scroll down

A thought that crossed my mind recently, while on a run: two different runners beginning training from the same starting point, with similar means and fitness, end up achieving vastly different results. Similarly, entrepreneurs and leaders with similar intelligence, resources and advantages at their disposal don’t attain the same amount of success.

As a habitual interviewer, I often investigate what each leader does differently in order to stand apart from the crowd. While it’s tempting to attribute successes and failures to luck, there are some bold differences in the path followed by those who find favourable results. One can say that these set of distinguishing factors, are almost a black-box like algorithm. For instance, the very process of making recreational running a more meaningful activity requires me to set specific goals, follow strict instructions, adhere to a routine and diet, and most importantly – push my limits with each successive race. This same cycle applies to making progress as a leader, where the frequency of success depends on how many times one upgrades to a new normal.

Below I’ve listed out five entities that attained over a hundred times the success of their counterparts, despite offering the same value proposition to the world. Each of them is characterised by one trademark element that forms a part of the Algorithm for Success:

Anand Mahindra: Vision

While a lot of organisations strive for it, Mahindra & Mahindra has constantly exhibited an innate ability to build itself steadily and expand exponentially. This is primarily due to the fact that their leader has a clear vision for the company and always keeps raising the bar for the next target. To execute his ideas effectively, he successfully steers his team in the same direction as a whole This helps build a positive environment conducive to creativity and fulfilment for all – ultimately driving the entire organisation towards a common goal.

Phil Knight: Endurance

The grit and passion of the Nike founder is no different from the ‘Just Do It’ philosophy embodied by his brand. Having started out in 1962 with just an investment of $50, selling Japanese-made shoes from the boot of his car to building a $22 billion dollar company – Phil Knight has come a long way. His memoir, Shoe Dog (on my reading list for this year) details the highs and lows of his journey. Every new business goes through cycles of struggles and victories – the key is to remain stable through all those phases. Nike’s success is a testament to the fruits of persistence.

Rafael Nadal: Audacity

Current World No. 2 Tennis Champion, Rafael Nadal is perhaps no different from his contemporaries when it comes to training and prepping for the game. But what I really enjoy about watching him on the court is the sheer audacity with which he strikes his racket. This is a man willing to take risks for the win. It’s a quality that helps him improve on his skill progressively – not just during practice but during the course of the match itself. This confidence in his ability to prove himself on the court is what keeps him grounded during his interviews as well. It might seem like a contradiction but it’s his boldness in the sport that keeps him humble too.

H.M. Singh: Humility

Karamtara Engineering started off as a modest manufacturing facility for transmission towers in Tarapur, Maharashtra. Today, it is a Rs 3000 crore-company commanding a global presence across India and Italy. Its rise can be attributed to the chairman, HM Singh’s quest to consolidate all aspects of the transmission tower business under his banner. But despite the grand strides made by the company, humility continues to be its guiding principle. It’s an organisation that operates outside of the limelight, without much fanfare and ceremony. In fact, the grounded, self-effacing nature of the company is best exemplified by the fact that its chairman doesn’t even have any pictures online, save for the one on the website.

The Beatles: Synergy

True success doesn’t just emerge from the hard work we put into our own field of specialisation. Great works are often born of the collaboration between different individuals commanding their own unique abilities. I can’t think of a better example of this than the Beatles. While other British Invasion bands of the era struggled to make a mark of their own, the Beatles quickly established themselves as a group with a distinct voice. This sound was a combination of the diverse talents of its members. To replicate this success, it’s not just important to seek synergy with other individuals but also open up to them for assistance. As the Beatles very neatly advocate in their iconic song, ‘Help’ – “Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.”

These are just some of the elements of the ‘Algorithm’ that I’ve tried to crack over the course of my journey as an architect, a workspace designer and a recreational runner.  We can achieve the results we desire from tuning these elements until we find the right balance. Finally, what we manifest in our lives and where we arrive are just a function of our different algorithms – not luck. In the words of entrepreneur and Paypal co-founder, Peter Thiel, “If success was mostly a matter of luck, these kinds of serial entrepreneurs (Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Jack Dorsey and the ones I’ve listed above) probably wouldn’t exist.”

 

Tags

  • Leadership

Other Articles

Knowledge Sharing

My #RacetoRaise: A fundraiser campaign for Jai Vakeel Foundation at Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020

The Collaboration Quotient: 5 Ways To Know If You’re A Prime Mover

Reliving My Entrepreneurial Journey With ‘Shoe Dog’

5 Keys to the Algorithm for Success

Identifying 5 Biases That Are An Impediment To ‘Thinking Clearly’

Making A Watermark With Bisleri

5 International Masters Who Inspire Me

My 5 Key Takeaways from the Smart Office Summit

A Workplace Embodying A Global Outlook, Rooted in Tradition

Five Implications for all Businesses from ‘Zero to One’

