Tag Archives: Grace

Six leadership lessons highly worth learning from psychology of a physician

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Be your own physician?

We all know that medical practice in any field is a noble profession; but what is little known are unique lessons that we should learn from the mindset of a medical practitioner. We are talking about just a good physician, leave alone successful ones.

Let us look at what does psychology of a physician teach us:

  1. Managing conflict of interest
    Getting into medical profession entails lot of efforts, time and money worldwide. It is natural that motto of getting into this field for most is earning name, fame and wealth.
    It is also clear that every visit to or by a physician fetches a fee for him/her.
    Now, a physician is faced with conflict of interest – treat his/her patients or customers for self-interest or serve them selflessly. Good doctors would always manage this conflict by rising above self and greed, and serve customers keeping in mind their interests. They prescribe minimum medicines and pathological tests and discourage patients to make frequent visits. Many have grace to charge less fees from those, who can’t afford.
    Let us draw a parallel to above the stock options scheme in corporates for employees and top management. Such options have a singular motive of driving employees to perform well, so that company profitability improves, which in turn would reward employees with more options. But, when it comes to top management, conflict of interest creeps in – should company performance improve to increase value of his/her substantial stocks or should it improve to increase values for customers and employees, even if it means slight dent in company’s profitability? Many CEOs allegedly and subtly act in favor of the former – serving self-interest.
  2. Maximum availability
    A physician is available 24×7 to his/her patients, at least in India. Their work-life balance is heavily tilted towards work.
    I am not suggesting that it is good for them, although it is good for their customers. What is more significant lesson is that they don’t make any excuse for non-availability. Their dedication for duties is total.
  3. Memory management
    Did you notice that a good doctor’s memory is very good. He/she would remember history of his/her patients correctly, correct medicines’ name, spelling (usually complex), potency and names of manufacturers for innumerable number of ailments and case histories of other patients.
    What is the key – inbuilt sharper brain or they pop up some pills to sharpen their memory? Not any of these. It is registering the information without any conflict in mind and recalling it without any stress.
  4. Motto of service to customers
    A physician’s actions are completely oriented towards his/her customers and obtaining the results for which they have approached him/her. They never compromise their attitude to serve.
  5. Maximum confidence and concentration
    Successful practitioners give their advice or prescription with total confidence and rarely side or back track. Their focus on duties is deep.
    They are never shaken by patient’s condition, however adverse and do maintain their composure effortlessly. They are attached to their duties but detached from their customers while serving them unflinchingly.
  6. Marvelous understanding of their own body
    In leadership programs or schools, reference to this quality is by and large missing. It is extremely important to understand how you or your body would react to different situations, what triggers your emotions and how to manage the same.
    Doctors do very well on above count and hence, rarely fall sick or fall prey to sickening situations.
    A good leader needs to understand his/her body (including mind) well in order to be robust, consistent and persistent in his/her pursuits.

So, a good physician is a great case study at business schools and organizations!

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How good is to serve same employer life time?

In comfort zone? Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Those, who serve an employer for long time, hesitate to ask this question to self or others! And those, who keep hopping from one to another employer, obviously don’t want to ask this question. Irony is that all of us want to be under the illusion of belief that what we are doing is good!!

There are several large multinational or iconic organizations, to name a few – General Electric, Siemens, IBM and Exxon Mobil, which most employees enter after their education and exit only on retirement. They cannot imagine their life outside of such organizations.

How good is getting addicted to what you consider as good?

Blessings of serving an employer for long term or life time!

  1. You get fully accustomed to company culture and values.
  2. You gain formidable expertise in the way company operates.
  3. Higher job security.
  4. You gain trust and respect of company management.
  5. Company considers you as dependable and loyal.

Banes of sticking to one employer!

  1. You get too much used to what you have been doing and hence, would be averse to changes.
    This would put you into comfort zone and its consequent perils.
  2. If you are dynamic and diligent, you would be hungry for changes, which same organization may not be able to offer at least in the time frame, you may aspire or desire.
    This would bring you into conflict with your seniors and you would lose congenial work environment.
  3. Often, you would lose opportunities to those, who are equally or even less good performers but more likely to quit the organization. Management of companies always prefer to retain them, ironical though! At that time, you would feel hurt that you are being taken as granted and your loyalty is of little value!
  4. If your career path, if worked out by company, does not foresee eventual promotion to one of top executive positions, you definitely run the risk of being sidelined in due course.
  5. You would be prone to get drawn in company politics.
  6. You would tend to be conservative and risk averse.
  7. Time would make you aloof from outside corporate world and market dynamics.
  8. Your overall personality development would take a severe beating.
  9. At a later stage of employment, your intimate knowledge of how company operates would be treated more as liability than asset by your management!
  10. Over time, you would create more adversaries than admirers!

What can make one employer tick!

