The Golden Rule for Empowering Professional Relationships
The Golden Rule offers time tested ideas and techniques that can empower your professional relationships.
It is the engaging story – non-fiction that reads like fiction – of a group of earnest non-Christian professionals who embark on a journey of discovery. Their mission is to find a role model for their wayward professional lives. Their search culminates in an encounter with a role model beyond compare – JESUS CHRIST – the supermodel. He is not seen as a religious or a spiritual leader but as an outstanding leader who walks tall, a powerful communicator who touches minds and hearts and a peerless teacher who influences by example.
As you make this monumental journey with them, you will uncover secrets, unlearn past programming and make a radical shift in the way you act, react and interact. If you’re looking for a book that has the power to transform you, here it is: The Golden Rule for Empowering Professional Relationships.
The life and times of Jesus Christ have been analyzed from many perspectives, but never before so comprehensively from that of the corporate world and professional relationships, as in The Golden Rule for Empowering Professional Relationships.
Ignatius Fernandez has produced a scholarly and absorbing analysis of how Jesus Christ’s behavior sets an example, not just for our personal lives, but also for our professional conduct, and gives a compelling and rigorous account of how Jesus was in fact the definitive leader in every respect.
Set within the context of a modern India boardroom, Ignatius Fernandez describes, from a practical, non-aligned standpoint, how the time-honored texts of Christianity reveal just how effectively Jesus conducted the business of his Mission, and serve as a comprehensive manual for modern corporate practices.
From skillful deployment of the spectrum of leadership styles, only recently re-discovered and re-articulated in the best-sellers of today’s business gurus, through to effective communications, marketing, teamwork, recruitment, delegation, performance management, and work-life balance, The Golden Rule systematically reveals, with meticulous reference to the actual events recorded in the Gospels, just how far Jesus Christ set the standards in these management fields, and how much there is to learn from his example.
This unique insight makes a novel and seminal contribution to our understanding both of business management, and of the politics of Jesus Christ’s own times, in which the parallels to our modern corporate world are only too recognizable.
The conclusion of the piece, delivered at the climax of a cleverly crafted plot which keeps the pages turning, is at once a revelation and a time-honored truth. The Golden Rule is a maxim to which many pay lip service, while failing to understand its immensely powerful potential for our personal and professional lives. It is at once a lesson and a guide for our daily existence, as well as a sure means of delivering the win-win scenarios which are the true definition of business success.
Paul Sellers, British Council, Italy.
“Assuredly nobody will care for him who cares for nobody.” Thomas Jefferson.
Bangalore is about 200 miles from Chennai (earlier known as Madras), India. It is a short journey by train. Susan was planning to make that trip and was packing a few belongings and gifts for her visit to Bangalore. She was to leave town for two days. James, Alex’s brother, had bought a new apartment in Bangalore and was moving in. He had invited Alex and his family to join him in the celebrations. Alex could not go. He had important customers due on Saturday, though it was the weekend. Susan and son Antony would go instead. They would leave on Friday night and return on Monday morning. Antony would have to skip a day at school, if they arrived late. The prospect pleased him.
Alex was reconciled to the idea of spending the weekend alone. Catching up on some reading and dashing off some personal mails. His plans would soon go awry. On Friday morning, Victor checked in but left in a hurry. He was not feeling well. He called Alex and made his excuses. The meeting scheduled for Friday afternoon would have to be rescheduled. Would he please explain to the other VPs? Maya would call each of the others and do some explaining.
“We’ll have to fix another time.” Victor was apologetic.
“No problem,” Alex reassured him. And inquired: “How would Sunday suit you?”
“That should be fine by me. We’ll have to check with the others.”
“Susan is out of town and I am alone. Perhaps we could meet at my place. We’ll be left to ourselves.”
“That is superb. But check with the others.”
“Maya will call you at home and get your approval after we have sounded out the others”, Alex suggested.
“Okay.” Victor hung up.
