Your colleague invites you to her wedding, by sending a personal email with the invitation card attached
Open the email
“Thanks <insert colleague name>
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. I am traveling and will unfortunately not be able to make it. Thanks for inviting me :)
Wishing you both a lovely wedding. All the best and God bless”
Read the details
“Thanks <insert colleague name>
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. I am unfortunately traveling on the 19th and will be unable to make it. Sorry about that and thanks for inviting me
Wish you and <insert bride’s name> a wonderful life ahead. All the best”
Response 2 > Response 1 by 10 seconds
Response 2 > Response 1 by infinity
Respect doesn’t come from title. It comes from conduct.
Gut is an awesome thing
It supercedes data
It drives immediate action
It’s based on experience
It’s already rationalized
Precisely the reasons why gut is also a bad thing
Because most people end up using gut to express fear.
“I know I know, all the facts are right, but it just doesn’t feel right”
Gut is your enemy when you use it to represent your fears
If, as a leader, you take all your decisions based on excel sheets, devoid of emotional labor, you are a victim of excel sheet leadership.
Here is the deal about excel sheet leadership.
It’s an oxymoron. It doesn’t exist.
The hard part is going through each cell on that sheet.
The hard part is listening and responding to all exceptions.
The hard part is looking at the world from someone else’s perspective.
Excel sheet leaders die young. And they die as managers.
The rest become leaders
Received an email yesterday. A fellow entrepreneur wants to get into the gifting space. Wants to offer 2 hour delivery and only brands. Because no one else is serving this need.
Here is the deal
No one starts a business saying I will deliver bad products and I will deliver slow.
There is an economic reason behind everything.
I always do myself a favor whenever a new idea hits me.
I tell myself – “you are stupid. People before have already thought of this idea. But how come no one has done it yet?”
Ideas don’t need parents.
They need work
Everything that happens, happens for a reason
Everything that happens, happens for the good
If you wait long enough, everything will explain itself. Everything will settle.
But is that the best use of your time?
The reality of firing is not that of capability. It’s rarely that.
It’s that of a value mismatch. The value that is being added is lesser than expected or the strengths possessed are not valued enough.
The same value can be significant someplace else. And it usually is.
The hard part about firing then becomes realizing this fact. And thus still maintaining respect for the individual.
I have personally fired 27 individuals in my life.
Not one of them would refuse to help me if I called them one day for help.
Most would say that the firing, though painful at that stage, was a wise decision eventually.
They were told, with respect, of how the mismatch will not work out. For both parties involved.
That it is best for both to move on.
Maintaining respect for the opposite side, when the side has not delivered, is a hard thing to do.
It is also the right thing to do.
Respect is never situational.
I have a golden rule for policy making
Solve for the 95%, not for the 5%.
Look around you. Most rules and policies are drafted to curb the 5% that deviate. Not to acknowledge the 95% that adhere.
No car blinds for the 5% rapists
Punch cards for the 5% free loaders
25 yrs drinking limits for the 5% that can’t control
Daily reviews for the 5% that can’t self manage
Bell curve for the 5% that don’t fit in
And it’s obvious why that’s the case
Problem with the 5% is that they create the most chaos
They make the most noise
They destroy the most
They seek the most attention
They get the most attention
The 5% will make themselves visible. The hard work then is to make the 95% visible.
Don’t let the 5% takeover
Sorry, I won’t do this again
Sorry, I didn’t think through this
Sorry, don’t punish me
Sorry, I did this on purpose
Sorry, I do not care
Sorry, I now know what I have to do
If your sorry has multiple intents, don’t expect forgiveness as the only reaction
Jazbaa is an Urdu word
Translated in English, it means passion
It is the only thing that makes the world move
Jazbaa is a good thing
Don’t become comfortable
In late Sep 2015, I started a personal initiative
“Lunch with Warikoo”
The company was growing faster than I anticipated.
While I used to pride upon the fact that I knew the names of most people, not so much anymore
The initiative was driven by the insecurity of losing touch with my colleagues, than anything else.
The initiative was to have lunch with a new person everyday. Across the country.
And then to post about it on our employee Facebook group – much like “humans of New York”
Yesterday I completed the 50th such lunch.
18 of them in person. Rest on hangouts.
I have had people cook for me
I have had people bring me gifts
I have had people cry in front of me
I have had people hug me
I have had people order food for me
I have had people bring in their friends
I have had people write poetry for me
I have had people shower unconditional love, that I am largely undeserving of.
And they have done all of this because I gave them my time. And they know it is the most precious thing I have.
