What is the best piece of advice you most often give to your protégés?
Aim to be likeable in every interaction with every person daily — it will make others feel better, you will be happier and your stakeholders are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt when working through tough issues.
What is the worst piece of advice you have ever received?
I have never listened to bad advice.
Who has been your biggest role model and why?
My father and mother — they came to the United States from India with $5 — worked hard, treated all people well, helped many who are less fortunate and lived the American Dream.
If you didn’t work for the federal government, what would be your dream job?
An employee of a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping others.
What hidden talent do you have that most of your coworkers don’t know about? Or, what’s one thing most of your coworkers don’t know about you?
I’m teaching myself how to play guitar using YouTube.
If you could ask one person in history any question, who would it be, what would be the question and why?
My mother — why did you guys leave India to come 10,000 miles to that place called America? I love hearing the answer.
Who would you most like to have a business lunch with?
My sons Anil and Nilesh — they are the smartest people I know, they are funny and I love them.