So Sunday it was. They were to meet at Alex’s house in the morning and freewheel. The discussion could just go on and on. There would be no order or sequence in the discussion; just random thoughts, expressed without inhibition. Joseph would stand by to fetch them short-eats, tea and other odds and ends, to keep body fires burning.
At 11-05, the meeting started with Victor apologizing for the postponement. He hinted that the rescheduling could have given them, very providentially, more time to read the New Testament and the other reading material that he had given them. He requested Deepak to make notes.
“Out of some evil much good comes,” he philosophized.
“Yes, I read through Mathew and Mark and the other sheets,” Deepak announced.
“I also have read those.” Andy joined in.
“I am one step ahead. I read Mathew, Mark and Luke, besides the other papers.” Sammy scored.
“I have read the Gospels many times. My mother saw to it. But I have not reflected on it the way Victor has.” Alex was modest.
Only Gaps had not spoken. All eyes turned to him. With customary caution he began.
“You see, when we spoke on Wednesday I was rather abrupt. Rather unprofessional. Victor’s note struck a chord in me. I argued with myself. After all we were not into a religious discourse; we were looking at only professional stuff. Could we find something in Jesus? Jesus could be wise. What was wrong in looking at his wisdom, if he had some to offer? I convinced myself that I was wrong. I owe you an apology for my terse reactions. Now, to give you proof of my goodwill let me tell you, like Victor, I read the four Gospels and the extra sheets he gave us.”
Victor put his hands together and started a slow clap. The others joined in. The applause was spontaneous. Gaps colored. Putting up his hands he said: “Thank you. You are kind.”
“Now that we have started well, why not Gaps lead the discussion?” Victor suggested.
Gaps protested and so did other VPs. Victor should lead. And that stayed.
“Okay, the team decision will be honored.” Victor gave in.
“So how shall we put points together?” he asked cleverly, ensuring that the lead went back to his team.
“Perhaps by attempting a 360o appraisal of Jesus,” Deepak proposed.
“That is brilliant, absolutely brilliant; no better way to do it.” Victor was bullish on the idea.
“That’s a great idea,” Andy echoed.
“So why don’t you start, Deepak?” Victor urged.
“A word of caution: since we do not know how the 360o appraisal is administered in India, we have to be rather careful in stating our opinions. In applying the system, we are not even novices. So let us go about it cautiously. It may seem okay because we are looking at a person in history. Even so, we have to be fair in our assessment.” Deepak was solemn.
“Said like a true HR man,” Alex complimented.
“The 90o appraisal is not possible because Jesus reported to no one. For feedback from peers, teammates and customers, we have plenty of evidence in the Gospels.” Deepak looked for support. And heads nodded.
Victor stepped in: “Unless, we place Pilate, the Roman Governor, in the role of a superior.”
Alex spoke up: “Even if we do, Pilate found no fault in Jesus. He was visibly impressed with his regal behavior, and tried hard to set him free. Because Pilate was a coward he succumbed to public pressure.”
Gaps shared an insight: “You are right, Alex. What struck me in the four Gospels is that Pontus Pilate the Roman Governor, a very senior professional in the Roman hierarchy, is not the one who inspires us (professionals), but the one he condemned to crucifixion and death. Pilate the professional is dwarfed in the presence of the super-professional, Jesus. The irony is confounding.”
“That is a profound observation, Gaps,” Victor admiringly stated.
“So, the first quadrant gets ‘favorable’ remarks. Is that okay by all?” Deepak was looking for quick general agreement. There were approving glances.
But Andy interjected: “Are we not rushing it?”
To which Victor replied: “You are right. But these are only our first thoughts on the subject.”
Deepak continued: “To my mind we should begin with his teammates. What did they have to say? That is, if we categorize the apostles as subordinates”.
“To help us along I have flagged pages and underlined some passages,” Sammy offered support.
“We should learn to do our homework like Sammy,” Victor applauded.
“Not only Sammy, I also have used a highlighter for important passages.” Gaps took a spot of glory, as approving smiles greeted him.
“What struck me about Jesus was his strong conviction,” Andy initiated.
