To Begin With

“Ways at Work”, discusses ideas to work well, with a sense of purpose, understanding, enjoyment, and, importantly self- belief. 

Analysis of successful teams would highlight that the single most important contributory factor   for their success is was, and will be, “human connectivity”. Absence of networking, lack of lateral communication and non-sharing of information are the bane of any Workplace.  Lack of synergy is directly responsible for loss of productive ”Office Performance’

Everyone wants to work well. Most of us are uncomfortable with confrontation or even the idea of conflict in the work- place.

Nobody likes to fail. Yet, most of us unwittingly exam people for failure and judge ignorance more than knowledge.

Even in our day to day dealings we are busy pointing out what others do not know instead of maximizing their efforts through what they know.

Analysis of our inspections and assessments would highlight the need for the system to first train, then educate, prepare, orient, condition and constantly review human performance. We simply cannot afford “people failure”

People always matter. Often, it is the person who is at the source of an issue. Yet we always ask, “what is the problem”, instead of finding out who is the problem or the solution.

We also end up asking why it happened instead of focus on What happened and its resolution ASAP!

First Principles

  1. There are some immutable first principles which need to be understood and absorbed. 
  • The Rules of Life:
    • Accept you are not perfect.
    • Be good to yourself.
    • Try to understand yourself.
  • Learn to: – Belong, Believe, Be – You have no better choice
  • You can only change yourself
  • Mental & Physical fitness are keys to living

Second Principles

2The “Work- Place” is larger than an of usTeam Work is the Key. The
company does not depend on the brilliance of some and the failure of a few.
3Corporate is all about winningwe are all cogs that have
to work for this.
4All of us are dispensableThe Company can manage without
any one of us.
5Corporate is about profit or lossIt offers us a way of life, which gives
us security of job and environment, even as it gives us a good cause that harnesses our lives together.
6The Corporate is always involvedYet, it is never intrusive. It respects
Society, each one’s privacy while
encouraging a secular way of
community living.
7The company is an extended familyIts progress across the spectrum
Of operations, administration, activities, education, self -development, family affairs and welfare, is the sum of what each member puts into these fields – individually and collectively.

Third Principles

8Every individual of the company
must want to do well.
To do well, you need to qualify in everything the company says you must
9To do well you must develop being –
dependable and reliable.
Your reliability and competence provides the foundation of organizational achievement – a foundation that, necessarily, must be resolute and strong.
10Your job is actually a callingYou are a doer, supervisor, manager, leader, counsellor, friend, guide and caretaker, individually or as part of a team. This “calling” requires Passion with Discipline, Knowledge with Reason, Tenacity with Purpose, Firmness with Fairness, Conviction with Grace, Candour with Tact.
11The Corporate is built on blended integrity“Integrity” is not some esoteric value that is nice to have or wonderful to speak about. It simply connotes a way of behaviour and conduct that is correct, fair, caring of the individual and the system with the interest of the company kept paramount. This requires blending of the mind, intellect, emotion, and reason, with the job at hand. The company must and should matter every time.
12‘Self Esteem’ in the work- place is most precious and important It evolves out of your direct knowledge on the job, competence of your application, sense of your
conviction, degree of your commitment, positivity of your co-operation, value of trust, understanding of the environment, modesty, self control, sense of timing, sense of humour, readiness for responsibility, willingness to accept mistakes – both yours and others – and most importantly, developing a sense of detachment without being indifferent.
13Participation is the key in the CorporateLearn to participate and make others participative. The greater the participation, the stronger will be the bonding and sense of ownership – of the company and its goals.

