It is not true that leaders can’t be EMOTIONAL ~ Renu Misra
Challenges come to us to help us grow and rise. They make the tasks interesting and the harder it is, the stronger you become and grow. Without challenges and struggle, there is no meaning to life and it would be just like a book with blank pages. Take the risk and make it happen.
In this episode of The Payal Nanjiani Leadership Podcast, Payal Nanjiani a Leadership expert, world-renowned executive coach, and a New York award-winning author goes one on one with Renu Misra, President, and CEO of Grohe- the Middle East and North Africa. You can listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.
Payal: How important is it according to you that when opportunities come, we should take them, or should it be something that you really need to be fully prepared before you take on new challenges and opportunities?
Renu: However somebody might prepare you for motherhood till the time you don’t have a child and you are bringing up the child, you do not learn it. It’s the same thing. I really take any opportunity like this. You have to jump in it and give it a hundred percent. There is no shortcut to hard work. There have to be skills that you have to learn, there has to be a lot of empowerment to the team, working with the team, understanding the team.
There is a lot of practice that can happen in various roles and some of my roles also helped me in my business partner roles. I was a risk taker, I was willing to do that and sometimes I think all of us stop because we want to be in our comfort zones. If anybody has to work for 30 40 years, which includes being a leader or running entrepreneurship, we all have to do this. You should not stop, you should take risks because I have seen people who take risks are people who succeed.
Payal: What are some of the challenges that you really had to come across while you were taking this role or growing into different roles in the corporate?
Renu: The biggest challenge has been being a woman leader. Our industry is very linked to construction in real estate. Its pace is much slower in terms of any change that we bring about. Being a woman CEO, and also my counterparts CEOs in the industry were also not women, so you would not interact with them. Then you will get into shops where you can find bathroom fittings which are also male-dominated. Also for them, it was very awkward that there is this woman who is walking into the shop and talking to them about faucets and ceramides, and she is the CEO.
It was a very big culture shock for them and You have to be bold and determined and you have to keep going strong and also bring in women-like qualities. That’s what I learned and earned.
In the middle East, the challenge was even more because the women were not working. They may own businesses but very few. The gender was not a problem but it was about making that shift, that this can happen, our roles are gender neutral and we can still be commanding respect and inclusion in any role. That change in mindset also happens when people see something different on the other side. You have to work harder as they need to know that we can deliver equal or better results.
Payal: What would be your advice or message to the leaders who are aspiring to grow?
Renu: Truth and honesty work in all circumstances. We have all gone through that. If you are a go-getter or a doer, there will be a lot of things that will work well and some of them which will not. As leaders also we should be able to say, I am sorry, I made a mistake. Also if somebody did well, did something exceptionally, and went above and beyond, be open about recognizing honestly and saying what they did. Keeping it highly transparent with the team.
There is NO shortcut to hard work!