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Monthly Newsletter
December 2011


In this issue:

How to Keep Your Cool: 12 Tips for Staying Calm Under Pressure

Ratan Tata, Rajat Gupta, Arthur Levinson & Dennis Ritchie


Enrichment Enrichment 18 Ways to Improve Your Body Language

There is no specific advice on how to use your body language. What you do might be interpreted in several ways, depending on the setting and who you are talking to. You’ll probably want to use your body language differently when talking to your boss compared to when you talk to a girl/guy you’re interested in. These are some common interpretations of body language and often more effective ways to communicate with your body.

First, to change your body language you must be aware of your body language. Notice how you sit, how you stand, how you use your hands and legs, what you do while talking to someone.

You might want to practice in front of a mirror. Yeah, it might seem silly but no one is watching you. This will give you good feedback on how you look to other people and give you an opportunity to practice a bit before going out into the world.

Another tip is to close your eyes and visualize how you would stand and sit to feel confident, open and relaxed or whatever you want to communicate. See yourself move like that version of yourself. Then try it out.

You might also want observe friends, role models, movie stars or other people you think has good body language. Observe what they do and you don’t. Take bits and pieces you like from different people. Try using what you can learn from them.

Some of these tips might seem like you are faking something. But fake it til you make it is a useful way to learn something new. And remember, feelings work backwards too. If you smile a bit more you will feel happier. If you sit up straight you will feel more energetic and in control. If you slow down your movements you’ll feel calmer. Your feelings will actually reinforce your new behaviours and feelings of weirdness will dissipate.

In the beginning easy it’s to exaggerate your body language. You might sit with your legs almost ridiculously far apart or sit up straight in a tense pose all the time. That’s ok. And people aren’t looking as much as you think, they are worrying about their own problems. Just play around a bit, practice and monitor yourself to find a comfortable balance.

1. Don’t cross your arms or legs – You have probably already heard you shouldn’t cross your arms as it might make you seem defensive or guarded. This goes for your legs too. Keep your arms and legs open.

2. Have eye contact, but don’t stare – If there are several people you are talking to, give them all some eye contact to create a better connection and see if they are listening. Keeping too much eye-contact might creep people out. Giving no eye-contact might make you seem insecure. If you are not used to keeping eye-contact it might feel a little hard or scary in the beginning but keep working on it and you’ll get used to it.

3. Don’t be afraid to take up some space – Taking up space by for example sitting or standing with your legs apart a bit signals self-confidence and that you are comfortable in your own skin

4. Relax your shoulders – When you feel tense it’s easily winds up as tension in your shoulders. They might move up and forward a bit. Try to relax. Try to loosen up by shaking the shoulders a bit and move them back slightly.

5. Nod when they are talking – nod once in a while to signal that you are listening. But don’t overdo it and peck like Woody Woodpecker.

6. Don’t slouch, sit up straight – but in a relaxed way, not in a too tense manner.

7. Lean, but not too much – If you want to show that you are interested in what someone is saying, lean toward the person talking. If you want to show that you’re confident in yourself and relaxed lean back a bit. But don’t lean in too much or you might seem needy and desperate for some approval. Or lean back too much or you might seem arrogant and distant.

8. Smile and laugh – lighten up, don’t take yourself too seriously. Relax a bit, smile and laugh when someone says something funny. People will be a lot more inclined to listen to you if you seem to be a positive person. But don’t be the first to laugh at your own jokes, it makes you seem nervous and needy. Smile when you are introduced to someone but don’t keep a smile plastered on your face, you’ll seem insincere.

9. Don’t touch your face – it might make you seem nervous and can be distracting for the listeners or the people in the conversation.

10. Keep you head up – Don’t keep your eyes on the ground, it might make you seem insecure and a bit lost. Keep your head up straight and your eyes towards the horizon.

11. Slow down a bit – this goes for many things. Walking slower not only makes you seem more calm and confident, it will also make you feel less stressed. If someone addresses you, don’t snap you’re neck in their direction, turn it a bit more slowly instead.

