Inspire People To Aim Higher

How do we inspire others to achieve great things?

Saurabh Debnath was on course to achieve his lifelong goal of representing India at cricket. That is to be one of 11 in a country with a 1.4bn population. That is a 1 in 127 million chance.

Yet Saurabh was on course to hit it.

By 18 he’d played for three years in the Ranji trophy as a fast bowler. He’d been selected to represent the best team, Mumbai. But then disaster struck and he injured his wrist.

He switched his focus to his studies and graduated with an MBA.

His first job out of Uni had him managing a product with an 800 strong team. This is someone who sets big goals and goes after them full pelt. And now this is what he teaches others to do.

His first book teaches how to use the 80/20 principle to make more impact with less effort.

He consults with organisations to help them achieve audacious goals together. And he mentors individuals to stretch towards the great things they want to achieve.



Saurabh: [00:00:00] The courage and that leading with from the heart, it goes deeper. It’s just not about winning, he’s more about winning. You have to get the job done. But Klopp is more about unifying everything, that inspiration, that different kind of feeling that it gives you from inside that’s what defines it.

Rob: Yeah, he was offered Man United before and they said to him, look, we’ll buy these star players. And he was like, that’s like Disneyland. I don’t want that. All of his clubs from Mainz, Dortmund, Liverpool, the same kind of club where they’re a little bit underdogs, they do it scrappy.

Rob: Yes. Yes. He needs that to feel loved and to feel to do what he does. 

Saurabh: Absolutely. So true. 

Rob: So how did you come, how did you come to be a fan? 

Saurabh: Like Klopp the previous influence on me was Gerrard.

Rob: Steven Gerrard

Saurabh: Yeah. Steven Gerrard inspiring and pulling everyone together and carrying the whole team. It obviously, Istanbul played a big role in, how I became a fan because, 2005 I was early in my days of following football. Continuously. I used to follow [00:01:00] it, but yeah, it was 2005 from where, I had a group of people who were all watching football and that was the time, that season, what Liverpool were able to achieve in that match.

Saurabh: And that underdog story that always, brings so many emotions. So that’s what, pulled me together towards Liverpool and the way Gerard pulled, during the whole, that tenure, right from around 2004 to 2012 13. That whole tenure, the way he pulled the team together.

Saurabh: That was inspirational and my motto in life is inspire and be inspired. You take inspiration from elsewhere and you get inspired by it. And in return, you also inspire people, through that inspiration that through that light, you also inspire people. It

Saurabh: Gerard was one of the primary reasons and then once you get to know the history of the club and what it means, right from the times of, Shankly and then Bob Paisley and then Kenny Darglish and you get into the history, you get into the nitty gritties, you study everything about the club and then when it, actually gets into you and you become [00:02:00] part of it.

Rob: I became a Liverpool fan. I think Keegan was still there. It was like really when he left and then Kenny Dalglish came to replace him. And. Liverpool then were, just winning everything. They were just so dominant. Such a great team. Yeah. And then through the dark years, but I think Gerrard achieved so much.

Rob: And I think he was one of the greatest players. But if he’d been in Real Madrid or he’d gone to Chelsea at that time, he probably would be higher rated now. I think a lot of people don’t appreciate how much he pulled up an average team.

Rob: Especially Istanbul was just the epitome. To be three nil down, and that was the best team in the world at that time. And Liverpool were probably not even in the top five in England. And yes, that is pure inspiration and courage and everyone putting everything together.

Rob: I saw a clip recently of Jamie Carraher and he’s saying his big regret of that night. I remember he was just throwing himself everywhere, just blocking shots towards the end of the game. And his big regret [00:03:00] was he’s not in any of the pictures because the people he said, like reserves they were just on the bench. They were all in the front and he had such bad cramp. He was down trying to tend to his legs and he was out of all the pictures. I’m noticing your poster. Is it a picture behind you? 

Saurabh: Yes. That’s a Buddhist picture. Actually, my wife she’s an artist along with being a software engineer and so many other things.

Saurabh: So she’s also an artist. So she has also drawn a picture of Klopp gifted to me? I’ll show you some time . Yeah, I’d love to see that. So this particular picture this is a Lord Gautma in Buddhist tradition. It’s a God called Manjushri. So it’s a God of knowledge. Okay. So yeah, so you see, you might see there that there is a flame that he’s carrying on his hand.

Saurabh: So that’s the flame of knowledge on his right hand side. That’s the flame which burns away ignorance. So that’s Manjushree, burning away ignorance, wisdom, God of wisdom, God of knowledge. 

Rob: Okay. That’s interesting because that leads me into you’re clearly someone on the quest for knowledge.

Rob: Yes. [00:04:00] So where does it, where does that come from? Where did that start? 

Saurabh: Where did it start? I think it was always there. It’s just that I’ve become much more self aware about it. And it is true, when you get to know, identify your strengths, like my first five Clifton strengths are ideation, positivity, learner, And then input and woo.

Rob: What does input relate to? 

Saurabh: Input is a strategic skill wherein you are interested in a lot of different things and you have an opinion about everything. So you would say that, I have an opinion about a lot of things and I have varied interests.

Saurabh: A term that is used a lot is. Being a multi potentialite who can see potential in a lot of things and likes to connect things, disparate things and put it together, integrate into some kind of a framework or use knowledge from one field of, one field to another field. So that’s something that comes with input.

Rob: Okay, I can see some similarities because I’ve always, I’ve learned a lot because I need to understand I realized that it came from an insecurity [00:05:00] that I felt, I think everyone has a control strategy, a way that they feel that they can feel in control. Some people try and control things and for me, it was always to understand if I could understand, I could feel like I could deal with it.

Rob: Absolutely. So Woo is like inspiring or cheering? 

Saurabh: Yeah. It has quite deep connotations as such. So some parts of it is like being able to inspire, being able to be someone who’s quite charismatic in terms of able to put that thoughts together and able to explain difficult things in an easier way so that you can bring people together.

Saurabh: It also denotes that you’re good at sales. You are very outgoing. You are the life of a party. So those kinds of things, bringing everyone together, very extrovert and, love having fun. It’s negative connotations might include that you are not very serious about things.

Saurabh: You are extremely enthusiastic, but you would lose interest after a point of time when the going gets tough. [00:06:00] So these are some of the negative connotations in that sense. But yeah, so once you Start to get to know your own self in a way you understand and see yourself through the lens of your strengths Then the thinking also changes your mindset has a complete shift You try to use these trends leverage these trends So that you can, make a bigger difference because it’s just a case in football, right?

Saurabh: What’s the point of having a striker to play in your defensive role, right? It has no sense. You have to play by the player’s strengths. So similarly in teams, in all the teams that I’ve been part of, there’s been a big part. So like in 2011, I actually started in my corporate life and that was the time when I was leading a team of 800 straight away.

Rob: 800. Wow. 

Saurabh: So it was, and that was a indirect sort of reporting system. So I was not there direct reporting as such. They were not directly reporting to me. I was taking care of a particular product line. And so for that specific product line, I had to pull that product up and it was a new product.

