How to #protect your #territory in #office

Protecting one’s turf is normal. At the workplace, your turf is the area or sphere of activity regarded as your personal territory. While you may think that this is pre-defined by your job, know that your job description will never protect your territory for you.
If you do not play it right, you will end up with no turf or no job. Protecting your territory is critical for your survival and the efficient way to do it is by enhancing trust and relationships as against expending energy in building bureaucracies or fighting turf battles.

Why turf wars happen

Does protecting your turf take away a large part of your time and energy? If yes, then you are too focused on your survival to do any meaningful work, or to grow your career. To get out of it, first understand why it is so. Turf battles are an outcome of hidden interests and agendas. These usually start from a pressure to outperform but with limited means. Once such battles start, control of resources becomes more important than the actual outcome. In many cases, battles begin from outsized egos and a need to survive. In every case, know that turf battles force you to compete internally instead of collaborating with each other and winning the real game.

How serious is it?

Understand how serious the political game at work is. If your workplace appears free from politics, maybe you are unaware of what is going on. However, if conflicts are low, beware of lack of ownership and creativity or lack of discussions going into important decisions. On the other extreme, if conflicts take away all your time, then you are in a highly negative space where there is no energy left for performance and growth. If you are lucky to be in the middle zone, watch out for individual situations where there is either no healthy debate or too much energy expended in conflicts.

Army General

Your best strategy towards guarding your turf is to have an army of worthy troops or customers who will do everything to protect you. Like Apple has its loyal diehard customers who are thrilled with its products and services, your customer could be an external client, your boss or your team in case you are a leader. When the people you serve are ecstatic with the service you provide, they will not allow someone to reduce your area of influence and thus affect the service they are receiving.


Legendary investor Warren Buffet talks about building a moat around a business which is a competitive advantage that protects a firm’s pricing power. Your moat is how you differentiate yourself from the rest of the company and thus make yourself invaluable. Are you a key IT resource in your company? Or the only certified cost accountant? Or the keeper of key client accounts and relationships? If yes, then your turf is secure.


Amazon is a powerful marketplace that allows buyers and sellers to transact. Thus, it does not compete with any single seller. The equivalent of this at the workplace is where you become the regulator or arbitrator who enables internal service providers and receivers to transact or have them come to you to resolve disputes. You can achieve this position by dint of your unique expertise or establishing positive relationships across the firm or by becoming a universal enabler across teams.


Market leading technology firms such as Oracle and Salesforce offer free trials to acquire customers and then help businesses customise and integrate their internal software. Thereafter, it becomes extremely expensive for customers to switch. Similarly, add your expertise to multiple projects and teams across the firm. Help them integrate you in every critical project they do. Your turf then becomes battle proof.

Warrior boss

Working for an insecure boss, engaged in turf battles, requires a different approach. First understand his real agenda and concerns and then objectively discuss what success means for him and you in tangible terms. Now you can combine your skills with his to achieve common goals. Maintain relationships with people across the firm to guard your own back when opponents try to take him down. Make sure you are always aligned to your firm’s interests and if your boss is going the other way, then seek external help from a mentor or senior manager.

Beware of the dirty game

While you choose the high road to avoid politics to win at work, beware of people who play dirty tricks. Your insecure competitor may create alliances with other people in power to deny you your turf or spread rumours to blame you for a failed project. He may hoard and deny timely information you need to do your tasks or create bureaucracies to slow you down. Finally, he may try and undermine your confidence by unpredictable behaviour, personal attacks or display extreme anger in debates or conflicts. Your best defence continues to lie in building a reputation for delivering outcomes, being trustworthy and having great relationships with multiple stakeholders within and outside.


1. Go for gold

Any military strategist will tell you that defence is not always the best strategy. While other insecure colleagues are busy defending their turfs or leadership positions, you will do well to bypass all the bruising turf battles and to focus on the actual goal of delivering value and extreme performance. It will show up on the podium.

