Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 33 – “Job Perception”

My dear friends,

Former USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev once went to a Construction Site and found one young boy chiseling stones. He had hurt his fingers which were bleeding. He was sweating also in the hot weather. Gorbachev asked politely “My dear boy, what are you doing?” The young boy replied “Can’t you see, I am struggling for my living, sweating and bleeding, chiseling stones”. Gorbachev then moved to the opposite side of the same Construction Site and found another boy almost in the same situation. He repeated his question. The answer came spontaneously “Can’t you see Sir, we are building a Great Church where thousands of people will come and pray God for thousands of years. I am fortunate to be chiseling foundation stones on which this sanctimonious building will stand providing protection and spiritual ambience to the devotees. I could not have got a better job for my living“.

Same job, different perception !!

“Job Satisfaction” Revisited

Subroto Bagchi, Co-Founder of MindTree Consulting shared a story from Bihar in a National Daily a few years ago. One of his relatives went with his two matriculate nephews to Tata Steel, Jamshedpur with an idea of getting them employed. Since they were modestly qualified, he could not find suitable openings for them. Someone told him that a German Head of a Laboratory was looking for a couple of helping hands. He went to him along with both of his nephews. The German Technician accepted both of them and asked them to sweep the entire floor. One of his nephews thought it was too much to expect from him as he was fairly qualified. He left for ever. The other one followed the instruction and continued there and one day he retired as “Chief Foreman” of Tata Steel. Jobs are not meant to satisfy us. Instead we need to focus on satisfying the job. Jobs are not animate things that have knowledge of who we are and what are we seeking out of them. Once I asked a large group of technicians at Reliance Energy “What is the source of your job satisfaction?” They mentioned:

  • When we get a pat.
  • When we achieve or exceed the quarterly targets becoming eligible for “Simply the Best ” or “Beat the Best ” awards for the Group.
  • When we do something visible for the Society at large.
  • Making impossible possible !

While analyzing the above I told them “Except the First, rest is all in your hands”. In fact all the above are spiritualities surrounding the job that satisfy us. Jobs by themselves are not living things capable of satisfying anybody.

“Job Definition” Revisited

Any job Big-B does becomes Big! Actor of the millennium Amitabh Bachchan (73) becomes stronger with each role be it on Big or Small screen – anchoring or endorsing or promotion of tourism. His vigor grows due to his intense self-application AND his absolute belief that “No job is small or big by itself; it is the way in which you do, makes it small or big”. The job does not define his role, he defines the job. He does not work on a job description, in fact no one can define him or his job; he defines the job himself while enacting. Professionals who work on an (A4) size sheet of Job description remain constrained in a format and fixed boundaries and can never define their jobs to the fullest with their imagination, innovation and potential expanding all the time. Anchoring used to be a small job before Big-B did “Kaun Banega Karorpati” bringing so much of passion and wisdom on the table. Now it is a glorious job. So any job that he does gets defined afresh and that is the essence of “Job Definition” which should remain in the domain of the Job-Doer more than the Job-Assigner.

No Job is Small – The Holy Bible

Once I asked my driver, who always used to think he was doing a small and insignificant job, “How many temples of Arjuna we have in the city?” He said none. Then I asked him “How many temples of Krishna?” He said plenty. Why? Arjuna was the greatest warrior of his time and Krishna was just his “chariot driver”. Is it not because Krishna motivated his master bringing him out of depression in a manner that it continues to enlighten the entire humanity for all times to come? Similarly, we have more temples of Hanuman today than his Master Rama. Is it not because the Sevak became “Sankat Mochan” for his own Master several times? No job is small or big, it is the way in which you do, makes it small or big.

Do you respect and wish to succeed in your Job?

A soap salesman started out selling soap for Colgate. Orders came slowly and he was worried about losing his job. He started going back to the merchant and say “I haven’t come back here to try to sell you any soap. I have come back to get your advice and criticism. Where was I wrong? You are far more experienced and successful. Please give me your opinion.” This won him a lot of friends and priceless advice. This salesman later became President of the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Soap Company : the world’s largest makers of soap. His name was E.H. Little who became one of the 15 richest Americans one time.

Is everything not selling? Aren’t we all selling?

  • A candidate at a job interview is selling his candidature and the Interviewer is selling his Company.
  • Politicians are selling their Party policies to get elected.
  • A lawyer trying to make a point in the Court.
  • A scientist presenting a research paper at a Conference.
  • A boy and girl proposing to get married.
  • A major contract being negotiated.
  • A submission at the Patent/ Copyright office.
  • Publication of a Book.
  • A motivational speech.

Anyone who sells a product, service or an idea is a salesperson, said Robert Stevenson. 

Job is a “Blessing”

A professional realizes that a job is a blessing. Every day increasing number of people in this world wake up to a morning without a job. Go to a village and you will realize what unemployment means and how scores of people will be grateful even if they can get 100-days of seasonal employment in a year under MG-NREGA. Ask a retired professional what a vacuum he wakes up to unless he makes his own targets for his aptitude-based self-created ventures.

Satyamev Jayate !!!

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon,
Former Director General(NPTI & CPRI, Govt. of India and REL), Director – REC

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)