Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Why I Loved my Lazy Team Member

Today , in Calcutta , India , it was a lazy winter morning. I got up late and  felt very lazy to go for my  routine morning walk. As I sat in my verandah with my morning cuppa,  the warmth of the bright and lovely sunlight made me feel even lazier!  After some time , I looked at my to-do list and just as I started feeling guilty about my laziness,I remembered him !

The lazy team member whom I loved to have in my team ! 

He was a very lazy, bright, creative person with lots of enthusiasm and initiative ! Yes, sure this sounds contradictory.... But after working with him for some time , I just could not do without him . Let me explain .

  • He was forever looking for ways to reduce his time for work  so that he could go and play table tennis . So , he came up with creative and very ingenious ways of doing things. Usually when I learnt how he did certain things , I made it a tool for improving the  productivity of the rest of the team members. 

  • He always looked for ways to automate things since he wanted to expend the least effort . He created marvelous macros in excel sheets, looked for tools which could simplify the complex and time consuming processes.

  • He never rushed into things and thought about the shortest and the best path . He tried to make things repeatable so that they don't have to go thru it again and again.  I could make many best practices due to  his laziness !

  • Since he did not want to spend time in rework, he always did things right the first time !

  • He was intelligent and very productive, so he was quickly promoted to lead a team. He delegated the work intelligently.  He leveraged the strengths of his team and got his work done so efficiently that his effectiveness as a lead was set as an example in the organization. He did not micro-manage his team and this worked famously with them and the team doted on him. 

And yes, I loved to have this intelligent lazy person in my team  !  


  1. Excellent competency brought out from a person who at first glance appears to be lazy. It is true that most companies do not recognise talent within apparent negative behaviors.

    I like the image too.....keep writing..great to read all your articles.

    1. SMG, Thank you ! Do keep reading and posting your comments !

  2. Isn't it wonderful that I can read the thoughts of someone who is sitting in Kolkata and who I don't know ? This still thrills me.

    I worked with a lazy person like that.... in the London Stock Exchange many years ago. . .. much of this colleague's laziness is what I have tried to emulate. You are right - his approach is today my best practice.

    What is lovely to see is that a young woman in India is in a position to be noticing this excellent lazy person, and incorporating what he did into her 'best practice'. Well done.

    We women are all too keen to put each other down - so I thought I would do something I always advocate for others - when you see a competent woman, stand back and applaud - so, imagine a roomful of women of my age, (50+ and menopausal !! ) applauding . . .
    Sreela Banerjee

    1. Sreela, I am humbled . Thanks a lot for your appreciation. And who knows, we might meet someday ! And I am glad you read my short stories. It boosts my morale to know that they have been read and appreciated !

  3. By the way, that post was from England - from a woman who knows Lake Gardens, Alipore, Kalighat and every other place you mention in your lake tales, because she grew up in South Calcutta.

  4. Do you have a story or a poem which arises from the delhi rape case ? Do you wish to put it on an international 'wall' ?

    here is the wall, ananya. See what you and do, and spread the word... when their naked bodies were thrown out of the bus, people walked away.... I don't want to be one of those people who walked away. . this is my little effort at doing something.

  5. Well said, Ananya! Laziness never looked this good as a quality! ;-)

    In fact, I feel I am lazy too, and could have achieved a lot more had I remained focused like this hero of your narrative. Instead I chose to dabble in many things, extracting joy and excitement out of totally unrelated (or may be deeply related?) things.

    I am a big fan of delegation. I do it at home all the time. Only thing is, wives do not tend to appreciate the virtues of such laziness, ha ha! ;-) ;-)

    To Sreela in England - thanks for the link to the wall. Expect a poem from me on it soon. Just as soon as I can take some time off my busy siesta! WINK WINK!

    Pramod Joshi

  6. Very enjoyable story, and makes one think...what are the ways I can be "lazy" and help to streamline my work and become more efficient!

  7. Indeed very inspiring Ananya. Thanks for sharing it with us.


  8. Dear Ananya,
    This article is translated into Vietnamese and posted on my site. I'll drop the link to the Vietnamese post here.
    Thank you very much for your permission!
    Best regards,
    PS: Vietnamese readers enjoy your article very much!