June 17, 2022

OS, products, innovation and coaching with K Nageswar Rao (KNR)

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OS, products, innovation and coaching with K Nageswar Rao (KNR)
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Show Notes

In this episode, K Nageswara Rao – known as KNR – shares his story and experiences related to:

  • Four threads related to his career
  • Individual contributor, team leader
  • Connecting digital switches in the telecom industry; each switch being a digital exchange
  • Traveling to locations that he is not supposed to talk about, due to security reasons
  • Joining Tata Unisys and learning a lot in terms of working with teams 
  • Working on the operating system : Unix SVr4
  • Moving to the Solaris OS group with Sun microsystems
  • Creating a community for Open Solaris, engaging with various stakeholders, including students
  • Next thread: leading R&D and product teams in India for large multinational organizations
  • Gaining ability to work with people 
  • Fundamental challenges faced by him 20-25 years ago, still existing
  • Third thread: driving innovation culture
  • Fourth thread: influencing people’s lives: through processes and systems in companies or through coaching
  • Quitting a corporate job to start – What is my North – a coaching company, continuing to help individuals grow
  • How he combines or switches between working with people or with machines [embedded or systems software] using systems thinking
  • How it helps when one abstracts specifics and infers patterns
  • Asking open ended questions and helping people figure out the answers
  • About the impact of not having direct customer connect and experience, when developing products and solutions
  • Importance of the ability to pay attention to detail and not jump to conclusions
  • How an articulated shared vision by the leaders enables every individual to rally around a larger cause
  • The need to accept contrarian views
  • How humility is a strong characteristic for a great leader
  • Establishing genuine connections with people
  • If humility a trainable skill
  • How humility can co-exist with confidence
  • If it was easier to connect computers, compared to connecting people
  • Creating an environment where people want to help others
  • The role of constructive or creative dissonance in nurturing great communities
  • Compassion being the common theme between being line managers and being a coach
  • Creating a startup culture within a large organization
  • Aspects related to product leadership
  • What he has enjoyed being in IT
  • His career tips for people considering a career in IT or mid-career professionals

After 34 years of a strong leadership career in IT, KNR decided to pursue his passion for helping people achieve success. When he quit his job as VP of Engineering in Unisys last year he started “What’s My North?”, to help people achieve success through Personal Transformation.  Before Unisys, KNR has worked in Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Tata Unisys and ITI, primarily in Embedded Systems and Operating Systems.



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