By Pradeep Vajram, CEO, SmartPlay Technologies
Founded in 2008, SmartPlay Technologies is a Bangalore based design services company that holds expertise in digital, analog, wireless software and system design.
In a career spanning over 20+ years and experience with two corporate giants, LSI Logic & Qualcomm, and two start-ups, Spike Technologies and SmartPlay Technologies, I am fortunate to have gotten an opportunity to work with many successful leaders in the industry. In my opinion, leadership is an art that has to be practiced and perfected.
Many a times in my career, I have been asked what makes a good leader. What is the secret to build a successful company? What are the key attributes to become an effective leader? I learnt the answers to many of these questions while working with and observing some of the best leadership minds in the industry that I continue to leverage.
My journey as the co-founder of my first start-up Spike Technologies was among the biggest learning experiences of my career. The decade that I spent building and growing the company took me through the best of situations and the rockiest of territories that hardened me as a leader. Several of my experiences at Spike Technologies, have helped me to a great extent at my second start-up, SmartPlay Technologies. Here are a few key qualities, I have learnt, that makes a strong leader.
Three Qualities that a Leader Should Possess
Every strong leader possesses these three inherent Qualities - Vision, Passion and Hardwork. All successful leaders possess a perfect amalgamation of these three qualities.
Three Satisfactions that Measure a Leader's Success
Like most skills that are measured on their results, leadership too is measured on three important parameters; Customer Satisfaction, Employee Satisfaction and Stakeholder Satisfaction. Each of these three parameters is equally vital for the success of the organization. A good leader, no matter what their leadership style, understands how to balance each of these parameters.
The Essence of a Good Leader
The Team is a very critical aspect of the leadership. It is very important to know that leadership is not about how many people follow the leader but how many leaders you create. A good leader not only hires people that are capable and better than him/her but also delegates responsibilities effectively across the organization. Leadership is also about the ability to build a great relationship with the team and maintain it through the journey.
The Glue that Holds the Organization Together
Great leaders are those whom others feel they can trust, good leaders make people safe. It is imperative that a leader creates a secure environment for co-workers and employees. When a leader shows respect and gratitude to his employees, they will take pride in being a part of the organization and exceed expectations.
Transparency is that key to building trust. Keeping an open channel of communication with the employees, stakeholders and customers, is the key to effective, long-term success. It is vital to communicate, whether good or bad, and it has been proven as a great way to build trust.
Beware of Complacency
A leader always respects competition, whether big or small. When you proactively observe the competition, you will uncover different opportunities and ways to be better.
The Path to Success
We are a part of a dynamic industry which is continuously evolving. True leadership is about remaining strong and confident through all situations. You should be humble while riding success and stay confident while the going gets tough. The key is to think out of the box and choose innovative approaches to face the challenges. A leader must be willing to take risks and needs to ponder about the implications of every action taken.Ultimately, it is not about imposing control but doing the right thing for the organization!
These are the leadership qualities that I have imbibed over the years and stuck to in order to accelerate the growth of my company. To budding entrepreneurs, I would recommend being agile, aggressive and keeping your team with you through every step of your journey.
Go ahead! Embark on your journey to be a great leader.