Management Talk: Shortcut to brilliance

My apologies if the headline acted like a honey trap to get you here. I do not believe in miracles and neither have I been moved or even amused by the countless claims to get you good luck or unlimited wealth or sexy abs or instant weight loss in the shortest time possible.

28 Mar 2016 | By Suresh Ramakrishnan

Yes, there are efficiencies brought in through technology, research, innovations, which are largely a function of intelligent human effort, and innumerable hours at that. This is possibly the crux of the matter; there is a lesson of ‘grind’ that precedes any success and it is of a sizeable quantum.

Many of you may relate it to the task of polishing your car. The easier way is to outsource it to a firm who does it as a fulltime occupation, but the tougher way (but enjoyable, really, I mean it) is to try doing it yourself. It is therapeutic. It burns significant amount of calories and it gives you a sense of achievement through lustre and shine.

But, there is a method, element of timing and sheer exercise of your biceps, triceps and shoulders after you apply the polish in a particular swirling action and wait for it to just set in (and not too long before it dries up) until you wipe it clean. The cleaning can take a couple of rounds for you to see your minor scratches disappearing and the shine getting even more prominent. No shortcuts here (You can say this about several chores at home as well; I just chose one that I could articulate better).

I do come across several instances on a daily basis where the thirst to reach the pinnacle of corporate life is so high that scant attention is paid to rigour. There is a sense of urgency to scale but not learn. There is an eagerness to learn, but no time to devote. There is a scramble for time perhaps because adequate preparation (building competence) was lacking to get the tasks done efficiently.

Here are some lessons I have learnt along the way.

There is not a shortcut to scale the Himalayas: You need adequate gear and you will need to acclimatise yourself to the climate. You will face blizzards and snowstorms, you may slip along the way, you may fall ill too, but working along with some training and a trainer to show you the way is what gets you there.

You cannot run a marathon after waking up one fine morning: The ability to run the first mile and increments there of takes time. Patience is the key. Build technique, build stamina, stay the course and scale slowly, else it may lead to injury or severe setbacks.

It takes time to cook the perfect biryani: There is a sequence. There is a method and there is a timing to add the ingredients. The flame has to be just perfect, as anything more or less would leave it over or undercooked.

Fame chooses its partner: Running behind it is futile; you may end up being known for the wrong reasons. It will come to you the day you truly deserve it and that too without you chasing it.

So, there is ‘no’ shortcut to brilliance. You may never get a badge of being one. It is a perception of what others think about you because of the methods you have adopted and the work you have put in.

Suresh Ramakrishnan is the publisher at Haymarket Media (India).