“The ability to connect with people and understanding their emotions is the key to people management. Some managers miss that point.”
– Khalid Raza
The other day, Karan Thapar had a panel talking about employment and engagement and one of the panellists, Aruna Jayanthi, CEO, Capgemini India Pvt Ltd, shared how ‘people should be leading people’ and that this should be the mantra. It was asserted that even if people have great roles, they may leave the organization if the people they work with create a hostile environment.
“The glue that holds all relationships together–including the relationship between the leader and the led–is trust, and trust is based on integrity.”
Managers especially, play a very important role. A very frequent topic that has been talked about, is that how ‘people leave managers’ and yet managers pay the least focus on people. Some of them are oblivious and some do not care – in either case, they cost the organization more than they create value. In turn, these managers become the biggest cost heads for the organization.
This can be explained better, with the example of a short story:
There was a king who had 10 wild dogs. He used to use them to torture and bite all the ministers who made mistakes. So one day, a minister gave a faulty opinion, which the king disliked to a great extent. He immediately ordered that the minister is thrown to the dogs.
The minister was emotionally hurt and confused, and said, “I served you for 10 years and you do this? Please give me 10 days before you throw me in with those dogs.” The king agreed.
In the 10 days that the minister was given, he went to the guard who was guarding the dogs and told him he wants to serve the dogs for the next 10 days. The guard was baffled but agreed since this minister was a well-respected figure.
The minister started feeding the dogs, cleaning for them, washing them, providing all sorts of comfort to them.
Soon, the 10 days had passed, and the king ordered that the minister is thrown to the dogs for his punishment. But when he was thrown in, instead of biting and tearing the minister apart, the dogs started licking minister at his feet.
The king was baffled at what he saw, he said, “What happened to the dogs?”
The minister exclaimed, “I served the dogs for 10 days and they didn’t forget my service, I served you for 10 years and you have seemed to forgotten all of it, after the first mistake.” This resulted in the king realizing his mistake, he was quiet for some time, and then threw out the dogs and got wolves instead. “One thing to remember is that always putting people before processes is a talent.”
“Sometimes it is only the ‘People Leading People’ part that needs fixing and organizations which understand and promote that, become a happier place to work in.”
Here are the lessons one can learn from this story if one equates themselves with the minister and the King with their managers:
- Don’t be like the minister, change jobs at appropriate times so that you are not thrown to the dogs.
- Don’t be the dogs, as you can be thrown out to the wolves.
Love the job, not the company. Because the love for one’s job can get them other jobs, but love for the company will get a person thrown to dogs and wolves when company stops loving him/her.
“Everyone is a leader because everyone influences someone.”
― John C. Maxwell
Put a spin to this tale and understand the crux – sometimes it is only the ‘People Leading People’ part that needs fixing and organizations which understand and promote that, become a happier place to work in. The rest of those who get busy in creating shiny and superficial Talent Management strategies always fail. One thing to remember is that always putting people before processes is a talent.