Are you an enlightened leader?

We all have come across different types of leaders and CEOs in our lives. Some stay alive in our minds than others. SEnlightenome have touched our lives powerfully. Some had a high impact on what we are today and some interestingly told us what a leader/CEO should not be.

For the purpose of this article, I shall take CEOs of the organization as leaders connoted here who shape or disintegrate the leadership talents in their organizations. However the principles where my thought had gone into applies to all those who are in leadership roles.

There are many around us claiming themselves as CEO or Managing Director or Chairman or Founder etc. But how many of them are really enlightened? What makes an enlightened CEO different from the ordinary one?

An enlightened CEO shapes the talents in his organization by recognizing and nurturing them for a brighter future organization. An ordinary CEO spends his time blaming his leadership team for business situations or in trying to see who didn’t perform well or in finding someone as a scapegoat for a failed business situation. In an environment, where a CEO is in search of victims of incidents, the organization could turn out to be a bunch of underutilized talents working in isolation.

An ordinary CEO capitalizes his time in creating and building operational and financial strategies for a perceived success. He expends time in seeing possibilities of cutting corners to save that extra penny. He looks at business from a perspective of money and in many cases, money drives the leadership culture. He focuses more on how to make bottom lines healthier. He uses people and feels that people are paid to deliver what he or company wants irrespective of what they are capable of or what future potential they have. An ordinary CEO lacks foresight into identifying talents that would help achieve these healthy bottom lines consistently otherwise. That’s where the thin line between an ordinary CEO and enlightened CEO lies.

In an organization led by ordinary CEO, meritocracy is flung off the window. Performance appraisals become a routine HR exercise and when it comes to remuneration increase or rewards, it becomes a decision based on who happened to score more on being a “Yes man”. The leaders who contributed silently or sincerely or those who called a spade a spade goes to the bottom line of the annual remuneration increment list.

An enlightened CEO, on the other hand, values meritocracy over mediocrity. One should never forget the fact that differentiation breeds meritocracy and the sameness or failure to notice differentiation breeds mediocrity in an organization. Most organization falls into the latter type. CEOs of some organizations tend to easily recognize those who achieve or exceed budgeted financial results of their respective business and fails to even look at the fact that the talents need to be recognized and rewarded based on leader’s behaviors, values and potential not just the business results. Financial results are important, but for a sustained growth and also to take the Organization forward, the creation of talented leaders is of prime importance as far as a CEO is concerned. This even applies to any leaders at any function as the success of any function in an organization depends on how the leaders shape the talents in his team and how he nurtures them to take higher roles and how he drives them to learn skills.

An enlightened CEO usually spends 75% of their time in identifying and cultivating the talents in their organization which would direct the future of the company to growth. Meritocracy is often mistaken by ordinary CEOs as moments where a quick result or a quick incidental impression brought in by some of the business’s leadership team is seen and recognized as the best for the Organization. Most often CEOs fail to observe consistent character, manifestation of genuine values and the visibility of real DNA of leaders that would bring an everlasting success to the organization.

The biggest mistake that an ordinary CEO does is to derecognize current leaders of the organization over a newly joined leader. If a CEO fails to fairly treat his leaders based on talents, values, and character and gets swayed by a sweet talker in his leadership team, he is bound to create a chaotic social system in his team and organization. Enlightenment is a farfetched state of mind for such CEOs. I have come across CEOs reward those business leaders who achieve financial results by a personal paycheque or a handsome cash envelope discretely with an aim of getting more and such CEOs are nothing but below ordinary CEOs who have no focus or passion for bringing meritocracy of talents in the organization by executing a broader and fair assessment of identification of talents and potential.

An enlightened CEO devotes qualitative time in observing, challenging and developing talents thus shaping the social system in the organization to one of meritocracy where differentiation of talents exists. Such CEOs are committed to talent development as they understand and believe that it is a crucial benchmark in business success than just mere financial or operational success.

It is not easy for a CEO to identify the developmental needs of their leadership team and then express it to them to accept and make them feel the need to work on as against appreciating the strengths of their leaders. If it’s easy to tell someone about their strengths, it is very edgy to tell someone what they need to change.

It takes courage for a CEO to be explicit in expressing or addressing the development needs of his leadership team and he needs to be adroit in encouraging his leaders to accept his assessment and take the challenges. This is a tough skill that an enlightened CEO will have in him which ordinary CEOs shy away from.

It is difficult to get the culture where leadership team feel welcome to being corrected and guided by a top leader. This culture creation is an easy task as far as an enlightened CEO is concerned as he sets the place for such free flow of communication. An environment of trust and openness is what an enlightened CEO would create for building talents. CEOs can only develop talents if they get to know about them well and such information is like a black box, especially when it comes to leadership talents. One need to delve inside this and scrutinize the elements inside the leadership talents to bring out the potential for further development.

If the atmosphere in an organization is built of honesty and openness, free flow of communication with no reluctance occur. Many CEOs fail in building this trust in their leaders. A typical example that come to my mind is that a CEO asking a senior leader over phone on whether a line manager in the organization is aware of a crucial matter that he has heard that the senior leader is aware of, hiding the fact that it is told to him by the line manager sitting in front of him. This kind of acts build mistrust in the top leadership and the leadership team would not reveal much of their information to such leaders, resulting in the CEO failing to gather information on talents for shaping them for the good of the organization. Another example where CEOs build mistrust is when he questions a senior leader while some junior team members are in his office and the interrogation is on speaker phone without revealing the fact that the conversation is put on speaker phone and there are other team members around in CEOs office. Such organizations are very common and such CEOs as well.

Ordinary CEOs are mediocre by themselves and has insecurity issues that prevent them from facing talented leaders and thus opt to allow the power of position take over their actions.

Ordinary CEOs do not walk the talk. They focus more on the outside world that bring fame to them and neglects the inside where leadership talents feel wanted and noticed. Ordinary CEOs know little of their leadership talents and in an organization like this “Yes Man” principle wins CEO’s heart and the Organization gets led mostly by such “Yes Man” followers of CEO.

In such a place, trust is a dream and maybe not even a dream. In an environment like no trust and openness, CEO will not be able to get all information about leadership talents, leave alone nurturing it. Candor gets the truth out. Leaders of the organization or even the team members of the organization or departments can talk openly only if they trust the system to respect honesty and confidentiality. And only when a CEO gets all information of their talents, there is room for talent development. And only when talents are developed, the organization develops.

An enlightened CEO knows this and works strenuously to ensure that trust and candor is a strongly stated value in the organization which he walks with. An enlightened CEO ensures that the value of trust and candor is emphasized in all his dialogues, meetings, addresses and any other communication forums or in the daily transactional matters as he understands that getting all his leaders of the team together on board is crucial for his organization.

Ordinary CEOs do not inspire leadership team or for that matter anyone and one need to start assessing themselves and work on it for them to be seen as enlightened CEOs.

Talents follow enlightened leaders and would stick with them for enlightening themselves whereas talents avoid and move away from ordinary  leaders.

