Thursday, October 27, 2011

What makes Aamir Khan bounce back successfully after facing tough times ?

I know reading the title you must be wondering - " Aamir Khan and Tough times", doesn’t go well together at all. After all, we are talking about the man how is considered to have Midas-touch in Indian cinema much like Mahendra Singh Dhoni did for Indian Cricket. For the man who has come up with consistent blockbuster movies in the last decade (not only as an Actor but also as a Producer and Director), the term "Tough times" may not sound all that right. But looking back his life and history suggests some serious dips in career and personal life.

Consider the time after 2001 and his blockbuster movie- Lagaan , Aamir took a break of almost 4 years and came up with a Movie called Mangal Pandel: The Rising , which turned out to be a dud at the Box office. Moreover, this was a phase in which he dealt with divorce and a sort of separation from his kids during this phase. Not only this, during the initial times when he started his career as a full-fledged actor in the year 1988, he faced quite a lot of flop films through-out his journey. Moreover, he has had a rough patch when dealing with his brother. His launch film failed miserably and then in 2007 he lost the custody of his younger brother in an ugly court battle.

Such times often gets over-shadowed when people think of him. And this perception that he has created has been as a result of lot of result oriented films in the past decade that went on to create history at the Indian box office (wont use the term "Bollywood" as this is opposed by many Industry veterans). The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 2003 and the Padma Bhushan in 2010 for his contributions towards the arts. A very handful of active actors have received Padma Bhushan.

It has been more of a see-saw life rather than a fairy-tale that Aamir Khan has lived, unlike the popular perception people carry about him. The kind of lows he has seen can break any common man and the kind of highs he has seen can make the same common man insane.

I am often intrigued by the lives of such people. What is it that makes him come back so strongly even after been hit by severe setbacks in both personal and professional lives ? There ought to be something made up of steel in his personality that refuses to break him in troubled times and at the same time maintain his sanity to keep his creative juices flowing. It is with this intrigue that i started to look at his handwriting to find some answers and perspective.

Lets take a look at his Handwriting Sample below-

One of the first things that strike me is the first letter of his signature "A". The way it has been formed suggests something unique. The stroke forming the letter "A" goes back and the goes forward further on the right side. This is a unique formation that signifies Persistence . Simply put, Persistence is a trait that says "Don’t Give up". Whatever the situation, whatever the condition, the people who persist in their endeavours believe that tomorrow would a better day even if slightly. They have this innate ability to see the light in a dark tunnel when everyone has given up and lost hope. This seems like a foremost trait that can help people come out or atleast give the belief that they can come out of the troubled time.

The underline or underscore below his signature suggests Self Reliance or Leadership . People with Self-reliance has the ability to take the tough times head-on and gives them necessary confidence and ability to do things to come out of the same.

The large capital in his first name ("A") also suggests that he has as immense sense of self . He has this innate desire to stand-out of the crowd that drives him. While most common people would have broken down in the situations he has faced (where not only mammoth money but a lot of professional and personal credibility is at stake), he gets driven to fight the situation out and stand-out.

These three aspects (suggested by his handwriting) of his personality make him so competent to deal with monster problems and come out as a winner.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

How to spot a micro-manager ? Does your handwriting give any clues ?

Those who have experienced the phenomenon of micro-management at work would agree that it is one of the topmost stuff that most of the competent workforce would want to run away from. Those who have not experienced it can consider themselves lucky for sure.
The intent here is not to say or prove that micro-management is always a bad management virtue. It is definitely one of the preferred Management styles in certain specific situations. Infact, i have my self being involved in initiating the same in certain situations detailing with Performance Management, and for the situations at work that warrant taking charge and control. However, i would agree that such situations are not always as frequent but certainly not rare.

Wait, i don’t understand what micro-management is ? Can you help me understand ?
Let me quote a few sources.
Wikipedia defines micro-management as- In business management, micromanagement is a management style where a manager closely observes or controls the work of her or his subordinates or employees. micro-management generally has a negative connotation.

Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines micromanagement as-
manage[ment] especially with excessive control or attention on details. defines micro-management as-
manage[ment] or control with excessive attention to minor details.

