Friday, July 25, 2014

Chai Pe with Ms. Uma Mohan - Personal Branding

There was so much to do and was creating the communique for last Friday's event and a rohini colleague with a dulcet voice, full of warmth, called some 2-3 times to state, she will be delayed by 10-20 mins.Was mighty glad with the delay, could finally finish the communiqué and send it for tweaking. We drove from Domlur to Whitefield. It was an exquisitely palatial retreat, lined with royal palms, frangipanis, full of compact villas; but what is the point of villas, if there is no hari sannidhi, or RAghavendra Swamy temple nearby; what is the point of man made lawns and few ubiquitous garden flowers, if nature can't have her way, if cows can't roam and rest freely there (universal pointer for a place filled with spiritual vibrations). What is the point of huge swimming pools in club house, if there is no privacy for women.

Few takeaways from Uma Mohan's Personal Branding:
Trustworthy, reliable...

"At the most what is going to happen, i will lose my face. So what? The key is being shameless, being persistent and rising up again, no matter what.

Anecdote 1: In Chennai, she was team leading a project where the technology was new, programmers were new. Product development was delayed inordinately, client came and since Uma was just a week new, she got an extension for a year. Even after a year, the product was not ready and the client blew his top in front of CEO and manager. Uma was fighting a lone battle and her CEO and manager too joined the client on the deliverable delay.

Uma went back to her seat, keyed in a resignation mail to her CEO and was packing her things. And as expected, EA called her and CEO said, excellent English. She was surprised. He said, you disappointed me; i had hired you for your leadership and you are into blaming circumstances and others. She learnt her first lesson - leadership is about accountability, on giving, all it takes to get it done, and not finding excuses.

Anecdote 2: In GE, she was in succession plan for CIO. For two years, she was nominated for all awards and positions. There were only two candidates and she had started believing that she was there. However, her global CIO called her and told her how this was the most difficult day of his life. Her very strength (constantly challenging status quo) in the previous role was a weakness in the next role. What worked at a sub group level, didn't work at an organizational level. At an organizational level, there was a core dna, which required operating under accepted paradigms. It was about synergizing, being integrative and inclusive.

 You will not start questioning, India team does not get the best roles, you will rather start the conversation with, these are Cincinnati team's strength, these are India's strength, now how do we leverage both teams strengths for organization's benefit.

She was shattered, took her 6 months to come back, she worked on global CIO's words. After 2-3 years, the same global CIO called her and offered her CIO role. Her husband had supported her during her tough times, asking how long will you sulk like this. You have two options, take it personally and sulk or work on it.

Few other things: She always nominated herself for everything. She constantly rose up to the challenge. She would deliver her best, but her CEO would also complain about something or the other. Then she realized, she was branded as someone who raised up to challenges on being thrown into a difficult situation and hence this behaviour from boss.

She said, i am best in this, am best in that, am best in everything, showing clear confidence. She spoke about fire brand. She said, she was lucky to have the best of parents,education, colleagues, mentors at work.

Personal front: She said her biggest support was her MIL. Her MIL would say, you have toiled and travelled the whole week, so you do what you really like over the weekends. I could not have such a life, at least you should have the best life. Because of her loving MIL, she could paint, travel all over the world. She is married for 28 years and has a 24 year old daughter who is working.

On asking, how did she manage her career, after her maternity; she said, she made a conscious decision - not to work till her daughter was 2 years old and to take no stressful jobs till her daughter was 7 years old. That is the way it is and you have to accept it.

Over chai, she said her MIL was very possessive on whom Uma could love, because of which, when others came home, her MIL could get really nasty. She could either become a victim or get out of it and understand why a person was behaving this way. She learnt the reason, why her MIL was behaving this way and consciously sent her positive love vibrations and it worked for her. Any other daughter in law, would have nursed the grudge till grave, but the way Uma inured it and made it positive was an eyeopener for me.

She talked about air and water vibrations and sending positive vibrations to people. Living your fire brand kept on coming again and again in her talks. She was learning elements and their associations from an American healer.

She said, women carry lots of past baggage, victim mentality. One needs to get rid of it and start afresh, rise up no matter, whats the worst that can happen? so what!

1 comment:

Rdpp Gurgaon said...
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