Wednesday, August 28, 2013

“Do You Want to Grow Horizontally or Vertically in Your Career?” - Professor M.S.Rao

"You can't have the fruits without the roots. It's the principle of sequencing: Private Victories precede Public Victories. Self-mastery and self-discipline are the foundation of good relationships with others." - Stephen Covey

The title creates confusion among many people whether to grow horizontally or vertically. I have read Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 8th Habit from Effectiveness to Greatness in which he shared the wisdom of growing horizontally first and then vertically to touch your tipping point. Here goes the story of a Chinese bamboo tree:

“There’s a certain species of the Chinese bamboo tree that, when you plant it, you see nothing for four years.  Just a little shoot out of the ground and that’s it.  You weed, water, cultivate, nurture and do everything you can to make it successful, but you see nothing.  In the fifth year, this particular species of the Chinese bamboo tree grows up to eighty feet.  Then, once it had its root in place, all of the growth went above the ground and was visible, giving evidence to the cynics of the growth that had been occurring all along.” 

It is obvious this story to strengthen your base to grow rapidly later. It is possible when you become jack of all trades first by spreading your wings in diversified areas. You can test various waters and understand the ground realities. It is to know something of everything and everything of something to scale your corporate ladder.  You can also become a crack-shot through rigorous training, experience and practice.

Some companies apply the tool of ‘job rotation’ to their employees to enable them to acquire various tricks of the trade and to have breadth of knowledge in various departments. It breaks monotony, enhances expertise and builds confidence.  Additionally, it paves the way for senior leadership roles and responsibilities quickly which is nothing but growing vertically in the corporate ladder.

In my personal life, I preferred to have breadth of knowledge in various areas first and then depth of knowledge in a specific area to grow rapidly later. It is like strengthening my base. It is like preparing with hard work to lay out a blueprint for smart work. Of course, you must also consider your age, fire and passion to decide whether you want to grow horizontally or vertically in your life.

Good luck!

Life is great!

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