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Top 6 Sneaky Signs of ‘Corporate Fekus’ at Your Workplace

Ever felt like your MBA classes were preparing you more for a trivia night than the boardroom? Enter The Practical MBA by Sandeep Das — the book that bridges the gap between textbook theory and real-world hustle. From decoding the characters known as ‘Corporate Fekus’ to mastering the skills that truly count in the real business world, this book is your crash course in surviving (and thriving) in today’s cutthroat corporate jungle.


Read this exclusive excerpt to learn how to outwit the office ‘Fekus’ and turn your career into a blockbuster!

The Practical MBA
The Practical MBA || Sandeep Das


Raghavan, a senior professional, seems to be successful at work but poke a level down—there seems to be distrust in his team with consistent underperformance, stress and a deep sense of misery at his place of work. However, his bosses absolutely love him.


Welcome to the age of the Corporate Feku.


It is never easy to work with someone who is always building a narrative, either to hide his underperformance or put someone down or to overcome a deep sense of personality complex. The associated stress, shame, guilt and general misery can be overwhelming for most people. However, such people tend to be successful at their place of work. They are blessed with deep political acumen along with the right blend of sociopathic and narcissistic attributes. Following are some key traits of the Corporate Feku.


1. Always Builds a Narrative, Often a Fake One
The Corporate Feku barely performs on most business metrics. However, what they are good at is elevating their role and positioning it as something very big. They will often associate their roles with words including radical, industry defining, path breaking, transformative, undoing years of poor work. In addition, before every critical board meeting, they are capable of building a fake narrative of a beautiful future to take people’s attention away from the existing gloom and doom.


2. Always Creates the Right Impression
In addition to building a fake narrative, a tactic that is often employed by the Corporate Feku is to carefully manage his own impression. The age-old adage of coming five minutes before your boss and leaving five minutes after your boss is carefully implemented. In addition, there is a conscious display of rigour when very senior professionals are involved. When his bosses are around, the day starts at 7 am and goes well until midnight. When nobody seems to be around, Pooja Hegde’s pictures on Instagram are consciously devoured over.


.3. No Respect for Diversity
The Corporate Feku will drive to ascertain domination in the area of thought leadership. Whatever idea or efficiency improvement his team or his peers might come up with, he will always retort with a ‘I had already thought of it earlier’. It is an altogether different problem that very little seems to have been done by him to take care of that idea. An associated corollary employed by the Corporate Feku is the lack of respect for women. Although they will proclaim themselves to be champions of gender diversity, they will often pass snide comments about their make-up, facial expressions, lack of seriousness, dressing sense, waistlines.


4. Psychologically Manipulates His Team Every Day
The Corporate Feku, blessed with a high emotional quotient and sociopathic skills, is immensely competent at manipulating his people to work for him without question. A combination of shaming, humiliation, putting people down along with an occasional praise is generously employed to make his people always seek validation for themselves. The classical behavioural psychology that is often employed is the Stockholm syndrome, where the victim tends to sympathize and cheer on his/her perpetrator. One of the most common ways to shame people is to ask them to do a job which is 2–3 levels below their hired level. Another way to drive requisite behaviour is to reward people who blindly support you even if they are underperformers.


5. No Respect for Anybody’s Personal Life
A narrative that elevates the Corporate Feku’s job is built on making his team work brutal hours. Most of the Corporate Feku’s team would be working very long hours with limited personal downtime. Such a conscious creation of work and never-ending reviews is carefully crafted to create a perception of industry defining work to everybody else. The focus is often on quantity of work rather than an element of quality or efficiency. In case of any grievance aired, the retort
is immediate, ‘when I was your age, I would only work and do nothing else.’


6. Creates Interpersonal Tension in His Team
The way to build incredible loyalty among disgruntled emotionally manipulated workers is to create interpersonal tension within them. In case a direct subordinate doesn’t agree to your targets allocated, call up the subordinate’s subordinate and get him to say yes. Then force the subordinate to agree and give him feedback on his people management skills that people under him are extremely unhappy and have complained against him. An additional way is to say something controversial about a team member in someone else’s presence and if he diplomatically avoids it, consciously play that comment in that teammate’s name on other public forums.


