Working On Your Roots For Success

Uate was an anxious young lad. Having graduated from University with distinction he was directly inducted into one of the premier organisations in Suva. He had joined as a Management
05 Mar 2016 08:30
Working On Your Roots For Success

Uate was an anxious young lad. Having graduated from University with distinction he was directly inducted into one of the premier organisations in Suva.

He had joined as a Management Trainee. He was extremely ambitious and aspirational and wanted to become the Head of the Marketing Department within only two years.

Some friends who knew him well were very proud of his attitude and there were also those who would always tell him to not be impatient.

With his super confidence he once went up to his Marketing boss and told him about his ambition.

The boss wished him well but also told him that two years is truly a very short period of time to look at heading the entire Marketing department.

But Uate was not the one to give up. In the next three months he was able to generate three new and big clients.

Not only his boss but also the MD were really impressed and even rewarded him with a company car.

Uate continued his efforts and in almost two years he was considered as one of the best sales and marketing guys in the organisation.

Performance evaluation

It was the twentieth month of his tenure in the organisation, the performance evaluation happened, Uate was given the A rating; but not the A + rating.

With an extremely disappointed face he went up to his marketing boss. This is not fair, I should be given A++ and all I have got is just an A.

The marketing director, who seemed quite perturbed by Uate’s direct charge, took him straight to the Managing Director, Mr Willy.

The MD was a very mature and a positive person. He smiled at both and asked them to sit, ordered for coffee and looking at Uate, he said, I have been aware of your impressive marketing feats and we have deeply looked at this to therefore give you  the rating of A.

But why A, I believe I should be getting A++. I need an answer Sir, Uate countered the MD. Uate’s self-confidence was almost bordering on arrogance albeit unintentional.

“Come with me, just leave your coffee here, we can have it later.” Along with the Marketing director the MD took Uate to his house.


Uprooting a tree

Mr Willy was also an avid farmer. He had cultivated a beautiful garden where he grew different fruits and even vegetables.

“Come I want to show you something,” he said.

They walked into the garden. They went near a big banana tree. Mr Willy requested Uate to uproot the tree. Uate was taken aback but went ahead and tried his best.

He tried with all his might but was completely unsuccessful. He was now so tired that he was breathing heavy.

“You know why this tree is strong?” Mr Willy asked Uate.

“It is not the strength in the branches or the trunk of the tree, but the strength in the ROOTS that is making you unable to uproot the tree.

“External strength sometimes can be misleading. It is the strength in the roots that is most important.”

Mr Willy beckoned his gardener Rocco and politely asked him to carefully expose the roots of that tree.

Rocco did as asked and within no time all the roots were exposed.

“The roots are so deep and spread out,” Uate excitedly whispered to Mr Willy.

“Yes dear! The roots are the main reason for the tree to stand strong and this tree has not matured in two years but has taken 10 years.

“I think you are able to understand right?” Mr Willy smilingly asked Uate.

“Come let us have some coffee.”



The three stayed back at the MD’s house and as they were sipping the coffee the MD continued.

“Listen attentively Uate. I know you have done extremely well. But have you truly gone deep into the subjects of Sales and Marketing,” Mr Willy said.

“Getting clients is great and we appreciate it but to grow as a marketing manager, it is important that you strengthen your own roots of Knowledge regarding these subjects.

“Tell me Uate, what is the Push and Pull strategy in marketing / sales. What kind of research analysis do you do before positioning your products?

“How is Sales Forecasting executed? What is Suspecting & Prospecting? Is Sales more important than Service? Uate, can you answer just these few questions?”

Uate was completely nonplussed.

Mr Willy continued: “I am not trying to test you or humiliate you dear. I am only driving across a simple yet critical point which is that I want you strengthen your roots regarding the subjects of marketing and sales.

“Getting clients is good but as a marketing manager, you should be extremely deep and strong regarding all the aspects of this subject.”


Lesson learnt

Uate was smart and now he had also become extremely wise. He profusely apologised to his marketing manager for being so hasty and almost arrogant to him.

Uate also apologised to Mr Willy for not being sensible about all this but also thanked him for sharing such positive and pertinent perspectives.

It was five years since this interesting interaction. And it was the Managing Director who called Uate to his office.

He exclaimed in genuine excitement: “Dear Uate, the company has decided to promote your boss to the level of Sr. Vice President Marketing.

“But that leaves a vacancy for the position of marketing manager.

“Seeing the way you have sincerely developed yourself in all the departments of Marketing and Sales, it has been decided to offer this position to you.”

Uate was very happy and went to shake hands with Mr Willy.

“This time you truly deserved it and that’s because you worked on your ROOTS,” whispered Mr Willy to Uate.

Mayur Kalbag is a Leadership Coach, Corporate Trainer & Author. He mainly focusses upon Training and Human Resource Development through ‘Specifically Designed Seminars and Conferences. He can be contacted via email:


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