A Decade in Making: Decoding Shyam Gor’s Managerial Approach

A Decade in Making: Decoding Shyam Gor’s Managerial Approach

People don’t leave companies, they leave managers.”  We have all heard this adage over the years. Shyam Gor is a manager who took things one step further and made this the mantra of his managerial journey. With over a decade of experience as a recruitment professional, Shyam has been closely involved in people management at CIGNEX in various capacities. In his latest stint as Sr. Global Manager Talent Acquisition & Resource Management, Relevance Lab and Director – Social Media, Branding and Digital Marketing, HR Association of India, he serves in broad areas of recruitment, appraisals, and resources.  When we meet Shyam in the present day, we find a manager who has it all sorted. If a team member is roaming around with grapevines, he’s got a way. If another team member needs help turning around a challenging assignment, he’s got the right mix of inspiration and innovation to support them through. 
“I believe that one must go beyond their current roles and responsibilities for a managerial role. The method I used was VEDIC method, this was a simple list that I used to be a manager… To define what one should get into” Shyam Gor
To sum up, everything Shyam does as a manager, he has devised a clever mnemonic 
  • V: Vision 
  • E: Empathy 
  • D: Delegation 
  • I: Innovation 
  • C: Collaboration 
In short, as a manager he focuses on building a solid vision for his team and ensuring that the promises are delivered on with the right mix of delegation and innovation, while empathy and a collaborative spirit back up the team through the highs and lows.  But before the big breakthrough, how did this shape up? In conversation with Shyam, we discovered that each element of the set has been derived from real-life experiences for over a decade. 


Recalling his first stint as a manager with the current organization, Shyam points to precisely what led to his elevation. 
“The moment I got promoted to assistant manager, one of my teammates came to me and asked ‘what did you do differently, that I didn’t do?’”  Shyam Gor
As individual contributors, we have a set of responsibilities, and we call it a day once all the checkboxes are ticked. Shyam decided to go ahead with this and delivered beyond expectations, which enabled his seniors to trust him and provide more opportunities. A vision for the future, the team, and yourself is the secret to success in managerial roles. Moreover, this gave Shyam the confidence and surety in his abilities as a team manager. 


While a vision shows a direction to managers, there’s more to ensuring good realization with your team. Shyam recalls an incident at his first-ever job that forever stuck with him. He had been taking up some dreaded weekend night shifts alone in the team for a while in his role and wanted to leave a few hours earlier one day to spend time with his family.  Shyam’s then manager returned with disapproval for the need for breaks, and offered misplaced motivation to refocus the conversation. Soon enough, Shyam ended up leaving the organization, as he recognized the need for appreciation for work, as well as boundaries and balance to protect his personal life. 
“At that moment, I knew that the manager did me wrong. I used to follow everything as per process but my personal needs were not considered. That’s the day I decided for my team as well, that I will approve leaves – no questions asked as long as there’s no misuse.”  “I left that manager, not the company. Had he been a little more supportive, I would have still been there.” Shyam Gor
This incident was a defining moment in Shyam’s professional journey, as he embraced empathy for his colleagues and put the idea into practice. As a result, his approach to leadership shifts as per the context and the person he’s working with because he knows that not everyone is up for motivational quotes at every moment of their life. Empathy is about understanding and upholding others as they need, not supporting them in ways that suit your purpose.


Are you even a manager if you have never been worried about everything under the sun? While delegating work seems like a magic trick, it’s also the most common pitfall for new managers. Shyam recalls one time when he managed multiple projects and deliverables all alone. 
“Unless and until you learn to delegate your tasks, the worst a manager can be with a full plate of tasks. Once I was working on close to 70-80 positions, multiple team calls with stakeholders, and some completely new profiles to handle alongside. When I had this much on my plate I was either always late or missing out on things.” Shyam Gor
The consequences were unsurprising: Shyam was exhausted from the sheer effort and stress of doing so much. He remembers that he initially started doing everything himself because it felt safer to get things done rather than explain and await results.  But over the years, his approach has changed. Shyam now uses delegation as a key ingredient in his managerial magic. When he looked back at earlier attempts, he recognized three areas where delegation faltered and set out to rectify them: 
  • C – communication: First and foremost, communication. Each member of your team requires a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished and how.
  • A – adapting: Second, not all team members are made alike. While one might be a perfectionist, another could be committed to progress. You need to guide them differently to get things done.
  • T – task delegation: And last, task delegation. Correctly deciding what to delegate is a job half done. Some jobs are yours to own. Pick what your team is equipped and willing to do and move ahead.
Delegation is only half the job done. Shyam also talks of the other, which is often ignored: building ownership. Building ownership in your team members is critical in ensuring that they are motivated and inspired to get things done as you want. At times, these attempts get lost. 
“We get into a sense of responsibility, where someone’s career is dependent on us. In many ways, we can motivate them, utilize their skills and boost their potential. We can give them opportunities and ownership”  Shyam Gor
For instance, thinking back to one incident, Shyam talks of miscommunication. While information was shared in the best possible manner, something frequently felt amiss. As a result, either the team member was confused, or the results were unsatisfactory. They decided to devise a clever way out: set the owner for particular tasks and make them thoroughly involved in the process, whether meeting with the team or external stakeholders. The key to this was understanding that team members are not just machines but humans who love being valued for their efforts. 


