Thursday, February 14, 2019

#podcastdiaries: Learnings from Avnish Bajaj and Deepak Jayaraman

I have been an avid consumer of podcasts and always in search of the good ones. Like books, good podcasts helps in shaping one's opinions and perspectives. Unlike books, podcasts often spread knowledge in a conversation mode between two or more achievers. A few years back, I got hooked on to podcasts as a source of learning driven by urge to use my commute time. Bangalore is notorious for it's pace of traffic and the commute times tends to be longer. But podcasts and audio books are the perfect allies in longer lonely commutes. I often wonder why there's hasn't been many business models to help people do high value activities during commute. Well, let's keep that discussion for a different day.

One of the podcast series that I am hooked on to, of late, is called "Play to Potential" by Deepak Jayaraman. A part of his intro from the podcast page reads -
'Deepak is a certified CEO Coach and is an alumnus of IIT Madras, IIM Ahmedabad and London Business School. His detailed profile can be found at'

The recent podcast that I listened to while on a recent flight was Deepak's conversation with Avnish Bajaj. Avnish is the co-founder and Managing Director at Matrix Partners – a Venture Investing firm, a firm that he set up around 11 years back. He did this at the back of a successful exit from when he sold it to eBay for USD 55 Million.

Here are a few of my learnings:

Definition of Passion:

What would you do with your time if you have all the money you need in the bank?

Education vs Learning:

- The pace of growth mostly depends on how fast you learn what is not taught.
- Most of the things can't be taught, they have to be learned.
- Self awareness and ruthless desire to learn and get better and stay at it is the key to long-term success.

Importance of time and commitment:

- Best founder's don't waste time. If the original market moves away, they create a new market.
- Best people meet or beat their commitment every time. Is the founder doing what he committed he will do?
- Book recommendation: Super forecasting. Anticipating events and taking action.

Evolve your judgement muscle:

- Book recommendation: Defining Moments.
- In early years, entrepreneurs makes 'right vs wrong' decisions. In later years, it is more about 'right vs right', that's where the muscle of judgment comes in.
- Jack Welch book. Hiring run rate. Make a note of who said what during hiring and check the outcomes say a 6 months back. Tells a lot about leaders judgment. Establishes a self learning loops.

Passion, Skill, Opportunity framework for careers:

- Japanese concept Ikigai: Passion, Skills, What the world needs, what the world is willing to pay for. 3rd and 4th combined can be thought of as opportunity.
- Book recommendation: Ikigai (Japanese) Where to play is at the intersection of passion, skills and opportunity.
- Money is the bridge between the needs and the wants. Interestingly, the wants often start disguising them as needs.

A tip if you are changing careers:

- Before changing the role or the profession, do consider talking to someone who has done that very job. Specifically ask- what is a day in the life of, what are the causes of stress.

On managing relationships:

- Focus on the right level of relationship, at right depth with right kind of people.

More book recommendations:

- Mindset, by Carol Dweck
- Give and Take, by Adam Grant

Some more of my inferences from this podcast:
I found the definition of passion such a profound way to discover what we are born to do. If we choose to cut the crap, the life truly is short enough to not do what we love to do.

I have seen people often consider completing formal education as a sort of end. Whereas the reality is that education is a journey and we should look to learn from every situation, people we meet, and commit to learn every day. Our tutors and mentors also cannot teach us everything under the sun. Our power to receive from every situation eventually defines how far we go in the game of business and life.

Source of the podcast:

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