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7 Questions on Leadership with Suparna S Manipal


Name: Suparna S Manipal


Title: CEO and Managing Director


Organisation: Eterna Infotech Private Limited


In the ever-evolving tapestry of life, there emerges a luminous figure, a beacon of inspiration whose journey resonates not just with the younger generation but with all who yearn to transform dreams into reality. A multifaceted leader, she stands tall as a founder, CEO, tech innovator, and educator, with an unwavering commitment to igniting change and fostering growth.


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


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


Cheers,

Jonno White



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


1. Managing Change

2. Effective Communication

3. Building teams


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


As I reflect on my journey towards leadership, I realize that it began in the humblest of settings: my home. From a young age, I took on a role as a mini-leader within my family. I was accustomed to adapting swiftly to the rapid changes that often came with childhood. I became adept at coping with these changes and, in turn, developed a knack for deciphering challenges and implementing necessary adjustments. My formative years were essentially a trial-and-error workshop that taught me valuable lessons in resilience and adaptability.


As I ventured into the corporate world, a new challenge emerged - that of mothering two toddlers while maintaining a demanding career. It was a formidable task, but I refused to be deterred. I made the bold decision to transition to a work-from-home setup. This change not only alleviated the parenting challenges but also proved to be a significant financial win.


Every challenge I encountered was an opportunity to fine-tune the resources I had at my disposal. I approached each hurdle with unwavering determination and meticulous attention to detail. As I made pivotal decisions, I found the leader within me emerging. I became someone who could stand resolute against the odds, not just for myself but for those working alongside me. I balanced being firm with nurturing dreams, all in pursuit of creating a world filled with beautiful possibilities.


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


In crafting the blueprint for my workdays, I've honed a structure that seamlessly balances the challenges of working from home. The evening before, I carefully map out the day ahead, strategically tackling the most demanding tasks.


My day commences at the serene hour of 4:30 am, an early rise that opens with a moment of gratitude, acknowledging my profound connection to this beautiful planet. I seek strength to navigate the day's challenges and offer a humble prayer for any unknowing wrongs, as encapsulated in the serenity prayer. Hydrating with three cups of warm water and invigorating my body through 20 minutes of exercise, I then embrace 30 minutes of meditation and journaling—a harmonious start.


At my desk by 7:30 am, I dive into the day's paramount tasks, fortified by the absence of social media distractions. A revitalizing 10-minute midday power nap renews my vigor. As the day draws to a close, I revisit the concept of gratitude through journaling, reflecting on the day's accomplishments.


I hold family time in the highest regard, dedicating my evenings to my parents and children. Laughter fills the air as we share dinner and the day's learnings. An hour before slumber, I delve into a captivating book, setting the stage for a tranquil night's rest, retiring by 9:30 pm.

This finely tuned daily symphony is not only a testament to discipline but a blueprint for nurturing a balanced, fulfilling life.


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


Amidst the tempest of COVID, I embraced a weighty mantle - the mission to bolster revenue and enlighten Australians about the power of technology in overcoming challenges. Leveraging my communication skills, I amplified voices that often went unheard. Sales surged, but the board curbed commissions for their agendas, forcing me to keep the team's morale high. In this crucible, I discovered the essence of "leadership inspires action."


In the midst of this storm, I birthed a new venture. Online, we reached out to children, nurturing early foundations in life skills education. The journey was solitary, a testament to grit, as I navigated a toxic culture with unwavering composure for my team. These trials etched a lesson in my heart - leadership is about empathy, love, and indomitable determination. It's not just about the destination but the journey, where every challenge becomes a stepping stone to a higher quality of leadership.


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?


Amidst the tumultuous seas of entrepreneurship, two books emerged as guiding stars. "Unlimited Power" by Tony Robbins ignited an unwavering commitment, propelling me through tough decisions and sacrifices. It was a beacon in the dark, illuminating the path to personal and professional mastery.


Rhonda Byrne's "The Power" resonated deeply, as I grappled with the complexities of entrepreneurship. It taught me the true potential of focus, enabling me to channel my energies into nurturing the trust of my team.


While many leadership tomes have graced my bookshelf, these two volumes were pivotal. They didn't just teach me leadership; they instilled it in my very core. As Simon Sinek shares the power of "why," and Vishen Lakhiani unveils the "Code of the Extraordinary Mind," these two books remain the cornerstone of my leadership journey.


In the symphony of leadership, Robin Sharma's recent influence has been profound, adding a new layer to the melody. These books have not just impacted my leadership; they have sculpted it, painting the canvas of my journey with inspiration and purpose.


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


"In the world of leadership, I humbly offer a singular piece of guidance to our aspiring leaders: In the face of adversity, always remember to respond with kindness. You see, the annals of history do not record the questions we ask but rather the responses we provide. In those responses resides the essence of leadership, the hallmark of a leader who steers not with bitterness but with compassion. So, as you embark on your leadership journey, let kindness be your guiding star. For within its gentle light, you'll uncover the path to enduring influence and a legacy that resonates through the ages."


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


In the sacred verses of the Ramayana, the meeting of Lord Rama and his beloved brother, Bharat, amidst the forest's solitude remains etched in the annals of leadership. With unwavering composure, Rama, ever the paragon of virtue, sought reconciliation, honoring the words of their departed father.


As the gentle breeze rustled through the leaves, Rama's wisdom flowed like a soothing river. He imparted the essence of righteous leadership, emphasizing integrity and virtuous governance. "Rule with a heart steeped in righteousness," he advised, "and let your decisions be a reflection of our father's legacy."


In this poignant reunion, Lord Rama's steadfast commitment to duty and his sagacious counsel reverberate through time, a beacon for leaders, and a testament to the enduring strength of honor and brotherhood.

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