Performance Vs Behaviour

800 371 Kamal Karanth

Are performance and bad #behaviours two sides of the same coin? Otherwise how else do you explain the behaviours of most top performers in organisations too? Should we say, its pure jealousy of the lesser mortals due to the adulation around the top performers?

Carefully look at your colleagues who are superstars in terms of their performance. The best design engineers, sales toppers, doctors with maximum patients or anybody whom your employers label as #superstars. Besides the confidence arising out of their current success, there are a few more striking things that are invariably noticeable.

i. ‘I know everything’ attitude, poor listening skills
ii. Scant respect to systems and processes. Will always be last to submit reports. Furthermore, they are quite likely to be late or don’t show up to calls.
iii. Poor interpersonal skills with peers. You will find them mostly in bosses cabins.
iv. Name dropping. Their access to leaders gives them privileged information and they tend to show it.

You can’t help but notice top performers violating basic professional conduct irrespective of the roles, kind of organisations they work for. Dhoni is my favourite player 🙂

Resign and Stay Back? The repercussions!

800 371 Kamal Karanth
Some of us resign and regret, some of us stay back after quitting and then regret. Which one are you?

Have you resigned and then stayed back?

I think many things change in the next phase of stay after you offered to quit or threatened to leave and then got retained.

So, how does the work context change on these fronts?

Your own mindset

Once you have shot this resignation arrow and stay back, every time you have a bad day or a moment are you likely to regret the decision of having stayed back. Every time you want to make an argument against any decesion you may tend to step back feeling a sense a grattitude for your employer/boss who retained you.

Your Boss

Your supervisor is likely to think of you as somebody who can quit again. HR would work with this at the back of their mind even thinking of replacement options should you resign again?

 Counter offer

Lets say you stayed as your current employer matched your 50% salary hike of a competitor. Would you be under pressure to perform better?

Only we deserve every new role and promotion?

800 371 Kamal Karanth
When my boss announced my peer’s posting at Hq as the new Product Head I was dumbstruck. Though he was my best friend I did not like the ‘news’. Every time a promotion or an external hire for a new role is announced whats your typical reaction? I always felt surprised or shocked if that announcement wasn’t me 🙂 Some of the organizations broadcast new roles and call for internal applicants, assess them, interview and painstakingly give feedback to people whom they think aren’t ready yet. Many Employers still do internal ‘black box’ consultations and announce their new appointee. Sometimes, we get to know from the market that an external search is on. I worked in both kinds of employers and benefitted from both processes. However, when I used to get promoted without a transparent announcement of the role or a formal assessment process I ‘felt’ my peers looked at me with suspicion. It made me feel as though the bosses favored me. But, the self-righteousness in me eventually used to lead to euphoria. No doubt that for every role/promotion, there are always multiple deserving candidates. But, in our ‘diary’ only we deserve every new role and promotion? Btw, that ex-colleague is today based overseas and heads a billion dollar biz of a pharma MNC.

On your last day at work, what are your emotions like? Relieved/Heavy?

800 371 Kamal Karanth
On your last day at work, what are your emotions like? Relieved/Heavy? There she was ‘dressed up’ like never before and full of energy. I should say I had never seen her so happy before. I asked her what the occasion was, “today is my last day here” she replied. I couldn’t hold myself and asked, “seems like you are so happy to leave us, are we so bad? Does our last day emotion depend on ‘why’ we are leaving or our ‘next’ destination? I reckon its a combination of both. If we are leaving a place which was a nightmare I am sure its a huge hashtagrelief. It sure calls for a celebration. But, an additional factor can also be about the excitement of our new role, employer or salary. It goes without saying that we join every job with the hope that its a step up to our career. That compensates for any sadness of leaving the previous job. Send-offs today are more a celebration than teary-eyed farewells that they once were. Maybe becoz leaving nowadays is common & hence whatever emotional quotient attached might have lost its relevance. The friendly colleagues are not missed due to Whatsapp, FB or instagram. The friends at work are happy that you got something better and they can talk/meet you more freely. The happiness of your foes needs no explanation 🙂

Your sales guys walk with a chip on their shoulders and have the tendency to cheese you off?

800 371 Kamal Karanth
Your sales guys walk with a chip on their shoulders and have the tendency to cheese you off? Are they also likely to walk away with all the limelight in the organisation? Do they have better access to the C-suite in your organisation? The leadership team tends to give in to all their demands? You are in operations and slog long hours to fulfill customer demands and feel short-changed when it comes to fair treatment, incentives or recognition? In your opinion sales-guys have scant respect for internal processes, they are only interested in their customers getting what they want. You must have wondered how they are able to build good relationships with customers when they behave like jerks internally with their own colleagues? This Operations vs Sales has been an evergreen battlefield. When I used to sell products I felt my manufacturing peers never understood sales needs. When I got into services Industry my opinions did not change either. When operations became part of my team I saw the other side of the coin. But, Heart of my heart, that bias for salespeople continues 🙂 I say that becoz of the man in the mirror? Or Sales-people really need special treatment to ensure their ego is kept high to earn the organisation’s livelihood?

Do you work next to your boss & you feel liberated when s/he isn’t around?

800 371 Kamal Karanth
Do you work next to your boss & you feel liberated when s/he isn’t around?

