The MBA and the CEO

People fresh out of college, especially business school have so many expectations when joining a new organization. Organizations on the other hand have a different kind of expectation. This mismatch in expectations often creates strange situations for the B school grad when he begins his career at his new workplace. I have tried to create an imaginary conversation inspired by some real experiences to illustrate this kind of a situation.

New management trainee has just joined. Let us call him MT. the CEO is CEO.

CEO: Welcome to our company. We are happy to have young people like you joining our organization.

MT : Thank you, Sir
.
CEO: I hope you are very passionate about your role.

MT : Definitely, sir. I am very passionate about ensuring operational excellence through lean six sigma initiatives.

CEO : Very good. You may find this discouraging but I don't believe in operational excellence. I believe in human excellence. It is humans who run the operations. So instead of targeting operations, I target the humans who run the operations. You try to make the operations lean but before that the operators have to be lean. That is why I have introduced more salt in the canteen food. That way the operators eat less and remain lean. How eez it?

MT : Sooper, Sir.

CEO : Let me tell you an inspirational story. There was a factory like ours. There was a man who worked in the factory. He used to wear a red shirt everyday. He used to come in the morning, work for 12 hours and leave at the end of the day. Everyone used to call him 'The man with the red shirt'. Isn't that an amazing story? I hope you will take inspiration from the story and show it in your work.

MT (To himself) : What the heck! Am I supposed to wear a red shirt or work 12 hours a day? How the hell did I land up here?
MT (To CEO) : That was highly insightful, sir. Whenever I face a tough situation, I would take inspiration from the story. By the way, Sir, can you tell me more about my responsibilities?

CEO : Take it! The whole factory is yours! Go out there and do whatever you want. Take decisions, implement them and bring profits. You don't have to ask anybody's permission. Nor do you have to bother about anybody's criticism. First they will ignore you, then they will laugh at you and then they will resist you. But you don't bother. Keep doing your job.

MT : Sir, can I meet the team I will be working with?

CEO : What team? Panni than daa koottama varum; Singam single aa than varum (Only the swine comes in herds; The Lion will always come alone.) Get it? I want lions in the company, not swine who work in teams.

MT : One more thing, Sir. during the company presentation we were promised 10 Lakhs per annum but now my offer letter indicates only 8 Lakhs.

CEO : Adikamaa aasikkira aanum adhikamaa kopikkira ponnum vazhntha sarithirame kedaythth (The overtly ambitious man and the overtly angry woman have never succeeded on earth!!!) Be happy with what your getting. kaiyil konjam kaasu irudhaal needhaan adharku ejamaanan kazhuththu varaikkum kaasu irundhaal adhudhaan unakku ejamaanan.( If you have a little money in your hand, your its master. If your filled with money to your neck, it is your master. )

MT : Sir. But during campus interview, I was promised something altogether different.

CEO : Naan solrathaiyum seiven, sollathathiyum seiven. Ha ha ha ( I will do what I say, I will also do what I don’t say.)

MT : I have done my MBA from India's most well known institute. I demand better treatment.

CEO : You young boys think too much of yourselves. You can study and get any certificates. But you cannot get your death certificate. You can become an engineer if you study in engineering college. You cannot become a president if u study in Presidency College. A mechanical engineer can be come a mechanic but a software engineer cannot become a software. Same is the case with you. Go and do your job and bring profits for the company.

MT (resigning himself) : Ok, Sir. I will do as you say.

CEO : That is better. Forget all the Toyota Way, McKinsey Way, Dell Way and all other ways you learnt at B School and follow my way. En vazhi , thani vazhi. (My way is the original (a unique) way!)

MT (Getting ready to leave): Nice meeting you, Sir. When can I meet you next to review the progress of my work?

CEO : Naan eppa varuven, eppadi varuvennu yarukkum theriyadhu, aana varavendiya neratthil correct-aga varuven. (No one knows when I will come, or how I will, but when I come I will come in the right time.) Naan leytta vanthalum leyttestta than varuvaan…. (Even if I come late, I will be the latest one to come!). Go on.

Related Post: A Corporate Parable

44 comments:

Gaurav Tārkar said...

wow, dude, even i am a management student aspiring to do an mba, didnt know the picture would be like that. but its better, i learned now, that as a fresh employee one must keep one's expectations very low and focus on work so that even the slightest of positivity surprises you.

:)

Cris said...

Ones in italics are Rajni lines?

The Fool said...

All the Tamil ones are from Rajinikanth. The English ones are attributed to Vijaykanth.

