Behind Every Shot, Every Frame: Create a Legacy

Here is my #SundayStory

When I watched this below video of a hairdresser at work, I couldn’t help but see a reflection of how our core beliefs and practices impact our work.

If there’s one thing I would emphasize, it’s this: do your best and to leave a legacy. Get involved and give it your all. Whether it’s a proposal, an important email, a social media post, or a creative expression like art, photography, or dance, take pride in your craftsmanship. Your output might not be perfect like a Da Vinci and can always be improved, but make it a point to let your work speak for itself.

Let me share a personal example. Many who know me or may have experienced this with me, especially if they are on this platform, can even attest to this—I am a part-time, pro-bono photographer. I volunteer to take pictures at various events, such as children’s birthdays, apartment functions, music performances, and school events.

At these events, I’m typically one of many faceless, nameless photographers, along with the many other parents and professionals. However, after O share the event photographs, people often write back, requesting high-resolution copies or additional candid shots, of the children or family portraits. Even today, I’m grateful and honored that my photographs are blown up, framed and displayed prominently in their living rooms. Despite never being the official photographer, people consistently choose to request me to take pictures even if they have hired pro. This made me wonder, why does this happen? Are they humouring me?

And then after a lot reflection, I ended up identifing a few key reasons:

  1. Will this click be something that the subject will be proud to look and feel good about 5, 10, 15 years from now. I seem to always aim to capture people in a way that flatters them, creating images that ‘they’ will be proud of for years to come. It’s crucial for me that the subjects feel good about how they look in these photographs. So no food in the mouth moments, or those inadvertent embarrassing unflattering positions or clothing. This is so important.
  2. When photographing children, seated singers etc, I make it a point to shoot from their level—whether that means kneeling or lying down. It is not about my knees cracking up, soiling my shirt (usually black, for even if there is a reflective glass at the venue black does not get reflected). This perspective not only captures the moment but also the child’s viewpoint, making the images more authentic and unique.
  3. I realise that my involvement in the event is total, 200%. Whether it’s a musical performance or a birthday party, I am deeply and emotionally connected to the moment. This deep involvement often translates into the photographs, adding a layer of intimacy and authenticity. So much so that when my own children happen to be in the same event, they will just be another of those audiences. No special treatment. (Yes, wifey has a grouse on this – that I should also take more pictures of our own children)
  4. I see each photograph not just as another shot but as a piece of art. Yes, each frame should tell a story. This demanding quirkiness even as an amateur, subconsciously changes my output, whether I’m writing, designing on Canva, or preparing a presentation deck.
  5. Lack of preparation is an unpardonable excuse. Small things like ensuring that my mobile lenses are lean, battery fully charged batteries, itself is a three-stage process. (a)Even before taking that first photo, I visualize the frame and think deeply about how to best capture the moments. I often make huge effort to spend time with key people making relationships and associatingand playing with the child. This helps me build a mental connect and a would connect with people. (b) Duringbtge even, I am completely in the zone. I am in a meditative state forbtye the next few hours. It is me, the event, the stage, the camera and the viewfinder. Like the proverbial Arjuna and the bird eye, nothing else but my lens and the subject. (c) After the event, I spend several hours editing—cropping, adjusting lighting, and shadows and contrast to best highlight the subjects. This post-production is as 3-5x more backbreaking than the shooting itself.

There’s a joy in being involved in the moment, meticulous attention to detail and a deep passion for the art, whether it’s styling hair or capturing a timeless photograph.



How Personalized Content Is Ruining Our Mental Health (part 2)

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

In part 1 of this post – I spoke of a personal exoerience read here

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with information and entertainment. We have access to a variety of platforms and sources that cater to our preferences and interests. We can choose what we want to see, hear, and read. Sounds great, right?

But what if this choice is actually limiting us? What if this personalized content is creating a bubble around us that prevents us from seeing the bigger picture? What if this bubble is making us more unhappy, isolated, and depressed?

This is what I believe is happening to many of us, especially the younger generation. We are trapped in a cycle of consuming content that reinforces our existing beliefs, opinions, and emotions. We are not exposed to different perspectives, challenges, or opportunities. We are not learning, growing, or changing. We are stuck in a rut.

Let me explain how this works. When we use social media, streaming services, or search engines, we are often presented with content that is tailored to our preferences and behaviour. These platforms use algorithms that analyse our data and history to predict what we will like and engage with. They then show us more of the same content, or content that is similar or related to it.

