Leadership lessons -In conversation with Kalyan Sridhar


Last week, I had a chance to virtually interview Mr.Kalyan Sridhar-a senior leader in the

IT Industry. I asked him about “tips on good leadership ” and his secret sauce to success.

RR: What are the top three tips for any  manager or leader aspiring to be the best – in terms of attitude, core values & behavior etc.
KS : First – Being responsible sometimes means irking people.  I believe good leadership involves responsibility to the welfare of the group, which means that some people may get angry at your actions and decisions. Trying to get everyone to like you in my opinion is a sign of mediocrity. You will avoid tough decisions, you will avoid confronting people who needs to be confronted and you will avoid offering differential awards based on differential performance. Second, never neglect details. You need to be able to delegate and empower others, but they pay attention to detail.  Lastly, never let your ego get close to the position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.

RR: In your opinion ,every leader has their needs to succeed & have a positive mind frame , any challenges or learning you can share during your journey so far?
KS : Too often, change is stifled by people who cling to familiar turfs and job descriptions.Challenge old and comfortable ways of doing things.We need to create a climate where people’s worth needs to determined by their willingness to learn new skills and grab new responsibilities, thus perpetually reinventing their job. The most important learning I have had is to question your own self on not “how well have I done my job” but “how much did I change it.”

RR: What are the top five critical success factors in doing great work in sales?
KS : I firmly believe that sales is all about :

  • Enduring relationships.
  • Taking calculated risks.
  • Doing what’s right for our clients.
  • Being fearless to challenge and question.
  • Execution and speed is key to any success.

RR: In today’s dynamic and challenging environment how do you start your day & keep yourself relevant ?
KS: You don’t know what you can get away with until you try. I believe in the expression “it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission”. I keep looking below surface appearances. I believe the slogan “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” is for the complacent, the scared.It’s a mind set that assumes what’s working today will work tomorrow. I try to be as pro-active as I could be.

RR: Who has inspired you in life and career ?
KS: There are a lot of people…but the one person who stands out will have to be my Mother…having lost my Father at a very early age, my Mother with her sheer determination, perseverance and never say die attitude brought up 3 kids, gave us all that we ever needed and more importantly, built the spirit in us that nothing’s impossible.

RR: Last but not the least ,What is the mental make up required to take on high challenging roles & high visibility opportunities?
KS:Every challenge presents an opportunity.I am looking forward to the learning that this role presents me with. As with anything in life, one needs to be sincere and do the basics right.

We wrapped up the interview and Kalyan with a smile ,in his own words -”Finally,all the ideas and visions in the world will be worthless, if they can’t be implemented rapidly and efficiently.” I thanked him for his invaluable time.

Kalyan keeps himself busy ,so if ever you get a chance to catch up with him , he can be found on weekends on a golf course playing Golf !

Disclaimer:This is Kalyan’s personal views,thoughts & opinions and does not necessarily represent his company’s views..


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