Trivia for Executives

Ministhy Dileep | April 11,2011 10:14 am IST

"There are many things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, that are not spoken of in your philosophy", or something like that. Yeah, I am speaking of Trivia joys, that ineffable, inexplicable shooting of joy when you catch up on something, meant just for you.

For a satisfied smirk at least!


Try these trivia in which I see vintage potential, for improving your Executive Effectiveness:

1- A Hindu Business Line article* suggests that we try vegetable oil to rinse the mouth, thereby getting rid of diseases ranging from liver cirrhosis to bad tummy and also obtain a glowing skin in the bargain. Almost like the Ambani offer of an STD call for a postcard price. Look, ma, no tartar! No kidney trouble either!


Try this oil mouthwash, to take off that sour taste in your mouth, when the bombastic boss is doing the department's vision presentation. (Incidentally your measly kingdom is being chopped up into 320 odd city-states for the friendly neighborhood Spidermen/women). It will calm that acne which is breaking out furiously, soothe the frayed nerves and also prevent your tongue from committing sacrilege. And all you need to explain afterwards is that doctor advised it for acute nausea.


2- Have you heard this Internet joke? Apparently the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, failed, because the facilitator asked the following question**:
"What is your honest opinion about finding a peaceful solution to the food shortage in the rest of the world?"


The Africans had not heard of food, the West Europeans didn't know of shortage, the East Europeans didn't know what opinion meant, the Middle East was flummoxed by the word peaceful solution, the Asians didn't get the meaning of honest, and the Americans didn't know what rest of the world meant.


That is a good opener when you are making a presentation yourself. Especially when you know that many teamies have been training with Anjali Ved Pathak, to obtain better precision in their shooting down skills. You can wave the white flag that the meeting wouldn't end up as the WSSD.


3- A nasty one on the Quality guys. It seems that this Quality guy was taken to watch the Russian ballet - there were 12 ballerinas. Asked later about his opinion, he shook his head, "All of them were doing the same thing. One would have been enough. Eleven were redundant."


You can contemplate on that to boost up your self esteem when this species descent to pore over your documents' version numbers. You see, they honestly believe that Nostradamus is the name of that Certifying Agency in Netherlands. It takes all types..etc, etc.


4- The Economist magazine is famous for its pithy one-liners. And very precise writing. In a recent obituary of one of their famed columnists they reiterated his philosophy - "He didn't believe in polishing shit."


Sip your coffee to that classic as your beloved CEO presents his company's achievements to the Houdini Award committee for Best Corporate Practices. Smile beatifically as he presents a project as complete, when the draft version was last seen on your desk when you went to buy your coffee.


Some people are born polished, some achieve polish (ness), others have polish thrust upon them.

A recipe for peace in a world out of harmony:




(The power of colors to harmonize. Ideally all three have to be in balance***.)


Your teamie (who has stolen that foreign assignment from under your nose) is sweetly trilling, "Oh, maaaan, I have too much work to take that up. But then, I guess, I HAVE to go. The boss said there is nobody else!"


You don't have to feel Blue, see Red or go Yellow. You see that's all out of harmony!


* "Gargling with oil", Hindu Business Line Supplement, 11th February, 2003.
** From Memory, Ref: Hindu on Internet gabs, forgive for slight errors.
*** Healing with gems and crystals, Daya Sarai Chocron, 1999.


Ministhy S. is PG (PM&IR) from XLRI-Jamshedpur, and currently, an IAS officer working in the UP cadre. She has written five books - 'Unequal Equations', 'Learning with Tippy Tortoise: Tales for Kids', 'Happy Birthday: Poems for Kids' and a novel published by Dronequill Publishers, Bangalore....

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Kalyan Sagar on 04/19/11 at 11:24 am

Awesome write up.Brilliant. As someone said "Most part of top management consists in making it difficult for people to get their work done". Let the rainbows keep forming:)

Sheetal on 04/20/11 at 10:30 pm

Point 2 is too good ! Love the way you have put together some Complex Issues!