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Chimers in Leadership: Meet Sanchi Gupte, Director of Business Operations

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It wasn’t always clear to Sanchi Gupte (she/her/hers) that she wanted to be a leader. “The spark was lit when I was supporting an animal welfare event and some volunteers dropped out, and I was tasked with organizing and leading the adoption event,” she says. “After that day, I thought to myself about the power of action and words and how they can influence others. I saw how leadership can truly unlock positive change for people (and, of course, animals!).”

Sanchi has built on her philosophy since then, focusing on finding the right role to amplify her teams’ impact and making decisions to drive positive outcomes for companies. Here’s a look at her journey and how she’s found her own leadership style along the way.

The value of being wiser, younger.

To Sanchi, a large part of becoming a leader has been learning from others who have walked the path of leadership before her, such as sponsors or mentors. “Sponsors are people who open up new opportunities for you, mentors act as a sounding board and coaches in your day-to-day—you need both,” she says. “Finding women sponsors and mentors for myself has been the most impactful way that I’ve overcome the challenge of representation and opened up pathways for my career.”

In response to the guidance and opportunities she’s gathered from sponsors and mentors alike, Sanchi tries to pay it forward. “I’ve learned so much from the women who have shaped me and I want to make sure I pay it forward,” she says. 

When it comes to building confidence and moving forward, Sanchi recommends being wiser, younger. “The best thing you can do for your leadership journey is learn from others who have been on a similar path,” she says. “Your wisdom can come from your own years of experience and from those with years of experience around you.”

Taking a page from her role as a mother.

“A lot of my leadership principles come from being a mother of two boys,” Sanchi says. “It’s amazing how much kids can teach you.” 

One thing Sanchi has taken away from being a mother is how her kids never stop asking why. “By the third or fourth why, you’re really thinking about the underlying problem,” she says. “I’ve noticed that my sons are always questioning things, whereas women often hesitate to ask questions until they have complete information and full conviction. My sons have taught me that peeling back the layers can help you uncover so much beneath the surface of a problem.” 

Her sons have also taught her the importance of resilience, taking setbacks and opportunities in stride as they come. “And, of course, having kids is a master class in time management,” she says. “I’ve become more ruthless in managing my time, both at home and at work.”

Mastering the balancing act.

Defining success as a leader is all about finding balance for Sanchi. “You hear about leadership being a balancing act, but I didn’t believe it until I lived it,” she says. “You have to give people clear guidance and autonomy. You have to be concise in your communication and also understand the complexities. You have to be confident and humble. You have to be urgent in things, but also patient. Leadership is truly a class balancing act, and success is if you’re balancing most of the things.”

To understand her own success and define herself as a leader, Sanchi has looked to other leaders, her mentors, and her sponsors. “It’s helpful to look at leaders who have been trailblazers and learn from their journeys,” she says. “But having someone in your network whom you can observe more closely has been the most impactful for me. At ChimeⓇ, my previous manager was Sam Krause, and I learned so much from her about approaching stakeholders and aligning incentives.”

To those considering becoming a leader, Sanchi suggests building your own personal board of directors. “Doing so will help you figure out your way, map out your aspirations, and encourage you to take risks and stretch yourself—which unlocks the greatest growth,” she says. 

She believes that leadership is not about knowing all the answers; rather, it’s about asking powerful and bold questions. “While we can sometimes feel like we have to make bold assertions—that doing so will build confidence in us as leaders—what really sets a leader apart isn’t bold assertions; it’s bold questions,” Sanchi says. “I’ve found bold questions to be more impactful than assertions, and I strive to ask them every day.”

Which bold questions will you ask today?