I recently had the opportunity to witness a short, but inspiring presentation by Vinay Nadig on Leadership Dharma. Vinay’s approach to leadership was simple and exciting and reminded everyone that leadership happens at every level of an organization.  He breaks his approach down into an easy to remember acronym HEAT, standing for being Humble, Exceptional, Authentic & Transparent.

In the workplace, and in the interview process, we are often trying to identify potential leaders or those with leadership skills.  Vinay’s approach to defining how we lead makes perfect sense for many organizations trying to secure top talent.

Everyone can be a leader, and every company would do well to cultivate a culture of leaders under this premise.  Imagine how ‘hot’ your organization would be if you were to HEAT up your hiring process by identifying or coaching for these four traits in the interview process.


To be humble is to be modest.  It is an attribute that one shows respect and courtesy to others with.  In every company you want team players.  Whether their contribution is solo or collaborative, misplaced arrogance has little place in a business that wants to motivate and cultivate all of its employees to strive to produce results they are proud of each day.


Vinay quotes Peter Drucker on his blog which is very fitting, “Work is an extension of personality.  It is achievement. It is one of the ways in which a person defines himself, measures his worth, and his humanity.” Exceptional people produce exceptional results.  Candidates who take great pride and care in their work are more likely to generate outstanding outcomes because they, “Own the outcome, not the task,” as Vinay puts it.


Authenticity refers to being genuine.  It encompasses the ideas of truthfulness, sincerity, devotion, and clarity of our intentions.  How can you identify an authentic person or candidate?  Authentic people generally have great listening skills and pay attention to the needs of others.  They have integrity and they treat others fairly and justly the way they themselves wish to be treated in return.


When a person is transparent, you understand their motivation and reasoning behind their actions.  In a company, this is a skill needed at every level for effective communication between teams and management.  Transparency implies openness and accountability.  In every organization you want team members who step up and take action and responsibility for their successes and their failures so that they can learn and grow and continue to achieve.

Ready to see how you can HEAT up your hiring?  Why not start by ‘BET‘ting on yourself first by Being Exceptional Today. Vinay has a great, quick tool on his blog to assess how hot your own leadership dharma is  here.  Use it also as a reminder of the qualities you want to look for in your next hire, too!

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