March 2021


Sometimes your insecurities and your inexperience may lead you, too, to embrace other people’s expectations, standards, or values. But you can harness that inexperience to carve out your own path, one that is free of the burden of knowing how things are supposed to be, a path that is defined by its own particular set of reasons.

Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman ’03 addresses graduating seniors at Harvard’s Senior Class Day ceremony on May 27, 2015 at Tercentenary Theatre.

Digital transformation is not about technology—it is about strategy and new ways of thinking. Transforming for the digital age requires your business to upgrade its strategic mindset much more than its IT infrastructure.

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It is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when; you either disrupt or be disrupted. David L. Rogers, Faculty Member at the Columbia Business School, argues in “The Digital Transformation Playbook” that Digital Transformation is not about updating your technology but about upgrading your strategic thinking. Digital is disrupting old business models. It is also creating new ones; the book’s main premise is that to succeed amidst the digital revolution requires constant re-invention, leadership, thinking strategically, and thinking in a new way.

Digital transformation is fundamentally not about technology but about strategy. Although it may require upgrading your IT architecture, the more important upgrade is to your strategic thinking.

He sights various examples of organizations that have been able to think more strategically by implementing top notch digital strategy to stay relevant in the digital age. For example, Encyclopædia Britannica vs Microsoft Encarta, Apple vs Nokia, Blockbuster vs Netflix, Traditional Bookstores vs Amazon.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading, The Digital Transformation Playbook by David L. Rogers:

Contrary to what you see on social media, everyone is still trying to figure it out; we all struggle; it is ok not to be ok; it is ok not to be perfect, progress not perfection; momentum is the key to achieving anything worthwhile. We live in a world where everyone’s life looks perfect on their social media timelines, it is always greener on the other side, but the reality is that everyone is winging it and trying to figure it out. No one has a challenge-free life, and the key to getting things done is to keep moving.

Atelophobia is the fear of not doing something right or the fear of not being good enough. It’s a fear of imperfection. Atelophobia is etymologically composed of two Greek words: the prefix Atelo(s) means imperfect and phobia, which means fear.

Atelophobia – Fear of Imperfection.

You are uniquely made, it is normal not to know what is coming next. No one started where they are right now, they took the risk to start, they bet on themself in spite of their imperfection. We do not start because of fear, imperfection, and fear of judgment, but the only way to achieve anything worthwhile is to feel the fear and do it anyway, even with the resistance, Don’t worry, be crappy; you would get better with time. We are all flawed, imperfect and it is normal to make mistakes, errors, but the key is to always learn from the errors, embrace your flaws and be imperfectly perfect.

The word ‘imperfect’ actually spells ‘I’m perfect’ because everyone is perfect in their own imperfect ways.

Here are some great quotes on imperfection:

Stephen Schwarzman (born February 14, 1947) is an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist. Stephen is the Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Blackstone, a global private equity investment firm he established in 1985 with former chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers and US Secretary of Commerce Peter G. Peterson. As of 2020, the Blackstone Group total assets under management were approximately US$619 billion.

The best executives are made, not born. They absorb information, study their own experiences, learn from their mistakes, and evolve.

As of March 27, 2021, Stephen Schwarzman is worth $23.8Billion according to Forbes Magazine. He holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He has served as an adjunct professor at the Yale School of Management and on the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors.

People with a growth mindset tend to think of their intelligence as flexible and able to be expanded with knowledge, effort, and practice. While people with a fixed mindset see intelligence within boundaries, those with a growth mindset view their potential as boundless.

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In Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck shares insights she garnered from decades of research on achievement and success. According to Dr Dweck, there are two types of mindset: Fixed and Growth Mindset. The people with a growth mindset strive to become a better version of themselves, and they believe that with effort and continuous improvement, they would become successful. The people with a fixed mindset believe that their qualities are carved in stone, which creates an urgency to prove themselves repeatedly.

fixed mindset comes from the belief that your qualities are carved in stone. growth mindset comes from the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through effort.

Here are my favourite take-aways from reading, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Dr. Carol Dweck:

Every wall is a door.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Ralph Waldo Emerson once quipped: “Every Wall is a Door.” No one has a problem-free life; if it is not this, it is that; It is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when. We all go through the tough times, the heartaches, the disappointments, the sadness, and depressing episodes. Do not let success get into your head, and do not let failure get into your heart. There would always be a tough road around the corner; whatever would go wrong would always go wrong. You are either going through a storm, coming out from a storm, or heading towards a storm.

