Note: If you think that you don’t fit into the description of the “YOU” that follows, ignore this letter. It’s not meant for you! When you have chosen to ignore it based on this decision, please reconsider for once on my request.
You are not what your school is. You are not what your certificate is. You are not what your guru is. You are not what your company is.
You are what *YOU* are!
When I ask your thoughts on a subject, please do not start by quoting someone else, unless you own the idea! Don’t answer by saying it is so because XYZ-THE-GREATEST-EVER has said this. Don’t make what XYZ-THE-GREATEST-EVER has said as your excuse. There is a lot of background to why XYZ-THE-GREATEST-EVER said that thing. Do you really understand that? Can you give reasons of why you liked a particular thought? Have you experienced the usefulness of that thought? Why don’t we talk about that experience instead of talking on the lines – “It’s good because it is good” or “It’s good because it comes from a person who gives good thoughts”.
You can look smart by quoting great quotes. People would look at you, respect that you have read a lot. But what did *you* gain? Use quotes when you think someone has said what *you* want to say, in a better way, in clear expression, good language etc. But you can not put your thought process on someone else’s shoulders. How many times, have you answered a question on a testing subject with – “This is so because Vipul Kocher has said this…” or ” This is because James Bach has said this…”. My God! Do you understand what you are doing?! Would Vipul Kocher and James Bach like this? They are the people who have been saying don’t become a zombie and that’s exactly what you are doing! You have become their zombie. It’s not how they have reached where they are. They have done this by challenging the system. They have done this by analyzing what was served to them as per the current system of their times. If you really respect your role models, your gurus, your mentors, first thing you need to do is understand & analyze their thoughts, rather than blindly accepting them. That’s the greatest gift you can give to them.
I don’t consider you great because you belong to a great school. The greatness of your school based on its rapport only raises my expectations from you, don’t fall short on that! Similarly, I don’t consider you bad because you come from a school of thought which has been portrayed in bad light wherever I go. Here are some stereotypical statements – “I’m great because I’m from Context Driven School.”, “You are dumb because you are ISTQB certified”. Can’t you belong to Context Driven School and still be a stupid person? Can’t you be ISTQB certified and be a great thinker? If you are against certifications, don’t treat your belonging to Context Driven School ( which is mostly self-confessed one ) as a certificate. If you believe in certifications and you are ISTQB Certified Super-Advanced Test-Evangelist-and-Innovator-and-Savior-of-The-Testing-World, it doesn’t mean much. If you are not-certified-and-not-endorsed-by-the-great-school, it doesn’t matter as well. It would always eventually come to *your* skills, not your school’s and not as promised by the certificate logo which you proudly put on the top right corner of your profile. You can take any of these or other paths. You can choose to remain uncertified/self-certified or you can run after every certificate that you want. You can choose your recipe for glory, but the key ingredient of any such recipe would still be *your* skills.
When the context is that someone wants you to add two numbers, neither you can hide by saying that your friends and your gurus can very well add these numbers, nor you can say that your certificate tells that you were able to choose the correct answer for this addition in your objective type exam. Talking about adding two numbers and the surrounding philosophy is different from adding these numbers and providing the answer.
A lot of great people have contributed to the brand of your company. What have you contributed to it? Well, apart from hiding behind the company’s brand name in your linked-in profile for your own selfish interest of saying “I-Am-Great-Because-I-Work-Here”? What do people think about your company when they look at you, talk to you? When you are doing not-so-great, have you chosen to hide your company name to not to bring bad name to it & take ownership OR you have used company name and its brand value to cover the holes? What are you beyond your current designation at your company?
Don’t hide behind your school, your certificates, your gurus, your company. You can’t hide for long, anyways. Truth has interesting ways to come out and demonstrate itself.
Assess what *you* are and do something about it!
Regards, ( It’s just a word. Don’t take it too seriously, earn it! )