The Ethical Manager
My last evaluative moral lesson was when I was 13 and had to write an incident that described the importance of values. I had chosen the Eklavya incident and earned a well deserved A+ for it. I was a kid back then and surely understood why the subject was taught to us in the first place.
Fast forward to now, when I have begun my MBA journey in the Campus in Clouds, IIM Shillong. Here at IIM Shillong, we participants (yes, that is the title we use instead of ‘students’, because we literally are participants in a process of knowledge accumulation) are exposed to a wonderful course on sustainability. Our first footsteps into the organization are literally marked upon by this wonderful initiative that aims at making Green Managers of us. The week long course has faculty teaching us about inclusive growth of companies through subjects like Economics, Accounts, Marketing, Operations etc.
Through the next two years of learning the above subjects, we remain focused on learning the importance of introducing green practices in whatever company we would be affiliated with.
Just when we finished our Sustainability Course, we became acquainted with our core subjects. Accounts was making the eyes of engineers bleed, and Marketing clearly not a piece of cake. Amidst all the chaos, we found two stretches of grass. Grass to land our feet, during what was, the most testing time of our lives. They are two subjects-Behavioral Studies and Self and Leadership Communication, that were introduced. And with that came, an amazing faculty. They popularly say that each of our class amounts to some Rs. 4000. With time, these sessions became priceless.
The technical knowledge of these subjects come with some amazing insights from these ambassadors of illumination-Prof S. Kakoti and Prof R. Dwivedi.
Why teach participants the 10 rules of effective communication, when they can see the movie- The Great Debaters, and learn themselves? Why not use study groups as an example of solidarity and even enforce it if needed, through a series of tasks? Why read conventional text books when the point could be driven through the story of Jonathon Seagull or maintaining daily journals.
If any of us were to question the syllabus, and why we were being taught moral Science at the age of 24, we were disillusioned. We very much need this. One forgets what is being taught to them, they do not and cannot forget the values inculcated in them. We are being taught the wonderful values of solidarity, inter personal relationships, sense-making and perception.
We are encouraged to think disruptively, rely on self-values and to have a purpose. What we have been taught to bring to the organization we join? Ethics. We have had behavioral sessions where we described in depth, stories that we had never shared before. That day became the day 62 individuals collectively became a class. We presented our insight about the class in one session. We described in detail the journey we took to become who we are as a class. We talked about ups and lows, we talked about our perceptions. We became “we”.
You can make a manager out of a man. Can you make a man out of a manager? And to answer this question- we are being taught these values.
Every speaker who comes to our university, describe how proud they are about their company values. Our first summer internship interview is purely on who we are individuals. If we can pass the litmus test of proving to be a human being. We are done!
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.
About the Author:
Class of 2019