Become Your Mentor

Eli Goldrat

Today, I want to thank my Mentor Dr. Goldratt.

I was Tanishq’s Head of Merchandising in 2009, when we were already doing well at about 130 stores, when like any large company, they send us to “residential“ training programs. They sent me to TMTC, Pune, the Tata’s Learning University. The 3 days program was tough, and most of it went over my head, with the then new concept called “Theory of Constraints”.

“The theory of constraints (TOC) is an overall management philosophy introduced by Eliyahu M. Goldratt in his 1984 book titled The Goal, is to help organizations continually achieve their goals.

Soon, the company decided to work with Dr. Eli Goldratt himself and his team and I was also part of the core team to implement the project. Quite a challenging task.

Here, we were already a successful company (or so I thought) yet, the company was bringing an Isreali Physicist. I used to think, that I have 3 women at home I struggle to understand, and a million Tanishq customers whom I try to offer the right products in an industry that is 5000 years old in our country. And the company is bringing in an Isreali Grand father to teach us Indians, how to sell to Indian Women!

Then my true learning began. New ways of looking at old things, questions for which we had answers, questions we did not have answers and so on. Ex. If we were so successful, Why our new products performed so poorly? Even the resistance to change from me. Why change when we are successful? It took me a couple of months to accept, that he was indeed right. From that day onwards, my approach and speed of learning changed.

Does it all sound familiar? I am sure it would.

Today, about 11 years later, I humbly say, that whatever I learnt from him and his team, is what has made me a coachpreneur. It was a lot of “The Socratic method is a method of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals.

What are my main takeaways? Literally (I quit Tanishq to implement these learnings on my own) and figuratively –
How with the right inventory, we can achieve more, much more, why the inventory is a liability and not an asset, even if it is gold, what and how often we need to rotate the stock, how to have creative arguments based on data, etc.

What can be your learnings from my Mentor and my experience?

In our traditonal family run businesses, the belief we are successful, we know every thing, decision making challenges in a family set up, the importance of data in decision making if often not given the kind of importance, the benefits of replenishment vs ills of forecasting, the attention to detail and sometimes the need to be approximately right rather than perfectly wrong etc. etc have become part of my coachpreneur mind set.

I learnt from him directly for 3 full days and those days are etched in my memory for life. I have since learnt so much more about TOC from his videos and books.

Those learnings have directly and indirectly helped my 350+ clients see the results that they have.

His impact on my and my life.
Even though I have met him for a few days only, ever since I first encountered him, I wanted to become like him.
Most people invest in coaches because they want to learn from the coaches.

I think that’s a mistake – Choose and invest in a Coach so that “you” can one day become “your” own coach. Sure learn from your Coach, but ultimately, become your own coach.
Your quality of thoughts, strategies, knowledge, tools, and skills will be directly proportional to the quality of your mentor.
That’s the secret to success – Choose the right mentor and guarantee your own success.

“Become Your Mentor” Shivaram