Monday, January 20, 2014

Lessons for the first time managers from the experience of Arvind Kejriwal

Good morning,
Well, I thought quite about it and decided to share my views. We all are well aware about the rise of Aam Aadmi party and Arvind Kejriwal. Definitely, what he has achieved is remarkable and everyday we see him in one or another news, one or other criticism. There are also criticism about his failure to fulfill the promise and change I'm his statement. Lert me clarify that this post is completely apolitical and I am neither trying to be his crticiser nor being judgmental. Rather, I am focusing my observation.
We are well aware about Arvind that he is a genius man. He is well educated. He is an engineer from prestigious IIT where very few gets opportunity to pursue an academic career. He is also an IRS (Indian Revenue Services) officer which is part of Indian Civil Services. After IFS, IAS and IPS, IRS is a most sought career in the civil services. Again, it is one of the toughest examination where out of almost 3 lakhs hardly 1000-1200 make place. He is a well known social activist and comes with vast experience in people's problem, democracy, social issues etc. Let us see what could we learn from his experiences.

1. Nothing is impossible : 
He is a social activist, front runner of the RTI movement, winner of various prestigious award and a well known figure. He fought with all efforts to curb corruption in the country under India Against Corruption. When he found that politicians are cheating the people and non committed to fight corruption, he decided to enter into politics so Aam Aadmi party came to the existence. It was a do or die situation for him and his few old prominent colleague did not support him and his ideas as they were doubtful about its success. However, despite of being a new political party, it won whopping 27 seats to astonished many. If you are committed, if you are passionate , nothing is impossible. You just need to follow your intuition. The first time managers handling different roles and responsibilities for  years may take this lesson. For instances, somebody handling technical role for years may feel that they are not fit for operation roles but its their own thinking. Always be ready to take challenges and believe in you. 

2. Choose your team wisely
We are well aware about the incident how Binni became rebel and quite few other members too. Its evident and it impact on credibility of AAP. Similarly when as a first manager, when you choose your team be wise. Spend a good time on screening, understand their aspiration and see whether you both can gel up with each other.

3. Screening of recruits are very important
Do a strict background screening of your recruits. Consult to your human resources team, ask them exactly what do you want to check. Never do hurry to form a team if you have been asked to do so. An experienced manager may not face too much difficulty to handle errant team members but a first time manager may get panicked and may lead to a big failure. Spend extra time in understanding the recruits and to take information from them, after that spend few more times to verifying those facts with the help of your Human Resources department. It will surely minimize your risk from hiring an unmatched and wrong team member. We are aware how Shazia Ilmi in AAP caught controversy and how Binni and another AAP party member openly accused AAP as an opportunist. In my career, I have seen few team members who has damaged images of their bosses. Its human tendency to get one desire fulfilled and sometime it does not matter at what cost.

4. Delegate your responsibility to right and competent people
we have read and heard quite often about delegation. As a first time manager, you may decide to work in old style to hold everything with you. Never do such mistakes. Delegate your responsibilities to right and competent people carefully. Remember that you alone cannot do everything so you should delegate and control it. If you think with passing of time you need to reshuffle the responsibilities you must do it. Take example from Arvind Kejriwal. He had appointed Kumar Vishwas as a party spoke person initially now if you look he is into another responsibilities due to certain reason and one of that what I believe is, his lack of maturity while talking. Now look at two new spokeperson, Manish and  Yogendra Yadav. Both are confident, talk calmly and able to respond maturely to opportunist media who are ready to make mole of a mountain.

5. Follows POSDCORB: 
Does it look like familiar? Yes, you have learned about it during your first management lessons. Old theories are always useful. As a first time manager, you must be able to exercise it effectively. Whenever you get a new role and responsibilities with greater powers and authorities than the previous you are a first time managers. The POSDCORB stands for Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, Coordinating, Reporting, and Budgeting. In the above example if you see, Arvind and AAP has effectively used planning and Organizing functions and slightly failed in staffing function. They are in a hurry to recruit new members and without realizing its long term consequences, they are admitting anybody. It might harm them badly for the long term. Few of the examples are their law minister Bharti, fame hunger Rakhi Birla, Shazia Ilmi, Vinodkumar Binni and few others. Arvind has experience in other arena but he is a first time political manager thus he is still learning the lesson.
Even in terms of planning AK has failed sometime. Look at the example of holding Janata Darbar. Possibly he could not estimate the expected crowd and outcome. Such failures lead to distrust although your intention is right so learn to plan. You must foresee the future. This example also suits for coordinating. Every work is coordination of various task. As a first time manager you must learn this skills.

6. Under promise over achieve: 
You are always respected if you under promise and over deliver. I have learned this lesson very hard in my life and it took a very long time to realize and learn. When you promise something, people expect this from you and situation is more difficult if people have accepted you as a leader. Look at the few example :
Arvind Kejriwal promised Jan Lokpal within 15 days of forming government. Then he said, it will take time as central needs to approve any Act in Delhi. Similar thing was for making Delhi safe for women and crime free. Although making a state crime free is not only in hand of government, it is mix responsibility, he attacked then Delhi CM Sheila Dixit now today, he is in protest against police for failure to prevent crime. Similarly he promised that none of his ministers will use beacon car or government bungalow rather they will lead life as a common man. However as soon as they formed government, they purchased Innova and took duplex as good as bungalow. This has given a negative impression. As a first time manager, you may be over confident on streamlining processes, saving costs, increasing control, profitability, increasing productivity etc. Hold on, first enter into the real battlefield, do real observation of the scenario and then make your action plan.

7. Be a leader with authority yet approachable
Let me remind you example of Janata Darbar. What happened when practically held his Janata Darbar. The crowd was in lakhs, uncontrollable and with lot of expectations. It was too much to finish even in a month and finally he need to ask people to send complaints through email or post. It was a corrective measure. As a leader you need to be humble, approachable accessible still authoritative and with few distance. It is easy to grow people's expectations but if you fail to fulfill it, you are screwed up. Remember the point delegation. You cannot do everything so delegate it but keep complete control over it too. You must know what is happening in your department, your SBU and in your organization.

There are many things to write. I have not written this by thinking a lot or by planning a lot. I simply jolted down those points I felt important and there are still many.
I hope you liked it. All suggestions and comments are welcome (apolitical comments only)



  1. is phd degree of banasthali university as per the new regulations of ugc 2009?

    1. Till now, I have not come across any violations from Banasthali
      If they are taking entrance exam, has very limited no of seats, then they must be


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