Interview: "Get an executive coach to become a better leader"
Varun Sinha is the Partner at Stellar Search. His core expertise lies in identifying, cultivating, and recruiting key leadership talent for clients across Stellar's different practices. He specializes in senior management appointments with an emphasis on building and developing leadership teams spanning most functions, including general management, technical operations, marketing, finance, HR and technology.
Few excerpts from an interaction with Varun:
What are the pre-requisites when big organizations look to get top leaders in their teams?
Ensuring Stakeholder Alignment. It’s critical for the CEO/promoter, HR Head and Functional Head to be in agreement as to why has the role been conceptualized, what kind of person would be required and what is the budget that they would want to shell out. In essence, high – performing recruitment functions should evaluate their hiring process and align expectations among hiring managers, recruiters, and candidates that they are looking to employ.
What is the biggest challenge organizations face when they come to recruitment - middle to the top?
Not having adequate data to understand market trends, talent availability, compensation etc. The gap between demand and supply for certain roles is so big that not only the organizations, but even candidates develop very unrealistic expectations. It also becomes a reason why multinationals hold back very good talent, outprice them, give them different roles and move talent out of the country so that they become relatively inaccessible to recruiters. This eventually makes the candidates reconsider relocating back to their countries, where there might be higher taxation and less developed infrastructure.
What is that one behaviour or trait that you have seen derail more leaders’ careers?
Indecisive leadership is one trait which creates doubts, not only in a leader’s mind but also in the minds of colleagues, employees, board members and external partners. Leaders are required to know the facts, take calculated risks, trust their gut feeling and prepare their teams for the unexpected. Hence, if leaders are unable to take the right decisions, they are being irresponsible to those who are dependent upon their leadership.
What are a few resources you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
One of the most offbeat resources that could prove quite handy for someone looking to become a better leader is to get an executive coach. According to a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, executive coaches enable professionals to develop high potentials, facilitate the transition, act as a sounding board and lastly, and most critically, address derailing behaviour. Finding a great coach can help leaders change behaviours, become more competitive and self - reliant as well as gain an informed perspective. They keep their focus on the future and fosters the leader’s individual performance in a business context while assisting them in finding their own path.
Three mistakes that you have seen employees make when they go for job-search?
- Being too demanding about the Job Title/Designation instead of focusing on the substance of the role
- Overly fixated on short-term monetary gains
- Giving up on career-defining opportunities on account of reluctance to relocate
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
An advice for a first - time leader could be, “Don’t be overwhelmed by the challenges that immediately confront you. Don’t be scared of failing. Take your own time and settle in!”