Saturday, May 28, 2011

Crab Manager

“You should understand the history of this organization before taking any decision on this.” Crab Manager was commenting on the proposal brought by the Young Professional. This professional was recruited to set up the department in the organization. Crab Manager was nominated as the Head of that department.

“See, I am working with this organization for last 18 years. Preciously speaking 18 years 4 months 28 days; this organization is 80 years old and such decisions may creates the dissatisfaction among stakeholders including owners. You should be very careful while implementing this. Please send me your detail proposal on this.” Crab Manager asked some more amended proposal to the young professional.

Young professional worked hard on the proposal and submitted to the Crab Manager.

“This is not the way to work. Please go to Mr. Fandapurkar. He will explain you the history of this organization.” He asked

 Mr. Fandapurkar was one of the cheerleaders of the Crab Manager and was head of the one section in the organization. Young professional went to Mr. Fandapurkar, “Mr. Crab Manager is an excellent person in the organization and he is the Guru of all of us. He is mentor, coach, and god for us.”

“Oh, is it so… good, I came here to understand the history of this organization.” Young professional told.

“Oh sure, I tell you, Mr. Crab Manager is the only person in this organization who can run this business. In fact he brought me here to head this section.”     

Mr. Fandapurkar spent almost 2 hours only speaking about the Crab Manager. Poor young professional could not grab anything from Mr. Fandapurkar. He understood that Mr. Crab Manager is the history writer of the organization and the important projected character in the organization.

The young professional could not do anything because Crab Manager and other cheerleaders including Mr. Fandapurkar would create problems politically.

If young professional would go with the proposal, Crab Manager would ask him to do the thing differently. The expectations were not cleared. Crab Manager would ask him to write proposals, Standard Operating Procedures and would insist on writing everything. Young professional was not authorized to take decisions even the increment of the driver and office boys.  One fine morning young professional put down his papers not due to any other reasons, but only due to Crab Manager.  

You also must have seen such Crab Managers in the organization. Are they really worth to call even Managers? Who are these Crab Managers? They are actually like the Crab. Crab attitude. They will not allow to grow their sub-ordinate. Following are some traits of Crab Managers.

1)      They are very old employees in the organization and are much closed to the top level people including owners/directors because of their loyalty. They also arrange plumber for director’s house toilet, cook or driver for them.
2)      They are the encyclopedia of the organization. They know everything about the organization. This is the only USP for them.  
3)      They project themselves as the power station in the organization and have the strong cheerleader base. Followers are mediocre and unsuccessful. They also need such superior because they can not survive outside their world.
4)      They are always in their shell and project as sophisticated by nature but very dangerous. When something goes wrong they will scapegoat somebody.
5)      They never take any decisions neither allow others to take decisions. They project themselves as detailed oriented and demand more and more data to delay the decision. Documentation of everything is their favorite task.
6)      They are very insecure with talented people. Hence they always restrict their growth by sidelining the talent.
7)      They want their subordinate to behave rudely and aggressively with others. But they project themselves as polite and humble. They are not. They actually spoil the career of somebody.
8)      They have the answers in philosophy and good story teller. Philosophy is their favourite topics.
9)      They speak about deliverables of others, but they do not believe on their own deliverables.
10)  They do not like change and like status quo.
11)  They have their people everywhere in the organization. They keep the repo with them by calling and asking information about other people. By doing this they gather lot of information about people (most of the time biased) with them.
12)  They are not sure of one thing; hence always change their opinion about issues, people time to time. They always talk and like to listen convenient to them.
13)  Their transactional style is “I am ok, you are not ok.”
14)  They are very bureaurocratic and believe on red tapism. They like signing every paper, they like attend every meeting; they expect that their subordinate should communicate everything to them.
15)  They creates clerks and do not develop managers.
16)  And many more….

Unfortunately they survive in the organization and last for long time. But during challenging, transition period they measurably fail. When they are forced to leave the organization after failure, they are alone. They carry the legacy of paradoxes and do not get the job outside. They have to work as self proclaimed consultant finally or survive on the pension and investment.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Human Relations

I saw the couple fighting in shopping mall. The wife was literately scolding her husband. She was even not aware about the surrounding. In another incident, due to family conflicts, one of the employees left the home and did not turned in office for a week. We read news about increasing divorce cases and police complaints filed by daughter in laws against in laws and sometimes even by parents against their children.

