How not to manage a team – Series 2


Had not thought of the second post so early on the series. Well this weekend I learnt plumbing from my dad! I am officially the plumber of the house now :). Before I go on an intro to my dad, who gave me management lessons while plumbing! My dad had not gone to any Grade A B School. He retired from India’s premier telecom organization in a top managerial role. He was equally technical, and as far as I am aware, is a master of several trades and has an amazing handwriting which any calligraphist can envy.

It was another hectic weekend for me and after using the Friday for settling bank accounts, today I got a new Geyser (water heater) for the first floor. The electrician came and mounted it on the wall, as we were not having the right tools to play around and well left us off to fend for ourselves or call a plumber for the remaining work. My dad having seen me play around with the rinch when I installed (read my word – I have never heard anyone install a tap!!! IT industry ruined me) a tap in my aunt’s house last week, decided that I use my plumbing skills at our home as well! Well after buying the necessary accessories, I set off and successfully installed the heater, with of course a few management lessons from dad!

Lesson 1: Listen to your superiors (read supervisors): Well this was something I have never done in my office! That was my argument with dad and told him out rightly to stop instructing me on how to hold the spanner and just give way! Well he added some thing, that my conscience would let me identify the right superior from the wrong. So correct this lesson for today, its – Listen to your superiors. Only if your conscience says that they are right and they are the right people to listen to! How right! I have always felt that some decision makers do reactive decisions and I absolutely do not trust them. If your superior has trust in you and vice versa then definitely you will listen to him or her. I am with you dad, the next time, I accept the plumbing work at home, I will follow your advice or ensure that you aren’t around when I do the work ;).

Lesson 2: Be Patient. My teacher in my primary school (Satnam Kaur), had once told my mom out rightly in a parent teachers meet at CFTRI that I was the most overconfident kid around! Aunty, if you are by any chance following my blog, add to that I have even become, the most impatient kid around! Well, believe me its a very bad combination. You can never manage you team either by being overconfident or by being impatient. My company too was following the tagline Be Impatient, I think someone realized it and sent it to the oblivion forever! Be patient to your team members and listen to them, and show confidence in their work. Do not be overconfident and leave everything to the team, one day they will think you are escaping work and just “Delegating” and will say goodbye to you!

Lesson 3: Be Aware and Be Impartial: Well my dad says that even though, he was the top rung for his division, no one recognized that or as a matter, for proof, I still see lots of his team members call him up for advice on all walks, even after his retirement. That he says is because, he was aware of a. their strengths and responsibilities b. he was impartial, being impartial to your team makes each member contribute equally and put in a 100% to the team c. Know their personal responsibilities and ensure at least a few in the team know about each other at home – Well this according to him helps in a government atmosphere, where work is unpredictable. Knowing each other and each others families quite well, helped him and his team achieve amazing success at critical times of establishing an OFC network from scratch as per his thoughts. I am not sure if this works in IT (Cross Crush problem will occur as per my knowledge ;))

Well apart from that, he did give gyaan on knowing your strengths and best of all he said, “Do not ask your team to do anything if you do NOT know how to do it!”. Well I knew that he knew plumbing as well and asked him not to pat his own back, but he was not at his comical best 😦 and I had to face his wrath. Well introspecting the last statement, I have decided to go with it as well. I have seen managers in the past who do not know what their team is doing, go to client review meetings, bluff, get caught and ensure that both they and their company stand in the ‘Jahaapana’ pose and walk back! Well if you don’t know your goals and the path to the goal, how will your team know! Makes sense… in fact a lot from practical experiences.

Well, finally I dedicate this blog entry to Dhriti, one of the latest entry to our family – my niece. Andy and Lakshmi have been blessed with a baby gal and I wish them al the best of luck and well I hope one day she reads my blogs and well…. Writes better ones ;).

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About amarharish
Was working as a Consultant for Five Years. Moved on to pursue a Masters in Management at Great Lakes, Chennai. Interests include Hi Tech, Brands, Quizzing, Leadership to name a few!

2 Responses to How not to manage a team – Series 2

  1. dhanraj says:

    so now are you a overconfident and impatient plumber… 🙂

  2. Vikas says:

    Good one mate !

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