CFO Book Club: Rajan Padayachy encourages leaders to savour every bite

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Rajan has learned to appreciate the simpler things in life while reading his children’s bedtime stories.

Rajan Padayachy has recently been doubling up as a stay-at-home dad and nanny to his seven- and nine-year-old children. It was while the former Optimi CFO was executing on his new responsibilities that Rajan realised leaders need to focus more on the simple things – like a clever book with lots of pictures.

Part of Rajan’s new routine includes reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle to his children.

“The fact that a simply worded, uncomplicated story could get me thinking, shows that we are often best served by going back to basic concepts and principles,” he says.

He shares some of the learnings he’s had from reading the children’s book, and how he’s applied it to his work at Optimi. “It is not the quantum and volume of our achievements and tasks that have the most impact, but rather the quality, which is most fulfilling,” he explains. “In order to create success, we have to be patient and understand that every step of our development is equally important. Even the most unappealing of situations we may face could, if nurtured correctly, evolve into a wonderful experience.”

He adds that, in growing and improving the quality of output from all his teams at Optimi, he has learnt that it is most important to focus on improving the quality of resources (people, systems and processes).

“I have also learned to understand the importance of trusting the process and that there are no quick fixes if you want to ensure that the business needs are adequately supported.”

The book has also helped him navigate recent developments in his personal life. “We are forging abroad, and focusing on the simple things has helped me ensure that my family is able to acclimatise to the change, and create a stable foundation for ourselves.”

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