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.


Serve your family by playing big rather than playing safe

He told me he was not playing BIG in life because of his family commitments. When we started coaching together, he genuinely believed he didn’t have any time to play any BIGGER than he was currently playing. Yet, the hope of one day being able to do so was clearly evident in his eyes. When we talked about his ambitions, his eyes lit up and his entire body came to life.

Now, it is wonderful to be committed to your family. I totally get that and respect people who set healthy boundaries when it comes to their work. However, the story that you can not go after your dreams because you have family commitments is just that – a story. With this coachee of mine, we talked about him serving his family by playing BIG instead of playing safe.

What if we can serve our families better by playing big rather than playing safe? What if we can serve our families by going after our passions and dreams instead of getting used to the mundaneness of everyday life?

What if we give them an example rather than safety? What if we can live in a way that fills our every moment with joy, meaning, and aliveness? What would serve them better? What would serve you better?

After a few months of life, he is playing BIGGER than ever and loving every moment of it. And he shares his successes, his struggles, and his learnings with his kids and wife after work. Both he and his family love the idea of serving by leaving an example?

Just a few days ago, he (my coachee) proudly shared something his 9-year old daughter asked him. She said, “Dad, I am not being treated well at school by this one other girl. I am wondering how can I react in a way that I leave an example?”

He told me that this was a PRICELESS moment for him. Irrespective of the results he produces in his own BIG dreams or not, he said the coaching has already been worth his investment.

And that was a PRICELESS moment for me.

PS – As a coach, my promise is to serve you and not to please you. These conversations are often not comfortable but they can be magical and transformative. If you want to make a massive impact with your leadership, I have only a few 1-on-1 coaching spots available for 2021.

My challenge to you is to 10x whatever goals you are considering. Now, does that scare you? If yes, that is a good place for us to talk. Write to me. I read and respond to every reply.

Articles and Stories Which Have Fascinated Me


Optimise for the right outcome – Joy

Back when I was a consultant, we had this thing we called “solving for the answer.” We would take the outcome that the client wanted and try to build a model to solve for it.

It’s easy to keep doing what you are doing out of habit and wait to see where it gets you. But picking an outcome – in this case, joy – changes the required inputs of your model completely. Those who have joy in their lives had this in common: 

  1. They know where they are meant to be
  2. They work and live in a state of flow
  3. They don’t know the answers, but they see the path they want to be on

Some tactics I’ve found helpful for seeking joy:

  • Find people in your life who have joy and ask how they achieved it.
  • Look back at the moments when you’ve experienced joy and ask yourself what those situations all had in common.
  • Start with the outcome of joy and work backwards to where you are. What would it take for you to get from here to there? 

 As you write your own story, solve for joy, and the rest will follow. 

From an article by Deb Lio – Solve for Joy


Why Is This Idiot Running My Engineering Org?

People tend to think that the biggest deciding factor in their career is their talent or skill, but I don’t believe that. The way you process risk and handle fear has more impact on what kind of career you have than any other single factor.

A lot of getting people to perform well as their manager is about anticipating their decision making, and a lot of that is about understanding two things:

  • How are they incentivized?
  • How do they perceive and process risk?

When you are the leader, you are the person who is held accountable for failure. The higher up you go, the more you are accountable for and the less you have control over it.

No one is born knowing how to run a 1,000 person engineering organization. Eventually, you end up spending all your time trying to look busy, avoid responsibility and save face by scapegoating others. The end result of this is that it often feels like everyone at the top is maliciously incompetent.

From an article about the lack of good leadership training by Marianne Bellotti – Why Is This Idiot Running My Engineering Org?


Why do we glorify overwork and busyness?

The tendency to devote ourselves to work and glamourise long-hours culture remains as pervasive as ever. New studies show that workers around the world are putting in an average of 9.2 hours of unpaid overtime per week – up from 7.3 hours just a year ago. Co-working spaces are filled with posters urging us to “rise and grind” or “hustle harder”. 

Billionaire tech entrepreneurs advocate sacrificing sleep so that people can “change the world”. Millions of us overwork because somehow we think it’s exciting – a status symbol that puts us on the path to success, whether we define that by wealth or an Instagram post that makes it seem like we’re living a dream life with a dream job.

These days, many people work long hours to pay off debt, to simply keep their jobs or to make that crucial next step up the ladder. Glamourising overwork has existed for decades, whether it’s been about glorifying prestigious jobs in fancy offices or hustling and grinding to pursue a passion.

The World Health Organization defines burnout as a syndrome “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”, characterised by feelings of exhaustion, negative feelings about a job and reduced professional efficacy. We’re at a crossroads: we can prioritise our wellbeing, or prioritise sending an email at 0300 because it’ll impress the boss.

Letting people work from home can only go so far in easing the burden – it has to be up to the workers to stop making burnout somehow desirable, and up to the companies to stop making the workers feel like they should.

From an article on BBC by Bryan Lufkin

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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