When Strength is a weakness. Arushi's professional career spans just 3 years.
Her Actual strength: a good voice, language abilities , promising learning professional.
Her Perceived strength: music, entrepreneurship jackpot ideas, become as big as Mark zukerberg!
A famous saying "our biggest obstacle on the road to success is ourselves". Nothing can be farther from the truth.
Let's break that down, we perceive something that does not agree to our chosen Path as an 'obstacle'. The 'success' is what we aim at the aspirational Highest that we can go to with the time, space and resources that we can garner. The road or roads we choose is the area of enterprise we choose.
We see companies struggling to retain top talent, parents trying the get best out of their kids, managers trying their level best to groom their teams.
Good talents feel not given enough. The middle rung are the ones who don't get the limelight they feel they deserve.
Let’s take the case of Neha, smart as a whip, cleared the tests to be in her 'dream job', an air hostess. The first day at work after months of selection and training. She felt she was just a 'glorified waiter' at 30000 feet. Limited as a view point was.
A company feels an employee has xx strengths. The employee has yy strength. The battle begins here. Let's take the push towards digital. It's hot today, every company's committed its strategy and position in the digital space. We position employees in digital in droves. I've seen little done to really upskill, train and add a digital competency to the KRA sheet. Let's face it, employees follow their KRA like a playbook or a 'to do' list!
Now should we play our perceived strengths or real strengths. Here are some signs you need to follow like Mariners followed the stars.
Learning: Is very fragmented. It needs continuous revision , Every 6/ 12 months if you will. everything is not good for everyone. The impact of learning and application of competency should be measured. Courses, trainers, mediums and schedules not meeting the fine balance of building skills should be revised. This applies both to the individual and to the company.
The hard way: Millennials see the hard way has an invisible ' no go' sign. Learning excel, video editing, building networks is seen as a waste of time. The hard way is the forge to hear the iron. A very direct view. Joining an apprenticeship program. Learning under expert guidance is a must. It teaches the tricks of the trade. Every company, school, college, team needs to have a strong apprenticeship program.
Time to market: There is an eternal question. Should we deliberate or jump at the oportune moment. Going to market your idea, product involves rigourous positioning, planning fail-safes, defining roles. Each of these takes time, concerted effort and can seldom be put together in a day.
Go it alone: 'I want to make alone' seems to be the mantra today. Even Mark Zuckerberg needed the support of venture capitalists. And ideas till then have to be protected, tested and proved. The first to position it right makes the cut. A new process executive will not make it large by magic. It's years of extra work. Late hours, taking new responsibilities. And then when the management team sees him/her not as a outlier, he/she will eventually get promoted. It's all positioning and public relations. And remember, bad news loves to travel fast.
Google, Apple vs Indian MNCs : One thing I've seen as a global indicator. quicker decisions matter. Apple's already testing drone technology. Any other Indian MNCs will deliberate for months before buying a promising young company. Till then, many have already hands in the pie. What differentiates us. Our love for a strong safety net keeps us from making a big leap forward. While it's very secure, the downside is redundancy indicator is in Amber (one step short of red).
Groom a workforce: not sticking too much to the written word. Could be a huge start. Making it a workforce that thinks of itself as each running a business. A strong financial penalty system for the lagging few. Not compromising to coaching, mentoring and grooming teams. Employees who look at work as a responsibility, and, not just something to be delivered only for 9 hours and then log off.
Enhanced Learnability: a robust, continuously revised, mandatory grid free structure. Maximum use of all online tools from Lynda, Khan academy, grammar apps, duo lingo for learning a language. Pluralsight for technical training. While it is available is rarely followed, measured and provided with opportunities to apply.
Some work: a good killer idea needs a killer business plan. It still needs, a plan b, c,d. Signing a record label may be a huge deal, but stick to that full-time job till it works out. If the commitment is strong enough, You'll find the energy to work the weekend.
The tools of trade: Don't shirk from investing in a suit, an iPad or fancy business cards. Some of the best made opportunities happen off work, hanging out at a literature fest, music fest, a conference. A high spec laptop , iPads, free internet can do a world of good. Give it with a measurable and clear outcome is key to providing the best with a price that benefits both company and the individual.
Vision board: Go to your home, sit in the drawing room. Everything arranged to display your life, whether it's the car you drive, the gadget you buy, or the weekend hobby you pursue. It takes a great deal of effort to align the vision of the individual to the vision the company. I've seen the onboard psychologist sitting free at most companies. The best person to help build a strong vision board Is busy fixing a troubled relationship only.