Saurabh: So to, manage [00:07:00] people in that sense, like 800 people to get them, get the things done from them, being a fresher out of a college, So that was a huge challenge at that point of time, and I had no idea how to deal with it. So what I realized at that point of time is that, again, coming back to how can you create a team where no one is a leader?

Saurabh: Everyone is a leader. How can you empower them so that they feel good about it? And the best way I felt was to making them friends, making all of them, using my strengths. My strength is that of, Being extrovert, being positive. Everyone wants a positive influence around them, right?

Saurabh: So be their friend, use your strengths. And that helped me build the rapport with key nodes, key network people in that group of 800. And actually that pulled me through that. So these were all learnings over the years handling, being in corporate and, handling different teams. I came to know that the best way to unify teams is through, the power of empathy, how you can connect that connection.

Saurabh: Once you have that connection, even you mentioned that, [00:08:00] in your three things that you were showing that connection is so key part of it. 

Saurabh: Yeah, I feel it starts and more or less ends there. Once you have that connection, that deep connection, deep empathetic relationship with a person, that person is going to give everything for you.

Saurabh: And that I feel is the core of team building and everything is of life is in fact, 

Rob: Going back to that three things. The problem with connection, which is, I think is the problem in relationships, particularly my background is relationships so marriage couples and the problem is that we have the connection.

Rob: What connection means is that you talk more and sooner or later, like when a couple get together, it’s this is the perfect person. We want the same thing. And it’s if you were here, say in London and you’re going to go to New York and you go, yeah, we both want to be in New York. This is it.

Rob: We’re so alike. We’re so our values are the same. They get to New York and they go, yeah I’m going to Manhattan and I’m going to the mountains, the Catskills and they’re miles apart as we get closer. [00:09:00] The things that we fought with the same are we wanted the same broad brush strokes, but in the detail we differ.

Rob: And so that’s where the conflict comes in and it can happen in teams in that one person, that they might feel connected to you, but then, and they’re having a bad day. It might be nothing to do with you. It might be just they’re having a bad time, 

Saurabh: right? 

Rob: Things aren’t going so well. They feel bitter and they’re like, Oh, he’s always given that person, they get favoritism or something.

Rob: So it’s also about managing that, being able to manage those differences. But yeah, I agree. If you have the connection and you can manage those differences. Yes. Yes, 

Saurabh: another very important part, building on from what you’re saying is communication, obviously, connection, communication, that’s the sort of the broader thing that brings that connection, makes it well, makes it really complete.

Saurabh: That’s a communication. And that even in that communication, like I’m extremely inspired by the works of Marshall Rosenberg and nonviolent communication. So how build that communication, how you’re very clear with your [00:10:00] communication. Like you gave the example of America, right?

Saurabh: You went to us, someone wants to go to Manhattan, someone wants to go to some other place. So at that time, if you’re able to communicate That thing, rather than having it at the back of the mind or building it up in your head, if that communication is, done in the way like Marshall Rosenberg suggests that, you put your needs I want you, in terms of I, I feel I want, and if you’re able to communicate that, and that becomes the vocab, especially in organizations where the relationships are, Not that close.

Saurabh: Like obviously like in a family, right? Husband and wife, the relationship is really close, but in teams, if that communication can be made. In a very clear manner and cascaded through the leadership to the, levels various levels in the organization. That’s why I feel the secret sauce is in terms of, how should the communication be.

Saurabh: I’m writing my next book and it includes all these sort of aspects that I’ve learned over the years what are the things that actually should be done by organizations right [00:11:00] from the leadership level to each level cascading. How should the communication be? I feel it’s a very crucial part that a lot of organizations still, they care more about the results and they don’t care about these kinds of things, how it is being communicated, how are the things which are structural to the overall, as an organization, as an organism to grow, they want it like, super fast.

Saurabh: I want the results in this quarter. That’s not the language that, makes any sense in the long term, right? That’s, you’re not building a sustainable organization. You are just living in the tactical levels. You’re not going into the strategic, fabric of the organization.

Saurabh: Organization I feel is a social organism. It’s built with, starting with a tribe. When it’s at the level of one 50 people, and once it starts to grow from that level of one 50 people, then that’s the time when it becomes really complex. It’s very difficult to manage teams and organizations.

Saurabh: So being part of such organizations where in, the number of people are like, say, 50 70 to organizations like, say, Siemens and Godrej and Wipro. All these [00:12:00] organizations with more than 15, 000, 20, 000 people. So the structure is very different. The level of the communication type is also very different in such organizations.

Saurabh: You need a lot of processes. Yeah, these are the variables I feel that need to be, taken care of in organizations especially in the bigger organizations. Obviously the customer is at the center and then there are people and then there are systems. So the systems thing, the processes play a very big vital part.

Saurabh: Especially in the bigger organizations. In smaller organizations, it’s more to do with that tribe thing. The people and the customer, they are the major two pillars. The systems part is obviously quite agile in that sense. And this needs to be backed by different types of leadership at the base.

Saurabh: It’s like a triangle at the base, which is the leadership on top of it is your strategy. And on top of it are the three things like culture, your customer and the systems. So these are, this is where I feel an organization is built and you need those different ingredients in terms [00:13:00] of how the organization is growing.

Saurabh: What are the things you assess the maturity of an organization and based on that you make those changes in terms of your team, how you’re, wanting to build that team, all those things. 

Rob: There’s a lot in there.

Rob: Okay, so there’s a question that immediately comes to mind. You graduated and you move step straight into a role of control or responsibility for a product with 800 reports? 

Saurabh: Yeah. 

Rob: Indirectly. Okay. So that’s not your average graduate. So what happened? 

Rob: How did you get, how did you land that straight out of uni? 

Saurabh: Yeah. The thing was like, I’ll go a bit back into, What sort of made me, so from early childhood, I had only one dream. I wanted to be a cricket player and I dedicated sort of 18 years of my life to being one.

Saurabh: So right from the school days and everything, that was the only thought that I had, and that was the only future I could foresee. I wanted to be a cricket player. I wanted to represent India. And I went a decent, chunk of the way in the sense that I played [00:14:00] Ranji Trophy, which is like the county cricket in UK.

Saurabh: So yeah, I played the Ranji Trophy for three years. I was selected for the best team in India Mumbai which is like the best Ranji Trophy team. So I got selected there and then I had an injury. It was a wrist injury. I was a fast bowler. And that shattered everything. And I belong to a very middle class family.

Saurabh: You did not have an IPL was not there. So the money in cricket was not there. So the family and everyone said that, it’s best that you focus on your studies. And until that time I had studies were always secondary to me. And from that time onwards, I became more focused on the other part, when you’re starting to get responsible in that sense that you also have to earn money and do all those things.

Saurabh: So yeah, so that was a change. That was a first shift. And it was also big shock because 18 years of life, the only thing that you have taught that goes away from you. And now you are like, nowhere, have no idea what you want to do in life. And it was like the bottom of what I wanted to do. I had no way.

Saurabh: I was like in an abyss in that sense. Yeah. [00:15:00] So from there, the logical step was to finish my engineering. I was decent with studies. So yeah engineering. And then again, the logical step from that, safety point of view was to get an MBA. And so that was also the first time that I went away from home during my MBA days.

