What’s next?

If you are an observer/learner of politics, business, or human behavior, then I would recommend you to watch House of Cards on Netflix.

House of Cards is an American political thriller web television series created by Beau Willimon.

In the series, there are many characters to observe and draw business and life lessons from – both negative and positive, but I would like to talk about the role of Doug Stamper.

Michael Kelly as Doug Stamper in House of Cards

Granted that Doug shows positive and negative flavors of his behavior, but he is consistent in one practice: no matter the situation, he always asks ‘What’s Next?’

Well, he does not literally ask that question, but all his actions are results of that very question!

No, he is not the lead character of the series. He is a supporting character but an essential cog in the political machine of the lead characters Underwoods for sure, but the role does not matter, what matters is his one character trait.

Doug is quiet, cold, calculative, less-speaking and first-rate executor. He is ruthless and unapologetically go-getter. His diplomacy is remarkable, and his ability to subterfuge the situations put him apart from others (not necessarily that is a positive trait but that is not the point).

Ok, so that was probably too much observation about Doug. But it has established a case for the trait I am going to advocate as a must-have trait for any influencers/leaders/managers.

This trait is to ask what’s next in every and any situations deliberately. Except for the moments of utmost Joy which you are going to have with your loved ones by being fully present in the present moments!

  • If you got an inferior grade in exams, ask: what’s next?
  • If you want to quit your job and do something else which you are not even sure of, ask: what’s next?
  • If your spouse wants a divorce, ask: what’s next?
  • If your business has failed and you feel like the failure, ask: what’s next?
  • If your family member is severely ill and you are only 50% sure of his/her wellbeing, ask: what’s next?
  • If your ex is getting married to someone else, ask: what’s next?
  • If someone did not behave as per your expectations, ask: what’s next?
  • If you have achieved your goal and got a promotion in your career, ask: what’s next?
  • If your business is thriving like never-before, ask: what’s next?

What’s next!?

These words hold high power. Power to keep the human race going. Power to move on from what’s not serving you. Power to keep you grounded when something is serving you very well.

Try for yourself.

Whenever you encounter any situation, rather than being excited because it is good or being devastated because it is terrible, ask what’s next!

If you do it genuinely, you will end up being as productive as Doug and accomplish a lot more things than ever.

Don’t believe me. Try for yourself. Ask: what’s next?

NOTE TO SELF

  1. While I have been watching House of Cards for years, I did not realize about Doug’s character trait until a situation came and left me with this question – what’s next?
  2. Situations that you give your attention to have the power to instill a never-before awareness for your present and future.
  3. As it turns out, What’s next is not just a question but your attitude towards your life. And the one that potentially serves you.
  4. The only moments where you are in your present moments filled with utmost Joy, you don’t need to ask what’s next but be in that moment because that moment is the reason you asked what’s next for many decades if not births!

Now I am closing this blog post by asking this question to me (and to you), what’s next?

Networking

It’s been a few months since I’ve got a new interest: Networking.

I think that understanding Networking at depth will help me be better at what I do.

I had never consciously touched upon the subject of networking but better late than never.

In business, people invest in networking activities willingly or unwillingly.

The problem is, many executives, professionals, and entrepreneurs consider Networking as an inauthentic and exploitative activity.

There is some truth to it too. People often invest in networking to gain some benefits out of the activity.

I am not done with my research yet and I have a little understanding of the subject but I think networking is a wonderful gift to a professional when done right.

Good networking provides more opportunities, deeper knowledge, and improved capacity to innovate and make things better.

I have started to believe when done right, Networking has the potential to improve one’s personal life as well.

While looking at Networking from business and opportunity perspective, I came across this interesting article from Harvard Business Review: Learn to Love Networking. The article is written by Tiziana Casciaro, Francesca Gino and Maryam Kouchaki.

Some of you might know that for the last few months, thanks to my friend Tanmay Vora, I’ve been learning to take notes in the form of Sketch Notes. I did the same while reading this article on Networking. Here is the sketch note:

Learn to Love Networking Harvard Business Review

I think the four take-home points from the article: focus on learning, identify common interests, think broadly what you can give and find a higher purpose have a great potential to make you a better professional and better creator.

What do you think?