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Tech exec Lalit Dhingra shares leadership lessons in Global Atlanta’s Authors Amplified series

April 2022
Tech exec Lalit Dhingra shares leadership lessons in Global Atlanta’s Authors Amplified series

In Lalit Dhingra’s view, not everything about leadership can be learned in a book. In fact, in his 40- plus years building teams and growing businesses in the technology sector, experience has been his most constant teacher.

[Left] Author Lalit Dhingra with Aurora Perez of Global Atlanta.

Nonetheless, Dhingra chose to set down his insights in a self-published tome he sees as countering a dogmatic strain in books and courses which present leadership as a skill to be mastered academically rather than acquired on a lifelong journey.

During a March 9 interview at the law offices of Arnall Golden Gregory, the former president of NIIT Technologies in the Americas spoke about his book Driven: A Journey to Leadership, reflecting on how he overcame education and career obstacles on an odyssey that led him from India to Atlanta in the late 1990s. He retired in 2018 after 28 years with the company, having built its U.S. business into a thriving software provider with massive multinational clients here and beyond.

The event was the latest in international business news service Global Atlanta’s Authors Amplified series, sponsored by the Atlanta Global Studies Center which is jointly run by Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State University.

In the interview, as also his book, Dhingra explained that budding leaders should focus on developing underrated “soft skills” that universities aren’t necessarily teaching in the classroom—attributes like communication, collaboration, empathy, respect, and transparency.

Weaving examples of successes and failures into Socratic dialogues with family members, mentors, clients, and employees (some with names changed) recounted throughout the book, Dhingra outlines the importance of listening, how a love of tennis sharpened his business acumen, how mentors can help defy limitations, and how preparedness makes room for luck.

“I realized if you work hard, luck follows you,” he told Global Atlanta Managing Editor Trevor Williams during a wide-ranging interview.

During an audience question-and-answer session, Dhingra tackled the future of post-pandemic work, advice for early-career technologists, and how to use intentional social interactions to engender humility and combat ingrained biases, whether across regional stereotypes within India, racial identity in the U.S., or age gaps within companies.

The links to the interview as well as the interview summary by Global Atlanta are available on the Khabar website

—Trevor Williams

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