Shivani Gupta is a leader that has devoted more than 10 years of her career to helping others be great leaders.
The Chief Passion Officer and founder of Hunter‚Äìbased leadership and coaching firm Passionate People Institute and owner of two endota spas believes the key to effective leadership is love and passion.
When she is not coaching leaders, Shivani is speaking and writing about leadership, business and personal development as in this fast paced world, leaders also need to be able to find peace and balance in their work and personal lives.
For a snapshot of our audio interview with Shivani Gupta, please view the above video.
To read the edited interview transcript, please see below.
- What path led you to your current role?
I was a highly paid, MBA qualified, executive with a great car, house and I got to travel the world.
My trade is as an electrical engineer, but what I decided I really wanted to do was work with people
However I was working long hours and was not satisfied with my work and relationship. I was not happy. I did not love myself and was not passionate about what I was doing.
So after working in engineering and management for about seven years I decided to set up my own business. I could see how much more influence there was working with people one-one-one.
I started Passionate People Institute once I realised I was passionate about inspiring, challenging and transforming people to live the lives they dream about. I wanted to create a bigger ripple in the world.
- If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be?
Unfortunately in Australia we don’t have a lot of regulations around who calls themselves coaches. I think to be able to work with people one-on-one, whether you’re doing person or executive leadership levels it would be great if we had more regulations and a minimum of 10-15 years experience in the industry.
I’d like to see better education, accreditation and systems to help people to understand the benefits of coaching. That would also weed out the many unskilled people calling themselves a coach these days.
You need years of ongoing training and development to become an effective coach. The fact that every man, woman and their dog calling is calling themselves a coach does not help the industry.
- What tricks do you have to manage your priorities and your time?
One of thing I do is schedule a month out the key things I need to do ‚Äì the big initiatives.
I always make sure I have a day of planning each month which looks at strategically what the big-ticket items are that will help us move that business forward.
I take a fair bit of time out for my own balance to find my own inner peace, so I always spend some time each day to do a meditation and to do some yoga practice.
I can then get a bit centred and balanced – so I can practice what I preach!
- What do you believe makes business in the Hunter unique?
There are only two degrees of separation in the Hunter, not six!
I love the fact that in the Hunter we get an opportunity to run into the same people all the time. So we get an opportunity to build relationships and it’s almost like you stop and start relationships. So when I run into people I can ask how their child is, or how the end of year concert went, or about their trip overseas ‚Äì which you don’t often get to do in bigger cities.
I think that’s a beautiful and wonderful thing about the Hunter, that we get an opportunity to build those relationships over many months or years.
The benefit is that you get time to develop deeper relationships and you can also call on people to help get things done. Hunter people are very loyal so once you get a great client, they stick with you and become your advocate. A number of my clients I’ve had for the entire 12 years I’ve had the business.
- What local businessperson do you find inspiring?
I love the people that are able to run businesses and be entrepreneurs. I also love coming across people who have run a business for, say 25 years, in the Hunter. I just love the tenacity of that.
To be able to run a business when we know the drop-out rate is so high for small business in the first three years, to be able to sustain that and recreate who you are, and rebrand yourself and continue to add value, I just love the people who have been around for a long time.
I am inspired by leaders who are passionate and walk the talk. Leaders need to have fun but also know when to have tough conversations.
As a community we need to encourage people to be entrepreneurs. I find people who are willing to take risks, to do things differently, knowing they may fail, very inspiring.
- How do you define the difference between a Manager and a Leader?
A Leader sets the direction. A Manager sets the speed.
For example, the leader will say we’re going to go from Newcastle to Brisbane. The manager then sets the speed and decides if they are going to drive or fly and who they are going to take, what resources are required. The Manager looks after the things that require the attention to detail and are able to create and mange that process, to get them from Newcastle to Brisbane.