Vice – President HR
Aarti Industries, Vapi
The 8 Pearls of Wisdom
My journey within the Human Resource domain has been challenging as well as fulfilling. I am proud of the rich experience I have gathered while i treaded on this path with a strong determination to contribute to the HR fraternity. I got an opportunity to work in different industries, with different people and with management having a wide variety of goals and visions and this wide variety of experience has sharpened my capabilities as a professional. I feel delighted to say that I have groomed lots of young talent who are now holding responsible positions within the HR domain. In today’s highly competitive business world which operates upon an ever changing landscape of strategies and challenges, with talent serving as a key source of competitive advantage, it is imperative to groom and develop these professionals so that they are well equipped with the right knowledge and skills to excel in their job roles.
During my 27 years of this undeterred voyage in the Human Resource domain, i have gathered some invaluable learning’s – I choose to call them- “The 8 Pearls of wisdom”. I have observed and analyzed the way of working of many executives who have held highly responsible positions, I have seen young talent acquire higher and changeling roles, I have seen excellent professionals reach their summit and then get stagnated and I have also seen a few of them fail miserably. I have also reflected on the habits that have enabled me to achieve great success and also analysed my actions that have resulted in me missing the goals. I would like to share these invaluable pearls of wisdom with all of you which will enable all to achieve great success in their career.
The 8 Pearls of Wisdom are:
- Focus: Working with complete attention and focus is a key ingredient of any success story. The Indian mythology has numerous narrations pertaining to victories obtained by focusing. The story of Arjuna who had to shoot an arrow in the birds’ eye was able to do so only by his unique ability to focus. In the business world it is the ability to focus on work while one operates in an environment full of distractions. With the advances in the social media, the modes and levels of distractions are ever increasing, however a professional should be able to make a judgment and prioritize his work so that the focus remains on the goals that are to be achieved. The focus on goals should be long term as well as short term by which I mean that one must always have the long term goal in mind and ensure that one works towards the larger objectives of the organization and also of one’s self. While working, the larger aim or goal should always be in mind and the actions one takes should be aligned to the bigger purpose of the organization’s vision on the professional front and also one’s life on the personal front. One must work on the short term objectives also with complete focus. Whatever assignments one takes up, one must ensure that it is executed by complete focus. When one works with absolute dedication and focus success is assured. While one is in college one must be completely committed and attentive to the lectures and learning. Here the larger focus is that one has to obtain the right knowledge and skill which will enable them to grow in life and the short term focus is that one has to be completely attentive during lectures so that the time devoted is capitalized and knowledge is obtained from the experienced professors. While one is at home, the focus should be to spend time with the family and for one’s self. While at work the focus should be to achieve the targets and goals which are set. When one starts mixing up things, life gets complicated and managing time will become a major issue which will lead to disappointments and failures.
I would like to quote an example of a young professional whom I have observed during one of my stints at a multinational organisation. This boy was very bright, well-read and had good knowledge about the subject, however he lacked the ability to focus, he would spend hours making personal calls while at office and end up staying back in office late to finish work or at times work till midnight to finish his tasks. This hampered his performance overall. I coached him to develop and inculcate this ability to focus on the work he had taken. The focus on the assignments/tasks on hand will give good quality performance, making no mistakes and over all timely completion of assignments.
- Critical Observation: As a Professional, we need to develop the skill of critical observation. It does not mean that we shall criticize anybody. It is beyond that. It gives an idea to develop a critical viewpoint. I mean that we should ask ourselves why I am doing this. What is the significance of doing this? How my work will contribute to the Organization goals? We should get ourselves absolutely clear when we perform the task. I experience that when we perform task with an attitude that my boss has asked me to do, so I am doing? Result would be absolutely routine, mechanical and just completed the task without any sense of fulfillment.
But, when I understand why I am doing the task? How I should do? How my performance of task will contribute to business? I experience different result, different quality of work along with highest professional satisfaction when I realized that my performance is contributing to business.
Hence, make four “W” i.e. what, when, why, where and “How” as your friends. If you asks questions starting with “ W” and “ H” and based on the answers, execute the tasks, You will get different sense of fulfillment and overall enjoy your work.