2. Perception game

Once you are seen as someone who gives the correct opinion almost every time, you will win the perception battle and will be insulated from the petty stuff. So, work hard to get your facts right, to bring data to the table when presenting opinions and to incorporate both positives and negatives in your arguments.

3. Art of adult talk

While the other party is throwing a tantrum, banging desks or threatening to walk out, you present the picture of a calm collected adult professional. Learn to write objectively on emails. Choose to talk in person to sort out thorny issues and be rational in your communication.

4. Problem v/s person

Your opponent may get emotional and make personal attacks. While it is natural to feel angry, reacting in a similar fashion does not serve your purpose. You will win more when you keep emotions out of the game and do not share your feelings with everyone. Take accountability for solving the problem and ignore the emotional content.

5. Push back

Speak softly but carry a big stick. When all else fails, be assertive and push back strongly on what is wrong. Your power comes from a willingness to take a stand when required. Giving in to unfairness and abuse only perpetrates bad behaviour. Define your boundaries and escalate matters when you are unable to stop constant sabotage.

(The writer is founder and CEO at and

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of



#Rethink #contracts when #hiring #millennials

Companies must understand and proactively adapt to the needs of their millennial hires!

Millennials look for jobs that are exciting. Photo: iStockWithin the next two years, those born between the early 1980s and 2000 will account for more than half of the country’s workforce, according to a report by Catalyst, a global non-profit . Given that new hires are mostly millennials, corporate India and its leadership must adapt and change the standard approach.

One of the first principles of creating an ecosystem designed to attract and nurture millennial talent is to bury the traditional cast-in-stone HR policies, says Ramesh Yelamanchi, head of human resources, Reliance Brands Ltd. (RBL), which partners with brands such as Diesel and Steve Madden in India. Millennials, with an average age of 26.2 years, account for more than 70% of its 5,000-strong workforce.

“The terms of employment for a millennial are different in what we call the psychological contracts—something millennials expect from the company but is not penned in black and white. They are looking for flexibility, learnability, and the contract is a give-and-take arrangement,” says Rajan Kalia, founder of Gurugram-based talent management and leadership consultancy firm Salto Dee Fe.

Loosen up

There are a number of initiatives that companies are adopting, including flexible working hours, gamification of goals and tasks, creatively structured compensation packages and short-term or project-based employment to attract and retain talent. “Apart from the IT and technology sectors, where the concept of flexible working hours has existed for a while, we have started to see this clause being included in the contracts of professionals in sectors such as manufacturing,” says Pranshu Upadhyay, director of HR consultancy Michael Page India. For example, the RBL office is open 24×7 and employees can check in any time from 8-10.30am. A similar policy has been instituted by insurance company IDBI Federal, where employees can check in any time they want, provided they complete the requisite number of hours. “In our endeavour to encourage work-life balance, we have introduced flexi-working hours, and work from home options,” an IDBI spokesperson says.

Millennials are happy to take up short projects rather than full-time employment if the payment is right

When it comes to compensation, many millennials look beyond traditional payment models. They usually prefer variable or fixed compensation to stock options in companies that aren’t listed (phantom stocks), says Upadhyay, who, at 34, is a millennial himself. For instance, young employees in companies like Uber and Ola, which have not yet been listed on stock markets, have traded the stock option for a more robust in-hand pay, insiders say.

Since millennials have a much higher appetite for risk, they are happy to take up short projects rather than full-time employment if the payment is right, says Upadhyay. “There was a conservational instinct among the earlier generations. The first thing that any management graduate used to look for was a job that was stable and long-term. But millennials are very willing to take up projects lasting one-two years if the scope is exciting,” he says.

Give and you’ll get

Millennials, characteristically, want a certain level of control over the work they are doing and seek explanations for tasks. “They want to understand the reasoning and relevance of the responsibilities given to them rather than just accepting something at face value,” says Upadhyay. As a manager, you may not only have to give them tasks but also explain why they need to do those tasks, and why they are the best suited for them.

