General Thinking

Setting Goals

When you are looking to achieve anything in life, it is extremely important to set goals in place. The question that often comes up is why is it important set things in stone, why can’t goals evolve in the same manner in which the business plan of a company does?

This was the question which was posed to me by a company which I am mentoring. So I explained it like this

Imagine you are standing at one end of the football field and you were just told that you are to take the ball to the other end of the football field. You have to keep going straight and reach the other end. Since there is a lack of clarity in terms of where you must reach, you must just keep going straight. You have no opportunity to take advantage of any other player for the fear of going off the course. It is more like climbing a pole!

Whereas when you have a very clearly defined goal in place, it is possible to strategically plan to reach that end. In such a scenario, the player can pass the ball all over the field with the single minded target of reaching the goal that is set. They can take advantage of synergies and develop their strategies. The entire activity becomes more like climbing a ladder. You are clear when you are making progress and how close you are to reaching the goal.

Therefore it is absolutely important to have a goal set!

General Thinking

Overestimation – Interesting Insights which I myself just realised!!

So last weekend, we had chosen “Overestimation” as a theme for our Startups Club meeting. We were expecting the meeting to be rather dull since the topic was not something that could generate a great deal of debate. Just as a last minute thing, we decided to throw in a game into the meet.

So the game played out like this. Two teams of 5 members were created. In each team, one member was assigned a leader. The leader from each team was asked to bid. What was on auction was a bunch of exercises: Push-Ups, Lunges, Iron-Man and Balancing on a Leg. The team with the winning bid had to perform the exercise, else, the same was passed onto the other team.

As bidding commenced, the meeting got extremely exciting! More than we could have hoped or dreamt. Each team had won two bids, and each was able to accomplish what they had bid. Hence a tie-break; Sit-Ups was introduced. Bidding went on a different gear, but again the team with the winning bid was able to accomplish the task. At this point, we raised the stakes and asked the losing team if they were willing to do 50% more to take the game away. They took up the challenge and accomplished it!

I realised; often times we over-estimate the work at hand. We really do not know the boundaries of our own capabilities and would not ever come to know unless we are pushed to reach them. People; Intelligent people like to be pushed to reach these boundaries. They may crib while they are being forced to reach these peaks but every time they discover a new peak – They are happy; they feel a sense of accomplishment. This fact alone allows leaders to find extremely talented individuals who would put in their blood, sweat and tears into a job that seems impossible to achieve. What is described by many as Steve Jobs’ “Reality Distortion Field” is just a manifestation of the process of finding this peak.

I myself was a part of a team in my first job where we were worked incredibly hard by our boss. We were expected to put in 18 hour days on weekends. (Especially on weekends) We all used to crib, but we would deliver one way or the other. To date, wherever any of us, who was a part of that team meet up, we fondly remember those days! We were performing at our peak; it may have been tiring but it felt good.

Today, my partner pushes me to achieve things that I would never think possible.

Don’t overestimate the goals which lie ahead of you. Work desperately towards it. You may surprise yourself by achieving it!