Fourth Principles

14.  ‘Self Development’ through constant ‘Self Improvement’ is the key.  Remember, you are:

(a)    Important to Yourself

(b)    Valuable to the Organisation

(c)     Needed by the Family

15.  ‘Proteins of your personality’.  Your personality matters.  Its healthy projection is important.  You and I must work at it.  There are some important proteins that we need to be always conscious of: –

aCode of Conduct Remember, you watch yourself while also being watched.  Hence, how you conduct yourself is important for yourself, others and most importantly for the organization. 
bFairness of FunctioningYou would like to be dealt with fairly – So deal with others fairly in your functioning.
cEfficiency of EffectivenessYour efficiency only matters whenever you are effective. A result- oriented approach should be your
dValue of Your VoiceYour voice is one of the most Important gifts you have. Never take it for granted. Learn to use it
well. Articulation, enunciation, modulation, pronunciation and pleasantness of delivery are important ingredients of your speech. Your tone and accent should become acceptable to and influence others. It is important that you constantly work at improving the value of your voice. This does not mean that you must become artificially affected in your style of speaking.
eLearning to ListenLearning to listen is a quality that all of us must constantly strive to improve upon. Listening well with
sincerity of intent is half the battle won.
fRationale of ReachHuman beings require logic and reason to make them perform. A leader and manager who uses practical rationale for reaching out to his team will always be successful.

Rules of Work

16Create a positive working environment that will support innovation and attainmentYou must make people want to come to work with you. To begin with, you must believe in the value of this concept. The next step is to plan how to go about achieving this. The constant in this attempt is, of course, pragmatic, and sensible human management, through fairness in functioning, meaningful and motivated working environment – all in a sense of participation. Constant introspection, clear communication of your ideas, upwards, downwards, and laterally are imperatives in the work- place. Making people understand as to why and what needs to be done will always go a long way instead of terse and unexplained orders. Task orientation is an effective tool in company management of human resources and hence needs to become part of our work culture.
17Learn to coordinate more control leastYou would like to be empowered and and in charge. So would others – so why not allow them to. This way you would get quality time to think than to act and Grow to bloom and blossom.
18Facts and not feelings are more importantFacts enable optimal decisions to be taken. You have a right to advise, but also expect your advice not to be accepted. In the company, while everybody is entitled to an opinion, nobody should be wrong in facts. Once a decision is taken by the superior, after weighing all factors, that must be implemented / followed in letter and spirit.
19Your Vocation calls for planning, preparation, practice of drills, procedures and emergenciesThis is true for all verticals of the Company. doing things Right by doing the Right Things – Follow Standard Operating Procedures wherever you are Take Time to Plan – If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail – A few minutes of forward planning as a team will save hours of work while encouraging holistic participation..
20A sense of competition with ethics.Competition is the engine of your Motivation. Learn to compete hard – but well. One up- man ship, at best will give you short term success. Even this will make you uncomfortable. Remember, being “one up”, clearly shows that actually you think poorly of the system, for its corollary is to pull the next man “one down”.
21Mistakes and failures will occurYou must strive for ‘Zero Error’ without its syndrome. Every mistake in the company comes with costs in terms of men and material. All of us need to be always conscious of this. While errors of judgment can be condoned, errors of negligence must be punished.
22Prevention of Mistakes is better than correction Analysis of mistakes would reveal that more often than not, it is the organizational lapse that was the cause rather than individual failure. Optimal planning, preparation coupled with synergy, lateral thinking and anticipation helps in prevention of mistakes. Additionally, a mistake would never be repeated if the organization applies necessary correctives in time.
