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7 Questions on Leadership with Deepthi Vakiti


Name: Deepthi Vakiti


Title: Principal Consulting Project Manager


Organisation: Oracle


Deepthi is a seasoned IT professional with having a career of over 11 years in the realm of IT specializing in Oracle ERP Systems.


My expertise spans a multitude of critical areas, ranging from Business Requirement Gathering, Solution Design, and Setups & Configuration to meticulous Unit / Integration / Regression Testing. I'm committed to thorough project documentation and adhere to the rigorous AIM methodology to ensure successful outcomes.


My professional focus primarily revolves around the intricate landscape of Implementation, setup, Upgrade, and the crucial realm of Production Support for Oracle Applications.


In the realm of project management, I've been at the helm of several successful initiatives, consistently showcasing my ability to identify root causes, adeptly debug problems, troubleshoot effectively, and craft workable solutions that factor in both immediate and long-term impacts.


I hold a Master's degree in Computer Science from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, a testament to my commitment to continuous learning and professional development.


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


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


Cheers,

Jonno White



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


As a leader, one of the most challenging aspects I've encountered is striking the right balance between technical expertise and effective communication. In the IT field, especially as a Principal Consulting Project Manager, it's crucial to bridge the gap between complex technical solutions and non-technical stakeholders. This requires the ability to translate intricate technical details into clear and understandable language, ensuring that everyone involved in a project is on the same page.


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


Becoming a leader in the field of IT was a journey that evolved over the course of my career. It wasn't a singular moment but rather a culmination of experiences and decisions that shaped my path.


It began with a strong foundation in Computer Science, which I pursued through my Master's degree.


During my early years in the IT industry, I was dedicated to honing my technical skills and gaining expertise in Oracle Applications and Oracle NetSuite.


I embraced challenges that required not only technical prowess but also the ability to understand and address the broader business objectives of our clients.


My commitment to delivering high-quality results, effective communication, and a problem-solving mindset set me apart. Over time, I began to lead projects and teams, where I had the opportunity to mentor and guide others.


To formalize my leadership role, I pursued professional development in project management and continued to expand my technical and functional knowledge.


These efforts, combined with a passion for continuous learning and a collaborative approach, allowed me to evolve into a leader in the IT field.


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


My morning routine is carefully designed to set a productive and focused tone for my day. It commences with a dedicated hour of meditation and reading. This practice not only provides a sense of inner calm but also serves as a source of inspiration and mental preparation for the tasks ahead. This period of peace and introspection is invaluable for recharging my energy and sharpening my mindset.


Following this serene start, I delve into my workday by addressing my emails promptly. The key here is to prioritize them based on their urgency and importance. This ensures that I allocate my time and resources efficiently throughout the day. Simultaneously, I coordinate meetings to review project requirements and budgets, a critical aspect of my responsibilities.


Lunchtime marks a brief hiatus, during which I refuel both physically and mentally. This interlude offers a necessary pause in my day to regain energy and maintain focus for the remainder of my tasks.


During the weekends, I adopt a different approach to balance my professional life. I take this time to unwind and rejuvenate by immersing myself in nature.


In essence, my daily routine combines mindfulness, strategic planning, and relaxation to ensure that I am not only professionally productive but also personally fulfilled.


This revised description adds a more professional tone and emphasizes the balance between my personal well-being and work responsibilities.My morning routine is carefully designed to set a productive and focused tone for my day. It commences with a dedicated hour of meditation and reading. This practice not only provides a sense of inner calm but also serves as a source of inspiration and mental preparation for the tasks ahead. This period of peace and introspection is invaluable for recharging my energy and sharpening my mindset.


Following this serene start, I delve into my workday by addressing my emails promptly. The key here is to prioritize them based on their urgency and importance. This ensures that I allocate my time and resources efficiently throughout the day. Simultaneously, I coordinate meetings to review project requirements and budgets, a critical aspect of my responsibilities.


Lunchtime marks a brief hiatus, during which I refuel both physically and mentally. This interlude offers a necessary pause in my day to regain energy and maintain focus for the remainder of my tasks.


During the weekends, I adopt a different approach to balance my professional life. I take this time to unwind and rejuvenate by immersing myself in nature.


In essence, my daily routine combines mindfulness, strategic planning, and relaxation to ensure that I am not only professionally productive but also personally fulfilled.


This revised description adds a more professional tone and emphasizes the balance between my personal well-being and work responsibilities.



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


A recent leadership lesson that I have learned or been reminded of is the importance of adaptability and resilience in the face of unexpected challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant reminder of the need for leaders to quickly pivot and make strategic decisions to navigate unforeseen circumstances.


Leaders have had to adjust their business models, remote work policies, and communication strategies to accommodate the changing landscape. This period has highlighted the value of being agile and prepared for uncertainty. It's essential for leaders to not only have a vision and a plan but also to be open to revising and adapting those plans when necessary.


Additionally, the pandemic has emphasized the significance of empathetic leadership. Leaders who have shown empathy and support for their teams' well-being have often found their teams to be more resilient and motivated during challenging times. This underscores the importance of emotional intelligence in effective leadership.


In summary, adaptability, resilience, and empathy have been prominent leadership lessons in recent times, and they continue to be essential qualities for successful leaders in today's rapidly changing world.


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 such influential book is "Leaders Eat Last" by Simon Sinek. This book explores the concept of leadership from a perspective that emphasizes the importance of trust, empathy, and selflessness.


The impact of "Leaders Eat Last" lies in its ability to shift one's perspective on leadership from a hierarchical and self-centered approach to a more human-centric and team-oriented philosophy. It encourages leaders to put the needs of their team members first, thereby fostering a more engaged and motivated workforce.



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


"Never stop learning and growing."


Leadership is a journey, not a destination. To become an effective and influential leader, it's crucial to continuously seek opportunities for self-improvement, personal growth, and expanding your knowledge and skills. Here's why this advice is so important:


Adaptability: The world is constantly changing, and so are the challenges that leaders face. By committing to lifelong learning, you'll be better equipped to adapt to new situations, technologies, and trends.


Empathy: Leadership often involves understanding and working with diverse groups of people. Learning can help you develop empathy, cultural awareness, and a deeper understanding of others' perspectives, which are essential qualities for effective leadership.


Innovation: The best leaders are often innovators. Continuous learning exposes you to new ideas and concepts that can inspire innovative solutions to problems and help you stay ahead in your field.


Resilience: Leadership can be demanding, and setbacks are inevitable. Learning and personal growth can build your resilience, helping you bounce back from challenges and setbacks with a stronger mindset.


Inspiration: As a leader, you set an example for others. Your commitment to learning and self-improvement can inspire your team members and colleagues to do the same, fostering a culture of growth within your organization.


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


The most important lesson I've learned throughout my journey is the paramount significance of building a remarkable team and placing unwavering trust in our leaders.


Together, as a cohesive team, we've demonstrated time and again that with a clear vision, unyielding resilience, and seamless collaboration, we can do more than just transform an organization—we can reshape an entire paradigm of possibility.


The foundation of this lesson lies in the understanding that success isn't solely the result of individual efforts but is a product of the collective strength of a team working harmoniously, each member contributing their unique skills and insights. It's this synergy that leads to groundbreaking solutions and extraordinary accomplishments.


Equally pivotal is the trust we have in our leaders. When there's a profound trust between team members and those at the helm, it fuels motivation, engagement, and a steadfast commitment to our shared vision. This trust empowers our leaders to navigate us through challenges, uncertainties, and the pursuit of ambitious goals.

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