Aditya Kalidindi is a Senior Engineering Leader with 19 years of experience leading high-performance teams of over 30 for Fortune 500 companies and early-stage startups with over US$800 million of measured business results.
Adi has experience building and scaling high throughput, low latency, large-scale distributed applications using the MACH architecture framework (Microservices, API First, Cloud-Native, and Headless).
Connect with Adi to learn more.
Listen to the Podcast Here, or Find it Wherever You Get Your Podcasts:
Here are Five Things We Cover:
- Leadership is not a career choice, but an inherent trait: Aditya emphasizes that leadership is not something you decide to pursue as a career, but rather an innate quality within a person. It is about having a deep passion for problem-solving and enabling others to succeed.
- The influence of early experiences: Aditya recalls how the visit of tech celebrity Bill Gates to his city sparked his interest in tech and engineering. This highlights the importance of exposure and inspiration in shaping one’s career path.
- Leadership beyond technical skills: Aditya believes that leadership extends beyond technical expertise. It involves enabling and supporting engineers and products within a company. It also requires understanding the needs and challenges of various stakeholders and finding ways to help them succeed.
- Leadership lessons from unexpected sources: Aditya draws on his theater background to illustrate a defining moment of leadership. When he forgot his line during a play, a fellow actor adjusted his own dialogue to allow Aditya to recover. This incident taught him the value of putting the collective success above individual recognition.
- Essential traits of a great leader: Aditya identifies curiosity, empathy, and a continuous learning mindset as key traits for effective leadership. Curiosity helps leaders approach challenges outside their comfort zone and understand the work of different team members. Empathy is crucial for understanding and addressing the concerns of diverse individuals. Finally, the commitment to lifelong learning ensures growth and adaptability in leadership roles.
Here are Three Actionable Takeaways From This Episode
- Leadership is not just a career choice, it’s an innate quality: According to Adi, leadership is not something you decide to pursue, but rather something that comes naturally to you. It is about trying, feeling deeply about a cause, and finding ways to showcase your leadership traits. This means that anyone can be a leader, regardless of their specific job title or industry. The actionable advice here is to embrace your own leadership potential and look for opportunities to demonstrate it within your company or organization.
- Foster curiosity as a leader: Adi emphasizes the importance of curiosity in leadership. As a leader, you will often find yourself outside of your comfort zone, working with experts in various fields. To succeed, it is crucial to approach work and challenges with a curious mindset. This means seeking to understand and learn from your team members and stakeholders. The actionable advice here is to cultivate curiosity by actively seeking out new knowledge, asking questions, and being open to different perspectives.
- Practice empathy in your leadership journey: Adi highlights empathy as another key trait of a great leader. As a leader, you will be working with individuals who may have different perspectives and concerns than your own. It is essential to empathize with their experiences and understand their needs. This will help you build strong relationships, foster collaboration, and create a supportive work environment. The actionable advice here is to practice active listening, show understanding, and put yourself in others’ shoes to better connect with and support your team members.