Reimagining Leadership in the Digital Era


“Clearly, the thing that’s transforming is not the technology — the technology is transforming you.” Jeanne W. Ross, MIT Sloan’s Center for Information Systems Research

Moolya Foundation is a non-profit organisation that aims to transform public affairs through digital leadership. The mission of Moolya Foundation is to expand the conversation surrounding public affairs and empower every citizen in the digital age.

Moolya Summer School 2021`— 6 weeks internship cum training program — aims to engage with budding policy enthusiasts and familiarise them with the principles of policy research and practical approaches to policymaking and analysis.

I was recently invited to deliver an online address on ‘Reimagining Leadership in the Digital era.’.

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines ‘Reimagining as ‘to form a new conception of, to recreate.  What is Leadership? A great definition is ‘visualization of and moving towards a future that was not going to happen otherwise.

In the digital era, our world is increasingly granular- more number of players are entering every day & increasingly interdependent- more unknowable connections between them. Information availability & sharing is 24 X 7 binding us all together and creating a global awakening of expectations.

http://www.empathinko.in, http://www.shaktigosal.com

#shaktighosal #moolyafoundation #reimaginefuture #leadershiptransformation #coachingmentoring

The way of the pandemic- A shift of perspective


As I write this the pandemic has been with Humanity for a little over one and a half years. If History’s signposts are anything to go by, the pandemic would remain with us for another one to one and a half years. In between the viral waves ( third, fourth and so on) would wax and wane as surely as does the moon.

At this point in time, we are witnessing two discrete trends:

  1. The world as a whole is seeing a week to week increase in infections of 11%. Clearly the pandemic is waxing now, with large swathes of countries in Europe, South America and Asia adding to the numbers.
  2. Vaccination has picked up pace with most countries rapidly vaccinating their citizens. The developed countries in Europe and North America have largely vaccinated their population.

If we were to look at India, which just a couple of months back, had a world beating surge in excess of 400,000 new infections a day, the decline from those highs too was rapid. However, as we speak, the infection numbers seem to be flattening out at around 40,000 new cases a day. While this signifies a drop 0f 90% from peak levels, it is still a 400% above the bottom level witnessed at the end of the first pandemic wave last year end.

Thanks to News channels and social media, folks remain nervous about the virus variants. How the COVID 19 virus keeps on mutating, how the Delta  ( and other yet to come!) variants are leading to new infection surges all over. There is also widespread concern about the efficacy of the available vaccines against the mutating variants. Folks remain stuck in this narrative and feel confused and disempowered about what they should do.

People ask, “Are we into a no-win situation where a solution to a problem is leading to a new problem arising?”

Europe may provide an answer.  Let us look at what is happening in Europe excluding Russia.

  1. Week on week, infections have gone up by 41% ! Currently, new infections over the last week stands at 449,826. This could be partly due to the crowds gathering for the Euro Cup matches!
  2. Total deaths in the previous week has been a mere 1317. This, on a  base of 449,826, is a mere 0.3% ! I repeat the deaths as a % of infections is a mere 0.3% !!

What this means is that in Europe the deaths related to COVID 19 is now so miniscule that it might actually be lower than that being caused by common influenza.

What this implies is that while vaccination may not be preventing infection, it is surely diminishing fatalities and that too almost totally.

So where do we go from here? What could we do to shift the overall context so that we could return back to ‘normal living’?

What we could do is this.

  1. Shift our perspective and language from infections to fatalities. In the ultimate analysis, that is what matters (apart from hospitalization, which too gets diminished by vaccination)
  2. Stand in the cause of supporting vaccination. Each one of us could play an enabling role in this by getting one or two folks in our circle vaccinated expeditiously. For example, we could assist our service providers and household helps by registering them for free vaccination on the Government portal.

What will you do today to support your own and your family’s movement towards normal life? Apart from of course  circulating this post!

