Senin, 13 Juni 2011

Management Failure

Creating good governance will always be a challenge. During the progress of leadership, many mistakes happened. Almost every leadership action bares consequences. Below are several errors that could possibly happened in leading a unit/department:

• One man show
Dividing a unit job to several tasks and assigning 1 person for each task is one of management strategies that can be called specialization. However, without backups, specialization will turn into one man show, meaning only certain people can do certain tasks. What would happen if that person gone? Resign? Take a leave? Specialization without backup is a recipe for disaster. It has potential to lose you a customer or even stop the whole unit process.

• Autocracy
It is a manager’s job to provide directions and guidance for his/her unit. Nevertheless, directions need to be accompanied with trust and some levels of autonomy. Subordinates must be empowered to work on their tasks with minimum interference. There is nothing wrong with a strong leadership. But it would only apply as long as the leader presents. What happen if somehow the leader is removed? It could ruin the whole unit performance.

• Role Model Failure
Even with any degree of autonomy, eventually subordinates will look for samples from their superior. One of the most important roles of being a leader is to be the decision maker. Leaders who often fail to take decision on behalf of their subordinates will lose their respect. De Jure Leaders are those who are supposed to take the decision, but those who are really taking the decision will be De Facto Leaders in their Unit.

• Generously Unfair
Everybody wants a nice and supportive leader to work with. Those, who always smile, never angry even when faced with some mistakes, give high scores during appraisal times, will be the top in the leadership ladder. But, it turns out that Mr/Ms Favorite is far from being a good manager. Good managers know when and how to compare their staff and evaluate them accordingly. Besides, good managers know not only how to support, but also how to educate and correct some mistakes.

Too much of anything can be a dangerous thing, even in the governing framework. Some say “Leaders are not born, it is made”, I couldn’t agree more. Moreover, during the “made” period, leaders must be bold enough to try, critical enough to evaluate, and humble enough to correct.

Selfish leader with great results is a strong leader,
Selfish leader with no results is an egocentric freak,
Unselfish leader with great results is a team player,
Unselfish leader with no results is stupid and indecisive

Kamis, 18 Maret 2010

Under Pressured

A question just come out in my mind:
What can be the potential pressures in life?
(Starting from worst to less worse)

1. Pressure in the workplace
Why? Because we spent more than 1/3 of our 24-hours time in the workplace, 1/3 for sleep, and the rest for other activities. In other words, we spent most of our times in the workplace. Thus, if bad things happened in the workplace, we are more likely to feel stressful because most of our time in that day will be used to think about that problem.
Additionally, our workplace related with our job. Our job related with our source of income. Our income related with our resources for living. Therefore, problems in the workplace indirectly relate with the limitation of our resources. Not to mention if the problem is big enough and lead to the termination.

2. Pressure from the core family
Yes, I put family as number 2 because these people are the closest people with us. If you are married, core family refers to your spouse and children, if not, it would refers to your parents and siblings.
Believe it or not, the closer you are with someone, the easier that you can hurt that person. Sometimes it happens through your words, actions, habits, etc. Sometimes you can even hurt them through your ways to please them. Strange, but for me that is reality. More over, if you can easily hurt them, the opposite is also the same. They could easily hurt you.
For me, family is supposed to be a place where you can hide and feel safe in the times of troubles. So, if the trouble comes from the family, that mean you are really in trouble.

3. Pressure from yourself
As an individual, each of us has many roles, many demands, many needs, many desires, and many many many others. These "many" things are often result in conflicts within ourselves. The easiest example would be that we can't be in two places in the same time. But sometimes our "many" things demand us to do so. Potential stressor? YES.
The worse impact from this type of pressure is feeling "regret". Times always move forward and never backward. Regret can be the barrier that keep our focus from moving forward. It can be an electromagnetic field which always pull us backward over and over again.

