Diaries Magazine

Words Matter!

Posted on the 03 October 2022 by C. Suresh

The single most important reason why I am not a Jeff Bezos or a Elon Musk is the fact that I never really understood the fact that words matter. (Other than minor things like lack of talent, drive and the unshakable belief that anything is better done tomorrow than today? Yeah! So?) If only I had realized it early in life...hmm, what's the point moaning about that now?

You see, take the least little thing that you discuss in your office. I mean, like you got a sales target and you call your team to discuss it. So, I walk in saying, "Come on, guys! Let us discuss how to sell more potato chips." Is that the sort of thing that gets people to bust their asses working sixteen hour days so that they can get called into meetings like that? There is this thing...ah, importance, that's what I was looking for...you want to grow into roles where you feel important. And it's rather tough to think of it as a worthwhile ambition to reach a position where you get called to meetings where you plan to sell more chips.

On the other hand, there is this colleague of mine who beat me hollow in the ladder-climbing game. He'd walk in and say, "Let's head to the war-room asap! We need to strategize about how to improve our market share." Now THERE is a worthwhile ambition. You'd sell your grandmother so that you can rise to these stratospheric levels where you are called in to help develop strategies for the whole company, improve its market share...by planning how to sell more chips!

Words...MATTER! Therein lies the thing. You see, people need to feel important...one way or the other. You do, I do, everyone does. From the guy who says, "If I am not there for one day, the entire department looks for me"...because work doesn't start unless the morning cuppa is downed and HE delivers the morning cuppa TO the guy who HAS to have a phone call a minute to keep reminding him that he is the CEO...everyone needs to feel important. THAT's why retirement is such a bane for people. The idea that nobody cares whether you exist or not, THAT's anathema! And words is how you make people feel that they are important and, more to the point, what they do is important.

You see, by and large, what you do could well be of no great importance and you, yourself, may be a replaceable cog even in what you do. IF, however, you are brought face to face with either or both facts, you'll rage. Words...yeah, you know by now!

It's when you actually do something important...if only by YOUR definition, if not in the general view...be it working in socially relevant areas a la NGOs or in an area of work that you feel is important, be it pure scientific research or making documentaries, that you cease to be worried about whether others see you as important or not. If you are there, words may not matter to you.

For everyone else...words matter!

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