Monday, 18 April 2011


Once we are out of the somewhat carefree college and university days we end up spending a major chunk of our lives in professional organizations, quite until it is time to hang up our boots and retire to a slow-paced, less hectic twilight years.

Hence it is essential to understand what are these buildings all about where we spend anywhere between 10-12 hours of our waking up time and 5-6 days of our week. As we all know, the building are much more than edifices of mortar, glass and steel often designed by award-winning companies. They are actually living things that breathe, inhale and exhale energy and embody characteristics and emotions mirroring all of us who go in and work there. What essentially forms the baseline of these buildings is three important constituent elements – the livewire organizations, the complex set of colleagues we work with and ‘WE’ ourselves who bring in our unique disposition to the matrix, sometimes maddening but always mindful of all these elements.

Therefore, it becomes imperative to understand what kind of organizations would we like to work in - a progressive organization where we can achieve more or would we rather stay put in a mediocre one striving to improve it?

We all have worked in both kinds of organisations. There, really, is no ideal organisation and every place has its mixed dynamics as much as there are a matrix of people who work there and bring in their set of values, drives and energies adding to or depleting the corporate culture.
I used to lament about the deep-rooted politics, credit-stealing, clique driven and yes-man culture in my last organisation. And now when my niece talks of her experience with a Swiss MNC or a progressively Indian Legal Services / Development sector and my husband brings his woes from the Consumer Durables line of business, I notice that things are not very different. And that the more the companies may be different in their areas and appeal, the more they are the same in their cultural dynamics.

I am sure, most of us want to work with wonderfully progressive organisations with utopian work environments without realising that each of us are essential cogs in the corporate wheel.

My experience says that we need to do a lot of internalization and introspection in order to make our organisations optimum places to be in.

This brings us to the second component – our colleagues. How do we feel about the effect of our Co-Workers? It is, indeed, a mixed bag of thoughts and feelings depending on the personal and professional characteristics of the person in question.
There are great and efficient workers with questionable personal attributes.
There are excellent people with poor set of work related skills.
There are pathetic workers with deplorable personas, AND
There are wonderful, top notch colleagues with exemplary attitudes.

No organisation is immune to this awesome foursome of categories.

Our response to them, our kinetics of equations at work and the interconnected web of relationships therein is a result of the chain of reactions set off by each of these conductors. Isn't it???

This finally brings us to the most important component. We, ourselves.
What single-most important quality should underline the personality that defines our professional identity and that would help us row our career boat in smooth waters avoiding choppy waves?

Here's my pick - It is definitely, Passion, Zeal, Enthusiasm, fire in the belly........and any other name that you may call it by.

Passion for one’s work ensures that the tiller paves smoothly all the paths that lead to his work or Goal. Be it, then, the path of wisdom or desire or honesty or punctuality or efficiency or being not just able to lead but always blend well with the team.

And because one has the passion, it certainly means that one has made sure that the essential requisites that arm him well for the road ahead - such as education or experience - are well honed.

Likewise, while passion can make people feel flighty, it still is going to ensure that for the success to be achieved again and again, shades of wisdom are roundly and squarely employed.

Finally, if it weren't for passion, then serendipity, creative genius, excellence, going beyond the brief and the marvel in the mundane would well be lost.
And keeping all the three cogs of the big wheel well oiled and continuously serviced will ensure a smooth and long professional ride.

Yet, having said all this, when the going gets really tough (and absolutely against your grain) then the tough get going (to find another place under the sun).


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