I got an email some time back from one of my friends Mr. Vikas Dikshit. As such he is much senior to me. He is a NLP Trainer and when writes, you can just feel the depth. The email goes like this…
This week, on Monday and Tuesday, I conducted a two day workshop for school teachers. In this workshop, as also in many other workshops that I have conducted, the participants become aware that using what they learn in these workshops, they can greatly improve their lives. When I ask them to describe their take home value, they speak about their desire to continue to use these techniques and enhance their lives. In reality only a few people continue to do that however, not only in my workshops but any other good workshop they may be doing such as Art of Living, SSY, Transcendental Meditation. This is also true about self- development and technical workshops in the corporate world. Why this is so?
What is happening here is there is no self-awareness. We are living smugly in our lives. One living within poverty learns to live with less money, rather than learning to make more money. One who has bad relationship with spouse and children, learns to live without love, rather than learning to improve relationships. One who has bad health, learns to somehow continue to live the same way, rather than learning how to have better health. One who discovers that he is a really unskilled parent, just imagines this is how the parenting is done and continues to behave in the same way, no matter how much damage that does to the future of their own children. And when there is an opportunity to learn better, all these people have a better (???) thing to do, may it be watching cricket match, may it be watching a movie, or it may be just taking a lazy afternoon nap. This way they are in a sort of comfort zone.”
If I map this to corporate world, the situation is even worse. Too busy in executing, forget to learn new skills that can help executing the project better. For example one who has joined a project where work is not organized or processes are not followed, manage to live with such environment and adjust to the mess rather than learning how to do work better.
I have met people for whom going for a training is the least important item, their sole motto is execute, execute and execute…I say death by executing because if they do not take breaks, do not learn new skills and do not implement them in the work, they will be dead very soon in their career. I found some companies, they just do not organize any trainings or facilitate learning for their people and expect more and more productivity day by day. Training means, they have got a project and they don’t have people on technology and hiring from outside is difficult and costly. Everything is running around saving cost or convenience. What about improving capability of people??? Most of these companies are in SME sector. They often miss the fact that most of the projects fail not because of technical incapability but because of project manager’s incapability in planning & tracking, binding team members and motivating them.
Stephen Covey termed this as “Sharpen the saw”, the 7th habit in his book 7 habits of highly effective people. Too busy in cutting the wood, forget to sharpen the saw. What happen when you forget to sharpen the saw, your productivity of cutting wood goes down. Now putting more efforts and working hard will not improve your productivity. Even if it is, it will be incomparable to the productivity you will get by stopping the work, sharpening the saw once again and come back. One needs to do this at a regular interval. He specially emphasizes on reenergizing our own body.
This has come from a quote of Abraham Lincoln “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” When was the last time you sharpened your axe?
Once I was passing through Meerut Cantonment area where I believe Army has a training institute. I read a quote on the wall “ट्रेनिंग मैं पसीना बहाओ और लड़ाई मैं खून बचाओ” (Sweat in training and save blood in battle). In case of army, when the show is live, it is a matter of life and death. One has to go through regress training and has to be 100% sure before execution.
A sport person goes through regress training, coaching and practices endlessly for couple of days of match or few hours of game or in some cases just for couple of seconds of sprint. What happens when a team/player is failing, it is common sense for us to comment that team/players are not serious about their training, he/she has to correct his/her action etc. etc.. When it comes to our self, this common sense is not common.
In corporate world, it is execution most of the time. Some big organizations block some time for trainings but there also it normally does not go beyond 2 weeks. Comparing the time and efforts players and soldiers put in for their trainings, how precious every minute of a corporate training is? And you see all mobile phone, laptop on in the training room? Excellent multitasking!! What about people who think going to training to learn new skills is a toll on their execution. How much low priority, we have given to such important tasks without which all the paths of progress come to an end sooner or later. How long we will continue living in our comfort zone giving priority to least important tasks like watching Cricket, serials with no head and tale, aimless internet surfing or just gossiping. Like axe or saw, skills and capabilities also get dulled over time and need to be sharpened.
We all know, we need to stop, re-establish our direction, re-organize our scheduled to accommodate time to learn new skills, build capabilities and implement them back at work until we get what we truly want and deserve.
Make a promise this New Year.
Wish you a happy new year!
God bless you what you truly want and deserve!!