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Monday, September 18, 2017

Commonly Hated Traits that are Generally Rampant in a Third Grade Organization

An earlier post titled Small Companies but Big Politics and Even Bigger Egos dwelt upon the types of creepy creatures in the top rung of the hierarchy in a third grade organization.

Such organizations are led by a leader who creates a close-knit group of loyal stooges whose only qualification is their long experience and profound expertise in saying "yes sir".

In such organizations loyalty is everything.

Merit, competence, skills, professionalism, ethics, etc. are hollow words.

Words that are hung in beautiful frames on the walls but otherwise mean really nothing.

The top man is fully and only engrossed in searching for ways to become more and more famous and known outside.

There is a deep sense of insecurity and littleness that results in such a mono-maniacal focus on "becoming popular".

There is no effort made towards promoting and rewarding merit.

The top man rules through his henchmen.

The coterie of henchmen down under resembles a pack of supercilious and conceited jokers.

A very few outside the company worth the salt may know the king joker but no one knows the jokers!

The jokers work like a group of monkeys who scratch each other's backs.

They become one when they see someone as a threat to them.

Following article presents a list of 10 traits that so nicely align with the types of people described in the aforementioned post.

https://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/10-personality-traits-you-will-be-hated-for/

So here's a take on which "traits you will be hated for" goes with which of type mentioned in that earlier post.

This makes quite an interesting read.

Type P - Unreliable, Dishonest. 

This type is engaged in finding ways to show to all that only it is a part of the core management team of the company.

As an aside, in a third grade organization the management team is actually not professional and is, really speaking, just a silly bunch of immature, unprofessional, unethical stooges who are blind, mindless loyalists of the top clown.

In reality, Type P is nothing more than a toxic manipulator.

Type P shows as if it is genuine but is actually a cunning fox.

Type M - Arrogant, Rude.

This type is engaged in finding ways to show to all that only it matters in the company.

In reality, Type M is nothing more than a creepy manipulator.

Type M pretends to be mature but is actually a crooked fox.

Type R - Conceited, Condescending.

This type is engaged in finding ways to show to all that only is the smart one in the organization.

In reality, Type R is nothing more than a scheming manipulator.

Type R tries to show as if it is too smart but is actually a very silly fox.

Type S - Unreliable, Rude

This type is engaged in finding ways to show to all that only it is working hard in the entire company.

In reality, Type S is nothing more than a loud-mouthed manipulator.

Type S tries to show as if it is very straight forward but is actually an unreliable fox.

Type T - Temperamental, Dependent.

This type is engaged in finding ways to show to all that only it is important for the company.

In reality, Type T is nothing more than a pusillanimous manipulator.

Type T tries to show as if it is very decisive but is actually a dilly-dallying fox.

Type M/D - Temperamental, Pessimistic

This type is engaged in finding ways to show to all that only the activities it is performing is important for the company.

In reality, Type M/D is nothing more than a pomp and show manipulator.

Type M/D tries to show as if it is working with good intentions but is actually a wily fox.

Type V - Temperamental, Domineering

This type is engaged in finding ways to show to all that it is very popular and very accomplished.

In reality, Type V is nothing more than a sound and image manipulator.

Type V tries to show as if it is very progressive and professional but is actually a controlling fox.

So what kind of company are you working with?

Are you working in a third grade company?

And which Type of third grade person is bothering you in the third grade organization you are working with?

Is is Type P? Or is it Type S?

Maybe Type T? Or maybe Type M?

Remember such bad elements come together when you challenge even one of them.

After all such bad elements do naturally form a good company.

But tend to make the company they work with a bad one!

Types P, R, T, M make good friends. And they are loyal stooges of Type V.

Type V loves them all. He also loves Type S and M/D. They are also long-time stooges of Type V.

An interesting question to ask is this - who is to be blamed?

Types P, R, T, M are all culprits. However, the real culprit is Type V.

After all, things tend to percolate from top to bottom.

Newton's law applies very well to a third grade organization too!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Buddha, Ganesha and the Jungle - Some Interesting Pictures

Found these pictures painted by someone on a wall.

It was actually a single wall painting but the pictures have been clicked and captured as five different pictures.

The painting on the wall was really artistic and fantastic!

The pictures obviously tell a story of sorts, Story of the Buddha, Ganesha and the Jungle.

These make for some very interesting pictures.











Haridwar, Har Ki Pauri - Some Photographs

Here are some photographs from a recent family trip to Haridwar and Dehradun.

These capture some of the religous sites of Hindus, tourist spots and landscape that is so very unique to this part of India.

In fact, Haridwar actually means the gateway to God.

Haridwar = Hari + DwarHari is a Hindi word that means God and Dwar is a Hindi word that means Door or Gate.
















Thursday, August 10, 2017

How To Remain Spiritual And More Importantly Sane While Driving On Indian Roads? Heck, Is That Even Possible?

Driving on Indian Roads is tough, very tough!

Tough in every manner one can think of - physical, mental and even spiritual.

As per the so-called Gurus and Swamis, we need to attain spiritual enlightenment.

And going further, as they would add, we don't necessarily need to renounce the worldly affairs but live through the worldly affairs steadily applying the spiritual principles.

Come to think of it - how can one remain spiritual while driving on Indian roads?

Or, more importantly, how can one remain sane in such a tough situation as driving on Indian roads?

Heck, is that even possible?

Tough question, indeed!

Let us talk about the experience of driving on Indian roads - some experience it is.

In case you are still wondering what kind of experience that is, go and ask someone who has had that "nothing short of divine" experience.

Better, travel to India and get the first-hand "nothing short of divine" experience.

Whether your spirit gets enlightened or not you will surely have some experience!

What magic and miracles happen when you are driving on Indian roads?

Left and right may not mean much

Depending upon your mood and the temptation of taking a shorter route, left can become right and right can become left. It is hard to guess what is right and what is left. 

Or rather what is right and what is not right. So at the end, one might conclude that right is not right but left and left is not left but right. 

This realization of oneness is nothing but deeply spiritual!

Red lights at traffic junctions are mostly for ornamental purpose

Red, amber and green doesn't always mean stop, look and go.

