Incredible stories of Indian Manufacturing

Stretch a little

Stretch a little, Manoj Mantra

I got a call from the President of one of my important customer, informing me that he had committed about my performance of meeting a deadline, to his team. He did this owing to the confidence he had with me and our company, that evolved over the period of more than a decade long relationship. At one end, this was a true measure of his confidence and faith in us, but at the other end, this was a big challenge for us to orchestrate to reach the results. This was certainly not going to be easy but was the need of the hour. His brief call was a sufficient indication to me that we had to stretch a little. 

Every sportsman would value and realize the significance of stretching a little, since more than once, they have realized both the pain and the reward of this simple action. Relay runs, swimming and athletics have importance for milli-seconds, to make or break dreams of the participants. Timing is so vital in such moments.

Just imagine, if we accord equal importance to stretching a little, in our day-to-day activities at work, that will help us chase 100 instead of 99. Although 100 is just a digit apart from 99, it takes a huge effort to accomplish. This is well realized by all of us, irrespective of our profession. We all work tirelessly to reach a near-perfect score, and at times are contented with it, missing to go that extra mile, to achieve a ‘perfect’ score. Most of the times, it is not a deliberate miss. However, chasing perfection is more of a habit or culture, than a one-time attempt. There needs to be a fire in the belly to ‘stretch a little’. Only then, we can achieve the ‘gold’ as in sports. It needs a tremendous effort as well as planning and preparation. It is not easy.

It is indeed meritorious to achieve perfection and hit the target since it feels great and peps us up. It becomes a moment to cherish and enables us to propel further to greater heights. Growth in life is very important and is the path to glory. Upon reaching our destination, when we look back, we take pride in recalling the journey and sharing it with others for them to seek inspiration. Mr. Ratan Tata is one such person who is a living inspiration not just to Indians but also to people across the globe. He has achieved success by stretching beyond his comfort zone. He is probably even richer than Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos in his net worth, just that his net worth is not declared under his name since all the businesses of Tata’s are covered under a Trust. We all can take inspiration from him and his organizations about how they all have stretched a little, to accomplish unusual merits in a challenging environment. They had the same situation as well as the market as their competitors, however, they outperformed their peers and came out winning in the majority of their businesses. Additionally, they have also demonstrated a concern and support towards a social cause.

What needs to get imbibed into all of us, as a starting point, is an urge to go that extra mile. This would provide the required impetus to get into a habit of stretching a little. Every time we do this act, we would have internal resistance and also inertia to relax, but we need to overcome the same and accomplish the goal. It may not look motivating but would help in the long term. It needs the experience to realize it, and gaining experience is possible only by going through the grill. There is no shortcut to success, and if there is one by exception, it will not allow us to sustain the success for long. On the other hand, we should not forgo stretching, even after failure, upon learning what did not work. It would enable us to improve, and finally succeed. Stretch to succeed - maintain status quo to ultimately fail!

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