I remember working for my erstwhile employer Standard Chartered Bank, where I was highly motivated by my boss Mr. Mandar Kadam. Even though the incentive structure was not that great, we would still achieve the branch target comfortably, this was due to the motivation of my boss who we could count upon on anything. Mandar would accompany us on our sales call and made sure that we closed the deal; this not only boosted my confidence but also motivated me to do something for him in return. Here the motivation was not to let our branch and Mandar down across the western Indian region. My next boss Mr. Kunal Chugh was totally opposite to Mandar, he would just expect the sales numbers to go up and did not support us in any way, if we wanted him to accompany us for a sales call, he would give reason for not coming. This created an atmosphere of de-motivation within us, adding to it we were capped for our incentives; this we thought was very unfair. So we worked only for what we got incentives for, we would not put in more effort. Even though our branch was not able to achieve the bare minimum target, we cared less, as we did not feel any belonging towards our boss and the organization.
While reading the article ‘What Great managers Do’, I could relate one incident. I had just joined Barclays Bank Plc as Premier Relationship manager and my boss and branch manager Mr. Shwetank Singhvi called my into his office, he had done some back ground check on me and had found out the reason for me quitting my earlier job at Standard Chartered Bank. He told me “I have found out that you are not comfortable selling Insurance products, which are either sold forcefully or by mis-selling by the relationship managers”. He knew my strength was in selling Investment products like structured products and mutual funds. What he proposed was that I sell only the investment products if I was comfortable doing that. His strategy worked as I met my sales numbers quite comfortably and as far as the insurance numbers were concerned, he had offered a similar proposal to my colleague who was very comfortable in selling Insurance.
Article on ‘The Ambidextrous Organization’ takes me back to my first job at Career Forum Pvt Ltd, Pune India. The company was into coaching students aspiring to pursue MBA and this company was into coaching students for the various entrance exams like GRE, GMAT, CAT and CET. This company had hired teachers or faculty, as we would call them for mathematical and English classes. The faculties hired were highly qualified and had their masters in their respective fields. Career Forum had a monopoly in the field of MBA entrance exam preparatory course and had students coming to Pune from all over India to enroll for the classes.
However, as the other players also entered into this field, career forum felt the heat of competition from them. Therefore, they decided to diversify into E-Learning modules under a new company under the umbrella of same company. Career Forum already had the faculty, who when they were not conducting classes were just doing some basic work. So the director Mr. Sunil Khanna who himself was a software engineer decided to utilize them but giving projects for E-Learning modules. The resources shared were of Career Forum, but the business proceeds were considered under cflogic.com company accounts. This helped the company as now they are no longer in the main business of coaching