April 2012 is a remarkable month for my career in Monsanto and in my life too! I received a big time blessing, God finally rewarded me with promotion to a managerial level, finally! Truely God has his own wonderful ways for me to get there!

Looking back, as I read my journal notes last April 14 2012, I remember Queen Esther’s story before she was crowned as a queen. There are preparations, waiting times and sacrifices before God finally crown her as a queen… And because, she obey God and she chose to honor God, God’s will for her life happened exactly, and even more than she expected it to be. Favor surrounds her. That how God is… He always surpassed our dreams and expectations.

Two years ago, I’ve been desperately longing for promotion breakthrough in my career. Monsanto managers feedback about me is that me being soft spoken, shy, quite hinders my promotion. They told me that I need to improve on this. When I heard this, I don’t have any idea on how can i improve on this, how can i transform myself to become extrovert and loud, when i know very well, that I don’t have that kind of personality, that’s not God how designed me. But God has amazing ways, one day, He called me to pursue Master in Business Management in University of the Philippines – Manila. It’s out of my personal long term plans. There I gain more confidence, knowledge and wisdom. I’ve learned so much from my 2 years MBA experience in UP. Along with that, I even didn’t noticed how God transform me into a more confident, expressive, stronger, woman… Though I don’t have to change my personality (because this is really impossible), nor be hard at people (this is not necessary to be a
good leader, and this is not the kind of leadership that God want), I believe I  gained respect in the workplace.

World’s view is different from Word’s (Bible) view. God places kings and queens in His Kingdom! I believe He can do the same thing with us. I believe that God
promoted me at this point of time because He wants me to fulfill His purpose in my life. That is to honor Him and be a blessing to every nation.

Like Queen Esther, “So he set a royal crown on her head and made her a queen.” Esther was surrounded with favor ever since the search for a queen begun. From an ordinary lady in her town to being the Queen of the land, who saves her people. Only God can do this kind of transformation. That is when we allow Him to change us and allow her to work in our behalf.

Why talented people leave companies?

Largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization, Why do talented employees leave companies?

Come to think of it. This is almost 100% true. Read below & find out the answer.

Early this year, Arun, an old friend who is a senior software designer,   got an offer from a prestigious international firm to work in its India operations developing specialized software. He was thrilled by the offer.   He had heard a lot about the CEO of this company, a charismatic man often   quoted in the business press for his visionary attitude.

The salary was great. The company had all the right systems in place employee-friendly Human Resources (HR) policies, a spanking new office,   the very best technology, even a canteen that served superb food. Twice Arun was sent abroad for training. “My learning curve is the sharpest it’s ever been,” he said soon after he joined. “It’s a real high working with such cutting edge technology.”

Image Last week, less than eight months after he joined, Arun walked out of the job. He has no other offer in hand but he said he couldn’t take it anymore.  Nor, apparently, could several other people in his department who have also quit recently. The CEO is distressed about the high employee turnover.

He’s distressed about the money he’s spent in training them. He’s distressed because he can’t figure out what happened. Why did this talented employee leave despite a top salary? Arun quit for the same reason that drives many good people away. The answer lies in one of the largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization.

The study surveyed over a million employees and 80,000 managers and was published in a book called First Break All The Rules.

It came up with this surprising finding: If you’re losing good people, look to their immediate supervisor. More than any other single reason, he is the reason people stay and thrive in an organization. And he’s the reason why they quit, taking their knowledge, experience and contacts with them.  Often, straight to the competition.

“People leave managers not companies,” write the authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. “So much money has been thrown at the challenge of keeping good people – in the form of better pay, better perks and  better training – when, in the end, turnover is mostly a manager issue.”  If you have a turnover problem, look first to your managers. Are they driving people away?

Beyond a point, an employee’s primary need has less to do with money,  and more to do with how he’s treated and how valued he feels. Much of this depends directly on the immediate manager. And yet, bad bosses seem to happen to good people everywhere. A Fortune magazine survey some years ago found that nearly 75 per cent of employees have suffered at the hands of difficult superiors. You can leave one job to find – you guessed it,   another wolf in a pin-stripe suit in the next one.

Of all the workplace stressors, a bad boss is possibly the worst,  directly impacting the emotional health and productivity of employees.

Here are some all-too common tales from the battlefield:

Dev, an engineer, still shudders as he recalls the almost daily firings his boss subjected him to, usually in front of his subordinates. His boss emasculated him with personal, insulting remarks. In the face of such rage, Dev completely lost the courage to speak up. But when he reached home depressed, he poured himself a few drinks, and magically, became as abusive as the boss himself. Only, it would come out on his wife and children. Not only was his work life in the doldrums, his marriage began cracking up  too.

Another employee Rajat recalls the Chinese torture his boss put him through after a minor disagreement. He cut him off completely. He bypassed him in any decision that needed to be taken. “He stopped sending me any papers or files,” says Rajat. “It was humiliating sitting at an empty table. I knew nothing and no one told me anything.” Unable to bear this corporate Siberia, he finally quit.

HR experts say that of all the abuses, employees find public humiliation the most intolerable. The first time, an employee may not leave, but a thought has been planted. The second time, that thought gets strengthened. The third time, he starts looking for another job.

When people cannot retort openly in anger, they do so by passive aggression. By digging their heels in and slowing down. By doing only what they are told to do and no more. By omitting to give the boss crucial information. Dev says: “If you work for a jerk, you basically want to get  him into trouble. You don’t have your heart and soul in the job.”    Different managers can stress out employees in different ways – by being too controlling, too suspicious, too pushy, too critical, and too nit-picky. But they forget that workers are not fixed assets, they are free agents.

