“The School of Hard Knocks”!

May 14, 2019

Persistence- Calvin Coolidge.jpeg

The attached Quote by the late President of USA aptly describes the resolve & determination my grandfather & family have shown over the last seven decades.

Over these decades, we have faced – and continue to do so – political problems, pressures & interferences; hotel politics; community politics; family crisis; business pressures; sports politics; monetary problems.  Is it because we are minorities?

My late grandfather, Dinshaw B Avari, was an orphan in Mumbai.  Himself learning under a lantern, my grandfather gave tuitions to pay his way through college, obtaining a B.Com from Bombay University.  He started his career in the Sun Life Assurance Co of Canada and in 1929 was sent to Karachi to open the Company’s office.  From this eventually led to the purchase of the Bristol Hotel in Karachi and the start of our family’s hospitality career.  When Beach Luxury Hotel opened in 1948, the property was requisitioned.  In Lahore in the 1950/60s, a new “scheme” by the Governor then, requisitioned our property for so-called public use.  Our Avari Towers Hotel in Karachi, absolutely ready for operations, remained closed for two years due to “competitor” politics…I can go on and on.

However, Calvin Coolidge’s Quote stands tall on our Office wall, as we have weathered the tides & onslaught against us…and survived…and grown … due to the persistence of my grandfather & father!

In the face of these challenges my grandfather used to quote “More things are wrought by prayers, than by man alone”.  There is no substitute for persistence and hard work … and Prayers and faith in God help you overcome such challenges and tribulations.

… and no school can ever teach you this!

What’s Your Weakness 🤔!?

March 8, 2019

Weaknesses-for-Job-Interviews

I am impatient, many times, and I do interrupt – especially when I try to finish someone else’s sentence (isn’t that annoying!) … not a good thing.   Short attention span!  What else … umm, let’s see … I tune off in a conversation!  When I can’t work further, I pack up and leave for home! … and I can go on and on.

However, when we’re interviewing candidates (and these are “Executive” level people), and my colleagues or I ask them about their weakness (and I still believe this is an important question … tell you why in a moment), answers range from –

  1. Oh, I can’t think of any off hand
  2. Honestly, I don’t have anything major
  3. Lies irritate me
  4. Impatient when the work isn’t done on time

(…and I can go on and on)

So, we’re human and does that makes us … perfect?  Errr, I don’t think so!

Don’t “lies” irritate or gall most of the 7 billion humans on Earth?

Generally, wouldn’t most people get irritated if the work assigned by them is not completed on time?

(On one skype interview, when I heard “I don’t have any”, I completely tuned off and that was the end of his candidature!)

I mean, these are not “weaknesses” per se, so why say it?  Why not be upfront and honest about your [personality] traits because [it] is going to be apparent to your bosses and peers within a week of joining!

If you have a short attention span or if you anger easily or if you like to do work yourself or you don’t delegate … why not say it honestly?  This is not a rhetorical question- I truly don’t know know why this happens (maybe it’s because I’ve always worked in the family business and never got on the job market)!

Why is this still an important question?  I believe it shows how communicable the candidate is – how open she is – how approachable she can be.  If she’s willing to share a character flaw, in my books, she’s worth taking on board because her open approach will benefit the team and her peers.  By mentioning your “weakness” one acknowledges we are human – and we are NEVER PERFECT.

Personally speaking, if your professional side is fine, I much prefer honesty up front rather than finding out a month later that you cannot take, say, criticism.

… as Commodus says in “Gladiator”, “It vexes me … I’m terribly vexed!

(Image credit- https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+your+weakness&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjgn8WT2fHgAhUBElAKHeViDLMQ_AUIDigB&biw=1422&bih=652#imgrc=sFBmXEqbT77SKM:)