Catch me if you can.. A story and corporate lessons


One day when kasyap’s father woke up and came out he saw that his goat is missing. He thought that the goat might have gone out thru the gate that was open.  He is worried and he asked his neighbor ‘Hello Rao did you see my goat anywhere’ No replied Rao. Why don’t you check in the fields, it might be grazing there suggested Rao.

‘Yes I will go right now’ and he called Kasyap and said ‘Kasyap our goat is missing and why don’t you go looking in the village if you can find it. Also take your friends with you so they can help you find it quickly’

‘Ok Dad ‘said Kasyap and he goes out to meet his other friends.

‘Our goat is missing Gopal, can we all search for it?  Some thief must have stolen the goat.’  Asked kasyap.

‘Yes we should catch that thief like detectives’ said Gopal excited about catching a thief.

‘Let’s go and meet our gang and let’s do the detective work’ said kasyap.

So they went and met the remaining friends and all started going around every house.

‘Hey that one looks like our goat’ said when they saw one in some ones house. Kasyap went near the goat and the goat yelled out loadly ‘MEEEEEEEEIII’

‘Hey kids what you are doing. Are you stealing my goat?  Go away or I will hit you’ yelled the house owner.

‘No this one is not your goat Let’s go ‘ said Renu and they went looking in other house.

Meanwhile Pinki saw a goat grazing nearby. ‘Hey there is your goat I think kasyap’  Let catch it’.  They ran towards the goat and the goat jumped up and down with sudden rush of kids towards it and hit a cyclist coming on the road and ran in to the street.

“What the heck????????’ yelled the cyclist while falling down? Hey you kids why did you shout like that? Raising his hands to hit the kids he yelled.

‘Run Run before he catches us ‘yelled  charan. They ran towards the goat again. Meanwhile the goat is now under panic and just rushed into a tea stall and hit the stove where the tea owner balaraj is brewing tea.

“Mommyyyyyyyy’ he yelled in pain when the hot tea fell on his feat. The goat than ran out to wards the opposite house.

‘You idiots why are you scaring that goat like that’ who will pay for the tea ? and who will pay for the burns on my legs ‘  the tea stall owner yelling in pain ran to catch renu who was near by.

‘Hey Run ………’ yelled Govind  ‘he will hit us ………’

Everybody started running away from the tea owner and Renu was so scared that she did not see that the lady walking with a pot of milk on her head. She dashed her and the lady fell down and the pot broke with milk flowing on the street. ‘Are you nuts can’t you see me?  I lost all my milk?  Who will pay for it? I will have to go to your house to collect the money’ yelled the lady who is so upset with this. Renu is now more scared and ran faster. All the friends finally came to a junction and where grasping for breathe since they ran so fast. Meanwhile they saw the goat.

‘This stupid goat brought us this trouble’ Let’s catch it’ said Gopal.

‘No this time we should surround it and then catch it together‘said Pinki

‘Yes let’s do that’ we should silently go all around it and catch it’ said Renu. I ‘m afraid to go home now since I hit that milk lady and my father will be upset with me’ she said angrily looking at the goat.

So they slowly surround the goat and plunge together as Gopal counted 1,2 3

‘THUD……..’ the sound of kids falling on to the ground was heard. The goat is too strong for them to hold on and it just jumped out of their collective hands and ran again.

“My nose……it’s hurting now’  Said Kasyap

‘so my hand too” said Pinki…

‘My knees are hurting’      said Renu.

‘‘This stupid goat made us fall ‘we should never let her go. ‘ said Charan spitting the sand that went into his mouth when he fell down.

‘Yes see all the sand and dust went into my nose …….AAACHIIIIIIIIIII’ Sneezed Gopal.

Now all the friends are furious and they thought they should have a proper plan to catch.

‘See how the goat is looking at us. ‘Pointing her finger Pinki said.

‘Yes it is teasing us we have to catch it’ said Charan.

‘Let get a rope and tie one side as a knot and we catch the goat with her neck in the knot’ what do you say’ said Gopal.

‘Yes let’s do it’. So all friends found a big rope and they made a big knot and they together swirled it towards the goat and finally got her by the neck. But the goat is now scared and know that this kids are not leaving her alone and confused started pulling the thread and the children along with it.

‘Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh what’s going on this goat is pulling all of us’ pinki yelled.

Hold it,  hold it tight’ yelled Gopal trying to stand on his feet.

‘wooooooooooooooooo  yaaaaaaaaaaaaaa  hhheeeeeeeeeeeee’ charan is now on the ground along wth Renu, Pinki and Govind. Kasyap while Gopal tried to stand and they fell down too. Together the goat started pulling them thru the streets and all the villagers are  confused whether the friends are playing or something went wrong with the goat.

