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Ask Usha Hari for Advice
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Usha Hari
Usha Hari

Usha Hari

Software Development Manager


Current job profile
I am a Software Development Manager in the Tivoli Group working for IBM India. I manage a team of Software Developers to deliver Storage Analytics feature in IBM’s next generation Storage Resource Management product. I setup this team from ground up in 2010 and have since overseen two major releases come out of India Software Lab. Tivoli Storage Development organization was setup about two years back.
Leadership quality
As a leader, one of the most difficult tasks is to get the team to execute your vision.  A lot of times leaders get caught up in strategy and while it is the right thing to do, many projects fail if there is very little focus on execution even with the best strategy.
Ensuring growth
I strongly believe in life-long learning through both informal and formal education. Most of my learning comes from talking to my peers and I learn from leaders outside of my organization and outside of my company. I do my own SWOT analysis. Out if this, being aware of my weaknesses and work on these has helped me grow as a leader. For example, my strength in understanding different technologies was not enough for me to succeed on the business front as I discovered I needed to improve on Sales, Marketing, and Finance very quickly so that I can connect with business leaders across multiple organizations if I have to succeed in the long run. The quickest way for me to work on this improvement was to pursue Executive MBA program. I am proud to say that I have achieved my goal and completed Executive MBA from Indian School of Business in 2012.
My advice
Internally, connect with people and teams he or she manages very quickly. This is as critical as meeting with his/her leadership team and his/her bosses. Externally, know your customers and partners who are using your products and services. Once you have done this, you can then sketch out your vision and the plan for execution and communicate to your teams who you rely on and motivate them to produce the best products in the market that customers want and find a purpose to use.
Avoiding mistakes . both in your personal as well as profession
It can make or break a professional or a personal relation if the leader fails to recognize the importance of this question. To be successful either personally or professionally, I practice the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI).It is a complex concept and some leaders possess this characteristic naturally while many leaders acquire it.  EI helps you look beyond the person you are working with and gives you insights as to why this individual you are working with is frustrated and brings your attention to focus on trying to resolve the issue and yet maintain a relation with the individual. It is not as easy as it sounds, however, it can be acquired.
Influenced by
My husband has had a great influence on me. He encourages me to expand my horizons in the industry and has been very supportive throughout my career.
Handling Grievance
I treat them very seriously before it gets out of hand. I will sit with the employee to understand the grievance and will take support from HR advisor. If employee wishes to speak to higher authority I will allow him to do so. I will follow my company guidelines and will take immediate actions in terms of getting help for this employee as number one priority. 
Important career decision
Moving to IBM in Silicon Valley from Informix was my first important career decision and moving to IBM India was my second and completing Executive MBA from ISB, Hyderabad is my third.

My view on India technical development
India needs product management culture which is slowly gaining ground. We can produce world class products if we train more product managers in this country. We are lacking because, we build products for USA and other markets but none for Indian markets. And this has to change. One way this change can happen is with support from corporate India to consume high technology products in their businesses. And technology companies should seize every opportunity they get to work with corporate India and build products that give the value to their businesses. In India, technical talented people may come at a lower cost than the products and therefore technology companies in India may have to rethink the business model and come up with a low cost model that attracts corporate India. Once we have the corporate India talking to the product companies, product managers play key role in delivering the right products for the right markets and hence product management culture will thrive.
Family background
I am the oldest of the four children for my parents. My dad was a well-known Electrical Engineering Professor. All my siblings are engineers. My husband started his career as an engineer and moved on to being an entrepreneur. I have two teenagers who were born and raised in the US before they moved to India in 2009.  We call both US and India as our home.
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