Inspiring Leadership – Chairman CEO and NED Ashok Gupta spoke about “Overcoming Bigots & Discrimination.”
He is a successful Chairman in Tech sector and the Insurance Sectors with a wealth of experience. He loves working as a Chairman, CEO and NED to Insurance & Tech start ups. Life shaped me he said – I had a strange childhood as one of only two Asian men in a very bigoted town in NI. The other was my Father. I had a very isolate childhood, so I struggled to find respected role models.
Gandhi & Mandela attracted me – they both created a strong set of values in me; what was right and what was wrong. In my business career I found some fantastic and highly successful leaders. For example I worked with Mark Weinberg & Mike Wilson (created Dunbar & St James Place). Also with Hugh Osmond (created Punch Taverns & Pizza Express & Phoenix Group), Then Andy Haldane Chief Economist at The Bank of England, followed by Paul Bradshaw (created Scandinavia). Paul & I had Friday afternoon lunches.
Paul’s view was that there are two types of entrepreneurs:
1. Those who want to build a great business that delivers fantastic results for customers. Because they do so they make a lot of money
2. Those who just want to make a lot of money.
There is a huge difference between both approaches. My mistakes – I always aspire to avoid making the same one twice. That is utterly unforgivable. Looking at my mistakes I believe that I confronted some tricky situations in a too assertive, emotional and uncompromising way. It turned out to be utterly counterproductive. Top Tip – Imagine that as a CEO you have a powerful torch light beam which you can shine around a room or an organisation. Wherever you pause and focus then you can give that attention. Others are very much impacted by it – and it can be either a positive or negative impact. Ensure you like the impact you create and dont make changes for the sake of it.