Predisposition of past..a corporate leadership message

Is there anything called ‘burden of past’? Do people in corporate also suffer from the above? Is the concept/theory/philosophy of ‘burden of past’ is science or just a notion. If some scientific experiments are viewed through the kaleidoscope of management, certainly the concept of ‘burden of past’ is true and scientific.


Look at the cattle in farm land or in the jungle. They are referred as cud chewing animals or ruminating animals (ruminants). It means, they quickly cut and swallow the grass and other plants as soon as they get.   Later they go to a safe place and regurgitate the food, chew them and then swallow. The primary act is more of storing the food and cud chewing is only considered as eating the food.


The evolutionary reason for the cud chewing adaptation is to avoid predation. The cattle being the most preferred prey animal of large number of predators like tiger, lion, cheetah, panther, hyena, wild dogs etc., they have really less time to invest on ‘leisure eating’. Hence they have to swallow the food as quickly as possible only then they can eat enough food.


If we look at the history of cattle domestication by man, the man-cattle association may date back to several hundreds of years. It means, they have been living with man for several centuries. Naturally when they live with man, man feeds them and also they live in predator free environment. There are farm cattle live exclusively inside the cattle shed for their lifetime and are fed regularly. But still those cattle also swallow the food first and later cud chew. When danger is not there and food is also fed to them regularly, why they cannot cud chews and eat the food leisurely in the first place? It is purely because of the anatomy of their stomach.   The food first enters rumen. From rumen the food comes back to mouth and the cud chewed food enter to omasum and then to abomasum.   The passage of food is set during the course of evolution.


Because of the above adaptation, even when the cattle are reared in predator free environment and feed regularly, they cannot eat the food leisurely in the first instance.   The burden of past has set so well in their life and hence they follow cud chewing mode of eating.   What we may see as behaviour in cattle- the cud chewing has strong anatomical predisposition.   The burden of past seen in cattle is not limited to the behaviour but it is engraved so deeply in the anatomy of the cattle.


So the management message is that the ‘burden of past’ is science as well. Many corporate people carry huge bundle of ‘burden of past’. Management trainers and some HR function may try to change the people. In most instances they fail miserably also. Understand the truth first. Whether they carry such ‘burden of past’ just at the display level or it goes beyond. i.e., like how the anatomy of stomach of cattle only necessitates cattle to ruminate the food they eat.


Understand the behaviour of people in corporate very well and understand the genesis of such behavioural uniqueness. Understand the bundle of ‘burden of past’ and its existence as well.


Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai        Image


Size variability of different animals and HR message

Why so much of size variability among different species of plants and animals. Some animals are so small and we require magnifying glass or microscope to see and while other animals like blue whale, we cannot see even the ‘end to end’ of the animal with our naked eyes.   Why so much of size disparity among different species?


If we focus our discussion only to mammals, still we can find enormous size variability between mice to elephant to blue whale. Why nature has not created all species of animals relatively in same size? If we travel a little deep inside the facts, we can unravel the great management message of nature. Nature has never been partial to any one life form. It has shown and done equal justice to all its creation. Similarly, nature also has give equal opportunity to perform and reap the reward.


All animals on earth, irrespective of their size, the ‘greed to eat more’ and ‘need to procreate’ are same. If we have any sophisticated measuring devise or gadget, the urge of bacteria in eating and vibrancy of bacteria to multiply are essentially as same as that of an elephant or blue whale.   So nature has never made bacteria to have less interest in eating and multiplication and elephant to have more interest in the above.


Imagine, if all animals were of same size, such diversity of flora and fauna are not possible on earth. Instead of not being unfair to different species by giving less or more need to eat and greed to procreate, nature has created them in different sizes. The size variability of different species of animals and plants automatically balances the system and safeguard the macrocosm from over predation, over exploitation and over dominance. Further, different roles (ecological niche) were also given to different species.


The message to be learned by the corporate leadership is that every individual in the organization, whether they are working at the lowest ladder in the hierarchy or the CEO’s and COO’s, all of them have equal the desire for security, professional, social and family respect, desire to have rest and relaxation, career growth etc. This cardinal principle of people should not be neglected by the corporate leadership. The argument is not about giving equal salary all people.   Because they are positioned distally, their inner needs and aspirations should not be neglected or ignored.


Nature has not made any species of life on earth with such distinction. But it has artfully and wisely managed the equation by creating differences in sizes and roles of different animals and plants. If the above management wisdom of nature is not understood, only disparity becomes the counter product. Such situation also makes people to think that some are only important and some are not that important. Remember, if nature had ever followed the same rule, many species would have extinct by now. If some species of life are ever made to think that they are not that important, naturally their instinct to fight, adapt and evolve would easily dissolve.


Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., ChennaiImage


Who, the lion or tiger is better for corporate???

Who can claim the right on others achievements, especially the achievements of the team? This serious question every corporate must ask. In most corporate, the bosses uncharitably claim the entire credit of their subordinate’s achievements/success. In truth, these bosses would not have done anything to the team to perform nor win.   Unfortunately the single man owned corporate often praise and appreciate such bosses and even would say that the team has performed only because of the mentoring ability and exemplary leadership quality of the bosses.


