7Ps of Power – How the “Blue-Dyed Fox” won the career war

“I am done. We are half-way through and I realize that I am a spent force. I can now kiss goodbye to “young achiever”. Even “late bloomer” seems to be a distant dream” smiled the NPE weakly.

“Don’t give up so easily and early in the game. Nothing is lost yet. It is true that position, positioning and proximity are bestowed largely on one by the benevolent boss. Still there are few things one can do to turn the tide in one’s favor”. The wise accountant laid an assuring hand on the NPE’s shoulder.

“They alone can deliver Rank, Recognition and Rewards. In their absence, I don’t think one stands a chance. How can anything else help you get the fruits of power?” cried out the hapless NPE aloud.

“Meet my friend, the blue fox. Starting with a handicap on account of the first three Ps, it set the course right by managing Personality, Perceptions and PR

“Make it Small” said NPE to the approaching bar-man, indicating the quantum of his intake.

“I will” said the sensitive accountant, a little hurt assuming it was aimed at his story rendering.

Grammar isn’t his forte which short-fall he more than makes up for in financial re-engineering. Still he quickly regained his composure seeing where the three words were directed. He then proceeded to relate the story of the blue-dyed fox.

Once upon a time, a lion ruled a jungle ably assisted by two foxes, F1 and F2. Among their chief duties were:

  1. Ensuring Lion is left undisturbed by whining and complaining subjects
  2. Keeping an eye on unsatisfied and potentially threatening claimants for the throne
  3. Enticing unsuspecting and fatty animals to places where the lion can easily hunt down
  4. Keeping the subjects fear/awe/respect of the lion intact, by spreading tales of valor

The same were carried out efficiently by the foxes. And they were justly rewarded by the lion with juicy bits of its killings. Along with seats on either side of its throne. Both the foxes exhibited exemplary camaraderie, for the benefit of the jungle. But at every opportunity each of them tried to prove the other unworthy of the lion’s court. Perceived equality amongst peers indeed breeds contempt.

F1 being better off in the art of sucking-up soon became first among equals. It followed a well laid path for a sub-ordinate to win over the boss(For enlightenment on the path browse through “Scatterbrained Scribblings –
Salvation or Starvation“, an earlier blog entry, patiently) and gained the lion’s confidence. One willing ear and a wily tongue can root-out a thousand destinies.

Soon F2 saw the signs of shifting sands, did a SWOT and quickly decided to scoot (To know how to read the writing on the wall read “Scatterbrained Scribblings –
When the going gets tough“). He went about searching for an ideal retiring spot and thought he found one, when he came across a village, a good 15 days travel from the jungle. The village is teeming with dogs and belonging to similar species but of a wilier make, getting a leg-up on them would be a walk in the park. Or so he thought. The dogs made life hell the moment he entered the new and unfamiliar territory. He was barked at, bitten off, and chased through every nook and corner. Trying to shake them off, the fox entered a washerman’s house and jumped into an empty vat. Or so he thought. The vat was full of blue dye and he let out an yelp and jumped right back and shot out off the house. Straight into the midst of the waiting pack.

Imagine its surprise, when waiting to be torn into a thousand pieces it suddenly sees the entire pack beat a retreat as if they have seen a ghost. It got its answer in a minute when it reached the village pond to quench its thirst induced by exhaustion. It took another minute or so to put two and two together. From thence to quickly figure out the next course of action, putting a plan in action to regain lost glory and pre-eminence is but a small step. Fortune favors the shrewd.

It went to the jungle, not to the lion first. The arrival of a new personality that is unlike anything they have seen till date, rose the curiosity of the animals and birds alike. They watched it from a distance; spoke amongst themselves in hushed tones, bets were placed on what it could be. Some brave souls ventured to a sniffing distance, found the same harmless and shed their inhibition. Soon perceptions about this true blue creature changed and word got around that “It’s OK”. On its part, the dyed fox played to the gallery, helping a thorn-stuck rabbit here and a broken winged parrot there; throwing a neat party now and then; earning good PR and the trust of a thousand gullible creatures. To climb the ladder you need your feet on the rungs below and hands clasping the ones above.

Soon there was enough buzz created about the fox and it reached the lion’s ears. He came down to check for himself. He saw the transformed one, recognized who it was under the thick coat of paint. Glancing around he saw the adoration with which the subjects held this new creature. The fox bowed to the lion and said “They put their trust in me; and I can help put them all in you with little effort” and smiled. The Lion quickly weighed. It was becoming difficult for F1 alone to carry out all the duties satisfactorily. Besides that F1 is becoming a clone of himself, making it difficult for easy and large prey to come by. The Lion made the decision. For it knew. Once earned, through whatever means, trust of dumb subjects pays lifelong.

Soon F2 was back at his old place, nudging out F1 as the blue-dyed boy. Though F1 could figure out who F2 is, there was little that it could do except pray that one day there would be rain on F2’s parade. Little does he know of the stickiness of a dye. And the good and longlasting effects of Perceptions and PR.

—————————–XXX——————————-XXX—————————–XXX—————————XXX——————————-

“Wish we have many more such sessions”, clearing the bill and leaving a hefty tip behind; firmly pressing the extended hand of the accountant, the NPE spoke from the heart.

“I am sure we will” the accountant responded sincerely, for he heard somewhere that Rome wasn’t built in a day. And that isn’t half as hard as building his character and confidence, of one who has embarked on a journey to the cabin.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. On the overall concept of 7 p’s-

    I think you convey some excellent advice, when the working situation has bosses who are not as involved in your day-to-day workflow, either because they are gone much of the time or they have too many people to give personal attention to.

    However, I have been in another (very small) organization where the boss was much more in a role of mentorship to me on a daily/weekly basis. In that case, as an employee, the steps you take should probably be adapted to the personality of your boss and the “mutual evolution” of your role.

    Either way, your advice is well-considered and thoughtful.

    Mark Trueblood

    1. ivak99 says:

      You are right. The steps taken have to be adapted depending on the personality; place; time; context and one’s own mental make-up at any given point of time. The variables of the equation remain the same, their weightage will differ. In the organization that you are in, where the boss plays the role of a mentor, its most likely that the “performance” takes precedence over the other things (Fingers crossed) 🙂

  2. Pavan says:

    Somehow I get the feeling that I have not read the Panchatantra fully. Trust is hard to create and takes a lottof resources to build , but can be snapped in a moment. And once snapped it is hard to rebuild.

  3. Lavender says:

    Sometimes joined hands achieve better……but alas! we are not made so. Trust is very important word and It works either ways. It a deep emotion to talk about off hand and for once I detest the usage of it here for its a means than an investment here. The corporate world where goes thy ethics!!!

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