My wife just kicked off her Entrepreneurial journey this week. She started an academy to help little kids learn & grow as they get messy. It is basically a Montessori inspired startup venture to mold our future leaders in the best possible manner. The name of her business is CLAP Academy where CLAP stands for Creative, Learn, Art, Play.
While brainstorming through business names with her, it occurred to me that CLAP has a very meaningful connection in my life too. CLAP in my world is short for Critical Thinking, Love, Authoritative Influence, Patience. Hello, my name is Kartik Dua and in this blog article I will share my thoughts on how we should all CLAP to Succeed.
Critical Thinking – Recently I watched an episode of Shark Tank where a message given out by one of the sharks really stuck with me. While the message was in reference to a startup business, in my opinion it holds true for every professional at any stage of their career. The message was – It is always about the numbers. As an ERP Business Analyst, it is my goal to find opportunities within business processes which I can strategize and innovate. At times I get carried away with the emotion, not realizing my solution or the opportunity I am working on, while it is extremely good, does not draw numbers. Lesson learnt from those experiences is, I must be critical with myself while picking an opportunity. Basically I should think and choose opportunities wisely - the ones which are results oriented and not nice to haves.
Example: Within the last 2 years my company has got very active with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). It has been a popular ask by business stakeholders for any change request coming from them. Just recently I had 2 RPA requests routed my way –
To automate Purchase Requisition approval process
To automate 3-way reconciliation process as a month end activity
Both requests were excellent candidates for RPA but after thinking critically and doing a ROI study, it was clear the weight of the 3-way reconciliation bot was much higher than PR approval bot. 3-way reconciliation automation saved hours of manual business resources thus impacting company numbers in a significant way. No brainer I worked on the 3-way reconciliation request first which was delivered with great success and appreciation.
Please think critically for every assignment you choose to work on and I promise, you will be more and more successful in the future.
Love – This might sound a bit cliché or something you might wonder as to why the Love word is in a professional blog. But let me tell you, Love is one of the strongest universal words. It has no boundaries of personal or professional life. I read an article on LinkedIn once, posted by Sonia Mehta, which reiterated to me why loving my job and being positive is very important to be successful. The article goes something like this, Sonia landed at an airport after a long tiring flight. She was in the restroom freshening up where a beautiful, and smiling lady welcomed her. The lady was happily humming a song and sweeping the floor. When she saw Sonia, she washed her hands and offered Sonia a paper towel to dry up her hands. Sonia, getting over all her fatigue, asked the lady why she was so happy. To which the lady responded, I love my job and I choose to be happy, so I sing while I mop the floor.
Wow! Doesn’t the story give you goosebumps too? When you love what you do, you will naturally find ways to succeed. Love S/4 Hana for the excellent product it is. You will automatically find benefits within the S/4 Hana suite to convince your business that it is the best path forward. You will deliver the project successfully with critical numbers which are important for business ROI.
Authoritative Influence – There is a very popular saying “Influence always outpaces authority”. I am not sure who originally coined this phrase, but it is used by many writers and influencers to recite their stories. I believe in the phrase too however I like to add my own flavor to it. If you want to be successful, you should have the skill of authoritative influence. Just having authority wouldn’t always get the job done and only being influential also brings in rainy days. So be an Authoritative Influencer and success will always chase you down.
As a company, we were the early adopters of SAP Revenue Accounting and Reporting (RAR). There wasn’t a lot of learning and training material available online when RAR was implemented for us. So, I learnt it the hard way – by practical experience. While there were nervous days for me at the beginning, now I am confident about my RAR skills. I made plenty of mistakes, sweated out long hours to make sure my core foundational concepts were accurate, I got burnt a lot too during early implementation days, but I have put all of that behind me to be where I am today. I am active on SAP communities helping fellow SAPers with RAR questions. I am the go-to person for any RAR question at my company. I feel rewarded for my effort when people seek my advice. All this to say, to get to the level of being an Influencer, hard work is needed but once you are there, success is your best friend.
Knowledge and happiness increase exponentially when we spread it, and this is my life’s mantra. I am humbled to have an authoritative influence on others around me. It is added pressure and responsibility on me to not let anyone down. What keeps me motivated and learned is when new and different questions come my way, where people trust me to help them, and I pride myself to live up to their trust.
Patience – Patience and Perseverance are crucial elements to success. While the success journey may be bumpy at the beginning, it is smooth sailing eventually. Another inspirational LinkedIn article I read which assures us that if we take positive actions towards achieving our goals and patiently do the right things, getting rewarded with success is a matter of time. The article was posted by Karishma Mehta who is the Founder & CEO at Humans of Bombay. In her post she tells us that one of her top 2018 goals was to interview Priyanka Chopra. She tried everything her capacity to get the interview setup but faced setbacks with every attempt. However that didn’t stop her from not trying. She patiently persevered her goal and about a year later she received a call from Facebook to be a guest on Social for Good and her interviewer would be no other than Priyanka Chopra. Wow!!
Similar thing happened with me; it was early 2010 when I was at the crossroads of my career. I was trying to find a direction for my professional life. Coming from an IT background and having deep love for Marketing and Social media, I was confused as to which path should I take. I researched on few options and finally decided SAP Sales & Distribution is the way to go. I went through certifications and trainings to get myself ready to dive into the SAP pool, only to realize scope for freshers is low. I did months and months of freelancing and volunteer work, went through several interviews and rejections. There were days during the courtship period where I wanted to give up. I even thought to myself if I made the right choice of picking SAP as my career. That’s when I was reminded by my mentors and family to be patient and persistent. I am thankful to them for holding me and guiding me through that phase. Being patient back then has helped me be where I am today - enjoying my SAP life to the fullest!