It is not a responsible behavior of bosses, when they bat for their blue eyed boys/girls!

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Bosses in any organization are supposed to be role models for their employees! They need to be fair, flexible and equitable in their dealings with employees. A healthy relationship between supervisors and sub-ordinates promotes pride for employees, enjoyable work place, high efficiency and harmonious growth. But in real life of most organizations, all what are highly desirable mostly remain only a pipe dream or decay on paper.

When bosses taste power, they do develop whims and fancies, likes and dislikes, which actually drive polarization of their opinions. There is a set of employees, whom they tend to favor and the rest invites their frustration or fury. Out of employees they favor, there would always some who are “yes men” or they generally don’t dissent, support their boss rather blindly and chemistry of their behavior and body language fit well with that of boss. These are the employees, who emerge as blue eyed boys or girls of the boss.

There are bosses, who are clever and keep their likes for blue eyed ones clandestine. They are likely to be far more vociferous in telling people about their impartial approach; but very subtly show favors to blue eyed ones. In the current age, such bosses are in big majority compared to those who are crude and clamor openly for whom they side with. Ironically, ethics policy of most organizations pronounces non-discrimination. However, such discriminatory and dishonest behavior of bosses goes on and on with impunity!

Unfortunately, bosses having equitable and empathetic flair for all are in minority worldwide!

Why bosses are seldom free from biases!

Look at the practical side of life – nearly all of us have biases. Bosses would have all the more, since they are far more vulnerable for following reasons:

  1. Power of human mind is such that if it is not harnessed in a right way, it would harbor biases!
    Bosses rarely have time or urge to think of channelizing their mind power Harness, productively.
  2. If a boss is aggressive, he (no gender bias) is bound to relish power and command authority.
    Such a boss is bound to be egotist. Employees, who can boost his ego, are bound to become his pat. But those, who hurt his ego, are bound to come under come under trouble.
  3. If a boss is submissive, he would be tempted to collect those employees around him, who normally take his side. He would use them to save his skin!
  4. A boss is expected to create hierarchy in his organization. Statistically, I have observed that bosses tend to fill key positions in this hierarchy by giving only 40% weightage on average to merits and 60% to his own comfort level with employees concerned!
    Once selections are made for key positions, the boss go hammer and tong to defend his deputies. I have rarely seen bold bosses, who would openly admit mistakes in their selection and initiate a change!
  5. Many bosses like to treat some employees as their confidants, who could keep an eye on activities of other employees, especially the dissenting ones.
    Are you surprised at above revelation? It is bad but true in corporate world!
  6. Focus of nearly all is on performance figures and not people values. This cannot but help promote prejudices and lack of pragmatism!

Why being blue eyed is a bad idea

If you envy those, who become blue eyed for bosses, you need to start rethinking.

Here below are banes of being blue eyed:

  1. You would be under shadow of your boss and hence, run the risk of losing your own identity!
  2. You would have poor knowledge of where exactly you stand by merit, since true picture is exaggerated by biases of boss in your favor!
    Blue eyed ones often face serious difficulties, if they have to work for a new boss!!
  3. You would get opportunities and rewards on a platter, more than what you deserve or able to chew. This would not be a blessing, as probabilities are higher that you cannot cope up with same.
  4. You would be poor in conflict management and facing challenges, which are keys to success in corporate life.
  5. Your peers would feel alienated and may keep a distance from you!
  6. You can’t blossom, when you become a boss!!!

So, there is a dire need for every institution and organization to (a) mentor, coach or develop bosses to have unstinted flair for being fair and impartial to all and (b) encourage employees to stand on merit and shun favors from bosses!

Being restless for lack of rewards to your efforts?

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It is good to be restless, if you don’t get rewards for your endeavors, as compared to those who like to rest on no or little rewards! At least that would shake you, encourage you to review what is wrong and possible inspire you to bring a change in your efforts or environments with a view to reap rewards for what you sweat and toil!! The latter lot of people, who shows patience or complacency for not getting what is due to them, clearly lives in comfort zones. That in any case would cause decline or degeneration of such people.

We are in a causal world. Nothing can happen without a cause. And a cause results into an effect. If the effects or results are not what you desire, there would not be heavenly hands coming to your rescue. Sometimes, effects or results may change by coincidence or fluke; but then such situation would not be repetitive. You would fall into the trap again. Probably, life of majority runs likes that – passing though phases of excitements and disappointments, successes and sorrows. Only remedy is to search and seek cause for not getting right fruits for your efforts and align your efforts accordingly.

Above is true for any type of work, business or profession.

