Category Archive: Self Help

Mar 13 2018

Be ‘YOU’ – it’s easier than being someone you AREN’T!

If you do not voice your opinion due to the fear of being judged or misunderstood or not being seen in the right light (if you are bringing out shortcomings of something) – then your opinion does not matter at all.

Think about it –  It does not take any hardship to be YOU, rather it takes a lot of work to be SOMEONE you AREN’T! 

So, do the easy and just be YOU.

Feb 20 2018

Live life – to the fullest!

Charles Bukowski had once said (allegedly):

“How the hell could a person enjoy being awakened at 6:30AM, by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?”

How apt and true that is! It does take heart full of courage to accept something and then be able to say that out loud. 

Majority of people out there believe one thing but would do the other – at times to please their higher-ups, at times to sneak into the INNER CIRCLE, worst yet – sometimes just out of a habit. 

To all of them:
You will not get this LIFE again, the day that has passed will not come back.  Do not wait for some self-proclaimed INFLUENCER or a LIFE COACH come and tell you what you should do with your life – for there is no ONE way to LIVE it RIGHT. 

Find your own path, hear your own calling and move along. Life is too long to suffer and too short to keep waiting for someone to come by to make it better. 

Live it to the fullest, while you still have it.

#mondaymotivation #livelife #leadership #courage #justdoit #manavspace

Dec 26 2017

Is It Truly Better to Give Than to Receive?


New perspective on ALTRUISTIC behavior


Isn’t it amazing the way Dopamine and Cortisol (and other chemicals) work in terms of human psychology? I have always been intrigued by these things and have been studying them for a couple of years now. I am gathering as much information in any form on this and am trying to experience the effects in real life – experimenting on myself.

This particular post by David Ludden is amazingly crafted around these things – describing ALTRUISM in a very raw way – easy to decipher for anyone who doesn’t understand human psychology deeply. The references of Parenting, Salmon traveling hundreds of miles to mate with their childhood sweetheart, donating to charity vs winning a lottery – it’s a treat! 

Below is the entire article, curated for my readers to understand the concept and leave them with food for thought. Have a read:


