Thursday, July 7, 2016
HARD-WORK PAYS SELDOM – MANAGING BOSS ALWAYS
Hard-Work Pays Seldom – Managing Boss Always
The key to improve your work life is never built up in your job but it is there in your relationship with the Boss. Time immemorial, Boss and Junior have a long history of creating patterns of communication and non-communication. That leaves little room for innovation & enthusiasm.
It is a ground reality that you can choose the Juniors but you can’t choose the Boss. We are not talking about the Industrialists whose son or daughter starts the career as Boss because it will deviate our discussion and the spirit of this article. Well it is a matter of debate that even in the big industrial houses the owner feels that after acquiring the required professional qualification, the next generation should start the career with a learning phase. It may not be possible to have the learning in the capacity of the Junior because he/ she is identified as a person born with golden spoon. Much away from the industrial houses, our history speaks that a king was made even at the tender age of twelve and learnt the skills of a ruler with the span of time. Somehow the same legacy went on for business tycoons also where generation after generation, the Bosses were born.
No two Bosses can be the same
Let us come back to the core issue of managing the Boss or how to be a good Boss. In the beginning of a career, young person feels comfortable to act like a Junior learning and following the instructions. Even the most successful Bosses in their long career encountered difficult situations while dealing with the Boss. No two Bosses are the same. But the Junior remains the same, looking for his comfort zone while working under the leadership of different Bosses. In spite of having exemplary professional qualifications, with required intelligence and intellectualness one cannot find the peace of mind in the job unless he has learnt the art of managing the Boss. There are unforeseen peculiar situations in the career where you work under different kind of Bosses.
Looking for a Leader in the Boss
We can find four categories of Bosses and it is necessary to discuss some basic characteristics of each one of them. Let us talk about them.
At first there comes the one who can be named as the drive leader as a classic tyrant having total control, he manages by intimidation forcing his Juniors to prove their loyalty instead of their worth.
The second comes a lady Boss as the default leader who employs sink - or - swim method of management where her Juniors gets little or no guidance for feedback but if they don’t perform they are fired.
The third category of Boss can be named as a draw leader who brings out the best in his Juniors by praising their achievements. He is always eager to make innovations even when it is not needed.
In the fourth category again it comes the lady as develop leader who encourages her Juniors to develop confidence and self esteem so as to take the risk. They learn a lot from her by getting benefit while working closely with her.
Though we have categorised Bosses in the above four categories as leader but a good Junior perhaps feels that his Boss displays all the above qualities, once he tries to evaluate him By doing so the Junior is on his way to achieve a better working relationship with Boss. Long ago Kahlil Gibran beautifully said, “Work is love, made visible when you work with love. You bind yourself to yourself and to one another as to God”.
How do we perform in – Boss’s eye
As human being, we have different roles to play, much away from Boss to Junior, it is the role of father, mother, son, daughter, friend or even acquaintance. In all walks of life, there is inherent desire to know as to what other thinks about us. How we perform in the eye of others. It is there, while playing any role. If we talk about the Boss-Junior relationship, the appraisal is the most important thing. It is always in his mind as to how well is he performing whether he is performing up to the expectation of the Boss. This desire may be for reward, appreciation, or sheer satisfaction.
We may recall an interesting story. There was a young man, talking on telephone with the speaker on, in such a manner that the conversation from both the sides could be heard by a person, standing nearby. It all started with the sentence:
Sir, I think you need a servant.
The other side said, No, I don’t need a servant.
But Sir, I am a very obedient, hardworking and sincere person.
My servant is also hardworking, obedient and sincere.
Sir, I know typing on computer and I can work as your assistant, besides doing the entire household jobs.
My servant is also doing all that, why are you wasting time ? I don’t need your services.
Sir, I know driving too, so by employing me, you will be able to save money for the driver.
My servant knows driving and don’t tell me all these things. I am very much happy with my servant, why are you unnecessarily asking me to employ you, when I am in no need of servant.
Sir I will take only five thousand rupees per month for doing all these jobs.
Don’t repeat all this, my servant takes five thousands rupees per month, rather for his excellent work I have decided to increase his salary to seven thousands per month.
