In the realm of remote leadership, where digital borders dissolve and global teams unite, we had the distinct pleasure of learning from Pratik Thakker, the Founder & CEO of INSIDEA. This exclusive interview takes us on a journey through Pratik’s unique perspective on cultivating a harmonious, all-remote team environment. The questions he answers provide a captivating insight into the very fabric of effective leadership in the digital age.
At INSIDEA, Pratik’s leadership philosophy revolves around authenticity, open communication, and fostering a sense of family among diverse team members. Hailing from a diverse background and journeying from India to Israel, Pratik understands the power of inclusivity and the strength it brings to a team. In a world where remote work has become the norm, his insights are not just relevant but transformative. Pratik shares his wisdom on maintaining trust, managing conflicts, and creating an environment where every voice is valued. Let’s get straight to it!
What is your leadership philosophy when it comes to creating and maintaining a collaborative and aligned team environment?
When it comes to leading a team, I believe in keeping it real – and I’ve learned that open communication is the key, especially for a globally all-remote team like us in INSIDEA
I’ve always believed that a happy team is a productive team – and I always try to create an environment where everyone’s voice is heard and valued.
Coming from diverse backgrounds like India and now being an entrepreneur in Israel, I’ve learned that building a collaborative team is all about creating a close-knit, family-like atmosphere
We’re a remote team, so staying connected is key. I encourage everyone to voice their ideas and concerns, whether it’s through video calls or our group huddles.
I truly believe that diverse perspectives make us stronger and more aligned – it’s all about creating a sense of belonging and ensuring everyone knows their contributions are valued.
How do you ensure that every team member is aware of their individual goals, as well as the team’s goals, and that they are working towards achieving them?
I believe in the power of one-on-one conversations. So, I make sure to have regular check-ins with each team member. This is where we discuss their individual goals, progress, and any roadblocks they might face.
Our team meetings aren’t just about status updates. We set specific agendas, and each member knows their role in achieving the team’s goals. It’s a collaborative effort, and everyone’s input is valued.
We also use collaborative tools to track and share progress, and our diverse team appreciates the value of cultural differences in understanding goals. Ultimately, it’s about creating a shared sense of purpose and celebrating achievements together.
How do you build and maintain trust with your team members to create a positive work environment?
I’ve always believed that trust is the foundation of any successful relationship. With INSIDEA, since we operate remotely, it’s even more crucial. One thing I’ve learned is that trust isn’t just about believing in someone’s abilities; it’s about showing them that you genuinely care for their well-being.
So, I make it a point to have regular one-on-one check-ins with my team, not just about work but about their lives, their aspirations, and their challenges. This ensures that they’re not just numbers on a spreadsheet but valued members of the INSIDEA family.
I’ve seen that when people feel valued, they’re more committed and engaged, and the whole work environment becomes more positive. It’s all about mutual respect and genuine connections.
How do you manage conflicts or disagreements within the team to ensure that everyone is working together effectively?
You know, running INSIDEA remotely does bring a few bumps in the road, especially when it comes to disagreements within the team. But it’s just like any family; we all have different ideas and perspectives, and that’s great because it brings so much richness to the table!
So when there’s a bit of a clash, I just step back and say, “Hey, let’s all take a breath here.” It’s super important to listen, truly listen, to each other without any preconceived notions. I encourage everyone to speak their mind openly but also respectfully.
Then we go into problem-solving mode as a team, like a brainstorming session where we throw ideas around, have a healthy debate, and always keep our company’s best interests at heart.
And you’ll be surprised how, more often than not, this melts away any hard feelings and brings us to a solution that everyone can nod to. It keeps the vibe positive and our working relationship healthy. That’s my simple mantra: listen, respect, and collaborate. It works like a charm every time!
How do you promote team building/bonding?
Well, running a remote company like INSIDEA presents unique challenges but also opportunities when it comes to team building. We prioritize open communication, and I believe that’s where bonding begins.
We host weekly virtual meetups via virtual Friday Forums and fun weekly HR activities on Wednesday – so it’s not just all about work.
