Happy new year, people! I hope 2018 is treating you well.
Earlier this week, I, kickstarted series of education session for brilliant people in my team .. the objective was to get to know them better and give them a different perspective, some thought for them to ponder over! Four sessions to cover the entire staff. And in the process, I essentially repeated myself, four times over and that got me thinking that perhaps, the message will find deeper application if it reaches a wider audience, so here I’m.
Organisations cannot survive in our times if they aren’t heterogeneous in composition, ‘more of the same’ is no longer a winning mix. You need people from various educational & social backgrounds, skills, personalities, and beliefs to come together to achieve what is the common objective. Everyone in their unique ways takes the group forward, every day, by contributing in the space that they work. A techie writes compelling codes making the product complete and competent, that enables the salesperson to go out there, stand hand and shoulder above the competition to win customers, those won over .. need help and support by a group committed to making bitter experiences better by applying what they consider valuable – service skills. Someone works tirelessly on excel files trying to make sense of it all and everyone else that is there is between who try and give it shape and enable it to work like a machine that is well oiled and up to date.
Often times, however, we get so overwhelmed, by the challenges we conquer that we begin to undermine the values that others bring on to the table and there seed of conflict is sowed; it only grows bigger if not checked in time. People who are there in the field get seduced into considering that those who operate from the office are lazy and unconcerned and those at office desk begin to believe that those fighting it out in the streets are outright ignorant and often times ill-behaved too- hair-splitting may get the observers a clearer view of who is right but then the organisation is not served well with these conflicts not even in the least bit.
It is said that when strong personalities come together conflicts become inevitable; because people generally do not like to budge. What does one do in such situations? These are real-world issues and often do damages which are far more grave than a bad business decision, they tend to make the organization shallow from within. People then come together only to pose for photographs not so much to really be together. These situations are just as tacky as they are tricky !!
In my talk, I spoke to my people about the great leveler that nature is when it rains .. no matter which way you pray, which school you went to .. whichever subject you could be major in – you’ll all great drenched! Sun rays do not light rich homes more than poor huts. Morning breeze is just as soothing to all people, of all background and beliefs – we’re the same people, we hold dear similar aspirations! ‘Expression’ however differ and that alone creates all the ‘differences’ that exists today. We must all be watchful of what, how & where we express ourselves.
Whether we like it or not ; whatever we do for a living has a profound impact on who we are and even before we realize what we do all day starts reflecting in our behaviors and quietly creeps into our belief systems too, changing us from within, sometimes irreversibly. Be very sure of what you wanna pick up as a profession.
A goldsmith values precision over power; blacksmiths love power more; Pain in patient doesn’t prick emotions in a doctor, a worker at a construction site doesn’t mind dust, a scientist is not afraid of failing, customer service professional have fragile emotions yet are resilient – these remarkable traits are not what that these people were raised on or born with – but were acquired working and slowly it shaped their worldview. They all think differently of the same thing, sometimes.
These forces are so strong that it can come in the way of the larger objective at times, greater goals may sometimes, succumb to these differences. Every organization needs to be aware of these challenges and should have a strategy to overcome them.
Alongside financial & performance goals, the organization should also keep in mind, cultural goals and invest strongly in making it happen. In the face of most difficult times, it is the strength of character that pulls people up, organization are no different. Clearly identified values and very well articulated intent; are a good start but it mustn’t end there. If you look at Indian business landscape, we have more than a handful of successful business houses but if you were to name top two, The Birla and the TATA group walk away with the prised perceptional value, there! The reason is that these organizations really invest in values.
Every passing day makes it tougher for organizations to survive, they deal with multiple challenges, from rising cost to shrinking capital to customers walking away to difficulty in keeping top talent. Things will continue to get more complex and confined as time progresses.One can choose from the open ocean of positive adjectives and traits and make it their own by sweating to act in accordance at all times, but if, I were to pick one, I would say, it must be “hope”!
Without the audacity is ‘hope’, integrity, kindness, candor, respect, resilience, forthrightness, frugality and just about everything else is just as incomplete as is a cup of tea without the tea bag! Nothing is going to live until the end of time without failing and when failure sees you in the eye, “hope” comes handy. The failure can be of any shape or size but the undeniable fact is that it will always be there in some proportion or the other, it is inescapable and a lot/group that is not hopeful and madly so – will not always get thru difficulties.
The group I was addressing, did buy the message and wanted to know how does one really apply the currency of hope to buy goodness. Answering it is simply, you gotta practice “self-talk”.
It is a system in which you give yourself instructions mostly verbal that you’d be the best at whatever you’re doing. When on the road, you would try and be the best-behaved person there. When playing a game you’d instruct yourself to be the best gamer – not every-time you’d end with the best score but if you have the value of hope by your side.You’ll find reasons to try again at being the best at what you do.
Hope keeps us going, in the shiniest of the times and the darkest of the hours. It is hope that made cars on the road and airplanes fly in the air, possible ( and also innovation and the engineering 😉 . With unwavering faith and untiring effort, we can achieve whatever we set our minds to. Let us not forget, we should do what we must but in sight of the fact that our journeys can be singular but the destination is shared! We must remain one hopeful force, in all our rises and in all of our falls, we must hope and win together.
So here’s my message – always remain hopeful and keep telling yourself that you have to be the best at whatever you’re doing – everything else will find its own sweet place.