Monday, June 2, 2014

Going for the Crystal (Gold)? Invest in Ideas or …?

by Ashwin Kutty

Winning an award is quite a cathartic experience. If you do end up winning does that mean you have now accomplished all you can in that category and have mastered it enough to be recognized by peers and industry leaders? Or does it mean that you now need to move on to other categories and master those to see if you can do as well?
Seated: Leslie & Faten
Front Row: Mitch, Ashwin & Anthony
Back Row: Staff off ill, on vacation, and yet to be recruited and all our families
Corner: Gollum
I have never understood individual awards as well. Don’t get me wrong, I love being hailed as a fearless leader for the country, but does it happen without the support of those around me? Does it happen without the teams that help me reach these zeniths? Does it happen without the families that suffer through your hunger for more and what they have to put up with, i.e. the late nights, the conference calls (both video and audio) during vacations and god knows what else?

I was recently honoured & humbled by the Peter Brojde Foundation & CATAAlliance's Next Generation Executive Leadership Award which I was pleased to receive at the Gala in Ottawa earlier this month. The work for which I was nominated included a large team of professionals from Information Technology to Marketing & Communications to vendor partners to frontline staff to Finance & Decision Support and a whole bunch of others that helped me get the project off the ground, underway and a runaway success.

I am only as successful as the team that supports me. Even in this instance, there are those that are not pictured in the photo above, but they know who they are. Crazy ideas, fantastic innovations and creative explorations are great, but to make them a reality requires execution. An idea without a successful execution strategy has no meaning. As an Angel myself, my strategy has always hedged on a solid team that can execute over one that may have a better idea.

Putting together a team is no easy task, and with one of my recent ventures, this has never been truer. I have been painstakingly slow about recruiting my team and this has been primarily to ensure that the team I put together is a reflection of the culture, the atmosphere and the environment I want in the space. The team, like my partner and myself receive an equal vote on who comes in to the fold. They get a deciding vote as they take ownership for how the team functions.

Small and Mighty far outweighs Large and Insignificant. I believe in small teams that make up the larger whole and the power of these small teams drive the innovation in this country.

So my thought this Monday afternoon that I would share with you is, give your teams the power to decide how they would like their team built. Give them ownership for their own teams and watch the accountability and performance rise. Simultaneously you will find there to be a downward trend of personality issues and conflicts in the workplace as the team will self manage the relationships. Diversity in a team is good and this will be managed quite well - people by nature do not want competition in their own niche, they would rather partners that complement them than substitutions, driving diversity in thought and approach.

With that, have a glorious week and to our team at WeUsThem Inc. and their families, a hearty congratulations on this beautiful award.


  1. I love being hailed as a fearless leader for the country, but does it happen without the support of those around me? the original source

    1. Absolutely not. A leader is only as good as those that follow him. This is a given.

      In addition, I look to my supports outside of the workplace to seek what I need. This could be family, faith/belief, friends, community, etc that help prop me up.

      Nothing is done or achieved in isolation.

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