Pleasing People To Challenging People

Thank you, Calway, for allowing me to talk about one of the essential changes every leader must embrace – Pleasing People To Challenging People. 

Pleasing people is not the same as leading people. That was one of the first important and difficult lessons I had to learn in my leadership journey.

During the early years of my professional career, I was uncomfortable challenging people or helping them to do better, be better and become better. If someone in the team didn’t like me, it must mean something was wrong with my leadership, and I needed to fix it. That thinking motivated every action I took and every decision I made.

My goal had been to get people to like me enough so that I could gain the confidence to ask them for commitment. If they declined, I simply worked harder to get them to like me more, thinking it would solve the problem. My desire to be liked by others was deeply rooted within me to the point where my best days in leadership were the ones when people affirmed me. I craved that affirmation every day. No one told me that affirmation is not equal to leadership accomplishment.

So in the process, what am I doing? I am giving my time and energy to the unhappiest and least committed people, even though they are not contributing to the vision and mission of the organization. I was letting the tail wag the dog instead dog wagging the tail.

This happy stuff is beginning to wear me out. I started wondering how long I could keep up with making everybody happy. It took a while, but I finally realized I wasn’t leading people. I was trying to make them and myself feel good. I wasn’t moving the organization forward. I was in the friendship business, not the leadership business.

I wasn’t helping my teams to do better, be better and become better. I was determined in my mind that I would try to become the leader that the people really needed, not just the one they wanted. I started working on shifting from pleasing to challenging people.

I had the opportunity to participate as a speaker in the Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association’s most popular and flagship program – The 39th edition of . I have delivered an interactive session on “” highlighting the essential changes every leader must embrace. The active participation of attendees made the experience all the more special to me.





The Rabbit & Tortoise Story

# Fast and consistent will always beat slow and steady: 

As soon as you read this statement, our childhood version of the race between rabbit & tortoise will flash into your mind. The story with which we’ve all grown up. A tortoise and a rabbit argued about who was faster. They both decided to settle the argument with a race. The rabbit was complacent and fell asleep, and the tortoise won the race. The moral of the story is that slow-and-steady wins the race.  

But we were not taught that the rabbit was disappointed at losing the race and did some thinking. Rabbit again challenged the tortoise for another race. This time the rabbit remained focused and finished the race way ahead of the tortoise. The moral of the story is fast and consistent will beat the slow-and-steady. 

# Focus on your core competencies: 

The tortoise was upset and thought there was no way he could beat the rabbit in this race; hence after careful consideration tortoise challenged the rabbit to another race. But this time, the tortoise gets to design the race route. The rabbit sped off just as focused as the last race but arrived at a broad river. The turtle arrived later, swam across the river, and reached the finishing line. The moral of the story is to identify your strengths and change the playing field to suit your core competence.

# Teamwork first

By this time, the rabbit and the tortoise had become pretty good friends, and they had done some thinking together. Both realized that they could have run the last race much better. So they decided to run the race again, but this time as a team. The rabbit carried the tortoise for the first part of the route, then the tortoise swam across the river with the rabbit on its back and finally finished the race together. The moral of the story is that pooling resources and working as a team will always beat individual performers. Also, working in a team helps harness each other’s core competencies. 

Legal Acumen for HR Leaders

National Academy of Legal Studies & Research (NALSAR) University Hyderabad partnered with the Society of Human Resources Development, SHRD India, to conduct a 6- day workshop on new labor codes, titled “Legal Acumen for HR Leaders.” The workshops and discussions were designed with Seasoned academicians from various universities, labor law experts from top law firms in the country, and industry conducting seminars and peer learning activities.

On the final day, I had the opportunity to deliver the keynote address titled “Leader Shift“- Leadership changes that will positively enhance HR professionals’ careers. The day ended with the convocation ceremony by Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan-Hon’ble Governor of Telangana, and Hon’ble Lt. Governor of Puducherry.




Leading Through Crisis

Last weekend I had the opportunity to talk about the role of leadership to thrive through an impending recession at the Calway Connect conference. 

  • What do good leaders do well in a crisis?
  • Does a crisis make a leader or reveal a leader? 
  • Practical ways to maneuver through times of difficulty and diversity





EQUIP People

#LeadTip: 5 ways to EQUIP People
  1. Modeling
  2. Mentoring
  3. Monitoring
  4. Motivating
  5. Multiplying
If you can understand and relate to this post, then be assured that you are on the right path to becoming a great leader in the coming years.
#leadtip #johnmaxwell #borra #leadership #getleaderized #bluebirds

Before you go…

Please have a look at my books, “Don’t Coast” & “GET LEADERized,” which are available on Amazon, Flipkart & Notion Press

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