Management Case Studies: Screwed-up Thinking Patterns

Screwed-up Thinking Patterns

(It is a totally fictionalized anecdote in the management and business field. Any remote resemblance to anything in real life will be a sheer coincidence)

Mahima Styler was excessively high in her ambitions to become rich and famous in a very short time. Her formula to achieve her objectives was: “do it by hook or by crook”. She had very low opinion of the people who advocated the so called “value based” life and she hated them. For her, the new mindset was “everything is fair in achieving one’s objectives in life”.

Her new mindset started getting firmed up when she did not get the grades she deserved in her undergraduate school days despite her being the most intelligent and diligent student in the class. Another classmate of hers who was definitely inferior to her in studies and intelligence overtook her when it came to getting awarded the final grades by the professors. This classmate of hers knew how to impress the professors by other means; she had a way to charm the professors who were mainly of male category of human species. And so, Mahima experienced this kind of failure in her undergraduate school time repeatedly. And then she migrated from “value based” paradigm to the new paradigms of “everything is fair in achieving one’s objectives in life” and “do it by hook or by crook”.

Intelligent and hardworking she already was and now coupled this, were her new mindsets in action. She felt that now with her new approach towards life, she had started meeting successes after successes, pretty easily and with more surety. She had learnt the art of charming the male population around her in different ways and reaching her destinations faster than anyone else. And she was intelligent and hardworking, no doubt.

Her excessive ambitions did not allow her to start her professional career in a normal way, i.e. starting at a lower rung and then stepping up the higher rungs gradually. She wanted to reach the top of the ladder in just one high jump and sit there and rule.

So she took the route of doing MBA from a famous management institute whose ex-students were holding powerful positions in various reputed companies. She took a huge loan from a bank and sought admission by paying a very heavy sum towards the capitation fee required by the institute for the out of turn admissions. She did not want to go to a run of the mill school. She knew that an MBA from only such a famous institute would land her in a very high profile job with very handsome salary and she could pay off the loan in no time.

With her newly acquired beliefs, she could work out her charms and made sure that she topped her MBA batch leaving behind a large numbers of better than her students. While doing her MBA, rather than just wasting her time only on curriculum, she used her time networking with professors and ex-students of the college who were now the powerful men of various industries. That helped her in getting the highest grade in MBA and also bagging a prestigious job with an extraordinarily high designation and salary in a company of high repute.

People around her congratulated her on getting such a lucrative offer. She joined her new employer immediately after completion of her MBA course. Her very first job gave her a spacious cabin type office and even a personal assistant of her own. She was definitely an upstart the way she had dreamt of it all along. She got on famously with her boss who was an ex-student of her MBA school. He had also interviewed her in the school campus and apart from professional relationship, soon they developed an intimate personal relationship too.

However this association did not continue for a long period because her boss got transferred to an overseas assignment. That put a stop to their personally intimate association but they kept in touch via other communication channels .

A new boss took over. His name- Tez Dev. Well equipped with engineering and MBA degrees from moderately well known institutes, not necessarily the most reputed ones, he had climbed up the hierarchical ladder in the company starting as a junior manager and working his way pretty rapidly by his sheer intelligence, smart and hard work and value based working. He was a no-nonsense manager, quite demanding as far as the results were concerned and appreciated people if they followed value based clean business processes. He could not be easily tricked by sycophancy or by street smartness.

Mahima Styler found her new boss Tez Dev quite interesting and set out to win him more with her charms and also with her sharp mind though to a limited degree.

Tez Dev assessed Mahima to be a very capable lady. However, it did not take him many days to realize that Mahima was spending too much of her time in trying to please him by many other ways which could not be strictly called the professional ways. In the process, she was slipping on the work targets given to her.

As per her own assessment Mahima thought that she was progressing towards putting Tez in her pockets but the progress was far slower than what she had achieved with her earlier boss.

Days, weeks and months passed and Tez was pushing Mahima to the deadlines and results and Mahima was pushing him to start liking her as a person more than as a professional. Both were finding it hard to move forward in their efforts. Two years passed.

The promotion time came and Mahima was not promoted by Tez Dev. She was highly disappointed. Yet she continued with her efforts to please Tez Dev in her own ways. Tez Dev did not buy that nonsense.

Another promotion time came and Mahima lost out again. She was furious with Dev this time. People who she thought were inferior to her were getting promotions and she did not get any. She felt humiliated. How come Tez was ignoring her when every other male was always influenced by her positively? She decided to teach Tez Dev a lesson of his life.

Two years went by and this morning the police were handcuffing her in her own apartment. They had a warrant to arrest her for committing industrial espionage.

In these two years many significant events took place which finally led to the arrest of Mahima. Her earlier boss had joined the competitor company whose line of business was the same as his earlier company where Mahima Styler continued working. Rejected by Tez Dev, Mahima set out her new mission of teaching him a lesson. She wanted to destroy Tez professionally and personally. She needed to work closely with her previous ex-boss to achieve this. So she met her ex-boss and started intimate association with him once more.

Of late Dev was working on a top secret project of the company. It was related to the product development of a revolutionary new product from the company. Mahima got the hang of it. And soon she started passing on all the secret information to her ex-boss with whom she had re-established her personal intimate relationship. Her ex-boss was mighty happy- he was getting very valuable information from the competitor company and he would use it to his professional advantage in his new company plus he had Mahima for the bonus; he was a much married man though. So, he went along with Mahima; he had nothing to lose. This continued for nearly two years. The company secrets were being transferred to the competitor by Mahima Styler.

Tez Dev was a very observant person. He felt that someone was shuffling the papers in his office in his absence from the office though very carefully so as not to leave any trace of it. So, his sharp mind made him to probe into it further. He alarmed the senior company security officers to be on the alert twenty four hours. And one night when Mahima was going through the secret papers in the cabin of Tez, she was caught red-handed by the security chief. With adequate proof of charge of industrial espionage against Mahima, the company lodged a complaint with the police authorities.

And this morning Mahima Styler was arrested.

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About Shyam Bhatawdekar

35 years’ industrial/business experience as a top executive & 35 years’ parallel academic/consultancy experience in general management, behavioral sciences & technology. Areas: general management, production, human resources, industrial engineering, systems, MIS, computers, corporate planning, audit, sales/marketing. Penchant for information technology & behavioral sciences; integrated with conventional technology makes him unique thought leader. Conversant with academic theories & realities of business, fuses the two into practical approaches. Was associated with Tata Motors, Hindustan Motors, Hindustan Aeronautics & ThyssenKrupp; held top positions as highflier executive. Presently Chairman & Managing Director, Prodcons Group associating with 250 organizations; providing management & I T consultations & conducting seminars/workshops. Been a faculty for IIM’s, TMTC, Railway & HAL Staff Colleges, Symbiosis. Speaker with 35000 hours’ experience benefitting more than 100,000 people. Published 35 articles in Economic Times, Indian Management & Computers Today. Authored 27 books. Invited as key speaker in seminars by AIMA, HRD Network, NIPM, QCFI, CSI, NPC. Widely traveled. Education: Engineering & Management.
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