- Common Sense: I would like to quote the old saying that “Common sense is not so common” however I have observed that most of the people generally do not apply common sense due to their relaxed or ignorant attitude rather than their inability to apply it. I have observed a lot of professionals and students who have a very casual approach towards everything. They do not wish to apply common sense, they do not want to reason out or think about the task in hand from all angles. They do not want to put in any efforts to think and break down the task or issues in multiple components to derive logical solutions. When one takes out time to think on the tasks at hand and starts applying common sense on how to approach the task, the tasks which look very complicated initially becomes simple. I have observed other kind of professionals who in spite of their vast experience are unable to apply common sense and thus are unable to achieve what they are set out to achieve. These kinds of individuals generally have certain set ways of working and they do not wish to change. They do not apply what is happening in the outside world, they do not apply what they have learned while they worked on some other assignments. Some professionals are used to doing their work in a mundane manner, without thinking of better approaches. I have observed that if you think from a practical point of view, a lot of tasks become shorter and get executed in much better and faster manner.
So, we need to develop the perspective of applying Common Sense in all kinds of problems- may be Professional, Personal or even social. We shall always see that in a given point of time what is feasible to resolve the issues keeping aside my own ego, status, positions etc.. etc.. Hence, Common sense is to develop an attitude to see the solutions in the problems rather than problems in the solutions. I am sure that if we develop the perspective of Common Sense, will have a huge success in resolving any complicated issues.
- Passion for work: I truly believe that success cannot be obtained without passion. One has to be absolutely passionate about what they are doing. Passion is working with complete dedication and drive. It’s that inner drive which inspires the person to deep dive within the matter, to learn more, to work harder, to achieve the unachievable, to meet the challenges and overcome every obstacle. Passion for one’s work leads to self-motivation, determination and zeal to contribute and contribute with excellence every time. This quality, I have observed, has taken many professional to the heights they wish to achieve. Students and professionals when they develop a passion for their work, assignments or studies they can really excel in life.
The best examples I can give here is of Saint Teresa, the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century, the passion she had for serving the community and mankind is unmatchable and she devoted her entire life to help the poor and the needy. Another example is of Steve Jobs, the passion he had for innovation and developing a product which will change the lives of the customers. He believed that his passion will be able to change the world and it actually did. He simply said “People with passion can change the world”. He also advised to all that “You’ve got to find what you love,” Jobs said. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
So, as a Human Being we should have a lot of passion for our work. I mean lot of fire in our belly, very killing spirit to achieve the task successfully. I always remember the India- Pakistan Cricket match. The amount of passion shown by both the team members to win the match is unbelievable. I am seeing today’s “ Gen-Y” is having lot of passion about their career goals and an amount of maturity they show to execute their passion in achieving the results. Hence, keep aside your grievance, dissatisfaction, anger etc.. etc.. when you are executing the task, Only keep in mind that your name is attached while executing the task. So, it never fails. If you perform the task with the same spirit, success is guaranteed.
- Self-discipline: I have observed that self-discipline is the foundation of any success. One must ensure that one follows certain principles in life. Self-disciple is more like a habit which one develops for doing various things. There is humongous amount of research which is done on self-discipline and it is observed that people with self-discipline are able to achieve more in life as they are clear about what choice they should make. They can easily manage conflicting situations and they are clear about what their actions should be and they do not let any emotions or imaginations to hamper their decisions. It’s a process of building certain habits like reaching on time, reading everyday, exercising daily, eating right food etc.
I would like to share this story of a young and bright girl from one of my previous organizations. This young girl was immaculate in her work. Conceptually very clear in her understanding of the subject, very good in communication, was always able to crack the deal with the customer, her seniors would look up to her for any tough assignments; however she did not follow self-discipline. She would always be late to work by significant time. Every day she would end up staying back late to make up for the time, she would reach late for meetings with the Sales director, with the customers and finally she ended up losing her job. She was unable to adopt self-discipline in her life.
