Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with
helps you in your leadership.
Organisation: The Mindspring
Ramesh is an accomplished Certified Leadership Coach, Digital Partner, and C-Suite Advisor with a track record of leading successful transformations for F500 organisations. Before becoming a full-time Leadership Coach and C-suite advisor, Ramesh worked for over three decades in the IT industry across geographies, spending nearly a decade in the USA. He previously led business divisions with revenues exceeding $300 million and scaled technology delivery organisations to 4000+ associates.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
The most challenging aspect for me as a leader was bureaucracy and slow decision making process. Having worked in large organisations, I found that limiting and sometimes frustrating
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I have worked across multiple large organisations - each with its own distinct culture. I love challenges and it motivates me. Though I changed organisations, I have a grown thru the ranks, primarily due to my bias for action and better decision making capabilities. I have been fortunate enough to have earned the trust of my managers who empowered me and gave me more responsibilities along the journey.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am an early bird. I wake up pretty early - before 5am. I go for morning walk/run, do my breathing routines and I used to be in office before 8.00am. That gave me 60-90 minutes of time to clear my important tasks for the day. Once the team came in then I would be busy with project/team meetings, 1-1, skip level before I left for the day. I would engage with my team members on regular basis and would take them for a walk along with me for discussing important issues, if any.
Post Covid the structure has remained more of less the same, except for the fact that I have gained more time as I operate from home.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
The most important leadership lesson I have learnt is to go soft on people, but hard on issues. The person is a product of their circumstances, which is no fault of theirs. Most of the behaviours may be unknown to the individual. I may not like the behaviour of the individual, which can be corrected thru grooming or coaching. Hence be nice to people, but focus on the behaviours and provide feedback in near real-time so that the individual is able to realise it and learn from it. Also, identify and nurture the strengths of your team members. That keeps them motivated and committed.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
I have a list of them, each of them have contributed its bit ... couple of my favourite books are "What got you here will not get you there" - Marshall Goldsmith, "7 Habits of Highly effective people" - Stephen Covey. These books shaped my thought process on developing my career and improving relationships - both personally and professionally. That has transformed me into a student for the rest of my life - exploring and learning new things.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
My advice to young leaders would be to explore and experiment. Develop curiosity and never hesitate to experiment or learn new things - there are plenty of opportunities. You will learn from your mistakes and in turn try new things. Only that process will help you identify your strengths and passion. Once you have identified your passion, only then you will have the sense of freedom and fulfilment.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Couple of years back, I was handling one of the most critical programs in my group. There were some escalations at that time and one of my core team members father was in hospital in critical state. During that time I had provided him the flexibility to work from the hospital and home to take care of his father. The team member was a sincere person and he delivered to his best inspite of their personal constraints and the program went live successfully. One day to my surprise, I received a call indicating that there was some visitor for me at the office reception - which was unbelievable, as I was not expecting anyone. When I went to the reception, I saw my team member with his parents waiting for me at the reception. His father had recovered fully and they had come to thank me for the support. It was a really touching moment and a kind gesture.