Man up, Dear Manager.

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Man up, Dear Manager.

A professor once told me that a Manager is one who helps businesses take decisions despite incomplete information. As I would like to look at this from an ’emancipation’ perspective, one has to become a man before he becomes a manager. What makes man, a man?

The trigger to this inquiry began when a passenger exclaimed that he was unable to grow beyond his predicament of being rejected by his prospective girl-friend. And he would avoid seeing her in person again because he could burst into tears. Loving his girl to the end of the world is simply romantic. But, becoming a wussy isn’t very presentable or manly for that matter. As much as a man should be able to fall in love, he should also be capable of falling out of love, when required. That brings us to the question – How do you turn a boy into a man?

A man should live every moment of his life not worrying about petty things. Like a single cell, he too has a boundary similar to a semi-permeable membrane, where he could selectively let only the good things in and keep bad things out. Bad things, here, mean energy / mood drainers / disruptors.

There is a vital part of a male’s journey in his life that makes him a man. And, this can be brought out by process called ‘initiation’ (metaphorically). In the movie “300”, for the 7 year old prince, this happened when he was sent into the wild which involved brutal cold, starvation. He returned victorious with a slain wild animal’s skin. He eventually became the king. For Nelson Mandela, it happened when was in prison for about 3 decades. This made him go beyond the petty emotions of revenge etc., and to work for the greater good of the black populace. Basically, in order for the ‘manliness’ to be established, the ‘boyishness’ has to ‘die’. Boyishness here signifies the immature person who always seeks immediate gratification and lacks the composure and patience.

Do we have any kind of ‘initiation’ process today? The closest thing that we have today is compulsory military service. But would it help in times of peace? We seem to have lost this concept of male ‘initiation’ ritual. Because a man is expected to be in control of himself, not be overwhelmed by the situation and to be in sync with his environment most of the time. In order to become that, boys need to be invited to the select world of men! The key to that is the ritual of ‘initiation’. Until we have formal initiation ceremonies in place, the manager just needs to “Man up!”


– Prabhakar MN

Starting his career as a blue-collar-workman and traversing an unbeaten path to join the PGDM (GM) 2014-15 at XLRI Jamshedpur, he brings in 10 years of work experience across Manufacturing and Supply chain functions.

Prabhakar MN
Prabhakar MN
'MBA'@XLRI, 6σ, ISO 9001
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