Question: Could you give an example, from your own experience, of how
leaders should manage failure?

Kalam: Let me tell you about my experience. In 1973 I became the project
director of India’s satellite launch vehicle program, commonly called
the SLV-3. Our goal was to put India ‘s “Rohini” satellite into orbit by
1980. I was given funds and human resources — but was told clearly that
by 1980 we had to launch the satellite into space. Thousands of people
worked together in scientific and technical teams towards that goal.

By 1979 — I think the month was August — we thought we were ready.

As the project director, I went to the control center for the launch. At
four minutes before the satellite launch, the computer began to go
through the checklist of items that needed to be checked. One minute
later, the computer program put the launch on hold; the display showed
that some control components were not in order. My experts — I had four
or five of them with me — told me not to worry; they had done their
calculations and there was enough reserve fuel. So I bypassed the
computer, switched to manual mode, and launched the rocket. In the first
stage, everything worked fine. In the second stage, a problem developed.
Instead of the satellite going into orbit, the whole rocket system
plunged into the Bay of Bengal. It was a big failure.

That day, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, Prof.
Satish Dhawan, had called a press conference. The launch was at 7:00 am,
and the press conference — where journalists from around the world were
present — was at 7:45 am at ISRO’s satellite launch range in
Sriharikota [in Andhra Pradesh in southern India ]. Prof. Dhawan, the
leader of the organization, conducted the press conference himself. He
took responsibility for the failure — he said that the team had worked
very hard, but that it needed more technological support. He assured the
media that in another year, the team would definitely succeed. Now, I
was the project director, and it was my failure, but instead, he took
responsibility for the failure as chairman of the organization.

The next year, in July 1980, we tried again to launch the satellite —
and this time we succeeded. The whole nation was jubilant. Again, there
was a press conference. Prof. Dhawan called me aside and told me, “You
conduct the press conference today.”

I learned a very important lesson that day. When failure occurred, the
leader of the organization owned that failure. When success came, he
gave it to his team
. The best management lesson I have learned did not
come to me from reading a book; it came from that experience.


How Much Does a Miracle Cost?

Here is sending a miracle your way…

Tess was a precocious eight year old when she heard her Mom and Dad
talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he was
very sick and they were completely out of money.

They were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn’t
have the money for the doctor bills and our house. Only a very costly
surgery could save him now and it was looking like there was no-one to
loan them the money.

She heard Daddy say to her tearful Mother with whispered desperation,
“Only a miracle can save him now.”

Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding
place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and
counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly
perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in
the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made
her way 6 blocks to Rexall’s Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief
sign above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he
was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing
noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she
could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged
it on the glass counter. That did it!

“And what do you want?” the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice.
“I’m talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven’t seen in ages,”
he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

“Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,” Tess answered back in
the same annoyed tone. “He’s really, really sick… and I want to buy a

“I beg your pardon?” said the pharmacist.

“His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and
my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle

“We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help
you, “the pharmacist said, softening a little.

“Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough, I will
get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.”

The pharmacist’s brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked
the little girl, “What kind of a miracle does you brother need?”

“I don’t know,” Tess replied with her eyes welling up. “I just know he’s
really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can’t pay
for it, so I want to use my money.

“How much do you have?” asked the man from Chicago.

“One dollar and eleven cents,” Tess answered barely audibly. And it’s
all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.

“Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the man. “A dollar and eleven cents-the
exact price of a miracle for little brothers.” He took her money in
one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said “Take me
to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents.
Let’s see if I have the kind of miracle you need.”

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing
in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn’t
long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily
talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

“That surgery,”her Mom whispered. “was a real miracle. I wonder how much
it would have cost?”

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost… one dollar
and eleven cents …… plus the faith of a little child.

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of
a higher law……


It’s half past 8 in the office but the lights are still on…
PCs still running, coffee machines still buzzing…
And who’s at work? Most of them ??? Take a closer look…

All or most specimens are ??
Something male species of the human race…

Look closer… again all or most of them are bachelors…

And why are they sitting late? Working hard? No way!!!
Any guesses???
Let’s ask one of them…
Here’s what he says… ‘What’s there 2 do after going home…Here we get to surf, AC, phone, food, coffee that is why I am working late…Importantly no bossssssss!!!!!!!!!!!’

This is the scene in most research centers and software companies and other off-shore offices.

Bachelors ‘Time-passing’ during late hours in the office just bcoz they say they’ve nothing else to do…
Now what r the consequences…

‘Working’ (for the record only) late hours soon becomes part of the institute or company culture.

With bosses more than eager to provide support to those ‘working’ late in the form of taxi vouchers, food vouchers and of course good feedback, (oh, he’s a hard worker… goes home only to change..!!).
They aren’t helping things too…

To hell with bosses who don’t understand the difference between ‘sitting’ late and ‘working’ late!!!

Very soon, the boss start expecting all employees to put in extra working hours.

So, My dear Bachelors let me tell you, life changes when u get married and start having a family… office is no longer a priority, family is… and
That’s when the problem starts… b’coz u start having commitments at home too.

For your boss, the earlier ‘hardworking’ guy suddenly seems to become a ‘early leaver’ even if u leave an hour after regular time… after doing the same amount of work.

People leaving on time after doing their tasks for the day are labelled as work-shirkers…

Girls who thankfully always (its changing nowadays… though) leave on time are labelled as ‘not up to it’. All the while, the bachelors pat their own backs and carry on ‘working’ not realizing that they r spoiling the work culture at their own place and never realize that they would have to regret at one point of time.

So what’s the moral of the story??
* Very clear, LEAVE ON TIME!!!
* Never put in extra time ‘ unless really needed ‘
* Don’t stay back unnecessarily and spoil your company work culture which will in turn cause inconvenience to you and your colleagues.

There are hundred other things to do in the evening..

Learn music…

Learn a foreign language…

Try a sport… TT, cricket………

Importantly,get a girl friend or boy friend, take him/her around town…

* And for heaven’s sake, net cafe rates have dropped to an all-time low (plus, no fire-walls) and try cooking for a change.

Take a tip from the Smirnoff ad: *’Life’s calling, where are you??’*

Please pass on this message to all those colleagues and please do it before leaving time, don’t stay back till midnight to forward this!!!




ounu nizam, ounu nizam
ounu nizam, nee vanadhi
nee vanadhii, nee vanadhii
nee vanadhii nizam, nizam !

ledhu sukham, ledhu sukham,
ledhu sukham jagathuloo !
brathuku vrudha, chadhuvu vrudha,
kavitha vrudha ! vrudha, vrudha !

manamantha banisalam,
gaanugalam,peenugulam !
venuku dhaga, mundhu dhaga,
kudi yedamala dhagaa, dhagaa !

manadhii oka brathukenaa ?
kukkala vale, nakkala vale !
manadhi oka brathukenaa ?
sandhulaloo pandhula vale !

nizam sumi, nizam sumi,
nee vanadhii nizam sumi !
brathuku chaaya, chadhuvu maaya,
kavitha karakaaya sumi !

ledhu sukham,ledhu rasam
chedhu visham jeevafalam !
jeevafalam chedhu visham,
chedhu visham, chedhu visham !

ounu nizam, ounu nizam,
ounu nizam nee vanadhi!
nee vanadhii, nee vanadhii,
nee vanadhii nizam, nizam !