Success is the ability to bounce back from failure without losing enthusiasm: Komal Lath

In today’s edition of ‘Women Achievers 2022: Emerging leaders’ series, Lath, Founder, Tute Consult, opens up about being a trendsetter and how leaders earn respect and not demand it

e4m by Shrabasti Mallik
Published: Mar 25, 2022 12:18 PM  | 6 min read
Komal Lath

Celebrating the contributions of women in the PR sector, exchange4media PR & Corp Comm is running a 'Women Achievers Series'. It will feature the journey, success and achievements of some of the top women leaders from the Public Relations and Corporate Communications fraternity as well as emerging women leaders of the industry.

Today’s 'Emerging Leaders' series features Komal Lath, Founder, Tute Consult, an integrated communications consultancy. A goal-driven person, have always tried to steer Tute as being an extension to our clients and having fun with what we do! On the bread side - Specialise in integrating Brand Communication, Strategic counsel, public relations and being the link for streamlining online, offline and holistic communications + imagery. On the butter side passionate about wildlife, climate change and women's rights.

A communications professional with over 19 years of experience, she is also a guest faculty at various institutes and speaks at communication colleges and forums. Her key strengths include driving large-scale influencer and consumer campaigns, public relations, consumer outreach programmes, corporate and brand communications, digital solutions and all touchpoints of communication outreach and messaging.

Excerpts from the interview:

Now that the industry is opening up workplaces and resuming operations from the office, what are the initiatives, measures and precautions that should be adapted/ taken to ensure a smooth transition? 

With the pandemic ebbing, we are looking forward to a stellar year(s) of work, life and play! Although almost 60 percent of our population is fully vaccinated, the transition from work from home to work from office is to be dealt with utmost sensitivity. Post-pandemic, there is a steep rise in anxiety and depression, and we have already started work three times a week but we do watch out for signs of burnout, anxiety or emotional detachment.

As a people-first organisation, apart from the hygiene and safety at the workplace, emotional stability and fear concerns are what we are addressing. Flexibility to pick leaves, timings and also, most importantly, creating a no-pressure environment has been accepted very well. Hybrid working styles, wellness leaves, taking care of their smaller needs and also ensuring help at bay if needed are some of the steps we have taken.

The last 20 months have been trying for every professional, especially with the hybrid working model. How did you strike a balance between office work and household duties?

When the pandemic struck, work from home was an undiscovered territory for most and hence the upheaval was felt by all-whether family members or employees and support teams. Private and professional boundaries blurred and it was, over time, normal to hear food being prepared, background sounds, children and pets etc over video calls. It was especially challenging for a lot of team members who stayed in joint families and had to do calls sitting on kitchen platforms or a quiet corner, which was almost impossible.

A mix of brevity, patience and empathy is what really helped us navigate through the last years. We did open the office in phases starting with a day moving to two and now three. Household duties were, of course, difficult to manage but the bright side is we learned how to do basic things, which we took for granted like cooking, cleaning and managing expectations. Personally, for me, I would ensure downtime of at least 30 minutes for walks/ exercise and meditation daily else the stress can only harm and not help.

Keeping your work-life balance at the forefront of your mind while continuing to contribute effectively and productively to your job gives you the best of both worlds.

Women have been carving a niche for themselves and paving the way in the communications industry for the next generation of women leaders to follow. Tell us about your achievements and your contribution to the fraternity.

Achievements for me cannot be marked through awards or accolades. True glory is with the impact you have made in your lifetime and if your teams, fraternity and your clients laud you for the work you have done.

In the field of communications, women tend to be having an edge due to some intrinsic factors like the ability to be calm in situations, multi-tasking, empathy quotients and natural-born leadership traits. This combined with a hunger to make a difference can really be a strong distinguishing factor.

In our field, we broke several archaic norms whether it be the definition of how much ‘pr can be’ by picking and bagging more integrated communications mandates to start influencer marketing nine years back when it had not been heard of. In the current environment also, we have always been trendsetters and not followers - be it the measurement system or the way we create experiences and immersions for brands which were earlier thought to be only ‘an event agency’s’ job.  We are in the process of trying to trademark some communication templates, which will serve future generations to ease the planning and also we work with a strong global network to help build and showcase our country’s immense work.   

What are the roadblocks that you have had to overcome to reach where you are today? What, according to you, are the makings of a leader

Life’s greatest lessons are embedded in your biggest failures. Embrace your losses with the right mindset and it will be your biggest mentor on this journey. Success is the ability to bounce back from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm; the determination to achieve something beyond our wildest dreams.

Roadblocks were a part of my long journey, there was a fear of failing, feeling of being stuck at one place and feeling lost at times but there are no shortcuts to success, and sacrifices must be taken! The key to success is your mental state of focus and your willingness to make sacrifices in order to be patient for the appropriate opportunity to arrive!

Don't try to sweep failure under the rug or avoid your losses. They teach you a lot. Whenever you start dwelling on your failure, take a deep breath and look at it from fresh eyes, your losses can teach you the most important lessons in life if you approach them correctly. And leaders earn respect not demand it. A statement that will always stand the test of time for me.

What would be your advice to the young generation?

Chase your passion, everything else will follow. Many people advise college graduates to obtain a job solely to pay the bills, which isn't the best advice because you won't survive long if you do. The secret to success of the world’s most successful people is their passion towards their work or profession. Their passion drove them to be more than what anyone thought a human could achieve.

My advice also is don't jump steps…you have to build a strong foundation which happens only with years of experience and those important steps if skipped, is only going to spell doom later. Lastly, while it may be tough not to, recognize imposter syndrome and avoid it like plague!

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