Amit Dhuleshia is a Director of Development at ServiceNow. Previously, he has helped grow Discovery into a multi-hundred million dollar business, expanded the use of MID Server to a majority of ServiceNow Customers, and helped launch the Agent Client Collector.
Amit talks about the value of selflessness in the workplace and maintaining a positive work environment.
It’s ironic that I’m writing a blog post on corporate leadership. For the longest time, I didn’t feel the need or want to go into any leadership position. I felt that being a manager of people, I would be forced to play corporate politics and that would be going against my core values. I was happy doing my own thing, free from the politics, as an individual contributor engineer.
As I experienced work at multiple companies, I however quickly realized that it is hard to escape the corporate culture. The company and your immediate management chain create the culture. So, I decided to try to change it locally by taking an opening as a manager.
My main goal was to make work a place that people enjoyed coming to. It is a simple goal, but something that I still use as my north star. As I developed as a manager, I expanded and broke this goal down into having a sense of responsibility for the company, for the immediate manager, and for the team.
Every leader has to define their definition of success. I was careful not to define mine on individual successes, like being a director or VP. Instead, I wanted to focus my success on the success of others. This made sense to me because that’s how I define success or happiness outside of work. I wanted to make sure there was alignment with my purpose and meaning inside and outside of work.
For me, the most important goal is the success and happiness of your immediate team. A happy workplace, I believe, is the foundation for a productive workplace. For this to happen, you need to create an environment where the team shares the same core values. This is the cornerstone for your relationship with them and their relationships with each other.
In a selfless team, you never feel like someone will take credit for your work, or not help you when there is a tight deadline. No matter what is happening with the company, you feel that people will have your back and you have theirs. It allows the team to focus on the work instead of work politics. Even one or two people who have misaligned values can create a toxic team environment. It’s important to hire and weed out those types of people even if he or she is the smartest engineer.
Having a successful team starts with you. It means thinking about people as people and not as resources that are there to finish work. You have to build authentic relationships and connect on a human level. You don’t have to be friends with everybody, but you have to know who they are as people and what’s important to them.
Some Ideas to Implement
Some simple things I do to make sure this happens…
- Nobody works more than their contracted hours a week
- Be generous with time off when people are going through life changing events
- Having open, honest, and constructive conversations about work performance
- Ensuring employees know you have their best interest in mind
- Give employees going through a difficult time less strenuous work, as well as checking in on them
- Taking accountability for team’s missed deadlines
- Implement lessons learned
- Giving credit to individual or team success
There are countless other ways for a leader to espouse selfless values to create a selfless team. For me, building this healthy, happy team culture, based on selfless values, has been personally rewarding. It is the foundation for building a really strong and productive team.
If you would like to discuss topics revolving around healthy leadership behaviors, we would love to hear from you.