In conversation with Manbir Kaur, Executive and Leadership Coach, also a Conversational Intelligence(C-IQ) Enhanced Skills Practitioner and author of the book 'Get Your Next Promotion'

In my experience of working with executive and leadership teams, one of the big challenges they face is the leadership pipeline. They struggle with getting the right people, though they invest a lot of time and energy to seek them.

1. How have the last 180 days been for you?

A mixed bag really. On the professional front it was quite fulfilling. With no travel, I have been able to devote more time to work and the book. I have had great support from various leaders in creating this unique book that can help professionals around the world to get better that what they do.

On the other side, Covid has impacted many of my client’s businesses and has added lots of stress and confusion. As an Executive Coach coach, I have been working with many of them to convert this present challenge into an opportunity for future.

On a personal front, as a family we got to spend good time together. But again Covid has cut into our weekend excursions, we have been spending a lot of time at home only and we all feel the constraints.

2. What inspired you to write this inspirational book?

In my experience of working with executive and leadership teams, one of the big challenges they face is the leadership pipeline. They struggle with getting the right people, though they invest a lot of time and energy to seek them. At the same time, there are high potential professionals in the organization, who feel that they should get the chance and they can contribute in more than what they are currently doing. I have seen many brilliant people stuck at their levels and are not sure about what is stopping them from achieving their own potential.

So, there is a gap.

This book aims to help professionals understand why some get promoted to leadership roles while other are not and what can help them to get ahead. And also it will help organizations in a holistic way to build a leadership pipeline.

3.What is the book truly about? In a nutshell if you could elaborate please?

Leadership roles are the aspiration for many professionals. But they struggle to understand what path will lead them up? The rules of the engagement do not seem to be very clear. This book aims to demystify why some get promoted and others do not. And what they must do get ahead themselves. This book shares with the readers 10 powerful facets of leadership that each must develop.

There are ten intriguing stories of successful leaders, each of which focuses on a specific facet of your next promotion while tracing the career of a leader who used it effectively. These stories will give the readers the real perspectives on the elements and help them grasp the context easily. These stories will not only inspire you; they will nudge you to reflect and take action.

4.When did you first discover the writer in you?

I started writing blogs / columns in various publications on some aspects of leadership success , almost 8 years back. I was encouraged by the response and was happy that I was able to make a difference in the lives of professionals that I may not be able to personally meet. Writing has a way of reaching various corners of the world. Many books have inspired me on own journey to success.

5.You are very versatile; how do you manage to dabble with everything?

It is my passion that drives me. I am a curious person, who likes to explore and learn new things. In the journey to help others seek their own professional success, I discovered some very interesting areas to coaching such as conversational intelligence and the positive psychology. Everyone faces challenges and what we say, how we say it; as well as what we do during and after the challenge is what separates true leaders from others. I wanted to help my clients get mastery over these in addition to building on other aspects of leadership. So, I pursued professional excellence in these domains and have learned from some of the global leaders in this space. These have allowed me to be much more effective as an executive coach. It has been hard work but very fulfilling too.

6.How long did it take you to pen down this book and what motivated you?

It took me about two years to write the book. I have been working on the Idea for quite some time even before that. This book is unique in the sense that it is not just about the ideas and the framework, it is also about 10 leaders who share their stories as they implemented those ideas in their journey to professional success. Interviewing the leaders and working with them to pen down their stories has been a wonderful journey too. It motivates me that many professionals who aim to be a leader themselves can now apply some of these techniques and gain from them. I happy that this book not just shares my personal perspective but also the perspectives of these ten successful professionals.

7.What should people engage in apart from reading during these tough times of Covid-19?

Building deeper bonds with people, nurturing their teams, being a mentor, practicing better conversations, becoming aware of their own mindset and I can go on and on. The best players in the world have coaches to help them improve, because they know they have potential and need someone to help unleash it. With a significant reduction in travel time and commute time, professionals can now invest in themselves. Professionals should use this time to seek help and grow! They should use this time to build on their strengths.

8.Your book is out at the right time when people are working from home and wanting a promotion even more as work from home has increased working hours. Do you agree?

Yes, working hours have increased for many. And everyone deserves to grow. However, I have seen that working hard alone does not lead to promotion or growth. One must work in such way that their impact grows in the organization. Now that people are at home, they have time to reflect and gain the knowledge to increasing their personal impact. And I believe this book can make a huge difference. This presents to them theory that has been tested in the “fire” of real situations by the leaders who successfully employed it in their own journey. I do believe it is the right time for professionals to reset or in the words of Satya Nadella, “Hit Refresh”.

9.How did you feel when your previous book 'Are You the Leader You Want to Be?’ was nominated as one of the top five business books in India for BBLF CK Prahalad Best Business Book Award 2019?

It was a pleasant surprise. But very rewarding too, it was my first book and I had worked really hard on it. That book shares one of my best frameworks, HUMAN Leadership. Which is about building and sustaining high performance team by investing in yourself and your team. Such leaders and teams can easily sustain through challenging times such as a pandemic. Those teams are more empowered and take action closer to the ground and respond quickly and effectively to changes. Such teams employ the powerful Mantra of Jack Welch, - “Truth & Trust” to convert large behemoths into nimble on foot entrepreneurships. I was very happy when that book got public recognition at such a platform. It was humbling to be on the same stage as Mr N. R. Narayana Murthy. It was a great experience for me personally.

10.An Executive Coach, a Conversational Intelligence Enhanced Skills Practitioner and a Positive Intelligence (PQ) Pioneer Coach. You have more than two decades of experience working with global organizations and leaders. Do you feel you have evolved as well during this time frame?

Yes, of course. I am a curious person by nature and always exploring and learning more. I have been working with leaders on their own transformations, I have been learning, developing and transforming myself as well. Many interactions with the leaders, pose new questions and new frontiers to explore. Every interaction is a learning space for me. Though I would say I am work in progress, but I believe I am certainly a better version of myself, still a long way to go and lots to learn.

11.How did this book affect your brilliance and forte of being a leadership coach?

Well, it is just a start, about a month of the book’s launch. It will be fulfilling to see professionals using the wisdom of this book for achieving their own success. Through this book, I have an opportunity to connect to many lives and create a shift.

12.Lastly, what is the message you want to give to your readers?

Every form of change brings opportunities. The pandemic is leading to many changes and will speed up some other transformations across the industries. We all know the kind of digital transformations that are happening. We need leaders who can take charge and lead us through these challenging times.

Also, when we get through this troublesome time, and industries get back to growth, many new opportunities for promotion and growth will open up. The truth is that only the people who are ready and already performing at that elevated level, can take advantage of the new opportunities. My suggestion to the readers is to take this time for building self-awareness, gaining skills and strengths that can enable you to grab the new opportunities and fulfil your aspirations. In one word, I would say Invest in yourself. I wish them all the best for their future.

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