When you pick the most valuable thing in your life and are ready to share it, magic happens!
What’s most precious to you?
When are you sharing it?
All of us have a weak spot.
Something that we know is not right with us.
And we cannot do much to change it.
Lazy, unorganized, procrastination, sloppy, unaware, non-detailed – whatever it is
Even if you can’t do much to change it, you can do a lot to change the world around you.
For the physically lazy, does the world around offer everything in an arm’s distance
For the mentally lazy, does the world around offer work at the dim of the day
For the unorganized, does the world around include you in every email chain
There are two ways of dealing with your weak spot
Work on it
Or create a world around that doesn’t fuel it
Find your weak spot
And then fight it, using the world and not your own self.
When people say, hire people smarter than you, they mean people who fill in the weak spots you have.
Unless you are relentlessly open and honest in your communication, every single day, things fall apart.
100% of failures and problems can be traced back to poor communication at some level
Humans, by design, crave for security and comfort. And we call it different things
Dec 31st is the biggest structure created by mankind.
Nothing changes that day or the day after.
The sun doesn’t reset. Nor does the clock.
Climate doesn’t change. Nor do the people around us.
What changes though are emotions
Every single individual out there resets their emotions on dec 31st.
Reflect on the year gone by. Predict the year to come. Make promises. Correct the mistakes from the past. Plan ahead.
The 365 day structure makes us operate psychologically in a powerful way. Nothing else drives humans across the world in such a concentrated fashion.
And I think
If the 365 day structure was man made. So can be the 1 day structure that I make.
Resetting my emotions at the end of everyday.
Reflect on the day gone by. Predict the day to come. Make promises. Correct the mistakes from the past. Plan ahead.
Everyday is a Dec 31st
It’s your choice to have 1 of them in a year
I work with super smart people everyday. Individuals more driven and way smarter than I can ever be.
But there is a common thread when I see how they work
They love solving.
Anything! And everything!
That comes their way
Being in constant solution mode will make anyone look and seem powerful.
There is a situation – let me solve it
The product is broken here – let me solve it
Sales are not happening this month – let me solve it
This guy is not performing – let me solve it
I haven’t slept for 48 hours – let me solve it
But solving situations isn’t ever helpful. That doesn’t ensure the problem will not come back. It is tactical. It is short term.
And some problems aren’t even problems, the way they are described. They are mostly reactions.
Hence, ask yourself what is it that you are truly solving for?
Is it worth your time
And your smartness
Don’t become a victim of your own smartness
Don’t solve all the time
If someone sends a thank you note, out of the blue, to you or your team or someone else
There are 2 options you have
1. This guy seems genuine. He believes in thanking people and in comforting them. And maybe that’s what I need to do to him, because this is his worldview
2. Nonsense. Sending this note to earn brownie points. Fraud!
It is not hard to realize which of the two paths above has a higher chance of success
Suddenly, it doesn’t matter which of the two options are true!
Views on my Quora responses crossed 2Mn this Saturday – that’s a lot of people!
My followers on Quora are touching 20,000 – adding me to the list of the Top 100 followed people in the world
My TEDx talks on YouTube have now garnered over 200,000 views
I get fanmail. People even call me an online celebrity!
You know what’s the truth about celebrities? It’s easy to become one.
It is easy to garner respect from a distance.
To say the right things in a considered manner
To be immaculate and trained in front of a crowd
It is easy to be liked, when people don’t know who you really are.
What is hard – is to be respected when people get to know you. When they know your faults. And how you react to situations. And how you treat others. And how you treat yourself.
Known respect is always greater than unknown respect
And way more valuable
Reminder about all our present lives
Whatever is it that you do and whosoever is it that you are, there is something better
In that case, why are you afraid to change things around you? Why don’t you speak up? Why don’t you challenge the status quo. Why don’t you question the wrong?
What is it that you fear?
That feeling of security. That is a farce. You have created it. The world hasn’t granted it to you.
When do you feel the shittiest about yourself?
Someone criticizes you?
You eat too much?
Someone says they hate you?
Your loved one doesn’t love you back?
You aren’t inspired. Or can’t inspire?
Feeling shitty is self imposed. You have created it. You can destroy it too. It doesn’t exist.
What does exist is the reason behind it. And if the reason for your feeling is someone else, then don’t blame yourself. Don’t be harsh. It will pass.
And if the reason is you yourself. And your actions. Then don’t blame anyone else. Fix it.
The key to not feeling shitty is to find the source. And who not to blame.