Be your best

On the National Police Academy parade ground, our assistant drill instructor, head constable Ram Singh, would bark at us like he was General Patton. And even a millisecond delay in obeying his command would invite his rage, and the drill sequence would start all over again.

It was supremely annoying but ustaad Ram Singh was relentless, never giving one inch.

A man in his fifties, the only promotion he got was to the rank of a head constable and that is how he would retire.

Unlike most of us, he had no growth prospects — no bonuses, stock options, or promotions. Not even any novelty — just the same old job every day in the scorching sun, on a cemented parade ground radiating like a heater.

Yet, he never complained. He never slacked off. No supervisor had to ensure that he did his job well.

What explains his commitment?

My guess is that he did his job well because he did it for himself, not a favor he was doing to the organization. He took pride in his work, and it showed.

Any task we perform, anything we do, carries our signature. If you don’t like your job, find another one.

But if we take up a task, we better do it really well. Because the work we do becomes who we are.

And we better not be mediocre.

– Rajan

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