Some people rise above others and move rapidly in the corporate ladder or emerge as North Star and take the civilization to the next level. This would include prophets like Buddha or scientists like Edison. The outcome in both their case is prosperity; may be enlightenment in the case of Buddha and material wealth in the case of Edison. What way these human beings are different than the rest? I am of the view that prosperity is a default outcome for many who have amassed wealth. For example Edison did not invent electric bulb for becoming the richest man; he did it because he had a passion to contribute to the mankind and in the process became the richest man in the United States during his time.
I worked for Lucas-TVS for many years and during that tenure Mr. TS. Krishna was the Chairman of the board who was the second generation Leader. He was affectionately known as TSK. Normally we cannot see the Chairman of a corporate taking part in the daily activities of the company and occasionally they appear in the board meetings. On the contrary TSK knew all 3000 employees personally including what their children were doing at any point in time. This was possible due to his personal touch with the people as he had a daily routine of greeting all employees in the main gate at 7.00am in the morning, eat breakfast with the people and walk around the factory. Japanese have later called this leadership MBWT – Managing By Walking and Talking!!
It is often said “If you want to know how a person lived, please see how many people gather for his cremation”. The moment we are born, only one thing is certain; that we will die one day and all other outcome is a mystery which un-folds one after another. As Osho Rajneesh says “If the manual of your life is supplied when you are born like the one supplied when you by a television, Life will become a drudgery as we will also know when we will die!” Life is a brief period between birth and death. Before we could recognize, it depletes and we feel that not much has been accomplished.
There must be natural laws governing great achievements if you carefully examine. Let’s look at what are those laws and how one can adapt his/her attitude to these natural laws. I like to deal with the meaning of “Law” before we get into details. The synonyms of Law from Oxford dictionary is principle / directive / formula / rule etc governing the nature. Gravity is a law which governs the movement of masses; what you sow that you will reap is the law of karma and so on. I feel law is similar to an operating system of a computer which manages it. They are subtle and cannot be seen but their existence can be felt.
IEE – The 3 - Laws governing the Progress:
The diagram below depicts the 3 laws with Integrity at the base and enrolment in its apex which signifies the cause and effect relationship of each other.
Let’s examine each Law in greater details:
At the foundation level, we notice “Integrity”. I wish to pick the nearest synonyms of Integrity for our discussion – reliability / truthfulness / uprightness. Integrity is often misunderstood as moral (ethical / right / proper etc). I am of the view doing right thing is not what integrity means. I wish to draw Swami Vivekananda's definition of Integrity – “It is the integration of thoughts, words and action”. What does this really mean? Invariably we think something, speak something else and finally do something else! In Bhagawat Gita Lord Krishna calls this as Hypocrisy. When we have incongruence in our thinking, expression and words, people figure out that we are not reliable. Reliability is a result of “keeping up promises”; it may be showing up on time and keeping up our commitments. Many times when we say something to others, we internally know that we are not going to keep those words. This brings out a falsehood of our personality which is not authentic.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was called “Mahatma” (Great soul) for his integrity of thoughts, words and actions. When his wife refused to clean their toilet, he refused to live with her! When a man took his son to Ramakrishna Paramahansa and requested him to advise his son not to eat too much of sweet, the maharishi asked to bring him next week for the advise. He did this three times and finally advised him. The curious father asked Maharishi “why you did not advise him on the week I brought him? The great Mahan said “In the week-1 I was not eligible to advise him as I had no control over eating sweet! And in 3 weeks I practiced to control my tongue in order to be entitled to advise your son!” These great Mahans have proved what “Integrity” is all about.
In essence, be a leader or a follower, the reliability is the corner stone for making a mark in our career. I wish to share an anecdote to illustrate how integrity leads to prosperity with one of my colleagues in SSA:
Quaid Johar joined SSA as a meek looking humble boy with few years of experience after his engineering graduation. Normally, we don’t take our first few jobs very seriously as we feel that other pastures are greener till we recognize that all places are same. We go through the syndrome of the mouse in the book “Who moved my cheese?”
Quaid with his single pointed concentration and extraordinary composure made a big difference to SSA through his contributions of knowledge development in many complicated areas and playing a key role in our consulting assignments. I see him an un-stoppable guy with excellent inter-personal relationship and integrity. Ever since I met him, he always kept up his promises with his passion to make a difference in everything he did. I compare him with the famous music director and legend AR. Rahman who performs in an extraordinary manner and still wishes to be humble and un-assuming. They believe that one need not have to make tantrums to draw the attention upon them; mere performance will draw the spotlight on you. Today Quaid is a member of our critical mass of SSA.
I am of the view that ‘Integrity” is a manifested behavior of our passion for making a difference on this planet. When we enjoy what we do, we always excel in our performance. Integrity is like training our biceps in a gym which is a continuous practice and training of the mind. When we know that we are not going to keep our promises, we need to catch ourselves and remind that we have violated the Law no.1 I wish to give some simple tips to cultivate Integrity as a second nature:
1. Make a conscious efforts to show up on time as punctuality is the starting point for enhancing your self esteem and establishes your integrity leading people to believe you as a “RELIABLE” person
2. Reply all mails / sms that warrants your response immediately before closing the mails; it is very unlikely you will reply if you postpone for a later date. You look good in the eyes of the sender who expects a response from you. Not replying a mail is disrespect to the sender. If you are copied in the mail, choose your response based on the actions needed.
3. Never give false promises when someone invites you for a function; you know whether you are going to keep up or not. Be authentic to say that you will not be able to attend.
4. Acknowledge immediately if someone appreciates you. It is rude to keep quite when someone takes the pain of recognizing the good work you have done.
5. Never ever give false promises to your little children; as your are teaching them lack of integrity when they are in their formative years.
6. Finally check out whether there is an alignment between what you THINK, SPEAK and DO.
I shall deal with rest of the Laws in my next blog.