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9 - In Summary – Playing to Potential - In Summary – Playing to Potential

Chris speaks about his take on the term – Play to Potential. He also says that whether somebody is playing to his or her potential is a matter of perspective and opinion. He says that Gunter Bresnik (a reputed coach from Austria) thinks that Roger should have won many more Grand Slams and he possibly didn’t quite play to his full potential.

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Vijay talks about how he took stock of life at key inflection points during his career in tennis and beyond. He also talks about the distinction between being pedigreed and learning from one’s own experiences through the journey of life. He also talks about how he dealt with the “Astronaut syndrome” (a phrase that Tony Robbins often uses). You have accomplished whatever you wanted to. Now what?
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Vijay discusses how he has dealt with challenging moments when he was on court. He talks about navigating forks in the road where you often have to choose between low risk and decent outcomes and high risk with a potential of making it big. He shares an insight from Billy Jean King who says “Every challenge is an opportunity and pressure is a privilege”. He discusses the frame of mind with which one could approach such crucial moments.
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Vijay reflects on how he transitioned to a new career as his family context changed and he approached the end of his active tennis career. He talks about how re-inventing yourself is often like throwing yourself in the deep end of the pool without knowing how to swim. Perspectives that could be relevant for leaders who are trying to re-invent themselves given significant shifts in the world of work and in personal circumstances.
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Vijay talks about the role distinction between a Broadcaster and a Commentator. He also alludes to the challenge of catering to audiences with varying tastes and appreciation of the game. The challenge is in creating content that appeals to different segments and is not just tailored to the tennis aficionados. Vijay shares some thoughts around how broadcasters could draw audiences in and then keep them there because of the quality of the game.
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Vijay discusses how less is more when you are interviewing a person. He discusses the role of brevity and the need for active listening to ensure that you are picking up the cues. He talks about some thoughts around how to navigate such a conversation. He uses the metaphor of Billiards where you are not just thinking about the initial contact of the cue ball with the red ball but are thinking two steps ahead of where all the cue ball might go.
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Vijay talks about the role of effort in the context of long-term growth and development. People often get into a debate about whether it is nature or nurture and he makes a strong case for hard work through which people can often make up for significant deficiencies in talent. This is arguably all the more relevant in the world we live in where the half-life of the relevant of talent in a certain area is diminishing with the velocity of change around.
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Vijay talks about the role of coaching at various stages of a person’s life and how as a person evolves, the coach that works with you to help you go to the next level might change. He also talks about how much can get accomplished through sheer will power using the fascinating example of Richard Williams who (with limited background in tennis) through his sheer resolve coached Serena and Venus to become world champions.
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Vijay talks about the notion of “paying it forward” and how that attitude towards life got shaped in his early childhood given the influence of his family. He talks about how some of the things that his parents and relatives did when he was young have had a profound influence on how he goes about thinking about giving back to the wider society. He talks about a specific anecdote where he learnt a lesson about giving from his uncle.
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How did Amish Tripathi go from being a banker to a bestselling author? You might think that making this transition would have involved a life altering event. But sometimes, unknown to you, the seeds of transition might be nurtured in your life, through your lifestyle, habits, hobbies or the even the milieu around you.
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What motivates a bestselling author? In this short nugget, hear Amish speak about the philosophy behind his writing, his views on failure and success and what can make you truly ‘unstoppable’.
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So you have found your passion but undecided when and how to take the plunge? Hear Amish talk about how he transitioned to being a full time author from a banker. Discover how ‘pragmatism and positive vibes’ guided this transformation.
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Confused about listening to your heart or your head? We all face those crossroads in life and Amish did too, especially while facing initial rejections from publishers. Dealing with failure, enlisting support, recognising what works for you and ultimately making it work for you: Amish touches upon these important themes in this nugget.
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For every famous sportsperson, there are hundreds who didn’t make it big. For every published author, there are hundreds who met rejection after rejection. How does one deal with being in a profession where a few “winners take it all”? Hear Amish talk about the reality of being an author and how his initial rejections made him go against the grain and market his books innovatively.
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In this nugget, Amish elaborates on the one important question you should ask yourself before transitioning to a new profession. For eight years before he switched to becoming a full time author, Amish focused on only three things- his job, his writing and his family. What drove this level of discipline and commitment? Hear on.
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How easy it is these days to be distracted? Just one minute on Facebook or Twitter and there goes the whole morning! In such an age of distraction where our attention spans are becoming lesser and lesser, how does Amish find the time and space to write? Hear his tactics of getting the momentum going. Hint: there is also something about a sugar rush in there!
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How did a self-published debut author’s books reach the best seller list within a week of launch? Undoubtedly, the book was good but behind the scenes some new, innovative and thoughtful marketing techniques also contributed. As Amish expresses, leadership is not about having the best ideas yourself but being able to pick good ideas when you come across them.
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Culture is contextual and non-transferrable. Know the culture of the organisation and industry you are planning to join. Amish talks about the Chandravanshi and Suryavanshi cultures and discusses how organizations could think about their culture?
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Can competitiveness and calmness reside within you side by side? Why should one’s mind and heart be aligned? Listen on to find out what things, Amish thought, were not taught enough in B-schools.
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Thinking of a transition in life? Reflecting upon your purpose in life? Living a life that someone has decided for you? Amish shares a powerful quote from the Bhagavad Gita to conclude this conversation and urges people find to their own uniqueness and ‘swadharma’.
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Capt. Raghu Raman, shares his perspectives on a career in the armed forces. Listen to the three main reasons he gives you as to why the army can prepare you to tackle the battlefield of business and life!
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Anyone who wants to join the Indian Armed Forces as an officer has to go through the Service Selection Board (SSB). The ultimate goal is to select people with Officer Like Qualities (OLQs). Thus, the focus is on hiring based solely on potential rather than experience or academic qualifications. Our digital world is also moving towards potential-based hiring. Hear how the corporate world can learn some lessons from the SSB.
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Having moved from the army setup to the corporate world then onto a government organization and back to the corporate world, Raghu has worn many hats in his professional life. All of these shifts have involved transitioning across cultures- some well-established, others being established and yet others, desperately needing a change in culture! Hear Raghu talk about how he navigated these transitions to integrate into the organization he joined.
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Raghu talks about how we could think about leveraging the pool of leadership talent that the army produces. He compares India to markets such as US, where there have been generations of Corporate Leaders who spent their early years in the Armed Forces. This is not just about providing an education around some of the elements of business. It is a complete rewiring that needs to happen.
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What is common to radio, sonar and the internet? All these technological innovations, like many others, have their origin in war or conflict. Most have been researched and developed at military labs and then scaled up. Start-ups therefore, can benefit immensely from this experience. Hear Raghu talk about the need for a common vocabulary in order to achieve this. Hint: there is also a valuable tip about the “How” question.
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Become privy to one of the army’s most efficient framework approaches: the Z-KITBAG! Raghu elaborates on this acronym and talks about how this structured approach can be used in any scenario- whether you are preparing for a talk or mobilizing your team for a launch.
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The chain of communication in an organization – from the CEO to the salesperson on the streets- is one of the main factors for its success or failure. What steps can a leader take to ensure this chain of communication is seamless? Listen as Raghu talks about this and also shares an interesting anecdote about why cheaper phones in India have dual SIM facility!
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Numbers occupy a large part of our mind space when we think of organizations- sales figures, trend lines, market share – the list is endless and often clinical. But what about the stories behind the companies? These legends, usually ignored, are crucial for culture building. Hear Raghu talk about how the army utilizes this powerful tool to build its cultural identity and motivate its people.
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Nugget
3.9
Building grit
Grit can be defined as “courage and resolve; strength of character”- something we all need to live our lives and face successes and failures. Raghu says, “We all have the DNA to create that reservoir of strength”. Hear him talk about the elements of grit and how an organization can create an environment to foster it.
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Distraction is all around us. Our screens are becoming smarter and our attention spans shorter. Engulfed with this tsunami of data in a world that worships multitasking, how does one develop mindfulness? Raghu shares some invaluable tips practiced by corporate leaders. You will be amazed to hear how simple tweaks (no need for any props! Just your time) can improve your mental well being.
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Feel like you are not using your potential to the fullest? Thinking about taking a new course or certification to harness this potential? Wait! Hear what Raghu says about the “journey of your full potential” and how you might already know what you need to know! Intrigued? Hear on!
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One might think that the world of stand-up comedy and the corporate milieu would be miles apart! Hear Papa CJ talk about his transition from being a consultant to an award winning stand-up comedian. His show ‘Naked’ talks about all our common vulnerabilities and the ‘brick walls’ we build around ourselves that may prevent us from growing. He tries to reach out to all of us who might be comfortably complacent in our comfort zones.
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Son of a tea planter, Papa CJ took the predictable path through school and college. Hear him walk us through his early struggles which led to him manoeuvring into the challenging and non-trivial transition from Oxford, to consulting, to doing 250 stand-up comedy shows in his first 10 months! Look out for tips on leveraging the asset of relationships that we all have.
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“If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat.” Hear how Papa CJ took the plunge into the gruelling yet satisfying world of stand-up comedy. A mix of conviction, grit, pragmatism, sacrifice and passion helped him make this journey. This nugget gives us an insight into planning and being prepared for transitions.
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Think you need to know all about a career before you dive right in? Not necessarily! Papa CJ talks about how the world of stand-up was a blank slate for him and all he had was his excitement and eagerness to pursue it. Sometimes all it needs is the drive and the resilience. Hint: Look out for what makes stand-up comedy the one profession where ‘failure is the only way to succeed’ according to Papa CJ.
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“Find the balance to feed your stomach and feed your soul”: that’s the mantra for delivering to your potential, according to Papa CJ. In this nugget he talks about the qualities of being a good stand-up comedian and how these requirements actually transcend profession and time. Listen on to find tips to harness the true power of your potential.
 • 07m:01s • 
In this fast paced, interconnected world around us, we often have less time and space to think quietly and listen to our inner voice. In this nugget, Papa CJ gives tips about preparing for success and how one needs to grow in the dark so as to play to potential.
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Why is vulnerability one of the key elements in building any relationship? Why is it especially so important now when our world seems to be awash with picture perfect Facebook posts? Hear Papa CJ tackle this question. Hint: Watch out for an amazing tip about finding that fountain of confidence that we all seek!
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A stand-up comedian is also a brand that provides services worldwide. So what can the world of business learn from the world of stand-up comedy? Papa CJ draws parallels between these two seemingly starkly different realms. Watch out for the anecdote on heckling and its comparison with dealing with feedback.
 • 07m:16s • 
“The cost of our dreams is much lower than we think it is in our heads!” Using this profound thought Papa CJ discusses what business schools don’t teach us. don’t miss the part about the three things that constitute happiness!
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Did you always know which profession you wanted to pursue? Our career is often shaped by an opportunity that we seize on the way. Prof. Kartik Hosanagar talks about how academia came by as a career choice while he was researching options for his postgraduate education. Named as the world’s top 40 business professors under 40, he certainly seems to have made the right choice!
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Interested in the academic world? Kartik reveals some important questions you should ask yourself and elaborates on some qualities you should possess before embarking on this path. Academia, according to Kartik, is ‘entrepreneurial without the risk profile of an entrepreneur!’ In this nugget, he also discusses some professional highs and lows that face an academician.
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We often choose a career without having much idea of what the reality is like. Often times, people who like Teamwork take up jobs that may require long solitary hours. In this nugget, Kartik reveals a couple of surprises that people encounter on the path to becoming an academician.
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Technology is all pervasive in our lives today. But how has the world of academia been impacted by this? Hear Kartik elaborate on the increase in opportunity afforded by the tsunami of technology.
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Apart from being an academician, Kartik is also an active entrepreneur and invests and mentors startups. So who better to ask, how does one pick an idea to back? Kartik elaborates on three main skills he looks at before deciding to support an idea or a person.
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As organizations grow from being startups to more established businesses, their leadership needs and demands also change and vary. In this nugget, Kartik traces this spectrum of leadership inflection points and maps it with funding cycles.
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We all know the traits and characteristics of a good leader but what does it take to become a good leader? In this nugget, Kartik enumerates three things that you can do or cultivate to harness your leadership potential.
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Organizations love to grow yet want to retain the entrepreneurial culture that nurtures innovation. What is the one thing that Kartik looks at to figure out if an organization has an entrepreneurial culture or not? Find out in this nugget. Hint: don’t miss the anecdote about a major competitive advantage that Pixar has cultivated and fine tuned which has led to its unprecedented success in the movie business.
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We all have an aim that we work towards. But in the feverish rush to achieve this goal, we often forget something. Hear Kartik talk about what is really important before we set any goal or take any career decision. It is something we hear a lot about but do we really follow?
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Want to make a difference in society? A lot of us want to positively impact the world around us. But often times, this intention fades into the background or does not come to fruition. Enter Social Venture Partners- a platform for people like you who want to be agents of change. Hear Ravi talk about their ‘million jobs mission’ and the unique challenges faced by leaders in the social sector.
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How much of you as an individual can be attributed to early childhood experiences? In this nugget hear Ravi speak about three main influences in his early years that shaped his personality. Did you know that he had to take a year off from school due to medical reasons and this turned out to be a boon in shaping his boundless curiosity!
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In this rapidly changing world, Ravi has three main nuggets of wisdom for graduates who are thinking about their careers and professional life ahead. How has the view of a ‘career’ changed over time and what is the best way to think about it today? What qualities should one spend time cultivating and nurturing? Hear on.
 • 07m:28s • 
How does being a business leader in India differ from leading in other international markets? Hear Ravi elaborate on what you need to succeed in India by sharing some personal experiences. don’t miss the bit about Jack Welch of GE and the concept of a younger mentor.
 • 08m:46s • 
Having worked in Cummins and moved up the ladder, Ravi took up the challenge of being the CEO of Microsoft India at just 40 years of age and against the advice of family and friends. This was an industry he knew nothing about and a culture his friends thought he wouldn’t adapt to. How did he make this transition successful? What did he pay attention to? Hint: The anecdote of his interview with Bill Gates is very interesting.
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Ravi’s career trajectory has often taken him to sectors and organizations he did not know much about. The key to his successful transitioning, according to him, has been listening; but listening to what and whom? Get the details and some tips in this anecdotal nugget.
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One of the many hats Ravi wears in his professional life is that of an investor. He is a venture partner and invests in young companies. In this nugget, he talks about the five main qualities he looks for in any entrepreneur before backing him and how he goes about deciphering whether those qualities exist in the individual or not. Hint: It is much more to do than your academics or career record!
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Companies usually grow at a higher than individuals. This leads to the risk that your job may outgrow you. Hence, it is imperative to keep growing as a person and as a leader. Ravi lays down three aspects you should focus on in order to grow with the times and your organization. Curiosity, cricket, connections, it’s all in there!
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There is an inherent assumption that successful executives can easily transition into non-executive roles on the boards of organizations. However, as Ravi points out, that’s not necessarily true. Hear him talk about the special responsibilities and skills of a Board member. He also puts forward four questions you should ask yourself before taking on a non-executive responsibility.
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Ravi has had two long stints in Cummins and then Microsoft, after which he switched to a portfolio of opportunities. He talks about evaluating this deep root vs. wide branches approach to structuring your career. He also has important tips for organizations looking to attract good performers. Tune in!
