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Q&A with Sanjit RAO

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Sanjit RAO, Vice President Service Delivery @Intellect Design Arena Ltd

How could you describe your career path in few words?

It has been a fortunate career progression through a rewarding journey of various roles and industries. I have been under the guidance of cutting-edge leaders who were instrumental in helping me develop great business acumen, capabilities and diverse skills.

Transition to different industries required me to navigate through unchartered waters but, my appetite for new challenges and affinity for learning continues to make me pursue new dimensions.

Indeed, this exploration has not always led to tailored and purposeful satisfaction levels, and in the process highlighting a need for better future alignment. However, deliberate practice in tackling tasks beyond comfort and making adjustments have been opportunities for potential personal and professional growth.

In such rapidly changing times, key skills that help me remain relevant are having a learning mind-set, knowledge sharing and wanting to make an impact that matters.

What was your most challenging experience and has it changed your mindset?

Building a high-performing team of energetic, ambitious, and capable individuals has always been tough. Having moved to a new department, I was handed a team with members being disengaged, low on morale, aversion to change and with a lack of responsibility and vision. Needless to say, great teams are indeed an important driver of business expansion. Evidently, this was an opportunity for growing leadership muscle.

In contrast to attention on ‘Why such behaviour?’, the focus was to unlock shifts in perspective and boost performance.

I was able to define key milestones and shape the way and provide avenues for growth for existing team members making them future focussed.

Fostering an environment of respect, inclusion, fairness and trust was a key driver to inculcate collaborative and yet competitive mindset to help deliver consistently.

The turnaround was massive and the recipe was a success.

My biggest mindset change was no matter what the obstacle is, if there is a will and right attitude, things can be turnaround with right engagement with people.

What’s the most important key success factor for you based on your experience?

There are number of key success factors and one of them is goal alignment. Decision makers are always prone to be pulled in conflicting directions and to be successful, it is extremely important to be fully aligned with the set goals and remain focussed.

Another factor is to always have a sincere approach to decision making. An honest and empathetic approach will emanate communications and actions which are pleasing and unanimously acceptable by all stakeholders.

The last factor is to put greater focus on the effort rather on the result. Focussing on mere result makes one anxious and stressful but focussing on the effort makes it easier to not only achieve but also over achieve the set targets without any stress.

I would like to mention here about Csikszentmihalyi who has coined a term “flow state” in his book ‘Flow.’ He says that many of the people he interviewed described their optimal states of performance as instances when their work simply flowed out of them without much effort. For me, definition of success factor is when work that impacts real transformation effortlessly flows through us.

What would be the major pitfall that may undermine the success of a leader?

Ego would be a major pitfall in the life of any leader. With the increase in ranks, there is an enhanced risk of inflated ego and insulation from ground level issues. This makes a leader lose perspective and end up seeing and hearing what they want to, disconnected from the stakeholders.

A Leader has to be modest to receive all the information in an unbiased way. It needs regular reflection, contemplation, selflessness and service mindset to bring in the sense of gratitude and becoming humble and nimble. A true leader has to produce more than what they consume and give more to the world that what they take.

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