In a team, not everyone is equal – in ability, in passion, in execution and in knowledge. Similarly the relationship between the boss and each of the team members is not the same – for some it is good, for some it is ok and for some it is hell. How should one perceive the difference? Favoritism?

I think that the Team is like five fingers….

five fingers with face

There is a story that I heard in my childhood. Thumb said, “I am the strongest of all five fingers. Without me, no grip”. Forefinger told “I am the wisest, I show the direction”. Middle finger claimed “I am the tallest”. Ring finger said “Everyone get me ring, they love me”. Other 4 fingers laughed at the little finger, as it could not say anything. The little finger felt sad and stood before God crying and calling itself useless, and no one loves it. God wiped its tears and said “You are the one closest to me. When you all 5 stand before me and pray, you stand first, and I see only you every day.” On hearing this little finger was very happy ever after.

Like the little finger, some one in the team is affected by the natural inequality in the team. It is increasingly becoming common that every manager has a favorite in his or her team. Why? partially because the wavelength might match. The true argument against such practice comes up when it affects the performance of the team and when it demoralize the true team effort. Like when it eclipses a honest employee… especially when the favorite plays against peers. In the above story, God’s favorite is that little finger. 

King Akbar had the best of best ministers called Navratnas. Still he considered Birbal as his favorite minister. Someone asked Akbar why he liked Birbal the most. At the same time, there was a marriage procession outside the court. He called one of the ministers and asked “Check what was the noise outside?” The minister came back and replied it is a marriage procession. Akbar asked who’s marriage? Minister went and came back telling it is Sunandha’s family. Akbar again asked when is the marriage? Minister again went back and returned saying Tonight. Now Akbar called his minister Birbal, who just stepped in. Akbar asked the same question “check what was the noise outside?”. Birbal went out and returned, “About 200 people are in the marriage procession of Sunandha’s family who are going to Bride’s home. Marriage is tonight and we were invited already”. No wonder Birbal is liked by his boss.

Even ancient tamil poet Thiruvalluvar is no exception to the favoritism to the king. His advice to overcome destiny was different to the King and totally another to common people.

To commons: there is nothing stronger than destiny. accept it.

உழிற் பெருவலி யாவுள மற்றொன்று

சூழினுந் தான்முந் துறும்

To the King: make additional effort and overcome destiny.

ஊழையும் உப்பக்கம் காண்பர் உலைவின்றித்

தாழாது உஞற்று பவர்

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