Leadership is a character not a skill, it is more about empowering others: Nikita More

We, at Adgully, have always saluted and honoured women managers and leaders across diverse fields. W-SUITE is a special initiative from Adgully that has been turning the spotlight on some of the most remarkable women achievers in M&E, Advertising, Marketing, PR and Communications industry. In the refurbished series, we seek to find out how women leaders have been managing their teams and work as well as how they have been navigating through the toughest and most challenging times brought about by the global pandemic.

Nikita More is Associate Director of Marketing at Morningstar India (a US-headquartered global research house on mutual funds), where she is spearheading marketing. She has been associated with the company for over a decade. Today, Morningstar is recognised as the most credible and preferred brand among both, retail and institutional investors.

In addition to her leadership role at Morningstar India, More pursues her passion for yoga and shooting. Recently, she won the silver medal for pistol shooting at the Maharashtra State Shooting Championship.

In conversation with Adgully, Nikita More speaks about gender equality and equality in the new normal, life lessons from the pandemic, women shining in crisis management, and more.

How do you think the role and scope of women leaders has widened in the current market ecosystem?

The opportunities in India today have not only spurred almost all sectors of commerce, but also shattered the glass ceiling in many ways. Gender equality has gone from being a label to a reality in the corporate world to a great extent, and while more needs to be done to really walk the talk, I think women have more platforms to showcase their talent as entrepreneurs, marketers, researchers, IT professionals, developers, scientists and more.

What has been your major learning from the pandemic period?

I think the pandemic helped me realise what really matters. This is true of both personal and professional life. Being morally and ethically strong is more important that maintaining a ‘show’. Working long hours isn’t as important as working smart and so is keeping the long-term in view instead of just short-term success.

What is your mantra for maintaining a successful work life-balance in the new normal? According to you, what makes women the best in crisis management?

I think work-life balance is not a one-person job! For men and women to have it, it takes the help from the household – be it your partner, your parents, your kids, or your roommates! Everyone pulling their weight is what leads to work-life balance as is having support from your teams and bosses in the professional sphere.

What makes women shine in crisis management is simply our experience in juggling multiple balls. When there are so many things to worry about, to manage, where is the time in losing sight of what really needs to get done and freaking out? I think women’s experience in being on top of a variety of things simply helps us be calm during a crises and get down to brass tacks without losing sight of the end goal.

What are the five most effective leadership lessons that you have learned?

Quantifying my learnings won’t do justice as the journey is still on. I have learned and am still learning many lessons by listening to and observing my mentors and leaders at Morningstar. Leadership is a character not a skill, it is more about empowering others to live up to their potential using all of their abilities rather than commanding. Leader can achieve great success if one focuses on getting the work done rather than worrying about who gets the credit. Leadership is about taking complex and making it simple, it is about helping others plan and visualise the future.

Gender sensitivity and inclusion in the new normal – how can organizations effectively encourage and groom women leaders in challenging times?

I think the only way to encourage women is simply to hire more of them! Women can lead instinctively, but some support via professional courses, hands-on experience and leadership training is what can help them go from good to great. There’s no better learning than practical learning and while more women are attending B-School, it is actual work experience that matters. I think women can reach the stars if they have a platform to hone their skills and showcase their talent.


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