Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

What Leaders Do – Jack Welch (Winning)

April 6, 2007

*    Leaders relentlessly upgrade their team, using every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach and build self-confidence.

*    Leaders make sure people not only see the vision, they live and breathe it.

*    Leaders get into everyone’s skin, exuding positive energy and optimism.

*    Leaders establish trust with candor, transparency, and credit.

*    Leaders have the courage to make unpopular decisions and gut calls.

 *    Leaders probe and push with a curiosity that borders on skepticism, making sure their questions are answered with action.

 *    Leaders inspire risk taking and learning by setting the example.

*    Leaders celebrate.

Ref: Winning by Jack and Suzy Welch

 —-||||||Effective Quotations by Great Thinker||||||—-

Gearge Bernard ShawMahatma Gandhi Swami Vivekananda

Peter F. DruckerWarren BennisJack Welch

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Words of knowledge – Tom Peters: Leadership is all about love

March 30, 2007

Passion,

Enthusiasms,

Appetite for Life,

Engagement,

Great Causes & Determination to Make a Damn Difference,

Commitment to Excellence,

Shared Adventures,

Bizarre Failures,

Growth Beyond Measure,

Insatiable Appetite for Change.

Credit : TP’s “Top 41” Quotes from www.tompeters.com

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—-||||||Effective Quotations by Great Thinker||||||—-

Gearge Bernard ShawMahatma Gandhi Swami Vivekananda

Peter F. DruckerWarren BennisJack Welch

Effective Artciles which align to leadership. Kindly link and share your expereince.

 

Mindful Change: Organizational Transformation – The Neuroscience of Leadership

March 8, 2007

Problem: Success isn’t possible without changing the day-to-day behavior of people throughout the company. But changing behavior is hard, even for individuals, and even when new habits can mean the difference between life and death. How can Mike change the way thousands of people at his company think and behave every day? What about changing the way a whole organization behaves? The consistently poor track record in this area tells us it’s a challenging aspiration at best.

Why many leadership efforts and organizational change initiatives fall flat.

 Kindly read the article: The Neuroscience of Leadership by David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz at Strategy+Business.

Breakthroughs in brain research explain how to make organizational transformation succeed.

 FOCUS:  

During the last two decades, scientists have gained a new, far more accurate view of human nature and behavior change because of the integration of psychology (the study of the human mind and human behavior) and neuroscience (the study of the anatomy and physiology of the brain).

 Managers who understand the recent breakthroughs in cognitive science can lead and influence mindful change: organizational transformation that takes into account the physiological nature of the brain, and the ways in which it predisposes people to resist some forms of leadership and accept others. This does not imply that management — of change or anything else — is a science. There is a great deal of art and craft in it. But several conclusions about organizational change can be drawn that make the art and craft far more effective. These conclusions would have been considered counterintuitive or downright wrong only a few years ago. For example:

  • Change is pain. Organizational change is unexpectedly difficult because it provokes sensations of physiological discomfort.
  • Behaviorism doesn’t work. Change efforts based on incentive and threat (the carrot and the stick) rarely succeed in the long run.
  • Humanism is overrated. In practice, the conventional empathic approach of connection and persuasion doesn’t sufficiently engage people.
  • Focus is power. The act of paying attention creates chemical and physical changes in the brain.
  • Expectation shapes reality. People’s preconceptions have a significant impact on what they perceive.
  • Attention density shapes identity. Repeated, purposeful, and focused attention can lead to long-lasting personal evolution.

As Peter F. Drucker said, “We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.” In the knowledge economy, where people are being paid to think, and with constant change, there is more pressure than ever to improve how we learn. Perhaps these findings about the brain can start to pull back the curtain on a new world of productivity improvement: in our ability to bring about positive, lasting change in ourselves, in our families, in our workplaces, and in society itself.