In behavioural psychology, such animalistic behaviour stems from deep-rooted inferiority complex, either due to a lack of formal education or a ghastly firing from the previous job. The ruckus at work is carefully crafted as a conscious display of power. This behaviour can go on for decades without any check or balance. It is difficult for companies to diagnose or counsel such behaviour especially in countries like India where upward feedback is largely symbolic. However, the best course of action for any company is to relieve such characters once they have been suspected of such behaviour.


In case you are stuck working with someone who resembles the above character sketch, may God bless you. The Corporate Feku is singlehandedly responsible to build a work culture which is bland at best and toxic at worst.


Get your copy of The Practical MBA by Sandeep Das on Amazon or wherever books are sold.

Here’s Why Following Your Passion Can Be the Best Decision You Ever Make!

In today’s world, choosing a career can be confusing with so many options, but fear not! Pavan Soni’s Design Your Career offers helpful advice from his experience leading over 550 workshops in five countries. Soni aims to help you understand your talents, encourage you to follow your dreams, and find fulfillment in your career.


Read this excerpt to discover how pursuing your passion can be the best decision you ever make.

Design Your Career
Design Your Career || Pavan Soni


Till about a few years back, talking of ‘following your passion’ in an Indian context would have been futile, for you really didn’t have much of an outlet for what you liked doing. But that’s no longer true. The market has truly opened; people are willing to back you, especially in tier-1 cities, and your mistakes can be overlooked, at least by others. But all this still demands excellence. And excellence, my friend, is in doing the boring stuff well.


Following your passion starts by knowing your passion and as Robin Sharma quips, ‘People who study others are wise but those who study themselves are enlightened.’ So, let’s delve deeper into this seven-letter word.


Here’s my definition: Passion is anything that you do without any external motivation. Put differently, passion is something that you don’t get tired doing. It doesn’t have to be profound or noble. Watching movies, gossiping, cleaning your house, chatting with friends, window shopping—any of that could be a passion. The interesting thing, however, is that ‘passion is blind’. While it can drive you, it can also quickly exhaust you.


Passion without reason can certainly waste you. A teacher is passionate and so is a murderer, but for entirely different causes. Said Khalil Gibran, ‘Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.’ While your passion propels you, your reason directs you. Passion comes from heart, reason from mind. We need both, especially a true, internally inspired passion. ‘Passion that is not the result of some commitment or attachment, passion that is not lust,’ suggested Krishnamurti.


Your passion can be infectious—for your team, organization and even customers. Identifying himself as someone who is excited by ideas and grounded by empathy, Satya Nadella is passionate about putting empathy at the centre of everything he pursues.16 As he took on the leadership at the struggling Microsoft in February 2014, the company was deeply fragmented, characterized by a ‘know-it-all’ culture. But over the years, Nadella turned around the once-pioneer into a technological magnate and into a ‘learn-it-all’ culture.


Nadella deems a company as a vehicle to channelize individual passion for the larger good, and in the case of Microsoft, it’s about building products that empower others. So, you see, passion is not just a private affair; it can rally troops, provided you display it viscerally.


Kalanithi was passionate about writing, for he always contemplated between excelling in neurosurgery-neuroscience or becoming a full-time writer. But the diagnosis of cancer at age thirty-six changed his calculus, and what he produced in his last few months is arguably one of the finest pieces on spirituality. His memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, left Bill Gates in tears. It’s almost of the same gravitas as Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning.


