Bossing the GURU!

One of the most challenging of problems that an organization faces is to have a succession plan in place.

Going by the expectations, a boss is supposed to train his subordinate and if he does his job well, the organization would perform well in times to come.

Let us look at what might be the incentives he has, courtesy the very structure of the incentive mechanism in the organization, vis-a-vis insecurities that might pop up in the very act.

Having an employee learn the art of the trade, makes one insecure about what if the employee becomes a good shishya and goes beyond the capabilities of a guru. 

And if such insecurities were to become true, the employee becomes a much better candidate to bossing his own boss at a certain point of time.

Why would a boss want to do that to himself? Inherently, this doesn’t make sense for the boss.

Another scenario: What if, the company became prohibitive about the very concept of not allowing the worthy to become a boss? Huge opportunity cost for the company, having lost the chance to grow faster and better.

How does one deal with this kind of a situation?

Should the boss stop training his subordinates?

Well, if we go back to the good old times of guru-shishya parampara, the only incentive that a guru had for training his shishyas well was to enhance his and his gurukul’s reputation along with creating good citizens in society, and didn’t have any kind of skin in the game of taking up different roles in society, in his individual capacity.


Does it mean that only if one doesn’t have a stake in the entire scheme of things, can make him/her willing to do his/her job of training the employees in the best possible manner, keeping in mind the good of the organization in particular and nation in general?

Does it mean that the very concept of boss training his own subordinate is invalid, considering the inherent nature of the same?

Does it mean the on-job training needs to be supplemented by an external entity, intending to create successors?

If it were so, how does one deal with the boss’s insecurity?

Does it in turn mean, that all roles should be treated as equals, accomplishing a feat together, rather than looking at it from a top-down approach?

If yes, then would it make more sense to have flat organizations for the long-term sustainability of the same?

Well, different structures have succeeded to different extent in different geographical set-ups.

Does it mean going to the very fundamentals of education, inculcating a sense of considering oneself as less important than the collective self?

Does it in turn mean building a consciousness which goes beyond the concept of self and becoming inclusive in turn?

A call that needs to be taken by the founders in building up the culture is to evaluate various factors before they jump to any conclusion of sorts and more importantly, by the policy makers of a nation, to lay down well the very fundamentals of education.

In an ideal consciously awaken world, the problem may not exist,

Though, till we achieve the feat, bossing the guru or guru-ing the boss might need to find some kind of an equilibrium.

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Understanding the Men Behind the Art

If you have ever been involved with constructing a house or getting done the woodwork or the interiors in a flat, you would know every bits of information that I will be mentioning henceforth.

With the kind of work environment provided to the workmen who are involved in the above e.g. carpenters etc., and with the kind of work prestige that comes along, they are bound to get unprofessional.

They are truly an unorganized work force, who live on a daily basis. They have no option but to work at the mercy of their agent or the contractor, who tends to get the major part of the profits, leaving these artists a very meagre amount in which they have to sustain not only themselves but also their families, residing either in the slums of the city or their native villages.

This coupled with the fact that the skill set they possess is not because of any professional training that they might have got through the various government non-functioning schemes, but because of being involved on site with their brethen, makes them sometimes a target of the ire that the client might have built in him/her because of the quality of the work that might have resulted.

What follows is a series of quarrel between the client, the contractor/agent and the workmen. The client takes it out on the contractor who according to the client is supposed to fulfill his/her part of the deal (by the way, in most situations there is no deal of sorts and the work gets done on a purely verbal understanding).

The contractor, since he/she is bound by his/herwords tends to take it out on the poor workmen who have no option but to listen to the wrath being taken out on them. The workmen are sometimes aware of the lack of skills they have, but they end up not doing anything about it because of the sheer absence of alternatives available to them.

What follows is a total chaos. The client gets upset because his/her work doesn’t get completed to his/her satisfaction and liking. The contractor is upset because of the things that he/she might have to listen to (though they have got pretty much used to the bickering and are only concerned with making money these days). The workmen of course are a disadvantaged lot and have no where to go to.

Seeing the above, the need of the hour is to have a professional organization which can organize things for these craftsmen, who can register themselves in the same and can be assured of an equitable and continuous source of earning.

The perception of the so called well-off in our society needs to be changed and they should be sensitized towards the plight of these workmen, at the same time, a respect for the very work should be made to develop amongst the lot.

The government needs to become responsive to the needs of such labour by introducing well planned schemes which can enable these workmen to develop appropriate skill set required in the profession that they are pursuing, which would in turn help them in developing self-confidence.

This would ensure that the workmen would no longer be considered the dirty lot and would get their due, of which they have been deprived off since centuries now.

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