‘Hey what the heck are you kids doing’ Leave the goat alone’ shouted a villager’

‘Thud   Dammaaaaaaaaaaaal            DOMMMMMMMMM, MEAWWWWWWWWWWW, BOWBOWBOW’ Dogs got scared and starting barking.

Now the Goat  is hitting the cyclists dogs and cats on the road. The traffic on the road is now running helter skelter and nobody has any clue what’s going on.

“How dare you dashed me’ yelled one villager and hit the cyclist with a stick

‘Are you mad why you hit me? You stupid fellow. The goat made me fell don’t you see that’ and he punches the other guy. The other villager falls on the pots nearby and some of the pots rolled on to the street and broke. Now the pot owner is mad at this man and hits him. They started fighting and some of the fellow people joined them and all went into a fight. Now many more villagers joined the fight and nobody has any clue why they are all fighting each other.

By now the goat has dragged the friends so much they are having injuries and having pain. They left the rope and roll over to the side of the road.

“it hurts me more now. This stupid goat  GREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE’ yelled Pinki,

‘It’s all your fault with your stupid idea. Gopal’ Yelled  at Renu . Renu hits Gopal.

‘How dare you hit me’ shouted Gopal and hit Renu. Renu escapes and Charan gets the hit.

He falls down and was so furious that he jumps on Gopal and while jumping hits Kasyap.

By now everybody are hitting each other and finally they all got tired and had blood on their faces knees and hands and all have become dirty.

Meanwhile the goat is still around running here and there and everybody of the friends felt like the goat is teasing them a ‘Catch me if you can’………..

They are all slowly stated walking back home and by the time they reached Renu’s house the milk lady and other villagers are waiting for them angry and complaining on them to the parents of Renu.

“why did you all do this’ asked Renu’s father.

‘Uncle My father asked to find the missing goat so we found him and tried to catch it we did not purposely hit the tea stall owner or milk lady. The stupid goat did this. Look how we are all hurt by the goat. “ Sorry”  said kasyap.

Now the villagers know what has happened. Meanwhile Kasyap’s father came looking for him and asked where they went. Kasyap and others told him what happened.

‘But our goat is already in the house. It got lost to our neighbors house that is two houses away from our house. Whose goat are you guys trying to catch? Asked kasyap’s father now confused.

‘That goat there at the junction’ said Charan.

‘No that is not ours ‘ Anyway go home and wash up. You are all dirty and made everybody angry today.

You should all say Sorry  to all the elders’  said Renu’s father.

So the goat is still there confused why some kids are after it and still running around with a rope around its neck. Finally the villagers have to catch and give it back to the owner who is now looking for it.

Corporate Lessons.

Imagine the task of catching a Goat as a project.  Lesson no 1. Don’t rush to start working on the project individually within a team.

Lesson No 2. When Plan B is implemented of catching with a rope, spend time to understand the challenge and come up with a error proof plan otherwise it will lead to Lesson No 3.

Lesson No  3. When Plan B fails all hell breaks loose, project failure looms large and everyone in the project is upset and end up with blame game and looses peace and harmony of collaborative work. This leads to blame game and affected parties not getting a clue of why  or what is happening.

Lesson No 4.  Don’t always plan for complex solutions and end up with huge expenditure, miscommunication, conflicts and lost opportunities. Make sure to pause and cross check the viability of the plan by referring back to what problem you are solving.   Kids plans lead to quarrels and raised tempers in the villagers.

Lesson No 5. “Silence is the Worst kind of feed back” that leads to fruitless efforts and project disasters. Kasyap’s father remained Silent and never informed Kasyap that their Goat is already found.

Failure is not final


During the year of 2006-2007 I was working on some great projects for companies such as Rolls Royce in Sweden and Companies in US travelling between these countries and to India where my family moved. I was so involved in the projects that I did not see the Recession trends that are happening in US economy and did not realize that it will impact our work. 2007 year was worst in US corporate history with many employees laid off. That was tension filled days and every day there were news about employees laid off or company’s closing down. Nortel telecommunication is one such company that closed its operations and many brilliant people are laid off. The people who lost jobs are some of the most brilliant and have potential to start their own enterprises.

Me and one of my good friends had an idea of bringing these laid off people to a single platform and allow them to share ideas so that it can translate to new opportunities for them and new companies can evolve.  So we started a website and outsourced website development work to an Indian company. We did not bother to check the credentials of the company and the company did not give us a good site to start with and we failed badly to start our company in the right way.  We failed to capture that opportunity of starting our own company in US

I know “trying” is more important than “failing”. And when I do make mistakes, I use them as learning experiences, asking, “What did I do wrong, and how can I do it better next time?”

