Category: Uncategorized

What are the attributes of leadership?

~Field Marshall. Sam Manekshaw, MC

The primary, the cardinal attribute of leadership is professional knowledge and professional competence. And you will agree with me, ladies and gentlemen, that you cannot be born with professional knowledge or professional competence. Not even if you are the son of the prime minister, an industrialist or a Field Marshal! Professional knowledge has to be acquired the hard way.

The problem in India is that as soon as one of us is put in a position of power, he feels that he has the monopoly of the entire knowledge.

It’s a continuous study and you never acquire enough in today’s fast moving, competitive, technological world that we are living in. You’ve got to keep up with your profession, whatever you are in. Doctors, engineers, scientists, all contribute to journals of their profession. They all have contact with their counterparts in other worlds.

The problem in India is that as soon as one of us is put in a position of power, he feels that he has the monopoly of the entire knowledge. Those who are responsible for the defence and security of this country, can they cross their hearts and swear that they have ever read a book on strategy, on tactics? On military campaigns, or weapons? Can they even distinguish between a mortar and a motor, a guerrilla from a gorilla? Professional knowledge and professional competence are the main attributes of leadership. Unless you know, and the men you command know that you know your job, you will never be a leader. Take industry for example. The automobile industry has gone through tremendous technological changes. It’s only recently that our industrialists have started thinking and producing a modern car. I want to tell you that unless you have professional knowledge and professional competence, you will never become a leader.

And that takes me to the next attribute of leadership, the ability to think; to make up your mind, to take a decision and accept full responsibility for that decision. Have you ever wondered, why a man doesn’t take a decision? Very simple, because he lacks professional knowledge and professional competence or he is afraid that if he takes a decision and goes wrong, he will have to carry the can. Ladies and gentlemen, as a law of average, if you take ten decisions, five should be right. And if you have professional competence and professional knowledge, nine should be right. And the one that is wrong will always be put right by a bright colleague, by an intelligent staff officer or by the gallantry of some soldier. I don’t want to give you too many examples of why and when people haven’t taken decisions and what has happened. I will give you just one. If the decision had been taken to ensure that the Sabri Masjid would not be destroyed, a whole community would not have been antagonized.

An act of omission can be corrected but an act of commission cannot be corrected. To do nothing is to do something, which is definitely wrong

An act of omission can be corrected but an act of commission cannot be corrected. To do nothing is to do something, which is definitely wrong. When I was the Army Chief, I visited my formation commanders and I asked one of them what he had been doing about some matter. He turned around and said “Sir, I have been thinking, I haven’t made up my mind”. It is absolutely necessary that a leader must be decisive.

The next attribute of the leadership is absolute honesty and impartiality. We all have our likes and dislikes, but, we must never allow our likes or our dislikes to influence our professional judgment. Those of us, who had the good fortune of commanding hundreds and thousands of men, know this. The leader must be absolutely impartial and honest in dealing with personnel. No man likes to be punished and yet a man will take his punishment if he knows that the punishment awarded to him is similar to the one for a similar crime committed by somebody who has influence, who has the ear of an industrialist, of a minister, of a member of parliament, or the Field Marshal. No man likes to be superseded. And yet, they will accept supersession, if they know they have been superseded by someone better, better qualified under the regulations but not by somebody who is a relative of the minister or by somebody for whom a ‘Godman’ intervenes. It is vitally important when you are dealing with men that you should be absolutely impartial. We must possess the courage to withstand these pressures.

A ‘Yes man’ is a dangerous man. He is a menace… He can become a minister, a secretary or a Field Marshal but he can never become a leader nor, ever be respected. He will be used by his superiors, disliked by his colleagues and despised by his subordinates. So discard the ‘Yes man’.

Moral and physical courage are the next vital attributes and I do not know which one is more important. While addressing young officers or young policemen, I will put emphasis on physical courage but since I am addressing this gathering, I will lay stress on moral courage. What is moral courage? Moral courage is the ability to distinguish right from wrong and having done so, to say so, irrespective of the consequences to you. A ‘Yes man’ is a dangerous man. He is a menace. He will go very far. He can become a minister, a secretary or a Field Marshal but he can never become a leader nor, ever be respected. He will be used by his superiors, disliked by his colleagues and despised by his subordinates. So discard the ‘Yes man’.

I am going to give you a personal example of moral courage. There is a very thin line between being dismissed and becoming a Field Marshal. In 1971, when Pakistan cracked down in East Pakistan, hundreds and thousands of refugees started pouring into India, into West Bengal, Assam and Tripura. The Prime Minister held a cabinet meeting in her office. The External Affairs Minister, Sardar Swaran Singh, the Agriculture Minister, Mr Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad, the Defence Minister, Babu Jagjivan Ram, and the Finance Minister, Yashwant Rao Chauhan were present. I was then summoned.

A very angry, grim-faced Prime Minister read out the telegrams from the Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura. She then turned around to me and said, “What are you doing about it?” And I said, “Nothing, it’s got nothing to do with me. You didn’t consult me when you allowed the BSF, the CRP and RAW to encourage the Pakistanis to revolt. Now that you are in trouble, you come to me. I have a long nose. I know what’s happening.” I then asked her what she wanted me to do. She said, “I want you to enter East Pakistan.” And I responded, “That means war!” She said, “I do not mind if it is war. Have you read the Bible?” I queried.

The Foreign Minister, Sardar Swaran Singh asked, “What has the Bible got to do with this?” I explained, that the first book, the first chapter, the first words, the first sentence God said was, “Let there be light” and there was light. Now you say, “Let there be war” and there will be war, but are you prepared? I am certainly not. This is the end of April. The Himalayan passes are opening and there can be an attack from China if China gives us an ultimatum. The Foreign Minister asked, “Will China give an ultimatum?” And I said, “You are the Foreign Minister, you tell me”. I told them that my armoured division and two of my infantry divisions were away. One in the Jhansi/Babina area, the other in Samba and the third one in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. I mentioned that I would require all the road space, all the railway wagons, the entire railway system to move these formations to the operational areas and that harvesting was in progress in the Punjab and UP and they would not be able to move the harvest which would rot; and I pointed out to the Agriculture Minister that it wouldn’t be my responsibility if there were a famine.

