September 5, 2016: Since starting out as a trainee assistant at Grindlays Bank (Standard Chartered Bank) 25 years ago, Raveena Desraj Shrestha has seen a meteoric rise in Nepalâ€™s banking industry. Currently the deputy general manager at Mega Bank, Shrestha is firm believer in working with passion and treating everyone with respect and dignity at the workplace. In this interview,Â Shrestha speaks about the value of teamwork, relating to your employees and what great leaders are made of. Excerpts:
In todayâ€™s highly competitive world, brands are considered one of the primary assets of every company. In that context, how important is maintaining your own personal brand?
It is very important to maintain your own personal brand because when you build yourself as a professional, you are not only building a brand for your company but you are also building a brand for yourself. Your salability is upto you. You need to manage your own personal branding whether it be through social media or through networking in person. I believe that personal branding is very important for your marketability. When you reach a certain stage of your career, you need to be able to influence and motivate people.
In your career, you have created and led several teams, what are the qualities every leader must have?
First and foremost, for a leader, you need to have courage and you need communication properly. You can be a very good salesperson but in order to be a manager you need to know that selling is an art while management is science. I think in order to be a leader you need to influence the large masses of people you work with because your success is dependent on their successes. To bring forward certain process, scheme, if I am the one doing everything solely, I will not be able to give it proper justice. But if I have a team working together on the project than the product/scheme becomes successful. As a leader, you should be able to guide and you should be able to walk the talk. Sometimes you have to make decisions in split seconds and for that a leader needs to possess good decision-making skill and the knack for motivating their teammates.
How do you value teamwork, what are the best ways to keeping your team motivated?
Communication is vital and integral part of keeping your team motivated. You need to value your teammates. When you work in a team, the output is much better because there is a lot of different kind of energies being put in. Employees no longer get motivated by mere salary or perks; you need to appreciate them as well. A person may hold a high designation and a good salary but that cannot keep them motivated all the time. If that person is not happy, motivated or appreciated at work, all those perks go down in vain. So, you need to appreciate everyone. Sending a short encouraging e-mail to your teammates for their contribution would inspire them to work better and effectively in the future. Every individual is different. One of the qualities of a leader is to understand what ticks a person. As a leader you need to motivate and understand what that person is all about and what makes that person tick. A little bit of psychology comes into play and human understanding is also essential.
What are some of your management mantras?
My management mantra is to treat everybody with respect and understanding. I make it a point to treat everyone with the respect they deserve. For instance, even the person who brings me tea, I have to build a certain kind of relationship with him/her and that person needs to feel that I value them. Without the server, if I have to run to the kitchen to make a cup of tea all the time and if I have a guest coming in too, that would take away my time, bring down my productivity and effectiveness. Know everybodyâ€™s worth and make them feel worthy and appreciate them. I may build a very good rapport with my employees personally but at the end of the day when it comes to professional front, I make sure that the job is done and the productivity is there.
What advice do you have for those just setting out in their corporate careers?
You need to know yourself. You need to know what are you doing and why are you doing it. You need to have passion for whatever you doing. When you decide to step towards any career path, you need to ask yourself if you are passionate about it. Ask: Does this light the fire to my belly? That is my advice, to know what you are doing. If you are pursuing a career to please someone else or for the sake of money, the fire will gradually die. You have one life and you have to do things that you are passionate about. Track your progress yourself and value your peace of mind. If you continue to be in the ratâ€™s race you will fizzle out. Everything needs to be balanced. You are your own judge.
By Alisha Sijapati