Netizens who have made the cardinal error of following me on any social network could be forgiven for imagining me as a dashing speaker, blogger and author.
Not a Jeeves in the realm of Management
Snapshots, videos and blog posts would inevitably depict me as a management expert dishing out sage advice with an impish sparkle in the eyes, often misconstrued as indicating supreme intelligence. Seasoned observers would notice a receding hairline and imagine me to be an intellectual cove. Perhaps a head bulging out at the back, much like that of Jeeves, would lead many amongst my followers to conclude that I would have minted millions by this time, squeezing the last penny out of some Bertie-like super rich but mentally negligible bosses I would have assisted in a long career.
Well, nothing could be father from the truth. Those who wish to dig deeper into the subject of who I am would be startled to find that the responsibility of depicting yours truly in such a flattering manner falls squarely on the illusory sophistication and the veneer of respectability a lesser mortal gets imbued with, when behind the façade of social media.
An error of judgement
Fondly known as ‘AKB’ to my friends and colleagues, I am a management graduate of what I would prefer to describe as the pre-Jurassic period of management education. Delhi University is to be squarely blamed for dishing out a post-graduate degree to me in Physics, way back in 1974. The University Business School at Panjab University, Chandigarh, also appears to have made a singular error of judgement in awarding me a MBA degree in 1976.
Professors who had the misfortune of educating me came in several sizes and shapes. The brilliant ones could never come to terms with the singular absence of common sense in my thought processes. The mediocre ones had no other option but to feel frustrated at not being able to detain me at any level of my educational ladder. The poor ones were so indifferent that I often landed up studying the subject myself, thereby gaining more interest in those subjects.
An expert at Mismanagement
If an expert in the field of management were to put my escapades under the microscope of academic rigour, she could be condoned for recommending my appointment as a Dean of a School of Mismanagement at an Ivy League institute of international repute.
The fact remains that several top corporates in India and abroad have had to bear with my unique style of mismanagement for over thirty-five years. The ones which have suffered in particular are such companies as Tata International, Hidesign, and HCL.
My entrepreneurial endeavours in the realm of market research and HR have left many of my had-been-clients shaken but not stirred. A benevolent client once rued how happy his company had been if I had done my own market research better and if only they had not availed my (dis)services.
A number of start-ups have seen me in the stellar role of a promoter-director. Records would show that many of these sank without a trace. I was blessed with a flair for visualizing lofty goals. I always attempted flawless planning and backed it up with miserable execution. My lack of attention to detail often left my customers exasperated.
From delegation to abdication
While in a career, I always followed the policy of focusing on the peripheral targets, whereas my team members took care of the Key Result Areas. With me, the art of delegation often evolved into sheer abdication. Needless to say, companies were often happy to see me packing my bags and leaving.
My travels have taken me far and wide, but those who know me well are still not too sure if I have yet understood the work culture and ethics of different countries and continents.
I do believe I attract people with my positive vibrations, but I have played no role in the recent confirmation of the existence of gravitational waves by physicists. I might sound like a global manager, but have not been successful in cross-cultural validation of any of the management theories and concepts.
The perils of those who receive my services
Having hung my boots in the corporate world, I am now working with some NGOs in the field of Management and Spirituality. One can only wish these outfits well.
I am aware that I happen to be an active blogger whose tardy progress in the blogosphere is being watched with little interest by any of my occasional followers.
Yes, I am passionate about movies. Many movie directors are delighted at not having been approached by me with any script of a likely blockbuster. This way, their careers are not likely to go bust any time soon.
Of ‘Wodehousitis’ and ‘Professoritis’
I am happy to be suffering from “Wodehousitis” and “Professoritis” and do not seek any cure for these ailments. A scholastic attitude and a habit of “keeping my saw sharpened” have made several University departments and educational institutes invite me for sporadic guest lectures, only to repent later.
CEO World in Portugal has recently made the mistake of making me an Editor-in-Chief of their blog site. Vida Economica of Portugal has even gone ahead and taken the risk of publishing a book of mine in Portuguese.
The corporate world heaves a sigh of relief to discover that my activities are now mostly confined to Pondicherry, India. This ensures that I would spend the rest of my days on this planet in a high-spirited state of bliss, leaving them free to run their own businesses the way they like.
The Association of Ineffective and Morose Managers
If ever your luck were to run out and you were to step out of your virtual world and get to meet me in person, and also have the misfortune of spending some time with me, I would not be surprised to receive a frantic call the very next day, pleading with me to immediately assume the position of the President of the Association of Ineffective and Morose Managers.
Wish you all a goofy April Fools’ Day!
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