This creates a feedback loop that shapes our online experience. The more we consume content that matches our taste, the more we are satisfied and rewarded. The more we are satisfied and rewarded, the more we consume content that matches our taste. And so on.

This feedback loop can have positive effects, such as enhancing our connection, self-expression, and enjoyment. But it can also have negative effects, such as reducing our diversity, curiosity, and critical thinking. It can also affect our mental health in various ways.

One of the ways is by creating echo chambers and filter bubbles. Echo chambers are online spaces where we only interact with people who share our views and opinions. Filter bubbles are online spaces where we only see information that confirms our views and opinions. These spaces can make us feel comfortable and validated, but they can also make us feel isolated and polarized. They can also make us less tolerant and more hostile to those who disagree with us.

Another way is by inducing frequent and extreme upward social comparison. Upward social comparison is when we compare ourselves to others who are better than us in some aspect. This can motivate us to improve ourselves, but it can also make us feel inferior and insecure. When we are exposed to curated and edited feeds of other people’s lives, we are vulnerable to this kind of comparison. We may feel that we are not good enough, not successful enough, not attractive enough, or not happy enough. We may develop low self-esteem, depressed mood, and decreased life satisfaction.

A third way is by influencing our mood and emotions. Our mood and emotions can affect how we perceive and react to the world. They can also be affected by the content we consume. When we consume content that matches our mood and emotions, we may feel more intense and prolonged feelings. For example, if we are sad and we listen to sad songs, we may feel more sad. If we are excited and we watch exciting videos, we may feel more excited. This can be beneficial or harmful, depending on the context and the outcome. Sometimes, we may need to change our mood and emotions, rather than reinforce them. Sometimes, we may need to experience a range of mood and emotions, rather than stick to one.

These are some of the ways that personalized content can ruin our mental health. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can break free from this cycle and reclaim our online experience. We can do this by being more mindful and intentional about the content we consume. We can do this by seeking out content that is diverse, challenging, and inspiring. We can do this by balancing our online and offline activities. We can do this by taking care of ourselves and our well-being.

Personalized content is not inherently bad. It can be useful and enjoyable. But it can also be harmful and addictive. We need to be aware of the potential risks and benefits. We need to be in control of our choices and actions. We need to be responsible for our mental health.


Why should parents worry about mass personalisation, or should they? (part 1)

On a recent #roadtrip with our children, we noticed that the 11y old and the 14y, had a playlist that was playing a very specific kind of music. While their #music beats had a slight variety, almost all the #lyrics were gloomy and depressing ones. That was quite strange and concerning. Not that we were overthinking, but why would seemingly normal children listen to depressing lyrics?

We asked them why they chose such music and what it meant to them. They said that they liked the music because that is what they have always been listening to and why would one want to listen to peppy music all the time when life was not all that fun. It was strange. While they said that the music helped them relate to their moods, we knew it was possibly much more than that.

That is when it struck us on what was happening. Once they listened once or twice to a popular music say from #Billie Ilish, #Drake, #Indila or even #TaylorSwift, the personalization engine from #Spotify and #YouTube was dishing out more of such music and the more they listened to it, the more depressing and desolate they became. They were being pushed into #echochambers and #filterbubbles.

We wondered what ever happened to the #diversity and richness of music that we as parents experienced in our childhood. We grew up in a time when music was not personalized. We listened to whatever was playing on the radio, in the shops, or on the streets. We experienced a variety of genres, artists, and moods. Much as we started relating to a sad song, since we were low, the album or tape would play a mix and combination of moods. The next song could have been peppy. Even radio was random. Sometimes we liked the songs, sometimes we didn’t. But the diversity and randomness of what would play next added to the spice quotient (ah! SPICE Girls).

Our children, however, seem to have a different relationship with music. They listen to what is curated and customized by an algorithm. The streaming platforms start filling them with more of the same and slowly and gradually push them into slots. It rarely suggests or plays anything outside their comfort zone. The moment they listen to one gloomy, depressing, and pessimistic song they get more of the same. The moment they listen to a cheerful, upbeat, and perky number they get more of the same.

Music has always been a part of our civilization. But the way we listen to music has changed over time.

So was the music in fact affecting their mental health and their well-being rather than being the other way round? Is this personalization of music, video and everything the reason for rise in mental illness, making each one feel sad, isolated, and hopeless? We wonder if, counter intuitively, music is preventing them from seeing the beauty and joy of life.

What do you think of #masspersonalisation and #technology that makes it happen?

You can read the part 2 of this post here –


Every leave, every law is subject to discretion.

