The Fremont Podcast

Episode 102: Visionary Leadership in the Digital Era with Pankaj Prasoon

December 15, 2023 Ricky B Season 2 Episode 102
The Fremont Podcast
Episode 102: Visionary Leadership in the Digital Era with Pankaj Prasoon
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how a leader's cultural experiences shape their style and approach? Pankaj Prasoon, author of "Leading with Purpose", shares how his journey across four continents and 52 countries has influenced his leadership style. Embedded with insightful anecdotes and lessons from his time in Fremont, California, this episode promises to stretch your perspective on leadership.

We also take a deep dive into understanding purpose and its link to happiness and fulfilment, with the transition to a dream company serving as a defining moment. Pankaj also discusses leadership in the digital era. He brings in a wealth of insights on strategic decision-making, active listening, body language, and the critical importance of learning from diverse individuals.

Bringing two worlds together, our guest, with a tech industry background, explores the symbiotic relationship between the digital and physical worlds. The discussion extends to the value of building relationships outside work, the art of teaching, and the vibrant city of Fremont. As we wrap up, we underscore the significance of giving back and using our voices to uplift others. This episode, rich in inspiration and empowerment, is a testament to the power of visionary leadership and purpose-driven living. Tune in for a dynamic conversation that will engage, educate, and inspire.

To discover more about Pankaj and his work, go here

Check out our new podcast focused on Niles CA called the Cast of Niles. You can find episodes on almost any podcast platform. You can also find it here.

Also, Petrocelli Homes has been a key sponsor for the Fremont Podcast almost from the beginning. If you are looking for help or advice about buying or selling a home, or if you are looking for a realtor, get in touch with Petrocelli Homes on Niles Blvd in Niles.

Additionally, Banter Bookshop is the best little bookshop in Fremont. They are a sponsor of that podcast. And we are excited to have them as a partner.

Intro and Outro voiceovers made by Gary Williams. Check out garywilliams.org.

This episode was edited by Andrew C.

Scheduling and background was done by Sara S.

This is a Muggins Media Podcast.

Speaker 1:

I'm Gary Williams. Your reviews help other people find this podcast. If you would please leave a review on iTunes.

Speaker 2:

There's nothing called as bad leadership. I say this called as catastrophic leadership, Because bad leaders there's none called as bad. They lead to a catastrophe in the organization.

Speaker 1:

Coming to you straight from Fremont, California. This is the Fremont podcast, dedicated to telling the stories of the past and present of the people and places of the city of Fremont, one conversation at a time.

Speaker 3:

Ricky told me to go find a scale on the side of the road and to stand on it. Alright, so the camera adds 15 pounds, but what does the microphone add? And while I make up excuses, like it's the holidays, he also wanted me to tell you this is episode 102 of the Fremont podcast.

Speaker 1:

Now here's your host, Ricky B.

Speaker 4:

So I am excited to have Pankaj Prasoon with me on the podcast today. We met at Banter Books. Banter Books is one of our sponsors and I'm really excited to have them as a sponsor because I love brick and mortar stores. This is my little blurb to say go out and get your books from Banter Books because we need to support our small local businesses. But I met Pankaj at Banter Books. I was there talking to Amy and you were there as well, right, and you were talking to her about this book that you have written. Is that right?

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 4:

There also. Banter Books is also a neighbor of yours, I guess.

Speaker 2:

Technically not a neighbor because we live upstairs. So I mean in the same place and you know I've been a huge avid reader, so I support books from that perspective and before I begin right, yeah. Anybody wants to buy the book from Banter, I'm going to personally give discount from my end as well.

Speaker 1:

So, that's awesome.

Speaker 2:

Because I want to support brick and mortar, because I'm a person who wants to touch and feel and, you know, live the book from that perspective. I support that cause and I want to support what Amy is doing so that's awesome, that's great, that's great.

Speaker 4:

So your book is called leading with purpose, igniting success, inspiring teams and creating positive change. The subtitle is the power of visionary leadership in a digital era. So you know, give me your elevator pitch. What's this book all about?

Speaker 2:

So this book obviously is part of my own journey of 18 years in the tech industry, having lived across four continents, 52 countries, a lot of people. And you know what I figured out that it takes purpose as a leader to accomplish something Okay. And the book narrates, obviously, my own five instances of leaders I've worked with in last five to 10 years and also crafts the narrative in terms of somebody who's just starting their journey as a manager, or you know who wants to go to the C suite, right, what do they need to do? And it touches upon real life stories and incidents of executives, of business leaders or politicians, of social economists, leaders, on how they went about doing it Okay. And I'm a huge fan, I admire, of stories because, you know, nothing sticks better than stories to you.

Speaker 4:

Right, that's right.

Speaker 2:

So most of the conversation in the book you'll find in terms of real life incident and real life stories on how people have gone about doing it, including myself.