“Reminds me of the words of Robert Townsend of Avis: ‘Things get done in our society because of a man or woman with conviction,’” Victor supported Andy’s statement; and continued: “Unlike us who buckle under threats or who yield to pressure, Jesus stood firm. Threats to his person, ridicule from important people, fear that his disciples would leave him – none of these made Jesus change his beliefs and teaching. His resolve was firm. And his actions reinforced his words. He was consistent. That is a lesson for us.”
“Perhaps his maturity stood out,” Andy suggested.
“What would you call maturity?” Sammy interrogated.
“On behalf of Andy I’ll try and answer that. I cannot offer a comprehensive definition. To my mind maturity is a happy mix of conviction and empathy. The mature person decides and acts with conviction that blends with consideration for other people”. Deepak came to Andy’s rescue.
“By that standard are we mature?” Alex asked, fishing for some feedback from Victor on his appraisal.
“We shall certainly discuss that when we come to our appraisals. For now, let us check how Jesus measures on the maturity scale.” Victor tactfully answered him. “Was he mature? Did he combine conviction with empathy?” Victor probed.
“Loads of it,” Sammy replied confidently. “The word ‘compassion’ is repeated so often in the Gospels. A compassionate person empathizes. Of that we have no doubt,” Sammy continued, with shop-floor experience.
“The Gospels use the word compassion often. But I like to believe that the writers really meant empathy. When one has compassion, pity for the plight of the suffering person follows and there is a desire to pour out succour to the one suffering; not quite checking if he wants to receive it the way it is given. One tends to lose sight of the receiver’s self-respect, when pity motivates the act. In empathy, there is feeling of a higher order. One tends to identify oneself with the suffering person, and visualize his feelings, his experience. One becomes more sensitive to the way the other person feels. Put simply, one gets into his shoes. Then one does not force down help. Instead one checks how the person in need would want it. That is precisely how Jesus acted when anyone came to him for help. He asked the suffering person what he wanted. Only then did he respond. And he responded promptly. He responded the way the suffering person sought succor. He empathized. In contrast, what do we do? We extend help grudgingly, take credit for it, and show no concern for the person we tried to help. Did he benefit from the help we gave? It does not concern us.” They all heard Deepak with great admiration.
“Deepak, you picture us as heartless people. But that is a fact. We really do not care enough.” Andy said, thoughtfully.
“Even those who teased him with awkward questions were not answered in anger, though he fittingly replied them,” Gaps joined in.
“Look at the way he managed his apostles; his team,” Sammy added.
“Who were these men? Ordinary fisher folk whom he transformed,” he continued.
“He used Situational Management. Not a fixed style; always adapting to the situation and the person; understanding the needs of the apostle and serving that need.” Victor recalled what Alex had told him a few days ago on the Situational Management style that he was trying to adopt.
“ Deepak’s check-list will have all these points, no doubt,” Victor announced.
“Let us not drift. We’ll keep to what we wanted to examine. What his subordinates, the apostles had to say of him,” Deepak corrected course.
“Deepak, we want to stay on course. But since we are freewheeling let our thoughts take us along for a while.” Victor pleaded.
“Right then, what is it going to be?” Deepak questioned.
“Look at us; you, Alex and me; in fact all of us. Our high priced shoes, expensive branded suits, classy ties, cell phones, computers, credit cards, business class air travel, five-star hotel stay, holiday resorts and bulging wallets. Not forgetting our fancy designations and flashy cars; all our props. What would we be without these props? How effective would we be? How would others see us? How would we see ourselves? Chances are that we are seen as pretenders. ” Victor stressed his words, in a challenging mood.
There was a pregnant pause as each let his thoughts roam. What would it really look like, bereft of executive-trappings? Look like hollow men in branded clothes; weird.
“Almost naked,” Alex said despondently.
“Naked! What a thought?” Gaps shuddered.
“And look at Jesus. He wore the simplest of clothes. No proper place to lodge; wandering gypsy-like from village to village, town to town; and yet he stayed focused; fully focused and gained more respect than we do.” Victor spoke with feeling.
