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There was a King who bred 10 wild dogs. He used them at his whim and will to torture public servants in his court who fell out of favor.

So one of the ministers once gave an opinion which proved to be wrong, and the King didn’t like at all.

So he ordered that the minister to be thrown to the dogs.

The shocked minister pleaded: ‘I served you 10 years with my sweat and blood and you do this?’

His pleas fell on deaf ears.

‘Okay, so be it. Please give me 10 days before you throw me in with those dogs.’

The merciful King conceded.

The minister went to the guard in charge of the dogs and told him he wanted to serve the dogs for the next 10 days.

The guard not knowing the reason was baffled. But he agreed.

So the minister started feeding the dogs, cleaning for them, washing them, providing all sorts of comfort for them.

So when the 10 days were up, the King, true to his word, ordered that the minister be thrown to the dogs for his punishment.

But when he was thrown in, everyone was amazed at what happened – they saw the dogs licking the feet of the minister!

The King did not like what he saw.

He asked petulantly: ‘What ever happened to the dogs? Do they know what they are doing?’’

The minister spoke up: ‘I served the dogs for 10 days and they didn’t forget my service. And I served you for 10 years and you forgot all about it in a trice.”

So the King realising his mistake made amends…

and got crocodiles instead for the minister and the dogs.

When the mighty make up their minds the meek don’t stand a chance.

End

 

PS: You may read ‘Authority’, ‘Government’, ‘Management’…for the ‘Mighty’. Need I add attribution to Chanakya is advertently erroneous 🙂

Source: facebook.com/groups/101024580247213/ (Gautham iyengar) and image from patch.com

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Clap

In the last few weeks/months there were some pleasant experiences with people/companies I would like to recount:

Blue Star Infotech:

This happened some months ago. One fine morning, I received a mail from Sunil Bhatia, currently the CEO and MD of Blue Star Infotech that left me without words. I was informed of a tree being planted in my ‘honor’ at the periphery of Khumbalgarh Sanctuary near Udaipur (through an NGO, Grow-Trees). Retired from active service a few years ago and with no ongoing interaction whatsoever with my ex-employer, I was completely overwhelmed by this unsolicited gesture towards an ex-employee. What gladdened me even more was to see  the enduring values established by the founders and ingrained in us over the years by successive bosses expressed thus in today’s times when such examples are rare to come by. More than the recognition for the individual, a gesture of this kind towards out-of-sight ex-employees elevates the organization to a new high in everyone’s perception.

Thank you, Sunil, for your kind sentiments – it meant a lot to me personally.

What did I do to earn this honor? Well, besides the long association with the organization, I worked like it was my own organization, a feeling that persists even today, wrought by the magic of empowerment and leadership, an example set by many a senior in the organization..

I learnt subsequently this was part of a ‘Grow-Tree’ social initiative of planting over 2,000 trees.

Kumbhalgarh project site

Grow-Trees is an NGO that helps individuals and corporates to plant trees serving dual purposes of conferring recognition on individuals or entities and at the same time building the much needed green cover on our land. From their site: ‘Tree planting creates low-skill jobs, and trees provide benefit to current and future generations, have a direct impact on carbon reduction, restoring forests, improving wildlife habitats, and upgrading water catchment areas, and offer flowers, fruit fodder and fuel for local communities and all living creatures.’

Coming back to Blue Star Infotech, how supportive they were in the final years of my career with the organization when my health failed me is a subject for another day.

The reason I’m sharing this episode is to highlight in today’s atmosphere of prevailing distrust, (good) organizations’ concern for their employees is not a myth – they go several extra miles to do what they can. It is well worth giving off your best while you’re at it.

Citibank:

Some years ago I became a holder of Citibank credit card and for some reason I cannot recall, a second card too though I was never a heavy user of credit cards. May be when I was not very alert I said ‘yes’ to one of those pushy telemarketers.

With two printed monthly statements coming by post I did not scrupulously track how much I owed on which card and when was the payment due. To add to my woes, the drop-box to deposit the check was way off my usual route for running errands or for evening walks. So payment defaults were not very uncommon attracting stiff penalties. If I remember right, the penalty was hiked to Rs 500.

In sheer disgust with myself, I guess I paid a lump sum of Rs 5,000 so that there was always a credit balance on my cards. Over the following months and years I shied away  from those cards fearing payment issues  and finally they were marked as inactive. And it was all forgotten.

Some months ago, out of the blue, I got a communication from Citibank informing me of a credit balance of Rs 5,000 on one of my cards. As needed by them, I posted a written application for refund supported by identity proof. In matter of 2-3 days, the check was couriered to me. No telephone calls, no follow up – just like that. That was impressive.

Of course I was too happy to receive the principal amount to quibble about the interest for the period.

Thank you, Citibank.

Unit Trust Of India:

I remember Unit Trust Of India doing the same for me some years ago. Again one fine day a UTI manager called up to inform me about a portfolio that I had lost track of. She helped me compile the necessary documents and redeem the holdings. It’s unfortunate that I did not think of writing an appreciation note to UTI on that occasion.

