Saturday, January 24, 2009

In my own company

This was one weekend, after so many months, which I had no plans for. I got up late in the morning, say, around eleven, brushed my teeth lazily, finished the other routine tasks and was ready with my breakfast in front of my computer to checkout mails and all.

Once done with that, the next task was to browse through the movie database to find out some decent movie to watch out. So I checked a few of them in fast forward motion. Bored with the repetitiveness of the lot available, went to bed and lied down.

Looking at the fan, I wondered what to do. Thought, may be its right time to catch up with some friends. So I started dialing a few numbers on my cell. One by one each of them declined, some very sweetly and some very bizarrely, and said they had plans already. So thought may be its right time to talk some long distant friends. I started calling them one by one.

“Hey how are you?”

“Hey Rohit, am good yaar. How are you?”

“I am good too, man. Long time no calls, where are you?”

“Nothnig much yaar. Hey Dude, I am in for a movie. Will call u later ok? Chal bye.”

And the call was ended from other side. Next call –

“Hey boy!!! Great to hear from you!! Where have you been??”

“Just here in Mumbai. What about you?”

“Hey, I am at airport to catch a flight for UK. Going onsite… Hey gotta go man. Will ping you online from there. Bye.”

And the call was ended again. And on a similar note almost all calls were ended. Frustrated more with my own loneliness that other people’s engagements, I threw the phone aside. And my eyes were fixed at the fan again.

I was angry. What the F***. No one even have time to talk to me, to be with me. Have I gone to be so unimportant?

In that very moment a thought crossed my mind. There’s one more person I have not been with, have not talked to for a long time. And perhaps that’s the most important person in my life. In all this running around, I have ignored him like anything. Why don’t I better be with him in this moment than anyone else?

And this person was me, myself.

How often do we be in our own company? How often do we sit back and enjoy ourselves? How often do we talk, discuss, debate and converse with ourselves on the matters that hold the utmost importance in our lives? Very rarely, I guess.

I smiled. Walked to the mirror and said, “Hello!” And the person in the mirror smiled back. And perhaps this was the smile I wanted in this empty moment. This was the smile that was pictured in my mind and was created by me on my lips.

I switched on the computer again, played my favorite songs in the media player. It was long that I heard the tunes of Dil hai chhota sa from Roja. And what a perfect moment it was for the song!!

Then I cooked for myself, my favorite food- Maggy with omelet. After lunch, I went down to the Crossword, checked some books and gifted one to myself. It feels nice to be gifted with something by someone and also its great pleasure to gift something to someone dear to you. Now this was one moment, when both the pleasures were mine!

Went back home, read through some articles and wrote a few things – comments, discussion points, disagreements and appreciations. After that, I went out again to shop for my Sunday school and a few things for my dinner. And just before the moment I started writing this, I finished my dinner of fruits and was watching Casablanca, a movie that was pending in my wish list for long.

I guess this was one of those rare weekends, which I thoroughly enjoyed in the way I wanted to. When pondered over, I realize, may be all these people were not ignoring me. This is just that they were genuinely busy with their own plans and so they had to cut my calls. That’s exactly what I do when I have my own plans, don’t I? Now, I don’t regret. I don’t complain. And I can definitely say that in such moments, no company can be better than one’s own company.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Manager v/s Leader

Heard about butterfly effect?

I quote the definition from Wikipedia for you – “The butterfly effect is a phrase that encapsulates the more technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory. Small variations of the initial condition of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system. So this is sometimes presented as esoteric behavior, but can be exhibited by very simple systems: for example, a ball placed at the crest of a hill might roll into any of several valleys depending on slight differences in initial position.”

It was originated from the idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in a certain location. The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale alterations of events. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different. While the butterfly does not cause the tornado, the flap of its wings is an essential part of the initial conditions resulting in a tornado.

So how do you react to the Satyam fiasco? Shocked? Shattered? Angry?

I am not. I see it as the tornado which has resulted from the flapping of the wings of some butterflies, years ago. Butterflies those were small, insignificant in their individual capacity when flapped their wings wrongly, led to this. The only difference here is these butterflies knew what possible consequence their one wrong flap could produce. It was ignorance to that tornado, or may be a short-sightedness to visualize it. An attitude to manage the present somehow without envisioning the effect in the future is, I guess, today’s manager’s strength. Most of them manage only their positions and not the work. As in Satyam’s case, Mr. CEO and his team of expert managers managed the whole fraud for years somehow.

In all my experience of IT industry, I somehow have found that manager is sad person. But sadly most of the IT professionals aspire to become one. Well there may by many facades to the problem but I shall be discussing only one – The personal and professional ethics, a sense of responsibility towards our job functions and more importantly a mind to rightly identify the right functions to provide the right service to our identified customer.

I have used the word ‘right’ at many places. Because I personally feel it’s very important to know what is right and what is not when it comes to action. When we act against our acquired or inherent intelligence, just to please and get away with our seniors (or anyone whom we see as source of our benefit), that’s were we get wrong. And think of a situation where the person doesn’t have either an acquired or inherent intelligence and is placed in a position of decision making? What will be the quality of his decisions? Will he ever be taking one or getting it done from someone else? Now that’s some food for thought.

Any organization, group or team functions well if it has a right leader not a manager. When I say ‘leader’, I talk for its literal meaning and not some positions that many companies have today. A leader, who has the acquired and inherent intelligence, is gutsy and can take decisions and stands by it. A person, who can fight anyone for doing things in the right way and leads his/her team by example.

At times I feel blessed to be lucky enough to have a leader in the start of my career who was the perfect example of a leader. She was one person we all looked up to in the team. She was the one who taught us, how a team should be led. She took her decisions, which were transparent to the team, and stood by them. She was one person who fought anyone and everyone who stood on her way to do things right. She never managed things somehow. She knew what she was doing, always. She was one butterfly who knew the right way to flap her wings and never flapped it wrong to someone else’s tunes if she knew it will have an ill effect, and she bore all the pain for doing it so.

I understand that’s what a solid team which takes its performance to unknown heights and stands straight even in tough times should be composed of – A set of people who have brain and some ethics in it and a right leader.

In all the chaos around me, I still miss my leader from Rave Tech (my first company). Miss you Luanne.