Fly Away Home
In the grasslands of the far north, a gosling is born. The pampered little bird enjoys a carefree life. The gosling grows rapidly and soon starts taking short flights. One day, mummy and daddy geese summon her – “The winter is coming, and there won’t be enough food or shelter for everyone. So, it’s time for you to fly away and migrate to a beautiful land far south.” The gosling is sad and nervous about leaving home. “But, how will I know where to go?” she frets. “Don’t worry,” the parents assure her, “you won’t be alone; there will be leaders who will navigate you through the journey.”
This is the story of most professionals. After graduation, we are forced to leave our little world, entrusting our fate to leaders running the outside world.
The gosling begins her flight. Her path quickly leads into a forest, where she sees vultures on the horizon and panics. Then she notices some geese flying high, steering away from the vultures, and realizes if she stays at treetop level following these leaders – she will be fine. Thereafter, she sleeps peacefully in the trees every night and flies by the day.
Some organizations are inspired by their top leaders. They may appear unreachable, but their guidance gives us direction and security, helping us sleep well.
One day, the gosling comes across a mountain range. Some geese continue sideways over the forest, while some are now flying straight over the peaks in multiple V formations. Each V formation has a leader a little ahead and higher, guiding the followers over the peaks. Fascinated, the gosling chooses mountains over the forest.
Some organizations are powered by their mid-level leadership – managers and leads who hand-hold and pull up their teams to scale new heights.
Then the gosling glimpses an endless stretch of water in between cloudy peaks. Some geese have deviated from the mountains and are taking a shortcut over the ocean in tiny groups. Lured, the gosling picks the ocean path. A senior goose flies alongside, encouraging her to fly nonstop and not get distracted by the beautiful islands on the way.
Some companies are driven by ground-level leadership – module leads and seniors who mentor us one-on-one, nudging us away from distractions.
All the three stages – forests, mountains, and ocean represent three different leadership styles. Be it guidance by top leaders, hand-holding by mid-level management, or mentoring by our immediate seniors – each style takes us to the destination. So, which category does our Cybage fit into? Let’s find out!
Forests: The Pandemic disrupted our industry. Our vibrant campuses turned into forestlands, and yet Cybagians didn’t lose their way. Why? Because your top leaders came to the office every single day. Many had the option to work from home, but they preferred the role of a visible guide, streamlining chaos, ensuring security and direction for all Cybagians. So, if you believe your senior leadership team has helped you sleep in peace, then fellas – let’s shatter some peace with a boom!
Mountains: With the world going remote, a mountainous task was cut out for the mid-level management. Clients wanted more, and employees without in-person interaction needed hand-holding. Sandwiched in between were our managers and leads – sacrificing work-life balance, they kept pulling their teams to deliver excellence. So, if you believe you scaled new heights because of your manager’s or lead’s hand-holding, put your hands together and do not hold back your thunder!
Ocean: The Pandemic opened an ocean of opportunities. Hundreds of project teams had to be ramped up, and thousands of juniors had to be groomed. Who came to the rescue? Our module leads and seniors, who mentored the younger talent – walking alongside, pushing everyone to move nonstop without distractions. So, if you believe you are a more competent professional today because of mentoring by one of your senior buddies, then let’s find out how the rumble of tsunami sounds!
Our leadership isn’t a subset of the journey. Instead, we are blessed with guides, hand-holders, and mentors at every step of the way. Perhaps the feeling of being looked after by these stars is why Cybage feels like a family and why Cybagians love bringing life to work.
This is an excellent time to end my story. Except, we forgot about our little goose. Yes, the gosling does make it to the mainland and falls in love with her new home. So much so that as the months rolled by, she doesn’t even realize it is time for reverse migration. It is only in her third spring, and with mixed feelings, she makes the brave decision to fly back north, a flight path she barely remembers now.
After a prolonged absence, our flight back to campuses has been a mixed emotion – the pain of leaving home again and the gain of meeting colleagues.
As the gosling flies over the ocean, this time, she caves into the temptation of beautiful islands. To her surprise, she discovers many geese who have also broken away from their journeys. Rejuvenated, she continues northward with her new companions until they run into the mountains. Instead of flying straight over peaks, they decide to spread out and find gaps in mountains to pass through. The route is longer but less strenuous as they make it back to the forestland. By now, the flock has grown massive, and they don’t need to fly at treetop levels – instead, they fly high and straight – no vulture dares to get in their way. Soon the gosling reaches grasslands and jubilantly reunites with her family. Excited, she doesn’t even realize that thanks to the refreshing breaks during her oceanic flight, easier paths through mountains, and straight flights over the forestlands, she has set the fastest record in the history of migration!
What does that mean? That leaders are not important? No, it means that the senior geese need to evolve with the times and learn to listen to little goslings as well. Sure, we need mentors to propel us over oceans, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy refreshing home stops in our hybrid work model. Sure, we need hand-holders to pull us over mountains, but when we collaborate face-to-face in our hybrid model – big obstacles are fewer. And yes, we do need guides for security and direction, but when we celebrate together in the Cybage fortress, we are already at our destination.
I can applaud our charismatic leadership all night long, but that’s not where our Brahmastra resides. For many here, this is the first annual bash; in fact, thousands walked into Cybage campuses for the first time only recently. And yet, with half of our company new, the past two years have defined our most explosive growth period. With great delight, may I share that in December, your Cybage crossed the 8000 milestone, and the year 2023 will see the ground-breaking ceremony of world-class campuses to house over 10000 additional Cybagians!
The spirit this time is no different than our pre-pandemic bashes! Clearly, with so many fresh faces — this spirit doesn’t come from Cybage. Only the motto “bringing life to work” comes from Cybage. But here is the thing — employees can bring life to work only when they have a life at home to begin with! Home is back home, and not in Cybage’s swanky campuses. We all work to improve our life at home. Every organization should have the humility to accept that its role is limited to providing an even playing field to prosper in a healthy environment. Beyond that, all these “we are a family” leadership dialogues are emotional atyachar! The more honest an organization is in acknowledging the ground reality, the more we have a chance of the virtual reality of family at our workplace.
Now, it feels like we are the happiest professional family in the world. And Cybage owes that honor to you — thank you for guiding, mentoring, and hand-holding your Cybage through the chaos of forests, mountains, and ocean in the Pandemic and bringing us back to fertile grasslands as we celebrate a royal reunion. May God bless all Cybagians and your lovely families, and may God bless our Cybage!