Article (July-2018)


Leadership as a lifestyle choice

Aparna Reddy

Designation : -   Associate Director HR

Organization : -  GVK Biosciences, Hyderabad


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Challenges are never ending in HR world like Organizational Changes, Training & Development, Performance Management, Compensation Management and Legal Compliance. I have adopted Belief, Adaptability, and Drive to excel qualities as a lifestyle choice to overcome them.
I'm in the HR world for the past 15+ years having enriching experience across gamut of HR functional areas from recruitment to separations in both services and manufacturing companies. I bring to table a combination of Leadership, Strategic Planning, Team Management and HR skills that can be leveraged to meet and exceed an organization's HR objectives. I started as an Executive HR at a product development company in 2004 primarily focussing on Recruitment and Operations, and since then there is no looking back.
I see every single day as a learning and improvement platform. Being adaptable to change, taking challenging situations and coming out with flying colours, accepting feedback, sounding aboard with ideas and exhibiting confidence  and competence in every activity while being grounded was my success mantra. Over the course of my career span I performed varying HR roles in mid to large size organisations.
Based on takeaways from my experience I strongly feel women HR professionals should adopt Leadership as a lifestyle choice. It helps them build self - confidence, adaptability and tenacity to handle any situation(s) both in professional and personal front. Being approachable, go-getter and standing by my convictions, building interpersonal relations on a humane premise with trust, respect, humour and dependability made me a successful women HR leader in the industry. My awards of being in the Top 30 Super Women Achievers Award in 2013 by world HRD Congress, Top 100 HR super achievers in 2017 by the world HRD congress, Women of Excellence Award conferred by IPE, OU in 2017, Circle of Excellence Award for Made a Difference in Talent Acquisition by TA Dialogues in 2017 made me a recognised and confident HR and gave more energy to drive excellence in HR function.
Whatever said and done, we are still living in a male dominated society where women are always challenged and compared. I believe that every women be in a profession or an entrepreneur or a home-maker always strive to give more than 100% to prove their worth. We go that extra mile in every situation with confidence, but forget that we are taking stress beyond what is needed. However, in a fast paced and competitive environment, especially women working in organisations should understand that we are not required to prove right or strong in every situation, especially if we believe in the following :
Building self-belief helps us in build relations, achieve goals and paves path of our success. I gained this confidence through consistently improving my response to handling situations and challenges. Managing good working relationships with fellow colleagues and peer group, bringing them into confidence will help to sell our point across the table with ease.
One of the most critical factors for HR to succeed is how they communicate with internal team as well as other stakeholders within organization. Communication is all about exchanging information, brainstorming as a group, delegating responsibilities, setting expectations or alerting others to a problem or issue. I have a strong and powerful voice which is the epitome of women's leadership. My willingness to speak truth, though, it's not aligned with the status quo or popular opinion, is highly appreciated by my teammates, peers, managers and higher management. By sharing my success stories, thoughts and ideas, I was able to connect with others, inspire to change and empower them.

Team Builder
Good teams win against all odds, I strongly believe in team work and always resonates "Our Team and We". Most often we don't' get an opportunity to choose our team members but we can always choose best team handling methods that inspire the trust and respect within team and stimulate production within the workplace. I respect everyone on team and take pride in projecting collective team work. My managers endorsed me as one who discourages favouritism keeps team spirit above all. I empower my team with KNOW (Knowledge-Network-Ownership-Wiseness) so that they deliver on or ahead of schedules.
Happy minds develop happy people. I always had a sense of passion and purpose attached to my living, I know my life drivers, what moves me and ensures that fire burns brightly inside. I show incredible energy, excitement and enthusiasm that brings cheers at my work place. Passion makes you fearless and move seamlessly to climb the career ladder.
Opportunity driven
When confronted with challenges of any magnitude keep an eye to lookout for opportunities lying beneath. Be it change Management, crisis handling, talent acquisition, learning and development or ideas pertaining to organisation development. I have exhibited creative mind set to find solutions that are supported by strong reasoning, data and conclusions. I possess an extremely optimistic attitude and showcase this behaviour in business decision making to increase the capacity for leadership. My tendency to look on the positive side of events or conditions helped business to keep a hopeful outlook. With an optimistic perspective I always strive for most favourable outcomes.
Strategic outlook
Become a strategic partner in organization to contribute significantly towards business decisions, advise on critical transitions and develop the value of the employees. Bring a multifaceted approach in delivering HR services that meets the needs of both employees & employers and positions HR as a significant contributor to organizational success. Improve HR processes thru strategic initiatives such as an employee champion program which aims to provide HR services thru listening and responding to employees' needs and agents of change to manage change processes to increase the effectiveness of the organization.
Way forward
Women has come a long way and still we have a long way to go. I believe that women representation at senior to top levels is still bleak and skewed. Organisations around the globe and particularly in India are rising to diversity and inclusion as the prime agenda. There are positive vibes seen in maternity benefits and related areas, representation of women leaders on board which is welcoming and gives greater impetus and open more doors for women across management and HR. But it is our belief system and strong will power graph which should take a steep up in our thoughts to ensure we reach greater heights.