There used to be a game show on television called the weakest link ( Kamzor kadi kaun?)- I used to enjoy it for the brusque and brisk manner in which Neena Gupta used to anchor the show. She would not mince words in commenting on each one's performance and in hauling up people for their intentions in voting for whom they considered the weakest link for elimination from the next round. It was all fun and enjoyable until I understood the strategy that is used in the elimination. In the initial rounds people eliminated the ones who had the fewest answers - fair enough - the reason being that they needed most correct answers for adding to the jackpot money. In the later rounds enlightened self interest prevailed and the strongest ones were voted for elimination so that you only had a less strong adversary to confront for the jackpot in the final rounds!
Now this is may not seem like fairplay in any game, that you gang up against the smartest and the one most entitled to the prize - apparently this is fair in real life and is used day in and day out at high levels in the corporate playfields. These type of games are survival games where you learn how to handle real life situations such as these. They teach you the smart way of playing these and unfortunately it may not always be the "right" way as you can see from the above situation.
or is the smart way always the right way too in today's world?
12 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

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  2. Anonymous Says:

    "Outsmarting" is such a kick, isn't it? I think I recall from George Mikes' "How to be be a brit" omnibus, how the word "clever" is actually a derogatory one in that country - representing someone who is master of the sly & the like.

    But yes, if what you suggest the game actually represents then one might as well leave the office & spend time chasing pretty women on otherwise inconsequential afternoons...


  3. Pradeep Nair Says:

    A sad fact of life. Very interesting observation!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    While the pursuit of pretty women may in itself be a worthwhile thing to do on an otherwise inconsequential afternoon, I was wondering what a modern Arjuna would do on a corporate kurukshetra.
    Pradeep, I am hoping for someone to contradict me and say that it isn't a fact and I am mistaken.


  5. Anonymous Says:

    no doubt a whole lot of people in the corporate world today may be using various tactics to get on top, but they fail to realise that life is fair (in totality), unlike the game nobody can escape wrong doings no matter what.
    and there are a few who do set examples by showing that its smart to acknowledge smarter people for their own good and beyond.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Swapnil said:
    I was tought to pray for fairplay before I went for an Exam.
    I still do it.
    "Let the one who deserves it the most win"
    With "Kamzor Kadi..." I think the backstabbing is just part of the game.
    Like in a cricket match, if a good batsman is batting with a tailender the fielding team tries to keep the batsman off the strike so that they can attack the tailender. If they get him they would actually deny a chance for the batsman to score.
    On the other hand the batsman tries doesnot take singles, trying to deny the bowlers a chance to have a go at the tailender.
    Its all part of the game.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Corporate Kurukshetra! Well, Arjuna wouldn't be much without a Krishna, don't you think? Also, a lot of these 'potential Arjunas' are quitters too, ( look who's talking, you might say!)

    I think Swapnil's point is an interesting one. Core competency may not be enough; in fact, sometimes it could be a positive handicap. Like Swapnil says, it is all in the game. An utopian world would be different though.

    There is just one more point I'd like to mention. Unlike a game or a war, the corporate world does allow compromises, or better still - collaboration. Or at least, that's what I think. I also think, this little point you raise comes all the way down to value system... a little good for a lot of people or a lot of good for oneself is really a matter of what you "believe" is the right thing.

    Which is why chasing pretty women, whether on inconsequential afternoons or in the wee hours of the morning, is such a wonderful thing to do - free as it is of the general ambiguity/subjectivity of our discussion & absolutely inundated with cool breeze, athleticism & general gung-ho. It is both zen & a flow experience!


  8. Paavai Says:

    A game is a game and any corporate environment that uses this strategy will have short term wins and I don't think that sensible organizations will foster this since they are in the business environment for the long haul

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Something interesting:
    "capitalist societies are organized primarily around principles of anti-sociality such as greed and competition. Instead of stigmatizing individuals who hoard, such as Bill Gates or Donald Trump, capitalist societies worship their most anti-social members by rewarding them with social status, praise, and attention. Recent television shows such as Survivor or The Weakest Link, celebrate the ongoing and pervasive capitalist philosophy of social Darwinism that tells us that the ‘strongest’ i.e., the most greedy and competitive, survive. We live in an era in which social hierarchy is perceived as ‘natural’ and inevitable, while the ideal of non-hierarchy is met with suspicion, cynicism, and even outright contempt."

  10. Paavai Says:

    anon - cannot agree more with you, conspicous consumption seems to be the name of the game and anyone who does not participate is considered an aberration

  11. Shashi Iyer Says:

    the "smart way" is definitely not eternal. but then as long as people who think the smart way will do, at least for the spur of the moment, things will go wrong. and there are a lot of people who do think so. does this not bring us to the question "can corruption be vanquished?"

  12. Usha Says:

    wow folks, thanks for taking the time to record your views in this space. Widens my perspective so much.