An ode to Teachers, inside and around

Yet another Teachers’ Day, yet another occasion to raise a toast to those Tyrion Lannisters to your inner Daenerys Targaryen (or if you prefer the Cersei who needs no counsellor BTW)!

However, finding a teacher is never easy. Not everyone gets a Yip Man in her / his life. This 5th, let’s look at few prominent areas where one often meets teacher(s), and more or less, and learns significantly throughout life.


The Greats / The Not-So-Greats

Switch to the Sports channels. Look at the Greats. The ones who wield the bat differently, ones who play like they are mercenaries, ones who continue to defy age, ones who continue to defy death, look at them.

Learn from a Tendulkar or a Federer or a Steffi Graf or Serena Williams the art of practicing perfection.

Learn from a Ronaldo, Messi or Magic Jordon the art of defying gravity.

Learn from a Rahul Dravid and Mark Taylor on how to put the team before self, on how to put We before I.

Learn from a Stephen Flaming or a Sourav Ganguly or a Franz Beckenbauer or a Mithal Raj the art of leading a team.

On to the Not-So-Greats, the common us — look around and you will find teachers aplenty, teaching you the art of surviving the daily conundrum without raising much fuss.

Learn from the man who takes the public transport to commute to cut down on personal carbon emissions.

Learn from the couple who have decided to stay childless because they know this is already an over-crowded planet.

Learn from the woman who has donated her entire property for a school library.

Learn from the man who has taken up the duty of propagating the correct history to break the chains of fake news around.

Learn from all of them on patience, innovation, commitment, passion, leadership, dedication and much more.


The Seniors / The Juniors

Look up to the seniors. You will find some valuable nuggets to learn from them.

Here’s a glimpse:

a. Knows the organization’s mission and vision if there’s clarity. In case the clarity’s missing, quickly points that out and expects a feedback.

b. Knows when to move out of the way.

c. Knows that not all decisions are meant to turn out well.

d. Working with smart and driven people is often a ladder to more success.

Look at your juniors. You are sure to pick up a few lessons on your way to the top.

Here’s a glimpse:

a. While you are honing your soft skills, it is the hard skill-sets that stay fresh too. Your junior colleagues will point out towards the direction within the team, where you will get to see what is working and what is not. You will learn the WHYs and HOWs of it too, in the process.

b. Juniors help you build proper and functional relationships within the work arena. Often it happens the senior management gets tangled in meetings and exchange of emails and so forth — it is the juniors set who are more into the daily rut, and they help you remind of the ground realities; they help you learn how to hitchhike a ride in case you are left stranded in the middle.

c. A unique perspective nonetheless, juniors help you see things in new light, because of certain obvious reasons. For example, age-difference often helps you miss out on things which may get picked up by your junior(s).


The Colleague

We all have that one colleague we look forward to while within the office confines (and beyond that too at times), right?

They are a great source of learning too, if mined properly.

First up, when you watch this person work, or fail, you realize no person is flawless. Every human has qualities for which she / he get praised, admired, promoted; the same gets apprehended or checked at times of failure. You take note from all of these, highlighting the fact that your colleague is a lighthouse that may or may not work from time to time.

Second, we have people around us, especially in the work zone, who would go the passive-aggressive way while in a tiff. Learn from these colleagues; learn how passive-aggressive tendencies often ruin a perfectly fine work culture. Such behaviour is egregious in nature and potential partnership killers.


F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Penultimate in this list, remember that odd bunch of people in your life, who would rather take a selfie while you drown? Yup! They often end up providing valuable lessons.

Remember Hermione taking charge (she always has BTW) in HP and Deathly Hallows — “Don’t you tell me what to do, Harry Potter!” Friends help you learn when to take charge in life and when to lie low!

There’s always a set of diverse situations in life, and when you keep running back to your friends, your bouncing boards, you will find they are the ones providing you with way-outs like professional jail-breakers.


Your former self

Last, one of the most ignored, but often a wise teacher, your former self can guide you better when the tunnel seems long and dark.

Past experiences often have emerged as better lighthouses than the most trusted of all people you know. Gut feel and left brain-right brain combos have provided better blueprints. Turn to your former self, your skin you had shed last fall; seek advice from the mistakes and learning curves, and you will find some amazing solutions no doubt.