You either just don't look at colour of the traffic light and merrily drive on or choose to read the colour based on your innate sense of whether you will get through, alive.

In any case, you are neither this mind nor this body. So what if you loose you body in a bloody accident.

The real you, which is pure consciousness, can, of course, never die, so why waste precious time at red lights.

This realization of the permanent consciousness manifesting itself through your temporary physical body is nothing but deeply spiritual!

Right and left turn indicators waste battery power and eventually fuel

Why waste fuel? Why not help the environment albeit in a very small way?

Also, it is fun to keep those following you in a dramatic suspense about your next move? That helps people awaken their sixth sense too.

This realization of the need for everyone to awaken their sixth sense is nothing but deeply spiritual!

Vehicle type and slow lane and fast lane are good concepts but not to be followed

You can ignore that and drive whatever vehicle you want to and where ever on the road you want to.

So it is perfectly fine for you to drive a bi-cycle or a tri-cycle or a bullock-cart or a tractor or a truck or a two-wheeler or a car or even a bulldozer.

Freedom guaranteed by democracy makes this easy. 

After all, everyone seeks the same, one supreme being but the paths may be varied and of each one's own choosing. 

This realization that all paths lead to the same source of supreme power is nothing but deeply spiritual!

Roads are not in good condition and at times do not have well-defined contours

The general condition of roads is pathetic, to say it very nicely. Hence it is critical to figure out how much of the road can actually be used.

The extreme lanes of public roads are generally not meant for use. They are either in a dilapidated and broken state and/or used for parking and/or used by the shopkeepers as their private display area.

The other part of the road may as well be in a dilapidated and broken state with potholes the size of craters and/or uneven road surface and/or may have huge or ungainly speed breakers.

On top of that, there may be sudden, sharp cuts and U-turns and/or entry points into and/or exits from main roads. You need to be road-smart to figure out these sudden changes.

You are required to navigate the pathetic roads and the mad traffic with madder drivers like a true Karmayogi.

If you want to reach your destination you need to fight, and drive.

This realization that one has to continue with actions to keep on moving on and to accept the real nature of life which is like driving, with the traffic, the vehicles and the drivers, is nothing but deeply spiritual!

So can one remain spiritual while driving on Indian roads?

Yes, one certainly can.

So how can one remain sane in such a tough situation as driving on Indian roads?

Very simple, by becoming spiritual.

Or maybe not. Who knows?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

You Can be Dead in a Second, at any Second

Have you ever thought about this?

You can be dead in a second, at any second.

Sounds scary but it is true.

As true as you are at this moment, as you are reading this.

The fact is life is fragile and transient.

At times, you may get this feeling that you are going to be there forever.

Never believe that. That's a complete lie.

The fundamental truth underlying life is just one - death.

Everything else is a lie.

In Hindu philosophy, Upanishads come at the very end of the Vedas. In fact, Upanishads are referred to as Vedanta also.

Vedanta literally means the end of Vedas or figuratively speaking, the last word or the final/conclusive essence of the Vedas.

Similarly death comes at the very end of life.

That way, death means the final/conclusive essence of life!

You can be dead at this very month. Or may be not.

You can be dead the very next moment. Or may be not.

You can be dead by next day. Or may be not.

You can be dead by next week. Or may be not.

You can be dead by next month. Or may be not.

You can be dead by next year. Or may be not.

You can be dead in next 10 years. Or may be not.

You can be dead in next 100 years. Or may be not.

You can be dead in next 1000 years. But for sure!

So even if you live long, remember the following:

It would be next to impossible for you to live beyond 100 years of age and simply impossible for you to live beyond 1000 years of age.

So should you worry that you will drop dead one day?

No, absolutely not.

Clarity in respect of death being the end-point of life is not only a physical reality but also has enormous psychological value should one choose to derive it.

Death is not something you should be scared of.

It rather is something you should always be ready to embrace.

It is always useful to know the end-game.

And what is the end-game?

You can be dead in a second, at any second.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Why the Question "What is the Purpose of Life?" is Fundamentally a Flawed Question?

"What is the purpose of life"?

Before we proceed further, it is absolutely important to take note of the following:
  • Who would ask this question? It has to be a human being who is mentally fit but it cannot be an animal or even a human being who is not mentally fit per se
  • When would someone ask this question? Typically, when the person is going through a tough phase in her life. This question will usually not get asked by a person when everything in her life is going well (secure job, high income, loving spouse and family, great health)
  • Why would someone ask this question? This question would be asked when one looks at one's own life not as an actor but as an observer, standing far apart. It's like the "real you" asking this question to the "physiological and psychological you" (at this juncture, it is important to see the "three you" in the "apparently one you")
In light of the above, it is easy to see why the question "what is the purpose of life"? is fundamentally a flawed question.

Why the heck should life have a purpose? Think of an animal. Does it ever ask "what is the purpose of life"?

No.

It just lives life without worrying about its purpose. That is just very fine.

Purpose is not really essential to live life. And without a purpose one won't die instantly.

Any animal is born at a finite point in time and space and comes into "being". It then lives for a finite period of time. And it eventually dies at some finite point in time and consequently stops "being".

Purpose or no purpose, the cycle of birth-living-death will happen as it should.

Human beings ask the question "what is the purpose of life"? because they think they are either a reflection of the supreme being or the supreme being itself.

So they better have a purpose.

What if there is no supreme being?

Or even if there is one, he is not interested in the worldly affairs?

Or even if he is interested, he doesn't known a certain human being exists?

Or even if he knows a certain human being exists, he doesn't care whether that person has a purpose in life or not?

Or even if he cares about the purpose of that person, he doesn't agree with that purpose?

How would he let the person know the purpose is not alright and there should be a different purpose.

It is even not known whether the supreme being is actually a she and not a he or maybe something different from either he or she.

Why do we pull purpose into this situation. Why the question "what is the purpose of life"? assumes so much of significance.

The reason could be very simple.

Since the  "apparently one you" asking this question is actually the "three you - the "real you" and the "physiological and psychological you", human being tend to assume that they are somehow more important than the other living creatures.

A man or a woman has the right to ask the question "what is the purpose of life"? but not a dog, cat or a mouse. Why is that so?