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In his book Digital Tsunami, Abhijit contrasts the erstwhile analog world with today’s digital world. How has this shift to the digital realm impacted companies and their cultures? What is the main difference between these two and how has that influenced leadership. Confused about why a company like Google is competing with Ford and GM? Hear more about all this and more in this nugget.
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Unlike the analog world, employees and customers in the digital world are at the centre and the organization and processes are built around them. This makes the hiring of employees a very significant task. How does a leader go about hiring someone and what are their markers for potential? don’t miss the insightful anecdote about The Knowledge test that the London cab drivers have to take and how that’s relevant to this nugget.
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These days, personal branding is something that gets talked about a lot. But what is it and why is it important? More significantly, how do you go about creating a personal brand? In this nugget, Abhijit shares four vital aspects of personal branding that you should think about.
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Culture is often seen as something that large organizations need to worry about. However, if a start up tackles the challenges of culture from the very beginning and clearly defines its competencies and values, it could be a significant competitive differentiator especially during the scaling up phase. Hear Abhijit elaborate on the startup ecosystem in this nugget.
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Like everything else in the business landscape, leadership development also has undergone change in this digital age. Think of the instances today where augmented reality is being used for skill building! Hear about this and more way the digital realm is influencing leadership development in this nugget.
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In order to be relevant in this digital age, leaders need to adapt to a digital mindset. What does this mindset look like? Abhijit discusses the digital mindset in this nugget and gives anecdotes of how extremely competent leaders of the analog era are struggling to adapt to this. He also shares two important core values which can help in acquiring skills to navigate this digital world. Look out for his views on the future being an ‘&’ world rather than an ‘Or’ world.
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So we know there is a digital world out there, vastly different from the analog one we have been used to. This digital world demands new kinds of leadership, culture and relationships. We need to have a digital mindset to navigate this new world but how do we go about it. In this nugget, Abhijit gives you simple tips to start the journey and formulate digital habits.
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According to Abhijit, the CDO is the mapmaker of the new digital world of the organization. He is the one who takes up the real opportunity in looking at the digital landscape in a holistic sense for the entire organization and not just using it as an easy marketing or feedback tool. Hear more about this popular position that’s seeing many hiring ads!
 • 06m:46s • 
Thinking about a career has moved away from a linear notion – educate, work, retire. Also the idea of working in one company for the rest of your life has become obsolete. So how should one think about their career in this digital age? How can people stay relevant? Abhijit believes that skills will become obsolete quicker and gives tips about how to navigate their careers.
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To conclude, Abhijit answers three quick questions: One piece of advice to students leaving B-schools and making their transition into the workplace; three things they don’t teach enough at B-school and three apps he finds valuable! Find out the answers in this nugget.
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In this nugget, Viren describes the OGQ model – what they do, the sports they are involved with and the athletes that they are working with. Their youngest athlete is 8 years old and they have committed to working with that athlete for the next 8-12 years to win an Olympic Gold medal. In a world that’s running faster and faster and 1 year plans are hard to execute, it was refreshing to hear an organization that describes their 2020 plan as a short-term plan.
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Getting into professional sport can be a “low odds” decision often. If one doesn’t have the financial buffer, it is often tempting to go towards the safer option to pursue education and get a job. Viren talks candidly about how he comes from a family with no prior sports background and how he navigated some of these questions during the points of inflection when he had to take a call.
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Viren talks about his journey from being a player to a captain including some of the non-game elements that are required to move from being a successful player to an effective captain. He discusses how important it is for the captain to lead by example. He also talks about how one has to use different approaches to motivate and develop different players with varying personalities.
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Judging potential can be a very tricky thing to do in companies. While outcomes are very visible but markers of potential are often buried deep within and one has to look for them with a keen eye. GQ’s youngest athlete is 8 years old, an indication of how much they are betting on future potential. Viren talks about how they use a combination of metrics and elements of judgment to figure out which athletes to back.
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We often find ourselves in situations where the circumstances at work and on the personal front have changed significantly over time and there is a need to move onto the next innings. These are uncomfortable phases where there are no easy answers or approaches. Viren talks about how he took stock of life when he was playing hockey for India and the circumstances which led him to pursue an MBA at ISB.
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Viren shares his insights around how he joined OGQ after ISB. When I graduated from IIMA, a lot of us including me, didn’t have a clear framework to make a considered choice in terms of direction. Viren talks about the role of serendipity in how he ended up joining OGQ. He actually talks about how he almost ended up joining a corporate role before he joined OGQ. He also talks about how he has “taken the plunge” at crucial junctures in his life
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Viren talks about where he (and some of the athletes OGQ works with) gets his strength during difficult times. There is enough and more research (if interested, please look up Angela Duckworth’s book Grit) on the role of Grit and performance. He specifically alludes to the need for having clarity of why people do what they do in the context of building that muscle.
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Picking a coach for a leader can be challenging. There are several variables at play and given what is at stake, it is critical to ensure that this is done thoughtfully. Viren uses the example of Mary Kom to talk about how they went about selecting Charles Atkinson to train Mary Kom. Some of the insights from the nugget are arguably highly relevant in the corporate world in the context of how leaders and companies think about their leadership development and coaching programmes.
 • 06m:46s • 
In summary, Viren talks about how OGQ is all about selecting and grooming athletes and helping them play to their potential at the highest stage. He also talks about the opportunity that all of us have to support some of these supremely talented sportsmen who may not have the financial resources to pursue their dreams. If you are interested in contributing, please visit http://www.olympicgoldquest.in. It might be a great opportunity for us to invest in a Mutual Fund that carefully picks the human capital and helps them appreciate over time and could make us and the nation proud.
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Moving a corporate world to becoming a gig-economy player can be a tricky decision for a lot of people. There are question marks around timing and what the portfolio should look like. Prakash shares some insights around how he thought about it when he took the plunge.
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Prakash talks about the role of storytelling in the context of building culture and how one could think about building that muscle. Sometimes, people think that there is a trade-off between storytelling and brevity. He talks about that being a false trade-off and discusses how one could employ both to drive effective communication
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Prakash discusses how one could learn from how FMCG companies build brands in the context of personal brand building. He discusses how authenticity, consumer centricity and choice are critical in building a powerful enduring brand in a certain area.
 • 05m:55s • 
Selecting a coach for a leader can be a reasonably ambiguous task. Prakash talks about how we could learn from the world of sport in ensuring that we get a coach who is fit for purpose.
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Campus placements are often a pressure cooker situation with significant sub-optimality in how students end up making career choices. Prakash discusses how one should pick the first job after campus based on some reflection on what they like doing.
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People often equate Consumer Goods with Sales and Marketing. Finding your first job after an MBA can be confusing with people often resorting to using compensation as the sorting factor. Prakash sheds some light on how people could think about a career in Consumer Goods
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Prakash talks about how he has thought about his goal post at different points in time and how he finds his True North. He shares a nuanced view on how one should think about value in the pursuit of the sweet spot in which one could consider operating.
 • 06m:25s • 
Prakash talks about what sometimes comes in the way of people achieving their full potential. He talks about the importance of hard work (however clichéd it may sound) but also talks about the key element of enlisting others on the “bus”
 • 02m:54s • 
B-school education can often be focused around picking up the “tool-kit” that makes students ready for the world of employment. Prakash talks about some of the non-academic elements that end up mattering so much in the long run.
 • 03m:37s • 
Prakash shares his definition of a PHD for people to play to their potential. He talks about the role of Passion, Hunger and Discipline in going after a goal for people to perform at their best.
 • 03m:27s • 
High performing B School students often get courted by the top jobs in the market and often several people having to choose between Banking and Consulting. Avnish talks about how he made the decision to join Goldman Sachs after interning at McKinsey.
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Cross-border transitions are always hard and often involve multiple variables. Avnish talks about the context in which he took the plunge from a lucrative career with Goldman Sachs to return to India with nothing concrete in hand.
 • 08m:46s • 
There is a lot of literature around how entrepreneurs should demonstrate resilience when hit with failure or tough times. Avnish talks about the role of preparedness in navigating choppy waters.
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When Avnish started Baazee, his financial goal was to make USD 2 Million. When he sold Baazee to Ebay for USD 55 Million, he had made close to 10x of his estimate. He talks about how he took stock of life and moved forward from that point.
 • 07m:07s • 
As an entrepreneur who has built a business, how do you engage with an entrepreneur when you are an investor. Avnish talks about walking the tightrope of providing input while holding back as appropriate.
 • 06m:28s • 
Avnish talks about the realities of VC investing as a profession and debunks some of the common myths around a “cushy lifestyle” that some people associate with the profession.
 • 03m:45s • 
In Venture Investing, several years can pass before you realize the returns on your initial investment. Avnish talks about how investors can create a feedback loop in the interim and learn from the journey without having to wait for that long.
 • 04m:55s • 
Leading a start-up through all the change and complexity can be quite a challenge. Avnish talks about how he grew as a leader when he was at Baazee and shares some insights on how entrepreneurs could scale up with the organization
 • 05m:13s • 
Success of a Venture Investing firm is inexorably tied to the fortunes of the investors they back. Avnish talks about the science and art of how they pick investors and engage with them to drive value.
 • 06m:30s • 
It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted. Avnish talks about how the need for resilience is intellectually understood but not fully internalized till events happen. He talks about how entrepreneurs could build that capability.
 • 04m:57s • 
A good education provides a strong starting point at best. Avnish talks about how he has evolved over time through the various experiences he has had and the decisions he has made.
 • 06m:10s • 
Nandan talks about how he organizes his time currently and more importantly, the design principle behind how he prioritizes his time. He also talks about his journey through Infosys and Aadhaar to the current portfolio of initiatives that includes India Stack evangelization, EkStep, Philanthropy and Investing & Mentoring.
 • 08m:10s • 
The first few years often shape a big part of who we are. Nandan talks about the significance of having spent 6 years in a small town in shaping his independence and cultural adaptability. He also refers to the role of his family in terms of shaping his choices around social service.
 • 04m:13s • 
These days, personal branding is something that gets talked about a lot. But what is it and why is it important? More significantly, how do you go about creating a personal brand? In this nugget, Abhijit shares four vital aspects of personal branding that you should think about.
 • 05m:01s • 
Culture is often seen as something that large organizations need to worry about. However, if a start up tackles the challenges of culture from the very beginning and clearly defines its competencies and values, it could be a significant competitive differentiator especially during the scaling up phase. Hear Abhijit elaborate on the startup ecosystem in this nugget.
 • 09m:10s • 
Nandan talks about one of the seminal choices that entrepreneurs often have to make – Selecting a Co-Founder. He provides his thoughts around what they should bear in mind in this process. He also talk about what it takes to make the relationship work over a prolonged period of time.
 • 07m:19s • 
In a start-up how do you think about setting a goal post. It is a tricky question when there are several unknown unknowns. Nandan talks about how he thought about “What good would look like” in 5 years for the Aadhaar project.
 • 02m:55s • 
Nandan talks about how the Government is fundamentally different from the Private sector in terms of how financial and human capital decisions are made. He talks about he thought about navigating these constraints to drive to the outcomes he had committed. He also talks about a couple of mistakes leaders often make in transitions.
 • 08m:07s • 
All of us have had situations where we step way out of our comfort zone. Nandan talks about his experience from contesting the elections in Bangalore and why he moved on from Politics after that experience.
 • 05m:45s • 
Given the VUCA world we live in, Re-inventing oneself every now and then has become a necessity. Nandan talks about the mindset with which he has approached the various re-inventions has made in his career and shares his perspective on what it takes for people to play to their potential
 • 06m:51s • 
A lot of us “go with the flow” either because we want to conform to expectations, minimize risk or don’t listen to our inner voice. Atul talks about how he was an exceptional student in school and ended up in UDCT – one of the most prestigious places to study Chemical Engineering. He talks about the disconnect he experienced at that point and how he moved forward from there.
 • 12m:49s • 
Transitioning from one path to another is not easy. We often celebrate individuals after they have demonstrated success. But we often miss the iceberg that’s below the sea surface. Atul talks about how he persisted through multiple hurdles when he transitioned from studying Chemical Engineering to pursue photography.
 • 13m:31s • 
Follow your passion is bad advice says Cal Newport in his book ‘So good they can’t ignore you’. How does one think about options and decisions when passion and pragmatism point in different directions. Atul talks about how one could look at adjacencies and be pragmatic about a career decision by looking at supply-demand trends in an industry that one is trying to enter.
 • 06m:49s • 
We live in a world where professions are being threatened and jobs that existed yesterday may not exist tomorrow. Atul talks about how the world of photography has been democratized with the penetration of mobile phones with good cameras. He shares his insights on how one could think about being relevant in these changing times.
 • 12m:46s • 
We often have to reinvent ourselves along the way as we go through our career. There are various trigger points where our priorities change and market opportunities change. Atul shares his perspectives around how he has managed to go beyond Photography to venture into new domains. He shares a piece of feedback that one of his friends provides which paved the way to a new possibility.
 • 12m:28s • 
Film production is a tricky area where one has to walk the tightrope between creativity (as appreciated by the audience) and commerce. Atul talks about how he thinks about it and also alludes to the evolving consumer mindset where some early opinions could significantly swing the fortunes of the movie one way or the other.
 • 04m:27s • 
In any profession, it is very easy to be treated as suppliers in the value chain. How does one elevate oneself to move beyond being perceived as a mere supplier? How does one engage and empower the team members so that they don’t feel like suppliers and have greater ownership of the end product? Atul talks about his views in this context. He also talks about his experiences while making the film Neerja and alludes to the role of authenticity in being able to enlist people in his journey.
 • 07m:27s • 
How do individuals stay relevant amidst all the change and opportunity around them? Atul shares his perspective around how individuals should think about their future when the current education system is preparing children for jobs that possibly don’t even exist today.
 • 04m:31s • 
In a world with an exponential increase in career paths and complexity around opportunity, it can be unnerving to make key decisions around Stay in India Vs Go overseas, specialize in a field Vs Get a degree in Management etc. The multiplicity of options also makes career decisions complex when people graduate from the best of the programmes. Karthik talks about how he thought about going to Wharton after IIMB and his choice to do I Banking, Corporate Development etc till he got into Venture Investing.
 • 14m:15s • 
Articulating the organizational culture is often treated as one of those fuzzy things that large organizations like GE and HUL do. But it is arguably more critical in a young and small organization where the cost of a wrong hire hits the organization much harder than when you have 10,000 people. Karthik talks about how he thinks about culture and how he hires for it.
 • 10m:34s • 
In any profession, it is important to understand how to spend time on the right priorities. People often get consumed by the urgent and miss out on the critical. That pie chart looks different across professions. Karthik talks about how he spends his time as a Venture Investor and as an entrepreneur at Blume Ventures.
 • 05m:12s • 
Karthik talks about what it takes to become a successful Venture Capital Investor. He also discusses the nuances across Angel Investing, Venture Investing and Private Equity Investing. Each of these often requires a different set of skills and strengths. People often club all these Investing roles into one large umbrella but there is a significant difference in the type of person that would enjoy and flourish in one versus the other.
 • 12m:10s • 
Transitioning from one industry to another are always fraught with uncertainty and risk. Leaders are straddling several sub-transitions – settling into a new organization, flourishing in a new space which requires a different set of skills and mindsets. Karthik talks about the common derailers that could come into play when Consultants or Bankers are transitioning into Venture Investing.
