April 13, 2016: As part of an exciting initiative with Times Ascent & Great Manager Awards, Rajesh Padmanabhan was invited for an interactive afternoon session on Twitter that saw leading industry professionals discuss the crucial role that managers play in organisations.

Padmanabhan was joined by other Industry eminent panellists to interact and share their thoughts on what makes a successful Manager and an inspirational leader. 

Times Ascent kick-started the session with a question to the panel, on how they would define a great Manager? Answering the question with the twitter handle #GMATALK2016, Rajesh Padmanabhan was quick to indicate that “A great manager is empowering, energising, result oriented and a good coach”.

Many users joined the Tweetchat discussion that revolved around employee motivation and productivity. One Twitter user, raised a critical question to participants on the #GMATALK2016. He asked, ‘how do I know if I am being a great manager?’

Each panel member brought their own experiential insight to the discussion. One Panel Member strongly emphasised on the feedback received by fellow teammates to be the indicator for assessment. A member from the Tweetchat session, suggested an interesting perspective that was in line with what Member shared. He tweeted, do people want to work with you out of choice or force? Can they ask you anything without the need to be anonymous, as plausible indicators. Rajesh Padmanabhan shared five key aspects that defines your value as a manager— Motivation, Assertiveness, Accountability, Relationship & Influencing. 

Questions further encouraged the panel to share their views on how a manager could balance quantifiable vs qualitative outputs in today’s competitive world?

Rajesh Padmanabhan explained his preference for a hybrid of both, however, leaning now more towards business impact measurable, “In my view quantifiable more”. Quantifiable output tells the 'what', qualitative shows the 'how' and the 'why', added another panellist when challenged with the same question.

“Go with your internal customised model. Keep a cursory eye on benchmark in this space. Create your own magic”, was an enthusiastic response given by Padmanabhan, when asked about the relevance of benchmarks to support manager development, by Tweetchat participant.

When asked, how managers build pride and belonging in their teams? By raising the bar, making the work enjoyable, having fun together; adopting growth plans, coaching them, culturally tying them up for a unified purpose and delivering well; critically aligning to organisational vision, ensuring all team members are driving in the same direction and not cross purpose are the few things that the panel highlighted.

Moving the session forward, there were a couple of questions that pushed to drive attention to the strategic realms of business.

When asked about the best strategy for a manager to maintain a balance between task and relationship at work, by a tweeter, Rajesh shared a similar line of thought when constructing their response. Rajesh tweeted that incorporating both aspects (task and relationship) closely, to “Work on relationships all the time and empower tasks with clarity to the team and act as influencer”.

Mayuri Chakraborty, asked the Times Ascent panel, “Is Strategic HRM gaining any importance in the modern Indian Corporate?”

As the entire panel responded in a unified and resounding Yes! She questioned each one further, in identifying of different ways it does. Rajesh identifies “Strategic HR to come with digital, innovation and analytics now; customers (being a) part of the HR process flow.” Another panel member addressed the question, by emphasising on its importance in creating value for HR, while the other one expressed more about its incredible capacity in helping organisations align business priorities to attraction/engagement and retention drivers.

The session concluded with a question raised by active participant of the session, on how important 'individual credibility' of a manager is. The other panellists and Rajesh acknowledged it to be the absolutely important. Rajesh extended the comment by identifying it as ‘the core fulcrum of all’.