Nothing happens to you, it happens because of you, part 2, first D

Contents1 Let us start with “I need help.”2 “I was wrong.”3 “I am sorry”.4 “How may I help you today?” Winners DEPLOY the four

Winners DEPLOY the four magic words subconsciously. “I need help. I was wrong. I am sorry and How may I help you today?” The first D means Deploy the winners magic words.

Let us start with “I need help.”

These are the three words of high achievers. When you say, “I need help”, you recognise that you work with people. Start by defining the areas of your life that need help. How integrated into your wheel of life?

Listing 6 to 8 key areas of your life that are critical to you.

  1. Career and skills development
  2. Money
  3. Health
  4. Family and friends
  5. Holiday and fun
  6. Home environment
  7. Social impact

Plot the current and desired achievement in each of the areas on your wheel of life. It will help you to know which area has gaps that you need to close. Conduct a personal life audit annually for good results.

How does your wheel of life look like? Which areas of your life do you need help? Your final wheel of life should look like in Figure 1.


Which areas of life are you winning? Which ones are you lagging behind? What do you need to focus on more?

To get ahead, continuously review your wheel of life and be deliberate about it.

“I was wrong.”

These are three words but mean a lot. Are you trying to be right all the time? Are you trying to win at all costs? Are you listening to the point of view of other people, or you go into the meeting to defend your position?

As CEO at Summit Consulting Ltd, I have taken some decisions that have been fantastic and other horrible decisions. I will first share the horrible decisions.

In 2019, we were approached by prospective partners for software that could help track fraudsters. We spent time working with them to define the software specifications, submitted a proposal and it was approved. They started working on the contract but told us to start the project. I hired two more developers on a full-time job. The project was grand. Based on the cash flow forecasts, we were to earn over US$ 50,000 in annual subscriptions. My co-director and team asked me not to proceed until we get a fully signed contract and initial deposit, but I said it was not important.

After some time, a draft contract came through, we signed our part and returned for it to be countersigned. They kept telling us the contract is with their company lawyers for a final review, which never got completed.

On our side, we continued to execute. As part of the contract, we were to buy a server; so, when I travelled to Dubai for our annual holiday in January 2020, I bought the server at over US $10,000! Still, we never got the contract. Then in 2020, the Corona pandemic hit.  The project stalled. In early 2021, the partners told us the project has been discontinued!

I had to face my colleagues and tell them “I was wrong.” Of course, this is one of the big losses that we have endured. But a great lesson too. When I said, I was wrong, I saw the team smiling and happy.

Whether at home or work, when you say, “I was wrong”, it reflects your maturity in taking responsibility. Average leaders place blame. Exceptional leaders take it. They take it not some of the time, but all the time because they oversee the environment.

Remember, nothing happens to you. It happens because of you.

“I am sorry”.

When we were young, it was a sign of weakness to say, “I am sorry.” It was interpreted as admitting failure. As we grow older, we understand this is a word used by folks who are winning in their lives, are confident and not afraid that they will be seen as weak.

I got to know the power of the word I am sorry during these long holidays.

During one of the Zoom calls, one of the kids made a lot of noise. After the call, I administered two hot canes. “This is the third time I have told you to keep your voices low”, I said as I disciplined her.

Unfortunately, she was not the one who had made the noise. It was her sister. 

What do you do when you discover a mistake like that?

I had to bend to her level. Hold her with my two hands on her shoulders and said, “I am sorry.” She just fell into my chest and started crying. “It is ok, dad”, she replied. And that is when I realised that saying I am sorry helps to ease tensions and creates a productive office.

“How may I help you today?”

Make your skills and knowledge of service to others. Become an expert at something that furthers the business of your employer. When I was at Ernst & Young, I became one of the champions for the automation of the audit processes. Just embracing technology helped open many doors for me.

And it did not stop there, every morning I would write to my direct supervisor and say:

“my focus for today is to send the xx proposal, complete the xx-client report and visit xx client on-site.” Is there anything I have missed you think I should include? If you do not reply, I will assume I am on track.  Thanks for your mentorship.

When you ask how to be of help, you get people assigning you roles. In the process, you learn a lot. I encourage you to ask this question often.

Remember, nothing happens to you. It happens because of you.

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