Balancing Compassion and Caution: Rethinking Workplace Leave Policies in Modern India

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

In a world where workplace cultures are rapidly evolving, the Indian Parliament’s recent discussions on menstrual leave have sparked a broader debate. How do we design compassionate leave policies yet prevent misuse? This question may be about menstrual leave and should extend to all forms of workplace absence, including sick leave.

I want to bring around a perspective that suggests that every rule or policy has a degree of flexibility where personal judgment can be applied. This can be particularly relevant in areas like law enforcement, legal interpretations, or even workplace policies. 

The Challenge of Menstrual Leave

The debate in the Indian Parliament highlights the complexity surrounding menstrual leave. While it’s a step towards acknowledging women’s specific health needs, it raises questions about fairness and potential misuse.

Battling Menstrual Leave

Menstrual leave is an excellent example of discretion’s role in implementing policies. In organisations that offer menstrual leave, how this policy is applied can vary greatly. Some may require medical proof, while others rely on an honour system. The discretion involved can affect how employees perceive and utilise these leaves. It’s a sensitive topic that blends health, gender equality, and workplace culture. 

How can a balance be struck between providing necessary support and ensuring fairness in the workplace?

It “need not” be an across-the-board perk, as I call it. It should be something which does not discriminate or is sensitive towards the needs of the naturally needy person. This can also extend even to other aspects of leave for mental health or sick leave.

Here is where I am touching on a crucial aspect. The idea is to offer support that is both non-discriminatory and attuned to those who genuinely need it. This approach respects individual differences and needs while maintaining fairness and equality in the workplace. I suggest a flexible and responsive policy rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.

Beyond Menstrual Leave – Sick Leave, Mental Health and More

Some other areas in the workplace where this approach could be beneficial can even include simple sick or paid sick leaves and mental health leaves.  Such sick leave or mental health policies must cater to those with chronic conditions or frequent health issues without alienating or penalising healthier employees. The key is to develop a system that’s inclusive and fair.

This kind of nuanced policy can extend to various other areas in the workplace, too. For example, flexible working hours or mental health support. It’s all about creating an inclusive environment that recognises and respects individual circumstances. 

Understanding the Need for Discretionary Policies:

Every employee’s situation is unique, making it vital for flexible leave policies, like menstrual or sick leave, to be flexible and adaptable. This approach respects individual health needs and personal circumstances. Managers must be sensitised to such scenarios. Having skip-level or female managers weigh in in scenarios of doubt and dispute may be a sound check and balance.

Hence, the concept of discretion and need-based allocation can indeed apply to sick leave policies as well. In a scenario where some employees might not require as many sick days while others, perhaps due to chronic conditions or weaker immune systems, might need more, a flexible policy can be more equitable and compassionate.

Such an approach recognises that employees have varied health needs and life circumstances. This flexibility can create a more supportive and understanding workplace culture. It also aligns with promoting well-being and inclusivity in the workplace.

Fears of Misuse vs. Insensitivity:

A common concern is that flexible policies might be abused. However, a workplace culture rooted in trust and responsibility can encourage appropriate use of these policies, while safeguards can help manage potential misuse.

I often sensed a fear that such flexibility would be abused, and I acknowledge that this is a valid concern. The potential for abuse of flexible policies is a common worry among employers. However, I believe that the fear of misuse can sometimes lead to policies that are overly strict or insensitive to genuine needs. So what next?

Strategies for Effective Policy Implementation:

To create a balanced environment, clear communication, regular policy reviews, and transparency are essential. Additionally, fostering a supportive workplace culture can lead to a more responsible and empathetic use of leave policies.

  1. Any HR policies should be non-discriminatory and sensitive to individual needs. It should be constantly reviewed every 6 months for its inclusiveness and effectiveness and fine-tuned. This approach extends to other areas, like sick leave, where a flexible, need-based policy can be more equitable. While there is a concern about the potential abuse of flexible policies, overly strict rules can be insensitive. Creating a balance where there’s trust in the employees while also having safeguards to prevent abuse is vital. 
  2. Building a culture where employees feel valued and their needs are acknowledged can often lead to the more responsible use of such policies. Balancing trust in employees with safeguards against misuse is critical. A culture of trust and responsibility is essential for effectively implementing such policies. 
  3. Transparency, clear communication, and regular review of these policies can help address misuse without becoming discriminatory or insensitive. A transparent discussion with employee communities  on the importance of discretion in policies using menstrual leave as a trigger is a good idea 

In your view, what strategies could organisations use to foster a culture of trust and responsibility while still providing the necessary support through these policies?

