Don’t Limit Yourself by Your Thoughts!

%name Dont  Limit Yourself by Your Thoughts!

I recently met a gentleman on my trip to New York and he was an ex-head of strategy worldwide for #Goldman-Sachs at one time in the U.S.  He shared an interesting experience of his learning, which I want to share with you today.

In his early days at Goldman Sachs,  he shared his role with 56 others  in a department which was a profit centre within Goldman Sachs.  The board of Goldman brought in a new boss to head this vertical and was given a mandate to bring in transformational growth and find ways of doing business in the most profitable manner and also grow the business by two times (both the top line and the profits) in the most lean and efficient manner.

So this new boss, according to him was one big tough nut, his way of doing things brought in much discomfort to all in the team because he came in with no fixed thoughts of doing business and was only focused on the mandate that he came with from the board.  So apart from setting higher targets on the revenue  and profits, he also wanted  to shrink the size of the team from 56 to 10 in a year’s time and everyone thought this was not do-able …. So now this boss started to get rid of people and every quarter the team shrank from its original size of 56 to 40 in the first quarter and at the end of the  year he went all the way down to his target of 10.

This gentlemen talking to me  thought that he was going to lose his job, but was surprised that he was one of the ten people at the end of year.  ….The most surprising part that the new boss also achieved, which seemed impossible was that they also doubled their top line and the bottom line and all of it by these ten people. .. So at the end of that year the  business had grown two times its size and people strength  down to 10 from 56. I am not making this up, I am just sharing what was told to me over a cup of tea .. And I too was amazed with this learning.

So the same gentleman went on to say ” Nikhil I was a consensus builder by nature and my working style would have never allowed me to approach what my boss did , and his actions caused me much discomfort but at the end  when we tasted success, I began to appreciate his ways and also at looking at a  running  business in parallel ways to starting the same business afresh if we had a chance to. Implementing  that philosophy in the current running business is what made it lean. At the end it must look as if it were started afresh.”

“Nikhil, sometimes its important to redraw the counters and challenge our thinking of the way we do business to the way it can be done. You will be surprised to learn that there always is a better way.”

The reason I share this today is to get all of us to think of bolder and transformational ways of approaching the  way we do  business. This can only be achieved if we get out of our comfort zone and challenge our own thinking of it being done differently with less but more competent people.
So don’t restrict yourself with the limitations of your mind and instead challenge the ability of limitless flow of better and more efficient ways of doing things.

Surprise yourself because that’s the only way we will win the confidence from one another …

Good luck… I am looking for people who can stand to this challenge at #EscortsLimited ….

7 thoughts on “Don’t Limit Yourself by Your Thoughts!

  1. charumaini

    Couldn’t agree with you more Nikhil. We need to do very different things to get different results. Especially move out of our comfort zones and challenge the status quo.



    it looks like Pareto Principle is working here behind this incredible and hard to believe (but must be true) story
    The 80 : 20 theory says that 20% of 56 size team must be contributing 80% of the topline (suppose 100x)
    Hence 11 executives were managing 80x business
    And this gentleman (new vertical head) was having the target to make this 80x greater than 100x by team of 10
    So it turns out that target was 80x to 100x and 11 to 10
    Hence growth rate was 25% and -(-10%)
    The team of 10 therefore was having set target of approximately 35% in increase in efficiency
    Which is quite rational target

    However it is noteworthy here that such targets are far more realistic in case of consulting/ investment banking kind of sectors than in case of Manufacturing/ Man Power intensive sectors


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