If the organization you serve is large in size, transnational, has multiple vertical businesses and your management is progressive in developing employees, rewarding for their loyalty through opportunities and job rotation, then sticking to one and same employer could click.

You have to be careful in evaluating above factors. There is lot of lip service in the name of career opportunities and job rotation. If you are too good in certain function/s, your reward could be that you stay put there!

Ideal course for an employee!

Don’t stick around at one place for too long. You are bound to lose respect and race!

Life is all about Change! Change brings you colossal possibilities. 

Set your goals where you want to be in a defined time frame and make sure that every step that you take is an incremental movement in direction of your goal/s. Focus on being smart and savvy, persistent and passionate.Then, any employer can turn out to be the best for you and you should give your best to employer. Demand duties commensurate with your competence and deliver results. If everything works well, continue to deliver but not more than about 10 years and then seek change to a new employer; but leave current one with grace and on a good note. Gain experience with 2 to 4 employers.

Now is the time to introspect. Be rational and not emotional in giving merit rating to employers you have served. Communicate with no.1 rated employer and see the possibility of joining him back or otherwise his competitor no.1!

If you do the above, your stake and stock would see multifold rise!

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Why most Leaders and Legends fall!

Today, we need to ask and answer 2 questions:

  1. Is it a nature’s law that leaders and legends would fall in any case?
  2. If one has to fall in any case, is it worth going up the ladder of leadership and legendary?

It is a stark reality that what goes up, comes down; excellence brings adversity; when going is good, greed would take the grip and so on! There are countless examples in your home, neighborhood, company and countries world over. Some famous examples for the fall are musical genius Michael Jackson, soccer supremo Diego Maradona, cyclist legend Lance Armstrong, Citibank’s CEO until recently & leader Vikram Pandit and so on.

What drives you up and what drags you down

There are remarkable characteristics of individuals, which make them different, distinct and dazzle; help them to ascend to great height and status. However, during such upward journey, a stage comes when these very characteristics reach extreme end of their scale, put them in retrograde mode and reverse the direction of their rise!

See below some of such characteristics, which are cause of rise as well as fall!

  1. UpTalent & Traits –> Confidence –> Achievements –> High confidence –>
    Down – Over confidence –> Arrogance
  2. UpFocus –> Attention to details –> Good results –> Fervor –>
    Down – Finicky –> Fanaticism
  3. UpEmpathy –> People friendly –> Popularity –>
    Down – Excessively extrovert –> People weakness & vulnerability
  4. UpPassion –> Ambition –> Accomplishments –> Raising bar –> Perfection –>
    Down – Impatience –> Toxic
  5. UpInspiration –> Success –> Aspiration –> Appetite for more success –>
    DownGreed becoming greater than God!
  6. UpIdeals –> Credibility –> Creating impact –> Transforming into Idol –>
    Down – Image blues –> Maneuver or Manipulation –> Malice

Above clearly shows how the very qualities, which are highly admirable, can turn into adversity. You can now relate how several Celebrities and Charismatic personalities climbed up in their performance and popularity, and then came down.

Above also unveils an important fact – every characteristic or quality has a range from “plus” to “minus” and is like Inverse V. Its apex is the climax of positive part of a characteristic. On one arm of this V, degree of positivity of given quality increases on way up to the apex point and on 2nd arm, negativity increases on its way down! It is also very interesting that each journey, way up or down, is One Way Road!! That means you cannot come down from the road you climbed up!!!

Is the Fall inevitable?

No, it is not; but at apex, it is highly imminent, unless you play it very cautiously. Normally, people get hooked on to success, popularity, performance, publicity or power at climax and they refuse to see the reality of vulnerability! This is the precise reason of their getting pulled down.

Best choices available:

  • Quit at Climax gracefully.
  • Allow and accept a climb down to a certain point, which would preserve your credibility and courage. Swing between this level and apex.
    This happens to many successful people and organizations unconsciously. They race to the top, only to lose later to lower positions and then again race to top thru new strategies or renewed strengths!
  • Stay at climax consciously and carefully, discover another peak and start to race up higher. This is a tough option; but not impossible.

Is it worth going-up, only to come down?

In this question are important lessons to learn!

  • If you remain static or stagnant, you are sure to degenerate or degrade. So, without you having to do anything, you are surely going to go down.
    If you are complacent or comfortable wherever you are, then at one stage you would start to get hurt, when your peers, neighbors or bête noires start to go past you in status or position.
  • As time passes, you would always need more resources. Remaining dormant would only damage your sleep and security.
  • Life is lively and worth living, only when you crave and craft for “Change n Challenge”!

Therefore, do not be under any illusion that nature would allow you to remain stagnant in true sense – either you can go up or go down!!

Going-up is a Glory and consciously quitting or coming down is a Grace!!!

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