Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sense of responsibility


India is scandal weary! Last week was full of scandals ... it started with Tharoorgate and his pretty 'girlfriend' or rather 'ladyfriend', IPLgate, phone tapping or wiretapping scandal, insinuations about cricket betting scandal, then came the MCI scandal, no less than the MCI President arrested by CBI for taking Rs. 2 crores bribe (imagine he was the gentleman who wanted to cleanse the pharmaceutical company and doctor relationship!) ... Indians are definitely scandal weary!

Sense of responsibility

Scandals as I see it are not about moral values or morality. Scandals are due to a lack of sense of responsibility. If Tharoor had a little less of his hubris (that means insolent pride), he would have understood that he was given a golden opportunity by his leader - Dr. Manmohan Singh, PM of India. After all, Tharoor was a novice in pure politics. It was in admiration of his international diplomacy skills that he was given a ticket to Lok Sabha, he won the elections, and was given a minister of state position even though he was a first time MP. There was a lot of trust in all these gestures. This means Tharoor had a lot of responsibility towards his benefactors. But our friend Tharoor did not realise the full import of this trust and certainly did not take his job with a complete sense of responsibility. For if he did take the God gifted opportunities with a sense of responsibility, certainly the sweat equity issue (for his lady friend) in the Kochi IPL franchisee would not have surfaced. The scandal Tharoorgate was more of a lack of understanding of the responsibility that he was invested in by his leader.

The above is a reflection of an example of lack of understanding of responsibility when given an assignment.

When a MR joins a firm, little does he realize that in the territory he works in, the MR is the ambassador of the company. The MR has a position of great responsibility since he is in direct touch with doctors, chemists and stockists. The MR is the image of the company. But often little does the MR realize this. And due to this lack of understanding of the responsibilities with his position, the MR may create problems for himself and his employer company.

In the same, the executives of product management and training, sales and other departments, have a great responsibility towards the organizational image and results. The understanding of the depth of responsibility makes a difference in the way an employee works. More responsible the person feels about his professional work, the more depth will his work have. In fact, if over the years, I have observed any difference between MRs of the time when my father was a MR to the generation today, I guess the difference is in the sense of responsibility with which the job is done. The sense of responsibility makes all the difference in the style of functioning and results.

Today, the MCI President is in the dock for taking Rs. 2 crores bribe. It is not about the morality of the person. It is a mockery of the important post that he holds. As MCI President he had a responsibility towards the functioning of the medical system in India. If his sense of responsibility is purchased at Rs. 2 crores (bribe) what are the implications to the nation?! Actually, the MCI President should have acted with a great sense of responsibility, because of the position he is in. Unfortunately, people get professional positions without understanding the responsibility associated with the position. That is why MCI President is in the dock.

It is for the same reason that Tharoor is in a sorry position. If Tharoor was not made the Minister right away, but perhaps given the minister position during a second expansion of the cabinet, may be Tharoorgate would not have happened, because he would be aware of his professional position. In India, we the people of India, give positions to people without making the person struggle for the position and actually feel the sense of responsibility of the position. TODAY, ONE CAN SAY WITH CONFIDENCE THAT SACHIN TENDULKAR AND AMITABH BACHCHAN ARE HIGHLY RESPONSIBLE PUBLIC FIGURES. WHY? BECAUSE THEY HAVE STRUGGLED TO GET WHERE THEY ARE TODAY, AND IN THAT PROCESS, DURING THEIR STRUGGLE THEY ACQUIRED THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON OF LIFE - they learnt about responsibility.


The above saying is from an unknown author. It is a statement of great value. It is a statement about taking responsibility. Reflect on it twice or thrice you will realize it is a great statement!

Responsibility is a sense of obligation to perform or complete a task. It is about being accountable. When Tharoor was mentoring on the IPL issue of a Kochi team franchisee where was his sense of responsibility when his lady acquaintance was given Rs. 70 crores worth of sweat equity? When the MCI President was taking the bribe of Rs. 2 crores, where was his sense of obligation to perform his tasks as the head of the supreme body of medical practice in India? Today, will any one look at the MCI with a sense of respect? Due to such lacunae, the Govt. of India will be forced to create one more body to oversee MCI ... all because some people did not have an understanding of the responsibility with a position.

