When management coach Udayakumar ‘Uday’ Gopalakrishnan talks to HR heads who want him to train their people, he gives them a strange disclaimer — “At the end of the programme, some people may just end up quitting the company.” After all, you can’t have a two-day training session on unravelling your passion and unlocking your dreams and not risk losing people.
Now, you’d think that most HR heads would run for the hills when they hear a trainer say that, but in Uday’s case, it was the opposite, “They take it surprisingly well,” he says with a smile, “In fact, most of them have been with me since the very first time I did this ‘Inspire Passion’ programme. We’re now running it for the ninth time,” adds the XLRI alum with pride.
It is this veneer of confidence and underlying passion (obviously!) that has added sheen in Uday’s debut book — a whopping 326-pager titled What It Takes To Be A Leader With Passion, which has been climbing Amazon’s business literature charts steadily. “I’ve packed all my years of experience and thoughts and professional tips into 33 sections that will help you unlock your real passion,” he tells us.
To get better at corporate life, we venture? “Oh, not at all,” he laughs, “Sometimes people want to be bathroom singers, sometimes they want to try their hand at art. It can be anything really. The trick is to find the thing that unlocks that dream you have, makes you feel in the zone, and use that positivity to reinvigorate your professional life,” he explains, of a programme that is unique in that it asks people in mid to senior management to re-examine their lives.
Unlike most first-time authors, procrastination was never a problem for him. “About a year ago, I announced during a training programme in 2015 that I would launch my book on October 15, 2016,” he explains. Brave words. Especially as, at that time, all he had were the prologue and the epilogue and nothing else in between, he reveals jokingly.
The date would coincide with the 23rd anniversary of having started his company CORE MIND and his having trained a milestone 27,000 corporates. So it was a non-negotiable deadline. So, when push came to shove, he took a sabbatical for two months, locked himself in a room in Bengaluru and wrote up to three to four chapters a day. That did the trick and his publishers heaved a sigh of relief.
With a book in hand and lots of his ‘trainees’ eagerly promoting their passion-programmers work, Uday says that his next large challenge is finding a way to really get through to younger people in the corporate set up, “It’s taking a while because they’re a little unsettled and constantly shift focus, but one thing that I find really works is to insist that everyone surrenders their phones for the length of my programme,” he states somberly, “That way, they can either talk to me or other people there.”
Reach out: linkedin.com/udayakumar-g