Tag Archives: Career

Monumental Mistake many make by not quitting at correct time!

Humans are infested by inertia and love to do what they have been doing. One fine day, they start facing issues, crises, stagnancy and decay. Often, the cause their troubles is that they had stuck around the place way too long and ignored the signals their surroundings were giving to quit and seek change! It is true that majority misses the boat for bolstering their career and craving for a crest!

One caveat for quitting – do that only when you have another appropriate alternative in hand.

Judging right time to quit

By quitting, I not only mean current employment; but also present position in your profession or pursuits. You should quit, when:

  1. You don’t feel happy with what you are doing, despite your sincere efforts and you don’t see a chance of a change.
  2. Despite 3 nos. of candid conversations over a period of time, there is no comfort level between you and your boss, even though top management had intervened. Remember the rule 1-2-3 & Go; it applies to everyone every time!
  3. Despite being well meaning, you are often mired or pulled into conflicts or controversies over a year.
  4. Your company is not changing and growing, and hence your management is able to offer you only stability and promotion; but not growth in real terms.
  5. Your senior managers and management are not interested in addressing your genuine concerns and issues. Be sure about genuineness of your concerns!
  6. You are excelling and reaching climax. It the best time to quit!
  7. When you start to enjoy comfort of your job and don’t want it to be compromised.
  8. When your management makes promises and fails to deliver at least 3 times.
  9. When your management does not hold moral and ethical grounds.

Hype and Hypocrisy on Employee Retention

Ludicrous is the style of that management and its HR, whose focus is to retain employees by hook or hammer; rather than encouraging and stimulating employees to see and shape their future with the company!

Most management reward for retention, create comfort zones for employees and show love for loyalty more than performance! Seldom they realize that by creating comfort zones, they are killing creativity and initiatives in employees.

Real leaders and managers are those, who tirelessly create opportunities, develop and grow their employees and if they can’t, then would graciously come forward to offer deserving ones a choice to relocate to another company or give honorable exit.

What we need are Constraint Zones, not Comfort Zones

Do not mistake Constraint by controlled and freedom limiting zones. Constraint zone aims at encouraging employees to give more for less – again don’t confuse less means less salary; it means less time, less energy, better efficiency, innovative ways to accomplish more and so on.

Banes of Comfort Zones

  • Inactiveness and inefficiency
  • No drive to learn and change
  • Hatching covers for comforts
  • Taking things for granted
  • Taking time to manipulate and justify inactions

Only blessing that comfort zones offer is stability, uneventful and peaceful time, before degeneration takes control.

Blessings of Constraint Zones

  • Auto drive for value system
  • Self-motivation to learn and change; employees don’t do it otherwise
  • Promotes productivity, creativity and value creation
  • Realization for value of time, energy and cost/money
  • Gunning for greater growth

How quitting at correct time can unleash new order and opulence

Normally, people do not understand how sometimes a single decision can have amazing power to become game changer in your life. The game of quitting under duress or distress is radically different than to quit by design, which can leave irrevocable imprints on your career and character!

  • When you quit plan fully, it makes you confident and courageous decision maker – very rare qualities to progress and excel.
  • State of your mind when you quit and quest for Change would shape your future successes.
  • It can open flood gates of opportunities.
  • It empowers you to shape your destiny.
  • Its best impact is to inspire you to drive events, rather than those driving you!
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When your taste is for Success, why your recipe is for Failure?

Everyone wants to be successful at work, career, professional or personal life; but few get it and others not, despite their best intentions and efforts. Often, we relate success and failure to stroke of luck or destiny. We have innumerable examples of many CEOs or top managers riding high and then gliding down. We tend to believe that as inevitable.

So what is behind such bizarre situation, most of us face? Why do we face varying degree of wins and losses?

Here are blatant facts:

Your recipe is seldom compatible to your taste

Your focus is always on the end result; but hardly on the route to get there. How many of you plan and choose your ways, mend your methods mid-way and change your course to come on the road which leads to what you want? I have not come across more than 3 to 5% of people, who would really take this seriously.

