pursuing your passion
“Follow your heart” is an advice that is commonly doled out to individuals that are trying to make career choices. However, the reality is little more nuanced. People who have followed their heart talk about how they have weaved it into their lives or in some cases, how they have been pragmatic about taking the plunge.
Writing for self
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’.
Marrying passion with pragmatism
Follow your passion is bad advice says Cal Newport in his book 'So good they cannot 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.
Music and Leadership
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.
Rejecting 3 jobs and painting in Goa
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.
Transitioning from Healthcare to Mythology
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.
Genesis of the book - CATALYST
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.
More from Chandramouli Venkatesan
Impact of Life on Work
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.
More from Chandramouli Venkatesan
Changing orbit - HBS, Wall-Street and Dasra
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.
Picking the first "mountain" to climb
Deepa talks about how she took charge of life and how she became a restauranteur 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.
The 3 big transitions that couples go through
Jennifer speaks about the underlying architecture of her book and lays out the 3 transitions that most couples go through in their journey. Transition no. 1 is about the question – how do we make this work? Transition no.2 is often about the question – what do we want to become? Transition no.3 is often about the question who are we? She speaks about the criticality of addressing these as a couple and not just as individuals.
More from Jennifer Petriglieri
Running your career like a marathon
RG speaks about how he has thought about his career like a marathoner. He speaks about all of us having to refire rather than retire. He uses the metaphor of Lego to state that each one of us like a Lego piece with its unique characteristics and we are looking for a hole in the sky where we could fit in. And he suggests that we keep looking (as Steve Jobs would say) till find a snug fit and we find ourselves in flow.
Fertilizing a new possibility
Atul speaks about how he straddled the two worlds concurrently – one in which he was running an IT business, the other where he was an emerging comedian. He speaks about how these two ecosystems were very different and how he moved from one domain to another. He also speaks about how doing more stand up made him better in his IT job despite getting busier.
Passion versus Pragmatism
Atul speaks about how he had to be pragmatic about the cash flows given the lop-sided odds of success in this industry. He also speaks about the support that his wife offered to ensure that there is some buffer in the system. He speaks about the timing around moving from his career as a businessman to doing comedy full time.
Eklavya to GiveIndia
Venkat speaks about how a trip to the US when he was Eklavya opened his minds to the involvement of the citizens in the running of some of the elements. He specifically speaks about an experience during one of the meetings with a school in Burlington where he saw segments of the citizen community come together to solve a societal problem. That was the seed of an idea that eventually led him to start GiveIndia, a movement to galvanize philanthropy in India.
In Summary - Playing to Potential
Dan speaks about how we could play to our potential by keeping the concept of death close to us. He also speaks about how we can unlock others’ potential by providing timely feedback to others without falling trap to the notion of eulogy delay.
Misplaced pursuit of Mastery
Tom speaks about how sometimes we get caught up in a race towards mastery on a topic where we are amateurs. But in our mind, there is often a misplaced sense of professionalism that can sometimes have negative consequences without us realizing. I guess these are individual choices that we make but being aware of this phenomenon and having a clear Why behind some of these pursuits is often helpful.
Taking a pause
Harish speaks about him taking a sabbatical 25 years into his career. He reflects on the fact that he was in a good place in his career and there were enough forces that were urging him to continue. He speaks about what he gained from the pause.
Thinking about Next Gen
Harsh speaks about how his children are charting their journey. He goes on to say that he would like them to make choices on their own terms based on their interests and skills.
Three roles in the future of work
Ravi refers to the work of Charles Handy and says that in the future, there will be three broad kinds of work – Creatives, Caregivers and Custodians. He goes on to say that it is critical that we map ourselves into one or two of the three and develop deep capabilities to ensure that we are the top of that particular field as there is a significant risk of commoditization if we are an “also ran” in a field.
Giving away your Legos
Alisa speaks about the phenomenon where the Founder, as the company scales up, has to give away some part of the job that he or she really really enjoyed. As the company scales up the Founder often needs to get involved with the building of the company and not really the specific activity or function that really brought him or her energy. And that can be a non-trivial transition.
Policing your passion
Alisa speaks speaks about how with certain Founders, their passion can lead to them turning into a “bully” when they lead teams. Their internal drive and energy can spill over into the team and that can have negative consequences for the organization
Driving self-discovery with Next-gen
Tarun speaks about how enduring families think of dealing with the question of the next generation entering the business. He speaks about how the more evolved families give the next generation an opportunity to actualize their potential and go on a process of self-discovery.
Autonomy vs Power
Jeffrey speaks about how he came around to studying Power. He also goes on to speak about the kinds of career choices he has made and what he has said No to over time as his Power increased over time.
The infiniteness of Purpose
Michiel speaks about how Ambition can be a finite resource which could empty at some point in time but Purpose can be a perennially replenishing driving force if we tune into it.