And the man hangs up the phone.
The above conversation was being heard by that person who was standing there. He felt pity on that young man. He said, “I am really feeling sorry that you could not get the job inspite of all your persuasive talks and all the qualities you projected about yourself. I really feel for you. Sorry young man, but it is life, try again!”
Now it was the turn of the young man who smiled and said “Oh! You are mistaken, don’t feel sorry about me. Rather I am too happy today. Because I am the servant who is working with him. Today, I got the appraisal for my performance with the good news of two thousands rupees salary increase.”
The moral of the story is that every Junior looks for appraisal of his performance. We are not going deal with main issue as to how to manage the Boss. So, now let us come back to our work-life...
One cannot choose the Boss
As we have already said that it cannot be our choice to have a Boss of our liking, but in any case we need to work and grow in the organisation, stepping from ladder to another. It has been generally experienced that the Bosses believe in the theory of parent, adult, child where their most preferred work situation is father to child, not adult to adult. Most of the Bosses prefer “yes man” - An obedient, sincere and devoted Junior is their first choice. Nobody is perfect in this world and nobody can define, as to what is actual perfection, it is always the decision of the Boss as to what is perfection for accomplishment of the task by Junior. Every Junior wants to come up to the expectation of the Boss.
A big question comes as to whether sincerity, honesty, hard-work, knowledge, ability, experience and self motivation, etc. are sufficient to rise in the career. Theoretically speaking, these qualities should be enough for a steady rise in the career. But it so happens that the personality factor, ego-clash, interpersonal conflicts, complexes of different kind – inferiority and superiority, and the behaviourial aspects, human relations, by pass all the core quality issues, on which success should be dependent. We need to analyse what is the reason for not achieving success in spite of required qualities in a Junior. We have to find out the solution also as to how one can manage the Boss.
Fine art of Flattering – a magic
A very few of you must have read the world famous book “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, where large number of life situations have been discussed with the objective of attaining happiness. Here, in the context of Boss-Junior relationship we would like to discuss the fine art of flattery because an oily tongue is the best means to give you an upper hand in official hierarchy. We must admire Americans who have written books on all considerable subjects under the sun. It is our strong belief that with a bit of enthusiasm anyone can master anything. There was a time when public speaking, writing skills, acting on the stage, articulation, self-confidence were considered God given natural gifts. But when we look the American way of life, it shows that all these qualities can be mastered by way of proper learning and practice.
There is no dearth of self-help books in the market, you go to any book shop and see large number of books with titles, “How to succeed in selling ?”, “How to stop worrying ?”, “How to write ?” How to act on stage ?”, “How to get rid of nagging wife ?”, “How to marry someone you can live your life happily ?”, “How to entice you lady secretary ?”, “How to be friendly with your neighbour’s wife ?”, and most importantly, “How to impress the Boss ?”. All these titles have come from the authors with American background perhaps it suits the temperament in US. However, we can always apply the general principles underlying there, with suitable modifications for Indian conditions.
Success is dependent on Boss
Now let us talk as to how to succeed in your official career. To begin with, let us clarify in the words of Bernard Shaw, “One who knows, does, One who does not know, teaches”. Although on the face of it, this statement looks cynical and absurd but it is cent percent true. Just make a round of any famous seat of learning, in any history across the world, you will find that the persons teaching law are poor Advocates and lawyers. They failed at the bar and became professors. The professor of business management cannot manage even a small shop in reality. In medical colleges, the professor teaching surgeries might be very poor surgeon. Coming to sports, a coach who teaches boxing, might have never won a single bout in his life. These situations are so true in every avocation, you will find that the persons who teach dancing, acting and film direction, could not make any mark in the field of their expertise just think if they were being able to act or direct a film, they would have done so and earn crores of rupees, rather than earning few lakhs as teachers.
The studies have been conducted probing above issues, for the persons who have succeeded in life and those who have not succeeded. It proved useful for the persons who have ambition and Will to succeed in life.
