Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tolerance!! Bane or Boon??

I was having a chat with my friend today and he was talking about the perception that people in his office carried about him. "Arrogant", "Aggressive", "Not a Manager material", "Stupid" etc... and the list kept the traffic in this City. I was not very surprised to hear what people thought about him though!!

In this fast paced "mad" world the perception others carry about us matters more than the skills we have to succeed in life. Let's analyse some scenarios we face on a daily basis.

  • When you are in office it is okay to use Office phones for personal talk for long hours as long as the individual delivers his job. This especially holds true for all the young trainees and some (not so) clever seniors in your environment
  • Your colleague abuses the system by "Working from Home" and "Falling sick" and doesn't have to bother about an important deliverable or attendance in Office as long as the chemistry with the concerned Manager is orgasmic
  • Your peer screws up an important deliverable and asks help to complete it but you end up owning the deliverable. Manager keeps quiet until you deliver and when you ask him "Why?" he says to ensure "Team spirit is High"
  • In a team meeting you defend your views and question the decision taken by your manager or rationale behind the deliverable and he says you are "Arrogant"
  • You do all the work given to you by your manager effectively like a paid slave and in the appraisal he says "I expect more from you" when other team members get a "Star" rating just because they are a "Manager material" as they can keep their managers eternally happy by aping their idiosyncracies
  • "Non collaborative" is what people say when you don't listen to your peers views when you know that you can think better than them
  • You are an effective manager only if you take opinion from all team members who might influence the perception of the top management about you

Now let's move out of office and look at what happens on the road.....

  • Well educated people jump a traffic signal, overspeed and honk their way into the traffic when we like idiots try to be patient and follow the road rules like a ousted clan
  • "Let's settle this Sir!" has become so much a cliche sentence when we get caught by a traffic policeman when there is no fault of ours except that us being a well earning member of this society

And the list goes on.......

The question everytime that runs in my logical brain is "Do I tolerate all the flaws & become numb" or "Do I rebel"?? The irony being that when I tolerate all the flaws I am accepted in the system and when I rebel I am not a good team player!!

I am a wise guy when I act to please everyone who can create a perception or influence the system eventhough it is ethically catastrophic. In IT industry especially in India I saw a stats which indicates 7/10 projects fail to complete or over-run. Wondering why?? Well, I have to say that as long as 1) We tolerate the bad work done by your manager 2) We accept the deliverables given by your peers and dont question them back 3) We allow our juniors & peers to abuse the system and dont want to question to invite the wrath of your manager and 4) We keep dumb and do not express what is logically and ethically right..... we will always end up failing in any project we undertake.

People talk about corruption in the police force. However, we ourselves tolerate to get an advantage. We talk about how Western countries stick to law & rules where as we tolerate all the complacent behaviour shown by our fellow men.

Mahatma Gandhi taught "Tolerance" towards other people and not the system but I think we have learnt the other way around!! Wat ya say??