Recently, my close friend, mentor and co-founder Rajesh Setty asked me to share my ‘Seven Core Beliefs’ that shaped me to become who I am today.
“What a profound question,” I thought to myself. I promised to email him my 7 core beliefs by next morning, but my mind wouldn’t leave it there and it kept going back to the word ‘beliefs.’
I heard an interview several weeks ago of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev (Founder, Isha Foundation) on Australia’s ABC News when he said to one of the reporter’s questions that, “the struggle on the planet is essentially not between good and evil. The struggle on the planet is between your beliefs and my beliefs.”
What I gleaned from those words is that there will be harmony and unity if two parties believe in the same thing, whether it is related to how to live their life, or run a business, or pursue a new business opportunity, or bring about a change in a community or a country.
Our beliefs are shaped by our own upbringing, our own experiences, what we were exposed to during our life until today, what we have elected to focus our attention on, and most importantly by what chose to believe!
I double-clicked on this idea of beliefs and came up with these four interesting scenarios where alignment of beliefs is key for success and for building great relationships:
Scenario #1: Selling a product to a customer
Salespeople should ensure that their prospective buyer believes in two things:
a) what the product can do for them, and
b) the salesperson’s integrity and expertise
If there is no such alignment of beliefs, the sale will not happen no matter how good or inexpensive the product is. If there is a clear alignment of beliefs, then the road is paved for the sale to happen very quickly.
Scenario #2: Entrepreneur pitching to an investor
Every entrepreneur has certain beliefs about the world, about the market opportunity, and why the world needs their product or service.
On the other hand, the investors have their own set of beliefs about what the world needs and what makes money. Their beliefs are based on their own background, their past investments, data they have elected to focus on, market dynamics and finally their assessment of the founder(s) ability to execute on the painted vision.
Because both their beliefs are not coming from the same set of circumstances and experiences, it is extremely important for entrepreneurs to first focus on shared beliefs. If there is a conflict, the investor is unlikely to invest and this has nothing to do with the quality of the product or the market opportunity or the capability of the entrepreneur.
Scenario #3: Relationship between spouses
There will be so much love and harmony if husband and wife believe in the same thing about how to build their story together, about raising a family, about what brings happiness and good health, about what is good for their children, and so on. I really wish Rajesh’s question of seven-core-beliefs becomes part of every marital relationship and conversation! It is important for both individuals to recognize and appreciate the beliefs of the other.
Scenario #4: Leading a large organization
A leader’s goal should be to create an alignment of beliefs among their employees. Every employee should feel inspired by the leader and believe that a certain goal can be achieved by the company. When that happens, the entire workforce will execute as ONE and positive results will be achieved much faster. For example, if a soccer team neither believes in their captain nor believe they can win, then the team is unlikely to win no matter how good each individual player is.
Observe the work and accomplishments of great leaders, such as, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Isha’s Jaggi Vasudev, Art of Living’s Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and President Kennedy during the space race. All of them have one thing in common – they inspired people to believe in something bigger than the beliefs of each individual person. That makes people to work together, because the individual beliefs become minuscule compared to the shared belief.
Entrepreneurs, business leaders, professionals, parents and children – always try to abstract out the underlying belief in every situation you are in, and make sure there is alignment. When you do that, there will be happiness everywhere and magic happens!