Causes for lack of or little rewards

There is nothing like a bad luck preventing due rewards to come to you! There has to be at least one of the following reasons:

  1. Gap in your understanding of what would give you reward as opposed to that of who is supposed to give it – your boss, supervisor or customer.
    Zero down this gap through candid discussions and modify your efforts, if need be. If you are averse to such discussion, then you cannot blame anyone.
  2. You have a wrong boss or customer.
    If your attempts and analysis is genuine that you are in wrong hands, be bold to seek a change of your supervisor or customer. A caution – a customer is generally not wrong; instead you could be wrong in selecting customers.
  3. You are in a wrong company.
    Watch out culture and genes of your employer. You cannot rule out possibility of such organizations, which do not believe in motivating and rewarding their employees. If that be your well thought conclusion, then quit plan fully by searching and securing another job. If you do not do that, you are clearly in comfort zone, which in any case would pull you down.
  4. Your efforts are not good enough or in right direction.
    Watch out on this. Very often, you hold wrong perceptions or rigid notions on how you should work. For example – you do hard work without paying due attention to end results. May be that it is resulting in poor quality or more time due to wrong or inefficient approach. What is the use of such hard work and expectation of awards for same?
    You need to continuously correct the direction and degree of your efforts to ensure that required results are yielded in minimum energy i.e. least time and work!
  5. You are obsessed with effects.
    I have come across many people, who are too focused or obsessed for end results or effects. There are cases, where people confuse their ideas or imagination for end results as their inspiration. That is self-defeating!
    Top management of many corporations ruthlessly drives for results; but do not show direction to their folks how to get there. This is retrograde.
    It is a must to convert obsession for effects to focus on efforts.
  6. There is gap between your desire and doings.
    Aspirations of several people are high but corresponding actions are low. How can that work?
    So, your expectations and efforts must match each other; these should be complementary!
  7. You know what is good; but don’t go after it!
    This is a stigma, many people suffer from. Most people know what is good and would deliver results. But, that remains only part of their intentions and never translates into implementation!

So, it is entirely your hands to reap rewards from your efforts by establishing first the cause and then securing effects by suitably changing degree and direction of your endeavors!

Your Mind is the Emperor; use its power to excel!

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Stark truth of nature is that nothing is more powerful in your life than your own mind!! Your understanding, knowledge, ability to recognize, to have feeling or sensation and consciousness in general is possible only because of your mind. Life and mind are 2 integral parts of one whole i.e. You!

Mind is as old as life itself; but ironically it is only in very recent years that science has understood its relevance. Science knows constitution of brain; but not of mind. General comprehension is that mind means not only brain; but much more, which is beyond any definition as of now.

What is mind

There is no unanimity as of now on what and where exactly mind is, across all sections of societies and branches of science in the world, though it has supreme spiritual and scientific significance.

There is variety of beliefs about mind, one of which is – it is integral part of the physical body; but it leaves the body when a man dies and enters new life. How and why are unclear! Another school of thoughts or even some faiths state that mind is metaphysical; physically does not reside in our body and is controlled by divine forces. Whatever we may believe, one thing is certain mind is a powerful Maya (illusion) and mirage!

 Most widely acceptable idea is that mind is closely linked to the brain; it cannot be physically observed but its effect can be seen and captured through our brain and nervous system. Whatever comes to our mind – images or thoughts, gets stored in the memory of our brain. Our brain has 3 types of memories – sensory, short term and long term, the combination of which ensures encoding of incoming information, storage and retrieval like a computer.

Some of hard realities are that your mind is only linked to you and hence, it cannot be an entity which is separate from you. When you say “Me and my mind”, does it mean 2 separate entities? They are not; both are one and same. You get confused simply because you have to observe as well as assess by one and same one entity i.e. mind!

Rules of mind

  1. Power of mind of all normal human beings is the same!
    Power of mind of the wealthiest person – Bill Gates is no different than that of a poor person or that of highly intelligent person like Einstein to ace golfer Tiger Woods!! The difference lies in degree of its use or misuse.
  2. What differs from person to person is response of mind in identical situations!
    It is totally dependent on past memory of the person.
  3. State of mind is determined by your current thoughts, which is mix of present and past images or memories.
  4. What you would do next is linked to what you are thinking now.
  5. What would happen to you next is largely influenced by how are you perceiving or contemplating now.
    If you are having positive or good state of mind, positive things would happen; good news would come. If you are frustrated, unfolding events would make you more frantic! Most time, you have mixed thoughts which you seldom realize and therefore, mixed results appear, leaving you wondering why that has happened even when you were positive. Fact was that you had mixed state of mind.
  6. Once a thought or image comes in your mind, you can’t erase it!
    All you can do is to allow other thoughts to superimpose on it and that way you get a feeling that you have forgotten it. But remember, it can still surface in future.
  7. Thoughts, which your mind allows to get linked to your sensory or nervous system, become your notions or emotions!
    These would surface in your mind repetitively. This is how your traits, habits or beliefs are formed.
  8. More you try to forcefully remove or repel unwanted thoughts in your mind, more would these resist and persist!
    Only way to remove unwanted thoughts is to allow them to come but ignore!!