On a Friday evening, I was at a #theatre for a late night movie & I bumped into my boss who was also there with his family. Next day, when he summoned for a review of my #sales activities I couldn’t call it a coincidence. It was my first managerial job and I started to envy all my peers who were posted outside the regional headquarters. That day I swore never to work again in the same location as my boss.

Fast forward a few years, I was heading a branch in another firm; the cricket world cup was on. I got the TV from my home and installed in the office hallway. One of those days our Director came to my office unannounced. Nervously, I looked out of the office to see my colleagues enjoying cricket, Even before I could react, she shook hands in appreciation & said “I like the way you engage the team” That day I wanted to tell the world that one shouldn’t miss working at the Headquarters.

Should your #boss always be #better than you in your area of #work?

800 371 Kamal Karanth
Should you boss always bebetter than you in your area of work? Is that the most important reason for which you will respect him/her? I always felt disadvantaged as most of my bosses were more skilled than me. I did not have a great relationship or liking for some of my bosses. But, being a sales guy for a significant part of my career I have to admit that most of my bosses were damn good with customers. Once, my team member said he didn’t want to take his boss to sales meetings. His explanation: The boss was not making any difference to the meeting but was insisting he should be taken to client calls. Sales contexts are unique, your bosses can get found out if they cant convince a customer. The best part is that the action happens in your presence. I used to take my bosses to the toughest customers for some sadistic kicks. But, guess what! my bosses used to make a mark there too. My rationalisation! hierarchy matters and the customer listens more with bosses  🙂 If you are in Technology or any other Industry would your expectation be any different? You expect your boss to be more knowledgeable than you in various technologies?  Are bosses expected to be Gurus who know everything or facilitators who bring the best out of you?

Do you take a #Flight to work every Monday?

800 371 Kamal Karanth
Do you take a Flight to work every Monday? Flight? Yes, it’s a Monday and it’s likely some of your colleagues have taken a flight to be at work. How do they look at work? Tired for sure! Some senior executives work in one city during the week and live their weekend in another city. Working spouses, Ageing parents, school growing children have made career mobility complicated.Therefore, we negotiate leadership roles within the organization or with new employers in this travel mode. Employers also believe this 5-day appearance in the so-called ‘city of work’ is a win-win. I believe this is neither in the interest of the employee nor the employer.  Mondays & Fridays are spent on semi-sleep, part breakfast and adrenalin pumping travel ( Packing, Uber to the airport, Check-In, Security, Boarding, Deplaning rush, baggage wait, Ola search to reach office/home). How do you think these travelers fare on both days?  Mondays are about reaching the hotel in the evening for the rest. Fridays you are homesick and the travel anxiety to reach home takes over. So, its a kind of 3 days workweek for this full-time traveling executives. I have been there and I wish I could say “Done That” I think I was Unproductive.  Maybe I was an outlier!

Ex-Colleagues as Customers: Advantage or Disadvantage?

800 371 Kamal Karanth
Ex-Colleagues as Customers: Advantage or Disadvantage? Business prospects become easier when there are known faces. To start with you don’t have to give sales pitches, you don’t begin with a zero. The element of familiarity should be comforting. But, if the familiarity is because the prospective customers are ex-colleagues would it be an advantage?  I would say it depends on your past Karma 🙂   Many of my peers, bosses, team members are in influential roles. They are either CEOs, VPs, Directors or Senior Managers of large corporates. I was very proud of this vast network when I quit my last job. As an entrepreneur who was intending to build a staffing company, I thought this alumni network is an advantage.  The last year this network has been on trial 🙂 The Good news is people still pick up my calls 🙂 But, Some emails go nowhere, few WhatsApp messages evoke a response but no outcome.  That’s when I realize this long professional journey has had unknown casualties. Then I ask myself how come I did not realize the quality of my relationships over the last 2 decades.   At the same time, I can’t deny the overwhelming support received from many ex-colleagues at the same time. I am sure you would agree that what goes around comes around 🙂

Nostalgia- How we live in the Past

800 371 Kamal Karanth
Nostalgia makes for great emotion. We tend to romanticise our childhood to our alumni employers and believe the best is behind us.

I attended a retro event recently to award some winners. There were over 300 people dressed up in their favorite Retro dress. The event had a retro impact on my mind, As the event unfolded, my mind took a nostalgic trip. I was trying to remember the favorite company I worked for or the best team I was part of!

The nostalgia of First Job

The trip started with an Offsite I once attended where all of us were asked who was the best employer we had worked for. The room was filled with people who had an average of 15 years of work experience. Guess what; nobody raised their hand that their current employer was the best organisation to work for.At that experience level, you can imagine that people would have reached reasonable senior positions in their careers. But the growth in position and money did not make them feel that they were working for their best yet. But when we all explained to the facilitator why, I deciphered the rational. Most of us had chosen our first or second employers as our best organisation so far. It seemed that we valued the skills we learnt in our first jobs and without exception, all of them were fortune 500 brands.

But in my view its human nature to go back to the past and feel happy; but the logic could be less coherent.

Time to Bond

Somewhere I believe that our own age (read youth) makes us a little more romantic about our first couple of employers. It’s quite likely that we wouldn’t have been quite occupied in our personal spaces during those stages in life; things like marriage, divorce, parenting, aged parents, round two of education etc etc. This enabled us to give more time to colleagues and work. We would have spent more time with them to socialise, be it dinners, movies, outstation trips and made them almost our friends. Being at the bottom of the pyramid of the organisation, we would have been part of more rewards/recognition programs and our own expectations from employers were different.