Something that Einstein’s driver never did!

This story of Einstein and his driver in many versions is quiet popular!images

There’s a story about how Dr. Albert Einstein was traveling to Universities in his car , delivering lectures on his theory of relativity. During one journey, the driver remarked ” Dr. Einstein, I have heard you deliver that lecture about 30 times. I know it by heart and bet I could give it myself.”

“Well, I’ll give you the chance”, said the Dr. “They don’t know me at the next University, so when we get there, I’ll put on your cap, and you introduce yourself as Dr. Einstein and give the lecture.”

The driver delivered Einstein’s lecture without any mistakes. When he finished, he started to leave, but one of the
professor stopped him and asked a complex question filled with mathematical equations and formulas. The driver thought fast. “The answer to that problem is so simple,” he said, ” I’m surprised you have to ask me. In fact, to show you just how simple it is, I’m going to ask my driver to come up here and answer your question”.

Whether this incident is true or not we may never know. However one thing we know is Einstein allowed his driver to get only this far and no further in his journey of scientific exploration. Though Einstein must have been thrilled and grateful to have a loyal driver who drives him around – Einstein knew the best place for his driver was behind the wheel of his car. What could have happened if Einstein was taken up at the capability of his driver to parrot his speech? What could have happened if Einstein decided to involve the driver in scholarly discussions – one because of the driver’s ability to parrot and second because of the sheer long association of being in his employ? Einstein would have lost a good driver and we would have lost Einstein.

Funny as the above many sound, many of us in our attempt to involve and improve our ecosystem take decisions that have disastrous and self destructing effects on the long run. The ability of an entrepreneur to understand contributions of his team members and ecosystem -and subsequently plan for their growth and larger contribution is essential. However when this is done, the impact on the longer run at the individual and the institution levels should be carefully extrapolated, studied and then crafted.  Failure to do this will ultimately lead to disgruntlement, frustration, stagnation and sickness of both the individual and the institution.


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