The lack of order, fairness and justice may be rampant in most corporate but such uncharitable culture of claiming the credit of the subordinates/team without putting any effort/contribution doesn’t seems to exist in the world of big cats.


Lion is the head of the pride. The lion offers protection not only to the female lions in the pride; the cubs also enjoy protection and safety only because of the powerful head of the pride. The bachelor lions always look for a chance to kill the cubs. Interestingly the lion seldom hunt and most of the hunts are done be the female lions in the pride. But when it comes to sharing of the kill, lion takes the first and the best share and only then rest of the members in the pride can have their meal.   Lion takes its lion’s share first may be as a reward/pay to the safety and security it offers to the pride. So the pay and payoffs are balanced or gets adjusted.


In the case of tiger, the male tiger always wait until the female tiger and cubs finish their meal and only then it eats. Although the male tiger is more powerful than the female one, but it never seems to showcase its power or valiancy to win the hunt. They follow the discipline of ‘I can claim the right only if I have done something for you’. Unlike the dominant male lion of the pride, the male tigers never keep the social group nor do they offer any protection to the female tiger or the cubs.   Therefore it never shows its physical strength and grabs the kill. It waits patiently and only then it takes its share.


This order, culture and discipline the corporate leaders must follow. If they have not contributed anything to the success and achievements of their team, they should not claim the credit. By doing so only, they can prove their dignity, respectability and true spirit of leadership.  The HR function must support such culture.    


Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai



Use intelligene and break the egg…eagle to corporate

The Egyptian vulture can certainly offer lot of hope and confidence to large number of people in corporate. More often, the people in corporate give up anything they find hard to do at first sight/glance. They never ever verify whether they can do something differently than opting to retreat from the task.   Only due to such early exit from the fray or quit before act, makes people non performers, non achievers and finally become frustrated with everything.   Such people are plenty in most corporate. It is not due to lack of capability but only due to incapable thinking, most people in corporate fails to reach the goal.


The question is how to change the attitude of such people? People can change their attitude and understanding if they are willing to learn the management wonderment of nature and how success instinct makes many animals to achieve their end goal.


The Egyptian vulture is the best example for how “winners never quit and quitters never win”. Unlike other vulture species, the Egyptian vulture is known to eat eggs, especially the eggs of the gigantic bird- ostrich. Among different avifauna, the egg of an ostrich is too big and heavy for the vulture to deal with. Further, the egg shell of an ostrich is hard and not easy to break.   Nor the vulture can easily carry the egg and then can drop it from sky to break like how crow does with mollusks and sea shells.


The Egyptian vulture never seems to have lost its interest for ostrich egg due to the above limitations. In fact the limitation has only made the vulture to be intelligent and wise. Instead of dropping the egg from sky and break it, the vulture has learned to drop stones at the egg. By repeatedly dropping stones at the egg, it breaks the egg and then eats.  


The bird had not given up its pursuit or desire either due to the large size of the ostrich egg or its weight or due to the hard shell that cannot be broken easily.   It learns the art of doing things differently.   Instead of throwing the egg on rocks, it learns to through small stones at the egg and opens it.


The message for the corporate is clear.   Limitation should not limit people from achieving and instead, it should make them to be innovative.   But often people give up their effort, pursuit and interest because they think it is difficult to achieve. The achievements are the outcome of perseverance and not from early retirement. Learn the right message from the Egyptian vulture and be a winner in your journey.  


Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai





Brain as the best corporate leader

Brain death of someone dear and near to us often shatters our hope, and hopelessly people harp hopes to put the patient on life support system for sometime and finally the ultimate power of death prevails over hope and science.  This scientific/medical truth everyone knows. Beyond our knowledge and comprehension, nature has done its wonder in creating the brain of humans in an extraordinarily unique way.   It appears, nature had applied the finest management wisdom/brilliance than science while making the human brain and its functioning.


Brain is the commander-in-chief our body. The physiology, biochemistry, organ functioning etc., in our body are guided, guarded and governed by the brain.  Although the brain is the ‘ultimate centre’ of human body, it has been made only to play the role to ‘guide, guard and govern’ the body & all its functioning and not to control it.   It means, every organ in our body is given absolute authority, freedom, independence and finally the required level of competency and alertness. That is the reason why, even after death of the brain, many organs in our body function for sometime.


Nature has never made the brain in such a way that ‘I control you all and therefore if I die, you all also must die along with me immediately’.   Because of this distinctive and brilliant wisdom of nature in making the brain differently only, organ donation is possible and even from a single dead person, many gets a new life in the form of heart, liver, kidney, eyes etc transplant recipients.    But, when the brain is alive, all organs in the body definitely functions only as per the prescription of the brain, the ultimate boss.


