Of Moles and Molars


Last month, I took two root canal treatments for a couple of my ill-treated teeth. I spent a considerable time at the clinic either waiting for my turn or while the procedure was on. During that period, I had a chance to observe and reflect on several things, including the formation and functioning of our teeth, how dentists correct several deformities, etc., 

I thought I would share some of my learnings with you:

God gave us different types of teeth and uniformly positioned them at appropriate places. Each tooth has a specific role and does its’ job consistently well until we ill-treat. 

Each tooth brings its strength, and the functioning is complementary to the other. All of them work in tandem. They collectively act as a gateway to the rest of the body.

Undoubtedly, God deployed the best design thinking minds and ensured smart engineering. I am grateful to him for providing us with such a key ability.

But what if the design is a bit different from the current one? For instance, what if a molar tooth was placed at the front? What about a Canine tooth taking over a place and position of a premolar? What if one premolar is longer than its counterpart at the top or bottom? What if one tooth wants to grow bigger and occupy or dominate the position of the tooth next to it? 

Thank God none of them happened. Because thankfully, God made those. 

But what about the great Human intellect? What do we do differently? Let us see.

In many ways, an organization’s leadership structure resembles the teeth structure. 

However, we often confuse their roles and (mis)place them. We implant a molar at a place meant for a canine and so on. Some leaders play favorites and allow some gifted teeth to outgrow. In this process, the marginalized tooth falls down, the neglected tooth gets decayed, and so on. The neglected molar tooth ends up being a mole and starts housing bacteria. We continue to do this jugglery until the entire structure is disturbed and disarrayed. 

With such a misaligned structure, junk finds its way inside. The organization loses its biting and chewing abilities, and the entire system is collapsed. 

Think about it. 

  • What is your leadership structure? 
  • How is it designed and engineered? 
  • Does each tooth know its function and purpose? 
  • Does each tooth collaborate with the one next or opposite to it? 
  • Is there any tooth trying to outgrow the other? 
  • Is there any tooth trying to outgrow the team? 
  • How often do they experience bruxism?
  • Who is in charge of identifying the decay and treatment? Is that person fully ‘in’ charge and fully charged? 
  • Finally, how charming is the ‘smile’ of your organization?

Slow down and step back. Take some time to review the position purpose and collaboration protocols. If our car wheels require periodic alignment and re-calibration, our roles need them too! 

Started grinding your teeth? Just smile! 

Let me know your thoughts. 

Best wishes


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