Fit to Lead | 5ire's Prateek Dwivedi: Motivation fizzles but discipline carries the day

fit to lead | 5ire's prateek dwivedi: motivation fizzles but discipline carries the day
© Moneycontrol Fit to Lead | 5ire’s Prateek Dwivedi: Motivation fizzles but discipline carries the day

Note to readers: Fit to lead is a series of interviews with business leaders on their approach to fitness, leadership and navigating the new normal.

Lockdown and the pandemic were eventful for all of us, but particularly so for Prateek Dwivedi, the 31-year-old co-founder and chief marketing officer of 5ire, a blockchain startup.

First, the vagabond entrepreneur and a staunch believer and investor in cryptocurrency, Dwivedi managed to beat the worst of the lockdown by moving to Mauritius in early March, where he could wake up and take a leisurely walk on the beach and live an almost normal life. “I sensed things were coming to a head, and the world was going to shut down. I was in Dubai then and got up and moved to Mauritius where I lived for four months,” Dwivedi said from his flat in Dubai’s Business Bay.

Second, after the first wave of lockdowns eased, he was talking to 5ire co-founder Pratik Gauri over a roadside chai in Gurugram, and the two conceptualized 5ire. “I firmly believe blockchain is the future and I had been thinking about ways to introduce sustainability to it. Gauri was also on the same page and that’s how we started 5ire,” he says.

An engineering graduate, Dwivedi had retired at the age of 28 after working in internet marketing roles globally and was living between Barcelona and Dubai when the chai chat with Gauri jolted him back to work.

He enjoys jiu-jitsu, plays volleyball and is aiming to run a half marathon soon despite an accident that makes it difficult for him. But that’s a challenge and he isn’t the type to run away from one. “To me, every day, I make incremental changes to my life to be better. To be able to succeed at work, having a healthy body and mind are non-negotiables,” Dwivedi says.

Edited excerpts of the interview:

How do you achieve your health and fitness goals?

Workouts are a central part of my life as I often work close to 18 hours a day. I work out four times a week. Activities vary from running, jiu-jitsu, weights and volleyball.

Favourite fitness activity…

Bench press, squats, weights, and core workouts.

Your toughest?

I absolutely love running, but because of my injuries, it is also my toughest. I took it up as a personal challenge.

Your new normal…

There is a saying, “If you multiply one 365 times, it will still remain 1, but if you multiply 1.01 365 times, it will equal 38…” That’s compound interest at play. I believe in putting in that 0.01 every day and creating a new normal every day. The exponential pace at which 5ire is growing, I have to keep up with that speed and work with teams across the world.

Has your fitness routine, in any way, helped you navigate the uncertainties of the current times?

The uncertainties are tough on everyone, but the way I navigate them is through a predictable regimen for both body and soul.

The one change you would encourage your teammates to make to deal with the challenges of current times…

Seek to be a better version of yourself every day. Motivation fizzles but discipline carries the day. No one sees the results of discipline in a day, but it always shows through in the results at the end. And every day is a chance to add that extra 0.01 to your routine.

Leadership lessons in your fitness journey…

It’s self-evident that you have to lead by example. But, I am more about internalising whatever I wish to achieve and following through. There is no formula for success or a magic bullet I can provide in leading other than prescribing discipline in carrying out what your vision is and what you are committed to. You have to keep at it every day. Consistently.

What impact does your image of a “fit leader” have on your team?

It is not so much a fit leader than a committed one that makes an impact. I think that commitment is something very internal, we make that to ourselves and hold ourselves accountable. My journey started with self-improvement, and I would like to commit to doing the same through 5ire employees, where they can also achieve the same balance.

Has being fit helped you become a better leader?

Absolutely. It is all connected. Being a better physical self always impacts your commitment and competence in other areas. Moreover, the endorphins released during my workouts keep me energised, reduce stress and aid in having a positive outlook towards life.

Your leadership style…

Open and inclusive. I like to keep an open, honest and democratic culture in the team, where everyone has a voice and feels included. When we are at work, we are hard at it and perform as a cohesive team, hungry to make an impact on the world. When we are at play, we do it equally well. I seek and allow balance in everyone I work with.

On achieving work-life balance…

It helps me manifest a better version of myself. Working out and spirituality can be a powerful combination to transform a person both mentally and physically. It builds strength in both. Once you improve yourself in one area of life, it definitely starts a domino effect in improving all the other areas of your life. You become addicted to discipline and keeping your commitments, both to yourself and others.

Goals for the year…

I am training for a 5K run and then want to also run a 10km race. I am working on getting a blue belt in jiu-jitsu. Beyond that, I have the vision to work on organising an impact marathon at 5ire that sizes up the impact our actions have on ourselves as well as the world around us.

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