What's your Oxygen? What's the one principle that has got you to where you are? Those were the questions we asked adlanders as we approached our eighth anniversary. And here's what they had to say.
‘Be a student’
Chief creative officer
Sapient Nitro India
When you stop learning, you stop living. Be relevant, be contemporary, be connected, be informed, be alive, be knowledgeable, be happy, be young, be on top, be a teacher, be open, be a listener, be a sponge, be a kid, be a freak, be a lover, be a sport, be a watchdog, be a support, above all “be a student."
Vice chairman and
director –client relations
Ogilvy & Mather India
It’s people that keeps me going – agency and client. They provide the stimulation and joy of creation – the friction, the alignment and the fun of solving problems and creating things together is my oxygen. The one principle that I have lived by is from the Gita: 'Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana'. In essence it means action is your duty, the results are not in your hands. It’s so true about advertising – the science and art of it make results unpredictable. This principle ensures you stay humble in success and helps you keep your confidence when things don't go right, as long as you have done your best.
‘We should judge ourselves by the trust people have in us’
MG George Muthoot
The Muthoot Group
All my decisions and activities are strongly guided by my deep-rooted conviction that god is the supreme source of all happiness and prosperity. I am also a strong believer of “Mata, Pitha, Guru, Daivam” as mentioned in the 6500-year-old scriptures of the Neeti Saastra because success can never be attained without the blessings of the mother, father and the guru.
I live and breathe the fundamental principles of ethics, values, reliability, dependability, trustworthiness, goodwill and integrity. These values have been imbibed in the work culture of The Muthoot Group. I believe traditions and values define not only an individual’s character but also that of an institution. And it is this character that forms the foundation for success and growth of an organisation.
I have always imbibed and practiced the advice given to me by my role model — my father, Late Shri M George Muthoot that we should not ‘judge ourselves by the profit we make but by the trust and confidence that people have in us’.
My guiding principle from the beginning of my career has been 'to do what I enjoy doing!’ For the twenty-plus years that I've been working, I've almost never felt that I was going 'to work'; instead, every morning, the buzz in my head has been 'what new idea will I think of today'.
It started with good advice: armed with an offer from a multinational bank, I was advised to visit a cowshed that housed one of the then-most exciting companies in India. A quick chat and I didn't blink twice at giving up a fat pay for a fat slab of excitement. And that's what I have held as a guiding principle. In the professional management world, an opportunity probably knocks once, but typically a few opportunities come by... and if one chooses well, there's no looking back.
‘It doesn't matter where you start…’
President and publisher Chitralekha Group
Oxygen: Interesting work, which doesn't tire you but inspires you every single day. Add fun to it, the journey will be enjoyable.
It doesn't matter where you start, the only thing that matters is where you end up. And there is no one but you, who is responsible for your success. Each one of us comes with many unique skills, which if honed properly can be of great value to our organisations, society, and country at large.
‘Happiness is a decision’
National planning director
J. Walter Thompson
Chase the work. Everything will follow.
What do you want to do – with what you have? What do you want to do – next? What do you want to do – as an additional initiative, which is beyond the company’s ask? What do you want to do – that you haven’t done before? That brings work enrichment? That could be a lasting contribution?
Attack new brand problems with sleeves-rolled-up gusto. Respect from clients will follow.
Celebrate the idea moments with child-like glee. Close partnerships with colleagues will follow.
Chase the work. Money will follow. Designation will follow. Credit will follow. Happiness will follow.
And oh yes, one more thing. Happiness is a decision.
'The best things in life are really very simple'
My oxygen is a good idea and the anticipation of arriving at one. In a very odd way, playing and/or watching sports too reinvigorates me.
The best things in life are really very simple. So KISS (Keep It Simple and Sexy) and make out (in other words, have fun).
My Oxygen is living in the moment.
VP and branch head
“Yesterday is history,
tomorrow is a mystery,
and today is a gift...
that's why they call it present”
I love this quote because I believe life is brief and there is so much to explore and create.
I live every day as if it would be my last. And this helps me 'experience' a lot more. Living in the moment helps me start every day without the baggage of the past or the stress of the future; it helps me breathe happy and easy. And that’s my oxygen!
(This article first appeared as part of a feature in the issue of Campaign India dated 4 September 2015)