Have you ever seen a dog attending a philosophical discourse and ask such a question "what is the purpose of life"?. 

Human beings control the planet and decide what the purpose of a dog should be.

The purpose of a dog can be serving as a pet to a person, getting used for some kind of experiment, working with police for bomb detection, or even getting served as part of some dish on the plate!

But the above purpose is actually super-imposed on the dog and the dog may not agree to have the above as the purpose of its life.

The dog doesn't get a choice unfortunately.

The point is, a dog can live life without a purpose or with a super-imposed purpose that it may not necessarily agree to given a choice.

It may be born as a street dog and die as one without wondering about and worrying about "what is the purpose of life"?

Human beings think they are not a dog and hence they should have a purpose.

This thought runs against the basic philosophy of desire-less action so well narrated in the Bhagvad Gita.

If you live life with fruit of your actions as the purpose of the action and your life as well there will always be issues. 

The Vedanta philosophy dwells upon the "apparently one you" and the "three you - the "real you" and the "physiological and psychological you" in a very insightful and profound manner.

As per the dualistic school of thought (Dwaita), the "apparently one you" is supposed to be a reflection of the "supreme being" (Brahman).

And as per the non-dualistic school of thought (Adwaita), the "apparently one you" is the "supreme being" (Brahman) itself!

Living is about being and nothing beyond that. 

You are there because you exist. Things are there for you because you exist. And you exist because you are there.

Being there is all there is to it. Having a purpose is not anyway impacting or getting impacted by being there.

Life is simply about existence. If there is no existence, there is no life. If there is existence, there ought to be life.

So life doesn't need to have a purpose. It is all complete in itself.

And that is why the question "what is the purpose of life"? is fundamentally a flawed one.

The question that is more pertinent to be asked is actually this:

"Why not to bother about purpose of life and how to just be as you live life before your drop dead?"

The purpose of life is to just be!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Role of Capability, Liquidity, Equanimity and Serendipity in the Making of a Stock Market Genius

Talking about the stock market, have you ever wondered what makes someone an ordinary investor but someone else a market genius?

Of course, we do know very well that those who put their money in the stock market mostly end up as ordinary investors with ordinary returns (in the range of 5% to 12%, on CAGR basis).

Only a few, just a very very few, end up as market geniuses with super returns (more than 16% and going upto 20%-25%, again on a CAGR basis).

The 12%-16% returns zone is like the no man land's and its hard to label such investors as either ordinary or genius. Such investors might be better than the ordinary investors but they are by no means geniuses.

So what separates the men from the boys, the geniuses from the rest?

In this context, it is useful to look at the role played by four "ity"s - Capability, Liquidity, Equanimity and Serendipity - in the making of a stock market genius.

As an aside, the ordinary investors are perhaps influenced by the fifth and the most dangerous "ity" - Stupidity!

Coming back to the four "ity"s, let us analyze how they can play an important role in the making of a stock market genius.

Capability
  • Understanding the financials of the company behind the stock is a core skill. Knowing how to read the annual and quarterly reports is a part of this core skill
  • Knowing how to crunch, slice and dice financial data is another core skill that is a part of stock-picking capability of an investor
  • Understanding the macro-level economic and business factors that affect the entire stock market or specific sectors as well as the micro-level factors influencing a specific stock helps avoid gross mistakes in selecting which stocks to purchase, when and for long hold onto it and equally importantly which ones to avoid
Liquidity
  • Being able to withstand when the market is down with no compulsion to sell gives a lot of holding power to an investor 
  • In fact, being able to purchase even more stocks when the market is down adds to the firing power of an investor
  • Making sure one has enough free cash to spend without resorting to selling stocks to pay for the routine and emergency expenses goes a long way in making an investor firm-footed
Equanimity
  • Being psychologically strong to not react to any bad news in panic and any good news in elation is a core skill that makes an ordinary investor into a genius
  • It is easy to see that those who have managed the "Liquidity" part very well are in a much better position to act with equanimity
  • One's temperament and disposition has a deep impact on how one would react to any given situation in the stock market
  • Being able to control one's urges and not relying on just the first order thinking but taking a pause and spending some more time to exercise the second order thinking is of paramount importance
Serendipity
  • This simply means having the good blessings of lady luck. Since no one knows what the future holds all investment decisions are projection of the future state based on analysis of past information and certain assumptions
  • If things change drastically in the future, analysis of past information may at times not only not be useful but also may be misleading. History may tend to repeat itself but it's hard to guess where exactly it will repeat itself
  • Projection of the future state based on certain assumptions happening exactly as was thought is itself an assumption. If the assumptions made are not correct or complete or important assumptions get missed out, things can go haywire with consequences that are hard to imagine
  • There is nor formula or magic behind finding a stock at the right price, holding it for the right time and exiting from it at the right time. Genius investors tend to experience this more often than the ordinary investors and more than their skill, serendipity may be at work!
Clearly the four "ity"s - Capability, Liquidity, Equanimity and Serendipity - indeed play an important role in the making of a stock market genius.

So do you have the four "ity"s? Are you still an ordinary investor? Or are you now a stock market genius? 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Why Employee Opinion Surveys are Useless?

Employee opinion surveys are touted by HR as an important event on their annual calendar.

The whole premise is that such surveys help understand the current levels of employee engagement and help the management "correct" it through HR intervention.

There is a fundamental issue with the above premise - the typical remedial approach of HR and management to "correct" things does not work.

The basic assumption is this: employees will tell the unvarnished truth in such anonymous employee opinion surveys. But will they?

The irony is that such surveys have "funny" questions like the below:
  • "The company has an open and transparent culture"
  • "It is usually safe to speak up in the company"
  • "The management of the company is genuinely willing to listen"
Very ironical. Think about it.

If the above three were true, then the survey is not really required in the first place. Employees would have already shared what they had to!

But if the above three were not true, the responses to the above questions will not matter.

If the responses are all nice and good, the management and HR will pat their back on their own.

It's awkward and hard to pat your own back but in many organizations the management and HR folks become very good at it by repeating it many times, of course for silly reasons.

However, if the responses are not all nice and good, the management and HR will justify and rationalize why that is just normal. 

Employees need to grown up!

