Leap of Faith

Photo Courtesy: Travis Gray on Flickr

We take “leaps of faith” all the time.

We don’t have a choice but to take a “leap of faith” when the data is limited to make a good assessment of the situation that leads to a rational decision [ For those smart types – not making a decision is making a decision ]

Actually, at some level the data is always insufficient for any major decision. So there is some “leap of faith” in any decision making.

Taking “leaps of faith” is so common and pervasive that sometimes you forget to notice it.

Why should you be aware of this?

Simply because you have benefited from someone taking a “leap of faith” on you (several times) until now. And, you will continue to benefit from others taking a “leap of faith” on you (several times) moving forward.

Reflecting on my own situation, I have been a beneficiary of this multiple times. Here are a few that I can share:

1. When I wrote my first book (a murder mystery) I was ten years old and shopped it like crazy for three years and got rejected more than hundred times. Everything seemed hopeless. Then, three years later when I was thirteen, two people (their names are G.Prakash and Nataraj Choudhury) took a “leap of faith” and said “Yes” to publishing the book.

2. When my first ever startup dream was shattered in 1992 and I was desperately looking for job, things seemed hopeless. I didn’t have the software background but was willing to learn. The future looked bleak. Then, someone (his name is Sridhar) too a “leap of faith” and said “Yes” to hiring me.

3. It was 1997 and Kavitha and I decided to come to United States. I had several interviews for a position in a Consulting company. The final interview was a super-technical one where I could not answer a couple of questions on setting distributed Oracle databases. The interviewer recommended that I should not be hired. So I thought it was over. But then, God had other plans. Someone (his name is Alok Khare, my Boss in two separate companies) took a “leap of faith” and hired me.

4. It was 1998 and I had never managed a large Vantive (a CRM product then, now part of Oracle) implementation before. Neither had I worked on a Vantive project until that time. We got a new project from Lincoln Telephone Company and then someone (his name is Bill Morton) took a “leap of faith” and made me lead that project. It worked out fine as we completed the project a week before the deadline.

5. More recently, in 2005, I wrote my first business book “Beyond Code.” My last book before that was published in 1987 (eighteen years ago) and I had never written anything serious in the recent past. I worked hard on the book for more than a year and I passionately believed in what I had written. I had put my heart into it. It was not easy to get to the finish line.  And then, someone (this time, one of my heroes, Tom Peters) took a “leap of faith” in me and wrote the Foreword for the book. That meant the world to me. I never had to look back after the publication of that book.

I can go on and in each and every case, if the people above had taken a rational approach and looked for “history of accomplishments” as proof, I would have lost. Instead, they decided to take a “leap of faith” and that made  a world of difference in where I am (and what I am doing) today.

These are special people and I thank them and many others who took a “leap of faith” on me.

If you think about it in your own life, you will notice that you will have a set of people who took a “leap of faith” on you. They are special people. Take time to thank them.

If I have one wish for you, it will be that you find more people that will take a “leap of faith” on you.

If I have one request for you, it will be that you take “leaps of faith” on a few people that truly deserve it.