Friday, July 24, 2009

The Day that was....

On contrary to this week, the day was pretty excellent. Time really flied. The week-end still is expected to be a fun filled one, the day was awesome. The celebrations started bang at 00:00 Hrs bang with scraps, calls, SMSs, few bumps, kicks, cake and ended with cake all over me in next one hour. Then came few games of darts with flatmate that continued upto 4.30 Hrs and I lost all of them :)

After I got up from sleep it again started with wonderful breakfast and again lots n lots of calls, scraps and SMSs.I was flooded with wishes. The whole day at office was also full of wishes. The evening was something which I never expected. We started partying at 20.30 Hrs at a friend's office. This session was full of fun, jamming, guitar, singing and some really awesome performances. We started from there and after trying at HHI landed at Someplace Else @ Park. It was already 23:45 Hrs by then.

Then again it was a surprise waiting. It was again cake cutting ceremony followed by the cake painting competition where I was the canvas. Everyone showed their painting skills. We were joined by few people partying over there. The people who took me there were all awesome. They partied till 2.30 Hrs again and we left only when Sampy was declared closed for the night. Then we all went for dinner at one of our usual late night food joint, the famous Sharma Dhaba. We all had lovely food over there and discussions were on till 04:00 Hrs. That session also consisted of few friendly bumps, rewinding of few old memories, photo sessions, food and discussions on anything and everything. We finally left the place at 04:30 Hrs and again on reaching back there was a game of dart waiting for us.

Although this was the first time I was not with my family but my friends made this day an unforgettable one for me. This day went away to fast but I will relish this for many days and years to come.

I am already having invites for next few days to continue this celebration. Wishes in form of Calls/scraps/SMSs are still pouring in till the time I am writing this :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Week that was……

Why has it been such a slow week? Time usually seems to fly, more or less, for me, but something about this week has made it torturously slow. And while this promises to be a very good weekend, it's not like it's jam-packed with super extra awesome activities that I've just been dying for. So I can't even say that it's felt slow due to heightened anticipation. It's just been a long long week.
There has been, too, the fact that I was sick with strep throat, and was feeling like very out-of-sorts and exhausted. There's no resting, no real sleep.

This week also had few celebrations, with friends, away from family (so a bit happy a bit sad). Some major up and downs, some dejection, some high points…It had all…anyways it was a week that was a weak week…..!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A police station in reality…

Everyone must have seen filmy police stations in many of the movies but I wish no one is ever required to visit any real one. I have came across these places only a few times till now at different geographical locations for different reasons and requirements.

It’s altogether a different world. No one cares for what is your problem, who you are and why you are there. You can see them working with their own sweet pace. At one instance the constable took around half an hour to write a verification report summary of just 5 lines. No one has got any right to ask them any question, they feel they are above all types of law and they are the ultimate authority. For them anything and everything that you want from them, you need to pay them in cash only. They don’t understand anything like etiquettes, politeness or manners. For them everyone else is either a criminal or a Bakra. Although many states boast of being fully computerised in their operations but I was not lucky enough to see anything close to a computer at of these places I visited. They still believe in doing everything by their own hands. They may ask you to write down your problem on a plain piece of paper as per their guidelines. I once tried giving them a printed request and got good lecture on how now a days youngster show off their computer literacy by doing all these unnecessary frills. As per them, they are helping you by taking money and listening to you and your problems. And since you are earning good amount of money they have a right to demand for their share accordingly for anything they do for you.

No doubt there are few good people also in this profession, but they are now negligible as compared to this new breed of greedy people. None of them were closer to or even trying to match their mission statement “ जन सेवा, देश भक्ति ”.

I wish no one is ever required to visit any police station.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shift in Work Values..

Success at the next level is not always a given thing, even if you've been a star in your last role. It needs more than a change of gears

Within 18 months of starting his career with a respected MNC in the consumer goods industry as a sales representative, Ravi became an area sales manager. Handing over the promotion letter, the divisional vice president said, "Ravi, you have earned this based upon your outstanding sales track record, commitment and drive. You are the youngest ASM in the country! Congratulations!"

Six months into his new role, Ravi was summoned by the divisional vice president, who said: "Sales for your territories have been steadily dropping. Three reps under your charge have quit, citing you as the prime reason. The reps also say you lose your temper, quite often these days. Is there something I can do to help, Ravi? "  Ravi broke down and  requested "I don't enjoy this work at all and am deeply stressed. Please let me go back to being a sales rep."
What causes someone like Ravi, so successful at one level, to falter at the next level? An obvious, yet often overlooked reason is that promotion decisions are invariably based on past "track record halo", disregarding requirements at the next level.

