Lead by example. There is nothing I expect my team to do that I wouldn’t do. I’m a very hands-on manager. As women we’re workers. We like to jump in and get the job done. I’m also very meticulous with an eye for detail. I’d like to improve my patience. I was very patient five to 10 years ago and that has definitely changed.
How do you set goals for yourself? For example, do you prefer more small accomplishable goals or fewer large goals? How do you hold yourself accountable?
I definitely set small goals—I have to feel accomplished. I have the simplest daily goals to feel like I’ve got something done. These small goals are the path to the big picture. I also hold my team accountable. If it doesn’t get done, there’s a consequence. But I make sure it gets done. If I’m not going to get stuff done, I can’t expect anyone else to. I’m hardest on myself—even my clients tell me that.
Throughout your professional history, what’s the best lesson you’ve learned after making a mistake?
To be a better listener. I think I’ve missed some very important signals and signs and things that could’ve made a difference because I wasn’t listening well. Now I listen better—actually hearing what people are saying and trying to be effective.
From whom or what do you draw your strength, courage, vision?
My family. My upbringing was very centered. We’re all very secure and comfortable with ourselves because we had fantastic parents. My siblings and I know how to deal with crisis, we don’t fall apart. I also get courage from my husband—he’s definitely the risk taker. And I get a lot from our staff. I’m very much engaged in their success. I think by listening to them and wanting them to be just as successful, I get a lot of vision.
As you grew your company, what, if anything, has held you back?
Probably the same as most people—fear of failure. Failure is not really in my vocabulary, but my husband Vijai is fearless. His whole thing is you never know if you don’t try it. My whole thing is we need to proceed with caution. Fear of failure can prevent you from moving forward.
What is the number-one quality you look for when hiring employees, and how do you evaluate if they possess that trait?
When I’m interviewing candidates I’m most interested in their answers about their relationships with their parents, siblings, friends, etc. If they have a good support system around them, they will be successful. I like to hear a person has good values and good relationships. I try to gauge if people are happy. I don’t want people to think I’m going to make them happy—that’s never going to happen. I want them to be engaged, secure and happy.
What’s the best thing an employee/colleague ever said about you?