I was a little surprised to see an article in Times of India ‘Way to a man’s heart is through his career’, couple of days back. Is this the whole truth? Does this apply to an average man? Is it applicable to the spouse alone or is it applicable at the work place too? We all know that a manager grows with the support of his/her team. How often does the manager acknowledge the contribution of this obscure ‘team member’ and gives him/her the credit for it? How often do we see the team member appreciated? Does a manager who is so focused on his own growth, reciprocate by encouraging, supporting the team member grow? Because unlike in a marriage, where the gratification can be a little delayed, the corporate stint for both the Manager & team member can be short lived. The team member may look for some immediate returns for the support he extends.

Many of us would have heard the story from the Ramayana, the Hindu epic, about how the little squirrel got its stripes. The story goes that lady Sita was abducted by Ravana, the demon king and held captive for nearly a year. The grieving husband Lord Ram, who was in exile, had to take his army of monkeys and Bears across the ocean to Lanka, the abode of Ravana. He had to build the ‘Rama Setu’ a bridge across the ocean to rescue her.  All of the animals of the forest help build the bridge; a little squirrel decides to help Rama and works with dedication. It does the best it could and contributes by carrying twigs, sand and pebbles to the construction site.  Lord Ram who notices the little Squirrel, picks it up and strokes its back to show his appreciation. It is believed that the 3 stripes on the Squirrels back are the marks left by Lord Rama’s fingers.

In this day and age, we can’t expect a manager to leave stripes on the subordinates back! The least he/she can do is to appreciate sincerely and spontaneously. But we seldom see it happening. A subordinate who has contributed to the growth of the manager is most often forgotten. Another important question is, whether appreciation alone is enough?


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