Thoughts on People

People come and go and some people leaving is not an uncommon occurrence. This has been experience of our colleagues in Mumbai as well as other colleagues around the world. I do recall an exchange in Copenhagen with our Australian counterparts who recounted a recent event where one lady who was somehow dissatisfied left . Before she left, her words and her actions caused enough instability within the minds of some others in the team who too left shortly after.

We have experienced the same with our practice. People tend to form cabals at work and if the fulcrums of these cabals leave others tend to follow suit. Now this may cause short term disruption to the work of the firm on account of short staffing and the like it has absolutely no impact on the long term future of the firm.

People want to see patterns that affirm their logic and decisions, people who leave tend to see nothing but gloom at the firms they leave. Imagining a future where there is no one to put out the fires when they are gone. This, sadly for them, does not materialize. In any organization of scale n number of cogs can be replaced and things still continue to proceed smoothly. This is true also of professional services firms.

Ages ago a dear friend of mine left a firm that had been working with for some years. She was dissatisfied and left on not very friendly terms. When she left I don’t any part of her wished well for the firm, and so I saw the pattern myself where every action of the firm was supposed to bring it closer to doom and how everyone was leaving and the firm would soon collapse.

Except nothing like that happened. The firm is still strong, still growing. They perhaps got new people in who did exactly what they were paid to do and things keep moving on.

Like they always do.

What stings in times like this is the feeling of betrayal, when you nurture people over time and provide for their professional growth as well as personal needs you tend to expect a certain level of loyalty. Loyalty not to stick around for life, I mean who does that now, but loyalty enough to not stick a knife in your back and try to make things difficult for you and your clients.

When that does not happen you do tend to feel a tinge of sadness and a bucket load of anger. One has to realize in such times that there is no role for emotions at work. Emotions are for personal life strictly. at work one has to be detached and  business like. Decisions that favor the business have to be taken no matter how uncomfortable and only then can success of the enterprise be ensured.


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