Hr Library

Sharpen Your Saw


You will never reach your true potential living life in comfort and routine. You’ve got to take some risks – Kyle Francis

This was a life-changing piece of advice for me. I started my career as a trainee in a boutique executive search firm helping companies find the best talent. I adored my boss; he was a walking encyclopaedia and he taught me the a, b, c, of recruiting. I was happy with the small stipend I was making as the learning I got far outweighed the money. Like a true introvert, I was happy in my shell.

It is very rare to see people, other than your family who genuinely care for you. My MBA faculty, Dr Deepak Chhabra was teaching us Organisation Behaviour. I don’t know what he saw in me and one day he invited me for breakfast to the famous India Coffee Bar in Bengaluru. Like Virender Sehwag hitting the first ball for a boundary, with the first bite of bread omelette he said, “Yaar Ravi, you are a BE, MBA…why are you wasting time in this small company. You should go join a Corporate…you are cut out for bigger things”. I looked at him flummoxed like the hapless bowler. It took me some time to understand what he was trying to tell me. And the rest as they say is history.

I moved on to my current company with renewed confidence. After all, I was an MBA in HR. Aren’t MBAs supposed to be Managers? That’s what we were told during my MBA days especially when solving business cases which start with, “you are a manager with XYZ International….”.

It was time for my first performance review with my manager. I thought I had done a brilliant job, but little did I realise that my overtures of being a “manager” and someone “who knows it all” had ruffled many feathers. I was told, “You are good, but you can be a lot better. You have potential, but you need to improve your skills”. These words by my manager were like thunderbolts. I then realised the competition was crazy and the only way to stay afloat was to sharpen the saw, continuously. Thus, began my journey of continuous improvement.

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