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Author's profile photo Shabarish V Nair

Of Duty, Results and Appreciation

“Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana, Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani” – Do your duty and be detached from its outcome, do not be driven by the end product, enjoy the process of getting there. (The Bhagavad Gita)


As a consultant, What is expected of you? Where you able to deliver the expected?

I guess if we know what is expected of us and we deliver as expected, then there is no debate that appreciation of this achievement is only a farce since there is nothing special attributed to the achievement. But if there were significant deliverables, tangible  or intangible, it is then when you have done something beyond the expectation.

The problem with most of us today is the desperate need to be appreciated.

I have personally been in that phase of my professional life (esp. to the start of the career) when I was obsessed with getting my work to be in the limelight. There was a need driven towards being recognized. It was desperate times and when I look back at it now, it was because that was the only way to grow. The secret was ‘To be Recognized, you need to highlight’.

But to that secret there are two tangents. You could either bluff to an audience to whom what you said was new (typical sales with ciphered jargon)  or present to an audience who understands and hence appreciates. I am sure we know numerous examples from our very own lives who you can associate with these tangents.

Anyway, ignoring the negatives; it is true that today success is part Soft skills and part Core skills. You need to maintain you soft skills along with your technical skills to emerge as a good consultant. To make the right people aware about your (significant) achievements  in the ‘right manner and at the right time’ is an attribute to success. 


“The World’s Number-One Product is also you, and no  one can sell you better than yourself – when you know how.” – How to Sell yourself (Joe Girard)


Now let me present a scenario;

There are two teams in a project. Team A has been right on track from the start. They have been apt on their design, they have spend efforts on QA of the code and unit tested it well. Team B on the other hand did miss some of the activities. 

At one stage, suddenly it is observed that there has been some issues with the code from Team B. The matter is escalated, the management gets involved, there is a huge hue and cry, huge efforts are spend and finally the code is fixed.

In the following days, Team B is hailed as a team that has shown commendable competence in fixing the issue. All the while Team A is never in the limelight and even some say for Team A their work was too easy, that’s why there were never issues.


Now think about it… give it a while. Is this a common scene today during the delivering of projects?

The questions that come to my mind are;

1. Why is it that a majority of human beings think that the objective was simple when there was a smooth delivery of the end product?

2. Why is it that when there is a problem and it is resolved we forgot what actually caused the problem? 


Maybe its the human psychology… we need to be reminded of what we do and what others do?Is it that its about sensations? A product that went through a smooth delivery in its life cycle ceases to be termed as a significant achievement? Is it because TeamA didnt highlight their achievement when it was in turn a significant one? Or is it that the management never took interest in understanding the significance?

(maybe here is where the ideal manager can be of help?)


“Catch someone doing something right.” – Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson


The case of the tangents?

Positive tangent – Do your work and highlight the significance

Negative tangent – Fool the crowd or get lucky when you do things wrong, you fix your mistakes and then you emerge a hero


All this now makes me come back to the verse from the Gita. Should we do our duty and be detached from its outcome?  Is it ideal in the cut throat competitive world we live in?

Well I think  maybe its beyond what you achieve as your duty. The truth is I dont know. But guess it’s food for thought !!!

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi Shabarish,

      I completely agree that Projects which don't create noise and go on smooth over the entire SDLC are very rarely noticed / rewarded.

      May be on these lines i would like to quote "The most important/ultimate reward for all the toils is not what you get by it but what you become by it". Easy said than done though 🙂

      Sudharshan N a

      Author's profile photo Shabarish Vijayakumar
      Shabarish Vijayakumar
      Blog Post Author
      I consider its a shame that good work is at times overlooked because it was smoothly executed.
      Maybe the management should incline more about understanding the effort and appreciate the delivery.

      At times such ignorance from the higher levels can disappoint and demotivate an entire team !!

      Also on the other hand team should also make sure they keep the management informed of the work and the achievements