Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Management Lessons from Tintin

The Wanderer

Tintin is one of the very few comic strips that allured and engaged the readers of all ages and backgrounds. The storyline and backdrop of each adventure exposed the post WW II social, political and geographical movements. 
In a way, this young Belgian journalist took the readers to almost all the continents - From Russia to Syldavia (Balkan), from India to San Theodoros (Latin America) and from Congo to China. Through this fascinating journey, often studded with perilous adventures, Tintin comics always brought smiles and laughter through humor and exposed readers to unventured parts of the world, while also subtly supplying guidelines to deal with practical situations.
While writing ten bullet points for the corporate compass grabbers, I thought of stealing a few screenshots from the examples, figuratively articulated by the creative genius Hergé.

10 keys to success, straight from Tintin comics:

1.     Be a good listener. (politically incorrect joke alert!) ... The reason why deaf people are mostly dumb is obvious! One needs to listen carefully, before getting into action. Partial or rudimentary comprehension may have catastrophic effects on your career!

     2. Be personally nice: The way some corporate managers function, it sometimes becomes hard to keep your composure! However, deal with people with the calm cool voice of reason, dousing your anger later.


3.     Respect Social norms: In simpler words, be a Roman while in Rome. It not only increases your acceptability, it does give you an opportunity to taste an alternative lifestyle.

4.       4. Be brave to fight the deceitful! There is a thin line between courage and stupidity. Yet, sometimes when a herd of insecure incompetent people deter the development, it is necessary to stand up and protest. Try to stretch yourself to the maximum without crossing the said line.

5.       Do not attempt to convince stupid people. They tend to disbelieve your achievements based on their stupendous ignorance and sheer lack of contemplation. This often hurts.

6.      6. Evaluate all upcoming initiatives. Every initiative has its merits and demerits. Look at both sides before jumping to conclusion.

7.      Comprehend the philosophy behind Management Tools before using them. Management Tools are sometimes products of noble insights. However, applying them mechanically will lead nowhere. Tools are there to reduce the time of execution, not the time and efforts of thinking, as an exercise.

8.       Remember Murphy’s law. Always have backup plans in anticipation of things going wrong. There is no fool proof disaster recovery mechanism in real world.

9.       Not all sincere efforts will bring satisfactory results. Be courteous enough to appreciate the enthusiasm of individuals.

10.   Expect the biggest reward in life for a trivial contribution. Remember, awards are granted when the awarder’s personal propaganda is boosted. The theory of relativity did not get the Nobel for Einstein.

The Wanderer is a New York City based financial industry advisor, employed in a multinational management consulting firm. An avid lover of people, art and literature; he has traveled many countries across continents and has worked with professionals of varied nationalities and backgrounds. His spends his unbilled time traveling, reading and writing.

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