Syamrath Weekly : Capability Is Not Enough

This story has to do with what one of my most respected bosses in SCG taught his younger colleagues seven years ago.  What he said held true then and still holds true today.

(1) “To attain success in your career, you must have three things: capability, acceptability and opportunity.”

Pi (Older brother) Pramote, SCG Cement Managing Director (at the time), told younger colleagues attending one of the company’s seminars in 2009 organized by the Human Resource Office at Muang Noi Development Center with the objectives to generate better understanding and knowledge about the organization’s overall strategy, operations and details concerning SCG products; enhance the newcomers’ frame of thought and self-adjustment in working, team creation, work network and learning about management from outside the business; and provide them with an opportunity to meet and exchange views with senior executives.

I was invited to participate in the SCG Role Model session, an evening session of group activities before dinner and before Pi Pramote came to talk about his experience and answer the participants’ questions.

(2) “Somebody asked me whether career advancement in SCG Cement required winning the company scholarship,” Pi Pramote told the younger colleagues in a relaxing atmosphere at sundown.  I just knew what the answer would be.

“Nope.  Not necessarily,” was his answer.

I knew the answer because he himself had not been a scholarship recipient and yet could advance to one of the company’s top executive position while many scholarship recipients did not succeed in their career.

That led to the opening sentence above.

“To be successful doesn’t necessarily depend on the field you graduated in or the university you graduated from.  The degree only certifies that you have the basic knowledge required for your job.”

To me, capability means you’re good and qualified.  Acceptability means you’re worth others’ accepting while opportunity means favorable time and circumstances.  If these three factors fall into place, you’re bound to succeed.

First and foremost, you’ve got to have the capabilityIf you lack this factor from the outset, there’s no chance you’d come out all right.  Being capable here is not restricted to outstanding performance in class but to be capable at work, be knowledgeable and have thorough understanding about the task entrusted to you, which has nothing to do with luck.  You must be hard-working with a lot of practice, know how to apply what you learned to the real work situation.  That’s how you accumulate experience.  If you’re not capable, no one will accept you and no opportunity will present itself.

Next in line is Acceptability.  You can’t be capable standing alone because a lone hero or leading actor exists only in the movies.  In reality, being good at your work has to rely on people around you, be they your subordinates, colleagues or superiors, both in the same office and outside.  What more, you have to make contact and coordinate with a lot of external individuals.  If you’re not acceptable to people around you, you won’t be able to achieve great advancement in your career no matter how capable you are.

To step forward and reach your goal, you must be acceptable in a dignified manner.

Lastly, you must have the opportunity because, even despite your capability and acceptability, if in that moment the circumstances were not hospitable, or your organization did not grow or prosper, an economic slowdown prevailed or there were no new positions or jobs opening up, how could you present  a more impressive, more challenging job performance despite your capability and acceptability?  At any rate, I didn’t mean to say that such a situation will last forever.  Just that the right time and right timing are still to come.  If and when they do, how can you not have the opportunity given the first two qualifications?

Also, a respected person once said that, to attain success, one had to rely on three factors: self-help, others’ help and the Almighty’s help.

To me, these remarks mean the same thing.  Self-help is the same as capability.  Others’ help suggests acceptability because, if you’re not acceptable, would other people help you?  And then The Almighty’s help.  That’s the opportunity, your opportunity to be entrusted with the task that requires higher and higher responsibility.

I absolutely believe that everything starts with us, with ourselves.

Source: Syamrath Ton Sapda, Issue No. 14/2559 by Mr. Siamrath Sutthanukul, Managing Director, SCG Logistics Management Co., Ltd. (Internal Communication)

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Source: Syamrath Ton Sapda, Issue No. 14/2559 by Mr. Siamrath Sutthanukul, Managing Director, SCG Logistics Management Co., Ltd. (Internal Communication)

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