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Home » Blog » Purpose, Balance and Sustainable Leadership

The latest episode of xMonks Drive podcast features Manoj Kohli. The inspirit conversation encircled all avenues of being in a leadership position juggling between growth, purpose and sustainability while seamlessly connecting each of them. 

A Leader and the Purpose

“I think this is very important and I feel that the leaders work with a bigger purpose to better success, sustainable success”, says Manoj.  Only a strong purpose can make a leader impactful. No one wants to follow someone with no vision. Leaders create further leaders, by helping others discover their purpose. 

Similarly, having a purpose makes it easier to understand and express what we want. It helps us to set limits on our own actions as well as what we can and will not tolerate from others. True leaders understand their purpose, not only those who have the position or title that makes it natural to believe they are leaders, but those who lead the majority of the time. Leaders who recognize their meaning have a part to play in assisting others in finding theirs, freeing them from the pressures of uncertainty about who they are and what they stand for.

Manoj’s take on Mistakes

Balance in leadership position also requires managing both successes and failures. 

Every leader makes mistakes. Being human involves making errors from time to time. The distinction between good and great leaders, though, is how they approach errors.

They are continually worried about falling short of expectations and making a mistake. Fear of failure, on the other hand, is a deterrent to development. 

Leaders should inspire their subordinates and refrain from being too critical of procedures. The art of leadership, on the other hand, is to preserve transparency while still keeping an eye on flaws. It’s not about radically altering mindsets and behaviors; it’s about ensuring that the vital personal and interpersonal business processes are error-free.

To quote Mr. Manoj himself, here is an excerpt from the conversation. 

“We are all human beings. We take judgement, we study data. analyse data, we talk to our colleagues, we consult our superiors, we consult some third party also. And then we come to a decision and the scenes are so complex variables are moving here and there every day. 

And then if you take a decision and the decision is 70%, right or 80%, right or even 60%, right? 

You can improve the decision by being dynamic so that when you come to know that it was the wrong decision or into the partially wrong decision, then you can correct the decision very fast. 

So, two rules are always followed: First, don’t repeat the same mistake. And Second, is when you come to know it’s a mistake, cut the cost on the same day

So actually, mistakes are not an issue. We all can experiment. We all should experiment. We all should try to do new things. If you really get so scared of the mistakes, then nobody will experiment It’s important to experiment. Very important experiment. Otherwise you will never rejuvenate. You’ll never innovate. You’ll never do new things to do new things in life, and obviously, some will fail. But the cost of failure should be minimised.” 

Sustainability as the Bigger Goal

Sustainability is the call of current times. Sustainable leadership is concerned with an organization’s social position, as well as its effect on individuals, the environment, and revenues. Sustainable leadership means taking a responsible approach to the leadership style, pausing to consider the larger effects of our decisions on society and the environment. This might require taking into account our broader stakeholder community, as well as the natural structures in which we work and their limitations.

It’s important to start by analyzing and comprehending how our individual roles could contribute to addressing global issues like climate change and gender inequality, as well as realizing the benefit that our acts might offer. Leaders who are responsible look up and out beyond their position, company, and sector all the time.

Manoj believes that a leader should understand humanity and goodness.

“I believe very strongly in goodness, I believe that, you know, you will, in a commercial situation in a business situation, you will have to take tough decisions, tough stance many times, but still be human. I mean, you can’t leave humanity, just because you’re working for a commercial situation.”

“Every leader has to do many tough things for sustainability. For the goodness and sustainability of the organisation. Because the organisation goal is the biggest goal in the largest core and sustainability of the organisation over many decades and centuries is the most important. So I feel that this is a mix of two qualities of the warrior.” That was another golden remark on having sustainable culture around the organization by the speaker.

“People want to be with each other. People really know how good each other are, they are seeing the goodness of each other. So, I feel that is coming back, the relationships are becoming stronger. There’s more on the personal side. On the business side, it’s very clear that I feel the businesses have to be run very prudently. More and more entrenched, because there’s no other way to run a business and grow a business. You have to be working with a framework of profits. A great business model, a good brand and grid culture that’s the model that will be sustainable.”

About the Speaker: Manoj Kohli

Manoj Kohli started his career in HR with the DCM Shriram Group, held business leadership positions in the Foods, Chemicals, Refrigeration and Automobile. Honda JV, Airtel, SB Energy were some organizations that he contributed to.  After 16 years in the manufacturing sector, he led a mobile startup Escotel to achieve market leadership in 3 important markets in India. Meet the passionate leader, Manoj Kohli who is the Country Head – SoftBank India responsible for supporting SoftBank Group, SoftBank Vision Fund and their over 20 portfolio companies’ in India. You will also know him as the “Telecom Man of the Year” in 2000, “Best Alumni” by SRCC Delhi University and “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2020. Tune into this conversation for a masterclass in leadership”.

Tune in to xMonks Drive Podcast for more insightful talks.