Cockroach Theory - A Speech by Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Dr Cockroach

By Jairaj Singh, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International

Sundar Pichai is the new CEO of Google who has come from humble beginnings to lead one of the biggest technology companies on the planet. So what is it that made him stand out from the crowd? Well, the story he shared below at a Google Developer Conference may give you an insight into that....

The Cockroach Theory for Self-Development:

"At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady.

She started screaming out of fear.

With a panic-stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach.

Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky.

The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but... it landed on another lady in the group.

Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama.

The waiter rushed forward to their rescue.

In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter.

The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt.

When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant.

Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior?

If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed?

He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos.

It is not the cockroach, but the inability of [those two] ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed [them].

I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but it is my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me.

It's not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me.

More than the problem, it's my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life.

Lessons learnt from the story:

I understood, I should not react in life.

I should always respond.

The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded.

Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of.

A beautiful way to understand............LIFE."


It's not known whether Sundar Pichai actually came up with this story himself or whether it's origin lies elsewhere. However, there is such a powerful lesson in it that regardless of how it originated, there is something for all of us to learn. Thanks to Rajavel Subramanian for posting the story on LinkedIn.

What have you taken from the story? Share in the comments below...

Want More Inspiring Wisdom Like This?

Signup to receive complimentary insights from legends to apply in your life, career or business!

Get More Inspiration For Your Life, Career or Business as a Member of the Legends Report   

Join the legends Report

Members Login

[whatsapp url="https://www.legends.report/cockroach-theory-a-speech-by-google-ceo-sundar-pichai" title="Thought you'd like this Legends Report article, it's a great story about the cockroach theory of self-development." ]

Inspiring Videos

Latest Legends News

WordPress contact form by 123FormBuilder