“So what sort of work do you want to do?” I asked her.
“Umm.. Well, I haven’t figured it out very clearly yet – but you know, something that is strategic” she replied.
That’s when a million thoughts came rushing to me – of a joke how MBAs wonder during their farewell how they still haven’t figured out the answer of the much dreaded “WHY MBA?”. Of how almost everybody has the same cliché answer for “Where do you see yourself in five years?”. Of how most of us are clueless about those “short term” & “long term” goals! Yet, as MBAs we script those perfectly mundane answers for these perfectly routine questions.
I haven’t been working for the longest time – but I observed that in most companies – across all departments – there are roles people consider as “strategic”. Those coveted roles which are supposed to magically propel you up the ladder of success. It’s like that throne which will empower you to suddenly become “a force to reckon with” from going unnoticed for several years.
Now is it that difficult for any of us to set a target & make a plan to reach it? Isn’t that how we go about our daily life without actively realizing we’re following a strategy here? The same holds for work. A senior manager once told me – “It is the person that creates value in a role. If roles were strategic by themselves – then why would human talent be so valuable? ”.
Of course there is always a chance that some roles could involve greater complexity than others. However at the end of the day – it would depend on one’s desire to work hard to set something right. And to do so – he would need a strategy – a gameplan! Even in a system that might seem to be flawlessly perfect – there’s always scope for improvement. It just needs that “strategic” eye to find it & execute it.
Haven’t we all experienced teachers who’ve made some of the seemingly most boring subjects super fun with their brilliant style of teaching? Don’t all of us get amazed at the difference in service of a politician who just sits in the powerful chair & one who comes full of energy with a vision to transform the country? What differentiates the outcomes in these professions from one person to another – its their personal strategy & style!
The feeling of lack of “strategic” aspects to one’s role is the biggest cause for dissatisfaction amongst most of the MBAs. And it’s the easiest way to complain. What is tough is to go out there & have a hard look at what’s happening & find things worth fixing which aren’t obvious at the cursory glance.
Its upto you to choose – whether you want to
chase the idea
of “strategy” or start makings yours for your task at hand!