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Distinguished Director and faculty of IIM Kolkata, guests, and my young friends.

I am very happy to be with you this afternoon. Indian Institute of Management Kolkata is one the earliest management colleges of higher learning to be set up in the country. The pioneering spirit continues even after IIM Cal has transformed itself into a world class institution. In your two years here, you must have e perienced the enormous change in your own understanding of business and management. !raduation is not the end but the beginning of learning and change. I have found that people who succeed most in their careers are those who can constantly transform themselves. Transformation is not so much a process, as a deep seated desire to change ourselves and our environment. "ased on my own e perience, I would like to share with you my thoughts on how to make continuous transformation possible. I hope you find them useful. #irst, you have got to have a dream. Dreams are very powerful internal motivators. !reat achievements are created twice $ first in the mind and then in a concrete form. The most e hilarating part of being young is the ability to dream. %s one grows, one may reali&e that not all of them are achievable. "ut never turn cynical. %ging is not adding on years. It is parting with one's dreams. (se your e perience to reshape your dreams and adapt them to changing reality but do not stop dreaming. I cannot think of a single Transformation or achievement, individual or social that did not begin with a dream. Dreams not only help us in seeing things before they happen, but they also give us the passion and energy to make them happen. )econd, stay on course even if you stumble. *hen everything seems to go wrong, you can either give up or you can let misfortune transform you into something stronger. The difference between great achievement and mediocrity is not e traordinary talent or intelligence, but perseverance. In fact, dreams and perseverance make a winning combination. In +,-., a chartered plane, carrying a /ugby team crashed in the %ndes. %fter a week long futile search, the rescue team gave up thinking that all of them must be dead. The passengers after waiting for many days to be rescued, decided to help themselves since nobody else was going to do it. Two of them volunteered to crossthe mountains on foot to reach the green valleys of Chile and bring back help. It was a walk of more than 01 miles. "ut they did it and came back to rescue their fellow passengers who managed to survive in the mountain -1 days after the crash. The core of heroism lies in the ability to walk that e tra mile. %s long as you can do that, you will never be defeated. Third, do not be afraid to admit your ignorance. *hile it is important to pro2ect what we are good at, we must be e3ually candid about areas we do not know enough about. The seeds of learning were sown by the great philosopher )ocrates who said 4%ll I know is that I don't know.4 Today, knowledge is multiplying at such a rapid rate that it is impossible for anyone to know everything. "ut if we can develop an inde system by which we at least know with whom or where the knowledge is available, we have achieved 3uite a bit5 %nd there will still be areas which we will be unable to tap. The important thing is not to hide behind a false front. 6eople will respect us for our honesty, if not our wisdom. #ourth, think about what you will take on ne t rather than about what you may be letting go. Too many people are so enamoured by the legacy of success in their current roles that they are afraid to look further. This can lead to inertia. If we linger too long on past success, we will miss out on the opportunities that lie ahead of us. *e must learn to look at change as an e citing adventure rather than a disruption. 7ew avenues for learning always lie 2ust beyond the shade of our comfort &one. #ifth, contribute in every situation. The only way to keep learning is by contributing. 8ou do not have to be the leader every time. *hen a formation of birds flies over long distances, each bird takes its turn in leading. This ensures that no bird gets too

tired and yet the formation keeps moving at a certain pace. 9very person is important. It doesn't matter whether you play the violin, the flute or the drums: you are still part of the orchestra. ;eadership is not about e ercising power as much as it is about contributing. This will happen when we reali&e that leadership is not a privilege but a responsibility. )i th, pursue e cellence in whatever you do. 9 cellence cannot be forced through a process nor guaranteed by a certificate. It comes from an all consuming passion to do one's best. It needs an eye for the smallest of details. *hen differences become small, it is the small things that make the difference. 9 cellence is a habit not an act. )eventh, while you must take your careers seriously, do not take yourself too seriously. 8ou have to laugh and find humour everyday. This will help you to keep issues in their perspective. "eing cheerful is an attitude. 7ot only will it help you to reduce your own stress, but a positive attitude is contagious. It can do a lot to elevate the moods of people around you and recharge you to take one more shot at the problems facing you. 9ighth, we must know what you are really good at. /ather than trying to be everything to everyone, we must focus on areas where our talents truly lie. % talent can be defined as that skill which we not only en2oy learning but which we can also learn rapidly. *e need to work at honing our talent and smoothening the rough edges. "ut e ceptional performance usually comes from doing what comes naturally to us. 7inth, always welcome feedback even if it comes in the guise of criticism. I remember the story of a boy who dreamt of becoming an artist but was frustrated because whenever he showed his painting, the teacher would look at it with a frown and find some fault with it. The student improved on his work continuously and he thought he would one day hear a word of appreciation from his teacher. "ut it never happened. #inally, in disgust, he bought a painting from an accomplished artist, touched it up with fresh paint and showed it to his teacher. To his ama&ement, the teacher smiled and said, 4now this is really good work. Congratulations.4 #eeling guilty, the student confessed that it was not really his painting. The teacher looked at him silently and then said, 4Till now, I thought you wantedto paint a great picture. "ut I reali&e now that you do not want any more corrections, which means that the last painting you did was the best you will ever do. /emember you have set these limits to your talent, not me.4 Criticism may actually be an e pression of faith in us rather than a put down. *e must learn to take it constructively because it will show us what more we can learn. #inally, always play to win. *inning is not about making the other person lose. It is about stretching yourself to your own limits. <nce so stretched, you will reali&e the true e tent of your potential. (ltimately, transformation is about reaching and utili&ing not only your potential but those of others who work with you. I wish you all the best in your career and in your lives as you step out into a new world.

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