 • 04m:58s • 
The first 30-60 days in any profession are often quite tricky. Hairline cracks can quickly turn into fractures if not handled carefully. Karthik talks about how he works with the incoming members and thinks about the early passage of play in the organization. He also talks about how he pre-empts the derailment risk by suggesting to interested individuals to seek certain prior experiences before venturing into Venture Investing.
 • 10m:49s • 
Backing the right founders is a combination of a science and an art. How do you back an entrepreneur who has the conviction around his idea but is also amenable to input. At the stage of Venture Investing, a big part of value creation is often around getting this judgment right on the Founder. Karthik talks about what he looks for during investing.
 • 07m:40s • 
Organizations often outgrow the entrepreneur very quickly. Unless the entrepreneur is proactively thinking about scaling up himself/herself and proactively getting the right people who can drive scale, the start up can very quickly taper off. While 1 out of 10 startups succeed at a Venture stage, he talks about the patterns from the other 9 that don’t “make it”
 • 12m:01s • 
Scaling up the leadership capability of the entrepreneur and the top team needs to go hand in hand with the business scale up for sustainable growth. Karthik talks about the role of vision, purpose and culture in the early years of a start-up.
 • 08m:19s • 
Business Schools (especially in India) often taken in students without prior work experience. Several students that work hard to get into elite business schools often assume that they are job-ready when they graduate. Karthik talks about some of the key elements which are not taught which can have a profound impact on your effectiveness in the workplace
 • 10m:55s • 
For people to play to their potential, people should have clarity around what they have potential for. Karthik talks about the importance of the process of reflection and self-awareness that could significantly increase the odds of people playing to their potential over the long run.
 • 04m:04s • 
Pramath talks about the portfolio of initiatives that he has today. More importantly, he talks about the underlying principle behind how he has assembled this portfolio together. He gives us a peek into how he thinks about success using internal and external metrics.
 • 09m:34s • 
Pramath talks about how he ended up joining McKinsey in Canada instead of pursuing a career in academics which he had originally intended when he completed his PhD. He also talks about how students should think about evaluating consulting as a potential career option including the common mistakes people make when they consider a career in consulting.
 • 08m:24s • 
A career in Management Consulting in a firm like McKinsey can be immensely rewarding but also inexorably intense. Pramath talks about how he thought about a career in McKinsey versus pursuing something else. He also discusses some of the common misconceptions people often have when they take the plunge into entrepreneurship.
 • 14m:09s • 
Authenticity is a word that’s often used by people in different contexts. Pramath shares his perspectives on Authentic leadership and talks about what it takes to get there. He also talks about how he thinks about flexing his leadership style across diverse contexts.
 • 08m:01s • 
Management Consulting often provides a whirl-wind exposure to multiple problems across industries and topics. However, one needs to significantly adapt the style while moving from a consulting environment to the Industry. Pramath talks about some of the adjustments consultants have to make when they enter the corporate world.
 • 06m:55s • 
The fact that we need to have more women leaders at the top is well-known and there has been enough commentary around it. Pramath talks about the unconscious biases that still exist in the society and his attempts at making a difference through the Vedica Scholars Programme for Women.
 • 09m:51s • 
We are growing into a future where there are several unknown unknowns. Pramath talks about what sort of leaders would flourish in the new paradigm and how one should think about education in the context of this broad trend.
 • 13m:30s • 
Staying relevant is one of the key challenges that’s facing the leaders of this generation. A few decades back, they could check into a career on graduation and check-out at retirement. Pramath talks about how leaders (entrepreneurs and otherwise) should think about scaling up their capability as they go through their journey.
 • 13m:13s • 
We all benefit from mentors at different points in our careers. Pramath talks about his approach to configuring his personal Board of Directors. He describes how he has leveraged his Board of Directors at various points in his career.
 • 06m:49s • 
Pramath reflects on his journey till date and talks about what has enabled him to get this far. He discusses the role of staying grounded and authenticity in building trust and developing alliances. He also shares his thoughts around where he wants to drive impact and make a difference in the years to come.
 • 10m:24s • 
Pramath talks about his perspectives on how people could play to their potential. He highlights how helping others realize their potential often leads to all kinds of benefits that often enable your success.
 • 03m:28s • 
Vedika talks about the criticality of solving for water and sanitation at the bottom of the pyramid. She talks about how Water.org is using a multi-pronged approach to tackle this problem. She discusses how access to water is a mission-critical need for all individuals at the bottom of the pyramid to lead a productive life with dignity.
 • 14m:10s • 
A lot of who we are often gets baked in our early years. It is often a function of the context we grow up in and the family culture. Vedika talks about how her home environment played a key role in shaping some of the behaviours which have helped her in the journey till date.
 • 06m:31s • 
Vedika discusses her perspectives on Investment Banking as a career and how B-School students should think about the option. On a related note, she talks about the wrong reasons for which people often end up joining Banking. She also lays out the key inflection points in the journey
 • 19m:22s • 
Vedika talks about her initial days at ICICI which has been a breeding ground for several women leaders in India. She also shares her perspectives on how women should think about building their careers and the common misconceptions there-in.
 • 11m:42s • 
Leaders during transitions often feel like trapeze artists as they go from one to another. It is the role of the hiring manager and the transitioning leader to think this through. Vedika shares her perspectives in the context of some of her transitions at a leadership level.
 • 08m:07s • 
Vedika is a Non-Executive Director on 6 Boards today. She talks about the transition from being an effective executive to being an NED. She talks about the significant shift often required in style for successful leaders to be effective in a Board context.
 • 04m:22s • 
Vedika talks about how women should think about approaching Board roles. Clearly there is an opportunity for more women to get onto Boards but there is a need for women to be thoughtful and considered about this to be in consideration for these roles when they come up.
 • 03m:34s • 
“How do I bring greater meaning in my life” is a question that people start grappling with as they approach mid-life and beyond. However, people struggle with making this happen. Vedika discusses her transition from heading Credit Suisse in India to Water.Org
 • 13m:37s • 
In the world with growing complexity in terms of emerging business models and career paths, how does one play to potential. Vedika shares her perspectives on how one could play to potential.
 • 04m:18s • 
Vinita talks about how the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) works with various stakeholders across the world to deliver outcomes to improve nutrition. She also talks about how Corporate Social Responsibility can’t be treated as a separate function but should be embedded in whatever a company does.
 • 09m:19s • 
A lot of who we are often gets formed in the context of our childhood. Vinita reflects on her upbringing, her parents’ influence and her passion for extracurricular activities and links it to how that has played a key role in her growth as a leader over time.
 • 06m:39s • 
“What should I do with my life” is often a question that we grapple with at different inflection points in our life. Vinita talks about the various dimensions along which she evaluates opportunities that have come her way at different points in her journey.
 • 15m:15s • 
Vinita talks about how she got into a career in Consumer Goods and reflects on what elements of it have been rewarding for her. She also talks about the key questions people should ask themselves before embarking on a career in a Products company.
 • 09m:30s • 
Navigating your career in a large, complex MNC can often be challenging and confusing. Vinita talks about how she navigated her career across different roles in Cadbury’s and the Coca Cola company.
 • 14m:39s • 
The first few months in a new organization can be a nervous passage of play for the incoming leader and for the hiring manager. If not handled carefully, the organizational antibodies could eject the new entrant. Vinita shares her insights on how the incoming leader and the hiring leader could navigate this phase effectively.
 • 08m:52s • 
Moving from a functional leadership role to a general management role is a big shift and Vinita argues that it is possibly the biggest transition that a leader often makes. She talks about how people should think about success in a General Management role and the need for an adaptive leadership style.
 • 05m:49s • 
Vinita transitioned from an American MNC in their Latin American division to Britannia in India. It was a transition across multiple dimensions. She talks about her reflections around settling into the new context. She also talks about the role of the hiring leader in setting the incoming individual for success.
 • 08m:37s • 
Vinita talks about how she evaluates Board opportunities that come her way and how they are a part of her Learning and Development plan. She also talks about her thoughts on the opportunities for Indian boards to get more effective in the way they are staffed and run.
 • 06m:19s • 
Where to go and How to grow are two questions leaders ask all the time as they navigate their career. Vinita talks about the need for conviction in direction, coupled with abundant curiosity to grow as the key elements of playing to your potential.
 • 03m:01s • 
Vinita speaks about how executives and board members could navigate these choppy waters as the COVID 19 is playing out. She specifically alludes to the transition we are making from the firefighting mode of dealing with the situation to seeing this as a marathon over a few months now. She also speaks about the leadership competencies that would be required for leaders to cope with what we are experiencing and for the future we are marching into.
 • 38m:37s • 
Zia talks about how her mother’s strict parenting in her early years played a key role in shaping her as a person. She talks about the criticality of the extra-curricular activities that she pursued and the differing roles that her mother and father played through her growing up years.
 • 05m:01s • 
Zia talks about what it takes to be a successful lawyer. She also teases out the difference between traits that are good hygiene in any profession and what is specific to law. She also talks about how optionalities have changed over time for people with a law background.
 • 05m:52s • 
Zia talks about the leaky pipeline of women leaders and talks about the key inflection points where the leakage is maximum. She talks about the false glass-ceilings that women often have in their heads.
 • 03m:19s • 
Zia talks about how there are several hidden variables that need to be taken care of for a woman to re-enter the workforce effectively after a maternity break. She outlines the small things that a spouse could do in this context.
 • 04m:09s • 
Zia talks about how, in her generation, the notion of work-life balance, didn’t really exist for ambitious women who wanted to make a mark in the corporate world. She candidly talks about the real trade-offs involved in her case and how that’s changing.
 • 04m:39s • 
Becoming a Trusted Advisor is often the holy grail for every Consultant, Lawyer, Banker, Doctor etc. who are providing advice to the client. Zia talks about what it takes to become a Trusted Advisor with a client.
 • 05m:07s • 
Sound judgment is a must have for any leader in any domain. Having a sense of what makes sense all things considered is hard and critical. Zia provides her perspective on what it takes to have good Judgment from a Lawyer’s perspective.
 • 05m:49s • 
Zia talks about the journey from being a successful lawyer leading a small boutique with 15-20 people to heading a 400-person organization today. She talks about the trade-offs involved in terms of her time and cultural implications as the organization scales.
 • 08m:36s • 
Zia talks about the key attributes that have enabled her to succeed as a lawyer and as an institution builder. She talks about how people should not be afraid to reinvent themselves if they are not having fun in what they are doing.
 • 05m:21s • 
Rama has been a solo-advisor for several years now. She talks about how she has thought about her portfolio of work (she likens it to broadcasting multiple TV channels) and how that has evolved over time.
 • 07m:15s • 
Rama talks about the parenting context in which she grew up and talks about how that has played a big role in shaping her journey till date.
 • 03m:51s • 
Rama talks about how she ended up joining Market Research by accident after joining the Advertising world. She talks about the notion of “sliding doors” where small events along the way can have a significant impact on the overall trajectory and outcomes.
 • 05m:07s • 
Rama talks about her attempts to work at the intersection of consumer and business understanding and discusses how she ended up going solo after a long stint in the corporate world. She also talks about how her role models (CK Prahalad, P. Chidambaram and Bhimsen Joshi) influenced her choice to go solo.
 • 09m:04s • 
In a world exploding with choice, Barry Schwartz argues that consumers are often worse off due to the complexity in decision making and Fear of Missing Out. Rama talks about how one should navigate the world under such circumstances.
 • 05m:39s • 
Rama talks about the notion of identifying and playing a game that only “you” know how to play, as espoused by Prof. Indira Parikh. She talks about how she has taken consumer insights and applied it to different contexts.
 • 05m:52s • 
Rama talks about the various elements that go into the personal brand beyond the pure technical capability that one brings to the table. She describes the notion of “balance tilters” which has an implication on how the bundled proposition is perceived by the customer.
 • 06m:07s • 
Rama talks about how she has prioritized performance in a role over trying to belong. She talks about some practical tactics she uses to increases the chances of being heard adequately while operating in a forum full of men.
 • 06m:21s • 
Rama talks about how people who have led companies end up getting empathetic with the management (by default) of the companies where they sit on Boards. She talks about the need for people to have clarity on who they are accountable to.
 • 04m:09s • 
Given how hard it is to get into places like IIMA, Rama talks about the mindset of the typical person that’s getting in and how that’s at odds with the climate at the workplace of today. She talks about how one could bridge the gap.
 • 02m:55s • 
Rama talks about importance of navigational principles in a world where we are all headed in a direction where the destination is unclear. She relates this approach to how Google builds its products. She also underscores the importance of a core skill which wires us in a certain way, which gives us the ability to process the world around us with a certain frame.
 • 03m:16s • 
Dheeraj talks about his childhood and how his parents have given him an interesting mix of resolve and humility. He talks about how he thinks about parenting given his context. He also talks about how he processed the trade-offs (including the notion of taking the plunge when the worst is not bad enough) when he retook JEE in 1993 despite getting through in 1992.
 • 06m:55s • 
Dheeraj talks about the distinction between process and substance in the context of making career choices. He also talks about how he built optionality at various points in his early career.
 • 04m:46s • 
Dheeraj talks about how the relationship between him, the co-founders and the company has evolved over a period of time. He also talks about 4As (Antifragility, Authenticity, Ambition, Attention to detail) which are at the core of how he looks at himself and others he works with.
 • 08m:51s • 
Dheeraj talks about how he looks at the company like a combination of multiple sub-companies that are building, scaling and maintaining all concurrently. He discusses the notion of arcs of destruction and pursuing multiple arcs at various stages of maturity.
 • 10m:22s • 
Dheeraj talks about the parallels across the fragility spectrum (that Nassim Nicholas Taleb refers to in his book Antifragile) and the Honesty spectrum (that Mike Robbins refers to) and talks about the similarities across the two. He discusses how he has gone about building authenticity and antifragility in every aspect of the business.
 • 08m:06s • 
Dheeraj discusses his perspectives on how students and professionals should think about choices and learning. He underscores the criticality of having unfettered curiosity across disciplines similar to Da Vinci who showed equal curiosity to matters of art and science across disciplines.
 • 08m:18s • 
One of the key challenges as one moves from a start-up to a scale up includes getting senior talent from the outside and setting them up for success. Dheeraj talks about how he looks for the “operating system” of a leader to see if that fits with Nutanix. He also underscores the importance of focusing on the HOW and not the WHAT in the first 6-9 months.
 • 09m:57s • 
People often look at work and life as two different compartments that do not intersect. Dheeraj talks about how he tries to weave in work and life, learns from one and applies in the other and has osmosis going on across the two.
 • 04m:25s • 
Dheeraj talks about how he thinks about evolving as a leader and discusses the criticality of breathing and staying present even during challenging times. He describes his approach to pause and remind himself of the key elements that are core to him and his effectiveness. An interesting insight in the context of the overloaded lives that a lot of leaders are living.
 • 04m:04s • 
Dheeraj talks about how businesses and leaders need to have clarity around the interfaces where they have strengths (man-man, machine-machine, man-machine). That self-awareness at an organizational and an individual level can be tremendously insightful in guiding growth and strategy.
 • 03m:01s • 
Anu talks about the influence of values, freedom of choice and financial independence through her growing up years. She also talks about the criticality of role-modeling behaviours that set the right example for the boys (not just for the girls) that are growing up.
 • 09m:30s • 
Anu talks about the transitions she went through within Banking before she entered the world of consulting. She also talks about the questions people should ask themselves to see if a career in consulting makes sense for them.