Flattering / Like Buttering the Toast
In order to achieve success in life, the first lesson to be learnt is to master the “fine art of flattery”. This is also called buttering because it has great similarity to the act of buttering a toast. The butter should neither be too much nor too less, it must be soaked in the toast, but should neither be visible nor soil the fingers. The toast should be buttered at the right time, it should not be very hot because butter melts quickly on a hot toast. On the other hand, it should not be cold. The same philosophy is to be applied in case of flattering the Boss as buttering. It should not be too obvious, the Boss should not feel that he is being flattered. At the same time, it should be effective and pleasant to hear by Boss and his ears should be anxious to feel flattering words like the ears of a bride, who wants to hear from the groom about her beauty.
The choice of the right time, the right person, in the right mood, the right place, and the right words can only give the right push. Why we are emphasising on these rights because once a very senior officer, wrote on the character role of Junior officer, “His method of flattering is very crude.” It shows that although he liked the flattery, but did not appreciated the method of doing it. There is no one in this world, who does not like flattery. Even the Almighty God likes flattery. All the religious books and prayers are full of flattery to God. Give a look to shloka 36- 47 of Chapter IX of Bhagwat Gita which illustrates this point. Just see when God can be pleased by flattery then it is no wonder, if the ordinary human being are also reacting in the same manner. If you want to rise in the official hierarchy quickly then you must be proficient in the fine art of flattery. Once you have realised and accepted the importance of art of flattery, then it must be clear in your mind as to how you are going to use it to further your interest. As a Junior, you must make up your mind for the aim and objective and draw up an action plan, by identifying the target as to who is the real Boss, to grant you success. You have to be very selective on whom you are going to apply and practice the art of flattering. It is not an easy task because it is not a question of flattering only one Boss all the time, but there are people superior to you, who can be instrumental for your success, therefore you have to find out the right person, whom to flatter, the right time, the right mood, and the right place. These are the most important aspects for successful application of art of flattery. Why we are saying so because at times it has been experienced that people flatter those persons who are unable to do any good to them and they flattered the wrong person and faced disastrous results.
Looking for a role model in Boss
As a Junior, once you identify the right Boss, then you need to imitate the habits, moods, fashions, and etiquettes of the Boss, since imitation is the best form of flattery. There is a Persian saying that “Every vice that the king has is a virtue. Whatever the king does, the courtiers must do”. Similarly if the Boss plays the bridge or chess, you must learn to play the same. If he likes tennis or badminton then you need to play these games or be in the ground. It may go to the extent that if the Boss smokes and drinks, the flatterer should also develop similar habits; he must smoke or drink the brand of Boss’s liking. While imitating the Boss, you are doing flattery in the most subtle form.
Now, comes the most important technique that you should acquire, it is the habit of never criticising any action of the Boss. You should treat the Boss as an ideal man. He should be personified as greatest. All his actions are exemplary in nature, you should feel as if, he is the king and the king can do no wrong. Apply this in your day to day conversation with the Boss. There is an interesting example you should follow by understanding from two situations narrated here.
The Boss while coming to office, brought an umbrella, the Junior saw him and said, “Sir, it is not raining, why did you bring the umbrella?
The Boss replied “In today’s newspaper, it is said that it might be raining today evening”.
The Junior said “Sir, weather reports are always wrong. We should not believe them”.
The Boss said, “Even if there is no rain, the umbrella can protect one from the heat of the sun.”
The Junior never hesitated in contradicting the Boss by saying, “Sir, today’s sunshine is very pleasant. We should not use an umbrella to prevent the rays of the sun from the invigorating our body.”
This conversation annoyed the Boss to a great extent and he did not further reply to the Junior and fired him even for the smallest lapse committed by the Junior during the entire day.
We must analyse the above situation which goes against the art of flattery. The things could have been much simpler and pleasant, if the Junior could have been the “yes man”. You may recall the conversation of Akbar and Birbal for Aubergine/Bringal story that still makes sense.
Let us repeat the same conversation as to how it could go with the art of flattery.
The Junior said “good morning Sir, It is really a fine idea to bring the umbrella. A fool like me could not foresee that it might be raining in the evening.”
