As a CEO have you immersed yourself (including showing that you are an idiot)?

Bragging alert: This post talks about a recent personal experience to prove a point.

I was offline for the whole of last week attending a marriage in my exetnded family.Β  While attending the event, I’d put myself out for stardom, popping my neck M2out wherever/whenever possible and making an ass out of myself at other times.Β  From participating in mindless discussions to taking split-second leadership roles; to managing wherever required and at times staying out of the loop sipping beer at the poolside … and of course flirting occasionally (Don’t worry, my better half never reads this blog).

I was able to enjoy the 7 days as I did not hold myself or the attitude and without worrying that I may look like an idiot in front of others for certain acts — On the contrary whenever the idiocy was on the rise (or the attitude was it’s natural best), the guffaws of laughter were at their zenith. I told my story to everybody, to strangers and even to the staff of the hotel I was staying.

Result…connected with a lot of family members with whom I had lost touch, made some new connections and solidified the existing ones…came back home, happy.

No holds barred immersion into your business is one quality which IMO keeps people at sidelines. If you don’t engross, how can you tell the story, if you don’t act foolish, how can you break the ice and win nay-sayers? If you don’t keep showing your face, how would people feel your presence.

You may have a product, you may have a team but are you engaging yourself with customers. Are you telling the story of the product even if there is only one person listening? Are you flirting with other investors when you already have a term sheet from your existing Series A dude. Are you exposing your gullible side to your mentors? Are you ready to experiment with your idea when people are ready to call you an idiot? Or you want to wait for a perfect product?

Are you ready to start dancing with 10 unknown people in the middle of the traffic with your best suit down? Or you are waiting for people to pull you in? You want to ignite rather than add logs later.

Picture taken while doing the ‘hands-up-in-the-air’ dance on the streets of Jaipur and later cropped on the boundaries to anonymize the identities.

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  • Awesome Post !

  • Don't think there could have been any better way to pen down start-up CEO attitude πŸ™‚ To add to this, I see in every personality a potential customer/partner, an opportunity to service and innovate. What you give comes back. In-fact, our product road map is filled with insights from customers and social interactions and powered by our ability to innovate & look ahead. We are obsessed with customers and put them ahead of our processes and sometimes business model too…

    • indus

      Sunny. Good point. As you said every CEO needs to throw himself to the crowd especially in front of the customers to get continuous feedback.

  • Too good a post. I wish rest of the Minkle guys would read this & able to appreciate the blog at Minkle by me, a little more πŸ˜‰

    • indus

      Let's show it to them — and maybe when they are in Bangalore next, I'll give them a lesson on idiocy πŸ™‚

  • full immersion along with full passion and full-on idiocy is a must have quality for the CEO & all the founders of a startup

  • full immersion along with full passion and full-on idiocy is a must have quality for the CEO & all the founders of a startup

  • Dr. Ranjit Kishore

    As a therapist, I advise couples in their mid-lives and lot of money with the some technique–more often than not they separate because they live an independent lives. I have told them to intertwine their lives and as you said “immerse” themselves in each other.

    This is a simple technique for success and often forgotten by people who want to enjoy their business, career and a happy life.

    Thanks to Ravinder for sharing this with me.

  • The post has a fresh view of looking at idiots :). Recently I jumped up to the podium to participate in singing competition in office (knowing that I am only a bathroom singer) and the crowd was left dumbstruck at the end. Not sure the reason πŸ˜‰