Responsibility is also learnt through modeling. When junior executives or employees observe the intensity of responsibility with which work is done, it rubs on to them, they too become responsible. If they see irresponsibility, they will also imbibe irresponsibility. The main job of higher-ups in a company or in a body like MCI is being responsible.

When in the recent past, I read and blogged about how MCI was cracking the whip against the 'alleged marketing excesses' by us pharma marketers, I was wondering how we the pharma marketers are going to do our legitimate 'job' of pharma marketing. Now the MCI President himself is arrested for graft! Hey, we pharma marketers are far better and more responsible in our occupation!! Because our brands are answerable to our customers. So responsibility gets ingrained in to marketers, because we face the market (doctors, chemists, and stockists, and sometimes end consumers also) day-in and day-out, either directly or indirectly.

The root of many a scandal in India today is this lack of appreciation of the sense of responsibility associated with one's professional position. Thanks, let us watch the IPL finals with all happiness, please scroll down and read all other posts, click on older posts as and when required, kindly recommend my blog to your acquaintances.

1 comment:

Sunil S Chiplunkar said...

Regarding corporate responsibility in very critical national crisis here is an interesting message received to me through e-mail:

Ratan Tata is the chairman of Indian Hotels who own the Taj Mahal Hotel Mumbai, which was the target of the terrorists last year .

Hotel President a 5 star property also belongs to Indian Hotels.
The following is really touching.

What Ratan Tata did for the Mumbai victims.... Don't miss!!!!!!

All category of employees including those who had completed even 1 day as casuals were treated on duty during the time the hotel was closed.

Relief and assistance to all those who were injured and killed.

The relief and assistance was extended to all those who died at the railway station, surroundings including the “Pav- Bha ji” vendor and the pan shop owners.

During the time the hotel was closed, the salaries were sent by money order.

A psychiatric cell was established in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences to counsel those who needed such help.

The thoughts and anxieties going on people’s mind was constantly tracked and where needed psychological help provided.

Employee outreach centers were opened where all help, food, water, sanitation, first aid and counseling was provided. 1600 employees were covered by this facility.

Every employee was assigned to one mentor and it was that person’s responsibility to act as a “single window” clearance for any help that the person required.

Ratan Tata personally visited the families of all the 80 employees who in some manner – either through injury or getting killed – were affected.

The dependents of the employees were flown from outside Mumbai to Mumbai and taken care off in terms of ensuring mental assurance and peace. They were all accommodated in Hotel President for 3 weeks.

Ratan Tata himself asked the families and dependents – as to what they wanted him to do.

In a record time of 20 days, a new trust was created by the Tatas for the purpose of relief of employees.
Whats unique is that even the other people, the railway employees, the police staff, the pedestrians who had nothing to do with Tatas were covered by compensation.

Each one of them was provided subsistence allowance of Rs. 10K per month for all these people for 6 months.

A 4 year old granddaughter of a vendor got 4 bullets in her and only one was removed in the Government hospital. She was taken to Bombay hospital and several lacs were spent by the Tatas on her to fully recover her.

New hand carts were provided to several vendors who lost their carts.

Tata will take responsibility of life education of 46 children of the victims of the terror.

This was the most trying period in the life of the organisation.

Senior managers including Ratan Tata were visiting funeral to funeral over the 3 days that were most horrible.

The settlement for every deceased member ranged from Rs. 36 to 85 lacs [One lakh rupees translates to approx 2200 US $ ] in addition to the following benefits:
a. Full last salary for life for the family and dependents;
b. Complete responsibility of education of children and dependents – anywhere in the world.
c. Full Medical facility for the whole family and dependents for rest of their life.
d. All loans and advances were waived off – irrespective of the amount.
e. Counselor for life for each person