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Can an employee think like an owner?

You are an employee! You are often asked to think like an owner, behave and work like one. Sooner you realize and face situations that defy authenticity of this beautiful marriage as the power to make decisions, do not make such shifts to the employee that well in most places! Responsibilities without authority fail.

Can you own anything without being allowed to make decisions on them? Even delegation means, do as I asked you, when I asked you and do not do unless I asked you to do! I know this sounds harsh and we are trying to find the fallacy so we correct the dangle.


Reward is what anyone looks for, for a job done well! What if we are all move to incentive compensation model for salaries and the ratio of fixed to variable (performance linked) hinges heavily on the variable side? This will be a nightmare, chaos, as this would mean, everyone is measured and paid for performance. Performance and results evaluated closely/objectively and may be brutally honestly, against set goals. 


.. But you know you cannot do this now. Why? Because an employee will not come for a high variable structure as you propose. An employee is not a commission agent. He deserves consistent and guaranteed income. Everyone looks for a fixed pay guaranteed and therefore they prefer to work for a company which can pay them well irrespective of whether they are profitable or not. Nothing wrong as employee mind-set will be different from owner mindset.

And if owner has to see business through thick and thin and only he should take risks and invest based on business prudence and face unpredictable situations and lose sleep, why should he give all freedom to employees?

Why would he create a welfare organization? Why should he invite participative decision making? Why should he allow others to take decisions? 

Accept the fact and when you work for someone else, simply follow instructions and do not question decisions as they are not your territory and you are not hired to worry about owner's decisions. 


That also means a distinctive divide between builders of business and supporters of business. Lot remains unexamined and unspoken here! Here lies the truth/myth of co-creation! Leadership creates culture by losing control yet shaping with hidden hands!


Suppose you are in marketing, branding, HR or finance function or even in RnD and your job has been outsourced, do you think employer will have a vendor favorable terms with the outsourcing company? Will it care about their happiness, job satisfaction, motivation and learning into the process of meeting services expectations? Not at all but many do! And that means that hiring is the trickiest decision that an owner makes. Compare a physical human with emotions, aspirations, strengths and weaknesses, etc. versus SLA and TAT signed with a services organization, you would see what matters is meeting SLA and TAT and employer is free from all those intangible drama! Figure it out! That tells you about the culture that sets one from the rest of the companies!

Too much of "People-thinking" can at times become the biggest bottleneck in the company's growth and hinder/obstruct meeting goals that are so critical for business. 

It is not unheard "you are paid to do what you have been asked to do", "I will ask you for your ideas and suggestions or complains if I need any of them." This is so true! Some companies just do it with or without saying and we all have faced it. This is a reality, good to know.

But many a times, you bet on people and people give you that edge over this "services model" and you run on their unique skills, insights and make huge margins and keep winning new clients. Brain share, group-think, innovation begins when control takes backseat!

It is all cyclical and mind-set changes with each cycle and that is how business prioritizes and changes its focus and attention.

Employees, who read that change well, make good adjustments and do good with the system.

Organizations may not do a good job of communicating their strategy to people and therefore disillusionment takes place and people find their roles/titles insignificant, but that is all temporary and people have to make balances as they do on a roller coaster. Emotions don't fetch any value here..control it..

As is said, you learn more on a roller coaster, it is all about reading trends and getting ready for adjustments, sometimes with accelerated growth and sometimes with being driven to become 'no one' for some time. All of us have found our importance or perception of our importance take a toll and that is cyclical with all roles.


THIS CAN BE PAINFUL..DIFFICULT TO MAKE PEACE WITH..Attention of company changes, attitude changes, focus on people changes, people under limelight change, some look like going out of attention map, but all that happens temporarily. Worst case, a few get hit by layoffs but most likely I have seen people survive the test of time and they remain there for ages, passing though moments of glory to obscurity! And no one at job interview ever suspects them for serving lesser time..Longer you stay in a firm, prospective employer finds you "Stable"...Never understood, how stability matters when they just eroded company's hard earned money? Have seen folks jump 5 fold on salary and continue to do the same job in the same company..What risk they create for the company..These guys are riskier than those who left every 2 years and moved to take on new challenges...Every new company is a new battle...not minnows can take on such risks..

Is it always only the company who hires a NOT stable guy, taking all the risk? What about that guy joining your company? Are you all safe and right for that guy..Check if you are not taking a too idealistic a stand.Hire for skills, attitude and potential..

If you are not having your own engine, you just piggyback. Don't whine as you won't do anything that you may do if you dare to take that risk, but remember, risk-taking is owner's job not yours and you need a fixed regular income. Have fun! Just some realistic hard hitting EQ, which is just fine!


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