The day was tiring and excessive work had drained my mind. I just wanted to reach home and fall on my bed. The office cab got stuck in a traffic jam. I tried taking a short nap as there was sufficient distance yet to be covered but those blowing of horns did not let me have it. I got so irritated that I left the cab and started walking towards to the nearby metro station.
And then I met this guy who was asking for directions to where I was going. He asked me, “Hi, what’s the route to the station”, and I said, “Come along”. He was wearing a T-shirt that had ‘IIM A’ printed on it. I asked him, “How do you guys manage to crack such difficult entrance exams?” He gave me one of those looks, as if he was evaluating me, testing in his mind whether I was worth telling the secret to or not”. I think I passed the test because the next thing he told me changed my perspective on everything.
He said, “Ok, you got it from the T-Shirt. Well, we just study. That’s the trick.” And I was thinking to myself, “Well, isn’t that what everyone does? What makes him so special?” Before I could think any further, he clarified, “It’s the same principle: buy apply while making any smart purchase. You usually do a cost-benefit analysis. You try to evaluate the cost of getting to the store, browsing through various options and then you try to estimate what benefits you get post-purchase. Then you compare the price and evaluate whether it’s worth it or not, right? Well, if you start applying the principle to everything in your professional space; your approach towards work and success would change.’
I said, “Alright, you make quite a lot sense.” He smiled and said, “Really I do?” I said, “Yes”. We were walking and there came a cigarette shop and he said, “Would you mind if I buy one”. I said, “Go ahead”. Than he asked from where I was coming and what work I do, and I told him everything. As I wanted to know more about him, so I kept my own introduction short.
I told him how much work I had to do that day. He said, “You could have asked somebody for help”. And I laughed. He sensed the sarcasm in my laughter and said, “In my first job, I saw this guy was over-worked and wasn’t having a very nice day. I decided to help him. I didn’t know the technicalities of his job exactly, but I gave it a shot anyway. I did not think like, why should I help him? It’s not my job; I will not get paid for it? I thought of the two obvious benefits – I would learn something new, and he would help me sometime too. Just imagine if everyone in a work-place adopted this approach, there would be no need of emphasizing teamwork or the benefits of collectively working towards a common goal. That organization would run really smooth.”
By the time he finished this, we had reached the metro station. It was crowded, and a long queue was waiting to enter the station. I had a smartcard, and he had to buy a token. So this was parting time and when he was leaving, I asked, “What’s your name?” He smiled and said, “Remember me as IIM Ahmedabad”.
Conclusion:If you think some task is either too tough or getting out of hand, all you need to do is change your approach towards it. Concentrate on what you can get out of the situation, instead of what anyone will take from you. That’s how you crack the entrance and end up in IIM-A.