When I was about to set off for my first consultancy assignment I was trembling within me. While I was doing my final preparation I got a call and was asked to come down to meet my CEO, Dinesh. He wished me and said, "I have full confidence on your skill level and knowledge, the trick for you to successful is to carry your self well".
This is one of the most important lessons I learnt. I grew up to live happily by taking a back seat and being below the radar. At school this was not an option on certain days, I had to do my part in spot light but university didn't do much good, through out the stint I was happy to be below the radar. So this was the mind set I entered the cooperate world . I am sure he had noticed that I preferred to sit at the back at meetings, bit afraid to speak in front of him, let my shoulders drop when in company of Seniors, etc.
I wanted to be successful in what I do and whenever I was about to cringe, I always remembered the advice and told myself "I need to carry myself if I am to be successful". For the youth bought up in western culture self confidence comes naturally to them, but for us Asians, we are brought up with the notion of giving exaggerated respect to others and eventually being very much backward and with lack of self confidence. Now I see people who come out of the local universities to have the same weakness, So for them the first step in coming out of a weakness is to realize and accept that one has the weakness, then you can work on it. btw I hope that he doesn't regret giving that advice to me ;)