Be Open, Polite & Ruthless

Tuesday 13 February, 2001

6am E&M. Injured my left shoulder somehow. Lost my concentration towards the end of the exercises because I got excited for some reason. Probably because I was finishing. In future, slow down towards the end. Remember Karaj’s words to himself at the very end of the Edinburgh trip.  After seven hours of driving we turned the final corner and Karaj said ‘Be careful now. Take it easy’. With these words he calmed himself and dissipated any excitement which may have caused an accident.

Robert arrived for lunch and spent a few hours with us. We talked about recognising our achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Robert said he wanted to work together with Karaj but didn’t know how. Karaj explained that all he needs to do is to relax and look after himself – sleep when he is tired – and by doing so he will lay the foundations for things to happen. Robert could not grasp this. A month ago I may have struggled to grasp it too, but I understood what Karaj was saying. I talked about our need to know how, and the ultimate futility of this need.

I enjoy Robert’s company but his commitment to the process is not as evident and the conversations are not as dynamic as with Dev and Sunil. This strikes me as curious because at one point last year, during Robert’s difficulties with his last job, he had daily contact with Karaj and surely must see the benefits of following his advice, and making the most of the opportunities we have to change our lives. Karaj tells me that it is a form of arrogance in which the individual says, ‘Thanks for your help but I don’t need it.’ What happens is that the person waits until things go wrong to take the help instead of using it to prevent disaster.

Dev arrived and talked about problems with a colleague. Karaj told him to keep it formal. Record all business conversations and report to the appropriate managers. I felt inspired by Karaj’s advice. We do not go to work to be liked or to make friends. We go there to do a job. People need to be informed of situations and we need to cover ourselves for every eventuality. This does not have to be done in a snide, devious way. Be open, transparent, polite and courteous, but be ruthless. That way people know exactly where they stand with you and they respect you.


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