12. Don’t fidget and try to avoid, phase out or transform fidgety movement and nervous ticks such as shaking your leg or tapping your fingers against the table rapidly. You’ll seem nervous and fidgeting can be a distracting when you try to get something across. Declutter your movements if you are all over the place. Try to relax, slow down and focus your movements.

13. Use your hands more confidently instead of fidgeting with your hands and scratching your face use them to communicate what you are trying to say. Use your hands to describe something or to add weight to a point you are trying to make. But don’t use them to much or it might become distracting. And don’t let your hands flail around, use them with some control.

14. Lower your drink. Don’t hold your drink in front of your chest. In fact, don’t hold anything in front of your heart as it will make you seem guarded and distant. Lower it and hold it beside your leg instead.

15. Realise where you spine ends – many people (including me until recently) might sit or stand with a straight back in a good posture. However, they might think that the spine ends where the neck begins and therefore crane the neck forward in a Montgomery Burns-pose. Your spine ends in the back of your head. Keep you whole spine straight and aligned for better posture.

16. Don’t stand too close –one of the things we learned from Seinfeld is that everybody gets weirded out by a close-talker. Let people have their personal space, don’t invade it.

17. Mirror – Often when you get along with a person, when the two of you get a good connection, you will start to mirror each other unconsciously. That means that you mirror the other person’s body language a bit. To make the connection better you can try a bit of proactive mirroring. If he leans forward, you might lean forward. If she holds her hands on her thighs, you might do the same. But don’t react instantly and don’t mirror every change in body language. Then weirdness will ensue. :)

18. Keep a good attitude – last but not least, keep a positive, open and relaxed attitude. How you feel will come through in your body language and can make a major difference. For information on how make yourself feel better read 10 ways to change how you feel.

You can change your body language but as all new habits it takes a while. Especially things like keeping you head up might take time to correct if you have spent thousands of days looking at your feet. And if you try and change to many things at once it might become confusing and feel overwhelming.

Take a couple of these body language bits to work on every day for three to four weeks. By then they should have developed into new habits and something you’ll do without even thinking about it. If not, keep on until it sticks. Then take another couple of things you’d like to change and work on them.


What's Hot What's Hot Ratan Tata, Rajat Gupta, Arthur Levinson & Dennis Ritchie

Ratan Tata

Tata succession is a fresh chapter in family sagas

Ratan TataIndia’s largest diversified conglomerate, the Tata Group, broke tradition by appointing non-family member Cyrus Pallonji Mistry to succeed Chairman Ratan Tata. This, many feel, can be a wake-up call to Indian family-run business groups, as successions in the past have cut family relations and sliced businesses.

Let us know the man, finding whose successor was a challenging task.

Ratan Naval Tata (born 28 December 1937) is the present chairman of Tata Sons and therefore, Tata Group. He is also the chairman of major Tata companies such as Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Tea, Tata Chemicals, The Indian Hotels Company and Tata Teleservices.

Career at Tata Sons

When he returned to India in 1962 after turning down a job with IBM on the advice of JRD, he was sent to Jamshedpur to work on the shop floor at Tata Steel with other blue-collar employees, shovelling limestone and handling the blast furnace.  In 1971, he was appointed the Director of National Radio and Electronics (Nelco), which was in dire straits when he came on board: with losses of 40% and barely 2% share of the consumer electronics market.

However, just when he turned it around (from 2% to 25% market share), the Emergency was declared. A weak economy and labour issues compounded the problem and Nelco was quickly near collapse again.

For his next assignment, in 1977 he was asked to turn around the sick Empress Mills, which he did. However, he was refused a Rs 50 lakh investment required to make the textile unit competitive. Empress Mills floundered and was finally closed in 1986.

In 1981, JRD Tata stepped down as Tata Industries chairman, naming Ratan as his successor. He was heavily criticized for lacking experience in running a company of the scale of Tata Industries.

Ratan Tata's two-decade-long reign began in 1991, the year India started economic reforms. The group's revenues grew to $83 billion from $5 billion in that period. It was also a period in which India transformed from a third-world backwater to one of the world's fastest-growing economies.