In learning……. Shakti Ghosal

#shaktighosal # Perspectiveshift #pandemicwayforward

The Tyranny of Merit : A Reflection


I am sharing here a somewhat longish video on Youtube.

Loved the extremely thought provoking and insightful conversation between Prof. Michael Sandel, author of ‘Tyranny of Merit’ and Yuval Noah Harari, author of best seller ‘Sapiens’.

The conversation covers the following aspects:

  • What is behind the recent phenomena of the spread of authoritarian popularism and the rise of authoritarian hyper-nationalists?
  • What has led to the increasing divide between Winners and Losers and the rising socio-economic inequality over the last four decades of Globalisation?
  • The increasing support for Meritocracy has a dark side. The strain between the hubris amongst Winners versus the resentment amongst those left behind. Unfortunately, the created Inequality of Income and Wealth has in fact led to a much serious issue of inequality of Honour and Esteem. What could be a way forward to decouple this strain?
  • The study of History has been such that we can very accurately explain WHAT happened but not WHY that something happened.
  • The urgent need to reconceive and reimagine the mission of social democratic politics of today.
  • The increasing obsolescence of the classical Nation State model due to the easy movement of Capital, Technology and Labour across the globe. What could be done to prevent the collapse of Nationalism in its true sense?

My Sensemaking:

If one were to accept the core premise of the conversation, it would imply that Meritocracy, which dictates that a few succeed and the balance fail, is not compatible with democracy which is about majority decision making.

A more worrying aspect seems to be loss of political space by left of center parties who have been espousing the cause of the masses but have supported the meritocracy structure in their socio-economic decisions.

In Learning………….

Shakti Ghosal

My Crucible moment and self-reflection


I was in a meeting with my new Chairman. I was passionately elucidating my future plans for the business.

The Chairman looked at me, made a sign of smallness with his fingers and said, “Your businesses generate too small a revenue!”. The stress was on the smallness, the inconsequence of all that I and my businesses were doing.

Stumbling out of the meeting, I was in a daze. To be told by your boss that all your efforts and dreams, all that you stood for, did not matter in the larger scheme of things, was devastating.

As I look back at that crucible moment, I can see how it changed the trajectory of my life thereon.

For days afterward, I was pummeled down by negative thoughts and low self-esteem. I swung between anxiety, anger and bitterness. 

The way it occurred to me, there were all these guys, less qualified and with less competence, who were being acknowledged because they seemed to be ‘at the right place at the right time.’

I felt small. I hadn’t done anything wrong to deserve what I had heard. From that one conversation, I seemed to have lost a significant part of myself, opening up hitherto un-noticed doors to self-doubt and self-flagellation.

But then a thought came to me, ‘Had I done enough right?’

I unburdened myself by speaking about the incident and my thoughts to my wife and a couple of trusted workplace colleagues. I felt less like an idiot when I shared what I learned from screwing up. This helped me to move beyond the dark side of my self-doubt and low self-esteem.

The incident supported me to work on that crucible moment question, “Had I done enough right?” It taught me the practice of Self Reflection. It is this that opened up for me new possibilities and opportunities of growth.

In his Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestseller, ‘The Blueprint: 6 Practical Steps to Lift Your Leadership to New Heights’, author Doug Conant speaks of his own journey of self-reflection and discovery that revolutionized his leadership and transformed his career trajectory.

Doug condenses his remarkable leadership story into six practical steps.

  • Reach High – Envision
  • Dig Deep – Reflect
  • Lay the Groundwork – Study
  • Design – Plan
  • Build – Practice
  • Reinforce – Improve 

In today’s world of uncertainty and disruption which can leave us stuck and overwhelmed, the above six steps have the potential to lift our leadership and performance to heights that would bring us career success, joy and fulfillment.

In Learning……….

