Reading: Solitude and Leadership

Sometimes, you need to put down your book, if only to think about what you’re reading, what you think about what you’re reading.

The position of the leader is ultimately an intensely solitary, even intensely lonely one. However many people you may consult, you are the one who has to make the hard decisions. And at such moments, all you really have is yourself.

from Solitude and Leadership

Long and a well written essay. I love the reference to Apocalypse Now. Never thought of the characters in the movie from that angle.

A leader needs to think and to think they need solitude. Often the decisions they make impact many. And to suffer the what-if of their decisions needs solitude too.

That”s where a ride out into the unknowns helps – its just you and your solitude.

Reading: ‘Tell me about yourself’

Relax, be yourself and tell the truth. Don’t approach the interview like you’re auditioning for Broadway.

from This is the best answer I ever received to ‘Tell me about yourself’—after 20 years of interviewing

Having taken a lot of interviews and given a fair share in the past, there is no standard answer. Your answer, or how it is absorbed, is as much about the listener, and their state of mind at that moment, as it is about you and your manner of delivery.

However being relaxed, telling the truth and enjoying the process is the best way to approach the interview. Taking or giving an interview is a great way to meet smart people and engage in a good professional conversation.

Reading: How to Be Patient in an Impatient World

The upside of convenience is short-lived. The downside is constant and perpetual. And when we’re optimizing our lives for convenience, we’re setting ourselves up for a near-constant sense of irritation and entitlement. 

….

All the best things in life—the things with the biggest payoff that give our lives the most meaning—they all require a certain threshold for the kind of discomfort that comes with waiting patiently.

from How to Be Patient in an Impatient World

One of the things I have learnt about being patience is to be aware of your impatience. Ask why? And the why of why? Often that reason is so frivolous that I laugh, asking myself, “Is this really why I was so impatient?”

Reading: Great Leaders Understand Why Small Gestures Matter

What if we took just a moment to think a little smaller, to act a lot more humbly, to elevate the person-to-person interactions that lead to more meaningful relationships? 

from Great Leaders Understand Why Small Gestures Matter

While the article mostly focus on small gestures from business perspective, these smaller gestures often have lasting impact on our personal lives too.

Long ago when I was a student, a substitute teacher of mine spent an extra half an hour with me just showing me how I made mistakes in a hurry to complete my sums. She did not have to do that. Yet she did and it completely changes the course of my life.

Anger Is Temporary Madness: The Stoics Knew How to Curb It

‘Remember that it is we who torment, we who make difficulties for ourselves – that is, our opinions do. What, for instance, does it mean to be insulted? Stand by a rock and insult it, and what have you accomplished? If someone responds to insult like a rock, what has the abuser gained with his invective?’