Follow from front and lead from back!
“You have got only one life to live – don’t spill it.” Robert Schuller
At one time, there are about 8 million bits of information streaming into your brain – most of which you cannot attend to, nor do you need to. So let into your awareness only those signals that can help you survive and lead you to your most important goals and let go of those deviating thoughts which saps your energy and impede your progress.
People often say that the best method to make child learn is through exemplifying the same and the child will follow. And doing so repeatedly will help him learn quicker. I have many times tried to do the same with kids, since I’m fond of kids, and agreed that children do learn from their elders or from characters they repeatedly see on television. Just in case, I was once getting ready to go to the office early morning, I was all set but in the end I realized my shoes were unpolished, taking cognizance of that I hurried upstairs and polished my shoes ignoring my 2 years old nephew observing keenly. Incidentally, yesterday while having lunch I saw the same little kid holding the black shoe-shiner and rubbing it against his red sports shoes with light flicking from them. I and my mom looked at him in surprise and laughed hilariously for few minutes. It was really funny to watch a toddler imitating his elders but I was surprised to see him do that virtually like me, and he is the same kid who wouldn’t finish his mini-meal until his mother gets annoyed. However, two things struck to my mind which can’t be ignored, first, never force or impose your decisions on kids or juniors and always exemplify what can be understood and followed easily. In imitating our children to expand and grow, we need to guide them into experiences that will provide positive references for their future – references that will help them know they’re capable of dealing with almost anything. There are many schools who take their students to movies such as ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ or ‘Rocket Singh’ just to make them learn succinctly. Children learn a lot through examples, they follow their parents, elders, friends and learn more but as they grow into adulthood instead of following good examples most of them start to follow the crowd and become one of them.
You are destined to Lead, for that, you ought to be a follower first
Don’t follow the crowd instead follow your passion and the best way to do that is to learn from the ones who had achieved it already. History teaches us about our brave leaders how courageously they lived their lives and enlightened ours. Life is a book and we all are its students hence to learn more we ought to be a good student who knows what to learn and what to unlearn. For that we need to have right idols so that we can learn fast and avoid making redundant mistakes. If a normal person makes 20,000 mistakes then a staunch follower makes half of them, for e.g. Amid dense fog when driving becomes almost impossible, and you hardly have any option to move forward, then it becomes important to follow a vehicle moving ahead until you find your way out. You’ll be intimated of the danger by the car moving before you and eventually you’ll reach the destination without much ado.
It is imperative to take note of who you follow, there is an old story of two sons of a noted drunkard who could not give desired upbringing to his two sons due to his bad habits. So both of them took different roads while growing up, one becomes a drunkard like his father and other becomes an A grade officer. The reporter tracked them down and asked the same question to both of them, ‘why did you choose this career?’ first one replied ‘because my father was a drunkard and he never taught me anything else,’ and other said, ‘I refused to do so because I never wanted to be like my father, I wanted to do something better with my life.’ At last, it is nothing but your own decision, you become what you choose to be because you are the captain of your ship, you are the master of your soul. Here is one of the most revered poems by a brave man William Ernest Henley:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
They don’t give up easily, they are resilient
In 1998, Google co-founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page approached Yahoo! and suggested a merger. Yahoo! could have snapped up the co. for a handful of stock, but instead they suggested that young Googlers keep working on their little school project and come back when they had grown up. Within 5 years, Google had an estimated market capitalization of $20 billion. And as we see today, by all means, it is the world’s no.1 internet company. The company’s mission statement from the outset was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” As you all see, it is free for everyone throughout the world, had Brin & Larry taken Yahoo! pessimistically they would not have achieved such success. In fact they emptied their minds of what Yahoo! said and re-modeled the same concept in a different way and made billions out of nothing. And you’ll be surprised to know that its competitor Yahoo! also benefited when it launched its first IPO because it owned 8.4 million shares of Google before the IPO took place.
“We keep going back, stronger, not weaker,
because we will not allow rejection to beat us down.
It will only strengthen our resolve.
To be successful there is no other way.” Earl G. Graves
Get ready to reject rejection if you really want to grow. Get used to the idea that there is going to be a lot of rejection along the way to the gold ring. The secret to success is to not give up. When someone says no, you happily say, “Next!” when colonel Harlan Sanders left home with his pressure cooker and his special recipe for cooking southern fried chicken, he received over 300 rejections before he found someone to believe in his dream. Because he rejected rejection over 300 times, there are now 17000 KFC restaurants in over 105 countries around the world and it is the second largest restaurant chain.
Mr.Ratan Tata who recently retires as the chairman of $100 billion 140 years old venerable Tata group is an iconic personality, under him the group grew from $10 billion in revenues in 1991 to about $83 billion by 2011, with iconic acquisitions like Tetley, Corus, Daewoo, Jaguar Land Rover etc. under his belt. He had been a staunch follower of JRD, his predecessor. When he was appointed as the chairman of the Tata group in 1991 JRD Tata’s biographer asked him, “why did you choose Ratan Tata as your successor, was it because of his integrity.” JRD replied, “Oh, no, you can’t say that! It would imply that the other contenders did not have integrity. I think he will be more like me.” It is as simple as that if you can be a good follower you are sure to be a good leader.
And to validate that I couldn’t name anyone except our former President Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam who is a true follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Man who belonged to a very humble family and who struggled throughout his life and even failed to become a pilot but he kept following his idols and eventually became the country’s President, also known as the missile man of India, a man who needs no more introduction is a remarkable leader. From Mahatma Gandhi to Nelson Mandela all were exceptional leaders but first they had been staunch followers that made them lead the nation. It is said that great people never die they are always alive through the beauty (their legacy) they left behind.