To Delegate means to entrust (a task or responsibility) to another person. We often understand the importance of a thing when we don’t have it anymore. For example, the air everywhere but how often we express gratitude towards the most important thing in our life, we barely notice ourselves breathing, yet it’s the most important phenomenon in planet earth.
Likewise, I have always been in an environment where the delegation was done with perfection. We never realized it at that moment and things never went wrong the way they would have been if delegation weren’t done properly. But we never got the opportunity to see those terrible consequences.
Lately, I have observed how much of havoc is created just because the work was not delegated the way it should have been. We are not superhuman, and when we try to be one and we injure people. The art of delegation must be the first thing a project manager should learn.
People and organizations don’t grow much without delegation.
Planning, especially for a vacation, is very difficult for me, I find it hard to understand how people plan for vacations long before the scheduled date. Coming from Bihar especially from Gopalganj and living in New Delhi, even the thought of traveling to my hometown make me worried because of the reservation crisis. We have to plan our travel 3 months before the scheduled date and if we are really lucky we get a confirmed ticket on our desired date.
Today was a difficult day for me, not only I was not able to board the train to New Delhi because of the waiting status of the ticket but on top of that I was also not able to cancel that ticket because of connectivity issues in my area(more on that later).
Government officials lack the people skills big time and do not care about anyone at all. We blame the government for everything not happening the way it should have happened but the government also is actually a system comprising of people like us and in this case people who do not care just because of “it’s not my job” mentality.
Problems compound over time if left unacknowledged.
When we are working on a project we face problems and it’s inevitable to have problems. Not acknowledging the problem leads to the far bigger problem which is the direct result of ignorance. However, we can avoid problems by simply planning well.
Planning can do wonders of done properly.
Here’s a funny story about Problems.
In my TCS days, I had a conversation with a friend of mine who was a project manager at that time. He said that it’s very important to leave some problems unchecked because solving them in the first place will only diminish his role as an efficient manager because if the problem does not arise everyone thinks there was no problem(A tricky situation, if you think about it).
Over time in MNCs like TCS and Infosys, the projects become stable and seldom have any serious problem which led the senior management into thinking that the project doesn’t need as many people as it currently has. The first person to lay off easily is the manager and that’s why in order to maintain the foothold on the project some managers just ignore the problems and wait for the right moment in order to come in the limelight.
This is a pretty clever strategy but not a productive one, it’s actually a cover that some people use in order to keep doing nothing and reap benefits.
The world of a startup is indeed far different from an MNC.
Long term planning with the proper analysis is critical for any project. In my recent interactions with various groups, I understood the importance of planning very well, not because it was done properly but rather because of its absence.
An absence of proper planning leads to havoc every time. The people involved have to work extra hours, the deadline is missed several times and nobody is appreciated for putting the extra work since they already missed the deadline in the first place. All of this happen because the upper management couldn’t plan it well.
In my early corporate days at TCS, we were obsessed with planning and since TCS was the first company it also got me into thinking that TCS guys plan for too long (which is partially true also). The upside of that strategy, however, is that we seldom had panic moments in the project life cycle in those days. Everything was so well planned that it led everyone to believe that its the natural state in IT.
Since the very beginning, we have been taught how to speak, how to write, how to remember things, how to apply knowledge, so on and so forth. But never in those days, we have been taught how to listen properly. We are groomed only to talk and brag about the things we have learned and we do that very efficiently.
I have read many books and they always remind me to develop my listening skills yet often I found myself talking and explaining too much to the other person. Today, I went on and on to explain a colleague my situation and point of view, as I thought I had given him a fair amount of my ears but boy I was so wrong.
Suddenly my mind reminded me to, “Calm down and just listen..!“, and I did exactly that. After 2 minutes of explaining the guy left with no regrets and I only nodded the whole time with complete silence from my part. He didn’t even wait for my response, he just wanted to be listened.
I took a deep breath and was thinking that I have a lot to learn.
Etiquettes are the customary code of polite behavior in society, working people know what it is because they are taught and trained in order to practice it. What’s strange and worth noticing is that they are now so popular in the corporate culture that we no longer practice it the way it was meant to be.
We have become mechanical and robotic in our interactions and we often don’t mean what we say, that’s just sad.
If you are saying “Nice to meet you“, you should try to put some expressions and emotions into it too. Say it from the heart and do it emphatically. We are not logical but rather emotional beings and it’s apparent for the other person to identify your sentiment.
Think about it, how easy it was for you to notice when someone said, “Nice to meet you too”, with a grumpy look on his face, you immediately recognized his intentions that he said just for the sake of saying it.
To sum up,
Don’t just say things for the sake of saying it but say it because you really mean it. Or else, don’t even bother to say a word.
We all have heard of “The goose that laid the golden egg” story, where the man gets a golden egg every day from the goose. In this story the egg is Production and the goose is Production Capability. Well, we know what happened in the end of the story and that is exactly what happens in the real life scenarios too. It’s funny how we have forgotten the lesson we have learned from the story and seldom implement it in the real life.
The author talks about taking care of “Production Capability” and shares by various examples on how often we neglect the goose in real life. Taking time out to nurture the relationship is an activity that enhances “Production Capability” whether it is business or personal life it always does.
In any organization, we all know what Production is and all of our focus and energy is in Production but the organizations really thrive only after taking care of its “Production Capability” which is the people who are working there and that is achieved only by building a great relationship with the people who are working together.
In the book the author explains that often people misunderstand that synergy is something that is mystical and it’s not up to us to achieve it.
ILP(initial learning program) is a training program offered by TCS(Tata Consultancy Services) for all the freshers in the IT Industry who joined TCS as their first company. I had many wonderful experiences in ILP and it was one the best time of my life.
As the author explained about synergy I got to know that I also once have experienced synergy at the workplace and that too in my ILP. Though we were very new to software making processes at that time but the way we did all the work was really awesome and it was truly a synergistic experience. Too bad that I have never experienced it again in my corporate life after ILP, I believe too much professionalism of the colleagues got in a way since we started thinking too much about ourselves than the project.
The author shares that to create anything big we have to have synergy and also reveals how to achieve it systematically in any environment.
There are many reasons why I left TCS and one of them is because it was my first company and I wanted to know how it is to work in a completely different environment. It was a very scary decision at that time but looking at the possibilities and opportunities of today I believe it was worth it.
While working in one environment for a long time we tend to feel that the world around us is the actual world. However the world that we see is very different from the world other people see and there are a lot of things that we don’t know. There are innumerable possibilities and opportunities everywhere and unless we get out of our comfort zone we wouldn’t know anything about it.
The biggest drawback of a desk job specifically in IT industry is that we tend to interact with a very small number of people, I mean really small and they are very nice people but the idea of interacting only with a fraction of people is not exciting to me.
I believe life can be more fulfilling if we interact with more people and add value to their lives in some ways, it’s difficult but possible.
There is a new kind of bullying that is going on in the corporate culture.
Saying no is frowned upon and it takes a lot of courage and guts to say no to things we don’t like in office. The higher management uses this fact and exploits the underlings big time.
It’s only up to the underling to step up and say no. It is a really hard thing to do because it requires maturity and awareness.
We can’t teach people how to say no to the things they don’t like to do it’s something that can only be developed from the inside. It’s something that they would learn only after spending a significant amount of time at work.
If you are stuck and you have nowhere to go, saying no would be a hard thing to do irrespective of the challenge it could pose and you would probably say yes to anything and everything.
That is why it is important to grow in life, to say no to things we don’t like.