 • 08m:55s • 
Maternity is a critical transition for women and like Anu mentions, you don’t know what you don’t know in terms of how things will play out. She talks about her lessons from that passage of play. She also talks about how she took stock of options out there when she returned to work post maternity and discusses typical mistakes women often end up making in this phase.
 • 10m:54s • 
Anu talks about her moment of epiphany during an interview with a McKinsey partner that really pushed her to reflect on what she enjoyed and what she didn’t. She talks about how she has tried to get to the bottom of what gives her energy.
 • 07m:27s • 
Anu discusses the transition from high intensity consulting projects with a tight feedback loop to a relatively open ended and longer cycle life at McKinsey Global Institute. She talks about how she adjusted to the new operating rhythm of the place.
 • 04m:52s • 
Anu shares the key insights from MGI’s study on the future of work. She reflects on the disconnect between what the future world of work needs and what the education system of today is delivering. She also talks about the demands of the generation that’s entering today’s workforce and the implications for organizations to deal with them.
 • 07m:45s • 
Anu talks about her take on Leadership Development in the context of the Future of the workplace. She discusses the need for “start-up like” projects and initiatives that need to cut across functions and hierarchies.
 • 05m:48s • 
Anu reflects on the notion of heightened risk in the workplace and sensitizing students to that. She also refers to the need for integrated learning across disciplines and functions given that the big problems that are being solved today lie at the intersection of multiple domains.
 • 03m:43s • 
Anu shares her perspectives on how aspiring women leaders should think about their careers. She underscores the point about the need for having the right mentors and sponsors along the way.
 • 02m:37s • 
Anu refers to the notion of Infinite Game in the context of playing to potential. She talks about challenging the boundaries and extending the scope of how you define the game (instead of taking the circumstances as hard constraints).
 • 02m:36s • 
Vishy talks about how he thought about committing to a career in Chess. He specifically talks about how he didn’t stop his education despite his meteoric rise in the Chess world. He spoke about why he still pursued his undergraduate degree in Commerce on the sides despite his successes on the Chessboard on a Global stage. He also talks about the criticality of building social and emotional skills from education and the criticality of openness to learning as we navigate the careers of the future.
 • 11m:01s • 
Vishy spoke about how his habits and attitudes have been shaped by his parents. He also talks about his style of chess being significantly influenced by his parents. He traces his pragmatism on the Chessboard and openness to ideas (in terms of borrowing from other leading minds) as something that possibly was influenced by the style of his parents.
 • 06m:06s • 
Vishy talks about how his approach to development has changed as he has grown as a player over time. He talks about his approach to picking Coaches that get the best out of him. He also discusses the impact of technology on what it takes to be a successful player while getting the most out of the machines. He talks about the trade-off between specialization and flexibility in this context.
 • 19m:06s • 
Vishy talks about how players need to adapt their style in a world where machines are making the games longer and more nuanced. He specifically talks about the declining relevance of a dogmatic approach due to the machines suggesting more and more combinations which are possibly outside the realm of comprehension of the average human mind. He also refers to the crucial role of fitness to be able to make sound judgments deep into a game that has only gotten longer with the increasing role of machines.
 • 05m:40s • 
In this nugget, Vishy talks about how he harnesses the potential of his mind in being a chess player at the very top over a prolonged period. He talks about how the human mind is like a wild horse that needs to be harnessed carefully. He shares some of his insights on how he tries to get the best of his conscious and his subconscious mind in preparing for big games. He also discusses some of his rituals in ensuring that he brings the best of himself to bear in various match situations.
 • 26m:33s • 
Vishy talks about how humans should think about staying relevant in a world where the processing power of the machines has become hard to beat by the human brain. He uses the metaphor of Advanced Chess where people compete with each other but with a machine on their side (Human + Machine versus Human + Machine). He talks about the diminishing role of humans in that context. But at the same time he talks about the exciting possibilities that technology has enabled in terms of new possibilities in the game and access to “best in class” coaching and learning.
 • 05m:46s • 
Vishy talks about the various elements that matter to perform at the highest level in addition to IQ. He specifically discusses the criticality of collaborating with a range of coaches and players. He also shares how he manages to stay present during a game (a trait that Anatoly Karpov used to be a master at with his ruthless Boa-Constrictor style play he says). He also shares how he has managed to stay simple and grounded despite the towering heights he has reached as a Chess player.
 • 13m:19s • 
Vishy discusses his approach to dealing with losses. He candidly talks about how his approach to dealing with losses has not changed significantly over time. He talks about how he tries to clear the baggage of the past to ensure that he is fully present on the Chessboard at any point in time. He also discusses about how Chess is like other disciplines such as Science and History where you are often standing on the shoulders of giants in the context of discovering the next breakthrough.
 • 04m:34s • 
Vishy talks about what he looks for when he is looking for long-term potential. He talks about the criticality of consistency in performance coupled with an attitude where someone is willing to grind away at a goal. He also discusses the success of academies that have produced a pipeline of talent and juxtaposes that with examples of a Roger Federer emerging from Switzerland or a Magnus Carlsen emerging from Norway.
 • 07m:24s • 
Vishy talks about his take on the parallels between the Chessboard and the world of business. He mentions that in both contexts, the notion of “what got you here won’t get you there” might apply if you are not willing to take a fresh look at yourself and your approach to sport or business. He talks about the importance of tracking what changes in you when you encounter success or failure and ensuring that we cope effectively with the ups and downs whether it is running a company or playing a sport.
 • 03m:46s • 
Vishy talks about the criticality of loving what you do in order to sustain the interest and passion and to rise to the very top of the field. He also refers to an Ad where he is shown playing cricket (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcnGW4nOTBA ) and urges people to pick the right sport. A profound reminder of the fact that for us to play to our potential picking the right canvas to operate is almost as critical or arguably more important than working hard and attempting to scale up.
 • 02m:43s • 
Meher talks about how her early years have shaped her approach to life, specifically around giving and social impact. She also talks about how her parents treated her and her brother in a gender-agnostic way and the impact of that on her attitudes.
 • 04m:58s • 
Meher talks about how the baton of leadership passed to her mother (Anu Aga) when her father passed away and how things changed even further when her brother passed away shortly after. She also reflects on the subsequent transition when her mother decided to retire as the Chairperson suddenly that pushed Meher to the saddle.
 • 07m:49s • 
Meher talks about how she and her mother (Anu Aga) dealt with the sudden loss of her father and her brother within a span of a few months. She talks about how they got the strength to deal with the loss and the soul-searching she went through to come to terms with it. She talks about the criticality of gratitude and cherishing the relationships that matter when people are still alive and the importance of not having the guilt that you didn’t give it what you could.
 • 04m:40s • 
Meher talks about how her experiences as a singer in a choir have helped her in her corporate pursuits. She talks about how it has helped her build a sense of purpose beyond numbers. She also talks about how performing as a collective has helped her realize the value of teamwork and how an orchestra is only as good as the weakest musician.
 • 04m:45s • 
Meher talks about her approach towards CSR and Philanthropy and how she thinks about “chunking” rather than “sprinkling” (a phrase Adam Grant uses in his book Give and Take). She also talks about the criticality of working with the Government to drive Scale.
 • 06m:12s • 
Meher discusses her approach towards her children getting involved in Thermax moving forward. She talks about the distinction between responsible ownership and day to day management. She also talks about the criticality of external experience before starting within the company (something she misses in hindsight) in case the child wants to get into the management of the company.
 • 04m:43s • 
Meher shares her perspectives on what it would take to have more women leaders at the top. She starts with the challenges in basic education and sanitation and how that severely restricts the number of women who start a corporate journey. She goes on to talk about what organizations and women can do to ensure that we have more women at the top.
 • 06m:31s • 
Meher talks about the role of self-awareness and discovering what energizes you. She also offers a practical tip to people who claim “I don’t know what I am passionate about”. She suggests that they start somewhere and then along the way, figure out what energizes them.
 • 04m:31s • 
KV Sridhar (Pops) talks about how Hyper Collective (a company he has just started) operates at the intersection of Strategy, Creative, Technology and Data and combines all four diverse disciplines to present an integrated offering to the clients. He specifically talks about the crucial role of orchestrators that connect the dots across the various disciplines.
 • 08m:43s • 
KV Sridhar (Pops) talks about his childhood and how he had challenges due to Dyslexia (which was discovered much later). He mentions that in a lot of ways his story is not that different from Taare Zameen Par (Bollywood movie starting Aamir Khan). He also talks about his daughter being diagnosed with dyslexia and how he worked with her to overcome the problem.
 • 08m:22s • 
KV Sridhar (Pops) talks about how he thought about an early fork in the road where he had to choose between disparate options in front of him. One was to become a Medical Representative which was highly lucrative in those days, Second was to become a Drawing teacher and the third was to pursue art in the world of advertising. He discusses how he walked the tightrope where the mind and heart were pulling him in different directions.
 • 10m:27s • 
KV Sridhar (Pops) talks about how came to Mumbai to pursue commercial opportunities and cast his net beyond Hyderabad – where he grew up. He also talks about the fact that very quickly he got himself three offers (on the creative and commercial side) but decided to go to Goa to learn and reboot. He talks about how he led the life of a vagabond for a few months and how he landed the next role at Ulka.
 • 16m:23s • 
KV Sridhar (Pops) talks about how he thought about the move from the world of Advertising to the world of Technology. He also speaks about the notion of staying relevant in the context of children and consumers and how one needs to be in sync with them to be able to connect with them.
 • 05m:36s • 
KV Sridhar (Pops) talks about the inherent traits one should possess to flourish in the world of advertising. He talks about the notion of storytelling relating it to how children lie but get away with it because of the innocence. He also alludes to the criticality of understanding the client business, socio-cultural trends and a nuanced understanding of human behavior to flourish in the industry.
 • 08m:52s • 
KV Sridhar (Pops) talks about how his metrics of success have slowly shifted from business outcomes (brand performance, ad recall) towards the impact he makes on humanity. He talks about the responsibility the advertising industry has in addressing and influencing the biases (conscious and unconscious) that exist in the society today. He specifically refers to the unconscious biases towards girls and women and what he did to sensitize the ecosystem.
 • 10m:09s • 
KV Sridhar (Pops) talks about the downside of being competitive in a space like Advertising where it is critical to create a climate where the members of the team can be creative and come up with impactful ideas that work. He also talks about how he has approached learning and his self-development as he has gone through his career.
 • 13m:24s • 
KV Sridhar talks about his perspectives on settling into an organization and how leaders should think about what to maintain and what to change. He makes the case for imbibing the values of the organization and then interpreting it differently as you slowly build trust with the ecosystem.
 • 08m:15s • 
KV Sridhar talks about what separates the great ads and film makers from the rest. He shares his insights from his recently launched book – 30 Second Thrillers where he goes behind the scenes of legendary ads (tag lines such as Wah Taj, Hamara Bajaj, Only Vimal, I love you Rasna) and breaks down the secret sauce behind the ads and the ad film makers.
 • 11m:12s • 
KV Sridhar talks about the distinction between creativity and craftsmanship. He mentions that all living beings (not just human beings) including creatures like ants have the ability to be creative. But for us to express it effectively, we need to our craft – whether it is story writing, photography, humour or anything else. And mastering that takes years and years of practice.
 • 08m:19s • 
KV Sridhar talks about the criticality of finding one’s purpose and impacting society beyond oneself. He also talks about not being anchored or limited by one’s educational background. He talks about how (irrespective of what we end up doing), our past learning almost always comes into play in some shape or form.
 • 04m:31s • 
Suresh talks about the importance of values that he derived from his childhood. He talks about the emphasis on Goddess Saraswathi (education) than Goddess Lakshmi (Wealth) in his family. He also discusses the important of Rishi Valley school and Jiddu Krishnamurthy in shaping his attitudes and beliefs and how that has helped him through his journey.
 • 07m:54s • 
Suresh talks about how serendipity got him to Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL). He speaks about initially appearing for the interview as practice for the IAS entrance but provides context on why he joined HLL eventually. He provides an interesting insight on how he thought about the trade-offs and risks at that point in time. He also speaks about how one should think about navigating their career through a large corporation during the early years where it is easy to get lost in the maze.
 • 15m:49s • 
Suresh talks about his experiences in transitioning across companies and roles. He moved from HUL to Nestle and within Nestle, he moved across markets such as Egypt, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and India. He talks about how he thinks about settling into a new context and also what it takes to build systems and processes so that even when you transition out, the organization continues to run effectively.
 • 14m:43s • 
Suresh talks about how he took charge when he came back to India during the Maggi crisis. He talks about how he prioritized the various elements of the business and how he spent time for the first 6-9 months. He also shares his views on where he got his strength and what it takes to build resilience in the organization while dealing with a shock.
 • 10m:33s • 
Suresh talks about the trade-off between long-term considerations like consumer trust and the short-term cash flow pressures. He specifically talks about the considerations that went into them proactively destroying about 35000 tonnes of food (that was arguably of good quality). He also breaks down what it takes create a climate where the people under the take the right decisions even when under duress.
 • 06m:16s • 
Suresh talks about the journey of rebuilding trust using the example of what happened with Maggi in India. He provides an insight into what it takes to rebuild trust by talking about the various elements that go into it – not compromising on the pillars on which trust is built and navigating the path with dignity, respect and transparency (something recently demonstrated by Dara Khosrowshahi – CEO of Uber – in the context of the litigation with Waymo).
 • 07m:04s • 
Suresh speaks about how he used the crisis as an opportunity to ensure that people in the company spent time on the right things. He speaks about how he went on a war-footing to cut down meeting times in the company and got people to be more productive during office hours. He discusses his perspectives around the trade-off between efficiency and effectiveness.
 • 07m:22s • 
Nugget
24.8
Marketing 2.0
Suresh talks about how Marketing has a function has evolved given the Digital age we are living in. He says that instead of Digital Marketing, he believes in marketing to the Digitally Enabled that’s often the entire consumer base. He also speaks about how he leveraged Digital to resurrect the brand Maggi when Nestle re-introduced the brand.
 • 05m:37s • 
Suresh shares his wisdom around Where to go (building navigational principles as one moves along in a career) and How to grow (how one scales up their leadership capability over time)
 • 03m:12s • 
Devdutt talks about the profound influence of some of his teachers when he was studying medicine. He elaborates that they would often push him to think about the Why behind various elements beyond the what (anatomy) and the how (physiology). He mentions how that has discipline of asking the Why question has influenced his thinking and his approach towards mythology.
 • 07m:45s • 
Devdutt talks about his journey after graduating with a degree in medicine. He mentions that he didn’t have any childhood inclination in Mythology and he first used the word Mythology in a deliberate sense somewhere in the 1990s. He talks about how he started gravitating towards mythology in an organic fashion including writing several books and the TED talk in 2009. He mentions that he was in the Pharma industry till about 2007 after which he became the Chief Belief Officer at Future Group and possibly committed to Mythology as a career.
 • 11m:28s • 
Devdutt talks about what it takes to thrive in the Gig Economy. At the surface level, quitting a steady job and taking the plunge to be a player in the Gig Economy can be attractive and seductive. Devdutt cautions people against the peril of ignoring Goddess Lakshmi in the pursuit of passion. He talks about the criticality of securing of a Gomata before diving into the wild world of marketplaces and gigs.
