Holding Ourselves Accountable

I recently interviewed ten HR Managers. It was very sad to see how hopelessly they were out of touch with the latest developments in their profession. There are some reasons why this happens.

Firstly people strongly believe that theory and practice are two different things and theories cannot be converted in practice. That may be true of theories elsewhere but management theories can be practiced. Inability to practice should be seen as lack of skill.

When we conclude that management theories cannot be practiced, we can easily rationalise our inaction; and what is worse, the responsibility for learning then is no longer on us. Blame it on impractical theories!

Secondly, it is shocking how little people invest in themselves. With internet available everywhere, it is possible to access latest knowledge. But unfortunately this is not used.

I have always wondered how much time some of the industry leaders spending to educate themselves and remain current. There must be a lot to learn from what they do. Just imagine for example, the changes in technology and management thought that Ratan Tata would have seen in his career. And even Narayan Murthy too.

I feel failure to use resources like internet points out a bigger malaise. A sense of inadequacy does something good – you keep on working to remain in the forefront at all times. Some people do not acquire this sense of inadequacy. The reason is that their frame of reference is different. If you compare where you stand [in knowledge and skills] vis-à-vis your school mate in the village then chances are that you will be comfortable; you will feel no need to do anything to keep yourself abreast of developments. The real question is whether you want to get recognized as an expert or you want to earn enough salary for a good living. The course of action thereafter is different.

Thus it all boils down to ‘whether you want to take charge of your life or not.’ The answer to this question will decide whether you are going to be mediocre or a front runner. We have to answer that question to ourselves. When we claim we are very talented person [almost everybody does it], we have to also hold ourselves accountable to do full justice to it.

Vivek

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