Updated: Sep 6
Name: Aditya Mandan
Title: Sr. Customer Success Manager
Dynamic and performance-driven Customer Success Leader with 9+ years of experience in helping enterprise customers transform their business by leading successful process improvement programs. A client advocate with excellent relationship-building skills and technical acumen to effectively communicate at all levels of the organization.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Aditya's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Aligning people to a common vision.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
By proving my mettle at work. Showcasing my strengths. Daring to think differently and implement things differently. At the same time, proactively ensured the team also is upskilled and everyone was brought on a common platform, even when I was not a leader.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
My weekdays are pretty busy. Outside work also I am passionate about being a leader and driving an impact on society. Hence, when I am not working, I am still working on my initiative Strentor which is an initiative to promote strengths from all perspectives i.e. physical, mental, and emotional. On the corporate front, I make sure I plan my day to prioritize my work items based on criticality and the amount of time it will take to finish a particular work item. If something is going to take me only 5 minutes to complete, I target such work items first to get the maximum tasks out of my checklist ticked off.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
This is my all-time favorite lesson: If you can't lead by example, then you should not lead at all.
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?
I prefer observing human beings in a real-life scenario over reading books. I believe, if you are able to read human beings then you are better off as a leader than any book will teach you.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Don't be scared to experiment with your leadership style. Don't restrict yourself for the fear of failing. Don't be hesitant to apologize if you are wrong. Don't disrespect someone because they were proven wrong and you were proven right.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Not a story but a real-time experience with one of the best leaders I have worked with i.e. Sunil Ahuja from IBM. It was during the time I had started my career. I was a morning person and it was the first time I was doing the night shift. I slept on a customer call as I just could not keep my eyes open. Had it been some other manager, he would have given me a warning letter. But not Sunil Ahuja, he logged me off without disturbing my sleep. When I woke up he called me to his desk. I was scared like anything. He had a cup of coffee at his desk, put on my favorite music, played a game of pool with me (he knew what everyone's preference in the team); and once my coffee was over asked me to log back in. In his own quiet way, he showed me the power of being an empathetic leader. I never slept on call after that incident.