Welcome to the Deploy Yourself Newsletter. Every two weeks I share what impactful leadership looks like to show your own power. I also share the most insightful lessons and stories I encountered in the last two weeks. You can also read this issue online.


A Ripple of Hope

The recent wave of coronavirus has hit India, and especially my hometown Delhi, very hard. I have suffered some losses in my family in the last week, and I am hurt and pained as I write this. However, it would be a terrible waste if we only experience the worst in this crisis – the fear, the panic, the anxiety; and ignore the other side of the coin – which is how a crisis like this also bring kindness, service, courage, humility, and companionship to the surface.

Hence, I want to share with the readers a poem titled “A Ripple of Hope” I wrote over 10 years ago.

When nothing around you is going your way,
When nobody is hearing what you have to say..
Times like these are the real test of your will,
For amid storms is the challenge to stand still..

When your life will take a sudden turn,
When you will reach a point of no return
Just keep moving ahead despite of every hurdle,
For there is always light at the end of the tunnel..

When all you get is blow after blow,
When every hope and promise seems hollow
You have to decide how high you want to rise,
For you know in every crisis there is a prize..

When nobody around you knows what to do,
When everybody is searching for a clue
That is the time for you to stand strong,
For every night ends no matter how long..

When everything looks like falling apart,
It is very important not to lose heart
For every step, you take against the slope,
You are giving rise to a ripple of hope…

Reply to this email right now if it sparked something for you. I read and respond to every reply.

Articles and Stories Which Have Fascinated Me


The Neglected Middle Child of Mental Health

Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. It’s the void between depression and flourishing — the absence of well-being. You don’t have symptoms of mental illness, but you’re not the picture of mental health either. You’re not functioning at full capacity. Languishing dulls your motivation, disrupts your ability to focus, and triples the odds that you’ll cut back on work. It appears to be more common than major depression — and in some ways it may be a bigger risk factor for mental illness.

So what can we do about it? A concept called “flow” may be an antidote to languishing. Flow is that elusive state of absorption in a meaningful challenge or a momentary bond, where your sense of time, place and self melts away. During the early days of the pandemic, the best predictor of well-being wasn’t optimism or mindfulness — it was flow. People who became more immersed in their projects managed to avoid languishing and maintained their prepandemic happiness.

By acknowledging that so many of us are languishing, we can start giving voice to quiet despair and lighting a path out of the void.

From A New York Times Article titled There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing


Why Are You Trying So Hard To Fit In When You Can Instead Stand Out?

“I can always choose, but I ought to know that if I do not choose, I am still choosing.”, said Jean-Paul Sartre.

We are always in action and always making choices. We are never not making a choice. Even not doing something is a choice. There is no life without choice. We have this power – to choose – in every moment of life. Once you understand this, it can be very powerful.

Watch Steve Jobs explain the same concept in different words in this short 100 seconds video.


A Framework To Take Your Team Culture From Blame to Accountability

If you fail to shape your culture, the culture will shape you and your business results.

Blame stops learning, as people get defensive and hold onto their positions. As a consequence, both the individual and the organization do not enjoy the benefits of learning from the mistakes. In a culture of blame, people start hiding mistakes, which is even worse.  On the other hand, accountability means recognizing that anybody can err and viewing mistakes as opportunities for learning and growing.

How to Get There? The following are 6 steps to take your team culture from blame to accountability.

  1. Create Trust and Psychological Safety
  2. Create a No-Blame, Always-Learning Policy
  3. Be Curious. Ask Questions To Figure Out Why The Problem Happened? 
  4. Build and Practice Emotional Intelligence
  5. Make It Better
  6. As a Leader, Take Responsibility for Your Team’s Actions

From an article from my desk – A 6 Step Framework To Take Your Team Culture From Blame to Accountability

That’s it for now. If you have any questions or feedback, or just want to introduce yourself, hit reply. I read and respond to every reply. All the best,


(Twitter) @SumitGupta
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