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7 Questions on Leadership with Deepak Kabra

Name: Deepak Kabra

Title: Guy Carpanter UK Controller

Organisation: Marsh & McLennan Companies

Chartered Accountant with a Diploma in IFRS from ACCA (London), with 15 plus years of work experience with multinational companies and expertise in Group Consolidation and Financial analysis and reporting on IFRS, US GAAP and UK GAAP. I am based in London with my lovely wife and an 18-month-old handsome baby boy.

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

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


Jonno White

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

Leadership can be a complex and demanding role, and every day we come across different challenges and every challenge comes with different learning opportunities. The most common challenges are effective communication, building and motivating the team, taking tough decision that aligns with organisational goals, and standing behind the decisions. Lately, during the pandemic as a leader, I have faced the challenge of leading through uncertainty and adaptability. But these challenges are part and parcel of the leadership journey.

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

My journey of leadership is quite different from most leaders. This journey of my leadership is a lifelong process of growth, development, and learning. I started with a multinational company with there office in Mumbai (India) and with my dedication to acquiring and honing a wide range of skills, qualities, and experiences and excelling in whatever I do, I was entrusted by my organisation to move to London and work more closely with the stakeholders and the real journey starts. While working in London with the senior leaders of the organisation I started picking up more responsibilities and won the trust and confidence of the Senior leaders.

I never had an army of people to be leader. Whether we have a formal team or not, your ability to lead and inspire is determined by your actions, values, and how you interact with and influence the people around you.

It's about influence, inspiration, and making a positive impact.

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

I normally tend to start early with prayers and meditation and try to finish on time to have my balance between work life and personal life. My days are normally well-structured to maximize my productivity. The most of my morning hours are full of planning, goal setting and focused work with the team and the rest of the day on the follow-up and reviews. On the commute, I tend to spend time on the reflection for the day.

The early finish provides an opportunity for personal time, relaxation, and family or social activities and disconnect from work-related tasks and technology to recharge. For wellness I do meditation and since I have an 18-month-old boy there are a lot of unstructured physical activities as he keeps us on our toes.

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

The leadership lesson i learned is the ability to adapt and remain resilient in the face of unforeseen challenges. It's a reminder that leadership is not static; it evolves with the needs and circumstances of the organization and its people. The lesson learned from the COVID-19 pandemic has made me flexible and agile in the face of unexpected challenges and to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances, remote work, and economic uncertainties.

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?

"Leaders Eat Last" by Simon Sinek emphasises the fact that great leaders create a sense of safety and trust within their teams, which leads to increased loyalty, collaboration, and a great bond within the team which then leads to overall success. The team comes first and therefore the books helped me to develop the perspective of serving the team selfless which resulted in my success,

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

Invest in yourself, understand your own strengths and weaknesses and channel it in the right direction. Learning is a continuous process and therefore keep learning and developing yourself. the most important thing is to keep in pace with the technology.

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

Nothing is impossible, dream big and you can achieve big. looking at the wider picture is more important.

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