An iconic landmark in Bengaluru right in the heart of the city, the Bangalore Central mall, was the craft of this leader at Lowe’s India, during her early stint as an architect. She humbly claims that when she looks at her creation now, she feels that so much more could have been done there back then!
With just over two months at Lowe’s India as the director of operations, Laila Khalil manages diverse teams and says that her leadership style does not follow a set pattern or style. Her core belief is to be honest and authentic as a leader and inspire and empower her team to give their best.
The youngest of three children, Laila says, “My family never differentiated on the basis of my gender, and it never stood in the way of expressing my thoughts or pursuing my career aspirations.” She believes that diversity awareness has to be across both genders, and inclusion is a key element of success in society. Women should not hesitate to take on opportunities, both at the workplace and otherwise for the fear of failure in delivering results.
Like many others, Laila too has faced gender discrimination at the workplace and otherwise. To overcome this, she has remained focused on her goals and sought the support of positive influencers or mentors who believed in her ability and skill. Laila considers herself unconventional in her approach, which has not always been an easy choice. She believes that she has been able to break stereotypes through her convictions and her ability to connect with people. Choosing to do her Master’s in business administration after a successful career as an architect is one such example of how she has traversed her journey differently. Her urge to excel, bringing nothing but the best in her results, leaving no room for mediocrity is a strong work ethic she swears by.
As someone who is constantly engaged and loves to multitask, her biggest fear is retirement. “What does one do after retirement? I am already doing the things I love doing!” she says. For the bad days where she needs a different perspective, she leans in on her support system that includes her family, colleagues and friends. “It is important to have a different perspective, and for people to tell you that it is ok to have a viewpoint, and to be strong.”
At Lowe’s, Laila believes that the company is about people, and its values match hers as an individual. Her team’s success is what is on her mind right now, and she truly believes that though small, it is built for a larger impact. She is currently focusing on giving opportunities to let her team grow and excel within their functional areas, and bring them together as one, in a fun and engaging manner. Laila believes in seeing the bigger picture, of having an opportunity to make a difference, of being who she is, and of giving her best always!