It is not that what you select initially would give you necessarily intended results. Therefore, you must constantly evaluate, talk to your seniors or well-wishers and be flexible to mend mid-course anything that is needed, rather than clinging on.

So, never be afraid of making mistake; but be agile to make amends or even take a U-turn.

You concentrate more on spices than recipes

Your natural leanings are for thrilling and glamorous yet easy jobs. You often suffer from “neighbor’s syndrome” or “follow friends” and believe that others have it easy and exciting, having no clue of their real story. In the process, you unsettle your mind and find it difficult to enjoy what you have in your hands and translate into a success.

You believe that having being qualified (and experienced), your path to success should be simple, straight forward as well as spicy, which is rare and hence you resent, rather than being resilient!

Your patience could be poor or pathetic

What are fashionable now are fast fixes and fruits! If you do not get these, you would be quick to throw the towel. Your thin patience is a sure source of your troubles.

Unless you go through drilling and building your fundamentals, knowledge and insight, be tenacious and toil at work, you cannot get success or even if you get it, same would not be worth it!

You may have Wishes; not Will Power

When it comes to wishes, you would have a plenty; but your will to execute these is scanty!

Is not a simple plain fact that unless your Doings match your Desires and Dreams, how would those become realities? It is unfortunate that more than 90% of people have too wide a gap between Wishes and Will. Their intentions are sacrosanct; but implementation is sordid!

You have loads of Perceptions; but lack of Convictions

Most of us have lot of ideas on what we should be, what can be done, what would make us click, what is good, what others should do…. and all sorts of opinions, based upon our perceptions. But, we are generally empty in conviction and courage to carry these forward, convert into execution and deliver results.

Many of us are painfully poor to deliver what we perceive and promise. We tastefully think that things would come on a platter to us.

Your Mind can drive you Mad

Our mind tends to react spontaneously, when something goes wrong or awry. Decisions based upon 1st reaction of mind are normally negative. At the time of crisis, we mistake such mental reaction as our gut feeling or instinct. This can lead to problems. Journey to success would always have ups and downs, pleasures and pains. People often fall prey to their mental reaction and that messes up what you have accomplished that far.

So, whenever you face an issue or a barrier, just observe reaction of mind; but do not act. Take a pause and analyze – is that a part of process or an error of your earlier judgment. If it is former, counter and if it is latter, correct.

Also, your mind would always drive you on road of least resistance and most comfort. Beware; it can indeed be a bad road and hence, shun it, if your consciousness says so. Do not be afraid of hardship and hard landings; these may eventually land you on healthy success.

Your role may differ; but most rules to success not!

Except for local irregularities, our world is flat. So, do not think that what applies to successful personalities like Bill Gates, Carlos Slim or Michael Dell will not apply to you and vice versa. Rules for securing success are same universally to the tune of 90 to 95%. Learn what is the recipe of theirs or others, including your boss or leader, if they are successful. This is very crucial for you. You cannot fail, if your recipe is right.

Therefore, you need to be daring n doer and don’t be in defeatist or denial mode or mood.

You be the Master (Chef)

You can follow your role models, idols and learn; but remember, you have to eventually cook your own recipe for success; no one else can! While you follow others, avoid temptation to become slave and not master. One of the most serious problems with us is that we know we should drive and we perceive also that we are driving; we are actually not! We are slave to our habits, notions and traits. We will allow events to overtake and overwhelm us; perceive that we are dolls in the hands of destiny and refuse to understand that actually destroys us!

So, you need to be your own Master!

To conclude, nature has given man only 2 choices – Succeed or Fail in whatever you do. No one sensible would like failure. That leaves you with only one option – Learn the recipe and cook your success to relish n rejoice!

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What can bring you in Limelight?

Let me quote real life example of Peter M. (name changed), who started his engineering career 23 years back with a multinational company. He was ambitious, technically sound, sincere and diligent. His qualities saw him growing well in the organization for first 12 years. He was happy the way he was and with his accomplishments. He was put through leadership development programs. These did create impact; but limited. He used to be too busy with his routine duties and did not find time or could not fathom what he can do to bring incremental change in his qualities and character.

