25 December 2014

Man up my dear Manager

By Prabhakar MN, PGDM (GM) 2014-15 student at XLRI, Jamshedpur
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A professor once told me that a great Manager is one who helps businesses take decisions despite incomplete information. I add to that by saying that the decisions have to be efficient (with minimal amount of effort Eg: time taken to reach a decision etc.). Also there is a degree of uncertainity in the enivornment. This is possible if he is emancipated; As I would like to look at this from an 'emancipation' perspective, one has to 
become a man before he becomes a manager. 
What makes man, a man?

Thinking beyond trivialities:
The trigger to this inquiry began when a fellow passenger once told me that he was unable to grow beyond his predicament of being rejected out by his prospective girl-friend. And that he would avoid seeing her in person again because he would burst into tears by becoming a wussy. Loving his girl to the end of the world is simply romantic. But, becoming a wussy isn't very presentable or manly for that matter. As much as a man would be able to fall in love, he should also be capable to fall out of love when needed. That brings us to the question -How do you turn a boy into a man? Well atleast, figuratively that is! 

Live it up!:
Which brings to us to the next set of questions:
Why isn't there a movie about a man sitting in front of his TV without moving?
Or a hit TV show about grass growing?
Humans find some things particularly interesting because we are wired to find them so. Drama, Adventure, Comedy, Success help us survive and gain materialistic status.
What is living it up?
Well this is:
“Discuss current music trends, discuss fun things. Don't just be plain normal and conform. Make personality interesting. Learn to tell a story! Become a renaissance man. Learn music or art, dance, history well. Specialize in one or 2 things; learn a little bit of everything. Just pick up a book and read about it. “

Get involved:
When someone exclaims, "You know the other day, I was reading about Leonardo Da Vinci ..." you realize that it’s a turn on. Pop culture, icons, romance are always in. When such people happen to pass by an antique building, they also know the story behind it. They would live every moment of their lives not worrying about petty things. Like a single cell, he too has a boundary similar to a semi-permeable membrane, where he could selectively let only the good things in and keep bad things out. Bad things here mean energy / mood drainers / disruptors.

Picture source: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/news/1647611/trailer_bulletin_zack_snyder_amp_frank_millers_quot300quot/

From history:
There is a vital part of a male's journey in his life that makes him a man. And, this can be brought out by a process referred to as ‘initiation’ (metaphorically). In the movie 300, for 7 year old prince, this happened when he was sent into the wild which involved brutal cold and extreme starvation. He came back victorious with the wild animal's skin he had slain. He eventually became the king. For Nelson Mandela, it happened during when was in prison for about 3 decades. This made go beyond petty emotions of revenge, etc., and to work for the greater good of the black populace. Basically in order for the ‘manliness’ to be established, the ‘boyishness’ has to ‘die’. Boyishness here signifies immature peIrson who always seeks immediate gratification and lacks the composure and patience.

In the movies:
This concept is in the movies as well. Take the song where Rishi Kapoor sings:
“Aaj hum jaise jigar wale kahan. Zakhm khaya hain tab huwe hain jawan.
In the movie Count of Monte Cristo (2002), the protagonist Edmond Dantes says
“Life is a storm, my young friend.
You will bask in the sunlight one moment,
be shattered on the rocks the next.
What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.
You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome.
Do your worst, for I will do mine!
Then the fates will know you as we know you…”

Available solutions:
Do we have any kind of ‘initiation’ process today? The closest thing that we have today is compulsory military service. But would it help in times of peace! We seem to have lost this concept of male 'initiation' ritual. Because a man is expected to be in control of himself, not be overwhelmed by the situation and to be in sync with his environment for most of the times. In order to become that, boys need to be invited to the select world of men! And the key to that is the ritual of ‘initiation’

Image source: http://fr.canoe.ca/divertissement/cinema/nouvelles/2008/01/13/4770778-ca.html

Last 2 words:

Until we have formal initiation ceremonies in place, 
the manager just needs to 
“Man up!"