I have been in a habit of reading for many many years. But I started to note down some important pointers for only a year now. And what a tremendous difference that had made in my personality is worth noting.
In the past, I would read, one book, article, post, after another and just as the words would be left behind, even the lessons that I could learn from them will also be left behind. The reading did not impact my life what so ever. But then after a friend’s recommendation, [Bhaskar, I hope you are reading], I started noting down every note that I felt was important and that I needed to remember. So I took out my notebook and preferred to listen to audio books and started taking notes. Doing it regularly for a year now, it has become a habit.
In the last two days, I read two articles by very accomplished women in their respective careers.
The first article I read was on Forbes “Jimmy Choo Founder Tamara Mellon On Going Bankrupt and Starting Over“. The most important revelation that I read in it and which I had not recognized before was when Susan Adams asked Tamara Mellon, “how does she handle the stress?”. Tamara’s response as she explained why she left Jimmy Choo, the company she had co-founded with Jimmy Choo was “In the end I left. There were no women in private equity. I never had women on my board. There was no one who really understood the product.
When you have people who are only in the business for the short term, they underpay people, they burn everyone, because they won’t be there in a few years. After the fourth deal I was burned out.
This was an eye opener for me. I had heard a very prominent Gujarati investor in the past, talking to women entrepreneurs, in a live talk, and he suggested women entrepreneurs to find good employees and find a way to pay them less than the market rate. I was startled because I was an entrepreneur and an employee and it sounded very unfair to me.
And then this morning I read another interesting article which read
Top executives and 425 high-performing employees of Infosys have been granted significant increases in compensation, most of that as stock options and/or variable compensation.
And what Tamara Mellon said made perfect sense to me. If you are in the business for a short term, as an owner you want to mint as much profit as possible and pay your employees less than market rate no matter how well they perform because you are not in it for the long haul. Whereas companies like Infosys who are planning to stay in the game for long, know that they have to INVEST in HUMAN resources to keep their productivity high and thus reward excellent performances.
The second very important article for women that I read yesterday by Sallie Krawcheck [The Single Biggest Mistake I’ve Seen Women Make at Work] was how women mistake work for school. I saw myself in that article where just as in school, I am trying to get an A, in every test I am put too. It doesn’t matter if the activity is technical, sales, pre-sales, content writing, social media marketing, I am always in a rush to finish it on time and at best quality to get an A, sometimes getting super exhausted in the process. When on the contrary what men must do, is take up the task that suits them the most and walk around and meet a lot of different people in the industry, something I have failed to do for quite some time now.
Knowing where you are failing is the first step to success. 🙂