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7 Questions on Leadership with Hevin Maulloo


Name: Hevin Maulloo


Title: Managing Director


Organisation: Business Made Easy Ltd


As a seasoned finance professional, I have cultivated a diverse career path that commenced in auditing across various industries, refining my financial expertise.


My trajectory led me to the role of financial accountant, and subsequently, I advanced to the position of Financial Controller within the e-commerce sector. An international stint as a Finance Manager in Africa provided me with a unique perspective on the financial landscape, particularly within the realm of online betting.


Presently, in my capacity as the Founder and Managing Director of Business Made Easy Ltd, I deliver professional services rooted in a wealth of experience, specializing in comprehensive financial solutions, including corporate financial services assistance.


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


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


Cheers,

Jonno White



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


Navigating and managing organizational change has proven to be a significant leadership challenge for me. Adapting to dynamic industry trends and internal restructuring while meeting customer demands requires meticulous strategic planning and effective communication.


Balancing the need for change with a commitment to maintaining exceptional customer service has been crucial, ensuring a smooth transition for both the team and the business, ultimately contributing to the overall success of the organization.


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


Becoming a leader in my professional journey unfolded organically. Following my qualification as a Chartered Accountant from the ICAEW, I experienced rapid career growth. My proactive approach, characterized by swift execution and consistently going the extra mile for the organizations I served, played a pivotal role in my ascent. I willingly stepped into roles outside my expertise, contributing to my multifaceted skill set and fostering leadership skills at various levels.


Throughout roles such as Financial Accountant, Financial Controller, and Financial Manager, where I led teams of up to 10 individuals, I absorbed invaluable lessons on the job. By maintaining a human approach with team members, I inadvertently found myself gradually assuming leadership responsibilities. The combination of taking on diverse challenges, learning on the fly, and prioritizing both efficiency and interpersonal dynamics paved the way for my evolution into a leadership role.


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


Structuring my workdays is a meticulous process that revolves around constant planning. I've developed a habit of being the first person to arrive at the office in my years of service to various organizations. This early start provides me with a valuable window in the morning to carefully plan my tasks for the day, including strategizing for the team's workflow. The advantage of this approach is the seamless execution of plans, ensuring a smooth workflow.


In my current role as the owner of my own business, planning remains a cornerstone of my daily routine. Whether it's mapping out the details of a specific project or organizing the day-to-day operations, consistent planning plays a crucial role in achieving success. By approaching each day with a well-thought-out plan, I can navigate challenges more effectively and ensure that both short-term and long-term goals are met.


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


A recent leadership lesson that profoundly impacted me was a stark reminder of the importance of recognizing and addressing team well-being amidst extreme work pressure while working in a big assignment. In the pursuit of meeting tight deadlines, I became immersed in the tasks at hand, inadvertently neglecting the signs of burnout within the team. It took their candid feedback and some team members expressing feelings of being unwell for me to realize the toll the workload was taking on them.


This experience served as a wake-up call, emphasizing that, as a leader, I needed to be more attuned to the well-being of my team. It reinforced the understanding that success is a collective effort, and the team's support is indispensable, especially during challenging periods in one's professional career. The lesson underscored the need for a balance between achieving goals and ensuring the health and morale of the team, prompting me to make adjustments and prioritize a more sustainable and supportive work environment.



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 profoundly impacted my leadership is the biography of Steve Jobs. The narrative of the rise and fall of Steve Jobs, and how he transformed a struggling company on the brink of bankruptcy into one of the most valuable and influential companies today, left an indelible mark on my approach to leadership.


The book illustrated the power of perseverance and unwavering vision in the face of challenges. Steve Jobs' ability to navigate setbacks, maintain a relentless commitment to his vision, and drive transformative change resonated with me deeply.


It served as a constant reminder that ultimate success often requires a combination of resilience, foresight, and an unyielding dedication to one's goals. Inspired by Jobs' journey, I've integrated these principles into my leadership style, striving to instil a sense of purpose, perseverance, and innovation within the teams I lead.


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


To cultivate a clear vision and persevere in pursuing what you are truly passionate about. Align your internal team with this vision, fostering a positive and collaborative work environment. Simultaneously, prioritize delivering the highest quality of service to customers. This dual focus on a compelling vision and a commitment to excellence in both internal and external aspects of the business is a fundamental recipe for achieving sustained success in leadership.


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 a pivotal role as the head of finance for an organization. I found myself tasked with running finance operations, managing an ongoing audit, and simultaneously spearheading the company's valuation for fundraising. Adding to the complexity, I was also entrusted with leading two other departments whose heads had left the company. Each of these responsibilities was individually herculean and immensely challenging.


Despite the complexities and pressures, the passion and unwavering commitment to getting things done, combined with the invaluable support of the team, became our guiding force. It felt like navigating through a cyclonic weather of tasks and priorities. In the end, not only did we weather the storm, but we emerged stronger and victorious.


Reflecting on this phase, I appreciate the adventure and sense of accomplishment that came with overcoming such substantial challenges. It not only strengthened my leadership skills but also underscored the importance of resilience, teamwork, and a shared commitment to achieving ambitious goals. This experience remains a testament to the power of determination and collaborative effort in the face of adversity.

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