Ever since organisations were formed and global spectrum was implemented for corporates, it is believed that employees should go through processes and practices to enable them learn new things to scale up fast. This on paper translates into getting involved in planning, training, development, taking new responsibilities and initiatives.
One popular conception is that to be nurtured as a leader, one must need to understand the dynamics of the profession in a well established set up where processes and scope are well defined. What they fail to see is that there are very limited opportunities to put such learning into practices at these places.
The reality is while one is working with any of these big, well established corporates, they never get a chance to take risk as they are designed in a way to reduce the risk factor to the minimum. Only the young entrepreneurs give fair chances to an individual by giving him opportunities to take risks and succeed. Google and Amazon are few of the biggest available examples. Because if one thinks within the defined frame of the traditional setup, there are very less chances to innovate and execute. The priority will always be to follow the rules and processes.
In the present complex business environment, anyone who gets an opportunity to grow in terms of technical, managerial and humanitarian expertise, emerges as a leader. In big organisations you have a structure in place which helps in you getting into all these roles, but if you are working for a startup or a small organisation, you need to think and act like an entrepreneur and constantly be on the toes to look out for new opportunities in all the areas. One should always remember that success also depends upon individual skills, appetite for success and how one aspires to be in life.
“There is no point working as a small fish in big pond after a while”
I know people who moved on and left their comfortable jobs from MNCs to join comparatively smaller firms and are happy learning things at these places. Although this decision must have impacted their perks and pay cheque, but what they have today is the pleasure of being able to put forward their ideas and implement that to be “The One” for changing the ways of working in their new firm. Moreover, these smaller firms do give flexibility in terms of working hours and working from home as compared to the big organisations.
Also, it is also not very difficult to move up the ladder in small firms, as every person from the top to the bottom knows you and your work, and whenever an opportunity comes by, it is very easy to put yourself forward. Whereas, in large firms, you are working as a hidden employee, which would result in some key members of the management not knowing you.
Since large organisations have a good amount of budget that can be used to buy and manage latest in resource and technology, it has some negative sides as well. As each person has a defined role in his area making it very difficult for a person to gain knowledge of other areas in this kind of environment. On the other hand, despite providing immense opportunities, small organisations have a limited budget for these things and which results in more and more efforts to learn and innovate instead of just going and purchasing the readily available services.
More importantly, to make yourself dependable even in the best of times, one needs to be aligned with the company’s processes, culture and ethics, and should be able to set the right expectations and manage expectations of all the stake holders to grow as a leader.
“It’s not the pond but the quality of fish that matters in a longer term”