Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Are you an Excellent or a Mediocre Manager?

Since we were in the new facility our HR decided to have a small "snacks get together", last Friday. We were supposed to meet in the breakout area at 16.00 for the snacks. At 15.30 we got a mail informing us to arrive at 17.00

At 17.00, there was a short speech and we were requested to wait for the snacks... after about 15~20 minutes the snacks was served, meanwhile people started trickling out overwhelmed by the unusual 'continuous networking'!

There was mixed response from people... while some formed a queue to collect the snacks, others decided to finish off their work or head back home. I had decided to call it quits for the day and headed down for my shuttle

On my way back, I asked my HR friend as to the reason for the delay. He explained that the vendor had come late due to which the whole plan had got muddled up

"So what will you do now?", I asked curiously, knowing well nothing can be done

"We won't pay the vendor", answered my friend

"You mean for the food not consumed?", I asked, pretty impressed that some action is being taken on the vendor

"No, we won't pay him at all"

"But isn't that harsh?", I asked totally shocked

"No, that's expectation setting"

His reply took me aback. I was sure the vendor would never again repeat this mistake with us

On reflection, sadly we fear to take such tough actions in our projects. We always try to find the middle path - If someone checks-in their code without testing, we would let it go "just for this one time", if someone comes to a meeting 15 minutes late, we would let it go - "after all we understand he is busy"

We keep compromising on Quality, Cost and Commitments with our teams & suppliers, without realizing "If you say 'yes' to something, you make it more likely to happen again"; the more frequently it occurs, the more conditioned we become to believe that, that is the only natural way to execute

I have had the opportunity to work with few VPs who have motivated members to achieve what was thought to be beyond their capabilities - they could do this solely by giving a constant message to the team, that a compromise was unacceptable. This is the difference between excellence and mediocrity

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