Moreover, millennials are a “me and mine” generation seeking instant gratification. The challenge for organizations is to figure out how to get them to think beyond the very short term and align corporate and personal agendas, adds Yelamanchi.

So, management styles need to evolve constantly. “Managers have to adapt and patiently answer questions they never had to explain in this detail before the influx of the millennial generation,” adds Upadhyay.

“It takes a lot of senior management bandwidth but this is the only way,” says Yelamanchi. One approach to address the millennial worker’s need for instant gratification could be to gamify targets and tasks. For example, giving them a virtual trophy or a badge (as in a video game) for meeting a goal or target can encourage them.

Organizations are adopting new tools of communication like apps and webinars. “Most of the work ecosystem is changing. Organizations are now allowing their staff to be connected through Facebook, WhatsApp and other modern-day tools to remain productive throughout the day,” adds Kalia.

Company time is sacred

While millennial executives in advanced economies such as the UK and US have pressured employers to make legal and contractual changes to use “company paid time” to pursue other business ventures and start-ups, changes in India Inc. at present are mainly centred on HR policies and leadership styles. “Practices in mature companies in the Western world allow employees to focus on other pursuits but it is tough to do so here since we (our company) are still very much in start-up mode,” says Yelamanchi.

This is reflective of India Inc.’s attitude, in general, towards any out-of-office business ventures pursued by employees. “Indian companies are very much oriented towards employees working with the organization and not having any conflict of interest. Most organizations, in fact, have tight employment contracts of confidentiality and conflict of interest situations,” says Kalia.

With the advent of the gig economy, however, companies will have to start looking to ease policies, and become proactive rather than reactive if they want to hire… and keep talented millennial employees on their roster.

The millennial value system

■ Many focus on the purpose of the company and want to know how being part of the organization can lead them to contribute or give back to society.

■ Learning happens more through following role-models than through accepting diktats or preaching.

■ Many value straight talk, inclusiveness and directness in their bosses.

■ Flexible location features very high on their needs in a job, especially in big cities that have become infamous for traffic.

■ It is more productive to connect with millennials through storytelling and anecdotes.

#5 #Lifestyle Changes #Aiming at #Success

You should accept the challenges and hurdles placidly and pave failures as stepping stones to greener pastures!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit”, states Will Durant highlighting the gravity of a few lifestyle changes targeting success.

There isn’t any quick pill or a ‘success mantra’, but some habits which once inculcated in your character, will definitely give you an edge over others in your career and help you to be remarkably eminent.

1.     Early birds tick the clock

It’s no surprise that the most successful people ‘catch the worm’ right in the silent wee hours and get a head start on the day. Be it a chance to usher their creativity or go for fitness spree or may even be with family, but these head honchos definitely know how to knock out tasks while the others are still snoozing.

Take, for instance, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, who wakes up at 3.45a.m to check his emails and plan the day or Michelle Obama who begins her day working out at 4.30a.m or PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi who is at work every day by no later than 7 a.m.

These big wigs do motivate us to have a sound sleep and be awake at the crack of the dawn.

2.     Sound mind resides in a sound body

Many clichés as it may sound, but there’s no denying to the fact that the more physically fit and agile you are, the more the creativity and stamina to work.

“I have to go hit the gym, no matter how much I am travelling or whatever be the duration of meetings. Physical fitness is my drug to positivity and creativity,” confesses Mr.Pravin Daryani, director of A&A business consulting firm.

You do not want the work stress and deadlines mar your output and creative juices from flowing freely. The rocket science here is aiming at a workout in a gym or maybe walking amidst nature to hit the ‘refresh’ button of your memory.

3.     Plan your day

How will you reach the destination if you don’t plan the route of the journey?

So to be headed in the right direction and not to waste the most valuable essence-time, you need to charter your day in the most effective way and plan it out keeping deadlines as well as priorities in mind.

