In recent years, entrepreneurs worldwide assert that right people are their key differentiator. Building the culture of performance by enabling and aligning people becomes a key leadership agenda that the business is built and scaled on.
For over 25 years, I have engaged with diverse companies ranging from start-ups to leading multinationals with one primary objective – How to align organization’s goals with people’s individual goals. I have been in the shoes of an employee, manager, CEO and entrepreneur. Following are the key learnings that I apply in my role as the Chief People Officer, as I partner with business leaders that are building 37+ great digital products to inform, entertain consumers:
- Great People create Great business value: It is the people in the organization who create excellent results. Their competence and judgement is the key differentiator between success and failure. Nurturing, enabling and empowering them to achieve their highest potential should be the focus of the leaders.
- Culture is the Behavior you Reward and Punish: The published values of an organization are not what really matter. People look around the organization and witness the wins and losses. They start imitating a winner’s behavior and avoid the traits that led to the failures. So, if in an organization, failure can be the end of the road, there is little chance of innovation.
- Leadership and Parenting are not Popularity Contests: Leaders should focus on long-term objectives. They must make tough decisions and have straight conversations as and when required. This contributes in building professional caliber of the teams that work with them and therefore eventually earn them respect and admirations as we have for our parents.
- Maintain the Ethics of Entrepreneurship and Develop a Culture of Discipline: The entrepreneurial culture of freedom, experimentation and responsibility make start-ups innovative and agile. As the organization scales, one must avoid the pitfalls of being bureaucratic, but at the same time, take up the discipline of big corporates to ensure business objectives are met as committed.
- Be an Enthusiastic Learner – what Brought you Here will not Take you There: Being an entrepreneur is hard work and being a lifelong learner is the key towards successful entrepreneurship. One needs to constantly prepare oneself to deal with the future challenges. This could be achieved through reading, attending formal programmes, learning from peers and leaders within the organization and the industry.
For a Chief People Officer to be successful, it is very important to understand business at one end and people on the other. High Emotional Quotient and ability to listen go a long way in building the foundation required for organizational success.