Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 14 – Attitude decides the Altitude

My dear young friends,

On 01-Aug-13, I was speaking at the Commencement Program of a new “Energy Management” batch. When you join a Management Institute you boost of your CAT percentile, specialization, work experience, computer skills, good scores in tests and interviews etc. These are not important indeed. What matters is what you have brought inside you? Hydrogen, Helium or Nitrogen & Oxygen combine?

Let me tell you a story to clarify what I am saying. A balloon seller was selling his colorful balloons- yellow, blue, red and green. Children getting attracted to these colors were rushing to him to buy balloons. After a while the crowd would disappear. For attracting them once again, the balloon seller would fill in a few balloons with Hydrogen and would release them in the sky which would go very high. Children would get fascinated once again and rush back.

Once a small kid came to him and started pulling his jacket gently. “What is the matter my child, do you want a balloon, don’t you have a coin to pay” he asked. The child said “No Sir, I wish to ask a question, may I?” He said “go ahead”. The child asked “If you release a black balloon next time, would it also go up the sky?” Melting at the innocence of the child, he said Oh my dear son “It is not the color of the balloon that matters, what is inside it matters. Similarly, it is not your dress, not the color of your skin, nor your qualification that matters. Barack Obama’s black skin could not stop him to become the President of United States for 2-terms. Bill Gates’ meagre qualification could not stop him to become the richest man and the largest donor in the world. It is the attitude inside that decides the altitude outside.

Marketing Gurus generally tell a story to the beginners that a marketing executive was posted to sell the shoes made by his company in a Tribal area where nobody was in the habit of wearing shoes. He did not find any shoe shop either. He immediately faxed to his Company that this was a wrong posting for him. He was called back and another executive was posted. After seeing the situation, he telephoned “Please send enough packs of shoes since there is a great opportunity to market the very concept of shoe-wearing and selling our shoes”.

Similarly after joining an institute, some of the students may take an impression that the Institute has a small library and some may take an impression that “Wow! this Institute has a huge electronic library, including access to EBSCO, Ace Equity, HBR online, Canvas etc. and the adjunct faculty is very strong-the real experts from Industry which makes this course really “Industry matched” and a series of CEOs/HoDs come and interact from the Industry and Policy making hub of the Government. For instance, the very next day Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Head of Planning Commission addressed our Global Energy MBA program. This is like Johns Hopkins in Washington, D.C. Infrastructure is not just the building but comprises also the software and the thought processes making rounds in it.

Mikhail Gorbachev once visited a construction site. He saw a small boy chiseling stones. He asked “ My dear boy what are you doing?” The young boy replied “Can’t you see, I am chiseling stones hurting in the process my fingers which are bleeding, can’t you see my sweat; I am struggling for my survival”. Gorbachev went to the other side of the same construction site and found another small boy doing the same. He asked him the same question. Quick came the reply “Can’t you see Sir, we are building a great Chruch where thousands of devotees would come for thousands of years and pray God” Same job different perception! After you join this course someone may ask “Why did you join this course? One may reply “I did not have much choice, so I am doing this course” while another may say “I am doing this course for a unique “value-add” that can make a difference in the Energy sector. And I am going to make it” Same course different perception!!

According to David Rosenfield, students can be classified in 4-categories 1)  Sponge which soaks every thing, can’t discriminate between good and bad. 2)   Funnel which   can’t  retain anything 3)   Filter which collects waste  4)  Thresher which collects essence and throws away waste. In order to create Threshers; we need to create a mindset of “discretion and prudence”, consciousness about the real purpose and value of the course and the art of selecting the “vital few from trivial many”. Learning is not simply listening to lectures, taking notes, memorizing the text and passing tests. One can complete Masters, with his laptop and his head top full of data, but little knowledge and wisdom in the absence of its application. You have to become a “Thresher” almost 18-hrs a day making life a school. Dr. Abdul Kalam, did not go to MIT, Harvard, or Stanford to get Best of Education, but he made Best out of Education. That should be your motto.

Two frogs accidently jumped into a bucket of cream one day. “We are in a mess” croaked one, after trying in vain to get out. “Keep on paddling” said the other. “It is no use” replied the first, adding “it was too thick to swim, too thin to jump over and too slippery to crawl. “We are going to die” he concluded and actually sank to the bottom and died. While the other one kept on paddling and paddling and paddling throughout night! By morning next he found himself resting on a lifesaving mass of floating butter, churned all by himself from within the same unfavorable fluid environment. “Winners never quit and Quitters never win”.

Having accidently or knowingly jumped into a course; one can’t say it is too thick to swim or too thin to jump over. He has to keep on paddling and paddling and paddling to churn the butter out !!!


1. Your inner attitude decides the altitude outside.

2. You can have two entirely different perceptions about a job, choose the positive one.

3. “Make best out of education” becoming a thresher.

4. Winners never quit and Quitters never win. Keep on paddling…….

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI Scholar, D.Engg.(Calif), FNAE
Hon.D.WRE (ranked amongst 30-most eminent scientists in the world)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI / REL), Ex-Director (REC)/ Executive Director (IREDA)

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)