My 50-word summary:

The discussions in the Indian Parliament are not just legislative concerns but reflect a global shift towards more empathetic workplace cultures. By adopting flexible, need-based leave policies, organisations can create a more inclusive, supportive, and productive work environment.

#WorkplaceWellness #InclusivePolicies #EmployeeHealth

#MenstrualLeaveDebate #SickLeaveFlexibility #TrustInWorkplace #BalancedPolicies #ModernWorkCulture


Email Overkill: A Case Study in Credibility Crisis

How Redundant Messaging Can Destroy Brand Trust

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn – 

I’ve received hundreds of emails from Amar Chitra Katha, all with the exact same message: “As part of our ongoing efforts to improve our services and offer you a better user experience, we will be retiring the current lifetime subscription plan in a few days,” and urging me to act by the end of the day.

Amar Chitra Katha (Eternal Pictoral Lessons) from Amar Chitra Katha

I want to write a post about what every social media person should learn about not spamming email boxes with the same thing hundreds of times. These actions by junior staff can destroy the credibility of an organisation when they fail to stick to their own statements. If a deal is to be withdrawn by the end of the day, it should be. Continuing to send the same message for weeks or months indicates a lack of sincerity.

This also reflects poorly on the senior management at ACK. Such persistent issues are not just mistakes by low-ranking employees but point to the colossal mismanagement by the sales head and, ultimately, the CEO of ACK. Every email and direct mailer that goes out from ACK should be their responsibility. If senior managers are ignorant of this, it’s shameful. They are entirely unaware of how their brand is being compromised, which is sheer incompetence.

It’s possible that senior management is aware but doesn’t understand that this causes brand erosion or is simply unprofessional. In this case, they should be held responsible for incompetence.

Alternatively, they might be aware and still allow this to continue. In that case, they should be accountable for the complete failure in maintaining the organisation’s reputation.

Unsubscribing was easy for me, and I did it a long time ago. However, I wanted to observe this as a marketer to see the extent of their foolishness and use it as a case study on what not to do in email marketing.

Three points 

  1. Authenticity and Honesty**: Ensure your messages are genuine and truthful.
  2. Overuse of Urgency**: Avoid creating false urgency, like “limited time offers” that recur frequently.
  3. Repetitive Messaging**: Don’t send the same email content repeatedly.

Marketers should be truthful to their word, only promise what they can deliver, and follow through on what they say. Spamming emails harms the brand more than builds it, and marketers should be aware of that.

#EmailMarketingMistakes #BrandTrust #CustomerExperience #MarketingEthics #CommunicationFail #CredibilityInCrisis #DigitalMarketing #MarketingStrategy #SpammingBlunder #MarketingIntegrity


Leadership Everywhere: Mastering Life’s Boardrooms

Explore how the art of leadership in the boardroom can be a powerful tool in enhancing every aspect of your daily life.

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn: 

Building Leadership Traits in Daily Life

Building Leadership Traits in Daily Life

Leadership isn’t confined to titles or boardrooms; it’s a series of traits that can be cultivated and displayed in everyday life. Whether steering a project at work or managing household responsibilities, leadership is about taking the initiative and inspiring those around you.

Taking Ownership: Embrace Every Challenge

Taking Ownership involves embracing both successes and failures. Recognise that each setback is a chance to learn and each victory a stepping stone to the next challenge. It’s this cycle of continuous improvement that forges strong leaders. Determination and resilience are the backbones of this trait, empowering you to stay the course even when the going gets tough.

Taking Ownership is as much about leading at work as managing a home. For example, when an unexpected issue arises with a client, a working professional might stay late to ensure a resolution, much like at home when her child needs help with a last-minute school project. Or assuming leadership in a restaurant while placing the order, lwhen one sees a prolonged debate when the rest of the 10 people are unable to decide or come to a conclusion on choices. Here, ownership is assertively suggesting a ‘good enough’ choice that satisfies various tastes and dietary preferences, respecting the group’s time, and ensuring that everyone spends time on deeper conversations (the purpose of get-togethers) rather than just debating on food order.

This is not about controlling others or being authoritarian in thoughts and actions. The balance of taking ownership towards resolution, personal and professional, exemplifies authentic leadership. 

Getting Involved: Leadership Through Action

Getting Involved means engaging with your tasks with passion and commitment. Leadership manifests when you roll your sleeves and dive into the trenches alongside your team. This hands-on approach not only bolsters your own experience but also inspires confidence and respect from your peers.