In our life we fail many times. We hear many failure stories of people around us. Some are love failures. Some fail to get jobs, Some failed to learn Languages, Some fail in their jobs and some failed to have good health and some failed in running a start-up company well.  If you look back into history there are so many who failed but have risen to high levels of success.  Apple computer Steve Jobs is one such person.

Failure is not final. It is an awkward, uncomfortable, anxiety-filled portion of your life; it is not your whole life. It isn’t who you are, it’s what happened to you, and once you get that distinction, then you realize, “I can change that. I can come back. I can do again.”

Don’t try to hide your mistakes. Admit them, and then learn and grow from them. When our attitudes are right, failure actually helps and improves us. It gives us a chance to correct our mistakes and sometimes makes us Humble.

Looking back on our experiences allows us to integrate them into our present time, allowing us to act with a little more wisdom .

So when you come across the fortune of failure don’t think that it is fatal or final. It is just one positive step in the direction of successful path that lay ahead to you my friend.. Keep trying and do your best. Let your quality work decide your fate

Here are some Quotes / stories to inspire you

Abraham Lincoln said “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” And he was a man who knew defeat. He was born into poverty. The only education he received he acquired himself. He failed in business, and he was defeated numerous times before becoming president of US

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” –Chinese quote

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston churchill

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”  Jim Rohn

William A. Ward said, “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end street.”

Successful leaders don’t avoid failure. They “handle” it –successfully.

The bottom line is that “failing to try” is the greatest failure anyone can experience. If we don’t make the attempt, we cannot succeed.

Why you need to fail?


“Success is a lousy teacher”. Bill Gates   the richest man on the planet said once.

Success does not teach you so much as failure; in moments of success there is celebration, whereas in moments of failure there is learning,

Once upon a time in a village there was a wrestler with strong body. He feels happy and proud whenever the villagers praise him for his muscles and that made him to go into comfort zone and he stopped practicing regularly. He always expected every passerby to acknowledge his strength.  One day a guru was passing thru the village and he did not notice this wrestler and the wrestler was upset. He stopped the guru in his tracks and caught him by the hand trying to push the guru to ground. In a shift reaction the guru was able to twist the arm of the wrestler and pushed him down.  Suddenly the wrestler felt weak and came down to his knees and asked the guru what is wrong with him. The guru replied that he did not fail till now and he avoided refining his wrestling skills since he went into a comfort zone. “Without sweating and fighting fit to improve new skills every day you possibly won’t learn anything new except what you already know”  said the guru. 

What is the lesson we can learn from this? Most of us put a tremendous effort trying to avoid the possibility of failure by not even trying once.

According to Dr. Carol Dweck, professor at Stanford University, we have a mindset problem. Dweck has done a tremendous amount of research to understand what makes someone give up in the face of adversity (difficulty) versus strive to overcome it.

It turns out the answer is deceptively simple. It’s all in your head.

If you believe that you cannot do a thing then you won’t even try.  If you believe that your talents are fixed, then you will try to avoid failure at all costs because failure is proof of your limitation. We all go thru a routine that we are used to everyday and never challenge or use our brains to improve upon some of the things we do on  daily basis. Just try a different routine today and learn what is the new results you got.

Students with fixed mindsets would rather not learn new language such as English and adjust to low life or jobs that come their way.   

Some company owners or heads of some institutes with fixed mindsets will surround themselves with people who agree with them. They feel smart when they get it right. It reinforces their sense of competence and they feel comfortable that way.
But if you believe your talent grows with persistence and effort, then you seek failure as an opportunity to improve. People with a growth mindset feel smart when they’re learning, not when they’re flawless.
Ask any national or international sports person or any successful person how he reached that levels. You will surely get to know that they failed several times before succeeding but they kept learning from the failures so they can do better next time.
A growth mindset is the secret to maximizing potential. At skills nest trainings I give my students tasks above their ability to bring them out of the comfort zone and make them learn things that enable them to adjust to corporate world.

Want to increase your own performance? Set high goals where you have a 50-70% chance of success.. Then, when you fail half the time, figure out what you should do differently and try again. That’s practice. And according to recent studies, 10,000 hours of that kind of practice will make you an expert in anything. No matter where you start.

I set a goal of transforming the mind set of students in Godavari districts and bring them at par to national and later international competency levels.  That is a high goal for me now. I’m realizing the pain of the inefficient systems/resource crunch surrounding the students and how that is not allowing them to learn new things.   Hey, but I’m trying out methods to overcome the problems for my students. Are you with me? Let me know your thoughts.