In the series of psychology tests administered in SSB a situation posed is:

“Your mother is seriously ill and your boss refuses to grant you leave; you will—-”

I would have studied over 500 responses to this situation from the youth of India. My response would have been, “I will convince the boss that I will finish the assigned work in time by working overtime or from home and he will allow me to take care of my mother.”

Over 95% of the responses were focused upon convincing the boss about the gravity of the situation to get leave, providing medical reports or threatening to quit or actually quitting the job.

I asked all the respondents if they would act like the boss had done in the situation painted? They all answered, “No”.

I further asked the working respondents, “Do employees in their work place take leave on false pretexts, including the reason for their mother’s illness?” All of them said, “Yes, they do.”


The boss-subordinate relationship in the situation is “lose-lose”. It is a situation of low trust. The boss feels that most of his/her employees are looking for reasons to not do the work and lack a sense of commitment to the organization which provides them livelihood. The employee feels that the boss lacks empathy and wants to extract work without any concern for the employee’s welfare.

Sense of Equity

The employee working from the “lose-lose” mindset feels that he/she is doing more work than the employer is paying him/her. Thus, the employee establishes a sense of financial equity by doing only as much work as befits the salary. Invariably I have noticed that the mothers and wives of the employees endorse this mindset. The boss feels that because of the mindset of the employee, he/she is receiving a fair compensation because the boss has to spend considerable energy in extracting the work from an uncommitted employee. The end results of the, “lose-lose” mindset are:

·       Low trust environment,

·       unhappy employees and supervisors/business owners,

·       low productivity,

·       low earnings for the employee as well as employer,

·       poor growth of the employee as well as employer because of time wasted in friction generated in a low trust environment.

Lose-Lose to Win-Win

When the employee has a genuine sense of responsibility, he/she is as much concerned as the boss about the timely completion of the work; there is an environment of trust. Such an employee would ask for leave only for genuine reasons and will get it too without any questions asked by the boss. The boss is happy with the employee because he does not have to chase the subordinate to get the work done and can focus his/her energy on the growth of the business. When the employee works with such a mindset the results are as follows:

·       High trust environment.

·       Happy employee/employer.

·       High productivity.

·       High growth for employees as well as employers.

·       High earnings for the employer as well as the employee.

My Advice to Employed Youth

Please work with total commitment to the organization you work for. Treat the work as your own. Please do not try to establish any sense of financial equity between the work done and compensation received and not get influenced by uncommitted co-workers. This will result in the following in the long run:

·       You will be a trusted employee.

·       You will be happy at work.

·       You will make the organization grow.

·       You will also grow in competence as well financially.

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