Notes from my Workplace. #3

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Yes people. Don’t be like a Prawn.

The head full of shit side will be kept aside because I specifically want to talk about the No Guts, No Spine part.

Consider Mr. X. A person with a good experience in his industry and currently in a great position in a company. He has knowledge about the work being done under him and somewhere in the beginning of his career, he too did it with his own hands. So his head is not full of shit. In fact he has knowledge and expertise and has proven himself for the company and his higher officials.

But Mr. X has a problem. He lacks a spine and guts. And boy isn’t that sad. For think of this, if he had them too he would have been the perfect boss. Someone who has knowledge, expertise and a spine. It’s a very difficult combo to get in life and if you have got someone like this, then you are really lucky.

So what does the absence of a spine or guts do to a person. He behaves in a shrewd, diplomatic way. Simply put: he is neither here not there, he is here and there and everywhere. He has kept his both legs, arms and that spineless body in different boats. He wants to be a part of everything and also nothing.

Such a person does not support the people working under his command. He will always try to strike a diplomatic stance with them whenever a problem comes and washes off his hands and safeguards his interests. For his superiors he will be the person who won’t say a No to anything said or given to him. He will say Yes and will scramble to make it done even if he knows it’s quite difficult to achieve at the current situation. For his inferiors he will always come across as the person who meddles in their affairs, a person who always doubts their capability to do a work and is always in doubt whether to put his trust on them.

Trust and faith are the building blocks of relations, whether it be personal or official. You have to trust the people working under you to get a job done. Without that, you will always be paranoid and interfere in their matters to see the status of the work being done that eventually spoils the whole holistic working atmosphere. And have faith on them, that they will deliver it to the best of their abilities and with all their conviction.

If you look at it in a monetary or rewarding nature, the higher officials always reap praise for the work done. At the ground level the work done might be by a large team and the recognition that they will get will be less compared to what you get. The same thing happens when it comes to profit sharing or work bonus. A large chunk is taken by the superiors. And that is the norm of almost every industry. This is for their experience and knowledge and their managerial capabilities. It is a normal thing.

So in that case what one can do is to support your team, your employees and be there at the thick of things. If a problem occurs, he should be able to tackle it and answer it to the higher officials.

A good boss will never let the blame trickle down into the lower levels. He absorbs them and makes sure that people under him understand what went wrong and how they can correct it in the future and move forward, not release his frustration on them. Similarly he will take a stand supporting his employees when such a time comes. He should make sure that interests are safeguarded and the morale and atmosphere that have been built over a course of time remains intact and growing instead of depreciating.

And for that you need a spine.

When it comes to the matter of guts it’s a simple thing to put in paper. You should know when to say a Yes and when to say No without flinching. But very difficult to implement and sustain. Especially in the Indian work environment. Cause here someone who says Yes is always considered better even if he doesn’t deliver than to someone who says No knowing the truth of the scope of work. It’s a syndrome we are deeply affected with. And it’s something that has to be changed over time, one step at a time. Starting from now.

When we begin working we look forward to our superiors to help us learn and grow as well as forgive us for our mistakes and help us learn from them. We always dream of having this amazing boss who is chill, let’s you do your work, has minimum intervention in what you do and supports you through thick and thin. A model boss. Our mentor and guide to the work and worklife.

And when we have grown and aged and become a boss ourselves, can’t we strive to be such a person? Won’t the people under you expect the same from too, the model boss you dreamt off?

Appreciate the work that your employees do for you, support them and take a stand for them whenever necessary. Scold them or punish them for their incompetence, at the same time show them how to correct it and move forward. Be a father figure to them and inspire them to be one too when the time comes. Be bold enough to answer for your failures or your team to your superiors, admit your mistakes and take the blame when needed. Maintain your integrity in the time of adversity. And always move forward with a smile in your face.

Remember. Don’t be a Prawn.

One thought on “Notes from my Workplace. #3

  1. The part where you are talking about managers being highly interfering and not trusting the subordinates is the micro management that people bring about in order to get work done, by hook or crook and not by setting example. You know what that’s the difference between a manager & a leader!


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