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My Superbowl Moment.

Posted by Niroo Kamdar

For many of you who may follow football, John Mobley was an all-pro linebacker that played 8 seasons with the Denver Broncos. He was a key component of the Broncos teams that won Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998. In fact, his tipped pass of Brett Favre in the final minutes of Super Bowl XXXI, secured him his first ring.

Not only is John Mobley a decorated football legend who demonstrated a fierce tenacity on the field. He is also a soft-spoken gentleman who happens to be my neighbor.  

I have known him for the last 8 yrs. and we have played golf on many occasions. What struck me most about him when I first met him was his sincere generosity and humbleness that he displays at all times. He didn't come from a privileged background (same as myself) and went to a small school in Pennsylvania called Kutztown University. He had to compete against the top players from the big schools from all the major conferences: Big 12, SEC, Big Ten, Pac-10. Through his hard-work, dedication and perseverance, he managed to be a first-round pick of the Broncos and the rest was glorious history.

Similar to John, I went to the University of Missouri and not an Ivy-League or elite private institution. My father handed me 18 dollars, paid for one semester of college and gave me a one-way ticket to fly to Missouri from India in 1960. I ended up taking a full semester load while becoming a teaching assistant to earn extra dollars. During the summer breaks, I took a job waiting tables at the legendary Sahara Inn Hotel in Chicago and even served the great Roy Orbison, Sammy Davis Jr. and Chi-Chi Rodriguez.

When I graduated, I had to prove myself against folks who came from the finest institutions: Harvard, University of Chicago and Northwestern amongst many other elite schools when entering the workforce. When I was given my chance at General Foods, I seized the opportunity and never looked back. I like to call out from time to time that I come from the former Big 8 conference that has produced the likes of Warren Buffet (Nebraska) and T. Boone Pickens (Oklahoma State) which is good company to keep!

My Super Bowl ring came when I was nominated as a finalist in New York for the highly prestigious Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" award  (past winners include: Hamid Ulukaya, Founder of Chobani Yogurt, Thomas Mackey, Founder of Whole Foods, and Wayne Huzienga, Founder of AutoNation and Blockbuster Video). Although I didn't win, it is the highest honor bestowed on entrepreneurs who have a vision, take the risk and are able to influence change amongst the status quo.

What John and I have in common is that we had the drive and motivation to succeed in our respective fields. And yet we never lost sight of our roots and where we can from. We did not have all the advantages when we started our professional careers and had to prove ourselves even more. But we demonstrated that by having inner conviction and self-confidence, you can achieve your ultimate dreams and hoist your own personal Lombardi trophy.

 


Your Value Structure Defines Your Company

Posted by Niroo Kamdar

The universal laws of nature work in three dimensions: Time, Space, and Motion. Each dimension has a vector - magnitude and direction. Most of us are not as cognizant of the dimensionality of Motion, as we are of the Time and Space. The magnitude of Motion varies between rest (zero motion) and the maximum velocity of an object. Its directions could be downward, upward, or in the same plane. All objects go through constant movement between rest and motion, composing and decomposing.

In the old days, people used mills to extract oil from the peanuts or grind grains to flour. This mill had two huge earthen wheels on top of each other; a shaft linked to the top wheel and a bull with blinders at the other end. The carrots were attached at a fixed distance from the bull. As the bull moved to grab the carrots (which it could never reach), the upper wheel moved in a circular motion. The bull constantly moved in a circular motion, ending up where it began. Quite a few of us feel like this bull; constantly moving and getting exhausted without making any progress. In Sanskrit, this motion is called Gati – an aimless motion without any progress. On the other hand, an upward motion is called Pragati”.  To transform Gati (circular motion) to Pragati  (upward motion), requires that we move away from the periphery and get to the Center. The Center is our core, the Source, the Indweller, the Consciousness, the Atman.

Through more than 45 years of my business life, I have learned from, shared with, and guided many people. They have been my seniors, superiors, subordinates, peers, and business acquaintances. Some of them were older than me and no longer in the business world, while other peers have moved up to the C-suite over time. They are all bright stars in the galaxy of my memory lane: Jim Kilts, Irene Rosenfeld, Bob Seelert, Rick Lenny, John Bowlin, Betsy Holden, Roger Deromedi, Eileen Serra, Peter Klein, Steve Sadove, Steve Price, John Tait, Dick Kropp, Dave and Ben Butler, Anil Arora, Joe Plummer, Kathy Dwyer, Chris Policinsky, Vithala Rao, Art Redmond, and Satish Korde.

The synchronal combination of these coordinates on the three dimensions of Time, Space, and Motion, along with the chain of actions and reactions with people, places and events form our Karmic composition. The karmic composition is the DNA of his or her Value Structure.  An entrepreneur creates an organization in the image that reflects their value structure.

My value structure led to the creation of Summitry Worldwide close to 30 years ago and represents the following: Integrity of results, Passion for growth and the Joy of working with clients.