Getting Involved means rolling your sleeves and diving into the day’s tasks. A  parent can lead by example, initiating a recycling program in their locality or organising community events. That will demonstrate to his children to get involved in cleaning up their room or pitch in to reduce water wastage at home. Being involved with focus and passion on a task goes beyond inside homes into workspaces and boardrooms and is the trait of a leader.

Speaking Up: The Power of a Leader’s Voice

Speaking Up is crucial. A leader’s voice is their most influential tool. By sharing what you believe in, asking questions, and raising concerns, you contribute to a culture of transparency and innovation. It’s not about being the loudest in the room but about making your communication count.

Speaking Up is about having a voice and using it wisely to stand up for what is right. A mother rating the issue of bullying at school with the school management, even if the majority is silent, is leadership. Similarly, rising to present alternative ideas cheaper, faster or better in a team meeting is leadership. Raising disagreements backed by logic and speaking up is leadership. Instead, put the other way, being a mute spectator and going with the majority even if you believe otherwise is not leadership. Again, the characteristic of standing for what is right, being free and fearless is a leadership trait. There will always be situations where there will be consequences for actions, yet speaking up for what is the right thing to do, for short-term, medium-term, and long-term, as the case may be, is leadership. 

Effective Communication: The Leadership Language

Effective Communication extends beyond speaking; it’s about listening, understanding, and responding appropriately. Whether sharing bad news or celebrating team achievement, how and when you communicate can build or erode trust.

Effective Communication is a skill that plays out in one’s daily interactions, from negotiating with one’s child to securing the best deal for her company. She handles delicate family matters as efficiently as navigating complex negotiations at work, always with a transparent, empathetic approach. This requires one to have the crucial conversations being authentic yet respectful. Communication that is direct and yet cushioned so that feedback is taken positively. Feedback that is immediate yet timed appropriately. 

My 50 word summary 

In conclusion, Leadership isn’t just for the executive suite; it’s for everyone, everywhere, every day. Leadership is an art that thrives on practice. By taking ownership, getting involved, speaking up, and communicating effectively, you integrate leadership into the fabric of your daily life. Embrace these traits, and watch as they open doors to new opportunities and foster an environment where everyone is encouraged to rise to their potential.

Keywords: Leadership, Daily Life, Ownership, Involvement, Effective Communication, Speaking Up, Personal Development, Professional Growth.

#LeadershipInLife #EverydayLeadership #LeadByExample #CommunicateEffectively #SpeakUpLead #TakeOwnership #LeadersInAction #LeadershipSkills #LifeLessonsInLeadership #EmpoweringLeadership


Finally my own AI who doesn’t even have a name

Finally, I have an EA that aligns with my exacting expectations – here’s how I hired and trained her.

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT,, Bard and Bing bring the phenomenal power of ‘executive assistants’ at fraction of effort and resources, for execs like myself.

I trained them once (may have shared over 200 pieces of my emails and memos and articles and corrected my expectations) on my style of letter writing, report writing and even external communication. I did this over 2-3 weekends almost 8 months ago. I told them that this is ‘Rajesh Soundararajan style’.

Human AI assistant

Today, I spend fraction of my time on any of these many tasks and makes me wonder even if 4 human EAs together will do what these AI tools do. Often times, I make her (my AIssistant) rewrite and fine tune 6-7 times, often pivot on a different angle for different audience, change the content to bullet points, expand to a two page reading document, 6 page white paper and even have 50 word summary cover letter and emails. These tools tirelessly work so patiently being apologetic for each feedback, willing to learn, try to do better each time.

I just spell out the key points and the specific words, tones and purpose in my prompt and ask these tools to “write in Rajesh Soundararajan style”. I have eschewed personal secretaries in my past life because I know that I am extremely demanding. I would experiment different angles of same message and it would have been exhausting to my assistants and me as well for the time and effort.

I needed to keep them motivated and yet being micro-manager on any communication that goes out from my desk it was a challenge. And if I had tasked them even 10% of what I do with AI tools, they would have quit in 24 hours. My deepest salute to the generative AI industry.

PS: My next test will be driverless cars. A finicky driver myself, no other driver ever suited my style. No I am inclined to test driverless cars. Hopefully I can train them too like how I did with my Executive Assistant.

AITransformation, #ExecutiveAI, #DriverlessFuture, #DigitalRevolution, #AIExecAssistant, #TechDrivenLeadership, #InnovateWithAI, #FutureOfDriving, #AIinAction, #EfficiencyEvolved


How to Create a Personal Brand That Will Make You Stand Out from the Crowd

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

Personal branding is the process of creating a unique identity that sets you apart from others in your field. It’s about developing a strong reputation and becoming known for your expertise, skills, and values.

