For the uninitiated Sholay is one of the biggest blockbusters in India. One of the most popular characters were Gabbar and Thakur. What’s the moral of their story? Lets decode Gabbar and Thakur.
Thakur : The classic hard working guy. Went about doing things the right way, lost his family, happiness and even his hands! To reach his goal, he had to head hunt, interview, run simulations and then do a pilot project before going live. He had to engage extra resources, spend more money time and energy to keep them motivated over a period of time.
And after all that, he was still unhappy. He was patient, he was sensitive and even tried the reverse psychology ( like giving them the keys to the vault, smartly executed by the daughter in law) with his wards to get to his goal. The delegation of responsibility , conflict resolution and a pay for performance strategy were his key strategies.
The end result was he got to his goal with a lot of collateral damage. He had to resort to heroics and come up with one-time superlative performances which took a toll on his team and self.
Gabbar : The instant gratification guy. The Go-getter. Whatever he wanted, he wanted now. Quick execution capabilities, agile, moved quickly, was objective and not emotional, hired workhorses rather than intelligent strategists and got work done quicker than this counterpart.Grew up the gangland hierarchy quickly. Found a work life balance, engaged in salsa time as well. His life was binary. Yes or no, true or false, 1 or 0 – so his actions were simple. This simplicity was easily understood by his team mates and they collectively executed with a single sense of focus. No distractions.
Gabbar ensured that he reviewed non performers and took quick action for the rest of the team to follow. Good leadership material.He followed the 80/20 rule – and kept the control centralized. The communication flow was top down and clear.He had the “killer-instinct” and gave no room for under performers. It was not worth carrying a member who could not carry his own weight.
This worked well till the very end. He could have avoided the climax had he leveraged his agility skills which actually kept him going for better part of his tenure. He could ve innovated and moved to another geography and added a new skill set – found a blue ocean…instead of fighting out the red ocean strategy. But notwithstanding the final result he could argue his success ratio was higher than Thakur!
Now think back to your hiring strategies and results, think about all the mentoring, coaching and training that you imparted towards ramping up resources, think about the effort sheet that went into making that team or unit successful, and then analyze who would you hire for your team? Think about how your leadership style is ? Think about how you would land the ideas, the execution strategies and tactics and achieve the goals.