Have you ever come across Super Achievers at work? They have the same numbers of hours as the rest of us and yet seem to get more done. So how do you tweak your mindset to become a high achiever? How do you get super productive and stay on top of your game?
Browse the video lesson below to find out. And remember to take the quiz at the end of the lesson.
Personal Efficiency Parable
Openness and Conscientiousness
“Sire, I have heard murmuring among the cooks, especially Narayan’s team, about quitting and going to serve in King Mihirakula’s royal kitchen. They are unhappy that Dhruv, who’s much younger, was chosen to be the Chief of the Royal Kitchen”, reported Shiladitya, King Yashodharman’s advisor.
“Then let Narayan and his useless minions leave! They deserve to join that Mihirakula”, King Yashodharman thundered. “Do you know why I passed Narayan up for the job of Chief of the Royal Kitchen? I’ll tell you. You remember our guest Lin Tsao, the famed scholar from the East, who visited us last week. It’s remarkable how different people from the East and their unique customs are – their cuisine being no exception.”
“Mind you, Lin Tsao was due to arrive two days after the great yearly feast that we celebrate. Our cooks had been busy that whole week catering to three hundred guests that I invited to the feast. Note that none of my cooks have ever cooked for an Easterner before, much less understand Eastern food customs.”
King Yashodharman continued, “My sources reported that in spite of his busyness, Dhruv, took the time to visit the great chef Ghosha in the town – the only chef in a hundred-mile radius who knows anything about eastern cuisine – to learn about the ways of the Easterners. Narayan, in spite of being the one in charge of catering to Lin Tsao, took no such trouble.”
“Really?” Shiladitya commented, “How did Dhruv find the time to do all that? Wasn’t he as involved as Narayan in managing guests at the yearly feast?”
“Oh yes. I understand he was.” King Yashodharman replied. “But, Dhruv found the time to do what he had to. You know that after the evening’s duties end all the Royal Kitchen staff have festivities of their own. And we encourage this as a practice. However, this year, I learned that Dhruv would not be part of these festivities. When he was asked why not, he said that when his day’s duties were done, he’d go visit Chef Ghosha to learn about food customs of the Easterners. He also mentioned that he’d rise early and spend time every morning learning more about the ways of the Easterners from books in the Royal library.”
“My goodness! That young man must be blessed with boundless energy” Shiladitya commented.
“It’s something that impressed me about Dhruv. He is disciplined and maintains daily routines that help him” King Yashodharman responded
“I see, Sire. You chose Dhruv over Narayan because he’s diligent” Shiladitya asked.
“It’s not just diligence, Shiladitya” King Yashodharman remarked. “The Royal Kitchen is no ordinary cooking locale. It is the very means to impress and win over my guests, a means of exerting influence and power. And I need the best in there. I need someone whose very lifestyle speaks of the discipline and rigor that being the best calls for. I need someone who will rise up to the most daunting challenges, if only to be the best at what they do. And Dhruv measures up. You see, with Dhruv managing my kitchen, I’ll win. Lin Tsao was very impressed with the meticulous planning of the menu by the way. ‘Chopsticks’! Who would have known about ‘chopsticks’ around here? Definitely not Narayan – I’m told he laughed at the idea and proclaimed that if the menu failed, it would be Dhruv’s fault. I am sure Dhruv was heeding Ghosha’s advice there! ‘Chopsticks’ – that must have seemed strange for Dhruv too, but he surely studied more about it in the Royal Library and thought through his action plan. Because on that day, even Dhruv’s attire reflected eastern traditions of mandarin servers, something Lin Tsao was thrilled to see. Lin Tsao’s visit was an out-and-out success. We discussed valuable trade information, culture issues and political strategies over the course of the sumptuous eastern cuisine that evening. I congratulated Dhruv personally -with a small reward.”
“Splendid”, Shiladitya remarked.
“What was truly remarkable though that Dhruv didn’t let success go to his head. My source tells me Dhruv was quietly content that his work paid off. He didn’t rib Narayan over the ridicule faced earlier. In fact, he offered to help Narayan and others learn Chinese cuisine, and also share his reward with them. And you’re saying Narayan’s team still grumbles? Shame!
Now tell me, Shiladitya, can you think of someone better than Dhruv to be Chief of the Royal Kitchen?”
Question: What were the practices that had led King Yashodharman to choose Dhruv over Narayan for the position of Chief of the Royal Kitchen.