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7 Questions on Leadership with Nancy Katyal

Name: Nancy Katyal

Title: Author, Leadership Consultant & Executive Presence Coach

Organisation: CEO- The Perfect You

Nancy is a Leadership and Talent Development Consultant and Lead Executive Presence Coach and a Published Author. She has touched a million plus lives through her training, facilitation and coaching programs.

Nancy is one of the leading voices in the Corporate Circle. She is also a visiting professor in top B-schools like IIM & MIT University

Nancy 's work has grabbed wealth of praise in leading newspapers, news channels, magazines and radio channels. She is also on-board as President, Leadership & Mentoring council, Maharashtra at WICCI

She is a LIMCA Book & GUINNESS world record holder. She is a recipient of several awards including Lokmat Sakhi Sanman Award, Best Speaker of the year award etc. to name a few.

She is passionate about enabling people to take their personal & professional self to their highest potential. Some of her clients include Mercedes Benz, Axis Bank, Bajaj Allianz, SKF, Kotak, Salesforce, Scheinder to name a few.

Nancy's book COMMIT TO YOURSELF has received an overwhelming response all across India and is a bestseller.

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

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


Jonno White

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

In today's fast paced world, navigating members from different cultures, backgrounds and perspectives can be challenging when you strive to bring equitable environment. Everyone's expectations from a leader are different.

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

I strongly believe all us are leaders, irrespective of the positions. Even a homemaker is a leader because she has to lead her family, support staff and relatives expectations too. As I accumulated experiences and expertise in my field, I started taking more responsibilities. I wanted to contribute beyond my role and went that extra mile which didn't go unnoticed and my colleagues started turning to me for guidance and support and my seniors entrusted me with bigger responsibilities. One pivotal moment was when I was asked to lead a team on a critical project, it was not an easy journey as I had to take bold decisions and at the same time ensure team's success. This experience taught me valuable lessons about leadership and teamwork.

Overtime as I continue to embrace new roles, unique challenges came my way and I sought guidance from mentors who guided me and nurtured my skills.

My leadership journey is ongoing and I know there will be different obstacles that I will face and new lessons to learn.

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

As an entrepreneur my schedules are dynamic and semi-structured.

I ensure I wake up on time and spend time with myself before going about the day then it is followed by healthy breakfast. On days I am facilitating workshops till evening, my work meetings happen post that else my meetings are aligned based on my calender availability. Evenings are family time and late evenings are dedicated to my readings. Sunday's are more relaxed and I take time out for things that I love to do.

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

One lesson that I have been reminded of is the power of Grace under crisis. That matter how critical or challenging the situation might seem, one must maintain composure under crisis and ensure that while communicating a critical problem to your team members its okay to be harsh on the problem but don't be harsh on people because everyone's dignity needs to be maintain and still one can have a meaningful conversation

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?

Whale done is a beautiful book. The book beautifully highlights the power of positive reinforcement in leadership.

There are some powerful narratives in the book that also emphasise on the power of building trusting relationships at work that can lead to remarkable results and how it can transform a struggling team into a high-performing and motivated group.

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

Don't attach your identity to the outcome. Be open to new ideas and listen to what is not being said. Be present to what is happening in the here and now as that will help you to hear and see what is not being verbalised

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

The story that comes to my mind is the journey of mentoring a talented but initially reserved team member who was hesitant to openly share her ideas. Though I knew that she had exceptional skills and over several months of having mentoring conversations, I encouraged her to build on her confidence and share and implement her ideas.

As time passed, I saw this team member grow into a confident and proactive contributor and to eventually taking up a leadership role. Witnessing this transformation was immensely rewarding and a testament to the power of building trust and power of mentorship in unlocking the greatness of team members.

This experience reinforced my belief in investing in the growth and development of team members and nurturing their self belief. Each one of has the light that is waiting to shine

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