Warning! Long post…read at your own risk.
When we were being taught about management skills and principles we generally snorted at team work, coordination and cooperation. I have often seen government officers following autocracy, like they indulged during colonial rule. I have seen software professionals; some of them are capable of doing the work of three to four persons alone. I have never seen them staying in office beyond 5:30. Sooner or later they are given the recognition due to them. That they meet the deadlines without overstaying. Where does that leave for team spirit and team playing? Most of the time, a PL or GL are hovering on your head, asking, “Hun, now what? How much progress?” If this PL or GL is satisfied with you, your requirements are taken care of. Otherwise you will be doing insignificant projects, your PC will not be updated and what not……..And the less is said about HR people the better it is.
All this made me very skeptical about team spirit. I never knew, watching a programme on TV will leave a positive impact. I was watching “Moonwalk” on history channel. They were showing Neil Armstrong and his walk on moon, and then they followed it up with the story of “Apollo 13.”
Apollo 13 was launched on April 11 1970. It was the third mission aimed at landing two astronauts on the Moon. After 55:55 minutes into the mission, the crew reported hearing a loud ‘bang’. This was followed by a rapid loss of oxygen and power. From this point onward the mission was no longer about landing men on the moon; it was about returning the three astronauts safely to earth in a spacecraft that was slowly abandoning its friends.
It seemed the crew members were about to be condemned to a journey till eternity, orbiting the universe, just like an inanimate satellite. But what unfolded in front of the TV screen was the finest example of team spirit, courage, cooperation and coordination. The very concepts I kept ridiculing till date.
I felt a little guilty and ashamed of myself. If there were not hundreds of engineers, flight controllers, programmers………………what would have happened to the crew members? What we know and see are few astronauts!! How each and every one was interested in the safe landing of the crew. How the whole of America’s technocrats were putting their heads together to find a solution to the problem. (After that “successful failure”, some of them asked, “Don’t you have a suicide capsule for such situations!?”) Most of the ex-NASA staff was there, just to ask if they could have been of any help.
They were determined to maintain the record, that NO American life was lost in the space.”
What the leader of a country (a sworn enemy of USA at that time) did and said? “Premier Aleksei N. Kosygin sent a message saying: “I want to inform you (U.S. Government) the Soviet Government has given orders to all citizens and members of the armed forces to use all necessary means to render assistance in the rescue of the American (Apollo 13) astronauts.” And here, what our own Foreign Minister is doing and saying! Its another example of team work perhaps!
What I read in “The Asian Age” about out esteemed Foreign Minister Mr. Natwar Singh.
New Delhi, July 26: India has been singled out for a strict warning from the captors of the seven truck drivers, including three Indians, not to make any irresponsible comments against the mujahideen battling US occupation forces in Iraq if it wants to save the lives of its nationals. The warning is a clear reference to external affairs minister K. Natwar Singh’s statement on Saturday that the kidnappers did not appear to be a political group, “but some irresponsible persons who are doing it for monetary gain.”…………………………………………
The brother of hostage Sukhdev Singh told The Asian Age in Chandigarh on Sunday that the family had become even more concerned about the safety of their kin after Mr Natwar Singh’s statement that the captors were petty criminals. The brother asked, “To what purpose is the mantri making such statements?”
At a time when our minister should tread every step very carefully, by his irresponsible (but when does he act responsible?!) utterances he is not only making the task of the negotiators difficult, he is also jeopardizing the lives of the hostages.