…and said, “Prime Minister, before you open your mouth, may I send you my resignation on grounds of health, mental or physical?” She said, “Every thing you told me is true”. “Yes! It is my job to tell you the truth” I responded, “and it is my job to fight, it is my job to fight to win and I have told you the truth.”

Then I said, “My armoured division, which is my big striking force is supposed to have one hundred eighty nine tanks operational. I have got only eleven tanks that are fit to fight.” The Finance Minister, who is a friend of mine asked, “Sam why only eleven?” So I told him, “Because you are the Finance Minister. I have been asking you for money for over a year and you say you haven’t got it!” And finally I turned around to the Prime Minister and said that the rains were about to start in East Pakistan and when it rains there, it pours and when it pours, the whole countryside is flooded. The snows are melting, the rivers would become like oceans. If you stand on one bank, you cannot see the other. All my movement would be confined to roads.

The Air Force, because of climatic conditions would not be able to support me. Now Prime Minister, give me your orders. The grim Prime Minister with her teeth clenched said, “The Cabinet will meet again at four o-clock”. The members of the Cabinet started walking out. I being the junior most was the last to go and as I was leaving, she said, “Chief, will you stay back?” I turned around and said, “Prime Minister, before you open your mouth, may I send you my resignation on grounds of health, mental or physical?” She said, “Every thing you told me is true”. “Yes! It is my job to tell you the truth” I responded, “and it is my job to fight, it is my job to fight to win and I have told you the truth,” She smiled at me and said, “All right Sam, you know what I want?” I said, “Yes, I know what you want!”

I had the moral courage to tell her the truth. A leader must have moral courage otherwise he will not be respected.

I now come to physical courage. Fear, like hunger and sex, is a natural phenomenon and the man who says he is not frightened is a liar. But to be frightened is one thing and to show fear is something quite different. It is when your knees are knocking and your teeth are chattering – that is when the real leader comes out. If you once show fear to your men, you will never have their respect. I could quote you many examples of my own life. I am not a brave man! Please believe me. You have to have physical courage. Never show your fear. How often has a course of a battle, when everything was going wrong, changed because some young officer has picked up a handful of men and changed the situation by his physical courage? How often a poor old Inspector of Police with nothing but a little swagger stick in his hand quelled a riot by showing physical courage?

The other attribute of leadership is loyalty. We all except loyalty but do we give loyalty? Look at things happening around you. The sons of kings, chief ministers and heads of governments have shown disloyalty.

The other attribute of leadership is loyalty. We all except loyalty but do we give loyalty? Look at things happening around you. The sons of kings, chief ministers and heads of governments have shown disloyalty. Loyalty you must get from your subordinates and also give loyalty to your superiors, colleagues and subordinates. Men may give you trouble and create problems but a leader must deal with them immediately and sternly. A leader must remember that human beings have human problems, so the leader must have a human touch. Leaders must have the gift of the gab and a sense of humour. And finally, men and women all over the world like their leader to be a man, to have manly qualities. It is not that only a person who has no vices is a good leader. Look at Caesar or Napoleon, they had vices but they were outstanding leaders.

Since I joined the Army, many changes have taken place; the .303 rifle has been replaced by a new weapon. Horses and mules have been replaced by vehicles and tanks. Signal communications have advanced a great deal. Satellites now give the entire information to the Commanders. But for infantry soldiers, one thing has not changed, and that is their job. Their job is to fight and win. If you lose, you would disgrace your country, your village, your home and your wife. Let your motto be, ‘No one provokes me with impunity’. In other words, or in a soldier’s language, if your enemy hits you on the chin, black both his eyes and push his teeth down his throat! If you can instil this quality in your men, you will be a great leader. The leader that this country lacks at all levels, in all walks of life.



“The trouble with corporate life is… there is no clear enemies, just a lot of customers”


Stay Healthy and Be Happy.


Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 1: The Story

In my search of the ‘ultimate affordable’ Lab setup for VMware VCAP/VCP/… exams, i went through a lot of possible set ups.

In the end, i started to build a powerful desktop pc in which i intend to virtualize my vSphere environment.  The reasons that made me chose a desktop PC running Windows 7 with VMware Workstation 8 to do this:

– Everybody has a pc.  So why not buy a lightning fast pc which makes your daily application work at light speed (email/surfing/office tasks) and gives you a perfect lab!

– While i enjoy playing around with servers, i don’t like them at home…  they are loud, they generate heat similar to a woodstove, they consume electricity like hell and they are always in the way of things…  Plus you have to interconnect them using 5000 miles of cable.  Bottom line: me not like!

– Every VMware Admin knows the benefits of virtualization… So why not virtualize your lab?  It makes it very flexible (play with # NICs, snapshots, clones, …).

– Since quite some people are already VCP, you can finally put some good use to that VMware Workstation license you got clip_image001

– It’s very easy to suspend all your work (suspend all the VMs aka your whole vSphere environment), shutdown your pc, go to sleep/work/kids/fun and continue the day after.  No electricity wasted, no annoying noises, …

– Since a lot of vSphere features originally were introduced in VMware Workstation, it’s always nice to play around with it.

– With the coming of VMware Workstation 8, you can finally expose VT-x to the VMs, making it possible to run x86 & x64 VMs on your virtual vSphere environment.  This includes VDR, vShield, …

– Finally, it’s cheaper that a hardware setup (maybe not as powerful in terms of performance but it will only host a Lab environment so no big deal for me).

So that are my reasons to go for a virtual Lab setup.  On the next post, I’ll discuss the hardware you need for this desktop pc…

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 1: The Story

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 2: The Hardware

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 3: VMware Workstation 8

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 4: Base Template

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 5: Prepare the Template

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 6: Domain Controller

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 7: SQL Server

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 8: vCenter

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 9: ESXi

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 10: Storage

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 11: vMotion & Fault Tolerance

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 12: Finalizing the Lab

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 2: The Hardware

Several factors are important to make a powerful desktop pc able to host all the VMs we will need:


You need a CPU with at least 4 cores.  It’s nice to have Hyperthreading as it will give you more logical CPUs and more vCPUs to hand out to the VMs.

Secondly, you need Virtualization Technology features enabled on the CPU.

Let’s start by looking at Intel.


Intel Core i3 systems are no use since they only have 2 cores and no VT-x support.  Update: as someone pointed out in the comments section: recent Core i3 do have VT-x support!  So if you can live with the 2 cores limit, Core i3 is a valid option!

