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Posted on: Sunday, 17 April 2011 by Rajiv Popat

I tried to skip a school exam once.

The reason? Underpreparation.

My excuse? Given my average grades till date, I had already passed, so it was pointless to give the exam anyway.

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Dad never seemed to meddle in my personal decisions, but this time he did.

His stand was simple: It's perfectly OK to fail an exam. It's perfectly OK to be afraid. It's not OK to NOT show up for the exam.

The deal he offered me was this: Go there, sit through the exam, submit a blank paper and come back. No pressure of writing anything. No strings attached. All I had to do was show up.

It was a reasonable deal. Think about it, I was going to get no marks for not showing up so if I showed up, sat through the exam and submitted a blank paper it would still be the same.

And since my showing up mattered so much to him, I decided to show up.

The story has a glamorous hollywood movie touch to to it. Seriously.

Here is how it ends: I go to the examination. I see the paper. I realize that I know the answer to the first question and answer it. I move on to the next question and then the next and before I know it I find myself begging for just five more minutes of extra time so that I can wrap up my last answer.

When the results come I score a whopping 80+.... but that was never the point.

We celebrated.

No, not my marks or my victory.

We celebrated the fact that I showed up when I was low on self esteem and preparation and high on fear and self doubt.

The episode taught me that while we are all stuggling and craving for results and while as a manager it is your responsibility to make things happen, taking the preasure off and celebrating intents and efforts instead of the result can change everything.

What do you celebrate?

What does your manager, team lead, team and organization celebrate?

Just a little something to think about.