Don\'t Sprint the Marathon


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Don\'t Sprint the Marathon

  1. 1. By S.Sekar Some Impressionistic takes from the book Dr. V. Raghunathan’s “ Don’t Sprint the Marathon” Don’t p
  2. 2. About the Author V.Raghunathan’s first career was an academic- as Professor of Finance at IIM- Ahmadabad for nearly two decades, until early 2001. His second – a corporate one- started in 2001, first y p , as President , ING Vysya Bank for four years and then with GMR Group- an infrastructure major. He is currently CEO, GMR Varalakshmi Foundation . Also since 1990 he has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Bocconi, Milan, j y , , lecturing on behavioral finance  Has published over 400 academic papers & popular articles & seven books  Author of the best seller ‘ Games Indian Play’ – why we are best-seller Play the way we are ( Penguin 2006)  Stock exchanges, Investments & Derivatives ( Tata McGraw Hill 2007 )  Writes a guest column in ET, Mint and Times of India Blog and is a busy public speaker  Has probably the largest private collection of old and ancient locks in the country , has been a cartoonist with a national y daily, and has played chess at all India-level
  3. 3. Prelude As proud and ambitious parents, we often push our children to their limits and to excel in ways that may help them achieve some early successes- b t may sap th i stamina t endure l but their t i to d the more difficult challenges of life. Our obsessive rush to get our children off to a good start overlooks the fact that in life, as in a marathon, an early lead hardly matters, but being too intent on the blind dash, we deprive our children a normal childhood and hence of many life-skills life skills. This book reinforces the above line of thinking and quotes several examples of average people who achieved extraordinary success because they were not sprinting the marathon! Happy Reading
  4. 4. If you are like most professionals in a hurry… You probably want:  to be the first one to get promoted,  to get that best rating at work year after year  that coveted posting p g  that next promotion And you do probably do not recall when you spent a whole day with your family last, or  when you last helped a less fortunate man on the street
  5. 5. And if you are like most parents… y p You expect no less & probably more from your child You are a prouder parent if your child were among the top performers in the class & outside it You tacitly expect your child to top at everything, crack that mathematic Olympiad, captain the school cricket and football team… May be you also drive your kid from school to tuitions to swimming classes to tennis lessons. Organize the kid s kid’s summer vacation meticulously, and Compare the kid favorably or unfavorably to other kids And hope the kid would also win the spelling bee, crack all the 3-letter national entrance tests and maybe also walk on water!
  6. 6. Is Lif I Life a R Race? ?  It needn’t be, it shouldn’t be and it isn’t  but if so why do most educated parents make their kids do what so, we listed in the last slide? Why do they Push them so hard, hoping to give them a good start? So maybe it is regarded by most as a race after all all… But if life is a race at all, it is a Marathon , not a Sprint…  Oprah Winfrey – famous talk-show host & also a Marathon finisher, maintains “ Running is the greatest metaphor for life “ Oprah was referring to the metaphor of running marathon & not the sprint!
  7. 7. Sprint vs. Marathon Sprint Marathon Involves a short run Marathon is a long haul It is a flat and a straight Stretch Involves twisting and turning tracks with ups and downs All about strength and energy It’s more about Stamina and mental strength End is always in sight End is hardly in sight for most part A good start is very important A good start hardly matters It’s largely about competing with others It’s more about competing with self Highly competitive Greater sense of camaraderie Only i i O l winning matters tt Completing th race successfully it lf i satisfying C l ti the f ll itself is ti f i
  8. 8. Which of the following child would you prefer?  A Child that has  A good grasp on subject  Has the ability to internalize knowledge and apply to life  But unable to reproduce or regurgitate the learning during examination, which may compromise the grade OR  A Child  That can pick up a subject superficially  Have an excellent short term memory & reproduce the lines in exams  Score the highest grade  Often  As parents ideally we may like the first option parents,  But end up promoting the latter option in our kids  Are we hung up on examination performance ?  Do we regiment our lives & also those of children?  Do we expect from Children, what we failed to achieve ourselves?