Speaker 4:

Okay, you were just saying that, like the first 15 pages of this book was part of your story that took place right here in Fremont. Is that right?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely yes, this is my 12th in the Fremont. I love the city, okay, in fact, 12th year in the U S as well. Okay, and in fact I was just telling this to my spouse that she was asking me you don't need maps while driving during the city and I said absolutely not, because I feel home here. That's great, that's great. And you know the way it's been structured, it's very easy to conveniently put into your map as well.

Speaker 4:

That's right, that's right.

Speaker 2:

So, yes, I love Fremont from that perspective and, again, this five stories which I've put across for executives and leaders actually came from while I was working here at Fremont. Okay, with different people and things like that, yeah, and how they have inspired me in terms of narrating my own craft, changing my own style, as well as things which I learned from them, and I'm happy to talk about few yeah yeah In the conversation.

Speaker 4:

Well, yeah, let me ask you. So you, you said you have lived in four different continents and a slew of countries, right, so give me, give me your origin, like like, you know what was little punk, punk, punk gauge dreaming about when you were a child, and how did you get here where you are now?

Speaker 2:

Very interesting, okay, and I think it's going to give me a lot of deja vu moments now. First of all, I was born in India. Okay, a city called Mumbai, not even Bombay, okay, and a lot of things which I do today and which I've put in the book as well came from my dad, who was a government service, and that meant that we were living states out of states, okay, just if you want to compare, like just in California and New York. So from East Coast to West Coast, to Northern to Southern right.

Speaker 1:

Okay okay.

Speaker 2:

So that way I got the opportunity to meet a lot of people, meet a lot of cultural aspect and, given the fact that we are 1.3 billion in population, every five, 10 miles, the language changes, the food changes, right oh wow. So I learned. My first learning was how do you respect diversity, how do you learn from different culture and, you know, how do you respect and acknowledge a few nuances in terms of that, and that actually helped me a lot when I moved out of India, because as a student I never dreamt of that I'm gonna go out of India. It just suddenly happened, yeah, and I was told hey look, you have to go to Singapore and Malaysia for a project. And you know, I was in the flight, I didn't even realize I was going out of India until I landed there okay. So as a child obviously I dreamt about doing well in studies and because that's culturally comes to us, that's right. But my father and mother always enculted this be a better human being than an educated person because you know that will land you well in wherever you go. And I think, over a period of time at least, I've accomplished with my education. I did my engineering from India. In computer science I did my MBA from Cornell and now I'm, so far I'm doing well in what I'm doing professionally and I think personally also, I have this philosophy of giving back to community, which is what I learned from. So, from a childhood perspective, yeah, it was a fun ride, a lot of learning, a lot of friends, a lot of people, a lot of good food to eat.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And you know that's what I said. When I saw this coffee and this, I was like wow, I love it.

Speaker 4:

That's right, yeah. Yeah, I mean you and I have talked for maybe I don't know maybe 10 minutes before we began this conversation, maybe a little bit longer than that, but I was just telling you before we started recording that I love the fact that you have reflected on moments either in your life. I mean, you've used the phrase deja vu a couple of times. So your first ice cream that you had when you came here was right down the street when you came down here into the basement under Devout Coffee. It reminded you of your college days. And then, even just as you've reflected on these different things in your life, it seems that you have kind of like this place that you store up these special moments or these special memories that are significant to you, that really have impacted you to become the leader that you are, the person who understands the world, that you live in the way that you do. I think that's pretty awesome. I think we need people like that. And then even just the fact that you want to support your community and be involved in your community, I think is a huge thing. So the fact that you were noticing those sort of things as a child traveling around India is significant. Was there anything specific? Maybe you write about this in the book, but is there anything specific that you can point back to and say these were? Or this was the specific moment, or this was a life-changing moment, or this really kind of set me on the trajectory to where I am today in one way or the other?

Speaker 2:

There are many in fact, to be honest. Right, rikki, I'll take you to the first moment of, I think, what I say enlightenment, or aha moment, which I got. This was, I think we were posted in the northern past of India, which is very secluded, and obviously I tell, the real beauty of India is in those places where you have nature, you have people who are very warmth and things like that. I was, I think, grade nine and this was my first time going and presenting in front of the entire school and it was an extempore speech. I'll tell you, for the first time I faced the mic. I had my entire collar wet, I was nervous. I was shivering. And I scrambled and I just delivered it and I just walked out and you know what far away was my dad standing there? Okay, he saw and he noticed. He didn't tell me anything. He said great job done. And couple of weeks down the day and he was just walking past with me and we were walking around and he said look, let me tell you something. When I faced first time speaking to people, even I had this I was nervous. You know, my collar got wet, I was crambling right. So it's absolutely okay, it's all right to show vulnerability, it's all right to be nervous. What you need to do is, you know, practice. You need to come back and reflect. Don't be hard on yourself, but think of these small improvements which you can do in yourself. And I'll tell you, ricky, that served me a lot because you know, after that I could speak on any damn forum, extemporely, any place. You peep me, whether it's in front of 2000 people, 3000 people, and I think it reflected back to me saying hey, look, we have to do our homework. In fact, whenever I go and speak as a speaker, or even in my team meetings, I prep. My dad taught me the art of prepping before you walk in into a conversation. Even today, when I was walking around, you know, my wife asked me what are you doing? And I was putting in my thoughts in the piece of paper. Hey, look what do I need to talk about?

