There was once a village that was regularly visited by a tiger. Naturally, the villagers were afraid of being attacked by the fearsome tiger. They finally decided to visit a wise saint who lived in the mountains and who assured them that he would come to their village and solve their problem. When the saint arrived in the village, the people were surprised to see him grab the tiger by the ears, hop on his back and then ride up to his mountain abode. The saint later told the confused villagers that rather than being afraid of the tiger, they need to embrace their fears and use love and friendship as a means of taming negativity – just as the saint had tamed the tiger.
This is a concept that I have slowly been integrating into my life and now into our organization. Whether it be the dark, large animals or our bosses at work, we are all afraid of something. This fear holds us back from achieving so much, especially in a work environment. Without fear, we would all do more and we would do the things that we are passionate about.
Imagine being given the freedom to fail. This is a radical notion because we have always been taught to be the best and succeed. When we are in school we should get the best grades. If we play sports then we should always win. When we get bad grades, lose a game or are unable to complete a work project on time, we always feel very badly. It should not be this way.
What this means for society is that we live and die by measuring our success and failure. More accurately, we are driven by fear – the fear of not succeeding. This negativity needs to be removed from society.
At Jaipur Rugs, we are slowly establishing a zero hierarchy system with an open door policy. People are encouraged to treat one another as equals and share feedback openly and constructively. Employees can always meet with me or other managers in an open and honest setting and discuss any issue without fear of retribution. There is no room for fear in our organization.
People are encouraged to admit mistakes and make a fresh start. Normally, people feel very bad when something goes wrong. Leaders need to realize that we are all human beings, capable of making mistakes. But we are also capable of doing amazing things when fears are eliminated because this is when authenticity and true passion take over.
When fear is used as a motivator, then a person cannot accomplish anything that has any meaning or value. This is because they just want to finish the job so they are not reprimanded. In this environment, not only will the work be subpar but the employee will be stressed and troubled.
When mistakes are made, leaders usually blame individual employees. They rarely take an introspective look at themselves to determine why the mistake was made in the first place. That is because most companies are driven by command and control. People who create these types of organizations are driven by a desire for power.
However, companies need to start giving people the freedom to fail. Because the more you give a person the freedom to fail and the freedom to express themselves, the more your organization will move forward.
Our goal at Jaipur Rugs is for all employees to make a heart to heart connection with one another, with the end result of love triumphing over fear. When everyone makes a heart to heart connection, then anxiety and despair automatically disappear.