The Water Test Analogy
Water is life but not every water is life. Some water may kill you also. The WHO estimates that most of the diseases in the world are water borne. From a distance every water almost looks the same unless it is seen and examined closely.
In general terms we all are impressed by water and its various visually appealing characteristics. But when it comes to the issue of human consumption we use our discretion and only drink that water which is fit for consumption. We do not get beguiled by any other alluring characteristics of water except its fitness for drinking. This is the “Water Test'' Analogy. The same should be the case with human personalities.
The Crust, Mantle And The Visibility Curtains
We see people who are nice, cool, soft spoken, humble and even look simple in dress and mannerisms. We all get impressed and that is quite natural also. Further it is our tendency to not get impressed easily by people who do not fit our perception of simple, humble, cool in dress and mannerisms. This is somehow our inherent human characteristics since we all crave simplicity in this complex world.
This aspect of human characteristics is the outer layer which we can safely call the “Crust” of the personality. But this is not the Crux of the personality. The other part of human characteristics is their expressed ideology, ideas, actions, works and contributions. This is what I call the “Mantle” of personality.
Most of the time we have chosen our role models subconsciously by getting attracted to the Crust. Our mind and vision has been impaired mostly by the “Visibility Curtains” that do not allow us to look deep inside for the Mantle of the personality.
The Best Decision Making Tool : The Five 5 Steps Process
As a leader our decision making tools must include the concept of the crust, mantle and the visibility curtains. While selecting our role models or taking decisions concerning human potential, we should go into the details of their professional actions minutely. Never be beguiled by their Crust nor be deceived by their alluring characteristics. Dig to the mantle and you will reach the core of the personality. We must remove our visibility curtains.
The best way to select our role models and to identify human potentials within the organization is to follow the five 5 step process. My experience has shown me that this works well in most of the situations. Over the course of my professional journey I have developed it for my own analysis. This method I have used in my professional and personal life and found it to be quite satisfying in its results.
- Always filter the person or the idea through the Water Test Analogy.
- Mostly consider the “Crust” as a diversion until unless proved otherwise
- Compulsorily remove your Visibility Curtains which may generally crop up due to your own biases, culture, ego and obviously due to the Crust.
- Keep digging deep till you reach the Mantle
- Now assemble all and you have the perfect picture before you
The problem of dealing only with the crust is similar to looking at the shoes of the individual while judging his feet. The shoes are always shining but we never see the real thing that is the feet. Actually the feet are the real human part and not the shoe. Similarly the Mantle is the real core of the human and not the thinner part that is the crust.
But let me tell you that there are occasions also where both the crust and the mantle are fine. Both compliment each other. But this is a difficult find as always. This is the ideal situation. I have seen such rare cases myself in my career.
The higher the rank, position and glamour quotient in an individual the higher the risk of us being duped by the Crust which will act as our Visibility curtains. So choose wisely your ideas, role models and heroes.
Always look beyond the obvious.