Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Is it an organisation’s duty to pander to an employee’s excessive need for attention or dismiss it as irrational?

BY Devdutt Pattanaik

IN THE EPIC MAHABHARATA, DURYODHAN, the eldest Kaurava, is the villain. His envy results in a great war where millions are killed. He cannot bear the success of his cousins, the Pandavas. He wants them to be destroyed. He wants them to suffer and die. He refuses to part with even a needlepoint of land for his cousins for the sake of peace. He destroys his own peace of mind and the wellbeing of his household so as to destroy his enemies. Such hatred! Where does it come from?

What creates a Duryodhan? A man so bitter and angry that he refuses to focus on his own good fortune (good parents, good wife, good friend, good inheritance) and focuses instead on the fortune of his cousins, and gets miserable by constantly comparing. His whole life is spent comparing and feeling inadequate and unhappy.

Vyasa, author of the epic, without being explicit about it, points to the possible origin of his personality. Duryodhan's father, Dhritarashtra, is blind. His mother, Gandhari, is blindfolded. The father cannot see the son. The mother refuses to see her son (whatever her reason). So a son grows up unseen by parents. No one notices the child's growing sense of inadequacy, no one notices the child's growing up full of rage. No one therefore corrects him. The child succumbs to flattery. The child is indulged and the result is disastrous.

Organisations are full of Duryodhanas, employees with a sense of inadequacy and rage, that reflects in their decisionmaking abilities. More than achieving organisational goals, they want to impose their personalities every time a decision is made. For example, they fight more for the larger cabin and a larger team and a larger compensation than for the business. The gaze is more towards themselves than towards the customer. They are constantly screaming for attention. But the one who has to give it to them – the management – is often either blind or blindfolded. They either cannot see them or they don't want to see them.

Ramesh is a Duryodhan. He believes he is the best sales manager in his company. He has brought in more qualitative and quantitative growth than any other sales manager in his company. But he feels, his Managing Director does not see him. The MD treats all sales managers equally, giving them equal bonuses and equal attention. The MD has no favorites. Ramesh wants attention. He wants to be loved and acknowledged. The MD does not even notice this need; he assumes everyone in his team is, or at least, should be professional. Emotional needs are not something that he even notices, or he refuses to notice. As a result of his extreme professionalism, he has become Gandhari. Some would say, he is a Dhritarashtra, he is incapable of being sensitive to his team. The result is that all his sales managers, Ramesh included, feel like children of a blind parent. Their desire for attention manifests in all kinds of behaviours – fights in the boardroom, lack of team work, refusal to cooperate, demands for more time with the MD (which he refuses to give), demand for more perks and rewards and recognition, beyond what is officially allowed (which is not forthcoming).

The organisation is facing the brunt of Ramesh's rage and sense of inadequacy. Everyone is wondering why can Ramesh not be more professional, do his job, and go home. They forget that Ramesh is not a machine. He has emotional needs. He wants to be seen and acknowledged and appreciated. This need of his may be argued as irrational and stupid, but it remains his need, nevertheless. In imagination, humans may be capable of cutting out their emotions every time they enter the office, but it does not happen in reality. Organisations may see humans as cogs in a wheel, but this mechanistic view is theoretical not practical. Every human being has emotional needs that needs pampering, howsoever silly it may seem.

The MD needs to realise this role in the turmoil that is faced by the organisation. Gandhari and Dhritarashtra are as much responsible for the Mahabharata war as Duryodhan.

Source: Publication: The Economic Times Mumbai; Date: Nov 12, 2010; Section: Corporate Dossier; Page: 34

Monday, November 15, 2010

**Story of Appreciation**

Translated from Chinese

I got this as a forward in a friends group. Very insightful indeed.

One young academically excellent person went to apply for a managerial position in a big company. He passed the first interview, the director did the last interview, made
the last decision.

The director discovered from the CV that the youth's academic achievements were excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research, never had a year when he did not score.

The director asked, "Did you obtain any scholarships in school?" the youth answered "none".

