How to remain at top of your career!

Management ProgramOne of my professors at IBS told me a very valuable life lesson. He said reaching at top could be easy but sustaining at top is the most difficult part of anyone’s career. Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs are special persons who lead a start up to soaring success and sustained the success for long.

Imagine a cricketer relies on not just his strong reflexes but one of the most important assets is his power to see. A cricketer since childhood, Mansoor Ali Khan pataudi permanently damaged one of his eyes in a road accident. This led to him seeing doubled image. Though he could no longer see clearly, pataudi did not give up. He feared his cricket career was over but he returned to the field to play with just one eye. He is today regarded as one of the greatest captains India has ever had! Not only he played well but brought laurels for India. He remains at top of his career throughout his cricketing journey.

Great minds are related to the brief span of time during which they live, as great buildings are to a little square in which they stand. Recovering from a tennis-elbow injury was the most difficult phase in Sachin Tendulkar’s illustrious cricket career with the master batsman fearing he would never be able to hold a bat again after surgery but he did and become the 1st batsmen to score 200. Not only that, he peaked his career post his surgery and till his retirement he remained the best batsmen the world has ever seen.

I’ve read about many grateful people and have witness several unprecedented success stories. Whenever we see a successful person, we only see the public glories; never the private sacrifices to reach them. I’ve tried to connect the dots here; their ingredients to remain at top remain common and easy to imbibe for us.

  1. Bring in Innovation

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. You need to bring in change without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Innovation processes are always heavily front-loaded. They focus the lion’s share of attention on idea generation, but how effectively you use the idea makes you an exceptional person. In my current role, I try to bring in two things and put them together in a new way to be creative. The heart and soul of individual success is creativity and innovation. I always wonder how Disneyland continues to grow and I think their success story will never end till imagination is left in the world. I suggest having an incredible extrovert approach towards innovating yourself and others around you.

  1. Take Risks

There is no greater country on Earth for entrepreneurship than Unites states. In every category from the high tech world of Silicon Valley, to University R&D labs to countless business owners, American’s are and will be taking risks. Risk can lead to great victories or defeats. Even if you are defeated, the lesson will be valuable for the next stage of life. I choose to live a life of an entrepreneur who takes risk visually impaired and feel their way up. You must accept that you might fail; then, if you do your best and still don’t win, at least you can be satisfied that you’ve tried. If you don’t accept failure as a possibility, you don’t set high goals, you don’t branch out, you don’t try – you don’t take the risk.


  1. Excellence in Work

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. I remember an interesting story, we developed an e-portal in my previous organization in the beginning the portal developed a lot of problems. Everyone in the group picked on us; they questioned our ability to manage large projects, there were unnecessary escalations and people were not happy with the work. My leader told me an important lesson, he said, in character, in manner, in style, in all things, organization looks for excellence. I worked throughout that night with different stakeholders, fixed all the issues and guess what “next to excellence is appreciation”. I did a common thing in an uncommon way.

  1. Determination and Persistence

There are times to stay put and back down, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself because the brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something, because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people not ME. I really like what great Dhirubhai Ambani said “if you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build others”. Remember it’s not that you are so smart; it’s just that how long you remain with the problem.

  1. Trust your instincts on New Opportunities

Opportunities are never given, they are taken. Stop waiting for handouts in life and go out there and get what you want. Trust your instincts because if it doesn’t feel right inside it won’t feel right for you as time goes by. Trust that little voice in your head and do what you feel is most beneficial for your well-being and satisfaction. If you haven’t already noticed, the real world is filled with a lot of intimidating phases you must participate in to grow up. Don’t ever hesitate to give yourself a chance to be everything you are capable of being. What brings out the best version of yourself is the act of standing up to what scares you most. The only person telling you to be afraid of these things is you. Engage in discomforting activities that you know will make you a stronger, more courageous person afterwards because they will never fail to do so.

Guys I’m not the best but I think of becoming one someday, but I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. So be happy and enjoy your life!

All the best!

Contributed by Vaibhav Chandra (Class of 2009, IBS HYDERABAD)

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