What is “Resource Myopia”?
Before I plunge into the next magical ingredient “Resource Myopia” that makes the leaders, let me explain what is it all about which will help my readers to appreciate this episode. Psychology has identified 11 mental blocks that prevent human beings to become a “Possibility Thinkers” and one of them is “Resource Myopia”.
Let me explain in detail before we could explore how to overcome it: The Oxford dictionary meaning of the word “Resource” is:
- “A supply of an available asset to be used when needed.
- A strategy for dealing with difficulties; the ability to find such strategies.
The word “Myopia” has the following connotation:
– Right under your nose but not seen!
From the above explanations you may appreciate that “Resource myopia” is a short sightedness of available assets that can be used to achieve whatever you want. The moment if we are asked to accomplish something, we all respond “I don’t know how to do it” – we come from the paradigm that if we don’t know how, we cannot achieve what we want? If I say you can accomplish whatever you want even if you don’t know how to do it, you may give a dirty look at me! Let’s look at the anecdote below:
If you don’t know how to make “Tandoori chicken” and if I ask you to make it, you have two options – one is telling me you don’t know and another is surfing the 2000 plus websites to figure out how to make a good Tandoori chiken and use the best recipe! In the first option you are resource myopic and in the second option you are not.
John F Kennedy in mid 50’s announced his vision for America as “We must land the man in the moon and bring him back alive before the end of the decade” When he proclaimed this he or the NASA did not have any clue how to reach a place which is 3,50,000 miles away crossing the empty space and land & take-off without a run way. No single man on earth can come with a design of a lunar system that will make JFK’s dream a reality. “The land of possibility” made it by overcoming the resource myopia. The obvious response of a common man is to write a thesis how and why it is not possible! Only people without “Resource Myopia” can make this.
NASA developed all systems required to make JFK dream a reality with the available assets in this planet. Where it all came from?
- Possibility Thinking – my previous episode
- Overcoming Resource Myopia – short sightedness of available resources.
Accomplishing without knowing is the secret of successful Leadership. In other words not knowing is an asset than a liability. It is paradoxical to know:
“Who don’t know how to do it have a dream and the mass who knows how to do it have no dreams!” Kennedy had a dream but did not know how to do it; the scientist of NASA knew how to do it but had no dream!” In other words the leader is paid for dreaming and inspiring the team to achieve his/her dream.
Vast majority of us feel shy of saying that “we don’t know” – please remember “not knowing is an asset and not a liability as the Leaders don’t know how to do it, but know how to get their things done through the abundant resources available in this universe”. In fact knowing who can do it for you is more valuable than knowing to do it yourself – after all how many things you can know yourself?
The Curiosity for Novelty:
One of the characteristics of this universe or nature is to conceal its secrets and reveal to those who search. The word Research means searching something that already exits - that is why it is re-search! As a child we had a tremendous curiosity to know everything we came across. As we have grown, somewhere down the line we lost our curiosity to know new things. The novelty is lost as we started thinking that “we know all that we need to know”. Alas what a foolishness to conclude that we have unravelled all the secrets of life! Avvaiyar, one of the legendary Tamil poet lived several hundred years ago said “what we have learned is like a speck of a sand in the beach and what we don’t know is the rest of the sand in this universe” .
Swami Vivekananda once was browsing through books in a Library in the US. The Librarian believed to have sarcastically commented to him “you seem to have read all the books in the library today”. Vivekananda answered him “Yes, you may like to test that by asking questions in any books in the Library”. The Librarian was shocked to see Vivekananda answering any questions from any books. He finally touched his feet and asked him how it is possible? Vivekananda replied “some people read word by word, some read sentence by sentence, some read paragraph by paragraph, some read page by page and I read ‘book by book’
It may appear that Swami Vivekananda was arrogant while he answered the librarian. It is not the audacity of this great man to think that he has absorbed all that is there in the library. The same Vivekananda said “If you show me a speck of sand and ask what it is? I may say it is sand! If you ask me further what is sand? I may say silica. If you ask me what is silica and if I happened to be a physicist I may explain the atomic structure, but if you ask me why the atoms are that way, I may not be able answer beyond! Even a speck of sand is un-explainable beyond a point how can we explain the sun, star and nebulae?” This is the question Swami Vivekananda asks to prove the point the secrets of nature is un-fathomable.
It means that don’t try to know everything and it is not a sin not knowing. For example “the cockroach is not designed to know nuclear physics but designed to withstand the nuclear exposure which none of the rest of creations could do” This only means you have your own strengths and weaknesses and your success depends on how you use your weaknesses as strength.
What is the main Point?
If you cannot find an answer for vast majority of things in this universe, does that mean we cannot achieve what we want? Most of the Leaders who have accomplished great results are the ones who have limited knowledge in the area where they have accomplished! The question that comes in your mind now is:
How can I accomplish without knowing much about the subject where I am working now?
If Boeing has put 2 million components and systems together in an aircraft to stay in the sky, does that mean the CEO Mc Nerney is a superman who knew everything about the aircraft design and manufacture? Is it humanly possible to know everything needs to be known by a single human being? The answer is no as the nature has not planned this universe that way. The sum total of the universal knowledge is available as a reservoir for you to access and you will only if you have no “resource myopia”
98% of the Indian industries are MSME’s (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises), founded by entrepreneurs who knew how to do thing? For example, if I know how to make sheet metal components, I start a sheet metal making industry. These industries still remain MSME’s for decades with a stunted growth for the simple reason they were founded by someone who knew “How to do things”. If you look at the balance 2% of the corporate are founded by people who had no clues about what they were making. For example, T.V.Sundaram Iyengar who created a great institution TVS Group in the south was from a pious Brahmin family – TVS is a symbol of quality today silently making this country proud as the first company to get the coveted Japanese Deming award.
The founders of great institutions are the ones who had no knowledge in the subject matter on which they founded their organizations. Dhirubhai Ambani did not know how to make synthetic fibre or crack petroleum but created the largest wealth for himself, the common man of this country and made his off-springs as one of the top 5 wealthiest people in this planet within his own generation. Dhirubhai had the dream and knew who can make it a reality for him. He did not have the “Resource Myopia” which we have all plagued with.
What is the main lesson?1. The universe by design is to conceal all its secrets and reveal for those who are willing to
“Search” – Electric bulb for Edison, electricity to Benjamin and so on.
2. “Curiosity is the mother of invention” and not as the famous adage says “Necessity is the
mother of invention”. Never ever lose the child like “curiosity” in life and retain your Novelty till
the last breath.
3. One cannot know everything in this universe as that is not the plan of the nature. Not knowing
something is not a sin. Don’t feel inadequate or shy when you don’t know something.
4. What you don’t know; it is known to someone and they can fix it for you. You will find the right
resource if you don’t have “resource myopia”. For example whom do you approach when you
are not well? Obviously the doctor – why? You are sure he can fix it for you.
5. The whole universe is flooded with resources and will be visible only when you are free from
6. All that you need is the “Dream” and free from “Resource myopia” – the rest of it will be a
history how you made it as JFK landed the man in the lunar surface.
7. A Leader has a dream, finds the right resource, inspires them to share his/her vision and
achieves something great for humanity.
8. Next time if you feel you don’t know how? – Recognize it is an asset and not a liability as the
rest of the universe is waiting to convert your dream to a reality.