Mr.Vimal Gupta, owner of New Idea Farm Equipment Company, says,” I spend the first few minutes of the day apprising me of the current state of affairs and then I chalk out the strategy of the day for myself and targets for the employees to facilitate the smooth functioning of tasks and not to miss any deadlines”.

One must keep a margin of contingency in the plans too so as to leverage any sudden alterations in the routine.

4.     Organize your office  

The meticulous organization at your workplace will rule out any time wasted in looking for the right thing at the right time.

The less cluttered the office is, the more creative and clear you would be, thereby, meeting your deadlines calmly and retaining your sanctity.

The continual sorting of documents and computer files, setting them in order of priority and keeping your desk clutter free will make you more productive and efficient each day.

5.     Challenge yourself and learn from mistakes

Robert Kiyosaki effectively quotes,” Don’t waste a good mistake. Learn from it.”

As a human being, one evolves each day, learning from the mistakes made by oneself or others around us. You must not be scared to try the unknown, new roads as they might be the harbingers of success and fame.

Conclusion-You should accept the challenges and hurdles placidly and pave failures as stepping stones to greener pastures. Be positive and hopeful in your outlook if you want to stand out from the rest and get rid of your fears. Be consistent in our efforts and incorporate these lifestyle habits to be triumphant and efficacious.

Source: entrepreneur

How to #Resign From Your #Job #Properly

resign, job resign, resign from job, quit, leave, employee engagement, retentionOver the years, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the right way to get a job. I think it only makes sense to talk about the right way to resign when you leave a job. Because there is a right way to do it.

Even if the organization is terrible and your boss is a jerk, it’s important to resign the right way. That doesn’t mean you can’t be honest and authentic. Remember – you’re resigning. You’ve initiated this action. So, think through how you want it to happen. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Think about the reason you’re going to cite. My guess is there are lots of reasons you’re leaving. It could be pay, benefits, the company, your manager, the commute, and the list goes on… The company is going to ask you why, so think about the top 1-2 points you would like to communicate. Be selective and strategic in your response.
  1. Write a resignation letter. At some point, the company will want formal documentation that you’re planning to leave. It’s possible to give verbal notice then follow-up with a letter. Resignation letters do not have to be long and they do not have to contain specific details. But they are expected.
  1. Give proper notice. Whatever your company says is proper notice (two weeks or three weeks or a month), give it. Your new employer should not ask you not to give proper notice. They would expect you to give them proper notice if you left them.
  1. Be prepared to leave. Some organizations will ask people in highly competitive roles to leave the day they give notice (common example: sales representatives). It’s not personal, they do it for everyone. Chances are you have already witnessed this around the workplace. If you’re in one of those roles, be prepared.
  1. Don’t expect a counter-offer. It’s possible (but highly unlikely) that your company will give you a counter-offer and beg you to stay. There are a whole bunch of reasons why companies shouldn’t give counter-offers and why you shouldn’t accept one. The best strategy is not to expect one.
  1. Find out about benefits and final paychecks. While you’re still there, find out about final pay checks and expenses, 401(k) plans, and health insurance (COBRA). Many HR departments have some sort of FAQ that they provide exiting employees with this information.
  1. Help your replacement. If your boss hires your replacement (or designates a couple of co-workers to handle your work), be helpful and show them the ropes. They will not be like you. But you’re leaving. You’ve done a good job so far and you should want them to be successful.
  1. Participate in an exit interview. If the company asks you to do an exit interview, do it. But this is where #1 is important. Know what you’re going to say about your work experience, your boss, and the company. There’s a way to be truthful without burning a bridge.
  1. Return all company property. I know this seems obvious, but I’ve seen exiting employees use this as a way to ‘get back’ at the company. If you have computer or phone equipment, return it in good condition. Make sure that the company gets any keys or badges.

When you resign, it can be a stressful and exciting time. You’re trying to wrap up things at one job and start another. Resigning the right way allows you to focus on your new opportunity. It also sends the message to your co-workers that you wish them well.

CREDIT: HR Bartender