Yesterday, a senior leader of Congress, Ghulam Nabi Azad officially retired from Rajya Sabha and our Prime Minister Narendra Modi bid farewell to him with teary eyes. No one expects a country’s prime minister to cry in the Parliament, but he did choose to display his emotions without worrying about what the world would think. We all get emotional in our workplaces and tend to burst out in certain situations, while at the same time believe that crying in a professional setting is just about the worst thing one can do. Why is crying at work such a taboo? Anthropologists claim that crying violates ‘display rules,’ or cultural norms for self-expression and socialization. Fortunately, more people (including employers) today are recognizing that crying is part of human nature, and crying at work isn’t a denunciation of your professional abilities, nor it’s only a woman thing. Rather than telling your co-workers not to cryRead More
Some leaders believe that employees are the core of the organization and their interest should be given priority. They believe that if employees are happy and looked after, customers will flock, get retained well and profit eventually has to come. That’s what Vineet Nayar of HCL believed in and made the firm successful in all respects. Few leaders strongly believe it is the customer who needs a primary priority, hence the phrase – ‘customer is the king’ dictates all the business operations. Some organizations go to any extent to please the customers, even at the cost of the employee morale or willingness. So what about profit – does it stand a chance? Well, the ugly truth is that in the capitalist world, this is the strongest objective which the leaders want to drive but will rarely agree to. Sounds controversial? I know it is, but everyone wants profits – shareholders,Read More
Slowly and steadily, corporate institutions have risen up to embrace diversity in workplaces. Diversity helps in fostering innovation, creativity and empathy, which is practically impossible in workplaces that are homogenous. Diversity in workplaces are more about gender, race, ethnicity, social cultures and even disabilities. However this makes only part of the overall pie of diverse workplace. One important element is allowing diversity of thoughts, thinking and opinions. Different backgrounds and thought processes bring unique viewpoints that helps the organization to take a broader views and decisions that are inclusive and well thought through. In 2004, Anthony Lising Antonio, a professor at the Stanford had said, ”When we hear dissent from someone who is different from us, it provokes more thought than when it comes from someone who looks like us.” But often, organizations and its employees fall into the trap of ‘Yes Boss’ culture, where employees tend to agree withRead More
Boomerang employees are those who join their former companies for a second stint. Companies hire their ex-employees because they see some clear advantages such as – familiarity with the company & culture; no training or onboarding required; assume they have improved from outside experience etc. HBR recently did a study to understand if the Boomerang employees were actually living up to the above assumptions. Their findings were quite opposite to general belief: Boomerang employees’ performance tends to remain the same. Also their reasons for leaving the organization for the second time tend to be similar to their first departures. Both internal and external hires improve more over time than rehires – their initial advantage of being familiar with company, culture, processes help in the initial years where they show better offtake than new hires, but later new hires do better Boomerang employees are more likely to turn over than bothRead More
In this hyper-competitive world, we are obsessed with winning. We are taught to strive to win. All the books available teach us why #winning is important, how to win, how to stay on top, how to win new business/customer and how to keep striving for more. Rarely, we are taught how to accept our loss. There is no curriculum in school that teaches us how to deal with #adversities. Recently #startups came up with the concept of #failfast and encouraged #entrepreneurs to share their #failure stories because each had at least one and others wanted to learn from their mistakes. But when one actually fails, most established leaders will be overwhelmed with emotions such as grief and anger. There are hundreds of stories of leaders, who crossed the lines to win at any costs. Remember #Enron, #WellFargo and more recently the presidential #elections of US. The point I am trying to make is everyone loses in some point in life, it can be in our professionalRead More
The lesson – after experiencing success in any endeavor, we cannot rest on our laurels. Success can lead to arrogance and mental and physical laziness. Many organizations fail after they succeed because they think assume they own success and forget that it needs proof each time.
In the Hindu mythology stories, you must have observed when Lord Indra (God of Heaven) is in trouble, he reaches out to Brahma (God of creation). When Brahma cannot solve Indra’s problem, he takes Indra along and reaches out to Lord Vishnu (God of preservation). If the problem is grave and even Vishnu does not have a solution, he reaches out to Lord Shiva (God of transformation). But when the problem is graver, he along with all other Gods reaches out to Goddess Mahakali. This is an upward escalation of a problem. The problem is if the Goddess solves the problem, next time all the Gods will directly reach out to her. So the Goddess has to solve the problem of Shiva, why is he not able to solve Vishnu’s problem? Shiva has to solve Vishnu’s problem, why he is not able to solve Brahma’s problem and so on, soRead More
Turnarounds are heroic, which is why they can never be predicted. What the Indian lower order did today is one of the finest examples of a turnaround in the world of cricket. Looking at what happened, wise people can say that it’s not a rookie job, if you closely look at the guys involved in the turnaround in this test, you will realize that most of them have scripted a turnaround story in their real lives too. The 29-year-old Thangarasu Natarajan, born in a family with a daily-wage worker in the weaving industry for a father, Thangarasu and a roadside meat seller for a mother, Shantha, Natarajan comes from Chinnappampatti, a tiny village near Salem, Tamil Nadu. He never had enough money for luxuries like cricket gear and shoes. For many years, Natarajan had to think a hundred times before investing in new shoes. His mother cried when she sawRead More
Since the #lockdown, work seems to have settled quite well in our homes and with that, the balance has gone on a vacation. We need to adopt the idea that few entrepreneurs have been able to successfully implement and that is called ‘Work-life Integration’, which is nothing but a holistic way of working in synergy with our overall environment, including our family and personal health. Here are a three basic recommendations that might be useful…
Wish you a very happy Dussehra to you all, may Goddess Durga shower her choicest blessings on you all. Goddess Durga has nine manifestations and each has a story and lesson for us to emulate and learn. As the festival comes to an end, here are nine lessons we can learn from goddess Durga and her many forms.