Why Personal Branding

Personal branding is important for a number of reasons. It can help you:

  • Attract new opportunities, such as job offers, speaking engagements, and consulting projects.
  • Build relationships with potential clients and partners.
  • Increase your visibility and credibility in your industry.
  • Command higher fees for your services.
  • Establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.

How to Build Your Personal Brand

There are a number of steps you can take to build your personal brand:

  1. Define your brand. What do you want to be known for? What are your unique strengths and values? What problems can you solve for others?
  2. Identify your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your brand? What are their needs and interests?
  3. Create a content strategy. What kind of content will you create to share your expertise and insights with your target audience? 
  4. Create a communication / channel strategy. Where will you publish your content? What groups and forums (online and physical) will you participate in to listen, learn and share with your target audience? 
  5. Be consistent. It takes time and effort to build a strong personal brand. Be consistent in creating and sharing high-quality content, and in engaging with your audience on social media and other platforms.

Tips for Personal Branding

What you want to be known for

  • Clarity on what you want to be known for.
  • Clarity on target audience and progressively expand.


  • Be credible by learning thoroughly on the subject and share your deeper insights that are not easily available. In this aspect, sharing authentic content, examples, and experiences is important.
  • Understand that your credibility on the subject and topic is different. Being authentic is about yourself, and being credible is about your topic of conversation.


  • Channels – Look for opportunities to share and communicate your ideas. Engage in forums, LinkedIn, have conversations on the subject with people online and in the physical world, add your own topics in such discussions, join interest groups.


  • Consistency – Whatever you are doing, be very consistent. If there is one thing that sets you apart from 99% of others who are on a similar path, it’s your discipline to create your views, opinions, and conversations. Have a calendar and adhere to it strictly. It’s vital to post or participate in the platform so regularly that you might forget to breathe but not forget this activity. Start with a weekly routine, then increase the frequency as you become more comfortable.

(Personal) Connection

  • Make it personal and authentic. We are humans, have our own experiences, and are fallible. It’s not about being a hero who never falters but being an honest, authentic person who learns, cares, and shares. Over time, people will connect with your authenticity.


  • Break the clutter. With so many people expressing similar ideas and thoughts, there’s no point reiterating the same things. Add your experiences, your unique insights, your personal touch. It may seem odd initially, but over time, both you and others will realize that you have a distinct pattern, style, and thought process that becomes your brand.


  • Persist in your efforts. Building a brand is a marathon, not a sprint. It will take significant time, sometimes even 12-18 months of daily, consistent efforts. Achieving notable results, like getting a toned physique, requires persistence and commitment.


  • Find moments of inspiration to evolve and refine your ideas. For some, long drives or traffic jams are opportunities, while for others, long walks, conversations, long-distance cycling, gym sessions, or even showers can be sources of inspiration. Once an idea is formed, develop it further, consider different angles, and make it comprehensive. Jot down complex thoughts as they come to you.


  • Quality should always be a priority. If inspired by an idea, find fresh angles and perspectives.

(Power of) Connections

  • Power of Connections – For instance, if you love driving and find parallels between driving on a highway and running a business, share those insights. Or if a skating instructor teaches you how to fall, relate that to the importance of learning from failures in life and business.

(Innovation) Creativity

  • Be creative and find new methods or perspectives, pushing your thinking boundaries.


  • Always remain authentic; there’s no substitute for genuine content.


  • Ensure your content is pertinent to the industry and target audience. Listening actively to others helps in achieving this.


  • Your message should resonate with and appeal to the audience. Authenticity is crucial, but so is the manner of presentation.


  • Ultimately, the goal might vary from person to person: be it money, power, fame, or simply the joy of influencing and connecting with others. Regardless of the motivation, building a personal brand is a long, fulfilling journey with its challenges and triumphs. It requires authenticity, continuous learning, adaptability, and perseverance.

How to Write

  • Capture all thoughts, be it on paper, Google Keep, Siri, Apple Notes, or postcard-sized notes.
  • Use mind maps to structure your ideas.
  • Break extensive points into smaller articles.
  • You might begin with one idea that expands into many or find that multiple ideas distill into a few core concepts.
  • Make lists of your thoughts. Often, your mind might generate ideas faster than you can record them.
  • When writing, stay focused on one main point or a cluster of related points.
  • When writing for external readers, employ the rule of three.
  • Craft compelling headlines. Consider using headline generators for assistance.
  • Test your content and learn from feedback.
  • Avoid using AI to write your thoughts. It lacks authenticity and personal touch. Moreover, some readers can instantly tell if an article is AI-generated.
  • Define and stay true to your unique writing style. Embracing a contrarian viewpoint can also be beneficial

**Tips for Personal Branding**

**1. Defining Your Brand:**

– Clarity on what you want to be known for.

