Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Are you tough?

By Vinod Bidwaik

“You should be tough, ruthless and very assertive when you are in business. If managers are not tough, then their subordinate will not be tough and it is very difficult to sustain in the competitive world.” So-called tough manager was preaching the junior managers in the meeting. He then declared that there would be one sharing session where all managers would share their experiences on how they were tough in their personal life. It was year 2008. The indications of slow down were prominent. The business was down. All new projects and businesses were not doing well. The reasons for the failure were different, but the slowdown was the opportunity to conceal their failure.

“You should be empathetic with people.” Was his another preaching topic. He read it somewhere about empathy and started to preach people. If you are empathetic, you can achieve desired results. However he was literally spoiling the career of good employees by doing experiments about their profiles.

“There is a clause of termination in appointment letter, one month notice period. Ask employees to resign without any severance packages. You do not have any obligations. You should be empathetic; still you should be tough and ruthless.” He ordered in another meeting.  

Empathy means understanding other’s feeling, putting yourself in their shoes and deciding your strategy to deal with them.  Excellent fundamental! I personally use this tactic while dealing with different people.

CEO of the company decided to close one office at one location. So- called tough and empathetic manager was given the responsibility of this project. But this whole project was handled very unprofessionally where high profile and critical talent were treated like a contract and casual workmen. They started agitation against the management. The matter was referred to media and political leaders including ministers. Adverse reports and comments spoiled the reputation of the company.  CEO had to take the control of the situation to salvage where management had to agree to pay them heavy severance package.  

So-called empathic and tough manager failed in his strategies. He actually did not know the real meaning of empathy. He tried to be tough; but at wrong situation with wrong people.

After some days, management decided to be tough with him without being empathetic.

Being tough does not mean you miss the human dimension. Good companies focus log term goals. The hiring of talent is supposed to be for achieving long term goals. Good companies touch the talent cost at last when all the resorts fail; however bad companies focus cost reduction by reducing the talent at first site. You can be tough with situation. You also can be tough with people but before that you also need to understand the consequences and your capability to handle the consequences.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Other side of the talent

By Vinod Bidwaik
We always speak about employee engagement, employee satisfaction, talent management and everything about the talent. Off course, it is very important for success of the organization. However we rarely speak about employer satisfaction and employer expectations. We rarely speak about the human nature of indiscipline and the tendency of dissatisfaction. We rarely speak about the checks & balances on the talent and we rarely speak about the bottom 10 employees in the organization; and what’s about employees who are miscreants in the organization?

Recently one IT company in Pune filed a case against Sr. Customer Support Executive who absconded with laptop and data of the company. I have one case where one female employee (who worked with Wipro- Hyderabad as a recruiter) joined us. After joining she took the loan, applied for a leave for two months and then absconded at Canada with her husband. Such cases are increasing day by day. Employees expect that company should be transparent and open but they don’t want to be transparent with the company.   

Theory X and theory Y (of Douglas McGregor) explains the style of managing people. X type of style, believes that average employee does not like to work, people normally are not self motivated. They are undisciplined and they have the tendency to cheat the people. They can not work without supervision and they like wasting time and spent their time on gossiping. Still these people expect security. 

Y type of style, believes that by nature people like to work, they can be motivated if they are involved, they like to take responsibilities and they should be managed properly.

Employees come from different cultures; their behaviour is the result of influence of their family, school, surroundings. Human being has the tendency to be influenced by the dominated and assertive people. Trade unions, politics and social work are the best examples of this.  Even Big Boss is the best test lab for this. Majority of people in society and organization choose to be silent.

And this is the problem in society and even in organizations. The main challenge in talent management is to deal such different personalities. The first belief, we HR professional should have that every human being is unique. While dealing these personalities, general rules will not apply. You have to find your own style to deal such people.

The first check point, gate keeping is your hiring process. I think we need to go beyond the competencies and also assess the candidate on their behaviour which we normally don’t do. We assess competencies, we assess knowledge, skills, but we do not go beyond this. 

We also need to give the strong message to such employees.

Friday, June 14, 2013

My Dog Can Walk On Water

There was a hunter who came into the possession of a special bird dog. The dog was the only one of its kind, because it can walk on water.

One day he invited a friend to go hunting with him so that he could show off his prized possession. After some time, they shot a few ducks, which fell into the river. The man ordered his dog to run and fetch the birds. The dog ran on water to fetch the birds.

The man was expecting a compliment about the amazing dog, but did not receive it.

Being curious, he asked his friend if the friend had noticed anything unusual about the dog. The friend replied, “Yes, I did see something unusual about your dog. Your dog can’t swim!” 

Points to Take:

We come across people everyday who are negative in their thoughts and actions. They choose to look at the hole in the middle rather than the doughnut.

Do not expect compliments or encouragement from them.

These are the people who cannot pull you out of your present situation. They can only push you down.
So be aware of them, spend less time with them, and do not let them steal your dreams away from you.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This Is Good

An old story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, “This is good!”

One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, “This is good!” To which the king replied, “No, this is NOT good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail.

About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. “You were right,” he said, “it was good that my thumb was blown off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. “And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this.”