Abundant research shows that people who have strong social networks tend to be happier, healthier, and live longer. But the question that remains unanswered is why this should be the case.
The more friends and family members you have, the more they’ll make demands on your time and resources, and so the less you’ll have for yourself. Granted, you can also make demands on other people’s time and resources. But in the end, the costs and benefits should even out. So what’s the advantage of being socially engaged over going it alone?
However, there’s a problem with this moralistic account of altruism. Most importantly, altruism is far from a uniquely human behavior. Indeed, it’s observed widely throughout the animal world, and there’s growing evidence that even trees help each other out (Frazier, 2015). Since neither trees nor tree squirrels get that old-time religion (as far as I know), there must be an evolutionary explanation for altruism.
The most basic form of altruism is parenting. Since the game of life is all about surviving long enough to reproduce and get your genes into the next generation, any sacrifice you make for your kiddies pays off in your genetic future. And since siblings and other relatives also have copies of your genes in them, you gain a genetic advantage when you help them out. (This is called kinship selection.)
But the evolutionary reasoning gets stretched thin when we explain altruistic acts toward non-kin. Vampire bats share food with hungry cave-mates, while macaques pick fleas from each other’s fur. These friendly exchanges are explained in terms of reciprocal altruism, meaning that we do favors for others with the expectation that they’ll return the favors later. Sure, your friend scratched your back for you, but now you have to scratch theirs. It’s an even exchange, and you only get out of the relationship what you put into it. So where’s the advantage?
It could be that we’re not adding up the costs and benefits of altruism correctly. At least, that’s what University of Pittsburgh psychologists Tristen Inagaki and Edward Orehek propose. In a recent article in the journalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science, these researchers maintain that individuals actually gain benefits when they provide social support to others. In other words, when you help a friend, you reap more than you sow.
The benefits of giving come in two forms. The first is that giving support is rewarding in and of itself. When we give to others, whether as parents, kin, or friends, we experience a surge in the “feels good” hormone dopamine. This is the same hormone associated with the pleasure of sex or good food. And this is true both for human and non-human animals alike.
Research looking at the reward-related aspects of giving reveal some interesting findings. For example, giving to others leads to an increase in self-esteem and self-worth. That is, after making your generous donation, you really do feel better about yourself.
From an evolutionary perspective, it could just be that Mother Nature has come up with a way to trick us into doing what’s good in the long term anyway, just like sex. (After all, if sex didn’t feel so damned good, we wouldn’t bother. And humans have it relatively easy. Just think of those poor salmon who have to swim hundreds of miles upstream and evade all sorts of dangers just to mate with their childhood sweetheart.)
But even if it’s just a trick, it’s really quite good. For example, one study found that giving money to a charity actually led to the release of more feel-good dopamine than did winning the same amount of money in a lottery! So clearly, lending a helping hand feels good. But does it actually do us any good?
This question gets us to the second way that giving benefits us. When we—and that means both humans and animals—give care to another, we experience a drop in the stress hormone cortisol. In other words, when we do good things for others, we experience a reduction of stress in our own bodies. Since stress has a negative impact on health, reducing stress through altruistic acts can actually help us live longer and healthier lives.
However, Inagaki and Orehek point out that there’s a limit to how much we can give before it starts having a negative impact. In particular, they found that there are two “boundary conditions” to self-beneficial altruism. First, you have to give willingly. Donating $20 to Red Cross to aid flood victims will make you feel good and reduce your stress. But you get no such benefit when your boss strong-arms you into giving $20 to his favorite charity.
The other boundary condition is that you perceive the support you give as having a positive effect. When you help your kids with their homework, and as a result, they do better in school, you feel your efforts are worthwhile and you accrue the benefits of pleasure and reduced stress. Messages such as “Thanks to you, it’s working” may have a similar effect.
But when you give because you feel obligated, and furthermore you sense that what you’re giving is ineffective, the opposite outcome occurs. You feel depressed, and your stress levels go through the roof.
Inagaki and Orehek give the example of a middle-aged adult caring for a terminally ill parent. Instead of devoting your time to your career, which people your age usually do, you instead assume the care of your parent out of a sense of responsibility. (No dopamine surges for doing your duty.)
Furthermore, no matter how much-devoted care you give your dying parent, their condition continues to worsen, until the inevitable happens. Seeing the one you love waste away is stress-provoking anyway. And that stress is not relieved by knowing that you were with them during their final days.
In summary, then, we have our answer to the question of whether giving really is better than receiving. Research shows that giving benefits us under two conditions. First, we have to give willingly. And second, we have to believe our act of altruism will have a positive impact. When these two conditions are meant, we truly are happier and healthier when we give than when we receive.
This article was posted on PsychologyToday website.

David Ludden, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Georgia Gwinnett College. He received his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Iowa and is the author of The Psychology of Language: An Integrated Approach.

Dr. Ludden’s research interests focus on the role that language plays in human psychology—from perception to persuasion, from attention to attitudes, from motor skills to mental states. Much of his writing focuses on how our social world both shapes and is shaped by the language we speak. However, he also considers himself a generalist and is fascinated by all aspects of the study of human experience.

Author of: Talking Apes


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Aug 01 2017

Infographic – 4-Tier Process of Change Management


Change management, Infographic, managing change, self help, how to manage change


May 29 2013

Manager vs Leader

Managers and leaders are often referred to synonymously, but only leaders allow their employees to solve problems with their own insight. The truth of the matter is this: Every leader may not be a manager, but every manager should be a leader. It’s easy to see that leadership and management aren’t the same thing, but a manager who lacks effective leadership traits will drive a business into the ground faster than you can count to 10.

Change doesn’t happen overnight when it comes to transforming managers into leaders. It takes time and energy to improve the way you manage and utilize more leadership characteristics on a daily basis.

Here are some tips to help you make the necessary improvements:

1. Managers give answers, leaders ask questions. There’s nothing certain to turn your employees against you faster than shouting orders at them. Why not spare yourself the impending resentment and simply ask your employees this: “What would you do?” or “What do you think of this idea?” Allowing people to participate in the decision-making process will not only transform what could have been an order into something more easily swallowed–it also inspires creativity, motivation, and autonomy.

