Ep. 31: Rajshree Agarwal, PhD - Learn to be CEO of Your Life - Ed Snider Center for Enterprise & Markets
Rajshree Agarwal, PhD
Rajshree Agarwal, PhD is the Rudolph P. Lamone Chair and Professor of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland and Director of the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets.
In today’s podcast, Rajshree teaches us the secret of how to become the CEO of our own life. Health and wellness not just being about physical health but also about mental well being. She shares her research and methodology on how to live a fulfilling and purposeful life.
Her concept around “Being CEO of Me” includes asking yourself the following four questions:
What is my purpose or mission statement? What do you want to create in the world? What problems do you want to solve in the world, and why are they important to you?
What does success look like to me?
What is my value do I want to create in the world?
With whom should I trade? (For example, if you win and the other person loses or if you lose and the other person wins, eventually one of you is going to walk away. Long term stable fruitful blossoming relationships comes when you think about each other as trade partners who are independent equals to you.)
Rajshree also shares five important principles to live by:
1. Create value. Feeling like you're doing something important, this creates value and self-esteem.
2. Find meaning. It doesn't matter what work you're doing, it’s about the meaning you ascribe to it.
3. Find the multiplier effect. Don't do things that you really really hate. Do the things that you hate only to the extent that it's minimally possible. Chances are there's someone else that loves to do what you hate.
4. Respect tradeoffs. Be able to respect and recognize give and take tradeoffs knowing that you can't have it all.
5. Be kind to yourself. You're not going to make everybody happy, all of the time and that's okay.
More From Rajshree Argawall, PhD
Two of her recent Forbes op-ed articles:
And where to follow Rajshree on social media:
[02:16]Health and wellness is not just being about physical health but also about mental wellbeing and about living fulfilling purposeful lives.
[02:29] What does it mean to define your purpose? How do you go about thinking about what value you want to create in the world? What problems do you want to solve? Why are they important to you? How do you go about creating relationships that help you achieve your aspirations - but you're also living in a world where you're solving problems and helping others achieve theirs.
[03:06] So I often think about leadership really starting with self leadership.
[03:28] What's my purpose or mission statement? What does success look like to me? What's my value proposition? With whom should I trade?
[04:16] It's very important to step back and define for yourself what matters to you. What values are important to you?
[04:41] How can you make the world a better place to live by doing something important to yourself?
[05:52]The problems you want to solve should be ones that matter deeply to you.
[06:16]Imagine if you were asked to do something that you didn't enjoy which weren't part of what your values? Your world wouldn't be better because you're not happy. You're not doing the things that make you feel like you are achieving your goals and your values.
[08:09]Say I love what I do and I'm good at it. That really gets your abilities and your aspirations working in a virtuous cycle because look what happens when you are good at something. It gives you a sense of self-esteem. It makes you feel good it makes you feel like you've achieved something. And then of course that then allows you to invest even more in something that you love and then you start to love it even more so you know it's this I invest in becoming good and that gives me a sense of well-being wellness that the world is right.
[10:22] Stress is not so much about out what you choose to do as much as what choices you don't have. And so the sense of lack of autonomy the sense that people are thrusting on you things that you're doing...I think stress comes a lot more from a lack of control in your life. The sense of feeling overwhelmed. It's like you feel like you're being pulled in different directions. However if you feel like you're loving what you're doing you're good at it, then it's not stressful. Now that doesn't mean that every day's a walk in the park but it means that even when you're working hard you know what your goals are what your values are. And so then that makes it so much more worthwhile. So you can slog through the nasty aspects of work. Not everything is fun.
[11:28] But I would like to say that you can find meaning in whatever it is that you're doing so long as you think about how it relates to your purpose so long as you know that tradeoffs matter, and so long as you think that you're not in an island by yourself but you're really thinking about how you can work with others and that makes it all the more fun because not only are they creating a multiplier effect on your time, you're learning and you're benefiting from them.
[12:42] What are my aspirations? What do I really want? And then how do I create a hierarchy about the things that matter more for me and then make sure that I don't compromise on something that really matters to me by doing something that may temporarily feel good but doesn't necessarily relate to my larger goals long term goals.
[15:23] So if you win and I lose or if you lose and I win one of us is going to walk away. So if you really want long term stable fruitful blossoming relationships I think you really need to think about each other as trade partners who are independent equals to you.
[18:03] Because binding the two of us together is - what is our common objective? What we want to accomplish together and that then relates to these underlying aspirations. What are my aspirations? What are your aspirations and then what do I bring to the table? What are my capabilities and what are your capabilities?
[18:41] So that alignment of aspirations through the common objective as well as the differences or complementarity is of the abilities that you bring together then allow both of you to figure out well this is what I'm going to do. This is what you're going to do. And this creates a multiplier effect on your time also creates so much more fun.
[25:33] When a leader exerts power by giving edicts, what is he really saying or what is she really saying? She's saying, or he's saying “substitute your judgment for mine. You stop being mindful. You stop being thoughtful. Do what I tell you to do.”
[29:24] Be kind to yourself.
[30:13] In times of change the learners will inherit the earth. While the learned will find themselves beautifully equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. - Eric Hoffer
Links and Resources:
“How can you make the world a better place to live by doing something important to yourself?” - Rajshree Argawal, PhD
“I often think about leadership really starting with self leadership.” - Rajshree Argawal, PhD
“In times of change the learners will inherit the earth. While the learned will find themselves beautifully equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” - Eric Hoffer