In 1968 Dr. Har Gobind Khorana won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He was an American citizen, but he was of Indian origin and the honor was widely celebrated in his country of birth. …


I was visiting a friend.

Her in-laws had just arrived for a short stay, and she introduced them to me. She was wearing a lovely costume that they had brought for her, and she looked quite fetching. She was also somewhat tense.

When her in-laws retired, I asked her if…


These serotinal days are conducive to reflection. I look at my new grand-daughters and the miracle of life becomes ever so apparent. They are not yet three weeks old but have already gone through heart wrenching crises. …


We go through life with a model of how the world is. This model is in our head, but we do not recognize that it is just a model. And, because we think that the model is ‘real’ we make many mistakes of omission and commission.

Diane was an earnest seeker. She had grown up in a conservative family and, while she never rebelled, she had chafed at the restrictions on her behavior.

She had a spiritual streak though she would not have used the term in describing herself. …


One of my students — let’s call him Steve — was a thoughtful individual and felt that his life was completely transformed by my course, Creativity and Personal Mastery. He was a senior executive in the debt restructuring division of a large bank.

He was very good at what he did and had been promoted many times. He was on track for elevation to the upper ranks of the bank hierarchy.

He came to me with an existential problem. “Professor Rao, I am completely out of alignment with what I do for a…


Advice for Couples — Be like the Cashew Nut and not like the Walnut

It is almost a half century since I graduated with an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. Technically it was a diploma, but everybody recognized it as an MBA including Columbia Business School which gave me full course credit as I entered the Ph.D. program there.

Kishore…


This is How the Lies Begin

And the lies spread until you are enveloped in a cocoon of falsehood

As I write this I am in San Francisco with my daughter and her family. Krish, my grandson, is not quite two yet and is a bundle of energy.

When he sees me in the morning he says “Tatha,” and then he runs and hugs me. …


You Cannot Solve an Internal Problem with External Action!

Yet this is what you try to do again and again!

I have taught Creativity and Personal Mastery at many top business schools including Columbia, Kellogg, London Business School and Berkeley.

And, without fail, the same incident happens. Sometimes it happens more than once.

A woman — sometimes it is a man — tells me about a trip she took to…


What Are You Not Seeing?

Sometimes what you miss may be more important than what you observe

If someone were to ask you whether you are good at observing what is really happening, what would your answer be?

We visited some friends we had not seen for a while, and it was a most delightful evening. …


You Have Never Lived in the Real World!

You live in a construct –
and you experience it the way you have built it.

You live in a dream world.

You have always lived in a dream world.

You have never known anything but this dream world, so you think it is ‘real’.

And it is real.

But it is ‘a’ reality.

Your problems arise because you think it is ‘the’ reality.

Consider the…

Srikumar S Rao

Srikumar Rao is the author of “Are You Ready to Succeed?” and creator of the celebrated MBA course, “Creativity & Personal Mastery.” // theraoinstitute.com

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