Jayantha Prabhu, Group CIO, Essar, shares the six learnings that have helped him in his road to success.
Success and leadership are relative terms and mantras vary from person to person. But from the beginning of my career I have believed in a few key principles that over time have been reinforced by learnings in my personal and professional life.
Empty your cup every day
I firmly believe there is no end to learning and that you should always look forward to learning new concepts and also be ready to un-learn—whether in your professional or personal life. There is always scope for improvement, and keeping yourself up-to-date on the latest trends gives you an added advantage. I ensure that I keep aside ample time to read technical and inspirational concepts. This has helped me look at things differently and plan my life’s path with a focused approach.
No substitute for hard work
Right from the beginning, it was apparent to me that ‘there is no free lunch in this world’. I’ve always believed in working hard and smartly to ensure that my performance exceeded the management’s expectations and set a higher benchmark for myself. Being honest, punctual and trustworthy boosts your morale, pushes you to work harder and scale new heights. You should always aim to be an expert in your field, create your own brand image and communicate well with others. Success follows a performance that is blended with patience and perseverance.
Create future leaders
Create and nurture new leaders within the team, with guidance and empowerment. These leaders come with a different approach that helps strengthen the overall thought leadership within the organisation and our ability to take up new challenges.
Leadership is a privilege, not a right—every individual has to earn it with due performance. And working with a team of leaders is an altogether different experience. I’m pleased that I could develop some good leadership in my team where they are empowered enough to take critical decisions and bringing in innovative solutions. Always appreciate your team and create better bonding as strong teamwork can bring about wonders.
Take risks and grab opportunities
Take smart risks and grab the right opportunities as time and tide wait for no one. Your burning desire to achieve your vision always motivates you to take calculated risks. In my personal and professional life there are many instances where I’ve taken some major, calculated, risky decisions, worked hard to achieve them and have reaped the benefits. You should always aim higher and strive harder to achieve your dreams. And never shy away from taking larger responsibilities in the organisation or within the family. Also, make yourself capable enough so that your next steps are welcomed.
Connect with people around you
Create a strong network with your customers, partners, vendors and friends by travelling the extra mile to ensure a better connect with them. Always respect people and help them in their time of need. I believe in building a personal rapport with each one of them. And adding a personal touch helps build a more trusting relationship. I follow this practice in my personal life as well, even though the two worlds seem different, being a better human being helps to create a good aura.
Young @ heart
Age is no bar when it comes to feeling young at heart and enjoying life with family and friends. Although you aspire for great heights, remember to also be happy with what you have. Always pursue your hobbies and don’t let them die over time. I enjoy driving and ensure that I go on long drives with my family and friends during weekends and holidays. I also enjoy sports and never miss out on a chance to play cricket. And this has helped create a better connect with my team, family and friends.
Jayantha Prabhu is Group CIO, Essar.