Be the light of dark­ness

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Guide - - INSIGHT -

Gauri Ch­habra

As I strolled around the streets few days ago, I could smell the fa­mil­iar scent of crack­ers, lights and the hur­ried buzz of ve­hi­cles driv­ing past me.

Di­wali the fes­ti­val of lights was fi­nally there, the fes­ti­val that is the har­bin­ger of lights, that is a pre­cur­sor of change sound­ing the death knells of the dy­ing year and strik­ing the clar­ion call of the new year was here.

So, I asked my­self am I go­ing to be the one who will be the pre­cur­sor of change or the fol­lower of change. Am I go­ing to be that light that springs from the womb of dark­ness?

It hap­pens with each one of us- in our per­sonal lives, in our pro­fes­sional lives, ev­ery­where. When you see some­thing in your or­gan­i­sa­tion that needs to be changed, you're likely to ad­dress the is­sue in one of two ways: you can ei­ther be a part of the dark­ness or you can hold in your­self the seed of light.

You can ei­ther com­plain about it and spell out what other peo­ple need to do to bring about the change or you'll step up and, with­out point­ing a fin­ger at any­one, out­line what you're pre­pared to do to help bring about that change.

Let's talk about that lat­ter- the light of dark­ness.

To il­lus­trate this point let's take up an ex­am­ple. In case you find that there has been a de­vi­a­tion from the pro­cesses in your com­pany and you tend to push it un­der the rug say­ing," it was not my fault" or blam­ing oth­ers say­ing," if he could have done that we would have been saved" you are a part of the dark­ness.

If you be­come a con­struc­tive ir­ri­tant by say­ing, "let us fig­ure out how we can fix this". Be­lieve me, nearly all prob­lems can be solved if we sum­mon the courage to step up and be­come an agent of change, rather than wait­ing for some­one else to do it.

No one is say­ing it's easy, es­pe­cially in un­cer­tain times. With the econ­omy in the throes of a fi­nan­cial Tsunami, peo­ple are re­luc­tant to be­come agents of change be­cause they don't want to rock the boat and chal­lenge sta­tus quo.

There's in­deed a ten­dency, when things are the way they are right now, for all of us to go by-no news is good news, as we do not want to cre­ate rip­ples by stir­ring the wa­ter.

If you think that way, you have be­come su­per­flu­ous in the or­gan­i­sa­tion and it might not make any dif­fer­ence if you were gone. So, my dear friends be­come the light of dark­ness.

Be the first ray to dis­pel fear and ig­no­rance. Don't point fin­gers of blame, be a so­lu­tion that chal­lenges things as they are and you will be con­sis­tently more highly-rated by your man­agers, and are more likely to get pro­moted.

Dur­ing the tough times, peo­ple get a tough as­sign­ment and they wind up try­ing to ra­tio­nalise to the peo­ple above them why they're not suc­ceed­ing.

I al­ways tell peo­ple, your bosses al­ready knew it was a tough as­sign­ment, and al­ready knew about the con­straints-they've proba- bly spent most of their time try­ing to de­fend them­selves to their bosses. What they re­ally want is some­one who says, "Look, I know there are a lot of con­straints, but let me tell you what I'm go­ing to do in spite of that."

Here is what you should do: Find one thing:

Think of some­thing at work that you want to do some­thing about im­me­di­ately to move in the di­rec­tion of the change you seek. For in­stance, you feel that

Be dis­rup­tive:

Be­ing dis­rup­tive does not mean that you ham­per progress. Dis­rup­tion al­ways has roots of change and change brings progress. So al­ways look at things from a fresh per­spec­tive. Re­mem­ber, if the cater­pil­lar had not thought three di­men­sional, he would not have be­come a but­ter­fly. So, if you feel that things are not be­ing done in a right man­ner, pro­pose a change. Chal­lenge sta­tus quo- that would help you be­come a leader.

Make your­self heard:

This is where most of us fail. We are all able to sug­gest and pro­pose changes, how­ever, where we are found want­ing is we just sug­gest those changes ad hoc and they fall on deaf ears. Re­mem­ber no­body is ready to ac­cept changes that eas­ily. Whether he's found that there's any dif­fer­ence be­tween the gen­ders in how will­ing peo­ple tend to be to step up and as­sume the re­spon­si­bil­ity for change in an or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Get to­gether:

Find a few al­lies and start to meet. Fo­cus on what you can do. The steps you can take, no mat­ter how small they may be. Make it your mis­sion to speak up and make oth­ers bet­ter.

Re­mem­ber, you may have to go over­board to praise ef­fort as well as re­sults, es­pe­cially if some­one goes be­yond his or her role of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. Af­ter this, you may need to come up with ideas for new prod­ucts and innovations even if it's not in your job de­scrip­tion. Win cus­tomers for life even if it's not your depart­ment, and gen­er­ally go big­ger than what­ever your role says you must do.

Be the ini­tia­tor of light:

Don't let your lack of po­si­tion get in the way of your influence. How could you lead right now even though you have no po­si­tion? What steps can you take to make change? In­stead of blam­ing oth­ers and your own self, be the ini­tia­tor of light and dis­pel dark­ness- both within and with­out. (The writer is a Pun­jab- based ed­u­ca­tion coun­sel­lor with 12 years of ex­pe­ri­ence. She can be con­tacted at gau­ri_­nag­pal@ya­

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