13. Jan, 2015


Moving Ahead in the Corporate World

It is an accepted fact in our commercial and industrial world that today’s work place is a lot more exhilarating, demanding, challenging and customer-driven than ever before so there is no doubt in my mind that the people who are in the workforce and want to get ahead and to rise to the top have to be high achievers.

I wish to go back to the basics of human qualities as means and methods of achievement. These may sound and look obvious but often a reminder creates a miracle to change and adjust our attitude.

My high school teacher gave me a description of a high achiever as an individual who is fully committed to team work, is always prepared to take risk, is a balanced thinker, is a continuous skill builder and is ready and eager to produce good results at all times. He told me a few specific things that make us high achievers like quality, skill, attitude and inspiration.

Ever since then, I have been adding my own thoughts to the profile of a high achiever for the business world. Whether we are working in high-tech or low-tech, in service sectors or manufacturing areas, and whether we are accountants, sales persons, plant operators, engineers, market researchers or managers, and supervisors, and whether we are Chiefs or just ordinary Indians, clerks or switchboard operators, we need to look at and check our essential biography or profile as an achiever if we want to move ahead successfully in this tough and competitive world.

In my many years of working as a teacher, administrator, curriculum developer, examiner and human resource practitioner I have heard members of corporations not only talking about their missions, strategies and objectives but they have been generating reams of written material, lectures, reports and memos spelling out what they wanted their people to know about their plans and policies.

Sometimes all these just end up being words piled upon words, with blame games pointing at failed associates. So what should be done? We need actions and attitudes that we can clearly measure and that can help us get there with ease and understanding. In order to achieve our goal we need specific means, behaviour benchmarks and design-oriented quality that tell us that we are on the right path and are fully engaged in the correct processes.

Let me pose a few relevant questions. Are we more entrepreneurial than we were this time a year ago? Just how much value have we added to ourselves in the past three months? Have we mastered decision making? These and similar other questions call us to move towards the global drift and do some skill building because our work is becoming more demanding than ever.

My suggestion is that we in the business world should learn to sharpen our executive, individual and corporate instincts and seriously view and adjust our own biography or profile if we want to move ahead. Who are we? Where are we? What are we doing? How are we performing our duties? When are we changing?

As I said in the beginning, now I will look at various basic and simple human qualities and attitudes that we can add to our profile and become high achievers as time moves on. 

Our smiles and frowns convey very vital attitude about our work life and is an important aspect of the high achievers. Our genuine and authentic smile is an encourager that quietly says, “Go ahead, tell me. Go ahead, do it. I believe in you. I am counting on your ability to do better.” A high achiever has to have the right kind of smile and be a spendthrift in this aspect.

On the other hand, frown, although it is appropriate in some instances, does a lot of damage because it depicts an attitude of an intimidator or discourager. So while the smile of a high achiever conveys an upbeat attitude about performance, our frowns may project the opposite, so let us take stock and adjust our disposition.

Then there is merit in a good handshake. My wife spoke at a wedding in Vancouver once and said that hand-in-hand contact is an expression of encounter, involvement and the good beginning of intimacy but it requires firmness. A weak handshake can show that we are moving away from people whereas a very firm handshake cannot be taken as persuasive but dominating. A high achiever gradually learns to resolve and adjust the handshake style accordingly to convey friendliness toward others and make them feel friendly toward self.

Many prominent workers have found that it pays to accept their weaknesses and character flaws. So it is often wise to accept that we have made a mistake and have learnt something from that error. If we do not acknowledge our limitations, we most certainly will doubt our strengths.

I know that a high achiever by trying to make the visitors and subordinates feel comfortable gets better results through involvement and by the degree of warmth that is displayed for the people who are part of the workforce. So it is better to resolve that it is worth our time and concentration to make our colleagues and visitors feel at ease at all times by teaming up with warmth because this basic human quality of warmth inspires and attracts.