Very often, we all believe once we are done with the studies and embark on a working life or get into a profession, we are ready and qualified to have our way all the way for the rest of our life. Inspite of one passing out of universities in flying colours, there is no short cut to success for anyone. When you are a gold medalist, you are just one of the many who have done it alongwith you globally and in addition, there are those who have done it in the past years and those who are going to probably be better achievers than you in the coming years. Huge success at education is only a passport or an entry visa for becoming an earning member. Period.

The real challenge starts from here. There can be probably millions who have made it to where you are in addition to those who have probably done better than you, but have not been as lucky as you were. The race for every step ahead begins from here. It will only get tougher by the day or year. In addition to sheer talent, your commitment, efforts, drive, intelligence, etc., there are a number of factors beyond all these which we cannot even comprehend. Externally, they may include how you are favoured by someone from amongst your network, opportunities thrown at you, how well you are at relationships, how powerful you are, etc., If you look inwards, you will be convinced that your drive, your ambitions, your self-belief, your confidence, your hunger, your passion, your willingness to be a constant learner, your core strengths and your skill sets amongst many other factors also do play a key role.

To make it simpler, let’s summarise what actually matters or counts into a few handful of factors viz., how good a leader you are, how effective a team player you are, how smart you are when it comes to delivering at work or in your profession, how good you are in identifying and seizing opportunities to grow or move up the career ladder. Last, but one of the most important is how empowered you are to transform your life and be that person who has conquered everything you had dreamt of or how well you have managed to overcome every limitation in your life, be it personal or professional. These alone will not suffice if you are someone who is not clear about your goals or objectives or if you are someone who doesn’t have a vision. You are then either a non-starter or a rudderless boat.

First and foremost, ask yourself if you have a mindset to progress rapidly in your career. If the answer is yes, you can put your first step in that direction. Be the most willing learner, especially never say no to those tasks which you aren’t comfortable or feel you are not up there yet. Convert this to an opportunity to showcase your willingness to take on challenges in life. Over time, you will gain mastery over learning as well as mastery at whatever you learn. Be the most willing to move around or relocate whenever there is a requirement or an opportunity. This will show you are keen to willingingly accept additional or higher responsibilities. Be the first to assist where your colleagues or someone else at your work place is struggling or stuck or is unable to attend to his routine work for any reason like being away on leave, etc., Do not let go any remote possibility of getting elevated or when there is a need due to some exigency. This will project you as the go to man and your abilities and proactive attitude begin to get noticed very early.

Be highly empowered always. Empowerment is the most potent and effective tool in projecting you as a confident and quick decision maker. Very few wear the empowerment hat. Only those who are empowered can progess ahead rapidly and deliver the best as well. Put yourself into the shoes of others and see how empowerment will immensely help them. Generally, people shirk empowerment for the following reasons: a) They are not responsible for making decisions. b) What  if they still go ahead and make decisions which may prove costly or detrimental? c) Many who like to make empowered decisions are apprehensive as to what if they err and are either not backed or reprimanded by the management. These are all the barriers which stand in the way of empowerment. Sadly, individuals as well as organizations fail to notice the invisible cost to them for failing to make empowered decisions. This, inspite of the fact that hardly 3% of all such decisions prove wrong and do not have severe cost or other implications but instead, act as moments of truth for organisations and individuals as to where they actually stand. 

If you want to be the forerunner for any opportunity, it is a must you need to be a good leader. Kindly note a leader is different from a manager. Never be only a manager. All leaders are managers whereas a very few managers are leaders too . Managers are worried only about the work, delivery and output whereas, a leader is concerned about the team, it’s members’ welfare, their grooming, their progress in their respective careers, their training needs, they becoming future leaders, etc., So, a leader is more focused on his people and not their work. A good or smart leader knows that unless he readies a leader from his team, his own elevation make get delayed or stuck.

Lastly, you should be aware, you are never alone in an organisation. Unless you see yourself a part of a team, you will be left alone and behind. Teams take each member along and there is strength only in unity. Very much like a sports team, each member is meant to play his unique and respective role and all members in a team are equally important irrespective of their role or it’s size.

All the above are only stepping stones for success and will happen only when there is a positive and growth mindset. Sans these, just working long hours and putting in extensive efforts will safely retain you wherever you are. One key point before conclusion – “Never over promise and under deliver. Endeavour to under promise and over deliver”!


  • Venkat Balantrapu

    Transformational Coach, Insurance Consultant & Trainer, International Career Counsellor & Career Coach, NLP Practitioner & Master Practitioner, Columnist, Motivational Speaker, Singer, and Founder-CEO

    Weave Career (India & Kenya).

    Venkat Balantrapu has held senior management positions in the general insurance industry for over 33 years (14 years in India and almost 20 years in Africa including Kenya, Mauritius, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda). He is an ex-banker and has worked in the private sector as well for 5 years. He is currently the Founder & CEO, WEAVE, (India & Kenya) and a Member – Advisory Board, Paavana Insurance Brokers Limited, India and also represents Service Quality Institute, USA, conducting their customer service excellence certification programs globally. He is a member, Madras Management Association, delivering corporate programs on their behalf. He is an empanelled trainer for Kenyan Institute of Bankers, Nairobi, Kenya. Has prepared training modules for TATA AIG, India and HDFC ERGO General Insurance in India and delivers training programs for them. He is an MBA., B.Com, FLMI, AIII, ARA, and ACS.