Having lived and worked in the HR domain in different countries ranging from Switzerland to India to now as Head of HR for Dabur International, based in Dubai, Sameer Nagarajan has explored how business and HR leaders function in a multicultural work environment.
Sameer leads the business-aligned HR initiatives in the landscape of change management, employee engagement, talent, performance, and organizational development as well for Dabur
In a candid conversation with People Matters, Nagarajan shared his perspective on leadership in the digital age and how HR leaders can play an instrumental role in developing the leaders of tomorrow by engaging with the employees and understanding their life aspirations.
Who is the one leader you look up to?
What is the one leadership lesson you learned on the go as a people leader?
Always confront your fears and act on them. Do what you are scared of doing.
How digitally ready do you think are you as a leader, on a scale of 1-10?
5. Always learning.
Which was the last book you read on leadership?
What is the one thing that leaders should do to make a difference?
Challenge the status quo at all times.
One step that you are taking to develop a leadership culture in your role in the organization
Emphasize the quality of conversations on an everyday basis. Every conversation must add value, every conversation must develop a leader for it to be worthwhile, in some way or the other.
One thing that you consider as your strength and one thing that you would like to improve on
My biggest strength as a leader is that I engage with people as individuals. I try to understand them as human beings and I try to see what their aspirations are from life. One thing that I would like to improve on as a leader is that I am quite impatient. There’s always a temptation to say why can’t this be done faster.
What should leaders do: create more leaders or create more followers, and why?
Create more leaders, definitely! Because, that’s how organizations run. Organizations don’t run because of ‘created followers’. At the end of the day, every leader is a follower.
One thing that makes you passionate about your work
The immense amount of value that we can add to individuals, teams, and organizations. I am thoroughly energized with the possibilities of the impact of technology on the workforce and the impact of the millennial generation entering the workforce. That really excites me!
What matters to you the most: effort or outcome?
Effort is a little more important than outcomes. If you put in the right efforts, the outcomes will be right.
Three key learnings that you have picked up from your team
The value of getting to the details of everything, value of familiarity with the geography and culture, understanding what I can do best and where I can help as a leader.
What is the one most important factor that you would consider when hiring someone?
Willingness to learn.
What sort of a leader would your team say you are?
Compassionate, driven, motivated by results, engaging at an individual and organizational level and drives the function forward.