Lessons from Paddy’s career in Tatas

3 11 2016

S.Padmanabhan ( Paddy) former Head-HR of TCS, has now become the Chief Human Resources Officer of the entire Tata Group. What does it tell us about careers in large organisations. When the politics of the place changes, your career can change overnight.

In large organisations, politics and internal power structures influence a lot. If you suddenly face a demotion, you do not need to do anything remarkable to come back. You just have to hang around. Suffer some ignominy, some humiliations, sudden loss of power and relevance. Just plod along, accept whatever roles the large organisation gives you. In the case of Paddy he moved from TCS to Tata Power ( a much smaller co) and then to an absolutely sinecure and inconsequential position as the head of Tata Quality Management Services.

When Cyrus Mistry got replaced, suddenly the whole politics of Bombay House changed. Paddy and many other veterans’ fortunes have changed overnight.Paddy who was found not good enough for even one company i.e TCS, suddenly becomes the boss of HR of the entire Tata group.

If Cyrus Mistry had continued, perhaps Paddy would have retired quietly with no one knowing where he went.

The quality to succeed in large organisations is resilience and having this understanding that internal circumstances of your organisation have a huge role in your success or failure. You just have to be around and not do anything silly.

You can go from to hero to zero and become a hero back again.

 

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