What they do not teach you at B-School
B School education (especially in India) often focuses on building the tool-kit for the students. Leaders across domains reflect on their journeys and talk about what they wish they could have learnt in those two years. This playlist might be of relevance to students who are in B School campuses today. It might open their eyes on what else they could think about during the time in school to be better equipped for the journey ahead.
Early formative years
There has been adequate research from a psychological perspective and a biological perspective on the influence of our childhood on our adult lives. Several leaders share their perspectives on how their childhood has influenced their personality, their choices, the trajectory of their career and leadership style.
This playlist might of relevance to parents of children who are trying to get a grip on parenting amidst the various other demands of life and career.
Insights into specific career paths
Figuring out career direction early in one’s journey can be challenging for two reasons. Firstly, one doesn’t have adequate data on the external world (the universe of jobs and careers). Secondly, at such a young age, we don’t have adequate clarity around what energizes and frustrates us. This is further complicated by the fact that we live in a world with an abundance of options. The first step in these situations is to build a clear understanding of what the journey is like from somebody who has walked the path.
This playlist might be of relevance to individuals who are at the fork in a road where there are multiple options in front of them and they are looking for cues to pick the direction they should take. No easy answers but hopefully, some of the content here might provoke your thinking.
Perspectives on Women Leadership
Women leaders across fields (Zia Mody, Anu Madgavkar, Vedika Bhandarkar, Rama Bijapurkar et al) speak about the journey of a woman to the top of the corporate ladder. The playlist has insights across various sub-themes. a) Role of parenting in shaping the mindsets of boys and girls b) How women could think about the maternity transition c) Perspectives on work-life harmony d) What it takes to build a pipeline of women leaders for the future (Pramath Sinha talks about the Vedica Scholars Programme).
Nuggets from this playlist might be of relevance to women at various points of the corporate ladder. If you find a particular journey pertinent, you might want to listen in to the other nuggets from that guest.
Perspectives on Resilience
In this playlist, we have a range of people across backgrounds (Army, Sports, Business, Entrepreneurship, Writing, Photography etc.) talking about their take on resilience. Angela Duckworth (Author of New York Times bestseller - Grit) argues that for anyone - be it parents, students, educators, athletes or business people - the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence that she calls “grit”. This playlist highlights how some people displayed grit in their journeys and what we can learn from it.
Picking founders and co-founders
For early-stage investing, a lot of the art is often about backing the right set of founders who will build out a business of value. For early stage entrepreneurs, how to pick co-founders is one of the most critical problems they need to address which can fundamentally shape their experiences. This playlist has perspectives from entrepreneurs and investors on how they have thought about the two questions given their experiences. No magic recipes but subtle nuances which might help you be more nuanced in how you evaluate founders.
This playlist might be relevant for early stage entrepreneurs/investors.
Leadership Development for Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely and a challenging pursuit. When you are part of a large organization, Leadership Development is a Corporate Function that takes care of your evolution in terms of skills and capability. But as an entrepreneur, individuals are often left to their own devices in scaling up their leadership capability in line with the growth of the business. A few entrepreneurs and investors share their insights on how individuals (specifically Entrepreneurs) could think about their personal growth.
Elements of this playlist might be relevant for entrepreneurs in the context of them evolving as Leaders.
Perspectives on career navigation
Barry Schwartz, in his book Paradox of Choice, argues that when we have an abundance of options, we might actually be worse off due to two reasons. a) The decision making becomes complex b) There is a fear of FOMO (fear of missing out on an alternate path). Given the abundance of career options, it has become all the more critical for us to be clear about how we navigate our career and how we reflect on the “where to go” question. In this playlist, guests talk about some of the navigational principles which might be relevant for people to think about as they process the various forks in the road.
This playlist might be of value to people who are looking for cues around direction for their careers, especially if they feel stuck at a certain point in their journey.
One of the questions that we all face is around staying relevant amidst the changing times. As people approach mid-life where the proverbial “mid-life crisis” begins to hit them, they also start thinking about alternative careers and pivoting to a different orbit. In this section, guests speak about how they transitioned from one orbit to another. This also explores the dark ages that people often go through before they rise in the new career. Something that doesn’t get spoken about as much as it should.
This playlist might be of interest to people that are experiencing a little bit of angst in their current careers and looking for cues around how they could think about what they could do next. No easy answers but some of the journeys might open a door in terms of aiding reflection.
Transitioning effectively into a new context
The first 3-6 months in a new context can often be make or break where a small hair-line crack can quickly disintegrate into a full-blown fracture if not managed effectively. The approach depends so much on the unique context of the leader and the organization that he or she is joining.
This playlist might be specifically relevant to people who have taken the plunge to doing something else and are in transition or in the early days of the new role. The First 3-6 months are a period of great opportunity to launch into the new trajectory.
In Summary - Playing to Potential
The Play to Potential podcast is about getting to people to reflect on their journeys and around how they thought about the two questions “Where to go & How to grow” at various points in time. As we end the conversation, the guests are asked to reflect on the net-net takeaway for people to play to their potential. Ray Dalio (the successful investor) recently released a book titled Principles. In the book, he talks about the principles that have been a core part of his journey which have led him to where he is today. This playlist is a bit like that. Each of the guests outline the key principles that have helped them play to their potential.
Executive to Non-Executive Transition
This is another critical inflection point for leaders after they have had a successful run as a leader. First is to see whether getting onto Boards makes strategic sense given your other priorities and your personal style. But if you do choose to go down this path, it involves significant adjustment in the style of operation to be effective. You move from a situation where you have control over outcomes to a canvas where you are one of the influencers. Some of the Board members talk about their transition from an Executive to a Non Executive role, how people can access Board opportunities and how they can contribute effectively in Boards.