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A leader should know how to manage failure

 
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Anuj Dhawan

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Joined: 22 Apr 2006
Posts: 6258
Location: Mumbai, India

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:17 am    Post subject: A leader should know how to manage failure
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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.
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Aaru

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Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Posts: 1288
Location: Chennai, India

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply to: A leader should know how to manage failure
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Hats off to that chairman :) This news has come out just because it happened to abdul kalam ! Had it been some other guy they would not have admitted their mistake !

Abt Abdul kalam, I have met/listened to his lectures and have spoken to him.He is simply unbeleivable.

Aaru
- Big fan of abdul kalam
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Anuj Dhawan

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Joined: 22 Apr 2006
Posts: 6258
Location: Mumbai, India

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:43 am    Post subject:
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True, He is simply simple. I used to stay near by President House during my 'search' for job, observed Him that time, quite simple life style He has.

Quote:
Had it been some other guy they would not have admitted their mistake !
Yeah, everone knows what should be done by others to them but no one understands what should be done by them for others. .. One can not change the perception of others but perhaps of oneself, as they say..."put yourself in order & you can be sure that at least one rascal is less in this world" ..

later,
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rakesha.hg

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Joined: 21 Mar 2008
Posts: 161
Location: bangalore

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply to: A leader should know how to manage failure
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hi guys,

my query is.....

is this incident quoted in WINGS OF FIRE.... if so ...


thanks for reminding!
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mytags

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Joined: 28 Apr 2008
Posts: 63
Location: US

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 11:32 am    Post subject:
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Hi
Our Kalam allways explains things with real time incidents so it relates to life ,so it become more touching also..
icon_smile.gif
hari
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drmadhu

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Joined: 11 Oct 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Cranford,NJ

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:29 am    Post subject:
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Proud for being born in the same country as Abdul Kalam!!
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diwa_thilak

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Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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Location: At my desk

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:39 am    Post subject:
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How many managers in the world take responsibility to the failures and share appreciations with Team.

Hats Off to Prof Dhawan.

Thanks for sharing this information with us Anuj.
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Anuj Dhawan

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Joined: 22 Apr 2006
Posts: 6258
Location: Mumbai, India

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:46 am    Post subject:
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diwa_thilak wrote:
Hats Off to Prof Dhawan.
Dhawan's are usually Best . . . icon_wink.gif

Quote:
Thanks for sharing this information with us Anuj.
You're welcome . . . icon_smile.gif
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Itanium

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Joined: 22 Jan 2006
Posts: 114
Location: India

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:14 pm    Post subject:
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nice one...
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radhakrishnan82

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Joined: 31 Mar 2005
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Location: chennai, India

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:19 am    Post subject:
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good one

cheers,
raddie
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Anuj Dhawan

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Joined: 22 Apr 2006
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Location: Mumbai, India

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:44 pm    Post subject: testing
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testing
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