Speaker 4:

There you go.

Speaker 2:

You know what is that? You know people would want to hear from me, or Ricky would want to be knowing about me, and things like that, Right? So preparation serves a lot. I know it's a lot of hard work but again, if you're on discipline, if you're not putting that hard work, forget about it.

Speaker 1:

I mean, you're not going to you.

Speaker 2:

Almost didn't become you almost the day you know he was born neither. Bill Gates right Neither. Steve Jobs they all put in that hard work and they continue to put that hard work. That's right. Right, so I think that's something which I learned.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I think. I think that's a great point. You've made two things that I want to touch on, and I'll just start with this one, since you just said it. One is you've got to prepare, you've got to plan. Success is intentional, right? Well, maybe not always intentional. Maybe there's some luck that it comes in from time to time Right, good fortune. But you look at people who have been very successful and it didn't come to them by accident. They took advantage of the opportunities, they prepared, they planned and they worked really, really hard at having a clear vision for what they were doing, not just in the big moments, but in the small moments as well, and so I think that that is very critical. We'll be right back you can hear the rest of this conversation in just a moment. And now back to our conversation. But I love what you said as well, when you said you wanted to be successful but you wanted to be a good person, and I think that that's so important. I do. My wife and I have this conversation. We talk about the fact that, you know, we have two boys, and I think that parents a lot of times, I think for the right reasons, they want their kids to be successful, but I think more and more, the world is forgetting that we need good people. We need people who are willing to care about the community that they live in, who are willing to sacrifice and invest, you know, for no return. You know just to be able to see good things happen and I love the fact that that's something that's important to you To not just be successful because it seems that you have been successful Otherwise you probably won't have a story to write this book on, right but you've also seemed to be someone who cares about the society that you live in as well. I think that's remarkable. Why do you think you feel that way? Why do you think you feel that it's important to be you know, to be a good person, to be intentional in even being good? Why do you think that's important? Or what have you experienced in your own life that you've seen the benefit of that?

Speaker 2:

It was like pandemic. I think 2020 and we were expecting our first child. Okay, again, a boy born in Fremont and he loves Fremont, in fact, I mean, he says that you know. I live in Fremont, that's great. So, and you know, during that point in time I was transitioning professionally as well. So I joined a company six months back as vice president to accomplish something. Okay, and guess what? Microsoft and Dream Company came on my way and they said hey look, we want you to come and lead something which is much more inspiring. You know, my ability to create an impact on the larger community of people in the tech as well as outside, was higher. And I said forget about the pay and the position. I think I want to do this because you know it lets me create a broader impact, both in the enterprise world even in the community side. And I was very clear that, even though I take a pay card, I want to go and do this. And I went and spoke to the president of the company where I was working and I said hey look, microsoft reached out. It's a dream company. When you're born in India, you want to work for these tech giants. Right, and I had fun fact, in 15 years back, I had declined an offer from Microsoft because it wasn't aligning to what I wanted to do. Okay, so this was. You know, again, this is kind of like coming back, karma, coming back to you, yeah. And I said, look as much, I want to continue because I'm doing, I'm enjoying the world, but I think this is something which is more, much more inspiring. I have an ability to do much more impactful work. And she said, okay, fine. She had tears rolling her eyes. I could literally see on the on the conversation, right on the in the video. But she said, okay, fine, I'll let you go and chase this, don't worry about it, go if and if you need anything in my in, in, in I can be of help, please let me know. And I said, okay, fine. So 15th of June was my last day, then in the company and guess what, my son was born on 8th of June in Washington hospital. And I said, hey, look, probably, and I need to spend time with my family, with my wife, because you know, she needs that support.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I mean. Yeah, it's a week after he was born, right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean 8th of June, right? And I said, look, I can't continue to my work, I have to take a leave because it was pandemic. I called her immediately, saying look, this is the great news I have for you, but I also want to say that I can't work for next seven days. I want to take that leave off. And you guess what she said. What she said punkage, this is the best ever deal and the biggest ever deal in your life. Go and chase it, don't worry about the work. You let customers and anybody know to contact me. You will have your entire salary, your entire bonuses, don't worry about it. Effectively, you don't have to work from 8th of June, but 15th will be a last day. And what inspired me was I had worked 15 years for another company previously and they went as warm and I had, you know, a slogged heart. And this is a leader in front of me Her name is Ashley and I've spoken about her who has a vision empathetic, who understands about building relationships and things like that. And guess what? I am today also in touch with her, I speak with her and things like that. So, and that's where I realized that it is important for me to go and craft this and tell people that, hey, look, you get inspirations for people around you because they have a sense of purpose, not at work, even outside work. So learn that craft, learn those attributes and see how can you accomplish in your own life. So that day, I'll tell you, 8th of June, is when I redefined my own purpose and I said look, my job is to give it back to community in any shape and form. And I've been treading towards it in some shape or form, and I would say my wife isn't super supportive on that, and I think we're seeing that in our child as well. He's two and a half years, but still he values all of these aspects and things like that, and that's the value, belief and principles we want to inculcate in him as well.

