Blogging, Enterpreneurship, Globalization, Organization Development, Personal

Paradox in business life

Life is full of paradoxes. All of us experience it on daily basis. Business life is no exception either.

Few examples:

  • Seek consensus or seek difference of opinion: Looking for consensus? But difference of opinion is what bring individuality and makes a place aspiring. However, you need a level of consensus to build buy-in for successful execution.
  • Conflict – bad or good?: You don’t want prolonged conflict that has negative affect on the organization. They are bad. As a leader – you step in before things go out of control. However, also recognize some conflict can be positive to get the creative juice flowing. Do you know what makes movies exciting? It is the conflict in the movie story line. No conflict. No story. No fun. No success to celebrate.
  • Want to lead – learn to follow: First rule when leading – can you take direction from others and make it your own? Learn to follow. Know when to lead and when to follow.
  • Do you take all or give to grow: It is what we learn as kids. Share your toys if you want to play with other’s toys. By doing this you also make friends and have more fun. Collaborate and be willing to give more than what you may get out of it. Like life, business life, is also not a zero sum game. Want to succeed – help others.
  • Be directly involved – can you do it indirectly through others: Aspire to be a strong leader who is closely involved with everything. Just recognize this takes away the growth opportunity of others. Know how to build trust and give room for others to grow. Learn to be directly involved – indirectly; through influence – and remain actively engaged.
  • Learn through Success or Learn through Failure: As the saying goes success breeds success. However some learning come from failures. It is smart to learn from someone else’s failure and avoid your own where you can. When you fail – just learn how to fail quickly and get out of it fast.
  • Make hard choice or an easy choice: Take the path of least resistance or make the hard choices that move the needle where you aspire. You know if those things would be that easy then they would not be waiting until now? No need to lower the goal – just communicate your aspiration openly so that people understand the rationale and purpose behind the tough call. However don’t need to boil the ocean on every thing. Some things can be accomplished with easy choice and taking the journey – one day at a time.
  • Celebrate heroes or celebrate the team: If you are in the business of building software product – then you probably understand building product is a team sport. So how to celebrate team success while cherishing heroes – who are the life and soul of any product.
  • Blame or take the blame: Leaders who step up and take the blame avoid blame. Don’t deflect. Also, find a way to build responsibility in the organization that reduces such sticky situations.
  • What is important Fact or Perception: As a leader you believe in facts; data; metrics but end up tackling perceptions. Have you heard the saying perception is reality? Hold on to the facts but don’t let the perception take over the agenda.
  • Strength is weakness?: How many times you have heard what is someone strength is their weakness too? Still play by your strength while keeping an eye for it to not become weakness. Watch out for the blind spots.
  • Command or Seek help: Need to be  in command in some situations – but other places you seek help. Actually, stronger your influence more help you seek.

And the list goes on. Point being as with everything else in life – understand how to find the right balance in every day situation. It is what makes everyday business life fun.


3 thoughts on “Paradox in business life”

  1. Hi Alok,

    I enjoyed your post. Another delicious paradox is no matter simple the strategy the environment is likely complex. It seems to me that a big challenge in business today is how to keep the strategy simple enough to understand and resonate with people. We need to challenge everyone to try to understand the complexities of our environment. People need to contribute their personal perspective to shape the tactics that support the strategy to feel like they make a difference. Trust is key to managing paradox in organizational life in my opinion.


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