– Clarity on target audience and progressively expand.

**2. Credibility & Authenticity:**

– Be credible by learning thoroughly on the subject and share your deeper insights that are not easily available.

– Share authentic content, examples, and experiences.

– Understand that your credibility on the subject and topic is different from being authentic. 

– Always remain authentic; there’s no substitute for genuine content.

**3. Content & Communication:**

– Channels: Look for opportunities to share and communicate your ideas, engage in forums, LinkedIn, have conversations on the subject with people online and in the physical world, and join interest groups.

– Add your own topics in discussions and comment on conversations consistently, adding value.

– Break the clutter: Add your experiences, unique insights, and personal touch to differentiate from common ideas.

**4. Consistency & Commitment:**

– Be consistent in all your activities and set yourself apart with discipline in expressing your views and opinions.

– Use a calendar for regular posts or participation, starting with a weekly routine and adjusting frequency as you get comfortable.

– Personal branding is a marathon, not a sprint. Dedicate significant time and effort.

**5. Personal Connection:**

– Make connections personal and authentic, understanding the human aspects of experiences and fallibility.

– Emphasize that it’s largely about what the world wants and not just about you.

**6. Quality & Relevance:**

– Always prioritize quality and strive for fresh angles and perspectives on familiar ideas.

– Ensure content is relevant to the industry and resonates with the target audience. Listen actively to remain pertinent.

**7. Creativity & Innovation:**

– Find inspiration in daily activities and events, such as long drives, conversations, or gym sessions. Refine ideas as they form and consider various perspectives.

– Be creative and find new methods or perspectives. Relate personal experiences, like driving or learning from an instructor, to broader lessons in life or business.

**8. Goal & Journey:**

– Understand the various motivations behind personal branding, whether it’s for monetary gains, influence, or connection. The journey is long, requiring authenticity, continuous learning, and adaptability.

**How to Write Effectively**

**1. Capturing Ideas:**

– Use various tools like paper, Google Keep, Siri, Apple Notes, or postcard-sized notes to capture thoughts.

**2. Structuring & Organizing:**

– Use mind maps.

– Break down extensive points into concise articles.

– List your thoughts, noting that ideas might come faster than you can record.

**3. Writing Techniques:**

– Focus on one main point or related points per piece.

**4. Authenticity & Feedback:**

– Avoid using AI for personal thoughts due to lack of authenticity.

– Engage in A/B testing and gather feedback to refine your content.

**5. Unique Voic


Navigating the VUCA World: A Dual-Framework Approach to Success in Business

Managing in the today’s world of business demands both an experimental and execution-focused mindset; a balance that reinvents the established norms and enhances the growth potential of any organization.

Embrace the Transition: From Isolated R&D to Integrated Innovation

Gone are the days when R&D was isolated, left for a few dedicated people to deal with. The present Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) world demands a broader perspective, one that integrates experimentation with execution, thereby enabling businesses to navigate the landscape effectively.

Experimentation and Execution: Two sides of a Coin

Experimentation and Execution: Two sides of a Coin

In today’s era of unprecedented rate of change, the successful individuals and organizations are those who elegantly orbit between experimentation and execution.

Why Experimentation Matters:

  1. Outside-In Learning: Embrace the unknown, take inspiration from outside to challenge the status quo and create innovative solutions.
  2. Process Definition: Develop a robust framework for structured and productive ideation and problem-solving.
  3. Failure Tolerance: Building an environment where failure is seen as a doorway to new understanding, not as a setback.
  4. Path Finding: Identify the most effective way to move forward.
  5. Building for Sustainability: Recognize the need for long-term thinking and sustain the momentum brought about by experimentation.

The Importance of Execution:

  1. Inward Focused Learning: Understanding our strengths, weaknesses, and possible growth areas.
  2. Outcome-Driven: Ensuring efforts are geared towards substantial results.
  3. Task Completion: Implementation is key, bringing ideas to fruition.
  4. Lower Failure Rate: Enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of operations.
  5. Adherence to Process: Ensuring consistency and standards in delivering services or products.
  6. Building to Scale: Acknowledge the need to grow and adapt to meet demands of our expanding businesses.

