“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein
I recently had an interaction at BML Munjal University, India where we had been invited to share our thoughts on skills, talents, and work ethic required in a fast-changing world.
I have shared ideas that should hopefully hold good regardless of whether we might be undergoing our grad or MBA, or should we be into our respective careers, across different fields, 10 years down the line.
The recorded session is shared below, as also the ideas shared right after.
I. Building a Growth Mindset
Almost all of us have capabilities which can be discovered, improved upon with practice and grown over time. We are not aware of all our strengths and capabilities right from when we are in school or college or even at our first few jobs: It takes a fair amount of saying yes to opportunities and challenges you believe in, towards knowing what we are truly capable of; and especially more so when these opportunities and challenges are a bit outside our comfort zone.
When we have the attitude that even though the opportunities might be outside our comfort zone, we are capable of making attempts which have more potential to translate to success; the more and more we realize such opportunities, the success fuels us and our confidence increases as we become more aware of, and grow as a person, wrt the potential inside.
Try not to err on the side of believing you have fixed capabilities and skill sets. Try working on a lot of things and operate on the edges of your comfort zone.
II. Taking on Opportunities in Alignment with your Interests and Strengths
a. Sometimes opportunities come to you:
Ensure that you say yes more times than no, to opportunities where you get the chance to work with incredible leaders, esp the ones who have proven themselves time and again, and whom you can trust to play fair.
b. Sometimes you have to go for the opportunities:
“If you don’t ask, the answer is always no” – Nora Roberts
Shoot your shots. It’s perfectly fine to have more rejections earlier on. The ones that eventually do work out in your favour will make it all worthwhile.
Example: Simu Liu tweeting out for Shang-Chi, Sylvester Stallone: What he went through for getting a break through Rocky series of movies etc
Constant in both scenarios, which is whether the opportunities come to you or you pursue the opportunities:
- Prepare well, deliver with all you have got, and go the extra mile.
- Ensure the ones who gave you the opportunity feel great about having shared that opportunity with you.
III. Building on your Networks
If you become a person of value, it becomes a bit easier to build networks with the best of the best.
As long as you are someone whom people are comfortable being associated with, you keep sharpening your capabilities and create win-win situations and bring value to the table, one will find that a lot of incredible leaders are kind with their time and many times opportunities.
Some of the avenues when one is in school or college include taking on responsibilities with college clubs and relevant non-profits of interest where you will have the opportunity to come in and connect with some of the leaders via the initiatives you take up there. It’s also worthwhile taking on multiple internships with companies and leaders you especially respect and admire, being on some of the networking platforms, attending events and initiatives that are of interest, and so and so forth.
If you are someone who is respectful of people and plays fair, you will automatically build networks way beyond what you might consciously try to cultivate.