In this instalment of Monday Motivation, Anshuman Magazine, the 57-year-old chairman and CEO incharge of the India, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa regions for CBRE, a commercial real estate service and investment company talks about his ideas of mentorship, and how over the pandemic he took more responsibility of his health. Edited excerpts.
Who do you consider your mentor and why?
I’ve realized that ‘life’ itself has been my greatest mentor. Every situation is a teacher, all we must do is be willing to ‘listen, and learn’.
One major insight from such guidance?
In a crisis, ‘action’ is more important than strategy. Always prioritise employees, and streamline strategy in due time. This philosophy held firm ground during COVID. At times, one cannot be driven by ranks or hierarchy — what is required is ‘taking charge’ and ‘acting swiftly’.
What does being a mentor mean to you? How do you mentor your colleagues at work?
To me, a mentor is an all-weather trusted advisor. Timely support and advice are what a mentee seeks from a mentor. I always keep my bandwidth available to advice colleagues to maintain this two-way relationship since our professional lives don’t operate in silos. With my mentor hat on, I focus on instilling confidence in the mentee and pushing for goals.
What's your morning schedule like?
I try and make time everyday for morning yoga – it has slowly integrated into my daily regime. It has a soothing, yet re-energizing effect on me.
What's the one positive work routine you have developed during the pandemic?
I’ve regained a sense of responsibility towards my health over the last two years - I’ve realized the healthier I am, the more productive and efficient I’m at work. Despite by work schedule, that’s spread across different time zones, I try to eat right, and most importantly on-time most of the days. I also understand how nutritious my food needs to be versus just being organic.
Any book or podcast on mentorship and workplace growth you would recommend?
I recently read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. One of my favourite things about the book is that it makes you think more critically about seemingly random circumstances and occurrences.
How do you unwind? Do you pursue any serious hobbies?
I like to unwind by listening to music. I like different genres of music—jazz and Indian classical are my favourite. I also appreciate good cinema. I’m a big fan of the select gems such as Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, Chupke Chupke (1975); and several Iranian movies as well. I can enjoy a good game of golf any day. As Tom Watson puts it, “Golf is a game of ego, but it is also a game of integrity: the most important thing is, you do what’s right when no one’s looking."
What are some of the productivity principles you follow that have made your professional and personal life much easier?
The most important one is time management. I make an effort not to overspend but make the most of the allocated time for tasks. I believe this makes life much easier. Being productive requires a sense of purpose for each task, and setting indicators of success is equally important. Apart from these, I set my priorities for my work and have outsourced several small tasks by using daily tech tools that assist me in planning the day and setting reminders for important tasks.
What's one of the best investments you have made till now and why?
My people at CBRE are my assets and biggest investments till date. I have grown because of my people, who have yielded far greater value than any investment I could have ever made.
Monday Motivation is a series featuring founders, business leaders and creative individuals who tell us about the people they look up to and their work ethics.