Q and A with Bharat Wakhlu, Leadership Mentor, Keynote Speaker & Author
A leader with impeccable decision-making and people skills, Bharat runs the The Wakhlu Advisory, which helps organisations improve their performance, their profitability and the way they engage with stakeholders, including the environment. Here, he talks about planning effective leadership meets and the importance of bringing in external perspectives to internal discussions.
Q. What is the benefit of bringing in external advisors and experts for leadership meets?
A. A leadership offsite is best approached to give the participants valuable insights and strategies into how to run their enterprises/divisions or companies, even as the environment is rapidly undergoing changes due to technology, regulations, customer expectations, and the like. That said, focusing only on what the organisation and its leaders are doing currently is never a good way to forge a path into the future. It’s like expecting to drive forward by looking at the rear mirror of one’s car! Hence, the need for external resources/expert leaders is paramount for guidance.
Q. What kind of guidance can be brought in by an external expert?
A. I think external leaders must enable the participants to be energised at the end of the offsite. They should be able to provide them a key to access their own “inner resources” that empower them, both as individuals and team-players. And ultimately, help the companies to remain agile and resilient even in the face of disruptive change.
Q. So how should one choose an expert to guide leaders during an offsite?
A. Obviously, it must be someone who brings valuable experiential knowledge that is acquired from having crafted strategy and executed it in complex environments and in different geographies. Additionally, its useful to find someone who has cross-functional expertise that cuts across many domains and industries. Of course, one must be able to engage with the audiences and energise them. So, the outside resource should have excellent communication and facilitation skills that enable the embedded knowledge in the participants to be extracted as well.
Bharat’s differentiating characteristic is his abiding commitment to the long-term success, and advancement of those he serves. A leader with impeccable decision-making and people skills, Bharat has the power to work collaboratively to resolve problems, and unleash the talents of culturally diverse groups, to make wholesome and lasting change.
An author of four books, his most recent one (co-authored with his wife, Savita) ‘Navigating the Maze – Simple, Smarter, Strategies to Fast-Track Success’ is especially suited to address the myriad concerns of professionals working in a fast-paced, interconnected and volatile world.
He is the former India Managing Director for the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, the Stratford USA based Helicopter OEM, now a part of Lockheed Martin. Prior to that, he was with the Tata Group in diverse senior roles for over three decades. Bharat’s work with the Tata Group and Sikorsky has given him unique capabilities in the areas of organisational performance, process and value improvement, leadership and team development, ethical decision-making, governance, responsible business and much more.
Bharat believes that customer centricity, ethics & integrity, management of processes & products and leadership should form the bedrock of any successful, scalable operation. He has conceptualised and delivered innovative and path-breaking solutions to complex organisational issues, in industries as varied as aerospace and defence, industrial products and start-ups. Workers’ unions have frequently sought Bharat’s advice on matters related to labour productivity and management interactions.
A sought-after speaker, he is passionate about working with values and ethics and unfolding innovation and beneficial change. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and of the All India Management Association (AIMA). And serves on several boards as well.View Profile