“No,” his friend replied, “This is good!” “What do you mean,’This is good’? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?” “If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you.”

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Who are they?

By Vinod Bidwaik
We always have descriptions for people. We tag them based on their personality and their success. We call somebody lucky chap, achiever or super achiever. Sometimes we classify them in true sense which actually tells something about the person. Simple description sometimes brings about greater understanding.  Most of times, people are complicated and understanding them is a real challenge. It is always wise to label people in a correct way. You can use following tags to classify people in right perspective.
Achiever: Achievers are target oriented and work hard to achieve their goals. They may be less oriented to people. Sometimes they may tend to use the people relationship for achieving their goals. Nothing wrong, but you should expect the reciprocation.
Affiliator: These people like to associate with people. They believe on relations. Very helpful and will see the opportunity to make new friends. But try to understand their intention of association.
Fighter: Believes that argument is the best option to win. They are pushy and fight for everything. These people don’t believe that issues can be sorted out by discussing.   
Independent: These guys are judgmental and judge thing by their own standards. Will go for what they want alone.
Preserver: Likes things to be completed. Will find out the ways to push and will not leave you until you agree with them.
Exhibitionist: These people like to be in the center of attention. Will do anything to be in the eyes of people.
Fearful: Always low profile and don’t take any stand in life. Shrinks from excitement and anything might be the threat.
Impulsive: Who thinks of something and does it. They will end up buying things which is really not necessary.
Carer: Want to help people and will not expect anything. They are really concern about people to whom they into relation. But may encroach your personal space.
Orderer: Very orderly and disciple people. Hates untidiness. Spends ages making things tidy and orderly.
Boss: Like power. Dominant and like to boss others around.
Sufferer: This person compliments the carer. He is always the victim and likes to share their problems and difficulties to others.
Researcher: This guy wants to understand everything. Will ask you lot of questions. For him it is knowing than achieving.
Off course there are other tangs also. If you really try to understand people and tag them you can decide your strategy to deal with them.   

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Scale to measure Happiness of an individual

Can I get a scale to measure Happiness of an individual working in business organization.

Happiness@work: Don't  label people lazy. Published in Corporate Dossier ET, May 31, 2013, Prof Srikumar Rao, Author of "Happiness at Work"  

Question: I have been promoted to head a new division and have inherited many workers who are downright lazy. They do not carry their load and overall performance suffers. Good workers get dispirited and slacken
their efforts as a result. Any tips? 


Here are two questions to ask yourself: Why is this happening and who is responsible? Our natural tendency is to blame the workers for having a poor work ethic and punish them in some way - perhaps even fire them.

It reminds me of a cartoon I saw many years ago that depicted an overseer using his whip on galley slaves chained to their oars. The caption said: whippings will continue till morale improves. My friend Ben Zander is conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In the orchestra world the conductor is emperor - if not God - and the musicians do not stand up to them. 

If a particular instrumentalist is not playing up to par in the conductor's opinion, that player is history.  Ben has a different approach. When  his  first  violinist  made  mistakes  during  a  rehearsal Ben asked himself, "What am I
doing wrong that my first violinist cannot play her best?" When you ask different questions, you get different answers.  And  in one of these new answers  you may find the solution  you are seeking. Don't be in a hurry to label the workers 'lazy'.

They may be or they may not be but you have not been in your new position long enough to tell. Instead try to discern what are the organizational rules and past practices that promote the behavior you decry. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Road you take...

By Vinod Bidwaik
Two elderly villagers were seating at the corner bench besides road.
One traveler comes and asks, “Does this road goes to Gangapur?”
 Elderly villager replies, “No, this road doesn’t go anywhere?”
“How? Somebody back told me that this road goes to Gangapur.”
“Son, I am here for last 70 years and I never seen this road going anywhere. If you want to go Gangapur, you have to go on this road straight. You, yourself have to walk”
Road are media to reach at the destination. We have to move, we have to walk, and we have to take efforts to reach at the destination. It is upto us how we take the road. By walking, by running or by some other speedy vehicle. There are million roads, therefore you have to keep in mind that road is only road.  
If you thanks that the road which is not towards the destination, you need not stay with it under any circumstances.
There is no affront to oneself or others in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path must be free of fear or ambition.
Look at every Road/path closely and deliberately. Ask the question, “Does this road take me towards my Goal?”
Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone one question. It is this: Does this road have a heart? Does this road have the values? Does this road is sensible to adjust the change if you desire to?
All roads are the same. They lead nowhere.
There are roads going through the brush or into the brush or under the brush.
Does this path have a heart is the only question.
If it does, then the road is good.
If doesn’t, it is of no use.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Wallets at my girlfriends house

Author Unknown

Today, I pulled into a small gas station in the middle of the desert in New Mexico and realized I had left my wallet at my girlfriends house 5 hours away.  I had no money and barely enough gas to make it another mile down the road.  The only other person that stopped for gas was a burly looking trucker.  I was a bit reluctant, but I asked him for some spare change for gas.  Instead he filled my tank and said, “Someone did this for me a few years ago.”  MMT