The Board meeting for the selection of the Senior Manager for the organization was facing an interesting challenge. Though all the members were convinced that Gopinath had met all the indicators on their wish list that makes him a right choice for the post, they still had an extended discussion about something they were not happy about.
Simon said “No doubt, he is a good guy and meets all the indicators on our table. But he is so dominant that he will swallow or marginalize everybody around him, wherever he is present.” Others had a hearty laugh. Vikram observed “He has a tangential thinking. He is someone who always thinks out of the box, least realizing that he has to fall in line with the senior management.” Gracey commented “he is highly productive certainly, but has a strong urge to bypass the queue.” Well, after all those discussions they decided to select him, but to give him a posting at a place where according to another “is a place where he has no option but to keep quiet.” Though people thought Gopi will be upset with the decision and come back, he quietly accepted the offer and packed up. With a smile he said “I have a lot of space there to do many new things.”
Gopi was a natural game changer. Such problems exist with all game changers. They are exciting to work with, they oftentimes come with new perceptions to solve problems which others don’t even dream about. They push their decisions quietly to cause changes or bring about transformations without much ado.
Game Changers are not necessarily leaders. They may not have some basic requisites to become leaders. They can exist at any step of the operational ladder. They love a backend work and cause impact in a silent manner. They remain largely unnoticed, but they are searched for. They have a great engagement value as they are conscience keepers of the work they do. As they bring about excitement through their work, others watch them curiously, sometimes with a sense of fear, seeking to know what this guy has in his mind. They have the capacity to move people from unconscious incompetence to conscious competence levels through strategic designs or orientations that impact the process and the product of the systems in which they function. Unfortunately, their differentiated thinking causes a bit of unrest to their bosses sometimes, who tend ‘to place them where they should be.’
To put things in perspective, Gopi did join the new place which was quite remote from the corporate head office, probably sending some solace to the people who disliked him. “Now he will just be invisible” Simon commented. But much to the annoyance of the people, he brought the remote branch into limelight. “Hey, what kind of magic he has?” people asked. The clients were extremely happy to see one who reached out to them, sorted out their problems in short time, infused a sense of confidence in them, He built trust both for him and the organization.
Game changers work on people, by gravitating them to build a bridge between themselves and with the organization. At the same time, they enhance the value profile of the people working in the organization and they become partners in progress. Game changers are never lonely. But their strategies are highly personal and never revealed to even confident teams. Game changers are great time managers, as they tend to play with time and space to move their coins so well that people are left least time to raise questions. Though they are people’s person, they tend to remain in islands in their professional articulations.
Risk taking is an art and science. Game changers love this art and are willing to invest their ideas on risks and mentor them to goals which carry great rewards on their heads. They carve out pathways through which people have never walked. They are aware that their game plans may not always be successful, but are willing to push strategies and people because they consider it ‘worth trying.’
“your branch is doing extremely well. As such it could be a model to others.” When Simon heard this from his client, he said to himself ‘It is time to move Gopi back to their control’.
Game changers are not worried of the place and position in which they work. Their love for ‘doing something’ to make their own impregnable mark. They carry a fire in their belly to make their imprints. All that they need is not resources, but an idea, a thought, an action plan which is good enough for them to make things different – that would shake the existing culture of thinking, the culture of working. They challenge traditions, authority and experience – not out of arrogance – but to convince people that there are other ways of doing things less stressful, less expensive and less boring.
Game changers don’t suffer from identity crisis. They don’t wait to be applauded, rewarded or celebrated. But they love being mentioned, now and then, to communities ‘that is a different guy.
Game changers are great assets to an organization. Being non-routine thinkers, it is difficult to fix them to monotonies of work or make them run in beaten tracks always. They surface whenever called for, to show ‘things can be done, done better and done differently.”
Hey the boss called the game changer in his organization. “What do you think we should do about this?” Shiv was thrilled with the boss asking his views. He thought that is the best reward he could get from the boss- that he is being listened to. Game changers are willing to learn continuously, because they need to be ‘ahead of their times’. They keep their eyes and ears open to what is happening around. Sensitivity to the internal and external world is a great trait game changer nourish in their persona. That helps them to draw their strategies efficiently carrying a sense of empathy. But they are also willing to sacrifice people if things are to be done. “Battles have to be fought, they need not be won” – they agree; but they target on both fighting and winning the battles. Success doesn’t thrill them, but they are nutrients to their performance ecosystem.
“What if…?” The bosses pose this question to the game changers. “Not what if… it will. But that’s the way you go” answer the game changers. They are willing to break the barriers, demolish kingdoms of fear and challenge the destiny. Oftentimes, others reap the fruit of labour of the game changers. And the game changers like mothers, sit in the balcony and watch. They say ‘you know that guy getting the prize, he is my child’. They beam with a smile.
And what about Gopi? He has just received the orders to report to the Corporate head office. People are in the Board room discussing aggressively where to post him next. But Gopi is aware that with his strategies on line, one day he will get a seat in the Board room to discuss, but on different lines with a different tone. Good Luck. Gopi. you are a great game changer!
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