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7 Questions on Leadership with Shyam Jee Sudhakar


Name: Shyam Jee Sudhakar


Title: CTO


Organisation: JasperColin Research Pvt. Ltd.


With over 22 years of distinguished experience, I am a passionate technology leader with a successful track record across various industries, including Product Services, IT, ITES, E-learning, E-Governance, Legal Tech, and Market Research. My multi-disciplinary expertise encompasses SAAS Product Services, Pre Sales, and Solutioning for business excellence.


I have a proven history of implementing go-to-market solutions and leading initiatives in Mobility, Cloud, Analytics, and AI/ML. My experience extends to Enterprise and Solution Architecture, Enterprise Search, Cloud, E-learning, and E-Governance, Mentoring Teams. I've been at the forefront of driving teams and orchestrating significant transformations through effective business partnerships.


Passionate about


Using technology to solve real-world problems

Building and leading high-performing teams

Driving innovation and change


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


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


Cheers,

Jonno White



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


The most challenging thing for me as a leader has been to balance the needs of the team with the demands of the business. As a leader I have to create a positive and supportive work environment where my team members can thrive, but I also need to make sure that we are meeting our goals and objectives. This can be a bit difficult balancing act specially dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity, to be able to stay calm and collected under pressure and achieve the desired goals.


I have found it challenging to be constantly learning and evolving as a leader. The business world is constantly changing, and leaders need to be able to adapt and change with it. This requires a willingness to be open to new ideas, to take risks, and to fail from time to time.


Despite the challenges, I find leadership to be a very rewarding experience. I love being able to help my team members succeed and to make a positive impact on the business.


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


I started my career as a software engineer. I was fortunate enough to work under the mentorship of great leaders. I was also eager to learn and to take on new challenges. I started helping teams and taking the ownership of the tasks assigned. It was initially tough but it didn’t took me long to understand that if you work with determination and give your hundred percent nothing can stop you succeeding. And that’s how you earn the trust and respect of your mentors and peers.


Here is a brief story about a time when I learned something valuable about leadership:


I was given the chance to work on a very crucial “E-Learning” and “E-Governance” project and those days it was tough to design these architecture as the internet penetration was very less, so it was challenging to design and hybrid application which works online as well as offline and still be simple and user friendly. Fortunately my architecture was approved and I had given a chance to lead and execute these projects.


I continued to take on more leadership roles and to develop my leadership skills. I read books and articles on leadership, and I attended training courses. I also sought out mentors who could help me to grow as a leader.

Over time, I became a more confident and experienced leader. I learned how to build and motivate teams, how to make decisions under pressure, and how to delegate effectively.


I am still learning and growing as a leader. I am always looking for new ways to improve my skills and to be a more effective leader.


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


I don't have a fixed schedule, but I try to follow a general routine. Here's a sample of my workday:

Morning

• My day starts at 7:30 AM, after waking up I do some exercise, reach work at 11:00 AM, check email/teams messages and respond to it. Start with team meetings, understating the tasks undergoing and its challenges, align team and coordinate with different teams to get the work done on time.

Afternoon

• By afternoon I take Lunch break, usually do it with team mates so that an offline bond can be build with team, this helps to understand the them better not only professionally but personally as well, this also helps to build trust and give the team confidence and communicate freely without any hesitation. After that I attend meetings or collaborate with other teams and management.


Evening

Evening again there is meet with key members of team to see the progress and plan for the next day also to discuss about the new thoughts and learnings.


I try to be flexible with my schedule and to adjust it as needed. For example, if I have a meeting or deadline, I may need to work longer hours. Or, if I'm feeling tired, I may need to take a break.

I also make sure to take some time for myself each day to relax and recharge. This helps me to stay focused and productive at work.



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


A recent leadership lesson that I've learned for the first time is the importance of vulnerability. I used to think that I needed to be perfect at all times. But I've realized that sometimes being vulnerable with my team members has helped to build trust and create a more supportive work environment.


I've also learned that it's important to be humble as a leader. I don't know everything, and I'm always learning. I'm not afraid to ask for help or to admit when I'm wrong. This shows my team members that I'm human and that I'm willing to learn from them.


I believe that vulnerability and humility are essential qualities for effective leadership. By being vulnerable and humble, leaders can create a more supportive and collaborative work environment where team members can thrive.


Here are some important things for being a more humble leader

• Be honest and talk about what you're learning from everything.

• Ask for help when you need it.

• Be open to feedback from your team members.

• Celebrate the successes of your team members.


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?


The one book that has had a profound impact on my leadership so far is Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't by Jim Collins.

This book is a research-based study of companies that have made the transition from good to great. I read this book and it has had a profound impact on my approach to leadership. I have always tried to be a Level 5 leader, and I have always focused on getting the right people on the bus before deciding what direction to go in.

I have also tried to find my hedgehog concept. I am passionate about using technology to solve real-world problems. I believe that I am good at building and leading high-performing teams. And I believe that my hedgehog concept is helping businesses to drive innovation and change.


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


If I could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, it would be this: Focus on developing your people.


Your team is your most important asset. If you can develop your people and help them to succeed, then your team will succeed, and you will succeed.

Here are a few important points for developing a good team:


• Get to know your people. Understand their strengths, weaknesses, and goals.

• Set clear expectations. Be clear about what you expect from your team members.

• Provide feedback. Give your team members regular feedback on their performance.

• Delegate tasks. Give your team members opportunities to grow and develop by delegating tasks to them.

• Support their development. Provide your team members with the resources and support they need to develop their skills.


By focusing on developing your people, you can create a high-performing team that will help you to achieve your goals.


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


There are many such inspiring stories which I keep telling to my teams but one meaningful story that comes to mind from my time as a leader, so far, is about a time when I helped a team member to turn his career around.


When I first met this team member, he was struggling. He made many mistakes and were not meeting expectations. I could tell that he was deviated from goal and was unhappy due to many reasons.


I sat down with him and talked to them about what was going on. I learned that he was feeling overwhelmed and that he was not sure what he wanted to do with his career.


I worked with him to develop a plan to help him to improve his performance and to achieve his career goals. I gave him more support and guidance, and helped him to prioritize his work additionally encouraged him to take on new challenges and to learn new skills.


Over time, the team member's performance improved dramatically. He started to make fewer mistakes and started to meet expectations. He also became more confident and motivated.


Over the period this team member is now one of top leader in an esteemed organisation. He is happy in his job and excited about his future.


I am proud of his growth and development. This story taught me the importance of supporting and developing your team members. It also taught me the importance of being patient and understanding. When people are struggling, they need help and support, not criticism and judgment.

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