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7 Questions on Leadership with Gaurav Sharma


Name: Gaurav Sharma


Title: FP&A Head


Organisation: Waystone


Gaurav Sharma, a Dublin-based finance professional with over 12 years of experience in FP&A and Corporate Accounting. Holding an MBA, an MSc in Finance, and Data Analytics certifications from Cornell University, Gaurav is known for his ability to bridge financial acumen with sustainable practices. His passion for eco-conscious living adds a unique dimension to his financial leadership. Join him as he shares insights into the dynamic world of finance and sustainability in this interview.


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


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


Cheers,

Jonno White



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


The delicate balance of meeting the unique needs and aspirations of a diverse team. In today's dynamic workplace, where individuals bring a wide range of experiences and perspectives, aligning everyone towards a common goal can be a complex task. It requires not only understanding each team member's strengths and weaknesses but also recognizing and respecting their individual contributions. While it can be challenging, it's also incredibly rewarding.


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


My path to leadership began as a financial analyst, where I gained valuable insights into the intricacies of finance. Over time, I consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence and a drive to take on more significant challenges. This led to opportunities to lead and manage teams, allowing me to refine my leadership skills. It's been a journey of continuous learning and growth, marked by a deep passion for financial strategy and a dedication to helping my team thrive.


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


My typical workday starts early, often with a refreshing meditation session to center myself and prepare for the day ahead.


In the morning, I prioritize strategic planning, setting the tone for the day ahead. This is when I tackle critical tasks, make decisions, and strategize for both short-term and long-term goals. As the day progresses, I allocate time for team meetings and collaborative project work, ensuring that everyone is aligned and on track.


In the evenings, I prioritize family time, as work-life balance is essential to me. This routine helps me maintain focus, productivity, and a healthy work-life integration, ensuring that I'm at my best both professionally and personally.


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


The profound impact of active listening and open communication on nurturing a positive team culture. It serves as a powerful reminder that, as a leader, creating an environment where every team member feels heard, valued, and encouraged to share their ideas is essential. This not only enhances collaboration but also leads to innovative solutions and a more cohesive team dynamic.


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. This book reshaped my perspective on leadership by highlighting the concept of servant leadership and the significance of genuinely caring for one's team. It taught me that great leaders prioritize the well-being and growth of their team members, fostering trust, loyalty, and a sense of belonging. This perspective shift has not only made me a more empathetic leader but has also contributed to stronger team dynamics and improved performance.


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


Embrace continuous learning and seek mentorship for lasting leadership success.


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


One impactful moment in my leadership journey occurred when our team faced a critical financial analysis project. We had just eight weeks to deliver a comprehensive financial forecast during highly VUCA environment. Despite tight timelines and intricate financial data, we collaborated daily, analyzing over 50 financial scenarios. We encountered challenges, including complex data discrepancies, but worked tirelessly, dedicating over 1,000 hours collectively.


What made this experience truly significant was our unwavering support for one another. We held over 100 team meetings, fostering a strong sense of unity. In the end, we not only met but exceeded our goals, delivering two days ahead of schedule. This story underscores how dedicated individuals, armed with analytical prowess and teamwork, can achieve remarkable success, even in high-pressure scenarios.

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