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7 Questions on Leadership with Atul Kumar Goel

Name: Atul Kumar Goel

Title: Managing Director & CEO

Organisation: Metaforce Integrated Services Pvt. Ltd.

I am a seasoned Event Security, Executive Protection, and Risk Management professional with a proven track record of 20+ years in business management. Throughout my career, I have honed my expertise in providing comprehensive security solutions for a diverse range of events and high-profile individuals.

My passion for ensuring the safety and well-being of clients and attendees has driven me to excel in this dynamic field. I possess a deep understanding of risk assessment, strategic planning, and crisis management, enabling me to proactively identify potential threats and implement effective security measures.

As an Event Security specialist, I have successfully managed security operations for large-scale conferences, concerts, sporting events, and private functions. My ability to create secure environments while maintaining a positive guest experience has been praised by clients and event organizers.

In the realm of Executive Protection, I have had the privilege of safeguarding prominent individuals, executives, and VIPs. My focus on discretion, professionalism, and adaptability has allowed me to build trusted relationships with high-profile clients and their teams.

Furthermore, my expertise in Risk Management has enabled me to develop comprehensive risk mitigation strategies for organizations. I am well-versed in evaluating vulnerabilities and implementing tailored solutions to protect assets, reputation, and brand image.

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

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


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

One of the most challenging aspects I've encountered as a leader is ensuring the alignment of employees' goals with the organisational objectives. Achieving this alignment is crucial for the success and growth of any company but it can be a complex and ongoing process.

Several key challenges come to the forefront in this context like diverse individual goals, setting up Communication channels and regular employee engagement etc.

Overcoming these challenges often require a combination of effective communication, ongoing training and development, recognition and rewards systems and a strong company culture that promotes a sense of ownership and purpose among employees. It's an ongoing process that requires continuous attention and effort to maintain alignment between individual and organizational goals.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

Becoming a leader has been a transformative journey shaped by my career progression and a deep-seated commitment to personal growth and professional development. My path to leadership began at S-Net and evolved through various roles at institutions like ICICI Bank, Werfen, and Fujifilm. Here's an overview of how I became a leader:

S-Net - The Early Stage:

My career journey took off when I joined S-Net as an executive. During this initial phase, I gained valuable insights into the industry, developed foundational skills, and cultivated a strong work ethic. It was at S-Net that I first recognized my passion for leadership and the potential to make a meaningful impact on the organization.

ICICI Bank - Nurturing Leadership Skills:

At ICICI Bank, I had the privilege of leading a team of dedicated professionals. This experience enabled me to develop and refine essential leadership skills, such as effective communication, team management, and problem-solving. I became adept at aligning team objectives with the broader organizational goals, fostering a culture of collaboration, and driving results.

Continual Learning and Adaptation:

Recognizing that leadership is an evolving journey, I committed myself to continuous learning and adaptation. I actively participated in training programs, sought mentorship, and stayed informed about industry trends. This allowed me to stay ahead in a dynamic corporate environment and guide my teams effectively.

Expansion into Other Corporations:

My leadership journey extended beyond ICICI Bank as I explored opportunities with other reputable corporations like Werfen and Fujifilm. These experiences introduced me to diverse corporate cultures, industries and challenges. It reinforced my ability to adapt to new environments and lead teams with versatility.

Leadership Philosophy:

Over the years, my leadership philosophy has crystallized. I believe in setting a positive example, fostering open and transparent communication, and empowering my team members to excel. I prioritize collaboration, innovation, and a relentless dedication to customer satisfaction as the cornerstones of successful leadership.

In summary, my path to leadership has been marked by a relentless pursuit of growth, seizing opportunities to lead, and a sincere commitment to making a positive impact on individuals and organizations. The journey has been a dynamic and fulfilling one and I remain steadfast in my commitment to evolving as a leader who inspires and achieves excellence.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Usually, my day starts at 6am with physical exercise and meditation followed by checking emails & messages and planning the major tasks for the day.

I reach office by 9am and meet my team to get updates on ongoing projects and sales pipeline.