From 13th year, Peter’s growth started to taper down and 2 of his peers surpassed him to take up key management positions. He did not align well with his management assessment of these peers, though he knew that they are more visible, better respected by management and employees alike. He became very frustrated; however, determined to figure out how to come in the limelight and achieve a faster growth. But, his preference to focus more on his routine work brought him only limited results. Though he is now holding a management position; but his grouch is growing on being treated at par with rest of peer crowd and gap is widening with his earlier 2 peers.

Do you want to be like Peter M. or be Different and Distinguished?

Hopefully, you do not want to spend 9 to 5.00 p.m. stereo life and do desire, dare and dream to stand out. You do aspire to leave a legacy behind you, which generations would remember and revere?

10 myths and misconceptions to be discarded

  1. It is destiny, which determines my destination.
  2. I cannot influence others.
    Although we ignore how we are constantly getting influenced by others.
  3. I am not gifted like great people, who have/had God gifted talents.
  4. I cannot be very different than what my Zodiac sign suggests.
  5. I know enough; why should I break my head to know more.
  6. I have no choice, but to live with my limitations and inhibitions.
  7. If I am happy with what I am and I do; I do not need to change or take initiatives.
  8. It is more important to work for comfort than to work on constraints.
  9. It is impossible to solve all problems.
  10. I cannot drive my seniors.

10 point resolution

  1. I need to be in limelight not for popularity; but for a purpose.
    When you get it, popularity would come as an automatic consequence.
  2. If I want to be different than the crowd, then I ought to do things differently.
  3. Ideas should not remain merely in mind or as words on lips; but should become way of my life.
  4. I have immense possibilities to explore.
  5. I would have hopes for myself and heart for others.
  6. I would help; but not hurt anyone.
  7. I would not be judgmental or develop any prejudice against anyone.
  8. I would be positive.
  9. It all starts from me and ends with me.
    Hence, successes and failures are all mine.
  10. It is foolhardy to assume that my path would not be rough; but I would remain on course.

10 points to come in Limelight

  1. Be in limelight for right reasons and not for wrong ones.
    You may get tempted to be visible by raking or engaging in controversy, conflict, crisis or culpable acts; you would get thrill but troubles also!
  2. Be aware that whatever you do, it is always possible to do it differently and more efficiently. Keep exploring these possibilities; you would find one and share such info or knowledge with all stakeholders.
  3. Best differentiator for you is to innovate or create values in what you do!
    You may feel inertia or inhibition to do that; but push yourself and pursue till you get it. Set a goal for yourself that be it small or big, you would create at least one value in your work in one week. It can be as small as changing format of documentation partially for better clarity. Once you do this, you would automatically feel motivated to do more and more.
    It is important that you share and spread these with your seniors and colleagues. It is desirable that you reach wider audience through publication of these ideas and public speaking through media and other forums.
  4. Be consistent and credible in your behavior and care about comforts of your colleagues.
    It matters a lot and gets noticed.
  5. Be ethical by choice and not by fear.
  6. Bring elegance and élan in how you carry and present yourself every time!
  7. Be interactive and helpful to as many people as you can.
  8. Be composed, when you face conflicts or setbacks. Use your emotional intelligence and not emotions or ego to manage and learn from these.
  9. Be a problem solver; not a problem creator or narrator.
    People have natural tendency to do the later part; trash it.
  10. Be efficient by giving more for less – more output in less efforts or time, more meanings in less words, more love even if you get less and so on.

Believe it that if you wish to be different and distinguished, it is within your reach and realm! It is just 3×10 – 10 I’s to Ignore, 10 I’s to Imbibe and 10 B’s to Implement!!

This would be a sure shot to hog in and hug Limelight!

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Know your leadership style or its early signs and how make it impactful

If you surf internet, you would find good amount of material and theories on leadership style. What I am not sure, whether these are good enough? Some theories are even confusing to people. There is apparently a perception that leadership is a complicated subject and therefore, what comes out from authors are, then, also complicated.

