- By Dwaipayan, 19 October 2020 | 12 MIN READ
A lot of wonderful things are shaping up in the space of leadership psychology over the last few years. Ground-breaking leadership theories are stirring up to explain how people become terrific leaders. The question is what makes a great leader? Do certain personality traits make people suited to certain leadership roles?
Look at the people around us, especially our employers, with such big influence on society. We often ponder how such individuals excel in such leadership positions? “As I am more journeying into this learning world, my take on leadership has become simpler than ever before – I've strongly started to feel the association of few characteristics that make leaders distinct among others”.
In an exclusive interview, Raghavendra Gudipati, Founder & CEO, Learnovate unfurls the essence of Leadership – A management consultant based out in Pune who specializes in HR Strategy, Capacity Building, impact assessments, and Need-based Assessments. We thank you for pausing from your busy day and allowing us to inspire our readers.
Our readers are excited to know about the true nature of a leader, what according to you is a successful leader’s suite?
True leaders are empathic and deeply understand people they come in contact with; they are quick to sensitize the overall settings including the people who are surrounding them. They always feel what another person is experiencing from within their range of life. This is one of the finest leadership qualities which will have a greater influence on the people. Empathetic leaders are genuinely interested in knowing the people and their lives with whom they associate with. They show interest in asking questions about people’s lives, their challenges, and needs to create a great space by helping others to achieve greater results in life.
In one of the TED- The Way We Work posts in LinkedIn says: “92% of employees would be more likely to stay at their jobs if their bosses showed greater empathy”
They say wisdom tends to grow in proportions to one’s awareness of one’s ignorance. What enables you to keep growing and deliver excellence?
True, how can one be contributing to others when they are not resourceful and engaging themselves in continuous learning? Self-aware leaders know best about their abilities and weaknesses; they engage themselves in the constant learning process which eventually helps others to grow.
By becoming more self-aware, and subsequently recognizing their hidden biases, leaders gain the trust of their team members and increase their own credibility. In addition to helping them develop professionally, self – awareness also helps them have a positive impact on the organization or the businesses they engage with.
As stated in one of the Harvard Business Review Series; Self – awareness seems to have become the latest management buzzword – and for good reason. Research suggests that when we see ourselves clearly, we are more confident and more creative. We make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively. We’re less likely to lie, cheat, and steal. We are better workers who get more recognition for the work we do. And we’re more-effective leaders with more-satisfied employees and more-profitable companies.
The market can go up and down. What is your thought in providing effective collaboration, transparency, and adaptability?
Research has proven that over 70% of the workforce in the US are actively disengaged and that their managers are the number one cause of job dissatisfaction. But it shouldn’t have to be like this. I would like to bring here Agile leadership – an entirely new approach to leading people. True leaders always engage their teams, energize their organizations to find ways for the ever-changing world to get the work done. Agile leaders always focus on others’ needs. They acknowledge others’ perspectives, give them the care they need to meet their work and personal goals, involve the teams in the right decision making and build a sense of teamwork. This approach leads to higher engagement, more trust, and strong relationships with team members and other stakeholders. Agile leaders focus on; embracing every aspect of agility in the organizations and the businesses, they set a clear vision that their team can embrace and feel accountable, believe in and live their mission on regular basis, they inspire the culture of self-organizing and self-managing teams, constantly help their team members in taking care of their customers.
As per one of the McKinsey Insights Agile leaders are the first who practice the ‘transforming self’ and they make several changes in a disciplined way.
What has inspired you to become a leadership coach?
Ever since I have engaged in community development activities right from the beginning of my career, I was deeply fascinated by the approach taken by many of my senior associates, they truly believed in nurturing people by always asking insightful questions which eventually empower them to take actions for improving their lives.
My association with them lead to curiosity on the method of ‘asking questions to know more’ rather than ‘telling people what to do’. My research on executive coaching helped me a lot in understanding the basics of coaching and I loved the GROW Model, one of the simplest and powerful models in coaching.
GROW model was influenced by the Inner Game method developed by Timothy Gallwey. Gallwey was a tennis coach who noticed that he could often see what players were doing incorrectly but that simply telling them what they should be doing did not bring about lasting change.
The result was that the players started to improve without a lot of effort because they were keeping their eyes on the ball. But because of the way the instruction was given they did not have a voice in their heads saying, “I must keep my eye on the ball”. Instead, they were playing a simple game while they were playing tennis. Once Gallwey saw how play could be improved in this way, he stopped giving instructions and started asking questions that would help players discover for themselves what worked and what needed to change.
I am personally inspired and started learning more about becoming a coach. Thus, I realized and truly started believing that ‘every human being has the greatest potential to do something based on and beyond his/her capabilities and my job remains to tap that potential by asking the right and insightful questions’, and I stopped ‘telling people what I know’ but ‘started becoming more curious about what other people are, about their needs and aspirations’. This approach is magnanimously helping me to understand the world in a much better sense.
Could you share with our readers about the Leadership projects/ strategies you’re currently handling?
We are working with one of the leading universities in India, offering advice and consulting services for placement and alumni engagement initiatives, working closely with the Chief Executive Officer of the University. The project has a wider scope of work which includes strategizing the overall implementation of the activities, right from strategizing vision, goals to executing the managing change processes across various functions working closely with the leadership teams.
Our role is to help teams achieve the transformational goals which are aligned to the larger objective of the organization.
We take a unique approach in helping clients; co-create, align, and executive, while we facilitate, we take the journey of transformation along with the client, and by end of the project our agenda is to leave a feeling to our client that they have accomplished the goal and they own the outcomes.
Tell us something about your entrepreneurial journey
Having worked with various organizations including, developmental sectors, government organizations, and corporates, I have personally gained experience in developing new projects which largely help communities. Being a true believer in nurturing and leveraging others’ capabilities, I always embrace the new talent pool and collaborate to work with. The freedom to innovate and take the learning to wider spaces is possible when you take risks on your own and that’s where our initiative ‘Learnovate’ christened in January 2020.
Learnovate is one of the flagship initiatives by Pranitva Consulting Services Pvt. Limited based out of Pune. The team of Learnovate consists of skilled and experienced professionals who carry a collective experience of more than 50 years associating with; Corporates, NGOs, Government sectors, Health sectors, Educational & Training Institutions, and Start-ups.
The team has hands-on experience in delivering projects in; Business Growth & Scale-up, Project Management, HR Strategy & Consulting, Capacity Building, Assessments & Audits for multi-dimensional projects.
Genuine leadership is about striving to become better in all areas of life and empowering everyone around you to become the best versions of themselves. The insights from Raghavendra Gudipati will help our readers, viewers, and people at large to understand the spirit of leadership.
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