Lulu was perched on the mango tree. Its branch came close to my window. I often held long chats with Lulu, my parrot, with Lulu sitting there and me inside my room.
“I enjoy our conversations, Lulu” I said as I picked up a cookie. “You often bring in fresh perspective.”
“I have outside-in perspective while you have inside-out.” There are times when I wonder if parrots attend a management school.
“Yeah! It’s different anyway. What are you thinking about?” Parrots tilt their head slightly, and look up towards the sky when they put in their thinking cap. Men who think parrots only parrot what they are told, will never understand parrots!
“You made an interesting point in your talk at Thane HR Group.”
“That career was like a journey. You got in a bus. You took halts, met fellow passengers, chatted with them, made friends, and occasionally even fought with them. You looked at how much you have travelled, and how far was the destination.”
“Yup! Nothing impacts a listener’s mind better than an analogy.”
“And you said ‘when you got down from the bus, you walked towards your home.’ Then you stopped and left it incomplete. Marcel explained it to me. That set me thinking….”
“Really? Did you speak to my friend and HR Honcho Marcel Parker? What did he say?” Lulu obviously had more friends in HR fraternity than I had imagined. “He doesn’t stay too far away from my home as the parrot flies!”
“He said ‘as we walk home can we hold the hand of another younger person and use his youth and vigour to guide us just as we lead the way!’ He has made an important point.”
“I agree. He is talking about mentoring and reverse mentoring, both. You must leave a legacy behind. Tell people how to be successful in career.”
“You have to recognise that you are not a know-all man. There is so much to learn from everybody. Haven’t you been amazed by the insatiable curiosity and innocence of a one-year-old? You have to reclaim it.”
“It is always mentee who must seek the mentor. But we forget this as we grow old.”
“Your Society is so hierarchical that an old person being a mentee of a younger person is unthinkable. Ha, Ha!” Lulu came in as he spoke and picked up a chilly.
“You are right, Lulu. We learn from younger persons how machines and gadgets work. And we give them insights on how human minds work!”
“Human mind and all gadgets, both now work on ‘fuzzy logic.’ Ha, ha!”
“Mentoring is perhaps the most misunderstood concept. Don’t go by what the industry claims, but it is practised so sparingly, I don’t know why.” I said as Lulu hopped on to my shoulder.
“That’s because people don’t understand that a good career’s emphasis is placed on Learning till you are 30, Earning till you are 45 and ‘Returning’ till you get down from your bus and return to your final home.” Lulu whispered in my ear, and said “Do you get me?”
Vivek S Patwardhan