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Posts Tagged ‘Book’

Vacations

Not to be neglected. Do not give in to the temptation of believing that the whole organization would collapse in your absence. Plan for the same in advance and delegate while keeping your boss updated. You would be surprised to find that your team turned in a better performance while you were away to the Bahamas.

Companies like Daimler which facilitate a real ‘off’ from office would win in the long run. Incoming mails get deleted from your inbox and get diverted to someone else.

Before going off on vacation, an auto-reply mail along the following lines may come in handy:

‘Hi, I am on the Mars these days, missing Wi-Fi or cell signal, shall get in touch once I am back!’

The absence of a good manager is never felt, because his team is trained up so very well!

(Excerpt from my book ‘Surviving in the Corporate Jungle’, the English version of which was released recently. The Portuguese version of the excerpt follows.)

FÉRIAS

Não devem ser negligenciadas. Não ceda à tentação de acreditar que toda a organização entrará em colapso na sua ausência. Planeie as férias com antecedência e delegue as tarefas, mantendo o seu chefe informado. É capaz de ficar surpreendido ao constatar que a sua equipa teve um desempenho
melhor quando você estava ausente nas Bahamas.

Empresas como a Daimler, que facilitam um verdadeiro ‘desligar’ do escritório, ficam a ganhar no longo prazo. Os e-mails recebidos são apagados da sua caixa de entrada e reencaminhados para outro colega.

Antes de ir para férias, convirá redigir um e-mail de resposta automática, mais ou menos deste tipo:

“Olá, atualmente estou em Marte, sem Wi-Fi, nem rede detelemóvel. Entrarei em contacto consigo quando regressar!”

A ausência de um bom executivo nunca é sentida porque a sua equipa está muito bem treinada!

(This is how you can lay your hands on the Portuguese version of the book, launched in Portugal during March, 2016.)

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Most of the management events we get enticed to attend are very much alike. Somebody gets up and introduces the chair person and the speaker of the evening. Then, the chair person mumbles a few words designed to cheer up the speaker. The speaker of the evening then goes on to describe at great length what he thinks of the scandalous manner in which private sector managements behave or exposes the inefficient goings-on in the public sector.

The hapless soul tasked to chair the session makes sympathetic observations about the subject at hand. He makes brief notes in a studious manner. Later, he uses these to wrap up the proceedings as quickly as norms of society, dictates of behavioural sciences and standards of politeness would allow.

The speaker of the evening is invariably dressed in an impeccable corporate style. This is merely to mask the inner shivering he experiences at the prospect of facing a firing squad. Externally, he exudes confidence. Internally, he is all of a twitter. Unfortunately, many speakers are blissfully unaware of the technique of public speaking unwittingly perfected by Gussie Fink Nottle of P G Wodehouse fame – that of getting adequately braced with generous helpings of a strong tissue restorative prior to delivering a speech.

While he tries his best to convey some serious messages to the unsuspecting audience, he also attempts to induct some humour into the otherwise listless and sombre proceedings. This helps him to sugar-coat his dull message to the unsuspecting audience.

The audience upon which the speaker’s verbosity is unleashed listens in a state of polite resignation, often suppressing a yawn or two. With an eye on the wrist watch and a nose trying to detect the faint aroma of snacks and coffee being served outside the lecture hall, they bide their time, hoping for the ordeal to end soon.

From time to time, some members in the audience rise and ask carefully rehearsed questions, which get answered fully and satisfactorily by the speaker. Often, when a question gets asked in the pure spirit of proving to the assembled group that the questioner is smarter than the questioned, the latter either ignores him, or says haughtily that he can find him arguments but cannot find him brains. Or, occasionally, when the question is an easy one, he answers it.

When the discussion gets out of hand, and the speaker is found to be twiddling his thumbs, the chair person rushes in to conclude the affair, thereby bringing joy and relief all around.

The speaker is delighted that he has been rescued just in time and looks upon the chair much like a typhoon survivor would look upon the US marines when they arrive to rescue him from a disastrous situation.

The audience is happy that the trauma is finally over. They look forward to grabbing the vitamins laid outside the hall, so as to keep their body and souls together and also to overcome the state of depression induced by the presentation.

The organisers breathe easy, having saved their furniture and other items from any damage. Someone from their side quickly offers a vote of thanks to all and sundry, lest the speaker change his mind and go on to bore the audience any further.

A smoothly conducted management meeting is one of our civilization’s most delightful indoor games. When the meeting turns boisterous, the audience has more fun, but the speaker a good deal less.

