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7 Questions on Leadership with Suchit Patel

Name: Suchit Patel

Title: Country Manager, Director - People & Culture, India

Organisation: Wiser Solutions

With over 16 years of experience in human resources and organizational development, I bring a wealth of expertise and insights to my role and a passion for driving change and innovation.

As an author, I have recently published a book (The Science of Employee Experience) on employee experience focusing on the science behind EmpX. This has been based on the years of experience I have dedicated to the HR field.

I also am a blogger - a blog on mental well-being: balance nirvana.

Throughout my career in the HR industry, I have successfully led and supported multiple HR and OD projects across India, the US, and Europe. These projects include talent analytics, performance management, employee engagement, job leveling, succession planning, and stakeholder management. Moreover, I have been involved in M&A activities from an HR perspective, where I supported companies in a smoother transition while ensuring the completion of statutory compliances and setting up various company processes for India operations.

I am a strong believer that learning is the key to staying ahead in any field you work.

My strengths lie in solving complex problems, communicating effectively, and empowering my team and colleagues to achieve their potential and goals.

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

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


Jonno White

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

The most challenging aspect has been adaptability. It becomes very difficult to change people's mindset that has been set in a particular way for years. If not done properly, it results in a lot of friction, chaos, insecurities, and conflicts hampering professional relationships and ultimately impacting the business productivity.

Being adaptive and agile is one of the most crucial aspects of learning or practice. Covid has had a major influence on many organizations where the core fundamentals of managing people have been shaken and we have seen many leaders failing to adapt to the new situation. This has resulted in business failures. Hence, in my opinion, adaptability is one of the key areas for any leader to focus on.

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

I have always been passionate about making a positive impact on the teams I work with. My love for managing things from the start led me to realize that I should try to get into a management role, which would allow me to have enough autonomy to make an impact and drive change, creating opportunities for everyone to make a difference. I have worked hard to shape my career in a way that would enable me to become a manager, and my journey has been filled with experiences that I will never forget.

Throughout my career, I have taken on several roles (grown from a Trainee Recruiter to heading a company in India), and every step of the way has been an incredible learning experience. I have had the opportunity to work with amazing people, and I have learned so much about people management and business management in general. I have been able to apply all my previous experiences to new challenges and ensure that the company cultures I work with are among the best. I am proud of what I have accomplished so far, but I know that there is still so much more I can do.

Today, I feel proud and inspired by everything I have accomplished. I have grown companies from 40+ employees to over 1600+ employees, and I have doubled the employee strength of my current company within a year's time.

As I continue to shape my career, I remain committed to being a constructive and proactive member of any team I work with. I believe that by working together, we can achieve great things and make a positive impact on the world around us. I look forward to using my skills and experience to drive change and create opportunities for everyone to succeed.

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

My daily routine is a reflection of my commitment to promoting mental health and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Divided into three distinct phases, each moment of my day is dedicated to fulfilling my personal, professional, and familial responsibilities.

In the morning, I prioritize quality time with myself and my spouse. We start with a refreshing walk in nature and a nutritious breakfast before I begin my workday. As a leader in a US-based organization, I understand the importance of staying on top of my emails, but I never let that take precedence over my morning routine.

Throughout the day, I devote myself to my work while also making time for team members who need my support. I'm always looking for ways to improve myself and stay up-to-date on the latest business trends and best practices.

In the evening, I return home to spend time with my child, playing games and enjoying each other's company. I take a solo nighttime walk to clear my mind and reflect on the day before settling in with a good book or video.

My daily routine serves as a reminder of the power of balance and the countless benefits it can offer. By prioritizing my physical and mental well-being alongside my professional responsibilities, I'm able to live a fulfilling and inspired life.

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

In my previous organization, I made the mistake of trusting someone blindly, which resulted in major issues that affected the company culture and the mental health of employees. However, I took this experience as a learning opportunity and realized the importance of relying on data and having checkpoints to verify facts.

From then on, I made it a point to be more proactive and ensured that the company culture was reset to a positive state. I also implemented measures to prevent any similar issues from happening again.

I believe that constructive action is the key to overcoming challenges. It's essential to trust your colleagues, but it's equally important to take responsibility and ensure that your actions contribute to a positive impact on your team and organization.

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?

Radical Candor by Kim Scott is a truly transformative book on people management. Its teachings have had a profound impact on me, inspiring me to become a better leader and a better person. I have been able to implement the book's principles of Care Personally and Challenge Directly to build strong personal connections with my team members while ensuring timely task completion.

As a result, I have been able to create a dynamic and highly efficient team that is able to work together seamlessly through even the toughest times. This book has truly changed the way I approach leadership and has helped me to bring out the best in myself and others.

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

To truly excel as a leader, it is essential to embody the principles of Servant Leadership. By prioritizing the needs of your team and leading with empathy, you can create a work environment that fosters trust, respect, and collaboration. With Servant Leadership at the forefront of your approach, you can inspire your team to reach new heights of success.

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

The implementation of change management while ensuring the company's expansion was not hampered is an experience from my career that taught me valuable lessons. It was a challenging yet exciting exercise that I accepted, knowing that it would require me to set up a culture of adaptability and create HR frameworks of processes to ensure scalability.

Implementing change management is never an easy task, and it was even more challenging in this case since some employees had been working with a particular mindset for several years and were not ready to accept change. However, I learned that being constructive and positive in the face of challenges is the key to success. By being meticulous in planning and executing the change management process, I minimized resistance and avoided disruption to the company's operations.

Throughout the entire exercise, I encountered numerous challenges, ranging from minor changes that led to escalations to the management, to a whistle-blower accusing me of malpractices. However, with the support of management, I was able to implement the change management activity only after their approval.

This experience was a significant turning point in my career. It taught me that being transparent and data-driven are essential to success. By being transparent throughout the process and having data to back up your proposals, you can gain the confidence of management and help employees foresee their benefits through such exercises.

In conclusion, this experience helped me to become a better professional. I learned that it is essential to be constructive and positive in the face of challenges, and to embrace change and be willing to take on new and difficult tasks to achieve success.

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