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Updated 29 Feb 2020

Kumaran Padayachee: Leading from the front

Great leadership starts with you says founder and CEO of Spartan, Kumaran Padayachee.

05 December 2013  Share  0 comments  Print

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Kumaran Padayachee, founder and CEO of Spartan, is a big believer in personal productivity and fostering creativity in his staff. Here are his four secrets to success.

  1. Personal productivity is key. When you’re running a growing business, how you manage your time is crucial. One of Padayachee’s personal productivity secrets is multiple screens. “I read that Bill Gates had multiple computer screens set up on his desk,” he explains. “It struck me as brilliant productivity tool.” Today, Padayachee has four screens on his desk, and attests that it’s a huge time saver. “The first screen is Outlook. The second is the Internet, with multiple tabs open, including our Intranet, Google and LinkedIn. Then I have my calendar: It lists my appointments, reminders and lists, and gives me a constant perspective on my day, week and month. Finally, my forth screen is my current tasks screen – anything I’m working on at that moment. Keeping everything open in front of me means I’m not switching between tasks, and I don’t miss anything.”
  2. The power of LinkedIn. “I’m an avid networker and LinkedIn is an excellent way for me to manage my professional networks online,” he explains. “I encourage all business owners to read the book,The 42 Rules of LinkedIn Success.It’s an excellent guide on a social platform that is often underutilized. I’m at the top payment package, and the benefits are exponential. I use it to research competitors, customer segments and potential employees. In recruitment alone we saved over R60 000 in recruitment costs the first year on the platform, which paid for the subscription six times over.”
  3. Make use of multiple devices.“This is another great little productivity secret. No one device can do everything, and once you realise that, the decision to have multiple devices is an easy one. For me, productivity is my single most important goal. Always working with the right tech for the job plays a major role in staying productive. Tablets, smartphones and desktop PCs all have their place. What’s great is that Microsoft Exchange links them all together, and so anything I do on one is automatically updated across the rest.”

Pause areas promote creativity. “We’re a growing business and I expect my staff to perform, but I also understand that it’s up to me to create the ideal environment that promotes top results.

In line with this, I’m a firm believer that different spaces encourage different thought patterns. For example, operational tasks take place at my desk. If I want to think strategically, I need to have a different ‘thinking’ space. I therefore have a ‘pause’ chair in my office and at home where I can sit and simply think.

I use this same principle to encourage free thinking in the office. We’ve built pause areas throughout the building where staff can sit, take a breath, eat lunch – basically get away from their desks and think about things from a different perspective.

We’ve also got white boards everywhere. If an idea comes to an employee while they’re not at their desk, there’s a space for them to write the idea down and brainstorm it. Innovation doesn’t only come from the top. It should be engrained and encouraged throughout the organisation.”

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