So, one of the things I run is called the SoG (short for Shoulders of Giants) where I find young, bright people and then throw them with other young, bright people and then do things that make them friends with each other. In most cases, these people realise that they are smart and thus they make the effort to become friends. If not that, at least they develop mutual respect for each other. I throw ideas at them and then I get out of their way. To the point that I dont even bother with what they do or how they do it.
Of course, I do this with an ulterior motive. I want to not die a boring old man and surrounding myself with young people helps me learn more and do more. Plus I take their help in my work at C4E – you know, market research, ideation, concept testing, vox pops, cultural appropriation, new ideas and whatnot.
It has sort of become a symbiotic relationship where young people are challenged and they grow faster than they would. And I (and C4E) get access to ideas that we would otherwise miss. We help each other grow. Think Escher‘s Drawing Hands.
So I know this works. Helping each other grow. Do more. Etc.
And I have seen enough proof of this in action. I have seen how these kids change after they’ve spent a few months with each other. They blossom. It’s like a finishing school. They see the vastness of the sea. They find their way home and they start walking on the long road. They build their respective tribes. They anyway have access to the Internet and this SoG thingy becomes their gateway to people, places, and opportunities. I can write more but I hope you get the point.
For me, I’ve seen how attached I get to them as people – to the point that I get emotionally invested in their lives and success. As if they are my blood and my offspring. May be it’s my age (of 40) where biology is amplifying my fatherly instincts and making me want to protect and provide.
I am digressing. Coming back.
So, what I do at SoG works to the point that I’ve decided to make this my life’s work. While I will make money from C4E or whatever, I will spend a disproportionately large chunk of my time, social clout, energy, money and everything I have on pushing this program. Each thing I have would be spent on building this program up. Each connection I have will be requested to help me amplify these people. You will see me talk about this more and more. To a point, it would become my single largest communication imperative, ahead of even the work I do.
I dont believe in an afterlife or the epitaph (even though I have joked a lot about it) but if there’s one thing that I want to be known for, it is this. The person who gave big shoulders to young people (and in return took their shoulders to stand atop). The two groups (young people and C4E) help each other out and each spiral up!
However, the thing is, I run it like an ad-hoc program right now. Over the last 5 years, I have worked with 40 kids (if not more) from the ages of 15 to 23 and I have some sense of what works. I also have a sense of what doesn’t. I know why some kids drop midway. I know why some kids are unable to make friends. I know why some And I want to make it better. I want to put a structure to it. I want to write a 78-page plan that each person has to follow once they get into SoG. I want the plan to be a powerful template that each young person could follow to become a grand-slam success. I want it to be like a sure-shot road to success.
I know, I know that am merely thinking wishfully. The kind of thing I want to create and the kind of aukaat I have, they are two very different things. But then, if I don’t take shots out of my aukaat, why am I even here?
Over the next few days, I will work on it and like most things, build this in public. If you have any thoughts, any ideas, or any specific things that I can do to make this program better, please do let me know!
Over and out!