Treading New Paths Vinay Mehendi’s Journey of Becoming a Leader

Treading New Paths Vinay Mehendi’s Journey of Becoming a Leader

We will share the exciting journey of Vinay Mehendi’s triumphs and challenges in the professional world. He has experienced nearly everything in his career, from working as a researcher on contract in the USA to leading his own startup in India; Vinay gained knowledge by working in different environments. With all his expertise and unwavering ambition, he started his entrepreneurial journey.

Meet Vinay Mehendiratta , an accomplished scholar with a Ph.D. and the visionary CEO & Founder of OceanFrogs. With a keen eye for detail and a drive for excellence, Vinay contributes to every department within the company, mainly focusing on marketing, sales, and customer success. OceanFrogs is a Forrester featured firm that provides technographics data to IT services, Managed Services Providers, and SaaS companies.

Lessons from both shores: Vinay Mehendiratta ‘s journey as an Individual Contributor

Vinay described himself as a workaholic with ambition and relentless pursuit of self-improvement. With his insatiable hunger for knowledge and a constant desire to upskill himself, Vinay’s professional journey in both the United States and India proved to be a learning experience for him as to what not to do as a manager. An interesting fact about Vinay is that he was mainly an individual contributor before starting his entrepreneurial journey and had led a few small teams.

I had no inspirational managers around me. I didn’t know the growth opportunities for me. I always wanted to know how to grow faster or what skill sets are missing that are necessary to succeed 

– Vinay Mehendi
With his drive and dedication, he often yearned for guidance and direction from his managers and team leads.

Early Confusion and Conundrums 

Vinay’s eagerness to take on leadership roles, even for small projects, was a testament to his ambition. However, as he stepped into these leadership positions and began leading teams, he soon realized his shortcomings. Acknowledging that he wasn’t fully prepared to manage teams effectively, he faced a more disheartening realization—the lack of inspiring and guiding figures who could shape him into a capable leader. 

On the contrary, his managers didn’t lack managerial skills; instead, Vinay simply couldn’t relate to their leadership styles. Through his experiences as an individual contributor in the United States and India, Vinay learned valuable lessons about the importance of finding mentors who could offer guidance and inspire them to become a better leader. 

Challenges and transformations in managing OceanFrogs

As Vinay embarked on his journey as a founder, he faced several challenges and learned valuable lessons about leadership along the way.

Initially, my leadership experiences were unsuccessful, as I struggled to strike a balance between being too soft or too hard on my team members. I was more concerned with gaining appreciation from my team members rather than prioritizing what was best”—a realization that quickly prompted him to correct his approach.

– Vinay Mehendi
While managing his employees, he initially discovered that micromanagement was one of his significant mistakes. Driven by his perfectionistic tendencies, he tended to provide detailed instructions and over explain even the most fundamental concepts.

As a person with a lot of responsibility, I ended up pushing my employees too hard. Every individual has limits and bandwidth to the extent they can go to.

– Vinay Mehendi
His micromanagement habit hindered his employees’ creativity and growth and prevented him from focusing on more strategic aspects of his leadership role. Upon receiving constructive feedback from an employee, Vinay acknowledged the imperative of addressing his micromanagement inclinations. Lacking proper guidance and constructive feedback on team management, he embarked on a journey of experimenting with various methods that yielded little or no success. After persistent efforts, he eventually discovered several effective strategies for creating an empowering and trust-driven work atmosphere.

I realized that when I give employees first principles and decision frameworks they are able to perform and execute better.

– Vinay Mehendi
So, he began by creating decision frameworks for himself and his employees, allowing for more autonomy while ensuring alignment with the company’s goals and values. This approach provided a structured framework where employees could make decisions and take ownership of their work. 

Instead of sharing two new learnings at the same time, I limit myself to one new learning at a given time. This allows the team member to digest, implement and think about it and come back with questions.

– Vinay Mehendi
Vinay acknowledged the importance of introducing new concepts and information gradually. Understanding that not all individuals have the same level of receptiveness to a plethora of information simultaneously, he adopted a strategy of limiting himself to presenting one new learning at a time. Through this approach, Vinay embraced a growth mindset, continuously learning from his mistakes and refining his leadership style. 