The Fool said...

@Gaurav - It is also important you choose carefully the job based on what is the management expectation. You should not jon blindly based on designation and salary.

Spirited_soul said...

Quite insightful.....specially at a time when i am going to pursue my MBA......Need to lower my expectations post MBA :-)

The Fool said...

@spirited soul - Expereience varies from person to persons

Sharan said...

Brilliant stuff. found this on ur Puy profile :)

The Fool said...

Thanks Sharan.

pankaj said...

Nice conversations !!!!
Found from Pagalguy

-pankaj

The Fool said...

Glad you enjoyed it, pankaj.

Umang said...

Kool

The Fool said...

Thanks Umang

Prabhu born to win said...

Lol... Nice work...:)

The Fool said...

Thanks, Prabhu.

Rachit Aggarwal said...

Well done dude.

I can very well visualize the conversation being a B-school student.

"First they will ignore you, then they will laugh at you and then they will resist you." I would say they are one who will laugh at you. In future, i guess Production of MT will be like engineers.

Nice write up

The Fool said...

Thanks, Rachit. I was sure B School students could relate to this especially ones landing in a traditional company after MBA.

megharana said...

funny for sure gud read!!
i am getting that feeling after my graduation also! infact having the real experience now! :)

The Fool said...

Thanks, Megha. Thats the reality of the corporate world.

palakmathur said...

Nice one!! It is true for everyone I think not necessarily MBAs ;)

The Fool said...

Thanks, Palak. I agree. But generally there tends to be unrealistic expectations from MBA especially those from premier BSchools.

shibani said...

During my engineering days, I could hardly wait to start earning and become a "software engineer". I had great expectations, and little did I know, that I would be spending my days sitting in front of the system all day, and waiting for the day to get over. I was thinking that an MBA would make my life better. But then, ;) I guess I was wrong!

The Fool said...

Thats how corprorate life is like and whatever you study, as long as you are in corporate life you need to face different kinds of situations.

muthiah sriram said...

gethu!!!i enjoyed the conversation a lot

The Fool said...

Thanks, Muthiah Sriram.

Anonymous said...

well, what should i say. . i am actually speechless. . . . i found your blog in your puy profile and trust me this is the first link i ever clicked given as profile links. . . . and Sir all i can say your work is amazing not just this conversation but your other poems, stories. . just amazing. . fantastic words selection. .
keep up the good work. . . .

The Fool said...

Thanks for your encouraging comments, whoever you are, anon. Glad you like all my writing.

Ashish_Rana said...

GooD VERY NICE

Jen..The Butterfly Effect said...

LOL! This is a good one! ha ha! :D

The Fool said...

Thanks, Jen.

ambar parashar said...

Very true- especially that point-
Forget all the way(mckinsey,toyata,dell)follow my way. hahaha :)

The Fool said...

@ambar - That is how it works in real industry.

Shashiprakash Saini said...

true very true
TF your post is like mirror showing the Real face
liked it

The Fool said...

Thanks, Shashi. This is a bit of a satirical take on some of my own real experiences . Often the gap between core industry leadership and MBA s is like this only.

Divenita said...

Lol at the Rajnikanth-type lines.
Instead of CEO, it should be HR :P!

HR - Hiring Rowdies

good attempt!

The Fool said...

Thanks Divenita. Btw, this is not an interview. This is the first meeting after joining. And HR usually has no role in most organizations except to organize fun events.

indu chhibber said...

HAHA ! This is what i call an insightful story.
And your CEO's logic defies all logic.

The Fool said...

Thanks Indu.

Pratik Sharma said...

Awesome ... By any chance .. was the CEO Rajnikant ? lolzzz...

Pratik Sharma said...

Awesome Satire ... ROFL ...

Pankti Mehta said...

OMG! I don't know how did MT manage to continue conversation with that thick-headed CEO after the comment about lean employees and salt. And here I thought I have had weird job interviews!

The Fool said...

Well, Pankti - You can never imagine the lengths people sometimes have to go to for their daily bread and butter.

Pankti Mehta said...

TF, I know. I am one of those people who have to earn their own meal :( How I wish I was a lady of leisure! It just that in place of MT, I wouldn't have a uttered a single word. My method of dealing with idiots.

Janani said...

Your sense of humour and unique perspective is reflected in every post. Keep writing and sharing the posts on facebook..

T F Carthick said...

Thanks a lot, Janani.

Post a Comment

Kind words of appreciation/feedback

For whom the bell tolls

A book of faces