The management message for the corporate is clear. The corporate bosses must learn the art of how to guide, guard and govern people without denying the authority, freedom and independence to people. Unfortunately, most bosses in all corporate think and acts differently. Guide, guard and govern always possible for them only in the premises giving limited freedom and operational authority to people. People should report back to the bosses about everything and should not have any decision making power and nor the people be wise to do so.


Imagine, if the bosses regularly suffocates people in corporate and give no freedom even to excise their capability, how such organization will reach great heights. The bosses often feel that if authority and autonomy are given to people, they seldom respect them back. The fear of loosing their identity, role and relevance only makes most corporate bosses to throw their weights often and ensure that people are always reared in the ecosystem of ‘psychological-slavery’.


Once the goal is set well for the people and given authority, why should people deviate from the path? Should they be respecting their goal the most and be goal centric or be respecting the bosses and be their sycophants? Nature had never made the brain to boss other organs. Similarly, let the corporate bosses understand their role as not to boss others. Bosses should facilitate people to be successful both for the organization and finally for themselves.


Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., ChennaiImage


Toxic leaders….and toxic pineapple, a corporate message

Only the matured leaders can lead the people to success in any corporate. This is not just a statement but is a gospel. The question is how to know who is matured and who is not?   Before knowing about how to know the matured leaders, one must know the possible consequences and calamities that can be caused by immature leaders if they are made to lead the organization.


No one would say that they do not know about the fruit pineapple or like its delicacy. Indeed, pineapple is a very tasty, juicy fruit. But know the truth that the unripe pineapple fruit is toxic and can produce worst health problems if eaten. Nature has its own management reason and has a hidden wisdom.   To have delicacy and value, one has to allow and help the pineapple to grow, mature and ripe. Only the matured/ripened fruit offers delicacy.   If someone due to their impatience eats the young fruit will have to pay the price as they are toxic.


Similarly, the people with less leadership ingredients/qualities are if appointed or made to lead the corporate, can in fact spoils the organization than lead the organization to success.


Many single entrepreneurs driven corporate often appoints their favourites and sycophants in the helm of affairs thinking them to be great leaders and most capable people. Only outstanding quality these people may have exhibited is in the field of ‘sycophancy’ and none in the corporate can ever beats them. Such organizations will progressively perish because the people who lead the organization will not have any value and vision.


Such corporate leaders can only team up people against people and not the interest of the organization. The problem is not with such leaders. They are yet to mature/ripe. Once the people are properly developed/trained/mentored, may do wonderful job like how delicious the pineapple become once it ripens.


Every subtle aspects of nature, there is a great management truth/message and wonderment.   But the corporate has to decode them only then such wonderful messages can be learned. The people – people problems and boss – subordinates problems in most corporate are not due to the existence of any real problem. Only the leadership imbalances or vacuum causes the problems.


Therefore while selecting the people to lead the team and the organization must remember the management message of how toxic is the un-ripened pineapple and how it becomes delicious and juicy when it ripened. So are the leaders.  


Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai




Funny or motivating corporate example?

It is an excitement and not an example. The above management message only comes to the modern corporate from the life of dung beetle and leaf cutter ant. The corporate bosses must delayer the meaning and must walk the talk. In many occasions, especially during appraisal time, the bosses are known to use several alliterations and assonance to put the subordinates down and make them feel totally worthless. Sometime they do also with the intent to motivate and exhilarate them.

The best example is the life of dung beetle or leaf cutter ant. The scientific studies have proved that the dung beetle is the strongest insect in the world. It can easily pull or carry the weight more than 1000 times of own body weight. On the other hand, the leaf cutter ant can carry the weight 50 times more than its own body weight. In one of the appraisals, the boss of a corporate had quoted the above examples to the subordinates to send a clear message that when a small beetle can be so capable, why not the subordinates?

The debate is not about such comparison and nor about whether it is right or not to use such an example. This message is not just for the corporate bosses but also for the corporate trainers as well. The corporate trainers also use several examples to motivate people.

The important management message to be remembered by all is that our examples should serve meaning, contextual relevance and must meet the end purpose. But most often the corporate bosses and corporate trainers use examples to excite people but such examples will not create any connectivity. Only when there is connect with the example, change, correction and transformation is possible.

When there is a serious business like imparting training or appraisal of subordinates, use of examples must be right, correct and for the right purpose. The suggestion is not against use of examples that would elicit excitement; such examples are also inevitable to break the monotony. But never expect that through an exciting example you can transform people. Nor does an exciting example will serve the purpose especially during appraisal period. Such reference will only demean people.

Remember, the elephant may lift only the weigh 10% of its total weight but still it means a lot than that of the dung beetle or leaf cutter ant. To our context, the job of an elephant only can make difference and not the dung beetle. Therefore while using an exciting example also think whether such examples are also going to transform people.

The ability of dung beetle to lift or pull weight more than 1000 times is more due to save its own life. When the beetle burry inside the dung, it should able to lift the dung from above only then it can escape. But only the strength help the elephant do such task.

Remember, the corporate success comes not from just excitements but only from transformations. Therefore work towards transforming people.

Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai Image