By Sridhar Solur
Executive Vice President and General Manager/ Chief Product Officer
SharkNinja

In the last two decades, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to build products and services for customers around the world. From very large computer and security networks for government to B2C music services, SAAS platforms (Cloudprint), IOT products-wearables/smartwatches, home security/automation and, consumer robots in the last 18 months. I have failed many times but here is a collection of my thoughts on what helped us succeed…

  1. First things first, always remember leadership has to be earned and is never ever bestowed. Earn your right to be a leader
  2. Have a consistent blue collared work ethic. You may be a genius but structured/consistent hard work beats everything
  3. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it and it will not get delivered. Know your OKR’s… or simply put, know very clearly what success looks like every day/week/month
  4. Don’t try to create a masterpiece.. Focus on progress v/s perfection
  5. If you are new to your job, in addition to drinking from a firehose, try to add value from day one and help your fellow stakeholders succeed. You will build a fan base very quickly
  6. Embrace ‘Black Box Thinking’.. Highlight failures so that everyone can learn from them and scream out loud so that it never happens again. This will also help you build a positive relationship with failure
  7. Perform pre-mortem’s.. Highlight all the things that can go wrong and proactively have plans to mitigate, manage or transfer those risks
  8. Be extraordinarily curious…Embrace and nurture a learning culture. Ask the second, third and the fourth derivative questions
  9. Don’t just think products, think ecosystems/platforms
  10. Be data driven and consumer centric.. Everything is a hypothesis unless validated by consumers
  11. Be rarely satisfied…Remember, your competition is always trying to make things better, faster and a lot cheaper every day. So optimize on small things everyday..
  12. Details and more details… Details make all the difference
  13. But don’t get lost in the trees…You need to know the big picture to track progress towards the goal
  14. Make sure you have the right team. Get the right people on the bus
  15. Have a burning desire to win but also remember that winning is a team sport
  16. Keep away from ruinous empathy, manipulation or aggressive behavior. Focus on communicating with radical candor. Everyone deserves honest feedback
  17. Be humble, be tenacious
  18. Take care of yourself and build the discipline to exercise your mind and body. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you help others
  19. Take care of your team…Celebrate victories, however often you fail..And enjoy your peaceful acres, however often they are turned into battlefields
  20. And, in every relationship, every conversation, every walk of life, never take more than you can give…

Sridhar Solur is a serial intrapreneur, business and technology leader with a consistent track record of incubating, building, growing and managing businesses in large organizations in a global capacity. A product creator and a technologist with a razor sharp focus on user experience, he is currently focused on Robotics, IoT and AI based industry/products.

Sridhar has highly effective people management abilities and possesses the know how to recruit, develop and lead high impact cross-geography teams focused on innovation and start-up ventures. Having lived and worked around the world, he brings significant international experience to all his endeavors.

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