Interpersonal skills are the major issues now a day. Conflicts are common in families, workplace. Why relations sour? The human nature is responsible for the same. Mainly the causes of bad human relations are:

Ego: Some people are so egoistic that they are not reasonable. They are self centered and always live for themselves.
Anger: Anger actually kills relations. I have seen the people who are good by nature, but their anger made them bad in society. In one organization, whole team of HR professionals (around 15 employees) left the organization within 6 months. He was a seasoned professional. He was not against humanity, but his anger made him bullish boss.

Jealousy: The common nature of human being. The lunch table friend in the organization does not support to other collogue when she is prompted.  

Cynical nature: Some people are really psychic. Their behaviour is unpredictable. They are moody and very unsecure in the life.   

Hostility: This is one of the reasons for bad human relations. They are actually abusive either by words or by actions. They are unfriendly and don’t understand the human nature.

You will find such people in society, families and organizations. How to manage them? If we encountered with egoistic person, do we muscle her ego? How to face the angry man? How to encounter the jealousy? How to manage the cynical and how to overcome the hostility?

There is no hard and fast rule. The answer is firstly understand their behaviour and them make the strategy to handle them.

Following strategies can help to improve the relations.

          Study of human nature: Understand the reason behind their particular behaviour. I had one employee. She was excruciating and pessimist. I interacted with her on various occasions. I also tried to get more information through different channels. I understood that she was doing hard-hitting with her husband. Sometimes her husband was not even allowing her to come home.    
          Influencing human behavior: Your personality and body language play important role. Influencing personality can smash above characters. You are egoistic! But then I am also logical. You have the ego, but for what? You are better in particular thing, but I am also equally expert. But I am more humble than you. Try to develop your personality. But a tough personality means assertive personality and not aggressiveness. Your personality and body language play important role in influencing.
          Art of getting with others: Once you understand the behaviour and reasons behind the same, you will find easy getting with others.  
          Motivating others to our way of thinking: People are motivation hungry. They need motivation. They are hungry for good words and appreciation. They need inspiration and motivation. They expect respect. (Though they don’t give it others). Appreciate and recognize others.
          Respecting other’s views and dignity: We don’t live in jungle and hence the space of others should be respected. People should be treated with respect and dignity.   

At the end of the article, I would like to emphasis on the Law of Attraction. You get what you think. You are treated on what you treat others. People are unreasonable, illogical and self centered. But love them. They are also humans; they would also understand the fact of life sometimes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Don’t underrate me dad!

We sometimes underestimate our kids. My 9-year old son, Atharva came to me and asked for the tool kit. He has the habit to make experiment mechanics on his toy cars. He also makes something hybrid instruments, designs from existing toys and broken material. His room is full of material which I would have thrown.
“What will you do with this, another experiment? Ok. जे करायचे ते कर, पण पसारा मांडायचा नाही. (do whatsoever you want to do but dont mess up) His mom  
“I want it for fixing the lock of balcony door. It got jammed.” He replied.
“How will you repair the lock?” I asked “Let me do that” He fully ignored me and grabbed the toolkit from me.
He took the toolkit, adjusted the screwdriver, and unscrewed the lock from the door. He got the spring which was malfunctioned. He observed the whole lock and tried to fix it.
“Give it to me. I will fix for you.” I just took it from him.
I tried it unsuccessfully. He was trying to guide me through the whole process. But I could not do it.
He grabbed the kit once again angrily and fixed the spring at appropriate place, fixed the lock on door successfully.
“See you were underrating the kid. He did that.” Mom
“I know. There is always logic in mechanics. You have to place appropriate component at appropriate place and try.” He replied.
“And second thing, you should not underestimate him anymore.” My wife 
“I am sorry, I failed to understand you.” I raised my hands.

This is a typical example, how we deal with children at home and juniors/subordinates at office. Atharva has taken an initiative to fix the lock. Then he, himself fixed it. He was not expecting any help from me. He expected only the availability of tool. He knew that he would fix the problem. I would have just observed him and offer him support when he needed.       

In corporate environment, typical managers ask the people to take initiative and then they have reservations on their capabilities.

I learned a lesson. Don’t undermine the capabilities of the people, neither of your kids nor of junior. Second if they come with some initiatives and solutions, trust on their capabilities and offer support only when they needed. Observe their performance what they are doing. I could not fix the problem. Imagine if you step in the job your junior doing and you end up by not resolving the issue. 

I am sharing what 'I Saw and I Learnt' at in association with

Monday, May 09, 2011

Are you motivated?

