Monday, August 12, 2013

Talk at Wilfin Technologies, Chennai

A short talk at Wilfin Technologies, Chennai, for their employees last week.

"On the issue of our lives and how they can turn out to be. On the issue of effort and why we do not put in enough. On the question of whether we give our 100%. And if we do not, why.

No hands went up when I asked if anyone was sure they were giving their 100%. Which is good, because one of the participants said that if he was, there was really no further space too grow. But that's one way of looking at it. The other way is this - is it really the best you can do at your job?

Normally it is not. 
Because it is a job really, and not our own business concern. Apna baap ki jaagir. We are getting paid to do our work. We don't need to kill ourselves for it. 

But here's the catch.

If you're working with this attitude, you're likely to work at a discounted capacity of your capabilities. What you show is what is seen and that could well be judged as your potential. No point hiding your potential if you wish to grow. The way ahead is to give your 100% and then see how well it compares in the world. That's the way to growth.

But what we need to understand before we head out further is why we do not give our 100%. One is the well known fear of failure. (But if we are already well aware and acquainted with failure or mediocrity, it should not scare us right?) So there is another angle to it, which is called the fear of success. Now if success is a bigger fear in our minds we will do everything to stop ourselves from getting success. The best way is not to work to our potential. Not give our 100%.
For this moment, its good enough to know that we are better off if we give our 100%. Being a success is probably not such a bad thing at all If you really want it.)

But what if my 100% does not get instant rewards? 
100% effort may not always get instant rewards but  the effort will not go unnoticed. Your rewards will accrue over period of time. That is from the external. 
What about your internal? If you give your 100%, chances are that you will grow better at skill, learn more things, grow more confident and perform far better than what you are.

So its really rather silly to hold your self back unless pushed. 100% as expected from the boss is different from the 100% you know. Figure out the 100% as you know and give that your best shot.

Now where would you put your energies into?
The metrics involved in measurement for progress would be skill and attitude (or the mental aspect). One is expected to know the basic skills well and how to apply them. If not, one can sit down with a piece of paper and a pen and ask oneself what skills one needs to bring to the job, identify the ones that are critical and focus on them. A little effort normally gets you updated on skills. But that's what everyone else has, so you have just reached level zero.

Yo go ahead from level zero, one needs to understand the mental aspect. Now this is the grey area because we need to ask ourselves what it is that we really want. An honest introspection on one's real goals and why one wants them can save everyone a lot of time. How best to get to the goals is next. How one actually achieves the goals is another. There is a process to it and one which we all have employed many times in our lives.

The process then - goal clarity (because it is the main driver and the key to preparation), detailed planning, implementation, monitoring, belief, achievement and celebration of the achievement. Each of these is well known but each has a story of its own. The process is the easiest thing. The mental aspect of it, the toughest.

On must also realise that all this entails taking 100% ownership of all you do in your life. Its your life after all. 

In the quest to reach your potential you can never discount the team or organisation you are with. You cannot scale those peaks alone. Its best to use your energies to push your team ahead, which also means that you are being pushed ahead as an individual too. Its much easier to get much more with the team - including - your own best. It does sound paradoxical but its the truth. Your success comes faster when your team goes forward.

Do not forget then to integrate the key areas in your life - your personal aspirations, your career aspirations and that of the team you are currently with. You must realise that they are all interconnected and you cannot make one separate from another. When you connect them all together you will find the perfect balance - what they call success."

Or something like that. Wilfin Tech audience was extremely receptive and I was thoroughly energised by the one hour interaction. i also received a fine memento - an angry bird MP3. Thanks Rags and team.

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