Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

How to be a Manager of Management's Choice

How to be a Manager of Management's Choice - by Dr. Abhimanyu Singh

Have you ever been to a concert – a musical concert? No? Does not matter even I have not been to one, eh – but am sure you must have attended a marriage by now. Yeah – I know you are wondering what has that to do with management. Well, just hold your breath – most of us must have attended many marriages at various different places. Each marriage irrespective of its venue, its host, guests, food and culture has one thing in common – the BANDWALA. Yes, the band that plays music for various ceremonies during the course of marriage. Now, just imagine – you are attending a wedding at Delhi and the band is playing a Gujarati folk tune; will you be able to dance on that? What to do? Go to the bandwala and request him to play some Punjabi number! You did this yet no change in the tune –why because the band is from Gujarat and they do not know any Punjabi/Hindi/Bollywood numbers! Want to yell at him? What good will it do?

Another barat procession crosses by. And the band is playing a Punjabi Bhangra number but everyone is just confused about how to dance at those because the bridegroom’s family is from Maharasthra. What a BAD choice of bands, no? You make a resolution then and there that in your marriage you will hire a local band by making an advance booking so that everyone in your clan can dance and enjoy. Well, the band in your marriage has to play such music that you or your kith and kin want them to play! Play what I say – this is what I want to dance on!

Now, that my dear friend is the biggest management lesson – yes, as a manger, you have to work as your seniors want you to. You cannot keep blowing the trumpet of your professional expertise and rules/regulations. You are hired for helping the core team project their corporate image in a pre-defined fashion to their stakeholders and your job is simply to help them achieve this goal. Only then you can be labeled as a good manager.

Need more gyan on who is a manager and what s/he does? To define a manger, all I can say is -

I plan the action (s) to be taken, I direct teams, I monitor what others are doing and even take corrective action wherever necessary. Well, I am - a manager. Yes, you got it right – have just taken the first ever step towards a career in management!

IN most of the organizations, managers either direct/supervise their teams directly or simply coordinate with team leaders to ensure that the workflow is smooth. However, s/he needs not to be the BEST in all the areas. If one possesses only functional knowledge about various processes, it does suffice. You can be the Best manager if you know how to coordinate/supervise the workers. And this title of being the best manager can be acclaimed despite the fact that you do not know how to do the work yourself! In simple words – If you can manage well – the teams -you are a good manger!

Every company has several different departments and each department is managed by a manager. Now, who manages what can be estimated by his/her position title itself. And most of the times, these titles are self-explanatory. For example, an Accounts Manager shall be responsible to manage the accounting function whereas the operations shall be managed by an Operations Manager. Right from managing the transportation facility offered to the employees to managing employee benefits and from administering the office to handling sales and service – a manager is needed everywhere to support a particular job function. Thus, a manager is accountable to plan, direct and/or control operations.

You must be doing all the above mentioned tasks to the best of your knowledge and skills yet you might not qualify as a good manger if your core leadership thinks otherwise. It is therefore necessary to become not only a good manager but also an effective one. Try to understand what is the vision of the leadership team and what exactly do they expect out of you? If you can do that – well, the show will go on HOUSEFULL – yes, the operations will be smoother and revenues will keep multiplying. However, if you are snared by the shackles of perfection – you may even lose your job for what you are - is - a mere perfectionist – not a good manager! What you want to be is your choice.

Now, this does not mean that you shall become a YES MAN rather try to align all your actions/deeds with the organization’s benefits. If the organization is being benefitted – you will get your due as well! Simply put your words in perspective in such a way that both the core team and your own task force understand what to do, when and how. Remember, the boss must be able to see what good your idea can do to him else the most unique one will also be found in the bin.Management Experts

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Calmness Quotient

The Calmness Quotient
With a sudden rise in the quantity of stressful conditions worldover, what can help an individual to maintain his/her mental balance is calmness
Modern times are a phase of sheer adversities. Right from economic upheavals to an ever-simmering extremism and from a sudden upsurge of people unrest to domestic violence – everything seems to cast the most negative effect ever over human minds. To add more, what our teenage siblings are watching are videos that should have been banned a decade back. All this coupled with the rising corporate pressure to perform well requires a bizarre onus to stay calm.

To put it simply, anything to everything that is either capable of deviating us from our daily routines or can make us disoriented must be tackled with great caution. But, the method of tackling such disturbances greatly depends upon an individual. Some people are so strong that no mishap irrespective of its impact can disturb them whereas to some others, even a slight shift like a personal injury may appear like the end of the world. Similarly, exam results also cause some students to loose interest in life, which is wrong. Although each exam has a certain importance in our life yet just not being able to clear it, does not mean that you are worth nothing. Do not feel frustrated at all. It was just an exam and better things are yet to cross your way. During our lifespan, new responsibilities are entrusted upon us by the Supreme from time to time. Some of these are quite welcomed by us however some others include those we never wanted to deal with and make our brain to boil.