Intel Core i5 is good if you are on a budget.  Pick a CPU with 4 cores (some i5 CPUs only have 2 cores).  You won’t have HyperThreading as that’s only available on the i7.

The Core i7 CPU systems are best suitable for our setup.  Make sure you have 4 cores(some editions only have 2).  Hyperthreading is enabled by default on Core i7 so that’s a good thing.  You need to have Intel VT-x features as well but to my knowledge, all Core i7 CPUs come with those features.


I’m not following ADM brands but basically the same things apply.  At least 4 cores, and AMD-V/RVI support.  To my knowledge, all Athlon 2, Phenom 2 and FX CPUs have those.  The newest FX series are nice looking and affordable.


A stable and decent motherboard is what counts here.  If you want all kinds of fancy features and bling bling, you can easily spend 500 $ on a motherboard.  As there are tons of brands and models, let me list the most important things:

– Pick a CPU Socket that matches your CPU (i know, it sound silly but it would be a shame if your expensive cpu doesn’t fit in that small socket clip_image001[1])

– Make sure you have at least 4 memory banks.

– Onboard Video is nice if you don’t play games.

That’s it besides the usual stuff (SATA, USB, ATX format, …)


You will need 16 GB at minimum!  Using 4 GB DIMMs (affordable, 8 GB DIMMs are too expensive) you will need 4 memory banks in your Motherboard.  If you have 6 banks, you can go for 24 GB easily.

Memory speed matters, but look at the price.  Amount of memory is more important than speed.  Better go for 24 GB ‘slower’ memory than 16 GB of faster memory.

Hard Disk

You need at minimum one decent SSD of 40 GB minimum.  I have an Intel X-25 SSD, but any fast SSD will do.  Buy one of the latest generations since the evolve pretty fast when it boils down to performance.  Personally, i prefer Intel.  The bigger the SSD, the more VMs you can store on SSD and the faster they will respond.  120 GB is affordable these days.

We will use VMware Workstation technologies (Linked Clones) to put multiple VMs on only 10 to 20 GB of SSD storage, so you don’t really need that much storage… but then again, the more the better isn’t it? clip_image001[2]

You will also need a big ‘traditional’ Hard Disk for other storage (ISO files, less used VMs, …).  Any SATA 3.5” HDD will do.  Look for 500 GB or more.


The other components (Case, DVD, …) are not that important.  Pick whatever suits you best.

Install the system with Windows 7 64-bit (because of the high amount of memory, you will need 64-bit OS).  Linux should do as well, but i use Windows at home so I’ll focus on that one.

On the next post, we will look at the Installation of VMware Workstation and it’s configuration.

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 3: VMware Workstation 8

Once we have our desktop installed with Windows 7 x64, it’s time to install VMware Workstation 8.

Download the latest binaries from VMware website and start the setup:


Pick a Typical installation.


The default installation location is fine as it is.

I recommend to check for product updates on each startup.


If you’re in a generous mood and willing to help VMware, tick the check box clip_image001[3]


Continue the installation finish it.

When the installation is finished, start VMware Workstation with Administrative Privileges (Right-click and select Run as administrator).


Click HelpEnter License Key… to unlock VMware Workstation.

Let’s start by Configuring VMware Workstation by opening EditPreferences…


The first option we will change is the Default location for Virtual Machines.

Create a Folder “VM” on your SSD drive and on the HDD drive.  The default location will point to the HDD drive.  This way, all VMs are placed on HDD (where we have plenty of space) and only our ‘precious’ VMs will be placed on SSD manually.

My HDD is E: and my SSD is C: (I only have 1 80GB SSD which has my OS installed as well.  This leaves me about 25 GB free for VMs on the SSD).


Next click the Updates item in the inventory window and click the Download All Components Now button.  This will download all VMware Tools versions.  This can be skipped but VMware Workstation will prompt you to download this on the first OS installation of each type.  As i find that quite annoying, I prefer to download them all at once in advance.


Next, click the Memory item.  Change the memory slider until you have a little bit more that 2 GB left for the OS. (my Windows 7 with the default things running like AV consumes 2.04 GB).  If your OS has not enough RAM available, it will start swapping and performance degrades. (putting you SWAP file on the SSD will partially boost performance but still, not an ideal solution).


Click OK to save the preferences.

Now it’s time to set up our Virtual Networking environment.  Open the Virtual Network Editor.


Basically, you have three options for a network:

– Bridged: The VM will get an IP analog to your desktop PC.  Required if the VM need internet access or access to other devices in your home network (NAS, …)

– NAT: VMware Workstation will act as a router.  Not really needed for our setup.

– Host-only: Compare this to an Internal switch on vSphere.  VMs can communicate with each other, but not to the outside world.

Some networks are created by default.


The default VMnet0 network will be used temporary to set up the first VMs so we’ll need that.

Next, we’ll create a new Internal network for our LAN communication (vSphere hosts, vCenter, SQL, …).  Hit the Add Network… button to create one:


Pick VMnet2


The network must be Host-OnlyDeselect the options Connect a host virtual adapter to this network and Use local DHCP service to distribute IP address to VMs.

Change the Subnet IP to with a subnet mask of  This will give us quite some IPs to play with.


We will create additional iSCSI/NFS network later on, but this will do for now.

So this will give us two Virtual Networks to use: VMnet0 (with Internet connectivity) and VMnet2 (Internal network only).


Click OK to save these settings.

That’s it for this post!  Next, we will start creating our Infrastructure VMs (DC, SQL, vCenter, …)

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab: Part 4 – Base Template

Now it’s time to start building our Virtual Infrastructure services.  This will consist of a bunch of VMs hosting Active Directory, SQL Server, vCenter, …  So we’re talking about 3 to 5 VMs here.

We will use Windows 2008 R2 as the base OS for these VMs.  We will be using Linked Clones technology of VMware Workstation to put those VMs in the smallest space possible.

To make it a short story, we’ll install one ‘Base VM’ with Windows 2008 R2 including all the patches/service packs.  Then, we will create a linked clone for each of our VMs.  This linked clone contains only the differences between the Base VM and the linked clone.  In most cases, this is less than 5 GB per VM.

So let’s start for the Base VM.  Click Create a New Virtual Machine to create your first VM.


Pick Custom (advanced).


The Hardware Compatibility must be Workstation 8.0 (default).


