Our Coach Of The Month On A Mission To Grow Top Leaders

Vikram Rao’s guiding principle is ‘Inspire, Enable and Leave a Legacy’. He is a PCC-ICF certified Executive Coach for senior leaders

Our Coach Of The Month On A Mission To Grow Top Leaders

Vikram Rao’s guiding principle is ‘Inspire, Enable and Leave a Legacy’.

A maxim which has been proven through his vast experience in having acquired, led, built, and transformed businesses and brands globally. This rich experience enables him to quickly understand the organisation dynamics and, through his leadership coaching, is on a mission to propel company leaders to the top and help them establish their personal Authentic Leadership Model and brand.

He is a PCC-ICF certified Executive Coach for senior leaders, promoters (including start-ups) who seek mentorship/coaching on how to develop a company culture, build a common vision, and how to overcome their own obstacles in order to achieve their full leadership potential.

Vikram is an engaging and empathetic listener, who has a unique ability to connect deeply with leaders he coaches, helping them reflect, identify blind spots, and explore new ways of working and delivering sustainable, superior results. He is adored by his learners for the difference he is able to make in their life.

Let's look at what makes him a remarkable coach and how he connects deeply with his learners.

What was your motivation to become a coach?

One year before my retirement, I began thinking about what next. How do I want to spend my time using the experience I have gained over decades of leading people and businesses?

That’s when I thought about all the young talent, my many young managers who I had supported and coached over the years and who have now reached positions of stature in their career viz., Ashish Dixit (MD, ABFRL), Shailesh Chaturvedi (MD, Arvind Brands), Venu Nair (CEO, Shoppers Stop), Rishi Vasudev (Promoter, Goat Brands), Shital Mehta (MD, Lifestyle International) to name a few.

And the entire time my philosophy was to ‘Support to Succeed’.

Helping leaders realize their full potential makes me feel fulfilled and that was my primary motivation to become a coach in my second innings.

It is not necessary that every senior leader would automatically turn out to be a good coach. It requires a certain mindset and significant insights and training through recognised leadership programs to be a relevant and good coach.

What is your coaching style?

I stand by the notion that whatever one does as a coach has to be impactful. This will necessitate constant learning of new and contemporary methods of coaching to stay relevant.

In addition to my many years of business experience, I've spent over 1200 hours coaching CXOs, MDs, mid-senior level managers, and lately even start-ups who need guidance in achieving their people and business goals.

These emerging business scenarios have helped me adapt my coaching practice to the changing business needs and successfully coach business leaders at various levels from diverse companies.

I work with them to deliver on numerous aspects of leadership or business goals and competencies. I assist them in reflecting, identifying their blind spots, exploring new working methods, and producing lasting results.

It's essential to understand the coaching objective first — what the learner hopes to gain from the coaching relationship. My discussion with the learner begins with a search for that, diving deeply into the conversation to realize the objective, and then we continue from there.

It is important for a coach to maintain a mindset that is open, curious, flexible, and client- oriented. The coach should listen actively, focus on the learner and finally evoke awareness using tools and techniques such as powerful questioning, sharing experiences, facilitating growth, etc.

How does coaching help people improve themselves?

The first step of the coaching journey begins at the point of self-awareness, achieved through feedback or assessment tools.

It’s all about going from good to great. If you are a 6/10, what will it take for you to become an 8/10. That’s what coaching is for.

During coaching, you (leader) learn more about yourself and the competencies that can mould you into a competent leader.

  • Are you an empathetic listener?
  • Are you grounded?
  • Are you mindful when responding?
  • What is commitment to leading and developing people?
  • Do you involve and inspire people to work towards a vision?
  • Establish trusted and transparent relationships.

Coaching enables you to identify and work on the various behavioural dynamics involved in leading people, leading teams, and leading yourself.

What role does a coach play in this?

Having a coach is helpful in identifying the areas of competencies that can unlock your full potential.

Your coach collaborates with you as a partner, occasionally shares thought-provoking stories with you, and at times assumes the position of a challenger to help you step beyond your comfort zone.

So, there are multiple roles that a coach plays depending on the situation and the goals a learner wishes to achieve.

Leaders who have been impacted by Vikram

Coaching is most effective for those who are prepared to go to the next level of their abilities and are willing to put in the necessary effort to get there.

Vikram’s coaching has impacted a significant number of his clients and below are few of the testimonials.