On Day 5, Professor Subi Rangan took us on a journey of self discovery. Subi is a professor of strategy and management at INSEAD and holds the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court Endowed Chair in Societal Progress.
Below are some important life lessons we learnt from his session on Societal Progress (+ our progress):
Be a J.E.D.I. Be a Justice, Efficiency, and Diversity Integrator. These are the values organisations and individuals must embrace for the global human system to be sustainable and for individuals to have a proper, prosperous and peaceful life.
Don’t be F.E.D. Don’t make yourself a victim of Fear, Envy, and Disappointment. Don’t especially have fear of failure. Trust yourself, be independent. The antidote to disappointment is gratitude.
Distinguish between Choices and Decisions. What is the distinction between a choice and a decision? Does it matter? Is a journey to London by train or by plane more a choice or more a decision? Is the trolley problem a choice or a decision? The journey to London by train (or by plane) is actually more a decision; while the trolley problem is more a choice. Why? A decision is more influenced by the cognitive brain and is driven by information. It is often the case that when people are given the same information they take the same decision. A choice on the other hand is more influenced by the heart, stomach/ gut, and the moral conscience. Choices are more driven by identity (than information). Our choices make us who we are. Choices differ from one individual to another. While making decisions, we should explore and minimize risks. While making choices, we should explore and minimize regret. While making decisions, we should seek an expert or consultant. While making choices, we should seek a friend or mentor. Subi says work is full of decisions but life is full of choices. He urges us to be vigilant in our life and be aware of how we choose (for e.g. our life partner or our career).
Character is a skill, not a trait. Subi says human capital includes competence (cognitive skills) and character (non cognitive skills). Character, manifested in such behavior as self-discipline, reliability, tenacity can be learnt. To deepen competence, people turn to teachers; to deepen character, we must look to family and mentors.
Subi concluded by urging: “Please dream, but dream with your eyes open.” Imagination is more important than innovation, he said. We all promise ourselves that we will! Subi opened our eyes to the role each and all of us must play to change the world and advance humanity not only in terms of economic advancement but also in terms of order and ethicality. We left the class with added confidence, hope and aspiration. Thank you Subi!
Amira, Euan, Dana, Mozoun & Saif