Is there something one can do to improve chances of success at the next level or, are we doomed to learn the about "level of incompetence" hard way?
An expected answer is "added relevant skills", either by oneself or with organisational input. This is, by no
means, adequate.

A promotion, where a change in role is involved, places you at a critical career crossroad to the next level. Key to success here is to change direction at this crossroad with a change in work values.

Let me elaborate: change in work values is not about changing core values like integrity or dignity. Simply
put, work values determine what you value at work.
Ravi had spent so much time mastering the art of selling and experienced success as a crack salesman. He valued selling more than managing a team of sales reps, with its attendant operational tasks. Whenever a sales rep experienced a difficult sale, Ravi would jump in to close the sale. Soon the sales reps started resenting this "interference" and Ravi was not able to devote time to the non-sales aspects of his position.

Change in work values is necessary as we take higher level responsibilities across levels. A marketing
professional, who becomes a head of the business, may value marketing as the most important part of the job. Having achieved success in marketing, it becomes very difficult to value something else as more important. So he does not apply himself with skill and energy to the non-marketing parts of the new role like business strategy and appreciating the contribution of other functions. Inevitably, as business head, he continues to think and act like a marketing head.

As this Critical Career Crossroads approach, the shift in work values is key to success at the next level.
Management skills and capabilities are developed by activity at the workplace. If you internalise enough of those activities, you actually get good at them, and they give you a sustainable advantage for a certain period of time.

"To start doing something new, you have to stop doing something old."

Friday, July 03, 2009

The D Day…

The time is now of something known as “Appraisal Time” for employees in private sector. This is the time everyone awaits every year to see the outcome of his commitment, efforts he had put throughout the year and to see where his career path is going. I agree that this had been a tough year for most of the companies and many had taken actions like retrenchment and pay cuts but its also important for management to understand that how delicate is this whole process of appraisal is. As this can make or break an employee’s mind frame towards his/ her work.

The people responsible for appraisal should understand that appraisal should be a two way open process rather than being a one way directives that an employee is expected to accept. They should also understand that not always what is reported by the employee’s manager about the employee is perfect. They should also come down and have a chit chat with the employee. This may not get any fruitful result to them, but this is going to boost the moral and productivity of the employee for sure.

Gone are the days when employee accepts and agrees to whatever that was told to him or her. With increasing level of uncertainty and anxiety, the need for effective communication along with true and impartial feedback becomes vital which every manager should understand clearly. An employee expects appraisal process to provide a clear understanding of their manager’s and company’s expectation from them and a clear path for growth in their current assignment and beyond.

I agree that there is lot of pressure on organisations to conduct effective appraisal keeping employees motivated in even tough times like today, but they should also understand that people join organisations and leave managers.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Indian crawling in slow motion…

I was once again back on track with railways for my visit to my parent’s place. Usually I had enjoyed travelling with Indian Railways till date and this travel was also nothing new. But again as always I came across few things that I am jotting down. I booked this ticket in a hurry but was confirmed with the help of one relative sitting at Railway headquarters. Long live Babus in our democracy. It was a pleasant surprise to see people responsible for keeping train clean visiting and cleaning the coach three four times in just less than 24 hours but it was unpleasant to find food pathetic this time. It was pleasant to see that ticket checker was asking for the identity proof but it was unpleasant to see that air-condition needs conditioning.

I also came across flying squad guys who were having free snacks at pantry coach in train, after one successful capture of an elderly uncle who was travelling without ticket. The uncle was also smart, after so many attempts these squad guys were unable to extract a single rupee from him as bribe. He insisted on receipt and they insisted on off the record settlement. After one hour of trial and discussions they finally gave up and uncle ji left the place smiling. It looked as if having free food was their legal right and they had negotiated this as a part of their CTC. There was not even a single GRP personal in the train for past twenty hours, which again surprises me. Is there in any change in rule regarding serving terms and conditions for railways staff?

This corruption, negligence and arrogance among the elite babus is one of the major reasons holding back India from growing. Although India has been ranked as one of the fastest growing economies but its also considered as one of the poorly managed economy. Its like India Inc. would like to fire its all cylinders but can’t as the road ahead is bumpy. India really is crawling in slow motion towards growth and thriving to become a economic superpower. Lets hope to see that dream and vision realising soon.