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7 Questions with ABHIJIT SHUKLA
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with ABHIJIT SHUKLA
Name: ABHIJIT SHUKLA
Current title: Senior Vice President, Sales & Partnerships
Current organisation: ESDS SOFTWARE SOLUTION PVT LTD
An IIM-Lucknow alumni, Abhijit has led many high performance teams in his leadership roles in KPMG, SAP, Huawei, Anantara & Indian Army. He has been an entrepreneur and successful growth catalyst, a business transformation specialist and an effective partnerships driver, whereby he has built high performance ecosystems to support exponential growth of the enterprises he worked for!
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Top 3 would be:
1. Making space for Reflection: I believe that time and space for reflection and thinking is crucial for clarity and strategic process, so make space for the same in my weekly calendar.
2. Winning the Trust of the Teams and Communicating the constant change!
3. Making Progress amidst chaos: It is so easy to get distracted and be pulled in so many directions when trying to balance creating an exciting future while maximizing results today. Taking the time to communicate constantly and engage your teams in both the excitement of creation as well as the dedication to providing results can ensure that you provide the reassurance and sense of stability an organization
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
During the course of role transitions, the first opportunity came in a temporary role where I had to fill in for a sudden void, after great reluctance I accepted, that resulted in myself working twice as early as it was important to prove to myself, colleagues and the organization. I gave priority to listening and innovating, that probably worked well for me and resulted in a permanent position.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I wake up with at least one positive thought for the day, which I would like to drive through the day; do my Yoga (breathing exercises primarily) followed by a brief meditation, before I start my day by preparing a To-Do List for the day. I start clearing the mails that would have accumulated overnight, I share a daily Boost message to my team, and speak to at least 1 colleague per region/ sub-region.
I usually end my day at about 07:30- 08:00pm, and spend the rest of the evening with my wife (kid is grown up), making sure we are not watching TV but chatting on the day's happening on both ends, or playing Chess, or sometimes I would cook something ( if I'm home early, & actually it's a great stress buster for me!) or maybe we would hook onto the Karaoke for a short session, before we wrap up the day by about 11:00pm, with one positive thought consciously!
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
It's very important to be approachable to the team, building trust of team mates is very important, such that my team members can come to me with full trust and believe that I shall solve his/her problem.
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?
Ikigai: The book talks about a belief in Japanese community that each of us have our Ikigai (purpose to life) and how important it is to remain happy, which is our inherent gene, and get suppressed by ourselves over a period of time. I practice and make my teams practice the mantra of abundance in their daily lives, and being positive during the pandemic results in the team achieving 160% Q/Q, with a sense of ownership & passion, without getting stressed!
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
By doing Succession planning for every role in the team and upskilling these successors!
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
As I mentioned above, where the organizations were struggling to remain afloat, we as a team grew by 160% Q/Q and that happened only because we remained positive, we trusted each other and myself along with my leaders down the line held each other closely through a common mantra, 'We are all in this together, you are not alone!'