Late last week I attended my first Robin Sharma seminar – this one was titled “lead without a title”. This post captures my impressions and a few takeaways (have taken a lot of poetic license with the verbiage but trust it would cover the essence well) that I thought will benefit all my readers.
It took place at a prominent Chennai landmark – the ITC Grand Chola – and was packed to capacity – about 800 delegates turned out for the meeting. What stood out was Robin’s involvement in the seminar – a lot of the delegates were leaders in their own right (and perhaps cynical of management guru speak) – to his credit, Robin displayed great energy, focus and had the participants engaged through the 3 hour meet. His delivery and voice modulation (not to mention the simple but impactful slideware) added to the experience.
He opened with a very engaging question “In your last hour of your last day on this planet, what would you be proud of?”.
At that point obviously office sizes didn’t matter, nor did bank balances or assets owned. He let the question hanging in the air for a while and offered an answer – you will be proud of just two things – on that fateful hour of the destined day:
1. Who you have become as a person
2. And how many people you have helped
Reinforcing this point was a wonderful Steve Jobs quote
“being the richest man in the graveyard doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed knowing we have done something wonderful matters to me.”
That got us thinking – and we were invited to identify 1 idea that was most meaningful to us – and the idea had to be expressed in just a few words. An example chosen by one of the delegates (who led a 3000 strong company) was “make 3000 leaders”. Another doctor decided “founding a medical college” was most meaningful for him.
Ideas have no value until they get implemented was the next clarion call.
Toward implementation, a few powerful insights were provided:
1. The 90-90-1 rule: For the next 90 days, spend the 1st 90 minutes (which apparently are the most productive minutes of the day) on your most powerful business opportunity/ personal goal identified in the para above. The focus would make this a reality
2. The 66 day rule: If one kept up a behavior for 66 days, it would become part of your muscle memory – become a habit infact. Great sportsman for instance don’t think about the special moves they make – the moves are hardwired into their system by force of daily habit. Interestingly, the Hindus (and I suspect the Buddhists) believe that 21 is the magic number (also called a mandala) – so whatever works for you – 66 is Robin’s magic number though
3. Genius = Focus.Practice.Grit. Genius is not about only talent. His view was 5% are super achievers (the majority 95% are the average set!) not because they have the maximum talent but because they were persistent in developing genius through continued focus, extensive practice and remarkable grit.
A couple other vignettes which caught my attention:
a. An average person apparently spends 2.1 hours/ day getting distracted. And why would they do that – because being distracted makes people feel productive! Busyness is not equal to effectiveness! Eliminating this he opined will alone free up enormous times
b. You are paid not just to work, you are paid to be scared! His feel was that if we felt we were successful due to being associated with a successful company, we were very vulnerable. The seduction of safety is most dangerous people!
Finally, there was this Mary Angelou quote somewhere toward the end which I thought summed it all very well
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Thanks Robin and the organizers – Eyeball Media – was a good experience – and time to pass on the stories for others interested as well……
After twenty years of playing IT leadership roles, I am taking some time off to read, reflect, and share thoughts on Leadership and Technology. I am specifically interested in how we can use these to further our success. You can find my work at https://nsubra.com and 2-minute daily posts at https://angulam.in