make it happen.
We're All Swimming in the Same Pool
It's always been hard to predict how rapidly or dramatically a new technology will reshape the world. Johannes Gutenberg invented an economical way to produce movable type in the 15th century, but more than a hundred years passed before his invention had a major impact on the way information was transmitted--and hundreds more went by before print really changed the world. Yet, less than 50 years after the Wright brothers achieved powered human flight in 1903, we saw air travel transform the way we think about time and distance.
The past century has been filled with inventions that have revolutionized how we live, learn, and work--everything from the vacuum tube and transistor to the VCR and PC. And with each new technology, the economic, political and social effects are felt faster than ever before. In fact, change is now so rapid and far-reaching that I often wonder how a person from the mid-1800s would make sense of today's world.
When we started Microsoft, the idea that you would communicate, do business, and access a wealth of knowledge through a network of computers was far-fetched. Yet the PC and the Internet have done all that, and much more. They've transformed our lives in record time--and it's not over yet. In the coming years, a combination of amazing software, faster processors, the Internet and wireless technology will bring the power of the PC to just about any device you can imagine--and some that you can't. Vast amounts of information, rich communication and powerful software will be easy to access wherever you are, and advanced new user interfaces will allow you to interact with that technology in more natural ways, such as through speech or even gestures.
These developments will change and improve our lives in countless ways. They will enable equal access to information and instantaneous communication with anyone in the world. They will open up vast markets and opportunities to businesses of any size. They will transcend national borders, making possible a frictionless global economy. They will allow workers to be even more efficient and productive, and will have the potential to make jobs more stimulating and fulfilling. They will give developing nations the ability to leapfrog the industrial era and move straight into the information age. They will help people and businesses in countries with large, dispersed populations to stay in touch, and help the smallest nations participate as equals in the global economy.
We've already seen how the PC can make a positive impact on people's lives through education. When I was in high school, computers weren't much of a learning tool for anyone except my friends and me--and we were simply addicted to them. But all you could do back then was write programs. Today, powerful hardware and software open the doors to a whole world of knowledge, and give people the power to use computers creatively. A few years ago, I visited several schools throughout the United States where we were funding technology programs, and while I was amazed at what some of the kids were doing with a lab filled with PCs, I realized that we would really start to see the potential for computers in education once every child had a computer to explore on his or her own, at school or at home.
Satirist Ambrose Bierce described the future as "that period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true, and our happiness is assured." I hope that turns out to be true, but mostly I take a more realistic view of the future because no fundamental change comes without its own set of problems. As more and more people store personal information on the Internet, how will we ensure that information is kept secure? As our economy becomes more dependent on bits than on atoms, how will we protect these resources from being damaged or devalued by hackers? As the barriers to information come down, how will we protect our children from negative and predatory influences? And as the Internet dissolves national borders, how will we help indigenous cultures coexist with an increasingly homogenous global culture?
I want my children to grow up in a world where technology is a profoundly empowering tool. I want technology to enrich their learning and improve their quality of life. I'm totally committed to making this happen, both through Microsoft and through my own giving efforts, and in many ways it's more challenging than the hardest software problem. You can't just throw technology, or even money, at problems and make them go away--you have to think hard about how you can have the greatest and most beneficial effect, and then take a long-term approach to making substantial, tangible change.
It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day challenges of our jobs, but it's important to occasionally step back and consider how our technology is being put to good use in the world at large. I always feel inspired when I hear about projects we're involved in around the world that have made a positive difference. I think it's great that we're applying the same dedication and focus that we put into our software toward making a positive difference--as an industry, as a company, and as individuals.
Where to Next?
More than half a century has passed since John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry built the first digital computer. We've seen computers evolve from giant, air-conditioned beasts with their own staff of caretakers, to breadbox-sized models that fit on a desk, to handheld devices with more computing power than top-of-the-line PCs had less than 10 years ago. And we've only seen a hint of their potential.
Back in 1975, Paul and I dreamed that computers would be ubiquitous and indispensable. We imagined that handheld computers would take notes and handle all our personal errands, that massive computer networks would put all the world's knowledge at our fingertips, and that we would be able to interact with our computers just as easily as we could with each other.
At the time these were only dreams, but many have already come true, and we're on the verge of even greater breakthroughs. Every year, computers are becoming smaller, faster, cheaper, and more versatile. They can recognize handwriting and voice commands, organize themselves into networks, and send information around the world in an instant. The power of the PC can now be embedded into all kinds of devices, from refrigerators to gas pumps to credit cards.
