It is difficult to argue that our education system, although different and rigorous; is effective on the whole. But we must accept the fact that it isn't perfect. While we can compete and beat people from different cultures with our knowledge base, number crunching and attention to detail, we are also pulled down when it comes to team work.
Yes, our education system produces a great employee, but can we produce great leaders? The answer to this question is certainly no. And without effective leaders, can we produce a great work culture? As explained in the previous article, the answer is certainly a NO.
From the day we start schooling, right till we pass out, we are all taught to compete with every peer in your class. While you may get 90%, we are pushed to try and get 93% that the topper has earned. We pray a price for that extra 3% though. The price can sometimes be, not being streak smart. But the biggest price we pay is lack of team work and leadership attributes.
From our early school days, we are made to compete and be the best at studies. Sometimes, when you come second best, the argument is that you are smart and not a book worm. This restricts your ability to face the truth, and also restrict the friends and groups you make at school as you always wish to hang around with people similar to you. This results in a loss of opportunity to grow by learning and picking good attributes of people who are not similar to you.
When you decide to study further, as part of the admission process, you have something known as Group Discussion. What a group discussion should encourage is for a group to come together, with different points of you and discuss towards reaching a solution which could be deemed as the best possible. However, this is where our competitive nature, nurtured in school takes over. The next thing is a group of students, all trying to out do the other, most times by criticizing the other's point of view with no final aim.
Even with sports, we only see this as a way to get away from studies. While competitive in sports, we are not competitive enough as a group. Rather we are more competitive as individuals. When, you have a strong sports culture, and proper guidance, you learn the art of helping every individual to work as a group, encourage each other and get the best out of every individual that benefits the team as a whole.
What has been observed, in most places of work, is that toppers make good employees, get highly paid jobs and are very efficient at what they do. But it is the student, who knows how to not study the whole day, but still get a good score that ends up being a leader. The reason for this is their lack of dependency on book knowledge alone. When you combine real life experience with book knowledge, you find a way to think out of the box and deliver results in a different and more effective way.
Now, you must be thinking about the relation between this and work culture. Where is the link? The answer however, stares at us. When, you have spent the first 23 years of your life, competing, without a sense of direction and no education on how to work as a team member, you consider yourself as a part of a large group of individuals, all vying to get to the top at any cost.
Now, when you have reached up there as a leader of a team, you have learnt the most from your boss at work, who in turn has learnt from his. And well, at the end of the day, we have all built our roots from the same education system; a system that is flawed, and doesn't create leaders; but good employees.
By Ankit Kothari