Saurabh: So before that I was, in a cocoon living in a two tier city, very small city. I was in a cocoon. So that was the time when things opened up. When I came to Delhi for the first time in 2009 for my MBA, that was the time when everything opened up. I saw the world is much bigger and a lot of avenues started coming in.

Saurabh: And I also, that was also the time I really started expressing myself. During those MBA days, I started expressing myself a lot. And that actually helped, I’m probably, I always had a lot of information in my head because of my whatever strengths I have. I had a lot of information.

Saurabh: I always was very meticulous with storing information. Like I have thousands and thousands of stories about various things that I meticulously bring together, index it. All those things. So once I started speaking about all [00:16:00] these things, then I think, it became very easy to even land a job at a very good organization.

Saurabh: It was the first organization that came for the campus interview and luckily I got selected there. They saw that this is someone like who’s very dynamic, who has no fear. He speaks his mind and he has a lot of opinions. So these were the basic things that they saw and they thought, okay, why not?

Saurabh: So the other people who got selected, they were put into, normal sales roles and, various other roles, but they thought that I am probably best suited for this kind of work where you have to Take care of a complete product line and build that product line. So yeah, it was a big responsibility and I had no idea how, I got into that kind of a role.

Saurabh: They must have seen something in the way I operated because when I joined Hilti they gave us trainings of one month in each of the department, which I feel was very formative in the way I perceive things that gave me a complete picture of the organization. So we were put in finance, we were put in sales, we were put in technical department, we were put in HR.

Saurabh: So I got to see the functioning of each of the departments very closely. And I [00:17:00] feel this is a wonderful practice that, many other organizations should also do with, their trainees or people who are just joining the organization. That they should be given that exposure to different departments.

Saurabh: That’s what brings that wholeness into, your way of operations. 

Saurabh: Yeah, that, that was very, formative. And that also helped me build a lot of relationships. When I was working with those various departments, we were given small projects why don’t you go and do a market research, talk to a hundred people and get to know whether there is a demand for this product.

Saurabh: Like just an example of a project that was given. So these kinds of things, in each of the department, you worked on different projects and that helped you go to the market, explore it, do the hard work in the field. So these were like very transformative in that sense, in forming what I wanted to do and what, transpired after that.

Rob: It’s great helping deal with silos to breaking down those barriers and the lack of understanding that a lot of organizations have of what each department roles and their perspective on issues. But [00:18:00] I can see your woo and I can see your extrovertness and your positivity.

Rob: And I can see how that would create more connections, which would make it easy for you to build. Just to go back to where you started from your interest in cricket. So cricket is a national game in India, isn’t it? Yeah, it’s hockey actually, but yeah, but it’s like 

Saurabh: de facto hockey is the national game, but yeah, it’s de facto like cricket is synonymous to Indian how it is with BCCI controlling most of the power 

Rob: in cricket.

Rob: I’m ignorant about cricket. I never really understood it. So how many people are in a, say like the Indian cricket team? 

Saurabh: 11, it’s just like football, like 11, 11, a team consists of 11 players. And what actually interested me in cricket is each ball that you bowl you have to study the batsman, what he wants to do.

Saurabh: And that actually interested me a lot that you get so many chances to do the same, try out various strategies, try out various tactics. Outfoxed the batsman and my favorite player was Rahul Dravid, who’s also been a big influence [00:19:00] in my life. And Dravid was called the wall.

Saurabh: No one could penetrate his defense when he was batting. And he was full of character and grit, again, two qualities that, an underdog has. So that underdog thing has been a common thread in whoever has inspired me in that sense, that whoever has inspired me, motivated me. And I’ve always looked up to such people who have gone through that adversity, have faced those challenges, obviously he had a huge amount of skill and everything, but Sachin Tendulkar, everyone knows.

Saurabh: He was Supremely talented, obviously a lot of hard work, but he was never that underdog Rahul Dravid on the other hand, he was like the underdog always fighting and, staying there till the end, not giving up that never say die spirit, which also Gerard had. That is what in sports, unlike Rafael Nadal, that’s something I get a common theme across, whoever has motivated from the field of sports.

Saurabh: I feel there is a common theme that, that binds it all together. It’s never say die. And that was also something that when I was playing cricket in that journey, That also defined me and [00:20:00] why people looked up to me in the teams I played with in, people looked up to me for that, that this is some person who would not give up at any point of time, whatever the situation, whatever the condition is, there’s one person who will give it his all, whatever he has.

Saurabh: That’s something that has been, a common theme in my life. Even at that time when I stopped playing cricket, It was the worst time in my life, I was devastated at that point of time. I was in a spiral of, you could say, something akin to depression.

Saurabh: Like I did not know anything what to do. And I was just 18 at that point of time. So it was not as if, I was grown or mature or anything of that sort. Obviously talking to friends and, but I had pushed it very deep down inside my psyche, like I don’t want to deal with it at this point of time.

Saurabh: And it was all stored somewhere back. And it actually came back later. When I was developing, maturing and doing what is necessary, your duty, your responsibility, carrying those things out. It came back after a point of time when I felt [00:21:00] that I have done enough, what my family needs, what my responsibilities are, what my duties are once when I had done it to a certain level, then another sort of transition point or main turning point in my life.

Saurabh: When I met my coaches, my mentors, my gurus. Who then, took me into deep into those taverns travels of my mind and, help them open up, help me become more self aware about all these things, all these problems that I’ve been carrying like a burden for such a long time. 

Saurabh: So that was the next part of my journey. 

Rob: What immediately came to mind is. Cricket is a huge sport in India is my perception. Yes. It’s a country of 1. 1 billion people. Maybe 1. 4. 1. 4 is it’s going. Okay. 1. 1 would work for the maths because if there’s 11 players, it means there’s one in a hundred million chance.

Rob: So it was even more. What you were going for was like a moonshot and you were on course for it. That’s [00:22:00] incredible. Now, what, before I ask you this, I’m just going to ask, what are your favorite films? Favorite films, 

Speaker 2: Shawshank Redemption. I love Godfather for a lot of deep things.

Speaker 2: I’m in love with Lord of the Rings, all of them. I’m a big fan of Harry Potter. So yeah these, I would say off my top three, four, like my go to is always whenever I have I want to go back to a movie, it’s always somehow Harry Potter because that gives so much joy because probably I was reading them when I was growing up.

Speaker 2: So the memory is associated during that time or so. So beautiful that it always takes me back to that time. So yeah, it’s my go to movie. Same with a lot of the rings. Like I want to You know, be in that mystic world, which is like away from all the troubles of this world. And you get into that zone of something which is magical.

Speaker 2: So yeah, so these are my top like four, five movies. 

Rob: Okay. Why I ask is often the films that we like are a reflection of, the arc of life. And yours is you, which you’ve already told me is underdog. [00:23:00] And I can see Harry Potter, clearly underdog Lord of the Rings. I don’t know so much, but there is yeah, Frodo Baggins, yes, Frodo 

Saurabh: time.

Rob: The question on my mind is where does this underdog come from? Because it seems that you said you’re a middle class. You were great sportsman a good scholar, even though you hadn’t given it a lot of attention. So you don’t seem an underdog. 

Saurabh: No, I would say I was like, it’s quite a very interesting question.

