Name: Sonu Sharma
Title: Global Head HR
Organisation: KV Group
Human Resources Leader | Strategic Partner | Employee Advocat
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Sonu's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Gaining the trust of your team is the most challenging thing. I strongly believe that leadership is all about the trust and credibility that you earn as a leader.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Leadership is way beyond the titles and designations. I started to feel like a leader when people started putting their trust in me. I would give credit to my HR profession, which represented me as an employee advocate. Listening to the problems and challenges of people, trying to understand the root cause, providing the resolution with a balanced approach and synching the efforts with objectives have helped me in cultivating into a leader.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Though all days are not the same, I still prefer to start my day early with some meditation which helps me in focusing on my schedule ahead. I prefer to write my to-do list, which helps me keep a record of pending jobs. I usually begin my office with a brief meeting with my team to quickly discuss the day's goals, their status and how they are planning to complete them. I never miss asking if everything at home is OK because I strongly believe that our personal life problems have a direct impact on our productivity at work. If I can help with any suggestion or by any other means, I don't hesitate because at last, we all are human and handling humans humanely and with empathy is the key. After work, I listen to my favorite music on my drive back home which refreshes my mood. The rest of the day is fully dedicated to my family and friends.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
I was attending a seminar last week where a speaker talked about the importance of giving value to your own self to become a good leader because an unsatisfied and ignored mind can never generate the energy to empathize as a leader.
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?
I love reading and have been fortunate enough to read multiple good books but one book that has changed my life and still keeps me motivated to do good is "Bhagat Geeta".
It's given the fact that leadership is not just about making feel good to everyone. There comes a time when you have to take tough calls, sometimes creating a delusion of right and wrong. Being an HR leader, such situations keep arising and then the concept and ideology of Geeta always remind me that the supremacy of my duties is the greatest.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
I want to tell a young leader to be a passionate learner and open enough to welcome new ideas and prospects.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
I figured an error in my team's work once which could have resulted in a financial loss. It made me super annoyed, and I called for an emergency meeting to scold them. During the meeting, I realized the error was due to an Excel formula they did not know to use. It made me more furious, and I planned to send a stern email to them. After the meeting, when I was writing the email, one very critical thing stroked my mind which made me curious. I wondered why they did not come to me to learn that one formula and while introspecting I figured that it was because of my image in their mind which made them feel that I may be upset about asking such a basic thing. I learnt the most important lesson that day. I realized that if we are not looked at as a solution provider by your fellow team, we have a long way to go to become a leader.