Select I will install the operation system later.


Pick Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 as the OS Type.


Name it Windows2008R2_Base and store it under the VM folder on your SSD drive.  DO NOT STORE IT ON YOUR HDD!!!  This Base VM will get A LOT of Read IO.  If you put it on your HDD, smoke will probably arise from it clip_image001[4]

Since my SSD is the C: drive, I store it under C:\VM


One CPU/Core will be sufficient.


Memory size of 1024 MB.


Set the Network Type to Do not use a network connection.


LSI Logic SAS Controller.


Create a new virtual disk.


Type is SCSI.


Select Store virtual disk as a single file.  These days everybody uses NTFS on Windows 7 so there are no issues with big files.

40 GB disk size is fine.  They are thin provisioned (since we do not select the Allocate all disk space now) so only used space will be allocated.


Accept the default Disk File.


Click Finish to create the VM.

It will appear in your VMware Workstation console now.


Edit the virtual machine settings.

First, remove the Floppy, USB Controller, Sound Card & Printer devices.  We won’t need them and they only consume unnecessary resources.


Next, click the Add button and add a Network Adapter.


Select Custom – VMnet0 as the network connection.  This will give the VM internet access.


Click the CD-DVD (IDE) drive and attach the Windows 2008 R2 ISO file to it.  This ISO file is best stored on the HDD as you need it only once.

Click Power on this virtual machine.

If you get a warning about your Memory Configuration, just tick Do not show this message again and continue.

The VM will boot from DVD and the installation of Windows begins.  Pick the correct regional settings and install it.


Every Full Installation edition of Windows besides Web Server will do.  Since i will run a trial edition, i use the Datacenter edition…  Not that we will be using any of those features, but it just shows up nice clip_image001[5]


Pick a Custom Installation and install it on the 40 GB drive.  Now is a good time to look at the files in the VM directory on your desktop.  The VMDK file which actually contains all the data will grow now as data is been copied from the ISO to the VM.


After installation, about 7 GB will be consumed.  Nice.

Back to the VM, change the password to something strong (capital letters + small letters + number).  We will reuse this password for all accounts.  After all it’s only a lab so no sensitive information will be found, but we need to have a password since blanks are not accepted.


Your mousepointer will be choppy, so let’s solve that first.

First, we start by installing VMware Tools on it (VM – Install VMware Tools…).


An AutoPlay popup will appear in the VM.  Click Run setup64.exe and perform a Typical Installation.  Reboot the VM.

Performance of the VM is okay now, as well as the graphics performance.

Before updating the VM, we will install .NET Framework first.  Open Server Manager and click the Features item.  Click the Add Features link.


Select the .NET Framework 3.5.1 Features item.


Some additional roles need to be installed.  Do so by clicking Add Required Role Services.


Click Next, Next, … Install to install it.

Next, we will turn on Windows Update to bring the VM up-to-date.  You can go ahead and install all the updates, but it’s easier to apply the latest service pack first.  Download it from the Microsoft website and then apply all Windows Updates patches afterwards.

TIP: Disable IE ESC in Server Manager.  Makes surfing a bit easier on the VM.


Now that our system is up-to-date, it’s time to clean it up.  When looking at the VMDK file size, we have grown to 17 GB already!  Yikes!


We’ll start by removing the SP1 installation files.  In a command prompt, run dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded.


After that, we are going to remove all Windows Update backup files.  Stop the Windows Update service and delete the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder.


After deletion, Start the Windows Update service.

Next up the hibernation file: open a command prompt as Administrator.  Type powercfg.exe /hibernate off


After all these step, the VM is consuming less than 10 GB.


Open up VMware Tools, go to the Shrink tab.  Click the Prepare to shrink button.


It’ll take some time…



After it has completed, look at the VMDK file size:


9 GB!  That’s more like it!

Now the VM is ready to be used as a Template.  Run c:\windows\system32\sysprep in the VM.


Select the OOBE option and check Generalize.  Select Shutdown and click OK.


The VM will shutdown automatically and is ready to be templatized (i just invented a new word clip_image001[6]).


That’s it for now!  On the next episode we will start deploying our first VM which will be the Domain Controller.

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab: Part 5 – Prepare the Template

First, we will need to ‘protect’ our parent VM and make it a template.  This ensure we don’t delete it or power it on.  Select the Windows2008R2_Base VM and click Edit virtual machine settings.


Select the Options tab, go to the Advanced item and check the Enable Template mode checkbox.


Next up, we need to snapshot the Base VM.  All our linked clones will be based on this snapshot.

Right-click the VM and Snapshot it!


Give it a name like Version 1.0 and provide a good description of it.


That’s it!  Now we are ready to start deploying the first VMs!

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 6: Domain Controller

The first VM we will deploy is our Domain Controller.

Right-click the Windows2008R2_Base VM and select Manage – Clone.


Base the clone on an Existing Snapshot named Version 1.0 (or whatever you called it before).


Create a Linked Clone.


Store it on the SSD drive and name it DC.


Power On the DC!

It will boot and will run through the Mini Setup.


Windows will ask you for Regional Settings and a Password.  It will boot afterwards.

You may notice that display performance is a bit sluggish.  Just Reinstall VMware Tools and Repair it and you’re set.


Okay, the first thing we will do is to put the network of this DC to the Internal we created earlier.

Edit the settings of the VM and change Network Adapter to VMnet2.  The DC is now isolated from your home network.  It can only communicate with other VMs on VMnet2 (but there aren’t any for now).

Fill in the IP4 Settings like in the screen below (mind the subnet!  It’s a /24!).


Next, Rename the VM to DC and reboot.


After the reboot, get back into the Computer Rename dialog box and press the More… button.

Fill in a valid DNS Suffix for your new domain we will create.  Mine will be named labo.local.  This means my DC will be DC.labo.local.  Reboot afterwards.


Next up, open Server Manager and click the Add Roles link.  Select DHCP Server & DNS Server.


Click Next a couple of times until you reach the IPv4 DNS Settings.  Fill in labo.local in the Parent domain field.


Continue clicking Next until the DHCP Scopes screen.  Click Add and add a scope ranging from until

Click Next until the DHCPv6 Stateless Mode and disable it.

Install the goodies!


