Monday, August 15, 2016

Teaching Management!

"Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done"… Peter Drucker

Good, the great Management Guru has said it & not me; Peter Ferdinand Drucker was an Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation.  And it’s this quote which was in my mind when I stood on the dais to address Sinhgad Institute of Management, Induction program for first year MBA freshers’! Being a non management academics by myself, I was first a bit hesitant to accept the invite as although  consider myself a veteran speaker when it comes to environment, wild life, real estate or construction but management that too in front of some four hundred young aspiring would be managers, I said “Sanjay it’s not your piece of cake”! Yet one part of me said, why not? Am I not managing my own self not just work or call it business? And what better way to learn than to get exposed to young brains which can ask literally any out of the blue question (which eventually happened), so accept it as a challenge! And I accepted, with pulse rate something which I stopped counting I hold the mike in my sweaty palms!

Challenges were two, one I have never spoke about management except in discussion which is different case, when you address for induction lecture you need to build your speech like a sky scraper, right from excavation for foundation to finishing, stage wise no abrupt change of course. And then it’s in front of students, who gets bored very easily & then management wasn’t exactly my forte! So I chose safe mode of keeping it casual as well in the first sentence cleared, in my biodata what’s most important think which I felt is lacking was a Management Degree! On this there was a cheer from crowd & then I told very specifically, I won’t be telling what management is as for that your teachers are paid & they are far better persons to do the job than me, all I will be sharing is what is expected from you guys as a manager when you pass out from this school! As after all what we have learn in management is decided unfortunately not by our teachers but more senior managers in the field is bitter fact & they are not always in teaching or understanding mode! The theme of the Induction program was “Wining", so I started with explaining concept of wining, as by me winning is not necessarily mean beating all the opponents & come first but wining is something far larger term than that. I think here is where we make first mistake while developing the young lot. The Olympics is on & agreed there winner means who comes first & bags the gold. Let’s not forget even in the great tournament, spirit of the game is not just coming first but as it says, “Citius, Altius, Fortius,” i.e. Faster, Higher, Stronger, is the motto of the game. Whatever we do we should do with full dedication & to make our performance better every time we do, may it be a game or any task expected from us as manager that is what makes you a winner! And for that you need to understand what game you are playing, may it be a real sport or even work, which we should learn to enjoy as a sports only!

In our country probably “to manage” is the most loosely used term, as we manage right from our parents to the traffic constable when he caught us travelling triple sit or without license, we say “are manage kia usko” i.e. you managed to get out of the tough situation you got in! At the same time it must be most searched topic on Goggle & having maximum numbers of books written on it! For being a manager indeed management degree is a must but do they teach management in this course? Keeping due respect I think we all have one manager within us; all we have to do is understand that manager within, acknowledge him & then only we can understand what he is supposed to manage.  This is what a management degree teaches us i.e. to identify a manager in us as then only we can identify the manager in others! Here I remember a story though it wasn’t related to management actually but yet applicable, “three men were working in open & they were breaking rock with hammers & chisels, when asked to first person what he is doing? His reply was he has been told to break the rock, that’s all. When same question is asked to second person his reply was, he has been breaking rock to make some steps. And when third person has been what he is doing, his reply was, I am breaking rock to make asked  why the steps out of it which will be leading to the temple proposed at this place! Here in first person the manager is fast asleep & in second person partially awake where as manager in third person is fully awake as he knows exactly what he is doing his job for! In nutshell may it be a simple job of breaking rock to managing a factory, we all must know, what is outcome of the job we are doing? This is what your employer will be expecting from you when you are working as a manager if you want to become as a successful manager. I am deliberately using term successful manager as there is no term as good manager or bad manager, either you are a manager or you are not, it’s that clear!

Entire business or industry wherever you will be making your carrier after this degree, it moves around managing 3 M’s, i.e. Men, Machine & Money, which are three basic aspects of any business! And if you refer to management then it also has branches related to above three aspects only; human resource which deals with man power or man handling, production management which relates with machines & marketing as well finance, which takes care of money. In all above three aspects one common factor is time management, as everything has its own timing & if we don’t follow that, then no use of however effective we are, as they say even a justice delayed is justice denied! And then once a manager then you are twenty four hours a manager, as tell me when you are not managing something or other all the time; even your sleep also you need to manage it properly or else how you will be fresh for your work? And let’s remember management isn’t something which is limited to your work as you have to manage your friends, family, collogues & what not! Here manage doesn’t mean to bully them but to stand to their expectation from you is what I meant.

Most important aspect once you identified the manager in you is to remain a good human being. Because understanding that manager & become successful doesn’t mean what best salary package you are getting along with perks like travel by business class & a luxury SUV of your own. But it means how you are making use of this power of management to make the world a better place. And not necessarily the world meant entire globe, but it can be your peon or watchman or driver or anybody around you who is not as lucky as you are! Because if you study the progress of entire world then first century 1800-1900, where the world started towards stability was of invention i.e. science. Many new inventions which made life of society better were made & then next century saw riding of production on these inventions i.e. 1900—2000. The very same century witnessed what if the inventions are used for wrong reasons, the two world wars taught us that lesson, so this century belongs to management i.e. managing the invention as well production of the same in the benefit of the mankind. And that also pulls in most important aspect of today’s needs that is environment management. Up till now there isn’t any such branch where environment management is taught but till then whatever management skills you will acquire you will have to use it for environment conservation also, whatever field you will be joining!

Lastly I conclude with one thing, a manager has to be innovative always & for that you need to read whatever you can, to watch movies as well to play. Imagine a simple game like badminton doubles, one has to think of your partners position, then both of opponents positions, & return the shuttle thinking of what return you will get back & innovate to earn a point; so many things you have to manage at a time, that’s what your brain gets trained for by playing any game. Even in a game like football though there are twenty two players on field your mind has to manage rest twenty one & then make your move for the goal! And remember only a fit body can accommodate a fit mind, which otherwise can lead your to do wrong things with the mind power you have!