2. Managers criticize mistakes, leaders call attention to mistakes indirectly. It may seem more efficient to point out your employees’ mistakes directly, but this will only leave them feeling embarrassed and frustrated. You should really be giving them the chance to learn and grow from through your critiques. Instead, give your employees the chance to address their mistakes.

For example, say a project was sent to a client and you receive back a disgruntled message. Calmly ask your employee about the clients concern and whether they feel what was provided was on par. This will give them a chance to provide their input, while also improving for the future.

3. Managers forget to praise, leaders reward even the smallest improvement. Praise pays off when it comes to increasing the overall success of your company. Finding time to recognize your employees for even the smallest accomplishment will only increase their interest in what they do. If you’re interested in ensuring your employees take pride in all that they do, regular feedback and recognition is certain to do the trick. Everyone wants to be genuinely appreciated for their efforts.

4. Managers focus on the bad, leaders emphasize the good. This really comes down to seeing the cup half empty or half full. If you’re only willing to point out the flaws of a project or an employee, you’re not giving them much interest in learning or improving. Instead, create a sandwich effect. Start with some form of praise, follow with the criticism, and end with praise.

5. Managers want credit, leaders credit their teams. Managers who lack leadership abilities are always first to take credit. But effective leaders understand the importance of crediting their teams for the big wins. This pays off in the long run for creative a workplace with a more positive company culture and employees who are driven toward more successes as a team.

Management shouldn’t be approach through force, but rather through influence. Put these techniques in place to improve the way your employees perform.

Ispired by :Ilya Pozin, Founder of CIPLEX

Jan 27 2013

Steer your career in 2013!

I have been working on different teams, doing different things and exploring new avenues in last few years of my career. However, lately a sense has starting developing within me – where am I going? What direction is my career going in? I did have some fantastic moments in my career in the past and I am doing great things in present as well – but can I keep doing that for rest of my life?

I realized that we become so consumed in our careers that we fail to really think about our careers.

As a habitual reader, I came across a wonderful piece of information which outlines some steps to avoid the trap. It is a fruitful exercise which must not take more than a couple of hours to reflect on one’s career – and plan the next year.

Let’s see how it goes:

Step 1: Review 2012. Review the past year, month by month. Make a list of where you spent your time: include your major projects, responsibilities and accomplishments. No need to over-complicate this.

Step 2: Ask, “What is the news?” Look over your list and reflect on what is really going on. Think like a journalist and ask yourself: Why does this matter? What are the trends here? What happens if these trends continue?

Step 3: Ask “What would I do in my career if I could do anything?”Just brainstorm with no voice of criticism to hold you back. Just write out all the ideas that come to mind.

Step 4: Go back and spend a bit more time on Step 3. Too often we begin our career planning with our second best option in mind. We have a sense of what we would most love to do but we immediately push it aside. Why? Typically because “it is not realistic” which is code for, “I can’t make money doing this.” In this economy—in any economy—I understand why making money is critical. However, sometimes we pass by legitimate career paths because we set them aside too quickly.

Step 5: Write down six objectives for 2013. Make a list of the top six items you would like to accomplish in your career in 2013 and place them in priority order.

Step 6: Cross off the bottom five. Once you’re back to the whirlwind of work you’ll benefit from having a single “true north” career objective for the year.

Step 7: Make an action plan for first 2 months. Make a list of some quick wins you’d like to have in place end of March 2013.

Step 8: Decide what you will say no to. Make a list of the “good” things that will keep you from achieving your one “great” career objective. Think about how to delete, defer or delegate these other tasks. Emerson said, “The crime which bankrupts men and nations is that of turning aside from one’s main purpose to serve a job here and there.”

A few hours spent wisely over the next couple of days could easily improve the quality of your life over the 8760 hours of 2013–and perhaps far beyond. After all, if we don’t design our careers, someone else will. (Greg McKeown)


Dec 03 2012


The design and performance of integrated systems and processes that create superior strategic, competitive and operational value through speed, flexibility and cross-purpose adaptability – can define Operational Excellence in any given organisation.

