“There was a farmer who grew superior quality and award-winning CORN. Each year he entered his CORN in the state fair where it won honors and prizes.
Once a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learnt something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors’.
“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.
“Why sir “said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior, sub-standard and poor quality corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”
The farmer gave a superb insight into the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor’s corn also improves. So it is in the other dimensions! Those who choose to be at harmony must help their neighbors and colleagues to be at peace. Those who choose to live well must help others live well.
Success does not happen in isolation. It is often a participative and collective process.”
This story is a good example to demonstrate that you would be more successful if your peers are successful. The reverse is true as well. If you are in an environment where growth is not cumulative you wouldn’t gain much. When you compete with peers (not physically or personally) the pressure slowly and equally falls on each other that you will automatically try to match each other in terms of mastering skills. You are forced to learn beyond what you already know. Combined with the attitude to share what is learnt, the team together can grow successfully than struggling to learn everything individually. Experiences cannot be learnt from a book but can always be shared. When someone shares an experience you do not need to go through it. The “What to do?” and “What not to do?” is already available as a lesson. It is a way of fast tracking your learning curve. Your team could have a Wiki site that can be used not only for project related documentation but perhaps a section that captures the lessons learnt and tricky situations that were solved and so on. You basically invite people to participate and share their experiences and learn from each other. Participative and Collective Success is continuous and a better way of growth in comparison with doing things individually and trying to be successful.
Thanks Preethi Vaidyanathan for sharing with me the above story.