Saturday, December 11, 2010
The Big Boss's Cabin
Those who have been a part of the corporate life would know the importance of the cabin: that room, usually at a corner, where all the important people sit and the important meetings are held. The size of the room depends on the ego of the person sitting inside or the strategic importance of the meetings. Now this is the room which has the potential to change the direction of your career. Very often, your year-end rating in the appraisal is directly proportional to the number of trips you made to that room, especially if the frequency of your visits increased just before your appraisal.
So when should you visit “the cabin”?
a) At least once a fortnight, it’s imperative that you take an appointment and schedule a meeting preferably after office hours just to showcase your enthusiasm and motivation to “learn from the most respected and senior person in your department.” During these meetings, you should be prepared with your fakest and brightest smile and be your flattering best!
b) Every time you get a new project, you should ensure that this important person is aware about your contribution, and hence you spend time in the cabin, exaggerating your inputs and pretending that whatever suggestion this important person gives will add tremendous value to the project.
c) You changed your team/location/department. The first thing you should do is meet the important person in the cabin and announce your arrival and your eagerness to make sweeping changes to this team/location/department which was clearly not delivering up to its potential before you came in.
d) Always use occasions like you birthday/anniversary/children or spouse’s birthday/ children’s graduation/ festivals/purchase of new house, new car, or even new dustbin (basically any excuse of any celebration) to enter the cabin on the pretext of distributing sweets. Even better, if you can strategically time these ‘celebrations’ close to appraisal. What a blessing that entrance exams and board exams coincide with your appraisal cycle!
e) Every time you foresee a project gone wrong and you were responsible for it, you go inside the cabin before the person in the cabin calls you. You take the initiative, explain the challenges, make the right excuses and blame the right people, and finally when the feedback does come in, you have already created a safety net for yourself!
P.S. In the first company I worked in, the person in the cabin didn’t like me. Once he called me inside the cabin (which was petty big incidentally) and threatened to fire me. Well, that was the only time I have ever been inside the cabin… No wonder my career is going nowhere!