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Posts Tagged ‘Management’

ashokbhatia

Ladies and Gentlemen of the world,

Allow me to lodge a protest.

The derogatory manner in which I am generally referred to by the Homo sapiens is a matter of sincere regret. I wish to ass-everate that I have sterling qualities of head and heart. Even though a vast majority of you copy me ass-iduously in your day-to-day lives, you hold the member of my species in a low esteem. This is patently unfair. Permit me to set the record straight and ass-ert myself.

Members of your species have always given me a raw deal. You wilfully neglect some of my great contributions in diverse fields of life. Prohibition, literature, health, discipline, education, free speech, human values, law and order, science, politics, management, architecture, adventure and logistics are some of the fields where I have enabled your civilization to scale great heights.

Here is a quick recapitulation of some of…

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ashokbhatia

The gang of twenty-five wannabe managers, when it entered the not-so-hallowed precincts of the University Business School of Panjab University, Chandigarh in the year 1974, was clueless as to the effective use to which the power of music could be put to practice the art of managing people.

Much later in their careers, some members of the gang might have woken up to the immense potential of healthy musical practices when it came to surviving in the corporate jungle. Some would have soared higher whistling the tune that their bosses wanted to hear from them. Others would have become great leaders based on the results their teams produced, much like an orchestra gets led by a conductor to produce mellifluous symphonies.HIS MASTER’S VOICE

Some might have perfected the art of phasing out dissent from their team members by the sheer power of their vocal chords, not alike the way even soulful lyrics get drowned…

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ashokbhatia

Success often makes us complacent. On the other hand, failures help us in our relentless pursuit of excellence.OVERSTAYING ONE’S WELCOME

My own experience tells me that it helps to befriend and manage our failures. Each failure makes us discover a latent strength of ours. Each one has the potential to open up fresh vistas in our lives.

Yes, it also helps to take a step back to evaluate our successes, so the critical factors behind those could be understood better.

Befriending Failures

There is no cut-and-dried formula for managing failures. However, I do believe that a renewed focus on the following factors can help us in getting more out of our failures.

Giving up Self-pity

It does not get us anywhere. It only ties us down to a past which can’t be rewound and rerun. Negative things do happen. It does not mean that all others are as happy as they…

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(On the 1st of January, 2017, Mr K V Rao, Resident Director – ASEAN, Tata Sons Pvt Ltd. Chairman & Board Member, Tata Group Regional Subsidiaries – ASEAN, had posted this thought-provoking article on LinkedIn. His permission to blog it here is gratefully acknowledged!) 

 

31st Dec 2016, the last day of the year, and the New Year makes one more reflective. I step into my 37th year of corporate “experience” – which often is questionable, whether it is an asset or liability! One of my bosses in my early years hanged a quote : “Experience is what you get, when you don’t get what you want”. The cryptic one liner holds much meaning – it is all about what one “learns” from daily experiences, the day you stop learning slowly that experience looses its it shine and fades into becoming a liability, and once you cant keep pace with the changes you become anachronistic. While its now time for me to research on the latest mobile app, learn about the features of an iPhone 7, or about the SSD hard disk, i-Cloud storage and what have you on all embracing technology to keep myself in step with the 20 somethings in my office, experience has indeed taught me much more.

Everything about modern management, over the years has tended to bring about is an acute left- brain centricity – rationality, data crunching, analysis, and a compulsive need to ‘prove everything’ and so on, while inversely making huge efforts to be innovative, creative, and break away from the strong holds of purely rational thinking. As these apparently opposing forces of the left and right brains jostle with each other, for space – there is this whole effort and premium placed on the right “leadership”. From experience in the practice of leading, it is not so much about how much you know or how smart you are, but all about how you impact others – inspire them to achieve their highest, and have a perception beyond the ordinary. It is more to do with what you are made of, and living that authentic person.

To me, it is simple. Instead of only using the lone brainpower, lets look at our own gift of the 5 Senses that nature has bestowed upon us. My experience has taught me that we use little of these magnificent senses that have immense power upon others and us. We seem to use little of our wonderful 5S in our daily practice of leadership. Here you go.

S1 – Sight: The greatest gift we have from nature is the ability to simply “see”. In our work life, for a leader “seeing” is the power of observation, of concentration, and ability see-through the things others are not obviously in a position to see. It needs practice, peace, concentration and training to constantly “look for” say – the beyond i.e. a vision, a future, a pathway that you are able to see, also the trained ability to see through darkness, when the team is say lost, and through the moving shadows when clarity is absent. In today’s corporate world, the ability to see what others don’t is a singular leadership trait. Train it, you will have it – but one has to silence one’s overactive rational mind that finds only the familiar paths, looses the forest for the woods. The subtle next step on seeing is the ability of the “inner eye” – the ability to visualize, the ability to build a powerful and vivid vision! It is not just words but being able to see the vision in its manifested forms and colours, but to also to share and inspire others its power.

