When I look back at 2016 I see a couple of events that have really impacted me… my mom’s demise in late 2015, WomenLead initiative, Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid and of course DeMo aka demonetisation.
So what did I learn from these events?
2016 was a year where my world shook, dramatically. It was a year where many givens became un-givens.
- My mom’s demise taught me that nothing is forever. That the gap between intellectually knowing the “reality of life” and its experience is deep, dark and lonely. I was amazed at how I responded to the profound loss of losing my mom. I understood how she led me and poured her self into me. She tried not only to provide me with what to do but also the why to do that… Like a true leader, she was building my ability to go one after she was gone.
Women Lead initiative (the workshops both public & in-house & the research) taught me how we shield ourselves from unpleasant truths. The amazing women I met during the research taught me how they catalyzed all the discrimination they faced into resolve to succeed. They also shared the toll it took on them.
- The US presidential elections which caught my attention because of Hillary Clinton staking a claim for the “Top Job” and the implications of the same for me as a person, a woman and as a founder of Women Lead taught me that perception is reality. I thought I learnt it in my post graduation but obviously I still thought facts mattered. However, in a “post truth” world I realized that “facts” are expendable. And that there is no position high enough after which a woman would not face sexual harassment. “Trump the Bitch” makes me shudder.
- “DeMo” took away the biggest of my rupaiya’s (goodbye Rs 500 & Rs 1000). Such a shocker for me who had grown up on sayings such as “Baap bada na Bhaiyya, sabse bada rupaiya”. However, DeMo is a once in a lifetime experience (hopefully). Bill Gates has suggested that some of success is luck: Just being in the right place at the right time. PayTM would exemplify that. It has laughed its way to the bank…in fact, they opened a bank. I observed the reaction speed of some organisations : Big Bazaar had already sent SMS’s to clients by 10 pm on 8th Nov that they will stay open till 12 am. Big lesson as an entrepreneur. I also experienced that everyone had an opinion on DeMo without any knowledge whatsoever. When I was studying advertising the joke was everyone had an opinion on advertising even the client’s dog. Now major monetary decisions are in the same league. This really disturbs me cause for years my mantra was McCann’s “Truth well told”. However, that is so 20th century. We truly are in a “post truth” world.
With the learning from 2016 firmly under my belt… I look forward to 2017 for growth, prosperity and happiness.
P.S Feel free to share what did 2016 teach you.