Don’t dig your own grave

I have seen people who are very enthusiastic, work very hard and are smart enough. They come up with interesting ideas and share with the team and earn lot of respect from their team members.

Mr. Grumble is one such smart guy, who comes up with new ideas, is always proactive and innovative. Reads a lot on internet and books which is reflected in his work as well. He was appreciated for whatever he did, from clients and even from development teams for making their tasks easier in terms of deployment and through pair testing with developers. As a result, he was very confident of getting a good raise and\or a promotion. But what was shown to him was a Bell curve and Normalization theory. Mr. Grumble was totally upset and he decided not try out anything new.”Why should I innovate and implement new ideas when I am not appreciated with a good raise”. He lost his interest in reading, learning new stuff, or researching tasks like he did earlier.  Mr. Grumble was dumb. He did not know how to project his tasks in numbers (MBN – Management by Numbers). But Mr. Mumble understood just numbers.

Some of us are like Mr. Grumble and some are like Mr. Mumble. Honestly, which one do you want to be? If I were you, I would choose neither 😀

Did you realize that Mr. Grumble dug his own grave by setting high expectation and rewards to himself? When his expectations weren’t met, he stopped himself from learning anything at all. Mr. Mumble is no where responsible, it’s Grumble who chose to bring this turmoil on himself. He did great work, but set unreasonable expectations too. It would have been better if he set a goal for himself and be his own judge instead of expecting others to reward his work. The best way to celebrate ones achievements is by gifting to oneself. It could be a beer, cappuccino or a chicken pizza. This way, Mr. Grumble could have continued to be his usual best and still be happy with whatever he gets in his professional life.

And yes rewards are definitely waiting for you. I started this blog just to write down my understanding on automation for my own reference and an alternative way to show my skills than doing a useless certification. Look! Now I am dancing in James Bach’s blogs and Vipul Kocher’s blog.

There are people out there to appreciate and motivate. I was stunned and really didn’t know how to react when James in Skype asked “I need to know your name for the purpose of adding your blog to my blogroll and also I want to blog about you”. I somehow typed my name correctly and then typed “Thanks” and “I am honored”. I am yet to find words for James’s reply  “ I thank you for giving me something to praise” .So they are great soul like James Bach,Satisfice Inc, Vipul Kocher ,Co Founder of Puretesting and many others looking for passionate testers  to appreciate the effort and motivate you. So, don’t worry about Mr. Mumble, his mumbling will hardly be heard anyway.

Set your own goals and appraise yourself before someone else does it for you. Bell curves are just that, making lot of noise with the wind, but of no long term use.

Jerry Weinberg reading my post and amplifying it on his blog is the greatest appraisal I can get (for)ever. I am blessed

A Disclaimer here: I am not blaming everyone, there are exceptions

Happy Appraisal!

Dhanasekar S



8 thoughts on “Don’t dig your own grave

  1. There is small point that all of us seem to miss! I have been going through a course on management and I learnt that bell curves are not mean to be (mis)used like they are! I will avoid going into the details for now, but to cut a long story short, most managers forget that their primary job is keeping employees motivated and let that take care of the “numbers”!

  2. Congratulations D.S., your posts are very thought provoking. Its a real honour to be added in Mr James Blog roll & be amplified by Jerry Weinberg.

    Keep it up.


    1. Thanks Jassi 🙂 I started this blog to improve my learning and writing. I am so happy and surprised by the recognition I received. All credit goes to context driven testing community.

  3. Hi DS,

    I greatly believe and I am in par with your attitude.

    “Do not live for what others want you to accomplish; live for what you want to accomplish”

  4. Totally agree to this ‘The best way to celebrate ones achievements is by gifting to oneself ‘.
    Its sad though, that most don’t realize this until after they have suffered a couple of times at least!
    Working for our own satisfaction and not to meet or exceed others expectations is what will give us our true rewards! Congrats to you for getting your rewards 🙂

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