Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview with Satyen Raja, a luminary at the helm of Warrior Sage Trainings. In this illuminating conversation, we unravel the strategies and philosophies that have fortified his organization’s resilience in the face of challenges.
As the visionary CEO of a distinguished executive leadership training institute, Raja’s insights offer a compelling blend of ancient wisdom and modern psychology, presenting a roadmap for cultivating unwavering strength within individuals and organizations alike.
From his perspective on transforming struggle into seamless flow to his profound observations on optimizing human dynamics, Raja introduces a comprehensive framework for leadership that defies convention.
His focus on empowerment, alignment, and the embodiment of Enlightened Power resonates across all echelons of an organization, from CEOs to team members.
Embark on this journey with us as we explore invaluable lessons gleaned from crises, failures turned triumphs, and the art of nurturing indomitable resilience amidst life’s uncertainties.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Satyen Raja: To introduce myself, I am Satyen Raja, the founder, and CEO of Warrior Sage Trainings. Our mission and dedication at Warrior Sage is to forge a paradigm shift in the way leadership is understood and practiced. We’re an esteemed executive leadership training organization, and our focus is on empowering CEOs, founders, and executives with tools and insights to master human dynamics, peak performance, and peak existence.
Our core belief and practice revolve around an interesting juxtaposition: While we aim to create superhuman business leaders and teams, it’s not just about donning a cape and flying high.
It’s about integrating deep wisdom, efficiency, and vision. To put it plainly, we believe that true success does not come with relentless struggle. Instead, our training helps in transforming what I like to call the “mule struggle energy” into a seamless “magician flow state”.
Imagine a business environment where teams are not just grinding gears but are in a harmonious flow, leveraging their intrinsic strengths and working with synergy. That’s the vision we’re dedicated to making a reality.
Can you share a time when your business faced a significant challenge? How did you navigate through it?
Satyen Raja: When COVID-19 made its global impact, the very foundation of how we conducted our sessions was shaken. The intimacy and effectiveness of our in-person teachings were the backbone of Warrior Sage Trainings.
The immediate concern was whether we could continue to impart that same level of transformative experience through virtual mediums. The question wasn’t just about the survival of the business, but the preservation of the quality and essence of our trainings.
The shift was not just logistical but also psychological. The potency of in-person interactions is undeniable. But with the restrictions in place, we had to pivot swiftly and adapt. We ventured into the digital space, transitioning all our trainings online. Admittedly, there was a cloud of uncertainty looming over us regarding how well this would be received.
However, the response was nothing short of overwhelming. By moving online, not only did we maintain our existing clientele, but we also expanded our reach to organizations globally.
The perceived obstacle of COVID, and the resultant travel restrictions, paradoxically became an avenue for us to serve a wider audience. It was a significant learning experience – to always look for opportunities even in the face of adversity.
How has a failure or apparent failure set you up for later success?
Satyen Raja: Great question. Looking back at my journey, one of the most pronounced lessons came from my early ventures into martial arts schools and franchising businesses. These endeavors taught me that passion alone, while indispensable, isn’t always enough.
In those early days, I surrounded myself with highly motivated teams, bursting with enthusiasm and vigor. However, as time went on, I began to see the gaps – they were enthusiastic, yes, but many lacked the foundational knowledge of running a business.
Their understanding of core business principles, leadership dynamics, and organizational management was not on par with their passion. The result? Although they were inspired, the overall functionality of the company was not at its peak.
This period was a rollercoaster, as I found myself constantly stepping in to address various operational issues, from communication breakdowns to customer complaints. The realization hit hard: it isn’t enough to simply have a team that’s eager. It’s imperative to invest in nurturing their skills, knowledge, and overall growth.
I understood that having a team passionate about self-improvement, committed to their personal growth, and aligned with the larger vision of the organization is paramount.
Post this realization, I shifted my focus towards in-depth team leadership development. We began fostering a culture that emphasizes transformation, alignment, and coherence. Rather than functioning as separate entities, I wanted my team to resonate with a “one for all, all for one” mentality.
This transition made a world of difference. With the right guidance and resources, my team started to become self-reliant, self-driven, and most importantly, aligned with the mission and vision of our organization. They were driven not by external rewards or punishments, but by an innate desire to excel, contribute, and be a part of something bigger.
In essence, what might have looked like failures or setbacks in my early businesses actually set the stage for the refined approach we employ at Warrior Sage Trainings today. Every misstep taught me the importance of not just inspiring a team but also equipping them with the right tools and mindset to achieve collective success.