Operational Excellence is a methodical approach used to drive an organization toward world-class execution, integrating Operational Excellence concepts, methods and tools into an organization’s operating model, principles, and culture.

Operational Excellence, at the conceptual level can be understood as methodical designing of systems and processes that are integrated to deliver competitive and world class operational value by providing flexible and adaptable methods and tools for functioning.

It might be a bit perplexing to understand the right meaning of Operational Excellence. Let’s try to understand it from the perspective of an organization.

Every organization in the business world has the core focus on delivering quality product/services in time to earn maximum revenue. To achieve more, organizations need to scale and with scaling come the challenge of high level of management. Imagine an organization that wishes to grow many times its revenue and customer base but is completely ignorant about the maturity of its operations! Do you think it can achieve its goals? NO would be the obvious answer to this question.

The way an organization is designed to function defines the scope of growth. An organization with poor structure, systems and processes is destined to find it troublesome to grow beyond a certain point. By any chance if any such organization happens to grow to certain level of success, it will not be able to sustain it without improving the operational capabilities.

The key partners in achieving the operational maturity in any organization are People, Processes and Technology. These three working together can build sustainable and profitable organizations.

Nov 09 2012

Tips to be successful at your JOB

I came across a piece while browsing through some of the work of global leaders, who have been steering some of the greatest  establishments in the world.

Below is the extract of the same, which primarily was addressed to ‘New Employees’ in any organisation; however to me it seems to be mantra that everyone should apply – new or old!

These are a few tips to succeed as an employee at your workplace and it is applicable through the length breadth of any organisation’s chart.

  1. If you want to get ahead in the world, become a highly-concerned observer of the passing scene.
  2. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN – Don’t try to show off your knowledge – it will become known as you use it – if your mount is open, you are not learning
  3. Mentally challenge everything – not vocally – particularly the assumptions that are build into the situation
  4. Really listen to your peers – make them to like you – they are your best resources
  5. Do all possible to help your boss raise his/her status
  6. Develop a business plan for every assignment you are given – allocate your time and resources – develop calendar checkpoints
  7. Your availability is your most important asset – it should be directed UP, DOWN and SIDEWAYS
  8. Work at giving the perception and the fact that you are aware of the feelings and goals of others
  9. On entering a new situation, get an organization chart of your department showing names and responsibilities of your peers – walk the halls and let others see you
  10. Ask for help and show that you appreciate it, it is the best way to make friends
  11. Do not try to impress others by relating your education, travels or accomplishments – they will all become known in due time
  12. Do what you say you will do – if you can’t, let that be known
  13. Your first assignment is to become part of the team and not its leader

I, for sure, do relate to these words and can find a lot of meaning to all that has been said. Most of us always feel that we know all these things, but the big question is: Is just knowing it good enough? Are we applying these in our work life?

If your answer is YES, then you must be a successful person in professional life. Else, you know what you have to do!! Right!!

All the best!

Disclaimer: The above is not my creation and I do not intend to claim any right on it. I could not trace the source of this information, hence am not able to mention the same. 

Oct 14 2012

SMART and EFFECTIVE – At the same time!


It was just yesterday that I decided to put down my thoughts on a very common phenomenon  –  “SMARTER PEOPLE being INEFFECTIVE”. I personally have been a victim of this issue. Efficiency, as discussed here is not about BEING RIGHT but is about BEING ABLE TO GET THINGS DONE!

I will start with a short narration of an incidence.

 It is about a SMART guy who was pursuing his PG in Management. It was a great time for him since he was learning new things, was shaping himself for future and was looking for all the opportunities that he could get to improve himself. During the first few weeks at college he could make his place in the good books of professors as a SMART student. Many of his fellow batch-mates also had the same view about him. It was a good time and he was in high spirits! He was counted as one of the SMARTER people in the lot. But, the truth was way above his understanding and perception of it. Very soon, it hit him straight in the face. Read on to know how!

 The college (just like any other) had a practice of having one student as representative of the class for all internal matters – interaction with staff, management, getting things done etc. Since it was a bunch of SMART people, they wanted to have a fair process of selection of the Class Rep. The professor (a very SMART and EFFICIENT lady) came out with a plan of VOTING to select the CR from a bunch of nominees. Well, the idea got accepted by all and a consensus was built to go ahead for voting.

