Landing in the United States with just two suitcases and a pair of binoculars his grandfather gave him, this week’s guest can genuinely be called an explorer of life. Professor Ruchin Kansal has such an interesting list of experiences. Beginning with being an Air Force cadet to an architect, and then on to other unrelated positions to eventually leading the School of Business’ Center for Leadership Development. I could say his architecture background may be of some use now as he is an architect of our future leaders.
I became aware of and eventually met Ruchin because we were the two finalists of the job he currently holds. As with all of my valued experiences, the months-long interview journey taught me a lot about myself and gave me clarity on what I wanted to do. For that reason, I am grateful to Ruchin as if he had not earned the position over me; I may not have challenged myself to do this podcast.
As I learned more about Professor Kansal’s journey, I wanted to know more about him, what drives him, and what I can learn from him. Although his interview may only scratch the surface, I know you can benefit from experience and exploration of life.
This week I challenge all of you to adopt some of what Professor Kansal talks about this week and incorporate it into your life. Even if it is ten minutes a day, it will be an exercise to flex your explorer’s muscles.
Purpose and Planning: I like how Professor Kansal starts his week. He plans out three things he hopes to accomplish that will get him closer to his ultimate goal. I challenge you to think about your ultimate goal (something 5-10 years out) and select three small things you can plan for and accomplish this upcoming week and then do it every week. For example, if you plan on being an architect, maybe three things that can aid you in that goal that you can accomplish in one week would be 1. Connect with an architect on LinkedIn, 2. Commit to reading at least one article a week from Architecture magazine, 3. Create a 5-minute meeting on your calendar to Google “new construction techniques” every week. These things will not take long and can benefit you in the long term.
Do Not Rush, Explore: There are many times in our lives that we are so focused on what is in front of us that we do not see the opportunities around us. New places to explore, things to see, and people to meet are all around us if we lift our heads. Take a minute this week and stop what you are doing and explore something new. It can be as simple as taking a different route home from work or school, walking instead of driving, or visiting that one place you have always meant to but have not yet. Whatever it is, pause and explore; everything will still be there for you when you unpause.
Build It: Professor talks about when he left a job with a mentor to work in a startup. Although the new business only lasted a short time, what endured was his knowledge from that experience. Taking his advice, we should all attempt to build something. Be that a business of our own or just a weekly blog. In the effort it takes to create something from nothing, you will learn about yourself and things about a building, something you would have never been exposed to before. Make the time, commit yourself. I guarantee you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.
Professor Ruchin has been an explorer of life with his grandfather’s binoculars as a constant inspiration to seek new adventures. We all can benefit from his inspiration by challenging ourselves to find our purpose and plan for it while at the same time pausing and exploring. You never know what opportunity may be right around the corner, so take chances and embrace change.
I appreciate feedback of all kinds, so please email me any questions or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great week, and remember, it doesn’t take a lot to get a good start; you just have to start. Thank you.
Remember that the best leaders do not care where the best ideas come from, so do not be shy away from discussing your thoughts with your mentors and leaders.