Commensurate with the length of my professional journey, there’s a long story to be told that probably merits a complete book, which is also suggested by many of my friends and colleagues. However, for the benefits of millennials and youngsters who have just started their careers or have a long way to the finish line, I share some of my first hand experiences.
(1) I took my job very seriously. Important event dates such as monthly, quarterly or annual closings, commencement of any audit or RBI inspection or any other such occurrence were given the attention these deserved. I don’t remember having missed any of these important dates during my career of 4 decades by taking leaves in that period! Modern day management terms such as work life balance, family time, pursuance of other interests et al were imbibed at a much later stage of my career.
(2) Old world values such as giving respect to seniors, remaining attentive in a meeting and always adhering to punctuality were thoroughly ingrained in me since my childhood and I faithfully observed them till the last day in the office.
(3) I was always uncomfortable in executing a transaction or approving an office note without understanding the underlying logic and objective. In other words, understanding the rationale behind and the ultimate impact of any action were always bestowed lots of importance by me.
(4) I loved interactions and would send frequent mails and messages to my team members to keep their morale high. Our festivals such as Diwali, Eid or Christmas were the occasions for me to share happiness with the team. All the management expectations were shared with the team members for complete alignment.
(5) I always portrayed a human face to my team mates – I was with them in their moments of happiness and grief. I’d frequently exchange notes with them on their progress and family issues. As I always used to maintain and tell my team, “ All of you must look forward to coming to office the next day happily and not as a burden or an avoidable routine. This was possible only if we made our department a happy department.” In fact, later on my department adopted the motto , “ Happiest team” as it’s tagline.
(6) While higher productivity, better outcomes, zero error etc were the prerequisites for a better performance, I was generous in complimenting achievements but frugal in reprimanding the errants, especially those who made errors unintentionally. Reprimand, whenever, was doled out privately and with minimalistic use of adjectives.
(7) I never kept a rigid mindset and was adaptive to anything that didn’t require compromise on my basis tenets. Whether it was automation, robotics, marketing tools, team building, up skilling – I demonstrated agility that helped me adapt to the changed circumstances. This probably was responsible for my longevity.
(8) I believed in perseverance. There were as many low moments as high in my long journey. On a few occasions, I felt like a complete wreck, wanting to giving it all up for peace, but I persisted and this helped me overcome such angst filled moments. Success and failure are two sides of the same coin and law of probability tells us that coin, when tossed would inevitably fall on either of the sides and therefore, success and failure walk hand in hand.
(9) A sense of belongingness helped me in staying on in an organisation for long tenures. I hardly changed organisations, though whether sticking on to a work place or continuously evolving by working in different places can be vigorously discussed and ultimately merits and demerits be found in both the strategies.
To conclude, my journey was all about old world values bereft of modern day jargons, though to succeed in today’s times, I will strongly advise the youngsters not to overlook either of these. My best wishes for a bright career to each one of you!