By

Binu Prasad

Image courtesy: google

 

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Business Process Vs Social Process

Last evening at the Church, father John was narrating a story and allow me to reproduce it here to understand the knowing of people well.

Bus Process Vs Social Process 2

The story goes like this. Little Tony was asked by his teacher, hey Tony, if your father has given you a dollar and I give you one, how many dollars you will have? Tony, without a blink of eyes, said one dollar ma’am. The teacher obviously got annoyed at this answer and repeated the question. Tony again answered the same. Now that the teacher got furious and snapped at him and said. You silly moron, you don’t know your math well and how come you make mistakes like this? Tony smiled and answered back. Ma’am, it’s not that I don’t know my math well, it’s just that you don’t know my father. It’s just not possible for him to give me a dollar.

It just goes to say one thing that knowing a person well determines the results. It is important to know the person well and then relation become better, results become achievable.

Know your boss, know your subordinates, know your colleagues well and you see how the business activities progress with no much hindrances. It’s the relationship that sets the mood of the transactions, it’s the connection of minds that moves the business activities.

Business processes vs social processes, that’s what I want to talk here about.

A business process is imperative for any businesses success, but the element that sustains the success is the social process. When you see a business model, a systematic approach in tackling that action to perceived results, you see only success ahead of you. But one thing which many leaders miss looking at is the social process involved in the arterial blood vessels of the business process strategy meetings.

Anytime when we interact with anyone else, there is this process called social process. A subconscious dialogue of our traits and behaviors which the other party perceives from the lower cortex of brain stems and filters in the background, pacing ways to make the business process easy or difficult. Social processes lead to results and for it to work, you need to know your team well. You need to start observing your team’s nuances of behaviors.

In a social process, that relation factor is important and leaders need to have a high level of what I call Relationship Quotient (RQ) to make sure their directives are leading to successful results. Most often the team or the leader is not aware how these social process plays a great role in results.

How meticulously leaders focus on business process and results, how focused some leaders are in getting works done? In driving the team to results? In analyzing that balance sheets? In counting that money? In putting an action plan for making more profits? , Well, how many such leaders do spend that much time and effort in improving the relationship quotient, a social process which helps them achieve all that they want materialistically?

As a leader, one need to be aware of this social process, if results are desired. Imagine a social process where the place is infected with negative energy, dialogues take the form of fault finding, everyone thinks of blaming each other, why things cannot be done  is what everyone thinks instinctively and in an environment like this, social processes go for a kill. You need not even talk of business results or success in such a place. It is bound to die a natural one by itself.

 “Creating a social enterprise brightens a glaring spotlight on broken business processes.”

The beauty is that you can nurture or manage the social process and how many leaders do that? I have seen many CEOs focus their future on financial strategies rather than building a robust social process within the organization. Many CEOs spend time unnecessarily chafing their senior executive leaders or team down the line, murdering the social process over and again, building that brick wall against them, resulting in creating a work culture where some team spends time in scheming things to make CEOs happy and some honest ones, do their work and avoid interactions with CEO as much as possible to avoid confrontations. Such relationship chaos extinguishes the possibility of building a great business delivery and a progressive work culture. It’s a shame that some of this kind of CEOs do not realize the importance of social process in their business and all that they do is murder talents every second and embrace that cheap thrill.

Focus on relationship, connect with people, they will engage themselves for an enhanced business delivery”

 An enlightened CEO should spend 80% of his time in identifying the talents in his team, identifying the potential of his team, knowing what motivates each of his team, and above all how he should knit the different talents together in achieving to make them move towards what he wants to achieve.

A CEO who spends time in blaming his team for non-performance or keeps pulling down his senior leaders would be putting his social process at the workplace to jeopardy. A leader, be it a CEO or anyone for that matter who values effective social process is bound to achieve bright results. Everyone has a social process around them to manage and if every leader in the organization starts looking at managing his own social process within his area of influence, an organizational development is a result.

 “Your pain of unsuccessful business deliveries can only be cured by social process revitalization.”

 While building that social process, relationships have to be valued, respected. Killing the fundamentals of work relationship will curtail development. A leader has to be sensitive to the relationships that he builds in his team. Every leader has an opportunity to build relationships and nurture the social process. Once you have the right equations and right platform of social process, then the leader must focus on building talents that would make the future of the company a reality. The world is not a perfect place, so do, your own organization, your own department etc. you are bound to have talents that differ and having differentiation in talents is a good indication so that mediocrity doesn’t creep into your team. No one than the CEO or the leader is responsible for these that’s why we keep hearing that a leader must have a clear vision.

If you ever want to be in the paths of leadership, you ought to be thinking away from the crowd about the crowd and for the crowd.

 By Binu Prasad

Image courtesy: google.

Searching discontinuities

Searching DiscontinuitiesWhat is searching for discontinuities? Perhaps the title of my write up here would stir curiosity. I know it may sound vague but coming to think of it, do we face discontinuity every day in life? Isn’t there something that we get used to and we keep wanting different things in life every time? I guess it’s natural for us to be comfortable with something which we craved for and then the living with it takes us to wanting more.

Hey, I am not driving your mind to anything else here, come back and let’s start looking at it from the perspective of an organization and leadership of talents. Just start comprehending the challenges that leaders have in managing the discontinuities of the team’s desires of growth. Then start reading on.

 A leader makes himself valuable the moment he keeps searching for the discontinuities of opportunities that his people experiences.

The world outside is where your team is at work, they keep doing the job that you assign them. And they execute your directives. They make things happen for you and they hold your work process intact. What a wonderful place it would be if the team holds everything that you want them to in full spirit. But what do you do to them? Do you provide more opportunities of learning for them or do you close the opportunity of learning once you have put the system, processes and workflow in place?

You would be killing talents if you keep yourself in a comfort zone of your team’s adroitness. 

You must find trajectories of new opportunities for learning for your team. You need to keep conceiving and executing different opportunities for your team. The work that your team do for you is not just a job but it’s an experience and one needs to value it as an experience than a mere job or task. A leader must visualise how new opportunities of learning can be developed, how new processes can be incorporated, how one existing process can be reengineered.

The team at a leader’s arms would be diamonds if they are constantly challenged to nearing perfection. In HR (that being my subject of interest), for example, a leader needs to find out how best he can make his team or himself connect to his employees, how well he can make the  experience of HR in the minds of employees valuable. Here, I see the needs of people, I mean the employees of your organization discontinuing, leading to a new one constantly. An opportunity that you spot to satisfy the employees discontinues at some point after it has been tapped and another one or extension of what you did emerges soon. Similarly, there is always a discontinuity of learning experience that your team will reach, expressing a new one to you.

Searching for the discontinuities of opportunities in that outer landscape is essential for a leader to keep his team talent on the sharp edge. As a leader you need to have an innate ability to find new ways of doing the routine stuff, better way of nourishing the talents in your team, yielding to the healthier organisation.

