Advancing Life & Work

Traits of a successful leader - Praveena Patchipulusu, Director, QA HPE

For Praveena, leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. She believes that each one of us can climb that ladder. So, what are the traits of a leader that will help us grow into a senior management position and be successful? That is precisely why we sat down with Praveena to learn more from her experience:

 What are the traits of a successful leader?
Effective leaders have found a way to achieve the right combination of charisma, enthusiasm, and self-assurance, probably with a healthy dose of luck and timing. It may seem like some people are just gifted with these skills and I actually used to believe in the same. I come from a lower-middle-class family in India and my parents couldn’t afford all the luxury education nor could I have imagined funding my education in the US. It was quite hard for a girl to step out of town, forget the country. With a lot of struggle, I managed to get my admission for Masters's at Texas A&M University. And then; when I started my career, I used to look up to these successful leaders and always imagined that these leaders are gifted and had their healthy dose of luck and it is not possible for ordinary people like me to dream about leadership.

The truth is most leadership traits can be learned and sharpened with time and practice. As I started to learn more about leadership skills and started working closely with senior leaders, I realized no one is gifted with this, they made their own path to success, they faced the same hurdles, they also had to go through their fair share of failures. There was certainly an enlightenment moment for me and that made me think I need to spread and share my learnings with others who are thinking like me.  During my 19 years of career, I have learned these 5 must-have traits for a powerful and successful leader.

Lead with a Vision: Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.

Be Passionate: Do you remember your first encounter with a passionate leader? The reality is that any leader can be passionate…if they know what to do. Passionate leaders are fully engaged and committed to achieving their goals while helping others achieve theirs. Passionate leaders lead with heart and soul!

Effective Communicator: Powerful leaders know when to talk and when to listen. Spending a little extra time on the front-end of the messaging curve will likely save you from considerable aggravation and brain damage on the back-end. Most importantly of all, keep in mind that communication is not about you, your opinions, your positions, or your circumstances. It is about helping others by meeting their needs, understanding their concerns, and adding value to their world.

Ability to inspire Trust: People are not willing to recognize someone as their leader unless they trust them, not just intellectually, but ethically and morally as well. Likewise, people won't follow someone unless they're convinced that person knows where they're going. Trust takes years to build, but seconds to Break.

Develop Emotional Intelligence (EQ): Leadership styles have shifted steadily over the past couple of decades. Management style has evolved into a softer side of leadership that millennials bring to the table. EQ has 4 major areas: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Social Awareness, and relationship mgmt. Self-Awareness is to recognize one’s own self. What are your feelings and emotions, strengths, and weaknesses, and do you understand what drives them? Self-Regulation or self-management involves controlling our own emotions and adapting to change. Manage your bad moods and impulses. Social awareness/Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand how they feel. Relationship Management is the ability to manage relationships effectively. Don’t avoid the inevitable & face the situation.

Several studies have shown that women are better at social awareness and relationship mgmt. aspects and cash in this trait to their advantage to be successful leaders. Women, by nature, tend to get more emotional in difficult situations and it can get harder for women to self-manage.

How many of you have cried in front of your manager/after a meeting/in-office restroom? I have!! Not just once but many times. Tears are a sign of your passion and passion is your superpower.

Once I had a colleague who had created a situation that caused me to cry every day. It started off with slowly bringing down my self-confidence shaking my emotions. He had created scenarios to portray the weakness of my team rather than bringing the best in them. While working on a project that he was leading, he used the project status provided by my team and misrepresented them. I was so terrified to go to meetings, face him in 1:1s, and even go to work. I used to be scared to even open my emails and read. I started working from home to avoid the situation and even thought of quitting, but I stayed, got my act together, stood up for myself, and faced the situation.

I realized it was my emotions that were used against me, but it is my biggest strength too. I had built great connection and trust with my team and EQ was the biggest pillar. I used my strengths to my benefit. The trust that I had built within the team and with other partners came to my rescue. I evaluated each scenario that was causing my life miserable and created plans to fight back for each one of them. It took me several months but my perseverance finally paid off. Results were favorable to me and I did not have to quit my job and I am where I am today!  The only mantra I will say here is: 


Never give up. Embrace yourself and don’t ever apologize for who you are!

Find the hidden leader in YOU. Unlock Your Potential!


Praveena Patchipulusu, Director, QA at Hewlett Packard EnterprisePraveena Patchipulusu, Director, QA at Hewlett Packard EnterpriseAbout the Author
Born in a lower-middle-class family in India, it was a struggle for her parents to provide education. But the value of the education they instilled in her, helped her grow. She did her Masters in Computer Science at Texas A&M University and now she is Director of Quality Assurance Engineering team at HPE. Praveena carries a rich experience in Leadership, Storage, Networking, Quality Assurance, and Automation. She loves spending time with her kids and has been lucky to do so with the right work-life balance while working at HPE team for 7 years. She believes in the mantra “Customers come first”. She is a big proponent of girls/women in tech. She is the founder/chairperson of Storage Women’s ERG group at HPE. She was nominated for HPE Women’s Excellence Award, 2020. She also was interviewed by Media7 for International Women’s Day 2020. She was also Speaker at the vGHC2020 event.


Stay connected to Praveena on LinkedIn and learn more about HPE Inclusion and Diversity culture here or simply explore HPE Careers and join our winning team!  

Desiree Chavez
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

About the Author


Employer brand and digital media evangelist. Proactively searching for new trends and best in class practices to find, converse, share, engage and refer potential candidates and bring the best Talent for the company.