Prior to starting my own company I worked under the wonderful Girish Kumar Navani, a man who taught me so much about business and someone who really helped to shape my future. One of the greatest attributes which Girish Navani had, and something which I was very happy to learn from him was his ability to motivate the people. We worked in sales at that time which is of course an industry where motivating the workforce is crucial to success. Girish Navani would whip the team up into such a frenzy that they would be ready to run through a burning building for him and to be honest, it was an absolute privilege to watch. I learned so much about motivation from him and here is how he went about it.
What impressed me the most about the way in which he would motivate people was the way in which he could identify what kind of motivation a person needed, and then he could adapt his styles based on that. Girish Navani was the master at this and he would be able too recognize when someone needed to be shouted at to get them going, whether someone needed to be incentivized using the carrot and the stick theory, as well as understanding when it was time to put his arm around someone in order to gently encourage them. Not everyone reacts the same to motivation and this was an important lesson which Girish taught me.
I always considered motivation to be the way in which you talked to someone or the words which you used but Girish Navani taught me that prior to any of that, you must be respected by your team. Respect is not something that is easy to achieve of course, and it starts with giving respect and valuing people. You must also lead by example to gain respect from people and that is something which Girish did every day of his working life. He would often tell me that without respect you could be the greatest motivator in the world, yet the team would still not feel as motivated as they would with someone that had gained that respect already.
When Girish Navani would give us the morning briefing, the first opportunity of the day to motivate the sales team, he would speak with such passion and fervor that it was actually infectious. I was stunned that he was able to do this day after day but it didn’t matter what was going on in his life, he would always be energetic in his delivery. This is something which Girish taught me that I have taken into my own business and whenever I speak to my team I will try to follow in his footsteps and speak with raw energy and passion in order to get the team going.
Motivation is something that everyone needs and this is why I will always refer to Girish Kumar Navani as the original Mr. Motivator, because he did it with aplomb.