The book presentation session at Madras Management Association recently was true to form in more ways than one. Save and except for the following:

– Being chaired by an exceptional business person who is practising the art of true social responsibility.

– The presentation of some portions of the book was more of an interactive session which never tended to be boisterous.

– There was a singular absence of any rehearsed questions from the audience.

The session had attracted around forty odd souls who suffered the trauma of listening to yours truly and others for about forty minutes or so. Perhaps Einstein’s Theory of Relativity kicked in and these forty minutes felt like forty hours to them, because when it was time for the Q and A, they pounced on an inwardly shuddering yours truly with much glee.

As luck would have it, much light was generated in the discussion that followed the brief presentation. The heat generated was perceptibly less; thus, no fire alarms went off in the lecture hall. The brainy coves assembled for the evening proved their mettle by coming up with astute observations and insightful comments. An enlightened soul in the audience even went on to enquire as to what precisely is meant by Spiritual Quotient, and what could be done to shore it up.

Leadership styles got discussed. Tips on managing Lion Bosses got shared. Dignity of women at workplace came in for a mention. The delicate art of dishing out selective favours to those who really deserve support was brooded upon. Several other topics of contemporary interest were discussed, including the recent boardroom battles which played out at Infosys and at Tata House.

One is grateful to Madras Management Association for having provided this opportunity to share one’s thoughts with their brainy members and honourable invitees.

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/a-tale-of-two-countries-and-a-book-launch)

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There are Lion King bosses who epitomize terror at the work place. Insulting and demeaning you is second nature to them. As long as the task is in your hands, it would be top priority; once it reaches their own desk, you may not hear of it for the next two months. Some of them have agricultural inclinations – a suggestion made by you would get rejected with much fanfare, in full public view; after six months, it would sprout as ‘their’ idea and get marketed to the top brass.

Fight or flight? If you are sure of your ground and stand up to them once in a while, heavens will not fall. You could end up dealing with a less aggressive boss in the days to follow. The flight option gets linked to the status of the industry as well as your own Unique Selling Proposition in the job market.

When under such a boss, bide your time and hope for a better planetary configuration to emerge in the days to come. Or, quietly work through the grapevine to have alternate relationships and collaborations within the company, so the immediate boss’ sins get exposed to others who might be able to do something about it.

(Excerpt from my book ‘Surviving in the Corporate Jungle’, the English version of which was released recently. The Portuguese version of the excerpt follows.)

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Teams

For cross-functional tasks to be carried out, build teams with due care. Let your team have like-minded people as well as a minority of likely dissidents who will ensure the team does not go off track.

Hunters have practised this art since the beginning of our civilization.

(Excerpt from my book ‘Surviving in the Corporate Jungle’, the English version of which was released recently. The Portuguese version of the excerpt follows.)

 

EQUIPAS

Para que as tarefas multifuncionais possam ser realizadas, deverá constituir as equipas com todo o cuidado. Assegure que na sua equipa há pessoas que pensam da mesma forma, mas também alguns tendencionais dissidentes que irão garantir que a equipa se mantém no bom caminho.

Os caçadores praticam esta arte desde o início da nossa civilização.

(This is how you can lay your hands on the Portuguese version of the book, launched in Portugal during March, 2016.)

 

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Pressure is an ‘external’ stimulus. Stress is what ‘we’ experience. The level of stress we experience therefore is directly proportional to the pressure we receive. The good news is that stress is inversely proportional to our inner strength and resilience.

Since each individual is uniquely configured, the response of each person to the same level of pressure would be different. Some would take it lightly and focus on the action at hand, thereby improving their chances of a better and quicker delivery of results. Others would take it seriously, and jeopardize their own achievements and career. Those who are ever-anxious and have an ‘A’ type personality would invariably experience more stress than those who are the happy-go-lucky ‘B’ types.

Stress experienced by a professional is also a function of time. The psychological condition varies with time and also plays a role.

To sum up, a mathematical formulation for stress could qualitatively be along the following lines:

stress

Distress can be handled positively. Art of creative dissatisfaction, loosening up and letting go, a habit of forgiveness, a dash of humour, and meditation can help.

A little bit of stress is good for a professional’s health and output. Thanks to Richard Lazarus and Hans Selye, we understand the distinction between ‘eustress’ and ‘distress’!

(Excerpt from my book ‘Surviving in the Corporate Jungle’, the English version of which was released recently. The Portuguese version of the excerpt follows.)

