Does the culture of your company matter?

woman sharing her presentation with her colleagues

Today I saw a dance video of a friend of mine. She apparently was dancing with her college gang. Their energy, sync in moves, facial expressions and body language – revealed more than words ever could.

Here’s what my little knowledge of psychology tells me:

  • The people we surround ourselves with determine who we become.
  • Even they didn’t know that their friends play so important role in their happiness.
  • It is the best thing if we choose our people wisely, and if we don’t that’s a doom on us.

But why are we talking about this?

Because I was a star player in my first job because I was nurtured that way.

In my second job, things changed drastically because:

  • I asked a lot of questions, which made my manager believe I am getting too excited and I don’t know anything.
  • I was always happy and booming with joy, which was also perceived as a sign of dumbness.
  • Most importantly, there was once a trainer who was invited to our office. Those days my manager wasn’t talking to me (yes, that also happened!) because I had taken two days off owing to ill health. My work was in sync, so I attended the one-hour zumba session that the trainer conducted.

And damn, after that session it was a guilty feeling that encircled me. The feeling that I should have sat stuck at my desk because my boss would like it – I just didn’t want to be limited by that feeling so I attended the Zumba session. And more than anything else, it was organized by the HR of the company, and I, inter alia, received a formal email from her for attending the session.

This was just one instance, I could lay at least ten such instances that made me feel small in the organisation. Btw, instead of teaching me how to solve difficult problems, my manager used to ask me: “Will you be able to do it?” This wasn’t because I had proved my inability to him, it was because in our informal conversations he always highlighted how he felt men were more apt to doing this job.)

Was I wrong? Yes, in the desire of joining that organisation, I was wrong. Was I wrong in my stint at that workplace? Well, only if curiosity and cheerfulness are wrong.

In a fortunate tale of events, my leader did not like me and asked me to “look for further opportunities” because I didn’t fit the bill of fitting in.

I did get out of the organisation, and it was the best thing that happened to me.

Now, before we conclude, there were some good things in the organisation:

  • They did provide me bread and butter
  • The operations and sales team were driven to meet the customer needs, always
  • We had a break of one month after working for two months (good as well as not so good as all drive was lost).
  • My manager (yes the one who stopped talking to me) was cool and calm (sadly not driving me to performance.)
  • He said he felt bad about the leader asking me to leave, and it was all in good intent. He treated me like his daughter and perhaps because of which never bothered enough to make me bold enough to face the muddy waters of the job which is of the most importance to perform.

But this post isn’t necessarily about what was good in the organisation that I worked with, and what wasn’t. It was more about the culture. All organisations are the best – if they hire the right people

My friend was dancing along with her friends and they all enjoyed it. I danced with my colleagues and my non-communicative manager felt worse because of this. Of course that guilt slid into me. Of course that did affect me.

That is why it is important to review the company and the culture you are working with.

It is going to be hard, but so is it hard for the company to find the right fit for them. If they could do the emotional labour of being patient and going through the difficult stuff, so is it your responsibility to move the needle and go to the place you would be proud to say in your first page interview.

Goodbyes

Goodbyes are the most beautiful things on the planet.

When we know we have to say a goodbye, all of a sudden we tend to forget what pain they caused us.

We suddenly feel regret on the pains we know we caused to them.

Why does it happen in the first place?

It happens, because we humans tend to live life on the pedestals of tomorrow.

Will make that call tomorrow.

Will call my sister tomorrow.

Will pay the credit card bill tomorrow.

The way we love tomorrow, if we loved our today the same way – no goodbye would be so painful.

Here’s a parting question: Where in your life would we feel bad, if we didn’t get a chance to say a goodbye?

Feeling worthy each day!

Warren Buffet says that he enjoys his work so much that he would tap dance to work, and paint on the ceiling of Sistine Chapel.

Life is supposed to be like this.

At a point of time in my life, my life didn’t look like this. I hated my days.

Yet I continued investing in my learning.

And what came out of it, is totally novel.

Life feels blissful. Even if I work more, it is the best version of my life so far. Still to get better each day.

The thing that saved me, that will probably save you as well, is: investing in my learning each day. No matter what.

Everything else is just a byproduct.

Too serious?

Is it okay to take yourself seriously?

Or should you be happy and easy-going?

The answer is: you should take yourself seriously and be easy going in the process.

Take your mindset seriously, and be easy going towards the first time mistakes (second timers are the ones you didn’t learn from).

Take your efforts seriously, and easy going towards someone else’s.

You always know when is it the time to be disciplined and when to chill. You just need to decide – which will come from practising serious discipline as well as easy going discipline.

Why are you clicking those pictures?

For the past few days, I’ve had a special disagreement for not clicking pictures.

Yes, it is strange.

Yes, it is weird.

And yes, it’s highly liberating.

The ability to enjoy nature and enjoy it without having the urge to share it out with others, is simply the best way to bring out your own nature.

Giving it a try once, is worth your peace of mind.

How about having a great weekend?

I happened to call a friend cum team mate today, who is also into freelancing.

We asked about each other’s whereabouts, and ended up knowing that both of us were working today, despite it being a weekend.

The best part is, both of us were happy about it.

Few lessons from it:

1. The lucky life is designed, by consistent relentless hard work.

2. If you’re happy, what day of the week it is, doesn’t matter.

3. You are a product of people you hang around with:)

The train journey

Ever slept in a train journey?

The long way seemed like seconds, right?

Ever stayed awake during the journey?

A small journey made you see and learn a lot.

Well, it could be a great way to define life as well.

What’s our status, depends on what we do. Live the life, or let it pass by.

Badminton, not so good

When I had just entered tenth standard, I also exited something superimportant: playing badminton on the street with my neighbourhood friends.

Of course, it was justified back then. Board exams were coming up, I needed to focus on what was important. Playing wasn’t. (I don’t believe it now, back then I did.)

In a consequent events of getting plumper from 11th standard till first year of college, I finally started taking health and fitness seriously from second year onwards, and also achieved wonderful results post that.

Fast forward to yesterday, I was playing badminton with a bunch of friends, who otherwise, play the game daily.

And boy o boy, what a sad demise the team had which I was a part of.

I was leaner than them, had a stronger body with a lower fat percentage than them, can do a headstand and also do a plank effortlessly; over and above the strength from training in the gym.

Yet, here I was, flunked beautifully in the sport that had been a part of almost entire childhood of mine.

What I learnt from last night’s sport was this:

1. No matter what you can do, when someone else practices more, they become an expert at it. The same applies to business and life. Working more, creating more, and failing more, will lead to greater changes of success. Invariably.

2. Your future is designed by what you do in the present, not what you did in the past. This applies to all those who didn’t have a beautiful past, and also to those who had great habits in the past and now have left them.

Today is the past that will be created in the future. Take care of it, and if you want to experience some fun, make time for your metaphoric badminton.

Please.

Process versus product

Product means nothing, if process is flawed.

If process is powerful, end product really doesn’t matter (so much).

If people wait for weekend without working really hard on weekdays, they aren’t really going to enjoy the weekends.

It would be rather slogging.

If people do great work on weekdays then weekends won’t matter much, because they will be fulfilled from within.

Within.

Process versus product.

Does work make you go blind?

Love for the work is blind.

When you fall in love with that kind of work, you just cannot live without executing it.

And unless you’ve found that kind of work, “keep looking, and don’t settle,” said the legendary Steve Jobs.

You will definitely find that kind of love when you do work superhard and know what you are made up of, and made for.