Ayyar shared his thoughts on leadership during a crisis like COVID 19 saying, “Exactly in these type of crisis environments, people remember who their leaders are in challenging times, not usually good times. Great leadership provides an opportunity to make a difference and make an amazing story. We are one human race. We need to pull together and protect those that are most vulnerable.” For your organization, he advised to “Focus on what you are good at and can address. Ensure your actions are still relevant and needed in this time.”
Ayyar also shared leadership advice and skills he learned during his 27-year military career. He said “Learn to play your role well, resist self aggrandizing. Keep a sacred heart toward your team and towards the mission. You need to be the kind of leader you would want to have. Values and visions are the most important element you can bring to your team. Both confidence and competence are equally important. Never stop learning.”
When asked about who or what was the biggest influence on his leadership style he credited his mother. According to Ayyar, “My mom showed me how to have moral courage. She had the empathy and authenticity to have the courage to not be just a good leader but a great leader.”
Ayyar, a current CEO of an AI company, discussed the technologies’ ability to address some big hairy problems both in national security and healthcare. He talked about the advances made to address cancer treatments utilizing AI. Ayyar said AI can be leveraged to “help the other 95% of the population across the world. The greatest value of this technology is to democratize knowledge and to provide better quality of life to all.”
Ayyar closed the show with his advice for the next generations. He said, “I have always strived to live a life well-lived. I hope the next generation learns early in their careers that who they are becoming is more important than what you are earning. People will remember you for your good name and character. Look for opportunity to help others. When I look back my greatest successes are when I had an opportunity to help others.”
Host Aileen Black interviews federal leaders who have left their mark on government and made a lasting imprint on the nation. Hear what goes on behind the scenes in the nation's capital and why working for the federal government is so unique. Subscribe on PodcastOne.