Aligning Your Work and Values to Avoid Burnout with Shailesh Mangal

In this episode of the B2B Leadership podcast, best-selling author and leadership coach Nils Vinje speaks with Shailesh Mangal, VP of Engineering at Roambee Corporation.
In this episode...

0:23 - Shailesh's background - Shailesh explains his role at Roambee Corporation.

1:09 - Use cases for the Roambee Corporation solution - What type of industry do they work within?
3:15 - First leadership position - Shailesh has always been part of the startup ecosystem.
6:45 - Core leadership philosophies - What has Shailesh learned through his experiences?
10:50 -Work fulfillment - What needs to happen from a work standpoint to avoid burnout?
15:13 - Advice to build fulfillment - A large number in the professional world probably don't feel too fulfilled with their jobs.
17:57 - Keeping the big picture in mind - How do you juggle keeping the big picture together with appreciating the smaller things?
21:17 - Integrating strategy - Keeping sight of moving forward while also letting go of old processes can be challenging.
24:10 - OKRs within OKRs - How does Shailesh remind individuals of how important small tasks are to bigger-picture goals?
27:32 - Recognizing leadership characteristics - What qualities is Shailesh looking for in an individual?
31:15 - Shailesh's advice to himself - What advice would Shailesh give his younger self?

Connect with Shailesh Mangal: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shaileshmangal/

Learn more about Roambee Corporation at https://www.roambee.com/

Learn more about your own leadership style at:
https://www.30dayleadership.com/

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A lot of people probably have reached the point of burnout multiple times in their career.

Burnout in any role, especially in leadership, is a risk that you must be aware of and mitigate.

In this episode, Shailesh Mangal shares his advice on how to avoid burnout altogether.

Shailesh's background

Shailesh Mangal is the VP of Engineering at Roambee Corporation, a data company focusing on collecting sensor data used for harnessing data intelligence. This data intelligence is then used by their clients to make day-to-day decisions, trends, analyses, and predictions for the future.

Use cases for the Roambee Corporation solution

Roambee Corporation covers a variety of solutions but the best fit for their solution is the supply chain.

They provide complete end-to-end visibility in the areas of logistics and warehouses. They use their sensors and devices in the platform to gather data about the quality, movement, different types of delays, and conditions involved in the entire supply chain.

First leadership position

Shailesh got into his first leadership role after he co-founded a startup company with his friend. He did not get it right after they built their company though. He got the position after about four years.

His job title was a senior architect at a startup company he co-founded and his friend was the CEO. They also brought in another person as the CTO to have the right levels in the company, but he only stayed for a year. Then the CTO position remained vacant afterward.

After about four years since they founded their startup company, Shailesh's job title remained the same. Then one weekend, as he and his friend, the CEO, were driving back from a meeting, they talked about the CTO position being vacant for a long time but did not come to a decision of who to assign as the new CTO.

When Shailesh reported for work by Monday after that weekend, he saw his job title changed from senior architect to CTO and VP of Engineering on their company website.

This was Shailesh's first official leadership position. Although he had been doing this role for a while now, he didn't really worry about the title. He just focused on the job.

Shailesh shares this advice: "Never wait to do the job ahead of you until you get to that job. Do what you think you need to do and take responsibility."

Core leadership philosophies

One of the core leadership principles that Shailesh has on his list and is getting missed out most of the time is being burned out or the work life balance as others call it.

He has seen people who have worked 20 hours a day but are happy and successful. He has also seen people who have only exceeded 3 hours on their 8-hour day but are already feeling bogged down.

There are people who are not able to derive satisfaction from the work that they're doing because their self fulfillment and sense of success are not connected with their work, hence their work becomes a burden.

You need to bridge the gap between what you do and the satisfaction that you want to achieve.

Burnout is the result of not being fulfilled in your work.

Make your 8-hour day count towards your personal fulfillment and success. This will give you a lot more happiness than just having the feeling of burnout.

When you are fulfilled at work, you will feel more excited and enthusiastic to do the things that you want to do outside work.

