Learning is a process that never stops in our lives, and this is a truth not just for the laymen but for leaders too. A quote from Indra Nooyi drives home that point with great force: “Just because you are CEO, don’t think you have landed. You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organization.”
The success and progress of any organization or nation are often attributed to the efficacy of its leaders. Leadership has been a part of human experience, and the traits which crown one as an effective leader transcend gender norms.
Sreedhar Bevara’s book Moment of Signal forays into the territory of leadership and discusses at length what qualities and characteristics a leader needs to imbibe. It is based on a very interesting yet simple premise which is presented in a unique way.
Signal is the catchword in Bevara’s book. The underlying thought is that life throws signals at us, and it is very important that we stay alert to receiving those signals in order to make our existence better. The author believes that the best way to excel is not to follow the signals but to find them ourselves.
The author’s story
It is impressive to learn how the author in his own life has identified the right signals that have paved the way for success. Born in a village in Andhra Pradesh, Sreedhar Bevara had felt the pangs of poverty as a child. He and his siblings were brought up by relatives. To make ends meet, he waited tables and worked as a milk delivery boy.
Rising from extremely humble origins, it was hard work, sincerity, and of course listening to signals around him that eventually helped him to climb up the corporate leader. Based out of Dubai, Sreedhar Bevara is a senior corporate executive in a Fortune 100 MNC. He is also a motivational speaker on leadership issues. Just recently released, his second book, The Roaring Lambs, is a leadership fable of animals set against the backdrop of an East African jungle.
What is Moment of Signal all about?
With ample references to world leaders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs, Moment of Signal highlights what qualities make these individuals the success stories we talk about. These examples are found all over in different chapters to substantiate the importance of the trait that the author analyzes. He also cites instances from his personal and professional life.
Moment of Signal does not attempt to present an overtly intellectual discussion of leadership; hence it is not intimidating. The ideas are very relatable to anyone in the organizational domain, and this is what makes them intelligible. I would like to refer to some of the viewpoints which I find particularly appealing.
*** Sreedhar Bevara strongly feels that grace is one of the most important features of great leaders without which other traits are as good as empty. He says, “Grace costs nothing but buys us a lot of good will.” To exhibit grace in uncertainty, pain, and in the looming face of the inevitable is the sign of strength of a true leader.
*** Prejudice, lack of empathy, arrogance, and resistance to change are pointed out as some of the ills that a leader needs to avoid. The I-centric concept is discussed. Bevara emphasizes that anyone at the helm of affairs who has an “I know it all” attitude will end up in isolation.
*** The workplace flourishes with a collaborative mindset. It is very important that team members open-heartedly accept each other’s weaknesses and strengths and have a mutual understanding amongst themselves.
*** The ability to visualize beyond what is evident distinguishes a good decision maker from a bad one. The person who senses the signals around the corner and pictures the future emerges as the victor.
.*** A topic that perhaps many books on leadership might ignore is that of health. A fitness enthusiast himself, Sreedhar Bevara talks about health, which is “the highest religion of existence” and which should not be neglected nor taken for granted. Be it in the workplace or one’s own home, there needs to be a supportive environment that promotes health and well-being.
A practical, comprehensive guide to leadership
Moment of Signal is a comprehensive analysis of the various dimensions that help to shape a good leader. There is no foolproof recipe that makes a perfect leader, and the book asserts that. The author has a practical approach and mentions towards the end that the primary objective is “not guaranteeing a successful outcome.” He insists, “It is more to do with reducing the possibility of any negative outcome.”A brilliant read in its entirety, Moment of Signal throws bright light on leadership, entrepreneurship, and workplace issues, and manages to do so in a lucid, concise, and interesting way!
(This article was published in India Currents )