 Our guy, on the contrary had his own reservations on the process of selection since he felt that it would not be an unanimous selection. He suggested an alternative way of doing the voting which could be more effective. His idea was accepted by all and the professor also looked happy.

 Nomination process began – 3 of the fellow students (out of a batch of 60) expressed their interest to contest for the position and gave their nominations. Suddenly, people started shouting a name in chorus! Who was that? What? They all wanted him also to be nominated for the voting!! He could hear10-12 people proposing his to run for the post.

 “Ok” he said! ‘I give my name for the voting.”

 He felt good of the fact that people find him suitable to take up the responsibility. He was under an impression that people out there think of him as a SMART guy who can run the show well and can be really effective in the role.

 The voting started and ended as well in a jiffy. There were the results at the end of it!

 Well, not dramatizing it much – HE got just 2 votes out of 60! And guess what – 1 was his own (obviously he had to vote for himself – right!!).

That was a revelation for him. He was SMART but not EFFECTIVE.

He could not be effective – in making people sure about him being a good choice as their leader, in giving them confidence that if they choose him it will be in their good.  The same bunch who pushed him for nomination didn’t vote for him. Maybe they didn’t find him that good – or should I say that EFFECTIVE!

He still was the same SMART guy – but the batch had rejected him as a leader. He might know what was right but he always ended up explaining it to others as to why he was right. All of that was very infuriating for him.

Today, when I look back many years in my own life, I realize that no one can do everything alone. We all need help of other people at some point in time. We have to ensure that we can make it work when the time comes.

I could have been 100% RIGHT at times – but what about being EFFECTIVE? I had seen people getting annoyed when I was just stating facts. Maybe I was not able to take them ALONG or they were actually not following what I was trying to point out!

It precisely means that I was not able to INFLUENCE them! Yes, that’s the key word – INFLUENCE. If I can’t influence my audience (in any conversation); I will always face issues and will not succeed in making people work as per my plan, in turn making me ineffective.

Here are a few thoughts which came from self learning and from other’s experience that can help in working on this issue:

Mind (or Mend) the attitude:

Attitude plays a vital role in being effective. If you always assume that you know all the answers, you are very likely going to feel frustrated. Instead, you should let others share their views. You never know you might hear some great idea that would surprise you. Develop a learning attitude and respect inputs of others. Remember one thing, everyone likes to be consulted and asked.

Being the LISTENER (also) :

During conversations or meetings try to listen to others instead of arguing or cutting them in between. Do not try to impose your views about any issue but try to listen what others have to say about your ideas. Encourage others to share their ideas and pay complete attention to what they are saying. This might sound a strenuous activity but will win you support of the people.

No meaning in being ‘MEAN’ :

You might be surrounded by people who do not understand things in the first go and you might just try to be straightforward in telling them the right thing and help them. But it’s important to ensure that you are not being rude in an attempt to be practical. People might take you to be MEAN when you are just trying to correct them. They would see you as someone who is ignoring their thoughts and is looking to have an argument to justify himself. Instead, handle the conversations more amiably, respect other’s thoughts, have short arguments and build a consensus on the solution. ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ work wonder in this process.

Learn to stay quiet when it needs to:

When you are in a situation where you are up against many such people whom you think are not as smart as you but are trying to speak and put their thoughts; it’s always better to keep quiet and just observe. If you actually are the SMARTER one, they will anyhow turn towards you for solution. Speak then and make the difference. You don’t always have to TALK to show that you are SMART.

I have another short story to share here. Same bunch of management grads (in the last story ) were once sitting together, deciding on having a party. The preps were being discussed and lot of arguments were put regarding the place, food menu, music to be played, list of invitees etc etc. Our guy was also a part of the discussion and since he had been involved in many such plans earlier he was talking the most. Suddenly, one of the fellow members lost it over him and shouted, “What the hell you think of yourself? Why always it has to be you to decide everything? Don’t forget, we all are equally smart. We all are also good managers”

Her reference of being EQUALLY SMART was on the premise of being of the same batch. Our guy felt odd and decided in his own good to be quiet. The discussion went on and on for couple of hours but no decision was being made. Then the interesting thing happened. The same lady who had slammed our guy some time back reverted to him. She wanted him to help them reach to some decision. He obliged her and shared his views with the group. Everyone liked his idea and after iterations, it was finalized.