Other aspect is related to design of such surveys especially in small-time organizations where at times the number of questions is more than the number of employees!

First, there may be too many questions.

And most of them are very vague - do you think your manager keeps you informed? do you get the resources to perform your job?.

It is ridiculous to assume that any sound-minded professional will not share the above concerns with his or her manager when the situation so warrants but wait for the silly circus of opinion surveys by the HR jokers to share them.

And if employees do indeed wait for the silly survey, then something is fundamentally and majorly wrong with the organization at the most basic level.

Open culture? Transparent culture? Very funny.

Second, the options one has to choose are typically a variant of strongly agree, agree, no opinion or neutral, disagree, strongly disagree.

What does "no opinion" mean. Ideally this should be a 10-pointer (with 1 being least happy with that aspect and 10 being most happy about it).

So if the question is "The company has an open and transparent culture" what does "no opinion" mean?

The culture might be sucking and sickening which would mean 1 or amazing and inspirational which would mean 10. Or based on the employee's perception somewhere in between.

It can and should never be "no opinion".

So even if one employee states "no opinion" that is just one more reason that would make the entire survey completely useless.

Third, such surveys are generally kept anonymous.

Now that means an employee would share certain things in the survey that he can't share otherwise in any other forum.

This is a complete antithetical statement.

If the organization has an open and transparent culture, then employees should have shared their concerns and grievances already.

So no need for any stupid survey.

Such exercises shouldn't be seen as another tick-the-box by the HR folks which it has unfortunately become in the current corporate construct.

Fourth, these surveys are run by the management and its close-knit coterie for the lesser mortals.

So obviously, they are not required to participate in such surveys.

This shows the sick culture prevalent in such organizations where there is clear demarcation of "Us" versus "Them".

Again, this goes against the very notion of an open and transparent culture. 

This ganging up means should an employee decide to be honest in such surveys and provides the real/raw feedback about the style of management (or rather the lack of it) of the top folks including the close-knit coterie, they will refute it collectively.

The "Us" would simply conclude that the "Them" need to grow up.

Such feedback will be disowned, disparaged and conveniently thrown to the trash bin.

Above tendency is generally highly prevalent in the small-time, Lala-driven and and coterie-infested companies.

These are the so-called "Desi" and the "Pseudo-MNC" companies.

However and very unfortunately, such surveys will continue to happen as a ritualistic exercise by the HR every year.

That would be the case since such surveys tend to serve the "real" but ultimately useless agenda of the management and its close-knit coterie very well. 

Such surveys become yet another management tool (or manipulation tool, if you like) in the hands of the "Us" while dealing with the "Them".

The top dog would say, "Look, we have an open and transparent culture, that's why our HR does this thing, this annual employee opinion survey, as we genuinely want to know what they think".

It is quite amusing to note that the top dog conveniently forgets what stops employees from sharing their concerns otherwise. Why a survey?

As the top dog is saying the above, you can well imagine the manipulative HR head, sitting next to the top man with a Cheshire cat smile, glancing cunningly at the close-knit coterie present in the company's board-room, all nodding their heads with a stupid look on their faces!

It is quite clear that opinion surveys are a mere hogwash and completely useless.

It is useless because the "Us" - the indispensable management and its close-knit coterie all fully understand what is really going on (how much they genuinely care is anybody's guess).

It is useless because the "Them" - the dispensable employees also fully understand the drama being performed in the name of opinion survey where survey counts (for the HR, to tick the box) but not the opinions!

And it might very well happen that the person who was "highly engaged" as per the opinion survey responses drops his resignation letter the very next day.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

When the Head of Operations is Incompetent and Doesn't Take Ownership

In some organizations the head of operations doesn't do justice to his role.

He is there simply because he is a close confidante and a mindless, blind loyalist of the top dog.

They most certainly would have worked with each other in the past and being a "yes sir" man the top dog loves his operations head.

After all, which dog is not fond of its puppy?

And since he is a trusted lieutenant and close confidante of the top dog and in full know of his dirty secrets he doesn't need to have competence and take ownership of the tasks assigned to him.

Competence and ownership were never the reasons why he was put in the position of the head of operations in the first place. He never deserved to be one.

That way, this person is an epitome of stupidity and low intelligence.

He doesn't know the stuff but has a strong position by virtue of his blind loyalty to the top dog. He would shout, sit and shake as dictated by the top dog.

Basically, he has no mind of his own.

Such a head of operations can survive only in an organization where he is a part of the coterie of the top dog.

He and others in the coterie are there since they lick the feet and the back of the top dog.

As a consequence, such a person can cause tremendous damage to the level of professionalism in the company as also the level of accomplishments by the company.

Any company like the above is doomed for closure, if not today then tomorrow.

Presence of a top dog who likes to surround himself with "yes sir" puppies with a head of operations who is incompetent and doesn't take ownership (like the other puppies in the coterie) can have only one fate eventually.

Shut down.

So if you are in such a company, you must realize you are in grave danger.

Protect yourself by moving on before the dooms-day.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Naked Dance of Increments and Promotions

In many organizations, especially small-sized and stooge-infested ones, there is this naked dance of increments and promotions that is repeated every year.

The naked dance is carried out like a tribal ritual in a total unprofessional and even obscene manner by all concerned - the pack of joker-like executive management, the top dog and his pet coterie and the lesser mortals.

The lesser mortals erupt in elation and joy or anguish and sadness when they get the letter, depending on what the letter of increment contains.

The naked dance follows soon thereafter!

The lesser mortals are distributed the letters in a company-wide meeting where the top dog calls out the names of the lesser mortals and hands them the letters.

The CEO is such companies is nothing short of a Joker-like Lunatic (JL) who along with his Nasty Stooge (NS) decides who gets what.

And this meeting is as funny as one can image it could be!

Or, in some other crap organizations the lesser mortals are sent emails with the letters (in electronic format with password) copied to one of the coterie of the top dog.

Department heads and managers in both such organizations are basically made to look like fools.

There is no meeting, no discussion with the department head. In fact, they are not even informed about what transpires in the secret, dirty meetings of the top dog and his pet pups.

The emails that go to the lesser mortals is based on the discussion of the MD in such companies who are basically viciously stupid (VS) and carry out their con jobs using the person taking care of such matters who is a rat-like scoundrel (RS).

