Men of Zen


So you just got a new visiting card. It reads CXO of a great Company.  It depicts a huge evolution in your professional life. A new workplace environment, scaled-up teams and resources, empowered decision making, life-sized challenges and hard calls.
How do you ensure that you stay centred and true to the person you are?

Some lessons from the Buddha provide food for the soul:

Manage your inner self

 Just as DNA determines your genetic traits, it is your inner self, or the sum total of your ideologies, that determines your true mettle and your ability to transform life’s challenges into opportunities. Your environment is a mirror of your inner space. How you react to change in an environment critically depends on the goodness within. The bigger you are in the organisation, the bigger should be your soul.


Being a CXO is always about the management of your resources or ‘Manage-Men-Tactics’. Manage the men and the women behind the organisation well, and work will take care of itself. Listen to them, add a personal touch to your professional relationship and do not let your achievements dwarf theirs, even if it is the most junior or the least significant role in the organisation. Your job is to motivate them so that they work better for the organisation.

Look at the problem, not the people

Continuously transform your thinking to be objective. It is about the problem, not the person who is causing the problem. The key is to focus on the message and to disassociate yourself from who is delivering it. Disregard the method of deliverance- avoid the tendency to spot flaws in the way the task was undertaken. Use your power to fix situations, not people. Each failure is a lesson: rectify it and move on. When your employees see how level headed you are with accepting people and their mistakes, they will make an active decision to change their faults themselves.

Win over yourself

The toughest battle in the days ahead is the one that you wage against yourself. There is an ongoing struggle between your true empowered self and surrounding negativity. When your lesser self takes over, your ego is manifested. The need to win over one’s lesser self is imperative to win over oneself, and hence, win over the world.

Create value, not products

Research shows that customers and employees look up to organisations that act for the greater good. Your role empowers you to bring in real change in your organisation. Monetary targets are important, but it is the value you create for your customers, your teams and the industry that you operate in that defines your success. When you help your team members grow professionally, or drive collective rather than personal well-being, you make a real difference.

You’re headed for more 24/7 work routines, along with the perks that go with the territory. Between board meetings and the next 18-hole round, it is important to introspect, self-assess and grow as a human being. A great human being makes a great CXO.  So as you take the corporate elevator up to the top floor, don’t be left lonely.



Rahul Malhotra
Rahul is the Co-Founder and CEO at HeadHonchos.
He has close to 14 years of experience across the executive search, recruitment, retail and internet verticals. One of the first to come on board, he holds an MBA degree from IMI, Belgium and a Diploma in Information Technology from Swinburne, Australia

4 thoughts on “Men of Zen

  1. I fully endorse to what has been ststed to deal with the higher challanges which comes with both authority and responsibility.
    To deal with such level of operation apart from what has been enumerated above , it is also important that such authorities must be given some operational freedom within the frame work of the company rules and regulations.
    If one puts in 3 months in the company (if the role is global/pan India) then he /she would be able to have firm grip over all the extended arms of the company through which one has to get the job executed.
    Initial months it should be more on work less on own comforts then nobody can put finger at you and above all the authority above must have complete faith in the person who has been assigned such task.
    It is true that if ewe look at the negative in aperson then there is no end to negative thought and to find avenues to deal with it, one must try to have only positives in a person to get result.Quality circle works very well if the same is implemented in true spirit and for every tricky decision making issues.

    1. You’ve made a good point about having appropriate company. Freedom to operate and implement are not always a certainty. However,one can make the most of one’s profession by developing the right mindset and approach to work & colleagues.

  2. Besides all of the above, it is equally imperative that a person must stay grounded.He should not lose touch with reality,must always remember the lessons that life taught him while he was climbing the ladder of success. Most importantly, the CXO must retain empathy with his subordinates,yet give them challenging tasks and guide them only if they appear to be lost. All the experience that the CXO has acquired over the years must now be used to enable his team achieve the desired results.Be firm as well as considerate. A reasonable boss often produces better results than a clueless one.Finally, always be open to the idea of learning from your youngsters.

    1. All your recommendations are well founded and practical. It is great to see HeadHonchos Lounge has readers like you.

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