In 1991, he was appointed group chairman of the Tata group. As group chairman, he has been responsible for converting "the corporate commonwealth" of different Tata-affiliated companies into a cohesive company. He has been responsible for the acquisition of Tetley, Jaguar Land Rover and Corus, which have turned Tata from a largely India-centric company into a global business, with 65% revenues coming from abroad.

He also pushed the development of Indica and the Nano. He is widely credited for the success of the Tata Group of companies, especially after the liberalization of controls after the 1990s.

In August 2007, Ratan Tata lead Tata Group's acquisition of British steel maker Corus. At that time, this was the largest takeover of a foreign company by an Indian company, and resulted in Tata Group becoming the fifth largest steel producer in the world. According to the BBC, however, some analysts criticized the move, saying that Tata Group had overpaid for Corus and had prioritized national pride before its shareholders.

Tata is set to retire in December 2012 to be succeeded by Cyrus Mistry, the 42-year-old son of Pallonji Mistry and managing director of Shapoorji Pallonji Group.

Ratan Tata has been accused in 2G-spectrum allocation case. On Nov 29, he moved the Supreme Court against the publication of intercepts of his conversations with Public Relations (PR) representative Nira Radia, who handles the corporate communication for the Tata Group. The phone transcripts are part of the evidence in the 2G spectrum scam and have been made public. Tata's petition wants the Centre to probe the leak of tapes and take action accordingly.

Honours, awards and international recognition

Ratan Tata serves in senior capacities in various organisations in India and he is a member of the Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry. Tata is on the board of governors of the East-West Center, the advisory board of RAND's Center for Asia Pacific Policy and serves on the program board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's India AIDS initiative.

Ratan Tata's foreign affiliations include membership of the international advisory boards of the Mitsubishi Corporation, the American International Group, JP Morgan Chase and Booz Allen Hamilton. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the RAND Corporation, University of Southern California and Cornell University.

Rajat Gupta

The former chief of McKinsey has been arrested on charges that he tried to make his friend, hedge fund owner Raj Rajaratnam, successful by leaking top corporate secrets and details of boardroom discussions.

Rajat Gupta Rajat Kumar Gupta (born December 2, 1948) was the managing director (chief executive) of management consultancy McKinsey & Company from 1994 to 2003 and a business leader in India and the United States.

In his capacity at McKinsey, Gupta was recognized as the first Indian-born CEO of a global corporation. After retiring from active practice, while maintaining an affiliation at McKinsey, Gupta served as corporate chairman, board director or strategic advisor to a variety of large and notable organizations: corporations including Goldman Sachs, Procter and Gamble and American Airlines, and non-profits including The Gates Foundation, The Global Fund and the International Chamber of Commerce. Rajat Gupta is additionally the co-founder of four different organizations: the Indian School of Business with Anil Kumar, the American India Foundation with Victor Menezes and Lata Krishnan, New Silk Route with Parag Saxena and Menezes again, and Scandent with Ramesh Vangal.

On October 26, 2011, Gupta was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on charges of securities fraud and conspiracy as part of an ongoing and wide-ranging insider trading case in which Gupta's close associates Raj Rajaratnam and Anil Kumar were convicted and pled guilty, respectively. The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Gupta the same day. Gupta entered a plea of not guilty and was released on $10 million bail. Previously, from March to August 2011, the SEC had filed administrative suit against Gupta, been countersued by Gupta, and then dropped those charges.

During that period, Gupta's conversations on tape with Rajaratnam, particularly those made while Gupta was a board member of Goldman Sachs, were played during Rajaratnam's trial and attracted widespread attention and notoriety. In the lead up and wake of the original SEC charges, Gupta resigned the majority of his corporate and philanthropic positions.

Rajat Gupta was born in Kolkata, India to Pran Kumari Gupta and Ashwini Kumar Gupta. His father was a journalist for Ananda Publishers. His father was a prominent freedom fighter and had been jailed by the British for his efforts. His mother taught at a Montessori school. Gupta had three siblings. He was a student at Modern School in New Delhi. After high school, Gupta ranked 15th in the nation in the entrance exam for the Indian Institutes of Technology. He received a Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) in 1971.