Saurabh: I had never really given this question, any thought in my mind as such that whether I consider myself an underdog or not, but in every situation that I face. I can say that I always see myself as one,

Saurabh: I always see myself as an empty cup who knows nothing about anything. And even the organization that I’m in a very nascent stage, it’s called Zaria. Zaria means a medium who himself is nothing. It’s just a means so that others may flourish. So that’s the theme that again, I feel probably comes from [00:24:00] that underdog team that I consider in any situation, I consider myself as a beginner that beginners mindset, probably I try to do that and then give my best.

Saurabh: Okay, I’m a beginner. I know nothing, but I’ll give my best and I’ll prove that I can be the best. So that’s the kind of attitude I try to, see things in that way that, that’s the lens. I try to see things with that. Okay. I know nothing and probably, I have to learn so much, but at the same time, I’ll prove it that, I can be the best

Rob: Okay that makes sense. So it’s a strategy that you’ve learned to Take the narrative that you’re the underdog so that you try harder. I know yeah, it’s one i’ve used in the past. Have you seen the rocky films? That’s the archetypal underdog come from nothing. So there’s a lot of humility in taking the beginner’s mindset. But what it also does is it shows that you had a level of comfort with yourself because People who don’t have that comfort need [00:25:00] to pretend that they know. Yes. Yes. Which implies to me that you had a quite a sound basis like a loving family, supportive family, which gave you confidence.

Rob: Do you have brothers and sisters and what your birth order was? 

Saurabh: I’m the elder brother. I have a sister who’s five years younger to me. And what I’m told by my family, I don’t know till the time I was five, I was like extremely naughty. And, I was here and there extremely excited, like hyper excited a kid.

Saurabh: And when my sister was born, obviously I don’t remember all these things. I was five. So my family says that you became completely different. You changed. You just wanted to take care of her and make her the center of attraction. So that was something which, you know, that my parents told me and I reflected back on it when I was, going through my self awareness journey.

Saurabh: And I think that’s how even I’ve grown as a. Leader or, a person you would say in organizations as well. Once I was given the role of taking care of other people it became completely secondary to [00:26:00] me, my position, whatever, whether I’m achieving my targets or not. It always became more about the people who, you know who are reporting to me. Yeah. So I, I feel that a lot of it comes, as you mentioned, that comes from a very supportive family. Like my mom, my dad, obviously they sacrificed whatever they could do in their lives.

Saurabh: To raise both my sister and me, and that’s something that I closely watch. My father is one of my role models. My mom, a role model in a different sense, the way she took care of everything. And my father, ambition wise, the way we see ambition, probably not that ambitious because his priority was always family.

Saurabh: Family comes first, no matter what. So he got a lot of promotions where you would have gone to various places and, grown in his career. But he sacrificed all those things for us so that we have a stable upbringing. So these are the kind of small things that I saw, as a kid, that really influenced me very deeply. That what love is, what responsibility is, what duty is, I was able to see that, in my father, my mother.

Saurabh: [00:27:00] So all these things deeply influenced me in my upbringing. 

Rob: So you actively seek out responsibility. One of the things I’ve found in that kind of role is I feel too much responsibility. And it, yeah I think I’ve never clarified any kind of boundary lines.

Rob: I set up a gym. I was like 21. Six months later, I was like 60 grand in debt. I was homeless. I was sick. My lawyer said to me just go bankrupt and just go to uni for three years. And, but I felt that, And this wasn’t even staff, this was members. I felt that people had joined the membership.

Rob: I needed to have that responsibility. And I think part of my personality is always a fear. I remember that the Enneagram, have you come across the Enneagram? Yes. So I’m a type five. The downside of it is like miserliness of fear that people will take all my attention and time.

Rob: So that’s one of the things I have. So there’s two things I have an issue with leadership is one. I have always been a rebel. I went to school and thought this doesn’t make any sense. I’m not following what they say. [00:28:00] So I’ve always wanted to think for myself refused to follow. And by the same token, because I refuse to follow, I don’t want to lead anyone because I feel that sense of responsibility that if I was wrong and I led them astray, so I’ve always had for a long time, the Hippocratic oath, do no harm.

Rob: And so I’ve probably done less because I’ve feared leading people astray or something. So you felt this responsibility. So I want to see what you had something different in your perspective. So I’m interested in what that was. 

Saurabh: Yeah. I feel, as you mentioned, like it’s a big responsibility to take care of, a team, those kinds of things.

Saurabh: I always enjoyed it. It was like until and unless I have that, I’m not able to enjoy, my role, whatever role I am in. That responsibility gives me the joy, that happiness. So that’s one of the reason why I actively seek out even in different departments who are like not directly reporting to me or anything [00:29:00] of that sort, even in those cases, I’ll always have a very deep connection with people, even if it is a 10 minute, five minute talk. What I mean, if you have to really define everything that what makes me, that is that very personal human, deep connection with each of the people. I work with. And wanting the best for them so that, how can I be of any help in whatever way through my knowledge, through whatever I have, how can I give more and more?

Saurabh: That’s what gives me the deepest sense of fulfillment, the deepest sense of joy. And obviously, like for example, during COVID times. A lot of employees had to be let go, obviously, because the business had fallen like 50, 60 percent and all those things. So those are very difficult times as a very emotional person, deeply emotional and deeply caring person who tries to give his best to bring everyone together and take everyone together. It becomes very difficult emotionally. And those are the times, those are the most difficult times I would say, [00:30:00] as taking that responsibility of people or so many people. But again, I feel the role of communication is so important that this is what the transparency in communication, that this is what it is.

Saurabh: We have no other option. So at that point of time, the salary that I was taking was like 30 percent of what I used to take. We were taking all the measures so that, the team could be together. So even despite that, when that could not be done, we had to let go of people. But again, transparency and communication was something that helped me, pull through that situation and I feel, until and unless I feel that responsibility of people, I don’t get that fulfillment. So it’s probably I see it as a deficiency as well that until and unless I get that responsibility, I don’t feel fulfilled. So you can see it, either ways. 

Rob: That makes sense. So what I see, because I see a lot of similarities between yourself and I. We both love to learn, we both love to share our [00:31:00] knowledge, we both have ideas, but you clearly have the much more extroverted approach. Whereas I’m very introverted and what I found in groups, what makes me happy and where I work best in groups is if I have a more detached position, I’m able to watch everything.

Rob: And I’m able to come up with ideas. And then what I’ve always found is I work better through someone who is a good speaker, is a good leader. And. I can basically tell them, I’ve learned that my ideal role is as Consigliere is that I don’t ever want the power. I don’t want to sit in the seat.

Rob: I’m not a threat in that sense because I’ll never take that role. But I like to have the intellectual challenge, but the detachment of not being so attached to it. I can see if I had more of the woo and the extraversion, I’d probably want to be more in it, but my thinking comes better from being more detached.

Rob: So I could see that. So the other part that I want to get a grasp [00:32:00] on is you’ve touched on it. Is what’s your why? Why do you do what you do? 

Saurabh: Any kind of positive impact that we can make, on the world is if we are able to bring like minded people who really just want the best for everyone. They want to create a society. Which is just fair, honest, these guys, it’s what I feel the vision should always be such that it is very difficult to attain.

