As a nation when our PM inspired to switch off our lights and switch on lights at 9 PM for 9 minutes on April 5th, I didn’t know that it was falling on the day I am completing my 25 years of professional career experience.
The previous night I wrote down the list of bosses and leaders whom I had worked with over the past twenty-five years. It came down to 30 people. I am happy that all of them are alive and kicking except for one person. I remembered our last business travel with him after which he told me that I’m not sure when we will see each other. Unfortunately, that was meant to be. I learned how to be a team player under his leadership.
I decided to check the remaining 29 on Linked-In and also did an in – mail for 10 people. Two leaders immediately responded wit their compliments. One quoted his feedback about me as a “very innovative, enthusiastic sales manager and then product manager. And you were very flexible and keen to learn new ideas“. I realized that I had not recommended him and immediately wrote it down and shared it with him.
I noticed that I was not connected on Linked In with five of the leaders and so I sent them a connect request. I reached out to another 4 people on WhatsApp thanking them for guiding me and making me who I am today. As I was typing my messages for each one of them I could recollect and picturise what I learned from them and that helped me to share a couple of golden nuggets which they have passed during that work period.
From the leaders, I reached out over social media I wrote to them individually about the tenets and insights I gained from them. I was happy to have personalized the messages, in terms of how they impacted me.
Crisp communication was the major take away from my first boss. I learned from this galaxy of leaders things like how to manage and inspire teams, work ethic, punctuality, how to hire right people, humility, focus, seeing an end to end business from development to execution, working capital management, how to put the right go to market, an ecosystem of support, how much hard work and bonding is critical in business. From some leaders I learnt different facets of leadership, how to execute business with large teams, doing business with pleasure and staying focussed with clarity and execution. Overall I am indebted to all the bosses and leaders who crossed my path and left an indelible mark.
For the past 25 years, my job has involved a lot of travel. I started in Pune in my first job, then I had the opportunity to be in Kolkatta ( then Calcutta) and be part of a small team to set up the business. From there to Mumbai was quite a different experience. After some good time in Mumbai, I had the opportunity to get an international stint based out of Munich and Rome. Finally, it was time to come back and stay in Delhi for a short duration before moving to Bangalore. My business travels have always helped me learn new things and perspectives and it helped me reimagine old ways of doing things in new ways. It made me also practice switch off and switch on. I had my share of tough times as well during the course of this journey and one common denominator which I learned from these experiences was that I became better at handling crises one after the other. In the desperate times, I had the opportunity to take help and support from a lot of these leaders and their words and ACTs had helped me navigate and come out on the other side as a better and improved professional.
“Human potential is limitless,” that is an empowering statement.
As I switch on for the next twenty-five years, I will focus on three key areas:
First is business management, I loved the way business gets generated and how it scales and so my focus will be to develop new ways to improve and collaborate for business in this newly emerging post COVID world.
My second area of focus is building new leadership capabilities, especially dynamic adaptability in these changing times. My experience at TILT has definitely helped me in adapting to the ever-changing dynamics of this situation. I was reading Leadership lessons from COVID 19 times and it is definitely going to be a different way of influencing and impacting people.
Finally, personal growth and development have been one area that has been very dear to me and there I am looking at new ways to actuate my po10shall.
It is now time to switch off from the old ways ( 25 years) and switch on to new ways to look at my career and how I can add more value in the next 25 years of my career.
Let me take the test.