Source | LinkedIn : By Ramesh Srinivasan
“Is Ashwin playing?” asked the 80-year old uncle from Chennai, as he plonked himself on the sofa to watch the cricket match. As the game progressed, it was clear that but for couple of other globally well-known players, the uncle knew no other player in the Indian team. About the opposing team, he simply didn’t care. Except for occasional Ashwin-related snippets, our guest had no interest in the game, its progress, or the nuances.
The new HR manager had spent 18 years in a downstream petrochemical company in Saudi Arabia, and was talking passionately about how they were organized, and the technologies they were using. When asked about any ‘take-away’ from this discussion, the manager looking after the Energy sector explained away his disinterest during the entire session by saying that he has no prospective customer in the current sales pipeline who is ‘into poly olefins’. Does he want to check? “I know my customers for the past 10 years.” He just shrugged at the new HR guy, and rushed out.
“This is a complete waste of time. What is a godman doing at a corporate offsite? Our CEO has really tripped it this time!” fumed one of the GMs during the tea break. In his angst, he was switched off right through the holy man’s session, doodling away on scores of pages of hotel stationery. I cornered the GM at the end of the day, “Did you hear the story that the Swamiji narrated? He was saying exactly what you were fighting for, in the morning session.” With sarcasm, the GM smirked, “Yeah? How is that?”
I re-narrated the story I heard a few hours ago. This was about a young man who was going to the next village on foot. After going more than half way, he felt very tired. His limbs were on the verge of simply folding up. He succumbed to this tiredness, picked himself up and simply walked all the way back home. What a foolish thing to do! “You were saying the same thing”, I pointed out, “Why do we put in so much efforts and resources behind all these new initiatives, and just as we are on the verge of reaping the rewards, why do we lose interest and faith in the product?” We then pull the plug, and get back to things that we are comfortable doing – products that are already cash cows. He least expected the godman to be his ally.