Thank you to the 1,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading
7 Questions with Krishna Kumar Nair
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Krishna Kumar Nair
Name: Dr. Krishna Kumar Nair
Current title: Director - Curriculum & Courses
Current organisation: International School of Counselling and Holistic Studies
Krishna is a mental health and wellness care entrepreneur, psychologist, mindfulness master coach, researcher, counsellor, personal coach, professional trainer, startup specialist and consultant serving people across 25+ countries.
He is an expert trainer in psychology, mindfulness-based interventions, entrepreneurship, career counselling, emotional intelligence, behavioural wellness, NLP, career coaching, counselling skills, alternative therapies and digital marketing. Also, he is a chartered advisory member for various organisations and serves as a personal consultant for more than a dozen top businesses professionals hailing from different geographical pins.
1. What have you found most challenging as a board member?
The most challenging part for me in leadership is always about decision making towards the long term goal. Though it is challenging, I will name it the most thrilling part of a leader's life. One decision can make or break multiple kinds of impacts. The decision making acts of a leader is always like playing chess. You may make a single move after analysing all the 360-degree dimensions and future possibilities.
2. How did you become a board member? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Becoming a board member or being in the leadership position was not a single night change over. Today, you are seeing a Krishna who is in the leader's chair. There was a long journey behind this day. I have begun from the bottom line of my profession. At the same time, I always had the blessings called passion to move upward in my career. The right actions at the right places at the right time made this happen. The exponential growth was not a miracle though it may look like so. There was plenty of time, energy and life moments spent rigorously behind this silent growth.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
In-person, I do not prefer any micromanagement activities in my daily routine. I always delegate the assignments to the right hands. However, I will have a plan for my day, week, month, years and more. Many times the set plans will not work in the same way as we draw on paper. I will ensure that the priorities are mapped accurately in the top to bottom order.
In short, if I am giving up a coffee, I might be working on buying a coffee estate. In other words, everything planned for the day may not work. Meanwhile, the top priorities will always be the immediate and high attention gained babies for me.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
The four powerful lessons I always believe about leadership are here.
1) Decisions based on long term goals and plans are highly effective.
2) Do anticipate any kinds of changes in the plans as everything around us is not in our control.
3) Keep your emotional side away while making the decisions to get the logical and analytical views accurately.
4) Be flexible to accommodate any kinds of changes in the anticipated results.
5. What are some of the keys to doing governance well in a organisation?
An organisation shall consider the employees as integral parts and family too. However, as the family becomes larger, the management goes broader. Frame the structure of the organisation accordingly and optimise as per the long term goals. Having an unstable and short life team will eat a lot of energy, time and efforts. I would say wait till you build the right team even though it may take more months. This is always a better strategy instead of having an incompatible legion for your war. Train and mould your core team as per your organisational goals and long term plans.
6. How do you differentiate between the role of board member and the roles of CEO or executive team member of a organisation?
I am handling both roles in different places. Hence I have a different analogy for this. Being the board member is like being a member of a family which is owning a large farm. Every member has the intention to keep the farm productive, healthy and growing every day. However, the members may show different kinds of approaches, though the goals remain the same for all. Now the CEO is like a chief farmer on that farm. He is the owner of responsibilities of productivity, health and growth of the farm.
Accountability comes to the hands of the CEO. The CEO will have higher challenges as he is the bridge between the board and the organisation. He is responsible for managing the entire farm. At the same time, he has to collaborate with all the board members as well. If the board members stand together to share a plan, half of the job is going to be smoother for a CEO. If the person is CEO and board member, the challenges will grow more. Because now the leader has the role of accountability, stake-holding and management too.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a board member so far?
A king sent one of his most trustworthy soldiers to the top of a cliff for a task. There was a packet and three instructions given by the king to the soldier before his journey. The first one was to keep the packet safe from water and fire. The second one was to drop the packet inside the pothole on the cliff along with some fire sticks.
The final instruction was to come down immediately from the cliff via ropeway after dropping the box with a firestick inside the pothole.
The soldier was thinking throughout the whole journey about three things.
1) Why did the king tell him to keep the packet away from fire and water?
2) If I have to keep the packet away from the fire, then why did he tell me to drop inside the pothole with fire sticks?
3) Why should I travel back via the ropeway?
However, the soldier obeyed the order and dropped the packet inside the pothole with fire sticks. Then he climbed on a ropeway to reach the valley.
As he reached the valley in a minute, he heard a loud blasting sound. The cliff started to show tremor. It made the cliff break into pieces of rocks within a few minutes. In a few weeks, new roads were built in the place where the cliff was existing. The people in the country started to get supplies easier now. The sellers had exported more goods out of the country for better profit easily.
The vision of a board member or leader will have a larger view than a limited thinking employee.