Term 8 – Asymmetric Trust and climbing the Everest

The 555 pages of pre read should have prepared us for what was coming …. But the asymmetric learners that we are, we just didnt get it. And paid for it dearly.

The dreaded cold calling came back and several of us tried avoiding Prof Zaheer’s sight trajectory, forming strategic support alliances but failed miserably and blundered our way through. I had my aisle seat and would have actually been a physical “out”lier if Siva had his way. He just kept pushing me outward so he could spread his generous, still shrinking frame. He also tried to stomp on my delicate feet and the worst was his trying to tear my pretty saris by running the chair over them. Mano, it’s not my fault, it’s all Siva’s fault.

We learnt about how to form alliances, how to choose partners, symmetric and asymmetric trust, what to do and what not to do, frameworks for post facto analysis and ending alliances. We finally figured out why some of us were struggling in every term – we are out of shape for the learning race, and were being left behind in the alliance between us and the professors ! While in the mornings Aks tried to teach us how to ally or acquire, identify risks, frame legal contracts and in general get us to understand the complex non-definable world of strategic alliances, the afternoons saw Greg teaching us to form high performing partnerships (teams).

This was also the term in which Wong added another family member to his growing ISB family. He found a brother in Greg, hopefully he has informed Prof Suren, that he adopted a brother 🙂 and hopefully Prof Suren’s wife is ok getting another son that she didn’t know about. Prof Stewart, you are the first one to take on Wong and you had just the right rejoinders for him.. Guess your sons have trained you well. It was fascinating to learn about leadership styles, self directed teams (like us, we self direct others), forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning teams… The ethical charisma and unethical charisma. We also got a chance to evaluate Mahatma Gandhi’s speech while launching the Quit India movement and Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech. I read Gandhiji’s speech with a very different lens than the innocence I had in school when I read it first. We learnt about interdependence and conflict in two successive classes – apt, for the two follow each other. We learnt about Steiner’s taxonomy and our row got the additive task completely right, special thanks to Raman, Arup, Siva, Rajini and God (for adding the numbers for me).

Some of us climbed the Everest. I was prevented by our over-concerned doc, Mano, even after I told him I refuse to die. 🙁 our group happily stayed in camp 4 and chilled out, literally. Very cool simulation, Prof Stewart.

This term also saw us sitting around and “Asking” for the support we each needed.. Thanks to Akash and Antony. The one immediate result of the session was Arun finding a title for the movie Mano will act in “Ende Jawaani Ninde Jawaani” which became something else altogether courtesy Archita’s challenge with Malayalam. Hopefully good sense will prevail soon. We also had the opportunity to meet some of the 2014 batch folks during gala dinner, they certainly have better dancers than us … One great singer in Mahua, but maybe many great singers whom we haven’t met yet. Prof Kale, it was great to meet you again and chat some more, especially out of class and without data :):):)

Special thanks to the alumni that flew in specially for our session – the collages were awesome and we will definitely live upto the ISB “way”. We really had a busy term.

I am still debating whether I forgive Antony and Raman for their comment on my leadership style – once I get over the hurt, maybe I can decide better. Am still thinking if it was genuine feedback in which case I need to worry because I never thought I was a coercive, strong man type leader except where clear feedback was needed and there were ethical issues.

P.s – Siva, Subbu had this distant dream that 10 years from now I will be a teacher and Arun, of all the people will be a student. So your moniker seems to stick !

Thus went Term 8.

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