“But that was a very different period.” Andy halted Victor.
“You are right. But think of it. Surely there were others more ceremoniously dressed, with titles to their names and an animal to move around; a mule or a horse. Many had a better living standard and some cash to spend. Jesus had none of these and gained more respect than those who had much. What was his secret?” Victor would not give up.
“That is a fine way of looking at it,” Sammy agreed.
“What was his secret?” Victor repeated.
“His charisma, his character and his personality, accounted for it,” Sammy suggested, and continued: “His character being sober, dignified and dependable, he built trust. His charisma was such that when he said: ‘Follow me’, they followed him. Not just the fisherman, but also the tax collector. His personality was seen in consistently mature behaviour in different situations.”
“He radiated confidence, which came from deep inside. No bravado. He spoke with authority. So, the people said. He was accessible to the poor and the rich. Perhaps those qualities gave him strong charismatic appeal.” Gaps expanded.
“Peter Drucker had much to say on character. A person without character destroys. He destroys people, destroys spirit and destroys performance.” Drucker was a favorite with Deepak.
“That is why the character of Jesus drew people to him. His character made him stand out among others who were mostly pretenders and power brokers.” Andy reasoned.
“That is true.” Victor affirmed.
“So he stood tall even without props. We need all our props because we lack his sterling qualities. Would that be safe to assume?” Sammy questioned.
“I agree. After reading the Gospels we seem more like pygmies in the presence of a giant,” Andy admitted modestly.
“Can we now get back to his apostles? What they had to say?” Deepak sounded impatient.
“Why, were we not discussing Jesus?” Victor teased.
“Yes we were; but off our agenda.” Deepak reasoned.
“We shall now get to the apostles and what they thought of Jesus.” Victor affirmed.
“Not so fast,” Sammy interjected. “I want a word in. Victor, you used the word ‘focused’. That Jesus was focused.”
“Yes. I did.” Victor concurred.
“What was he focused on?” Sammy demanded.
“He was focused on his mission and therefore his daily work had a purpose and a meaning. Consider his mission. You recall that we read about it in the material we received. It had three parts. The three parts sprang from the main mission. The first part was the ushering in of a new order. An order founded on love; love of God and his fellowmen. From this emerged the other two: service to fellowmen and reconciliation with wrong-doers. The second and third are sequels to the first. If one had love, the rest followed. Jesus was focused all the time on his Mission. He knew why he was here and let no distractions come in the way. Even when people were so impressed with him and wanted to crown him as their King, he declined the high office and remained focused on his mission. What about us? We are seldom focused. The slightest distraction takes us away from our goal, our schedule and our routine. We are a dissipated lot.”
“After reading the Gospels and admiring the qualities of Jesus, our self-worth is taking a beating. Don’t you think?” queried Sammy.
“Yes. I think so too. But I am encouraged by the fact that such introspection will help us change; grow. Unless we know our weaknesses, we cannot improve.” Victor agreed.
“Is love of fellowmen supposed to cover even the opposition?” Gaps shot off at a tangent.
“Yes. When he said ‘love your enemies’ he meant that; and showed how.” Victor explained.
“How would you use that in the Market place, Alex?” Gaps pursued.
“Alex, may I answer that for you?” Victor requested. Alex looked pleased.
“That is a tricky question, Gaps. But let us see how it should work; not how it works. My competitor is doing his job, as I am doing mine. For me to hate him and pull him down because he is in the opposite camp is pointless. I might not agree with him, but I don’t have to malign him. ‘You have to compete and co-operate at the same time.’ Aren’t those the words of Raymond Noorda, the former CEO of Novell? For example, we could end up on the same side of the table when our united efforts in Industry could explain common problems to the Government or other bodies; our joint efforts could clear wrong ideas on product categories. Because of our competitors we push ourselves to perform better. In other words, we need our competitors for strength. In a way, competition does us a good turn. So, instead of despising them, we should try to understand them. Look at Jesus. The Pharisees and Sadducees and other groups looked for ways to snare him and undermine him. How did he respond? He exposed hypocrisy (as we should) but extended a hand in friendship. He faulted the deceit, not the deceiver. He accused the manipulation, not the manipulator. He begged the sinner not to sin again; but forgave the sinner readily. I see no contradiction in his mission and the opposition. It is a question of understanding the Mission and applying it sensibly even to competition.”
