What can we learn from PM Manmohan Singh?

Answer by Shikhar Agarwal:

I believe the question was asked in a sarcastic sense, but the answer is not. As far as learning is concerned, I think MMS is a perfect real life example to take the following lessons:

  • Circumstances can force even the best of men to bury themselves alive

He has a doctorate in economics from Oxford, has worked in the UN, has been the Chief Economic Advisor (1972–76), Reserve Bank governor (1982–85) and Planning Commission head (1985–87). And as a Finance Minister revolutionized the entire Indian economy. But today he has become a silent man, a sleeping face of India. What's more, even his party members treat him as a trash and openly speak against him. This is life – unfair, unjustified and unavoidable.

  • Company and peers matter

(choose your company carefully)

In most cases, the company you keep determines your altitude. People judge you and form opinions about you by the group you interact with – whether the opinion is right or wrong, it doesn't matter. MMS may himself be capable, respectable and honest – but his company make people to infer that he is incapable, corrupt and an object to ridicule.

  • It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute

He had worked hard all his life – look at his stellar resume before he became the PM. He was considered to be one of the most influential men in India – earning everyone's respect. But today he has been conveniently called "Dehati Aurat" and Underachiever by leading magazines. It's important to realize that you can lose all your hard-earned respect in a moment – so be careful of your actions.

  • Fail-fast Mode – Get out of the mess ASAP

Entrepreneurs are advised to act as if they are in fail-fast mode, which means that they should detect failure early rather than later and take appropriate actions. It basically tells you to get out of a potentially messy and difficult situation soon rather than later. MMS kept the company of his current colleagues – as a result, he cannot leave them now even if he has to take all the blows.

Personally I have a great respect for MMS – as an individual. I really pity him and its really unfortunate that such a talent has been denied an opportunity to shine.

What can we learn from PM Manmohan Singh?

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