 • 10m:25s • 
Devdutt talks about people transitioning from being a Parasuram (rule follower) to Ram (Role Model) to Krishna (Coach) as they go through their career. He discusses the distinction between the western model (that he says is substitutive) and an Indian model (that he says is cumulative). He refers to how sometimes children in family businesses aren’t exposed to adequate real-life experiences before they join the business.
 • 09m:55s • 
Devdutt talks about what leads to an effective coaching relationship. He describes the complexity of a coaching process and mentions that the onus is often on the Coachee to tap into the database of the Coach and extract the value. Several leaders see Coaching as linear relationship where there is a predefined process which leads to an outcome. He emphasizes that the reality is quite different from that.
 • 05m:00s • 
Devdutt talks about the distinction between Focus (Rana-bhoomi) and Perspective (Ranga-bhoomi). He talks about how when you adopt focus, you see the world from your perspective while when you have perspective you see it as a whole without boundaries. He links this to the business context and talks about the distinction between the healthy side and the dark side of capitalism where companies often over-emphasizing adding value to shareholders (often at the exclusion of some of the other stakeholders that could be impacted).
 • 06m:40s • 
Devdutt talks about the distinction between building habits and enhancing awareness. He mentions that habits are often relevant only in a certain context and it is critical not to become a slave of the habit. He also elaborates on the notion of “Darshan” and “Para-jiva” and makes the distinction between self-awareness and awareness towards the other. He urges us to think about what we would do when presented with Sophie’s choice (where you have to pick between two equally deserving alternatives).
 • 07m:25s • 
Coaching is often about understanding the deeply wired beliefs that drive leadership behavior. Devdutt shares that understanding people’s fears might provide insights into people’s beliefs. He talks about the fears that often puts people on a hedonistic treadmill with materialistic markers along the way. He also talks about the notion of staying relevant and talks about the notion of rendering yourself irrelevant consciously as we move through life, something that people are often not open to dealing with.
 • 07m:49s • 
Devdutt talks about the distinction between sarpa drishti (focus, short-term) and garuda drishti (perspective, long-term). He talks about how there is merit in having a certain rhythm with which one wears each lens. He talks about the churn that happens between the two when you toggle between them rather than looking at them sequentially. He also talks about the merits of having clarity of the role you are in (CEO, Board, Owner –etc.). He mentions that often, a lot of confusion ensues because people aren’t clear about the role they have been entrusted with.
 • 07m:25s • 
Devdutt breaks down storytelling and shares his perspectives around how we could become story tellers. He mentions that storytelling is often about turning a hard fact into emotion through plots and characters. He also emphasizes the need for brevity in corporate storytelling. He shares a secret around how he tests for conceptual understanding of a story. He asks the narrator to share a long story such as Mahabharata in 1 line. He mentions that you quickly know if the other person “gets it”.
 • 05m:49s • 
Devdutt makes the distinction between the market wanting a certain type of fruit (phala) and each one of us being a certain type of seed (beej). He uses this framework to talk about how we could make a choice around changing ourselves or the market we address as we seek to fulfil our potential.
 • 03m:10s • 
Jay talks about the criticality of financial independence if somebody is considering a career in politics. He also talks about some of the fundamental disconnects between the world of business and politics and how that can lead to challenges in people from the world of business settling into the world of politics.
 • 14m:54s • 
Jay discusses what a “lambi race ka ghoda” looks like in Politics. He also talks about the role of circumstance playing a much bigger role in Politics than in other domains. He talks about how effective politicians stay relevant by appealing to different segments over time as the public sentiment shifts over time.
 • 05m:28s • 
Nugget
26.3
Resilience
Jay talks about what the bad days in politics look like. He talks about how easy it is for people to assign motives when you have none. He also talks about the good days when some of your ideas take hold and people see you as an individual who championed that change.
 • 05m:52s • 
Jay talks about what how successful politicians have managed to stay relevant over time and have reinvented themselves. He also talks about how technology is begin to level the playing field in favour of people who do not necessarily come from a family of politicians with an established brand and mobilisation infrastructure.
 • 10m:52s • 
Jay talks about how he has grown as a politician in all these years. He also talks about Track II dialogues where he is active. These are informal back-channels which can be tremendously helpful in improving the communication and improving one’s understanding of the others’ point of view.
 • 06m:10s • 
Jay talks about how he thinks about the macro discussions he has when he is in Delhi or with an international delegation (which is often about solving for the future) and balances it with the concerns of the here and now that people in his constituency are facing. He talks about he manages to combine the bird’s eye view and the worm’s eye view.
 • 04m:52s • 
Jay talks about some of the advice he has received that has helped him in his political career. This includes being cautious about taking people at face value and in watching what you say in a public domain. He also speaks at length about the importance of listening to the voter needs and not getting swayed just by the voices of the party workers.
 • 05m:52s • 
Jay talks about the criticality of creating the leverage as a leader to find a mechanism to process the volumes the data that comes to you to be thoughtful about your decisions. He goes on to talk about how he has to balance the need to go after legislative priorities with crises that might erupt in your constituency from time to time.
 • 05m:19s • 
Jay discusses how the risk appetite is different in politics is different from that in the corporate world largely because, in politics, unlike in the business world, one has to secure loyalty first before going after performance and that can lead to a very different view on the kind of risks a politician might end up taking.
 • 04m:33s • 
Jay discusses he thinks about picking ideas to champion and talks about how you could get a pulse of the acceptance of the idea. He goes on to talk about the criticality of setting up feedback loops for you to get a pulse of the real public sentiment.
 • 08m:10s • 
Jay shares examples of three leaders (PV Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi) who have driven significant change despite the challenges that came with the implementation. He talks about how great leaders use a window of opportunity or a crisis to quickly shift gears in dramatic fashion to drive seismic shifts.
 • 06m:31s • 
Jay talks about importance of us cherishing the fact that we have a democracy before we get down to analysing what its shortcomings might be. He also talks about the criticality of doing things that you enjoy and things that matter.
 • 03m:57s • 
Amit talks about how his parents have influenced his attitudes towards giving and his parenting style. He talks about how he and his siblings were encouraged to be grounded and contribute with their capabilities (not just money) to help the needy. He also talks about his parenting style where he emphasizes nudging and role-modelling than prescribing and lecturing.
 • 06m:18s • 
Amit talks about how he thought about pursuing an MBA in the US. He also goes on to talk about the considerations he had when he decided to come back to India immediately after his MBA. He also talks about how he thought about Banking as a career option picked Investment Banking as a career path (as against Trading despite his strengths in quant related topics)
 • 06m:13s • 
Amit reflects on the common misconceptions people have when they get into Banking. Amit talks about how he made the decision to join DSP Merrill Lynch despite it being the job with the lowest pay and title. He also talks about how he leveraged his style of building deep authentic relationships with clients to grow over time. He also talks about the role of early bosses and brutal developmental feedback coupled with mentorship from Hemendra Kothari which have played a key role in his growth as a Banker.
 • 10m:52s • 
Amit talks about how he has benefited from mentors along the way starting from Hemendra Kothari at DSP Merrill Lynch. He also goes on to talk about how mentors need not be from within the company and how clients could sometimes be great mentors. He talks about how the circle of mentors (which includes KV Kamath, Kalpana Morparia and KM Birla) has evolved organically over time than him going out in an explicit, conscious way to build a group of mentors around him.
 • 11m:46s • 
Amit talks about how he thought about the transition from the world of Investment Banking to Private Equity. He talks about taking stock of life after reaching the heights of the Investment Banking profession and also seeking more time to devote to some of the other elements in his life such as Social Impact.
 • 07m:31s • 
Amit talks about what it takes to build a sustainable Private Equity business over the long term. He also talks about the criticality of apprenticeship in people growing to become effective investors. He talks about three things that investors need to get right (people bets, strategy bets and timing) and how that evolves over time. He also discusses what it takes to transition to Investing as a profession and how he evolved from Investor 1.0 to Investor 2.0 during his tenure at Bain Capital.
 • 10m:18s • 
Amit discusses how people get better at judgment calls over time. In an industry where the lead time to feedback is long, this is a significant differentiator over the long-term. He also discusses how, in order to drive disproportionate returns, it is critical to walk the tightrope between seeking all the inputs required for a decision but at the same time have the courage of conviction to stick your neck out to avoid a consensus evaluation.
 • 10m:22s • 
Amit discusses how he thinks about hiring and creating a nurturing climate for his team to deliver performance. He also shares how he invests time with each of his colleagues and help build their capability. He also talks about how he handles exits from Bain Capital. He talks about the realities of a corporate pyramid and stresses the importance of handling the people that don’t go up the pyramid with empathy.
 • 11m:22s • 
Amit currently operates on a 50% model where he spends 2.5 days at Bain Capital and 2.5 days on Social Impact, Boards and other matters. He talks about how he and his wife gradually started spending more and more time on the Social sector and how he structured this arrangement when the last fund was being raised.
 • 06m:19s • 
Amit talks about how he and his wife Archana have been thoughtful about how they would spend their time and money towards Philanthropy. He talks about how they picked Water, Education and Health as three areas he would go after. He also discusses how his intervention is a blend of several activities including writing cheques towards break-out NGOs, investing in Leadership Capacity Building and Governing through the Board.
 • 08m:16s • 
Amit discusses how he has always surprised himself over time with the goals he has set for himself on the work front and the Social Impact front. He talks about the importance of setting goals and revisiting them from time to time. He also talks about the criticality of collaborating with the right set of people who inspire you and enable you to drive impact at a large scale.
 • 06m:25s • 
Mouli talks about the context behind writing the book which is a combination of him finding time across multiple flights to Singapore to pen down his thoughts given a Regional role and a desire to take a break and take stock of life. He also discusses how he wanted to contribute to social impact in a way that leverages his skills rather than do on-ground field work where he may not have any distinctive value to add.
 • 06m:45s • 
Mouli talks the fact that the time people put in a job is not an appropriate indication of the experience they have gained. He outlines TMRR (Target, Measure, Review and Reflect) as a process through which people could derive a lot more experience than what the average person might get in that time period. He also talks about how people can build in the habit so that they practice it on a regular basis.
 • 10m:07s • 
Mouli talks about the concept of Learning Cycles and how it is critical for people to focus on completing large learning cycles to build significant distinctive capability. He also makes the distinction between major and minor learning cycles and talks about how effective leaders often kick their game up a notch when it comes to a major learning cycle. The concept of learning cycle is also relevant when we think about processing opportunities that come along in our journey.
 • 05m:00s • 
Mouli discusses that a lot of the wins in the first half of the career are often on the back of low hanging fruit but the wins in the second half are often harder. He mentions that apart from solving for successes in the first half, we should all build the muscle and resilience to be able to go after the complex win or the high hanging fruit. And that sometimes might require us to go slow and learn than run fast and miss out on building this muscle.
 • 07m:36s • 
Mouli underscores the criticality of having sound mentors in today’s world where there are more forks in the road and several choices to be made for all of us. Mouli also talks about his framework for how we all should think about selecting the mentors that guide us. He talks about how Mentors should have seen some parts of the “movie” that you haven’t and should be completely vested in your success with no conflict of interest.
 • 07m:31s • 
Mouli talks about how people often mix up the two decisions and how they can end up over-appreciating what is right in the new context and what is wrong in the current situation. He brings it back to the point that careers are driven by capability and not by role/title. He urges us to think hard about the learning opportunity in the current environment and carefully evaluate the pros and cons of the current and the new opportunity before taking a decision.
 • 09m:49s • 
Mouli talks about how the early years were often focused on achievement, which later gave way to an orientation towards Mastery and the last phase being driven by purpose. He talks about how he found his purpose along his journey and how it has impacted the choices he makes in everything he does whether it is a market visit or writing a book.
 • 05m:46s • 
People often talk about Work-Life Balance and the rhetoric is often around “Life” being the residual figure after work has consumed you. Mouli flips this argument around and says that there is a lot to be gained on the work front by organizing your “life” carefully. He talks about passionate striving hobbies that push you towards excellence at work and also talks about how some of the social impact initiatives he pursues enhances his empathy when he is at work.
 • 10m:00s • 
Mouli talks about the notion of Values as something that has a significant upside over the long run and challenges the current narrative which is often around showcasing the downside of people who display poor values and are punished. He also talks about the need for us to have an absolute view of this versus a relative view.
 • 08m:54s • 
Mouli talks about how he has made some of his early career moves based on the notion of fit. He also acknowledges that there is often an information asymmetry here and uses surrogate sources (profiles of others who have gone there and succeeded) of data as a means of determining if he would belong. He also emphasizes the criticality of focusing on learning rather than earning to drive professional growth over the long-term.
 • 05m:12s • 
Mouli talks about how people need to consider evolving the metrics with which they measure their success as they move towards the second half of their career. He strongly advocates the notion of helping others succeed as a means of driving your own success.
 • 04m:46s • 
Mouli talks about the notion of Potential being an infinite term and not something finite and well-defined. He uses the phrase “you get what you deserve” to make the point we are better off focussing on the deserving than the getting. He also underscores the point about enjoying the ride and therefore playing (not necessarily working) towards our potential.
 • 03m:31s • 
Roopa talks about the flexible capital model at Omidyar Network (ON) and discusses how they do a combination of investing in tech enabled start-ups driving social impact and grants to organizations to impact a sector. She also discusses the unique characteristics of the next half billion in India that has access to the mobile phone and will come online in the next 5 years and how this presents a unique opportunity for these consumers and for businesses targeting them.
 • 13m:12s • 
Roopa talks about how she grew up amidst nature in the North Eastern part of India and how some of her perspectives on working women started getting shaped right from an age of around 10. She also talks about her first brush with Mumbai when she comes to pursue a B.Com in Sydenham College but quickly find the city overwhelming and goes back to Guwahati to pursue B.Sc in Mathematics. She also talks about the peculiar situation where despite clearing the entrance process for IIMA, she is unable to join. She decides to teach in a primary school and appears for CAT yet again.
 • 11m:13s • 
Roopa talks about how she drifted into CRISIL and how she was not necessarily career oriented in the early years of her professional life. She talks about the notion of focusing on excellence and on topics that are outside the realm of responsibility and how the culture at CRISIL ensured that her efforts were noticed and rewarded. She also talks about the transformative impact that one of her overseas stints had on her in terms of developing a “bird’s eye view”.
 • 12m:00s • 
Roopa talks about the transition to the role of a Chief Rating Officer being the defining transition in her journey at CRISIL. She talks about how the profile of her responsibilities and stakeholders significantly changed when she moved into that role. She also talks at length about how she recalibrated the relationship with her peers when she got promoted, something that a lot of people struggle with.
 • 11m:22s • 
Roopa talks about how she took stock of options after her successful run in CRISIL. She talks about the process she went through to first eliminate what options may not make sense for her before she ended up choosing to join Omidyar Network. She talks about having informal discussions with ~45 people over a 9 month period to get directional clarity on what might make sense for her.
 • 16m:53s • 
Roopa talks about how she had to adjust her leadership style when she moved from leading a team of 4000 plus people in CRISIL to Omidyar Network which had about 150 people globally and about 15-20 people in India. She discusses the power of listening, learning and tapping into the internal network to come up to speed and build credibility with the organization.
 • 08m:34s • 
Roopa talks about she developed a sense of judgment in the new context when she moved to Omidyar Network. She talks about the fact that she now has to exercise judgment on entrepreneurs who in turn will exercise judgment on several topics that are relevant to them. She discusses how she went about acquiring that nuanced sense of judgment by understanding the world of the start-up entrepreneur and the world of technology.
