Saket Modi,Co-founder Lucideus and one of the best cyber security experts in India, who has also been featured in the Forbes India list of ’30 Under 30’ shares his views on leadership and team building with B&E.
What are your most powerful leadership techniques?
Saket Modi (SM): It’s most important for a leader to be inspirational. To be someone who is looked up to. In today’s day and age, people change jobs very quickly and if there isn’t a leader who they can look up to, they wouldn’t want to work for him or her. Inspiration is the key thing.
So how does one inspire? You can only inspire someone by doing what you say. Your actions are the most important thing, which totally makes your team look upto you.There is no particular technique, to be a great leader but when you understand your team’s perspective, their needs and demands that is when all the magic happens. In simple words, the leader needs to lead from the front.
Can we teach people to become better leaders?
(SM): As I have mentioned above, a leader is a person who understands the perspectives of his own team. Anybody who can understand the background from where the other person is coming from and understand why somebody is thinking what he or she is thinking is a leader. Because then you can assign your team a task which is in their best interest, and also best for the organization and you can rest assured that it will be done most efficiently.
So leadership, I think is a bi-product of your ability to understand people and your team, most importantly. And of course, you have to be talented yourself, to be able to prove what you say .These two combined together make a great leader.
A leader is one who has the capacity to make a team that is mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. He should be able to put together a team that is smarter than him and will also stand by him always. Just as he should be able to inspire the team they too should inspire him. That’s the chemistry whichthey should share.
Somebody should hence not aspire to learn how great leaders work, but aspire to understand people, inspire and work hard.
What is the secret to building a great team?
(SM): The secret to building a strong team is to be able to develop trust, understanding within the team and the ability to work seamlessly in any situation. Secondly you should always hire better, smarter people than you. The moment you get somebody who is not better than you, he or she will then recruit someone who is not better than him or her and the chain continues. While if you get someone better than yourself and tell that person that he or she is smarter, you motivate that person to outshine and do his best. He in turn does the same to people below him and the organization as a whole benefits.
The secret to getting more done in a day as compared to others.
(SM): I believe in being in the present all the time and that is what is the secret to my productivity. If I am sitting in a meeting with someone, I will give my undivided attention to that person. My phone is usually on the “Do Not Disturb” mode then. Whatever I am doing, I have to give my 100% all the time. To be able to do that, Ihave to be purely in that moment at that very time. It’s a small productivity hack I have learnt.
And it’s just not with my work, it is very true for every aspect of my life. For example, if I am going out with my friends, I follow the same process.
The motivation secrets of a leader-how do you inspire and sustain motivation?
(SM): Inspiration is all about hard work and talent and leading from the front.
For example if I want new clients for my business then the first person to do so has to be me. Once I get in new business I inspire my team and give them the confidence to do the same.
The secret to handling failure effectively ?
(SM): The secret to handling failure is to know from the beginning that it is a possibility and have a plan B in place. Failure is absolutely going to happen, so that’s not a problem but the problem is when you don’t have a plan for failure.
When you start, always take a worst case scenario. Assume it is not going to work, not like a pessimistic, but rather like a realist. While you give your 100% to plan A have a plan B in place. The moment you do that you truly reduce the fear of failure.
How do you prioritize work and life?
(SM): There is no difference. I disagree with switching off, from work on a weekend for peace. Because the moment you say that you’re switching off on a weekend for peace, it means you’re not peaceful when you’re switched on. Balance should be there but not walls between work and personal life. I am very comfortable to use technology to augment its usefulness in my personal life. And if you can find harmony between work and personal life without creating walls, that is the most beautiful thing.
Leaders you admire?
(SM): There are a lot of leaders I admire. I am a big fan of Subhas Chandra Bose. I also admire the leadership our Prime Minister has shown in the last couple of years, and then there is Steve Jobs and Elon Musk who I guess almost every body admires.