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Spring: a twisted piece of metal that can be pushed, pressed or pulled but which always returns to its original shape or position afterwards.
Rejection is inevitable in every stage of our lives. But what if this inevitability were a tool? What if it could be used as leverage to spring forward at every setback? What if there was a way to systematically process rejection and become a super-spring?
Ambi Parameswaran—best-selling author, brand / leadership coach and former CEO of FCB-Ulka Advertising —was rejected at his dream job interviews, he was denied promotions and clients turned down his business pitches. He now knows that he eventually succeeded because of these rejections and the way he handled them.
Spring is packed with tales of rejection and redemption. Walt Disney, The Beatles, Thomas Alva Edison, Michael Jordan, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the founders of Infosys, author Amish and others have used rejections as a pivot to swing their careers and businesses around.
Ambi brings his decades of experience to bear on perhaps the vital life and career lesson you could learn from rejection. In Spring, he puts a gentle arm around your shoulders and helps you bounce back stronger than ever from every rejection.
From the Publisher
You are a veteran in brand & advertising, been on the board for many companies, how did you take rejection experiences, what was the most important takeaway?
We are not prepared to face rejection. A company is surprised when consumers reject what they think is a perfect offering. In a similar way a manager is dejected when his proposal gets shot down by the Board. The most important takeaway is to be aware that there is a possibility of being rejected. I don’t think you should enter any field with the expectation that you will be rejected. That is a defeatist attitude. You will never win if you enter with negative thoughts. But at the back of your mind you should be ready with a Plan B.
Spring is about bouncing back from setbacks, what are the 3 key skills that one should possess to bounce back from failures?
In the book I have explained that you need to have a three step process to handle rejection. The first is to be ready to face it. Don’t get into a negative spiral just because your proposal got rejected by your boss or the VC. Be ready to face the rejection. The second step is to be able to process the rejection. You need to go behind what happened. And here I have written that you need to have a robust RPS, a Rejection Processing System. You need to have a sounding board to go to, a mentor or a colleague who can advice you. The third step is to be ready to learn from each rejection. All the successful people who I have met and read about say this, use each rejection as a learning experience. So the simple formula is Face – Process – Learn.
Inspite you have given all the efforts to make a project succeed, and if still fails, how best should one motivate themselves to keep going.
There are multiple shades of rejection. There are what I call soft rejection. These are those we can overcome by sheer perseverance. You need to keep trying and trying. I have narrated several stories in the book about people who kept trying till they succeeded. However not all rejections can be overcome through repeated trials. If you feel that the rejection is terminal you need to rethink and explore new directions. I call this process Redirection. You may have to change course. In the startup ecosystem they have a nice name for it. They call it ‘pivot’. Learn to pivot your offer.. Learn to pivot your career.
Please tell your readers why should they read Spring and what made you write this book, especially during these difficult times
I think we are living in difficult times. We are going to be facing increasing challenges, rejection and failures. The younger readers, who have had a good run are not being confronted with job losses and pay cuts. I wrote the book before the pandemic but the book is all the more relevant today. If I can call it that, it is like a Vaccine against Rejection. So the vaccine may take time to arrive, but the Rejection Vaccine is here. Take it to strengthen your immune system, is my advice to the young and not so young readers.
On the professional or even the personal front, sometimes failures come in sets i.e. repeated failure. What would you recommend in such instances?
If you are repeatedly failing or getting rejected then may be you are doing something wrong. As I have recounted the story of a start up that got rejected by 100 VCs, till they found a mentor who adviced them to look elsewhere, you need to find a mentor who can point you in a new direction. I call this RPS, Rejection Processing System. You may be blind to your faults. So you think you will try and succeed the next time. It may happen. Or it may not. It is therefore critical for you to have a robust RPS. It could be a family member, a former colleague, or a friend. Keep your RPS ready. Don’t keep trying to do the same thing the same way again and again.