Open the DNS Console and create a Forward Lookup Zone with the following settings:


Primary zone

Zone name


Create a new file …


Dynamic Updates

Allow both unsecure and secure dynamic updates

Then, create a Reverse Lookup Zone with the following settings:


Primary zone


IPv4 Reverse Lookup Zone

Network ID


Create a new file…

Dynamic Updates

Allow both unsecure and secure dynamic updates

Now perform an ipconfig /registerdns (or reboot your server) and ensure it is listed in the Forward and Reverse lookup zone.


Now it’s time to perform a DC Promotion.  Enter the dcpromo command.  The AD binaries will be installed.  Create a new domain in a new forest.

Fill in labo.local (or your own domain name) as the forest name.


Set the Forest functional level to Windows Server 2008 R2.


On the DNS Delegation, selection the option to no create the DNS delegation.

Accept the default file locations for AD binaries.  You could change them (as a best practice) to seperate disks, but since this is only a small LAB AD, i won’t bother with that.


Fill in a valid Directory Services Restore Mode password and click Next a couple of times to install AD.


You will get a warning about the DNS Zone.  Just skip it.


After the reboot, open Server Manager and go to Roles – DHCP Server.  Right-click your DHCP server and select Authorize.  This will make both IPv4 and IPv6 “green".


If you want, you can change the Forward and Reverse Lookup zone in DNS to AD Integrated, but it’s not really necessary for our lab.

That’s it for our Domain Controller!

Next up will be the SQL Server!

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 7: SQL Server

Create a new linked clone based on the Windows2008R2_Base template just like you did with the Domain Controller.  Name the machine SQL.

Again, store it on SSD storage.  Run through the OS Setup like you did with the Domain Controller.

Change the Network Adapter to VMnet2 to it can reach the DC.

If all goes well, you should get a DHCP address.


Give it a valid IP address and point the DNS Server to the DC.


Rename the Guest OS and make it a member of the labo.local domain.


Create a useraccount SQLAdmin in Active Directory (set the password to never expire).  Add this account to the Local Administrators group on the SQL VM.


Log on with this account to the SQL VM.

Before starting the installation of SQL Server, we’ll add an additional HD to the VM first.  We’ll throw all SQL binaries on that disk.

Right-click the SQL VM and select Settings.  Click the Add… button and pick Hard Disk.


Create a new virtual hard disk of 40 GBStore the virtual disk as a single file.


Rename the VMDK to something like SQL_Data.vmdk.  This makes it easier to locate the correct vmdk if ever needed.


Get back into the VM and format the disk.


In order to reach the SQL binaries (which are stored on the Windows 7 desktop VM), i use the Shared Folders feature of VMware Workstation.  This allows you to share a single folder between the hosts and the guest VMs.



Start the Setup of SQL Server 2008 R2.  Select Installation and pick New installation or add features to an existing installation.


I will run SQL in Evaluation mode, but if you have valid licenses, feel free to add them here clip_image001[7]


Some Setup Support Files will be installed.


You will get two warnings: one because you cannot access the Internet and a second because the Windows Firewall is enabled.

Select a SQL Server Feature Installation.


Install the Database Engine Services and the Management Tools – Basic.  Change the directories to you SQL Data drive (in my case E:)


Install a Default Instance but again, change the drive to the SQL Data drive.


Set the useraccounts for the services to LABO\SQLAdmin and change all services to Automatic.


Set the authentication to Windows and add the Current User to the SQL Administrators.


Finish setup.

That’s the basic setup for SQL Server.

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 8: vCenter

And now finally we come to the point where we are going to install a VMware product clip_image001[8]

Create yet another linked clone based upon the Windows2008R2_Base VM and name it VC.  This must be stored on SSD as well.

The Virtual Network must be VMnet2.  Add it to the domain labo.local.

Create a user VCAdmin in AD and make this a member of the Local Administrators group on the VC.  Log on with that user.

First we need to install SQL Native Client.  This is located on the SQL ISO (the one you installed SQL Server on @ SQL VM).  It can be found in folder 1033_enu_lp\x64\setup\x64 and is called sqlncli.msi.

The installation is just a matter of Next, Next, Next, Finish clip_image001[9]


Now, hop on to the SQL VM and open SQL Management Studio.

Click SecurityLoginsNew Login.


The login name must be LABO\VCAdmin.


Right click Databases and select New Database.

Name it vCenter, set the owner to LABO\VCAdmin and size the MDF file to 100 MB.


On the Options tab, change the Recovery Model to Simple.


Get back into SecurityLogins and open the properties of your LABO\VCAdmin account.  Go to the User Mapping tab.  Give the account do_owner permissions on both the msdb and the vCenter database! (the vCenter database should already be okay normally).


Okay, now head back to the VC VM.

Open up Administrative Tools and select Data Sources (ODBC).  Create a new System DSN.  Select SQL Server Native Client.


Name it vCenter and point to the SQL server.


Click Next on the following screen and…  uh oh


Go back to the SQL Server and open SQL Server Configuration Manager and Enable TCP/IP.  Restart the SQL Server Service.

After that, open Windows Firewall and select Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall.  Click Allow another program.  Browse for it and go to E:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Binn\sqlservr.exe.


Go back to the VC and try again… it should proceed now.

Change the default database to vCenter.


Finish the wizard.

Now that we have the SQL stuff covered, it’s time to install vCenter!  Start autorun from the vCenter binaries.

Select vCenter Server (duh!)


Setup will complain that IIS is installed (got installed with the .NET installation routine).  Therefore, disable the World Wide Web Publishing service on the VC server.



The following screens are quite easy to understand.  Select use an existing supported database and select the vCenter ODBC source you created above.


It will detect that Windows Authentication will be used.  Fill in the password for the vCenter service (VCAdmin, the account we gave dbo permissions on the databases).  This will also mean that the vCenter service will be started with this VCAdmin account!


Accept the default installation paths.  Create a standalone VMware vCenter Server instance.

Set the JVM Inventory Size to Small.


Finally, click Install to start the installation.


To finalize, install vSphere Client.


Start vSphere Client, install the certificate and you should connect flawlessly to our brand new vCenter environment!


And in case you were wondering, all our 3 VMs together consume about 20 GB.  Not bad clip_image001[10]

That’s it for now!  Next up, we’ll start installing our ESXi hosts.

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 9: ESXi

Now that we have our vCenter running, it’s time to deploy our ESXi hosts.

