Guest AuthorPrabodh Sirur

Wisdom from the startup guys and gals

By | Prabodh Sirur | In search of Postitive Intranets at In search of Positive Intranets

You learn so much when you listen to today’s young startup CEOs.

I have had the fortune of meeting some of these amazing people and listening to them.

Here’s a list of my top three favourite learnings.

Each piece is very very very difficult to implement. But then, running organisations is not easy.

1. Don’t run like Forrest Gump

2. Be unreasonable like Greta Thunberg

3. Be boring like Robin Sharma

This article is dedicated to Anurag Dwivedi and Satej Sirur, founders of Rocketium, as a gift on their company’s sixth anniversary.

My first learning – Run Forrest run

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When someone says, “Run Forrest run.”, Forrest runs.

He doesn’t ask “Why?”. He doesn’t ask, “Where?”. Forrest just runs.

Many of us live a Forrest Gump’s life. We don’t have our goal, our agenda, our plan. In fact for many, all this is dictated by others.

This is what a CEO told me, “I get many product ideas, funding related ideas, governance advice from our well wishers. I have decided not to listen to “Run, Forrest, run” advice. I act only on those tasks that are initiated by me. I don’t think others can dictate your dream. And I have now learnt to say, “Thank you for your idea. I am grateful that I have a well wisher in you. Let me think more about what you told me.” It is not easy to define clarity and to stay focussed on your journey.”

’Forrest Gump’, is a 1994 Tom Hanks movie about a slow-witted man’s journey.

Forrest Gump is a moving tale of perseverance.

Forrest is an endearing character and shows absolute devotion to his loved ones and to his duties. This is a story of how these character traits bring him into many life-changing situations.

The role of Forrest Gump is played by Tom Hanks.

My second learning – Being unreasonable needs guts

Your ideas may defy populist logic. But you stick to it because you are unreasonable by choice, like Greta Thunberg.

Your product idea could be unreasonable and your plan could be unreasonable. But you face the world with amazing self belief and accept all the criticism with grace.

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Greta Thunberg is unreasonable. She travels to her engagements by rail or sea but not by airplane. And she has guts to proclaim this and follow this. This is one example of her ‘unreasonableness’.

Politicians dismissed and made fun of her. A TV commentator called her “mentally ill.”

Her response to President Trump’s tweet that mocked her is a prime example of her ability to handle criticism with wit and confidence.

Greta, a teenager Swedish environmental activist, is internationally known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action against climate change.

She founded a movement known as Fridays for Future (also called School Strike for Climate)

She suffers from Asperger syndrome; this drawback, however, is not a roadblock to her journey of being unreasonable

My third learning – Learn to be boring

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Day in and day out Robin Sharma has to chant – “We are all here for some special reason. Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.”;

“Don’t accept a life of mediocrity when you hold such infinite potential within the fortress of your mind. Dare to tap into your greatness.”;

“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.”

Just imagine how boring his life could be, saying the same lines again and again and again. But he does it. Even if he may hate doing this.

Robin Sharma is a Canadian writer, best known for his The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari book series.

Robin’s career progressed from a litigation lawyer to author to leadership expert to life coach. He is currently one of the top 5 leadership experts in the world.

A CEO told me, “We have to communicate our vision, mission, our values, our plans…. everyday to our employees, during media interviews, when we meet our customers and investors. I always remember David Gergen’s words – “If you want to get your point across, especially to a broader audience, you need to repeat yourself so often, you get sick of hearing yourself say it. And only then will people begin to internalise what you’re saying.”


What’s your learning from such wonderful people?


Photo credits – Forrest GumpGreta ThunbergRobin Sharma


Grateful to the authors of these articles that enriched me.

The best CEOs can be the most unreasonable – Don Spetner

The Power of Repetition: the Secret of Successful Leaders

What sets successful CEOs apart – HBR – Elena Lytkina BotelhoKimberly PowellStephen KincaidDina Wang

15 Lessons We Learned From Forrest Gump – Vanessa McCulloch

6 Lessons We Learned From Greta Thunberg – Lina Duque

15 unexpected lessons I learned from launching a company that failed – Neil Patel

10 important startup lessons for Founders and CEOs – Forbes – Richard Harroch



Whenever I create an article, I want to write something about Impressionism. The Impressionist art movement is my source of inspiration. It reminds me to think about innovation and about challenging the status quo.

Impressionism (1860–1890) is a 19th-century art movement. It was started by painters to challenge the then existing style of painting. They re-defined painting as an impression of one’s mind rather than what is seen by the eye. They turned the artistic establishment upside down with their revolutionary new approach to painting.

Today I want to write about Pierre-Auguste Renoir and his 1883 painting titled Dance at Bougival (French: La Danse à Bougival).

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 – 1919) was a French artist and also a great singer. He was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. Experts say that “Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau.”

Dance at Bougival is one of three paintings, produced for an art dealer, each depicting a couple dancing in different environments. This painting is now on display in Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

You will know more about this painting from Gillian Hardy, my ex-colleague and a cognoscente of art. Here’s a short video where Gillian talks about this painting. Grateful to you Gillian.

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Photo credit – wikipedia

Republished with permission and originally published at Prabodh Sirur’s LinkedIn

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