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7 Questions with Don Thilina Andradi
7 Questions with Don Thilina Andradi
Name: Don Thilina Andradi
Current title: CEO
Current organisation: Invictus Institute
I am working on transforming humans for the better. This Idea is the mission of my company Invictus Institute.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Most challenging part is finding right people. We can't expect same quality from all. But many come with certificates doesn't have practical knowledge. So extensive in house training is needed.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I want to be an entrepreneur even when I was young. I started my first business when I was doing Advanced Level at school. It was a printing company. I was not lucky as Sir. Richerd Branson. But every failed business teach me a lesson. You can't get that bank of experience from a college. After leading few ventures I end up here at Invictus Institute. I always believe we can change and we can change other people. But not for bad, we can change them for better humans.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I wake up at 5:00 AM. I recently have started doing some workouts. Then I want to read a bit of the news and check my emails. I always like to have early morning meetings. 7 A.M to 9 A.M. But it's challenging because many are not ready at that time. Then I start calling my clients and our trainers. At 4.00 P.M I join with spiritual work.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
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?
One Book is a problem because I am an avid reader. So I read many books. Apart from all I read, the bible plays an enormous role in my life. It is a book of motivation. It talks about the true struggle of humans to become perfect. Also, these stories are true stories. Let me tell an example, take the story of Jacob. He received whatever he wished. Not like in magic. He has to wrestle for that. He wanted Rachel, he was given Leah, bitterly deceived. But he was persistent and got Rachel also. He came with nothing to his father in law and went with everything. This is just one story of a million in the bible. I always follow these fascinating examples in the bible.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
In the SME sector key is knowledge. When you go high in the sectors, you don't need much knowledge. Since you will be provided with many assistants. In SME you need to lead in every area. So to do that you need to have a lot of awareness about many areas. I believe it is spontaneous, you have to be ready to act whenever needed. Read many books, watch many videos. When you watch choose the best. Harvard School of business videos, TED videos, Oxford Union Videos name to be few.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
We can call starting of Invictus Institute a Story. Because we never had this idea of starting a firm. I was a toastmaster, my other director was a toastmaster too. We were going for a toastmaster event in Jaffna. Then we were talking about all the training we were doing and how interesting was it. Then I told him, why don't we start a company. He said let's do it. We didn't have a place to start. But another toastmaster was having an institute. his place was good. But we were a bit hesitant since he already has this company. We thought he may not like our idea. However, we decided to ask. He said ok. The company was born. You can see a lot of leadership inside this. We need to approach people, execute our work without thinking about the outcome. That's the right leadership.