Shakti Ghosal

http://www.empathinko.in

#shaktighosal #leadershipdevelopment #performancecoaching

Sustainability and Globalisation


Dr. Viraj P. Thacker, the best-selling author of ‘The Myth of prosperity: Globalisation and the South’, has remained passionate about continuing his Late Mother’s work of a lifetime in the areas of Women & Children, the Environment, Sustainability & Social Justice. This has also led him to set up ‘Manushi for sustainable development’ of which he is the international executive director.

I am sharing a collage of the events associated with the above initiative as well as a thought-provoking article on Globalisation that he has published recently.

Environment, sustainability and Climate Change are areas I remain passionate about. My next book might just be in this area…..

#shaktighosal#sustainability#environment#climatechange#globalisation

What does a domain expert in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering have to say


Chief Engineer Arunabh Pal ,domain expert in Naval architecture and Marine Engineering, has the following to say after his engagement with the Chronicler.

“I have never attempted a book review, but this one is special : The Chronicler of the Hooghly.

“No words”, is the first thought that crosses my mind when I try to praise the book. Spellbound comes close to describing the feeling…but then it is not fair that such a stupendous piece of work from a good friend goes unsung.

I read the book at a leisurely pace, soaking in each crucible experience as the author calls it.

“Ashtami” leaves you gasping. Gasping for more as you suddenly appreciate the myriad emotions of a mother around a not-so-perfect child. One would like to think it happens only to others, but reality is often so different.

It is not difficult to relate to the double tragedies portrayed in “Pandemic” given the numerous human stories of struggle, failure, triumph and deceit unfolding around Covid today. You wonder about the timing of penning this story just as you marvel at the brilliance in creating the character Elokeshi.

“Fault Lines” unleashed a volley of unpleasant memories in me, of being a victim of an industrial explosion many moons back. I consider myself fortunate to have looked death in the eye and return. Anjan’s tryst with his conscience is scarily real. Savio succeeds in unsettling you. Stellar work there!

“The Chronicler Of The Hooghly” does just that: chart a mystical course amidst several (lesser known) historical facts and events and keeps you glued to the narrative even as you anticipate the next turn. It brings up the rear end rather well, resonating with the common theme of weaving history intricately into fiction to create four fascinating tales.

Can’t wait for your next one, Author Shakti Ghosal!”

Available worldwide on Amazon, Flipkart and select book stores.

http://www.shaktighosal.com

#chroniclerofthehooghly#shaktighosal#encourageauthorshakti#bookofthemonth#bookcommunity #bookaholic #bibliophile  #shelfie #bookshelf #readers  #bookoftheday #ilovereading #bookblog #bookgeek #bookalicious #readingforfun #ilovebooks #bookstagramfeature #booklife #bookaddiction #beautifulbooks #unitedbookstagram #bookishfeatures #bookgeek #bookprojects #readingforfun #addictedtobooks #readabook

Which Pandemic is going to leave a more lasting impact….?


Spanning a century between the pandemics of 1919 and 2020, Dipen and Indranil are confronted by tragedies under vastly different societal conditioning and development. What is their link spanning four generations which arises from an old and dilapidated palace and its massive Shiva linga?

Can the Chronicler with his tale of the Pandemic come up to the expectations of Jayashri Ghosh , an avid reader in Kolkata?

Available worldwide on Amazon, Flipkart and select book stores.

www.shaktighosal.com

#chroniclerofthehooghly#shaktighosal#encourageauthorshakti#bookofthemonth#ereader,#kindlebook,#bookrecommendation,#fiction,,#bookloversunite,#booksbooksbooks#booknerd,#bookobsessed,#bookaddict,#booksofig,#bookstherapy,#returntoreading,#rediscovergoodread,#happyreading,#bookishlife,#booksbrat

A Profound way of articulating the tragedies of life


Blogger Archana speaks of my profound way of articulating the tragedies of life.

I believe this articulation comes from seeing it as ‘Life Is’. The way we see situations as good or bad, tragedies or otherwise is really our perspective based on the experience lens we use to look at and make sense of them.