23Clear your Day each DayThere are every day ‘must do’ tasks both as a person and as a team. Set up a regular, disciplined routine to complete these.
24Prioritise your WorkYou need to prioritise by separating what is important and what is urgent. Remember, what is important may not be urgent and what is urgent may not be important! This subtle difference, if understood, will enable you to sensibly use your resources
25Develop Lateral ThinkingWorking hard is important, but working hard and smart is the key to achieving your objectives. This calls for lateral thinking. What does this mean? It means that you anticipate the consequences of your action and think about the value additions of parallel and simultaneous actions that would be catalysts for achieving your main objectives. Commonsensical use of people and material with the underlying philosophy of “Greater bang for the Buck’ is part of this thinking.
26Cater for Crisis ManagementThere are some situations that cannot be planned for – sudden bad weather, unexpected events,
unforeseen failures, unfortunate accidents and inordinate work holdups. Every planner must have some reserve of force / resources / energy to cater for crisis management.
27Accept the Consequences of your ActionYou must learn to accept the consequences of your action – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Owning up to the mistakes is the first step in seeking forgiveness and the first step in correcting that mistake. In any case, nothing can ever be hidden.
28Mastering technology and understanding people instead of Other way aroundHumans need to be understood while the machines must be conquered. This is key to our work efficiency. This can be achieved only by making the Human understand his/her role. This requires understanding him/her, appealing to logic, motivating his/her spirit, and inspiring his sense of belonging.
29Mastering – (even using) AngerAnger comes to us, sometimes suddenly, sometimes naturally. Pressing the pause button in your mind for that second of anger occurrence will perhaps enable you to be in control. At times, you may have reason to get angry – do get angry, but without feeling angry! Practice and think about using anger, rather being wasted out by anger.
30“Custom”, “Tradition”, “Practice” should always complement “Economy, “Efficiency” and “Effectiveness”.Every entity has, over the years, acquired a culture and sense of Organizational Behavior(OB) that is
both unique in character and correctly
conservative in application. None of us can or should even try to rattle this “OB”. What needs to be guarded against, however is a mindset that resists innovation and ingenuity. The company is a continuously evolving system. Technology, society, and human values are all undergoing change at a dynamic rate. The system is but a part of this larger organism. Hence, it must also adapt to change. This behooves each one of us to concentrate on being effective through efficiency, using cost effective economy of effort. Only then will we conserve individual and unit energy for the most vital requirements of our vocation. This calls for constant review of Traditions, Practice and Customs and optimizing our “OB” to achieve our objectives.
31Concentrate on weaknesses and strengths equallyIn fact, paying attention to the former is critical for “a chain is as strong as the weakest link’. Also, once you understand your strengths and weakness, then you can develop the environment and related strategy to neutralize the weakness, or even convert it into a relational strength, even whilst you maximize your strengths and their effect. How? In the manner of how a light force can be used to exploit its mobility; how a young, inexperienced crew can be fired up with `josh’ to overcome resource limitations; and how manpower shortages can be obviated by decentralization and devolution. For this, you must be ready to think laterally.
32Building up Unit EnergyEach one of us must think about “Unit Energy” and its optimum use. In a company, it means connecting efficiency and effectiveness. This relates to knowledge, skill & performance dependability. Unit Energy connotes overall office efficiency and productivity in meeting all assigned tasks. Building up of unit energy requires conscious effort and application. There are several basic steps that need to be understood and absorbed: –

