Article (October-2017)


Learn to be inclusive and take people along

Sanjeev Sharan

Designation : -   Director HR & Globalization

Organization : -  ZTE Telecom Ltd., Gurgaon


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Ups and downs are part and parcel of professional life spanning over decades and one should not be surprised too. Though one tends to look at ups and downs separately, I would prefer to look at it as a one set which at times are after effect of the other. They can be categorized into internal and external factors.

Personally managing ups is more critical than managing downs. At times our inability to manage ups (good times) paves path for downs. Interestingly, those who fail to manage highs effectively generally fail to manage lows also.

Though, there are many such examples one would have come across, but one interesting example of an MNC where a senior person got upgraded as BU head while his boss got promoted as CEO of the organization. He was close to his boss who was a nice gentle man. The case of inability to manage up can be seen here with the said employee with major behaviour change was observed in his day to day activity. The "I" factor got over him and would emphasise on I instead of WE, even in external meetings. He had started acting as "self appointed spokes person of CEO" due to proximity. The arrogance was further felt when he began pretending himself as "opinion influencer to CEO". This arrogance made people distanced from him as he rubbed other senior competent people at wrong side. It was sad to see this decay. Tragedy stuck sooner as organization got restructured within 14 months and his boss moved to another role at senior position in some other assignment. And the new management changed the top line structure which affected him also along with few others. People now started avoiding him and treating him as an outcaste. While other effected ones could adjust sooner with the change, but it became very difficult for him to accept it and soon chose to move out of the organization. The highlight of the whole incident was his inability to handle "success and Ups". He failed to make a place for himself through knowledge and rather chose to outwit people through arrogance.

Few of the critical factors which play an important role in Ups are as follows:

Being humble : It is not merely two words, rather are highly impacting words. Sometimes one gets hit by arrogance during Ups. They are driven by arrogance. But it is killing for the person. With things going good around us it is essential to learn to be inclusive and take people along. Let us not forget that people play an important role in an organization. It is always sensible to be grounded and behave normal!!

Secondly, I would emphasize on extending due respect to competent people, especially those who are highly competent and experienced. It will make life easier and eventful.

I would not like to miss out a very important aspect; worth focusing on is "continuous UPGRADATION of oneself". Knowledge up-gradation becomes important when the expectations also raise higher level of knowledge and competency. One should not forget that continuity of ups depends upon the capability and ability of the individual to perform. Nothing can beat knowledge! Self upgrading has long term impact and helps building credibility and respect to the individual.

Surprisingly most of the above competencies go well with downs also, though in little modified form. Mindset is different as challenges differ. I would recommend simple steps to focus more on during this phase of life.

Accept the truth : I strongly feel "Accepting" the present situation as truth is best decision. One needs to accept and believe the current situation. It is a normal human behavior to negate the hard facts and then react to it. Should have the ability to take things in its stride and maintain cool. It is recommended not to get into blaming mode as it defocuses the person from recouping and leads to energy wastage on non value adding things.

Introspect : Downs are part of system and it's always good to introspect the cause behind it. It will help finding "light at the end of tunnel" to bounce back.

Self upgrading : Secondly it is also important to continue upgrading self knowledge and skill during the lows. When chips are down, it is more sensible to depend more on knowledge and skill than on anything else. Knowledge has no substitute. Organizations can ignore other things but will always be in need of skill to compete in market.

Continuous value adding is another non ignorable feature to sail out from lows.

To sum up, I would like to comfort those who get jittery in downs to have faith in the philosophy of "knowledge and skill can be seen as biggest value contributors. Even in the most averse time, system can park you for the time being, but cannot afford to ignore you for long". So have trust on your knowledge. Keep yourself hooked to it.!!