  9. 9. On Bringing up Children…  Shaping a Child’s personality  Parents have to be a marathon coach & not a sprint coach  We need to understand certain basic differences between long-term & short-term orientation in life  This will help us to shape our own life & Children’s attitude to life  Well begun may be half done – But that’s more so in a dash  True a long-distance runner cannot start the run with a True, long distance fractured or sprained ankle  However to run a marathon, an average start is good enough, unlike in a sprint  It’ th same with Child It’s the ith Children – t d well i lif an average to do ll in life, start in life that gives a child ample scope for an all-round growth is enough. Fancy schooling, far out performance, excellence in every field may feel good, but have little bearing on l long tterm performance, success and h f d happiness of an i f individual  Desire to excel  This is not right to say that a desire to excel is not a desirable trait to impart  Excellence should come more from the desire excel one’s own performance rather than from a do-or-perish kind of attitude
  10. 10. On a Successful life life…  What does success mean ?  Making as much money as possible?  About being as famous as possible?  About being as powerful as possible?  Thomas Wolfe – American novelist  “You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments or publicity! “  Money , fame or power are consequences of Success and not goals of success  Paris Hilton is famous  Do we want our daughters to adopt her as a role model ?  Can she be really called successful , even if she is well known ?  Can her lifestyle be a route to anyone’s happiness? y y pp  Is happiness key to success or success the key to happiness?
  11. 11. On Reading Reading… Reading provides for continuing education whether rich or poor , employed or unemployed , royalty or pauper Parents are the role model for children – if they do not see parents spending any time ever in a bookshop or library, reading books, it is less likely the kids will learn to make reading a habit. This also applies to professionals – smile and shoeshine may be useful , but without reading there is no learning
  12. 12. What can Parents do as marathon coaches?  Encourage children to read, and awaken in them a sense of curiosity, a desire to know, t l d i t k to learn & t fi d out to find t  Instill in them a love of learning, by encouraging them to learn  What they want to learn  When they want to learn  How they want to learn  At a pace that suits them best  Allow sufficient autonomy to the child for reading, as long as what the child reads is not unhealthy  Learning is something children do NOT something done to children do,  Provide an environment which is conducive for learning  Move the focus from teaching to learning
  13. 13. What Children like & What works on them them… Children • A a rule, prefer games, Pl As l f Play and hands-on tasks over studies • They mostly live in the present • They are curious about a wide range of thi f things Indirect influences are more likely to work on children Children aren’t afraid of working hard
  14. 14. Dislikes of Children to bear in mind while shaping them… p g  Children  Dislike excessive words  Are deeply fearful of examinations - because examinations evaluate them py  Have an inbuilt fear of failure  Pushing them hard for a better future goes against the grain of childhood, as children live in the present  Dislike concentrating on a narrow range of activities  Forcing them into regimented extra curricular activities goes against the grain of child hood and their sense of adventure  Excessive discipline stunts their imagination & mental growth g g  Putting children down severely for their failures rarely works in the desired direction
  15. 15. Some Great Marathoners
  16. 16. Dr.Kallam Anji Reddy- Dr. Reddy’s Labs Reddy Reddy s  A person who has put India’s Pharma industry on the Global map  Son of fairly well-to-do turmeric farmer from a village Tadepalli – A.P  He studied in a local school before moving on to a Junior collage in Guntur & an average village boy  He scored 59.16 % in the State board & then went to Andhra Christian college in the same town for B.Sc. In Chemistry.  Unsure of his performance dropped out to appear again in supplementary.  The only anxiety Dr.Reddy’s parents even showed was to move Anji to his Grand Ma’s place for his primary schooling j p p y g – due to the reason his father did not want the 8 year old child crossing the Krishna river every day .  Anji was fairly mischievous with whole lot of friends , often cutting school prayer t i d l tti h l to indulge i some prank with hi in k ith his friends
  17. 17. Dr.Kallam Anji Reddy- Dr. Reddy’s Labs Reddy Reddy s  Remarkable about him – Sharp memory and general reading  He had a wide circle of friends whom he was genuinely fond of & spent most of his time with them  He is not a sprinter by far shot  Hi l His love of l f languages came h d – combined hi l handy bi d his language skills & some “ smart working” helped him getting through the exams  With his PhD – Joined IDPL in 1969 – 6 years learning bulk drug manufacturing led him to explore drug making by himself  1976- Dr.Reddy founded his first company –Uniloids Ltd y p y  1980 set up the Standard Organics and the flagship of Dr. Reddy’s lab in 1984  Became the first Asian company every outside Japan – list on the NY stock exchange