Saurabh: That’s what gives you the most energy, that inner strength, of that underdog. Now, this is something that is so difficult to achieve. And that from there, I try to bring my energy up that yes, now this is such a big goal. Now, let me break it down into small pieces. So my, why in very short is to integrate change makers from all walks of life so that we can make a positive impact on the society.

Saurabh: And so that’s the why, and then, what’s the what and the how, then that keeps on changing based on The tactical plans. I’ve also quite a planner. So I generally have my three year plans, one year plan, five year plans already in the book, [00:33:00] I love journaling.

Saurabh: So every morning, the first thing that I do is. It’s called meditative journaling, wherein some question that you have in your mind, you sleep on it. So the previous night, and this is something that I’m actively trying to do every night before going to sleep, I would try to think of a question that, deeply troubles me or deeply makes me curious.

Saurabh: So I try to sleep on that. And I’ve realized when you do that you get dreams, your subconscious mind gets activated. And when you wake up, the first thing I try to do is try to answer that question at that point of time when I wake up. So this is a meditative journaling that I’ve been practicing now for nearly one and a half years.

Saurabh: And it has revealed so much that’s what brings all those plans and everything that whatever I’m doing, it keeps on changing every even though I have a detailed plan, it keeps on changing every month or so, how the feedback is, it keeps on changing. And I think making plans is something that I love.

Rob: I’m with you on that. My girlfriend says everything’s always changing and it is. I wrote my [00:34:00] book years ago and I, I’ve never written another one since because I’m always like, this will be better. And then I would write it and I’ll go, this will be better.

Rob: This will be better. And I always think my best is around the corner. So I can understand that because I’m constantly, everything is always changing. Yes. So now as we speak here the How and it will change, but what do you see is the How right for now? 

Saurabh: Yes. So right now what I’m trying to do is do three, four things together batch it in a way.

Saurabh: So the previous step was to finish writing my book which like has had a very big influence on me. That was the How entrepreneur, which is based on the 80, 20 principle, how you can, find those activities. A problem with being a planner is you’re not that good at doing, I feel a lot of planners have that issue.

Saurabh: So a lot of time in my life, I have been like that. I feel, but this is the time to make that change in the last probably three, four, five years when I’ve gone deeper [00:35:00] into, that journey of self awareness, I’ve realized that I’ve to become more of a action oriented person, a doer in that sense.

Saurabh: And so that was also the time I actively started applying this rule, even though it had always been, being a kind of a person who always wanted to find the, solution, which of the least effort. So it was always there in me. But when you applied it in a focused manner, the kind of results that, over the past four or five years that has delivered, it was like amazing.

Saurabh: And I wanted to share this with the whole world. So my book is free on the website. I want to just share and, so that people can, take something from whatever I have learned in my life. Yeah. So yeah, that was the first part. So writing the book was the first part. Now my consulting firm this is on applying these very simple principles.

Saurabh: So very simple framework. I’ve tried to simplify it as much as possible based on whatever experiences I’ve had based on all these experiences. I’ve tried to simplify it and now it can be [00:36:00] applied to organizations very easily. Oh that’s what I feel. And I’ve, last two years, I was working with sort of a startup and I applied a lot of things, directly to test in the market experiment as well.

Saurabh: And like the results were amazing. So I know that it works. And so now I want to expand it. Have a team around it and build on this consulting part and at the same time, mentor as many people as possible. So one on one again, these would be free consultations and, free things because at the deepest core, my why is to integrate change makers.

Saurabh: So for that, you need more and more people coming together. And that can only happen when people who are in need. I can help them out again, probably that underdog thing and all those things come together and brings it out. But yeah, that’s what my idea is to help as many people as possible with whatever I have and learn as well, inspire and be inspired.

Saurabh: So I want to get inspired as well. So it’s a need in me in that sense. So yeah, these two things. My consulting services [00:37:00] grow it as much as possible in the most sustainable and the most humane way possible. There is a term called conscious capitalism. I’m a deep follower of that. Capitalism should never be profit maximization.

Saurabh: It should always be welfare maximization. How you can, affect the most amount of people, how that’s how you create the biggest impact. So that’s something that I’m deeply interested in, and I want to actively apply these, things with my consulting services, I want to make it in such a way that 50 percent is work that I do that I’m charging for and 50 percent work that I’m not charging for. So there is a perfect balance between, that conscious capitalism, welfare maximization as well, as parts of how you can, earn as well, make a living as well. 

Rob: That’s very noble. Yeah I can definitely empathize with the planning., I love solving problems.

Rob: So I love to go into a team and figure out what the problems are, I watch the dynamics and. fix, whatever is there. The actual [00:38:00] doing of because most of when you do stuff, it’s fairly boring and it’s just do the same thing. I’m not very good with routine.

Rob: I’m not very good with the same thing. I need like that challenge or a problem. So that’s why I find it’s so much more. interesting to be able to go into lots of different teams to be able to map the different it’s like the velocity of the data that you can bring in is the quicker that you can evolve and refine what you’re doing.

Rob: I think you really touched on something with the profit maximization, because I see a lot of the problems that we have are because the structures of the companies are all we care about is money. If you’re a public limited company, everything is about shareholder return, which means that it has a knock on impact on how we treat people.

Rob: People become cattle. And yes, we’ll treat them better if there’s a profitable response. But that isn’t the priority it’s all in justification of profit. For me, everything is about people.

Rob: I can’t do anything. I was like, I have no [00:39:00] practicality. I don’t like building anything. I don’t like, anything like that. I like understanding people. I like knowing how people work and all that matters really is people. There’s institutions because we have a shared belief in it. And as long as they’re a tool, but what happens is the tool becomes the master.

 I think more and more people are probably going to do similar because people want to contribute, but your makeup is you’ve come from a strong foundation, you’ve built on that foundation and I can see why you like to lead because you’re, you are a great steward of what’s been given to you.

Rob: And so I can see that your Paying that forward and using that to in a positive way which is one of your strengths to make the world a more positive place. 

Saurabh: Yes. Yes. What, just going back to your previous point, I feel leadership is full of paradoxes. There are so many paradox, right?

Saurabh: Like people obviously are the most important thing, but at the same time to sustain an organization, to maintain the organization, you need to eat right as an [00:40:00] organism. We need to eat. Where does that food come from? That comes from the hard labor that comes from, whatever we do to get that food.

Saurabh: So both the things are equally important. I feel, not, if not equally like it’s like a 51 49, like people are yes, extremely important culture, extremely important. But at the same time, you have to hold the other paradox. Profits as well, that how can you make the organization grow together?

Saurabh: Again, that wholeness comes from the paradox. Wholeness cannot come from just people. Or wholeness cannot come just from profit maximization. So it has to be a marriage that paradox needs to be brought together, made whole. And that’s why I feel the role of a leader comes. Take the example of Jurgen Klopp, the way he grew the team without spending too much in a sustainable way, he made the club profitable.

Saurabh: He ran it just the right way. Just my idea of a leader is that’s how it is. Like it, it should be sustainable. When players were at the end of like their spells or, they were past their best, and they were no longer useful for the team.