 

STRESS

A pressão é um estímulo “externo”. O stress é o que “nós” sentimos. O nível de stress que sentimos, portanto, é diretamente proporcional à pressão que recebemos. A boa notícia é que o stresse é inversamente proporcional à nossa
força interior e resiliência.

Como cada indivíduo tem uma configuração única, a resposta de cada um ao mesmo nível de pressão será diferente. Alguns conseguem aceitar a pressão de ânimo leve, concentrando-se naquilo que estão a fazer e aumentando, assim, as suas probabilidades de uma execução mais rápida e com melhores resultados. Outros levam a pressão demasiado a sério, pondo em perigo as suas próprias realizações e carreira. Aqueles que estão sempre ansiosos e têm uma personalidade do tipo A sofrem invariavelmente de mais stresse do que os ‘deixa-andar’ do tipo B.

O stress que um profissional sente é também uma função do tempo. A condição psicológica varia com o tempo e também desempenha um papel.

É possível lidar com a angústia de forma positiva. A arte da insatisfação criativa, soltar-se e deixar andar, o hábito de perdoar, uma pitada de humor e meditação, tudo isso pode ajudar.

Um pouco de stress é bom para a saúde e para os resultados de um profissional.  Graças a Richard Lazarus e Hans Selye, sabemos distiguir o ‘eustress’ (stress bom) do ‘distress’ (stress mau)!

(This is how you can lay your hands on the Portuguese version of the book, launched in Portugal during March, 2016.)

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Chief Executive Officers and  top honchos should retire themselves every five to six years. This would ensure some sanity in the operations of the company. As to lesser mortals, there is no point in clinging to their seats of power till ill health (or worse, death) comes knocking on the door.

Life is much bigger and brighter than work. The many shades of life which remain to be explored after retirement include simple joys – spending exclusive time with one’s spouse, putting life in the reverse gear by playing with grandchildren, taking up hobbies neglected for years, and fulfilling other desires which had merely remained benign intentions all those years.

(Excerpt from my book ‘Surviving in the Corporate Jungle’, the English version of which was released recently. The Portuguese version of the excerpt follows.)

 

REFORMA

Os Diretores Executivos e os manda-chuvas devem reformar-se ao fim de 5 ou 6 anos. Com isso garantem alguma sanidade às operações da empresa. Quanto aos simples mortais, não há nenhuma vantagem em manterem-se agarrados aos seus lugares de poder até que os problemas de saúde (ou, pior, a morte) lhes venham bater à porta.

A vida é muito maior e mais interessante do que o trabalho. Entre as muitas nuances da vida que continuam a ser exploradas após a reforma estão as alegrias simples – passar mais tempo com o cônjuge, fazer marcha-atrás e brincar com os netos, dedicar-se a passatempos que foram negligenciados
durante anos e cumprir outros desejos que nunca passaram.

(This is how you can lay your hands on the Portuguese version of the book, launched in Portugal during March, 2016.)

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Quality

Hire a quality expert who is practical and does not live in an ivory tower, or else your billings may nosedive and your entire manufacturing team may end up doing only rework.

In the services sector, quality invariably means an extension of the core job being done. A shipping agent who keeps you updated of the status of a shipment at all times is a delight to work with; so is a dentist who sends you a discreet short message reminding you of your appointment that evening!

To quote Dr. Laurence J Peter and Raymond Hull: ‘…man cannot achieve his greatest fulfilment through seeking quantity for quantity’s sake; he will achieve it through improving the quality of life, in other words, through avoiding life-incompetence’.

(Excerpt from my book ‘Surviving in the Corporate Jungle’, the English version of which was released recently. The Portuguese version of the excerpt follows.)

QUALIDADE

Contrate um especialista em qualidade que seja pragmático e não viva numa torre de marfim; caso contrário, a sua faturação poderá cair a pique e toda a equipa de produção pode acabar a retrabalhar produtos e nada mais.

No setor dos serviços, a qualidade significa sempre uma extensão do trabalho principal que é feito. É um prazer trabalhar com uma transportadora que o mantém a todo o momento a par do estado de uma encomenda; tal como com
um dentista que lhe envia uma mensagem breve e discreta a lembrar-lhe que tem consulta nesse dia!

Para citar o Dr. Laurence J. Peter e Raymond Hull: “…um homem nunca estará realizado se procurar a quantidade por si só; realizar-se-á através da melhoria da qualidade de vida, ou seja, evitando as incompetências da vida”.

(This is how you can lay your hands on the Portuguese version of the book, launched in Portugal during March, 2016.)

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