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Archive for May 11th, 2009

Lose Lose Lose – Did Tata’s Give Up Too Soon Part II

Posted by vankd123 on May 11, 2009

Just about a month ago. I had written Part-I of this article. I had ended that with saying – “Hopefully, sanity will prevail and the meaning of victory will change to collective rather than selective.”

As things stand though – the game is over!

I call it a game because in my mind this has been just that -strategies, maneuvers, gambits, tactics – anything and everything to win – to win individually – just for one side – that happens only in a game.

So Game Over! There must be a winner, right? Probably is – may be Gujrat, Karnataka or Andhra – but they weren’t even playing.

Isn’t it strange that three entities – only three – couldn’t sit across the table – just the three of them and sort it out? We are not talking some ordinary entities here. There is Mr. Ratan Tata – a global face of India’s industrialization, representing a sizeable portion of India’s GDP, chairman of India’s largest private sector corporation. Then there is CPIM – apparently represents about 20% of the parliament, this effectively means that they represent much over 20 crore Indians. Then there is Mamata Banerjee – I don’t know what or who she represents, however, in much a self proclaimed fashion, she happens to represent the disputed land – at the very least she represents 400 acres of land and people who own this. How difficult could it have been for these three people to find a boardroom and talk? How difficult could it be for the left and Tata to find a mechanism to talk to the people directly and offer a bigger solution?

Mr. Ratan Tata says Mamata held a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Yes, she did and she did it because she could, because she was allowed to do it. Lets examine a different situation – if there was an employee exactly like Mamata working at Tata’s; responsible or the voice for some 2% of people – making a hue and cry – What would Mr. Tata do? Relocate that office or deal with her or fire her?

Interestingly enough, the concept of democracy and parliament is meant for collective and collaborative decision making by people representing the whole of India. Sadly enough some 540 parliamentarians have deduced the meaning of opposition as ‘spoilers’ – But he Left can’t see it, they can’t even say it, they are experts at it – so they are only getting some of there own back. This, however, was bound to happen. For years people have seen leaders of this country operate in this manner. It’s only natural for the next generation to assume this as a way of functioning in politics and emulate certain behaviours and cultures.

Mamata is not the problem She is just doing what others do. She is just doing what Left themselves do – stalk the parliament over economic policies (all or nothing!), over nuclear deal (all or nothing), over Sonia Gandhi becoming PM (all or nothing), over petrol subsidies (all or nothing), over pro – U.S. policies (all or nothing). She is doing what Congress does – go ahead with the nuclear deal (with you or without you), go ahead with petrol prices (with you or without you), abolish POTA (with you or without you), even appoint a president (with you or without you). She is doing what the BJP does – walk out of the parliament at every single opportunity (mine otherwise no one’s), oppose a deal that they initiated (mine otherwise no one’s), railways success is a manipulation of records (mine otherwise no one’s), we’ll renegotiate the nuclear deal (mine otherwise no one’s) and a temple in the same place as the mosque (mine otherwise no one’s) – isn’t that exactly what Mamata is also saying.

You see Mamata is not the problem here. The problem really is that no one else has any moral, ethical or independent, uncorrupted right to tell her that this isn’t the way. So no one could. Mamata is simply an emulation of these leaders.

Sadly though, Ratan Tata has chosen to deal with this in the same manner. 1500-2000 crores is big deal. Lets go elsewhere. Strangely enough, from here on and now, Nano will find a Mamata everywhere. I can almost guarantee it. They will find it in Andhra, in Karnataka and even in Gujarat, though the Mamata in Gujarat might be very mute. The reason they will find a Mamata everywhere is because by being a Mamata insofar as Nano is concerned, you become a popular spoiler, you (may) get a few votes, perhaps, just enough to win you a small seat, you then (may) get to do the same in the parliament of India – play a bigger spoiler – get more eyeballs or if not that, then get some handsome cash for not spoiling – Wow! What a career!
The issue isn’t that no one won. Mamata lost. Left lost. Tata lost, though still an anti-hero. We all lost in some way. I am pretty certain that in board rooms all over the world, the border-line decisions pending for ‘manufacturing’ investments in India would have been decided in favor of another nation, perhaps China.

The issue is that everybody is fine with losing. In their minds they will all proclaim victory. Mamata in her election speech will announce flamboyantly that she stood up to Tata’s and the government for rights of her people and even at the cost of the entire nation ridiculing her, she didn’t give up. Fools like us will even buy the argument and vote her in. Tata will soon announce a deal with one of the states and how it is in hindsight a blessing in disguise. Left will further strengthen a need to out vote everybody else, if Bengal is to proper -they will probably get the ‘intended pro-industrialization vote’ that they traditionally do not. Our real issue is that we are far too reluctant to confront our short comings. We mask it with stupid illusions.
This sadly is true for all of us. It is not simply limited to the politicians and people alike. We are all a part of it. We all see victory in compromises and failures too. I can cite plenty of examples – ‘We might not get an expected raise – look out – get another job -appropriate raise as well – ‘the reason you never got a raise never got confronted’ – make no mistake you WILL face the same situation again in some time but for now you can celebrate. – I met a couple recently and I narrate this story because somewhere most of us will have a similar one – They both work – long hours and strenuous jobs -They both reach home later than most – have a great agreement – only talk work and work related problem for one hour – you go half and I go half. That’s it, Bed time. Who on Earth is gaining from this Bullshit agreement? Can there not be a way to listen to another person, simply out of compassion? Will it not make the other person happy? Why is it so difficult to give?

Everything over a period of time sets into this ‘survival’ mindset and appropriate solutions. Relationships in families where we decide to be a certain way so all can be ‘superficially’ happy. Careers set into a pattern where we accept us not reaching our ultimate goals by convincing us of ‘small successes’ in the current one or some past glory that we can celebrate. Look around you’ll find compromise all around you. Look around a little more, you’ll actually find you have convinced yourself to be a winner when you actually lost – You’ll give up losing weight and substitute it with finding a great job or a breakthrough at work – Celebrate. You’ll give up on reading and substitute with a great presentation at work that gets applauded -Celebrate. You’ll give up on reaching home on time and substitute it with a gift for your child or your wife – Celebrate. You’ll give up on becoming a CEO and substitute it with the next promotion; “at least I cam close” – Celebrate. You’ll give up on giving up smoking and substitute it with successfully accomplishing stressful jobs – lets celebrate. The list is endless.

Forget giving up, even 50-50 is a losing option. In fact it’s worse because it prevents us from confronting failure. That is what will happen eventually with Tata’s, Mamata and the Left. The trigger is pulled so what’s there to confront for Tata. “I didn’t ask them to go, that was never my intention. It’s not my fault.” Now what’s there to con front for Mamata. “She is the most irresponsible opposition party. She is responsible for all this.” Look who’s talking and what is there to confront for the Left.

Leaving all this as it is, which is reality, no one in their own assessment is at fault. No one will make a damn change. No one will question anything. So nothing will change. Another Nano will face another Mamata soon, very soon. The same for all of us – in our lives we’ll give up on one Nano and blame it on some third thing and substitute it with some other Nano – and even convince ourselves to believe that we won! After a while will come a cliché “Nothing changes in this country (or company or house or relationship)”. My friend the hard truth is it never will because we don’t have the guts to actually confront – first our own selves, then the rest.

Chetan Walia

Chetan Walia: is a creative, on-the-edge, speaker with unquestionable expertise on sales and breakthrough achievement. Chetan is known for programs that are funny, insightful, and in setting landmarks in learning.

OVER 100 COMPANIES. Chetan has delivered corporate programs and coaching programs on achievement to over a hundred organizations.

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