Volume - 4 : Issue - 3

Published : Jul. - Sep. 2005

Group : Think About It

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Serving up the Spinach

by Sabhinder Singh Prem (MD - Reebok India)

The turning point for Popeye the sailor is when he gets his spinach. He guzzles a full can and wallops a large competitor. The turning point for Asterix is when he gets his magic potion. Guru Gobind Singh Administered the Amrit to the ordinary to get transformational results: the metaphorical sparrow that could challenge the eagle. This magic potion is attitude. It's the confidence in oneself and the responsibility of a leader to discover and administer this magic potion that transforms an ordinary person into a winner.

Research on a particular species of a bee sums up this behaviour. This species is known to jump 36 inches. When placed in a jar of 12 inches, they jump out. However, when a lid is placed on the jar, they struggle and eventually give up. Once the lid is removed the bees no longer jumps 36 inches. They jump only eight inches and remain in the open jar.

They have been conditioned. While in the closed jar every time they jumped higher their head hit the lid.

Most of us in life live smaller lives to avoid pain. We forget the capability that we possess and are afraid to take risks. Next, in the bee example, something strange happens. A new bee flies into the jar and easily jumps out. On seeing her, the other bees remember how they too could jump 36 inches and begin to jump out. This is the power of positive association. The essence of leadership is about creating a charged atmosphere, one of excitement and inspiration where people rise to heights they never dreamt are possible. It's like an inverse paranoia where you believe the whole world is conspiring to do you good.

One has to open to change. India is changing at very fast pace. Half of India was born after 1982, which makes us the youngest country in the world. These 20-year-olds think very differently from us and we need to understand and empathise with this large group. We have to accept change and do things differently. One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

The secret of passion is purpose. Goal setting is an aspect wherein a lot of thought and creativity is exercised. Well set and defined goals ensure a sense of focus and that creativity is channeled for the desired results.

Lastly, it's important that people enjoy the work they do and develop a larger sense of purpose. They leave their families each morning and go to work. The real value of achieving goals lies not in the rewards they receive but in the person they become.