“Great defense, Victor,” commended Alex. Victor smiled in acknowledgement.
“If what you say is the new way we should look at competition, I am for it. Though I am in finance and not in the market place, I see needless hostility. We could do without some of it,” Andy inferred.
“That is a spurring thought. Let our corporation give a lead in pulling down barriers that artificially separate us in Industry. The market is big enough for all of us not only to survive, but to prosper.” The leader in Victor surfaced.
“Would the all-embracing love of Jesus explain his detachment to material possessions? He owned little or nothing. He craved for nothing.” Andy stated matter-of-factly.
“Here again we should interpret the passages in the right context. He did not want money or material possessions. He loved his mother. In fact, the first miracle he performed was at her behest. Yet he planned to leave her no material legacy. His attitude to money was rather simple. Money is necessary. It has a role to play. But do not get attached to money, he cautioned. Don’t become a slave to money, he admonished. Don’t let it become an obsession, he warned. He praised the thrifty. He commended the resourceful and enterprising. He chided wasteful behaviour. What a contrast to the way we see things! For us stock prices reflect the health of the company. We even twist accounting to manipulate stock prices. Sales and profits tell us how well we are doing. Reserves indicate how secure our future could be. We are mystified by numbers, not by substance. We are captivated with winning at all costs.” Gaps connected well.
“How should we apply that in the corporate world?” Andy wanted to know.
“Make profits. Yes. We owe it to our company to make justifiable profits. But profiteering; no; cutting corners to make profit; no; illegal ways of making profit; no. With the profits we make we have some social concerns to address. Don’t we expect rich nations to help poor nations? In the same way, corporations doing well, have a responsibility to return something to society, not just by way of taxes. In a way helping society is enlightened self-interest. A more developed society becomes a more responsive market for new products. An improved life-style is fertile ground for planting innovative ideas. The enlightened self-interest apart, we owe it to those around us that we share something with them. The examples of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet should inspire us. They make enormous profits, but readily distribute substantial sums in charity. Simply put, fascination with an improving bottom line is good as long as we are not enslaved by it. It is difficult to follow. But try, we shall”. Victor spoke those words with a rare vehemence. He had always held in private and in public that a corporate citizen had more than ordinary obligations to society.
“Since Jesus was detached from wealth and possessions, he could look at people and circumstances objectively.” Gaps proposed.
“True. Take his golden rule. Do to others as you would have them do to you. That was possible because he was objective and fair, not affected by labels and always sworn to love.” Victor had it all tied up.
“Is that possible in our corporate situations?” Gaps raised a doubt.
“It is very, very difficult; sometimes almost impossible. And yet it makes sense. When I say that, I am aware that I cannot equate transactions that I may have with my chauffeur, to transactions I may have with my suppliers or buyers. There will be a difference. The tragedy today is the total lack of respect for those without proper labels. I quickly adjust to the rank or status of the person in front of me. I respect and respond to a label. That is where my duplicity is exposed. What I need to do is to realize that behind each label, big or small, is a person. And that person begs to be treated with some dignity. He wants a voice, which we silence. It is our harsh response that leads to disparities. Our double standards are exposed. Jesus pleaded that we do away with our double standards.” Victor was persuasive.
“Perhaps that is why Jesus did not abuse the power he had.” Andy deduced.
