Have you ever thought how many people you have interacted with since you were born. From school, college, work, people who you meet in your building , gym, at the club ….. I am sure that number would run into thousands. Hold that thought for a minute.
Most people take pride in saying I am a self made man (or woman). Are you? Its always good to reflect back and ponder on what were the key drivers that helped you keep moving in life. What/who contributed to your success. And if you let your ego to go to sleep you can actually identify a set of key people who helped you to get to where you are.
On a flight back I reflected and listed down all the people who were pathfinders and crucial to my success, growth and development. I realised that of the thousands I have interacted with its a handful of people who have helped me so much and contributed to my success – I was able to list 50 people. And it took me just a few minutes to list them down – so profound has been their contribution. These are truly my friends, philosophers, guides, soulmates. Most I have interacted with, some so powerful that they influence you merely with their thoughts and words.
They are my teachers , my friends, my class mates , my colleagues. The manager who gave me my first job , the manager who made me cry but taught me so much, the angry manager, the patient manager, the brilliant manager, the depth manager, the span manager. My team mates – and I have been blessed to have amazing people as team members wherever I have worked. Competent, hard working, sincere, truthful, people – great professionals but more importantly good human beings. You can never enjoy your work without good managers and a great team. So thank you guys – without you I wouldn’t be where I am.
Of all the wonderful teachers a few stand out – the Chemistry and Match Tutor from Class 11/12 , the Professor at College who saved me from rustication during the Mandal days – great teachers but also very good people.
The room mates to who I owe my engineering degree. The patient colleague who taught me the basics of a PC architecture and Ethernet & ArcNet. The friend who helped me move to US and settled me down. The customer in the DC suburb of Chantilly – who on a cold wintery day trusted me with a million dollar contract that got me started in a new country, and the hard working project managers who exceeded expectations. The pre-sales colleague with who I worked shoulder to shoulder many a late night navigating around bureaucracy and Delhi politics – trying to crack the massive tenders at BSNL & MTNL.
The visionary leaders at Wipro, Sun & Apple – I owe so much to these companies and their leaders where I have spent over 90% of my career.
The service partners – the maverick marketing strategist who explained that a Brand is an Asset and taught me more about Marketing than what I could have learnt in an MBA. A friendly and helpful design agency owner, a hard working vendor who helped me deliver on a very complicated Strategic Brand project at a fraction of the normal budget.
The Yoga teacher who initiated me and taught me the basics, the spiritual thinkers who have shaped my thinking over the last 5 years and how can I forget the altar and the god of the 7 hills who has never disappointed me with any ask I have made when in crisis. The spinning instructor with the cult following who got me addicted to the Gym. Each one of them contributed and made my journey enjoyable and nourishing.
My drinking buddies and building friends and of course my family who were always by my side. My parents who always stretched to give us the best, my siblings who pushed me and helped me – always wanting me to be the best and my wife and children who have always been by my side – as I transformed from an acerbic angry young workaholic to a slightly more calmer version.
Its finally Kudos to a set of 50 amazing people. Thats it – these are the people to who I owe it all. I would not be where I am without their help and guidance. They gave me the right breaks, they had confidence on me , they helped me at every stage in life. These are 50 people with who I connected. Thats magical – think of it just 50 people.
If any CEO can hire these 50 people – he is assured of success. You can’t find a team of more capable, competent, achievers than them. I have been lucky to have worked with them and be associated with them.
And as I look back on the years passed by I can only say a big Thank You to each one of them. Maybe I should try and get all of them together in one place – the positive energy created by such a group will indeed create a halo around the room. Lets hope that day comes soon.
I got Dileepan my design agency friend to make a Thank You poster for me. I now have this poster in my bedroom. That way the memories stay with me all the time.
I would urge each of you to do this exercise – its a therapy to look back and reflect on those who contributed to your life.