Saturday, April 23, 2022


 One of the books that I was guilty of letting it remain in my shelf without reading for long was "Who Says Elephants Can't Dance ?", a remarkable account of IBM's turnaround in the 1990s. I did read it last year only to get richer with varied perspectives. It's a first person account by IBM's then CEO Louis Gerstner, Jr.

During the early days of his tenure, Louis made a statement when addressing the media. And it created quite a buzz. He said "...the last thing IBM needs right now is vision."
The theorists and the section of media had a field day with this statement and twisted it to their convenience. What Louis was alluding to was that IBM had never missed predicting any major technology trend at that time and yet it was struggling to be profitable. To him, Fixing IBM was all about execution and he had no qualm telling the situation as it was.

It takes courage, a great degree of fearlessness to say things as is, a trait that is valuable especially in the turnaround business situation. The book narrates many such instances where Louis simply demonstrated unwavering courage and took tough calls.

Does the need for courage as a skill show-up only if you have a high position or authority ? This is a question that Utkarsh Rai puts forward in his insightful YouTube video- "Learn F.E.A.R strategy to be fearless..."
Demonstrating #courage , #fearlessness is one of the underrated, less-spoken-about skills at workplace (not just for people in leadership positions). It is one of those skills that is certainly not taught in MBA or Graduation schools but is amply required to make an impact.

In his video (~6 min) (recommend to view in full) , Utkarsh shares his framework called as F (Forget). E(Empathy). A(Attempt).R (Roar) to embrace fearlessness in your day to day work. I liked the authenticity with which the points are put forward. My top 3 take-aways:
1. Overcome negative feedback: Your courageous stand occasionally might attract negative feedback. So what? It is all about experiences and this will help in growing and making the gut stronger.

2. Letting go of control to have upper hand. If you like others’ opinion better than yours, have courage to accept it.

3. Courage comes out when you speak with conviction.

Catch the summary of my learnings from Utkarsh's video in this sketchnote.

What else would you add to this subject ?

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