How do you build a resilient team? What qualities do you look for in your team members?
Satyen Raja: Resilience, in my perspective, is not just about an inherent ability to bounce back—it’s a meticulously crafted fabric of attributes that allow individuals and entire teams to face adversity with poise, recalibrate, and often thrive amidst challenges. At Warrior Sage Trainings, building such resilience isn’t just a goal—it’s an ethos.
The very foundation of crafting a robust team begins with the right selection. Beyond the impressive resumes, my focus remains on the deeper, often unspoken commitment that potential team members bring to the table.
I often pose a seemingly simple, yet profound question during interviews: “What do you promise to deliver?” It helps me sift through those merely seeking a job from those who embody the spirit of dedicated outcome delivery.
From their immediate reactions, body language, and the essence of their response, I derive whether they’re genuinely passionate about making an impact or just clocking in hours.
Once this team is in place, training becomes pivotal. Our training revolves around three guiding pillars: what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and who you’re being. The first delineates clear roles, the second instills a sense of quality and commitment, and the third? It’s all about the internal energy, attitude, and positivity they infuse into their roles.
However, our training doesn’t stop there. I believe it’s equally important to lay down the philosophical pillars that are the bedrock of our organization: Enlightened Power. It encapsulates the essence of power, heart, freedom, flow, and wisdom.
These aren’t mere words to us, but guiding principles that we ingrain within our teams, especially in leadership roles, the C-suite, and most certainly with the CEO. By embedding these values, we empower them not only to navigate their roles but to mold a truly transformational company, poised and equipped to deal with any challenges that come their way.
At Warrior Sage, resilience isn’t about merely facing adversity; it’s about leveraging every situation to evolve, innovate, and lead with enlightened power.
How do you maintain your personal resilience during tough times?
Satyen Raja: Indeed, personal resilience is pivotal, not just for CEOs, but for every individual navigating the challenges of life and business. At Warrior Sage, we’ve developed methods that are grounded in ancient wisdom and modern psychology to ensure that resilience isn’t just about weathering the storm but doing so with grace, strength, and efficacy.
A key technique we employ is called “lowering importance”. This isn’t about neglect or a lack of care, but about recalibrating our emotional and psychological attachment to specific outcomes.
I frequently challenge CEOs and executives I mentor to identify areas in their professional and personal lives where they feel the most tension, fear, or stress. Once identified, we delve into the practice of imagining a “struggleometer” or “struggle meter” attached to each stress point. The simple act of visualizing turning down this dial, of reducing the importance, aids in diminishing the psychological burden.
Interestingly, by lowering the significance or importance of a stressor, we don’t just lessen the stress but often find ourselves sliding into a flow state. It’s a state where one’s abilities match the challenge at hand, leading to peak productivity and satisfaction.
Furthermore, the act of conscious breathing plays a pivotal role. Breathing, as simple as it sounds, when done with intention, can be a powerful tool to discharge accumulated stress. It serves as an anchor, reminding us of the present and allowing us to center ourselves.
Lastly, our ‘duress drills’ are specially designed exercises to mimic high-stress situations. These drills allow individuals to face their fears and anxieties in a controlled environment, preparing them for real-world challenges.
So, maintaining personal resilience, for me, is a blend of these techniques, a delicate interplay of mind, body, and spirit. It’s about training the self to rise to challenges rather than shrink from them.
What strategies do you use to manage stress and maintain focus during a crisis?
Satyen Raja: When confronted with challenges, be it psychological storms, business uncertainties, or financial upheavals, the key is to remain centered, calm, and resilient. For me, managing stress isn’t about dodging the storm but learning to navigate through it with a clear and focused mind.
I believe in practical application over mere theoretical advice, which is why I emphasize the importance of drills and practice. These drills, which we consistently engage in, are crafted to cultivate a sense of centeredness and resilience. It’s akin to building a muscle; the more we practice, the stronger our resilience becomes.
We don’t just discuss resilience at a surface level. Instead, we take our CEOs and executives through dedicated training, ensuring that they not only understand the concept but also embody it. This means they can maintain their composure and centeredness regardless of external circumstances, ensuring clarity of thought and decision-making even in the most trying situations.
The result? A marked reduction in stress. When you’re truly centered and resilient, even the most daunting challenges become manageable, allowing for informed decisions and effective leadership.
How do you communicate with your team during a crisis?
Satyen Raja: Whenever we face a crisis, the first and foremost step I take is to bring everyone together. It’s essential to create an environment of open communication. I then personally interview each member of my team.
