Understanding Modern Leadership: Ananya Narang’s Perspective on Team ManagementFounders and managers, the unsung heroes of the business world, often find themselves juggling various challenges. From instilling accountability to motivating their diverse team members, these leaders carry the weight of creating a harmonious and productive work environment. One of the biggest hurdles for leaders is managing people. It’s like trying to find your way through a maze, but instead of walls, leaders are dealing with different personalities, work styles, and expectations from team members. Their job is to make sure everyone works well together. This means dealing with personal conflicts, helping the team do their best, and ensuring everyone stays motivated to reach the same goals. Then there’s the issue of time. Managers always feel like they’re racing against the clock. They have many things to do – overseeing important projects, attending meetings, and ensuring their team is happy. It’s like trying to fit too many puzzle pieces into a small frame. These challenges might not be talked about as much as they should be, but they’re real for managers and founders. In this manager story, we will hear from Ananya Narang, who has faced these challenges head-on. She will share her experiences, insights, and strategies that helped her and can help other leaders like her. Ananya Narang, founder of Entourage Marketing, aims to empower startups and founders on their path to success. Her startup has a straightforward mission: to assist emerging startups in becoming strong and influential players in their respective markets. Ananya’s professional journey is nothing short of captivating. Over the past 2-3 years, she has worn many hats in the dynamic field of content and marketing. Her roles ranged from freelancing to collaborating with renowned brands and their marketing departments. This diverse experience has given her a unique perspective, enabling her to understand how each stakeholder approaches and solves complex marketing and content department challenges.
The Unpredictable Nature of Leadership: Challenges of Ananya Narang’s Journey
“Nobody can ever prepare themselves for a leadership role because there is a new set of challenges every day.” – Ananya NarangConsidering her prior work with numerous founders and in-depth discussions about their entrepreneurial journeys, Ananya had a semblance of what lay ahead. She mentally felt well-prepared, believing she knew the challenges that awaited her. However, life has a knack for throwing curveballs when you least expect it. As a founder, Ananya was in many complex situations in the initial months; the only thing that helped her get through was her perseverance to make a mark for herself.
“In the leadership role, you don’t only have to deal with your team but also several other stakeholders- clients, ecosystem partners, influencers and what not!” -Ananya NarangAnanya identifies that the most persistent challenge she grapples with as a founder is the complex task of comprehending diverse individuals within and outside the team. She recognizes that each person possesses a distinct thought process, coping mechanisms for various situations, and unique communication styles. Achieving a balance between her team members, stakeholders, and their distinctive communication styles and work approaches while effectively conveying her perspective in different scenarios stands out as an ongoing struggle that demands continuous adaptation and learning.
“Sometimes, as a leader, keeping track of time becomes very challenging.” -Ananya NarangAs a leader, effective time management remains a vital responsibility. This role requires a delicate balance between providing valuable support to team members and ensuring that essential tasks are not incomplete. It’s also crucial to remember that, amid these responsibilities, leaders must also prioritize and manage their personal lives. Disrupting the equilibrium can have far-reaching effects on a leader’s personal and professional life. To manage time effectively, Ananya has shared a few tips she follows to remain productive and on time.
“One of the most undermined assets is calendar blocking.” -Ananya NarangAnanya advocates a proactive approach to time management for fellow founders and leaders. Her advice centers on maintaining a meticulous calendar and planning daily to maximize productivity. Even for a brief 10-minute call, she stresses the importance of scheduling it beforehand. This practice ensures that both parties are well-prepared, minimizing the likelihood of missed calls or disorganized meetings. Additionally, Ananya employs a strategic approach to managing her time. She begins her day by tackling the toughest calls and addressing the most significant challenges head-on. This proactive stance allows her to confront critical issues as the day’s first task, ensuring a focused and clear mindset. Throughout her day, she carefully allocates specific time slots to address conversations based on their priority levels. This systematic approach keeps her well-informed about her team members’ concerns and critical information and facilitates effective leadership and timely issue resolution. By structuring her day in this manner, she exemplifies a thoughtful and organized leadership style, ensuring that her team’s needs and commitments receive the attention they deserve.
Ananya’s Top 3 Strategies for Building Long-term Vision in a TeamAnanya is a leader who refrains from micromanaging. Her leadership style revolves around illuminating the impact of her team’s work, ensuring they comprehend the “why” behind their tasks, and presenting the bigger picture. Rather than controlling every detail, she empowers her team by fostering understanding and a sense of purpose. But she also understands showing the bigger picture is easier said than done. She has shared a few steps that helped her open up this broader view to her team.
