Volume 5 - Issue 08
WATCHING THE CORPORATE WORLD - THE SAI WAY
By Mr N Dayasindhu
A year back, I had the opportunity to present a paper at a premier international conference. This opportunity had been given after a team of leading academicians in the field had selected my paper after a rigorous blind review process. I was overjoyed and also proud of my achievement. And with this mind-set I reached the conference.
Needless to add, the paper was well received by all the others and by His Grace is now being used as teaching material in some of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Watch Your Actions
In a figurative sense it was true that our beloved Swami was the one who could have orchestrated this. We later realized that he was frustrated with us since our project meant additional work for him that translated to spending less time with his young son. Since we were now sensitive to his personal time, he started treating us like trusted colleagues.
Watch Your Thoughts
In most of our careers, we must have come across instances when we often question the rationale of the decisions of our managers. Quite a few times we would have heard our colleagues mention that the eighth wonder in the world is someone being a manager! Many a times there is a tendency among MBAs, especially early on in their careers, to dismiss non MBA managers as aberrations. I used to have a manager who was a graduate but very well experienced in the industry. Sometimes I used to wonder why he had been given the responsibility of heading our division. Though I was very polite and respectful to him, I always had this lingering thought that he was probably not as good as me in analytical ability. I guess he probably read my mind since in one management meet he announced that I would develop a business case for a new service that the company was contemplating. I was thrilled at the opportunity and thought that it was an acknowledgement of my analytical skills.
In quick time I had collected data and had a business case ready. I was happy with the outcome and was ready to present it to the manager, more as a formality rather than getting his advice, since I was not sure if he could add any more value to my analysis. The manager was genuinely happy with the rigor of analysis that I had done and appreciated my efforts. I was basking in the acknowledgement of the praise when he added that I may want to rethink on presenting this, since in reality the illustration for the business case was at best a theoretical extrapolation. It then dawned on me that I had assumed that application of the technology would be applicable to the largest market segment without checking if they had a compatible technology infrastructure in place. I would have made a fool of myself, if it had gone along and presented this business case to senior management.
When I did present the business case, the manager ensured that everyone got to know that it was entirely my effort. I was overwhelmed and was chiding myself for not obeying His command to watch my thoughts earlier when I felt I was superior to my manager. Even though I have changed organizations, this manager is still one of my well wishers. And I still respect his judgment and advice.
Watch Your Character
There are instances in our corporate careers when we are privy to confidential information pertaining to our employers. Often such information is useful to other competing organizations. I was once invited to a dinner at a relative's residence. He mentioned that this was a dinner for relatives and friends and not his work group. I wanted to be sure since this relative was working for a competitor company and it always made me uncomfortable when he got inquisitive about my work.
While leaving the manager commended me on my integrity and mentioned that he would always prefer someone with integrity in his team since information will not leak from his company. It was entirely His Grace that I was able to get away from a very tricky situation not only unscathed but also with a compliment.
Watch Your Heart
The trials and tribulations in the corporate world today are extremely stressful. It is easy to just go with the wave and not stop to think about what one is doing as long as the going is good. We find it difficult to stop and take stock of what we really are pursuing in a career. I have had the good fortune of interacting with a few who have a very clear idea of their ultimate goal. For instance, I know a professor with impeccable qualifications from the best universities that would have got him the pick of careers in both academic and corporate positions in any part of the world. Inspired by our beloved Swami he has chosen an academic career in India. He is among the few who have the will to follow their true heart instead of getting swayed by the pulls of mammon and power. Similarly, there were busy executives who diligently visited the Tsunami affected areas every weekend for a few months to help in relief operations. It was what their hearts wanted to do but they were also aware of their responsibilities to their employers. These friends were typically the most energetic on a Monday morning when one assumed that they would be the most tired. How often do we have the courage truly to follow our heart and balance those pursuits with a career?
To conclude, I offer my humble prayers at the Lotus Feet of our beloved Swami to grace us all with the strength to continue to WATCH ourselves so that we remain worthy instruments of His mission.
This article expresses the personal opinion of the author and not necessarily those of the organization to which he is affiliated.
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Vol 5 Issue 08 - AUGUST 2007
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