The Boss replied, “Even if raining is not there. The umbrella will help me to protect from the sun’s rays.”
The Junior politely says, “Well Sir, this point never entered in my dull brain. It is only a man like you who can see the things from all angles.”
The Boss said, “Well it is nothing! I just read the weather report in today’s newspaper and brought the umbrella.”
The Junior flattered the Boss by saying, “Sir this is called memory. We read and forget, but never make any use of information, like your good self.”
Later the above conversation led to a good impression of Junior in the mind of the Boss, he invited him to his room and shared a coffee. The whole day was spent in a very pleasant manner.
Self-condemnation – A necessity
Now let us talk about self-condemnation. Whenever you are with the Boss, always be prompt enough to take the blame upon yourself, if anything goes wrong. It is going to give the feeling in the mind of Boss that even though he was at fault. It was you who had the courage to take the blame and he will protect you.
Once a Junior was explaining a point to his Boss, he explained thrice but the dull headed Boss, could not understand the issue. In utter disgust, the foolish Junior said, “what can I do Sir? You do not have brains to understand it.” The Boss felt enraged and asked him to get out. After he left, the Boss told his colleagues, “it is alright that I could not understand but he should not have pointed out so curtly, after all he should have told me, Sir I am unable to explain, but I will still try”.
Self-condemnation is not easy for a Junior to cultivate as a habit because it requires great amount of patience. Whenever you are with the Boss be prepared and prompt enough to take the blame upon yourself, especially when something goes wrong. This self condemnation will generate a great feeling in the mind of Boss with realisation that even though he himself was wrong, but you had the courage to take the blame.
Renunciation requires great patience
Let us take another example with little difference from self-condemnation, it is renunciation, meaning thereby that Junior should never take the credit for any good thing done by him even if the work has been done by him. Sometimes, an important letter is prepared by the Junior to be signed by the Boss to beseech appreciation of receiver. Let, it go and Boss may take the credit from higher ups without reflecting your contribution. The Junior should never try to disclose about the efforts made by him, allow the appreciation to be taken by the Boss. Follow the teachings of Lord Krishna, in Shloka 12 of chapter 12 in the Gita, which says “Renounce all the fruits of action and have peace”. Mainly because the Junior is working for the Boss and his purpose is solved when he has done the job. The Boss will naturally feel happy that his Junior has made him to take the credit for the work which was not actually performed by him.
We may recall a real incident as to how the renunciation has paid dividends to a very senior officer in the government sector. Once a Regional Commissioner got an assignment to work for International Labour Organisation project, he got the approval for making study tours within India for data collection. Every time he used to make the paper, it was a routine practice to inform the Chief Commissioner about the progress made with the words that he is doing the job because of guidance given by the Chief Commissioner. The Chief Commissioner used to feel happy and always gave him all required approvals. Finally a day came, when the regional commissioner was invited to present the paper in ILO conference at Geneva, which required mandatory approval by Government of India on the recommendation of Chief Commissioner. While seeking approval the regional commissioner as Junior mentioned in bold letters on the cover page of research document “under the guidance of Chief Commissioner (by name)”. Now it was the turn of Chief Commissioner to call him, asking “Why you have mentioned my name, when it is your work and it has been done by you only.” The Regional Commissioner replied in a very humble manner. “Sir you are so knowledgeable that you never know that your simple talks are having golden words which can be taken as fruitful advice and guidance which was very useful for my research work Therefore, I rightly mentioned your name, otherwise also you are a renowned figure internationally and your name is going to be a great value addition for my work.” The Chief Commissioner was so happy with this renunciation that he not only recommended official foreign visit but ensured that the same is approved by the government. Finally the brilliant work of Regional Commissioner was commended in the conference at Geneva and he was rewarded with a cash prize of five thousand US dollars with a letter of appreciation. While returning to India religiously the regional commissioner took two identical gift items worth two thousand five hundred dollars each. He met the Chief Commissioner and showed his appreciation letter which was also having his name as guide. He handed over the gift item to the Chief Commissioner. At first instance, the Chief Commissioner refused to take the gift but it was a tactful art of flattery on the part of Regional Commissioner to convince the Boss to accept the same for his role as a guide. He really proved as master of flattery and it gave him a long lasting effect, in the form of out of turn promotion.
