Some of you might know, I am currently reading a book titled “Winning” by Jack Welch with Suzy Welch. This is my first attempt to write something about a book, in detailed fashion. As I read, we are going to have more reviews and perceptions.
I am going to devote the Part1 to Second Chapter “Candor Effect”.
I am still new to the industry but at the same time I feel that my observations have been very rich. The benefit I have from my observations will be in future. Hopefully, I will have the freedom to speak and act which I see a lot of managers not being able to do and thus, continue to harm the long term growth prospects of a firm. I have been in IT industry for quite some time now. So, let me tell you what I have felt strongly. IT managers are neither MANAGERS nor LEADERS. I feel they don’t fall in either of the categories. According to the industry trends, mergers and acquisitions is the buzzword. Developments and Inventions have been done. They hire nice smart people not to make them smarter but to make them mediocre. A lot of time, we, ourselves, don’t speak our feelings and minds and even if we do, the so-called managers never take it upward. Irrespective of place, I have found this attitude of Indians very disturbing. To some extent, I feel we are socialized from childhood to soften bad news or make nice about awkward subjects. Till date, parents hesitate to talk about sex to their children. Isn’ t it? How can a company justify with “average” hikes to people when it is out making huge acquisitions worth of billions and millions of dollars almost every quarter? Executives are often found to have been speaking on the importance of human knowledge power but very few of them (my experience has been NONE) actually practices them. Everyone knows that showing EPS to an investor quarterly is good but if someone has to show it consistently and for a long period of time, one has to look within and that’s where almost all IT MNC’s are lacking. Currently, I find most of the so-called managers hiding themselves behind the processes and rotting systems and giving various explanations instead of fighting for the right. One question to all: As a father, if something wrong or bad has happened to you, you try your best not to develop the similar circumstances for your son/daughter, then why how do do you justify to your sub-ordinates that your experience of x years has seen the same trend and hence, is justifiable irrespective of the fact that it is WRONG? To all CEOs, Mind you Sir, by having such so-called managers you are actually driving your firms to extinctions rather than growth and prosperity.
Coming back to the candor effect, it is about giving the freedom to the employees and well-wishers to speak and be heard. So, how is it useful?
- Candor gets more people in the conversation and when you have more people in the conversation, you get ideas rich. More ideas surface, discussed, pulled apart, and improved.
- Candor generates speed. When ideas are in everyon’e face, they can be debated rapidly, expanded and enhanced, anmd acted upon.
- Candor cuts costs. Meaningless meetings and reports (IT MNCs are now know for this two qualities) are cut down by candor.
Therefore, no matter which B-School you attended, irrespective of that one must know lack of candor blocks smart ideas. fast action, and good people contributing all the stuff they have got. It’s a killer. Eventually, we realize that people don’t speak their minds because it’s simply easier not to. It is true that candid comments definitely freak people out at first but then if you are an effective manager and leader, it is your responsibility to get candor and to do so, praise it, reward it, and talk about it. Most of all, you yourself has to demonstrate it in an exuberant and even exaggerated way. Personally, I would like to see a firm where a voice of lowest grade employee, provided it is justified and reasonable, reaches to the CEO irrespective of the levels of hierarchy between them.
Disclaimer: In no form, the above perceptions can be related to any particular individual or organization. In case done so, I take no responsibility and the firm/individual will be doing so for its own insecurity, thus, proving the negative effects mentioned being followed by themselves.