4. Pressure from extended family
To be honest, I'm not sure whether this can be considered as a potential pressure or a potential solution. People say "the more the merrier", but sometimes I would rather say "more people equals to more problems".
In Indonesian culture, relationships with extended families are usually quite close. Dinner together, weekly gathering, visiting during holidays, etc. I guess what makes me consider it as a pressure is the fact that we influence each other lives. When we have problems they will be our first helping hands and vice versa. Thus, it would depend on how many times we are in trouble or how many times they are in trouble.

5. Pressure from ignorance
I put it in number 5 because usually this is less obvious and difficult to see. Nevertheless it is sometimes the biggest source of pressures.
What I meant with ignorance here is ignoring the fact that we need GOD.
As a Christian, I believe that GOD is my shepherd and HE will lead me to a good path in my life. However, my ignorance often hinders me from holding still to my Shepherd's stick. Most of the times I tempt to move away from GOD and do things based on my own understanding, until one moment when HE opens my blind eyes and I see again. Unfortunately, even though I see, it won't last for long. Just a few second that I choose to be blinded again.
Ignorance is the biggest enemy of perseverance.

Well... you can mention more pressures I believe. But for now... I have to focus on these 5 pressures I face.

Senin, 15 Maret 2010


Its been a while since my last post... yes... 6 months...
Basically, I'm not a good writer, I just post some thoughts or events happening around me that may change my life whether I realize it or not.

Today's topic is about retention or exit or termination (read: pemecatan pegawai).
Sounds scary, but that word has been filling in my work life in the past couple of weeks.

Why people exit a company?
a. Got a better job (usually related with higher salary)
b. Make mistake, received warning letters up to 3, either terminated by force or asked to resigned
c. Sick and tired toward the company, just can't stand any longer

How people exit a company?
a. Nicely and smoothly, follows the procedures, end the employment with smiles and shake hands.
b. Angry, bitter, disappointed, potentially becomes demanding and/or spreading false news/gossips
c. Gone with the winds... no sounds no nothing... just gone (unprofessional conducts)

How does company (read: HRD) should handle retention?
a. Re-read you regulation book and UU 23 no 2003 thoroughly, be extra careful, this potentially leads to demonstration or court
b. Attack the problem, never attack the person, make him/her understand the situation and agree on the result
c. Prepare the replacement, FAST! (outsource can be one of the solution)

Finally, if you ever be in my position (as the executioner), prepare your heart. Sometimes what we need to say is different with what we want to say. This is exactly the time when we need HIS wisdom. Think thoroughly, pray, consult, and do it!

Have a nice retention planning and acting!

Rabu, 30 September 2009

The Power of Listening

I recently read a book titled: Growing Great Employees by Erika Andersen. It is actually the first -english text- book I read from cover to cover aside from some text books I read during my study. Sad? yes... reading has never been a hobby of mine, I prefer watching, listening, or discussing.

One of the things I learned from the book is the listening skills. It seems like a simple skill. I believe almost everybody can do it, but none willing to... just like the CHORUS in the song lyric by Acappella group:

Everybody said that anybody could do
The important things somebody should do
Everybody knows that anybody could do
All the good things that nobody did

Why listening is important?
- It helps us to collect more information, including some information related with their feeling and emotional status. More information helps us to consider more alternative answers or solutions.
- It gives us more time to think about our responses. A timely and precise response will save you lots of time and energy in dealing with problems.
- It calms us down from our emotional feeling and those we listen to. With a "cool head", we then can make some positive and progressive discussions.
- Listening itself can be the solution. Some people don't need an answer, they just need ears to listen their complains.

Some notes about listening:
- Eye contact: keep your eye contact with the one you listen to. It shows them that you are focusing your whole attention to them.
- Ask curiosity-based questions: it can also called "active listening". Listening is not a passive task where we just sit and listen, but we need to be active in asking questions, which can encourage the speaker to speak even more. E.g.: "and then?", "really?", "why is that?", etc.
- Restating: Once you got an important point from the speaker, it is good to restate it, so that you can guarantee that both of you have the same perspective regarding the matter.

Happy Listening Practices!