The 3 Indias and the Shift Towards Co-working Spaces

5 Times I Moved To A New 'Normal'

Evolution of Work Culture: From Ergonomics to Empowerment

India’s New Leading Position in the Global Workspace Arena

5 Lessons Reinforced from Pacing a Faster Runner

5 Reasons Leadership is Overrated- Part 2

5 Reasons Leadership is Overrated- Part 1

My 5 Key Takeaways From The Goal

JTCPL Designers’ Pick: 5 Team Members Name The Best Features In Their Own Workspace

5 Quotes from Sales EQ to prove we are all sellers

5 Writings On The Walls At Spaces That Inspire

5 Reasons Goal Setting Is My Annual Ritual

Creating An Exponential Future Through An Engaged Organisation

5 Reasons Why Slow Is The New Fast

The Infinite Optimism for the Future at Abundance 360

Spaces: Turning a workspace from Good to Great

5 Rules of Workspaces – And How We Broke 4 Of Them While Creating Our Own

Museum Hopping For Design Inspiration

JTCPL Sessions: Art At Work With Arzan Khambatta

Knight Frank Partners With Delos: Moving Towards Spaces That Nourish Mind, Body And Soul

5 Strategies To Designing Your Environment For Success

Designing A Whole New Personality Through Habits

Construction Week Awards 2018: 5 Ways It Strengthened Faith In the Industry

Heart At Work: Dr Aashish Contractor's Health Tips For The JTCPL Designs Team

Automaticity: The Red Pill To Being Who We Want To Be

4 Reasons Why Will Power Doesn’t Work

Creating Academic Environments To Cultivate Unique Ability

Venture Capital Firms, The Incubators Of Disruptive Ideas

Designing Spaces for Those Who Drive Change

Coworking for the Gentry

Applying the Powers of Pre-Suasion to Life

The Changing Role of CRES in a Coworking Future

Exploring Discovery's Move to a Coworking Space

How The Coworking Culture Will Influence Large Companies

The Future of the Commute: Science fact, not fiction

Success Needs A Sense of Purpose... And This Book

Evolution of Workspaces – Part II

Creating a Co-working Community

Evolution of Workspaces - Part I

An Outlier's Route To Success

Launching 2018 with 5 Multiplier Strategies

An Ode to the Indian Masters

The world belongs to those who read

Success Equals Constant Progress For The Marathon Called Entrepreneurship

Human Potential: Optimism

Leap of Faith

​Unlocking Human Potential

Gratitude - The Underrated Value

Why Our Brookfield Project Hit The Right Note

The 3 Lessons I Now Realise I Learnt In College

4 Ways in Which Marathon-Running Is Like Running a Business - Part II

How Running A Marathon Is Like Running A Business - Part I

The Multiplier Effect of Great Collaborations

The Qualities I Value Most in Client-Partners – Emirates Group

Prepare for Departure – My Thoughts on Long-Haul Air Travel

Know Your Collaborative Style & The Archetypes

The Seeker & Knowing Your Collaborative Style in a Workplace

Know Your Collaborative Style in a Workspace - The Prime Movers

My Top Technology Picks in Building and Design, Continued

My Top Technology Picks in Building and Design

The Symbiosis of Culture and Workspace Design

KBS Creations – The Workspace As a Family Home

The 5 Leadership Traits That I Have Honed

Optimising Workspaces for Millennials

Better Running Through Proper Pacing

Designing a Workspace That Celebrates Millennials

My Lessons On How To Set And Achieve Goals In The New Year

Workplace Design and The Art of Sustainability

Life Lessons From Marathon Running

A Collaboration Scorecard For Leaders

The 5Ds Of Success

On Attending The CE Worldwide Conference

My Experience at FOAID 2016

The 'Prince' and the 'Ruby'

The Best Office In Bombay

Engagement and the Global Workplace

10 thoughts on “Engagement and the Global Workplace

  1. Rajendra Bendre

    Great post Ninad!

    We are at our joyful best in places that blow our breath away! Usually at the edge of the unkown, uncertain and the dangerous a precipice, a mountain top, down snow clad mountains while skiing, when the immensity of the landscape in front of us is incomprehensible and so on.

    Will be great when work spaces take our breath away and at the same time bring us all together to express our collective intelligence to make our work an expression of art!.

  2. Swati Balgi

    Congrats Ninad ! Nice to read expert’s views on Workspace Design. Will look forward to read more on your blog.
    Swati Balgi

  3. Praveen

    Ninad nice to read your post…Happy Ken”s session was impactful. .Let’s continue this collaboration around workplace knowledge..

  4. Kiersten

    Hello there! This blog post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept talking about this. I am going to forward this
    post to him. Fairly certain he will have a very good read.
    I appreciate you for sharing!

  5. http://www.oriongenomics.com

    You’re so awesome! I don’t believe I have read anything like this before.
    So nice to find another person with a few original thoughts on this
    topic. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up.

    This website is something that is required on the internet, someone with a
    little originality!

Comments are closed.