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7 More Questions on Leadership with Dr. Rajiv Dalmia

Name: Dr. Rajiv Dalmia

Title: Founder and CEO

Organisation: Future Relevant Consulting LLP

Dr. Rajiv Dalmia is a seasoned professional with 24+ years of experience across 100+ countries in Start-ups, Sales, mentoring, and executive leadership. As the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller "Future Relevant Me 2.0," he emphasizes continuous learning in a rapidly changing world. Dr. Rajiv's dynamic approach to professional development has earned him global recognition and accolades. He has spoken at international venues, received various awards, and holds honorary positions with reputable organizations. Currently, as the Founder & CEO of Future Relevant Consulting LLP, he mentors global startups and serves as Executive Director at Royal Finserv Consultants Pvt Ltd. and with StartupConnect as Associate Partner, part of the Core Team. Explore more about him on LinkedIn:

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

We’ve gone through the interviews and asked the best of the best to come back and answer 7 MORE Questions on Leadership.

I hope Dr. Rajiv's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. As a leader, how do you build trust with employees, customers and other stakeholders?

As a leader, trust is cultivated through transparency, integrity, and reliability. I just ensure i follow this with zero tolerance. I also ensure consistently delivering on commitments, maintaining open communication, and demonstrating authenticity, which fosters trust with employees, customers, and/or any other stakeholders.

2. What do 'VISION' and 'MISSION' mean to you? And what does it actually look like to use them in real-world business?

In the nitty-gritty of business, vision is our big dream – think leading the charge in sustainable tech. Mission is the step-by-step plan to get there – innovating, collaborating, and delivering eco-friendly products. In the trenches, it's about setting ambitious yet doable goals, making decisions that echo our sustainability mission in everything from product development to partnerships. This is how our lofty vision becomes the everyday reality.

3. How can a leader empower the people they're leading?

A leader empowers their team through a culture grounded in respect for time, integrity, and transparency. By setting clear expectations, providing resources, and offering support, individuals are encouraged to take ownership of their roles. Open communication is fostered, ensuring everyone feels valued and heard. Celebrating achievements and offering ongoing skill development opportunities builds confidence and a sense of purpose. Empowering people, in essence, is about creating an environment where these principles align, enabling individuals to make meaningful contributions to the collective success of the organization.

4. Who are some of the coaches or mentors in your life who have had a positive influence on your leadership? Can you please tell a meaningful story about one of them?

In my leadership journey, two figures stand out for their profound impact on my approach and values:

1. Sir Ratan Tata: The Power of Humility-

One poignant encounter with Ratan Tata revealed the true power of humility in leadership. During a meeting with a nervous young employee struggling to present her idea, Tata displayed extraordinary empathy. Sensing her discomfort, he patiently listened, encouraging her to articulate her proposal. Tata's genuine interest and constructive feedback not only empowered the employee but also left a lasting impression on me. This experience highlighted the transformative effect of humility, illustrating Tata's commitment to fostering an inclusive and supportive workplace.

2. Jaidayal Dalmia: The Importance of Integrity and Ethics-

As the chairman of Emami Group, Jaidayal Dalmia epitomizes unwavering commitment to integrity and ethical business practices. A standout story showcases Dalmia's moral compass when faced with a batch of pharmaceutical products containing a minor defect. Despite potential financial implications, he prioritized customer safety over profits, ordering a recall. This decision underscores Dalmia's dedication to ethical conduct, earning him respect from peers and trust from customers. His example serves as a powerful reminder that success can be achieved without compromising one's integrity, making him a guiding light for business leaders committed to ethical excellence.

5. Leadership is often more about what you DON'T do. How do you maintain focus in your role?

That's true, i agree, in leadership and strategy, success lies not in doing everything, but in judiciously deciding what not to do.

This requires disciplined decision-making to allocate time and resources strategically, focusing on high-impact priorities.

By defining clear objectives and unwavering commitment to the organizational vision, I navigate distractions, sidestepping unnecessary endeavors.

Regularly reassessing goals and cultivating a culture of accountability enable effective delegation and concentration of efforts where they truly matter. Maintaining focus is an ongoing process of aligning actions with strategic objectives, steadfastly avoiding tangential activities that could divert attention from overarching goals.

6. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Everyone plans differently. How do you plan for the week, month and years ahead in your role?

I strongly believe that the best way to plan for the week, month, and years ahead in my role is through a structured and adaptive approach.

I start by setting overarching goals for the year, outlining key milestones and objectives. From there, I break down these annual goals into monthly targets, ensuring alignment with broader strategic initiatives. Weekly planning involves prioritizing tasks, setting specific targets, and allocating resources efficiently. This structured approach is complemented by regular reviews and adjustments to adapt to changing circumstances. It's a dynamic balance between long-term vision and short-term agility, ensuring proactive and effective navigation of challenges and opportunities.

7. What advice would you give to a young leader who is struggling to delegate effectively?

The foremost advice for a young leader grappling with effective delegation is one to Respect Time, two to cultivate trust in your team and three to embrace collaborative strength.

Clearly articulate expectations, furnish your team with essential information and resources, and foster an environment that encourages questions. Recognize that delegation is not mere task distribution; it's a strategic means to leverage each team member's strengths. Embrace diverse approaches, offer constructive feedback, and create an environment conducive to learning and growth. Uphold a profound respect for time, recognizing its value in the pursuit of efficiency and productivity. Successful delegation not only alleviates your workload but also instills a culture of shared responsibility and accomplishment within the team.

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