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Friday, December 20, 2013

CORPORATE NINJAS

CORPORATE NINJAS

When I was a wee lad I used to see my father dress up and go to work in a very majestic fashion.  In his day the brands were Pierre Cardin, Ralph Lauren, Honda Accord & Madonna & Wham!  Now that my dad has retired I realized that when I was in my teens (in the 80’s) to send a letter he needed 3 people.  The first to take short hand and type it, the second to enter it into a letter register and the third to take it to the post office.  When he was 50 his life was filled with many necessary Human Beings that were actually a resource around his professional life.  Yet life was easy and fun and he had all the time in the world to socialize with people that had no hidden agendas for the evening! To these corporate kings life was something to live and work was something to do and family was something to love…

Today 24 years later everything is all jumbled up!  Today’s corporate warriors (CEO’s) are younger faster & smarter ninja’s who have a higher resistance for surviving in a world where life is time constrained, work is stressful & family is something you need to protect from the evil that the world does! 

The innocence that the business community had when my father was a MD has transpired into a one man show where it is an arduous task to achieve the maximum amount of productivity during an eight hour period and then brace your selves for the next twelve hour day!  Our corporate ninja’s are smarter and more efficient thanks to technology that is cheap yet has had the ability to sack their secretary’s and majority of human resource.  When a company looks at a CEO even though they state that they are looking for a team player who can work with a Board of Directors the underlying meaning goes to prove by their final choice that the most resilient of the lot who will have an ability to withstand the corporate pressure test of time will be the one to rule them all.



Not only does a CEO or a President of any organization have to have a sterling reputation rather he or she has to have skills of shrewd negotiation, leadership abilities that will shine out in the form of extreme diplomacy and have the ability to get what is required just done!  This was proven by Karachi Gym Khana’s decision to vote in Mr. Akbar Iqbal Puri.  In his infant forties he is a pillar of success professionally, a fantastic salesman in his field of oil and gas & a very strategic thinker that knows how to play the poker hand that life deals him.  When he was elected I was quite pleasantly surprised and Mel Brookes famous quote “it’s good to be the king!”  came to mind.  Akbar lives up to the strength found in his name and having known him for 27 years of my life and having seen his succession from that of a prince into the throne of a King was actually quite refreshing to me. 

Today when time is the most precious commodity and your children constantly shock you with their ability to inwardly digest information at a much faster pace than you did when you were at their age it makes me think that by the year 2025 our CEO’s will be in their twenties.  Even a technology buff life me who has the ability to re-train himself constantly with new developments in my field are invented within the blink of an eye it shocks me when a six year old child comes up to me and states that he can sho me how to make my cell phone work smarter.

Another example of someone i respect tremendously for having the glue within himself to hold an entire board of diverse directors together is a friend, a colleague and a family man who defied all odds and came to our wedding.  When you have an old school extremely diverse board of directors who know it all and come from a very conservative school of thought that refuse to stop clutching at their insecurity and will never make way for a newer generation of human resource it takes an extreme amount of resilience to change minds.  In such a case it can only be done with respect and that too with surgical precision form of respect. 



Add to the organization a battering ram, gung ho, super aggressive, always in attack mode sales guy like me that knows it all and uses a bull dozer brash approach to deliver numbers and you don’t have waves in the board room you have constant hurricanes.  Now to manage me takes a team of people who know how to let things go and look at the broader side of the conservative horizon and that has been Asad Abdulla.  I respect him tremendously for having the ability to manage extremely senior people, tame and teach me how to gently get work done and learn the true value of building something bigger and better than only focus on a  number and how relationships matter along with your word.

In my dad’s age (prehistoric times) when you worked in any company that was the first place you ever worked and would leave when you were wrapped in white cloth and you would retire to your final resting place in the grave.  Your job was actually a career and the company that you worked for defined your role in society.  Today the shelf life of any employee is not more than 24 – 48 months in any organization due to the worldly circumstances and socio economic situations that one has to face daily with the ever versatile and volatile economic inflation.

I am lucky to have been born into a family that has been very close to the Avari family where the human resource refuses to leave their employer because of the fact that they simply love to work for them.  I have learned from two brothers who spearhead the Avari legacy how valuable people are and that in order to do anything right to progress in life you must do right by people because it is right and you don’t have any hidden agendas.

Dinshaw B. Avari is probably the most ethical person that I have come across in my life who has the ability to apply modern day logic to ancestral wisdom leaving politics and hidden agendas out of any management process flow that he is a part of.  He is a fantastic son, a successful father and a very loved leader in his family business.  

Xerxes B. Avari is probably one of the only people I know who has the ability to digest information at a faster pace than most people and find amicable resolutions to any problem presented to him.  What may seem like a quick decision on his part must never be interpreted as injustice to any from of business because he has the ability to envision a project and is very good with process flows when it comes to management.

Together both brothers compliment their father and late grandfather very well because at the end of the day they live by the bond of the word “Family”

My advice to you is that if you want to be a CEO in the next few years then you must have the ability to look beyond what society makes you think you should do.  To lead a company or any organization you need to not only be strong internally but fair emotionally and disciplined by wisdom of your forefathers.  Heritage is something that is very important and the four people whom I have defined above have that in their blood… 

Your goal should be to become the best at what you do honestly and as those four people have lived up to what their fathers wanted them to be and mothers prayed for them to see you need to be able to overlook immediate gains and define your own honest pathway to success.  You need to love people, love life and most of all respect yourself and your professional and personal families.  I look forward to seeing you in the presidents chair one day!

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