UNEDUCATED BUT PROFESSIONAL January 29, 2011Posted by aglakadam in Management, National Issues.
Recently I had been to South Bastar, in Chhattisgarh, for a week long career guidance mission. I conducted career guidance camps for students from the tribal region schools at various locations. While the tour I stayed in a government rest house at one location.
As soon as I entered the rest house early morning, I was welcomed by a young boy who was dressed-up in typical tribal outfit. He was wearing a very peculiar smile to make his get-up all the more impressive. He came forward to help me with my luggage and made me comfortable in the room. He rushed to the kitchen and prepared a cup of tea for me.
I could bet he was a good host. His name was Ayatu.
I got ready and went out of the rest house to take a look around & familiarize with the place. Out there, up on a very high tree, I saw a wood cutter on job. He was cutting the tree branches with alacrity and collecting wood for fire. I was really astonished to see how swiftly this woodcutter boy climbed up & came down the very long tree. On close observation I found that this woodcutter was none other than the same young boy Ayatu, who had welcomed me to the rest house in the morning. Ayatu had many more skills to his credit, he was the single person managing the kitchen. He prepared delicious breakfast & dinner for me that day. He used to manage the laundry and housekeeping also. Though the rest house had only three rooms, it was really amazing to see this boy perform with so much of perfection on all fronts. The final blow came when the boy informed me that he was a school drop out and was planning to appear for class IXth examination this year as a private student! From reception to kitchen, from grocery to laundry, from worker to student…. this young boy was a real
multi skilled personality. I thought Ayatu was a real hero, an inspiration for many. Even after being located at such a remote place in Bastar he demonstrated versatile management capabilities.
Now here is another real life story. This is the story of a highly qualified professional working with a multinational company in a metro. He would be probably earning salary in lacs of rupees & sitting in an air-conditioned environment. I guess he would be wearing a tie and a well ironed dress. He is designated as assistant manager working with the “Human Resource” (HR) function. This HR manager had a MBA degree to decorate his academic portfolio.
While I was on my Bastar tour, I was expecting a payment from this MNC. As a matter of fact, for certain reasons, this check was very important for me at that time. It was promised to me by the HR professionals that the check would be couriered in a days time for sure. However when I returned to office after completing my tour, I found that the desired courier had not yet reached. I immediately called up the HR “professional” to query about the check. Here is what he had to reply : “Sir, your check is ready, but the dispatch clerk has been absent since last three days. As such I could not get the check tugged into a courier and send it to you. Now that this clerk is back today, you will surely get the check tomorrow, I am sorry for the inordinate delay!”
Both the above real life stories demonstrate a contrast in individuals behavior and work nature. While the real professional from remote tribal village scored hundred out of hundred in all aspects of execution in management, our highly qualified MBA from the MNC working in a fast running metro could not even stick one envelop!
I realized that professional literacy should not be defined just by a degree or a certificate. I also strongly felt that management should not be taught only in class rooms. In our professional life we come across many individuals who demonstrate extreme apathy to work. I see many of the highly qualified and (so called) professionals reach office only to spend more time on networking and less time on the work assigned to them. At best, they get so much restricted into working in the quantified zone of welldefined “key result area’s” that they miss out on many vital management aspects. They
not only fall short of customer expectations but also become a customer insulated professional. They lack initiative & are not at all sensitive in their inter personal behavior also.
Friends I bet you will also agree that Ayatu was a better professional. Our HR manager was so much dependent on the desk clerk that he could not manage to get an envelop and dispatch a courier for three days while Ayatu would not rest even if he has no wood to prepare food in the kitchen! One had demonstrated a lot of initiative and customer consciousness while the other was absolutely deaf on customer needs! The school dropout had far more management skills while the MBA manager was an educated illiterate!
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