Gupta served for nearly a decade as managing director (chief executive officer) of McKinsey & Company  over a 34-year career at the management consultancy. He stepped down as managing director in 2003 and retired from active practice in 2007, becoming, like other retired senior partners, a "senior partner emeritus." Gupta maintained an office, executive assistant, email and phone at McKinsey and Company after retiring in 2007 — and is sometimes called a "senior partner emeritus" of the firm.

At McKinsey Gupta co-founded three different organizations:

  • a business school: the Indian School of Business with Anil Kumar

  • a charitable non-profit: the American India Foundation with Victor Menezes and Lata Krishnan

  • a technology solutions company: Scandent with Ramesh Vangal.

After retiring from active consulting at McKinsey, Gupta served on the board of directors or advisors — often as chairman of the board — of:

  • large public companies: banking (Goldman Sachs), consumer products (Procter and Gamble), aviation (AMR Corporation and subsidiary American Airlines Inc.), technology (Harman International);
  • international policy/industry institutions: International Chamber of Commerce, special advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • educational institutions: Harvard Business School, Indian School of Business, IIT, Tsinghua University, MIT Sloan, Kellogg School of Management
  • charitable organizations: The Gates Foundation, American India Foundation
  • health organizations: Global Fund for AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis, Global Health Council, Harvard School of Public Health, Cornell Medical College

After McKinsey Gupta also co-founded and chaired the private equity firm New Silk Route with Parag Saxena and Victor Menezes.

Arthur Levinson

Apple has picked biotechnology executive Arthur Levinson to replace Steve Jobs as chairman, as the iPhone maker also added the head of Disney to its board.

Arthur LevinsonApple Inc. has named Arthur Levinson as its non-executive chairman, a move that rewards the longtime Apple board member who chose it over Google Inc. when the technology giants began competing with each other.

Levinson said in a statement that he was honored to be named Apple's chairman.

"Apple is always focused on out-innovating itself ... and that is something I am very proud to be a part of," he said.

Levinson's allegiance may have been especially appreciated by Jobs, who had become convinced that Google stole iPhone's innovative touch-screen operating system to develop its own platform called Android.

In the book, titled simply "Steve Jobs," Jobs called Android a "stolen product." Schmidt was an Apple board member for three years until he resigned in August 2009 as the rivalry between the two companies grew. Levinson resigned from Google's board two months later.

Arthur D. Levinson (born March 31, 1950, in Seattle, Washington, United States) is the chairman of Genentech (1999 to present) and the newly appointed chairman of Apple Inc. He is the former chief executive officer of Genentech (1995–2009) and is also a member of Genentech’s Scientific Research Board, which serves as an advisory group to the company regarding its research and early development projects.

In addition to serving as Chairman for Genentech and Apple. Inc., Levinson serves on the Board of Directors for NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., Amyris Biotechnologies, Inc. and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He currently serves on the Board of Scientific Consultants of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Industrial Advisory Board of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3), the Advisory Council for the Princeton University Department of Molecular Biology and the Advisory Council for the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics.

He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1972, and his PhD in Biochemistry from Princeton University in 1977.

He subsequently moved to a postdoctoral position with Michael Bishop and Harold Varmus in the Department of Microbiology at the University of California, San Francisco, from where he was hired to Genentech by Herb Boyer.

Levinson joined Genentech  in 1980 as a research scientist and became vice president, Research Technology in 1989; vice president, Research in 1990; senior vice president, Research in 1992; and senior vice president, Research and Development in 1993.

In 1995, Levinson became Genentech’s chief executive officer, and in 1999 he was named chairman. In the same year, Levinson received the Irvington Institute's Corporate Leadership Award in Science and was honored with the Corporate Leadership Award from the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

Levinson was inducted into the Biotech Hall of Fame at the 2003 Biotech Meeting of chief executive officers. BusinessWeek named Levinson one of the “Best Managers of the Year” in 2004 and 2005, and Institutional Investor named him “America’s Best CEO” in the biotech category four years in a row (2004–2007).

Levinson served as a director of Google, Inc. from 2004 to 2009, when he resigned from Google's board of directors.

In 2006, Princeton University awarded Levinson the James Madison Medal for a distinguished career in scientific research and in biotechnology.

