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7 Questions with Venkatesh Kallur
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7 Questions with Venkatesh Kallur
Name: Venkatesh Kallur
Current title: Senior Partner - Banking & Management Consulting Services
Current organization: NouveauGEN Solutions Inc.
An international banker and Senior Risk Management executive spanning over three decades of astute business acumen. Seasoned enterprise risk management executive with strong foothold in Strategy, Credit, Market and Operational Risk along with Enterprise Risk Management. Experienced in leading the executive management, and various Board room meetings in the subject areas of Strategy, Credit, BASEL regime, Enterprise Risk Management, Situational Leadership, high performance Culture Management and Institutionalization. Brings to the table a high degree of emotional maturity and business intelligence. Keynote Speaker and a vivid writer on various Risk subject areas in International Risk Forums, a “C-Suite” leadership coach and mentor with accomplished experience across Banking, and Financial Services.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Building values and trust based culture is truly very difficult and a long road that we need to walk together. Political dynamics which usually kick-in in a multi cultural environment needs to be carefully managed in order to steer the clouds.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. It is to be understood that as a leader you should be prepared to serve your employees at all times....like a devoted servant, which is what I cultivated in my career of three and half decades. Passion and empathy should precede leadership. Goes without saying, it is important to get the strategic thinking and big picture without losing sight of the details when needed. Overall, discipline and the commitment to your own value system is of paramount importance to me. These are values that I bring to the table of an enterprise.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am an early bird. My day starts at 4 AM with my two hour morning walk, 7 days a week, 365 days. Usually i am the early / first bird in the office and i start my day with my "Things to Do" book and make sure i cover all the tasks however minute they are ....will be jotted and tracked and closed by the end of the day. All my important messages to my Board or other committees will be attended to in the morning first hour and as the day progresses, i keep lee important items. I close the day by 8 PM and hit to bed with a book to be awake by 2 AM. 2 AM to 4 AM is my most productive time of reading, research and data assimilation.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
If you want to walk fast, walk alone, if you have to walk longer, walk together. These two are very much needed in corporate life. Further, leadership is situation specific and adaptability to situations and challenges is very critical.
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?
7 habits of highly successful people by Dr Steven Covey and Situation Leadership by Ken Blanchard. Both these books made a solid impact at a conscious level in my life and as such there is a paradigm shift in my leadership style and people management. The two books made me internalize in keeping the end picture in mind for any initiative or project that I have led. This has made me steer the teams and projects with absolute clarity steering the clouds.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Building second line management is a very important role that I take on in every institution that I work for. Mentoring and coaching is very critical for me. I always build a learning organization with active "Lunch & Learn" sessions, where several leadership workshops and SME topics are discussed. I highly encourage open, honest and direct communication within and outside my teams. This helps cut a lot of political dynamics in the organization, which is a criminal waste of corporate time. Often, I provide a platform for young leaders to foster their leadership skills through job shadowing and providing opportunities. I encourage people not to fear mistakes, so that they can exhibit their "Risk vs. Reward" behavior, which in turn builds a win-win relationship.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
Walk away from toxic people and toxic organizations who put you down and insult your intelligence. Walk away from arguments that will never be resolved or prove to be one-up-man-ship. Walk away from pleasing people who will never see your worth. The fact of Life is....the more you walk away from TOXIC PEOPLE AND TOXIC ORGANIZATIONS that poisons your heart, mind and soul, the healthier you will be.