Unnatural reaction to appear natural
Well we have said about this renunciation which can be taken as a unnatural reaction because as a Junior one should conceal his feelings so tactfully that it looks as a natural reaction. Let us take few examples based on principle of unnatural reaction, there was an assistant engineer who was highly qualified with a brilliant track record, he was assigned the job of making the drawings of a flyover for a turn-key project. Unfortunately, he had a Boss who became superintending engineer by virtue of seniority though we had a diploma qualifications only. The Boss had no knowledge and calibre to understand the modalities of making the drawings for the flyover, but he had enough power and authority to criticise the design made by assistant engineer by, pin-pointing number of deficiencies in the design in a foolish manner without knowing the technicalities of the matter. Now there can be a natural reaction of assistant engineer to understand the lack of knowledge of the Boss and he could resent to the criticism by entering into an argument. But as master of flattery, the assistant engineer needs to act in a different manner by saying to the Boss that he had got very little experience which only comes with age and maturity. Therefore, he is obliged by the suggestions made by the Boss and he will try his level best to incorporate the valuable advice given by the Boss.
The principles of unnatural reaction are very important for a Junior to please the Boss; therefore, it will be worthwhile to narrate another example. Once a young man with first class English Honours degree joined government office as “clerk” but his immediate Boss at the level of section officer was only a matriculate, who was very poor in English. The clerk used to prepare excellent drafts and notes in English. The Boss was in the habit of making unnecessary corrections all the time, which were making no sense. The clerk used to get firing for those corrections made by the Boss. The natural reaction of the Junior would be to protest against the corrections made and to point out that the same were not even grammatically correct. But as master of flattery the clerk is required to go to the Boss with a smile saying to him that the English which was taught to the Boss at the time of schooling was of very high standard. The present day teachers who taught him were not knowing the language therefore, he will try to learn from the Boss as per corrections made. Here, he needs to be very tactful in making the situation look like that the perfect English used by him has actually came from the corrections made by the Boss. It will not be easy for the Boss to refuse the correct drafts made by him, once the Junior has appreciated the knowledge level of the Boss.
The above concept of making the Boss happy by following the principle of unnatural reaction is the backbone of art of flattery and if a Junior wants to master this art he has to act in a very perfect manner without making the Boss to realise the actual position.
Let us discuss one more situation to clarify this point. There was a brilliant chartered accountant with post-graduate degrees from India and abroad with hands-on experience. He joined a big company as accounts officer where unfortunately his Boss who was heading the accounts department was a Brigadier who joined after taking pre-mature retirement from Army. It was not known to the accounts officer as to why the Brigadier was made his Boss in spite of the fact that his knowledge of accountancy was like what a wrestler knows about classical music. But in any case, the Brigadier was the Boss who was always finding one fault or the other in the accounts statements made by the accounts officer. As a matter of fact, the Boss was pointing out irrelevant baseless errors which were unfounded. It was looking absurd by the accounts officer who was expert in the field. The natural reaction of the Junior in this case would have been to show the Boss that whatever he has prepared is perfectly alright according to the principles of accounting. But the unnatural reaction as a master of flattery on the part of Junior should be to praise the Boss’s common sense with the saying that the Boss knows more about accounting theory than even ‘carter of batliboi’. He needs to exhibit that his knowledge of accountancy is bookish whereas the knowledge of his Boss is based on horse- sense. The paper degrees of Junior are nothing as compared to the knowledge of the Boss which is acquired during long experience in the Army.
Diplomacy in flattering is a must
We have been talking about, the art of flattery its various dimensions and ways and means to practise it. But it will be a great failure in case the Junior is not learning the diplomacy in flattery mainly because the Junior should not praise the Boss directly in very explicit way. The praises should not be unrealistic. At times, the Junior should praise the Boss at his back before those persons who are very close and intimate to the Boss so that the Boss should come to know about flattering words used by the Junior from the mouth of others. Whenever the flattery is made in the presence of Boss it must be in a very dignified manner. It should not look cheap. Only those qualities of the Boss should be praised which are abstract in nature and do not concern outward physical qualities of the Boss, otherwise he will come to know that it is not the real praise but he is being flattered unnecessarily.
