Most Managers are Cowards
Yes I know I’m likely to be the target of brickbats or worse. But I’ll still say most managers are cowards. The sad part is that they could actually be “Path Breakers”. But either they are too afraid of upsetting the apple cart, simply too lazy to go that extra mile or just plain incompetent. Mediocrity seems to be the new comfort zone. Stay a yes man and keep out of controversy. Outwardly energetic inwardly paralyzed. The perfect camouflage. Following the leader is the best ‘stay-alive’ practice after all why re-upset the flow?
Otaku, is an interesting Japanese word. It implies an interest that’s pursued with intensity; a little less than obsession but more than just a hobby, it’s probably closer to the English term “dogged-passion”. Do managers in India possess the Otaku spirit? They certainly do. But we are also possessed by that other spirit –“vassalage”. And often we possess Otaku for vassalage. Scrambled egg or bheja fry? Both unfortunately. This is most prevalent in the marketing departments, but not limited to such.
Rule number one, the boss is always right. Rule number two, in the likely event she isn’t, rule number one prevails. The crushing personality or stubbornness of leadership terrify into submission everyone else’s otaku. So it’s especially difficult for great ideas and initiatives to blossom or even surface. Oh yes I’ve heard of the umpteen brainstorming sessions, led by the boss herself. I’ve heard and witnessed how she’s directed ideas or acquired some. Collective ownership is sometime mouthed but it’s really the opposite that’s true. She owns you: you’re the atma, that extension of the paramatma.
There’s the option of continuing as a “mute – doer” from year to year, till it becomes unbearable. Then you simply jump ship and into another organisation, before long you encounter the same wretched environment. When you’re interviewed you firmly state you want freedom to grow and ideate to perform unfettered, guess what? You really mean it. And you’re assured that’s exactly what the kind of person the company is looking for… hahaha everyone is happy, you get the package you want and the company knows they’ve got the flunky they’re looking for.
Stand and fight. If you are convinced a plan will work, fight for it. Become unpopular, that stigma will remain only for a while. You will eventually be known as the action person, to be relied on. Is it difficult? Dangerous? Will your job be on the line? Believe you me, it is all of that! But that is what separates the boys from the men, the grownups from the young ‘uns. If you simply want a job and go home or to a party every day; Don’t bother to do any of the above, don’t waste your time. Sit back flash the great designation on your impressive business card, enjoy the proceeds of your pay cheque (or direct deposit) and chill.
But if you want to be a cut above the rest…take the risk. However, be very sure that your plan is workable and that you have 100% faith in what you are recommending. Then and only then stick your neck out.