The director asked, " Was it your father who paid for your school fees?" The youth answered, "My father passed away when I was one year old, it was my mother who paid for my school fees.
The director asked, " Where did your mother work?" The youth answered, "My mother worked as clothes cleaner. The director requested the youth to show his hands. The youth showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect.

The director asked, " Have you ever helped your mother wash the clothes
before?" The youth answered, "Never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books. Furthermore, my mother can wash clothes faster than me.

The director said, "I have a request. When you go back today, go and clean your mother's hands, and then see me tomorrow morning.*

The youth felt that his chance of landing the job was high. When he went back, he happily requested his mother to let him clean her hands. His mother felt strange, happy but with mixed feelings, she showed her hands to the kid.

The youth cleaned his mother's hands slowly. His tear fell as he did that. It was the first time he noticed that his mother's hands were so wrinkled, and there were so many bruises in her hands. Some bruises were so painful that his mother shivered when they were cleaned with water.

This was the first time the youth realized that it was this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday to enable him to pay the school fee. The bruises in the mother's hands were the price that the mother had to pay for his graduation, academic excellence and his future.
After finishing the cleaning of his mother hands, the youth quietly washed all the remaining clothes for his mother.

That night, mother and son talked for a very long time. Next morning, the youth went to the director's office. The Director noticed the tears in the youth's eyes, asked: " Can you tell me what have you done and learned yesterday in your house?"

The youth answered, " I cleaned my mother's hand, and also finished cleaning all the remaining clothes'

The Director asked, " please tell me your feelings."

The youth said, Number 1, I know now what is appreciation. Without my mother, there would not the successful me today. Number 2, by working together and helping my mother, only I now realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done. Number 3, I have come to appreciate the importance and value of family relationship.

The director said, " This is what I am looking for to be my manager.

I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings of others to get things done, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life. You are hired.

Later on, this young person worked very hard, and received the respect of his subordinates. Every employee worked diligently and as a team. The company's performance improved tremendously.

A child, who has been protected and habitually given whatever he wanted, would develop "entitlement mentality" and would always put himself first. He would be ignorant of his parent's efforts. When he starts work, he assumes that every person must listen to him, and when he becomes a manager, he would never know the sufferings of his employees and would always blame others. For this kind of people, who may be good academically, may be successful for a while, but eventually would not feel sense of achievement. He will grumble and be full of hatred and fight for more. If we are this kind of protective parents, are we really showing love or are we destroying the kid instead?*

You can let your kid live in a big house, eat a good meal, learn piano, watch a big screen TV. But when you are cutting grass, please let them experience it. After a meal, let them wash their plates and bowls together with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you do not have money to hire a maid, but it is because you want to love them in a right way. You want them to understand, no matter how rich their parents are, one day their hair will grow gray, same as the mother of that young person. The most important thing is your kid learns how to appreciate the effort and experience the difficulty and learns the ability to work with others to get things done.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Getting around in China : "TANJOOBERRYMUTTS"

One of the funny post which i had received as a mail forward. Iam sure you will enjoi it.

By the time you read through this YOU WILL UNDERSTAND
"TANJOOBERRYMUTTS"...and be ready for China .

In order to continue getting-by in China , we need to learn English the
way it is spoken...... ......... ........

Practice by reading the following conversation.

With a little patience, you'll be able to fit right in.

Now, here goes...
The following is a telephonic exchange between maybe you as a hotel
guest and room-service today......

Room Service : "Morrin. Roon sirbees."

Guest : "Sorry, I thought I dialed room-service."

Room Service: " Rye . Roon sirbees...morrin! Joowish to oddor sunteen???"

Guest: "Uh..... Yes, I'd like to order bacon and eggs."

Room Service: "Ow ulai den?"

Guest: ".....What??"

Room Service: "Ow ulai den?!?... Pryed, boyud, pochd?"

Guest: "Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry.. Scrambled, please."

Room Service: "Ow ulai dee bayken ? Creepse?"

Guest: "Crisp will be fine."

Room Service: "Hokay. An sahn toes?"

