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Kick-starter Why did the chicken cross the road?

The genius is not in creating for him what he did not ask you. That one is I-too-know. The genius is in creating the most innovative way, what he has asked you to do.

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“Why did the Chicken cross the road?”

That’s probably one of the most awkward job interview questions you’ll ever hear.

Anakle was recruiting interns and the instructions were simple; “send your CV to so and so email and tell us why the chicken crossed the road.”

That was all, really.

I honestly never really paid attention to the chicken and the road before then. But since an internship position was at stake, I did a little digging.

“Why did the chicken cross the road?” is an old riddle joke. The answer used to be as simple as “to get to the other side”, but as with most things in life, it got really complicated.

I found answers people had given at one point or the other and came to a conclusion; there’s no wrong answer to this question. There’s only the very bright answers and the very foolish answers. Like someone’s answer was “because LASTMA was pursuing the chicken”. That’s not very bright. But it’s still correct.

So because I was seeking a writing position, I wrote it from a writer’s angle like this:

“The chicken crossed the road because I told it there was corn at the other side

It believed me enough to risk its life.

I don’t even know if it’’ll find corn, but it believed

Because that’s what writers do

Make you believe anything.”

You see, I’ve learned that when you write something in Italics and you align it to the centre of the page, it appears very deep, and wise. But really, I felt really good writing this. I sent my email to Anakle and I got called for an interview.

At the interview, everything went smoothly. The questions were quite straight-to-the-point. I’ll never understand why people cram possible answers before interviews. I mean, we crammed all through secondary school, all through University, and now for a job interview? Haba.

There were three people at the interview; the CEO, the Digital Strategist, and the HR/Lead Developer lady. The CEO was tweeting, and raising his head up once in a while to comment. The Strategist did most of the asking, and the relax-this-is-not-an-interrogation part. The Developer just kept smiling. You want to believe it’s something she sees in you that she likes, but something tells you it’s just an HR smile.

The interview was very smooth until I got asked the chicken question again, and I served them my answer like freshly grilled chicken.

Few moments of quiet followed until the CEO said, “but chickens can’t read. How did it know what you were telling it?”

And in that very moment, my tongue rolled back into my mouth, down my throat, and found a quiet humble spot in my stomach. I had no logical answer to that question.

The smile on their faces didn’t make me feel comfortable at this point.

“Imagine it was Christmas on the chicken’s side of the road…” was what the CEO.

My jaw fell open like he had pulled a magic trick, but it was just common sense. The ever evasive common sense.

That for me, is like the most important lesson in business right there.

I’ll tell you how.

I was busy enjoying my ‘depth’ forgetting what really mattered. It’s not about me or what I can do, it’s about the bloody chicken!

The chicken’s most basic need was right there –survival, but I missed it for the love of italics and centre page alignment.

These six-hundred-and-something words is just to tell you one thing; it’s not about you, it’s about what your client wants done. You are in one tiny place in the Universe, and it’s very far from the centre. If there’s anyone sitting at the centre, it’s your client.

The genius is not in creating for him what he did not ask you. That one is I-too-know. The genius is in creating the most innovative way, what he has asked you to do.

When you speak to a farmer, you talk about the rains he’s expecting and what he’d like to harvest, not your love for bloody poetry.

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