“It is important for candidates to understand the culture of the company.” -Ananya NarangIn the modern workplace, GenZ’s unique expectations have reshaped the dynamics between managers and employees. A Deloitte study revealed a trend: Gen Z values purpose and job satisfaction over higher salaries, challenging the conventional wisdom about workplace motivation. Ananya is one of those leaders whose strategy revolves around illuminating the bigger picture for her team. She passionately communicates the company’s mission and visionary goals, fostering a profound understanding among her team members. This shared vision not only instills purpose but also fuels a collective passion, pushing the team toward common objectives. In the face of these shifting paradigms, leaders like Ananya play a pivotal role, inspiring teams to work harmoniously towards shared goals. By focusing on intrinsic motivators and offering a compelling vision, Ananya’s approach not only ensures the company’s success but also cultivates a motivated and resilient workforce.
“Illuminate the ‘Why,’ and motivation becomes the ‘How.” -Ananya NarangAnanya’s second step in creating a long-term vision involves explaining the “why” behind every task. Through her leadership experiences, she has consistently witnessed the transformative power of team members, understanding the significance of their work. This understanding, she believes, kindles a profound sense of purpose and commitment, eliminating the need for external motivation. Ananya’s leadership approach is intricately woven with this principle as she strives to unveil the deeper purpose behind each task, ultimately inspiring her team to give their absolute best. In her eyes, spoon-feeding tasks are equally counterproductive as spoon-feeding solutions. Ananya ardently advocates that it’s not just about instructing people on what to do; it’s about teaching them how to think. This leadership style promotes independence, cultivates critical thinking, and sparks innovation within her team. As a result, her team members approach challenges with confidence and creativity, knowing they possess the skills to navigate them effectively.
“My main job as a leader is to just Communicate” – Ananya NarangThe third step in Ananya’s strategy for nurturing a long-term vision among her team members involves a deeply personalized approach. Ananya goes the extra mile by regularly sitting down for one-on-one discussions with each team member, delving into their dreams and personal goals. It’s a unique approach that showcases her genuine care and commitment to their success. As Ananya sees it, communication is at the heart of leadership. She emphasizes the importance of conveying the right message to the right people, and she practices what she preaches. From individual meetings to full-team gatherings, she believes in the power of regular and effective communication to ensure that her team is on the same page and moving toward their long-term vision. It fosters an environment where team members see themselves as contributors to the organization’s goals and individuals whose growth and ambitions are supported by their leader. Ultimately, Ananya’s commitment to understanding and assisting her team in achieving their aspirations contributes to establishing a dedicated, motivated, and loyal group of professionals aligned with the company’s long-term vision.
Tips for Leaders to Understand Modern Employee ExpectationsFrom Ananya’s perspective, the evolving workforce landscape demands leaders to elevate their management strategies.
“Work is not just about making money anymore.” – Ananya NarangChanging workplace expectations of employees is influenced by many factors, such as evolving generational dynamics and societal shifts, which have brought forth a shift in how we perceive work. Work is no longer just a means of earning a paycheck; it carries more profound sentiments like fulfillment, acknowledgment, personal growth, recognition, and respect. Therefore, founders and managers must delve into what their employees seek from their work environment. Understanding and analyzing these desires within the working ecosystem is pivotal to effective leadership to keep them productive and engaged.
“When there is no trust, there is no team.” – Ananya NarangShe believes managers shouldn’t perceive themselves as sitting at the top of a hierarchy, detached from their team members. Instead, they should position themselves at the center, among their team. By doing so, managers can foster trust and rapport with their team members. When team members perceive their manager as one of them, someone who understands their challenges, concerns, and aspirations, they are more likely to trust and respect that manager. This trust is essential for effective leadership because it promotes open communication, collaboration, and a sense of unity within the team. In the world of startups, leaders like Ananya tackle some real challenges, from dealing with unique personalities to racing against the clock. Ananya’s journey shows us that leadership is full of surprises – no two days are alike! Her secret sauce? She understands her team, shares a clear vision, and cheers on their personal goals. Nowadays, it’s not just about making money; it’s about finding meaning, satisfaction, and personal growth. Ananya’s story is a reminder that trust, understanding, and clear communication are the keys to excellent leadership – building a team that’s motivated and super loyal!
How Risely helps managers achieve their true potential?Ananya Narang has developed her leadership approach and perspective through keen observation and experience. Her focus on communicating with team members rather than giving orders must resonate with many busy managers and leaders juggling multiple tasks while trying to build their businesses. However, it’s essential to recognize that not all managers with this mindset have access to the same level of time and patience. Every manager is unique in their leadership style and challenges. That’s where Risely comes in. Risely offers a platform for managers to seek the guidance and support they need to navigate their leadership journey. It provides tailored steps and insights to help managers refine their approach and achieve their true potential. Here’s how Risely solves challenges for many Founders and Managers like Ananya:
- Identify your challenges: The journey begins when a manager starts by defining their challenges. From 30+ challenges, managers and team leaders can identify the issues hurting their team.
- Test your skills: In the second step, skills and qualities are tested, such as expectation setting and prioritization skills, to see how well managers have achieved these critical functions. Based on these assessments, they learn about their skills and abilities with detailed reports.
- Start growing: With time, managers can start making progress with the help of daily nudges provided by Risely. It dynamically supports the manager’s progress through resources like toolkits, samples, and assessments.
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