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The People Dividend Podcast

Sep 26, 2023

"Every one of you is capable of doing a whole lot better than you currently are, period." says Ram V. Iyer.

With an impressive background marked by dual master's degrees and experiences spanning Fortune 100 enterprises to Silicon Valley, distinguished business expert Ram V. Iyer brings a fresh perspective on what keeps "smart" people from being successful. For anyone, especially HR professionals, leaders, and coaches, aiming to improve personal and business performance for clients or teams, this is a must listen.

Ram delves deeply into heightened self-awareness, highlighting its essential role in understanding one's strengths, weaknesses, and the perceptions of others. He also introduces the concept of "smartness," a step beyond mere intelligence, underscoring the importance of effectively applying knowledge in real-world scenarios. Drawing from his assessments, Ram presents intriguing findings on the pitfalls that often beset highly intelligent individuals, notably a lack of action orientation and a tendency towards perfectionism. Navigating these "success inhibitors," he suggests, can unlock immense potential.

The episode also dives into the realm of mindset, with Ram championing the power of a growth perspective. He stresses the value of learning from both triumphs and setbacks, positioning such experiences as foundational to becoming truly unstoppable. Furthermore, he touches upon the significance of fostering a positive relationship with money. Alongside these insights, Ram equips listeners with practical advice and tools to facilitate meaningful transformations in their professional and personal lives.


  • "Awareness of self is very different from self-awareness. Self-awareness is simply what you have understood about yourself, but you can also understand and learn a lot about yourself by talking to others who know you well." (11:47 | Ram Iyer) 

  • “The number one reason why people who are highly intelligent are not as successful as they'd like to be is they fail to act. They have poor action orientation. They don't act in a timely fashion. That is behavior. But what I found was underlying it? Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons why. They have high standards. It's not ready yet. By the time you're ready, the market is gone." (18:35 | Ram Iyer) 

  • "You have to go and identify your silent killers of success and mitigate them." (20:03 | Ram Iyer)

  • "You need to have a growth mindset, meaning you're open to listening to the feedback that the assessments are providing." (23:18 | Ram Iyer)

  • "Change takes effort. Change takes time. Change is hard work." (34:47 | Ram Iyer)

  • "Knowledge is useful, but unless you take action, it's fairly useless." (36:00 | Ram Iyer)


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