About Me

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Economic Times - The Corner Office

    "There is no shortcut to the corner office. Or is there?" went the ad in the paper. 2 hours and a short ride later, sitting in one of the assembly-line cubicles in the big blue building, the question ran across my eyes like an invisible ticker. I had to know the answer. Standing up, the corner office was in clear line of sight. About 30 feet away, shimmering with all its sharp-looking furniture and with all the attention that a wealthy tourist in Bangkok gets. It surely wasn't the corner office I aspired for - this one had the printers, brochures of our products and services and other 'intellectual capital' stacked high as the eye. If there was a shortcut to this office, I didn't care about it. I guess the ads weren't talking of the literal corner offices but the metaphorical ones.

    The advent of HR as an important function made redundant the premise of the ad. Corner offices weren't physically corner offices anymore. Everyone followed an open door policy and on those rare occasions when the senior management wasn't canoodling a client, you could always walk in and take your annual quota of 15 minutes from him or her. This was the childhood equivalent of getting chocolates from the 'America Uncle' whom you barely knew. America Uncle would forget you the moment he set foot on foreign shores. And so will the senior management. But you still had the chocolates. The metaphorical corner office lay not on the x-axis but the y-axis. As one grew in the organization, the floor on which one's office is located goes up by storey-by-storey.

    The ticker ran again in front of my eyes. Economic Times promised that becoming a Young Leader would change things forever. A leading daily and one with strong views on the economy - perhaps they had a view or two about career progression as well. I didn't see myself as a guy in a hurry. 'Give it a shot' said the voice inside. South Indian meals for 40 Rs. at the canteen upstairs - drowned the voice for 4 hours straight. The next morning without much of a thought, I went to the portal and completed the activities. One round followed another and nearly 3 months later the results were out. 22, yours truly included were in the list. A visit to Bombay for the panel discussion and grand dinner ensued. The long-term impact is still too early to be gauged. But in the short term, we had a chance to spend 2 hours talking to some of the top honchos of Corporate India. Completely worth the experience.

    2 days from now I set off to ISB, Hyderabad. 'Accelerated Management Programme' says the word document sent by the program organizer. 'Accelerate' - the old message on the invisible ticker running across my eyes, is replaced with this one word. Maybe this is what I need to step on the pedal. To draw in a little more of fuel from around and get that extra boost of energy. Either ways, I know one thing with certainty - the course alone is not going to change anything beyond being a refresher of what I learnt (or feigned learning) 6 years ago. I look at the Young Leaders as a fantastic platform; one that makes you run faster and with more stamina and certainty towards a goal. There are however, no shortcuts to the corner office.



Shivraj said...

Amazing post,Suresh ! With success, comes the humility and this post speaks that out loud.

You truly deserve the nomination. I wish all the best and yes, you get that eluding corner office pretty soon ! :-)

hitaakademi said...

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ankara erkek agda hizmette
sinir tanimiyor...