We are living in perhaps the most fertile era of the human history. These are times when opportunities are galore and the price of not taking a chance far overweight that of failing. The tried and tested ways are fast yielding into situational smartness and a risk pro behavior. While our education and societies are still gearing to embrace this change, the new age professional is busy scripting success stories. Having spent time in the industry and academia, I have seen professionals emerging and inspiring others. The more I interact with people the stronger my belief becomes that the new age calls for new styles of carrying oneself in the professional and the personal arenas. Here are the five lessons from my career for you with a wish that you could hone them.
• Better Ask for Forgiveness than to Seek Permission: In your career there would be occasions when you are trying something novel. One of the obvious resorts is conventional- wisdom, which in my view is not only an oxymoron but also is dangerous for new pursuits. Best is to go ahead. Don’t wait for someone to grant you permission; better still don’t seek for one. Just Do It! If you fail, it’s ok. Just say sorry and move on.
• Be a Foot Soldier: Every B- School graduate believes that from the very day she joins the firm, it would be all about decision making. But to become a good general one needs to start as a foot soldier. It helps gain perspective and respect. So start from the trenches!
• Balance Curiosity and Sincerity: At the start of a career people often miss sincerity, while towards the later part it’s curiosity that’s obscure. For a richer career, a blend of Sincerity and Curiosity is an imperative, as the former helps learning and the latter helps building.
• Take Half Chances: Opportunities in life seldom come wrapped. You have to sniff them out. If the chances were so apparent, then anyone would grab those, but the very nature of opportunities makes them like the door half-open. You need to walk towards it and open it before others do to know what’s lying ahead. Scout for those half-chances.
• Charm of Personality is more powerful than Power of Authority: We all have those plans waiting to be executed the moment we assume certain status or authority. As life has it, the day never comes. Instead of awaiting the right authority, hone your personality, as increasingly the charm of personality is more effective than the power of authority for real change to come.
These are the cardinal traits that I wish drives your career. The very realization that we are living in exciting times, every chance not taken is a chance lost forever. To sum it all up, let me have three wishes for you. Restless, Fearless and Lucky. And yes, you can design your own luck. How? By being Fearless and Restless. All the best!
An Innovation Evangelist by Profession and a Teacher by Passion, Pavan has a rich experience in industry and academia. His interest lies in Innovation Management and Creativity; and how organizations nurture a Culture of Innovation. He regularly lectures at various schools and colleges; and does training programs and consulting assignments with leading firms. Pavan is currently pursuing his Doctoral Studies from IIM Bangalore.