Saurabh: At that time, you also have to be ruthless in the terms [00:41:00] that, you have to let go of them in the best possible way, but you have to also let go of them. And that’s where I feel that wholeness and leadership comes from. When, once you are able to hold these paradoxes. And you are ruthless and loving at the same time.

Saurabh: And you are able to bring that winning mentality as well as that compassionate factor as well together. So all these paradoxes is what makes a leader whole, I believe. 

Rob: What comes to mind is something, so there’s a football group that we have on the podcast.

Rob: And what you say reminds me of something. Thomas Courts is a football manager and He raised something once it was, which is as a football manager, you have to drop players and a lesson Carlo Ancelotti gave him from when he was doing his pro license, 

Rob: That I can’t remember exactly how he put it, but it’s basically that.

Rob: You, you want to change the anger that the player feels to disappointment. And he talked about if he knew he wasn’t gonna play someone the next week, he would straight away have that conversation so that he could move the player’s [00:42:00] anger to disappointment because ultimately the team, the relationships that we have, they are transactional.

Rob: In the sense that we have a relationship for a purpose. We’re here and we want the team to win. We so we need the organization to be at the best. And sometimes that means disappointing you from your personal ambitions. And it’s the way that you move about that and people can accept it.

Rob: They won’t be happy with it. But if you can conduct it in the right way, then you don’t make an enemy and you don’t create that bitterness and that which goes back to that whole thing of that’s where the conflict and creates breaks relationships. 

Saurabh: Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. Another thing that, that, springs to mind is competition is so necessary to build a strong team.

Saurabh: Again, I always go back to football examples. I think that helps us both in that sense, like whenever there are a lot of injuries and the same players play again and again, and they don’t have that competition, something like United had the kind of season, right?

Saurabh: Where there were a lot of injuries, [00:43:00] even Liverpool had that, but whenever the competition is really low. And so the inspiration somehow dwindles after a point of time because you are no longer fighting. And that struggle is what gives us, that energy to go and achieve together a shared purpose.

Saurabh: So I feel like it’s sort of part of human psyche that you can, if you get into that comfort zone. Then your performance dwindles. So you have to always keep them engaged, like a concept of in the flow concept of flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi speaks about this, right? That to achieve that state of flow of maximum optimal performance, you always have to balance out the challenge to the, the skill level. 

Saurabh: To drive engagement and, to build teams that are working at the perfect optimum level, highest performance levels, you have to have that level of challenge. And I think challenge also comes from competitiveness competition. That’s something which is very important, even in the team dynamics, especially in, organizations which are like sales focused, you need that competition, healthy competition among [00:44:00] people.

Saurabh: Who are driving towards a common purpose of the organization and they are competing as well in a healthy way. Obviously, it’s not always healthy, but yeah, you try to, finally balance that line, using various other strategies, but that competition is so key to any kind of organizational growth.

Rob: I remember said that the great Liverpool team, I remember Shankly saying there’s two great teams on Liverpool. There’s Liverpool and Liverpool reserves. Think Alex Ferguson used to do that. He used to bring in players for competition. And Mourinho was the person who probably brought that the most where he wanted to, you two players for every position in a squad. 

Rob: The nature of LinkedIn, because it’s short post it’s very positive.

Rob: So everyone’s always espousing positive traits. Something that we we talked about in the football group is their fear. There’s a place for fear. Cause some people say, oh, you need to take away all the fear. What you do is you take away all the fear There, there is no drive.

Rob: Naturally, humans want comfort. If we can [00:45:00] sit, watch TV and eat junk food all day, we’ll do that. I don’t want to go to the gym, but I go to the gym because I know if I don’t I’m not going to age well. I know I’m going to be in a state. I’m going to have issues. There are certain consequences.

Rob: We can’t just opt out of life. We have to be in the game. We have to fight for it. And that competitiveness is what creates a sense of fear and a sense of I need my place and I want to strive. And actually it’s something that you said before I had a note to talk about with a leadership, I think one of the problems is hierarchy.

Rob: Now, we need a certain level of hierarchy, this natural hierarchies, but I think the organizational structure is too hierarchical. And it needs to be, we need power to flow to where it needs to be and whoever has the most expertise, who’s the right person. Leadership is not about a role of power, but about coordinating and at times there will need to be [00:46:00] a power because somebody has to have the final say. Yes. Yes. And also I 

Saurabh: just wanted to comment on this a bit, recently. Alexander Arnold, he mentioned like Klopp, you love him, you respect him, but also fear him again, those mix of paradox coming back, that was exactly what I was going to say.

Saurabh: Yeah. That’s what the great leaders have. That’s something, even in organizations, when you’re talking about hierarchies, it is necessary, especially when the organization goes beyond that size of 150, as we were, talking about at that point of time, you need to, silo it because the connections become so many that you have mostly indirect connections and you hear things from here and there.

Saurabh: That raises the complexity to such a level, That you need those hierarchies at that point of time. And yeah, it’s absolutely necessary to have the hierarchies, but it’s also necessary that those people who are higher up in the hierarchy, they are quite open to change, to, accepting ideas.

Saurabh: When we talk about like psychological terms, like the ocean test [00:47:00] people who are high, In terms of openness, I don’t want to be controversial, but I feel that, such people who have high traits of openness are able to be better leaders in the kind of world that we are in, which is like extremely agile, extremely adaptable.

Saurabh: You have, the challenges are such that those people are able to handle it much better rather than people who are like extremely structured and who are high on neuroticism, who are You know, those kinds of people always will struggle in that sense. 

Saurabh: Yeah. 

Rob: So you’ve touched on it, but I’m interested to ask specifically, what’s your vision for the future and the change that you can make?

Saurabh: The next 10 years, according to my plan, I want to settle in Goa, which is like a beach city in India, beach state in India. So yeah, I want to settle there. And what I see is, when I close my eyes and see that, what I can see is there’s a place where I am teaching kids, small kids.

Saurabh: And a lot of the things [00:48:00] that are not there, a positive impact on education per se the kind of, positive education, wherein they are taught more about communication connection. They’re more, thought about how to be good people rather than how to be like whatever, making profits or getting a lot of materialistic things.

Saurabh: So that’s like what comes to my mind and run a sustainable sort of a restaurant, having a club where in people can come stay ashram kind of a thing, wherein a lot of things for wellness is being done. So that’s like having a school, all these things, these are like my longterm, vision that, I see far in the future.

Saurabh: I believe. Whatever, whoever we are, neuroplasticity and all these things are all great brain plasticity and all, but it’s very difficult to change the wiring once it has happened. So I feel this is much more simpler and you can create a much bigger impact if you can do it with kids. You know who have that malleability in terms of gathering these kind of information.

Saurabh: And I think they are the ones, the [00:49:00] next generation, the next coming generations, many more. They are the ones who would actually be the fruit of whatever work that probably I’ll do in my lifetime. Yeah. So that’s a, long term thing, but in the short run, in the next 10 years, what I see is I’m able to make some kind of change in terms of how organizations, operate, how to bring more welfare policies and things in place so that the organization can grow sustainably it’s for their own benefit rather than just profit maximization and short term, things focus on a little long term and to change that it needs a lot of effort from a lot of people. So that’s the goal that over the next probably 10 years.