 • 06m:18s • 
Roopa talks about the fact that there is a lot of commentary around women coming back to the workforce after they start a family. She mentions that support structures and corporate policies are evolving and this problem is slowly being addressed. She discusses the barrier that shows up when women are in senior management roles. She talks about the notion of self-belief which often comes in the way of women raising their hand for top jobs and for a seat at the table.
 • 07m:49s • 
Roopa talks about how she thinks about success and frames it as a journey than a destination. She talks about how the notion of purpose has energized her during her days at CRISIL and in the work she does at Omidyar Network (Supporting innovations that can create opportunities for millions of people who are otherwise either excluded or underserved or disempowered)
 • 03m:36s • 
Roopa first talks about what she learnt at IIMA before she delves into what they don’t teach there but should. She talks about the notion of first principles thinking that gets deeply ingrained during the time at IIMA. She goes on to talk about the criticality of work experience before pursuing an MBA.
 • 05m:01s • 
Roopa talks about the attitudes that have held her in good stead as she has gone through her journey. She also talks about how a lot of clarity around one’s own potential evolves over time and suggests that we don’t get anxious about it too early.
 • 05m:37s • 
Vinay talks about how he has thought about his career choices. He speaks about the fact that after his 12th, he could have possibly become an architect instead of a Lawyer. He also talks about his thinking at each of the transition points where he made critical choices (Law versus Architecture, Law to Journalism, Journalism to study PhD in Politics). He also talks about how he thinks more about the quality of the product he creates with his diverse backgrounds than sweat about the notion of his identity.
 • 11m:24s • 
Vinay talks about how the same judgment can have a different journey of implementation depending on the ecosystem in which the judgment is pronounced. He talks about the distinction between barking and biting when he looks at a Judgment. He urges the leaders (Judges, Lawyers, CEOs) to think hard about the ecosystem they are in and the control they have over implementation before they go for a certain verdict.
 • 04m:52s • 
Vinay talks about Narasimha Rao’s habit of reflection and journaling which helped him deal with the ecosystem he was in. Vinay talks about how Rao used the habit of journaling to develop a nuanced understanding of the context he was in which helped him deal with situations of grey effectively. He also talks about how he managed to gather intelligence around what was happening around him despite his lonely nature.
 • 10m:51s • 
Vinay talks about Narasimha Rao spent his time at various points in his career. More specifically, he breaks down the pie chart of time across different phases – when you are campaigning, when you are in power and when you are in opposition. He talks about how Narasimha Rao had unfettered curiosity that helped him indulge his curiosity when he was in opposition which helped him evolve as a person but also ensured that he did not make any hasty decisions in the short-term out of anxiety that would hurt him in the long run.
 • 10m:28s • 
Vinay talks about how Narasimha Rao combined the notion of intellectual agility (ability to fundamentally shift one’s beliefs when new data presents itself) and implementation agility (knowing how to drive change through a complex system). He talks about how Narasimha Rao could play Lion, Fox or Mouse and the criticality of timing in these situations.
 • 14m:00s • 
Vinay talks about how Narasimha Rao stayed relevant through the various transitions that he went through in his journey. He also talks about how he learns and grows when he did not gets a transition wrong. He also talks about how Narasimha Rao re-invented himself when Congress moved from the Indira Gandhi phase to the Rajiv Gandhi where the core group had several people from an Oxbridge background (far from Narasimha Rao’s comfort zone).
 • 07m:55s • 
Vinay talks about how Narasimha Rao picked his team members and think about the portfolio of capabilities in his team. He specifically alludes to the fact that he was self-aware about what he knew and didn’t know and was able to hire best in class talent without feeling insecure. He also talks about how Narasimha Rao brought in diversity of thought across various topics to ensure it was a balanced team.
 • 07m:19s • 
Vinay talks about how Narasimha Rao made decisions or chose not to make decisions strategically depending on the political context. He mentions that often people think of Narasimha Rao as an intellectual but Vinay argues that he was a man of action but also somebody who was acutely aware of his political ability to drive through change.
 • 05m:52s • 
Vinay discusses Narasimha Rao’s strategy to usher in liberalization without too much fanfare given the fragile situation he was in. He shares his thoughts on how some other politicians have managed to drive tough change with the support of the public which involved long term gains (Park Chung-hee in South Korea, Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore) but short term pain.
 • 08m:04s • 
Vinay talks about how Narasimha Rao was a fusion of Don Quixote (somebody who acted without too much thinking) and Hamlet (somebody who thought a lot but didn’t act as much) and how he brought the various shades of gray in his personality to bear as a leader. He talk about how we need to be cognizant of our environment when we think about what we do and how we implement it.
 • 04m:34s • 
Neera talks about how her early years in a Boarding school in Bangalore (while her parents were in Canada) shaped her as a person and gave her a grounded understanding of India despite her parents immigrating to Canada after graduating from IIT Kharagpur.
 • 05m:22s • 
Neera talks about her transitions to Morgan Stanley, Harvard Business School, UBS and then to Co-founding Dasra with her spouse – Deval Sanghavi. She talks about the mindset with which she started thinking about her HBS degree. She talks about moving from seeing it as an asset you could market to something she could leverage and extend to drive impact in the Social Impact world.
 • 08m:28s • 
Neera talks about how Dasra has evolved into an organization that works in three broad areas (Research, Building Organizations and Giving Strategically). She also talks about the way Dasra has made choices as it has grown as an organization and how it plans to measure impact and success as it grows into the future.
 • 11m:03s • 
Dasra was co-founded by Neera Nundy and Deval Sanghavi in 1999. They discuss how they have evolved their roles as the organization has grown over time. She talks about how they have gravitated to playing roles that are in line with their sources of energy and strength.
 • 05m:37s • 
Neera talks about how she and Deval have thought about where they have wanted to take Dasra. She also discusses how when they had a funding challenge a few years back, they had to revisit almost all of their key assumptions and have an honest discussion about where they wanted to take Dasra and move forward with increased conviction.
 • 05m:10s • 
Neera talks about how she has thought about her role as Dasra has grown and her plans for governance as we look to the future. She talks about the interconnect between the personal and professional life and how the role she has played in Dasra has been in the context of her personal context.
 • 07m:06s • 
Neera talks about some of the common challenges that entrepreneurs in the Social Impact space face. She talks about founders often being “too mission driven” and thereby coming in the way of systems and processes that could build the organization sustainably. She also talks about the Founders not spending enough time on what they are distinctive in leading to spreading themselves across too many areas.
 • 06m:34s • 
Neera talks about the distinction between Needs and Wants as people think about a career in Social Impact as against the Corporate world (although the lines between the two are being blurred). She also discusses some of the real challenges when people with a long successful tenure in the Corporate world transition to the Social Impact world. She shares her perspectives on how could adapt well into the new context.
 • 08m:52s • 
Neera talks about some of the unique characteristics of the distinctive leaders that have made a lasting contribution in the Social Impact space. She talks about a combination of a desire for large-scale impact coupled with empathy for the consumer whose needs and wants they want to address.
 • 04m:16s • 
Neera talks about how it is not about each of us individually fulfilling our potential but more about how we can work with a group of people and unlock greater possibilities. She also discusses how we all get cues along the way that nudge us in certain directions for us to pursue the path that that could enable us to fulfil our potential
 • 06m:52s • 
Deepa talks about the discipline that she got from an upbringing in the Armed Forces context. She specifically discusses the point around planning for tomorrow and having Plan B and Plan C for situations. She also discusses the mindset of being prepared for the unseen which has helped her overcome extreme obstacles.
 • 04m:01s • 
Deepa recounts her twin-ordeal in 1999. Her husband was fighting in the Kargil war and she was anxious about his well-being. At the same time she had a tumour in her back that worsened which got her to a point where she had to make the choice between leading a normal life and facing a high probability of death or going for surgery to improve her odds of living but in a wheelchair. She discusses how she navigated this passage of play.
 • 05m:43s • 
Deepa talks about the mindset with which she took stock of life when she had chest-below paralysis and had to recalibrate her approach to her activities, schedule, relationships and aspirations. She talks about how she developed a sense of gratitude for what she had and how she and her family chose happiness. She also talks about how her hobbies enabled her to immerse herself into an activity and bring happiness to her life.
 • 06m:07s • 
Deepa shares her thoughts on the trade-off between seen as a “different person” versus being seen as just another individual who can do most of the things that a regular person can. She talks about how it is about her taking the onus and putting the other person at ease rather than expecting the other person to react to her situation. She says “if I am OK with it, they are OK with it”.
 • 07m:31s • 
Deepa talks about how she took charge of life and how she became a restaurateur and in seven years, had built a flourishing business giving her financial independence. She then talks about her passion for biking and how she wanted to create records on a bike to ensure that her voice is heard and for her to be able to have an impact on Society.
 • 08m:48s • 
Deepa talks about her pursuit of excellence led her from one place to another and eventually to a medal in the Olympics. She talks about the 68 National Golds and 21 International Medals including medals from Asian Games, Paralympics, World Championships and Commonwealth Games.
 • 04m:55s • 
Deepa talks about her disciplined approach that enabled her to win the Silver Medal at the Rio Paralympics. She also talks about her frame of mind and personal context which gave her the fire to make the Silver Medal winning throw on that day.
 • 05m:30s • 
Deepa discusses her approach to picking a Coach while training for Rio Olympics. She mentions that given the uniqueness of her body condition and the training need, the traditional coaching approaches did not work. She talks about how she worked with a biomechanics gym trainer, watched her diet and worked on her psychology as preparation for the Olympics.
 • 08m:19s • 
Deepa talks about what gives her the resilience to deal with difficult situations and how people can build that muscle. She talks about the criticality of moving from a “wallowing in the problem” mindset to a solutioning approach where you think about how you want to drive change and be the change.
 • 03m:13s • 
Deepa talks about Wheeling Happiness Foundation, an initiative she and her daughter have started. She talks about how they plan to bring hope to the life of people and become a medium towards creating an inclusive and accessible (physically, emotionally, mentally) India.
 • 06m:13s • 
Deepa shares her perspective on people playing to their respective potential. She discusses the criticality of having a happy mind, staying positive and having the discipline and work towards it. She urges us to be true to ourselves for us to push towards excellence.
 • 03m:49s • 
Jayashri talks about her chance meeting with Shri Lalgudi Jayaraman and how that changed everything for her. She discusses the faith that he had in her when he asked her to learn music under his guidance and how that instilled a sense of responsibility for her to stay committed to the path.
 • 08m:37s • 
Jayashri discusses her observations of Shri Lalgudi Jayaraman and how he would unlock the potential of each of his students by tailoring his approach and finding a different set of tools for each individual. She also talks about how he would role-model standards of excellence in his practice of the art form
 • 03m:36s • 
Jayashri discusses how she splits time during practice. This includes building stamina and preparing your mind to think faster when you perform with other musicians. She also talks about practicing new songs for at least a period of 3-4 months before the music begins to “flow” out of her.
 • 08m:39s • 
Jayashri talks about what it takes to perform with other artists on stage and discusses the notion of emptying oneself and a levelling attitude with oneself for the music to take over. She talks about creating a space inside her from which the music could flow freely.
 • 04m:46s • 
Jayashri talks about how she made choices along the way, more specifically, the choice between going deep into Carnatic music versus collaborating with different art forms. She also speaks about how she has learnt from collaborating with other artists and how that has improved her core art form – Carnatic Music
 • 07m:27s • 
Jayashri talks about overdependence on technology and how that’s coming in the way of learning where the student puts off the learning to technology. She talks about how she tries to benefit from the technology while knowing that she could do what she does even without it.
 • 04m:43s • 
Jayashri talks about her collaboration with Sir Ang Lee where when she collaborated with him to sing for the movie – Life of Pi. The song was eventually nominated for the Oscars for the Best Original Song (first Tamil song to be nominated). She talks about how Sir Ang Lee brought out the best in her during the five days that she spent recording the 5 odd lines of the song.
 • 06m:16s • 
Jayashri talks about the challenges of being a performer who has to travel around the world and how she is often split between the two worlds. She talks about the criticality of the ecosystem around her including her family that has provided her the support.
 • 02m:52s • 
Jayashri talks about her approach to giving back to the community through the various things she does, whether it is helping children who have autism or performing for seniors at locations where they live. She also talks about her work through SPIC MACAY in using art to improve lives.
 • 06m:04s • 
Arun talks about how we could potentially move from understanding the data that somebody presents to us to going deeper in our understanding around why that data is important to the other person and how their experiences have led them to value what they value. He suggests that moving from the What to the Why and the How enables us to get to the next level of insight and intimacy with another person, especially if they are unlike us.
 • 05m:10s • 
Arun discusses his definition of a leader – “she or he who takes the first steps towards something that she or he deeply cares about and in ways that others wish to follow”. He talks about the criticality of listening to what other people care about as a key element of building engagement and followership.
 • 04m:40s • 
Arun talks about insights from Dalai Lama (who also wrote the foreword for his book) who says that Listening is the first wisdom tool and it is a prerequisite for reflection, compassion and self-knowledge. Arun discusses why it is important to create a space for the feedback to land on the other side and listening is the path to creating that space.
 • 05m:52s • 
Arun talks about how the depth of insight and intimacy gets compromised when we start having conversations across a large number of people. However, he shares his insights around how we could still make such conversations enriching by moving from the layer of data to the layer of how people form their opinions on the data.
 • 04m:55s • 
Arun talks about how one must be clear about how one should think about structuring a meeting/conversation. He also suggests different formats depending on different depths to which we wish to go in the conversation. He makes the distinction between discussion, debate, deliberation and dialogue and urges us to be clear about what to use when.
 • 06m:57s • 
Arun talks about how values play an important role in how we build a sense of judgment on situations. He specifically presents the opposing perspectives of two views. 1) Utilitarian view 2) Individual rights view. He goes on to talk about the importance of tailoring our approach to the specific context rather than being binary about it.
 • 05m:01s • 
Arun talks how we might not be feeding our “thinking slow” part of the brain enough (using the phrase made popular by Nobel Prize winning Economist – Daniel Kahneman). He talks about how people now have greater reach in connections but with often diminishing levels of richness. He quotes some recent studies where brains of children have shown to be influenced by this and how this is impacting several areas including how we feel about ourselves, our attitudes and empathy. He re-emphasizes the power of having reading as a habit to further build the muscle of “Thinking Slow”.
 • 06m:40s • 
Arun talks about the downsides of being a good listener and says that sometimes, it might be harder for people to notice you given the noise around them. He also goes on to talk about how sometimes, we embark on a path of making some noise (through marketing, branding etc.) to be heard but he says that sometimes that path changes who we are in the process and by the time we get to the point where we are being heard, we may not be the same listeners any more that we were when we started out. He quotes Sir John Dalberg-Acton and says that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
 • 04m:39s • 
Arun talks about how he was a cross-roads when he had to move from a successful stint as an executive in Tata Motors to a role as a consultant with Arthur D Little in the United States. He talks about the circumstances in which he took the decision (including a nudge from JRD Tata) and how he had to adjust his style to be effective in a new professional and cultural context. It is not very often that you see a leader transition from being a Business Leader to a Business Consultant.
 • 12m:01s • 
Arun talks about how one can listen to build credibility in a new context, especially if you are in a situation where you feel you do not have the capabilities on Day 0. He talks about how he learnt from Sumant Moolgaokar by watching him interact with people across hierarchies including how he would engage with the gardener. He shares that it is critical that we move from a “I will teach” to a “I will learn” mindset when you move to a new context.