When this goes on too long, an employee will quit -often over seemingly trivial issue. It isn’t the 100th blow that knocks a good man down. It’s the 99 that went before. And while it’s true that people leave jobs for all  kinds of reasons – for better opportunities or for circumstantial reasons,  many who leave would have stayed – had it not been for one man constantly  telling them, as Arun’s boss did: “You are dispensable. I can find dozens like you.

While it seems like there are plenty of other fish especially in  today’s waters, consider for a moment the cost of losing a talented  employee. There’s the cost of finding a replacement. The cost of training the replacement.  The cost of not having someone to do the job in the meantime. The loss of clients and contacts the person had with the industry.  The loss of morale in co-workers. The loss of trade secrets this person may now share with others.

Plus, of course, the loss of the company’s reputation. Every person who leaves a corporation then becomes its ambassador, for better or for worse.   We all know of large IT companies that people would love to join and large television companies few want to go near. In both cases, former employees  have left to tell their tales.

“Any company trying to compete must figure out a way to engage the mind of every employee,” Jack Welch of GE once said. Much of a company’s value lies “between the ears of its employees”. If it’s! bleeding talent, it’s bleeding value. Unfortunately, many senior executives busy traveling the world, signing new deals and developing a vision for the company, have little idea of what may be going on at home.

That deep within an organization that otherwise does all the right things, one man could be driving its best people away.

Source: Leadership Wired by John Maxwell

Academic Excellence Award from UP

I was surprised when I received an e-mail invitation from Miss Julie (CAS Graduate School Registrar) regarding Scholarship Convocation Event on February 24, 2012 in University of the Philippines Manila. According to the e-mail, we will be receiving an Academic Excellence Award as College/University Scholar. At first, i thought it was nothing, because almost everyone will receive the award.  But when I went to Miss Julie’s office and confirm my attendance, I knew that i will be receiving two awards the college scholar (GWA 1.26-1.45) and University scholar (GWA 1-1.25). I was really overwhelmed, went home with so much joy in my heart.

“I just can’t thank God enough, for His wisdom, favor and power in this endeavor.” I can’t do this  grad school journey without Gods power at work in me. I owe it all to God.

Never Fall in Love with your company

This speech from Narayana Murthy, makes a lot of sense. I’ve been in the coroporate world for almost 10 years now, and I see people come and go, whether it’s a personal decision to resign and move into new company for better opportunity, or a force resignation, due to company’s reorganization. I applied this, I love my job, because it’s a gift, a blessing from God, I work as if as I work for the Lord, but I try not to fall in love with my company.


Mr. Narayana Murthy is undoubtedly one of the most famous persons from Karnataka. He is known not just for building the biggest IT empire in Indiabut also for his simplicity. Almost every important dignitary visits Infosys campus. He delivered an interesting speech during an employee session with another IT company in India. He is incidentally, one of the top 50 Influential people of Asiaaccording to an Asiaweek publication and also the new IT Advisor to the Thailand Prime Minister.

Extract of Mr. Narayana Murthy’s Speech during Mentor Session : I know people who work 12 hours a day, six days a week, or more. Some people do so because of a work emergency where the long hours are only temporary.Other people I know have put in these hours for years. I don’t know if they are working all these hours, but I do know they are in the office
this long. Others put in long office hours because they are addicted to the workplace.

Whatever the reason for putting in overtime, working long hours over the long term is harmful to the person and to the organization. There are things managers can do to change this for everyone’s benefit. Being in the office long hours, over long periods of time, makes way for potential errors. My colleagues who are in the office long hours frequently make
mistakes caused by fatigue.

Correcting these mistakes requires their time as well as the time and energy of others. I have seen people work Tuesday through Friday to correct mistakes made after 5 PM on Monday. Another problem is that people who are in the office long hours are not pleasant company. They often complain about other people (who aren’t working as hard); they are
irritable, or cranky, or even angry. Other people avoid them. Such behavior poses problems, where work goes much better when people work together instead of avoiding one another.

As Managers, there are things we can do to help people leave the office. First and foremost is to set the example and go home ourselves. I work with a manager who chides people for working long hours. His words quickly lose their meaning when he sends these chiding group e-mails with a time-stamp of 2 AM, Sunday.

Second is to encourage people to put some balance in their lives. For instance, here is a guideline I find helpful:
1) Wake up, eat a good breakfast, and go to work.
2) Work hard and smart for eight or nine hours.
3) Go home.
4) Read the books/comics, watch a funny movie, dig in the dirt, play with
your kids, etc.
5) Eat well and sleep well.

This is called recreating. Doing steps 1, 3, 4, and 5 enable step 2. Working regular hours and recreating daily are simple concepts. They are hard for some of us because that requires ‘personal change’. They are possible since we all have the power to choose to do them.

In considering the issue of overtime, I am reminded of my oldest son. When he was a toddler, if people were visiting the apartment, he would not fall asleep no matter how long the visit, and no matter what time of day it was. He would fight off sleep until the visitors left.It was as if he was afraid that he would miss something. Once our visitors’ left, he would go to sleep.

By this time, however, he was over tired and would scream through half the night with nightmares. He, my wife, and I, all paid the price for his fear of missing out. Perhaps some people put in such long hours because they don’t want to miss anything when they leave the office. The trouble with this is that events will never stop happening. That is life !! Things happen 24 hours a day. Allowing for little rest is not ultimately practical. So, take a nap. Things will happen while you’re asleep, but you will have the energy to catch up when you wake.