1 + 1 = ???

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As soon as I joined the new role, I was ranting to my ex-manager about something and he said; “Don’t be quick to judge anyone”. Are you kidding me? This is ME. Of course, am going to be quick to judge someone. 1 + 1 always equals 2. It is simple.

I have realised that 1 + 1 does not equal 2 most of the time.

Disclaimer – I am NOT talking Maths, ok? Don’t assume I failed my Maths exams. If you’d like to check my credentials, I scored a 147 out of 150 in Gujarat boards 12th std and if that board is too LS (low society) for you, I scored more than 90 out of 100 in ICSE 10th std

It is about not judging anyone too quickly. The South regional manager had advised me not to rely on other people’s judgements. He told me “Many times your peers, seniors and even reportees will tell you someone isn’t good at their job. Don’t believe them. Take the time to assess it yourself. Most of the time there is no real basis for that judgement and you will be surprised. Form your own opinions”. I have been realising how true that is in the last few weeks. We forget that people behave differently with different people. If you don’t like or trust someone, you will be harder on them at work. And if you think they are good at their job, you will not interfere in their work. The victim of the former will not have a great opinion about you, while the latter will think you are a good manager. Whose opinion should a 3rd person believe?

I was telling D today “I am constantly thinking about my team. They are on my mind ALL the time. I can’t switch off”. He said “That’s a good sign. Managing your own expectations is easy but managing people’s expectations is the most difficult thing”.

Last month I had admitted, shamefacedly, to KC how I desperately want my team to like me. ME- a person who doesn’t give a fuck about what people think. He laughed it off and asked me to get a life. I keep remembering all the horrible things I have said about bosses in the last 8-9 years of my work experience and am mortified thinking that someone is going to say those kind of things about it. D, wisely, told me that everyone cannot and will not like me. And that’s ok. The job isn’t about getting the team to like me. The organisation has given us an objective for the year and together, we need to achieve that. THAT’S the point of the job.

I don’t have any peers I can discuss all this with. I have moved one step ahead of most of my colleagues/colleagues-turned-friends and they won’t understand any part of this. The only people I can talk to are my ex-managers (only two of them because I think everyone else sucked at team management and their job). It is nice to be able to discuss work with them but I miss having 5-10 people as colleagues. There is only so much one can bond with their reportees. They will always keep a certain distance from me and that is fine.

Today when the trade marketing manager and I went for chai (don’t like chai but that’s how you socialise in sales. THAT or smoking) and he started talking about having an off site for the team. I couldn’t stop laughing. Few months back I was on the other side of the table and constantly harassing my ex-manager for an “off site”. My ex-colleague V would spend 30 mins every week with him and badger him to have an off site. Some days it worked, most of the time not so much. Now, here I am, getting the same treatment.

Off site is when you go on a company paid trip to a scenic location for a meeting. You DO have the meeting but it is followed by a daaru party and exploring the local sights. Our last off site was at Kesroli.


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