May 26, 2012

Professional Success May Not Always Mean Professional Happiness

"Nothing succeeds like success" this famous saying discreetly implies towards the fact that only the end matters, and the means to get to that end is not really too relevant. In the corporate context only those succeed who "can deliver" or who are the "high performers". In such a biased context "getting to the end, somehow" becomes a passion that consumes one and all. The alpha types roaming the corporate jungle is a reality that no one would probably disagree with.

The emphasis on professional success then is the behavior that is inculcated and encouraged when someone joins as a fresher (and maybe even before that as a student at a reputed institute). Achieving the topmost performance rating is considered as a direct measure of professional success and hence all those who join the corporate rat race become rating-fixated. This easily leads to a situation where the topmost performance rating may result from means which may not be truly fair. This in turn leads to professional happiness getting subsumed by professional success. There is another side to the story that those who achieve professional success are not necessarily the ones who constantly receive the topmost performance rating owing to Limitations of Performance Appraisal.

Professional success may come in various forms some of which are listed below:
  • Getting admission into a reputed institute that is visited by top notch companies for placement
  • Getting the best job offer
  • Getting promoted
  • Getting the highest raise or bonus
  • Getting inducted into a high visibility assignment

In the quest toward professional success there may be situations and occasions when the path oft chosen may actually decrease professional happiness.

Professional happiness may come in various forms some of which are listed below:
  • Feeling of personal fulfillment upon solving a complex business problem
  • Genuine appreciation from supervisor, peers and subordinates (if any)
  • Attainment of high degree of competence in specific activities or areas and being seen as the "go to guy or gal"
  • Ability to sleep well in the night knowing fully that the job was indeed done in the best possible manner and not just to create such an impression on those who matter in the corporate hierarchy.

Professional happiness is inwardly focused whereas professional success is outwardly focused. Maintaining a fine balancing act is the key to ensure professional success can lead to professional happiness since professional success may not always mean professional happiness.

May 21, 2012

Importance of Appropriate Reporting Structure

Many organizations fail to understand (or feign ignorance to) the harm caused by faulty reporting structure. The emphasis in such organizations is on who has got the fanciest title of all (EVP, SVP, VP, AVP and "XVP") which unfortunately depends to a little part on competencies and job performance and to the most part on factors like years with the company, years in the current role, loyalty factor, years of experience.

What one gets in such organizations is a poorly contrived and artificially enforced reporting structure that gives a feeling of control to the owners and top executives but leads to a lot of resentment from the good performers who eventually quit resulting in loss to the organization. The owners and top executives in such cases prefer to remain in control rather than see the organization grow.

This in a few years may result in a top-heavy organization (the number of people managing per person doing the ground-level work shoots to an unhealthy ratio) and a VP doing manager-level work (due to successive promotions where the title becomes fancier at each promotion but the increase in the accountability and complexity of work is none or negligible). Because of less formal structures, more emphasis on loyalty factor and limited scope and scale of work this situation is much more prevalent in small-sized organizations as explained in Old Boys Club in Small Companies.

Some examples of faulty and inappropriate reporting structures are given below:
  • An executive role has a cocktail of reporting from individuals at various levels lower down in the organizational hierarchy (such as team leads, managers, senior managers and AVPs)
  • Only trusted lieutenants are allowed to become part of the leadership team and the real lieutenants report into the top executives through the trusted lieutenants
  • Top-level inter-group meetings are attended only by the trusted lieutenants (loyalty triumphs over effective decision making)
  • The real lieutenants have accountability sans adequate authority leading to delays in decision making and sub-optimal decisions (since the final call is always by the trusted lieutenant)
  • The real lieutenants are stuck below the glass ceiling. And this makes many of them to quit as explained in Why New Hires May Quit Early On!
So what is an appropriate reporting structure then? It depends on the business context in which an organizations operates. It also depends on the degree of control the owners and top executives choose to exercise. However, it can be said that in the long term interest of the organization any reporting structure that plugs the holes in faulty and inappropriate reporting structure as described above is an appropriate reporting structure.

May 12, 2012

Palam Vihar Gurgaon

Palam Vihar is a residential colony in Gurgaon which shares one of its sides with the Delhi and Haryana border.

This colony came up in the 1980s on the outskirts of Delhi. One of the reason for this locality to come up was probably its proximity to Delhi on one side and the Maruti factory on the other side.

In fact, Gurgaon itself started taking its form around the time Maruti and its ancillaries starting coming up in Gurgaon. 

Excellent Location

The location of Palam Vihar is very convenient.

It is close to many important spots in the city of Gurgaon.

Also, there are many other advantages for those who stay in Palam Vihar because of the availability of the various facilities like hospitals, banks, schools etc. in Palam Vihar. 

Palam Vihar's USP - Proximity to Most of the Important Spots in Gurgaon and Delhi
  • Old Gurgaon area that has the Sadar Bazar (wholesale market)
  • Gurgaon Railway Station
  • Gurgaon City and Inter-state Bus Stand
  • Sheetala Mata Mandir
  • National Highway 8 (which provides connectivity between Delhi - Gurgaon - Jaipur)
  • Kapas Hera Bus Stand (major hub for buses coming from Delhi)
  • Tau Devi Lal Park
  • Maa Nanda Devi Mandir
  • Delhi Airport - both Domestic and International
Hospitals in Palam Vihar
  • Columbia Asia
  • Metro
  • Sheetala Hospital
  • Kalyani Hospital
Schools in Palam Vihar
  • GEMS International School
  • Maurya Public School
  • Chiranjiv Bharati Public School
  • Euro Kids (pre-school)
  • Eureka (pre-school)
Banks in Palam Vihar
  • HDFC
  • ICICI
  • SBI
  • Bank of Maharashtra
  • IndusInd Bank
  • Andhra Bank
Malls in Palam Vihar
  • Ansal Plaza (has a multiplex also)
  • Ansal Corporate plaza (has Spencer's as one of its main attraction)

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