Searching the intrinsic talents in your team is another quality that a leader must have and a leader should be challenged with. If you discontinue the search for discontinuities in the world around you, you could soon be an extinction.

The world around you, especially the talents around you keep discontinuing what they needed and keep hoping for new. A leader must keep searching that discontinuities and foresee the next that the talents look out to keep managing them to perfection. 

The need to look for best talent and  also to look for that talent which thrives for sharpness must be an innate quality in a leader who desires success. One need to visualise the need of business, need of a specific function’s objective and must work towards searching for the talent to tackle that consistently.

I have a tendency to keep falling into HR domain. In HR, for example, the search that a leader should be pursuing is to build the trust in the employees of organization on HR team and he must strive to see all discontinuities in them so that a new opportunity can be created or formed or visualised.

Similarly, you should not leave the talents around you uncared. One need to be intimate with the talents, must know the essence of each individual and then start looking at what is needed for them next to make more experience in their life resulting in betterment of your business, function etc. While you search for the relentless nature of talents, you may come across talents that do not go beyond certain limitations of capabilities and that’s when one need to shed that talent or perhaps direct that talent to somewhere else for better suitability. A tough decision, though, but is essential for a true leader. The moment one’s hunger for more discontinues which rarely happens, and it shouldn’t happen when a leader holds the buzzer button on performance always, the time has reached for searching for new talents.

As leaders look for what the market needs and what market stop needing and what’s going to be their need and drive the business models to meeting the perceived need of a customer much before competition dreams of it, it is essential for a leader to identify the discontinuities of the need in talents around and be close in observing the changes in these talents and drive them to steer new business models to success, else one will face a struggle of having lack of talents to meet the new dream of business.

To put things in simple perspective, all of us have desires to perform and grow so do our team down the line. And the beauty is that the desires discontinue once achieved and experienced to its entirety, giving birth to new desires and wants for more growth. This obviously means a leader has a tough job in observing the discontinuities of career desires of the talents that he has to manage. Thus, he needs to steer his actions towards anticipating the new desires and wants that the talents in his team have so that talent drains do not sabotage the organization.

By Binu Prasad

Excellence is a way of life.

The word excellence has a profound meaning in it and it invites pride enormously.

I often find myself reading and re-reading all my notes and emails just to ensure that the same is presented well. Even a simple format that I make for my team goes for several corrections and filter for perfection within myself. I used to wonder whether I am Excellence.jpgsuffering from the ostensible OCD.  For those who haven’t come across this abbreviation, it is an obsessive compulsory disorder, a compulsive obsession for certain things in day to day life. For example, one having OCD for reading would not stop reading the same stuff a number of times. I soon realized that it’s a lot to do with the word – Excellence. I realized that we have to keep excelling in our daily tasks every day, every hour, every second and the small steps that we take daily to bring that change for better at our work is nothing but an act of excellence.

Then I realized that it doesn’t occur to all. It comes to those who are restless for betterment in their daily life.

Have you anytime felt uncomfortable with a project that you did or that presentation that you made overnight or that process note that you created, where you felt like going back to it again and tie the loose ends again and again? If you have ever felt that way anytime in your life, you are certainly in a progressive track in your career life. You are nothing but a living soul of excellence.

I walked into the office of Dubai Service Excellence last week and the littlest things that one notice there would surprise you and it’s the smallest things in our daily life that show our excellence and our thirst for excellence. It’s a way of life.

I walked into a library for reading some of the good practices that companies in Dubai do and I could see a number of companies’ report neatly arranged on a table for me to read, each report were kept one after the other on the table, in the same line, not one above or below the line… I guess someone has practiced this in their daily chores. Someone who kept them there knew how to do it. Someone put their heart to it while doing it. Excellence comes when one engages himself/herself to what one is doing. It’s a habit.

Here I recollect what Aristotle said– we are what we repeatedly do, excellence, then is not an act but a habit.

Excellence is not a single act, it is a repeated action that stands out, hence it is a habit. I am always noted as a fanatic for cleanliness and my team, unfortunately, keep hearing from me for not keeping their workstations clean and neat. Not everyone has it in them, but a habit of making sure that your desk is clean, neat, papers are neatly kept in the right folder, your pen holder is in the right place, your notice board hangs papers in an order, your chairs in the office are in right place, the files behind your desk has labels that are uniform and many more.. It’s excellence and excellence in action, in habits, in life.

And excellence is not doing things repeatedly but doing that one excellent thing repeatedly, that one act of yours that comes naturally to you over a period of others.

I was honored to have an excellent leader in my career life, not mentioning his name here as I haven’t sought his permission for the same. However, he as an epitome of excellence is worth mentioning here. It was a board meeting and many were sitting around a table, tea was served to all by pantry team, one of the director’s tea spilled over to the saucer. To my surprise, this great leader of my life, chairman stature person got from his chair pulled a tissue, and lifted the cup and wiped off the spill of tea and placed it correctly for his director friend. One would think why would one do this, many would let it go unnoticed, but if you care to see perfection, a need to be perfect, a need to correct things to perfection, excellence becomes a way of life.

Today we keep hearing about service excellence, customer service excellence, business excellence etc.. In my view everything starts with the leader. Do you ever ask what is that one thing that differentiates you from others? Do you care for that missing dot in your email? Do you care for the salutation that you leave on your emails? Do you care for the emotions of the reader? Do you address issues one by one with clarity? An organization’s excellence depends on the leader’s habits. If you are one who would want excellence in everything that you and your team do, your organization would be living a life of excellence.

Excellence is not just in the surge in bottom lines or in the way your finance cuts corners, or in the way you squeeze the maximum out of your team, or in the way you put pressure on your team to perform. Excellence is by being an example to your team, by being there for them, by handholding your team to perfection, by setting standards in your organization and following it to the tee by yourself. It’s a pity that many leaders fail to practice excellence at work and at themselves but happily wear the mask of excellence in public.

Excellence requires genuine inner drive and is not a fictitious expression. One need to be sincere and real to be excellent. You cannot fake excellence. It has a life and spirit. It is a demonstration of your true values and beliefs. Just to give an example, I have come across leaders who says that this year is a year for employee happiness and they announce this proudly in meetings and when it comes to doing things for making that reality, they do nothing about it, they take no initiative for making that happen. Excellence is doing what you believe in, doing what you propagate. In an organization, people respect their leaders who do what they say, who walks their talks. Excellence is contagious. You need to practice it and you would see how it voyages to the team and then to the organization.

You don’t need to plan for excellence. You don’t need to devise strategies for excellence. It’s here… It’s in the now! It’s in the present. Do it now. Do that littlest thing right in front of you. Walk into your office greeting all your team every day and you will create that aura in the office. Brief your team on keeping things in place and see the difference that it can bring to your office. Create a nice label form, presentable for those box files that you have on the rack and name them right, code them right .. See the difference in your office. That large notice board in your office, make it look presentable and have it updated. That’s excellence. Create work processes, document it and review it, check it frequently and make your team own it and embrace it as their own work, that’s excellence. Keep changing and updating your work processes and that’s excellence.

