Friday, September 17, 2010

A matter of judgment!

Paul Rajan, CEO of the pharmaceutical company Eureka International looked very worried.

His new and revolutionary product, developed after 7 years of painstaking research is waiting to hit the market. The

sales team has been trained and are looking forward to the excitement of making a ‘killer’ sale this season. The marketing

team has put together a multi media promotion that is definite to place Eureka amongst the pioneers in research. The

media and press relations are excited at the coverage they will generate and the proximity to the centers of power it will

generate. The company secretary is definite that the shareholders will welcome this introduction. There will be a positive

jump in the share prices. With so much excitement all around, what could get Paul Rajan so worried ?

To go ahead with the launch or not?

Paul had just had one final round of meetings with his R&D managers. Everything seemed to be normal until one of

his staff reported an adverse reaction from one of the elder patients on whom the drug had reacted adversely. Should he

hide and dismiss this as a freak occurrence and go ahead with the launch ? Or should he have the matter investigated more

thoroughly and get fully reassured about the absence of any side effects? This was his dilemma.

Quite by accident, his school teacher had dropped in the day before to enquire about his health and the well being of

his family. Paul Rajan has been donating liberally to the development of his school and enjoyed a very special place in the

heart of his school teacher. Paul took the liberty of airing his concern and sought the impartial view of his Guru.

“ As we grow older and somewhat successful, instead of getting more powerful from within, many of us are challenged

by fear. I do not run a company such as you and I therefore am not sure if my response will be palatable . Nevertheless, the

hardest thing to do as we grow older are these :

Ability to challenge precedence: Can we assume the circumstances to always be favorable? How do we learnt to

accept and overcome set backs and adversity instead of pushing along with our own agenda?

Having the courage to undo our past doings: We take all the benefits endowed upon us by our previous

generation and blame them for the problems they let behind, forgetting the miseries we leave behind for the ones that


Letting go our privileges: Learning not to succumb to the charms of pleasures and privileges that we are prone to

take so much for granted. How much of what you have can you do without? without surrendering oneself to it for eternity !

Administering a bitter medicine to the self: How does one resist the temptation to follow what is convenient

in preference to doing what may be difficult but more appropriate ?

The fact that your conscience continues to trouble you shows that you are being true to yourself.

The fact hat you are seeking my advice shows your deep respect for me.

The best I can do is to encourage you to trust your judgment and choose to go with what will give you true joy!

Think: What would Paul Rajan tell the board? To go ahead or to stop?


Retrospective commentary:

Rajan reflected upon the words of his school teacher.

The anxiety that Rajan experience was justified. The teacher was right in pointing out that it is because he

cared so much for the medicine to be good that he was troubled mentally. Instead of sharing his dilemma, he

told the board the predicament he was in and asked them for their advice. He allowed the collective wisdom of

the board to bear on the issue rather than feel compelled to think n their behalf.

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