To achieve success, discipline is expected in your thought process, behavior, attitude etc…etc.. There is no example of any individual personality or Institution who is highly successful in his or her respective field without observing discipline. It is culture- way of thinking, feeling, behaving, acting etc..etc with discipline.
- Empathy: Empathy is the ability to identify and understand the problem or feelings of the opposite person recognize their concern and take actions accordingly. It’s putting oneself in the opposite person’s situation. Empathy is a quality which enables a person to create a bond with the opposite person. It enables the person to put one’s self in the shoes of the opposite person and act accordingly. When a person is empathetic and sensitive to the emotions of the other person, the opposite person experiences a sense of comfort while interacting and thus a rapport is built. In the business world it is the rapport and relationship building or networking which is very important and one benefits a lot by building strong relationships. Due to this quality opposite person will also develop trust and faith and find it easier to share the problems and hence solutions can also be worked out easily.
In order to achieve a success, sympathy i.e feeling for the people alone will not work. One need to develop the quality of Empathy i.e feeling with the people is very important. When we develop the quality of empathy, we may successfully tackle any professional, personal and social issues.
- Timely Communication: Communication is the art and ability to exchange one’s ideas and thoughts in a manner that is conceivable to the opposite person. A very important dimension of communication is that it should be timely. For any communication to be effective, it is imperative that it is made in a timely manner. Communications which are delayed and outside the timelines lose its value and hold no meaning. It is as good as not responding or not communicating when communication is stale. Timely communication is a sign of communication. This quality can be adopted in professional as well as personal life as this will enable an individual to make decisions also in time.
I would like to share my experience with timely communication. I had a team member who would always take things lightly. I had invited a person for a meeting from a place which was very far from where my office is for a personal round of interview. This person had to travel for 2 days to reach to my office. Due to some business exigencies I had to cancel this meeting. I had asked the team member to communicate regarding the change of schedule to the person who was invited. My team member due negligence communicated the same in the evening. The person had already began his journey, he had to get down on next station, stay back in a hotel for the night and travel back on the next day. Had my team member communicated in time, the person would not have started the journey and would have been saved from a lot of inconvenience.
So, only communication is not important but it is timely communication is important. Hence, you need to develop a very effective communication skill as well as Time management skill. If we do not perform the task in timely manner, it will lose its significance. So, in order to be successful; we need to develop both the skill.
- Quick Response:
As you are aware that today’s time is very fast, dynamic and ever changing competitive world. So, in order to face the competition successfully you shall respond quickly. But, it does not mean that you respond anything without proper homework or proper thought process. In order to respond quickly, you should have very good decision making ability which you may develop when there is clarity on your goals, approach, strengths, weaknesses, available opportunity and challenges of your field.
One must inculcate this habit of responding quickly. Any matters or decisions should not be kept pending. This is one of the most important pearl of wisdom and I truly believe that this pearl has made a lot of difference in a lot of lives. People who respond quickly are the ones who achieve success. By responding quickly one shares their views and thoughts to the opposite person, the opposite person also understands your viewpoint, the opposite person then shares their ideas and opinions regarding your suggestions and thus this leads to healthy exchange of thoughts and finally a solution is obtained in all matters. Responding quickly makes the opposite person feels that he or she is important and hence you have taken out time to revert back. This helps you in building a good reputation and develops a good-will. Also this quality will lead to many projects and assignments being completed in a timely manner and this lead to success at organisation and individual levels.
I strongly recommend that one must recite these pearls every day. As a routine if one chants these pearls daily and implement them in their way of life then success is inevitable. By chanting on a daily basis will always reinforce in your mind set and motivate to practice in your day to day life. At the end of the day, you shall introspect yourself and evaluate how much you have practiced these pearls in your day to day life. Based on your self- evaluation, you decide where I shall improve in practicing the same. Whether by practicing the same am I benefitting? This will guarantee success. My years of experience have enabled me to conceive these pearls which I practice and achieve a success in all facets of life. I am confident that those who will chant these pearls, practice the same, introspect and take corrective action in their day to day life, success in every walk of life is inevitable. With Best wishes.