Recipe for success – The Pillars of OceanFrogs

Drawing from his extensive professional journey as a leader, Vinay incorporated several vital elements into managing his startup. These incorporations have played a pivotal role in shaping the company’s culture and fostering its growth. 

When a team member does something that’s not up to the mark especially in a remote setup it is important to give feedback, and I ensure that I always use a positive tone and approach.

– Vinay Mehendi
Firstly, he emphasizes the importance of delivering feedback positively and constructively. By understanding the right intent behind the feedback, Vinay ensures that team members stay connected to him and the team, fostering a supportive and growth-oriented environment.

I actively infuse my positivity and motivation to the employees. I take the initiative to share anecdotes and examples with the entire team. These stories inspire and instill a sense of purpose and enthusiasm within each employee. I also encourage every team member and leader to contribute their sources of motivation. This practice empowers individuals to share their unique perspectives, fostering a sense of ownership and camaraderie.

– Vinay Mehendi
Secondly, effective and positive communication is a focal point at OceanFrogs. Vinay recognizes that efficient communication which motivates the team members to be on the same page and thrive collectively is vital. Regular check-in meetings are scheduled between team members and leaders to facilitate a motivating and positive work environment, ensuring everyone remains aligned, and collaboration flourishes.

Thirdly, Vinay goes beyond assessing candidates solely based on their existing skills in the hiring process. Instead, he seeks individuals ready to learn and embrace challenges in their new roles. By prioritizing candidates willing to grow and adapt, Vinay ensures that the team remains dynamic and prepared to tackle industry changes.

Most of the domain training is done internally but we keep inviting professionals and we also use external material that is available. We use Udemy, SaaSBOOMi, Risely and Uppekha for trainings.

– Vinay Mehendi
Lastly, Transparency is a fundamental value within his company, particularly as a remote-based startup. Vinay believes in transparency with his employees, including the company’s overall status and individual career prospects. Open conversations about topics such as salary increments and responsibilities help build trust and foster a culture of transparency within the organization.

Through incorporating these four elements, Vinay has laid the foundation for success at OceanFrogs.

Words of wisdom for aspiring managers

Vinay Mehendiratta has shared a few invaluable tips for upcoming managers; from his journey, he emphasizes the importance of recognizing the uniqueness of each individual and adapting management approaches accordingly. Understanding that what works for one person may not work for another, Vinay encourages managers to reinvent themselves.

Small wins are more important than big wins

– Vinay Mehendi
While pursuing success, managers should remember that celebrating small wins of  team members  is more important than only honoring the big achievements, as it fosters a sense of community and belonging within their teams by focusing on and acknowledging these small milestones. 

Always appreciate in front of the group and always criticize in person

– Vinay Mehendi
Most importantly, Vinay advises managers to appreciate their employees before the group, as public recognition enhances morale and reinforces a positive work environment. Conversely, when it comes to criticism, Vinay emphasizes the importance of addressing it privately. By providing constructive criticism one-on-one, managers create a safe space for learning and growth.

How Risely helps managers achieve their true potential? 

Vinay Mehendiratta ‘s journey of overcoming micromanagement habits involved a process of trial and error. He recognized the need for change and actively experimented with different strategies to find effective solutions. However, it is essential to acknowledge that not every manager has the same time and resources to undergo extensive trial and error methods.

While Vinay’s hit-and-trial method worked for him after a time, it may not be feasible or practical for everyone. Each manager and team dynamic is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Risely helps managers seek guidance and support to navigate leadership challenges and find tailored solutions.

Here’s how Risely solves challenges for many Founders and Managers like Vinay:

  • 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 micromanagement and communication 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.
Risely, the AI co-pilot for leadership development, makes the road easy for up-and-coming managers and team leaders. While you are navigating the new ways of a managerial role, Risely takes the lead on your growth and creates personalized learning journeys leading toward your professional goals. In a busy world, it’s the buddy you need to succeed! 

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