Efficient use of mind power

From above it is clear that mind has full role in kind of efforts you make and effects that you realize. It is your mind driving, if you experience:

  • Success or sorrow
  • Ecstasy or enmity
  • Fun or frustration
  • Happiness or hurt
  • Optimism or pessimism

Few things that you can do to make good use of your mind power are:

  1. Practice to focus on just single thoughts.
  2. Observe your thoughts; but don’t obstruct same.
  3. Ignore “conflicts of thoughts” or “unwanted ones” as much as you can.
  4. Stop to live in past.
  5. Reinforce only wanted thoughts.
  6. Repetitively emphasize in your mind that nothing negative, however tempting or justifying, would ever help. It can only hurt!
  7. Align most of your actions towards your happiness, health and goals of your life.

So, it is all about and in your mind! If you follow above, you are sure to get command on your life or destiny!

Bitter pill of most Corporates – Difficult people Dominate!

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This is true not only of Corporate World but also of any type of institution or even families. Everyone craves that only decent people drive the Corporates; but, exactly opposite happens. No doubt, there are decent people at the top; but they are completely outnumbered by the difficult ones worldwide!

There are 3 ways by which difficult people find their way to dominant positions:

  1. Those, who are difficult by their trait, bulldoze their way up.
  2. Those, who are difficult by nature, find their way up clear, since decent ones give in.
  3. Those, who actually succeed because of their decency; but becomes difficult due to their duties!

1st category above is straight forward and easily understood. 2nd and 3rd are indeed interesting phenomena; so, let us look at same.

Though difficult people dominate, they are a drag!

It is a paradox that decency gives success; but success makes many people difficult! Difficult people make life of all of those around also difficult!!

Difficult people have following characteristics, which make them more visible though for the wrong reasons:

  1. They are aggressive and at times ferocious!
    Top management may confuse this characteristic as dynamism.
  2. They are inflexible, which is often (mis)interpreted as being firm.
  3. They can hold ground under tough challenges, which is good and is generally adjudged as managerial courage.
  4. They are rash is their actions and decisions. This is mistakenly seen as a virtue of being efficient and decisive.
  5. They lack empathy.
  6. They believe in command and not being congenial.

Organizations with difficult people at helm would always face bouts of successes and failures.

Why decent people buckle down

Decency is an extremely desirable characteristic. It emanates from many qualities like:

  • Respect for others
  • Empathy
  • Disciplined and dignified
  • Fair and flexible
  • Humble and honest

But, there is one problem with decent people – in pursuit of respect, empathy, dignity and humbleness, they develop tendency to avoid contradictions and try to vociferously keep their hands off perceived or actual conflicts. Even when it is desirable to engage in conflicting situations, though not caused by them and manage same, they prefer to abstain. A serious consequence of these tendencies is to discourage decent people to take tough decisions! In corporate sector, this is especially seen as weakness. On other hand, difficult people are resolute and risk driven, albeit for wrong reasons.

This is precisely the reasons why decent people fail to hold the ground and therefore, their decency carries a limited value!!

Why duties make people difficult!

To get good results and grow to higher level, you have to do it right. When you keep doing it right, you are most likely to go on the wrong side unconsciously; but ironically, your perception would become stronger that you are not doing anything wrong.

I know of some managers, who had important quality of “attention to details” and used it to drive great quality work. But after moving up to higher positions, they turned fussy and stubborn to accept any deficiency in work, even when employees had genuine issues. Such changed mindset of these managers led to demotivation of employees and deterioration of quality.

Look at practicing physicians – they need to have empathy for visiting patients. An empathetic physician does become popular. With increasing number of patients, the physician may find it difficult to maintain his/her empathy all time and that eventually makes him/her impersonal. There are cases of heart specialists having a very kind heart, which makes them prone to heart ailments! So, either they survive by becoming heartless or succumb to heart ailment. It does not mean that one should not have kind heart; it actually means to sustain kind heart, you do need something more!!