Depending on the amount of memory you have, you can deploy as many ESXi hosts as you want.  Personally (I have 16 GB), i will install 2 of them.

Start by creating a new Virtual Machine.  Take Custom for the type of configuration.


Hardware Compatibility is Workstation 8.0.

Attach the ISO of VMware ESXi 5.0.  The wizard will detect ESXi automatically for you!


Call it ESXi1 and place it on HDD storage.  There is no use on putting it on SSD storage since ESXi has no real important data to store which is important from a performance point of view.


You can play around with the CPUs/Cores, but i give it a Dual Dual-Core (so cores in total).  Gives you some more cores to play with if you want to dive into the CPU scheduler details.


Give the ESXi host 4GB of memory.


Select Do not use a network connection as we will add it later on.


Accept the standard LSI Logic SCSI controller.

Create a new virtual disk and pick SCSI as the type.

Use a 40GB disk and store it in a Single File.


Complete the wizard and click Finish.

Edit the settings of you newly created VM.  Remove the Floppy and USB Controller.

Click Add and add a Network Adapter.  Attach it to the VMnet2 network.

Repeat the procedure and add a second Network Adapter to the VMnet2 network.  This will give you a screen like this:


Select the Processor item, and select Virtualizae Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI.  This allows you to run x64 guests on these ESXi hosts.


Now before starting and installing ESXi, take a Full Clone of this VM and name it ESXi2.  You can create a fresh VM as well, but cloning it will go faster.


Now, Power On you ESXi1 host.

The ESXi Installer will boot.

Follow the wizard and install ESXi on your 40GB local disk.


Use the same root password as you always do.

The installer will wipe your hard disk…  Let him do so by clicking F11.


After the installation, the host will reboot.  Press F2 to customize it.  You will need to login with root.


Select Configure Management Network.  First, go into Network Adapters and add vmnic1 to the list.


Give it IP and set the default gateway to (DC).


Get into DNS Configuration and set the DNS server (should already be set through DHCP but verify) and change the hostname to esxi1.labo.local.  Do not use capital letters here!


Exit the screens and enter Y to restart the Management Network.


That’s it for the basic ESXi installation… Quite easy eh?

Now repeat this part for ESXi2 (IP =

After the two ESXi hosts have been installed, log on to the DC and open Server Manager – Roles – DNS Server – DNS – DC – Forward Lookup Zones – labo.local.  Create a A Record for both ESXi hosts.

Create a PTR Record as well!


You DNS should like like this:


Move over to the vCenter server.  You must be able to ping both machines using their FQDN now!


Open up vSphere Client.

First, create a new Datacenter and below it, create a new Cluster.

Turn on HA & DRS.


Leave all other settings to default and complete the wizard.

Now, add the two ESXi hosts to the cluster:


That will give this cluster layout in vSphere:


Both hosts will have errors (HA related, but it’s no big deal as we’ll solve them later on).

If you ESXi hosts disconnect continually, check Administration – vCenter Server Settings – Runtime Settings and fill in the IP of vCenter.


Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 10: Storage

We now have a cluster, but still not a usable because we don’t have Shared Storage yet.  So let us add some clip_image001[11]

We will go for an iSCSI solution.  This makes perfect sense since this can be virtualized perfectly.  Many iSCSI appliances exist on the market today.  Lefthand, UberVSA, OpenFiler, …  I will however go with the easiest solution: installing a Software iSCSI Target on Windows Server.

Again, various flavors exist, but what most people don’t realize is that Microsoft has it’s own free iSCSI Target.  I has all the basic functionality you need (CHAP, Snapshots, …).  No replication or other advanced stuff is supported, but we don’t really need that for now.

Let’s start by downloading the goodies:

Extract it and put it on the Shared Folder to the VMs can access it.

Now, before we install the iSCSI Software, we need to change our VM to support it.  We will use our vCenter Server for Storage.  If you have the resources on your PC, a dedicated VM would be better (but then, i would go for a dedicated iSCSI appliance like Lefthand, OpenFiler, …).

Give your vCenter VM a second Hard Disk of 500GB and put it on HDD storage.


Initialize it in Windows.  That will become our E: drive on the vCenter:


Now, we want our iSCSI to be a seperate network.  So open the Virtual Network Editor in VMware Workstation.

Create VMnet3 for IP range


Give the vCenter VM a Second Network Adapter connected to this newly created network.


On the vCenter, rename the connection to iSCSI.


Give it IP


Go to the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target folder and start x64\iscsitarget_public.msi.

The installation is a matter of Next, Next, Finish.


Now, open the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target console.


On the root item, click Properties.  Enable only IP to listen for iSCSI sessions.  This ensures we only use the dedicated iSCSI network (VMnet3).


Right-click Devices and select Create Virtual Disk.

Point it to E:\iSCSI\Datastore1.vhd.


Set it to 200GB (200000 MB) or something in that neighborhood.  Pay attention as the input fields are in MB (Megabytes).  We won’t assign any targets yet.

Create a second Virtual Disk called Datastore2 in the same folder.  Make the size different, so it’s easier to differentiate the two datastores.


Now that we have our storage ready, let’s prep the ESXi hosts for it.

Remeber that we put the iSCSI traffic on a seperate VMnet3 network.  Our ESXi hosts currently have 2 NICs in the VMnet2 network, so no iSCSI traffic will be possible.

Shutdown the ESXi hosts, go into Settings and Add 2 Network Adapters both connected to VMnet3.

Power On the ESXi hosts.  Select a host and go into Configuration – Networking.  Your current config will look like this:


Click Add Networking… to add a new vSwitch.

Select VMkernel as the type.  Use the newly added vmnic2 & vmnic3.


Name the Portgroup iSCSI_1 and don’t select any other options.


Use IP for ESXi1 and for ESXi2.


Open the Properties of vSwitch1 and select Add… to add another VMkernel interface.  This will become iSCSI2 with IP for ESXi1 and IP for ESXi2.

Change the NIC Teaming Failover order of both iSCSI_1 & iSCSI_2.  Set vmnic2 active for iSCSI_1 where vmnic3 becomes unused.  Change it the other way around for iSCSI_2.


The Network Layout looks like this now:


Now get into Configuration – Storage Adapters and click Add….


Select the newly added iSCSI HBA (vmhba33) and click Properties….


Copy the iSCSI Name (you can change this name to something more readable if you want)


Get back into the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target console and select iSCSI TargetsCreate iSCSI Target.


