TV Rao’s 15 Pillars for Success.
(Based on my books Effective People and Managers who Make a Difference Published by Penguin Random House)
Success is defined as establishing your identity and significance and impacting other around you (customers, wage providers, people your profession or department, organisation, nation and the society). Those who make a difference for others are the most successful people. There is not one way but many ways of impacting others. It is not what money or other material possessions indicate your success. It is the goodness you generate in others mind when they think of you. That is the invisible capital you acquire that indicates your success. To be successful this way, you need the following: (there is no sequence implied and all are important and all the time).
- Be Purposive - You should be clear about your goals and purpose in life. This may keep changing from time to time as you discover more about yourself and the needs of the society and people around you. The drive for discovering purpose- and acting with purpose are starting points. Clarify and keep clarifying your purpose.
- Be Proactive – You should be action driven and initiative taking. You don’t wait for others to tell you to do anything. Take initiative and make things happen. Action orientation helps you discover more of yourself and also help others.
- Be Self-discovering and exploring – There is a lot of undiscovered talent in every one of us. Circumstances help or hinder us from exploring some parts. Develop an awareness of your talent- knowledge, skills, attitudes, motives, traits etc. and how you may be coming across to others. Your self-identity is the platform you operate on. Make it stronger every day. Explore new dimensions of yourself wherever possible.
- Communicate and Communicate - Continuous communications help us to share, let others know our view points, establish our visibility and credibility by self-disclosure. Without communicating your impact will be on limited circles. Also your unique identify may not get fully established for yourself and for others.
- Learn Continuously – Seek feedback regularly from all possible sources. Your reflection also is your feedback. Constantly. Learn from various sources: books, people you meet, ceremonies you listen to, videos and films you see etc. Treat everyone as a source of learning, every day is different and brings with it new experiences and lessons. Feel the sense of growing as you experience learning.
- Be Open to ideas and views of others – Besides sharing your views freely, be open to views, viewpoints and suggestions from others. Listening to others, understanding and appreciating different and differing points of view enlarges your worldview and equips you with capabilities of dealing with different realities. Share your own views, viewpoints, values, philosophy, reasoning behind your actions and activities. It is what you say and do that establishes your identity. Keep establishing your identity. Change is constant.
- Collaborate and work like a team member – The world and all great organizations are built by team work. Great people made teams to work and achieve their goals. We can accomplish a lot by working together. Develop team spirit. Understand the limits of working alone.
- Be Trustworthy and trusting - Being trustworthy by honouring your commitments and carrying out honestly your promises you bring respect for yourself and the humanity at large. Nations with trust and trustworthiness have grown economically and otherwise. Speaking the truth is the best weapon we have. if your honesty and integrity are gone, your character is gone and everything is gone
- Be Authentic and speak your heart - be truthful in what you say. Don’t say things that you don’t mean. You may prefer not to speak than to speak untruths and lose your character.
- Create Autonomy for yourself- Autonomy is creating space for yourself. Sometimes you may have to negotiate for it. Everyone needs space for independent action. Create this space for yourself. Time is also space and create the same for yourself. If organizations impose constraints work outside them. For example if you work in office from 9 to 5 you have all the time available between 5 and 9 next day. Exercise your autonomy to create your own roles and space for action. You have to find your own battlefield first to act and win.
- Confront issues and difficulties - Don’t hide them to please others and suffer internally. Take help if required. Keeping issues under the carpet and with your self will not help anyone in the long run. Don’t insist your way if looking as the only way. Confrontation always means open for correction and boldly stating issues. Bringing out issues in open sometimes solves half the problems.
- Experiment and Innovate- Keep trying new ways of doing things. Be creative and innovative. There is no one way of doing things. Only when you experiment and try out you will know.
- Be Positive and respect others- Be grateful to everyone around. When we have something remember those who don’t have the same, and they are perhaps responsible for you to have it. Hope and optimism gives every one new energies to act and make things happen. Pessimism and loss of hope makes you stressed and depressed. Seek the company of those who energise you.
- Be Empathetic - See others from their point of view. Empathy makes you grateful and more positive. Experience poverty by living like a poor man once in a while. There are many ways of experiencing the poor by living with them, skipping meals (upvaas), sharing, forgiving, linking, visiting orphanages, homes for the poor, helping etc.
- Be Disciplined- Follow the rules of your organisation, place, and city, country where you live and be a good citizen besides a universal citizen. Discipline helps everyone to live peacefully by following rules of citizenship.
Success is being able to live a meaningful life with meaning to yourself and others and being known with an identity. Make a difference to others.