As I lie awake on bed this morning, yesterday’s unresolved fears drone inside as a disturbing presence. I make the uneasiness my bedfellow for sometime. Then, I am at the computer table, mindful that it is high time I wrote here.
Lola wakes up, climbers down her bed and with slow, halting steps approaches me. I pay attention to her and scratch her chin and cheeks. It feels very soothing as her very soft tongue caresses my left ankle making a sound – a purr and a grunt, fused. Lola is a gift I think, and I feel grateful.
It is strange how a part of the vacant, lingering heaviness lifts from my mind. And I tell myself, fear or pain are not objective realities, they are states I choose to dwell in and get used to. I can also choose happiness, contentment, confidence or anything else I wish.
Yet, I can’t ignore or wish away my fears. Perhaps, they are there for a purpose – as a reminder to resolve some tangles and mazes in life. Very often, they are gifts in disguise – as long as I do not allow them to paralise me.
As I untangle the unresolved issues, I understand the best approach is to leave the fear behind after a brief hello. And instead be mindfully present as I go about my quest to find the right solutions.
The last few days have not been the best of days at office. There is a dip in one arm of our business and I worry a lot. The encouraging growth in another wing is great news, but I am not buoyed by that. What an agony uncle I am turning out to be!
The more audacious the goals, the bigger the risks. For me, it also translates to bigger fear, at least for a while. There are better and more intelligent ways of dealing with challenges like I myself discovered very recently.
It is possible to travel the distance from clueless to curiosity to exhilarating discoveries. That is the space I love to inhabit. In that space, fear cannot exist.
I read somewhere recently, creativity is the enemy of fear. So, I get creative and dispel fear.
Service Square has the capacity to triple our sales turnover this year and reaching there is what we are aiming for. We have inducted a very committed civil engineer into our company recently and he constantly keeps fueling my dreams and creating new ones. I am convinced, when the desire is ardent enough, the Universe sends the resources and means to actualise them. It is a matter of time before more such people join our company to create things of lasting value.
I visualise myself in that state of mind and heart to goad them to be rain makers, fueling each others’ and also our common dreams. I see myself most of all encouraging them to break into new grounds, doing things for the first time.
I love this Emirates Airline ad – When was the last time you did something for the first time?
There are many opportunities in business, it is all a matter of being alert enough to spot them. For more than twelve long years, we prepared and published our weekly bulletin, Chennai This Week (CTW) without monetizing the huge effort. Companies have emerged recently, making loads of money using one or two elements of what CTW contained. Chennai Shopping has thousands of fans on facebook and it creates opportunities for themselves and entrepreneurs who wish to exhibit their wares to the world.
Creative entrepreneurs do this all the time. They create something remarkably new, may be in a small niche, and it becomes viral – horizontally, through word of mouth. That is how trends are created and tribes are built around ideas, products or services.
It pays to stand out and be different. That is also the essence of Seth Godin’s Purple Cow which I recently finished reading. Brown cows, black cows and white cows are very common and it gets boring after a while. So, no one notices them. A Purple cow, on the other hand, is always noticed.
How does Service Square produce services that stand out? How do we become purple?
It has to do more with creating the right climate within the organisation. Where experiments are encouraged. Where genuine failures are used as a spring board. Where I do not use my position to boost my ego. And, where our people’s strengths are used and augmented by appreciation, while their weaknesses are not going to be my concern.
There used to be a time about twenty years ago at First Flight where I operated from a space of not knowing all the answers. That was the time I co-created with others, learning and doing new things together. I desired to do exceedingly well in the responsibility I was vested with. People working with me got the message and followed suit. And they all knew, there was no question of compromising on issues of quality or customer service. We succeeded beyond anyone’s and even our expectations.
There is the power of one. There is also the power of oneness – a feeling of union with the team. I am a fierce guardian of what is at the core – the company values of commitment, quality, honesty, timely service and value for money. This is where I show my spine. On other matters, I am a follower, preferring to stay in the background, while the leaders in the company show their strengths and inventiveness.
Business is no more conducted in the way it used to be conducted twenty years earlier. Technology now plays an overwhelming role. And good people are not so easy to get. Marketing too, has changed beyond recognition.
One thing that has not changed is the dominance of the power of oneness over the power of one. I used to be very good at creating the climate for oneness to bloom. I have the capacity to be that way again – in greater measure.
It is a paradox that for the power of oneness to triumph I become and stay powerful. Powerful by showing the courage to shed my ego. And by acquiring knowledge. And by staying focused and determined.
After reading my post The Fall and Rise at Auroville Marathon a well-wisher of mine sent me this message:
“Work with the same determination and that will also give you the same elation as the marathon. You will have the same look of achievement like in the last picture in your blog.”
It was appropriate that in that marathon, my friend and I ran holding each each other’s hands as we came close to the finish line.
Yet, completing a marathon depends on me, largely. Becoming successful in my business depends on how I pave the path for others to run their race and win. And I follow them, determined to reach the finish line with them.
That also depends on me. It is an inside job, first. It is a matter of becoming powerful inside.