Neha Kulwal, CEO, Amitad India talks about childhood leadership lessons that have shaped her personality
23rd September 2019
Hailing from a business family, I had always been interested in the concept of business since I was a child. I really do enjoy devising innovative solutions to business challenges and finding newer ways of generating higher revenues for the organisations that I’ve worked with. This mindset has, in part, been driven by my belief that one should never stop learning and trying to improve on their past performances. Any success in today’s dynamic world is fleeting unless one can build on it to scale ever loftier heights.
This is why I try to be a better version of myself, every day, as a businessperson. I try to be as involved in all aspects of Admitad’s business in India and especially make the time to go on as many business development meetings as I can.
I have my father to thank for this passion for growth and business. Growing up, I used to frequently see him crunching numbers to figure out the best decision to make. His unbridled delight at every successful deal used to lift the mood of the entire household. Over time, I have realised that his commitment to learning from his experiences and exceeding the benchmarks he’d set for himself have really inspired me and shaped who I am – as an individual and as a business professional.
He also imparted to me the importance, as a leader, of nurturing the people that one leads. Good leaders are able to get the best out of their teams. Great leaders do that while also helping their team members grow and become future leaders themselves. It is important to nurture leadership skills in those under you; without creating the next batch of leaders to take up your current role, you can never truly grow as a leader yourself.
But mentoring cannot be done without creating deep personal/professional relationships with one’s team members. Without understanding the purpose an individual serves within the larger picture, one cannot gauge where to best deploy them or how to achieve their optimal potential. This limits the kind of growth that leaders can drive for their teams and, by extension, themselves.
My other childhood passion for understanding why people do the things that they do has really helped me in this regard. I’ve realised that true leaders always try to form a level of personal connection with the people they are leading. They go the extra mile to understand the fears, hopes, and ambitions of their team members, and to make them feel like an integral and valuable part of the organisation.
This is one of the prime reasons why I like to be involved in all aspects of the company’s business in my role. The hands-on involvement allows me to guide and mentor my people, as well as gain a better understanding of their individual strengths and weaknesses.
Creating such personal relationships has helped me come up with custom mentorship strategies for each and every individual in my team. It has helped me motivate them and increase their business contribution, productivity, and creative output. By nurturing the people I lead, I feel I am able to create multiple high-value opportunities for everyone to grow – including myself.
Leading any kind of business enterprise, be it small or large, comes with its fair share of challenges. Being empathetic towards and understanding with their teams can help leaders overcome the hurdles to build a strong foundation for the path to success, glory and growth. People are more willing to go above and beyond the call of duty for leaders that they believe have their best interests in mind. This is one lesson I try never to forget.