Speaker 4:

That's awesome.

Speaker 2:

So, in two words, describe what success looks for you.

Speaker 4:

I'm going to say, oh wow, this is great. I love this. I would say success is happiness and fulfillment Awesome.

Speaker 2:

And I'll tell you what you said just now, ricky. It's a good segue and relates back to my book as well, because what you told me is the outcome. Happiness and fulfillment is an outcome of what you want, what you've done or what you want to do right. And I touch upon in my book that finding success is finding your purpose. The day you find your own purpose, I'm pretty sure you put everything, every heart and soul, behind it because you feel happy about it. Think of this. I mean, if you and I aren't happy and I told you to do a go and do a work, the result will be, hey, look it's going to be, hey, let me drag this and let me get over it, right. But if you're truly passionate about it, if you're truly that's your purpose For example, giving back to Fremont and the community Look the passion which you exhibit in your podcast as well, right. So I always tell people, finding purpose is the true definition of success. The day you find your own purpose, I'm pretty sure, relentlessly, you'll work hard towards accomplishing it, oh wow. Sorry, I spoke a lot about it.

Speaker 4:

No, no, that's great. That's great. I love it. That's what we're here for. So let me ask you this we're going to go into kind of like a laboratory moment here, so I haven't read the book. You were very kind to bring me a copy of the book and you just signed it, which I'm super grateful for, and it's more than just a signature. You wrote a very kind note here, so thank you for that. So, when we talk about leading with purpose, inspiring teams, what are the keys to leading well, what are the keys that you've discovered? And we've just kind of talked a bit I think we've had kind of like a high level, you know, an overview of the kind of things that have influenced you and the kind of things that have impacted you to write what you've written, and you've kind of given that redefining moment, even that you just shared. When you look at a leader or when you look at a team, what are the things that you identify as being good and healthy in those roles and what are some of the things that are maybe not so good and healthy and a leader or in a team?

Speaker 2:

Great question, okay. So I think I always want to call out a lot of people get this misconception that a leader has to be a manager. That's the way you need to be a manager before you become a leader. But that's absolutely not true, because I think leadership is a trait.

Speaker 4:

It's a craft.

Speaker 2:

It's an art, it's not a science. And management is a science. So managing people is a science, but leading people is an art and you will have to like any art form if you want to pay and you want to do music. You need to practice, you need to learn, relearn and unlearn. That cycle has to continue To your point at the last of the book. There are 15 principles. I have actually summarized. It says key principles for people to lead with purpose, but I'll give you five which are very, very important. One is absolute clarity on vision. As a person or as an individual, you need to be very clear what's my not star going to be? And having that conviction of going and rallying people and explaining them why that is the not star. Think of this if you have 15 people with you and you can't inspire them to run behind with the same cause and the same purpose, which means it's not worth, you're going to have people who are just going to be there with you because you are their managers and things like that, but they're not leading from that perspective. So one is vision and clarity of thought. Second is communication, and that sets the tone right In the sense you have to be hyper communicative. I always tell people is always communication executive officer, it's not chief officer because your job in the C suite is to communicate clarity, transparency, so that you can build that trust with people. And often I've seen, culturally as well, as when there's a crisis, you just want to shut it down, you just don't want to tell people and things like that right you? have to isolate Absolutely not right and that leads to speculation and things like that, and I also touched this upon in the book. I mean, if you look at the way COVID crisis was handled in the US and in New Zealand was a completely drastic approach because of the leadership styles of people. Okay, I'm not saying that one versus good is bad other, but you have to look at in the context, in what you're looking at. So the second is communication, yeah, yeah. Third is being empathetic toward people, and when I say empathy it's not being sympathy, right Innocence, and you have to put yourself in their shoes and see what they're going through and give them the space to be vulnerable, able to trust them, and things like that. Fourth is be a coach. And when I say coach, coach is somebody who works with you to elevate your strength and minimize your weaknesses. He's working for you. He's showing you what you're capable of. That's right. So, as a leader, you have to be a coach. You can be a mentor, but learn the craft of coaching.