Another important principle for the art of flattery as a value addition comes in the form of “yesmanship”. The Junior should always remember to say “yes” to whatever command the Boss gives because no Boss would like the word “no” from Junior even if order is impractical or suggestions made by him are absurd. The Junior should make genuine even though hypocritical efforts to comply with and implement those orders and suggestions. Well in due course of time, the Boss will come to know the consequences of his order or he will realise the absurdity and impossibility of his orders later on. In that case, he is going to ask Junior to stop further action in the matter. On the other hand, if the Junior says “no” or if he says that the suggestions were absurd, then it is going to spoil Boss-Junior relationship. Learning and practicing the art of “yesmanship” is going to prove Junior as dependable in the eye of Boss and he will do everything to enable the Junior to attain whatever he aspires to.
Flattery – Not everybody’s cup of tea
Whatever said and done talking about flattery, we cannot take it granted that every Junior can learn this art and practice convincingly. You require a great amount of not only conviction but acceptance from your conscious because every junior has got his own value system and professional ethics. Not everybody looks for professional success only in life but some people aim to have contentment and satisfaction which is supreme for them, when it comes to the question of priority. Flattering the Boss requires a great amount of compromise when the junior is not convinced internally to practice the various techniques we have discussed. When a junior witnesses quick success in career among peers as compared to sincere hard-work, it appears to him as a short cut to success which motivates him to try this art of flattery. Let us understand this dilemma from a true story.
A professionally qualified young man joined as executive in the government sector. It was all going smooth ride working with the organisation but the promotions were dependent strictly on the basis of unilateral non-objective performance appraisal. People were in the queue aspiring the next ladder in hierarchy. The criterion for assessment as excellent and outstanding was solely in the hands of the Boss. Flattering the Boss by the Juniors was the easy way to get excellent reports. This young man was feeling quite amused, rather confused as to which way to go? He learnt from his parents that hard-work, sincerity, devotion to duty is the only key for success but he was finding quite a reverse situation in real-life situation.
One day, he was going to office with his colleague who was carrying a big bouquet of flowers and a beautiful birthday card, perhaps a costly one. Before he could muster the courage of asking the colleague as to why he is carrying these articles, the colleague sarcastically remarked “I feel you may not get the promotion in near future because you don’t know how to flatter the Boss. Look today is the birthday of boss and I have taken great care to take these flowers and the card which is liked by the Boss. These are the days of appraisal and my wishing to Boss on his birthday is going to please him. I really feel pity on you that you are going empty hand.” The young man had no answer.
It so happened that the young man also entered the office of boss when the colleague presented the bouquet to Boss with the card wishing “happy birthday”. The Boss was so happy that he not only shook hand but hugged the colleague with great gratitude saying “So nice of you, I am really happy that you could remember my birthday, please have the seat.” The young man also wished the Boss for which the reply came “It’s okay, now white going to your seat just tell the canteen boy to bring two cups of coffee for us.” The young man really got demoralised and depressed due to insulting behaviour of the Boss which he could make out from the gestures. There was no other way except to follow the instructions of the Boss to order coffee.
There was a great turmoil in the mind of young man he thought that wishing birthday is not a big deal if it can please the Boss, there is no harm in doing this much flattery, so he went to the section where personal records of all the senior officers were kept, he managed to know the date of birth of a Boss who was much superior to his immediate Boss. He thought it will be a good idea to be the first person to wish the Boss’s Boss because in any case the supreme authority to grade his final report. On
particular day he came early to the office with a very big flower bouquet and the costliest available birthday card. He waited for the arrival of Boss. Soon after the Boss sat in his cabin, he mustered the courage to knock the door and said, “Sir, Many many happy returns of the day! It is my privilege to greet you with these flowers and my heartfelt wishes written on this frolic card.” While he was keeping the bouquet and the card on the table looking for desired response, he got the biggest shock of his life when the boss rebuked “What is this? Today is not my birthday. Who told you to do all this? Have some sense, take this all. By the way, what makes you to think that today is my birthday?” The young man got quite nervous and tears were about to come in his eyes. Looking down on the floor with cross hands, he said, “Sir, I personally noted your date of birth from the records section where the personal dossiers are kept.” The Boss angrily replied, “Oh my god! What a man you are? You are making enquiries from my personal records, how dare you? Look the date of birth mentioned in my records is not correct. Today is not my birthday and I need to warn you, concentrate on your job rather than doing all this. Now get out and take all these things!” The young man burnt his fingers for the second time.
