Friday, 3 July 2009

Missing Spark: Am I reading it correct?

I have been working in IT service industry for quite a few years now and have worked in quite a few different IT companies in India, with lot of and a variety of animals (called software/IT professionals), coming from different backgrounds and different social setup and even from different economic strata of the society. In my view, many of IT professional come to the office to surf Internet, chat with online friends and do some gossip in cafeteria and in between do a little work, if time permits, for which they are paid at the end of month, that too handsomely (I bet if you find even a single software professional who would say that he or she is happy with the salary he/she is getting). Everyone would proudly flaunt their respective companies' (employer's) access card around their necks, like domesticated dogs carry belt around necks, on the streets but would jump onto next company if the pay packet is bigger there. They would not even consider once if because of this action of theirs, the client's work could be impacted and employer's image would be impacted or what would happen to company'bucks spent on their training.
These guys work daily without fail but they do not seem to work for a longer future. A long-term vision is not there which they seem to be trying to achieve. I do not find much in them a spark which says that these guys are inspired in their life to achieve something great. Neither are the so-called IT team managers are smart enough who seems to be inspiring individuals who can inspire the guys under him. All I see in these guys, including in managers, is that they are worried about the work they have to do, not because they want to do but because it is given to them or thrust upon them, then they are worried about next appraisal whether or not they deserve it. Everyone wants bigger and fancier title, bigger and bigger pay-packet without thinking even once if they really deserve what they are asking for and above all the want all this with less and less responsibilities.
And yet another reason of worry among IT professionals in getting fast onto the housing ladder. This is the biggest worry among most as today it has become a huge status symbol and a sort of competition is there among all to get a bigger and costlier house and more number of houses in one's name. This cause them to fight their reporting manger to grant them an ONSITE trip.
Onsite trip grants some guys huge status boost, Huge bank balance and proves that this guy has truly arrived.
The life of an IT professional seems like a fairy tale to an outsider. And as an insider I can say yes, indeed it is like a fairy tell. But all these above perks are, I would say, relatively easier to get because you do not have to do much of an effort to get these. Hard work is hardly required to get all these.
I would say the guys are talented, no doubt about that, if given a challenge they would face it bravely and succeed on it. But that sharpness is not there anymore in most of the guys, all have become blunt. I hardly see these guys talking about doing something greater in life or in next few years, or creating some vision and discussing some ideas. No, this never happens or to be politically correct, it rarely happens. But since these are knowledge workers and so-called brightest engineers from our academic institutions, so it's their responsibility to think on those lines, to imagine a better future not for them but for others in society. This is a real pity. We can not blame govt. at the centre for this because I don't remember if it has imposed any tax for imagining a better future for our society. Still they do not do this.
And just imagine the price we are paying for all this inactivity. We may me missing on some visions or some opportunities which would have become realities and would given something to the society at large.
I would have to blame someone for this huge problem. Two roles come to my mind who could be squarely blamed for this nation-shaming problem. One is the teacher who never taught us to think or imagine and this was his/her responsibility. Teacher never went beyond giving us some rote lessons and checking our homeworks.
Second role to be blamed for this is IT professionals reporting manager. As a manger RM is responsible to mould a rookie engineer into a thinker. But I feel these RMs always feel why should he spend his time in improving an engineer anyway she/he will leave company as soon as he gets a better job or he would go to another project under another RM. So there is hardly any culture in industry where employees are made to think. They are not taught or guided as to how and what to think.

Here I am also part of the above herd.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Resurgent India: Our time is coming!

Two news stories of last couple of days have made me proud. For anyone outside India (especially westerners) these news stories would have been nothing short of shocking or even disgusting but for me they were pleasant pieces of news. You would wonder if Iam insane or even call me a sadist if I say I was pleased to know that a union minister sought to influence the justice or an MP slapped a bank employee on duty.
No, you are seeing glass as half empty, whereas I am looking at the glass half full. I am happy that the High Court judge made the incidence of calling by union minister public instead of following minister's advice( or threat) and happy because the bank employee filed a police complaint against the errant MP instead of toying with him. These sides of stories make me happy or joyous.
I am not surprised by the actions of minister and MP because we in India take these things as usual and they happen regularly so nothing to be shocked about. But the reactions of the two public employees are exemplary and I salute them for having taken their respective stands. They deserve all the praise and adulation from public in India. I am sure these two reactions would set the precedence now and more of such misuses of privileges by politicians would become public. These are course-changer events in Indian public life. They are true leaders.
These positive developments make me proud of my country and fellow citizens. Long Live Great India.
Leadership lesson: Doing what is correct and just without thinking of the consequences is what we called a true leadership.