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7 Questions with Swathi Young
7 Questions with Swathi Young
Name: Swathi Young
Current title: CTO
Current organisation: Integrity Management Services Inc
Swathi Young is an innovator, speaker, mentor and award-winning CTO with over two decades of technology experience. Over this time, she has led over 100 projects globally -- in Belgium, India, and the US -- across e-commerce, supply chain, Hi-tech, financial and healthcare sectors. She is most recently involved in designing AI/ML applications to enhance organizational performance especially for US government agencies. She is a Woman in AI Ambassador for Washington DC and also a Forbes Technology Council member. She recently co-authored the Ethical Application of AI framework to help US federal agencies evaluate the ethical implications of AI systems.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Finding the optimal balance to prioritize projects that provide less short term return but crucial for long term sustainability and success.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I have been working in the technology space for over two decades and my acumen to connect dots between strategy and execution has led me to leadership positions.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Being a morning person helps me to kick off my day doing deep concentrated work.
Most of my day is driven by my calendar with enough time for at least a half an hour lunch break.
I have daily routines for exercise, posting on social media and eating a healthy breakfast in the morning.
My evenings are no-disturb zones between 5-8pm to spend time with my 4 year old. I spend some time on volunteer projects for an hour or so before some light reading and going to bed.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Networking and building authentic relationships with people who respect you for what you bring to the table. Networking is not transactional but evolves organically over many years.
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?
Nice girls don't get the corner office is one book that taught me that striving to be nice and not openly stating your thoughts is to your detriment. Being assertive in sharing your opinion about strategy, disagreements and conflict resolution can help you overcome the common leadership hurdles and win the respect of both your team as well as other leaders.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
By coaching, providing actionable feedback as well as sponsoring team members who are ready for bigger roles.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
One of my team members gave me feedback that I was the best boss he ever had. He was decades older than me in age and I respected his feedback. On questioning why , he said, " No one has given me actionable improvement techniques before, that made a difference to the way I work and how I present myself in meetings"