Smart homes embedded with PC intelligence will keep our families secure and eliminate many of the chores that get in the way of daily life. Universal connectivity and eBooks will give kids instant access to the knowledge I had to plow through stacks of encyclopedias to find. Powerful mobile devices will free us from the desktop and allow us to compute wherever and whenever we want to. And as microchips get even smaller and more powerful, we'll have computing power all around us--perhaps even woven into our clothing. And behind all this technology will be great software that helps people be more creative, stay in touch with each other, and live more fulfilling lives.
Personally, I'd like to have a tablet-sized PC with a high-speed wireless connection to the Internet--a device that's large enough to display lots of useful information, yet small and light enough for me to carry around. For me, that would really eliminate a lot of the barriers to working with memos, documents, pictures, music and movies in digital form.
I was attracted to computers because of the rich programming you could do, and the vast amount of control you could have over the machine if you wanted to put in the effort. But all most people want is for computers to do work for them. Today, we're close to having the best of both worlds. I'm looking forward to software that's smart enough to manage my information and simplify my life, yet flexible enough that I can be really creative in the ways I use it. When I search online for information on a particular subject, such as biotechnology, my software should be smart enough to weed out what it knows I've already seen. And when I want to schedule an appointment with my doctor, my software should show me only the available times on days when I plan to be in town.
Breakthroughs in wireless technology will also create incredible opportunities. At Microsoft, we're moving to a wireless network that will allow me to take my PC or other smart devices from my office into my conference room or into other buildings without losing connectivity. The possibilities at home are also incredible. I'll be able to take video of my kids outside, and simultaneously have the digital stream saved on my PC and sent to my dad.
We're entering an amazing new era of computing that will be more exciting than anything we've seen before. We're assuming that high-speed Internet access will become as commonplace in the home as electrical power is today, and that ubiquitous wireless access will soon follow. We're assuming that microprocessors will continue to become smaller, cheaper and more powerful. We're assuming that the PC will be complemented by a wider range of devices and everyday appliances with PC-like intelligence, from pocket and tablet-sized PCs to smart cars, refrigerators, and even entire smart homes.
We're betting on these trends with a strategy we call Microsoft .NET--a new platform, user experience, and set of advanced software services that will make all these devices work together and connect seamlessly. So you'll be able to work with the information you need no matter where you are or what device you're using.
To make this happen, I took a new job as Microsoft's Chief Software Architect early in 2000. Now I spend most of my time doing what I think I'm best at--thinking about where technology is going, and figuring out how our software and services can turn those exciting developments into useful, indispensable tools for everyone. There's plenty of work to do: How can software help your devices communicate with each other, and configure and manage themselves? How can it help them see, listen and understand what you need? How can it help them give you exactly the information you want in an appropriate form? How can it protect your valuable data from theft or eavesdropping?
The technologies we're using to build Microsoft .NET are based on years of work that our researchers have put into anticipating future software needs. When we started Microsoft, I dreamed of creating our own research lab to explore new fields of computing, new user interfaces, advanced programming techniques, and even basic science that could take computing forward. I had always admired the work of research laboratories like General Electric's "House of Magic," the world's first great industrial research lab; Bell Laboratories; and Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), which originated many of the technologies that have transformed our lives.
We started Microsoft Research in 1991, and since then it's generated countless new technologies that have made our products more powerful and easier to use. Microsoft Research built code optimization and testing tools that have helped us make reliable, high-quality software. They provided the natural-language processing tools that put rich grammar-checking capabilities into Word. They developed ClearType, which triples the resolution of today's LCD screens, dramatically improving the on-screen reading experience and enabling the development of inexpensive, easy-to-read eBooks. They're working on natural interface technology that helps computers understand your voice, your gestures, and even the look on your face. And today, they're helping us develop and implement a lot of the technology that will make Microsoft .NET happen.
Thinking about the future is a full-time job at Microsoft Research, but the ideas that drive us forward come from all over the company. Some of these ideas will become the software we'll use tomorrow, while others might make it into software our grandchildren will use. When I think back to when Paul and I were just kids starting out, I'm amazed by the progress we've made. But then I look ahead to the world of my own children, and I realize that the changes yet to come will be even more exciting.
 
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