How Manbir Kaur is helping technology leaders achieve sustainable growth through Rootz Leadership Solutions
Name of Business
Rootz Leadership Solutions
Number of employees
I only employ part-time professionals on a need basis.
I specialize in executive and leadership coaching for leaders in Technology organizations
1. Hello! Who are you and what expertise-based business do you own?
My name is Manbir Kaur, I am an Executive and Leadership Coach. My business is called ‘Rootz Leadership Solutions’.
I help Technology leaders achieve sustainable growth for themselves, their teams, and organizations. My decade long coaching practice has been built on 15 years of experience as a corporate professional. I help these professionals achieve their potential by aligning their and the organization’s aspirations to actions. I believe in human-to-human connections and human conversations. I have been trained by the best and make sure that my clients get the best too.
In any situation, we always have influence over one element: Ourselves! Together, with my clients, we identify the ‘actionable’. Action brings change. I help leaders achieve their potential and also help them build highly effective, agile, ‘autonomous’ teams. I also help professionals ‘get unstuck, make progress again and reach leadership roles.
2. What were you doing before starting this business and what is it that you wanted to accomplish?
I started my career as a retail banking professional even though I had my degree in Computer Applications. This was because in Amritsar, where I was born and brought up in did not have many opportunities for technology professionals. After my marriage, I moved to the national capital region and completed my master’s in computer applications and achieved the career switch to IT. I then continued to work in the IT industry for tech giants such as Oracle and Fiserv, where I worked in various capacities. I got opportunities to work with various global clients and also travel to work in different countries. In my last role at Fiserv, I was leading the Banking Center of Excellence and was responsible for skilling up a large team of professionals from across various client segments.
I realized that technical skills and knowledge are not really the biggest gaps holding back people from excellence. I was intrigued by the differences between leaders and wondered why some were really inspiring. That is when I took the call to move into the wonderful world of coaching. I have been helping professionals for more than a decade now. I have continued to work on myself and have acquired skills, knowledge, and certifications to help my clients achieve their potential. I have also written two books, (“Are You The Leader You Want To Be?” and “Get Your Next Promotion”) contributed to HBR & other global publications, and run my own video talk series around growth mindset conversations. I aim to help millions of professionals from across the world.
3. What insight led you to start this business?
I have worked for different leaders, and I was intrigued by how some leaders are very effective. As I was working with professionals for their development, I found that many of them were lacking some key skills and abilities that were crucial for success but were struggling to make breakthroughs.
Most of them were running low on self-awareness. As I looked deeper into it, I came across coaching and realized that I can help many people achieve their potential. That is when I left my job and started my third career as a Coach. My coaching approach is based on four elements: Aspirations-Awareness-Accountability-Action. I am a thought partner for my clients and help them generate deep awareness, inspire them to take action, reflect back, and continue generating awareness and most importantly results!
4. How did you acquire your early customers, and validate your market?
It took me some time before I finalize my Niche. Initially, I was offering coaching for professionals to achieve their potential and had not narrowed it down to any profile. I also offered leaders coaching on building highly engaged teams as well as high-performance teams. I was fortunate to work with Andrew Neitlich from the Center for Executive Coaching, USA. He helped me to create my own frameworks and also helped me come to a conclusion that while I can help any professional, my skills and my background help me relate much better to technology professionals.
That is when I started focusing on professionals from the technology domain. As my frameworks started producing results for many, I wrote my first book, “Are You The Leader You Want To Be?”. The book shares one of my very successful frameworks called the HUMAN Leadership framework. The book has found readers all over the world. It has got some amazing reviews and feedback on amazon and other sites. The book also got shortlisted among the top 5 business books in India.
5. What were some big setbacks in your early journey?
Getting clients initially was very tough. I had always been a successful professional and as such this initial phase as a solopreneur was a very tough one for me. I used to meet potential clients in coffee shops and realized that while they were a great place for an initial meeting, they did not offer a private enough space for deeper discussions.
I then decided to invest in my own office space. This was a great benefit. I also hired a full-time professional who helped me with my social media and client follow-ups which helped me set things up. Now I have changed the model again, I outsource some pieces of work to relevant professionals who are well trained to handle the roles.
6. What were the big achievements after your early journey?
As I started focusing on my niche, I made better progress. Over time I started getting clients through word-of-mouth. One of the big achievements was to write my first book ‘Are You’re the Leader You Want To?’. The book was well received and acknowledged. It was also nominated as one of the best 5 business books for the C K Prahlad business book award in 2019.
7. Which tools were useful in growing your business?
I use Hootsuite, Mailchimp and Streamyard as of now. These tools were simple and effective and fit my use appropriately.
8. What habits and systems did you build for your growth and transformation as an entrepreneur?
One of the very important habits I have developed is to continue investing in my own development. From time to time, I have done various certifications, courses, and have worked with Coaches and mentors.
A lot of internal churning has happened since I started my entrepreneurship journey. Multiple shifts have happened, and I have evolved over the last decade. I have challenged myself multiple times on my beliefs and mindset and worked on my growth.
9. Which books, podcasts, blogs or newsletters have influenced your work the most?
There are various books, blogs or newsletters, that have helped me in different phases of my life as an entrepreneur.
I am a fan of Marshall Goldsmith’s work and do follow his work. His work definitely has influenced me. I am also inspired by Indra Nooyi and Sheryl Sandberg.
10. What advice would you give to a 5-years younger self?
Do not try to be perfect every time. There is nothing called Perfection.
Acknowledge yourself for the efforts you are putting in, for the work you are doing.
11. Where can we learn more about you and your business?