I have a habit of talking to the drivers when I am traveling in a taxi or an auto-rickshaw. Few days back I met a driver who was 58 years old, with silver gray hair. He’s spent 25 years working as a driver. His name is Karun.Sometimes, the biggest lessons in life come from very unlikely sources. Since Karun will probably never be invited to deliver a speech at any event, I decided to share those lessons with you. Here it goes-
1-Getting a driving license does not makes you a driver.
“I was 18 when I got my driving license. But it was only after several months of driving a car that I actually learnt to drive, and become a real driver”. Similarly, an MBA degree from IIM-A or NYU will not make you a Manager. It is only after you spend several years learning on the job that you truly qualify to call yourself a Manager. Many young people confuse getting a degree as signifying the end of their learning. It’s just the beginning.
2-The real world is very different from a classroom.
“I learnt to drive a car. But my first job required me to drive a little tempo. The steering wheel was different, and so were the gears. I thought I knew how to drive- but I couldn’t even get the tempo started”. Thus, the world outside the classroom is a very different place. That’s as true for engineers and MBA and accountants as it is for drivers.
3-Initially, what you learn is more important than what you earn.
“In my first job, the pay was bad but the boss was good. He gave me opportunities to learn, make mistakes. I banged his tempo quite a bit. While the dents were quickly repaired, the lessons I learnt remained firmly etched in my mind”. In your first job- don’t worry about pay package or the size of the organization. Get a good boss. A good mentor. That’s priceless.
4-Slog. Get your hands dirty.
“I spent nights working as a cleaner. That’s when I learnt all about the inside of an automobile. Knowing what is under the bonnet has made me a better driver today”. So, work hard, dirty your hands- and go beyond your specific role.
5-Don’t worry about which car you drive. Focus on the being a good driver.
“I always wanted to drive the best cars- but rather than complain about having to drive a tempo or a school van or the city transport bus, I focused on driving well. I told myself that if I do that, the good cars will come. And they did”. Now that’s a great lesson. It is not about the company. Do the best with what you have, whatever you are. Do a good job. Success and happiness will follow.