The above failed attempt of flattery never demotivated the young man because he was convinced that still this much flattery of wishing the birthday he can afford, because it is quite a natural thing to greet any Boss on birthday, so why he should not make another attempt and this time without any fault by knowing the correct date of birth.
Later-on, the young man got transferred to another station with a new Boss. Now it was all good congenial atmosphere where the Boss was a happy go lucky man with a poetic heart. The young man was very careful for not taking any chance to repeat the failed attempt. Fortunately, one day while the Boss was talking on telephone to somebody, he could secretly hear the conversation of the Boss when he was telling to someone that his correct date of birth is not known to anybody since the official records carry a wrong date. He said that his actual date of birth is 14th November and not 14th December as recorded in the personal dossiers. The young man felt as if he got the key for a treasure. Months passed in waiting for November to come. All preparations were made by him to have the flower bouquet which was unique from the best florist shop of the town, this time, the card he took was having many leafs with birthday wishes in poetic form. Matching with the taste and liking of the Boss. Lot of ideas keep cropping up mind. He could not sleep the whole night of 13th November. Finally he planned to visit the bungalow of the Boss instead of making it in office since Boss always do morning walk in the lawn. At a distance he saw that the boss is playing with the flowers and was looking quite cheerful.
Having smile on his face with full zeal and confidence, he entered the bungalow and approached the Boss “Good morning Sir, Many-many happy returns of the day!” It was the happiest moment for him when Boss while thanking, shook hands and embraced him. “So nice of you! Such a pleasant surprise! Come, let me see this beautiful card, what a great wordings, wonderful!” He took him to the swing at the corner of the lawn, they both sat together, when Boss started reading various leafs of the card, it was all praises, coming from the boss. The young man was delighted but he never knew that yet another shock was awaiting in the most disastrous manner. The Boss asked him. “Well! I am so happy for this unexpected birthday wish because nobody knows my correct date of birth, really I am surprised! But tell me, how could you know about my correct date of birth?” The young man smiled, “Sir, please don’t ask, it is a secret.” “Come on, tell me!” The boss remarked. “Please Sir, don’t ask me, it is really a secret!” “It is not done, you have to tell me” the Boss said. “Okay Sir, if you are pressing me to disclose, let me tell you Sir, you never know, once you were talking to somebody on phone, when I secretly, heard the conversation, and noted that very moment, that you are a scorpio like me born on 14th November.” The Boss became furious, “Get up! I thought you are a gentlemen, a nice guy, but you turned out to be very dangerous, you secretly hear my private conversations! Oh my god! What else have you heard? It is not done, I have to be very careful about you. Look in future don’t enter my room without knocking. I really feel sorry for keeping such a man like you. It is my final warning, now go and take these flowers and the card! I don’t feel like accepting from a person like you, who has the habit of listening the private and personal conversations secretly.”
Now it was the last day for this young man when he attempted to flatter Boss. He made a personal commitment to himself that flattery is not his cup of tea and he has to surrender depending on his hard-work for success in career.
The moral of this true story is to do flattery when you are convinced and have conviction that you can really do it. Because it requires a great amount of flexibility in ideas and practicability of the concepts of the art of flattery as we had been discussing.