Speaker 4:

That's great.

Speaker 2:

And fifth but not least, give. Give as much as you can, whether it's time, personal energy, whether it's money and things like that, because the more you give, the more is good going to come back to you as well, right, so I think and that's where I see a lot of leaders now doing a corporate social responsibility, where they're giving back to the community and things like that, right, wow, so yeah.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I think that's awesome. I love those. Thank you for parsing that out and sharing those particular things here. What I hear in all of those things is a sense of community, a lack of individualism and more of a sense of companionship. I guess, if you will, partnering with people, because I think that sometimes we view success as something that happens individually. It happens for me alone. I'm doing what I'm doing for me. People can fight hard that way and perhaps what they find is success to find the way that they want it. But when you look at it from the big picture, it's something that success really ought to be, something that is identified not by you alone, but by the people that are around you, the people that can look at you and say what they are accomplishing is good for everyone, and I think that that's great. That's one of the conversations that I had with my son recently. He loves the Fremont podcast and he loves hearing these different stories. He's 11 years old and I told him and I'm not saying this to pat myself on the back, I'm just simply saying this because I think it's important for me to. I guess I'll be back up and say this as I hear you talk, as I heard those five principles that you just shared, I started thinking of all the ways that I could do better at what I do and the way I need to lead better, the way that I need to reprocess the opportunities and the places that I am that I have been given in leadership, and I realize I could do better at this and I need to change this and do these things differently. And I was talking to my son and I was telling him he was saying I want to be on your podcast and I was like, yeah, it would be great. But there was a moment where he was even complaining about why have I never been on it? And I told him. I said I'd love to have you on it, I'd love to be able to share that moment with you. But I told him, I said the reason why I do the podcast is not because I want to hear my voice. I want my voice to be heard. It's because there are so many other people out there whose voices are worth being heard and they don't have a platform, the opportunity to share. And so I told him, I said my hope is that through the podcast, that I'm giving people a platform where their voice can be heard when nobody's listening, and that's what I want. So it's not about me having my voice heard and my voice being influential. It's actually me giving other people the power to be heard where they can be, and so, but when I hear these principles that you're talking about being a good leader, of being a leader that makes a difference in people's lives, it is the kind of person that doesn't think about themselves first. It thinks they think about other people and their empathy, the generosity, the all those different elements of those five points that you gave are thinking outside of myself, thinking of other people. What are some of the things that you can say that, like when you, let's just say you are, you walk into a room and you are looking for, are they good leaders? Is this a good environment or are they bad leaders? Like, what are some of the things that you might spot right away that would indicate bad leadership? I mean, there's obviously there's the antithesis of what you just said like they're not generous. They're not, you know, but what are there? Are there some key things that you would say? This are these are immediately, you know, when I see this, this is a red flag.

Speaker 2:

Oh, absolutely. In fact, this can't be apric. You know why? Because I was I was, you know, poached by a company. They wanted me to interview for an executive position and I said, look, I'm not looking out, right, but if you really want me to speak, I want to speak to the person who I'm going to work with and you know who are going to report into me, right? That's very important for me to understand. So, all the three ways, right, I'm reporting to who's my peers and who's going to report into me, Right? Long story short, what I look for people is there's nothing called as bad leadership. I say this called as catastrophic leadership, Because bad leaders there's none called as bad. They lead to a catastrophe in the organization. Okay, Good or bad, right.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, that's right.

Speaker 2:

Number one as people, as individuals, we get paid to take decisions. So I want people to come and take decisions, and it's okay. It's and I know I'm looking at the risk, risk adversity index in the sense, your ability to take decision under crisis. You know Jeff Bezos and I speak about in the book as well. You may not have all the data at your disposal, so how much good can you use right, I mean the sense to take that decision in uncertainty? Right, that's number one. Number two how much are they listening? Active listening, again, another trade, okay is what I'm looking for how much are this listening to you? How much are they If you are giving a clue, like example I'm speaking to you, you're picking on things right, which shows that, look, you're being attentive, you're getting those insights of what I'm trying to speak and trying to convey right. So I'm also looking, when you know, when I'm speaking to individuals and things like that, how much is they listening? And paying attention to. Number three is their body language. How excited are they in this conversation? Because if, as an executive and leader, you can't be excited and passionate about it, why are you just warming up the chair? Just leave that's right, that's right. Fourth, which I often tell people have learned this the hard way of my 18 years is that people often compare experience with your ability to create an impact, and that's not true. And when I say that I love people, why do you love to have listened to people who are folks under 30 and 30? 40 under 40, because these are individuals whom you did not think that they could accomplish what a 50 or 60 year olds are able to do, right.

Speaker 1:

Oh, wow.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so don't compare. Yes, experiential learning is phenomenal.

