Making An Impact!
Making An Impact!
Subramanya was a manager in a big company of around 50,000 employees. He was a successful manager and always had ears to his team mates, he took pride in training new joiners who is fresh from the college and gave them wonderful career guidance to them. A fresher would consider him as a mentor and always felt comfortable speaking with him on any situation. Always people approached him for his wisdom than his intelligence.
When I asked him to recall an incident where he had to really find a solution out of box to stop someone making a wrong career choice. He recalled an incident which happened two years ago where one of his trainees resigned for no reason!
This was the story of Ramesh who later became a very good team leader within a short span of time and started creating and building result-oriented teams.
Ramesh joined the organization and he was bright student out of college full of hopes, full of energy ready to jump into corporate world filled with dream of making an impact in the organization. He was hired at an entry level. Like all college students, he didn’t know what is expected of him. Being brought up like all kids these days, he had a false notion that he can get what he wants in life without hard work and he has special talent that no one has.
These days kids are told that they are special from their childhood. Each kid is different, instead of telling them they are unique, kids are told they are special. Parents tell them they are special, schools tell them they are special. They refuse to believe that they are one among many because most get what they want throughout their life. Once they enter an organization, they will be one of many. It will be mostly their interpersonal skills combined with their knowledge will help them succeed in corporate world.
After joining the job, Ramesh was put to a small team and he started performing a good pace. He was recognized as a young talent who has a bright future in the company. He got good reviews from his supervisor and all was happy for first three months. After three months, he got into the usual routine of going to office and do what he has to do daily. This made him think that he is not performing and it’s not making an “impact” for the organization. The only thought he was having was “if I leave the organization, or if I am taken out of the equation, will it make a difference for the organization?”
He knew that the answer for his question was no! and the “no” really hurt him deeply. He thought he came to organization to make an impact, but all he was doing was do some routine work. Another two months passed and he was not able to get over with this guilt. It was disturbing him a lot. Gone was the kid who subconsciously believed he was special. With that disturbed mind he resigned quoting the reason he was not making an impact and he don’t believe that company needs him.
Ramesh’s resignation was forwarded to Subramanya who received this resignation by surprise. After a day he called Ramesh for a meeting.
In the meeting Subramanya listened to all Ramesh had to say and understood the problem that this kid had. He said nothing. At the end of the meeting, he simply said that he will accept the resignation after the team outing that weekend. He asked Ramesh not to miss the outing. Ramesh agreed to the outing and thought it will be good to catchup with all the people he knows before quitting.
Team outing was held in a resort near Coorg district. It’s a placed filled with coffee estates and where ever you go, you will only see only greenery. Journey was pleasant and they reached the resort Saturday morning.
Saturday night was the time for camp fire and it was lit with lots of twigs and slivers of wood. Subramanya was sitting near the camp fire smoking his cigarette and when he saw Ramesh sitting with friends. He called him to have a quick chat with him. When they were together, Subramanya started speaking to him casually asking about his childhood, family life etc. He told Ramesh his childhood stories too and explained how things were different then and how things are now.
When he finished his cigarette, he looked at the fire which was getting dull. He asked Ramesh to join him to gather few more logs for the fire. They both went and collected the logs and twigs for the camp fire. They gathered the logs and came near the camp fire. Both started fanning the fire and adding logs to fire. When the fire was burning bright again, they resumed their talking.
Subramanya started to get one more cigarette for him. He casually asked Ramesh to fetch him a brightly lit twig for his cigarette. Ramesh took out a twig whose end is burning and gave to Subramanya. He lit the cigarette with the burning end instead of putting it back to fire, he just kept it away from fire. He told Ramesh to observe what happens the burning end of twig. After some time, the fire faded and before he could finish the cigarette, twig was no longer burning. He asked Ramesh the reason behind this fire being put off on the twig that he was holding while the fire is still burning in the camp fire.
Ramesh was not sure.
Subramanya then said that a solitary piece of twig, no matter how brightly it was burning before will lose its charm once it is out the fire. There is nothing special about the twig that his is holding, it really did not make a difference when it is taken out for the burning fire, but the twig lost its charm. Likewise, most of the logs and twigs there. No single twig or log is making the difference, yet, fire is burning and burning bright. It’s the collective effort that all the logs and twigs put together that cause fire to burn brightly. It’s not from a single log or twig. Each log, each twig has its role to play only when it is part of fire. If it is taken out, it will be the loss for the twig itself and not always for the fire!
By the time Subramanya finished his analysis, Ramesh understood his role and how he was actually contributing the company all the time. His eyes were completely fixed on what Subramanya’s words and he was absorbing it completely.
By the look on Ramesh’s face, Subramanya understood that his mission is accomplished and simply said “I will see you on Monday, I would like you to take up a new project for me”
Ramesh simply nodded and smiled at Subramanya.
Then Ramesh recalled his resignation, quickly understood the meaning of team work. He was promoted to team leader and he had frequent conversations with Subramanya whenever he needed any mentoring.