Browse by year:
July - 2006 - issue > Leadership
At the Helm Assays
Abhay Gupte
Saturday, July 1, 2006
Leadership Style
Leaders need to innovate and challenge themselves at all times. Most often, success at an early stage in one’s career results in complacency and impacts future performance. I see continuous changes or higher expectations from my business, my employees and stakeholders. What was good yesterday may not be good enough today! The business environment and competition is no longer restricted to a city, geography or even business.

Working in an ever changing and evolving environment definitely gets me going. It definitely works-up my skills to adapt to and adopt newer business environments at all times. Keeps me going! It provides me opportunities to learn via mistakes and otherwise.
While changes are important and part of our work-life, it is also important they are directed based on a strategy. Hence a change for the sake of change is not good but should be driven by a focused strategy. Of course, there could be course corrections on the way.

Evolution of Leadership Style
I have been fortunate to work with talented managers and leaders in my career. Starting from my first job, I have worked for some of the most professionally run organizations.

The learning in those initial years was very important as I could observe and learn from the best. My leaders were ready to take-on business challenges and take us along with them in that journey. Some of my leaders were very passionate about people. They would go to extraordinary lengths to help and work with team members. They demonstrated the value of working with your own team and sharing the responsibility to be successful. They were great motivators of people with the sheer ability to connect with team members.

Choosing the Right People
I am great believer that attitude is a very important factor while spotting talent. We can deploy training courses to enhance the technical skills if the candidate has the aptitude.

As a leader, it is important to grow and hire those leaders in the organization who share your passion for talent and right attitude. We, as a team have always looked at getting the right person in the organization or spot those talents within the organization. If we get the right leader, his or her talent and capabilities would inspire many more people. And hence in a growth organization, those early investments in spotting the right talent at the leadership level are very important for sustained growth.

Motivating Troops
I like to connect with employees. Talking to them, understanding their views and ideas are a great learning experience for me. They are intelligent and smart, always full of ideas and passion. Hence channeling those ideas and passion to achieve business objectives is very crucial.

I definitely work with employees without borders and hierarchies. It is very important that they feel free to talk to any leader in the organization, seek, and feel an open environment. Hence I have always endeavored to create such environment at the work place.

Customer Focus
Customer satisfaction is one of the important measures of success for any business. The teams must understand and focus their energies on ensuring customer satisfaction. Their own objectives should be aligned with measures that are tightly tied to customer satisfaction. Customer expectations do change and increase over a period of time. It is the responsibility of the leader to build strategies around these changes. They need to build these strategies such that we achieve ‘customer delight’! In an environment of continuous evolution of business models as well as changing markets, the role of a leader is much more challenging as he or she needs to proactively work in planning for such changes.

Most admired company
I admire General Electric for its business acumen and strength of talent. It has strong leadership at multiple levels and a professional approach in solving issues and problems. The focus on six sigma from the executive leadership is a refreshing change.

The Road Ahead
One of the important aspects of my work-life is to share my enthusiasm and objectives with the whole team. I ensure that my managers understand the business objectives and commitments. If the entire team is enthused about every milestone, the task is achieved much efficiently with lot of pride.

Taking your team along with you towards the business goal is very important. They become partners and share the pains and joys of day-to-day challenges. Hence working with your team is very important. Teams often need motivation and encouragement. Hence leaders must see to it that each milestone is recognized, mistakes understood and that key learning is identified.

In a nutshell my mantra to lead people is to allow them grow as ‘thought leaders’ using three powerful words etched by my experience: Measure, Monitor and Manage.

Share on LinkedIn