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Best Advice I Ever Got

"Conquer your fears and go beyond your comfort zone"
twitter-logo Goutam Das   NA     Print Edition: March 22, 2020
Best Advice I Ever Got
Rahul Agarwal, MD and CEO, Lenevo India

Q. What was the problem that you were grappling with?

A. After having had long successful stints in the field of marketing, I reached a point where I had to decide whether to continue on that path or move into a P&L responsibility. As against largely being branded as a successful and competent marketer, there was a trade-off on dependency on the quarterly business scorecard, which is never constant. There was the fear of failure and more than that, the fear of handling my emotions if I were to not succeed.

Q. Who did you approach for advice?

A. My wife and close friends who knew me well. This required advice that was best for me and that meant I could only turn to people who knew me inside out.

Q. What was the advice you got?

A. My family and friends advised me to take the leap and move from a global marketing role into a country Enterprise Business Head role.

Q. How effective was it in resolving the problem?

A. At first the shift seemed daunting, but in retrospect it was one of the best career decisions I ever made. I am a numbers guy and achieving clear measurable goals gives me satisfaction. It also made me more humble in accepting failures, and ups and downs. I think I have become far more resilient and rounded with business roles.

In life, whenever we are at cross-roads, our natural instinct is to stick to our comfort zone, as it provides us a sense of security. My biggest learning from this experience is to not let fear of failure be the sole driver of our choices. If fear is the only thing that is holding us back, maybe it is worthwhile to seriously take our fear head-on, for there's no reward without risk.

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