Guest: "What?"

Room Service: "An toes. ulai sahn toes?"

Guest: "I.... Don't think so.."

RoomService: "No? Udo wan sahn toes???"

Guest: "I feel really bad about this, but I don't know what 'udo wan
sahn toes' means."

RoomService: "Toes! Toes!...Why Uoo don wan toes? Ow bow Anglish
moppin we botter?"

Guest: "Oh, English muffin! !! I've got it! You were saying 'toast'...
Fine...Yes, an English muffin will be fine."

RoomService: "We botter?"

Guest: "No, just put the botter on the side."

RoomService: "Wad?!?"

Guest: "I mean butter... Just put the butter on the side."

RoomService: "Copy?"

Guest: "Excuse me?"

RoomService: "Copy...tea.. meel?"

Guest: "Yes. Coffee, please... And that's everything."

RoomService: "One Minnie. Scramah egg, creepse bayken , Anglish moppin,
we botter on sigh and copy ... Rye ??"

Guest: "Whatever you say."

RoomService: "Tanjooberrymutts."

Guest: "You're welcome"

Remember I said "By the time you read through this YOU WILL UNDERSTAND
'TANJOOBERRYMUTTS' ......and you do, don't you! :-) :-)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Very Funny Story - What Consultants actually Do !

A farmer was checking his herd on a remote hillside in upper Wensleydale when suddenly a brand-new BMW drew up.

The driver, in a Paul Smith suit, Gucci shoes, Rayban sunglasses and expensive tie, leans out the window and asks Jim, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?"

The farmer looks at the man, obviously a well-to-do city slicker, then looks at his peacefully grazing animals and calmly answers, "Of course, why not?"

The man parks his car, whips out his laptop computer, connects it to his mobile phone and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another satellite which scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo. The city slicker then opens the digital photo and exports it to an image-processing facility.

Within seconds he receives an e-mail on his phone that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a database through a connected spreadsheet with e-mail on his Blackberry and after a few seconds receives a response.

Finally he prints out a full-colour 15-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized printer and finally turns to the farmer and says, "You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves."

"Well, I reckon you can take one of my animals," says the farmer. He watches the well-dressed man select one of the young ones and looks on amused as he stuffs it into the boot of his car.

Then the farmer says, "Now then, if I can tell you exactly what your business is will you give me back my calf?"

The man thinks about it for a couple of seconds and then says, "Okay, why not?"

"You're a consultant," says the farmer.

"Wow! That's correct," says the well-dressed man, "but how did you guess that?"

"No guessing required," answers the farmer. "You show up here even though nobody asked you to; you want to get paid for an answer I already know to a question I never asked; you try to show me how much cleverer than me you are; and you don't know a thing about cows: this is a flock of sheep.

Now give me back my dog."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

You'll be a Man, my son!

Got this one as a forward.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And–which is more–you'll be a Man, my son!

P.S: Thanks Preeti for sharing it with me.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Heart Touching Story !!!

I received this mail as a forward. Thought of sharing it with you all... :)
Iam sure it will touch you.

At a fund raising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?'

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed..

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.. Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!

Run to first!'

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball .. the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. Al l were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third! Shay, run to third!'

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home ! Run home!'

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team 'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.

Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Reflections - A Carrot, an Egg or a Coffee Bean

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were hard
for her. She was tired of fighting and struggling, and wanted to give up.
Her mother took her to the kitchen, filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to the boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished out each of them and
placed them in a separate bowl. Turning to her daughter she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs and coffee,” she answered. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel each of the items. The daughter noted that the carrots were now soft and the egg had become hard. When she tasted the coffee she smiled at its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, “What does this all this mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity…boiling
water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in hard and strong and unrelenting, however it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile, but after sitting in the boiling water its inside had hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do
you respond?

Are you like the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do you become soft and lose your strength?

Are you like the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with heat? Did you initially have a fluid spirit, but after tragedy, have you become hardened and stiff?

Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water by releasing its fragrance and flavour. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. How do you handle adversity, darling?

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”