Fill in the hostname as the iSCSI target name:


Paste the iSCSI Name from vCenter into the IQN Identifier field.


Now that the Target is created, let’s assign our two LUNs to it.  Right-Click it and select Add Existing Virtual Disk to iSCSI Target.


Select both disks.


Back in vCenter, open Network Configuration on the iSCSI Initiator Properties.


Add both iSCSI_1 and iSCSI_2 to it.


Move on to the Dynamic Discovery and add as a new iSCSI Target.


Close the Window and Rescan the vmhba33 adapter.

Your 2 LUNs will become visible.  Note that we have 4 paths meaning 2 per LUN (= load balancing & failover possibilities).


Repeat the same procedure for ESXi2.

After that go to ConfigurationStorage and create 2 new datastores on these LUNs.


Open the Properties of your Cluster and enable vSphere HA.


It should be enabled without errors (you will receive warnings if you don’t have Shared Storage, that’s why we enable it now and not during Cluster creation).

That’s it for now!  Next, we will create our vMotion interface!

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 11: vMotion & Fault Tolerance

Next up is the creation of our vMotion interface.

Let’s take a look at vSwitch0 first:


Open Properties… and remove the VM Network portgroup.  Then, open the properties of the vSwitch and put both vmnic adapters as active.


Now open the properties of the Management Network and set vmnic0 as active and vmnic1 as standby.


Now, add a new VMkernel interface on vSwitch0.  Name it vMotion and enable it for vMotion.


Use IP for ESXi1 and for ESXi2.


Finish the wizard, open the Properties of the vMotion Portgroup and set the NIC order so vmnic1 is active and vmnic0 is standby.


Repeat this procedure for ESXi2.

That’s it for vMotion.  Not really rocket science clip_image001[12]

Now it’s time to activate Fault Tolerance.  That’s right, Fault Tolerance running on vSphere in VMware Workstation!

Power Down your two ESXi hosts.

Open the Virtual Network Editor and create a VMnet4 network in the range.


Give each ESXi host 2 new Network Adapters in this VMnet4 network.


Power On the hosts and get into ConfigurationNetworking.

Click Add Networking… to add a new vSwitch.  Select VMkernel and use vmnic4 and vmnic5.


Name it Fault Tolerance and enable it!


IP will be for ESXi1 and for ESXi2.


This gives you the following Networking Layout.


Now, before you enable FT on a VM, you need to set the following Advanced Configuration Parameters on EACH VM you want to protect with FT.

replay.allowBTOnly = true

replay.allowFT = true

replay.supported = true


Now you can run Fault Tolerance enabled VMs on your virtual vSphere 5 ESXi hosts!  How cool is that?  One exception though, the VM you enable for FT can be 32-bit only!

I personally like to play around with some DOS appliance which has some games installed.  It is small enough to run smoothly on these virtual environments.

Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 12: Finalizing the Lab

Our basic setup is almost ready.  We just need to give our VMs some networks to connect to.

Let’s create a new VMnet5 network in the Virtual Network Editor.  Use range and enable the Use local DHCP service to distribute IP address to VM.


Change the DHCP Settings and fill in a valid start and end address.


Power Off the ESXi hosts and give them two extra vNICs attached to VMnet5.


Create a new Virtual Machine portgroup/vSwitch on vmnic6 & vmnic7 and you’re set:


Now you can start creating your VMs, vMotion them around, play with Fault Tolerance, create dvSwitches, install VDR, experiment with vShield Zones, …  you get the picture clip_image001[13]

With this we can finalize this series.  You now have a fully functional environment which is very flexible and you can start playing with all the features in vSphere 5!

Happy playing in your Virtual Lab Environment!

Source & Credits:

Busy Life

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pa…ce and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist.

Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the top musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written,with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station

was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty?

Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?


With Smiles,


Crabby Old man

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in Moosomin,
Saskatchewan, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meagre possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Alberta.

The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . . .. . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . . when you’re looking at me?
A crabby old man . .. . .. . not very wise,
Uncertain of habit . .. .. . . with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food . . . .. . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . . . . . ‘I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice .. .. . .. . the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not .. . . . . lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . . . The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking? . .. . . . Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . .. . . . you’re not looking at me..

I’ll tell you who I am. . .. .. . . As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . .. . as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . . .. . .. with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . . .. who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen . . . . with wings on his feet.
Dreaming that soon now . . . . . a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . . . my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . . . . . that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . .. . . I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . . .. And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . .. . .. .. With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons .. . . . .. have grown and are gone,
But my woman’s beside me . . . .. . to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . .. My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me . . . . . my wife is now dead.
I look at the future . . . . . shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing . .. . . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . . . and the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old man . .. . . .. and nature is cruel.
‘Tis jest to make old age . .. . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . . . . grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . . . . where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . . . . a young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living . . . .. . life over again.

I think of the years, all too few . .. . . . gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact .. . .. . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people … . …. . . open and see.
Not a crabby old man . .. . Look closer . .. . see ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within.

We will all, one day, be there, too!

Identify yourself

I have been influenced by this story and it resonates with a lot of professionals in today’s world. The story goes like this. A young IT professional went to his grandmother, complaining about how tough the life was for him, with constant pressure in his work place.

His grandmother took him to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners and fished the carrots and eggs out and poured the coffee in a cup. Turning to his grandson, she asked, ‘ Tell me what you see.’ ‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ he replied.

Grandmother asked him to feel the carrots. He did and noted that they were soft. She then asked him to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, he observed the hardboiled egg. Finally, the grandmother asked him to sip the coffee. The grandson relished its rich aroma. He then asked, ‘What does it mean, granny?’ She explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. However, each reacted differently.
• The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
• The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
• The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
‘Which of these, are you?’ she asked her grandson. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
Think of this: Who am I? How do I react?
ü Am I the carrot that seems strong, but when faced with adversity, wilts and become soft and loses strength?
ü Am I the egg that starts with a soft heart, but changes during the course? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become strong and hard? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
ü Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean changes the water itself with its fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
So, how do we handle adversity? Do we become a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy. The happiest people are not necessarily those with the best of things; they just make the most of everything that they have. For the brightest future, it is he forgotten past and letting go of failures and heartaches that will help.



