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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Kyu ki managers bhi kabhi techi they

This post is dedicated to all the managers who think bossing over people will make them true leaders. ( Who knows- a few years later- I might need to read this post again . I hope not. For my own good reasons)

Some days back someone popped me a message on Gtalk:
AB: Kemon cholche Manushke Chabkanor lesson (How's is it going- your lessons for whipping humans? )
me: You hate your manager- don't you?
( I needn't have asked him- it was more than evident)
AB: Prachanda (Extremely)

I have rarely come across an employee who has said that he/she doesn't hate his/her manager. Let alone like/admire/respect/any other positive emotion. The title of a "manager" or "boss" conjures up the image of Hari Sadu. The brilliantly done ad of the year 2005 that had so cleverly used to draw frustrated employers from all over the country to post their resumes in search of greener pastures.

The catch is- the grass only gets yellower. And if you keep job switching all the time, your CV would soon start looking that of a paranoid schizophrenic. If you stay on- you'll probably develop a severe case of Tourette syndrome with associated swearing.

Attrition rates in most companies can be attributed to mismanagement. At least, people I have talked to have mostly pointed that out. What makes a successful manager then?
In theory, we are taught several coveted *personal characteristics of a leader-
  • Energy and stamina
  • Focus
  • Sensitivity
  • Flexibility
  • Ability to tolerate conflict , etc
(*Organizational Behavior and Processes- Ancona et al)

But in practice, do we really have any time to look back at the management lessons we had in B-schools, when the only concern is to get the job done- in time? I guess not. That is why I believe it is better to practice these values in a perpetual way than trying to resort to them periodically. By that I mean, just like charity begins at home, a good manager begins at home too.

Look at your personal life- are you having too much of conflict in interpersonal relations? Are you cluttering your life with redundant emotions and that is defocussing you from your priorities? Are you unclear about what you want? Are you restless most of the times? Do you have a negative image about yourself which is affecting your opinion about others or what possible opinion they might have about you? Then your life is in total mismanagement. And you need to streamline your efforts to do ONLY the things that are important to you. Life will be simple, uncomplicated and a joy to live.

Eventually, we are all seeking happiness. If we are not getting it then there's something definitely wrong. No point trying to be an ostrich with its head buried in the sand and pretending that nothing is happening around. You have to make a few active decisions . Even if it's as trifling as deciding to start the day 15 minutes early or having a healthy breakfast.

Life is , in the end, the choices we make. And I have heard someone say recently: You get what you want from life. At least 80% of it. I believe it. And also that: Beyond all talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck- but most of all endurance.

So all the best for your love, luck and life. But don't forget the elements. And enjoy the journey.


passer by said...


Aparna Kar said...


Naresh said...

Go bash ur manager :P

vIbHoR said...

I would relate Managing only with common sense, after all the theories about Individuals and organizations, Management perspectives and bla bla

Its the practices which makes you substance, Its how you manage your business practices with your TICKET.

Its all about gaming with your five senses open. Even i hated my manager and still the love -hate game is on for ever n ever.

perseverance is the key to success and introspection is to retain it.

After a long time, It was a good read.

Take care

Aparna Kar said...

Sorry. Can't. I'm studying to be a "manager" now. And if you meant my immediate boss by that, then boss-bashing is not really my forte. And touch wood, I have never needed that. Hope Lady Luck keeps following me everywhere I go :D

Aparna Kar said...

Honestly? I agree. A degree may give you more credibility or complement your previous education but it is practicality that you need in business. I know someone personally with no formal education in business except a B.Com but with Midas touch. Everything he touches... shoooosh.. turns into gold. And it's only because of his acumen. And he's earning more than he can finish counting - all in one life.
His father, after partition, shifted to India from Bangladesh (east Pakistan)and sold hookah tobacco to earn a living for the family. When he saw that the market demand could decrease in disfavor of hookah, he suggested his father to innovate the product line- take up selling cigarettes etc- at that young age! And he told me this while I was savoring a flavored sheesha in one of his restaurants after dinner. His restaurants may not serve the best food in the world I have tasted, but his one:one interaction with his customer is inimitably genuine.
When asked "What advice would you give to a would be MBA student?" (I was about to leave for US that time), he replied "You told me you had toiled for your exams- always remember that. You have to put in your efforts for anything you want in life"
I know it's more than simple old age "efforts" in business. But I knew what he meant. I have to want something really desperately to make it happen to me.

Glad that you liked the post. It was written at the spur of the moment like most others.

arnab said...

good post. saying the right things is hard, which you just did... doing them will be harder still, which you acknowledge :) just made me think, can good management really be taught?

but what i really don't get is, why was the ad "controversial"?

Aparna Kar said...

"Can good management really be taught?"
Hmm. I wonder. In theory- yes. But it's as effective as those instruction booklets that guys never use when building a toy plane :P
You got to learn it your own way and everyday. That is why I called "life" the best management teacher and give equal importance to my personal life.

Btw, "controversial" is just a title it acquired I dunno for what reason. For me, it was one of the most brilliantly done ads. OK then, I'll stick to that adjective in stead of the borrowed one :D

Partha S Sengupta said...

Sense and Sensibility...