If you are managing a department or function, define responsibilities, create forms and formats, communicate workflow and keep improving the work processes for better delivery of results and you will see excellence falling in place. As a leader of a team, if you come across one issue at work, focus on the process and not just on the issue in hand. Work on improvising the process to avoid future occurrence of issues and that’s excellence.

Be an example in the way you communicate, the way you address a meeting, the way you walk, the way you open a conversation. Your excellence is exhibited in all these. One need to critically assess every step that they take in their daily life if excellence is what one desires. Excellence is in your leadership style and as a leader one need to know that their habits, their style, their words, their actions etc rise excellence in their team, organizations.

Organizational excellence comes into light when there is a sustainable improvement in performance using a variety of principles, systems, processes and tools at work. Everything depends on the action that leaders take not just in what they preach. Excellence hence is a realistic, consistent action. 

Excellence is a discipline as well. You cannot expect your team to be disciplined if you are not!!. If you are a leader who practices punctuality, promptness and quickness in response, it’s excellence and the team down the line just fall into the process of excellence. Do you answer your emails timely? Do you respond to your team’s text messages timely? And above all are you consistent in your actions? Then mark it, You are practicing excellence.

Excellence is also the way you guide your team, the way you teach your team, the way you treat your team, the way you lead, the mannerism you spell at work, the clarity of communication you practice, the care you impart, the respect you deliver and the direction that you give consistently. Leaders should be an embodiment of excellence.

Continuous improvements that you make at work life is what determines the excellence. For that, one need to feel the need for change, need for improvements, need for betterment. If one sits in a comfort zone, breeding complacency, excellence will fly off the window.

As the leader, so the team. If you are a leader who constantly looks for doing things differently, who wants to keep improving practices, who believes in delivering quick service, who believe in owning every situation, you will see your team carrying the same on their shoulders and excellence is a byproduct then.

Excellence is not what you display outside, it has to be a result of quality works behind the scene, a demonstration of inner values. Awards and recognitions of excellence come on your way more often if you practice excellence, but how genuine and consistent you are in excellence is what matters more than the short term recognitions that one receives for excellence. Excellence is not an end in itself, it’s a process. Excellence is a journey and not a destination.

Finally, I believe that excellence is a personal choice. Companies and leaderships set certain standards of excellence in organizations and impose them onto people in the journey of excellence and often it’s not a sustainable one as excellence are a mindset and one need to have it self-imposed than being imposed onto by someone else. It is an act of setting standards for oneself  and assuming a sense of responsibility to achieve them consistently. A leader with an attitude to excel will transfer that attitude to his team by way of setting standards at his workplace and the littlest standards make a mountain of excellence and hence Excellence is an Attitude!!

By Binu Prasad

Image: courtesy google.

Manage People as you Manage Business

IManaging Talentsn a recent reading, I happen to come across a phrase: “Manage people as you manage business”.

It’s quite interesting to contemplate on why many leaders fail in managing their people with the same passion that they have in managing their business results.

It’s a fact that, if one manages their money as carelessly as they manage their people, they would soon be extinct. All those businessmen out there knows this very well. However, the world has changed now and soon those businesses would be extinct if they manage their talents carelessly disrespectfully.

Having worked with many businessmen, owners and having seen many different types of those leaders in my career, each one had something to offer as a learning. Those who kept people as their backbone of their business excelled beyond boundaries and those who treated people as ancillary to their financial results kept losing valuable talents while harvesting money.

“Talent management” is an art by itself and in a world full of intelligence, managing them effectively is an art many business owners and entrepreneurs have failed to value.

Gone are those days where talent stays with your business for a lifetime. When we look back at our parents or grandparents, I am sure you will notice that they have lived their life with one organization and in today’s scenario, the talents change jobs in pursuit of better challenges, growth, pride, money etc.

In a word of social media and information surfeit, today’s talents do not have time to wait for advancement and they look for quick success as aspirin curing their quench for triumph quickly. All the more reasons, today’s business need to recognize the importance of managing this high potential, highly volatile, highly restless and highly ambitious talents effectively, sensibly and above all mindfully.

If you keep counting your coins at the end of the day and keep feeling happy looking at the bottom lines going up while smacking your senior managers, your employees, it’s about time that such a business would be history.

Every employee today looks at what’s in it for him like how a business man looks at as what’s in it for him. In business, the focus tends to be more on reaping profits and filling one’s pockets. In the race of making more, some of these entrepreneurs who happen to occupy the chair of leaders by virtue of their money tend to disregard the value of human beings, the value of people relations, the value of educated talents.

“Talents are hungry for Value recognition”

Often we see businessmen, who grew from nothing finding difficult to get out of the greed of money and, however, they try to dream to be a corporate, unfortunately, what is in their DNA resist them from changing. They continue to hold on to the relentless passion for making more money, forgetting the fact that the means of earning more emanate from the best of talents that he has.

In an era of competition, survival is the challenge that any business face and the victory of any organization is on the adroitness in nurturing its talent.

Talents today need recognition, it needs loyalty from leaders, business owners and those days of being loyal to one company or devoting the entire life to one company is all gone.

It’s an exciting phenomenon to look at that if you need people to be loyal to you, extend loyalty to them as well.

“Loyalty breeds loyalty”. 

How would you be loyal to your people? How do you make your employees feel the loyalty you extent? Companies like 3M are known for sharing their profits with their employees and there, of course, there is no need to worry on the lack of sense of belonging. Making your talents feel owners is the only way to make your business grow. The art of sharing is something which today’s business owners need to learn and accept for a continuous success. It’s a pity sometimes CEOs and business owners keep harping about the sense of belonging and commitment and loyalty etc. without even having the willingness to think about what they have done to ask for the belongingness from the talents.

“You reward your talent timely, belongingness will arrive naturally”

Today’s businessmen/ CEOs need to devote time to creating ideas to manage talent, in the same way, they create ideas for making more money. The love that you feel towards the business growth has to have its share shown towards managing talents. How the world would be if business giants look at Talents as their money, if they take care of talents as they do for their money and wealth?

“Love your talents, the way you love your profits”

Keeping your talents focused at results is the prime KRA of a CEO. CEOs must be assessed on how they manage their talents to performance. CEOs should be accountable to keep their leadership team together, their employees’ motivated every second.

Business failures must be considered as a shared responsibility even though people accountable must feel the heat of it. Any business downfall could be a reflection of the leader’s performance, but a CEO must take the ownership and handhold the leader of the business, must work together as a team, must understand the realities of business situations, and must be able to encourage people at a time of downward trend in business. One important aspect of talent management is to own the failures of your team and recognize successes as your team’s own achievement.

Often some businessmen, CEOs and other leaders of business tend to be emotional and their quench for more money and the fact of losing money getting to their nerves numbs them of people relationship tactics, resulting in sabotaging high-value talents, ridiculing the talents, degenerating the energies in team to pick up the loose strings and trudge forward.

