BJP, Congress, AAP, Third front…. In the corporate world

It’s exciting times ahead, with elections, the arguments and counter arguments, the exit polls and opinion polls – the democratic process in all it’s glory ! The way the various parties and netas behave provides a lot of fodder for people like me who like to extrapolate these situations to the corporate world and think about lessons we could learn. 🙂

We have all the political parties in our hallways and all the netas too. The Advani, MM Joshi’s are the so called “senior” leaders who don’t want to be irrelevant and want to hold onto the vestiges of power and fame while they have a foot in the grave already. Reminds you of folks in our offices who never want to let go of their positions and let a more capable young professional take their place ? There are very few graceful exits from any role and that’s an important point to ponder over. And then the cases of sour grapes… Dear Sushma trying to derail Modi’s plans, so sad. But we, the corporate citizens know this feeling too, people who couldn’t get to the top resort to every trick they can to pull down someone, who is reaching the top. Loyalties are fragile and everyone wants the best for “themselves”, ideology and the larger good be damned.

We also have Rahul baba and the dynasty in our offices… The Indian family owned businesses that have tremendous potential to be large global conglomerates, don’t even scratch the surface of that possibility because they want to hand over the reins to their progeny who may not have inherited the right genes. Some of our large conglomerates that are family owned, play every political game in the book and out of the syllabus to stay powerful and find every loophole in the books to escape paying taxes.. You know who I mean. The truly powerful leaders never make a statement but buy out every person who could make a statement … Power, the ultimate corruptor !! People with power anywhere are the same – the aphrodisiac called power, works it’s way into our bloodstream and wrecks havoc, makes us arrogant, belligerent, blind.

The wannabes like Jayalalitha, Nitish Kumar etc also are found in our offices, they make a lot of noise, try to remain relevant, do some good work in pockets, but don’t understand that they can’t make it to the leadership pole position because they don’t have the credentials. It’s always difficult to accept our own shortcomings… Somehow I think our parents make us feel like we are the best, and we are, but some are more “best” than us and we need to gracefully accept that :).

The upstart, the sensationalist …. Yes our dear AK, who only questions everything and everybody, but never has a single answer when he is questioned. The danger for our country and our companies is these “types” create a lot of hope initially as they pick on important issues like corruption or delivery issues in an organization … And then when they garner enough support and get a chance to be in a position of power, they keep changing roles so that they can never be pinned down and nothing can be pinned on them. These are dangerous people, as they will create trouble, but wouldn’t stay back and solve it. The constant need for adulation is another issue.

We also have the alliances and dalliances … The forming and breaking of the 3rd front. Jaya saying yes one day and no another day, Anna refusing to address a sparse crowd and Mamata flaring up, Nitish caught between the devil and the deep sea, hmmm – all of this happens in our offices too. Alliances are formed and some are carried over from one firm to the other, while others are used to climb the corporate ladder and then the ladder is kicked. People form friendships and break them off depending on the need of the hour. And some, like Nitish, can neither stay nor get away !!

An important lesson for all of us from the 2014 elections is the value of forethought and prep – Mr. Modi may get to be the PM or not, but you cannot fault him on his campaign strategy. He ensured that the campaign game plan was clearly laid out and no stone was left unturned. Results are not always commensurate to the efforts put in, but many times the efforts are not even put in, in earnest. Mr. Modi, I feel planned his PM campaign many years back and worked his way through it, one step at a time. That’s an important lesson for all of us. Identify what you want to achieve, plan meticulously and execute on the plan… Success may come or may not, but forethought and planning is like preparing the soil where success can sprout.

For those who know me well, I don’t want to talk of values here because they get twisted and out of shape in both the political drama and the corporate drama. That’s the saddest truth 🙁

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