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.


Where To Focus Our Attention?

Our attention is like the blade of the sword for the warrior. Where a warrior points the blade of their swords determines their success or failure in war. Similarly, where we choose to point our attention determines the results (both quantitative and qualitative) we produce in life.

So, where shall we put our attention at this moment? Do we put it on what is immediately in front of me (news, social media, etc), or what brings us long-term joy and satisfaction? Do we put it on the risks, pressures, fears, and uncertainties of the world around us (especially during covid)? Or, do we focus our attention on what is in our control – our efforts, our planning, our moods, and our attitude towards life? The choice is ours.

We can also choose to move the attention needle depending on what stage we are at.

If we are a beginner at something, we can focus our attention on execution so that we move fast and learn as much as possible.

If we are at intermediate at something, we can focus our attention on creating a strategy and going after our goals in a more planned way.

And if we are nearing expertise in a domain, we can focus our attention on the way we see the world, and if there is a way to see it differently. For the expert, focusing on the observer that they are is often the biggest leverage point they need.

What is your biggest leverage point right now – in different areas of life? Are you focusing your attention to those leverage points? Or, are you letting your attention drift to whatever is in front of you right now?

Your attention is the blade of your “leadership” sword. If you want to sharpen more or find out what would that mean for your life, reply to this email. I read and respond to every reply.

Articles and Stories Which Have Fascinated Me


6 Things To Avoid As A Leader to Ensure High Team Performance

It is easier to cause damage as a leader by ignorance than it is to improve performance by deliberate intervention. Here are 6 things that you must avoid doing if you want to be a successful leader. 

  1. Do not accept mediocrity or low standards. Whatever standards you accept will become the norm. 
  2. Don’t treat people with disrespect. Even when they mess up. 
  3. Don’t force people to commit to deadlines or take on work that would mean spending time away from their families or ignoring their health.
  4. Don’t put profits over employee well-being. Don’t push people to stress and burnout
  5. Don’t bias your decisions because of who and what you like. 
  6. Don’t micromanage. Trust people and let them do the work they were hired for.

While there are a lot of guides on what to do as a leader, these above 6 things are a simple reminder of what you should not do. Sometimes it is easier to cause damage to team morale and engagement with one small misstep. If you keep the above guidelines in mind, you will set the foundation for a strong team.

From an article from my desk titled 6 Things You Must Not Do As a Leader To Ensure High Team Performance


100 Tips For A Better Life

This article lists down simple guidelines for life (I also see them applicable to leadership) divided across categories such as possessions, productivity, health, success, relationship, and above all, joy. Below are some of my favorites:

  1. Done is better than perfect. 
  2. Reward yourself after completing challenges, even badly. 
  3. If you’re not that smart but can communicate ideas clearly, you have a great advantage over everybody who can’t communicate clearly.
  4. If you’re under 90, try things. 
  5. Compliment people more. Many people have trouble thinking of themselves as smart, or pretty, or kind unless told by someone else. You can help them out. 
  6. Don’t punish people for admitting they were wrong, you make it harder for them to improve. 
  7. Human mood and well-being are heavily influenced by simple things: Exercise, good sleep, light, being in nature.
  8. Bad things happen dramatically (a pandemic). Good things happen gradually (malaria deaths dropping annually) and don’t feel like ‘news’. Endeavor to keep track of the good things to avoid an inaccurate and dismal view of the world. 

From an article on LessWrong – 100 Tips for a Better Life


George Bernard Shaw on Living a Life That Burns Bright

“This is the true joy in life: being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one;

being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.

I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

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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