“You kill talent if you mistreat them”

Sometimes I keep thinking that why these CEOs do not have the same appetite and drive that they have towards their financial results when it comes to keeping their team together, in recognizing their team, in supporting their leadership team, in handholding their team, in reenergizing their team to success. All that a CEO or a managing director require at times of slow business and at times of tough challenges is composure, self-assurance, the confidence and courage that should get conducted to the team to get their shoes on running track.

“Talents need to be inspired”

Managing talents are no easy task and it require people skills. It needs a heart and not just head alone.

Talents are a fluid commodity nowadays and easily tradeable in the market and losing one is easy which today’s leaders of business must understand and accept their existence in this competitive market.

Sometimes you lose a talent even when the talent is with you and hardly any leaders realize that. The dreadful thing to happen in a business is a talent living on your books of account but mismanaged. Talents can occupy both sides of your balance sheet and it’s high time one realizes the same for mending one’s way of managing them. Tactfulness is the key in managing talents. Respecting the talents around you is a great value that one can add to keep their talents together in business.

“A talent mismanaged can be lost even if it exists in Organizations”

By Binu Prasad

Source of Image: Google

Winning over “Scarcity of Generosity”!!!

Last week I sprawled over this beautiful phrase- “scarcity of generosity”. I have been thinking of this for a while now and it does have a deep meaning entwined in it.

Is generosity a scarce gesture that we see around always?

We see there is a huge vacuum of this every day, in the people around us. At the workplace, at the personal front, at the social circle and what more to say, even on the street that you walk around or even in a supermarket, we see the scarcity of generosity.

You don’t need to be rich to be generous and generosity is not often to do with money.

When was the last time you have seen someone very generous in imparting his knowledge to you? Or have seen the spontaneous time and effort that one has laid on your feet to be of service to you? Or the patient listening ear that one extended to you when you really had to talk your heart out?

We can think of various examples of the generosity being seen as a scarce gesture. I am not penning the same in the context of various situations in life but of the leadership stuff that we see around every day in our work life. Have you ever seen a leader who is generous and what fun you would have had in working with a boss like him or her? I am sure all of us would have had someone whom we worked for who had shown us that generosity is not scarce if one needs to make use of it consciously and genuinely.

It’s not a rocket science to practice generosity. Well, it’s not something that one can tailor make or fabricate in self-structure easily. Having said that there, of course, are that self-image conscious leaders around us who project themselves as generous for their own selfish means. There are these award and fame hungry leaders, well, they are not leaders but happen to be there by sheer luck or by god’s grace on to their business domain who gets into heaving money around public and misuse the sanctity of true generosity for prestige and power. God bless those.

As a manager or leader, one has plenty of opportunities to be generous and hence exterminate the scarcity of generosity!!!

  • Smile generously  

Imagine you have to work for someone who just can’t smile genuinely or you have to work for someone who you know it for a fact wears a permanent artificial smile. There is nothing that is so simple and priceless than a genuine smile. It speaks loud when you smile at your colleagues and when you exchange that twinkle in your eyes. It would light up the days for your team down the line. Rarely one would think this is a gesture of generosity. One would understand the value of this when you have a boss who just can’t bother to smile.

  • Greet your team and people around

It actually takes no effort to wish your team daily. I had a chance to be associated with a student of mine in 1995, where she would take that extra mile to come and wish people. It used to wake me up from my flood of thoughts. It just breaks the pressure inside you on hearing the same. If you can add the name of the person to it, it’s a  cherry on that sweet cake. The more you do the same, the merrier it would be. Be generous in wishing people and let that ego burst. Your team would be rich with that serving of yours.

  • Take that extra time to speak to your team personally

Stop by your team and ask them how their health is if they were unwell a few days back. Or if they had told you about their ailing mother, take a moment to ask about that. A few such genuine feelings shared would certainly go a long way and would put you on that pedestal of the generosity of courtesy.

  • Share a coffee with your team once in a while

Get out of your cabin, take that coffee and sit next to your team and sip that over a chat even if it’s of work. Simply talk about that extra shot espresso that you had at Costa. Break the monotony and make your team feel that you are a no boundary man. Once in a while pick that piece of cookies from their table or just drop a nice almond cookie on their table for them. Get that best choco donuts your team member likes on his birthday and places it on his table even before he comes to work. Many more such simple acts of genuine mindful gestures are nothing but munificence in some way.

  • Spend time to teach your team

I don’t believe in having a daily meeting with my team. I have never practiced the same. I meet them often on something called Capsule Meeting. They are incident based meeting. That’s a quick 5-10 minutes meeting where it’s mostly a standup meeting that has a message to convey and a learning to absorb. Praise people at this time, support some, express your annoyance at some’s nonperformance. Make that meeting a high impact short capsule. Call that needy team member for a long meeting with you, sit beside them and work on their file and make them do the work in front of you and when needed take over and make them see how you do it and take the time to teach them the why and how of every step at work. Come to the level of your team member, speak slowly, look at their eyes and engage them at work. Carry their thought process along with yours while explaining and throw the balance work on them and leave them to do it by themselves saying you will check it once they are done. A true leader is a generous teacher. Never give them a fish but teach them how to fish is a great generosity that a leader can show to his team.

  • Turn mistakes into learning opportunity

Mistakes are natural. Criticizing mistakes and not doing anything about it nor providing a solution is the worst thing a manager or leader does. Focus of a leader must be to show the anger towards mistakes and not the person. The art is to make the team understand that the anger is not on him or her but on the mistake that had taken place. An anger is natural and at times in managing people or work. You would need to practice it and one who can practice that as an emotional tool for managing instead of an emotion by itself is a true leader.

One must accept mistakes and then see the what, why and how of that. Getting your team together to see the solution is the best thing to do and one’s mistake should be turned to a learning opportunity for all in the team. Like I said earlier, a capsule meeting on the error can be very positive if the leader presents it across as a learning opportunity. If one can pull the self out of the situation and see the issue from a distance and bring the team to participate in the solution building, the leader wins. There is nothing that is so generous that a leader can do in digging the mines of mistakes to discover golden opportunities for learning.

  • Ask questions to your team and awaken their brains.

Imagine a workplace, you are doing the routine mundane tasks every day and the manager who handles the department or function eats all the cake of your hard work. Even machines would wear off if it’s left to run on its own without any interventions periodically. If you are a true leader, you must understand that the brains should not be left to rust. Every job has a mundane part of it and is inexorable. It’s the leader who must keep asking questions to the team, just to ensure that the brain muscles are put to exercise. The neurons must shake and blood must flow rapidly to all sides of the brain. There is nothing more generous than awakening the minds of your team.

