Climbing the organisational pyramid


I am writing this for larger number of people, there are exceptions who would defy this. This should be not read from exceptional people in mind. I am aiming at people at Bottom of Pyramid of an organisation. It is this set of people actually run the system and they have potential to grow. Only few in career reach to the top. Some reach faster than others. Is it a matter of chance or luck? Is it a case of born with silver spoon? I know that there could be many reasons for this. I am trying to express some of them that I have considered important based on my experience.

I have been interacting with many first time employees as well as experienced employees during induction programs that I conduct for my clients. I have also been engaged with many experienced employees who are in junior or middle management functions/ roles. There are questions that I often ask them

  1. What do you want to be?
  2. Why are you in this organisation for what you want to be?

I could see it clearly that this question shakes many of them. Some of them have even told them why this question is relevant to their job. It takes considerable time for them realise the importance of this question.

Let me explain the first question.

There are different kinds of people (hence employees) from this question point of view.

People often confuse between Dreams and Goals. They are not same. Dreams become Goal when you convert Dreams into a verifiable and assessable form. Dreams are more transient and imagery. This is necessary to get rights goals. Goals are more specific with a sense of time in it. Goals are necessary to actualise one’s dream. The issue is not whether someone has articulated the goals, the THINKING of goal is more important. This thinking often gets influenced by the “real life situations”. For example I always dreamt of becoming a research scholar when I was in schools. But my goals kept changing as I progressed. In high schools my goal became joining Armed Forces as I was in class of 42 students in Sainik School and 40 of them wanted to be in Armed Forces. The rest were girls who (then) did not thought of armed forces. I failed but my dream was alive. My next goal became to start making some earning for self and if possible for family. I started teaching (tuitions to be precise). This goals was influenced by the environment in which I lived. I could see that my family is struggling for two square meals, so if I have to study I must do something different. The good part of this goal was it met some of my “intrinsic desire” to research. When you want to be a good tutor you have study more than what you study for yourself. I do not want make it a biography of mine, but it is important to note that I was doing something which many were not doing. In fact my brother who has also grown in similar environment did not thought of it. I did not realise then an answer to this. With experience is dealing with people and management processes, I see one reason why this would have happened. I was always in the company of people who thought of tomorrow and discuss about what they should do tomorrow. My brother was in company of people who were cribbing about yesterday and trying live today.

Even when I joined employment, there were people who were cribbing about the current job. In fact they were separate group (you would find them in your organization very easily). I avoided them as they force you not to think of future in some way.

In my view, if you want to start thinking what you want to be and work in that direction you must

Let me address next question

It quiet natural for people (job seekers) to take up the first opportunity that comes their way. It is not common for people to wait for their choice of job. Even among who wait after sometime for various reasons get into something that comes their way. In my view what you do after you get job is more important than the job you got.

We need to identify opportunities in existing job that would take me towards my goal. How do we do that? Some of the steps that we can take are

  1. Get the right group in job also who are positive thinking and forward looking.
  2. Ask what in it for me in this job? or
  3. How do I find things that I would love in this job?

For example, while I did not pursue higher studies as taking up a job was more important. I picked up the job that came my way. The job was in Andhra Pradesh far from my place of stay (then Bihar). I did not know language and job was in Bhadrachalam which is a village town in Andhra Pradesh. As I was always looking for an opportunity to learn new thing, I got into doing lot of things other than my shift management job. It included working with other departments during my off times, working with society and club actively. I must gained maximum basic learning on lot of things other job of managing shifts, running chemical recovery plant. It is those other learning that is helping me more. The learning opportunity needs to be found and searched it is never available in a platter.

The individuals mind set determines if he is going to learn and grow in the right direction. I am reminded of a story narrated to me by someone.

There were two people namely HAPPY GUY (HG) and SAD GUY (SG). They went to a new town and wanted a place to stay. Someone directed them to a house which has a vacancy for one person to stay. SG went inside and came out quickly saying that the house is suitable to stay as it will make your life miserable. Everybody there are having sad and sullen look. HG felt odd but he had limited option so he also went inside to try for himself. He took longer to come. When he came out SG asked him for his decision. HG said he came out only to tell him that he cannot think any better place. HG did not even wanted to come out as everyone was happy and cheerful.

The truth was that the house had mirrors in place of walls.

If you have learning attitude you would find learning opportunity in everything, everywhere.

One need to learn and move on to the journey. But moving without learning mostly leads to stagnation at critical point in career.

 

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