The mails are not copied to the department heads and managers but to the stooges who form the coterie of the top dog.

Those in the coterie come in many forms. There are those who are experts in toxic silence (TS), or like a maverick kid (MK) or a piddly pest (PP).

The above characters in these organizations make the performance appraisal process which should ideally be handled in an immaculately professionally-run manner culminate in the naked dance of increments and promotions.

So do you see naked dance of increments and promotions in your organization?

If no, lucky you.

If yes, you are in a bad company. Period.

And if you know what situation you are in, and you are a real professional and not a stooge who is a part of the coterie you should remain that way.

Don't get up and do the naked dance.

Remain professional.

Don't even join when others are doing the naked dance.

Lala Company, Top Dog, Cronyism, Mediocrity and Stooges

Question: What is the common thread across these - Lala Company, Top Dog, Cronyism, Mediocrity and Stooges?

Answer: These are tell-tale signs that if the company you are currently working has any one of the above attributes, it will really have all.

In any case, if you are smart, you will figure this out on your own!

So what are the points you need to keep in mind while working in such a company?
  • If you are not one of the stooges of the top dog in such a company, you better be on the lookout to move on sooner than latter.
  • The top dog and his stooges have special privileges like "unofficially declared" reserved parking slots (despite the top dog claiming to be otherwise), being served some of the menu items in a plate on the lunch table itself, secret meetings that only the cronies attend.
  • The performance appraisal process is run by the top dog and his cronies. Other senior professionals are made to look like fools in the entire process.
  • The top dog would blatantly ask you to involve and keep in loop his stooge for that area. Yes, he will appoint stooges to oversee areas where professionals are working and not his cronies.
  • The top dog is expert in creating a beautiful facade of professionalism and progressive thinking but scratch the surface and what you see beneath is a dirt-laden, toxic lala company with stooges in key positions, and a company full of cronyism and mediocrity.
  • Such a company proudly announces that X% of employees are there with us for more than 10 years, Y% of employees are there with us for more than 5 years and similar nonsense. What it won't tell is that most of such employees are good for nothing, can't find another job and are basically living a retired corporate life in that company. And no wonder, this list will include the top dog, his stooges and his cronies.
  • The HR in such a company is not trust-worthy. On any issue the stand of the HR head will be the stand of the top dog and this will be so since HR head will be a key stooge. In fact, the HR head has no stand, the top dog will ask him what exactly to do (including when to wag his tail, when to bark and when to bite).
  • The top dog and his trusted stooges will go for lunch together and never mingle informally with other employees over then lunch table. However, in official parties they will come across as over-casual and totally ludicrous that at times may border on sheer non-sense.
  • The top dog will promote his stooges and cronies based on loyalty. Mediocrity is the true name of the game. In such companies merit has no place and those who say "yes sir" more number of times get promoted!
  • The stooges are not really that competent and are there in the good books of the top dog only due to blind loyalty. And they remain in the good books by being a nice puppy to the top dog and follow his orders to the hilt (including when to wag the tail, when to bark and when to bite).
  • When someone resigns in such a company, the HR, the stooges and the top dog, secretly work like mad behind the scenes (the actual head of department is not kept in the loop - he can as well go get lost!), do some non-sense to retain the employee and then claim that they have done a fantastic job in employee retention. What they forget is that such a thing never happens in a professional company.
  • The top dog maintains a facade of openness, transparency and professionalism on the surface that may mislead you completely at times about what is truly under and inside the facade. But if you provide him a different perspective and are not his "yer sir" stooge, he will discard his layer of artificial professionalism in no time and show his true, ugly side.
  • The stooge appointed by the top dog in your area will remain silent most of the times not because he wants to but because he is simply incompetent. However, when the top dog has an axe to grind against you he will use the stooge as his henchman.
  • The top dog and stooge will force you to take someone in the team who is as incompetent as them in that area. This person becomes their informer and can make life hell for you. For the top dog and the stooge this gives them secret power over you. Your position is always kept weak so that you always remain unsettled.
Well, there are certainly many more points one can talk about. The above provide a good glimpse into the aspects you should consider when working in such a company.

So if you observe any of the following in your current organization - Lala Company, Top Dog, Cronyism, Mediocrity and Stooges - you got to be alert and very careful.

When it comes to good, bad and ugly, you must remember that you should be prepared to come across most of ugly, lot of bad and little or no good when you work in such companies.

Of course, when they hire you the impression the top dog and the stooges will create is that most of it is good, a little is bad but no ugly.

Don't fall for the lie!

But in case you have already fallen for the lie - poor, wretched you.

You must get out, and that too very fast!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Laugh Out Loud - You are in a Bloody, Third Grade, Toxic Organization

Why laugh out loud?

Because if you are in a bloody, third grade, toxic organization, things cannot be any worse than what they are and hence can only get better here on.

So laugh out loud!

What happens in a bloody, third grade, toxic organization that makes it a bloody, third grade, toxic organization?

Well, many things and most of them bad.

Here are some such things that you will certainly come across.
  • The company is managed by a close-knit coterie comprising of third-rate, unethical, unprofessional and toxic people
  • The only factor that matters in such a company is loyalty to the chief of the toxic tribe and the prevalent toxic-laden tribal culture
  • The coterie manages through back-channel discussions and back-door machinations and manipulations
  • The HR in such companies is nothing more then a moronic stooge of the management. The only role of the head of HR in such companies is to work as a parrot of the top man
  • The head of HR in such companies is an expert in toxicity and adept in managing things through manipulation and sickening, unprofessional relationship with the top management and the coterie
  • Those in the coterie in such organizations behave as if they are the smartest folks on the planet. For them, everyone else is beneath them. Their toxicity and exclusivity is too evident to ignore.
  • Those in the coterie are put in the key positions by the top man. The reason for this to happen has nothing to do with their competency but just one thing - blind loyalty like a dog to the master, the top man!
  • If you are ethical and professional, you won't matter in such organizations. You will be like a golden fish in a  dirty pond. You will live but barely survive. Not to forget the bad smell you will have to live with due to the toxicity around you
  • You will be forced to report into an ass-licking, incompetent, childish, toxic, comical ass-hole and will have a tough time
  • You can't escalate the above issues to the top man as the top man himself will be like that. In addition, how can you expect the top man to listen anything about his pet puppies in the very coterie that he has fathered
  • While you stay in such a company you will have a bad ride due to the toxicity created and propagated by those in the coterie
  • Your views will not matter in the real sense. The coterie will finally have their way using back-channel discussions and back-door machinations and manipulations
  • You will be as good as a nothing in such organizations. You will not have much say in the affairs of the company. And even if you are heading a department you will be by-passed and humiliated and made to look like a fool. The coterie will do everything and make use of  back-channel discussions and back-door machinations and manipulations to make you feel so
If you can survive such a company, hats off to you!