“Dam it,” he punched on his palm (same like Mahesh Kothare does in his movies), “I am fade up with this monotonous job. I need some motivation” He was expecting some solution from me on his bored life. His second intension must be political. If you speak something with HR, at least it gets noticed. However, I have been selective in acting on such things and this is with experience. Yes. We have to listen everything, but you have to be selective about the issues on which actions are needed.
“Have you learned something different?” I asked him.
“My life is in numbers, I don’t know anything different.” He replied.
“Then better to find out the ways to enjoy this.” I suggested.   

What is motivation and what does it have to do with personal and business success? How can we become more motivated? Learning what motivates us and how to use our motivations is yet another key success factor. We say “we are motivated” when we feel driven to work for something we need or desire. We are motivated to attain something we are seeking, whether it’s material, intellectual, emotional or spiritual.

You are aware about different theories of motivation. The key is to find out what motivates us.  Our success depends on our motivation. If parents are unmotivated, their state of mind may have a negative effect on their work, which, in turn, could affect their present and future income. Their failure in that area could lead to negative effects at home and produce breakdowns in their most fundamental relationships.

Somebody asked the question, “What is motivation?”
“Motivation is the urge to do something.” I replied. The question is what is that urge?  

Emotions play a large role in whether we are motivated or not. How we handle events, based on our expectations about them, determine whether we feel calm or resentful, hopeful or resigned. We are the ones who choose motivation. As the owners of what we feel and what we think, we can use this power to increase our motivation to be more successful.

This urge can be find out by some simple methods.
  1. Check your level on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Take charge of ascending from one level to the next, meeting your basic needs and focusing on your higher needs.
  2. Create positive states of mind: Feeling optimism, hope and the certainty of being able to achieve your objectives will motivate you to prevail.
  3. Be tolerant of “relative failure”: When something goes wrong, consider it as just another step on your road to success. Correct it and move forward.
  4. Ask for help from people who admire, love and know you well: Successful people are motivated by the people around them. Their support provides them courage and strength to persevere.
  5. Take inspiration from successful people: Observing how people, at times with little ability or resources are able to reach ambitious goals inspires us to be successful as well.
  6. The last but not least is -believe on “the law of attraction”. You get what you are. You are what you think, what you imagine, what you dream. So be positive with everything. It will bring positive vibes.
It's up to you to give yourself the opportunity to believe in it and use it every day.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


We live in the world of passwords. It starts in the morning when we go in the office. Entry in the office is through your swipe card or thumb impression. It is one type of password embedded technology clubbed with your swipe card or thumb. Once you enter into the office, you laptop or desktop ask the password. You have to enforce to change the password after certain period. Your web based mails have password. Every web site you entered asks registration and you are forced to generate the password. Your ESS (employee self service) has password. Your ERP/SAP access has the password.  You have your Face book account, Gmail account and subsequent passwords.  If you forget the password and you tried to enter the wrong password, your account gets blocked in certain cases. 

In your personal life, you have password for your ATM card, net banking, your housing loan account, D-mat accounts. And if you have multiple accounts, you have numbers of passwords. These accounts and passwords have made the life easy. Everything is on the tip of your finger. Just enter the account and password and have the access to whole world.

But sometimes, it is chaotic. The issue is how to mange and remember these all passwords. People try to make the combination of their beloved persons, birthdates etc. But these can be dangerous when somebody cracks your password, especially in case of your banking account.     

When you forget these passwords, you become anxious. You feel powerless.

We have everything on our laptop. We have access for everything in the world. We feel powerful with this all. We are confident and knowledgeable. We speak on phone, we communicate through e-mails, we update our status on Facebook, and we chat on the communicator. But when we encountered with somebody face to face, we do not have words to share. We have the accounts and password for everything, but we do not have the password for understanding the person seating before us. We know the status of our friend working in another city on Facebook, but we do not know the status of our neighbour who may be in need.

“I share everything on phone and update everything to my wife; she also does the same thing. But when we go at home, nothing is left for sharing, we spend our time watching TV or working on computer.” One of the friends was sharing his experience. “Then, why don’t ask the questions to your wife and kid, at least then will have something. And keep something to share at home.” I suggested.            

We have become so addicted to these smart gadgets that we are losing human interaction and spice in our life. People are either on laptops, ipads, or on phones updating status and checking mails or playing with them. We don’t understand that these gadgets are complementary to make our life simple and not the substitute to the relations.

If we ignore this fact of life, the day will come when somebody will update the status of your death on the virtual community. Virtual community will speak online about you. They will post responses about you. Online community will express condolences on the post.  But you will not have anybody at your bedside. Somebody “hired personnel” from the hospital will do your last rituals.  

Just try to get the password for making life more meaningful and interactive.

You may also like these.. please read