Saurabh: Try to create that group of people and, build that community, co create that community so that all of us together can try to make, bring about some, small change in the way organizations are. 

Rob: What comes to mind there when you talk about long term vision is when I look at Amazon, one of the biggest companies and Jeff [00:50:00] Bezos had He had a clear vision and he was willing to go 20 years without making profit in order to build an organization of that size.

Rob: So many organizations just. Cutting off opportunities because they’re worried about next quarter’s share price. I think that’s one of the issues we have when we’re trying to maximize return on investment is it leads to short term thinking. It leads to destructive decisions that are based around someone’s bonus or just propping up in the short term at the cost of the long term. 

Saurabh: Yeah, 

Rob: I think we definitely need more long term thinking. So what kind of people would, you work with best. What would someone like an organization or an individual for the mentorship, what would they be like and what would they be going through at the moment that you could help with? 

Saurabh: in terms of people I’m very good at frameworks, making frameworks.

Saurabh: Whatever I’ve learned, I try to put it in some kind of [00:51:00] a binto box, you could say some kind of a wheel, something of that sort. And these are all like from learnings, not only my own learnings, these are all backed by research. Like I’m very thorough with my research and I read a lot.

Saurabh: I read three books a month kind of thing. And it has been, always my habit, since eight standard, probably. So I’m interested in all kinds of books. So anyways coming to that, I tried to create frameworks. It’s all based on questions, very powerful, deep, reflective questions.

Saurabh: And you go through that complete wheel, a, self discovery wheel, if you say. Go understand what are your strengths, understand what are the things that other best, most important priorities in your life. Understand what is the wheel of life. what are the wheels that you need to balance in your life?

Saurabh: The physical wellbeing, your mental wellbeing, your profession, all the things, eight different spokes in your life, you have to balance that out. So then you understand what’s your IKIGAI, what are the things, you will be getting paid for, all those things. So then you would find your why.

Saurabh: [00:52:00] So once you reach that state of finding your why, then starts the next stage. This is, I’m talking about individuals, right? So once you get to know what your why is, then you start planning that then comes the planning phase that these are the activities. These are the next two activities that I need to do to create 80 percent impact in whatever I want to achieve.

Saurabh: And then you celebrate, you ask questions, you be part of communities, all these things, what are the things that you need to do? If you are very clear about what your focus area is, it makes life so easy. Once it is tied up with that journey of self discovery and your awareness about yourself, that journey, if you are not aware, you are like climbing uphill.

Saurabh: And on the other hand, if you are quite aware of what you are, who you are and why you are, then the journey becomes like a slide, it becomes very easy. So yeah that’s something that for individuals, a program, right from leadership programs to self discovery programs.

Saurabh: To mentorship program, do you ask me whatever questions you have, I’ll help you out in whatever best [00:53:00] way I can. And all based on that 80, 20 mindset with 80, 20 toolkit, which is a set of more than 120 – 130 tools, each to best grow your organization, to, be the best person that you can be.

Saurabh: So these are the parts for the individuals and for the organization It is mainly to do with, how can you increase, build better teams? How can you build better teams? 

Saurabh: What are the things that, you need to grow your profitability in the, medium term, not in the short term, not in the long term, but in the medium term, what are the activities. It starts with the root cause analysis, of course, that you ask those deep questions, what are the root causes of the business that you’re, doing, what are the main problems that you’re facing?

Saurabh: Then comes the maturity assessment at what stage is the organization. And then you create that steering committee as a consultant, you create that, along with the team that you are working with, who create a steering committee, as I was mentioning the leadership, who’s the main stakeholder, who’s the main, sponsor of that [00:54:00] program, it comes from there.

Saurabh: When you are like the medium, the person who’s like trying to govern and coordinate and bring everyone together. And then there is their own steering committee, which are the people and how you can then help out the employees and the culture of the organization. So that’s how I feel that, that can be brought together for the organizations.

Saurabh: And again, the same thing, 80 20 principle, what are those 20 percent activities that will truly move the needle for your business and focusing on them, how you focus on them. Even there, you can apply all these frameworks 80 20 rule. So you keep on applying and applying those 80 20 rules on each aspect of business.

Saurabh: Then, the change you get happens in a very focused manner. And it happens in a manner which is sustainable because you have identified the real why in each of the aspects of business. So yeah, that’s how, I’m, trying to position the consulting for organizations as well as the individuals.

Saurabh: It’s all to do with, the overarching theme is the 80, 20 theme, wherein you have the 80, 20 [00:55:00] mindset in one end and the other is the 80 20 toolkit which has a range of tools and frameworks, which are, some of them are obviously frameworks that have been well resourced and being used for a number of years.

Saurabh: Like I was talking about Belbin team rules. I was talking about some other things or even on LinkedIn. So these things, these are the frameworks that, have helped me a lot. And I feel a lot of organizations don’t do it. And that’s something that I can help with because having that experience of applying those things over a number of years, I can help them out with that’s number one.

Saurabh: And number two, a lot of things that I have learned, I’ve created my own frameworks. Based on applying these principles. It’s a combination of both. So that brings the uniqueness of, the flavor of what I want to do. 

Rob: Sounds very inspiring. 

Rob: So 2011 you graduated, you had your MBA and you took over.

Rob: So young graduate you took over these 800 people, right? This product 800 people.

Rob: Tell us a little bit about how that journey went. 

Saurabh: To begin with as I mentioned, I was at sea, I didn’t know what to [00:56:00] do. I had no idea how, and the main problem, the first initial months, when I got into this role, the main pushback that I used to feel from people is you don’t need to, travel with us.

Saurabh: You don’t need to come with us. We want to do it alone to, to promote that product, to sell it in the market. We will do it. We don’t need your guidance for that. And these were people who were like the age of 40 when I was at the age of 20, 22. There was that thing that we don’t need a kid here along with us, chauffeuring him around.

Saurabh: We don’t want that kid. So that was the underlying pushback that I felt from the team. But, as I mentioned, over a period of time, I’ve built relationships over a period of first three months, my only thing was to visit the field every day. And meet three new such people.

Saurabh: I used to be like a pest, like I’m coming. I did not even ask them after I, faced that problem for a couple of months. I just used to go on the field and these were all salespeople. So I just used to go in the field and spend time with them. And once I spent time with them, like 50 percent of the time, more than [00:57:00] 50 percent of the time, they used to become my friends because because of probably of my, what qualities I brought. 

Saurabh: I was very open. I was very friendly. I did not mind them doing a lot of things that, salespeople don’t want to say that they’re taking rest or this and that I used to enjoy with them. I would have a beer with them and I built as many friends as possible in that, point of time, just to build that trust, build that rapport increase my network.

Saurabh: And increase my influence then overall. And, I was not doing it that consciously as I’m speaking right now, it comes across as I was doing it all very consciously, but yeah, it was not very conscious at that point of time. I felt that it was quite natural the way, and within three months everyone was calling me Saurabh, please come, we need you. Because when I was speaking to the customers, like I had in depth knowledge about the product and they were talking about a hundred other products. So since I was specialized in that product, I could bring a lot more value into those conversations to convince people.

Saurabh: And since they were getting, good sales because I was there with [00:58:00] them. So they, used to call me, then they started pestering me and then I pick and choose who to go with. And I traveled a lot at that point of time, like across India, I used to travel around 20, more than 20 days a month across India, all the places.