 • 07m:57s • 
Arun talks about his perspectives on Leading in an Open System where you do not have money, authority or power to wield as a source of influence. As we move towards a world where more and more value is being added by an ecosystem of players around a corporation (rather than value chains residing fully inside the company), how CEOs of today navigate this shift and create the right culture in the organization is critical.
 • 11m:28s • 
Arun talks about how it is easy to get lost in the here and now and the buzz of the day to day that we sometimes might forget where we are headed. He likens it to Spanish tiki-taka where there is a lot of graceful ball-passing going on but sometimes the ball doesn’t get to the goal enough (something that commentators about the Spanish team in 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia). He urges us to spend time reflecting on what we deeply care about and take our first steps towards that.
 • 06m:51s • 
Ambi talks about how he has approached some of career choices. He specifically talks about some context behind moving to IIMC after IITM and then after graduating from IIM Calcutta, he discusses how he spent some time on the Agency side and the Client side before committing to a direction with the Agency world at FCB Ulka.
 • 09m:37s • 
Ambi talks about how effective CEOs set a climate so that their teams feel comfortable presenting risky ideas to them. He talks about how if you don’t set the right atmosphere in the organization, the team below you can hedge their bets and focus on managing their image with the CEO than really solving for what is right for the organization. He discusses how you can create a culture where the team focuses on “winning in the market” rather than “winning in the system”.
 • 06m:57s • 
Ambi talks about what it takes to develop and maintain an account over a period of several years. He speaks about the criticality of having tentacles across the organization to get a pulse on the relationship. He also underscores the criticality of the role of the CEO in ensuring that he/she sets the right climate for the troops to share any potential cracks that are appearing in the relationship.
 • 06m:19s • 
Ambi talks about his key insight around what it takes to influence clients. Given Advertising is a domain where there is arguably a lot of possible subjectivity, it is an interesting canvas to see how advisors influence clients. Ambi shares that it is often more about the intent and then followed by the content.
 • 04m:54s • 
Ambi talks about his first interaction with Pradipto Mohapatra (a legend in the retail industry with the RPG group and ex Chairman of Coaching Foundation of India) and how he had a very unusual client meeting where everything except the “work on hand” was discussed. He talks about the notion of what it takes to develop and build trust with individuals.
 • 06m:16s • 
In the book – Sponge – Ambi shares an illustration. Let us say, you have an architect who designs a house for you with 5 pillars. You feel that this doesn’t look good aesthetically and you want her to design it with 3 pillars. She does so and builds a house for you. A few months later, the house collapses. Whose fault is it? Architect’s or yours? Ambi talks about how clients with varying styles (ranging from Dr Varghese Kurien to Mr Rohintan Aga) work effectively with experts to get the most out of them.
 • 07m:55s • 
Ambi discusses how some of the leaders he has worked with combine science and art in making good judgments. He talks about how some of these leaders walk the fine line between following process and using well-informed gut to make superior decisions over time. This is specifically relevant in the world of Marketing and Advertising where the production values can vary by orders of magnitude.
 • 08m:13s • 
Ambi talks about what he has learnt from individuals like Late Pradipto Mahapatra, Late Mr Rohinton Aga and Mr M. Damodaran when it comes to storytelling. He draws the connection between storytelling and listening and discusses how it is not a skill-set that can be suddenly implanted into a team or an individual but has to be an integral part of the culture in an organization.
 • 05m:06s • 
Ambi talks about how we can all learn from the world of brands to think about our personal brands. He talks about the criticality of sharing ideas that are in line with the what your brand should stand for. He also discusses the criticality of collaboration in ensuring that you are able get the word out about your brand and what you can offer to the world.
 • 03m:46s • 
Ambi talks about how leaders like Karsanbhai Patel of Nirma have an intuitive understanding of the customer need. He specifically talks about the “chaiwalla test”, a concept he discusses in his book, to talk about how some leaders find smart ways of getting a quick pulse from the real demographic rather than making misleading assumptions.
 • 05m:48s • 
Ambi talks about some of the key choices he has made over his journey that has helped get to where he has. He also spends time talking about his curiosity (that led him to do a PhD when he was past his 50) and how it has helped him grow over a period of time. Referring to his latest book, he talks about the criticality of being a SPONGE and learn from around us as we move forward in our respective journeys.
 • 05m:54s • 
Mr. Bhatt talks about how Chief Executives should be thoughtful about deciding which Boards they want to get onto. They need to have a very clear “Why” before they take a Board role. He also goes on to discussing the key behaviors that leaders need to embrace and let go as they transition from leading a company to influencing a Board. He underscores the criticality of a contributing mindset and says that it is possibly a greater indicator of effectiveness than competence on a topic.
 • 15m:40s • 
Mr Bhatt talks about the criticality of the Chairperson to build good one-on-one relationships with each of the Board members so that he/she can facilitate effectively during a Board discussion. He mentions that the biggest contribution a Chairperson can make is to orchestrate the discussion in the room effectively to ensure that all the relevant voices are heard and the group makes a robust decision.
 • 09m:28s • 
Mr OP Bhatt talks about the role of a Chairperson in ensuring that good decisions are made. He talks about the situations where sometimes not making a decision and seeking more information is better than suboptimal decisions. He also discusses how he would handle divergent opinions on the Board by facilitating a more nuanced conversation that embellishes the issue and the nuances come out.
 • 04m:31s • 
Mr OP Bhatt talks about how the leadership context in a Board is very different from that of a Chief Executive. He talks about the hierarchy in an organization with KPIs, Metrics and other variables that gives the CEO control over outcomes. He contrasts that to the context in the Board where individuals have to be nudged and cajoled to carry on tasks that might be critical for the Board.
 • 05m:21s • 
Mr. Bhatt talks about the criticality of a Board review to ensure Board members get tailored, actionable feedback that can raise the bar on the performance of the Board. He talks about the criticality of the role of a Chairman in processing the feedback that he/she is given as part of the process and in how he/she leverages that to get the most out of each Board member.
 • 06m:22s • 
Mr Bhatt talks about the tact with which Board member should provide and seek feedback. He specifically underscores the criticality of the role of the Chairperson in ensuring that he/she doesn’t have a blind-spot in the way he/she is performing. He discusses how some effective Chairpersons find the subtle opportunity and timing to elicit timely feedback from some select Board Members.
 • 05m:45s • 
Mr Bhatt talks about how in every role he has done, he has tried to look for a “plus” which is an additional dimension beyond what is expected in the role. He also talks about the criticality of understanding the role that the service you provide plays in the role of the consumer and ensuring that it gets reflected in every touchpoint the consumer has with your organization.
 • 05m:37s • 
Mr Bhatt talks about a simple habit that he has found helpful in his journey over the years. He talks about the role of the conscious and the subconscious mind and how that can be leveraged for self-development. He talks about spending 5 minutes at the start of the day and at the end of the day reflecting.
 • 03m:55s • 
Indranil talks about his challenges in transmitting some of the elements of the credo he had crafted as the head of Marketing and Strategy of his organization. He underscores the risks of abstraction when we craft values such as honesty, excellence, customer-delight etc. and adorn the walls. He takes the example of a story to illustrate the point “no room for ordinary” a value they were trying to live in his company. He goes on to share how he transitioned to the world of storytelling and reflects on some of his early lessons in solopreneurship.
 • 17m:49s • 
Indranil distinguishes business storytelling from Storytelling (that we see in Ramayana, Harry Potter or in movies). Indranil speaks about the fact that brevity and storytelling are not contradictory and it is often a false trade-off that people have in mind. He actually goes onto say that business storytelling might even be a more time-efficient way of getting complex, nuanced messages across the organization.
 • 09m:04s • 
Indranil talks about some of the common areas in the Corporate world where we could use stories – building rapport, influencing and getting strategies to stick. He also talks about the distinction between narrating a story versus sharing something that has the structure of a story. He goes on to say that for the purpose of business storytelling, it is often sufficient to focus on the science and process of storytelling than get bogged down by the art which can be overwhelming for a few.
 • 09m:00s • 
Indranil talks about the curse of knowledge using the example of “tappers and listeners” – an experiment conducted by Elizabeth Newton at Stanford University in 1990. He talks about how asymmetry of information often makes us poor communicators because we are too close to the content. He talks about the criticality of understanding the context of the receiver while delivering key messages.
 • 06m:42s • 
Nugget
37.5
Story listening
Indranil talks about the criticality of story-listening and how it is critical to ask the right questions to elicit stories. He speaks about the fact that we often have a propensity to ask the How, Why and What questions because we are looking for a net-view but sometimes the rich data can be found by asking the When and the Where questions when you take people back to a moment in time.
 • 07m:16s • 
Indranil talks about how we can apply the concept of Story-listening in the context of understanding another human being. He also discusses the power of stories in a home context. He says that stories make things real. Very often we are busy communicating abstract concepts without giving our children an insight into where the opinion comes from.
 • 07m:13s • 
Indranil talks about what it takes to build storytelling into a habit. He talks about what deliberate practice looks like in the context of building this capability. He suggests that we need to put a stake in the ground and make a commitment to ourselves. He urges us to look for low evaluative and low judgment situations where this can be experimented and we can get the ball rolling. Most importantly, he talks about the criticality of capturing the stories and tagging them appropriately so that we can recall the right story at the right time.
 • 10m:46s • 
Indranil talks about what it takes to build the habit of storytelling within an organization. He underscores the futility of one-off programmes that leave you with a high but don’t really move the needle when people come back to the rough and tumble of their daily life. He re-emphasizes the criticality of some sort of a deliberate practice programme for people to bake in the habit.
 • 05m:27s • 
Indranil talks about some of the hidden talents that storytellers have. He mentions that a lot of them are naturals in the way they tell stories and over time they have fine-tuned that capability. He lists R. Gopalakrishnan, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos as three of the story tellers that he admires and shares a couple of his personal favourites.
 • 07m:25s • 
Tarun talks about developments in the field of Strategy and maps that to how individuals should think about their careers. He acknowledges the influence of Prof. Ben Jones (of Northwestern University) in shaping his thinking here. He talks about the fact that the world of knowledge is growing exponentially and we will know less and less (as a percentage) of what is to be known. He discusses how people should think about specialization and collaboration in this context and shares his perspective on the mind-set with which we should march into the future that can feel overwhelming.
 • 11m:46s • 
Tarun discusses how he has crafted his self-assigned space of thinking about issues around creativity and entrepreneurship in Developing countries. He talks about being known as the “clearing house” for something. He also talks about the tension between access to intellectual capital at Harvard and being located closer to the action that he is passionate about. He later goes on to discuss the allocating mechanism he uses to fill his time when he visits the various markets.
 • 06m:30s • 
Tarun makes the case for why it is critical for entrepreneurs in developing economies to build trust in their local economies. He contrasts the differences between a startup in Boston and its counterpart in Bangalore, Bogota or Beijing. Given the relative differences in maturity of institutions that provide support and the depth of talent in some of the associated areas, entrepreneurs starting up in emerging economies might have to deal with a lot of friction and Tarun makes the case for building trust for it to act as a lubricant in those circumstances.
 • 05m:34s • 
Tarun talks in detail about the mind-set with which entrepreneurs need to think about creating the conditions to create. He talks about the example of Charles Shao and how he battled the decline in trust in the milk industry in China. He discusses how Charles gave away IP (which seemed counterintuitive in the short run) to widen the profit pools of the industry as a whole and thereby improve the outcomes of his business.
 • 11m:01s • 
Tarun talks about variations in how companies and entrepreneurs think about returning capital to the shareholders and talks about the examples of BFIL (earlier SKS Microfinance) and Banco Compartamos to illustrate how you could have very different approaches but still end up building a successful enterprise over the long run.
 • 12m:10s • 
Tarun talks about how entrepreneurs (keen on having impact at scale) in developing economies should think slightly differently from their counterparts in more developed ecosystems like Silicon Valley. He urges them to include trust-building as part of the objective function in addition to the business metrics they are going after in building out their enterprise.
 • 05m:58s • 
Nugget
38.7
Measuring Trust
Tarun talks about the realities of building and measuring trust. He shares some of his thoughts on how entrepreneurs could take his central idea of creating the conditions to create and bring it to life when they work with multiple stakeholders. He urges the entrepreneurs to pick one stakeholder group and build trust with them as a starting point before looking to build trust with the entire system which can seem like a daunting task.
 • 05m:57s • 
Dr. Guha speaks about his journey from playing cricket for St. Stephens (along with players like Kirti Azad who played for India and was part of the 1983 World Cup winning Cricket team) to pursuing a PhD in IIM Kolkata to eventually becoming a historian. He talks about the context behind some of the choices along the way and talks about the role of chance at various inflection points.
 • 12m:13s • 
Dr. Guha shares his perspectives around some of the elements behind being an effective historian. He talks about how his early years in cricket prepared him for the grind of being a historian and refers to the criticality of an independent mind and the ability to articulate complex thoughts in everyday language. He also gives us a glimpse into the rhythm of his typical day, especially in the mornings.
 • 08m:34s • 
Dr. Guha speaks about some of the key choices he made at various forks in the road that presented themselves in front of him. He specifically talks about the crucial role of his father and his wife in giving him the flexibility to pursue his calling without getting him to “play safe” or to seek commercially lucrative options at the expense of pursuing things that energized him.
 • 14m:40s • 
Dr. Guha speaks about how Gandhiji straddled multiple careers concurrently (including that of a Politician, Social Reformer, Prophet and Writer). He talks about the fact that he saw his life as one indivisible whole where he emphasized each facet at a different point in time.
 • 04m:19s • 
Dr Guha speaks about the phase of transition when Gandhiji moved from South Africa to India. He talks about how Gandhiji was advised (by Gopal Krishna Gokhale) to spend about a year understanding the nuances of the country before embarking on a journey of change. He also speaks about Gandhiji’s open-mindedness and willingness to listen which enabled him to absorb the complexity of the country without bringing his biases.
 • 11m:25s • 
Dr Guha discusses the dichotomy between Gandhiji’s accomplishments on the public front and contrasts that with some of the challenges he had with relationships on the home front. He provides some context around why this might have happened.
 • 03m:52s • 
Dr Guha talks about how Gandhiji openly spoke and wrote about his flaws (defects, manias, lusts, passions and superstitions) without any inhibition. This approach is in such a stark contrast to how several leaders of today manage their personal image. He also spoke about how Gandhiji was often open to feedback (including being open to inputs from Mahadev Desai – his assistant) and would be comfortable acknowledging publicly if he was wrong in a debate.
 • 04m:49s • 
Dr. Guha speaks about Gandhiji went about making complex decisions. He talks about how he was able to combine the need to be democratic and to listen to the various people around him with the ability to be decisive and back his instincts given the overall context.
 • 03m:58s • 
Nugget
39.9
Inner journey
Dr. Guha speaks about Gandhiji’s inner journey on multiple fronts – diet, medicine, celibacy and inter-faith harmony. He speaks about how he had a scientific approach in each of these and sometimes crafted experiments to test out a certain belief and based on the results, modified it as he moved forward. He also speaks about Gandhiji’s tolerance and openness to others’ views as he was shaping his world-view through his journey.
