This is the Impact of Hiring On Purpose.
Y Scouts is dedicated to bringing you Impact Stories from leaders all over the country who are driven by purpose, committed to authenticity, relentless learners, and driving results. We can all learn from these leaders and how they influence successful outcomes with their intentional leadership style.
It’s been almost two years since Y Scouts placed Suraj Monhandas at Spear Education through our recruiting process. As the Vice-President of Customer Success for Spear, Suraj is tasked with supporting Spear’s dental clients through a combination of subscription-based products and hands-on campus courses. He leads over 40 people and believes it’s their job to truly understand the ecosystem of their customers and utilize a consultative approach to optimize each customer interaction and enable each of them to realize their practice goals.
In reviewing Suraj’s LinkedIn profile, it’s easy to see why, on paper, he’s as strong as they come from a candidate perspective. Due to his multiple, varied postgraduate degrees, his tenure and progression at companies in different stages of growth, and his ongoing commitment to process adhesion, he lines up perfectly to what most companies would look for when hiring an executive to lead their team. But what you can’t see on paper, is what makes Suraj genuinely exceptional.
At Y Scouts, we use our Leadership Model to identify distinctive, values-driven leaders. We work with clients to find the best leader for their specific role, by identifying demonstrated proof points of candidates’ capabilities in Developing Others, Learning Relentlessly, and Driving Results. It’s clear that each of these foundational leadership principles is very much a part of Suraj’s daily practice and critical to how his presence has impacted the larger organization.
Spear is continually innovating to create additional offerings for their clients, and Suraj and his team are at the very heart of it. When we asked him how he leads through the “dizzying pace of change,” that we see in so many growing companies, he related that “At Spear, we have been focused on creating an execution mindset to achieve our goals. It’s critical that we are individually and organizationally intentional about our daily habits.” He went on to say that, “Our success is dependent on our leadership team’s ability to bring cohesion to our larger teams and ensure that each member understands how they contribute to the bigger picture – which is our customers and their success.”
Suraj explained that his team is unique with varied professional backgrounds and a range of tenures. Because of that variety, his methods for helping people connect to Spear’s goals cannot be “one size fits all.” As an example of this, he shared that recently one of his direct reports articulated the desire for growth and development on a specific topic that was not readily available within the organization. In support of this individual’s progression, Suraj was able to use his connections with faculty members at ASU and offer this individual an opportunity to “get outside of the building” to learn a new skill set through a workshop. This individual came back from the experience and enthusiastically shared the learnings with the team, contributing to the professional growth of both the individual and the greater organization. Suraj believes that allowing individuals the space to learn relentlessly by investing in their development, enhances collective innovation and constant evolution.
When we asked Suraj to describe how he balances holding his team accountable to driving results while still keeping a strong, supportive culture he shared that he believes that “When we hire great people, and they have the tools and resources they need to support the organizational goals, it isn’t an either/or scenario. Holding people accountable doesn’t have to breed toxicity in the company. It’s truly about shared understanding.” He went to on say, “We had a very strong second half of 2018, and that is a result of our focus. When everyone on the team knows their metrics, is committed to the agility it takes to make necessary changes, and keeps our customers at the center of everything we do, we will continue to deliver excellent results.”
As we closed our time together, we asked Suraj for any advice he would give to other leaders who may be at the start of his/her journey in a different opportunity or new leadership role, and he shared these thoughts:
- Know the business inside out. Immerse yourself in the product (or services) you offer and spend time understanding your customers.
- Know the people you are leading. Their ability to execute effectively will directly tie to your ability to understand and guide them.
- Know your critical few priorities. Take “manageable bites” your first few months, give yourself the space to absorb your new professional environment, and be aware of your limits while taking on additional responsibilities.
We are grateful for the opportunity to have partnered with Spear to bring such an impactful professional in Suraj to their executive team. With this commitment to creating continual customer value, intentionality in developing individuals on the team, and focus on daily execution we do not doubt that Spear will continue to see tremendous success in the years to come.
Are you desiring more significant results for your business to grow? Y Scouts is here to help you find your next exceptional leader. Let’s Connect.