If you try to accomplish everything alone when you have to work with people, you will always face hindrances and difficulties. Instead, try to bring everyone along and focus on the effectiveness. You will be amazed with the results in getting the job done with better efficiency and to everyone’s satisfaction. By employing these methods you will get much more done from the same set of people without getting frustrated or opposed to.

Good luck!

May 22 2012

On the edge of the ‘BENCH’

I am writing to share an incident that has made me think about the way we manage organizations today. I am associated with IT Industry since early days of my career. Being the head of the function that takes care of hiring the talent (I prefer TALENT over RESOURCE or CANDIDATE), it was a part of my profile to interview people and determine the fitment in the organization. I must have interviewed hundreds on them in last few years of my career. As a part of process, we interview, give feedback, candidate is offered for the employment and if everything goes well the talent joins the organization. Owing to the busy schedules, we seldom do a follow up after the talent joins the organization as to how he/she is fairing and finding the organization (that is HR’s job, right!). In fact, in bigger organization, that is more of an automated mechanical process.

But, it was a bit different for me in particular since as per my work profile I was supposed to hire as well as keep track of a talent till he/she is in the organization. Assigning projects to them, seeking feedback from the project managers about their performance, manage their aspirations etc. were a part of my function. In the same process, management of BENCH (The bench refers to people who currently do not have any projects on hand – more relevant to IT industry) was completely my responsibility.

The story goes as below:

It is about this one particular talent, let’s call him John. John had been in IT industry for past year and a half (1 yr 5 months) and had changed 2 jobs before applying for my organization. Third job in 2 years!! Didn’t impress me at all as an interviewer! I had (kind of) made my mind already that this person would be no good, though it was against the principles of effective interviewing (I know!). Anyhow, as we got into discussion and the interview progressed, I realized that he had great passion for technology and wanted to make big on technical front in next 5-7 years.

I liked his enthusiasm and decided to give him an opportunity. Anyhow, we do not expect a 2 year (professional age) old kid to build a rocket for us – do we? So I decided to go ahead and hire him.

While I was giving my positive feedback (more of a final decision since I was the one to take the final call) I had this thought in my mind that John has never worked on a live project in both of his last jobs. He was put on BENCH in both of his earlier jobs! However, I overruled my apprehensions solely for the reason that his last 2 organizations were real big BRANDS.

Anyway, John was hired and he joined us after a month. He was very happy to join a growing organization since he could see huge potential for growth and learning for himself. More than that, he was happy to be working on a live project for the first time.

Like other organizations, we too have people on BENCH for some time before they are allocated live projects and John was informed about the same at the time of selection process. He had accepted that and was ready to wait for some time before he gets a project as per our instructions.

But I guess John’s destiny had other plans! The very next day of John’s joining; we received a project requirement which was matching John’s profile. I asked my colleague to call up John and give him the news of his allocation plan. John was happy, we were happy, everyone was happy!! Indeed it was a happy moment. Someone getting a project in a day’s time is wonderful. Finally, John was allotted the project and the meeting with the manager was fixed. He started working on the project with all the good feelings and dedication, clueless of the fact what time had in its store for him.

After just about a week, I got a call from John’s manager. He had called to express his dissatisfaction with John’s performance since as per him John didn’t have the required experience to work on a live project. He cited reasons like lack of exposure, lack of confidence and more lead time to gear up for the poor performance of John. Although John was working as the most junior member in the project; still it was not possible to continue with him as it was affecting the profitability of the project. Looking at the business criticality, we had to remove John from the project.

All hell broke loose on John! He was shattered, disturbed and disheartened. He was on the BENCH again. The fascination that he had felt around him in life vanished in a moment! Whole world came to a halt for him. But then, he was a strong guy! He gathered his thoughts and prepared himself to fight. To fight along with other 110 people on bench; waiting to be allotted a live project.

