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I hope reading
7 Questions with Dr Amit Nagpal
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Dr Amit Nagpal
Name: Dr Amit Nagpal
Current title: President
Current organisation: Bloggers Alliance
President Blogger Alliance
Author of 4 Books
: Lifelong Educator:
Visiting Professor, BIMTECH, India
: Speaker & Coach:
Advisor NASSCOM Community
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Understanding Human Psychology esp changing human motivations/needs
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
The BackStory- The Why
Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak made a sweeping statement, “Indians Lack Creativity'' during his visit to India In February 2018. Steve pointed out that Indians measure success with academic excellence and a stable job, but lack creativity. He also emphasized, “The creativity gets left out when your behaviour is too predictable and structured, everyone is similar''.
Indian Education and Rote Learning
Although I disagree with Steve in terms of the stereotype and generalization, I have definitely experienced that Indian schooling and education system emphasizes rote learning, which diminishes overall creativity in children. So I began introspecting and wondered how I can further contribute to the nurturing and enhancement of the creative process in India. Indian education system needs structural reforms to encourage creativity and innovation. In fact if one analyses the deeper issues, being a developing country we discourage risk taking and creativity requires taking risks and risking failure.
Coming up with creative and innovative ideas also requires risking ridicule.
Encouraging Creativity, Empowering Creatives- The What
Empowering creatives (and introverts) has been my lifetime mission since 2010. I had realized that social media and blogs have empowered creative people to showcase their creativity to the whole world. Creative people need to be trained and coached on knowledge and skills required for success in the digital world. Blogging is a platform creative people can use to showcase their creative output and freelancers can showcase their creative portfolios online.
Connecting the Dots-The How
Storytelling has been gaining popularity in the digital world and social media has democratized storytelling.
Everyone has inherent creativity and a story to tell. In fact I personally believe storytelling is a higher and structured form of creativity. Or in other words storytelling is Narrative + Meaning. So I decided to connect the dots and empower creatives/ encourage creativity one step at a time.
I looked for like minded people, did the necessary research & administrative work and decided to launch the Alliance Nearly one year from Steve Woznaik’s interview.
Bloggers Alliance is Born
The introspection led to the idea of creating an association of bloggers, storytellers and creators. The name Bloggers Alliance was finalized as a platform “for the bloggers, by the bloggers”.
At Bloggers Alliance, we aim to inspire and guide bloggers to become storytellers and storytellers to become better storytellers. We intend to bring out the creativity and stories in as many people as we can. Our punchline reflects our mission aptly, “ Hand-holding Bloggers on the Road to Success”
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I have a To Do List divided into 3 columns viz Today, This week and This Year.
After reaching office, I decide the sequence of tasks for the day and then start. I also check the tasks for the week which need to be moved to Tasks of the Day.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
The best members (self driven) will work on their own and take initiative. With the rest of the team, you have to practice tough love. At times, you have to prioritise (tasks of others), pressurise (when needed) and passionise the self driven.
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?
Managing People is Like Herding Cats by Warren Bennis. The book highlights that each human being / team member is unique and hence the changing motivations of team members need to be understood on a continuous basis. With each team member and each situation, you need a different leadership style (contingency theory)
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Keep training and mentoring those who work directly with you and encourage them to train their teams. I believe in Leaders Cause Leaders.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
Self awareness is critical for good leadership. Here is one story on how one of my students discovered that LinkedIn can be a self awareness tool.
LinkedIn as a Self Awareness Tool
During an interaction with students of BIMTECH, I asked many students, “Would you like to share an interesting experience you had on LinkedIn?”
One answer was really unique and memorable. A student replied, “LinkedIn has helped me develop better self-awareness”. I was actually surprised at the wise answer and asked him how.
The student explained with several examples:-
a) “While researching & adding skills to my profile, I developed better awareness about my skills.
b) While writing my About section in story format, I understood the experiences which have shaped me professionally.
c) Describing my work experience, education & accomplishments helped me further understand my strengths and weaknesses.
d) Integrating the insights gained helped me reflect on the specialization that would suit my personality and background.
” So true. Socrates rightly said centuries ago, “Man Know Thyself”. A leader who does not understand himself/herself can hardly be expected to understand team members. Better self-awareness certainly creates better leaders.