Personal Responsibility

Selling like Hot cakes meaning Hit at the box-office. Anything which Hits “Our Chord”, reaches quickly for our pockets. I wonder why “Hot cakes”? Who and why would anyone choose hot cakes like “hot cakes”? Probably it has some historical connotations. The last time someone raised the matter of “Cakes” was Marie Antoinette. And it was really “hot” for the times and she had to exchange the statement with her “Head”, literally.

To be “Dropped like a Hot Potato” makes more sense. Many can relate to this and would have their own experiences. Anything “Hot” gets more “Dropped” on the “Floor” or on the “Bed”.

But their are some which “sells” by the “Drop”. One is “name dropping”. More on this another time. Today I wish to discuss on “Phrase Dropping”. A habit which we have all internalised such that it has become a part of our regular “Lingo”. When we need to “express” to “impress” we draw out our “catchphrase”.

One such phrase is “Our Personal Responsibilities”. The moment we hear this we are all “sold out”,figuratively. When the going gets tough, the “tough words” get going. We use this PR for PR (Personal Responsibility for Personal Relations). Everything good for us happens to be “Personal” and never “general” or for “public” except for public self-publicity.

OK, let me first demonstrate an advertisement and then go further. This is something on Personal Responsibility plus some Personal Relations. But I will stress only on Personal Responsibility. Check out this snippet on YouTube.

I like Aamir Khan Ads. All his Ads are very cerebral. Even this one. Here the Managing Director of an “Unknown PC” Company visits a house to repair a PC which has been lying unattended for three days. After the repair and tea is over, the PC owner then asks the “MD” that what if the PC fails again then who should he call? The “MD” flashes out his Business Card……and so the story goes!

Please, I request you to check out this blurb a few times. It’s selling like “Hot cakes” and we will all drop even our “Cold Potato” to catch this one. This commercial is a Hit because it has Hit us all on the Right Spot. That Spot where we Revere ” Our Personal Responsibilities”.

In reality, the chances are dim for any Managing Director to visit your House to repair your junk. But they will show this add. to hook us because we are hooked to a phrase. We have a blind spot which has stayed unquestioned for long. Well, its time now to clear the muck, and we must take “Our Personal Responsibilities” to do this.

“Our Personal Responsibility” is a Selfish Phrase. It is akin to “Self Glorification”. In the ad. the MD took Personal Responsibility to go down and get the job done. Good for him. But what does it speak of his establishment? When asked by the old man, who should he call next time, the MD gives his card. What does it say about his capabilities? Is it that, he is more of a Repairman than an MD!

It is not the ad. It is us. The fact that crores are spent to make an ad. of such content and the fact that it’s popular, shows that the entire “Crux-of-the-matter” is within us. Any commercial is successful because of it’s resonance. It’s a publicity for a “Watch” but it’s the context we should all watch. The underlying strategy of this ad. was to tap what we all hold in High Regard and then Staple it to a Product.

Personal Responsibility at best can be a starting point. We all have to take Personal Responsibility for a New Born Baby. It’s a natural Instinct not only for humans but for almost all Living Organisms. Gradually we educate our infant, i.e., we try to give them a “process” to think and live on their own. As a parent we do keep a watch and advice when called upon or asked. But their is a point at which we fall back and desist from intervening. There is threshold after which we should let the Process to take over.

What we all must subscribe for is – Process Responsibility. Where Personal Responsibility is Individualistic, the Process Responsibility is all Inclusive. It makes everybody responsible. Contrary to many believes, everyone enjoys Responsibility. Give people responsibilities, if they don’t match up, train them or replace them. Replacing is not a bad word. Replacing stands for Re-Placing. Motivation is like icing on the cake. Icing works only when the cake is “cool” and “right”.

Process Responsibility starts with Personal and ends with the Group taking over. A Process can improve and is as good as the group and is as flexible as the changing times. You cannot say this for Personal responsibilities, which has it’s limits. Try hard as you might, we all have an “Exit Policy” awaiting. Tell me, how many Homes, the MD in the Ad. can service? Or you need some “Rocket Singh”.

So, the MD in the ad. must have a Help desk with all the wrong people. Or all his Right People are doing all the Wrong Jobs. He is drunk on Personal Responsibility. He needs to Personally take over a bad situation. The glory of his Performance is Others Non-Performance. Others be-gone! He gets the Highlight by No-Lighting his group.

So for all of us, Personal is better than Process. Or we all have an agenda. A deliberate plan to build our own brand value. Probably gather a few hundred of “clients” to serve as bargain dice on our next job hunt. So we subvert process for personal gains. Process Responsibility does’nt fit into our Modus Operandi, so to say. Just like “Our Personal responsibilities” are our selling points, the MD and the Advertisements will capitalize till the theory runs out of practice. That is, till we “Drop” the phrase “Our Personal Responsibility” like a “Hot Potato”….Oh..this reminds me of something..