Days became weeks, but things didn’t change for John. We were not getting rightly matched project requirements for John. The world was moving ahead swiftly and John was feeling as if he was being left far behind in the race of success. But still he held his nerves. He kept calling, writing and probing frequently about any movement on his allocation.

One bright morning, I again got an opportunity where I could put John on a live project. I got a mail with a requirement from one of the projects, suiting John’s profile. John was informed, meeting was fixed and everyone was waiting for the results of the meeting eagerly. John looked very calm this time. He did not show any strong signs of joy or delight. I guess time had made him strong enough to take things as they come in life J.

Anyway, the meeting got over but the manager left us wandering for the result. He wanted some time to decide.

“Fair enough” we all thought! “Let’s give him some time.”

Next day, I got a call from the same manager early in the morning (10AM is the early morning as per office hours). He had called to inform that he cannot add John in his project team quoting a reason that he does not have valid experience. I immediately recalled what John had told me last evening about the meeting that there was no discussion on project experience as such in the meeting.

My inquisitive part promptly asked the question – “But how do you know that he does not have relevant experience?”

“I spoke to his last manager whom he worked with for a week!” he responded immediately.

He shared that the last manager had given the feedback about John after which it was decided that he could not be included in the team. I was surprised and equally annoyed too. How can one take a call based on someone else’s feedback, that too when the other person didn’t work with the guy long enough to comment? But, duty calls! Amid all these thoughts I called John to share the news with him. He calmly heard everything, thanked me for the information in the end and hung up the phone.

Process was completed! Another opportunity was closed for John.

Days passed by and I got busy with other things at work. John never called back or wrote for a new project. He used to come to office every day, spend the 8 hours of his quota doing things and go back. I could see him going out with friends for tea, chatting over lunch and I looked like he was having a good time. One day, suddenly I got a mail from John asking for a meeting to discuss something. Since he was writing to me after many days, I promptly accepted the request and fixed up a time to meet him.

We met in a meeting room. He greeted me and pulled a chair but this time he looked very uneasy. Red eyes, fumbling hands and shaking voice! He sat on the chair out in front of me, quiet, sobbing. I was surprised to see a grown up guy crying in front of me and that too at the workplace. It was a strange sight! I softly asked him as to what was wrong. He would not answer initially but then he looked at me and plainly asked me a question, hitting the nail on the head: “How will I gain experience if I am not given a live project?”

John had stimulated a never ending debate going on since ever in the corporate world – How would you get experience unless you are put on actual work?  Sounds similar to the Chicken-or-the-egg dilemma!

Somehow, this problem has become an inseparable part of our industry these days. John was the victim of the same mindset. We, as an industry could not nurture him in the early days of his career (made him sit on BENCH) and when he got old enough sitting there, we declared him unfit to be a part of the team! We are tagging talent based on their age in the industry without giving any heed to the passion for the work. We talk a lot about Training & Development, Mentoring, Coaching, Career Path, and Competency Development – but when it comes applying these basic practices like grooming talent things like Margins, Profits, Productivity come in the way.

We do not want to make conscious efforts to groom passionate young people who can make big in the field claiming that this will incur COSTas well as TIME – both being very critical for organizations these days.

No project manager wants a slow runner in his team since he believes that it would make his project suffer. He will have to put efforts in grooming the person and he finds it as an overhead. He wants all STARS in our team, but he does not want to groom any STAR.

Are we doing justice to the young people who enter the industry with high hopes and almost no understanding of its functioning?

People grow not by their passion and talent but just by being in the industry. In the rat-race of making more money by doing more projects delivered in time, organizations have naively given an upper seat to SKILL as compared to PASSION & TALENT. As organization, we preferred SKILLED people over TALENTED ones who might be really passionate about the work. This mindset has developed deep roots in operative of most of the corporate functions. A programmer will routinely become a project Manager after he has spent 10 years in the job; least that he has to do is KEEP WORKING!

There is no harm in this concept of career development but is this the only way of doing things?

I leave it for you to decide and if you get some answers, please share with me as well.

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