Introduction Winners win on any day. They identify opportunities, even in a crisis. They know the formula of success. Winners need not be only leaders or CEOs of businesses. An ordinary engineer on the shop floor is also a winner in his or her own right if he or she demonstrates some qualities. As distilled from the real world, the six main Qualities that stand out in winners are a) Ability to see the big picture b) Honesty and integrity c) Ability to stand up and own responsibility d) Innovation as a rule and as a practice e) Ability to quickly plan and execute alternate plans and f) Always aiming for the macro goals.
Ability to see the big picture The ability to see the big picture and also keep doing it repeatedly will change from situation to situation and from person to person. There is no-size-fits-all approach at all. For example, for a student wanting to go abroad, this will translate into having a real desire to collect all relevant information about all courses that interest a student after graduation, in many countries. When this happens, the student would have done the first step in seeing the big picture. He or she would have developed the skill to go deep into the future. To give a simple example, a student preparing for the CAT examination also needs to be fully aware of the opportunities in the emerging fields like the new tools in advertising or the latest application of Information Technology in Supply Chain Management. If he or she does his or her homework in rubbing shoulders with those who are already into such jobs and gathering the right information, it does mean that he or she is fully equipped to handle the future challenges.
For a manager on the shop floor, it will always mean a sound focus on doing things the first time and reducing the cost of rejections. If he or she can make it zero, he or she will be surely rewarded but this does have to come about through and by a sharp focus on the macro that surrounds the individual manager at any point in time. For example, the meaning of the overall Corporate objectives in a changed context where the demand is less. How best can he or she contribute to the really promising opportunities? Seeking answers to such questions will be part of this ability to see far beyond current problems. And the ability to sort of predict the future. Winners are those who are streets ahead of others in terms of finding solutions to such practical problems.
Honesty and integrity This might seem old-fashioned, but it is not. Most Managements like winners with honesty and integrity. This sort of makes the Management confident that here is someone who will never waste any organizational resource. He or she will always stand by values and nothing wrong at all. This is never out of fashion and all winners know this very intimately.
Ability to stand up and own responsibility A sure winner is one who can stand up and own total responsibility for any small mistake committed by any subordinate. In fact, winners have the innate ability to learn from such mistakes, take that particular subordinate into confidence and get him or her to learn the art of not doing the mistake at all. When this is done, the Manager would have done much more than what is normally required. In other words, he or she would have really mastered all the techniques of developing people and this will, in turn, contribute to their winning ways.
Not to be underestimated are the abilities of winners to assume more responsibility, rather voluntarily. For example, a Junior engineer in a foundry organization volunteered to do all the shift operations for two shifts, when he had to take care of the work normally done by his immediate boss. The latter's mother was admitted to a hospital in a distant city and he had to rush out of town. The other reliever was also sick. This young engineer did a splendid job and was able to win the confidence of senior workmen, who also assisted him for two hours outside normal working hours. When the pro-active junior engineer was appraised by the Management, he received an extra bonus and also a promotion as he was a proven case of a person with leadership potential. He never complained to anyone about the additional workload. His ability to work so long impressed everyone. Later on, it was learned that his retired headmaster father had told him that he would have to do his duty and help out his boss. He obeyed his father's advise so well. Though he was just two years experienced, his ability to learn so fast mattered so much.
Innovation as a rule and as a practice The aforesaid junior engineer had also come up with a very innovative idea to reduce cost. When the Executive Director was on rounds, he had an opportunity to share his idea. Sensing the great potential, the ED immediately arranged for a powerpoint presentation the very next day and the innovative idea was appreciated by all department heads as well. This is exactly what can happen when winners come up with innovative ideas. He was brave enough to not only share the idea but he had also worked out all the modalities of implementing it. He had discussed in detail the implications with the finance department and came out with all details. This is exactly the kind of initiatives that are always appreciated by any Management. He was a winner.
Ability to quickly plan and execute alternate plans In another organization, there was this prop-active manager, who would always have plan B or even Plan C ready to make everyone happy. This extended to occasions outside office work as well. He was given the responsibility of organizing two buses to the nearby natural waterfalls. Those were days when the internet facility was not there and the cell phone was yet to arrive. He made extensive use of the landline internal phones and communicated all details to the concerned people who were given specific responsibilities. He had some special money sanctioned by the Management but kept this a secret. He had arranged for some light snacks and tea when the buses crossed a particular small town. That surprised the housewives no end. They were mighty pleased. At the waterfalls, the Manager had used his personal influence to organize four local boys who would make things very easy. The time that the employees and their families got to spend there, was much more than normal. Everything was perfectly organized. Needless to say, this Administrative Manager, demonstrated such qualities in his official work too.
Always aiming for the macro goals This does not apply to just one's official work or life in the factory. It applies to even the approach toward's children's education. Knowing full well that his son had to quality himself further, a very intelligent father mortgaged his house and gave the loan to his son to acquire an advanced qualification in Data Analytics from the National University of Singapore. This gentleman faced such strong opposition from his brother and younger sister, who just said the man was mad. The young boy had resigned from a regular job.
The father was unfazed. He packed off his son to Singapore. The boy is now in a very good job in Australia in a highly specialized role. This is exactly what can happen if we take the right risk. The loan has been repaid to the tune of some seventy percent and the boy will clear it anytime, as his salary is too good. The father, who had migrated to Mumbai, with just a graduate qualification some 35 years ago, had qualified himself with a Master's Degree in Financial Management and then an MBA, all part-time from the Mumbai University. He knew the value of education and did not budge an inch. He had grown to become a very senior manager in a good company. He was a sure winner, who had come up the hard way. You can also be a winner if you possess the six qualities mentioned above.
Conclusion It is always good to learn from the winners. By observing things that happen in our day to day lives. This goes on and on. How much we learn from such winners is the crux of the entire learning exercise. We can also do it. Winners can emerge in any situation and at all places if they demonstrate the six major Qualities mentioned above.
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A good article from the author in which he has given an account of the qualities a winner will have. A person who we will see always at a place where there is a problem and who will be trying to rectify the mistake should be considered as a winner. In the manufacturing industry, for example, we will be having many engineers working on the shop floor. Many of them will not be taking the problems seriously and they will just transfer these problems to the next level. They may not even try to come out of that problem. But we will find some engineers who are having a lot of interest. They will study the problem and analyze the reason for the mistake and they will plan to rectify that and then only they will talk to the next level to get their consent for implementation. Such people will always be the front-runners in the industry and those people will be having a lot of scope to go to the higher levels fast.