"Management is about doing things right, and leadership is about doing the right things," said Peter Drucker. But what do we mean by doing the right things? And how can emerging leaders reflect on their own careers and learn from their mistakes? As part of the LeadTheWay series, People Matters reached out to talent leaders to capture insights and reflections on their own journey towards leadership.
Sunjoy Dhaawan is currently the Vice President – Human Resources at DHL Express India, With over 25 years of experience, he has been a part of the HR Leadership team in companies like Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson Controls, Reliance Retail and Otis elevators. In this rapid fire interview, he shares his insights on what drives him as a leader, and his advice for emerging leaders.
1. Who is the one leader you look up to?
In the corporate world, I look up to Ratan Tata from the time I started working as a professional. I admire him for the way he took the reins of the Tata empire and grew it in his tenure multiple times including several acquisitions globally.
2. What is the single most important leadership lesson you learned on-the-job as a People Leader?
Unless you keep your people engaged and motivated, you cannot expect exceptional results from them. Ordinary people can do extraordinary things if they are passionate, motivated and engaged with what they are doing.
3. Which was the last book you read on leadership?
Lead or Bleed by Rajiv Talreja
4. What is the one thing leaders should do to make a difference?
Stay connected with their people at all times and be aware of ground realities.
5. One step that you are taking to develop a leadership culture in your organization?
We have trained all our managers to be more enabling in their style of management rather than directing or instructing at all times. At DHL, we drive a program called ‘Coaching for Success’ that prepares our managers to be Coaches for their teams. This helps in better people motivation, engagement, as well as builds ownerships in the team towards their responsibilities.
6. One thing that you consider as your strength and one thing that you would like to improve on?
I listen to everyone in my team, which enables me to have a good assessment of every one’s strengths, and I always motivate them to achieve higher goals continuously.
7. What should leaders do: create more leaders or create more followers and why?
Definitely create more leaders. In today’s time we all are accountable for the work we do and empowered teams and people will make us future ready!
8. One thing that makes you passionate about your work?
I love my profession and I’m aware about the impact that the role can have on people which makes me more responsible and accountable.
9. What matters to you most, effort or outcome?
Both are equally important. Right effort in the right direction can lead to success and if your efforts are not aligned to overall organization goals and objectives then outcomes will suffer.
10. Three key learnings that you have picked up from your team?
Patience, ability to learn, and apply as much as you learn.
11. What’s the one most important factor you consider when hiring someone?
Ability and attitude!
12. What sort of leader would your team say you are?
Empowering, enabling and motivating.