  • Care your team 

You overheard that one of your team couldn’t access her bank account due to some issue and she has been struggling to get that sorted out… Call her aside and ask her whether she is in need of any financial need immediately. Your team member wants to attend to that quick medical check up on Monday morning before coming to work, Don’t think twice before saying yes to her. One of your team members was shifting his flat, give him a day’s off if he needs to settle down recognizing the long hours that he had spent at work without being asked for. There is this driving license class that one needs to attend and, unfortunately, the time slot she got is in between the work hours, give it off to her and you surely know that she would be there when you have an extra load of work. Make that quick one minute call to your ailing team member in between your work hours. Surprise them on their birthday. Care is a form of generosity and is meaningful when it’s genuine.

  • Stand up for your team

Your team are in their learning path, they are there because of their limited knowledge, skill and looks up to you for that icing on their knowledge. They make mistakes. Cover them up and do not let anyone else holler on them, hold them under your wings and face the brunt of the situation and take it on you. And don’t forget to give them a piece of your mind in private as they need to learn out of the situation and they must also understand that no one else have the right to shake them except you. The best benevolence is when your team know that there is someone behind them as they face challenges at work.

  • Reward your team non-monetarily

Take the time to write them a personal note when they do an extraordinary work. Take that extra care and give your team few days off when they have done long hours of work during the crucial time at work. Have a capsule meeting to express your gratitude for that excellent performance by any of your team. Take pride in appreciating your team. Get the words of appreciation packaged in mindful emotions.

  • Love your team

Be genuinely interested in your team’s well-being and care. Be mindful of their upbringing, culture, capability and behavioral patterns. Make them comfortable with you where they can even show the courage to challenge you when you slip on any of the work commitments.

After a tough day at work where you have really made your team member feel devastated about his or her work or performance, make that last call before you sleep or a quick nice text so that they can sleep peacefully. Make sure you are a dinner table talk at their home and sparkle the eyes of their spouse and parents.

Generosity– it’s just there around you in abundance. It’s just that the leaders or those managers are blind to it.

It’s a scarce stuff for those who doesn’t wake up to its calling.

By Binu Prasad

Do you manage change or inspire people? 

Change Management is an interesting topic that runs around in a corporate circle.

Inspire ChangeMany portents it with managing change that happens at an organizational level. I have had the chance to know more of this phrase through a close friend of mine who was involved in change management project of a whole province in India where she had to implement a technological change in a government sector. Hence, my thoughts on change management have some link to the so-called principles of change management that organizations adopt to make things happen. There are plenty written on this topic and many models and theories are available on this subject, however, does change management really mean managing change?

In my regular interaction with this friend of mine, I realized that technology is less spoken about in our conversations, but the humans involved in the technological change is more a matter of concern. It’s always to do with people behavior towards change that the leader wants. It’s all about certain core competencies in people that leaders struggle with while leading people towards a perceived change. Hence why would it be managing change? Shouldn’t it be managing humans?

How can you manage change? Change is something that had been transformed into or that had been evolving into or what one wants it to be from what it is now and what it has been all these while. It has probably been moved from what it was in the midst of being managed. Hence, the act of management was and is there when change is happening or when the change happened. You don’t need to manage change, it happens and it becomes a new way of life.

To me, change management is an oxymoron. What need to be managed is the people who need to accept the change. Change is there already and is the “present” now or a foreseen state of “expected present”.

 Trying to manage change would be futile. It’s like when you relocate to a place, there is a big change that you would face in a new place in terms of place, lifestyles, culture, people, environment, rules, laws etc. It has happened or you knew it was happening. The change is the present situation of a future scenario. All that you would do is to manage yourself in the new place. So it’s managing self that is important and not managing change. Change is constant and what needs to be changed is one’s behavior and approaches to handling the unforeseen or anticipated situation or the desired result.

You cannot manage change. Foreseeing, identifying, accepting, planning and responding to/dealing with the consequences of change are the important issues. These are what I term as “change management”.

We can elicit and manage certain technical processes involved in achieving the change you want to. We cannot “manage” the human side of it.

We humans are unpredictable and in groups, the dynamic and chemistry of our interaction is even more so. It’s a fallacy to believe this can be “managed”.

The term Manage doesn’t suit here when we talk of change management. What matters is inspiring people to accept change.

Human beings need to feel invited, encouraged and inspired to actively play a role in driving the organization to achieve the new desired status.

They need a purpose, or at the very least, a good reason. What leaders need to practice is on how to inspire people and build a drive for action in them to make them embrace change that the organization is going through or the organization desires to achieve.

If human beings are not inspired, the change that you want is no way going to be a reality. It just becomes a destiny left to be formed by itself.

A true leader is one who dreams of the destiny and shapes it well through managing people rather inspiring people. Sometimes people don’t need to know the destiny of an organization. A good leader will occupy their minds with excitement, inspiration, the energy that translates into action and before people realizes, the change that the leader visualized would have become a way of life.

All that matters in so-called change management if it has to be termed so in today’s corporate world is to inspire people to be engaged with their heads, hearts, and hands in the organizations to bring that desired change.

 A leader has a great role to play, rather an only role to play in cultivating that need to make people feel part of something big, bringing a sense of belonging and driving them in that meaningful journey and making sure that their contributions are acknowledged mindfully. And then you will see change being embraced well or rather managed well to make meaning out of the oxymoron – “change management”.

I leave this note of mine here with thoughts in your mind on whether its managing change or inspiring people for desired change that matters?

Written by Binu Prasad. 

Note: The above blog article is my own interpretation of the subject.

Image: Courtesy Google. 

Do you embrace your work?

I love my job

DG is my man to go when it comes to cleaning my house. Though his name is not DG, I prefer calling him so in truncation. He has been a subject of learning for me and often I used to think that he should be a role model for most employees in organizations.

Great lessons sometimes are taught by modest people around us.

DG is one person who I can leave the housekeeping of whether it’s office or home. DG has been associated with me since 2008 and had ensured that he is in touch with me wherever I had gone from him since 2008.

Lesson 1: He simply taught me the importance of being in touch!!

I couldn’t get him a suitable job in a couple of places where I worked in the past, simply because he was not that fluent in the English language. However, I managed to get him an office assistant job recently and I was amazed at the fact that he struggled to learn the language and speak reasonably well on English.

Lesson 2: if there is a will, there is a way. You need to struggle consciously if you need to achieve something. 

DG comes home often if I need him to just tidy my home, rather a capsule spring cleaning. He is amazing at work. He seemed to have a clear thought process and I noticed that in the way he designs his workflow. He would start from the kitchen and move towards bathrooms at the end. No one taught him this, he seemed to have understood the workflow well. His movements are logical. His planning is superb.

Lesson 3: It’s important to have a smooth workflow design if you need to perfect the art of work. 

DG is meticulous in his work. I see him passing his hands through the corners and leaving no dust or grease on the surfaces go untouched. No one has taught him. He does it by himself. There is no need to instruct him. He involves himself well in what he does. It’s interesting to note that he arranges things in an order. He feels it important to keep things in place and he lifts hard stuff off the surface to clean the base. He notices the grease on the top of jars and washes it off. He is a man of attention to detail.

Lesson 4: attention to detail makes your job near to perfection. 

