Sharpen Your Edge: The Glass Needs To Be Half Empty…

Our community’s leading business visionary – Dr. Adil Malia, has shared his expertise championing diverse roles in Business Management, Law, Human Resources, Marketing and Employee Relations. A much sought-after business coach and mentor, Dr. Malia’s column in PT, ‘Sharpen Your Edge’ helps hone your careers and professional growth. [Contact Dr. Malia at:].

Leadership is all about keeping the glass always half-empty. True this for parents as well. Whilst your ‘Vision’ should always be to have a ‘Full Glass’, the glass should always be left ‘Half Empty’! As a leader or a parent, you are mandated to perform this tricky role of maintaining this ever-dynamic equilibrium.

Building your team’s bonding and happiness agenda around that half-full glass fosters the spirit of co-operation, sharing, caring and thriving with available resources. The Half Full Glass enhances survival instincts and with a world redefined by ‘black swan events’, sharpening one’s survival skills during adversity, will be a key component to success.

In addition, an inspiring leader has to focus and keep stroking the team’s ‘HEAP’ factors (Hope, Energy, Ambition and Passion) to strive for its Vision and fill the remaining half-empty glass. Allow me to let you in on a distilled secret of leadership I’ve honed in my 40 years as a Corporate Leader: An inspiring leader manages the magical paradox of success by balancing the Half-Empty-Glass with the Half-Full-Glass !

A ‘full glass’ tends to take away the fight, fosters complacency and kills the strive whilst silently destroying ambition. There is no more a need for a dream, nothing more to really look forward to. This is dangerous as it pushes Ambition into a state of coma. If one reaches a point where he is so fulfilled and content that he says, “I do not want to know any more, do any more, learn any more or be any more,” he ought to be mummyfied!!

A parent’s role in a child’s upbringing is as critical as that of an inspiring leader’s to a winning team. Both understand this balancing logic. Therefore, as soon as the glass appears full, the leader quickly transfers contents of that nearly full glass into a much bigger empty glass. Now the smaller full glass is half empty in a larger container, striving for growth actions to fill it up again. You will experience real time illustrations of this in certain business families which could have happily remained content with a flourishing family business, but despite that, plans entry into new and bigger killer projects to keep the fire of ambition burning and the jagged edge of fighting always razor sharp in their younger generations.

When adversity strikes and the citadels crumble under tectonic shifts, the organisation first needs survival skills which are learnt during the ‘half-full phase’. After that it needs energy, passion, enthusiasm and drive to commence its fight for success all over again to rebuild itself under challenge, the skills learnt during the ‘half- empty phase’.

There is a serious message in all this, particularly for us Parsis. The Good News – us Parsis are lucky and blessed to be born in families with loving, doting parents who sacrifice and work hard to ensure that their children are provided with the best of everything and are kept comfortable. They go all out to keep the glass full. The Bad News – it is this over-indulgence and protective attitude which junks the fight in the children, abandons their struggle, destroys the dream and kills the spirit of endeavour.

However prosperous you may be, I would seriously caution all parents to always keep the glass half empty and keep fanning ambition in their children to keep their survival and the fighting edges ever sharp!

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