PAN-IIT GLC 2015 Learnings

Book Recommendations:

Womens’ Day Sessions:

  • Management is not command-and-control as Indian upbringing tells you – it is about gaining influence, gaining credibility, recognizing the best ideas and having the ability to marshall people towards them.  (Paulette Altmaier)
  • Don’t need to know 100% of the role before stepping into it. Nobody has done the POTUS job before – they all step into it, some do a good job. (Anjali Joshi)
  • The biggest mistakes made (as admitted by panelists about their own career) was to not imagine a big enough future for themselves. (Paulette Altmaier).
  • Tipping point is 30% of a team being women – that’s when the culture changes for good. Google strives for this, one of the ways is to have 50% females in the intern batch and encourage the interns.

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Notes from ‘A Curious Mind: The secret to a bigger life’

  • The author, Brian Grazer, is a famous Hollywood producer, who held ‘curiosity conversations’ with famous politicians, techies, sports-people, Nobel Laureates over 35+ years to understand the world and viewpoints of someone very different from him.
  • He landed a job as a glorified courier delivery guy (“law clerk”) for Hollywood folks his law firm was doing business with. He took the opportunity to meet people he was delivering to (mostly celebrities) by claiming that the docs had to be handed “in person”. No one ever called his bluff!
  • Curiosity can help you use anger or frustration constructively. How?
  • Curiosity needs to be substantiated with two traits: (a) Pay attention to the answers to your questions (b) Willingness to act.
  • People – even famous and powerful people – are happy to talk, especially about themselves and their work. Second, it helps to have even a small pretext to talk to them.
  • The author managed to get himself a ‘corner office’ when a senior VP was fired right next to the 3 most important folks at Warner Bros. He observed John Calley – the president of Warner Bros, and figured that the “business part of show business was all about conversation.” He soon realized he could talk to anyone – not just the people he was delivering Warner Bros papers to! He used  a clear, concise message: I work for Warner Bros. I only need 5 mins, and I am not looking for a job. I want to meet you for <X> reason.
  • He had one rule for himself at age 23: “Meet one new person in the entertainment business everyday.”
  • Later on, he met people from CIA directors, Isaac Asimov, sports people to Senators Obama, Bush and McCain.
  • He NEVER met people with a movie in mind. His goal was to learn something. Though eventually some of the meetings resulted in movies. It helps to combine different perspectives: A chilean activist trapped and tortured by her government taught him about making Apollo 13 as much as astronaut Jim Lovell did. He had to portray the psychology of being trapped and crippled.

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