By Nikhil Goel
As I reflect back on the learning’s that I take back from the 15 day sojourn called “Jagriti Express”, I am amazed to note how many of them can be applied to our conduct in corporate life. Below is a modest attempt to enlist a few.
Learn to pace your innings:
I vividly remember Dr. Aarvind of Aravind eye care hospital, Madurai, the world’s largest and most efficient eye care facility reiterating their founder Dr. V message “Intelligence and capability are not enough. There must also be the joy of doing something beautiful.” However, he emphasized that rushing into things isn’t the way to go. Wait till the time your heart talks very clearly as to what you want to do and once you have the green light, just go all out to see it through. Dr. V started the hospital at the age of 58 with 11 beds, not a young age to venture into the world of entrepreneurship by any yardstick. But once he had the clarity of purpose and burning desire to fulfill his vision of ending needless blindness, the feat that he has achieved today in a small span of time is for everybody to see.
Never let your school interfere with your education:
Bunker Roy, the founder of Barefoot college, wisely quipped the above line by Mark Twain while dwelling on the repository of wisdom and knowledge that villages of India hold. Certificates, degrees shouldn’t be the basis to judge one’s capabilities and worth. Years of experience and traditional know how can achieve solutions to problems that formal education system has failed to solve for so long. In corporate setting too, we at times try to look for answers outside when the solution lies inside. We try to overlook the resources at our hand in our effort to scramble to the solution using the template models. If you want to learn, start unlearning.
Any organization worth its salt has to face its crises:
In Bunker Roy’s opinion, if everyone around you is happy with what you are doing, you are probably doing something wrong. Criticism just like crisis is an inevitable part of any organization’s journey. Be it barefoot college in Telonia or Goonj in Delhi, these organizations drew strength from such episodes and were drawn closer to their purpose and vision. Individuals need to look at challenges in the same vein and embrace them as part of their life journey.
Recognize that there are currencies other than money in our world:
2015 Magsaysay award winner and founder of Goonj, Mr. Anshu Gupta, had a very modest beginning 18 years ago. He had nothing but wisdom and courage to ask questions which no one ever bothered to ask. Why doesn’t one get drinking water in taps when we are charged for it? What arrogance causes urban people to claim to be helping the poor kid while exploiting them to do their household chores? What they claim to be charity is actually favor extended by the underprivileged who use their discard. In his ‘Cloth for work’ initiative, Mr. Gupta has identified material and labor as two other currencies which can be utilized to build India. The local communities work on building things most important to them in exchange for a kit prepared using materials contributed by the donors. Here labor gets traded for material. Even in corporate settings, we need to think outside the contours of conventional wisdom and look at challenges with an open mind and an approach not afraid to challenge the status quo.
Heart knows today what the mind will know tomorrow:
One should never lose sight of the cause that is close to one’s heart. A man’s life should be driven by purpose and not by profits. A doer is not necessarily driven by logic but certainly by passion. Explaining the relevance of listening to one’s gut and instincts, Mr. Jaynesh of the Sabarmati ashram dwelled on how Gandhi always listened to his heart while finding answers to his most daunting ordeals. No matter if the solution is contrarian because any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already. Listen to your inner voice and take the plunge. In one’s professional journey too, one encounters situations where heart and mind are in conflict. Great leaders have always listened to their heart and that has made all the difference.