Book promotion

Time for some shameless self-promotion. Oops!! I meant book promotion.

Leadstart, the publisher of my book “What happens in office, stays in office” (image in the margin on the right) has launched its own website for selling books. My book is available for Rs. 136.50 (30% less) with no delivery charge, till 28th Feb. In case you are buying, use Promo code: LPWHIOSIO1. Use link:

I guess this will only work for deliveries in India. Also, the Promo code will only work on the publisher’s site to which the above link leads.

Of course the book is also available on in the US, sans the publisher promotion, on:

A few weeks back another review of the book was carried by Friday Gurgaon, a popular weekly newspaper in the eponymous town (Gurgaon), that I have not shared earlier on this blog. Here it is, followed by the link to the newspaper’s webpage with the review:

review FG 


Selection rites

Head of Operations to Head of HR : We have a Senior Manager position vacant that we need to fill. It has become available because of the retirement of Peter, who was in that role for a long time. Traditionally, whenever the position of a Senior Manager becomes available, the longest-serving Manager, subject to meeting a minimum performance standard in the last annual appraisal, gets the job and a promotion to Senior Manager.

Head of HR : OK. So we can follow the same process again.

Head of Operations : I would obviously want to follow the process, as it saves me the headache of going through a full round of assessments. But there is a problem.

HR Head : Problem ? I am not quite sure I understand. Can you please elaborate.

Head of Operations : The person eligible on this occasion is Tim. Unfortunately I am facing some serious performance issues with him.

Head of HR : You are again talking in riddles. If there was a performance issue he should have been part of the list of employees who we have placed on the watch-list and are closely performance-managing.

Head of Operations, scratching his head and speaking in a lowered tone : The problem with him is that he is an outstanding performer. If he keeps performing this way he will soon overtake us and become our boss.

Head of HR, with face lighting up as the realisation dawns : Ah ! I think I get the drift now. In fact, now that I think back, I have heard murmurs about his performance in the past.

Head of Operations : You see what I mean.

Head of HR : It will be a shame, if we ever let it happen. So very different from Peter, who was as fine an example of a dedicated employee as one could hope to get in one’s team, and who we were never scared will make rapid strides in his career, leaving us behind. You could trust him. Yes sir, trust him blindly. Not a word would come out of him if his boss told him to do something, even if it was blatantly against company policy or interest. And he never had the brains to think about issues like fairness, equality, justice, etc. They don’t make them like Peter any more, do they ?

Head of Operations : I agree. And do you know that despite being repeatedly thwarted and passed over, blatantly unfairly at times in favour of less deserving people, he remained committed as ever till the end.

Head of HR : Not qualities today’s generation can boast of. To tell you a secret, I am looking forward to my own retirement. I just cannot handle working with these smart, aggressive, knowledgeable youngsters you get these days. They are not scared of taking decisions. They do not hesitate a moment while talking to seniors. On most occasions they can work independently. It is becoming difficult to run a business.

Head of Operations : You are right. By the way, you said you have heard some murmurs about Tim’s performance. Can you tell me what you meant.

Head of HR : That he will not obey orders unless he is convinced about the usefulness of the task. That he will work for the good of the company and not his boss.

Head of Operations : That is quite true.

Head of HR : And that he carries opinions on issues like working conditions, equality and fairness. He took up cudgels on behalf of his team-members when we were trying to increase work-hours without prior information. 

Head of Operations : How will we be able to run business in this manner if team-members keep thinking and taking views on decisions ?

Head of HR : I see your point.

Head of Operations : So what do we do then ?

Head of HR : I think it is fair to conclude that he is mature, responsible, competent, and hence thoroughly unfit for the position. We need to look at other candidates.

I was young. I was foolish.

 “It will improve your career prospects significantly” they told me.

“But what good is a promotion without an increase in compensation” I protested.

“When you meet someone, do you talk about your designation or your salary ?” they posed.

“But when I am all by myself, I need money to live” I countered.

“Your near and dear ones will be able to proudly proclaim that you are now a supervisor in this company and no longer a mere employee” they suggested.

“To be proud, they will first need to stay alive, for which money is required” I countered.