Following are examples of some attributes, which make people decent initially and difficult later:

  1. Ownership becomes obsession.
  2. Pride converts into possessiveness.
  3. Interpersonal skills change to impersonal attitude.
  4. Friendly nature encourages favors, in place of fairness.
  5. Courage translates into callousness.

It has been generally seen that people involved with bigger responsibilities, tougher duties and tighter schedules tend to become machinelike and impersonal. This is true of most CEOs, professionals like doctors, lawyers etc. They believe in decency but their behavior becomes difficult!

Bringing consistency in decency

Decency invariably makes you soft. You need to change softness into firmness by being daring and determined.

Another important thing to preserve decency is “Do not attach any emotion to it or make it your habit”. Decency should be treated as a force or inspiration, which must drive your life at all time!

How our beliefs & habits get built and why we need to break some!

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Our beliefs build our character and habits shape our personality! Are our beliefs or habits gifts from destiny/divinity or products from our genes or DNA? Many tend to believe that it is; but that is not true. Our genes or DNA may influence some tendencies e.g. not recognizing impending dangers like legendary car racer – Michael Schumacher, being fearful or sensitive to changes. Most beliefs and habits get built unconsciously through our life time; though some form through our conscious efforts.

One of my former colleagues was very messy and disorganized; albeit very creative. His supervisor arranged couple of training programs to change him; but that would not have much impact. Subsequently, he got an opportunity to go to Germany on deputation for 2 year assignment. When he returned back, he had dramatically changed in his habits. He would keep his office highly organized and pay attention to every details. He became very conscious of what he would do; though this change came at the expense of his creativity!

On changing beliefs, there are several real stories on how life of famous or ordinary people saw a dramatic difference in their beliefs like believer of violence to become non-violent or honest ones becoming dishonest when faced with difficulties.

Above substantiates the fact that habits are what you harbor and beliefs are what you build! And when you build, you also acquire capability to break!!

How habits and beliefs are formed

Seed of habit or belief is an idea, which comes in your mind as a sequel to your observation. If this idea comes repetitively in your mind through seeing, reading, listening or thinking, it gets rooted in your mind.

Those ideas or thoughts, which result into physical activities on a repetitive basis becomes your habits. These physical activities do mean that your body sensory and nervous systems would work in sync with such thoughts. Thoughts, which remain mental but repetitive, become your beliefs. Beliefs would drive or impact your behavior and other ideas.

Why habits?

If you go back to early phase of evolution of human race or any other living being, habits were formed only for 2 basic reasons – Health and Safety. But, you consciously or unconsciously form many more habits, which have no relation with your health and safety e.g. getting angry when something does not get done, putting hands in pockets of trouser while talking to someone, lying down on sofa while watching TV and so on. Why do you need these habits? You never raise questions.

Observe carefully – habits, which have nothing to do to secure good health and safety, are either harmful or hurt your efficiency! These would kill your focus or health itself like smoking or taste for junk food!!

Why beliefs?

Original idea behind beliefs getting formed or developed is always that it gives you happiness or in layman’s term – peace of mind or comfort level. It is only later that belief which was meant to give happiness, takes shape of faith, fundamentalism or fanaticism!

All beliefs, which are not linked to your happiness, are actually banes! Belief of a boss that by empowering his employees, he would lose power is bunk. It is not aimed at happiness; it is meant to boost his ego, since he wants employees to gravitate towards him by becoming center of power. People seldom notice amount of beliefs that they hold, which are farcical, including so called corporate virtue – being paranoid!

Also, every belief has an ugly side – loss of openness and flexibility.

Challenge your habits and beliefs

If you find that your decency and dexterity do not deliver results, your honesty hurts, your sincerity sticks or you are trailing behind your peers despite terrific work, it certainly requires you to challenge and change your some of the habits and beliefs!

It is extremely relevant that –

  1. Your habits must be only those which would endure your health and safety.
  2. Your beliefs should only what would bring you happiness and do not hurt others.

Believe that it is only you who have built your habits and beliefs. What gets built also gets broken. Do not believe any psychiatrist, psychologist or physician, if they say or write to the contrary. You may need to overcome resistance that your mind can create. People have no clue how wrong habits hurt and beliefs belie what otherwise belong to you!

It is now high time that you take stock of and audit your habits and beliefs, list all those, which do not meet above 2 criteria and make an action plan to discard those gradually and with conviction.

You can’t imagine how you would rejuvenate and redeem yourself by realigning or
relinquishing irrelevant habits and beliefs!