It means a very good thing about you - you are truly a positive person and totally professional.

And yes, you should laugh out loud.

There's nothing you can do other than move on fast.

And till that time, just laugh out loud!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Is the HR in the Company You Work with Unethical and Unprofessional?

No. Maybe. Yes!

Well, whatever is your answer, you are right.

No, because if the HR in your company is unethical and unprofessional, they will never admit to it.

In this case the answer, the official one, will be - No.

Maybe, because HR is about confusing employees by interpreting the policies as per the liking of the management in such companies.

Otherwise, why do you think they will allow an unethical and unprofessional HR team to be there in the first place?

In this case the answer will be - Maybe.

Yes, because facts speak for themselves. This, unfortunately, is the true answer though.

However, no one will ever admit to it.

In this case the answer, the true one, will be - Yes.

So if you are in a bad situation in your corporate life where should you look at?

Company culture.

That's it. Nothing more. Nothing less.

In some sense a company with a bad culture will breed a bad HR and vice-versa.

How do you know the HR in the company you work with is unethical and unprofessional?

Here are some signs that you can watch out for:
  • They talk to an employee who has resigned behind the back of the reporting manager. They just want to show how smart they are in retaining employees. They think reporting managers are fools and can go to hell.
  • The head of HR carries a sick, condescending attitude. He thinks that only he is the smart person around. Others don't know much.
  • The head of HR is unethical to the core. He is an ass-licker and keeps the management in good humor. He thinks employees are like tissue papers and hence no point in wasting your energy on addressing their genuine concerns.
  • They get all kind of rituals started in the organization like 1-on-1, skip level meetings, group meetings, open forums, open house, all hands meeting and what not. The intent is not to change anything but to confuse everyone.
  • They allow the management to put in place a reporting structure that breeds coterie culture. In fact, the head of HR in such companies is part of the coterie and does all non-sense to perpetuate coterie culture.
  • They communicate to employees using funny language when ever something at their end goes really wrong. Instead of owing their mistakes and saying "Issues have been reported" they talk like clowns and say "We have been given to understand".
  • They write disparaging and unnecessarily long emails on trivial issues. For them 0.01 difference between two numbers on a scale of 1 to 6 is something of a big concern and they create big, bad scene about it. 
In case you are stuck in such an organization, you will find yourself in humiliating situations very often than not.

You will be getting unprofessional and childish emails from time to time.

You will be getting to hear humiliating comments from time to time.

You will see silly acts being performed by the coterie every now and then.

You will see the head of HR behave like a schoolboy in front of the principal, the top man!

In such situations, you must plan to leave immediately.

However, make sure you remain ethical and professional till you are not able to move on.

Remember, ethics and professionalism do matter, in the long run and in the good organizations.

Don't become a pig in the dirty pond you might be in right now.

Stay put. 

But remain ethical and professional. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

When the Person You Report into is Mean and Manipulative

What happens when the person that you are forced to report into (let us say P) is totally incompetent, unprofessional, unethical and a spineless creature?

Such a person will hold on to his position and comfortably remain in the good books of the top man by being a blind loyalist to the top man.

How do Ps in the corporate world survive?

First and foremost, they are blind loyalists of the top man, never take a stand and always stay in line without thinking of ethics and propriety, those can very well go to hell.

For them the top man is like god. And like a dog follows his master, whatever the top dog says, they will obey like an obedient puppy.

So, really speaking, they are are like corporate puppies wagging their tail behind the top dog.

In addition to the above, here are other ways they "somehow" manage.
  • They are mean and manipulative
  • They do not share relevant information with you
  • Even if they share the information it is never on time
  • They play dirty tricks behind your back
  • They are totally unprofessional
  • They are unethical
The Ps use the above techniques and manage to survive but only in certain types of organizations.

So what kind of organizations breed Ps like a swamp breeds mosquitoes?

Here are some characteristics of such organizations.
  • In such companies merit has no place, only loyalty to the top man matters
  • Such companies are managed by a coterie consisting of the top man and his stooges
  • Such companies have unprofessional reporting structure
  • Such companies have highly manipulative HR, where the HR head is a part of the dirty coterie, is extremely manipulative and carries a condescending air when dealing with employees
  • Such companies have certain people who are beyond the policies and procedures
  • Such companies are manged by the coterie of founding members who are unethical and unprofessional
  • In such companies when someone resigns, the coterie plays tricks behind the back of the actual head of the department to show as if they are the most caring lot
  • In such companies the hiring and HR folks are masters of double-game. They tell different stories to different people and keep the non-coterie stakeholders in the dark
It is easy to now imagine what would happen when you are forced to report into a P in such an organization?

Anything is possible other that what is fair, professional and good.

The P is well-entrenched in the system and is cool about that in a very cunning way along with the others in the coterie.

So what are the typical attributes of a P?
  • He is mean and manipulative
  • He is a slave of the top man
  • He is a good pal of the others in the dirty coterie
  • He comes to office when he wants to
  • He shares information when he feels like
  • He knows very well that he will never get fired (after all he is not in the company he is the company along with the coterie).
  • He is a master manipulator
  • He is incompetent but knows how to manage without doing anything
  • He comes to office essentially to pass time and does so very cunningly by involving himself in corporate social activities, sports clubs, exercises classes, gymnasium, etc.
  • He is asked to look after areas where he knows nothing due to this loyalty
  • He gets promoted due to loyalty and not merit, which he doesn't have even an iota of
Handling a P who is mean and manipulative is very hard. He will do all the wrong things but can make it appear as if the other person did those wrong things.