S2 – Touch: The gift of touch is magnificent. Imagine how life will be for us if we did not have that powerful gift. Touch in our organizational context has a vital role – it denotes: caring, intimacy, bonding, emotional connect, and vital in building and leading a team, for we as leaders primarily touch the lives of all our teammates, our partners, our customers. A well-trained expression of the feeling of “touch” enhances a leader’s ability to identify more touch points, and be sensitive. It makes one a natural leader. In short, it is the conscious practice of empathy. These touch points are not just with employees, these are with stakeholders, customers, just about everybody the leaders comes in contact with.

S3 – Taste: Beyond being a foodie, the importance of Taste in our senses is almost unique. The imprint of the experience of Taste is almost unexplainable in words. It is a complete experience that’s unique. When you live whole heartedly, (just as you eat whole heartedly and are a foodie like me), the experience is very “memorable”. The power of the experience of Taste in leadership is that unexplainable feeling – the pain, joy, delight, despair, disconnect, elation, contentment etc. … That one goes through a leader when you “taste the success” or “taste the failure”, or “taste the dejection”. Training one’s own taste of the experience leaves behind rich learning and deep insights. Memories have a bearing on your leadership style.

S4 – Hear : Often, leaders speak more than they listen. The power of hearing (listening!) is multidimensional. It is about extending a listening ear, for a human issue, system issue or an idea or a problem. Intent listening with a trained ear is an asset. It is not only the verbal hearing – it is also about perceiving the sounds, which others have not yet picked up. Recognizing low decibel sounds as it were, from the team, from the market, the environment i.e. picking up early signals, and early warnings – a trait which is so very important for an adept leader. This has little to do with rationality. I have had the pleasure of working with what I call 200% attentive leaders. They would pick up so much more in a meeting, than the normal managers, for they are so very attentive and perceptive.

S5- Nose (smell): The nose, like the powerful experience of taste, has a huge impact on memorability. Often a smells reminds you of your past, your college room or a person or whatever. Smells leave a permanent stamp on our olfactory memory, and trigger associated past experiences – pleasant or painful. In our corporate world – it is very important for leaders to spot opportunities. It is often said, “he has a nose for new opportunities and consumer trends”… it is a delicate and refined quality of using one’s nose, to identify the areas of growth. Part perception, part instinct. Many great ideas have come to fruition for someone “smelt them” before you, or did something that you too smelt and then regret you did not do anything about it!

Now that you are sensitized to your wonderful gift of senses, and harness them in your daily leadership practice, you obviously need to put back the  “thinking cap” of your rational mind with both the hemispheres – right & left – snuggly for you to become an exceptional leader.

Often, I am asked how can one be more “intuitive” – which is fast becoming a buzzword too. My short answer, in my own experience, is that one needs to take a pause from the overworked rational self, hone one’s senses, and often it acts to gently nudge some inner workings within all of us, thus giving rise to “intuition”. Often the first signs of intuition dawning on one can easily be confused as irrational and daydreaming. Pause, and think – it might be the Eureka moment. It may be the first experience of the “Sixth Sense”. Indulge in it and it gets cultivated. Intuition starts finding a home and a friend in you.

When you look at the millennials, the bright kids who will lead this world for the next few decades, they are wired very differently. High on adrenaline, voracious technology adopters, impatient, connected and high on social media, and having grown up on a staple diet of almost constant instant gratification, and their parents (us!) who have provided for them – best education, best upbringing, best environments and the best this and the best that. They seem to have it all, but seem woefully deficient in facing adversity, prone to depressions, inability to deal with the “real others”, build deep lifetime bonds, to remain focused and bull-headedly persistent. Not knowing how to build trust, empathy, and authenticity. Lonely, unsure, and short fused at times. In short, high on energy – fast, furious, and determinate – yet missing out on the use of a 5S leadership or even a 5S lifestyle.

In many ways our generation, has had its role to play in the shaping of the new millennial. As parents, we have given the our “bests” to our next generation, to perhaps unwittingly further a race of “patrimonial capitalism”, as Thomas Piketty, the French economist who is churning new thinking, argues. A privileged few, who go on to create still more privileged few, widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots, and making the entire dispensation less “sensitive” to people.

In our need for speed and urgency in everything, we make use less of ourselves and our full potential that remains unutilized within each one of us. While we are highly digitally distracted and as we furiously run back to clear all our mails, greetings, and meetings calendar for the New Year, it’s time for us to take a long pause and a deep breadth – and to look around, with a fine eye. There is so much comedy around us. Smile. Slow down. “Patience” has a new premium over speed.

