How many Prisoners, Holidayers, Connoisseurs and Explorers exist in your team?

February 28, 2017 OPINION/NEWS

Reuters photo



Siddhartha Rastogi

You enter your office premises on a busy Monday morning. Your boss has given an assignment last Friday evening to finish over the weekend. You wasted your Saturday and Sunday working on the project, got flak from your family for not spending time with them and got up early in the morning to present your work.

You make final changes and jazz up your work in the hope of getting a good raise and promotion. It’s been due for last two years from your perspective and review season is nearing.

Your friend Rohan enters the office at 10.30 am smiling, with a bouncy walk and greets everyone. He then settles down in front of the workstation and readies himself for a coffee and then gets up to grab some breakfast. You always wonder how he manages to remain so calm and cool. He then narrates the story of his adventure trip which he just finished over the weekend. In the same breath, he talks about his next trip abroad, which he has been planning and preparing for the last 6 months.

You at the same time, have not taken leave for the last 3 years, apart from 4 days when your father in law fell ill. You always wonder, despite Rohan’s poor results and lack of seriousness towards his job, how he has managed to survive within the organization for 7 years. Then your boss Rakesh enters the office. He is the man to watch out for. He knows everything. He has views on everything and has an opinion about everyone. He is the master of all subjects and why not, he is an engineer from a top college and a MBA graduate from Ivy League. He has set rules, he has set protocols and formats, which need to be adhered to.

Should you deviate from it, you are in his line of fire. Management loves him because he knows it all. Most young employees have left, as they felt too constrained working with Rakesh. He is not open to ideas and believes his thoughts are supreme.

All of a sudden Sasha, a newcomer from a liberal arts background pats you on the back and seeks help in understanding a topic not related to her work. She likes to read a lot, understands the genesis of things and questions everything around. You tell her that she should come post lunch as you have to get going with the presentation with Rakesh.


Does all this sound familiar?


Multiple white collared employees but four chief characteristics.


Prisoners – 90% of the working population falls under this category of employees. Either they have an enticement, or a bait or a compulsion to come to work and keep working and keep performing, until they retire, are fired or are dead. These employees generally work for money, or for growth, or for promotion, or for proving others their own worth or to defeat others. In a nutshell, they are competing, running in a race to catch and to win some motive and believe that’s the sole purpose of coming to work and finishing the job.


Then we have


Holidayers – These come to work to finish their duty from 9.30am to 6.30pm. They feel excited at getting salary every month. They only get involved in marginal work and try and shrug off most of the responsibilities. They are generally sweet and nice to everyone so that people undermine their performance and their work can get camouflaged by their sweet talk. These are the burden on the company, but they always start as the favorite of superiors and bosses. They are generally the biggest gossip mongers and thrive mainly on information and local intracompany politics.


Post this we have


Connoisseur –  These employees believe that they are a gift to mankind and know it all. They believe they are surrounded by dumb fools and lesser mortals. It’s in their blood to give opinion and intervene in every discussion. Humility and humbleness runs away seeing them. They live in denial of becoming irrelevant and have a strong notion of being indispensible. They are generally very hard working and perseverant and don’t take no for an answer or accept defeat in any matter. Agility and suppleness is not a quality they reflect easily.


Last and the most favorable for the Organisation


Explorers – History has repeatedly shown that explorers have led to new discoveries and added to the growth of human kind. These employees bring maximum value to the organization. These kind read and ask a lot of questions. They are never happy by the status quo. Their consistent desire is to improve, better any process and their current status as well. They assume responsibility and authority in an unorganized environment. They believe whatever work is not owned by any, belongs to them and makes sure it’s finished in style and with perfection. Their zeal to do more things and create more things sometimes springs challenges in a very process oriented boxed environment. They are mavericks and can rub enthusiasm and energy to peers and colleagues. Quality work drives them, than any other form of incentive.


Most employees have a blended mix of all these characteristics but the important point is to figure which one is governing you in most situations. The sooner you shift to Explorer and start spending more time in there, the faster you will know your calling and start enjoying your work. Money, fame, promotion and prestige will follow as an ancillary byproduct of Work Pleasure.


Finally to conclude with a line of wisdom –


Great businesses are built by Great Teams. Great teams have great people.

Great people are great Explorers.










Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha was born to a learned middle class educated family in Semi Urban India. His father was an extremely honest man who because of his honesty had to pay the price in corporate world. Mother is a determined woman who ensured that children are being well taken care off. After a few years of birth, doctors called Siddhartha, a slow child having flat foot. He would fall more than he could walk. Determined mother ensured all therapies for her son to come out strong to fight the world. Siddhartha joined swimming when he was in 6th standard. Seeing other children of his class, he jumped in 10 feet deep pool and learnt swimming on his own, the very same day.

From that day there was no looking back. He topped his city in 12th and went to score highest in his B school exams. During his profession as banker, he became youngest branch manager of a MNC bank managing their biggest wealth branch in the country. There he found love of his life and got married. His love of his life emerged in the form of his daughter who completely changed him for good.

Siddhartha Rastogi is Director for a boutique Investment bank in India.

Siddhartha is a forward looking thinker & writer who has written a book on decision making. 8 Simple steps to effective decision making.

He writes on various social and current issues via his blog and can also be found on twitter.

1 Comment

  1. Suorateem March 02, at 04:41

    Good article and resonates well with current band of employees.....sweet, simple and a good read.


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