We all are good at following instructions. That’s how most of us make our living.
Yesterday morning I saw a supervisor walking around all her team members’ desks at 8 am to make sure that they are in office in time. And none of the team members seem to have any problem with that (unless they are late because of traffic or a car problem). They just make sure to leave the office by 4 pm sharp every day. This is because they are instructed to come by 8 am, leave after 4 pm and work in between.
My wife did some voluntary works in our son’s elementary school as a chaperone in field trips. Her job was to make sure that the kids are holding the guard rails, walking in safe zones and not distracted by anything else while walking. The point is, the primary focus of the kids in those circumstances are always on walking, not on the destination. The destination is already determined by their teachers.
Sometimes, most of the time, we choose to act the same way. We act just like those third graders. We focus on get going and not on our goals, dreams and purposes. If this was the case for everyone in the world, the world wouldn’t have seen anything new and unique. Ever.
And the supervisors act like chaperones. They track every tiny actions of their team members to make sure that they are in compliance. They are more focused on who is not coming in time, who is not going in time, whose shirt is not tucked, who is taking longer lunch breaks and so on.
But thankfully, there were some rebels who refused to be third graders and chaperones. That’s why we are able to enjoy the gadgets that we have in our kitchens, ride comfortable cars, practice non-violence and empathy to make our lives better, and many more.
If given a choice, I would definitely try to inspire my people trying new things to make a difference, rather than tracking their every little actions. Because inspiring is new managing.
Abhimanyu Gupta lives in Chesterfield, Missouri with his wife Nilanjana & son Anusurya. His profession is software testing and his passion are music and books. He can be reached via Email, LinkedIn or Facebook.