Suryabinayak, Bhaktapur

7Q-with Tanka Bhattarai, Managing Director, Organizational Development and Innovation (ODI) Nepal


1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

Performance Appraisal is the most challenging entity I have had to face as an HR Leader. If items go awry, it tends to impact other factors like employee retention and diversity management.

Also, another challenge that I frequently come across is acquiring optimal HR for the desired posts. Apart from this lack of support from the National Level with no right policy, adds to the challenges.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

After overseer diploma course, I was quick to find a job as a trainer in a project. During the training process, I discovered my hidden interest in communicating with people. As if I was enlightened, I went on joining Business Studies to be graduated with decent results. During my studies, I worked on an Occupation Safety and Health Project. There was only way upwards at my sight; I was propelled to join a big company as the HR head.

Thanks to my hard work and lucky stars, I went from that position to the Global HR head of the esteemed company in the span of 23+ years. This is not just another success story, but also my SOP as I have mentored and nurtured many talents as well as skilled leaders.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I start my day with a meditation to free my mind of all the dim views. After that I indulge my cognition in strategic planning and make mind notes on all the tasks I have to complete over the day.

In the afternoon hours, I attend various meetings to promote open communication and ensure active participation of members within our team. I spend few hours to brainstorm and troubleshoot the problems inside the team and various other departments. Besides, I train certain apprentices so that they are more efficient while working on the tasks they are entrusted. Then, I look at the matters requiring my immediate attention and execute tasks that are due. During these long and pressing hours, I make sure I take short rests to ensure the betterment of my mental health. Not once do I let the graveness of the situation to take over my mind.

In the evening, I spend time with my family to realize I am at the pinnacle of the quality life that I strive so hard to achieve. After that, I go through all the achievements throughout the day, and with that I sleep.

4. What’s a recent leadership lesson you’ve learned for the first time or been reminded of?

Crisis handling and management come with my job and position. As the VP-HR, working on the employee grievance is one of the important works I need to do.

During the pressing times of COVID 19, I made sure our organization had a stress-free atmosphere. For those in need, I ensured the benefit of Work from Home easily made available. From the feedback the employees provided me, the environment was very fearless and their needs during that period were easily accessed.

Such situation had never occurred in my life, I learned how to handle such a situation with ease and the learning would benefit me the rest of my life.

5. What’s one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

The book that deeply impacted me is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. 

I remember reading that book back when I had my first promotion. I knew I lacked a few things as a leader, and I am thankful I came across this book. To be precise, the book did not teach me something I did not know; rather it taught me things I knew and enhanced it to such a level that I could utilize them in my day to day life.

Thanks to this book, I came to understand that having and knowing people does not only have a practical benefit but it also profits on a spiritual level.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you tell them?

One thing the youth today do not focus is on their soft skills. Everyone is hurrying for daily races and is busy stacking the hard skills. 

It is crucial to focus on the soft skills, as they not only prepare you better for the organisation, but also make you a great human being.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader so far?

I remember, during my tenure as the HR head in an organisation, once there was a huge scarcity of a significant number of skilled workforces. Due to the gap, several important tasks were pending and the organisation was lagging behind; the deadlines were approaching.

As an HR leader, it was a daunting task for me to fulfill the required human resources. But thanks to my personal and professional network, we recruited more than 500 people for all the vacant positions in less than 10 months. And you can guess the result, all the pending projects completed on time.

What did I learn from that? Well, throw any stone towards me, I can just polish it into a precious diamond.

For more articles Visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tankabhattarai/