“Leadership is something that’s easier said than done”, said Dr. Santrupt Misra CEO, Carbon Black Business and Director, Group Human Resources of the Aditya Birla Group in the Talking Matters radio program organized by People Matters on the 6th of June 2014. The program was highly inspiring and engaging as Dr. Misra shared his journey to success, his struggles, learnings across the path, challenges as a leader and the true meaning of being a leader. This session was a captivating life story of a successful leader who learnt from struggles and set his own challenges to over perform himself consistently.
|Listen to the full radio session here|
Talking of his early influencers beginning his childhood, he shared that coming from a simple and spiritually inclined working-class family he learnt lessons about what is fair and what is unfair quite early in life. He led a simple value based life and as a young boy was always keen on reading mythological books which enabled him to discern what’s right and wrong. Such experiences helped shaping him up much earlier in life.
Growing up, he was seen as a bright student and was expected to be a civil services official. Reflecting on how he came to be an HR professional and beautifully putting it together he said, “Often we feel that we are choosing our paths, but life has its own way of choosing you”. Gradually his value system brought him to HR and he enjoyed working hard in the same constantly. Dr. Misra being one of the few senior HR leaders to have made a leap to the CEO position, he shares that it was his ability to take bets on people, scope for doing more than what he was doing, trust and support from his seniors and ability to accept challenges that brought him where he is now.
Being a successful leader himself, Dr. Misra feels “Leadership is all about making things happen” and that “Success has no secret sauce- it’s about hard work, doing things right, learning and absorbing from anywhere and everywhere one can. It’s my courage to be able to experiment making the most of my abilities apart from hard work and learning that has led to my success”. He said, “There is no secret to success, it’s a return of your own good deeds”. At times people tend to over-value their own contribution to their success and do not value contribution other people make to one’s success.
Sharing his biggest struggle as a leader, Dr. Misra says “Having a competent team I sometimes struggle to understand how much to push the team or when to let them be trusting the fact that they are doing the correct things. There is always an anxiety whether the team will be able to take it up on its own. The way I manage it is that I try to tell myself to have confidence in the team and identify a few levers on which to provide the push rather provide a general sense of anxiety”. This thought for sure bothers most of the senior leaders and such a maturity, understanding and trust from a leader can for sure come in as a real boost for the team.
The radio program saw an immense excitement and a very positive response from the listeners who stayed tuned in and gathered their own little takeaways from Dr. Misra’s journey. Here are a few key takeaways:
- Life has its own way of choosing you so leverage whatever life gives you
- Leadership is about making things happen
- There is no secret sauce to success – it’s the return of one’s own good deeds
- Take risks, experiment, have the courage to explore your talent and abilities
- Always stay optimistic if you seek to inspire others
- Learn to give credit to other people who contribute to your success
- You cannot control the outcome but you can surely control the efforts you put in