Change or Perish: Lessons from Joe's Drive

A few lessons learnt from Joe’s drive

Opportunity to Tap current membership:

  • An opportunity exists to tap the potential of 1700 registered St. Stanislaus Ex-Students Association (SSESA) members and thousands more who are yet to join the association.

    Leadership from Within:

  • The SSESA leadership needs to have a set of projects that each committee member is responsible for individually or in consort with another Management Committee member.
  • The committee member then takes ownership and provides regular status updates leading to completion with the help of volunteers.
  • This means that those
    who lead SSESA have to think in that fashion.

    Replicating Success/Project Based Management Committee:

  • Replicating the recent success requires project driven model at the Management
    Committee Level

  • If you are not implementing a project individually or with another MC member amongst other
    things – It might be time to support the membership in other ways.

    Proactive Vs Reactive leadership:

  • We need to carry out projects that we lead from the front and not keep responding to –
    As and when the school needs us.

  • We have to show the school the way, in part incorporate projects based on requirement gaps that exist at the school.

    Diversity in the Management Committee:

  • The committee is not reflective of Stanislites at large.
  • To grow to the next level, one has to
    start embracing diversity and more importantly getting out of our comfort zone.

    Continuous Improvement and Continuous Involvement:

  • Simply put, We will continue to learn from our mistakes, improving one small project at a time and
    therein lies the cycle of continuous improvement.

  • Continuous involvement means getting alumni
    - To attend Breakfast meetings, Movie
    Screenings, Free Health Screenings, Investment/Insurance Advice and Portal Newsletters,
  • in
    short keeping the alumni involved in implementing projects at many levels vis a vis the
    monetary and non-monetary resources that they can provide.

    Friends of Stanislaus - Observer/Volunteer Group:

    This is the first step towards what I call ‘Friends of Stanislaus’

  • Identify Volunteers/Observers who are able to assist at different levels for successful
    completion of projects.

  • These are the same people who can later participate in Platinum, Gold and Silver
    memberships – Each level of membership that offers different levels of commitment from
    members as well as recognition of members.

    Those who refuse to challenge themselves and not take the opportunity now do so at their own

    'We can spend the next 50 years being yet another

    Picnic Going, Antakshri Singing, Bingo
    Playing - Senior Citizen Club!

    I think ‘Born for Greater Things’ is a little more than that -

    What do you Think?'

  • iralbuqu's picture

    One at a time

    I have been following some of the comments to your blog Vikram, we seem to be putting way too much stress on tis issue of diversity. From what I can gather the majority of Catholic representation on the comittee seems to have become a sore point with some. Lets have our non-catholic friends out there get involved come time for the next elections, religion was never an issue when we voted for our house and school captains and I would be disappointed if it were ever to become one. The issue should be that of leadership and performance.

    Personally I think we have done a great job with the last little project for Joe and perhaps it is time to focus on the next project and go from there. I would like to see a path forward even if it is only a single project that the committee picks right away and gets down to brass tacks the way we did for Joe. The last thing we need now is to loose momentum.

    As we gather momentum and grow membership we can grow the number of current projects as well. For the moment, lets reduce our focus on the issue of diversity in the committee and focus on the issue Vikram suggests which is " Replicating Success/Project Based Management Committee"

    vikram_moorjani's picture

    Be the Change You Want to See In the World - MKG

    Dear Aubrey,

    You do raise many troubling questions, I wish I had an answer for you regarding those but I wish I knew better and then again it is not my place to answer. I am sure the committee is hard at work vis a vis the projects listed and will soon enlighten us with the progress they have made over the past few months.

    Like you, I am just another member on this website. I am sorry people choose to make excuses to skirt responsibility and fail to challenge real issues facing the organization.

    Do not lose hope, each and every one of us can still make a difference in our own special way. There are many future projects that need our support and as Terence suggested ‘Change is Gradual ‘ but then again I couldnt agree with you more that ‘Change has to come from Within’

    I am reminded of some beautiful words from a very cool guy, Shri Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who said

    "Be the change you want to see in the world".

    I don’t think better words fit the occasion.

    Keep writing, keep asking uncomfortable questions – The boundaries we have are only those we create in our mind.


    Aubrey Pereira's picture



    A few interesting quotes heard in the corridors of power

    10 - We don’t have a quorum for a quorum – so we cannot make a decision

    9 - Let us use this meeting to talk about when we want to meet next

    8 - Who do these Bachas think they are – Mere Pas thirty year ka experience hain! In 1942, Jab Main Chotta Bacha Tha – Badi Shararat Karta Than!

    7 - Yeh Project Kis Bala (‘Disease’) ka Naam Hain? I really don’t understand – I thought our job was to arrange a few Carrom Games, Buy Hardy Boys and Little Miss Red Riding Hood for the Library and do some Gupshup once in a while.

    6 - Oh, I am sorry didn’t someone tell you that we preponed the meeting – Sorry, nobody informed you about the change.

    5 - You can become the Secretary, You can become the Assistant Vice President, You can become the Chancellor – What about our friend Anthony Gonsalves – ‘Main, Is Duniya Main Akela Hoon’

    4 - Havent you heard of the purple circle – Only purple people allowed – Rest need not apply!

    3 - How can we start the meeting without Johnny and Chivas – Black, White, Red Bhi Chalega!