Be Ungrateful to Boss in distress
Finally there is piece of advice for a Junior that he should not succumb to “hero-worship”, when the Junior finds that the Boss to whom he was flattering is about to fall because of his misdeeds and corruption then it is better that Junior must leave him in time, Otherwise, it will be dangerous to have association with the Boss who is a falling hero. If the Boss is in difficulty for his dishonesty, the Junior should try to be as far away from him as possible so that he may not share the fate of the Boss. It looks ethically wrong but it is required on the part of Junior to be an opportunist by forgetting whatever the Boss has done for him. The Junior cannot and should not afford to be the party for wrongful deeds and dishonest acts of the Boss. In that situation he needs to be completely ungrateful. It will be better for the Junior to pretend as if he never knew the Boss. The Junior should understand plainly that he worshipped the “chair” and not the man. These acts may look ungrateful on the part of Junior but there should not be any compromise in the matter of values and ethics. One should be sure that honesty is the best policy come what may in all times to come.
Golden Principles to follow
Now let us summarise this Boss-management phenomena in specific terms by saying some Dos and Don’ts which are relevant to be remembered as necessary part of flattery.
Dos for Junior for his Boss:
- Praise the sense of justice and fairness
- Praise magnanimity and boldness
- Praise sense of proportion and foresight
- Praise intelligence, tactfulness and learning
- Do as much publicity to the achievements of the Boss as possible
- Render as much personal service as one can do
- Laugh loudly at the jokes cracked by the Boss
- Attend all functions where the Boss is likely to be present
- Criticise the persons not liked by the Boss and who do not cooperate with him
Don’ts for the Junior for his Boss:
- Never praise the predecessors of the Boss and his colleagues
- Never praise the physical quality which the Boss does not possess
- Never mention the weaknesses of the Boss
- Never disclose the secrets about the Boss, pretend unawareness
- Never try to be very intimate with the Boss, keep distance especially before others
- Never try to be familiar with the Boss’s wife or female friends
- Never show any curiosity about the personal matters of the Boss
- Never talk about the private life of the Boss with other Juniors
While discussing and explaining various aspects of Boss management by way of various techniques with the support of real-life situations one needs to be convinced that for success in career the learning and practicing the art of flattery as envisaged here is necessary. Now a natural question comes about the reliability and validity of these techniques. It will come when the Junior will feel the success which will come in the form of gaining the confidence of the Boss. He will start discussing personal matters and confidential cases with the Junior. At this stage Junior can feel sure about the success. It will be the opportune time when he can express his desire before the Boss. The Junior should be rest assured that the Boss will fulfil his ambition.
Brief profile of Prof. (Dr.) Dewakar Goel
Prof. (Dr.) Dewakar Goel is a Science & Law Graduate with Masters in Business Administration. Having specialized in Labour Laws from Indian Law Institute, he did his Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management & Industrial Relations and also in Training & Development from ISTD. A Ph.D. in Management under guidance of Prof. (Dr.) Sadhan Das Gupta, Calcutta University. He acquired INDIA -ICAO Fellowship in the year 2010.
In the beginning of the career, he practiced as Advocate at Delhi High Court. Dr. Goel has authored 12 books which includes books on Management and Law published by eminent publishers. His books have been translated into Bangla, Tamil, Urdu and other languages.
Having served in the private sector for over seven years as a hard core HR Professional dealing with Personnel & Administration. He topped in the merit list for selection at managerial position in the government sector and stepped up in the ladder of hierarchy while serving in Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta and Chennai. He rose to the level of HR head during last one decade in the most prestigious schedule “A” PSE.
Dr. Goel is Doctoral Research Supervisor in Business Management, Banasthali
University and also Advisory Board Member, Centre for Financial Planning Training
& Research for Women, Banasthali University, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad
American University of India, Kodaikanal and Pondicherry University. He is also
Research examiner for Indian institute of public administration and other reputed universities.
Adding feathers to his cap, he is HR Consultant with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Montreal, Canada and Human Performance Technologist of International Air Transport Association (IATA) Geneva, Switzerland. He is a Visiting Faculty and Advisor of highly regarded Management Institutes in India and abroad. He has addressed large number of National & International Conferences as Chairperson and Key Note Speaker.
As multi-faceted personality, he has been profiled by print & media in newspapers and TV channels for his poems, stories, articles and research papers are published in national & international journals.
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