Work fulfillment

Oftentimes, people lay the emphasis of work fulfillment in the form of success or failure, which is a bit flawed, because many of these factors are not in your control. Identify these factors that you do not control and shift these factors into something that you control so that you can get that feeling of fulfillment at any point in time.

Self-fulfillment can be achieved every day if you keep yourself aligned with your personal goals. You don't need an external fulfillment factor. You just have to determine what is success and what is a failure within you and you will feel fulfilled on a more consistent basis over time.

Advice to build fulfillment

A lot of people in the professional world probably don't feel too fulfilled with their jobs.

Shailesh's advice for those people in that situation is to think big.

Many times people become so task-focused that they miss the forest for the trees. People miss or don't care about the big picture.

It's important to keep the big picture in mind to see what is the objective and the purpose. If you align with the objective and the purpose, the task suddenly becomes a lot more interesting. If you align yourself and extend the boundaries of each task that you do, it will change how you perceive something.

Every aspect of people's life has some meaningful connection. If there is none, then it is not the right place for you. If it truly is not the right environment for you, and there's no chance of finding fulfillment, it's okay to leave.

You are not beholden to any organization or any role your entire life. You are in control. You are the CEO of your career.

Keeping the big picture in mind

How does Shailesh juggle keeping the big picture together with appreciating the smaller things?

He puts a framework in place from the planning stage itself, specifically when he's going from strategy to execution.

When people are strategizing, they choose one path and when they are walking the path, they completely forget the strategy itself. They continue down the path and as they run into the roadblocks, they spend and waste so much time in getting the roadblocks off, and then after a reasonable amount of time, they think of going back or see if there is another way to go around.

Many teams end up spending a lot of time on this. To avoid this from happening, keep a framework in mind and do periodic check-ins. Even if you've missed it, the very simple rule of thumb that you can keep for yourself when you're fighting a problem is to ask if the problem is even worth fighting for.

Another piece of advice from Shailesh is to acknowledge the fact that there are people who are smarter than you and have done what you are trying to do. So, collaborate. Ask questions. Don't be shy. There is no stupid question. Go around and find it out.

There are a lot of good people who have gone through what you are going through, and they'll be more than happy to provide some ideas and suggestions. Go ask them.

Integrating strategy

Keeping sight of moving forward while also letting go of old processes can be challenging.

How does Shailesh effectively handle this as the leader of the organization?

They started a program called OKR. In the beginning, they put everything on the list because it was exciting and new. They had a long list of OKRs, only to find out they couldn't get it all done because it became a lot more task-oriented.

Over the years, they have learned that OKRs cannot be tasks. You need to really align yourself with the objectives. So they scaled it back.

Now they're at three company-wide OKRs and every department has three department-level OKRs that roll up to the company and any task that comes off of that has to tie back to the department OKR, which ultimately ties back to the company-wide OKR.

OKRs within OKRs

How does Shailesh remind individuals of how important small tasks are to bigger-picture goals?

They conduct a weekly check-in within their department to see if they're on track or off track. Then, in the middle of the quarter, they check progress company-wide so that they know where everybody is with their OKRs and how they align with the company objectives.

In those checkpoints, they look at the amount of effort being spent in the planned versus unplanned areas.

Recognizing leadership characteristics

What leadership characteristics are Shailesh looking for in an individual?

One of the leadership characteristics on Shailesh's list is the ability to collaborate with others. The ability to grasp concepts fast, adjust to the environment you are in and collaborate with others because you can't win it alone.

Collaboration is an important leadership skill.

Another one is fearlessness. Someone who takes risks and who can figure out the ways to fail fast because, with failures, you learn what doesn't work, and what remains is what will work.

Failures are inevitable, whether you shy away or take them on. The best way to innovate is to fail fast and then move to the right ones.

You need to have the mindset that failure is okay. You can't be overprotected every single time.

Shailesh's advice to himself

Shailesh's advice to his younger self is to take chances. There are big risks and the earlier you take risks in your life, the more you gain without losing much.

When you are young, you have nothing to lose. You may not have success, but you will have a lot of knowledge.

Go all out. Make it happen. You can do it.

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