~AJAY SINGH NIRANJAN 

Support the Mission:Great Human Capital  

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Gearge Bernard Shaw :Mahatma Gandhi :Peter F. Drucker

MAHATMA GANDHI – a Complete Solution for INDIA and WORLD

March 7, 2007

MAHATMA GANDHI – a Complete Solution for
INDIA and WORLD

FOR  IMPLEMENTATION OF TIMELESS WISDOM OF COSMIC PRINCIPLES  AT PLATFORM OF ACTIONS….  

1].Redefine Nobel prize : Nobel prize for Gandhi or Gandhi for Nobel prize ! a simple question?  

2].Reinvent Innovation : very simple mantras “Satyagraha & Ahimsa” but very very powerful weapons than any types of weapons existing in the world ( at level of root cause )  

3].Reengineering Religion : Religion is about “Truth & Love”. 

4].Reinvent Ledership : Leadership at Indian context and at global context ! a true example of Level 5 Leadership – “Personal Humility + Professional Will” simultaneouly. 

5].Redefine Economics & social developemnt : Sarvodaya : universal uplift – progress of all. 

6].Redefine Education : The purpose of education is to bring out the best in you” : Relevent , practical & moral educationHolistic development of children. 

7].Redefine Management : Undersatnding yourself , your people , your enemies- competitors , your customers – people ,  your nation & world …..very clearly , very simple ,very relevent & contextual to enviroments & conditions. 

8].Reinvent Strategy : Confront the reality – “Descipline people , descipline thougts & Descipline actions” – self evoloving & organic in nature which is very suitable to indian complex enviroments & conditions. 

9].Reinvent Execution :Think at bottom the pyramid and A Proper alignment of strategy to operation &  people  …Actions …Actions….Actions! a final answer. 

~AJAY SINGH NIRANJAN 

Support the Mission : Great Human Capital  

Leadership in Execution: Execution competencies

February 20, 2007

In the organisation or system ………Failure of good strategy & plans… 

Where is the center of gravity? 

Focus: The great execution gap. 

What is the definition of leadership in context of execution?  

What are execution competencies?   Kindly read this nice article written by M.R. Chandramowly at deccaherald.com  

Leadership in execution 

 Some insight from this article:  

Execution competencies: 

*       Execution leaders are in regular touch with the day-to-day realities of business and people. Being present in the “power of now”, the personal connections build intuitive feel for leadership and followers. 

*       They live in reality and do not shade it to make a good appearance. Embracing reality is about keeping the view of global trends and measuring your own progress, not internally but externally. 

*       Execution leaders set clear goals and priorities. The logic of business thinking is to focus on three or four clear priorities. A leader who has 10 priorities does not know himself what the most important things are. Execution Leader aligns few clear goals across the organisation and simplifies things so that others can understand, evaluate and act on them. 

*       One of the concerns in widespread business is lack of perseverance and ability to follow through. 

*       Reward the doers. People produce specific results if they are rewarded accordingly. Rewards include monetary value and beyond 

*       The sixth execution competency is to expand people’s capabilities through coaching. 

*       The last execution competency, which is the basis for all the six to stand on is self-awareness. Leading a business requires strong character, emotional fortitude and awareness of strengths and weaknesses especially in dealing with other people, and the ability to build on the strengths and correct the weaknesses. 

Similarly the other execution behaviours can be identified with leadership competencies: Insist on realism, set clear goals and priorities – results driven, follow through – perseverance, reward the doers – motivating and inspiring, expand people capabilities – developing self and others, know yourself – self-knowledge.***********************************************

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~Ajay Singh Niranjan ~

Wipro chief’s 10-point recipe for success

February 17, 2007

Wipro chairman Azim H Premji, one of India’s most successful entrepreneurs, on Friday prescribed a 10-point recipe for success, based on the very lessons he had learnt during his last 35 years in the organisation.  