Minggu, 16 Agustus 2009

Menghitung Hari

This is a very nice poem I quote from one of my heroes, my teacher from Junior High School:

Menghitung Hari
oleh: Wattimena G.

Jelang 1945
Perjuangan dan pengorbanan mendamba cinta sejatiku
Mengikis habis sudut-sudut relung hati ini, mengalir...
Terbawa arus kepahlawanan
Satu kali kupukul jatuh tersungkur
Terkulai, patah, putus hilang ditelan bumi pertiwi

Jelang 1965
Yang tinggal hanya sisa sinar lembayung lesu di senja temaram
Yang jatuh... satu, satu menyentuh tebing pipih
Yang selalu berteriak sendu, namun lama tak berjawab

Jelang 1998
Di sela katub bibir yang membara
Cinta Tuhan datang menyapa
Mengisi pelangi hidup dalam badai

Jelang 2009
Di pagi 1708 ini
Aku merintih dalam gelisah
Sulit 'tuk membedakan
Siapa perawat dunia Indonesia
Siapa perusak kekayaan Indonesia
Semua benda semata hiasan
Semua cerita semata hiburan

Seonggok duka wajah mentari tergambar di ufuk sana
Sinar emasnya seakan bertanya
Apa kata si empunya cerita
Bila musafir kelana datang bertandang?
Ku tengadah menghitung hariku di keheningan itu!
23360 telah aku jelang
Bersama kabut mendung di setiap derita
Bersama gita indah di setiap helaan nafas
Bersama senyum di setiap air mata
Bersama berkat di setiap cobaan, dan
Bersama jawaban di setiap doa

Rabu, 17 Juni 2009

Nice lessons from forwarded email

Lesson 1:

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbour. Before she says a word, Bob says, 'I'll give you $800 to drop that towel.' After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob, after a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.

The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs..
When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, 'Who was that?'
'It was Bob the next door neighbour,' she replies.
'Great,' the husband says, 'did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?'

Moral of the story:
If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Lesson 2:

A priest offered a Nun a lift. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg.. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg. The nun said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?'

The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again.
The nun once again said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?'

The priest apologized 'Sorry sister but the flesh is weak.'
Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It said, 'Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.'

Moral of the story:
If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

Lesson 3:

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, 'I'll give each of you just one wish.'

'Me first! Me first!' says the admin clerk. 'I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.' Puff! She's gone.

'Me next! Me next!' says the sales rep. 'I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.' Puff! He's gone.

'OK, you're up,' the Genie says to the manager.
The manager says, 'I want those two back in the office after lunch.'

Moral of the story:
Always let your boss have the first say.

Lesson 4

An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, 'Can I also sit like you and do nothing?' The eagle answered: 'Sure, why not.'

So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:
To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Lesson 5

A turkey was chatting with a bull... 'I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree' sighed the turkey, 'but I haven't got the energy.' 'Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?' replied the bull. They're packed with nutrients.' The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough str ength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.

The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree.

He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story:
Bull Shit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there..

Lesson 6

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was.

The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:
(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
(3) And when you're in deep shit, it's best to keep your mouth shut!

Senin, 23 Februari 2009

Different Perspectives

A: I need a clear structure, job description, so that I can maximize my function.
B: He is not flexible. Too rigid.

A: I need a clear position, maybe a publication following that, so its clear for everyone.
B: I think he is an ambitious person. Too high self-respect.

A: If it is not within my responsibility, I don't want to give any influence. I have to know my limit and I have to respect others'.
B: He is either too laze or arogant, that why he doesn't want to help.

A: We need to follow the structure as a pattern of communication line and orders.
B: Too complicated. It would be easier and faster if anyone can talk to anyone.

A: I'll report the important matters to you, and handle trivial matters by myself.
B: If I heard it from someone else, it becomes important matters to me no matter what it is.

A: Please tell me what you want, so that I don't get it wrongly.
B: I was waiting for you to understand what I want, but you failed.

A: What do you think about this matter?
B: What do you think? What? No, wrong... I think.....

A: I admit that I have several weaknesses....
B: It is because you are man.