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"The Humility to Pause and Listen, Reflect, Talk and Seek Advice"

Geetu Verma, Global Vice President, Nutrition & Natural Platforms, Unilever
twitter-logoAjita Shashidhar | Print Edition: December 13, 2020
Geetu Verma, Global Vice President, Nutrition & Natural Platforms, Unilever

Q. What was the problem you were grappling with?

A. I once walked into a role with utmost confidence in my functional skills and my ability to deliver the mandate. While I did succeed, it came with a lot of pain, at the cost of some relationships which I rubbed the wrong way... I do believe that success in that situation could have been bigger than what I was able to deliver.

Q. Who did you approach and why?

A. The advice I got from a colleague when I walked into another transformational opportunity where I had to change things around, was go back to the historians of the organisation, talk to people and understand why things are the way they are, understand better in terms of supporters as well as challengers, and use the challengers to create value.

Q. What was the best advice you received?

A. The best advice was less about functional expertise, but more about listening better. Sometimes you are riding on wave after wave of success, there is that jaunt in your stride and a bit of cockiness in the way you look at the world built around you. Once you have the humility to pause and listen, reflect, talk and seek advice, the answers may be with you.

Q. How effective was it in resolving your problem?

A. It turned out to be pivotal in the way I went about doing what I needed to get done in that situation.

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