But in all such situations, what matters the most is to maintain your calm as much as possible because in moments of anxiety or during fits of anger, human bodies undergo a lot of stress. This mounting stress results in hampering the ability to think clearly whereas a calm person can control every situation due to clear thinking. However, it is easier said than done yet the odds of not being able to crack an entrance test are certainly not larger than life. It is quite true that an entrance exam is taken with a certain aim and flunking it may leave one little disoriented and confused; yet if one maintains his/her calm, a heads up on the situation can soon be achieved, which can impart more clarity of action.
Why is clarity needed?
Clarity hence is the key to effective shouldering of new responsibilities. Although it may not be very easy in test situations as everyone around you starts finding faults with your method of study and starts blaming you for not being attentive, serious and intelligent. Complaints start piling up and parents, friends, siblings and relatives all start playing foe yet kindly allow me to reiterate that mental calm can be the only rescue for it would lead to clarity of mind that would engender inner peace resulting in sure success next time.

Moreover, it is a universal fact that some of the best decisions in one’s life are taken while they were calm and not while they were hot headed. Thus a calm state of mind leads to greater efficacy. And now that you have belled the dreaded CAT, what most of you must be preparing for would be your upcoming GD and PIs. So remember, staying calm under this pressure of clearing the GD/PI is quite important, as it would help in making that ‘good impression.’ Furthermore, clearing a PI is not the hardest task in the world but it is just that we are not wired that way. And by the way, may I ask you a simple question here – what does it anyway take to stay calm? Almost nothing right? But if I ask you what would be the benefits of staying calm – the list would be long, really long. And if we talk particularly in a test context, the following methods can help maintaining the calm -
  1. Devise strategies to fight stress as it leads to better preparation. Almost every candidate seems to feel stressed at some or the other stage of a GD/PI, yet keeping an arsenal of self-calming strategies handy can help greatly.

  2. Taking a deep breath also helps greatly. Trust me, it’s not a joke, it is rather a scientific fact. Every individual’s breath becomes shallow in a stressful condition. As a result, his/her body starts releasing stress hormones. In such a case, if one takes a slow deep belly breath, the anti-stress nerves get stimulated that cause secretion of calming hormones, resulting in instant calm and total control of a situation irrespective of its level of difficulty.

  3. Try taking a little time off the situation. If you are feeling stressed out at home, try playing your favorite sport or chat with a close friend. In case you feel nervous at an interview venue just take a stroll outside the waiting lounge or take a flight of stairs on the pretext of visiting the washroom. This getting away for a brief moment will surely help by clearing your head and offering the desired strength to face the situation.

  4. Search some positive traits in the situation and focus on them. But what would you focus over directly depends upon the situation you are in like either one can focus the preferred outcome of the situation or any positive aspect of the total scenario.

    Try to concentrate over one thing at a time. If you are taking a test, just mull over one question at a time moving from easy to difficult. However, in an argument, take time out. You can even abide by the principle of late Roger Mellott that states, "lose the battle and win the fight."

    Proper energy investment needed In a nutshell, if one has to understand the principle of staying calm, quantum physics can come handy. One of its cutting edge principle dictates that – ‘energy evokes a response from energy’ – meaning my energy getting exchanged with or from yours and vice versa. Thus, if all the human beings come to understand the importance of staying calm, not only would they solve their problems effectively but also the world would become a better place to live and mind you, it’s not some fancy fairytale or a mere wishful thinking. It is only that most of us tend to invest our energy wrongly by taking stress. We should rather strive hard to maintain our calm and follow the Munna Bhai mantra – Tension lene ka nahi, dene ka re!

    In our materialistic world, everyone measures success by material wealth only. But have you ever considered the prospects of a good mental health versus material wealth? Just imagine having ample time for doing what really turns you on. Would helping people around you selflessly not fill you with sheer ecstasy and satisfaction? If yes, it’s high time that you start prioritising quality life over material things and start investing your energies in the right directions – rest all will fall in place - even the wealth part. Therefore, nurture your inherent aptitude to stay calm along with setting calmness as your topmost priority and what will come, as return would be great exponential returns.

Justifying your Individual existence

Justifying your Individual existence
Having realised the true 'Purpose' of your life, achieving your dreams becomes easier
What am I doing? Not at the moment, but 'what am I doing here on earth' or 'why am I given this very existence 'is a thought that hardly crosses our minds because we are often too entangled in our busy schedules to discern the actual purpose of our life. Most of us are doing justifiable chores like going to a college for becoming employable, preparing for a renowned entrance exam, working in an organisation, or running a family. All these are necessary aspects of life but do they befit the connotation – ‘goal of life’?

Ironically, most of us encounter this detestable yet true fact that ‘we are like an aimless ship with no goal’, either in some grubby debate with our peers or in yet another heart breaking condition. And it is then that we realise how far we have drifted from what we ‘had to do’. The problem does not end there. We are drifting far apart from this ‘had to do’ with each passing minute, hour and day. But, what can come as a rescue is goal my dear friends, the trick lies in realisation. The sooner you realise the goal of your life – the lesser time would it take to make that goal come true thereby fetching you your due quota of respect.

