The HR message from Horse and rat

How to deal people with multitude of behaviour and leadership style in corporate is a big challenge. When some people share certain commonalities, always the corporate would apply the same methods to deal and dialogue with such people. But such approaches can be disastrous. Most occasions, the corporate leaders use the ‘weaknesses of their people as best target to control and contain them.   For dealing and limiting the arrogance and bizarre behaviour of some people, corporate should use their weakness but the same technique should not be used for all.

Rat and horse share one unique habit.   Both these animals cannot vomit. As a result of the above limitation, if they eat anything that cannot digest, both these animals would die of stomach blotting.

Many rat poisons are developed only based on the above limitation of the rat. Sweetened cotton balls are used to kill rats as the cotton balls once enter the stomach seldom gets digested. Hence the rats would die of stomach blotting.

On the other hand, only the above limitation of the horse (it cannot vomit) warrant utmost care for the animal. Only because of the special care required for the horse, the popular phrase – ‘horse eats money’ has come into existence.

In the first case, we use the limitation or weakness of rats to limit its over population/colonization/success. But the same weakness only helps the horse to get extra care from its master.   The question is why the weakness rat is exploited against them, whereas, for a horse, the same weakness achieves an extra care?

The management message to be understood from the above is that it is not the limitation or inability or weakness limit or gain support to people from others, but how they create value and merit for them only determines their success. Once the value preposition is displayed clearly, the organization will do the needful to overcome such weakness of its people.   As long as people fail to display their value and merit, their weakness become the main target that the corporate would exploit.

Many people in corporate often say that they are discriminated for some particular reason. Their lack of knowledge or skill is being seen as their weakness whereas such weakness of their colleagues is not seen as weakness and instead they are supported by the organization to overcome such weaknesses.

The reason for the above confusion is simple. The people, who make such complains, see only the limitations whereas the organization sees only the value of certain people not their weakness.

It is like rat and horse. Both of them do not have the ability to vomit. The above inability of rats is exploited to control rats whereas, for a horse, it gains an extra care because of the value preposition they offer.

True leaders will only see the value preposition of people and not their limitation. Therefore people should focus on how to add value than how to bridge the weakness. Allow your value to outscore your limitation, you will be successful is the message the inability of both rat and horse to vomit, conveys to the corporate.

Dr S Ranganathan    

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