We all hit the wall at times, and Shyam’s story is no different. Looking back to his early days as a manager, Shyam recalls an incident that forever inspired him to face challenges. It was a meeting with a client who harbored unreasonable expectations. The goal seemed unachievable, and the client was unrelenting!  Making the case for his team, Shyam lost his calm and declared that the goal could not be met within that timeline. The situation was high-stakes, with seniors present and team members looking up to their manager to save them from long hours of extra work.  It seemed like a deadlock.
“I clearly said that it’s not possible… I was still upset and I was taking the heat thinking that the project would fail. But my manager said something that I still remember – ‘I believe that you can do it, why don’t you?’”  Shyam Gor
The words of his senior helped Shyam rethink the situation. He sat down and came up with a plan. Setting the expectations with his team and all the collaborators, Shyam started working and made it out with the goal in his hands. He used a mix of incentives and motivation for his team to get things done and keep motivation high. The walls seem big at times, but as we saw, there are always ladders to build.  


We have talked of great ideas so far, but the last one in this mnemonic is simpler, but probably the most important. Collaborating with others is the cornerstone of Shyam’s leadership style.
“First thing after getting a promotion, I took my team out for ice cream. I shared the news that it’s a win for us.” Shyam Gor
Going back to the day when Shyam received the letter informing him of his promotion to a managerial role, he talks about the first things he did. 
  • Share the news directly with the team 
  • Make them a part of the transition, not just the audience
“I skipped the formality and asked them straight up – ‘What would be the one thing you’d like to change about our team?’… Setting expectations with my team was easier because we knew each other in-and-out.”  Shyam Gor
As Shyam was heading to manage a team of people he had already worked with, he used their connections to his best. He started by taking their feedback on the team’s operations as an initial exercise. He asked about their preferences and presented them forward, leading to trust and loyalty in his leadership. Yet, not everything goes as planned. A couple of team members did not enjoy the prospect of being managed by their peers. A way was created from clear mutual expectations and understanding to keep the team going.  Over the years, Shyam has emphasized the importance of collaboration in a team in many ways. He has enabled his former peers to maintain solid relationships by ensuring he never makes them feel low. As a result, they are the best sources of honest feedback he could ever get.  Shyam offers one key idea regarding his leadership style: no two people are alike. Leadership evolves with every person and situation. The evolution is not just contextual but also temporal. Over time, we collect experiences and instances that guide us throughout life. 
“People are the best teachers… We get to collect and apply some principles from our daily lives, as I have found from my manager” Shyam Gor
In sum, he offers four critical ideas to new managers who are starting their journeys: 
  • A – adapt: each role and person needs a different idea to get things done. Be prepared to take turns as the time demands. Sometimes, you will mess up, which is alright with an apology. 
  • B – be available: Your team will need you, no matter how much you try to create autonomy. Being available and visible is essential for a manager. It ensures your team knows your presence and can bank on you when trouble strikes. 
  • C – Communication: You should never ignore this important value. It’s essential in everything that or does not happen in your team. 
  • D – delegation: We love being superheroes, but let’s restrict ourselves to high-performing managers. Delegation enables you to realize team potential at an unprecedented level. When done right, it makes the best use of the team you have with you.
Shyam Gor has developed their leadership style by working globally and observing different types of leaders, an opportunity only some aspiring managers may have. But here’s the thing: we miss out on the nitty gritty and don’t always have the support to overcome similar challenges. That’s where Risely steps in as a solution. Risely is an AI buddy for managers, offering the guidance that every manager needs to unleash their true potential. With tailored steps and insights, Risely empowers you to solve challenges in simple steps: 
  • Identify your challenges: The journey begins when a manager starts by defining their challenges. From 50+ challenges, managers and team leaders can identify the issues hurting their team.
  • Test your skills: In the second step, skills and qualities, such as expectation setting and prioritization skills, are tested with the help of leadership skill assessments to see how well you have achieved these critical functions. These assessments help us create detailed reports for skills and abilities.
  • Start growing: Now comes the good part: where your progress becomes Risely’s agenda. Managers can start making progress with the help of daily nudges, toolkits, and the interactive AI coach – Merlin, who is there for you through thick or thin, whether day or night. 
Sounds exciting? You can start a free conversation with Merlin now!

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Deeksha, with a solid educational background in human resources, bridges the gap between your goals and you with valuable insights and strategies within leadership development. Her unique perspectives, powered by voracious reading, lead to thoughtful pieces that tie conventional know-how and innovative approaches together to enable success for management professionals.

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