The first insight I got from this book is the importance of knowing the purpose behind any task. If one can answer the fundamental question – Why we are doing this? The mystery is solved. Knowing the desired outcome is crucial for success of any work. I realized as a student my goal should be well-defined. The reason I decided to come back to Business School. What was the rationale behind this decision? Knowing the right answer for this question, I am able to better utilize my time here and make the best use of the resources available. Knowing what I need to achieve helps me weed out things that are drifting me away from my main purpose and focus more on things are moves me towards my ultimate goal.
2. Common sense is not common among people:
The second insight I got from this book is that most of the complex problems in life have simple solutions. Sometimes we overthink and complicate things when the solution is obvious. I think sometimes an outsider can clearly see where the problem is but people internal to team or organization are so much bogged down by procedures and protocols that they fail to see the real issue and the simple obvious solution.
In my previous job, my organization was striving to be industry leader of software solution we provided. Despite having the talent and knowledge, team members were jumping ship. Although the new projects coming our way were exciting but team members were unenthusiastic and there was a general dissatisfaction among the team. Top-level managers came up with different strategies to motivate employees but failed. The general norm in my organization was that our product teams should be silo based with each team responsible for only one component of the product. As a result none of the team members had holistic product knowledge, not only was this hindering the efficiency of the whole team but also the inability to expand their knowledge base was resulting in employees hitting the ceiling in their career. The attrition rate was growing continuously and managers were trying fruitlessly to retain employees by offering payment restructure. The real issue was job dissatisfaction. Cross training employees and providing them opportunity to take ownership would have revived employee’s commitment to work and also improved the organization’s ability to market our product expertise. The common sense here was happy employees are productive employees. By failing to provide employees opportunities to further their career my organization was losing out on talent that was impacting their ability to stay ahead in competition.
3. Being busy is not necessarily being productive: The third insight I gained from this book is working 24/7 not necessarily is being most productive. Quality is definitely important than quantity. In my work life or in my school life this applies as how much task I have successfully finished is measurement of my productivity rather than the amount of time I have spent on a particular task.
In my previous organization working late nights was a norm. This slogging culture that is prevalent among many Indian IT industries actually slashes the productivity. Employees who stay up late are considered more productive and hard-working when in reality it is quite the opposite. If one doesn’t waste time, 8-hours a day should be sufficient to finish off that days job. The culture that rewards late night workers is not only setting up bad example but also increases the operational cost due to wastage of organization’s resources.
4. Personal and Professional life is intertwined
The most important insight I gained from this book is the importance of work-life balance. Our professional life situations