Successful management in contemporary times requires an agile, balanced approach. A blend of experimentation and execution, a commitment to ongoing learning, and an innovative mindset helps individuals, teams, and organizations to thrive in the face of constant change and uncertainty.

My 50-word take:

The key message here is not to choose one approach over another but to do experimentation and execution together. As we continue to leap into the world of more unknown, it is super critical to see how ‘exploration with the intent of delivery’ and ‘delivery with the intent of exploratoon’ can coexist. By doing so, we are not just evolving with the world but also shaping the new norms in this evolving VUCA landscape.

Our biggest innovation will be in the way we approach and engage with this world and its opportunities, continue to learn, experiment, execute, and shape our world for a sustainable and scalable future.


9 Qualities to Seek in a HumAIn Hire for A(I)uthentic Marketing

In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, the buzzword on everyone’s lips is “HumAIn” – the fusion of Human and Artificial Intelligence. As we step into fascinating world of generative AI today, the demand for HumAIn talent is skyrocketing. But what qualities should you look for when hiring a HumAIn for driving spontaneous and authentic marketing organizations? Here are the key attributes that will set your team up for success.

A HumAIN Representative

1. Multilingual Mastery: In our globally connected world, speaking the language of your audience is paramount. Look for a HumAIn who can effortlessly communicate in multiple languages, with proficiency in English + local language as a minimum. This linguistic versatility opens doors to wider audiences and ensures your message resonates authentically. The current language translators are still unable to pack that punch or humor in translations.

2. Storytelling Savvy: The heart of marketing lies in storytelling. Your ideal HumAIn hire should be a natural-born storyteller, capable of weaving narratives that captivate and engage. Seek someone who can craft narratives that feel spontaneous and authentic, connecting with your audience on a human (yes no AI here) level.

3. Curiosity and Continuous Learning: The marketing landscape is a playground for the curious. Your HumAIn should possess an insatiable thirst for knowledge, staying up-to-date with the latest trends, technologies, and consumer behaviors. The ability to adapt and evolve is key to short, medium and long-term success.

4. Outside-In Perspective: Effective marketing requires seeing the world through the eyes of your audience. A HumAIn who adopts an “outside-in” perspective can better understand the needs, desires, and pain points of their target demographic, resulting in more authentic and relatable content. The problem today is 90% of marketers are inward focused – on their products, their culture, their TLA (Three Letter Acronyms), their features – little or no relevance to what their user needs.

5. Analytical Acumen: Data is the lifeblood of modern marketing. Your HumAIn should be adept at analyzing content performance, identifying what works, and what doesn’t. Data-driven decision-making ensures your marketing efforts are not just spontaneous but also strategically sound. I don’t like numbers is no more a cool thing for the arty-marketing soul. Spreadsheets, data and numbers, pivots and percentages form the core of measurement of each action and its consequence.

6. Proficiency in Written Communication: A strong command of the written word is non-negotiable. Whether it’s crafting blog posts, social media updates, or email campaigns, your HumAIn hire should be a wordsmith, able to convey messages with precision and impact. Even while using AI tools, the message should be pithy, precise and pertinent; plethora of plausible platitudes don’t work anymore.

7. Social Media Mastery: The modern marketer needs to be comfortable navigating various social channels, from the ever-popular Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram or X to messaging platforms like WhatsApp and email marketing. An adept HumAIn can engage and interact seamlessly across these platforms – where the target audience can be engaged.

8. Building Audience Communities: Beyond creating content, your HumAIn should have the knack for building and nurturing audience communities. This involves fostering a sense of belonging, encouraging discussions, and responding authentically to audience feedback. Listening and listening without bias or prejudice is the key here. Encourage transparency.

9. Tech-Savvy: Embracing technology is crucial in today’s marketing landscape. Look for a HumAIn who is willing to learn and use a suite of tools, including creative aids like Canva and marketing automation platforms like Buffer. Additionally, familiarity with generative AI tools such as Copy.AI, DALLE, ChatGPT, and Bing AI can supercharge content efficiency, potentially boosting effectiveness 10x.

50-word Summary

The next HumAIn hire you seek for driving spontaneous and authentic marketing should be a versatile, data-savvy, and tech-savvy storyteller with a genuine curiosity about the world. With these qualities, you’ll be well on your way to crafting marketing campaigns that not only capture attention but also hearts. Welcome to the future of marketing – the era of HumAIn.

Note: The term “HumAIn” refers to the fusion of Human and Artificial Intelligence in the context of marketing and content creation. It is not a word in the Webster Dictionary – yet.