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The Life Drive Newsletter November 2013

The Life Drive Newsletter November 2013

Our dangerous obsession with external recognition : By Daniel Gulati ( From HBR Blog Network )

Rebecca, a tech entrepreneur, would love you to equate her companys expansive press coverage with real value creation. Yesterday, we got written up in TechCrunch and LA Magazine, and we all had dinner at Nobu to celebrate! She will, however, conveniently forget to mention that her startup has yet to settle on a viable business model and has zero paying customers. John, a middle manager at a Fortune 500, attended no less than 21 industry conferences this year in an effort to increase his overall visibility. Its all about optics, he says, and you need to be everywhere. While John was schmoozing on the companys dime, his team members were starved of the leadership and hands-on coaching they desperately needed. Steven, a consulting partner, tweets about 40 times per day and has his own Facebook page with 50 fans. I do it primarily because it makes me feel good. He spends over 20 hours a week massaging his social media profiles and trawling online for new business, inevitably compromising the quality of work provided to current paying clients. Although our fundamental desire to be noticed is not a new phenomenon, our unending use of social media has radically elevated the level of ego in our personal lives. Famed psychologist Jean Twenge recently showed that self-importance personality traits among 37,000 college students rose as quickly as obesity from the 1980s to present. Two Western Illinois University researchers found a high correlation between Narcissistic Personality Inventory scores and Facebook activity. Countless other study sample groups, from pop musicians to Millennials, prove that we are in the middle of a narcissism epidemic.

Year 1, Volume 8 http://www.scribd.com/collections/4337433/Life-Drive-Newsletter

shaileshdesh@gmail.com

The Life Drive Newsletter November 2013

This obsession with external recognition is now entering our professional lives. Every day, even the most disciplined entrepreneurs, executives, and consultants are becoming addicted to the powerful endorphins associated with heightened visibility. They invest disproportionate time and effort into advancing their own personal fame bubbles at the expense of broader goals and potentially threaten their careers as a result. Teens posting selfies on Instagram is one thing. But when visibility trumps vision in the working world, there are several dangerous consequences that can arise. First, we distance ourselves from the fundamental growth engine of our careers. In other words, we lose sight of what really matters. Admitted Rebecca: It feels great to get press, but thats not an indication of success at all. We havent figured that part out yet. Our LinkedIn connections, speaking engagements, and press profiles should be seen as rewards for the value we create, not the actual process by which value is created. If youre too focused on these vanity metrics, you risk painting an all-too optimistic picture of yourself without accurately identifying, measuring, and improving the underlying drivers of your performance. How can you improve what you dont measure? Second, we misallocate our time and attention. Going for visibility is not only exhausting, its distracting. Steve said, It takes real effort [to manage my online profile]. But its also the additional time I spend thinking about it when Im supposed to be doing other work. Research shows how everyday social media multitasking reduces our cognitive depth. But take it a little further, and you might actually be destroying significant value. Lamented Steve: Maybe if I reallocated the time it took me to gain 1,000 followers into mentoring a star analyst, she might still be at the firm. Third, we alienate critical nodes in our professional networks. If you let your quest for visibility drive your behaviors, your bosses, colleagues, partners, and investors may quickly scurry offside. Anita Vangelisti, a University of Texas psychologist, found that visibility-oriented individuals aim to keep conversations centered on themselves, putting off those around them. In true taker fashion, they place their own needs before others and feel little remorse about the colleagues they hurt along the way. John reflected on his unfortunate conference showboating habit: I get the sense people are waiting for me to slip up, and honestly, Ive brought it on myself. As Albert Einstein once said, Strive not be a success, but rather to be of value. As the social media echo chamber descends on our professional lives, never before has this message been more relevant. Instead of measuring your progress using the yardstick of external recognition, optimize around achieving your unique vision. At the end of the day, people who tap into their deep intrinsic motivations are much more (PDF) likely to succeed on long-term projects and hit loftier goals than those who are powered by the praise of others. Focus on achieving your vision first, and youll be more visible than you can imagine. Year 1, Volume 8 http://www.scribd.com/collections/4337433/Life-Drive-Newsletter

shaileshdesh@gmail.com

The Life Drive Newsletter November 2013

The making of Rocky : Sylvester Stallone talks about how it all began

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJvPD2u3YBI

Stallones description of the journey talks about so many fundamental principles Very modest beginning ( he was staying in a pigeonhole of a room ) Saw very tough times he had to sell his dog because he did not have money to feed it! Focus : He wrote first draft of Rocky in a writing frenzy that lasted three straight days Multiple iterations : The draft went through many revisions before it got the final shape Conviction : Stallone was so clear about his decision to play the lead role himself ( at a time when he had no track record whatsoever ) that he refused offers that were paying him 300K USD just to part with the script ( and he has just 100 Dollars in the bank )

Year 1, Volume 8 http://www.scribd.com/collections/4337433/Life-Drive-Newsletter

shaileshdesh@gmail.com

The Life Drive Newsletter November 2013

the life drive

a triangle has three directions, each asking for a decision. it can exist even without this decision. life is made of thousands of such triangles. choices. interests. abilities. drivers. values. responsibilities. sor t out these triangles. direct them. know, develop and express. create a whole, one, integrated - you. exist versus create. the dif ference is the life drive.

Design: www.rahulinamdar.com

Year 1, Volume 8 http://www.scribd.com/collections/4337433/Life-Drive-Newsletter

shaileshdesh@gmail.com

The Life Drive Newsletter November 2013

About The Life Drive Newsletter

This newsletter is meant for someone who is interested in improving his or her work on own Journey of Personal Growth. I believe that that this Journey is about becoming the best that you can be and expressing yourself in a manner that is most meaningful to you. Each one of us has two inbuilt and perpetual drives that influence all that we do The Life Drive inspires us to create new things, seek out our true selves and engage with external world with zest and affection. At the same time, The Death Drive within us scares us, makes us harm ourselves, makes us find comfort in the lazy status quo and gets us to look at external world and other people with suspicion and violence. The Death Drive within us does anything and everything it can do to stop and derail our Journey of Personal Growth. To succeed in its objective, the Death Drive throws many traps at us, such as convincing us that the problem is not within but outside us and convincing us that the comfortable life of status quo is better than risking the challenges of self-exploration and selfexpression. How well, and whether at all we progress on this Journey is entirely dependent on whether we constantly honor our Life Drive by giving life to newer expressions of our core self and whether we succeed in defeating that enemy within ( The Death Drive) every day. Nobody and nothing outside of us can make us do this - it can happen if and only if we take complete personal responsibility of staying true to our precious and sacred Life Drive. This newsletter is meant to be a small reminder- that hopefully will make each of us take a pause and ask this question to ourselves: Did I truly honor my Life Drive today?

The Life Drive Newsletter is circulated every month. In case you wish to add som eone to the circulation list, please send me his or her email address. The older editions of the newsletter (from March 2013) are available at :

http://www.scribd.com/collections/4337433/Life-Drive-Newsletter
Your comments and feedback on the Newsletter are most welcome. You can reach me at shaileshdesh@gmail.com

Year 1, Volume 8 http://www.scribd.com/collections/4337433/Life-Drive-Newsletter

shaileshdesh@gmail.com