But let’s see what passion looks like towards the end of your otherwise very promising career. On Kalanithi’s writing regime, Lucy, his estranged wife, remembers:


Paul wrote relentlessly, fueled by purpose, motivated by a ticking clock. He started with midnight bursts when he was still a neurosurgery chief resident, softly tapping away on his laptop as he lay next to me in bed; later he spent afternoons in his recliner, drafted paragraphs in his oncologist’s waiting room, took phone calls from his editor while chemotherapy dripped into his veins, carried his silver laptop everywhere he went. When his fingertips developed painful fissures because of his chemotherapy, we found seamless, silver-lined gloves that allowed use of a trackpad and keyboard. Strategies for retaining the mental focus needed to write, despite the punishing fatigue of progressive cancer, were the focus of his palliative-care appointments. He was determined to keep writing.


Only passion can take you through the most difficult phases of your life. Passion gives you a sense of joy, a drive to pursue something bigger than yourself. And this joy is very much personal. Others may wonder at your enthusiasm as unwarranted, but don’t bother; you don’t owe anything to most others. While I play my guitar at street corners for it delights me, most passers-by don’t bother with a first look. Perhaps that’s how I developed a thick skin.


Here’s a real testimony of passion. Twelve North American writers have won the Nobel Prize in Literature between 1901 and 2015, and yet none of them had an MFA (Master of Fine Arts). Four of them never even got past high school. Neither Quentin Tarantino nor Christopher Nolan, two of the finest directors of our generation, ever went to a movie school. Maybe that’s why. ‘I’m a self-taught filmmaker. I never went to film school. I never studied filmmaking,’ admits Nolan. ‘I started making films when I was seven years old. Making films using my dad’s super 8 camera and action figures doing stop-motion films. A little bit of animation and a certain amount of live-action and I just carried on making films as I grew up and, over the years, they got bigger, hopefully better.’


Acknowledge that passion drives the purpose, and not the other way around. If you are driven, then you will find the means, including expertise, if necessary.


Get your copy of Design Your Career by Pavan Soni on Amazon or wherever books are sold.

Exploring Career 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0: Which Path Suits You?

Ever thought about how jobs used to be and how they are now? Abhijit Bhaduri’s ‘Career 3.0’ shows us the way careers are changing. It’s like going from having just one skill for a job to juggling three or more skills in different places. So let’s take a peek into this shift in the work world and find out which career path suits you best.


Career 3.0
Career 3.0 || Abhijit Bhaduri


Career 1.0: Monetizing a Single Skill in one Ecosystem

In Career 1.0, individuals are focused on monetizing a single skill that they have developed through training or experience. This may be a skill that they have formally studied or learned through on-the-job experience. Stable workplaces with relatively few changes offer opportunities for a person to continue pursuing a career with a single employer or doing the same work for different employers. Professional sports is a good example of Career 1.0 where a single skill is monetized in one ecosystem as the rules of a game don’t really change. A professional singer spends a lifetime using one skill in one ecosystem.


Career 2.0: Monetizing a Second Skill in Two Ecosystems

In Career 2.0, individuals are monetizing a second skill, in a distinctly different ecosystem. This second skill may be something that they have formally studied or trained in, or it may be a skill that they have developed through personal interests or hobbies. A college professor who writes a bestselling book or the CEO who serves on the board of a start-up is operating in a second ecosystem.

The skills gained in an ecosystem may not be useful to succeed in the second ecosystem. That is no different from the accountant who performs as a stand-up comedian on weekends or the coder who drives an Uber to make a few extra bucks. They are all using a second skill, in a new ecosystem in a Career 2.0 model. Earning money from a skill shows how much it is worth. Having another way to make money and growing it makes people feel good about their abilities. They can do both or choose one.


Career 3.0: Monetizing Three or More Skills in Different Ecosystems

In Career 3.0, individuals are monetizing three or more skills in different ecosystems. I once met an accountant who works for a large multinational corporation (MNC). He spends his weekends cooking for a restaurant in the neighbourhood whose customers love his curries and cakes. He also plays the keyboard and drums and used to play for a band when he was a student.
The band were so successful that for a while he thought of doing that fulltime. Laughing, he adds, ‘My problem is that I enjoy being an accountant as much as I enjoy being a chef and a musician. Why limit myself?’


