Most businesses fail because of differences of opinion and often, because of ego and personality clashes between partners, says G.R. Gopinath, Founder of Air Deccan.
Same is true of families.
When Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys, resigned from his position owing to his continuous differences with the founder Narayan Murthy, there was a divided opinion in the whole business fraternity about who was more right than wrong.
It is really difficult to ascertain that, as in case of any family feud where the father/grandfather “owns” up everything and the sons/daughters feel stifled for change.
It is easy to throw professionals out than the family.
But I am intrigued by the hypocrisy embedded in our culture of ‘respecting people because of their age’, ‘respecting them for their past achievements and their persona’.
People said that “Vishal Sikka got a raw deal”, but then, they said it anonymously.
Because, Mr. Murthy is an icon, a living legend for all of us. His shoes were so big in the past that we cannot openly say anything negative about him.
Those who do not have the courage to say it openly but have an opinion are like all those children who fail to assert themselves in front of their parents. Parents are such respectful figures that children do not want to upset them at any cost.
This is how it was till our generation grew up.
It is changing with Millennials and Gen Z (is that what we are calling people born in the 21st century?)
My daughter is a millennium child and she doesn’t behave the way I did with my parents.
I have a serious handicap with ‘cut’, ‘copy’ & ‘paste’. I do not understand TV remotes. I suck at decoding directions too.
Last night, I was trying to put together an article.
So, I went to her to help me shift some lines and make the article look better.
Since she had taught this to me many times before, she was nagging me a bit.
“My God, I can’t understand you forgot it again”.
“Ya, Mamta (My Assistant) does it most of the time. It is so difficult.”
“Mom! Don’t say it to anyone that it is difficult. You are an author doing so many things. Can’t you learn this?”
“Please do it na.”
“No, do it yourself. Drag the cursor and do command c”.
I try and as usual, the track pad eludes me.
She laughs and does it.
“Come on, see my fingers and then try again.”
I fail again. She laughs again.
I don’t like it when she laughs.
I feel a twitch of insult growing in.
“See, I have to finish this assignment. Please do it yourself now”, she adds injury to the insult.
I move out of her room, not liking it at all.
After five minutes, she comes back to check on me, in my study.
“I never say no to you when you need me. I have always been there”. I say emotionally.
Without a word, she formats the article.
“Such melodrama”, she blurts while heading back to her room.
“Practice it right now. You need to be self-reliant”, comes the final blow.
The words are changing, the way we communicate and show respect is changing, the way we learn is changing.
I am ready for reverse mentoring.
I am ready for keeping my ego in check.
I am ready to create a culture of mutual respect and growth.
Are you ready?