A couple of years ago, I was on a train to Paris from London with a colleague of mine, and during our journey, he asked me a provocative question i.e., What is that one skill you want to give to your child in the legacy? At that moment, I had no answer to that question, so; I very politely asked him for a day to revert. The next day, I started the conversation by asking him the same question, and his answer was GRIT. I asked him why. He said, in this complex and highly competitive world, my child needs to develop that fighter instinct and exhibit GRIT to survive and find his way out of failures, setbacks, and emotional moments. Without GRIT, it would be extremely challenging for him to stand on his own feet, considering the staggering rate at which the Depression and other mental health issues are growing. It was quite an intriguing and enlightening response from him as always, and now, it was my turn to answer the same question, so; I replied with the word INFINITE AND EXPLICIT LEARNER. He looked at my face with surprise and that witty smile and asked Why?
I responded with a few fantastic experiences I had when I was in the United States during the first decade of my professional career. During those days, whenever I used to go to a restaurant or coffee shop, I always used to interact with Baristas and Servers because they used to be so polite, friendlier, self-motivated, curious, infinite, and explicit learners. These behavioral traits always used to fascinate me.
After a few years, I realized that by struggling between shifts (Morning and Evening) and doing context switching (School and Job), they are unknowingly developing some fantastic skills, which will help them immensely in their professional careers. Some of the skills I can highlight here are inventory management, customer service, point of sale, team management, humility, empathy, resilience, and responsiveness. These skills will enable them to put themselves into the context faster and empathize with the people, problems, and situations better than their peers.
The three best examples I remembered when I was in my induction with Sapient (Boston) in 2006, and I had 22 people with me in the class, and 3 of them were Bar Tender, Truck Driver, and a Psychology Teacher. They all were selected not because they were digital experts or analytics gurus, but they all were infinite and explicit learners. They all had the skill of understanding the context of the situation and capitalizing on their cross-functional skills to solve today’s problem.
So, I want my child to be an infinite and explicit learner and understand the context of the situation and problem faster without judging the people and their background. Because in this complex and diversified world we live in, he would always be struggling between Intent and Impact of every word he speaks or every act he engages. The best way to thrive in this world would be to put himself into the shoes of other people and see both sides of the coin and respond with empathy.
In the end, I am curious to learn from my professional colleagues, what is that one skill you want to give to your child in the legacy?