This allows me to gather the facts and details pertaining to the crisis. Beyond just understanding the technicalities, I ensure I understand how they feel about the situation, any insights they might have, and any potential risks or dangers they’ve identified.
Once I’ve collected the details from each team member, we come together as a unit for the Warrior Sage Leadership Executive Leadership process. This is a unique approach that ensures cohesive alignment among everyone. It allows us to put forth and address our biggest challenges head-on. I believe in facing problems directly, with transparency and honesty. We ensure no issue is overlooked or swept under the rug.
After addressing the external issues, we then focus inwardly, embarking on a group clearing process. This is designed to root out and transform any unconscious resistances or hindering thought patterns that might have contributed to the crisis. Every problem often has its origin in overlooking or not acting on a previous intuition. Through this process, we aim to recognize and address such intuitions.
As a leader, I encourage a moment of open reflection and sharing, a “come to Jesus” moment if you will. This is where the team freely communicates their emotions, concerns, and feedback regarding the current crisis. By integrating these emotions and concerns, we aim to enter a state of collective calm.
From this state of clarity and calmness, our brainstorming sessions tend to produce not just immediate solutions but also sustainable and lasting ones. Moreover, we always round off our discussions with preventive measures, brainstorming strategies to ensure such a crisis doesn’t reoccur.
What advice would you give to other CEOs on building resilience in their organizations?
Satyen Raja: Resilience is built on a foundation of strong human dynamics. CEOs must understand and prioritize this above all else. Every problem, every challenge that emerges in an organization can, more often than not, be traced back to a breakdown in its human dynamics.
This encompasses the relationships between team members, the alignment and empowerment felt by each individual, and the unseen yet potent force of limiting beliefs that can hinder progress.
The foremost advice I would give is to ensure your teams are comprehensively trained in performance leadership. This isn’t just about metrics and results, but about fostering an environment where everyone feels empowered, aligned, and in tune with the organization’s goals.
Furthermore, CEOs need to take a moment, a genuine moment, to recognize the profound significance of relationships within the organization. Ask yourself: What state are the relationships in?
Do team members feel aligned with the company’s mission? Are they empowered in their roles? Do they feel congruent and coherent in their daily tasks and larger objectives? If there’s a gap, if there’s incongruence, that’s where your focus should lie.
In essence, if you truly wish for your company to soar to new heights, turn your attention inwards. Invest in understanding, nurturing, and optimizing the relational dynamics of your organization.
When you prioritize this, genuinely prioritize it, you’ll find that not only does resilience build naturally, but every other facet of your organization benefits as a result.
How do you prepare your business for potential future crises?
Satyen Raja: Preparation is not just about strategic foresight but also about ensuring that our leaders, both executives, and others at various levels, are thoroughly trained to navigate both positive and negative outcomes.
We have instituted a meticulous process where we actively confront potential failure points. We ask ourselves, “In what ways could we potentially fail?” This isn’t a mere exercise in pessimism but an essential preparatory measure.
In identifying these potential hazards, pitfalls, and challenges, we then undertake a clearing process. This is not just about acknowledging these risks but about systematically addressing each one. The objective is to recognize all possible dangers that might obstruct our path and to preemptively develop solutions or responses for them.
By the end of this rigorous process, our leaders are left with a deep-seated confidence, devoid of any lingering doubt or fear. It’s not just about avoiding the sentiment of “I’m not able to handle this,” but rather cultivating a steadfast belief in their ability to steer the ship, come what may.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about leadership in times of crisis?
Satyen Raja: The paramount lesson I’ve learned about leadership, especially in times of crisis, is that when given the opportunity to lead, you must truly Lead with a capital “L.” This means fully stepping into your power, embracing your wholeness, and allowing yourself to be the best leader possible. It’s about granting yourself permission to operate at your maximum potential, without reservations.
However, leadership isn’t about standing alone at the helm. During tough times, even the strongest leaders benefit from having a sounding board – someone who can offer perspective, wisdom, and guidance. It’s crucial to have a coach, a mentor, or a partner to turn to, someone who can listen, understand, and provide invaluable insights. This support system acts as a bedrock, ensuring that during turbulent times, you’re grounded in your decisions and actions.
Furthermore, it’s essential to extend this support framework to your entire team. Ensure that there’s a robust structure in place to uphold their well-being, alignment, and overall success.
In today’s fast-paced world, I’ve come to realize that those without adequate support find the going extremely tough. So, it’s not just about leading but also about fostering a culture where everyone feels backed and empowered. That’s the essence of true leadership in times of adversity.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Satyen Raja for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Satyen Raja or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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