“Eklavya factor”- 17 February 2015.

The most critical issue for Abhilash upon joining a city-based technology company was to get used to the urban atmosphere. Even though he spoke good English, he did not have the city accent and also the modern slang. And more importantly, he lacked the latest technical knowledge about the product-line. Of course, the company did have in-house training programmes. Yet, Abhilash found them rather of limited use for him. Without understanding his difficulty, the immediate boss started cursing him day in and day out for his failure to cope with the assignment. Abhilash tried to connect with trainers in private time to learn better, but that did not work well as nobody had the patience to spend time in a non-productive activity of training one individual separately. So, the trainers, too, started avoiding him.

Left with no choice, Abhilash, determined to keep the job at any cost, decided to train himself. As a child, he had heard from his mother the story of tribal warrior Eklavya who trained himself despite a refusal from Guru Dronacharya just because he was not a prince. So, in his own manner, Abhilash became an Eklavya.
Today, this may sound rather theatrical, but Abhilash started working hard in afterhours to build his body of technical knowledge, people’s skill and a modern language sans the slang. His efforts were slow to start showing effect, but Abhilash pressed on. He bought books, got CDs which he fed into the computer and tried to learn things.
Despite all the efforts, things were not easy at all. For, as Abhilash tried harder, the bosses also made him busier in the daily schedule of work. Yet, what made the difference was persistence and patience. The pressure to perform well was high, but so was his resolve to improve. He was good in every aspect, but had not been groomed in an appropriate manner for the specific company’s culture.
But the individual Eklavya programme went on for quite some time and started showing results in a few months. The story of Abhilash, however, is not uncommon. Countless people try this route and succeed to a large extent. And once they start registering some success, more of it comes their way. For, it is at those moments that others, too, start experiencing an enhancement in their overall showing.
The Eklavya factor, thus, has its own importance.
Despite the fact that many such stories are available, a much larger number of people do not think in this way. They become pessimistic and give up efforts. They fall in a negative rut and do not wish to press on despite odds. In other words, they submit to the situation rather than think of changing it in their favour.
In a professional situation, there cannot be any one person who is perfect. On the contrary, every person realises this or that shortcoming in his knowledge or personality. Of course, even if one does not make any specific effort, one starts registering incremental improvement in performance or personality. But that may not actually be enough for the career. What should matter, therefore, is the effort to scale up the level of achievement. In other words, what needs to be done is to try to make possible exponential achievement. This may appear to be a tall order, but nevertheless worth the try. For, if such efforts succeed even partially, they still make a big difference in the overall quality of the individual professional.
The unfortunate part is that most do not think positively and proactively. Most fall in the rut and develop a habit of blaming others for their problems. Abhilash was not of that type. He built for himself an Eklavya culture, which helped in a big way.


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