Speaker 1:

Sure.

Speaker 2:

But you can always learn from people like Ricky punkers and things like that. Right yeah. So what I'm looking for is people who have that ability and the art to come and stand up and say, look, I got this.

Speaker 1:

Right, that's a great leadership, and if people who don't have it.

Speaker 2:

That's what I put in the catastrophic world right Saying. And fifth but not the least, which is very often that if you as an individual has to speak about your promotion and salary hike with your manager or a leader, which means you're not in the great position to be in, because if it's really truly motivated to your point to that's why I said inspire teams. If it's really inspiring you, he's going to work backwards for you to give you that ability and impact so that his job in getting you promoted and getting salary hikes are taken care, so if you're having that conversation with with managers and leaders. You're anyway starting in back foot.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

And I tell this to my team also don't come and tell me you want promotions because you want 20% raise. Or don't tell me that you want 20% raise. That's a wrong conversation because, starting on a back foot, you tell hey look, this is my not star in next two years. This is where I want to go. Pankaj, can you help me in each day? Wow, Wow. So, you put your manager and leader in that spot to tell you and guide you. Become that coach for you.

Speaker 1:

And in that process.

Speaker 2:

what you're doing is you're they're going to invest on you, and once you start investing, anyway it's in human psychology right, that's right.

Speaker 4:

If you invest on something, you want returns to come. That's right, that's right, that's right, that's awesome yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I want to end this to your point right, which you said, which is where you're briefing about your son, yeah, I think the six principle, which is inspire others. So, ricky, in your job, look, you have a fan boy now who is feeling inspired. Right, right, right, right. So as a leader you tell, and tell stories in such a manner that people feel inspired, saying I want to work for that industry.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, that's awesome. That's awesome. Billy Roy's Burgers in Centerville is a great place to enjoy family food and great service. You can find them off the corner of Thornton Avenue and Fremont Boulevard in Centerville. Milk and Honey Cafe is a family-owned restaurant located at 342-65 Fremont Boulevard. Right now they are offering a Mid-Autumn Festival Family Meal Special for dining or to go. You gotta check it out. Just drop in or give them a call and ask them more about it. To find out more about the best family-friendly Taiwanese restaurant in Fremont, go to milkandhoneycafecom or check them out on their Facebook page and Instagram. Howler's Pharmacy is here to help. They have been in our community for decades, so whether it's a seasonal issue or whether it's something that you have to take care of regularly, howler's Pharmacy is here to help you find exactly what you need. Check them out on the corner of Fremont and Peralta in downtown Centerville. What's interesting to me and I think this is something that I've noticed since I've lived near the Silicon Valley is that you have people that are like. You said that it was a dream job of working for Microsoft. Right, it was offered to you 15 years ago, or whatever. I think I see a lot of people that move to this particular area because of the dream job that they're chasing. So much of that is in the digital world, the technology world that we live in. You have the power of a visionary leadership in the digital era as your subtitle for your book here, but what's interesting is that everything maybe not everything, but most of what you have said and most of what you've talked about is in this book. It's about analog things, all things. So you've invested your life, your career, into developing technology and yet here you have a book where you I mean I don't know how many pages it says, like you know, over 300 pages that you've written about what could be identified as analog, human, physical things that are important. So what is the relationship for you between the digital world and what you've talked about already and what you've shared here in the analog world? Because I think it's interesting. When I moved here and I was around people who were working at, say, google or Facebook or Apple or all these different companies, I started seeing that, like the rest of the world takes advantage rightly so of the work that is done here. But I would go to the park with my son when he was young, and I still go to the park, but it was just interesting to me that I would see all these families with their kids out playing at the park and they all have their jackets on that say Google or Apple or, you know, microsoft. But and some people are on their phones, but for the most part, people are sharing their lives with the people around them and there's a very analog relationship that's happening in those moments by the very people that are creating these digital environments that the rest of the world is, like you know, bought into. What's that relationship like for you between those two?

Speaker 2:

I'll tell you a very deep question. Our digital world, or say analog world, is when we are logged in at Microsoftcom or at Googlecom and things like that. That's the time. But think of this we are baking and building products which are going to inspire people which are in the real world, whether you look at an Apple iPhone to a Microsoft AI assistant and things like that. So our job is to understand customers. Our job is to understand people. Our job is to understand, be centrist towards that conversation. So and I'll tell you, this is what MBA taught me, and I'll tell you this was one of the best thing I did was to do my post graduation in the States, because I think the way it's taught here is completely different what I experienced in India. It's very real life driven. So before, if you had spoken to me five, ten years back, I could talk in technology jargons. And what MBA taught me? That, hey look, the digital divide, the divide between the tech of the world and the real life of the world, has to be bridged by real people who understand both sides of the world. So now what I've done is that I can have a conversation with a tech geek what we call and I can have a conversation with somebody selling a crossover at a store, and that's what, obviously, mba teaches you. Even lifelong learning will teach you To your point. At the end of the day, if you look at the people we are in Google's, the Microsoft's and the Apple's of the world, they're all human beings. They're all individuals like us, they have a life after five or even at four and things like that. So it is very important for us to keep these worlds very separately and in fact, I'll tell you, one of the best innovations which I developed in the last three years came out from my conversation speaking to somebody at Costco.

