Saturday, September 20, 2014

Career Lessons

Some learnings from my career... (an edited version of what I sent to my team)

Two things about trust. Trust is built by solving problems - especially unstated. Find a problem, and a solution and take it to your stakeholders – that builds relationships better than meetings and order taking ever can. And second, trust is reciprocal, always – and that is the only way to build it. Assume Goodwill – trust pays.

Two ways to work – one is to do what one is asked and the second is to go out there and take ownership and deliver. I am a big fan of the second model – and that comes with a risk of putting ourselves out there committing that we will deliver.

Value added work is never given – it is always taken. Value added work has a benefit – it gets you a chance to do more great work. Likewise for other categories.

Don’t befriend TINA. TINA stands for There Is No Alternative – and is the first line of defence to continue entrenched practices.  Always believe that an alternate way is possible especially when you see constraints  - it is also a good belief system to have in life as well – there is always an alternative.

Go put your strengths to work – yours, your teams and everyone has some strength that can be used. A collective force of individual strengths as a team is a far better way to go out there than using papered over weaknesses to appear uniform.

Walls and boundaries are for kingdoms and countries – not in teams. Break every wall you encounter.

While listening is a great skill to have – it is equally important to have a voice on every table – after all that is the reason you have a seat on the table. If seats do not get converted into voices – the seat is wasted. And if you have a seat but no voice, best to give up that seat.

Know your lines and draw them. If you don’t, you will find yourself framed in someone else’s drawing – and that is never a great place to be. Likewise for shoes. Never fill in someone elses shoes. Find your shoes and walk in them.

Never be afraid to ask – because if you never ask, the answer is always no – which is my second favourite line of all time.

And that brings me to the line I live by – which is – you never know until you try…

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