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Because you get out what you put in

A graphic showing a series of questions to ask when managing a high performer, and a quotation “Talent is the multiplier.”
Image credit: Author

High performers in any organisation aren’t easy to manage. With their uncanny ability to produce outstanding work and an appetite to solve tough problems, they demand even greater attention and engagement from their managers.

And these managers are so busy putting out fires, attending meetings, convincing stakeholders, and solving poor performance that they fail to prioritise the one thing that deserves their time and energy: their top performers.

With an excuse of a busy schedule, they fool themselves into believing that their high performers are already doing great and are invested to excel in their role, which is sufficient to…

And what to do instead

Credit: Author

Do you feel exhausted, even frustrated, from working hard, putting in extra hours, sometimes even on weekends and late nights trying to catch up on work, but not being able to make progress on your own goals?

Is it the demands of the workplace that’s eating up into your time, or the fact that you don’t have control over your own schedule? Do you create value or are you simply working to satisfy the expectations of others?

Jumping in to solve every crisis at work, saying “yes” to new projects even when your plate is full, staying late to help…

How to make better decisions

graphic showing four symptoms of decision fatigue
Credit: Author

As we get down to work, our mind is flooded with thoughts — should I respond to that email I got last night or a message from my boss, how about a cup of coffee, why not start the project I have been avoiding this entire week or maybe just a quick catch up on the meeting I missed yesterday…

A series of these small decisions scattered throughout our day may seem harmless in the moment as they seem to demand only a small fraction of our mental energy. …

Maintaining focus in a distracting world

graphic of boy with cloud of distractions over his head and a quote from book on maintaining focus
Credit: Author

In a world that’s designed for interruptions, we are all vulnerable to distractions.

The sense of accomplishment that comes from producing great work rewards and energises us to strive for more, be better at our tasks, and generate higher quality output.

We have all the necessary information, the right tools, and resources at our disposal to achieve excellence, and yet we rarely see it in practice.

The feeling that most people describe at work is one of relief as opposed to accomplishment after finishing a task. …

A sense of progress, purpose, and belonging is crucial to mitigate burnout and promote a healthy work environment for all employees

Female looking into a window
Photo by DANNY G on Unsplash

I vividly remember the day I read about Arianna Huffington, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global. She had collapsed from sleep deprivation and exhaustion, hit her head on the corner of her desk, broke her cheekbone, and woke up in a pool of blood. I read the story many years later after it happened while working for a fast-growth startup feeling tired and exhausted from the daily demands and expectations from the job. …

Building resilience isn’t about ignoring emotions and trying to be rational — it requires acceptance

Image: Resilience at work is tied to failing fast, facing reality, forward thinking, and dealing with emotions.
Credit: Author

No strategy can help an organization thrive if the people in the organization aren’t resilient to change and chaos. Setbacks and challenging situations — a missed deadline, a lost deal, a failed project, a bad strategy — are everyday affairs at work, and only those who learn to get past them can grow professionally and personally.

A resilient mindset is essential to bouncing back from challenging situations at work.

At an individual level, different people have different expectations and different levels of resilience to deal with challenges and setbacks. While one person may be devastated when their idea doesn’t work…

The more you try to control your anxiety, the more it fights back

Male feeling stressed out. Caption: “It’s okay. Leadershiop anxiety is a universal experience.’

All leaders throughout their leadership journey feel intense emotion. While some big decisions like organization restructure, negotiations, acquisitions and mergers can be a source of anxiety, often it’s the small day-to-day things like a looming deadline, presentation, or a decision meeting that can be a source of stress and anxiety.

There can be many reasons for feeling this way: You may not feel in control of your situation. Things may not work out the way you expected. You are unsure of your decision. You are scared of how the future will unfold. You worry about letting your team down. …

Freedom to disagree with others cannot be boundaryless

Healthy disagreements include constructive criticism, challenge assumptions, look beyond biases. Unhealthy disagreements include drama and blame game, establish superiority, and personal attacks.
Credit: Author

I have always enjoyed healthy disagreements about my own ideas and opinions at home and at work. They give me a peek into so many unique perspectives and help me see how different the world is around us. I do not agree with everything people say, but I am definitely open to hearing them.

Knowing how much I have learned and grown by simply inviting others to challenge my views, I thought it would be an excellent practice to encourage my team to engage in constructive criticism of their own work. How wonderful it would be to ask others for…

There’s a fine balance between caring for people and holding them accountable at work

Accountability in middle. Openness, acceptance, awareness, and engagement surrounding it
Credit: Author

I have been a people person as far as I could remember. So when I first became a manager, I thought “How hard could this be?”

Boy, was I wrong! Being a manager was not only tough; it was an emotional experience. It was nothing like I had imagined and far better than what I hoped it would turn out to be. The initial days were filled with trial and error, mistakes, and learning. I made decisions that I regretted later. I felt stupid about passing certain remarks. I bombed presentations. I screwed up feedback. …

Embrace a little pain in the moment for a lot of gains in the future

Credit by Author

It was a Friday morning and I was waiting in the conference room for my manager. We had just achieved a great milestone as a team and delivered a highly critical, time-sensitive project. It wasn’t an ordinary success as the entire organization was counting on this platform for a mega event.

Time sensitivity and the added high visibility kept the team working nonstop for months — day and night. It for sure felt like a roller coaster ride. There were moments good and bad. Highs and lows. Intense drama, multiple disagreements, and countless arguments later, all the long hours, sleepless…


Author: Upgrade Your Mindset. Scaling products → Scaling thinking (⊙_⊙) Former AVP Engineering, Swiggy. I write about work, progress and success.

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