“You are very lucky! You got everything that you deserved at the right time,” Anuj roared excitedly.

For most people, 5:00 a.m. is a time to continue sleeping, but many health-conscious people use it for exercising. Irrespective of the activity that a person chooses to engage in, nobody gets into any intense discussion at that time.

I was with Anuj at Shiva’s Tea Shop, which was already open at that time to attract morning passersby along Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Road. Anuj came specifically to meet me and discuss the recent organizational changes that had placed him under a new manager. Since the beginning of our conversation that morning, he had been talking about how I enjoyed favorable work conditions while he did not. I was mostly quiet; I understood that Anuj was venting his frustration and not really looking for answers.

Siddharth joined us and quietly listened to our conversation. Anuj continued to prod me, seeking my opinion about the ways of dealing with his manager’s rude behavior.

I could see that Siddharth was getting irritated with him. Siddharth said, “I don’t understand why you care about your manager so much. Be the way you are, and it should be the manager’s job to understand you so that he can get the work done. He is there because of the team, not the other way around. I hate your kind of submissive attitude, Anuj.”

“It is easy to say that, Siddharth, when you don’t have any career goals,” countered Anuj. “You have been in the same position for seven years, and your peers are now better placed than you—Kishore is now an architect, and Samar just moved out on a foreign assignment. They are both earning more than you and have more respect for the organization. Are they better than you in any respect? No!”

Extremely upset, Siddharth blurted out, “I can’t do buttering. I can’t please somebody under false pretenses just to get my job done or to advance in my career. I will speak only the truth and do what is right. If others don’t like what I say, I don’t care. It’s their problem. I am sure that one day, I will be recognized. Attention-seeking, unethical managers don’t deserve my kindness. I am safe as long as I am doing a good job.”

Anuj turned his attention to me, expecting some expert comment. I had been his manager three years ago, and we were close friends despite his being more than a decade younger than me.

“Do you see how Shiva handles his customers? He does not serve tea as soon as a customer arrives, but when tea is ready. He makes tea for ten people when he sees at least five or six customers. It must be tough for him to dictate his ways to clients in this competitive world. Why would anybody wait for him to prepare tea? People could go to the next tea shop, which has a great ambiance,” I said.

Anuj answered, “But the flavor of the tea in this place is unmatchable. People who come here know that they may have to wait for 10 to 15 minutes, but they don’t mind the delay.”

“Have you observed that he behaves so nicely with all his customers and personally serves tea to his frequent customers?” Siddharth asked.

Just then, Shiva came to serve our tea and sat next to us. “So, sir! How are you all?” he greeted us.

“We are fine, Shiva. Thank you!” I said.

We have been discussing how well you run your business, Shiva,” I added.

“If it is your business, then you must run it well. Who else will run it for you?” Shiva said.

“Unfortunately, we are not into business. We, the members of the serving class, are meant to remain at the mercy of others,” Anuj said.

Shiva protested, “I am sorry, but you’ve got your business completely wrong, sir! We are all running a business. I am selling tea; you are selling your knowledge. You are all my customers. Your managers are your customers. My customers pay and give me more opportunities to serve if they are happy with me. Your managers must be giving you better work or rewards when they are satisfied with your work and confident about your deliverables. So we are all in business. To do your business well, you have to understand what business you are in. More importantly, understand your customers.” He saw some new customers coming and knew that it was time to prepare another round of tea, so he excused himself.

Anuj and Siddharth were in deep thought.

“So, friends, is it always luck that helps you succeed in your career? This thought itself is enough to make you question your job, irrespective of the business you are in. Just think of what Shiva said. Understand your business and customers. Then think about how to run your business well. Some guidance on how to identify and manage your manager may be beneficial ,” I said.

Anuj immediately corrected me. “Identify your customer and manage your manager.”

I reiterated, “No! Identify and manage your manager.”

They both laughed.

“How to identify your manager?” Anuj wondered.

I said, “You will understand when I explain it in detail. It’s already time to go, so let’s meet at the same time tomorrow in Kamatibaug.”

They agreed.

Read more How to manage your manager?

No matter how talented you may be, it feels like there is always somebody else who decides your growth in this professional world. We often name that person as our manager or boss. The assumed extreme power that manager possesses has always attracted many to become a manager one day. A title that contains ‘Manager’ in it, seems everything to many.

Professionals have often become stuck in their career due to a bad manager stalling their career. Many say you can succeed in your career either if you have good luck or are good at manipulating your manager.  The latter is usually a misinterpretation of what is actually going on between an employee and his/her manager.  This book endeavors to explain this dynamic and point you towards the behaviors that will result in success and how to avoid those that will result in failure.

There are many examples of undeserving people getting to the top because of the support they got from some of their managers. These incidents make us ask, “is it worth spending our time, talent and heart in this world?”. Hence many have given up their desire to grow in their career and have hugged status quo instead.

This book describes how to grow in your career without losing your dignity, self-respect and via your talent. This book will help guide you in how to manage your manager.

The manager is just another human like us. He or she has the same emotions are we do. At times We make our managers super humans and then expect more than his or her capability. At times we already assume our manager has ill intent and we over scrutinize him or her, which ends up creating a self-created demon. There are many occasions we just try to hide our inabilities to perform under the wrap of a bad manager. None of these will help us become successful and grow in our career.

How to consider your manager as one of the resources that you manage to advance your career without making that apparent is at the core of this book.

We lack the understanding of the complete picture and just assume our situation as the world around us. This limitation in our knowledge does not let us take appropriate actions to unblock us from the growth path. This book will help you understand how to get a holistic picture by partnering with the manager and unblocking your career growth.

Happy Reading!!!

Namaste!!!

-Stray Dog

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