Paychex, an American firm providing human resources services, found in a survey that 40 per cent of workers in the US have multiple jobs, and half of Gen Z workers are splitting their time between three or more employers. They call it ‘polyworking’. Meanwhile, 33 per cent of millennials are holding down three or more jobs, compared to 28 per cent of baby boomers and 23 per cent of Gen X professionals.


There are a few key characteristics that define Career 3.0:

Curiosity: Career 3.0 comes naturally to people who are curious. They will often experiment and learn something new just to be able to figure it out. They teach themselves by watching videos, listening to experts, finding apprenticeships and attending classes. Most of all the learning by being unafraid of failure. When an opportunity comes their way, they are often prepared to grab it. These are people who are comfortable with skills that are often seen to be at two ends of a spectrum—e.g., science and coding both demand logic and are polar opposites of fields like humanities and languages. Curious people often enjoy learning something even though there is no apparent use for it. Quiz contests often bring together people who are curious about everything from Greek mythology to astronomy to sports.


Adaptability: Monetizing multiple skills requires adaptability, as individuals may need to shift between different areas of work depending on the demands of each skill. Being comfortable with ambiguity and being flexible go together. An unpredictable world that is constantly evolving needs people who are comfortable with uncertainty. It is much like driving through thick fog. The driver navigates the road ahead one metre at a time.


Mindset: Career 3.0 needs the mindset of a VC who has to quickly figure out whether the idea being pitched is a big idea that has potential—an opportunity they must not miss, or if it is a passing fad. It often means that the VC has to place multiple bets knowing that the majority of the investments will fail but that the one that succeeds will more than make up for the rest. It needs the ability to take risks and walk on a path less travelled.


Overall, the three career archetypes—Career 1.0, Career 2.0, and Career 3.0—represent different approaches to monetizing skills and building a career. While each approach has its own benefits and drawbacks, the key is to find the right balance that works for an individual’s unique strengths and goals.



Get your copy of Career 3.0 by Abhijit Bhaduri wherever books are sold.

Ageing Like a Boss: Insights from ‘Pause, Rewind’

Ever wondered how our brains change as we get older? In the book Pause, Rewind by Nawaz Modi Singhania, we explore this fascinating aspect of human health. This exclusive snippet from the book gives us a sneak peek into how our lifestyle choices, exercises for our brains, and other social factors can all play a big role in keeping our minds sharp and active as we age. So, let’s dive in and learn how to keep our minds as vibrant as ever with some natural anti-ageing techniques.

Pause, Rewind
Pause, Rewind || Nawaz Modi Singhania


Preserving and improving the grey matter as we age

As one ages, there tend to be subtle changes in the structure of the brain that affect the chemistry within and the functioning of the grey matter. This begins in middle age and as we head into our sixties, the actual brain size gets smaller, reducing the blood flow and the levels of neurotransmitters and hormones. The shrinking of the brain in its volume—particularly in the frontal cortex—affects memory, learning and other complex activities. As our vasculature ages and our blood pressure tends to rise, there is an increased risk of strokes and ischemia. Further, when the white matter of the brain develops lesions, the communication between the neurons is not as efficient as it once was, leading to the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s.


Actually, by around the age of forty-five, the objective memory performance of an average individual lowers in comparison to what it was in their twenties. However, for most people, these mental slips are minimal and do not progress. For those who are affected though—especially if there is a family history—this is a major concern, because cognitive decline affects independent functioning. It can cause great anxiety and serious problems.


Becoming Cognitive Super-Agers

There is ample research and growing evidence of the fact that lifestyle choices impact cognitive health throughout our lives. Habits such as smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, lack of sleep, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are known factors that lead to cognitive decline. However, the good news is that these can be controlled and improved upon.


First off, exercise! In its impressive array of health benefits, the important one of staying physically fit is how it effectively helps deal with the factors associated with cognitive decline, including relieving insomnia, dealing with anxiety and depression and more. Remember the happy hormones we spoke about? (Refer to Chapter 1, titled “Exercise and It’s Significance”, under subtitle, “Benefits of Regular Exercise”).