Speaker 4:

Really Right. So, think of this.

Speaker 2:

Another AI assistant which I worked upon came out when I saw my niece reading a book and she asked me 20 things. So what I'm trying to say is that I am learning and understanding what real life people are going through, because I'm a human being.

Speaker 1:

I'm not a scientist or not a robot?

Speaker 2:

So how do you take that? Go back in the work which you're doing and how do you create and craft something which is going to be much more inspiring?

Speaker 4:

I love these moments that you are drawing from, that have inspired you, and to really help you to articulate this, because you said it was a deep question that I asked, and actually I don't even know that I articulated the question well, except for the fact that I wanted to know the relationship between that you felt with, between the digital world and the physical world, and I think that that's an important question that we need to, even as users, even as consumers. I think that we need to ask because I, you know, one of the things that I say often, especially to my son, who's getting older, is that technology needs to be an extension of our reality, not a replacement of our reality, and I think that that's sometimes where it goes wrong, where we want to escape the reality that we live in, and so we dive into the digital world as though it's an alternative, and it's not an alternative but when it's used as an extension of our reality. So you and I are hopefully going to be friends after this. We'll be able to pass each other at the bookstore or on the street and we can stop and talk, but I may not see you again for months or even a year. But there's a way that we can extend our reality by using technology and email or text messaging or whatever. But I think that that's something that it's important to help clarify as well. And I think and that's what I hear you saying I hear you saying that you are taking cues from experiences that you have in real life, like your experience in Costco, and saying this is something that needs to influence the environment that we're creating digitally and the way that we engage and we interact, because I think that that is important to us as human beings. So do you see yourself continuing in the tech industry for a while, or are you looking to do coaching, teaching, speaking on this, or are you doing both?

Speaker 2:

I'm actually doing all of them, all of them both. Because technology happens to be my passion and I don't want to leave that. What I've realized is that you need that, I would say agent, who's going to take the technology world and say, people, hey look, this is what inspiration is all about, right? And you bridge that technical world to the reality of what?

Speaker 4:

we're living in today.

Speaker 2:

For example, I tell people, and my team as well, if you can have a conversation, for example, with Ricky at work, if you are my counterpart, but after five o'clock I can hold you for a conversation for five minutes apart from work. That sets you the relationship that you have with us. So build relationship apart from work To your point. What I do now. I teach digital marketing and product management because not because I want to teach, because I strongly believe in the world of people and students. You get asked the toughest questions Because they are not looking at you, they're not judging you, they're going to ask you bluntly and I tell people to you as well, because you have a son. there are two words which a three-year-old or a five-year-old will often say which is why? And no, and I think we also individuals, have to learn as we grow that you know we have to always ask this question why?

Speaker 4:

Why are we doing this? That's good. And that is very important.

Speaker 2:

So I'm teaching, I will continue to work in the tech, but what I've realized is I've sold almost 10,000 copies of the book in the US itself. Few of my actually friends and one of somebody who I didn't knew reached out to me through my website and just said fine, you talk about leading with purpose, but how do I find my purpose? And being a certified coach which I am and I said look, I'm helping people with that right. So the next book which I'm writing is in collaboration with professors from Ivy League. OK, on organizational behavior and things like that. Because I want to mix academics as well and give people the craft on if you are happening to be a 10-year, 15-year-old, 25-year or 35-year stuck in your career stuck in your life. And you're saying what do I do next? I'll continue to write, I'll continue to speak, I'll continue to work in the tech industry and build products that are going to inspire people, because when I go to a store and I see the software was built by me and my team, I'll tell you they want a jubilation which you have. Nothing else can give it to you.

Speaker 4:

That's awesome. Yeah, yeah, I can imagine that that's really cool. Well, I'm excited. I thank you for the copy of this book. I'm looking forward to reading it and also seeing your other book come out. That'll be great. I've been in positions where I've been able to develop leadership in places, but I think, for me, I struggle with the idea of managing and using the leadership opportunities that I have in a way that doesn't lead people to chaos, and so I'm excited to hear what you have to say in this, and I know this is an area that I can certainly grow in, and I think that the idea of helping people find their purpose is really important as well. Well, thank you for joining me Before you go. You poured out your love for Fremont. What are some of your favorite things to do here in Fremont? What are some of the things that you love, some of the memories that you've made here, living here for the last 12 years?

