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What I’ve Learned: Govi Rao

President & CEO, Noveda Technologies

Govi Rao

Growing up in India, one of my early realizations was to try to be innovative in getting things done----especially due to scarcity of resources. This also manifested itself as an important lesson to me---always optimize my resources, including time, and to try to eliminate waste in everything.

Having the fortitude and courage to accept failure and adapt quickly builds emotional resilience, paving the way for change from within. Circumstances beyond my control, largely health related, influenced a change from my first career goal of flying and provided me with a valuable lesson in adaptability, retooling and restarting. This ability to adapt has been a major force in my growth and I believe will continue to be an asset in our continually changing world---at a macro level, but also on a daily basis.

Watching my grandfather design and build a temple of marble gave me one of my earliest life lessons---there is no substitute for hard work! I admired my grandfather’s dedication as I did my parents’ work ethic. Thanks to them and all my teachers and later my colleagues and mentors, [a strong work ethic] is now just as normal as the sun rising every morning.

Every individual has the opportunity to make a difference, and with this comes responsibility. I learned in my early career that I needed to have a vision and goal--- a framework, a purpose. Opportunities abound. Having a vision or purpose in life is like having a beacon---guiding us to our ‘true north’. I found that my sense of purpose also gave me energy, drive and passion.

The simple motto ‘do your best’ is one of the most basic tenets of life. Thanks to my parents and teachers, this was drilled into me, and I strongly believe has translated into my ability to take every step with a passion---always.

I am impressed by and deeply grateful to my wife and kids for the powerful learning I gain from them. Sometimes it’s easy for us to go through phases in life without meaningful feedback, and this has a higher probability of happening to you if you are mildly or wildly successful. Stepping aside every so often and listening to the voices around you---from family and peers to managers, customers, and suppliers---can be extremely cathartic.

The world is your oyster---but you will need a team to open it! As I have learned and re-learned several times throughout my life, we can only go so far as individuals. It takes a team to bring out the best in individuals, and every individual is critical to the team.

It’s never too early to start giving back to society. Very early in my career, I had the good fortune to spend a few hours with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. This experience helped me realize that each one of us has an immense capacity to give, and tapping into this in our early years has significant implications---both in the short term as well as the long term. As Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

Balancing life should start from the very beginning so that we can optimize our lives. I heard my parents and other well-wishers telling me to ‘slow down & smell the roses’, even as the excitement of my vision for the future only increased my pace. It took a significant shake-up for me to pause and then realize what I was being told---to try and balance my life.



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