Jet Airways:

On to another recent incident where the fault once again was mine:

I had booked tickets for the family by a Jet Airways flight leaving for Chennai at 2-35. On the appointed day we reached well in time – I’m a cancerian. To my horror, I learnt it was an early morning flight that I had tickets to. The counter clerk regretfully told me it was a ‘no show’ and I would have to buy a fresh set of tickets (This part however is not ‘cancerian’). And there wasn’t much anyone could do much about it – she knew this very well because there have been other similar cases. When I pleaded with her it meant a big loss to me as a senior citizen, the girl was moved to making some attempts to mitigate the disaster. She had figured out some solution and went after it. With no sign of irritation or impatience she was at it for much more than an hour. Getting to speak over the phone to her back-office to confirmed the fresh bookings was not easy for her! The back-office was too busy to take her calls. She kept pressing on.

Luckily there were not many customers demanding her attention at the same time. The effort she took was amazing regardless of the eventual outcome which was quite uncertain till the end. She finally did it in a way that significantly cut my losses. As I said I would have been no less thankful to her if she had not succeeded in her individual initiative when the rules were clearly not on my side. I would gladly give out her name if I’m sure she’ll not get hurt.

Thank you, S….. and Jet Airways for empowering your staff.

Sanofi:

Recently my doctor prescribed for me a new insulin injection supplied by Sanofi.

He gave me a sales contact who quickly arranged for a dealer to supply me the cartridges at a discounted price. The sales person also offered to fix up a house visit by their staff to show me how to use the new pen. I tried gently to dissuade him since I was quite familiar with the pens. He reiterated it would be useful to meet up with them and it wasn’t going to cost me anything.  Finally I relented.

On the following day a young man and a lady turned up at my place. I was convinced it was going to be a waste of time. I received them with perfunctory interest.

In about ten minutes into the session, it was a complete turnabout for me. They showed me how I was doing it wrong for years and the right way to do it. And they had reasons for saying whatever they said. Finally they spent more than an hour going over the details for me. There was no skimping, no corners cut…

I asked the lady how could they make these calls at no charge. She said Sanofi had a field team just for this initiative and they don’t intend making it a chargeable service. And there was even going to be a follow-up visit in six months to see how am I faring!

Well, I was/am quite impressed. It’s a model other companies in pharma and other sectors too could follow and strengthen their linkages with their customers.

Thank you, Amit, Vaishali and, of course, Sanofi.

End

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The body of any organization has four bones:

skeleton-partial

1. Wish bones, who spend all their time wishing someone else will do all the work;

2. Jaw Bones, who do all the talking and very little else;

3. Knuckle Bones, who knock everything that everybody else tries to do;

4. Back Bones, who get under the load and do all the work.

What are You?

End

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Credits: arcamax.com and freeclipartnow.com

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Enjoyed receiving this strip below from my good friend and ex-colleague Rajanga Sivakumar:

Camel 1

Camel 2

Camel 3

Camel 4

Moral of the story:

Camel 5

So right it is.

The trouble is a right place does not come by easily. Even if it does, it may not stay right for long.

How about righting the place where you are? Before giving up, I mean. Incidentally no company raps you on the knuckles when the results show up good on account the changes you bring in.

Today, it is important to understand changes don’t/need not always flow from the top. Every employee has an opportunity to be a change agent in some ways. Of course, it needs an empowering environment. Perfectly possible in many Indian companies with loosely drawn lines and roles than in MNC’s and their offshore units with rigorously templated jobs. May be that MNC’s don’t need righting since they’re right already? Though I doubt given the dynamics of IT business and the interesting possibilities thrown up almost everyday.

End

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There was a farmer who collected horses. One day, he was fortunate to find a specimen of a rare Arabian breed for sale. The delighted farmer paid an arm and a leg to acquire the horse.

A month later, the horse became ill and he called the veterinarian. The vet examined the horse carefully and finally declared:

“Well, your horse has a virus. He must take this medicine for three days. I’ll come back on the third day and if he’s not better, we’re going to have to put him down.”

Nearby, the pig listened closely to their conversation.

The next day, the horse was given the medicine and left to recover.

The pig approached the horse and said:

“Buck up, my friend, or else they’re going to put you to sleep!”

On the second day, the horse was given the medicine and left to recover.

The pig came back and said:

“Come on buddy, gather up or else you’re going to die! Come on, I’ll help you. Let’s go! One, two, three…”

On the third day, they came to give him the medicine and the vet said to the anguished farmer:

“It’s mighty unfortunate. We’’re going to have to put him down tomorrow. Otherwise, the virus might spread and infect the other horses.”

After they left, the pig approached the horse and said:

“Listen pal, it’s now or never! Get up, come on! Have courage!

Come on! Get up! Get up! That’s it, slowly! Great!

Come on, one, two, three… Good, good.

Now faster, come on…. Fantastic! Run, run more! Yes! Yay! Yes! You did it, you’re a champion!!!”

All of a sudden, the farmer came back, saw the horse running in the field and began shouting:

“It’s nothing short of a miracle! My horse is cured. This deserves a party. Let’s kill the pig!!”

End

Are you beginning to relate it to what happens in your organization?
Source: IIA Forum

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