He sees me lying on the sofa watching TV and very mindfully avoids cleaning that room until he finishes the rest. He keeps it to the last. I guess he knows that not only his work is important, but he needs to be mindful. Unlike any other housekeeping boys, cleaners, he takes due care to not disturb and focuses on what he needs to do without bothering me much and allowing me to do what I have to do. It is quite inspiring to note that he is not only mindful about his work but the other beings near him as well.

Lesson 5: be mindful. 

I see him mopping the floor spotlessly and with passion for cleanliness. I guess he knows that he needs to leave an image of him on the floor. He is not a management graduate, not an MBA from those premier institutes. But he knows that he needs to have passion for what he does. He knows the importance of engagement. He understands the need of willfulness besides being skillful. How many of those employees who work in your organization embraces their work? How many of them feels an emotional connection to what they do at work? I have seen love for work in this boy and wished many had at least a 1/10th of what he had. We come across many talents across our organization and the one with that love for work, passion for perfection, the joy of doing something great, desire to do more, mindful delivery of actions are rare.

Lesson 6: be passionate and involved at what you are doing. 

Once I saw DG covering my trash bins with a plastic garbage bag where I normally use the ones which we are left after shopping in supermarkets. He seemed to have bought these on his own, feeling the need to keep it for those trash bins in living and bedroom. Perhaps he would have felt that those bags looked neat and aesthetically better. He used to keep dozens of them on the bin and then an open one wrapped around inside the bin, making sure the bin is a storage for the bags to be used later. He didn’t go to schools like some of us, no colleges, and no university doors that he stepped into. But he knows the importance of job enhancement, job improvement, job advancement, job enrichment. Perhaps he must have critically looked at what he does and felt the need to improve. He taught me the importance of not just doing your job, but to see what other opportunities are around in enhancing your job standard.

Lesson 7: look for opportunities within your work for improvement. Raise your work standards. 

DG at the office is a favorite of everyone in the team. He has great observation skills and he knows that if I have someone in my cabin, he doesn’t need to be called, he comes on his own asking the guest for coffee or tea while he is already serving water. He knows what each of my team likes to drink and he makes their coffees and teas with perfection. He knows the personalized cups of everyone and ensures they are served only in their cups. He knows the timing and serves people without being asked. He goes to the extent of making ginger tea if he notices anyone with a cough or cold. He is not from a hospitality school, but mindfully being of service to others seemed to be in his blood. Though my team and I invite him to be a part of our pizza or burger party in the office, often I see him being mindful of others by serving others, clearing plates etc. he is an inspiration for everyone who has to learn how to be engaged at work. He is an excellent example for those who dismay work. He teaches us how work can never be tiring by just embracing it all the time. It’s interesting to note that how men and women act when they are in deep love and the principles of engagement is the same when you love your job. To those who work in a Company that doesn’t motivate them, I say that loving your job not your company keep you at best always. It’s important to never let yourself swallowed by the negative vibrations that the companies inject in you but encourage yourself and find happiness in doing your best at the work that you have. Find the happiness that you derive from doing your job well and best as an invaluable reward.

Major part of your life is filled with work, so why hate work and ruin your life. Love it the most. The only way to do the best of your job is to just love doing it. If you haven’t found something that you love it. Keep looking, you will find it.

Lesson 8: love your job and not the company. 

A visit to DG’s pantry amazed me at the cleanliness that he maintains and how hygienic he is in handling food, beverages, his coffee machines etc. he says that everyone’s health is important to him. He seemed to be having a clear vision of being of service and mindful. You don’t need to attend strategy workshop to decide and script your vision statement. It is the inner desire that you have to bring it out, the very purpose of your being is your vision. Finding that very purpose is the missing element in many of today’s leaders. There is no need to break your head on designing that long vision statement. How tragic is that today’s CEOs and directors struggle to keep their focus in vision? I was blessed to have worked with a CEO back in India where I and he had spent weeks deliberating and digging into our inner desire and thoughts to come out with what we needed as a vision that drives us in the business of wellness which we were setting up. I was just an employee and we understood that it doesn’t matter what I desire but what the founder desires as his need. It was my CEO and founder who came out with this action provoking statement as his vision for the wellness hospitality venture that we were setting up in India. A beautiful vision statement came up as “our lives will be an expression of our core belief to be of service and enhance wellbeing”. This was entirely coined by the CEO who had to conceive and drive the work culture. I learned from him and my hero in this article DG that if you need your work culture to be driven by your vision, you yourself need to own the business, own your work and find the inner desire inside you.

Lesson 9: have a beautifully designed action driven vision brought up from your inner self for quality delivery of your work. 

DG is all set to wind up his work at my home and move on. He packs the garbage to throw on his way out and says goodbye to me. He often denies to take some token from me but on insistence he takes it. I buy him food and give him some from home as well. I just feel that anything that I give him is less for what he is. His humility impresses me. I missed mentioning something that touched me. He showed me a beautiful neck chain that he bought for his daughter who he is expected to visit during his forthcoming vacation. I was touched at his act of wanting to share his joy with me. It is so important to show that concern, care to participate in your employees joys and you will see them coming up to share their joy on their own, making yourself as someone whom they think is important in their life. Your employees will do their heart out if you genuinely show an interest in them and if you participate genuinely in their joy.

I guess I am deviating from what I want to say in this snippet. Apologies if I had deviated your mind from it. I was mentioning about humility at work. I saw no expectation in DG after having done a superb performance in housekeeping. He probably feels that a job that I fetched for him is more than what he has done for me. He has really made me small by denying my token. I insisted and he graciously accepted the same first time when he came to attend my home. Thereafter I reward him consistently and he takes it with a simple, humble smile. Amazing to see how humble he is in accepting a reward, no matter how much and what it is. He taught me that being humble and having no expectation drives quality of your performance. Expecting reward sometimes could kill the quality of work consistently as absence of reward can kill the performance. This is a state of mind that many won’t have in today’s competitive world. Everyone expects to be rewarded. Be humble and do your best at work, rewards will follow if not now, in future.

Work hard, stay humble.

Lesson 10: be humble and do your best at work. 

Thank you all for reading and I am sure we all have someone who teaches us daily by just being themselves. Perhaps we are blind to these learnings most often and speed us to universities and colleges to learn these simple principles of management and performance.

Written by Binu Prasad. 

Note: I have taken the vision statement of vanaretreats from their website for the purpose of mentioning it in one of my snippets above and is not my own words. 

Image: courtesy google.

Importance of the word “Thank You”

Ever wondered why this phrase “Thank You was coined”?

Thank You

Coming to think about it, it’s an amazing invention in the language of English. It has crossed geographical boundaries and captured the tongues of the world.

I was on my way to Dubai from Abu Dhabi and I just cannot sit idling by nature. As usual I plunged my eyes on to the emails on my phone (Please do not try this as it can cause accidents). I realized that my team keep sending me updates and information where I have an option to simply say OK or Noted.

For a moment, I started thinking that a word of thanks instead of an ok or noted would put a smile on my team’s face.