The next factor that helps is nutrition. A Mediterranean-style diet, which includes fruits such as avocado and blueberries, nuts, vegetables including the dark leafy ones, dark chocolate, whole grains, beans, seeds, moderate amounts of fatty fish, poultry, dairy products, and limits red meat, sugar, white flour and fried foods, promotes overall health—cardiovascular and otherwise. It lowers your risk of certain cancers and can protect against cognitive decline. Moderate consumption of alcohol (red wine, mostly) too is known to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.


Exercises for the Mind

As you age, performing mental activities gets even more crucial. In daily life, these can include reading, writing, solving math problems and crossword puzzles, playing chess and bridge, engaging in group discussions, listening to or playing classical music, amongst others. Try the memory game we spoke about previously, where you read the newspaper each day and later try to list twenty things you read. Recall the birthdays or phone numbers of twenty important people in your life. As long as you are stimulating the mind, one way or the other, it helps and does lower the risk of brain decline.


Keep it Social

Social interaction has a profound positive effect on health and longevity, especially with reference to friends, more than family. Research shows that people with strong, healthy ties to others are more likely to live longer, have better lives and are less likely to experience cognitive decline than those who are alone. So make sure to maintain a strong network of people with whom you can have meaningful conversations, where you support and care for each other and help reduce each other’s stress levels. Call each other often, eat meals together, step out for a walk, travel if possible, catch up for a movie and generally motivate each other to live a happy, healthy life.


Sleep it Off

Next, sleep—in terms of quality and quantity—is important in ensuring overall health and preventing cognitive decline. The body relies on sleep, along with good nutrition and exercise, for a variety of essential, central functions that are controlled by the brain. While the right amount of sleep differs from person to person, experts recommend at least seven to eight hours of sound sleep a night


Put Your Life In Order

Get organized—make notes, jot down what you need to do in terms of tasks, appointments and other events, and check them off as they get completed. Organize yourself in other ways as well. You should have a place for everything in your home—keys, glasses, medication, mobile, charger, bag, remote, etc.—and have everything in its place. Make this a habit, regardless of your age, because the better you manage and organize yourself, the better your memory is going to be. Training and organizing your brain this way regularly employs the grey matter, keeping the brain’s functionality and efficiency sharper.



Get your copy of Pause, Rewind by Nawaz Modi Singhania wherever books are sold.

Let Chhota Bheem Turn Your Child into a Reader

Is your little bundle of joy going to start school soon? Have you been looking for books that will ease them into this new phase of life? The Chhota Bheem series by DK Books, is where your search ends. The series is a set of four books, ideal for kids between 4-6 years. It aims to enrich your kid’s general knowledge and also inculcate a fondness for reading.
Here are 5 ways in which your child can enjoy the series:
Easy-To-Read Text
The book series aims to educate and entertain your little one through illustrations and easy-to-read-text. Combining familiarity of the much loved characters with educational content adds to your tot’s understanding.
Increase General Awareness
The series covers topics such as types of transport, animals, seasons, and the concept of party. Like the TV series, the books will make your little one aware of things which they see around them every day. The storytelling format in the books will let them have as much fun as they have while watching an episode.
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Engage in Fun Activities
Learning becomes easier when you’re having fun! The books also contain activities like crafting a paper boat or making lemonade which incorporate fun learning for your child, thereby increasing their attention span and enabling them to fare better at school.
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Improve Cognitive Skills
Apart from helping children develop the habit of reading, the books focus on improving their thinking and analytical skills, achieving this through word search, spot the difference, solve the maze, etc. The analytical skills come into play when your kid is learning subjects like mathematics and science.
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Respect for the Environment
In the light of the on-going climate change, the series aims to make the children aware of their surroundings. The books cover topics such as climate change and endangerment of animals. These topics will help you instill in your child, respect for the environment and its gifts.
Are you ready to see your kid set off on an exciting journey of learning? Tell us what they think of the books.

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