What I have observed is that most people, in current leadership position, either do not pay attention to their style and even if they do, they do not know what they can do to change it, if not effective. Several of them also believe that their style or trait cannot be changed. Some of them take lot of pride in saying “that is my style”, regardless people, whom they are leading, are impressed or distressed from their style.

Let me put together for current and future leaders, what works behind some one’s style and how it can be changed for best results.

Your style emerges from your behavior

Your ideas/thoughts drive your behavior/response, which in turn, drives your style!

In context of leadership, people usually respond to a situation or matter in one of following 3 ways:

  1. Respond with little or no thoughts, which results into action or emotion or both.
  2. Respond as per pre-conceived thoughts, which we know as mission or vision or both.
  3. Respond after thoughts that are governed by experience, which results in being analytical or conventional.

Therefore, your behavior can be classified into 6 patterns:

  • Action
  • Emotion
  • Mission
  • Vision
  • Analytical
  • Conventional

Under each of above patterns, your behavior falls in a range from (+) to (-), with center point (0) being neutral (not zero). Depending upon your position in this range, your Leadership Style emerges. You can well imagine that your behavior pattern would not be just one but more than one of above. Therefore, you would have several elements in your leadership style; however, by and large you would have 1 main and at least 2 secondary.

How your leadership style is formed

Action

In this pattern of behavior, you like to take definitive action for every event or situation, which you come across.

Example –

One of your team leaders comes and pins blame on his/her team members for dis-satisfaction of a customer. The range of your actions could be:

(-) Call all team members; show your utter angst and disgust. Tell them that their careers can get impacted and they would pay a price for their failure.

(0) Ask the team leader to investigate what had gone wrong; send you a note or report for further action.

(+) Call all team members and leader; understand what had gone wrong, you yourself suggest what are the possible remedies and preventive measures, lend your moral support to team and write to the customer, what you are doing to address his issue.

If your behavior follows above tendencies most of the time, then following styles would emerge in you as leader:

(-) action would lead to Aggressive Leader

(0) would mean you are Task Oriented Leader

(+) would make you Dynamic Leader

Emotion

This is mainly to do with how you react to or treat your people. At times, it could also be your reaction to a situation.

Example 1 –

An employee seeks meeting with you on how her/his supervisor has been unfair in performance assessment.

(-) You avoid meeting the employee citing reasons of your pre-occupation or you meet; but justify supervisor and state how you dislike such kind of complaints.

(0) You meet employee, sympathize with her/him and ask to perform better next time.

(+) Call supervisor first and assess whether issue is with him or employee. If issue is with supervisor, then mentor and coach him how he should handle performance assessments and suggest a way to correct his assessment, after your meeting with employee. Next, call the employee and listen to his/her view points. If employee is right, advice what he/she needs to do to bridge gap in the perception of supervisor of his/her performance. If employee is wrong, then explain what the issue is with his/her performance and how to address same to improve.

Example 2 –

You have one of your very senior manager as blue eyed boy; but an under performer.

(-) You continue lending your support, grow him over other performing managers and vehemently justify your actions.

(0) Considering his seniority and proximity to you, you grow him at the same pace as other performing managers.

(+) Give him time line to improve performance; after which an honorable exit.

Considering above tendencies, following styles would descend in you:

(-) leanings would lead you to be people unfriendly, egoist and playing games at your whims and fancies. You would be an Autocratic Leader.

(0) Your tendency to please all or most and avoid conflicts would drive you to be a Cheer Leader.
It can also turn your leadership style to what is known in French as Laissez Faire Leader i.e. to keep your hand off and give full freedom to the group or direct reports to manage.

(+) You would be people friendly, interested in employees’ development and a good coach. This makes you People Friendly or Coach Leader.

Note –

Two important categories of leader emerge; when above 2 patterns of behavior get combined:

Action (-) and Emotion (-) would make a Toxic Leader. Such leader could be very difficult to handle, would be ruthless and generally make employees’ life difficult; but could drive good performance of company.

Action (+) and emotion (+) would make you a Charismatic Leader, who would impact people and be dashing and darling of all!

How your Mission/Vision translates into your Leadership styles

 

 

 

 

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