- Category: Real World Preparations
- Published Date
- Written by Matthews Mtumbuka
By imperfections, we mean all challenges and obstacles that you meet along the way towards your goal. This could mean limited resources, or could mean resistance from key stakeholders or sheer lack of support. It could also mean having a poorly skilled team around you, lack of licence or authority to do what you seek to embark on. This could even mean fierce competition or just general hitches you meet when doing something.
Below is a story that illustrates how you can achieve in spite of imperfections or challenges that you meet along the way.
On Saturday the 3rd December, 2011, I had the privilege to attend an engineering design competition at University of MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Polytechnic. This competition was financed by some Canadian organisation, with their regional representatives in Zambia directly involved in the organisation of the event, in conjunction with the Malawi Institution of Engineers (MIE) and the Polytechnic Faculty of Engineering.
The competition comprised some eight groups, each comprising some five or some engineering students with diverse backgrounds and ranging from first to fifth year. The team members came from all the three major disciplines of engineering Ã¢â‚¬â€ civil, electrical and mechanical engineering.
The design competition question required each group to design a bridge that could be used in a rural setting and meeting some key technical and socio-economical requirements that were shared with competing teams. All groups were given all the required materials including glue guns where were to be used for sticking the Ã¢â‚¬Ëœconstruction materialÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ together in the construction of the design model as a prototype.
Unfortunately, the glue guns were of very poor quality standard and so they kept developing faults, mainly on the electrical conducting cable. What I observed was that in the end, the groups that found quick solutions to this unexpected problem emerged champions. Several groups kept complaining about the glue guns, and enjoyed the fact that it was a common problem among all the groups. Talking to them made it clear to me that most of these groups were convinced that provided they make the best of the situation, the judges would understand their Ã¢â‚¬ËœexcuseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ of poor quality of the tools they were using.
The group that emerged overall champions had a few interesting attributes. First, when they faced the glue gun challenge, instead of brooding over the grievance, they quickly sought a lasting solution. They recalled that in their group, they had an electrical engineering student. They asked him for ideas on how they could permanently solve the emerging problem with the tool they needed badly. The electrical engineering student figured out that all he needed to do was to replace the glue gunÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s power cable with a new wire with bigger diameter. When they implemented this solution, the glue gun stopped giving them any more problems.
Is this not what usually happens in real life? We face similar problems, and only those who quickly resolve to face emerging challenges end up as achievers and winners. Those who keep complaining about the issues without investing in solutions end up losing. You can achieve in spite of imperfections. Never wait for a perfect world before you can triumph! Good luck!