Articles & Blogs

"What's in it for me?"

01 January 2014
Vineet Nayar

When you are a CEO of a listed company, struggling to cover ground amidst an uncertain macro-economic environment and a world full of cynics, you have to pretty much put your all in the game. Endless meetings, challenges galore, flights and fights, overflowing mailboxes and complaint boxes, new crises and old skeletons – the baggage you carry everyday is daunting to say the least. In those years as I became platinum on all airline loyalty clubs and broke new mail and data size records, I remember asking myself one day – WHY? Why was I doing all this? I asked myself that iconic question whose answer we give to our employees and customers virtually every day – What’s in it for me? Since money was never the answer that the employees or customers bought, I knew it wasn’t my case either. So -Why? What’s really in it for me, I wondered.

After some deep reflection I thought I had contrived some sort of rationale to assuage my doubts; at least enough to get me back to office next day for an 8am meeting!

It was however five years later that I found the real answer. As I posted about my retirement from HCL on my social media accounts day before yesterday, I was totally taken aback by the generosity and kindness which my employees, partners and colleagues responded to this development – with every message that I read the jigsaw puzzle of the “WHYs” of my past started taking shape. It all made sense now – yes even the 12 hour flight delays and working on the children’s birthdays – I finally realized that the answer was never about me, it was always about them!

********************* Earn respect not wealth; touch lives not gold; inspire confidence not fear; focus on people’s hearts not their ranks.*********************