He is more cunning than a fox and more poisonous than a snake.

The smart thing is to stay alert and stay away as getting involved in a fight could have disastrous consequences for you.

The reason for the above is that P is a blind loyalist of the top man. So if you talk to the top man, you know what will happen - nothing.

Also, P is a good friend of those in the coterie including the head of HR. So if you think talking to HR will help, you could not be more wrong.

Best strategy is to stay away from Ps to the the extent you can.

However, stay put till you get an option to move on to.

Do that fast. Handling Ps is tough. And the Ps are not going away any time soon!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Why are You Not Happy and Content with Your Life?

It is very important to know and also understand how things are going in your life at a given point in time.

Clearly knowing and articulating what's going on is a very liberating exercise.

Of course, understanding why you are not happy and content with your life doesn't mean the issues will get resolved.

It will only make you feel better about your ability to handle them in a positive way. Or rather your ability to handle yourself in a positive way!

You can change yourself to a great extent but the situations to only a limited extent.

So why are you not happy and content with your life?

Your career is not going anywhere.

The company you work with is a lala company where merit and competence has no value.

The only thing that matters is loyalty to the top man.

The person you have been forced to report into doesn't even know how to spell the word "merit".

He is a double-timing, scheming manipulator whose only qualification is his blind loyalty to the top man.

This man is no better than an ass with a stinky hole.

This man spends his energy in playing games behind your back and in performing acts and saying words just to disparage you.

You have merit and competency. You lack loyalty and that's your undoing.

Yes sir, you are literally forced to report into a "yes sir stooge".

And of course, there will be some more of his ilk. As expected, there will be some more stooges when you work in such an organization.

Either you find another job to move on to or suffer the agony seeing the stooges and the top man do all kinds of non-sense.

Remember, stay calm and positive till the time you have to bear the agony.

You marriage is not going anywhere.


This can be very painful.

And if this happens along with the challenges you have on the career front the agony gets compounded multiple times.

Your wife is not emotionally mature to realize the value of marriage.

Her own wishes are the only things that matter to her. Your wishes can go down the drain.

You constantly crave for caring touch, physical proximity and yes sex too. She is frigid and toxic.

She takes your advances and initiatives to get closer, both physically and emotionally, as if she is doing an obligation to you.

She would say, "what's so big deal about it?".

And your simple answer to that is, "what's not so big deal about it?.

If your desire to have sex has no value for her then that's a big problem.

She has all the excuses.

She has headache, is tired, is not in the mood, is angry, is not interested, is not excited, is not getting wet in her vagina, has periods, has pain and many more reasons.

It is only she and her issues. You are not relevant. Basically she tells you just on thing - just get lost!

In addition to above, when you want sex she will tell you many funny things like:
  • Is that the only thing that is there?
  • You only want one thing from me?
  • Am I a toy or a plaything?
  • How can I let you come near me?
A good marriage rests on three key pillars - physical, mental and spiritual alignment. If one or more are missing then your marriage has no meaning.

In fact, even to be good friends, the above is a sine-qua-non.

The relation between a man and his wife is different from the relation between a man and any other woman in just one way - physical intimacy and closeness.

If the above is missing, then something is really and seriously wrong between you.

Ideally speaking, in a good relation, a man should not have physical relation with any other woman other than his own wife.

When your wife doesn't understand the above, it can be difficult for you.

When your wife stares blankly into nothingness and ignores you when you reach home from the office after a painful drive back home it can be a very sad situation.

If your wife is a woman who has no concern regarding your well-being and in fact is happy to see harm come your way, then you have had it.

So if your wife does all kinds of non-sense to make you feel as if you are not wanted by her, you are not important for her, and your needs to get intimate are not valid you would feel the pain.

In addition, if your wife doesn't have intimate talks with you, about your needs, desires, concerns and anxieties and about your lives together something is really seriously wrong.

Such a relation is actually walking on crippled legs and will not walk any smoothly and very far.

One of the choices you have is to either go with a divorce which is not a good idea especially if you have kids.

The other choice is to become detached from your wife. Just imaging that's its over (it actually is already over, so this is more of a realization that its over) and don't waste your energy on her.

It is okay to not have a fulfilled marital life. And that is so because whatever it is, in the long run nothing really matters since in the long run all of us are inevitably dead!

So take philosophical solace in your impending death, which may still be far away but which is slowly progressing nearer you every month.

Your wife doesn't deserve your best if she doesn't give her best. Period.

And don't think marrying another woman will fix that. Maybe there are issues with you. You never know.

Having a good wife is a great thing. Not having a good wife means a part of your life has got crippled.

Your health is going somewhere but your age is going the other way.

Remember this, you will be dead one day. Maybe tomorrow.

What are the ways to die?
  • You become too old
  • You meet with an accident
  • You are killed by someone
  • You become terminally sick with disease
In any case, your health will start depleting and degenerating as you start aging.

You may have acute myopia.

You may have pain in you left knee area.

Your tongue may have cuts.

You may occasionally have had pain and sensation in your left shoulder.

The middle bone of your nose is bent one way.

You occasionally feel a burning sensation around the heart and chest area.

You have issues with your digestive system.

You occasionally get a throbbing pain in your right temple area.

You burp a lot at times.

And so on and on and on.

The key thing is, health is a blessing if you have it in a good shape and it is a curse if it is not in a good  shape.

So you would want to take extreme care of your health.

Maybe the sights and sounds that you experience when you visit a hospital bothers you very much.

You are distressed and moved when you see a very old, frail person who is probably knocking on death's door.

You get reminded of the fact that you will be that person one day!

You are worried about becoming blind when you become old due to acute myopia.

You are also worried about the above impacting other members of your family, especially your son.

You think it is so unfair that you have to spend a lot of money for getting spectacles made for you and your family.

You also hate when you have to spend money on buying medicines for your daughter. And especially so since she doesn't seem to care about the importance of a healthy diet.

Like the above, there may be several other things that may be the reason why you are not happy and content with your life.

So why you are not happy and content with your life?

You should know. That would help.