    2 - No Pakodas or Samosas for this meeting – Who is in charge of Entertainment? Where is Pandu when we need him – Do Cutting Chai – Malai Marke – Fatta Fut

    1 - -Uplat Uplat on the Wall, Who has the whitest teeth of them all? Have you seen this Teeth Whitening Ad


    Aubrey Pereira

    Aubrey Pereira's picture

    How SSESA moved from a Dormant state to Active State

    Dear Terence,

    FYI, after my heart attack last year, in my spare time I started collecting contact information about all Stanislites spread out around the world. It is after a lot of persuasion I got the going and only after that SSESA got their act together and asked a couple of Ex-students to start

    In short, If I never made the move to make Stanislites welcome around the world, we would still be dreaming and SSESA would still be just be meeting and deciding when the next meeting is going to take place over a few pegs of scotch!.

    It is people like us who not only dreamt about great ideas of getting Stanislites together from around the world but have been instrumental in making this dream come true



    Aubrey Pereira's picture

    No head's should roll let them go in Exile

    The Association is in existence for 50 years. How much more time does one need to provide? , It is only after the website the working of this association has come under the microscope.

    May I ask, what is the Status on the many projects that are listed (Water, Toilets, Library of the Future, etc?), there is no update so far. Is there anybody really working on these and if so, what is the status?

    Is each Committee member responsible for the projects currently on the website or Do they just wait till the School asks their help?

    Joe’s Drive came about only after the School asked SSESA for help – Why wait for something like this, Why not act in advance so we are better prepared? I agree 100% with Vikram, Proactive measures are better than a reactive approach – That implies change is essential.

    I remember meeting a few people last December and when the topic of members of other communities came in – The word on the street was that members from other communities are just not interested or not available to join the Management Committee. I find that very hard to believe, these are mere excuses to exclude rest of the Stanislite community. This is the SSESA and not the SSESCA (St. Stanislaus Ex-Students Catholic Association)

    Yes involvement is critical and so is change from within.


    Aubrey Pereira

    Aubrey Pereira's picture

    Vikram raises many valid points

    Vikram points out very important issues facing this organization. The need of the hour is to change how we do things and it is the natural inclination for people set in their ways to change for the better.

    As a catholic, I whole-heartedly agree that Diversity brings people with different life experiences, different ideas and thought processes. The fact that the committee represents only one community tells us that a lot of work needs to be done

    Let us not forget it was all Stanislites - Catholic and Especially Non-Catholics who came forward to donate money and keep pushing others to raise money for Joe.


    Aubrey Pereira

    Terence de Sousa's picture

    Gradual change ... or Revolution!

    Dear Aubrey,

    The need of the hour, primarily, is not essentially change (by this I mean the committee). In my view, what’s really needed … is involvement! Only with the active contribution from our present group of members (approx 1700, as Vikram points out) and confidently, others that will join in, that we can and will be able to bring about the desired effects of change and diversification, to accordingly steer our association towards the ultimate goal!

    A catastrophic change at this stage might only be detrimental to our preferred aims, ideals and objectives. And, as I’ve mentioned before … we need to give the situation some time and during this period, get ourselves more involved with innovative ideas, within the present formation. Changes in beliefs and mindsets would gradually and unquestionably follow ... if not, its only then that we need a revolution!

    Don’t get me wrong, on this issue ... I am not in favour of any one committee over the other and like any other proud Stanislite, would be interested in seeing the organization scale new heights and directions.

    Terence de Sousa's picture

    Diversity ...

    Dear Vikram and Francis,

    Have read your comments with great interest and as with you, would also tend to feel that we may need some amount of diversity (in whichever way your comments were intended!) …. but having said this, we must accept that SSESA "activities" have only recently begun to be active (through this portal) and only after allowing a period of time can any of us be judgemental of it's actions. With proactive participation of it’s members and constructive feedback, I can only see it moving skywards and beyond, in the near future, towards a direction that the majority would appreciate.

    I do hesitate to say this but at our nascent stage of existence, it would be unfair to colour this movement with a communal hue as I do sense some degree of concern on this count … although, I must hastily add, am hoping to be wrong!Embarassed

    Our motto is and will always be, “Born for Greater Things”. Let’s do our utmost to get there … together, we can and together, we will!

    vikram_moorjani's picture

    Good Suggestions

    Dear Francis,

    I am but 'A voice' amongst the thousands that represent a sea of humanity - A humanity represented by Stanislites and their families - past and present.

    I cannot say I have all the ideas. I learn every day and the fact that I learn today is the beauty of looking forward to a tommorrow.

    No disagreement in the requirement of Diversity of ideas

    Yes on my point of diversity - When 90% of the Management Committee represent one single community. It tells us that the existing leadership needs to do a better job in representing its students.

    You can't deny that can you?


    Francis DSilva's picture


    A strong and welcome voice too, Vikram!

    Nothing to deny on representation. I'd say there is precisely a 91,67% Catholic representation (judging by names, I cannot say anything about religious conviction). This is a glaring disparity that unfortunately attracts unnecessary attention, but let's not make this a communal discussion. If a more diverse communal representation in the Managing Committee can drive strategic direction and proactive action in the SSESA then I'm for it. I am not quite convinced though

    My angle to diversity for the SSESA is wider: age, community, profession, geography. The expectation to this diversity is to bring fresh ideas, new energies and continuous improvement of the SSESA and ultimately the school.

    I’m hoping for more participation – the silence on the portal is deafening. So let’s storm the Managing Committee with constructive ideas to open for the activities you mention in your earlier post. I think the diversity will resolve itself.

    A constructive start would be to suggest improvements to the mission and objectives of the SSESA (see here); such a top-down approach will most likely drive home the logic for other activities besides Bingo and picnics (Bingo and picnics do play their part).

    Having said this, let’s keep in mind that St Stanislaus is driven by Jesuit traditions and priorities will be influenced by this. However, I can see no conflict with this and the nature of the diversity we are discussing.

    Enough said – so let’s get cracking on shaping these activities.

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