  18. 18. Dr.Kallam Anji Reddy Dr. Reddy did not have a grand start in life Did not start th lif f t t t the life from city it He wasn’t a conventionally brilliant student Did not study in a fancy school , college or university First job was not with an MNC He did not job hop j p Concentrated on learning the ropes Enjoyed every act of reading Jogged along at a steady pace, took time to reflect & timed it well
  19. 19. G.M.Rao G.M.Rao- He who learnt from his failures  A person who all his life competed only with himself  Probably learnt much more from life than from school  Born in 1950 in Rajam – Srikakulum district of AP , third among the seven children  An average middle class family – Parents having small gold & trading b i di business  Clearly the boy had far from a grand starting point  Early schooling was in government school – a local Telugu medium institution  Fairly a bright & active boy, albeit somewhat naughty  Neither excelled in Telugu nor English  Th b The boy f il d hi SSLC exams & f th failed his father made hi d his peremptory declaration – “ No further studies”  At this crucial juncture in his life came a remarkable teacher – Damiri Venkata Rao – who motivated him to complete the SSLC  Worked hard and passed SSLC 422/500 – 84.4 %
  20. 20. G.M.Rao G.M.Rao- He who learnt from his failures  Rejected by Loyola college – Vijayawada, he went to a college in Bobbli for PUC  Worked hard & topped the college PUC with distinction  Obtained 12th rank in provisional selection for BE – Andhra University  Did well in academics & would help his friends in whatever way possible.  This popularity drove him to contest college elections to become Secretary  Through all this, one characteristics remained, a large circle of friends & he was a people’s person  Mastering the art of “ Making friends & influencing people  First failure as an adult – unable to bag the A.P g scooters agency for vizag  Second failure – buying out an oil mill – sales tax problems – leased out the mill & trucks  Interviewed by a ferro-alloy company for a job – he was rejected
  21. 21. G.M. Rao  To consolidate our findings  Not a spectacular start in life  The boy came from a rural background – educationally backward district  Family indifferent to academics  Went to an unknown school & experienced little discipline or control at home  No clarity on what he wants to do  Flip side  Fundamentally nice and responsible youngster  One who is very bright & strong sense of adventure  One who is not easily fazed by failure & one who is made by his failures  Sustained hard work ( is an act of faith) & people’s man ) p p  One who is never wanting in efforts  One who is not infallible , but is quick to get up & move on  GMR is still a learner & a man of detail  Never competed against others
  22. 22. Ela R.Bhatt- R.Bhatt  F From an enlightened middle- class f il i li ht d iddl l family in Surat.  Father –successful lawyer & Mother was active in women’s issue  Ela never topped her school or college  Might have been in the top of 10 percentile  Never unduly pushed in driving herself very hard  Overall value system was shaped by her highly principled father  As child she developed sense of fairness & highly sensitive to any form of exploitation of the underprivileged  After a brief career in Government she took Government, it upon herself to found SEWA
  23. 23. Ela R.Bhatt- SEWA R.Bhatt  Ela is the founder of SEWA ( Self employed women’s Association) has a membership of 6,87,000 6 87 000 women  The members are  Vegetable & garment vendors  In-home seamstresses  Head loaders & Construction workers  Bidi roller, Paper pickers, Incense stick makers  SEWA is the largest organization of its kind for poor working women in the sub-continent  Ela became a founder member of “ The Elders” – along with the likes of Nelson Mandela & Bishop Desmond Tutu to tackle some of the most challenging problems in the globe
  24. 24. Ela R.Bhatt- The Power of Value R.Bhatt  Her life’s work would earn her a  Ramon Magsayaay award  Honorary doctorates from Harward & Yale  Padma Bhushan  Membership of the Planning commission  Rajya Sabha membership  These milestones are just happened as she ran the Marathon in pursuit of her mission  None of these marked the destination of Sprint
  25. 25. The Last word  Take a long-term view of life whether one is a child, a parent or a professional  S i t may t Sprint teach you h h how t b to buy; M th Marathon will t ill teach h you how to build  Sprint may motivate you to take ; Marathon will teach you how to give  Sprint may be about how to win; Marathon will probably also about how to lose  Sprint may be driven by desire to be ahead of others; p y y ; Marathon is about being ahead of oneself  Sprint may make you rich; Marathon will make you a person of substance  Achievement means different things to Sprinters vis-à- vis Marathoners  Achievement in sprint is about winning , where as in Marathon it may be more about completing the course itself
  26. 26. Hope you enjoyed this Thank You