Saturday, October 4, 2014

Working Angry


Coming off a heralded month of our Intech subsidiary Incognito Worldwide's selection as Silicon India Magazine's Start-up of The Month in August, a team member asked me today "Why are you always angry?"

Anger is sometimes confused with frustration.The team member in question was taken aback by my sometimes scathing words, telling me that "I've been working so hard lately, putting in countless hours, and this assault by you hurts my feelings."


While I recognize and appreciate the hard work, I can only say get over it. Hard work unto itself does not result in success, despite all the best intentions.

My mission with this company has always been to help guide the team past the inherent pitfalls that every young dreamer has to endure.

Andy Warhol once noted that "In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes." Incognito Worldwide attained their 15 minutes of fame, so I'd now ask "what are you going to do with that"?

The options are to revel in that notoriety and mistake it as a soothing, ego-boosting delusion of success, or use it as a starting point to build something real and long-lasting.

As the elder entrepreneur leading the vision to our uncertain future, I have had a wealth of experience -- good and bad --, the success of which may seem like the mist of a dream for most of the team.

Those that can grow stronger from the catalyst of early notoriety move forward, those that wither simply join the high percentage of talented people that should have, but fail. And I've been witness to many hard-working, talented people who have failed through the years.

Yes, we achieved recognition as Start-up of the Month, and in a short period of time -- through the collective efforts of the team (notably Steve Kranser, Sanjeev Asoori, Rajeev Asoori, Nihanth Kadimalla, and Kiran Kumar -- we've made a lot of clients happy through our knowledge, creativity and hard work.

Sustained success however comes from combining hard work with working smart. From being diligent and applying a sense of urgency at each stage of the climb.

The passion for success has to exceed the excuses. To deliver a great product or service is great, but it has to be matched with fundamentals and consistency.

In the article I wrote for Small Business Enterprise magazine "Beyond The Glass Ceiling" I noted that "in today's competitive marketplace a company is only a true company when it can keep working efficiently in the absence of its founder."

I've started, ran and grown companies since I was in my 20s. Some grew as large as $500,000 per month in revenues. I've experienced rapid growth, but also made errors along the way. I'd like to think I've learned from those missteps. I've gleaned that wanting with all your might, and doing, are two different things. You have to get stuff done!

Excellence is not an accident, it's a choice. A personal commitment that one has to sweat and strive for. You have to be victorious where you stand, to accept each moment as an opportunity to shine.

Ego certainly plays a part. Donald Trump once said "show me someone without ego and I'll show you a loser every time." Ego however is not arrogance; it is the ability show how good you are, not say or believe how good you are.

In any successful venture the CEO can only present the vision, provide the tools, and empower the team to take flight. While I often roll up my sleeves and get in the work trench with them. the CEO can't tell people what to do or they'll become merely task fulfill-ers. I can show them how I'd do it, but that doesn't mean that they might not have a better idea. So they have to be proactive towards the common good, in fulfilling the mission statement of the company. Thus I can set the mark, hire those with the ability to achieve it, and then allow them the freedom to execute.

I have have often said that I see great potential with my  team: they are young, energetic, and talented. The birth and rise of Incognito Worldwide has been serendipitous since it's inception - like something from a Cinderella storybook. As CEO my mission has always been to to layout a vision and set the standards. To teach and empower them to be better than they knew they could be; to reach heights they once deemed out of reach, and, ultimately, to all become entrepreneurial in their own right.

Anything is achievable if one has the force of will and intelligence, and if they seize the initiative to ask "what can I contribute today to inch the company closer to its goals." If I were to merely tell them what to do, then its not really a company, its a solopreneurship, and that is not the goal. The team has to understand the mission and embrace it, to own it for themselves.

Do I think that Incognito Worldwide can get there? Certainly.

Stay tuned because with all the hype and excitement around what we've achieved thus far, the journey has only just begun.