One of the takeaways from my interaction with the generation layers now in textile businesses has been the keen desire of the younger lot to change and do different, if not better. They are well equipped with innate smartness, a usually high post graduate masters from one of the premium institutes in India or often abroad. They are usually willing to work hard, mentally at least if not physically.
Then, and it’s a question that begs some deep thought, why the explosive growth isn’t happening. Why, do you find a sort of resigned body language and tone after a few years of them having been in the family businesses. This, usually accompanied by stagnant growth and frowning elders.
When I interact and ask simple questions, all the boxes for success get ticked. Yet between the capability and the resource, like the inevitable slip between cup and the lip, the transition is lost. What surprises me more is the low energy levels majority of them seem to radiate. It’s almost as if they have tired of some battle. Not surprisingly, the answer lies within sight, though very obviously not so apparent to them and the family elders.
If the reason is not physical or monetary capacity, then what is that intangible that holds back success. Interestingly for me the learning came in the form of a webcast by one of the many life coaches that spread such wonderful and enlightening insights. Related to an example he narrated, I could see what the fine line between wannabe and being is.
The key factor is being prepared to face ridicule and public shame of failure. Shar Rukh Khan and Maliaka Arora need not really have feared for their physical well being when doing the famous Chaiya-Chaiya number on top of the train. The tools and safety equipment now available would have ensured that no harm came to them in case anything untoward happened. It was the emotional courage to face the possible failure of such an unconventional dance setting and the subsequent ridicule and scorn public and social media would have unleashed. They faced their fears, be it emotional or physical, and one of them is the most successful star today. Yes, they needed the basic skill, either innate or learnt, to dance well, but the winning was not in having or acquiring the skill or expertise. It lay in taking the risk associated with using it to the cutting edge. No one knows or talks about the hundreds of people that would be sitting inside the train carriages. It’s the one who climbed on top, stared the world in the eye, and said, this is me, and I dare. They were all capable physically, given a ladder probably, of getting on that train top, but they chose not to.
You have the skill, learnt or inborn, you have the safety net, in that you need not worry about arranging for your house ration in case of monetary failure, the family is there for that. What you need to do is challenge yourself to fail, dare others to scorn you. When you really commit to succeed versus your stated intent to, that day will be first step. The second will be, literally and figuratively, when you can get on to your table at the pub, or in your home, and dance to loud music as you sing along. Not caring how good you dance, not caring how your family members, friends or peers hide in embarrassment or hiss at you to not make a fool of yourself and them a laughing stock. That, will be the day you will be set for success, immediate or future.
So if you have had your Chaiya-Chaiya moment of exposure in life, congratulations. If not and you frustrate over your lack of achievement commensurate with your vision, thoughts and capabilities, get on the table. Ask Alexa or Siri or the DJ to play Chiaya-Chiaya or any other song, and dance, for yourself, for the liberation that it will give you, for the chains it will break, and see success follow. On a personal note, those who are not willing to be part of your embarrassments, do not deserve being part of your success.
Sharad Tandon is CEO, Standon Consulting.