The online dictionary Encarta defines micro-management as
atten[tion] to small details in management: control [of] a person or a situation by paying extreme attention to small details".

Now may be i understand a bit about it. Can you please help me understand more ?
To me, micro-management is core part of our upbringing as a human. The studies prove that of most of the living species on Earth, the sort of attention and time that humans demand or need (from the time they are born to the time they step out of home usually after Adolescence) to completely get independent is phenomenal. There are scientific reasons for why humans need so much attention, care or parenting but delving into those is certainly not the focus on this post. The basic premise is that being humans, we grow during our early years by virtue of micro-management by our parents or care-takers. You don’t believe this ? Let me cite some instances-
• What will happen if the mother does not timely sense that the baby is hungry and don’t feed on time ?
• What will happen if the parent does not frequently wash the hands of their kids once they start crawling ?
• What will happen if the parent does not train the kid of the basic hygiene ?
• What will happen if the parent does not take the kid for appropriate treatment if he/she is ill ?
• ...and many many more such examples.

If we go back to the previous definitions of the term micro-management, you will realize that as a kid, most of us has been raised with the following virtues applied by our parents-
• Excessive Attention to details in meeting our legitimate needs.
• Showing complete control on our well-being.
• Sometimes being dominant so as to teach or impart the right stuff.
• Sometimes even being defiant not to allow the unnecessary demands.

Isn’t micro-management instilled in a way we were all brought up ? What happens when the same micro-management is applied to work ? Depending upon the situation one is in, it more often leads to disgruntled employees.

Why do the employees not like being micro-managed ?
An interesting article here suggests the following relevant symptoms of you being micro-managed.
• Your boss is never wrong and doesn’t like arguments.
• You have to give more details than required
• You feel you are working under a microscope
• You do not feel your job is autonomous with absolutely no scope of applying your brains.
• Your boss takes all decisions without considering suggestions
• Your boss sets your priorities, and expects complete adherence. In case of non-compliance, you are shot down.

Talking again about the Kid's analogy, one relevant argument could be that as novices in the world, that’s probably the best approach to learn. But once we become qualified and learn well on the job and reach a state of Independence, being micro-managed is often felt as unnecessary and counter-productive.

Can someone's handwriting help me spot a micro-manager ?
Yes, no doubt handwriting can spot the group of traits that can reveal micro-management tendencies. The reason i say "a group of traits" is that there is no single trait that would brand someone as a micro-manager. So what are these traits ? Some of them listed below-

Attention to details is one of the traits that a micro-manager has the most. In some cases i would even say Obsessive Attention to details. Such a person usually goes to the core of work issue and breaks down the work to the minutest possible extent. Once that’s done, he/she usually starts asking some uncomfortable questions to his/her employee.
Attention to details can be easily revealed by one's handwriting by observing "i" and "j" dots. The more the dots are perfect dots (with no edges) and close to the stem, the more Attentive to details is the person usually.

Perfectionism is another likely traits of a micro-manager. A person who is perfect prefers to do things or expects others to do things in a flawless manner. Such a person has a lot of structure and may want to control things that don’t matter. He/She may want things in certain order- which may be unnecessary. He/She spend a lot of time putting everything in place and review work trying to make it more precise and have excessive need for control in certain areas. Perfectionism is usually a good trait if it is implied on self. As long as one starts exhibiting Perfectionism on others, usually the problem starts. Perfection can also be defined as a fear of losing control.
Perfectionism in handwriting is revealed by a straight and even baseline that you could draw a straight line underneath.

Dominance is one trait that most micro-managers possess. Such a person tends to be in control and likes being so. He/She sometimes can take charge without angering those around but usually dominance is viewed as more autocratic by people. Such a person naturally gravitate towards the position of authority. They enjoy being in command.
Dominance in handwriting can be revealed by downslanted heavy "t" bar and to the right. More downward the slant, the more dominant the personality.

The above are the very basic combination of traits that could be found in a micro-manager. Of course, there can be more traits or trait combination that could add on to these. For example-

If a person is also (in addition to above traits) emotionally very expressive, Sarcastic, has Temper and is Domineering , then it is more deadly combination of trait for a person who people may label as a "Bad-boss".

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