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CEO - The Recruiters | Entrepreneur | Author | Shantanu Saha

Shantanu Saha

Shantanu Saha

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” Shantanu Saha

Success Mantra:

Let me share some personal success mantras that helped me succeed: 

# Exceed Expectations – Always do more than what you are asked for, don’t over commit but always over- deliver.

Be Fearless & confident – Never think of failure as an option. Just work knowing that you will succeed and do whatever hard or smart work is required to ensure success. Work with honesty and integrity and you will never have to fear anyone. Do what is right always and things will fall in place.

Be Self Motivated – Do not get disheartened if your efforts are not recognized. Every experience is a learning experience so you never lose anything by working as you still gain experience and knowledge. You deliver and do your work to perfection for your internal satisfaction. External validation and rewards will come but don’t be dependent on them. Create your inherent value.

Be humble as you rise up the hierarchy – Never use your power or position to put down anyone. Be humble and even more so when you are very senior in the organization. Half the problems do not arise if you are available and approachable to people in the company. Also, position and power are temporary and your relationships with people should be such that they don’t change even if you don’t have that position anymore.

Delegate – Try to make your self redundant. Do not ever think that you are indispensable. In fact, create systems and processes so that if you leave tomorrow every single thing in the organization functions smoothly. People will appreciate your lasting contributions to create a process. Also, you can move on & take a larger role.

Strategy And Execution:

Strategy building exercise can be successful if it includes the key stakeholders and takes the views of the folks who will actually implement things on the ground. Even then the constraints and feasibility of success of a strategy or project should be known and discussed so that it does not come as surprise to anyone. Once stakeholders have a buy -in and they know what the thought process behind a company strategy is, all functions and departments can work towards achieving it keeping that big goal in mind.

Overcoming Road-Blocks:

There are innumerable roadblocks and no professional who has made it to the top has had an easy path unless maybe you inherited the top management role and even there you have other challenges. You could have difficult bosses, insecure colleagues, a toxic work environment, a lack of resources, time constraints, or personal challenges. You need to overcome all either one at a time or simultaneously. The challenges I faced are too many to enumerate and I am in the process of writing my second book which is about my career and how I rose from a Management trainee to a Vice President. All the challenges and opportunities that I had in my 9 years of Corporate career where I headed HR from the 3rd year on-wards will be enumerated there. The challenges, of course continue to post my Corporate career ever since I became an entrepreneur but those are of a different nature.

Your Journey And Your Book:

It was a very tough journey and my Doctor thought that whatever I had gone through and then lived to tell the tale, was a miracle. He insisted that I write about my experience to motivate others suffering from a similar situation as sometimes some people give up, lose hope , and get depressed. I have got a lot of feedback from readers who after reading my book have told me that they felt that their health problems seemed easier to overcome once they read about my case where I snatched life from the jaws of death.

HR Strategies For Tough Times:

HR has had to evolve and leadership of companies has had to re-evaluate how they look at each role. Mind you, we can only talk of employees who could work remotely from home most of whom belong to the Services Sector. We can still not do much about the shop floor or where an employee had to be physically present to do the work. Having said that the Services sector is the largest in the Indian economy and they evolved. The agricultural sector had enough social distancing to continue work. The thing that stalled completely was unfortunately the manufacturing sector. 

In the services sector, HR had to go back to the drawing board to see what outcomes of an employee could be used to measure productivity rather than the actual time spent in the office. So from the quantum of work done, evaluation has shifted to the outcome of work done, irrespective of the hours put in. Hence an effective measure of ROI can now be calculated on each employee, by identifying for each line and staff function measurable metrics and outcomes. HR will also have to recognise that once they move to an outcome -based system of work there will some employees who might finish the same work in half the time. Such employees may choose to utilize that time to pursue a completely different vocation or hobby or job. Hence we may have more gig workers in the future who may only work projects based on each company and might work for multiple companies too. 

A major challenge would be to keep the employee engaged while they work in silos of their individual houses and miss the team bonding. Then to ensure the work boundaries are set and they do not keep stretching frequently to an employee’s personal time. Also redundancies in systems have to be built for disruptions in the , workplace. Also Since some companies have decided to make work from home a long term feature, they need to see if this can be done on a rotational or optional basis once the Pandemic is over. While WFH works in the current scenario where everyone is in it together, in a normal situation a person opting for WFH regularly might be looked at by other colleagues as someone who is shirking work. So the dynamics of this will evolve with time.

Business diversification may be another area for leaders to look into and HR can help identify skills of the existing workforce that can be used for a completely different business. Also brainstorming exercises by the management to identify every possible disruption scenario and how to handle it so that businesses can survive and thrive even in the most challenging times.

Also as the new education policy of the government recognizes that people are versatile, and just as a student can choose both science and arts, similarly we should see more interdepartmental job rotation based on employee interests and skills that we have not seen much off in the services sector. Such employees when they move to a senior management role would definitely do a better job having seen multiple departments functioning first hand.