Turning 16: What Did I Learn? (2/3) | Tech Mahindra

Turning 16: What Did I Learn? (2/3)

Dear friends,

Thank you for an overwhelming feedback on my first blog (MyBeat+ / LinkedIn) in this 3-part series. Your support over all these years and your kind words on my anniversary leave me both proud and humbled, making this already special moment even more so.

As promised, I’ll share my experiences through two more articles. I’ve taken the liberty to group them into my learnings as a professional and a person. That said, I must declare that they came to me in no specific order or year. In fact, there were moments that taught me one big lesson at a time, and there were ones that gave me multiple little learnings at one go. Nevertheless, all kinds of experiences helped me grow.

In today’s blog, I’ve tried to distil seven essential lessons that you can use as a professional in any area of work – you choose the industry, role or geography. They’ve almost never failed me throughout my career, and I hope you’d find them useful in yours, too.

Here you go:

1. Embrace change: For the only thing that remains constant, the advice is simple. Always be ready to embrace change. Make disruption your go-with word. Staying dynamic, with (if not ahead of) the times and open to new experiences is the only way to survive and thrive. In my own case, the changing schools and cities as a child is what made me tougher, resilient and open to experimentation. If I would not have embraced change, I would have retired selling hardware to the government sector in India. Change helped me grow as a person and as a professional.

2. Accept no limits: This key tenet of Rise has been my guiding mantra over the years. When we acquired Satyam, the world watched us in wonder, and we proved sceptics wrong by etching one of the biggest transformations of India Inc. And the reason was simple: We refused to accept limits.

3. Worship data: It’s said what cannot be measured cannot be managed, cannot be improved. So, demand data. Question data. Information & knowledge are your biggest weapons in the digital world. We are the largest service provider in the CME world, and believed we were doing a good job. A couple of years ago, analysts gave us data points that showed where we could improve, which led to the creation of the C-Consult unit that focuses on value-adds to our CME clients.

4. Have stretch goals: Dream big, aspire high and have BHAG – big hairy audacious goals. Let it scare you a bit, excite you lots. And the magic will happen. We were a $240m company in 2006, when we signed a billion-dollar deal with BT, one of the largest deals at the time.

5. Value diverse thinking: Encourage varied views. The beauty of an orchestra lies in the diversity of artists who can play different tunes and beats. As a master of symphonies, you will benefit from investing in people with different backgrounds, experiences and skills – to give your teams collective strengths as well as a cultural edge. One of the reasons I have a lot of millennials in my team is that they bring a fresh new perspective to my thinking.

6. Put your team first: Put people & talent at the heart of your business and the rest will take care of itself. Building a phenomenal team takes investment, and it reaps enormous rewards for everyone concerned. My best bosses did this for me, and I am enormously grateful to them, as I try to do the same for my teams.

7. Communicate: One of the most underrated yet most powerful tools for corporate success is communication – most agree, some understand, few practice and fewer excel in it. If you can create a culture where your people can share their excitement and exasperation with you freely, you will have created one of the best cultures and some of the best teams in the world.

I’d be happy to hear your views on the above points, and happier if you can add more.

In the final instalment of this blog, I’ll talk about the things that helped me evolve as a person over the last sixteen years.


Note: This article is an extract of CP's first podcast with Tech Mahindra, released on his 16th work anniversary with the company, and is the Second blog in a three-part series. Listen to the podcast (on Anchor or Spotify) for the full conversation, which including a rapid fire with CP | Follow CP’s first blog in this 3-part series on MyBeat+, LinkedIn and Twitter | Connect with him on LinkedIn & Twitter

About the Author
CP Gurnani
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tech Mahindra