Wednesday, February 1, 2012



Nowadays, when things go wrong, we hear so many persons in high positions blame their advisers and subordinates and give the excuse that they were given the wrong advice and that they trusted their advisers and staff and merely followed their advice. This underlines the dangers of cronyism. Yes-men, sycophants and cronies may lead you up the garden path and then leave you high and dry leaving you to fend for yourself when you are in trouble. You must choose your advisers and friends carefully.

In his marvellous autobiography A Soldier's Story General Omar Nelson Bradley vividly describes how he learnt the rudiments of effective leadership from General Marshall which he himself applied throughout the war: “When an officer performed as I expected him to, I gave him a free hand. When he hesitated, I tried to help him. And when he failed, I relieved him”.

Rather than encourage yes-men and cronies who indulge in ego-massage and sycophancy, General Marshal sought contrary opinions: “When you carry a paper in here, I want you to give me every reason you can think of why I should not approve it. If, in spite of your objections, my decision is to still go ahead, then I’ll know I’m right”.

I feel that, in both your professional and personal lives, it is better to seek the opinion of devil’s advocates than surround yourself with yes-men masquerading as advisers. Cronies and Yes-men will indulge in sycophancy and tell you what you want to hear whereas good colleagues and true well-wishers will give you proper advice on what is really good for you.  

So, Dear Reader, remember to steer clear of cronies and learn to recognise your true friends.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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