“To begin with, we should try to understand what we mean by power and authority. Some experts define power as the ability to influence beliefs and actions of others; and authority, as the right to make decisions affecting others. Take Jesus. He had enormous power. He worked wondrous deeds and communicated effectively. His knowledge was praised. His power was seen time and again. But did he abuse that power? People were literally eating out of his hands, and yet it was always: ‘if you believe’ and ‘your faith has made you whole’. No pressure, not even subtle pressure to convert. With his powers he could have performed miracles when he was arrested and taken before the high priests and Pilate. To save himself he could have performed the magic they were waiting for and stunned his audience. No; he would not use cheap gimmicks. He believed in placing facts before people, expecting them to decide, without a trace of compulsion. No, he did not use his enormous powers to influence people to his thinking. Real power is when you have it and restrain yourself in using it; be prudent and empathetic in exercising it. And of his authority, we see disciplined use. He asked his disciples to follow a particular code. When they failed, he was gentle and forgiving. With others it was always, ‘what would you want me do for you?’ The option rested with the other person. Jesus responded when they chose an option or made a request. His authority was never oppressive. You are right Andy Jesus did not abuse his power. We have only to look at the way we transact, to admire Jesus. We exercise the little power we have with a sense of bravado. We want people to fear us, because we have some power. And our display of authority is almost vulgar. But we are quick to bow before someone in higher authority. Our use of power and authority is a sham.” Deepak was emphatic.
Gaps was ready with the next question: “As I read the four Gospels a question that puzzled me was, why did Jesus not marry and raise a family like Rabbis of his time or some of his apostles?”
Victor offered to answer him. “That is a difficult question. But I’ll try to answer it. Jesus should have had good reasons for staying single. The Gospels do not provide us with any reasons for his choice, but we could make some assumptions which conform with his personality and mission. One, Jesus knew that his life was short. So, leaving behind a young wife and perhaps tiny children did not seem a good option to one who was full of empathy. Two, his work took him from place to place. He could not settle in one town. He could not sink roots. His family, if he had one, would suffer from neglect. Even his mother, whom he loved dearly, could spend time with him rarely, because he was constantly moving from town to town. Three, his mission was his prime focus. If he took on family responsibilities his mission-efforts would receive less time and attention. He could not let that happen. Four, he was not in a job or profession which gave him earnings. He had given up his work as a carpenter to make time for his mission. With no income his family would be put to unending financial difficulty. As a wandering rabbi, he depended on the generosity of his followers and listeners to keep body and soul together. Five, the Gospels portray him as the Son of God. Therefore, an earthly family would not fit his Divine program, so to speak. I am not sure, but I believe that our assumptions could be the reasons why Jesus chose to remain single. It appears that he did not want to start a relationship that he could not nurture. He was careful not to take on anything that he could not complete.”
Gaps: “Thank you, Victor. Your assumptions are logical.”
Alex’s hand phone buzzed. Susan was calling. The day went well at his brother’s place – with grand celebrations. They all missed him and wished he was there. They were leaving by the night train, and would be in on Monday morning. And Antony wanted to say hello to daddy. The call over, Alex checked his watch. It was ten past one. Joseph fetched the short eats and drinks. The sight of food and drink was refreshing. Breaking off from the serious discussion, they teased Victor on his weight gain and suggested he join a Gym; at least jog. He promised to start jogging, but disliked the idea of the Gym.
Gaps asked Victor if he planned to continue the discussion in the afternoon. He was willing to stay on; but what about the others? Since none of the others had engagements in the afternoon they all decided to continue with the discussions. At least till 3.30 or 4 pm. When the trolley was cleared, Deepak cleared his throat and declared officially: “We shall now get down to what the apostles had to say”. The group went into a fit of laughter.
“Why do we have to rush?” Victor inquired of Deepak.
“I was beginning to wonder whether we would get back at all.” Deepak was not amused.
“Deepak is right. Now we stick to the 360° appraisal for Jesus. Let us hear what the apostles had to say.” Victor was apologetic.
“Thomas said that they (the apostles) should go and die with Jesus. Or take Peter; he asked Jesus where else they could go, but to him. Or again, Peter declared that they had left everything and followed him. Or Mathew; he gave up his job as a tax collector to follow Jesus. Each showed a readiness to accept his leadership; to obey him and to accept correction. He offered them no money, no fame, only ‘take up your cross and follow me’. And they followed”. Gaps had read the New Testament in full and could marshal facts.
