Our People Heroes series celebrates People leaders across the globe. These insights were pulled from our conversation with Natasha Kehimkar on the New World of Work podcast.
People managers are an essential component of an organization’s success. Not only is it part of their role to ensure employees are feeling happy, fulfilled, and supported, but they’re also responsible for delegating tasks and facilitating communication across teams. When it comes to managing managers though, we often fall short in providing them with the support they need. We spoke with Natasha Kehimkar who shared her advice for supporting leaders within your organization.
Meet Natasha Kehimkar, CEO and Founder of Malida Advisors
Natasha has 25 years of experience in the world of People, Talent, and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion). She spent the first part of her career in large organizations (we’re talking over a hundred thousand people) and has made the move to progressively smaller and smaller organizations.
She’s worked in a number of industries including life sciences, consumer products, tech, biotech, and now, as the CEO of Malida Advisors, she partners with businesses in all sorts of industries—and typically small- to medium-sized companies.
When Natasha founded Malida Advisors, her goal was to create a positive change in the world of work. Her team specializes in executive coaching, consulting businesses looking to scale their HR functions, and leading bespoke workshops to support organizations through challenges around things like mergers and acquisitions and restructuring.
What we learned from Natasha about managing managers
1. Everyone brings different strengths, leadership styles, and approaches to the table
“How do I help somebody unlock the solution that they already have inside them, and not impose my finger and thumb prints all over how they manage?”
When it comes to managing people leaders, it’s important to remember that everyone has their own style. Oftentimes, one of the difficulties of managing managers is helping people improve their management skills without having them sacrifice their personal qualities and characteristics. She stresses the importance of finding a fine balance between providing valuable feedback and giving people the space to be themselves.
2. Why you must invest in your people
“The energy that's required to coach and develop people managers is not insignificant.”
As a business leader, one of the best investments you can make is in your people. Re-inventing your leadership style to focus time, energy, and resources into helping your team grow and develop over time will not only benefit you and the company long-term, but will also demonstrate your trust in them.
3. The value of adopting an inclusive leadership model
“It extends to everything from how you onboard a new hire to how you make decisions on your teams.”
Adopting an inclusive leadership model is a powerful tool for growth, innovation, and fostering diversity. It’s time we update the way we look at leadership overall and take a holistic view of company structures that can help organizations navigate a more inclusive approach.
What’s next for Natasha
As many businesses start returning to a “new normal,” Natasha’s team at Malida Advisors is hard at work building a series to support people managers in the transition to remote and hybrid working models. But they’re not focusing on logistics like vaccination cards and seating charts, they’re focused on how managers can be most effective and impactful in these new settings.
Natasha mentions that Malida Advisors has also seen an uptick in requests for support with team alignment. She believes it's come up because organizations are “all over the place” right now. Many executive teams are still clinging to the idea of being together physically, and we know that it's not always possible. Her team is working on helping these companies understand how to stay aligned on objectives, messaging, and how to effectively inspire collaboration across teams. Natasha stresses that initiatives like this aren’t “one and done,” it’s a journey her team embarks on with these companies.
To hear more of Natasha’s advice for managing managers, listen to her episode of the New World of Work podcast.
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