Increasingly, organizations and life in general are moving on to a pace that makes them senseless. How do we become sensible leaders in a senseless or low sense, or non sense (pun intended) environment? Live life in its fullness and lead life with all the 5 Senses, and feel and share the difference.

Wish you a wonderful 2017 – reflective, intuitive and harnessing the power of 5 -Senses Leadership, and also help yourself to loosen up and have a great laugh, every day of 2017.

Cheers

KV Rao

 

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/heartfulness-management-and-leadership

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/of-idleness-innovation-and-the-peter-principle)

 

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ashokbhatia

An ever-changing discipline, though surely not the only one. When conceived and described by Philip Kotler, it consisted of the famous four Ps – Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. With due respects to the great man, one may safely add one more P – Password (used for viral marketing).

Till the 1970s, Indians had to wait for years to get to ride their own ‘Hamara Bajaj’. On the car front, there were just three manufacturers in the fray then. Now, the automobile market has global brands wooing the customer and competing cheek and jowl for a slice of the great Indian market pie.

With the advent of the Internet has come a virtual democracy in information. Changes in technology have brought in a new way the customers and brands interact. Marketing has undergone a sea change and will continue to do so in future as well, what with social re-engineering…

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ashokbhatia

After the 2008 economic meltdown, the management world has discovered that CEOs need to follow not only the Business Compass but also a Moral Compass to steer the enterprises they happen to run. Improving one’s Spiritual Quotient is now a sheer business necessity, and shall be more so in the decades to come.

It is here that Indian scriptures and sages provide a ready template for managers of all sizes and shapes.

The bookSurviving in the Corporate Jungle’ covers some lessons from the following:

-Ramayana

-Mahabharata

-Bhagavad-Gita

-Thirukkural

-Chanakya Neeti

-Sri Aurobindo

Managers with a Western Mind and an Eastern Heart

The success of the likes of Satya Nadella (currently the CEO of Microsoft) and Sundar Pichai (currently the CEO of Google Inc) goes on to show the growing importance of managers who are not only exposed to the Western models of management but also steeped in Eastern…

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Leaders

ashokbhatia

Management can be learnt; leadership is inborn. The good news is that in most cases, leadership styles trickle down the organization and get copied. This spawns leaders in the same genre and also improves behavioural consistency across the entire set up.

Successful leaders have several outstanding traits. Their intuitive faculties are well developed. They do not say one thing and do another. They handle tough tasks themselves. They take responsibility for their failures, often shielding their team mates. They do not have henchmen to execute their dirty plans so their own hands look clean. They put everyone on the same pedestal. They never encourage yes-men. They always encourage no-men to speak up.

CEOs who rank high not only on their Intelligence Quotient and Emotional Quotient but also on their Spiritual Quotient go on to make super leaders. Their concern for business ethics is as high as their concern for business…

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ashokbhatia

Managements are well known for their propensity to give priority to business targets, and to hell with all the systems, controls, and procedures! So, go in for systems which are simple and can be operated by idiots. The acid test to be applied to check most systems would be KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

Auditors will keep coming up with new Standard Operating Procedures. Before rolling those out, a manager would do well to first go in for a pilot run, debug the process, and only then formalize it. This would eliminate the chances of a smart aleck junior coming up with innovative shortcuts to brow beat the system!

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

BEIJE COM FREQUÊNCIA

Os executivos são conhecidos pela sua propensão para dar prioridade aos objetivos…

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ashokbhatia

Tired of time-worn designations? Try these:

·         Chief Worrying Officer: Normally, the Chief Financial Officer who is worried sick about legal compliance in all areas of business.

·         Chief Listening Officer: A Vice President – Human Resources who is always ready with a bucket and a towel to help employees facing emotional distress.

·         Chief Results Officer: The Chief Executive Officer who believes that ends justify all means.

·         Chief Dreams Officer: The Research & Development head who keeps dreaming of new products and businesses.

·         Chief Conscience Keeper: Keeps a strict eye on fraudulent behaviour anywhere in the organization.

Here are some job labels which appear to be on the horizon:

·         Chief Risk Officer: Ensures corporate governance criteria are met and regulatory frameworks respected.

·         Chief Counselling Officer: A legal eagle who can vet…

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ashokbhatia

It makes sense to follow the golden rule, ‘the boss is always right’, even when he is absolutely wrong and is a perfect fool. However, sycophancy has its long-term limitations. Once in a while, if you do not agree with the boss, find the courage and the right time to register your disagreement. This way, you end up becoming a more effective and a healthier manager.

Beware of juniors who are ‘yes men’. They could be pretty dangerous to your career progression in the long run.

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

(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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