“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.”
For someone who spends an awful lot of time living in the fantasy world of books and films, the real world can sometimes get a little dreary. And when things started getting dreary, I knew I had to rewrite my diary. My name is Anish Singhvi, and I’m a 26-year-old Indian male, non-engineer, solver of problems. Which is a cooler way of stating that I am a lawyer.
The key driver throughout my (admittedly) young life has been one question: ‘How to be a professional problem solver?’ The hunt for answers took me to one of India’s best law schools, and from then on to one of India’s (and Asia’s) biggest law firms. Working countless hours on complex mergers and acquisitions, solving difficult problems was exciting and challenging at first. The thrill of working on new transactions and dealing with clients from across the world kept me going. But the more I worked, the more I felt the need to play a bigger role, to solve bigger problems. Law school and my law firm taught me how to think and I felt that I could use all the skills I had learned in a much larger context. Which is when I decided to reboot and leave my ‘minor life for grander maybes’.
IMD positions itself as a school for leaders, and while I don’t disagree with that, I don’t think it is necessarily in the leadership business. It most certainly is in the problem-solving business. Through all our classes, coaching, integrative exercises, start-up projects, team activities, problem solving is the one common denominator. And with a class as diverse as ours, one constantly hears fresh new ideas on how to solve some of the biggest problems faced by businesses today.
I suppose it is only appropriate to end this blog by quoting a personal role model of mine. Arsene Wenger (the legendary Arsenal coach) once said “the target of anything in life should be to do it so well that it becomes an art.” Which in a nutshell is why I landed up in Lausanne on a cold January morning: to learn, to grow, and hopefully turn problem solving into an art.