Speaker 2:

So again, this is the longest I've stayed outside my own country anywhere. And I call Fremont as a home away from home. So, right in front of think of the things which have stuck in my career professionally personally happened in Fremont, whether it was my son is buying my first home ever, right, yeah. Or the fact is the ecosystem is so vibrant. For example, I would spend times and days sitting in the Fremont library, okay, reading through the books and things like that. I would go for a walk in the Elizabeth Lake, right? I mean so beautiful the park's nearby, right? My son, I'll tell you, he rides to go to the park rather than going into a secluded place and trying to enjoy right so. I think Fremont is blessed from that perspective because of the vibrancy of people and the diverse community which we have. Obviously, there is a lot of Asian, if you see a lot of Indian community. But I think there is a lot of diversity as well, if you compare from a Berya perspective. I'm a foodie, I love food. I mean, there's a lot of.

Speaker 4:

What are your favorite restaurants? Where do you go?

Speaker 2:

I go anywhere and everywhere, trust me I mean, but off, late, I have started picking Royce from that perspective, next to Banter. Then there is Paradise Biryani Point, then there is Italian restaurants as well, so I mean there's a bunch. Right, I went from that perspective. Then you have movies. So think of this In the vicinity of Fremont you have three Costco within five miles. It's crazy.

Speaker 4:

That's crazy yeah.

Speaker 2:

So you can imagine the influx of people and things like that. So I mean, it would have been easy for you to ask me what you don't like about Fremont.

Speaker 4:

That's great. I love that. I love that. Yeah, we have a lot of wonderful things. We have a lot of great food, we have a lot of great parks, great weather, great people, great community. But I don't think we I don't want to say market it well, but I don't think it's something that like we don't try to make it what it is. I think it is what it is and we just get the opportunity of taking advantage of it. I was talking to somebody just this last week and I was saying I get tired of trying to like when I hear other people who live other places and they're talking about their community and I explain my community and they start criticizing and I'm like you know what? I don't have to defend my community because I just know it's a great place and there's no reason for me to try to champion what I think and believe about the city that I live in. I just think it's a great place. So I love, I love the way that your, your mind thinks. You know, maybe we should have started off with what don't I like, because that's a much shorter list. So that's really great.

Speaker 1:

That's great.

Speaker 4:

Well, thank you so much for being on the podcast and I look forward to getting to know you better and getting to know your book better. And if people wanted to find out more about you, like they can find the book, ad banter books will probably put, or I'll plan on putting, everything in the show notes so people can find links and everything they need to know there. But if they wanted to find out more about what you're doing, how would they do that? You said you had a website.

Speaker 2:

I think so again, we live in a digital world. So, find me on LinkedIn or even go to wwwpankhpasooncom. You will find about my blogs, about what I do, what I'm doing new.

Speaker 1:

Somebody wants to get coached and things like that. That's great.

Speaker 2:

And again, if somebody wants to pick the book from banter, go and ask her about the author discount. I'll personally make sure that it's affordable and that's one of the reasons why I'm not making any money out of the book and whatever money I'm making is going to a charity.

Speaker 4:

That's great. That's great.

Speaker 2:

Right. So, I want to give it back to the community in any shape and form I can. So those are the links. And again you can go to banter.

Speaker 4:

Come to Ricky shows and ask about what I wear, about that's awesome. Well, thank you so much. Thank you for being on this, and I look forward to hearing more about you in the future.

Speaker 2:

Pleasure, pleasure. Thank you so much.

Speaker 1:

This episode was hosted and produced by Ricky B, Scheduling and pre-interviews by Sarah S. Rachel Prey is the print editor in charge of our newsletter. I'm Gary Williams. Andrew Kovett is the editor. Music provided by soundstripecom Be sure to subscribe wherever it is that you listen so you don't miss an episode. You can find everything we make the podcast, our newsletter and all of our social media links at thefremontpodcastcom. Join us next week on the Fremont Podcast.

Speaker 2:

And fifth but not least, give. Give as much as you can, because the more you give, the more is good going to come back to you as well. Right, so I think and that's where I see a lot of leaders now doing a corporate social responsibility, where they're giving back to the community and things like that- but I told them, I said the reason why I do the podcast is not because I want to hear my voice.

Speaker 4:

It's because there are so many other people out there whose voices are worth being heard and they don't have a platform or the opportunity to share. And so I told them, I said my hope is that through the podcast, that I'm giving people a platform where their voice can be heard when nobody's listening, and that's what I want. So it's not about me having my voice heard and my voice being influential. It's actually me giving other people the power to be heard where they can be. This is a Muggins Media podcast.

Leadership and Cultural Influences
Leading With Purpose and Finding Success
Digital and Analog Worlds Relationship
Bridging the Digital and Physical Worlds
Teaching, Writing, and Loving Fremont
Giving and Amplifying Voices