Monday, September 15, 2008

Management Lessons from Dhirubhai Ambani

For those of you, who haven't heard of the great Dhirubhai Ambani, you have heard nothing all your lives. He was one man who rose from middle class beginnings and became one of India's biggest industrialists. He singlehandedly created Reliance Industries, the great brand and the conglomorate that it is today.

Here is one management gem from him:

Dhirubhaism: Change your orbit, constantly!

He would often explain that we are all born into an orbit. It is up to us to progress to the next. We could choose to live and die in the orbit that we are born in. But that would be a criminal waste of potential. When we push ourselves into the next orbit, we benefit not only ourselves but everyone connected with us. Take India's push for development. There was once a time our country's growth rate was just 4 per cent. Look at us today, galloping along at a healthy 7-8 per cent. This is no miracle. It is the product of a handful of determined orbit changers like Dhirubhai, all of whose efforts have benefited a larger sphere in their respective fields.

However, when you change orbits, you will create friction. The good news is that your enemies from your previous orbit will never be able to reach you in your new one. By the time resentment builds up in your new orbit, you should move to the next level. And so on.

Changing orbits is the key to our progress as a nation.

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