The full blog may be read here.

https://www.booknerds.in/features/ghosal-s-profound-way-of-articulating-the-tragedies-of-life-is-highly-commendable-.html?fbclid=IwAR0JLBdkRlaBg7SuYPb16Mm1_lOIq89xwbHOutcEeiQixih7-h-tQ8vy1CM

Available worldwide on Amazon, Flipkart and select bookstores.

www.shaktighosal.com

#chroniclerofthehooghly#shaktighosal#encourageauthorshakti#bookofthemonth#bookcommunity #bookaholic #bibliophile #shelfie #bookshelf #readers  #bookoftheday #ilovereading #bookblog #bookgeek #bookalicious #readingforfun #ilovebooks #bookstagramfeature #booklife #bookaddiction #beautifulbooks #unitedbookstagram #bookishfeatures #bookgeek

The Millennials


Looking at the involvement with the book, ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly’ , one notices the creativity and the interest of the millennials.

My earlier sense that the book, dealing with life’s crucible experiences, would gain traction with a more mature and elderly readership , seems to be incorrect. Somewhere in this ‘making sense’ for myself, my error of judgment seemed to have been to equate maturity with age.

Not only did the millennials participate in the ‘Chronicler of the Hooghly’ monthly contests and win, they also are forming a large part of the book readership.

Kanika Sud, winner of the ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly’ contest and her entry.

Sutanwi Ghosh , a millennial professional from Kolkata eager to checkout on the Chronicler!

Available worldwide on Amazon, Flipkart and select bookstores.

Www.shaktighosal.com

#chroniclerofthehooghly#shaktighosal#encourageauthorshakti#bookofthemonth#bookcommunity #bookaholic #bibliophile #shelfie #bookshelf #readers  #bookoftheday #ilovereading #bookblog #bookgeek #bookalicious #readingforfun #ilovebooks #bookstagramfeature #booklife #bookaddiction #beautifulbooks #unitedbookstagram #bookishfeatures #bookgeek

Vishakha Raghav @ Vishing_sky


Reviewer Vishakha Raghav in her Vishing_Sky forum has this to say about the Chronicler of the Hooghly.

The Chronicler of the Hooghly is a historical fiction that is themed out in Kolkata, India. The book is 170+ pages of wonderland.

How did I feel while reading the book?

With every page turn, an emotion inside me unwrapped. Shakti has put his heart out while writing this book. The writing was captivating, “The characters were believable and I cared about them, the plots had a couple of twists and turns due to which I couldn’t put the book down.”

The book is divided into 4 short stories, they are different yet feel so connected deep down. The glimpse of these stories is taken from Shakti’s own experiences in the past with a great blend of fiction in it. I loved the way Shakti has concluded the stories, they left me with goosebumps.

Each story is thought-provoking, I could relate the most to the first two stories which are 1) Ashtami and 2) Pandemic. Ashtami is about a clerk in 1912 who has to move to a new city Delhi with his wife. How was their life in Delhi? In the time of the British Raj, what challenges the couple had to face? The pandemic of 1919 was very similar to the one in 2020 because both left humans with emotions that were so similar! I still can’t decide if Pandemics are impacting us externally or internally.

🚩However some of these are a little complex in composition. One needs to think this book through. Sometimes it forces you to analyze your thoughts and guess what might happen next.

How I changed after reading this book?

🚩People are the most important in our lives. The grief of losing someone can not be understood. I repeat it can not be understood, no matter what. This is what I learned from this book.

Available worldwide on Amazon, Flipkart and select bookstores.

www.shaktighosal.com

#chroniclerofthehooghly,#shaktighosal,#bookofthemonth,#readersgonnaread,#booklover,#bookworm,#ereader,#kindlebook,#bookrecommendation,#fiction,,#bookloversunite,#booksbooksbooks#booknerd,#bookobsessed,#bookaddict,#booksofig,#bookstherapy,#returntoreading,#rediscovergoodread,#happyreading,#bookishlife,#booksbrat