Don't be afraid to poke the box

Don't be afraid to poke the box

Learning & Development

Pramod Veturi

Pramod Veturi

18 Apr 2022, 10:12 — 2 min read

I have an extensive collection of books that I often refer back to catalyze some thoughts going on in my mind.

This evening I was browsing through one of the early books of my favourite mind, Seth Godin, titled “Poke the Box". In this small book of 87 pages, Seth Godin urges the readers to not wait for others to tell them what to do and, instead:

  • Take the initiative and start without waiting for someone else to say what needs to be done,
  • Be willing to experiment, try stuff, 
  • Take chances, risks- be ready to fail, and learn from it,
  • Finish and deliver on what they start. 

The core message of the small book is that none of us need to wait for the boss’s okay or be told to push the button; we just need to take the initiative and poke. Poking the box/button is a metaphor for that child-like enthusiasm to take the initiative and risk instead of waiting for someone to tell to you what needs to be done.

As I was flipping through the book, I came across this powerful sentence that I had highlighted.


“Excellence isn’t about working extra hard to do what you’re told. It’s about taking the initiative to do work you decide is worth doing. It’s a personal, urgent, this-is-my-call/this-is-my-calling way to do your job.”

What a powerful manifesto for how every one of us could approach our day-to-day work!


Also read: Beware of the curse of knowledge


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Pramod Veturi

Global leader with experience managing core banking functions with proven track record of delivering business transformation and growth.

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