Arindam Chaudhuri
[September, 2009]

As I look back, over the years, I realise that I’ve ventured far away from what I started my career with... I was supposed to be this management teacher whose passion lay in the areas of leadership and motivation. However, with time, especially after I wrote ‘The Great Indian Dream’ with my father, I have given very less time to writing on management! So much so that when I look back today, ever since the start of The Sunday Indian, I have only – and only – written on economics and politics, and at times on sports and cinema, but never on management! So this time, I thought I’ll write on my first love! More so, I have a reason for it. I really have been thinking – with the way our system is functioning, the best way to feel good and change things around is by changing ourselves, and by ourselves being the change we want to see! There is hardly anything that we can’t do if we want to, because we are all diamonds in waiting – in various stages. Some of us yet to be discovered, some of us yet to be cut, some of us yet to be polished, some of us yet to dazzle... And some of us – who have lost their sheen and sparkle a bit with time – in need of a re-polish! But we are all diamonds, that’s what I’ve always believed about human beings!

And if a diamond were to be the metaphor for us, then there are four things which make up a diamond... The first being the diamond’s carats. You would’ve always heard questions like, “How many carat diamond is that?” That’s the most important quality of a diamond. In human beings, carats are about the depth that we have; and it is represented by two Ps: Passion and Positive Energy! These are the two most important aspects that differentiate us from being a diamond with a high carat value! All successful achievers always have these two most important characteristics within themselves. They are extremely passionate about what they do... Passion for the poor is what made Mother Teresa go on and on despite being from a foreign country and being stuck in a dirty city with unseen poverty all around. Such people are also always full of positive energy. They never see negativity in anything! You talk to them about anything and they have a positive attitude. Friends of Sabeer Bhatia say that even when he was nothing, he would always dream big. That’s the attitude which led him to create Hotmail! Thus, a human being’s carat value is determined by his outlook in life, which is in turn dependent on his passion and positive energy!

The second great quality of a good diamond is its colour. And in successful human beings, colours are synonymous with two more Ps: Personality and People Skills! That’s what makes for the next most important quality of a diamond! If you want to bring out the diamond within you, you must inculcate a super personality and have high quality people skills. Successful people have great personalities; they nurture it, they groom it and they practice it! Personalities aren’t developed overnight! Personalities are developed with a lot of clearly directed efforts. And here, the ‘LAW’ of personality is about looks, actions and words... The way you look – not physically, but the way you carry yourself – the way you act or behave in front of others and the words you choose, make a personality. Prannoy Roy is an ideal example of a personality! The moment you look at him, there is respect; the way he behaves and uses his hand movements to explain things make him interesting; and of course, finally, when he speaks, the words leave you awestruck. And that’s why even after years he is still such a favourite of the masses despite so much competition on television today.

The other aspect that determines the colour of a human diamond is people skills. People who believe that they can go it alone or those who don’t respect the need to work with people for a common goal, can never be successful! It’s because Narayana Murthy believed in having good people around him and nurtured them, that today not just has he been able to retire peacefully, but even his deputy Nandan Nilekani has been able to hang up his boots leaving the organisation on Kris Gopalakrishnan. Infosys is the most beautiful example of how great people make great organisations and how no one needs to be indispensable in a great organisation.

The third quality of a good diamond is how well has it been cut! In human beings, the cut is about the hard work which is represented by another two Ps: Performance and Perseverance! Every successful human being has to lead by example. He has to perform. And his performance should always be an example to others. SRK is not SRK for nothing. Every star who acts with him praises him and becomes his fan. Why? Because when they see him and know him, they see his hard work; they see his track record of delivery; they see his performance. And they know he is a well cut diamond. The other aspect of performance is perseverance. As they say, talent is table salt. It is available aplenty. What differentiates the talented from the ordinary is a lot of hard work... and the ability to persist in the face of adversity. That’s what makes a Shah Rukh Khan what he is!

The final characteristic of a great diamond is its clarity. And in the human diamond, clarity stands for three different Ps: Principles, Perspective and Patriotism! These three Ps define a human being. Do you have principles that you can live by? Do you have a perspective and a plan of where you are headed towards? In other words, do you have a vision? And finally, what defines the human diamond is whether the individual has patriotism inside or not. If you don’t have any of these three, you will only remain a diamond that is perhaps well polished but will never dazzle and make its presence felt. Nurture these 9 Ps of a human diamond, and you will discover the diamond in you! All the best!!!
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