Root Cause Analysis

For the engineers among us who understand that the obvious is not always

the solution, and that the facts, no matter how implausible, are still the


A complaint was received by the Pontiac Division of General Motors:

"This is the second time I have written you, and I don’t blame you for not

answering me, because I kind of sounded crazy, but it is a fact that we

have a tradition in our family of ice cream for dessert after dinner each

night. But the kind of ice cream varies so, every night, after we’ve eaten,

the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I

drive down to the store to get it. It’s also a fact that I recently

purchased a new Pontiac and since then my trips to the store have created a

problem. You see, every time I buy vanilla ice cream, when I start back

from the store my car won’t start. If I get any other kind of ice cream,

the car starts just fine. I want you to know I’m serious about this

question, no matter how silly it sounds: ‘What is there about a Pontiac

that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start

whenever I get any other kind?’"

The Pontiac President was nopes it out anyway. The latter was surprised to be

greeted by a successful, obviously well-educated man in a fine

neighborhood. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so

the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was

vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the

car, it wouldn’t start.

The engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, the man got

chocolate. The car started. The second night, he got strawberry. The car

started. The third night he ordered vanilla. The car failed to start.

Now the engineer, being a logical man, refused to believe that this man’s

car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He arranged, therefore, to continue

his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. And toward this end

he began to take notes: he jotted down all sorts of data, time of day, type

of gas used, time to drive back and forth, etc.

In a short time, he had a clue: the man took less time to buy vanilla than

any other flavor. Why? The answer was in the layout of the store.

Vanilla, being the most popular flavor, was in a separate case at the front

of the store for quick pickup. All the other flavors were kept in the back

of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to

find the flavor and get checked out.

Now the question for the engineer was why the car wouldn’t start when it

took less time. Once time became the problem — not the vanilla ice cream

The 50 New Rules of Work

The global economy is in a state of acute disruption. Competition has never been more fierce. Consumers have never been so well-informed and loudly demanding. And what worked yesterday just might be obsolete today.

But this time is also a great time, for the astonishing few who are ready to show leadership. Leaders are at their absolute best during messy cycles versus during the easy ones. And messy cycles bring with them gorgeous opportunities.

As I sit quietly on this airplane at 40,000 feet, away from the rallying cries of a wired world filled with endless interruptions, I’ve distilled what I’ve been sharing in my presentations to clients across the planet over the past months, from Kuwait and Dubai to Paris, London and Dusseldorf.

Here are 50 powerful rules to amp up your game so this business cycle is one of your best business cycles yet.

The 50 New Rules of Work

1. You are not just paid to work. You are paid to be uncomfortable – and to pursue projects that scare you.

2. Take care of your relationships and the money will take care of itself.

3. Lead you first. You can’t help others reach for their highest potential until you’re in the process of reaching for yours.

4. To double your income, triple your rate of learning.

5. While victims condemn change, leaders grow inspired by change.

6. Small daily improvements over time create stunning results.

7. Surround yourself with people courageous enough to speak truthfully about what’s best for your organization and the customers you serve.

8. Don’t fall in love with your press releases.

9. Every moment in front of a customer is a moment of truth (to either show you live by the values you profess – or you don’t).

10. Copying what your competition is doing just leads to being second best.

11. Become obsessed with the user experience such that every touchpoint of doing business with you leaves people speechless. No, breathless.

12. If you’re in business, you’re in show business. The moment you get to work, you’re on stage. Give us the performance of your life.

13. Be a Master of Your Craft. And practice + practice + practice.

14. Get fit like Madonna.

15. Read magazines you don’t usually read. Talk to people who you don’t usually speak to. Go to places you don’t commonly visit. Disrupt your thinking so it stays fresh + hungry + brilliant.

16. Remember that what makes a great business – in part – are the seemingly insignificant details. Obsess over them.

17. Good enough just isn’t good enough.

18. Brilliant things happen when you go the extra mile for every single customer.

19. An addiction to distraction is the death of creative production. Enough said.

20. If you’re not failing regularly, you’re definitely not making much progress.

21. Lift your teammates up versus tear your teammates down. Anyone can be a critic. What takes guts is to see the best in people.

22. Remember that a critic is a dreamer gone scared.

23. Leadership’s no longer about position. Now, it’s about passion. And having an impact through the genius-level work that you do.

24. The bigger the dream, the more important the team.

25. If you’re not thinking for yourself, you’re following – not leading.

26. Work hard. But build an exceptional family life. What’s the point of reaching the mountaintop but getting there alone.

27. The job of the leader is to develop more leaders.

28. The antidote to deep change is daily learning. Investing in your professional and personal development is the smartest investment you can make. Period.

29. Smile. It makes a difference.

30. Say “please” and “thank you”. It makes a difference.

31. Shift from doing mindless toil to doing valuable work.

32. Remember that a job is only just a job if all you see it as is a job.

33. Don’t do your best work for the applause it generates but for the personal pride it delivers.

34. The only standard worth reaching for is BIW (Best in World).

35. In the new world of business, everyone works in Human Resources.

36. In the new world of business, everyone’s part of the leadership team.

37. Words can inspire. And words can destroy. Choose yours well.

38. You become your excuses.

39. You’ll get your game-changing ideas away from the office versus in the middle of work. Make time for solitude. Creativity needs the space to present itself.

40. The people who gossip about others when they are not around are the people who will gossip about you when you’re not around.

41. It could take you 30 years to build a great reputation and 30 seconds of bad judgment to lose it.

42. The client is always watching.

43. The way you do one thing defines the way you’ll do everything. Every act matters.

44. To be radically optimistic isn’t soft. It’s hard. Crankiness is easy.

45. People want to be inspired to pursue a vision. It’s your job to give it to them.

46. Every visionary was initially called crazy.

47. The purpose of work is to help people. The other rewards are inevitable by-products of this singular focus.

48. Remember that the things that get scheduled are the things that get done.

49. Keep promises and be impeccable with your word. People buy more than just your products and services. They invest in your credibility.

50. Lead Without a Title.

I encourage you to share + discuss + debate these with your team and throughout your organization. Within a quick period of time, you’ll see some fantastic results.

Keep Leading Without A Title!

Robin Sharma

Quote for the day

“Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.”



“Never be afraid to slow down.”

Quote for the day

“Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet.
Do your work with mastery.
Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine!”




“A cloudless plain blue sky is like a flowerless garden.”