Sunday, May 19, 2019

16 Learnings from Nandan Nilekani's Success Playbook

A few days back, I had written a quick summary of a podcast between Pankaj Mishra and Nandan
Nilekani. When I reflect on the podcast, I get amazed by the clarity of thinking and Nandan's openness in sharing the sort of playbook that made him so successful.

In this blog of mine I rarely share just the dump of other sources as my choice in writing has always been to share my interpretation of the world around me. But in this case, i would make an exception and share some more stuff that i liked about this podcast.
Disclaimer: Full credit of below text goes to Pankaj Mishra and his podcast.

Scaling as a basis of goal setting
  1. Scale cannot be am after thought. Think about scale from Day-1.Start by saying- What will work at scale?
  2. Thinking about scale in the beginning is more important than trying some pilot.
  3. We shouldn't confuse execution sequencing with scale thinking. You think scale because it opens up your mind to thinking how to do it .
  4. Planning and building to scale requires you to imagine what you will be some day.
  5. The moment you set a goal there is much larger than what you are, your mind gets unlocked. And then you start putting things which makes them happen.
Thinker-Doer continuum:
  1. For me, it's an equal part of thinking and doing. It's a thinker-doer approach.
  2. If you do just thinking without execution, then you become just a futurist. You would simply be writing articles.
  3. You also have to ask- what does that mean in my actions today?
  4. I toggle between thinker-doer thing. I have a thinker-doer toggle. I think about something, get it done and then go back to thinking. Thinker-doer thinks strategically and then do it.
  5. Thinker-doer asks what can I do today to get there?
On managing careers:
  1. People should think of changing careers not jobs.
  2. Before taking on something new, I look at if the whole context has enough to attain success.
On dealing with failures:
  1. Once you imagine the worst and be comfortable with the worst, you will more easily deal with failure.
  2. One of my strengths is that I don't dwell over the past. I don't keep thinking what happened last year etc. I just look forward- what do I do next?
On dealing with critics:
  1. For dealing with critics, I analyze what everyone has to say. I analyze the content of what is said and take the learnings. I analyze the motivation of the criticism. If the content is not great and the motivation is something different, then I would discount that. But if the combination of both content and motivation is very right, then I should take it very seriously. I use this test to judge whether I should react to criticism or not
On building networks:
  1. I don't think you need social media to build networks. Networks are about people and connecting to people. I am able to network because I believe I provide value to people. For me, email is good enough to build networks.
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