It’s a very simple mindful gesture that a leader has to inculcate in his daily transactions. The word ok sometimes on some email communications sound very formulaic and authoritative. It doesn’t carry any emotional element in it.

Very little the leaders are aware that there are a lot of people out there expecting to hear a word of “Thank You”. How many leaders today are mindful of this gesture? Some take it for granted that the employees beneath them are expected to do their job and the very fact that they are getting paid is equivalent to the gesture of saying “thank you”. Imagine an office environment where people are mindful in using the phrase “thank you” in their daily conversations and see how positive the work culture would turn out to.

I am also quite titillated on the way some people say it. The irony is that you can even say this word in an angst or in sarcasm and it totally turns down the very purpose of this phrase. An expression of thank you with genuineness is what matters in work-relationship.

Next time when you interact with your team members, colleagues or leaders, just remember to do the following:

  1. Make it a point to genuinely say thank you with a smile
  2. Write “thank you” instead of “noted” or “ok”.
  3. Start an email sentence thanking wherever applicable in responding to emails.
  4. Take efforts to say “thank you” even to a cashier at the supermarket, a cobbler on the road who mended your shoes, a taxi driver, to that one young lad who offered a seat to you on the train, to your mates in elevator who waited for you to alight first and many more….
  5. Even if your subordinates have done some job as you have asked them to do, make an effort to say “thank you” for doing that.

Most leaders hold on to these minor but important gestures as the position, title etc. gets on to their heads and it then become a concern of ego. A leader expressing these gestures genuinely will inspire people and would find himself being respected for being humble and down to earth.

It’s a pity that many managers out there in the world of management & leadership ignore such simple but powerful acts of managing and leading people.

So, friends, wait not to start using this magic word of “Thank You” in your daily life.

While I end my quick blog on this thought of mine, allow me to thank you for showing the patience to read this.

Source: personal notes of Binu Prasad.

Note: Usage of words indicating one gender in this article is to be considered for both the genders.

People NOT just leave Managers

The Authors Curt Coffman and Marcus Buckingham would have said “people leave managers not companies”. Well, this would have perhaps been spoken many a times by many and still many out there may be echoing this axiom. I have been blessed to critically think of this from my wonderful learning experience at some of the organizations that I worked with.

“People leave managers not companies”. I feel it’s an over abused phrase and the immediate innocent manager gets the brunt of it even if he is not the reason for people leaving. Senior managers, CEOs, Managing Directors and Business owners find it easy to palm it on to the manager as the above saying has been rumbling the air more loudly covering other reasons for people leaving.

Thinking of the same, I do not agree to this affirmative phrase and there is a need to pull those innocent, brilliant managers from the death knell of this adage.

Good people leave organizations NOT just because of their immediate managers. Yes, immediate managers could be one of the reasons not the main one nor the only one, nor the single most one.

There of course are bosses who become reasons for their people leaving a job. But the fact is that, if the boss has to be the reason for people leaving, the tenure of employee with that boss should be a factor to be considered for closing that judgement. It is indeed the immediate manager that one should look at when new employees are short-lived in an organization.

A few paradigm shift to this maxim are:

  • Good People leave Organizations and not Managers

It’s imperative that CEOs and business owners look deep into their organizational culture for reasons for attrition of good people. If your organization is full of negativity created and nurtured by those decision makers, God bless your organization. I have seen organizations who recruit best talent by giving all those “best employer” talks and as soon as the person joins, there will be many at the senior levels resorting to echoing prejudiced comments and those critics about the new person.. There goes the motivation of your new recruit off the window.

If your organization has a culture powered by blame game starting from the top, then it’s just a matter of time when good people leave you. Spare the poor manager if they leave in such atmosphere that you have built in your place of work.

If your organization has people who misguides and misinforms the CEOs about good employees and if you have a CEO who listens to his ears of what it receives, God bless you again. No one will ever be comfortable working in your organization.

If employee is blessed with a good manager in an environment where there are other senior managers who keeps injecting negativity, he/she may be protected and counseled and guided to be strong in such work environment and his/her own boss will advise them to leave for a better opportunity, what more, boss may even help them find an opportunity for their good. And in such cases, you will see these good employees working with 100 % dedication to their boss till the last date of their work and perhaps even after last date of work. No matter how the organization is, they will work their heart out for that manager and they will leave the organization but will never leave the manager from their heart and life.

If an employee looks up to the leader and even works for him till the last second in the company before he or she moves on just goes to tell that good people don’t just leave because of their bosses..

A leader who love his job but not the Company and who believe in developing his subordinates might even tell them to move on after a certain time knowing that they need to move on for their own career which unfortunately the company that they work in don’t provide or the company don’t care.

An interesting thing that I noticed in my life as HR leader is that people stay on with the leader even if the work culture is in pits, because of the learning and development that they absorb from the leader. And the trust level between them would be so much so that, the leader delights when his people move away as the Organization has no care and the culture has no more opportunity for them to grow.

I have come across team members who look forward to coming to work because of their immediate manager but still live with an agony that they are in an organization where the work culture sucks.

If your organization does not foster encouragement, excitement, and fun in general across the hierarchy and throughout the organization, no matter how good the immediate leader or manager is, people will look around and leave

  • People leave because of co-managers and not immediate managers

It is another interesting fact that some good people leave not because of their immediate manager but because of the work place harassment that happens at work from a co department or division’s manager because of which performance gets affected. If an employee has to deal with a co department constantly at work and if the manager of that division causes incessant pain for him to work peacefully or if he snubs them with sarcastic statements, even if they have a good boss to save and protect them, after learning from their immediate manager, they would move away.

  • People leave because of Lack of recognition

I have come across a business owner who believes that paying salary and annual increment in salary is all what it takes to recognize employees. God bless this owner living in a dream world. Some of these self-made owners think that the employees work with them as they don’t have any other option. They feel that they are superior than the employees as they pay them, not knowing that all what employee need is a good word spoken , a pat on his back, a word of appreciation, a smile, perhaps a pleasant handshake … to keep him work for them.

  • People leave because of insensitive organization

An organization’s culture is not in the hands of its HR head but in the heart, mind and soul of the business owner or board of directors or CEO. People will never leave your organization if you are sensitive to them. How often you as a CEO bother to wish your employee on his birthday, have you as a CEO ever asked the employee to go on leave on his birthday, when someone is unwell, have you ever bothered to at least text him to enquire how he is. These are all inexpensive ways of making people stay with you. Good people will leave you if you don’t take care of these minor aspects of relationship.

Lastly, it is indeed a misnomer to think that people leave managers and not organizations. It’s high time to rephrase it as: people leave organizations not just managers.

If an employee is short-lived, it could be because of his immediate manager, but if one leaves after learning from his immediate manager or leave in good note with his immediate manager, then its high time the CEOs and Business Owners start looking at themselves in the mirror.

Note: Usage of words indicating one gender in this article is to be considered for both the genders. Source: personal notes of Binu Prasad.