With this I appealed the audience for questions if any, which Mr. Principal has said he isn’t sure about the response as these are fresher’s & may be shy of asking question, was his past experience. I deliberately told them to ask even most foolish question, even they can ask why I am wearing a  blue blazer & not a read one, as let me test my depth of foolishness; as to answer a fools question you need to be foolish than him, is the simple funda! 

One girl came forward shyly asking how I balance my CSR activities with my work? I replied, it’s simple, CSR i.e. corporate social responsibility I made it as part of work, so I need not have to think about it separately! And that opened up box of Pandora, I wished they could have asked about color of blazer, such was the quaility of questions; I will refer some of them, just to give a glimpse of the depth of the lot as well what a student’s mind can think…

*Sir, you said you left the earlier company after working there for 18 years, why you did that?

On this I said, very selfish reason, I was unhappy working there, not as work part but somehow I couldn’t give justice to what I wanted to do. Like I wanted to teach, I wanted to spend more time in forests, I wanted to read & so many personal things which I was unable to do because of the work load or nature of the job. And if what I am doing isn’t making me happy then I don’t think I am successful manager, so I quit!

* Immediately second question followed, why it took you 18 years to realize you were not happy?

I replied, because neither I was having an MBA degree with me, nor I got a chief guest named Sanjay Deshpande at my induction! After the laughter got settled, I said joke apart, this is what you need to learn of identifying a manager in you in these two years. As I was unable to identify manager in me for all these years & was just behind work results while management isn’t just achieving work goals but making your own self happy & peace too or else what you lose in the process no salary package can make for that loss!

*Next one, what you mean once a manger means 24 hours a manager?

My reply was, I go to play badminton every alternate day at 7am in morning, so if I want to enjoy the game then I have to be fresh in the morning means I have to have seven hours sleep. That means I can’t be up late at earlier night & so I have to work out my entire schedule backwards for the day long. Same way I like to write so I can only write at nights as that’s only free time really I have, so I keep alternate nights for my writing whereas next day I don’t have to wake up early! So small things in day to day life but if I don’t manage my every hour then I won’t be able to achieve what I want to at the end of the day & this is applicable to each of us, that’s why 24 hours you need to be a manager!

*Then next one was, sir, you said it’s important for a manager to be a good human being, why is so?

Indeed a tough thing to make understand to the lot who has yet to come across badness of the world! Yet I gave a simple example, you give a gun in the hands of a military man who fights at border & he kills, that isn’t a murder but its protecting your country as well for lives of your countrymen but give the same gun in the hands of a gangster who kills for extortion it becomes a crime! Same way whatever we learn as a MBA student in coming years, it’s a power given to us & how we use this power will define what we become! So unless we are not a good human being, we won’t use our knowledge for doing good, is my simple logic!

*Why you said the manager must be innovative? Isn’t passion enough for that?

Simple, or else how you will lead?  Take real estate market today, we were doing same age old things like mentioning amenities in form of club house , swimming pool, gym & blah blah blah. Till the supply was less than demand all was fine & the day its reverse case we were run out of ideas of how to sale our projects! Same was story with Bajaj Scooters & scooters become absolute, the world is full of business giants who miserably failed & wiped out just because they couldn’t innovate, recent classic example is of Nokia! So unless you don’t keep inventing something new for your product the race will finish for you even before it starts! As passion is a must to grow but then passion is not skill which you can acquire, it has to be in you basically built in. But innovation you can learn & adopt, provided you give yourself time for that & remain open to new things!

*Sir, which book you will tell us was most inspirational in your journey?

My answer was, Tinkle Comics & Supandi (a dumb house boy) character is most inspirational one from Amar Chitra Katha! There was roar of laughter on this from those who has read Tinkle; I continued, it’s not joke, you can make a story interesting even the character is dumb & you need to think as a dumb when you are not & then make the reader laugh, this is something incredible job, that's why I like to read Supandi tells! But coming to the question, why restrict reading to any single book for inspiration, I read everything that comes to my way & it includes Tinkle, to Tin tin to Ian Rand & Sigmund Freud, everything I read inspires me. Same is movies, I felt thrilled with Kung Fu Panda & equally exited to watch Salman Khan’s recent flick Sultan too! And not to forget every super hero from Bat Man to Iron Man to Spider Man as watching these movies I understood, they are Super Hero not because of the super powers they possess but because of the cause which they use their powers for!

*Last question which I will be sharing here, don’t you consider your sons lucky as they will get your chair in your company?

Yes they indeed are lucky in one way & unlucky too as they won’t ever know the fun in reaching here from zero! And more importantly even if they get in my chair but I have reminded them just by sitting in any chair it won’t become yours; it’s what you do to retain that chair will decide your fate & for that you have to be capable of that chair! Let me tell you something, don’t ever be upset for your father is not a big businessman as if you have capacity then someone will adopt you & present his chair but if you doesn’t have capacity then even if someone presents his chair to you, it eventually will throw you out! And best thing is why target somebody else’s chair; create your own chair, that’s what life is meant for!

The Q & A could have gone for hours but there was another session lined up & nearly two hours of all this bombarding has drained me of; thankfully the Principal only said now remaining questions you can ask Sir in person on his mail id & satisfied, I walked down the dais but waiting for the unasked questions on email!

That day while getting down the dais I have learned an old lesson once more, never run away from any fear unless you give a try to overcome it; as I was afraid that I won’t be able to stand to the expectations of the students, so was thinking of declining the invite in first place! But then we all are our own teacher & students too, aren’t we?

Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

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