“The road to success is not straight, there is a curve called failure, a loop called confusion, speed bumps called friends, red lights called enemies, caution lights called family. But if you have a spare called determination, an engine called perseverance, insurance called faith, a driver called your conscience, you will make it to a place called success.” – T.E. BOYD

Whether it is losing a job, failing an exam, losing a parent or a child, dealing with infertility, failing to get your dream job, the betrayals and backstabbing from family and friends, life can be tough and hard sometimes, making meaning of the suffering can make it tougher. We ask, Why Me? When the tough times come around, it usually comes in silos, and you wonder why now? We will go through it, but the most important thing is to go through the pain and accept life’s reality. A lot of our unhappiness in life stems from always wanting our expectations to align with our reality. One of the common traits of the highly successful people in the world is their ability to bounce back from their failures and disappointments; they try to get the message from every mess, when life gives them lemon, they turn it into lemonade.

Conan O’Brien, American television host, comedian, writer, podcaster, and producer. He is best known for hosting the late-night talk shows Late Night with Conan O’BrienThe Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, and since 2010, Conan on the cable channel TBS. Before his hosting career, he was a writer for Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons.

Conan delivered the Commencement Address to the 2011 graduating students at Dartmouth.

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American Futurist Martin Ford highlights the threat technological automation poses to the world of work. The main thesis of the rise of robots is that accelerating technology is likely to increasingly threaten jobs across industries and at a wide range of skill levels. If such a trend develops, it has important implications for the overall economy. As jobs and incomes are relentlessly automated away, the bulk of consumers may eventually come to lack the income and purchasing power necessary to drive the demand that is critical to sustained economic growth.

The book was a New York Times bestseller and it was also named the 2015 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

When things go wrong, they seem to happen all at once, back to back; like murphy’s law states, whatever would go wrong would go wrong. Life is a roller coaster ride; sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down, sometimes you want to smile, but you can only cry. Life can be extremely rough and tough, but the key to navigating life’s vicissitudes is to know that everything in life is impermanent. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do; this too shall pass; whatever does not kill you makes you stronger. The sun will rise tomorrow, every wound would heal, and the challenges are not here to stay; they are here to make you a better version of yourself.

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Here are 30 great quotes on Adversity:

Michael Bloomberg is the majority owner and co-founder of Bloomberg L.P. He was a three-term New York City Mayor from 2002 to 2013 and was a candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination for the United States president. According to Forbes, Bloomberg is the 16th-richest man globally, with a net worth of $USD 59 billion as of March 13, 2021.

He got his start in 1966 on Wall Street at the securities brokerage Salomon Brothers selling stocks. He rose to become a general partner at the firm but was fired in 1981, after Phibro Corporation bought Salomon Brothers. Bloomberg was paid $10 million for his equity stake in Salomon Brothers, and he used the windfall to start his firm Bloomberg L.P.

Bloomberg L.P. is a privately held financial, software, data, and media company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The firm is known for its Bloomberg Terminal. The company has 167 locations and nearly 20,000 employees.

“There are many reasons why some succeed and others don’t, why some just continue to grow and others spurt up and, as quickly, collapse. Three things usually separate the winners from the losers over the long term: time invested, interpersonal skills, and plain old-fashioned luck.”

The Public Figure documentary investigates the psychological effects of everyday social media use while exploring how our influencers deal with the fame, money, hate, and obsession that comes with it. The documentary features interviews with social media influencers worldwide, such as Bonang Matheba, Emmet Sparling, Thomas Sebastian Tribbie Matheson, Greg O’Gallagher, Denterio Hundon, Emma Rose, and Devour Power. The doc chronicles these influencers’ lifestyle, the effect of social media in their lives. They were interview excerpts from Sean Parker (Facebook Founding President) and Denzel Washington on the effect of too much social media use.

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What It Takes is a biographical book by Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms with over $500 billion in assets under management.  Schwarzman is the billionaire philanthropist who founded Schwarzman Scholars, this century’s version of the Rhodes Scholarship, in China.

After starting his finance career with a short stint at U.S. investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Schwarzman began working at Lehman Brothers, where he ascended to run the mergers and acquisitions practice. He eventually partnered with his mentor and friend Pete Peterson to found Blackstone, vowing to create a new and different kind of financial institution.

Here are my favourite take-aways from reading, What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence by Stephen A. Schwarzman:

In his book, What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence, Stephen Schwarzman shares 25 rules for work and life. Schwarzman is the chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group, a global private equity firm he established in 1985 with former chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers and US Secretary of Commerce Peter G. Peterson.

Success leaves clues, it is fascinating to learn from one of the smartest and forward thinking entrepreneur of our time. According Forbes, Schwarzman is the 74th richest man in the world with a net worth of $23.4 Billion Dollars as of March 2021. The rules contains lot of profound wisdom that would help every entrepreneur to navigate the roller coaster of business and the vicissitudes of life.