Also in 2006, Barron’s recognized Levinson as one of “The World’s Most Respected CEOs,” and the Best Practice Institute placed Levinson on their “25 Top CEOs” list. In 2008, Levinson was elected as a Fellow to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and rated him as the "nicest" CEO of 2008 with a 93% approval rating.

In 2010, the Biotechnology Industry Organization honored Levinson with the Biotechnology Heritage Award and the San Francisco Exploratorium with their Director’s Award.

Levinson has authored or co-authored more than 80 scientific articles and has been a named inventor on 11 United States patents.

On November 15, 2011 Levinson was named chairman of the board for Apple Inc. replacing the late Steve Jobs.

Dennis Ritchie

He is the new chief executive officer of Apple Inc.

Dennis Ritchie

Dennis M. Ritchie, who helped shape the modern digital era by creating software tools that power things as diverse as search engines like Google and smartphones, was found dead at his home in Berkeley Heights, N.J. He was 70.

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie (September 9, 1941 - October 12, 2011), was an American computer scientist who "helped shape the digital era." He created the C programming language and, with long-time colleague Ken Thompson, the UNIX operating system. Ritchie and Thompson received the Turing Award from the ACM in 1983, the Hamming Medal from the IEEE in 1990 and the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton in 1999. Ritchie was the head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department when he retired in 2007. He was the 'R' in K&R C and commonly known by his username dmr.

Ritchie was born in Bronxville, New York. His father was Alistair E. Ritchie, a longtime Bell Labs scientist and co-author of The Design of Switching Circuits on switching circuit theory. He moved with his family to Summit, New Jersey, as a child, where he graduated from Summit High School.

Ritchie graduated from Harvard University with degrees in physics and applied mathematics. In 1967, he began working at the Bell Labs Computing Sciences Research Center, and in 1968, he received a PhD from Harvard under the supervision of Patrick C. Fischer, his doctoral dissertation being "Program Structure and Computational Complexity".

Ritchie was best known as the creator of the C programming language, a key developer of the UNIX operating system, and co-author of The C Programming Language, and was the 'R' in K&R (a common reference to the book's authors Kernighan and Ritchie). Ritchie worked together with Ken Thompson, the scientist credited with writing the original Unix; one of Ritchie's most important contributions to Unix was its porting to different machines and platforms.

The C language is widely used today in application, operating system, and embedded system development, and its influence is seen in most modern programming languages. UNIX has also been influential, establishing concepts and principles that are now precepts of computing.

Ritchie was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1988 for "development of the 'C' programming language and for co-development of the UNIX operating system.

In 1983, Ritchie and Thompson jointly received the Turing Award for their development of generic operating systems theory and specifically for the implementation of the UNIX operating system. Ritchie's Turing Award lecture was titled "Reflections on Software Research".

In 1990, both Ritchie and Thompson received the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), "for the origination of the UNIX operating system and the C programming language".
In 1997, both Ritchie and Thompson were made Fellows of the Computer History Museum, "for co-creation of the UNIX operating system, and for development of the C programming language."

On April 21, 1999, Thompson and Ritchie jointly received the National Medal of Technology of 1998 from President Bill Clinton  for co-inventing the UNIX operating system and the C programming language which, according to the citation for the medal, "led to enormous advances in computer hardware, software, and networking systems and stimulated growth of an entire industry, thereby enhancing American leadership in the Information Age"

In 2011, Ritchie, along with Thompson, was awarded the Japan Prize for Information and Communications for his work in the development of the Unix operating system.

Ritchie was found dead on October 12, 2011, at the age of 70 at his home in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, where he lived alone. First news of his death came from his former colleague, Rob Pike. The cause and exact time of death have not been disclosed.

His death came a week after the death of Steve Jobs, although Ritchie's death did not receive as much media coverage. Computer historian Paul E. Ceruzzi  said after his death: "Ritchie was under the radar. His name was not a household name at all, but . . . if you had a microscope and could look in a computer, you'd see his work everywhere inside."

The Fedora 16 Linux distribution, which was released about a month after he died, was dedicated to his memory.

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