Name: Kavitha Srinivasan
Title: Founder CEO, Author, Speaker, Dubai Chair for Oneness & Wisdom, G100: Mission Million
Oranisation: K&S International FZCO
A seasoned corporate leader, a serial entrepreneur, a business consultant an international award-winning author, and a motivational speaker with a mission to enhance, enrich, inspire, and impact the lives of professionals and partners within my network. Having recently been elected as Dubai Chair, Oneness & Wisdom Wing, G100: Mission Million Global Organization, I look forward to achieving my purpose to serve mankind and leave a legacy behind for others to be inspired.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Kavitha's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Obtaining funding has been a great challenge although my projects and business ideas have received a lot of appreciation and acclaim.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Even as a young girl, I was a great observer and very curious. I watched the discrimination, divisiveness, and unfairness in the country and decided that if I want to create a change I need to get to the position where I can and build towards that. I had the opportunity to read and observe some amazing leaders and imbibe from them. My mother was my first fan who believed that I had it in me to achieve everything I wanted. Although she passed away when I was 17, her support has been my inspiration.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am an extremely early raiser who is awake between the wee hours of the morning for a meditative silence which helps me write my morning quotations for a long time. Then, once awake and out of bed at around 7 a.m., I begin with a great cup of tea and then attend to my work, which keeps me busy until the late hours of the night. I endeavor to enrich, enlighten, empower, or impact someone every day and have been lucky to do so for quite a long time. I generally listen to music, write poetry, or read before I go to sleep.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
My greatest leadership lesson is to be a leader who creates leaders by fostering the sense of belonging in team members along with inspiring and motivating them to be better versions of themselves each day. One of the lessons is to be your competition which I teach others too.
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?
It has to be, 'Who Moved My Cheese' and 'Out of the Maze.' I remember reading this when I started my first business and then reading the second when I was on the plane on my way to a new state where I was relocating to change my life's direction after my divorce.
When the first book reiterated my belief in the importance of change and its static nature, the other re-emphasized my belief in taking tough decisions and changing strategy or directions to achieve one's purpose. It also inspired me to look at one problem in different ways to come up with a solution. I never gave up when the going got tough and these books made me all the more confident that I was on the right path.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Never give up or forget why you began your journey in the first place. I would also encourage you to read your book and find your 'Nemo' (Latin for Nobody) within to become somebody.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
One instance as a leader that has given me immense satisfaction is the impact I had on our office boy at my first business who was an illiterate. I wanted to ensure that he had some form of education to support himself and his family in his later days. Because I knew he did not like formal education, I allowed him to explore using the computer which paid off as he learned through recognizing the signs and patterns.
Later on, years later when I was a VP in an organization, I re-hired him again and with the zeal he had to learn new things as I had taught him, he took like a duck to water by doing data mining for our company. Today, 27 years later, that young man takes care of marketing, and customer relations and is called one of the best by his boss who never fails to credit me for the start I gave him. It is a moment of pride to see someone who never learned to read and write be able to achieve so much just with one gesture to make a difference as a leader. As you sow, so you reap is true.