 • 08m:01s • 
Dr. Guha speaks about how he has learnt (from Gandhiji) the criticality of using the right language when you engage with people who might have a differing point of view.
 • 03m:40s • 
Stew talks about the building blocks of his Total Leadership Model that he has developed at the Wharton Work Life Integration Project. Of the four domains (Self, Work, Home and Community), he expands on what he means by Self and Community as those two are often the least understood by leaders around the world.
 • 06m:52s • 
Stew talks about notion of positive spillovers across the 4 domains (Self, Work, Home, Community) and describes why finding harmony across domains is a more sustainable than looking at them as trade-offs. He expands on the notion of positive spillovers across domains and specifically talks about some of the elements which are often underappreciated by leaders. He introduces the notion of a four way win where we can look at trying experiments to achieve wins in all 4 domains of life.
 • 11m:16s • 
Stew speaks about the role of authenticity (being real by clarifying what is important), integrity (having a clear view of who you are as an entire person and being clear about roles towards and expectations from stakeholders) and creativity (being innovating in crafting experiments to deliver four way wins). He specifically speaks about how some stakeholders expect less and are willing to support more than you think.
 • 06m:25s • 
Stew speaks about how the nature of the issues people grapple with varies depending on the stage of their journey. He specifically speaks about 3 points of people. 1) Point of graduation from Business School 2) Mid-life (about 15 odd years after graduation) 3) Retirement. For a longer piece around Navigating Mid-life, please see http://bit.ly/NavigatingMidLife
 • 07m:43s • 
Stew speaks about what has stayed the same and what has changed significantly in his thinking around work life integration. He talks about the ubiquity of technological devices that now surround us and speaks about the need for all of us to build psychological tools to benefit from the technological advancements without incurring the cost that often comes hand in hand with such developments.
 • 07m:48s • 
Stew speaks about the criticality of unearthing what the stakeholders really want and solving for it. He suggests that we should go past what they state as positions and unearth their real expectations while having these conversations. He also speaks about the criticality of caring for self before caring for others. He compares this to a change management initiative and suggests that one needs to be artfully political while driving changes through the system.
 • 08m:49s • 
Stew speaks about the role of two types of coaches in such journeys. Firstly, he speaks about the value of peer to peer coaching networks where you are compassionate, curious, caring and candid with each other and learn/help each of the members of the group move forward. He also speaks about the role of professional coaches in providing another perspective and in holding you accountable
 • 05m:07s • 
Stew speaks about how we should try and stretch the boundaries of our current context before we start thinking about drastic solutions including changing jobs. He speaks about the notion of the Theory of small wins that underpins that Total Leadership approach and also refers to the work of Herminia Ibarra – Author of the book Working Identity.
 • 05m:03s • 
Rich talks about how Google things about spotting potential and about Leadership Development. He quotes an interesting statistic from a piece of research by Corporate Leadership Council. He said that they found that that in 71% of the time people who are high performers were not high potentials but conversely 93% percent of high potentials are also high performers. He also goes on to talk about “Googliness” a term that encapsulates some of the softer aspects of an individual that flourishes inside Google.
 • 13m:19s • 
Nugget
41.2
Origins of SIY
Rich talks about the origins of the Search Inside Yourself programme. It started out as a quest for Googlers looking for a solution to stay agile and resilient while you are on a “rocket-ship”. He also goes on to talk about how SIY brings in wisdom from multiple domains ranging across Neuroscience, Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence to help people develop a new kind of intelligence that enables them to cope with the roller-coaster ride of a tech driven company
 • 07m:18s • 
We normally think of attention in broad terms but Rich breaks down the various types of attention. He speaks about Attention being the ability to focus our mind on something specific and Meta-Attention being the ability to pay attention to our attention and have the ability to bring it back when it wanders.
 • 05m:25s • 
Rich talks about how he thinks about ritualizing meditation and baking it as a hygiene in the way he goes about leading his life. He also talks about the importance of not treating meditation just as a separate activity that we do once a day but suggests that weave in meditation in the small things we do through the day. He also speaks about the importance of rituals to manage our attention in the digital economy.
 • 08m:40s • 
Rich speaks about the benefits of journaling and refers to research in neuroscience that suggests that journaling is superior to typing on a digital device given the speed at which we do each of the activities. He also has some pointers around how people can start the practice of journaling in their lives.
 • 09m:46s • 
Rich discusses the distinction between choosing a response to a situation and reacting. He also speaks about the difference between events that unfold and the story we tell ourselves about the events that unfold. He links it to the notion of agility where he says we need to be agile in the way we stay present to the world around us and that agility is a prerequisite for us to be agile as leaders in the business context.
 • 10m:43s • 
Rich speaks about three levels of resilience – Inner calm, Emotional Resilience and Cognitive Resilience. He talks about the example of Captain Sully Sullenberger (who miraculously landed the plane on the Hudson river after his plane was hit by birds after taking off from LaGuardia) to talk about how calm and composed he was and stayed present during the ~3 minutes he had between the bird hit and when he landed the plane.
 • 09m:07s • 
Rich speaks about why we have a negativity bias as a default setting. He traces it back to human evolution and talks about the fact that for us to survive, it was critical to attach a higher weightage to negative signals in the environment than the positive ones. He links it to the criticality of ensuring psychological safety in a team (results of Project Aristotle in Google) to drive business performance.
 • 09m:04s • 
Falguni speaks about how her childhood shaped her personality and her wiring in the years to come. She speaks about how she and her brother were treated equally across various aspects of life and the independence parents gave her to try different things (trekking, traveling to Kashmir, going on an exchange programme etc)
 • 05m:09s • 
Falguni speaks about how she made some early career choices post IIMA. She speaks about how she was independent in the way she went about making decisions. She also speaks about the context in which the transition from Consulting to Banking happened when she got a call from Kotak on her children’s’ 3 year birthday.
 • 06m:43s • 
Falguni speaks about how she juggled her family and her career at various points in time. She specifically speaks about the Maternity transition and says that women shouldn’t treat it as a P&L discussion where they are trading off the income with the opportunity cost of being with the child. She urges the women to look it as an investment in oneself that pays out over the future.
 • 10m:27s • 
Falguni speaks about the phase of life when she decided to become and entrepreneur after 25+ years post IIMA and after a successful run at Kotak. She also speaks about other businesses she considered (Professionalizing Nursing Homes, Creating a Market for second homes to name a couple) before proceeding with building out Nykaa.
 • 10m:37s • 
Falguni speaks about the key shifts that she has made to her leadership style as she moved from a Senior Leadership role in an institution like Kotak to starting Nykaa from the ground. She specifically refers to the poem Ithaka that had daughter had shared with her at that point. It talks about the criticality of focusing on the journey than the destination.
 • 10m:43s • 
Falguni speaks about the key shifts she has had to make as Nykaa moved from a start-up phase (where the proof of concept was still being established) to a scale up phase. She speaks about understanding the varying profile of the customer as the organization scales and speaks about how to get the organization ready for scale.
 • 09m:13s • 
Falguni speaks about how she thinks about managing Investors in the context of her desire to build a long term sustainable business at Nykaa. She talks about the need to be transparent in the communication with investors on not just the metrics of the business but the philosophy with which you are building the business.
 • 05m:16s • 
Falguni speaks about the criticality of being focused on what the consumer wants and using that as the guide for coming up with the vision and the aspiration as you grow. When you are often the leader in the market, you don’t have the option of looking at competition and setting the goalpost. She speaks about how she has tried to keep her focus on consumer needs as she has scaled up.
 • 04m:28s • 
Rajat speaks about how he plans to spend time in the coming years. He talks about how he plans to resume his journey of contributing to philanthropic causes and work on some of the intractable issues that the society faces.
 • 07m:01s • 
Rajat provides some context around the style he adopted in the book and talks about the fact that notion of success is so contextual to each individual. He talks about sharing his journey candidly with people so that they could see a piece of themselves in the story and take out what makes sense for them through osmosis rather than by injection.
 • 05m:00s • 
Rajat speaks about the kind of leadership style that’s required at the helm of a firm like McKinsey. He speaks about how one has to think about influencing and nudging rather than commanding and directing while leading a team of highly capable and self-driven people.
 • 05m:13s • 
Rajat speaks at length about how he led McKinsey over the 3 terms when he was the Managing Partner. He says that during the first term he co-created the future strategy of the firm and started executing on it. The second term, he says, was largely around driving expansion around the world while establishing key governance processes. The third term, he says, was largely around navigating the dot com crisis after the bubble had burst.
 • 12m:09s • 
Rajat speaks about his stints as leader in Scandinavia and in Chicago and the key levers he focused on to drive the growth of each office. He also make the distinction between the approach in Scandinavia which was significantly underpenetrated and in Chicago which had an established practice.
 • 05m:34s • 
Rajat speaks about what it takes to build trust at the highest level with clients. He talks about how sometimes, it takes several years to cultivate a client and how the door opens at the right time if there is adequate trust that has been built with the client.
 • 09m:00s • 
Rajat speaks about how he grew as a leader through his tenure in the firm. He speaks about the combination of mentorship, apprenticeship and entrepreneurial space where there is a vacuum that one has to rise upto as a recipe for developing leaders effectively and speaks about how that played out in Scandinavia for him.
 • 04m:24s • 
Rajat speaks about how he evaluated opportunities outside of McKinsey through his journey. He also speaks about how he took stock of various options in front of him when he finished his third term as the Managing Partner at McKinsey.
 • 05m:04s • 
Rajat speaks about some of the choices he is proud to have made in his journey. He also reflects on choices that he wonders if he could have made differently, especially while transitioning into the next phase of his life after McKinsey.
 • 05m:33s • 
Kartik speaks about the extent to which machines and algorithms have pervaded our lives. To give an example, 80% of view on Netflix is based on algorithmic recommendations and 70% of Youtube consumption is based on what it suggests. He talks about what this means for human beings to stay relevant in the future where the machines are getting exponentially smarter by the day.
 • 09m:45s • 
Kartik speaks about how AI has moved from being expert systems (where humans input a certain set of rules that machines follow) to machine learning systems (where human expose the machine to tonnes of data with the relevant input and output parameters) and how that leads to situations where the machines often come up with actions that are beyond our comprehension. He also takes the example of US Constitution and the Code of Hammurabi to make the distinction between the two types of systems and the trade-offs therein.
 • 12m:10s • 
Kartik speaks about how different FAANG Companies (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google) are trying to inject hose pipes into our lives and capture data for their respective algorithms to get smarter over time. He speaks about how, as consumers we need to walk the tightrope between leveraging the benefits of these platforms while protecting our privacy while doing it.
 • 11m:22s • 
Kartik speaks about how we need to be mindful of the risk of being exposed to a certain type of content or viewpoint as the algorithms are solving for engagement and are likely to show content that we are likely to gravitate towards. He speaks about some of the mechanisms he employs to ensure that he builds diversity of thought in his head as he goes about processing the world around him.
 • 07m:04s • 
Kartik speaks about how, if we are not watchful, algorithms might end up creating outcomes that we hadn’t really pictured when we started using them. He speaks about one particular example of an instance with Amazon where using algorithms to screen resumes led to the gender bias being further amplified before Amazon noticed it and addressed it.
 • 06m:40s • 
Kartik uses the example of music (Pandora, Last.FM and Spotify) and speaks about the different approaches to algorithm design and the implications on the kind of content we are likely to see as consumers. He also speaks about how the designers of algorithms need to have a holistic approach to developing metrics to evaluate the efficacy of the algorithms.
 • 09m:19s • 
Kartik speaks about how we should think about using algorithms for decision making versus decisions support. He urges to think about machines as augmenting and not substituting human capability. He speaks about how we should consider the extent of consequences and social implications to think about how we leverage the power of the machines.
 • 06m:46s • 
Kartik speaks about the impact of AI on jobs of the future. He cautions that it is not just the menial blue collar type of jobs that are at risk but a wider array of jobs where machines could replace man. He goes on to talk about the implication for us and how we should think about staying relevant in the future.
 • 06m:22s • 
Kartik speaks about how we all could be thoughtful about equipping ourselves with some basic level of literacy around AI. Even if you are not in a technology-led company, it is likely that you will be impacted by AI in some shape or form as a leader, as a consumer or some other form.
 • 05m:42s • 
Michael speaks about the business case for Transition Advisory support when leaders take on a new role (internal or external transition). While is it is understood that it is lonely at the top, it is worth recognizing that it is lonelier when you are settling into a new context when leaders do not have an asset of relationships to count on (yet) and don’t have meaningful feedback loops that gives them a sense of how they are doing.
 • 09m:30s • 
Michael speaks about what it takes to get leaders to allocate mind-space to their transition while they are settling into a new context. He strongly suggests that we start working on transitions early (even before the leader comes in) so that it feels like a natural part of settling in rather than a separate list of things that one needs to do and as a potential distraction to the job at hand.
 • 03m:58s • 
Michael speaks about how the various elements of transition that get addressed over a 6-12 month period. He talks about the fact that even in well meaning organizations, there is a risk of overloading the leader’s calendar with “stuff” to do and not really solving for what the leader wants. He speaks about the criticality of elements such as communication, arrival posture and alliances and the timing of when these elements matter.
 • 13m:28s • 
Michael speaks about the sub-optimality in feedback loops when a new leader comes into an organization. He speaks about the relevance of early conversations with the stakeholders and Day 90/120 conversations to ensure that leaders get tailored constructive feedback to ensure that they are able to course correct early in their journeys.
 • 06m:46s • 
Michael speaks about the key shift when a leader transitions from functional leadership to General Management. He speaks about the default anchoring that people often come with when they move from a function to a General Management role. He specifically speaks about adjusting the unit of analysis and the notion of managing in the white spaces which becomes critical as a General Manager.
 • 07m:49s • 
Michael speaks about the criticality of leaders transitioning from a competitive mindset to a collaborative mindset where they focus on building alliances and identify opportunities for cross-company collaboration, often even reaching out to rivals to co-create opportunities for the organization.
 • 07m:43s • 
Michael lays out the key challenges involved when a leader gets promoted and transitions to a context where he/she has to lead a team with several individuals who used to be his/her peers earlier. He gives some useful insights on how leaders could think about re-engineering the relationships while walking the tightrope between being a “Napoleon” and a “Super-peer”.
 • 09m:13s • 
Michael speaks about how leaders could end up making a mistake by following the “default momentum” in their corporate journeys. He says that it is surprisingly easy to make yourself unhappy by the choices you make at senior levels. He talks about the need to pause and take stock of the opportunity even if it means that it is the natural rite of passage to the top of the organization.
 • 09m:36s • 
Michael speaks about the criticality of navigating the influence landscape especially when one gets into a Corporate Diplomacy challenge where things get done more through influence than through authority. To get things done, one needs to work through the network of allies that one has in the system. Michael speaks about some of the elements of transition involved here and talks about why engineers often struggle with this.
 • 07m:00s • 
Michael speaks about the criticality of assimilating into an organization without triggering the immune system that could easily start working against you. He goes on to say that even if you have been hired as a change agent, earn the right to drive change before you start moving things around (unless it is a turnaround and shock therapy is warranted) in the new organization.
 • 09m:46s • 
Michael speaks about the specific challenge when start up entrepreneurs bring in seasoned leaders as they transition from a start-up context to a scale up context. He talks about some of the elements that the entrepreneur and the incoming leader need to bear in mind.
 • 05m:49s • 
Matt speaks about the similarities across and differences between how elite athletes and time starved C