I sat down with Anil Joshi, an International Leadership Expert, to discuss all things leadership. Anil has a reputation of having a “global plug-and-play” mindset. 

He grew up in diplomatic circles so his cultural awareness, sensitivity, and experience started from birth and gave Anil an additional advantage as an adaptive business-driven inter-culturalist. Born in China in 1962, he has lived in Asia (India), Africa (Egypt, Somalia), South America (Guyana), The Caribbean (Trinidad), North America (USA) & residing in The Netherlands since 1988. He is fluent in English, Dutch, Hindi & Punjabi. To say his perspective is worth paying attention to is simply an understatement!

Leadership Interview Summary

JH: After spending a lifetime of living in so many cultures and now with your global experiences as a senior business executive, what is your leadership mindset?

AJ: The first thing I tell everyone is to have a coach. No matter who you are, you would need a coach to help you see something that you may be blind to. Even Tiger Woods (arguably the greatest golfer ever) has a coach. A coach will bring out the best in yourself and hold you accountable for your actions. This is important in all facets of a career. The second is to be inspired by the environment around you (whether it is a person, the organization, or the timeframe in which you are leading, etc.). Several leaders have helped me shape my own perceptions, such as:

So through these types of leader perspectives, I have formulated what I think is a new call to action. This call to action is simple:

As a leader, you must go beyond the obvious

As a leader, you need to realize that on almost all occasions (especially in difficult ones), you need to go beyond what you see or hear as face value. 

JH: Do you address this as a systematic issue or from a human-centric perspective? Why would a leader need to try to see beyond the obvious? 

SH: We need to approach it from a human-centric dynamic to go beyond the obvious and ensure we are aware of any unconscious biases and look to connect with individuals. You do not know if they are having a bad day, or any other consideration in their lives and therefore, that is why as a leader, you go beyond the surface level pleasantry and dig deeper. Connect. 

Key Leadership Takeaways:

  1. When you see every member of your organization as a human first, there is beauty in the connection. You form inherent trust when you learn to lead with an open heart and mind.
  2. Be naturally curious about your team. What makes them tick? When is the last time you had a conversation with a subordinate about something NOT work-related? 

Leader Action Plan:

  1. If you’re an introvert, the responsibility is on you as a leader to push out of your comfort zone and make those connections. If you are extraverted in nature, use that energy towards making the connection. Bottom line: go out and start a conversation with a team member you have little interaction with and discover something new about them. CONNECT! 
  2. In your next executive team meeting, challenge the senior leadership team to go out and find a story about someone within the organization. During the next meeting, each senior leader will have to talk about what they have learned from that new connection. 

What are your thoughts on going beyond the obvious? Post your comments below and let us begin building a tribe of people who have a passion for followership, mentorship, and leading!