But this, many of you would agree, is easier said than done. Many of the motivational gurus and corporate mentors preach this concept of goal realisation these days. But the million-dollar question here is – How would I ascertain the Purpose of my life?

And this purpose per say, is not getting a job, getting married to your best friend, earning a fat salary, or managing your routine responsibilities. This excludes the long-term goals even. It rather advocates the raison d'ĂȘtre why you are here after all - the very reason of your survival.
Adjudge Yourself
One may be an optimist or a nihilist. The latter category includes those individuals who do not perceive any meaning in life hence nullify a purpose. First decide which category do you belong to. In case you fall under the second one, it should not matter much. Just by not believing in the fact that you have a purpose cannot thwart you from realising it- people who do not believe in the gravitational force also trip. The only hitch here would be an elongated the realisation process.
The Process
Irrespective of your belief or non-belief in having a purpose, just invest one hour of a lifetime to find it. There are countless ways of zeroing in on your individual purpose, but the simplest of them all is as mentioned below. The only caution in putting the principle into practice is - your degree of openness to the method, and your belief in its success that would make it work faster for you. This implies simple logic of optimism. If you believe it, it is.

Furthermore, the process would even work despite your anxiety and doubts towards it albeit at a slower speed. Depending upon your rationality and mindset, you may consider the process to be quite ‘idiotic’ or/and worthless but if you remain glued to it, it would yield the desired outcome for sure - just taking a little longer to
What to do
1. Hook on to your lappy (laptop)
2. Just open a word page and type the following phrase –
The real purpose of my existence is……..
3. Now, just note down the very first reason that comes to your head. It may or may not be a full sentence. A small phrase is also okay.
4. Keep repeating the 3rd point unless such an answer is found that makes you cry. The one that makes you loose yourself in sheer ecstasy, joy, or passion is your purpose.

Yes, that’s it. This is what you should have pursued but even if you were not aware of it till date – you still have all the time in the world.
The Limitations
The process, like its implications, appears quite a cakewalk to read but it has its own limitations. On an average, it would take around half an hour to de-clutter your head and to keep the social conditioning at bay. But the latter would keep hampering the real purpose from popping up. For a considerable amount of time, your mind would keep getting the old memories and false answers. But as the final answer would arrive, it would seem to be coming from an entirely different world. For individuals who remain ingrained in low-awareness living, the time taken for getting the right answer may stretch into hours. Strong perseverance however would definitely bring about the long-awaited emotional surge, irrespective of the number of wrong answers increasing from 50 to 60 to 70 and so on. Yet, pursue it despite a constant urge to shun it.
Misleading equations
During the process, you may encounter a mini-emotional outburst as well, but this may not make you cry indicating that they are not meant for the real purpose. Now, these answers must be highlighted and can be returned to for generating newer permutations. Individually each of these may reflect like a part of your wholesome purpose, but they aren’t complete. They should not be allowed to confuse you, resulting in a diversion from the real purpose. Albeit, the very popping up of such answers is a clear indication that you are close to the target!
A legendary tale
The above can be clearly understood by the example of a legendary Indian playwright namely Kalidasa. Every story about him starts with a clear mention of his extreme stupidity. Once it so happened that a few wise men of his native kingdom were passing by. They observed that Kalidasa was sitting on a branch of a tree and was sawing it off. These wise men were on an errand to search for one of the stupidest man in the region for playing a trick on their princess.

The latter had abused them and to seek revenge, these people thought of getting the princess married off to a stupid person on the pretext of his being extremely wise. Thus, they found our protagonist to be quite a "fitting" contender for the royal hand of the princess. They presented Kalidasa as a great sage with a silence avowal, who could communicate only through gestures. The princess grilled the sage and Kalidasa made several gestures. The wise men interpreted those gestures in such a way that made the princess believe that Kalidasa as the most knowledgeable man in the entire kingdom and married him. But soon she discovered the prank and lamented marrying a dolt. She kicked Kalidasa out of her palace. This ridicule made Kalidasa feel very low and he decided to commit suicide by drowning himself in the river. He observed at the riverbank that the washerwomen who scoured and pounded clothes on the riverbank had worn down the rocks beside the river. He thought, "If merely washing clothes can wear down something as hard as stone, surely my thick, numb, stupid mind can also be worn down."

This was the biggest transformation, as afterwards, the very same idiot became the most fluent and radiant poet in Indian history. His fame grew to such an extent that he is referred to as the Shakespeare of India.
The Epilogue
Once you find a satisfactory answer that can justify your existence, it would deeply resonate within you. The words penned down would yield a unique energy. But mere discovery of your purpose does not suffice; it needs regular follow ups. But finally, it would depend solely on you as to whether you want to be Kalidasa – an idiot or Kalidasa – the greatest Indian poet. So, my dear friends just get up, gear up your energies, discover your goal, materialise it and it would definitely help your dream come true!