Beyond that, we also organize in-person retreats whenever possible. It’s a chance for the team to connect, strategize, and have fun together. Building a strong bond remotely requires a bit of creativity, but it’s absolutely worth the effort.
How do you help your team manage the constantly overload of information both within your organization and from external sources?
I have realized that “information overload” is a real deal, and I am constantly navigating it, not just for myself but for the fantastic team we have at INSIDEA.
So, we really prioritize clear, concise communication. We like to keep our internal communications streamlined, ensuring that everyone gets the right amount of information on time while maintaining transparency.
On the external front, we actively encourage a culture of “information mindfulness”. What I mean by that is that we urge our team members to consciously choose what they consume, not to get swayed by every new piece of information that comes their way.
But more than anything, we foster an environment where it’s absolutely okay to take a step back, to disconnect, and to recharge. It’s like, we don’t need to be always “on”. It’s perfectly fine to take a break, breathe, and then come back rejuvenated.
I truly believe that this approach not only helps in managing information overload but also goes a long way in nurturing a healthy work culture that values mental well-being just as much as productivity. It’s a win-win, really!
As a manager, how do you decide which tasks, projects or initiatives to prioritize on?
Running INSIDEA taught me a lot about prioritization. When I’m deciding which tasks, projects, or initiatives to prioritize, I usually start by understanding their impact on our long-term vision. I ask, “How does this align with where we want INSIDEA to be in the next 5 or 10 years?”
Then, I consider the immediate needs of our team and our clients. I always prioritize projects that can immediately alleviate any pain points or challenges they might be facing. Open communication plays a huge role here. I make it a point to listen to feedback from both our team and our clients.
Lastly, I think about resource allocation. Can we realistically take on this task or project, given our current bandwidth? Will it stretch us too thin, or is it a challenge we’re ready to tackle?
It’s a mix of strategic alignment, team and client needs, and a good old feasibility check. As someone who has been in this industry for so long, I’ve learned that it’s not just about getting things done but getting the right things done. And that’s how I approach prioritization at INSIDEA.
What are some of the key challenges you have faced in leading a team, and how did you overcome them?
Well, leading a remote company has its own set of unique challenges. One of the most significant ones has been fostering a sense of unity and collaboration in a virtual environment. Without a physical office space, it can be easy for team members to feel isolated. To counter this, we’ve not only established regular virtual check-ins and team-building activities but also encouraged each member to take ownership of their roles. This means being proactive, accountable for their tasks, and seeking collaboration when needed.
Another challenge was ensuring that our team members remained productive and motivated. It’s different when you’re not in an office environment and can’t just walk over to someone’s desk. We addressed this by setting clear expectations, giving everyone the right tools, and emphasizing the importance of work-life balance. The last thing we want is for our team to burn out because they feel they’re ‘always on’.
Lastly, time zones! With team members scattered globally, coordinating meetings and ensuring everyone is on the same page can be tricky. But we’ve embraced it and made it part of our company culture. We use scheduling tools and ensure everyone respects the working hours of others. And, of course, being patient and understanding has played a big role.
At the end of the day, leading INSIDEA has taught me the importance of adaptability, patience, and the power of a strong, united team. It’s been a journey, but one I cherish every day.
Looking back at your career, were there any managers that were influential to your growth and your management style today?
When I think back, there were a few managers who truly left an imprint on my journey. One of them always had this habit of starting meetings with a personal check-in just to see how we felt.
It wasn’t just about work; it was about the individual behind the work. That taught me the importance of human connection, even in business.
Another manager had this uncanny ability to see potential in people even when they didn’t see it in themselves. Their belief in me pushed me to explore areas I would have never ventured into on my own.
I carry these lessons with me at INSIDEA. We’re not just about remote work; we’re about making sure every team member feels connected and empowered, no matter where they are. And honestly, I owe a lot of that ethos to the managers I’ve had in the past.
We hope you enjoyed this enlightening journey into the heart of remote leadership with Pratik Thakker, the CEO of INSIDEA. His experiences and leadership principles unveil a path toward collaborative success in a world that knows no geographical boundaries. In an era where remote work has become the norm, Pratik’s insights provide a roadmap for leaders to steer their teams towards unprecedented heights of productivity and cohesion.
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