(a) Clear professional comprehension, converted to system procedures, operation, and exploitation.
(b) Understanding the ‘Mission’ and its purpose and the ‘Intent’ of the superior in execution of the Mission.
(c) Making every person of the team aware of his/her role and contribution. The way an organization employs its people should seek to unify their minds and strengths, so that the bold cannot forge ahead and the weak cannot retreat behind, both in isolation (Ancient Chinese Masters).
(d) Conserving energy by remaining focused on that activity. Often, there is dissipation of energy due to diversion of attention on unimportant activities.
(e) Becoming aware that we tend to react only when certain events occur. We need to develop the art of also reacting when events do not take place! This is the only way by which we can adequately prepare ourselves for all the What ‘ifs’ or contingencies whereupon we would break out of the ‘Reaction’ culture and be firmly active. This calls for awareness, and alacrity of response and constant practice.
(f) Constant dissemination of information, orientation, feed back of and from the team should never ever cease. This must be translated into actionable plans for promoting unit efficiency.
(g) Constant and conscious look out for emergencies and breakdowns is a critical activity.

33.  In the observance of the foregoing rules, a LEADER must develop five traits: –

(a)    Be Flexible without being pliant

(b)    Be Firm without being stiff

(c)     Be Humane without being vulnerable

(d)    Be Trusting without being deceived

(e)    Develop courage that cannot be overwhelmed

                                                                        – Ancient Chinese Masters


34.  This is a summary of the previous pages, rationalized and reconciled with the suggested work ethic and modus operandi.  

35.  “Principles” allude to the guiding philosophy.  Tenets tabulate rules of functioning to achieve objectives.  Objectives are the frame in which milestones can be fitted in.  Styles seek to establish practical functioning process. 

36.  “Leadership and Management” are different, but equally important facts of a common tool.   Leadership is about visions and goals.  Management is about processes and systems.  Leadership is about motivating people.  Management is about dealing with people.  Leadership and Management need to go hand in hand.  We must work, so why not understand work to enjoy it and gain from it.  This is not a simple, naïve, be or do good list.  It does consider, conflict, and clash of personalities, ambitions, and desires.  It seeks to highlight the ultimate choices and optimal choices we all have, along with the realization that we could fail or be left behind.

  • Organisation is larger than the Individual
  • Organisation is more important than the Individual
  • Organisation is about “Winning Always”
  • Organisation is principally structured to be Impersonal
  • Organisation ought to take care of its interests.
  • Organisation never dies. Individuals do, or disappear
  • Mission completion is ever paramount.  (At times, Mission may not be clear)
  • Team Training: Every member of the team has to be trained to his / her required level of competence.This requires training attention across the echelon.
  • Team orientation for Mission completion is vital.
  • Team Motivation for Mission achievement is imperative.
  • Team Preparation for the worst is an axiomatic job requirement.
  • Crew conditioning on a continuous basis towards the purpose of the Mission is a MUST.
  • Conserving crew energy and having a planned reserve of strength is a necessary.
  • Talking “with the Team” should be the operative principle.  Sometimes we may have to “talk to” people. Never talk “at” people.People matter.
  • People are behind problems & situations.  So, study your team to employ them according to their assessed capabilities and professional competence. 
  • Most differences between people are trivial without any bearing on the Mission. The Need to understand this is of paramount importance.
  • People perform better if they are told “what is to be done” than being told “what to do”
  • Never condone carelessness or negligence.
  • Teamwork, transparency, trust, tutelage are ever important. 
  • Discourage self importance.
  • Gather the Team through a sense of participation. 
  • Communicate clearly and listen with an open mind. 
  • Do not take yourself seriously but take your job seriously. 
  • Forgive but do not forget.
  • Learn to laugh – a sense of humour reduces tension.
  • Learn to introspect, innovate.  
  • Prepare for failure and learn to handle it with maturity. Your despair is highly contagious and demoralising. No matter what happens, we must learn to pick up the pieces and carry on regardless.   
  • Every person must be made to feel `wanted’ as part of the Team. 
  • Your sense of fairness and even handed approach must be felt and understood.   
  • 40.  Our ‘Ways at work’ need:

     “Wisdom of the Philosopher,

      Direction of the Leader

      Processes of a Manager

      Professional Education alongside continuous currency of Knowledge.

      Team Togetherness in Collective Creativity.

      Transparency Trust in Equity of Equal Opportunity.

      Incentives for Individual Growth

      Fostering Training for one and all.

      Recognizing, Respecting Talent

      Process Oriented Approach that is Solution based.

      Maximizing Technology Usage with Human Touch

    Timely Appraisals, with formal, non-attributable 360-degree Feed Back Procedures.

      Environs of Easy to work with but exacting in Outcomes.

      Pragmatic Core Values in sync with Vision, Mission.

     Constant Conscious Awareness of Company Credibility, Reputation.


    1. It behooves each one of us to understand our role in the organization called our “Corporate”.
    2. To succeed we must participate. To participate, we must perform. To perform, we must know. To know, we must study and prepare. To prepare, we must be committed. To be committed, we must believe, belong and be
    3. Ways at Work enables, encourages, empowers the Self to become what it aspires to ‘Be’.  

    3 thoughts on “WAYS AT WORK!

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