‘Free’ @Work

Busy like a bee’, I was trying my best to find solutions to problems that if implemented well could have resulted in a measurable impact.
I am talking about my last decade at work. I was drawing comfort from being busy. Somewhere in the whole process of execution missed the ‘output’. An output that is measurable, significant and will last forever.

I realized that I was busy because I was doing so many different things at the same time. I was swinging between tasks of interviewing, financial management, reporting and replying to random calls from my boss. I was missing the focus on what I should be doing and what I should not. Given the quantum and diverse nature of tasks, there was very little I could delegate.

Then a realization crept in. I was taking comfort in accomplishing tasks, including very tactical ones that demanded more time. Could I consider delegation some with focus limited to following up on progress? Could I be a little better at prioritizing the ones that created a direct and significant impact?

Then I got acquainted to ‘prioritization’. Okay I was at least able to decide what to do first among the routine checklist of some 20-25 tasks. I had by now, in five years, filled more than six regular notes diaries at work. I was using more than one in a year although each one had more than 365 blank pages.

Then gradually, I had a sense of withdrawal from the whole process of writing and executing. I could see colleagues moving across office space casually, sipping coffee, talking, long walks post lunch, etc. I was having a feeling of an assistant to all who came to me for advice, direction and decision. IUnclear sentence was reminding them or following-up (“uskaMore…(“USA kyaKya’sKya hua?,More…human? , ussMore…uses koMore…know waiseMore…wise he karMore…Karl raheMore…rather ho?,ho?ho, wo time se karMore…Karl lena?)Lena?)

Tools like workspace, workchat orTools like workspace, work chat or Trello were not at disposal. I wondered if they could help. I wondered if I was planning to delegate and forget. Am I trying to draw comfort from the fact that the task has been assigned and now a trail of record of same on online tools suffices my stance?

I am realizing that attention span is equally important when it comes to execution of a task or a strategy. Prioritization alone does not help.

So when I decide to be ‘free’ at work, it’s for the sake of focusing and prioritizing with up most attention span. Not for long walks post lunch or chats with colleagues who serve no purpose.

Questions- sincere attempt at self-introspecton

Why do I tend to get upset when people disagree with me? Is it arrogance? Is it some unpleasant experience that comes to influence my behavior towards a particular person or a situation?

Why do I keep reasoning within, I am right? Why can I not shut my mouth for matters I may have opinion on but not utter anything?

Why Am I so over enthusiastic and then on facing a little criticism, I fall apart? 

Why will I fall into words, moods or opinions of others and make them my own understanding and feelings?

Why am I not learning from my past mistakes and repeated ones in similar situations? 

Why do I try to go overboard in building a repo as a performer in employment? 

Why am I so insecure? Why am I so insecure about a job? Why did I forget so soon, the desperation when I quit my last job and unemployed for 4 months?

Why do I fail to realize that the world is both smart and fool to know your shortcomings?

Is it my too sincere a feedback that may bring people to connect with me but subsequently withdraw as well?

Am I too adamant as a human?

What is my problem in life?

Am I not trustworthy? Am I an opportunist? Am I risk averse?

Have I ever loved anyone truly other than Monica? Why does she continues to be an anchor in my life?

Why do I regret when I forget to consciously remember my daughter who is in a boarding school? 

Am I too sick/fool/lazy to priortize in my life? Am I inefficient? 

When will I be my true self? 

Am I a fool? Am I clever? Am I an atheist? Am I a manipulator? 

Are all of the above words of a pessimist?

Thinking Women

I have evolved in my thinking and feelings for opposite sex. I am entering 40s  now.

In my teens, I looked upon girls as attractive and beautiful to stare at. Good to talk and be in their company. By my late teens, I did not mind fantasing having sex with any of those I felt attracted to. 

In early twenties, the feeling for the one I fell for was of commitment and respect. But for others it turned indifferent. I did  think for anyone other than my love. 

In my late twenties, the relationship with females extended to being a father as well. It did not matter to me about the gender of my kid. My emotions towards females otherwise continued to be of indifference. However, I did not spare a glance if someone with attractive-physical attributes passed by. 

In early thirties, despite parenting one more daughter, my approach towards females hovered around their physical attributes. I did not mind talking to ones I felt attracted to. Discussions with some extended to sharing their preferences about sex as well. At this phase of life, my belief about women seeking a purpose before deciding to have sex were put to test. Some preferred to give it a try or ‘experience difference’ but not without ensuring the secrecy of the act. 

In my late thirties, my approach with women was more balanced. Even if some opened up about their unhappiness including but not limited to physical needs, I did not end-up in bed fantasing to have sex with them. The nuetrality has returned and approach is ‘as it comes’ and no effort to impress anyone with any special interest. 

Today, when I am in early 40s, the whole physical thing has vanished. I am no longer interested in even a stare. Forget fantasing. I have begun to feel that women are different when it comes to their approach towards events in life. Let them the way they are. Let them be free in what they want to. Never preach them. Advise only when asked to and with no expectations of bein rewarded in any manner.

Today, I seem to be laughing more at jokes of husband-wife and how women at times miss a point that a man is trying to make. Despite all of physical attraction etc. In early stage of my life, I have never been aggressive towards any of them. 

I will continue to be so but why spare a laughter on driving skills of women. I am now sure they do not need special treatment. They love and prefer to be close to men who are casual towards them, less demanding and generous (ofcourse in spending; they all love gifts- pun intended).

Happy Women’s Day

Finding a match

Just before being unemployed for four months last year, I was primarily involved in hiring the middle and top management. The Job was assigned as an additional responsibility courtesy having known and understood the business needs and culture for 5 years then. 

Multiple iterations were involved in defining the job and recruitment consultants were assigned the task of shortlisting. Sample profiles being circulated amongst the members of the hiring committee. Timelines were defined. Someone had put across a JD as well.

 But by the time the first few shortlists were called for the interview, the JD was long forgotten. What remained in memory was few words describing the JD i.e. may be just the job title. For e.g. CFO with manufacturing experience.
Later, when I was myself a potential recruit, the experience still did not change. I applied for a job descriptions that seemed utopian, roles that only a super human or God would qualify for.

Hiring is not easy. It’s like a match-making for courtship. If it lasts, it will not for meeting the expectations but adjusting to the needs and priorities that evolve with passage of time. Learning this trait costs time and money. If successful it would still be a random event.

A research published in HBR outlines the top skills that professionals intend to possess. People management skills were rated far lower then technical skills that robots are likely to replace soon. With quants in hands of robots, the world will be simple again – we would need humans who come together for tasks that no robot may perform for centuries together. 

So coming back on criticality of JD, it is important to:

A. Define a JD that is realistic

B. Not forgotten when transitioning into the hiring process

C. Spread the process over a few months atleast in case of senior recruits

D. Keep JD realistic. Re-confirm whether the requirements being listed can be defined as skills. If not, then please keep them out of the JD.