Saurabh: And be with the, the whole team at different points of time. Amazing three years, amazing time. So that is how the journey went in Hilti and how, things fell in place. And I learned a very important lesson there. The importance of friendship. I feel that is something that has no alternative.

Saurabh: Connection comes from friendship and not necessarily because friendship is a very equal relationship. There is no boss. There is no, subordinate. It’s a very equal relationship. I feel this is something that based on my experience, I feel organization should focus a lot on how the team gels together depends a lot on how the interpersonal relationship between the people is.

Saurabh: If it is very friendly, very cordial, very, empathetic and coming from the heart, it pulls the team [00:59:00] together. They are ready to help each other out. Then, just seeing them, others as competition. So that’s again, part of. Holding those paradoxes, but it is a very crucial part friendships.

Saurabh: Also, that was a big learning for me moving forward I moved. So I always changed roles. So like in Hilti, I was a product manager. I’m moving ahead. With Siemens, I was more of a So I’m good at writing, obviously I wrote the book and all, but yeah, I was good at writing, but till that time I never explored that skill set.

Saurabh: So I always like to take on those challenges because learning as you, just like you, I love to learn new things, new challenges that, that gives me a lot of joy. So since the learning curve was high there, I went to, Siemens and again, it was a marketing communication kind of a role.

Saurabh: Where you have to create a lot of backend material and marketing communication thing for the sales team to support the sales team. So this included creating pitch decks and a lot of other things, marketing collaterals. But within six months in the role, the people [01:00:00] realized, okay, he is good at this, but his main skillset is how he can, pull everyone together and influence everyone.

Saurabh: That’s his main skillset. So they put me back into a team handling role where again that continued. So I was doing a lot of trainings on, how to communicate within Siemens. The soft skill trainings and various other kinds of trainings. I was conducting training teams on products, various products that Siemens launched training them how to sell.

Saurabh: So all these became part of my role and that became the bigger part of my role rather than, just marketing communication and all these things. A big learning from Siemens was in a big organization you are a very small part, a small cog in a very big wheel.

Saurabh: So the kind of impact, even like it was complete fulfilled because I felt I’m still so small in that, big scheme of things. And I really thought that I want to move the needle. Where is it? It’s all stable. The organization is growing at 3 percent and it’s been growing at 3 percent for the last 20 years.

Saurabh: So where is the fun in [01:01:00] that? So even though I enjoyed and it was not a very long stint. I never liked stability in that sense, I always want to try out new things, new challenges because that’s when new confluence of ideas come from, that’s where more learning can happen.

Saurabh: That’s where I can build more connections. Yeah. So yeah, that was Siemens. Moving on I took the role of strategy, business strategy and, profit maximization also in a couple of organizations. Yeah, so that, that’s how my journey has progressed and it’s like a kind of a whole journey wherein I’ve been part of different aspects of the business, right?

Saurabh: From, handling the profits, handling teams marketing, communication, business development, business transformation, change management. And it all ultimately comes down to, using my strengths, whatever strengths I have, I try to give my best using my strengths. And that’s what I feel helps me in bringing various aspects and everyone together.

Saurabh: Also, the role of, what we were seeing right at the [01:02:00] beginning, the role of connection and communication that I feel is key to whatever role you are in. That remains the key. If you’re able to, bring it together along with influencing people towards that shared vision, that’s what I feel in any organization, in any role.

Saurabh: That’s what it is. 

Rob: That’s my entire thesis is that A team. Basically what we’re asking of leaders is for a leader to be a super person. They need to have strategic knowledge.

Rob: They need to be a connector. They need to support. They need to be a coach. And it’s like, where are you going to get these super. It’s no wonder there are so many people. Complain about bad bosses because we are asking so much from one person to have all of these skills and to, and it’s no wonder people struggle so much in their first role because they’re being asked to jump from being someone who does to someone who enables others.

Rob: The amount of personal growth it takes to be confident with who you are to be able to say, okay. And I think so many leaders are so worried about [01:03:00] what other people think of them that they’re they’re not able to access all of what they could do. So for me, if you can create the relationships, if you can teach the people in the team to build the relationships if you can have that team that has that supportive, connected, they’re together, they like each other.

Rob: And it’s not about being nice to each other. It’s about, this is the purpose. A team is bonded by their purpose. This is why we’re together. This is what we’re all committed in. And that’s why we’re together. And then when you develop that high performance team, they hold each other accountable, which goes back to the Liverpool of Paisley’s day.

Saurabh: Yeah. 

Rob: Bob Paisley was a terrible man manager. He had no man management and him, both him and Shankly avoided conflict. They would hide from players they dropped. And Paisley so much so that it was Graham Souness that was the leader of that Liverpool team. And literally two of the players were having I think it was the two Kennedys, Ray [01:04:00] and Alan Kennedy were having a a full on fight in the coach.

Rob: And Bob Paisley was just like letting it go. And it was, we are Liverpool, this is the standard that we hold ourselves to. They didn’t need so much leading. And I believe if you can, Create the relationships where people are open to try to talk. They trust each other.

Rob: They’ll say what they are on their mind. They’re all dedicated to that same goal because it is their personal goal. Then I think then the leader only need to steer every now and then. And that’s, yes, that’s really how you develop organizations that Yes. You really have an impact.

Rob: Absolutely. 

Saurabh: Absolutely. I so agree with you that no, we expect so much from the even, on LinkedIn and all, when you see those kind of posts, and even at times even we do such kind of posts that wherein we expect so much from the leader. And at the end of the day, it’s like they’re very human.

Saurabh: They have their own strengths, their own weaknesses. Not everyone has those traits, yes, you have to [01:05:00] develop, you have to develop, there is no other option. It is a very difficult role to be, responsible for so many people. And then, not have a lot of skills, some of those skills, at least to an extent, yes, it may vary in degree, but you need to have some of those aspects of those leadership skills.

Saurabh: Yes. But as you mentioned, like the main role of leader has to be a enabler, how a leader is able to enable others to perform at their best, to fulfill their potential. That has to be an underlying, the main, I feel if there is one quality that would be able to bring people together as what you do unifying teams that the first that’s the only thing that’s the only way if you are able to unify the team, you are able to bring them together, enable them.

Saurabh: To be, create that kind of psychological safety, where they can speak, they can talk they can have conflicts openly and have those, like you mentioned the example of, the dressing rooms of Liverpool, like they were like huge amount of, even today you [01:06:00] would see like people like Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dyck, Henderson, when he was there, Milner used to, blast people, when something is not going right, because that’s what needs to be done.

Saurabh: You have to do that healthy conflict and, pointing the finger at each other is also necessary. And that’s something that to create that space is the role of what I feel is the leader’s role more than anything else. Yes. 

Rob: So true. Okay. It’s been fascinating to hear your perspective.

Rob: And it’s really interesting for me because we have so many similarities and yet I’m more on the introverted side, you’re more on the extroverted side. You have the woo and the ability to bring that all together, whereas mine is much more analytical and detached through other people really.

Rob: Thank you for your time. It’s been a pleasure.

Share the Post:

Related Posts