Sunday, October 28, 2007

Where to tap


Last evening I was trying to explain my profession - to a potential recruit and his family - the travails of being a headhunter!!

Its a life like any other..lots of ups and downs. Rather to be honest, more lows than the contrary. One has to be constantly on the alert..for we are all dealing with human emotions. Patience, persistence, ability to manage uncertainties-overwhelmingly more than the research, learning, interpersonal skills-and all other adjectives!

Infact -one of the hiring tests I use for my firm..is sudoku!! Any person who has the temperament to 'keep trying till we get the right solution' gets thru the first screening level.

And yes, its all about relationships, and meeting experts who are more knowledgeable than you. Day in, day out -you meet people.And ironically, every person you meet is either a potential employee or a hiring manager :-)!
You have to constantly back your instincts..for you do not have any clue which of your assignments will eventually fructify into a succesful placement. There are many a misses, but the sweetness of the "hit" or the "fit" is really remarkable.
Often -it looks very easy -almost as if it was foregone conclusion. And that even creates a general perception is that we consultants are paid lavishly. Some time back, one of my senior colleagues in the business sent me this note...which perhaps sums up the role of a consultant.

Ever heard the story of the giant ship engine that failed? The ship's owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine. Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a youngster. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom.

Two of the ship's owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed! A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.

"What?!" the owners exclaimed. "He hardly did anything!"

So they wrote the old man a note saying, "Please send us an itemized bill."

The man sent a bill that read:

Tapping with a hammer ........................ $ 2.00
Knowing where to tap ............................ $ 9998.00


Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort in your life makes all the difference.

2 comments:

Arun said...

Well thought article and that little story in the end to justify your point was excellent too...
Always a pleasure to read your blog.

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