“You will have so much more responsibility” they said.

“My personal responsibilities are also growing” I beseeched. “Besides, more responsibility will mean more work”.

“Don’t be so self-centered, thinking only about yourself” they said.

“Who else should I think about?” I asked.

“You don’t see the big picture, do you ?” they sneered.

“I am not in a position where I can admire pictures of any kind, or any kind of artwork for that matter” I confessed.

“You focus seems to be very short-term. You have a life ahead of you. Think of the higher value you will command in the long run by doing a higher level job” they argued.

“Higher value will come from a higher compensation” I persisted, “and anyway, like someone said, in the long run, we are all dead”.

 “You will get a lot of job-satisfaction from the higher responsibilities” they prophesised, while showing the light with “People at your level beg for promotions”.

“I have no complaints about the job I am doing” I insisted.

“You will have people at a lower level reporting to you, who will look up to you and seek your advice on important issues. Your workstation will be three inches longer than the employees and you will have a chair that swivels around. You will have the privilege of buying your own gas with your own money and driving in on your own, as the Transport will be withdrawn. From one amongst many cubicles in a row, we will move you right next to the toilet so that you are accessible to your people.”

Under this final fusillade of clinching arguments I crumbled.

I accepted the promotion.

I was young. I was foolish.

My compensation became half of what I was getting earlier and I started doing the work of three people.

Shortly thereafter, the company was under severe financial stress. In order to save money the company promoted everyone to a supervisory role and halved their salary.

Now, not only is my salary half off what it was earlier and I do the work of three people, I am back on the lowermost rung in the hierarchy with nobody either reporting to me or looking up to me. But I get to keep my three inch longer workstation, the swivel chair, my own gas in my own car, and a place right next to the toilet.

Illustrious career – promotion every year

CEO’s speech on the retirement of Harry

It seems like only yesterday that Harry became an Assistant Vice President (AVP). Before he became AVP, he had slogged for several years as a Senior Manager and impressed one and all with his commitment and capability which is how he was promoted to AVP.

After earning your way through to the position of an AVP, some people tend to slacken and take it easy, preferring to enjoy the fruits of the hard work in the years gone by. But not Harry. He  continued to work with the same commitment and zeal, resulting in a sterling career path which can be held up as an example to many.

From an Assistant Vice President he became an Associate VP (AVP) the very next year.

He continued to grow. Growth to the levels of Senior AVP (SAVP) and Corporate AVP (CAVP) happened in quick succession, in successive assessment cycles.

A year later, he was promoted yet again. This time to the role of a Global AVP.

Thereafter, thanks in part to his efforts during the buyout of a competitor, he was made an Executive AVP (EAVP), the only one so far to have got that position.

He has kept the company on its toes. He has kept performing and we have kept up by in creating new designations to reward him. His growth is an example of what is possible for the right person in this company. He has risen five times in the last five years. Can you hope to get this kind of growth with any other company ? The answer, clearly, is a resounding NO.

In the earlier, unenlightened days of the company, he would have gone from AVP to VP in a matter of three years, a single promotion in three years. In today’s enlightened company, after becoming AVP, he has already been promoted five times, and he could still have aspired for the VP position were he not retiring.

Today, as he retires, he has been instrumental in charting out an entirely new career path not only for himself, but also for many others who follow. I am pleased to announce that the designations introduced in the last five years (keeping time with Harry’s progress) for the growth of AVPs, will henceforth be applicable to all the levels below that.

Hence, a Senior Manager, who would have become an AVP in his next promotion, will now become a Senior Senior Manager (SSM). After becoming an SSM, his next promotion will be to the level of a Corporate Senior Manager (CSM). This will be followed by Executive Senior Manager and Global Senior Manager (GSM). As things stand, if you become a GSM, the next promotion may take you to the level of an AVP. Though there could well be more promotion opportunities introduced between GSM and AVP before anyone gets to the GSM level.

You will never get to say that promotions in our company do not happen fast and enough. I challenge you to compare with any company in the industry. I am sure the promotion opportunities available here cannot be matched by anyone in the industry.

I wish Harry happiness and success in his retired life.