“What we are trying to say is that his Team Management skills were of a high order and therefore feedback from the team was edifying,” Sammy concluded.
“Are we then agreed that in the third quadrant we put down, ‘very good’,” Deepak tossed the idea in the open.
“For now, that should be all right. Since the 360° appraisal focuses on relationships, and we are examining the possibility of setting up Jesus as a Model for our relationships, we shall have to review our assessments and appraisal as we learn more of him.” Victor was cautious.
“What had his peers to say?” Sammy asked.
“John the Baptist, Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, the Centurion and Zacchaeus are seen as important peers; since they held important positions in society, their statements should throw some light. Each one treated Jesus with great respect. And admiration.” Gaps again had his facts right.
“Don’t we see any discord; for example, from the High priests?” Andy challenged.
“The High priests were people in high positions, no doubt. But they had vested interests. Jesus was attracting crowds, and creating a sensation. The High priests felt threatened. Naturally, they would not speak kindly of the man they feared. One cannot lay store by what they had to say. The close attention they paid to the feedback they got on him, if at all, can be seen as a grudging tribute paid to Jesus,” Gaps reasoned.
“The enlightened and fair minded peers had only good things to say of Jesus. Is that what you wish to convey, Gaps?” Deepak asked pointedly.
“Yes,” Gaps was decisive.
“In which case, what comment shall we put down in quadrant two, against peers?” Deepak asked, ready to take down points.
“Let it be ‘good’,” Victor suggested.
“Why not ‘very good?’” Deepak demanded.
“As I said earlier, we shall review this later. For now let us retain ‘good’, unless someone has strong reason to give it a different remark.” Victor was defensive.
Alex looked at the others. They shrugged their shoulders and decided to go along. So it stayed as ‘good’ with the appropriate elaboration Deepak would give it.
“The fourth relationship is perhaps the most important. The customers, how did they see him?” This question should have come from Alex, the marketing man instead it came from Andy, the finance man.
“Those who were influenced by the opposite camp chose to make derogatory statements, but the others had only praise. They praised his gentle ways; marveled at his great deeds; were amazed at his new teaching. And his communication skill cast a spell on them.” Victor glowed.
“Those he came to serve are seen as his customers. And feedback from them is positive; very positive. Only those who tried to trap him in debate had caustic remarks to pass, more, because they could not match him and failed to expose him. So what hesitation do we have in putting down remarks in the fourth quadrant?” Sammy was impatient.
“No hesitation. What do you say Alex?” Victor queried.
“What is fine by you is fine by me.” Alex was feebly courteous.
Victor looked at him and looked away. Something was wrong, he thought.
“Shall we put down ‘very good’ in that space?” Deepak asked.
“Yes, ‘very good’ it shall be”. Victor bellowed.
Deepak looked at his pad and said: “Let us quickly look at the remarks we have given Jesus in each quadrant of the 360° appraisal format. Under ‘superiors’ in the first quadrant we have ‘positive’. Under ‘peers’ in the second also we have ‘positive’. Under ‘subordinates’ in the third we have ‘very positive’. And in the fourth also, under ‘customers’ we have ‘very positive’. This is not final; only our initial reactions. I shall work on this and fill in the blanks and expand points where necessary. But if the overall assessment meets with your approval, I shall take it as approved.” Deepak was trying to get his summary cleared.
Heads shook in vigorous agreement.
“May we call it a day?” Andy inquired. He had to drive a long way to his place.
“Yes. But this is not the end. We have more work to do. But for now it is over. Before you leave please collect copies of more reading material I have for you. They are titled: The People Person and Perceptions of the Model. Read them diligently. There is more information in them that we could use in the 360 degree appraisal – views of different people. Remember that we have to be prepared for the Marketing Conference which will be organized by Alex in the next few days. We have much to learn from Jesus and apply those lessons to our situation. Now let us get back to our families and enjoy what is left of our Sunday.” Victor concluded.