If You Prepare Them, You Won't Have to Repair Them

Mr. Shiv Khera

Author, Educator, Business Consultant and a much sought-after speaker.

When I do corporate training, I tell the people at the top, “What I am doing in your organization is repair work. If you prepare them, you won’t have to repair them.”

Where do you prepare them?

In schools and colleges

Who prepares them?

Only parents & teachers, only parents & teachers, in life, care to correct, the world punishes.

How do you judge the progress in a country?

Not by the industry or infrastructure, but it is by the quality of character the country is producing in its citizens. Unfortunately, in India, we are not focusing on character.

In today’s fast-changing world, products are getting obsolete almost the day they are getting launched. Knowledge is getting obsolete within 2-3 years. It has literally become a cliché that “the only constant is change”. If that is true, then either we are in deep trouble, or there is a great opportunity for those who are prepared. The big question is that with so much uncertainty, what do students prepare for? Is there anything other than ‘change’ that is constant? If there is, then we should prepare our youth in the following three skills that are constant.

  • People skills : We are hired for our skills, but we are fired for our behaviour not only as employees but even as vendors. Today’s generation is so comfortable with technology and computers that they are becoming uncomfortable with people.
  • Persuasion skills : Persuasion skill means the ability to influence, negotiate, convince, and sell. It is not about nagging. It is about being able to influence others to achieve your objectives by putting your point across succinctly and effectively.
  • Prioritizing skills : Priorities are based on values. When we forget our priorities, we are unable to distinguish between what’s urgent in life and what’s important. Urgent may or may not be important and important may or may not be urgent. But interestingly whenever we ignore what is important, it converts into urgent.
    Example: Health and relationships are both important, but they are urgent. If we ignore health, we land up in the hospital, and if we ignore relationships, we start talking through our lawyers.
    A complete education has two components:
    • It teaches a person how to make a living.
    • It also teaches them how to live.
  • Skill + Will = SuccessWe need to distinguish between skills and competence. Skill is ability; competence is ability along with the willingness and desire to do the job. There are many skilful people who are totally incompetent.
    Numerous surveys, including NASDAC, clearly bring out that 90% of graduates coming out of schools and colleges are not employable.

What makes our graduates unemployable or employable?

A bad attitude, wrong values, and unrealistically high expectations where they all want to start as CEOs.

Does discipline give freedom or does it take away freedom?

Many times people think that discipline takes away freedom. That is not true. Discipline actually gives freedom.

You take a train off the track it is free, but where does it go? If you free the steering wheel of the car, it is free but where does it go? The answer is “Nowhere”.

Discipline is a track to run on, and it gives freedom.

Parenting and teaching is not a popularity contest. We need to do what’s right and in the best interest of the child.

Is discipline an act of love?

Nature teaches us that sometimes in life, you have to be unkind to be kind. Take the case of the mother giraffe, she is 20 feet tall and gives birth to a baby giraffe standing up. The baby plops down from mother’s womb on to the hard surface. The baby is weak and can’t get up.

What is the first thing the mother giraffe does?

She takes a head start and gives one kick to the baby giraffe. The baby jumps up, but the legs are weak and wobbly and he falls down. The mother giraffe gives one more kick, but the baby is weak and wobbly and falls down again. The mother keeps kicking the baby until it is able to get onto its feet. Why? It is because the mother realizes that the only chance of survival for the baby in the jungle is to get on its feet; otherwise the baby cannot run and will be eaten up by the predators. Is this an act of love? The message is very clear:

‘Sometimes in life, you have to be unkind to be kind.’

Shiv Khera