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In Conversation With Asish Datta, A Renowned Self-Leadership Architect

Leadership is a dark hole where three of our closest ‘companions’ reside – Uncertainty, Challenges, and Competition. They are always around in both our good as well as bad times.

 Ashish Datta
 Ashish Datta

Asish Datta is an IATD certified self-leadership architect with a diverse industry experience of more than three decades, helping individuals and businesses attain maximum effectiveness. He has just authored a book, “Navigating the dark hole”, that captures the essence of his leadership journey. Recently, he was in Pune to promote his book, where he spoke to Arpan Sarkar from Exmatters about his upcoming book.
 
Arpan: What is this book all about?
 
Asish Datta: This book is a collection of the key action points from my real-life experiences at different levels of leadership, which will not just help but empower young leaders with the right knowledge, and action steps to navigate their way through the challenging corporate environment.
As I always say, leadership is not about leading others but about leading self. If we can successfully lead ourselves, others will automatically follow us.
 
A special focus in my book is on ‘You are the Problem. You are the Solution’. The world of leadership is a lonely one. There is not much help that will come our way. We have to help ourselves. Even if external factors create challenges and conflicts, we must manage them if we are affected. The sure shot way to exponentially grow is by becoming problem solvers – for self, team, and organization. My book deals extensively with this subject.
 
Arpan: Have you always thought of becoming an author?
 
Asish Datta: I had to go through a very rough period at the start of my corporate journey. Between 1991 and 2000, I quit two jobs, developed toxic relationships with people in the workplace, failed miserably to communicate effectively to get things done, and fell victim to the organization’s internal politics. The work-related stress affected my family relationships as well.

I have come a long way since then. Today, I hold the position of Director, Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in an IT organization. I have always wanted to impart my learnings to emerging leaders, guiding them with practical advice that works, considering the ground realities. I felt that the best way through which I can impart my learning is by writing a book that will empower leaders on their leadership journey.
 
Arpan: Can you throw some light on the “Dark Hole” for our readers?
 
Asish Datta: Leadership is a dark hole where three of our closest ‘companions’ reside – Uncertainty, Challenges, and Competition. They are always around in both our good as well as bad times. Problems and challenges are everywhere, and despite our best efforts to avoid them, we, as leaders, encounter them every day. It is a dark hole, and we do not know which challenge will confront us next. Great Leadership is about dealing with everyday challenges with maturity and taking it as learning to become a better version of yourself.

Leadership can be compared to a dark hole where you play the role of a navigator to deal with the uncertainties. Building a strong mental resilience to address the daily changes can help one grow exponentially as a leader. My book covers the multiple spheres of leadership and its reality.
 
Arpan: What common traits have you observed while interacting with the New-Gen leaders?
 
Asish Datta: Most of the New-Gen leaders I have come across do not think long-term; they have a very short-term vision restricted to their salaries, position and brands. They are ill-equipped to face the day-to-day challenges and conflicts because they are waiting for the problem to occur rather than laying a strong foundation for problem-solving and exponential growth.
 

Arpan: How will this book help individuals in their Leadership journey?
 
Asish Datta: This book will enable individuals to self-reflect and make them more self-aware of where they stand vis a vis good leadership.  The book offers real-life practical scenarios, frameworks and implementation techniques that will help individuals continuously assess performance and take corrective actions to become a better leaders and achieve exponential growth.
 
To reach out to Asish Datta, please drop an email: CoachAsish@gmail.com

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