Manager Emerging Technologies
Rohit Balakrishnan is a member of:
I continue to develop my management and interpersonal skills in order to grow as a leader. I feel another often overlooked area is personal development and being clear about one’s goals in life certainly helps in becoming an effective leader. This is another area that I work on constantly by reassessing my goals and identifying my areas of improvement.
Current work profile
I currently work as a Senior mobility SME at CSC ITS where I started and currently help manage the mobile testing Centre of Excellence. My current role here is to design testing solutions for our strategic accounts as well as guide them in roadmap planning and implementation of their mobile Centre of Excellence.
Essential skills required for leaders
The most essential skill and probably the hardest to master is keeping your cool under stress. It requires not just your professional training but an internal clarity and focus which needs to be cultivated and renewed on a daily basis. Every good leader at the very least owes this to their team so that they can depend on their leader when things get rough. I have seen leaders panic and lash out at employees when things start going wrong which is very bad for the morale of an organization. A good leader ensures that the team continues to perform effectively and develop solutions to problems even under duress by relying on a collaborative approach rather than a heavy handed or micro-management style.
Advice to managers
My only advice would be to be a leader even if you don’t happen to be in a leadership position. I come across many managers who think they are not given enough authority to function or lack the confidence to make decisions. People are looking for a leader who can actually lead and it is inspiring to work with and be guided by a leader who challenges instead of ordering around based on official authority. So instead of waiting to be given the responsibilities, just assume it and sooner or later your authority just gets recognized.
One of the most important decisions I have made in my career is to not limit myself to just my job description. I have always been involved in different aspects of a software firm including design, development, testing, sales and even HR and marketing. I like to know as much as I can about different aspects of the organization which almost always gives me unique insights into how to tackle many of the challenges – whether technical or political. While it is easy to get lost in the noise of the urgent tasks to be done or the panic of an upcoming project milestones, it’s important to stop and look at the big picture from time to time. I always like to look at what we are doing, what is the organizations goals, then make fine adjustments to make sure we am headed where we would like to be.
Balancing personal and professional life
The most important thing is to start the process of articulating the solution. Great solutions often evolve slowly and take form as you receive additional creative inputs from others or insights into the problem. It is easy to procrastinate in order to create the “perfect” solution which no one can question or even freeze up like a deer in the headlights by collecting so much useless information that you never have enough time to process it. The whole point is to make mistakes, debate and evolve the solution to the next level. I think this is very true of life as well.
Handling Office disputes
I feel the most important thing while addressing any grievance is to be empathetic and very transparent in your dealings so that your employees trust you to make the right decision for all concerned. Any sensitive matters should be handled with utmost delicacy and discretion. Conflicts must be resolved with the utmost integrity and without any bias whatsoever. It is very important to do this because people are always watching how you treat others or handle even the most trivial of situations and will affect how they perceive you as a leader. It’s not enough to merely give the impression of being a good, empathetic and honest leader, you actually have to be all of those things.
My views on India Technical development
I feel we are very risk averse as a society and like to play it safe while others take the risk and along with it the glory. What we are lacking is enough people who are willing to make the leap and take risks which are probably not even as risky as we imagine. It would be great if even more entrepreneurs who are willing to come up with innovative ideas could be encouraged, provided with strategic planning skills, resources to ensure business success and a financial safety net so that they have the confidence to soar higher.
Some of the leaders whom I have been privileged enough to work for have had a major influence on my life. They have not only helped shape my career and guided me along but have also had an impact on the way I relate to my work and the people I work with.
My family background
I come from an Armed forces background and most of my family members are respected defense officers. My father retired from the Army and my mother as teacher a few years ago. I have an elder brother who is also doing quite well in his career and is settled in Australia. From an early age we have been imbibed with a strong work ethic and have been taught the value of applying the right effort in everything we do. Another important value which I attribute to my upbringing is how to focus equally on family and social life which provides a solid foundation to rely on when things get rough.