10 am to 1 pm is my prime time for focused, deep work on critical tasks and strategic planning. I try to minimize distractions during this period.

I usually eat lunch with my team leaders discussing projects and future plans.

Post Lunch, I leave office for customer meetings which usually finish by 6 pm and I wrap up my work day by checking and replying to emails and messages.

I keep my evenings free to rejuvenate by reading books and spending time with family.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

A recent leadership lesson that I've been reminded of is the paramount importance of transparent communication within an organization. While this lesson may seem fundamental, its significance cannot be overstated, and it's a lesson that warrants continuous reinforcement.

Transparent communication serves as the bedrock of a healthy and thriving organizational culture. I've made it a priority to cultivate a culture of open and honest communication within my organization. This includes regular town hall meetings, one-on-one discussions, and transparent reporting of key performance indicators. Additionally, I've encouraged feedback channels where employees can voice concerns and ideas without hesitation.

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?

One book that has had a profound impact on my leadership journey is "The Audacity of Hope" by Barack Obama. This remarkable work not only provides insights into the political world but also offers invaluable lessons in leadership that transcend the realm of politics.

Barack Obama's unwavering optimism and visionary outlook are evident throughout the book. He emphasizes the importance of having a clear and inspiring vision for the future, even in the face of challenges. As a leader, I've learned that cultivating a sense of hope and purpose can motivate teams to achieve remarkable results.

The book reflects on Obama's journey from community organizing to the presidency and the numerous obstacles he faced. It underscores the importance of resilience in leadership—how setbacks and challenges can be valuable learning experiences that ultimately make us stronger leaders.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

If I could offer just one piece of advice to a young leader, it would be this: Be patient and determined in the face of challenges and failures.

Leadership is a journey filled with ups and downs, obstacles, and setbacks. It's easy to become discouraged when faced with adversity, but it's in these moments that true leadership qualities shine.

Remember that setbacks are not indicators of failure; they are stepping stones on the path to success. As a young leader, it's natural to encounter obstacles, doubts, and setbacks. Embrace them as opportunities for growth and stay patient and determined in your pursuit of your goals. In doing so, you'll not only become a stronger and more effective leader but also inspire others to reach their full potential.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

One particularly meaningful story from my time as a leader involves our remarkable success in handling various event security projects. These experiences serve as a testament to the power of teamwork, meticulous planning, and effective execution.

One project that stands out is when we were tasked with providing security services for a very high-profile sports event. The scale of the event was massive, with thousands of attendees, VIPs and numerous logistical challenges. It was a tremendous responsibility, and our team knew that the success of the event hinged on flawless execution.

Here are the key takeaways from this experience:

Team Collaboration: The project brought together a diverse team with expertise in security, logistics, and event management. Each team member played a crucial role, and our ability to collaborate and communicate effectively was paramount. We emphasized the importance of clear communication channels, regular meetings, and a shared commitment to the mission.

Meticulous Planning: We left no stone unturned in our planning efforts. We conducted comprehensive risk assessments, identified potential security threats, and developed detailed contingency plans. Our planning process involved scenario analysis and simulations to ensure we were prepared for any situation.

Training and Preparation: Our team underwent rigorous training to handle various security scenarios. We also conducted joint training sessions with local law enforcement agencies to enhance coordination. This preparation instilled confidence in our team members and ensured that they were well-equipped to respond to any challenges.

Effective Execution: The event itself was a logistical juggernaut, with multiple venues and concurrent activities. Our team executed security protocols flawlessly, ensuring the safety and comfort of attendees. Our proactive approach and quick response to minor issues helped prevent larger incidents.

Client Satisfaction: The ultimate measure of success was the satisfaction of our client and the event organizers. They commended our team's professionalism, diligence, and commitment to excellence. It was a testament to the trust they placed in our capabilities.

This story serves as a powerful reminder that successful leadership is not just about making decisions but also about fostering a culture of teamwork, preparation, and relentless dedication to achieving a common goal. The lessons learned from this experience continue to shape our approach to leadership and project execution, reinforcing the belief that when a team works cohesively and diligently, even the most challenging projects can be accomplished with excellence.

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