And even if it doesn't it is a very liberating exercise.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Why You Should Not Let Your Blood Boil Seeing the Top Man Led Comical Club of Coterie in a Company, Though Boil It Certainly Will

Top man led coterie-infested organizations are an interesting subject for anyone studying about corporate culture.

What are the typical characteristics of such companies:
  • They are typically small to medium-sized with the level of professionalism being on the lowest side of the scale.
  • They have a group of specific individuals or a family as the owner, promoter and majority shareholder.
  • The desire of the top people is no less than a diktat in such organizations. And the top people are not connected with the ground realities.
  • The conversations in such organizations typify the lack of empowerment. They usually go like this, "VXY has asked this to be done" (where VXY is the top man or one of the members of the coterie).
  • Those in the coterie are neither competent nor ethical. They are where they are because of one and only one reason - blind loyalty to the top man. Those in the coterie are essentially a pack of "yes sir dogs" of their owner!
Being in such an organization will make your blood boil.

No doubt about it. That is simply inevitable.

However, you should not let your blood boil.

Every dark cloud a one silver lining but such a situation has many.
  • Those in the coterie will not be able to find a job elsewhere so they stay put. You can find a job elsewhere.
  • Those in the coterie have no choice but remain a blind loyalist of the top guy. You can afford not to be a loyalist.
  • Those in the coterie make the organization a stinking swamp, enjoy playing diry games and start stinking themselves. You can find a better place to play, playing in stinking swamp is no fun.
  • Those in the coterie like playing in the mud and are like pigs. You are not a pig and that's a very good news.
So if you are in position where you are in such an organization which can make your blood boil, no point in worrying.

You have to start looking for the nearest exit.

And as soon as you find one, get going. Get out.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The 100+100 Principle - Live to 100 Years and Earn 100 Million Dollars

The 100+100 principle is essentially reaching the magic number of 100 in the two most important dimensions of your life - health and wealth.

If you can manage to live to 100 years, it will easily provide you more than enough time and opportunities to have a great life.

If you want to live to 100, you have to get the following things right:
  • Eat healthy food and avoid junk food
  • Drink lot of water and eat lot of fibres
  • Maintain a balanced diet by eating a variety of food
  • Eat nuts and dry fruits
  • Consume as less medicines as possible
  • Keep your immunity strong and not fall sick, especially during change in seasons
  • Take extreme care in protecting yourself from the vagaries of changing weather
  • Do some physical exercises and yoga
  • Take care of yourself so as not to have any life-threatening critical diseases like diabetes, hypertension, lung and kidney infections
  • Do some mental relaxation exercises and meditation
  • Develop equanimity and remain calm and composed at all times
  • Learn to let go of things and don't carry any bad baggage in your mind
In a similar vein, if you can manage to earn 100 million dollars, it will easily allow you to afford to live a great life with all essential stuff you would ever need.

If you want to earn 100 million dollars, you have to get the following things right:
  • Earn enough so that you can save something after buying the essential stuff
  • Save a good part of what you earn
  • Save more of what you earn in successive years
  • Build an emergency fund for the rainy and the miserable days
  • Invest your money in the right manner
  • Diversify your investments adequately (never keep all eggs in one basket)
  • Don't over diversify by learning about risks and rewards in various types of investments
  • Re-invest the earnings from your investments
  • Learn about compound interest and use it to your advantage
  • Avoid compound interest working against you (full credit card debt not paid every single month)
  • Never ever take debt, if possible
  • Never invest using leverage
  • Starting early and going slow and steady with your investments is the approach to follow (Rome was not built in a day)
You don't need too much stuff - bigger house, fancier car, fashionable clothes and exotic food - for a happy life. You need the essential stuff only.

The idea behind the above is to have a simple yet content and purposeful life. 

Remember, being wealthy is the most important way to ensure you have the essential stuff. Every day.

Also remember, being healthy is much more important than having a lot of stuff. Any day.

In summary, you have to be wealthy enough to have the money needed to buy the stuff. And you have to be healthy enough to be around to enjoy the stuff you buy with your money!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Do You Constantly Feel Unsettled and Discontent with the Way Your Life Seems to be Just Drifting Along?

Yes? You do constantly feel unsettled? Discontent perhaps? Think your life seems to be just drifting along?

If you are going through all of the above it is high time to pause and even drop dead in your tracks and have a deep, hard look at how your life is getting along the path to your death eventually.

Remember, you don't have infinite and indefinite time to do course correction.

You should invest your energies in finding your true calling of your life without loosing any more time. The time is now.

If you don't start doing something about it now, right this very moment, it will never happen. And before you realize, you will very soon be on your death bed.

When you are on your death bed, the only thought that will truly be important is this - did you live a life that was settled and content.

Can you say, you did find the true calling of your life?

If you love to do what you do, its great. However at times, you love what you do and are great in that as well but what you do and the kind of person that you are may be completely out of sync.

For example, maybe you want to do something where you don't want to work with certain kind of people. However, the kind of people you work with currently maybe exactly the kind of people you don't enjoy working with.

Or maybe you want to be financially free and make capital allocation and investments as your career but are stuck with somthing not out of choice but out of lack of choice.

Think about it. Find the true calling of your life. But be in a great hurry. Time is running out.

When you find a job that resonates with what you truly are you will become great in that. The reason is such a job will not be job. It will be very purpose and essence of your life.

So keep looking. And do not stop until you find it.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

If Your Only USP at Your Current Employer is Blind Loyalty to the Top Leaders You are either Totally Inspired or Highly Incompetent

There are two types of employees in any organization.

The first type are those who can find another job to move on to should they wish to. One may call such people as GTG (good to go).

And the second type are those who can't find another job to move on to however hard they may try. One may call such people as GFN (good for nothing)

If blind loyalty is your only USP at your current employer then you are either totally inspired or highly incompetent.

It is generally true that if you are a GFN employee, your blind loyalty will be because of the fact that you are a highly incompetent.

It is also generally true that if you are a GTG employee, your blind loyalty will be because of the fact that you are a totally inspired.

So what are you?

Are you totally inspired or are you highly incompetent?

Are you a GTG or a GFN?

Note: Blind loyalty to the top leaders is the key mantra for the GFN to survive!

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