Name: Keerthana Sadasivam
Title: Project Manager
Organisation: Tata Consultancy Services
"Hello! I'm Keerthana, a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) & a trained Project Management Professional(PMP) with nearly a decade of project management experience. Leading resources across multiple teams, I foster collaboration and cross-functionality for seamless project execution. My strengths in communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and strategic thinking have effectively tackled common project management challenges.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Keerthana's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
As a leader, navigating conflicts within teams has been a significant challenge. Balancing different personalities, perspectives, and goals while fostering a harmonious environment for collaboration requires continuous effort. Ensuring everyone feels heard and valued while moving towards a unified goal remains a constant challenge.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
My journey into leadership began organically. Starting as a team member, I developed a keen interest in the dynamics of collaboration and sought opportunities to lead small projects. Through dedication, learning, and consistently delivering results, I gained the trust of my colleagues and was entrusted with greater responsibilities. I was available when people needs a hand and I always wanted grow not just as an individual but also as a team. Continuous learning and a genuine passion for guiding teams have been pivotal in my evolution as a leader. Given an opportunity to learn, people eventually grow. Continuous feedback is given nit just when they get distracted but also when they achieve their targeted milestone
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I used to be a night owl earlier because my brain works better at night. As I get older, I became an early bird and my day starts with some quiet time for reflection and planning. I focus on the day's priorities, both personal and professional, before diving into work. Throughout the day, I keep myself productive and post- work, I make sure I spend good time with my family.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
A recent lesson that resonated deeply was the importance of empowering team members through trust and delegation. By entrusting responsibilities and offering support, I witnessed an increase in team morale, productivity, and a sense of ownership among team members. It reinforced that fostering trust leads to empowered teams and exceptional outcomes. It's human nature to get disappointed when things don't go well but being prepared for uncertain situations help you grow and shows how matured you are.
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?
"Attitude Is Everything" by Jeff Keller is a book that really changed my approach to leading a team. It taught me that our attitude shapes our outcomes more than anything else. It's not about living a life with no problems but it's all about how we tackle a problem that comes in our way!
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
I would encourage young leaders to foster a learning mindset. Embrace challenges, seek mentorship, and continuously invest in personal and professional growth. Every experience, success, or setback is an opportunity for learning and growth.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
"One memorable moment in my leadership journey was during the annual appraisal sessions when I evaluated and rated my team members. I strongly believe that people respond to how they are treated. In challenging situations, rather than playing the blame game, I encourage a forward-thinking approach. Instead of dwelling on past mistakes that can't be changed, I emphasize assessing our current position and the desired goal. I motivate my team to focus on actions that help bridge the gap between where we stand and where we should. This approach has often led to constructive discussions and a more productive outlook among team members.