“You should dare to dream, define what you stand for, never lose your zest and curiosity, always strive for excellence, build self confidence, learn to work in teams, take care of yourself, preserve, have a broader social vision and finally never let success go to your head,” Premji said.

The Wipro chairman was delivering the convocation address at the 38 the convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

Following is the entire text of the convocation address made by Premji:

I am privileged to be with you here today and to share this significant moment of your life.

The convocation marks the culmination of all the endless nights you worked through, all the anxieties you have gone through facing one examination after another and all the preparation you have put in, not only to enter this prestigious institution but also to graduate from it successfully. It is no mean achievement.

Only a handful of the most talented people in the world have shared this success with you. Let me just say that I am very proud of each and every one of you.

I am a little wary about giving you advice- because advice is one thing young people all over the world do not like receiving. I cannot fault you for that.

The world does look very different when it is seen with your eyes. You are filled with enthusiasm and are straining at the leash to get on with life.

And the world is very different from what it was when I was at your age. Never before has the role of technology been so pervasive and so central. The Internet has breached all physical borders and connected the world together like no other force has done before.

For the first time, opportunities for creating wealth in India are at par with the best in world. There is no need for you to sacrifice the joy of remaining in your own country any more.

All opportunities are accompanied by their own challenges. I thought I would share with you a few of the lessons I have learnt in my own life, while loading the transformation at Wipro, from a small company three and a half decades back into a global corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange. I hope you find them useful.

Lesson # 1: Dare to dream

When I entered Wipro at the age of 21, it was a sudden and unexpected event. I had no warning of what lay ahead of me and I was caught completely unprepared. All I had with me was a dream.

A dream of building a great Organisation. It compensated for my inexperience and I guess, also prevented me from being overwhelmed by the enormity of the task before me.

What I am happy is that we never stopped dreaming. Even when we achieved a position of leadership in every business we operated in India. We now have a dream of becoming one of the top 10 global it service companies.

Many people wonder whether having unrealistic dreams is foolish. My reply to that is dreams by themselves can never be realistic or safe. If they were, they would not be dreams. I do agree that one must have strategies to execute dreams. And, of course, one must slog to transform dreams into reality. But dreams come first.

What saddens me most is to see young, bright people getting completely disillusioned by a few initial setbacks and slowly turning cynical and some of them want to migrate to America in the hope this is the solution.

It requires courage to keep dreaming. And that is when dreams are most needed- not when everything is going right, but when just about everything is going wrong.

Lesson # 2: Define what you stand for

While success is important, it can become enduring only if it is built on a strong foundation of Values. Define what you stand for as early as possible and do not compromise with it for any reason. Nobody can enjoy the fruits of success if you have to argue with your own conscience.

In Wipro, we defined our Beliefs long before it became a fashion to do so. It not only helped us in becoming more resilient to stand up to crises we faced along the way, but it also helped us in attracting the right kind of people.

Eventually, we realised that our values made eminent business sense. Values help in clarifying what everyone should do or not do in any business situation. It saves enormous time and effort because each issue does not have to be individually debated at length.

But remember that values are meaningful only if you practice them. People may listen to what you say but they will believe what you do. Values are a matter of trust. They must be reflected in each one of your actions. Trust takes a long time to build but can be lost quickly by just one inconsistent act.

Lesson #3: Never lose your zest and curiosity

All the available knowledge in the world is accelerating at a phenomenal rate. The whole world’s codified knowledge base (all documented information in library books and electronic files) doubled every 30 years in the early 20th century.

By the 1970s, the world’s knowledge base doubled every seven years. Information researchers predict that by the year 2010, the world’s codified knowledge will double every 11 hours.

Remaining on top of what you need to know will become one of the greatest challenges for you.

The natural zest and curiosity for learning is one of the greatest drivers for keeping updated on knowledge. A child’s curiosity is insatiable because every new object is a thing of wonder and mystery. The same zest is needed to keep learning new things.

I personally spend at least ten hours every week on reading. If I do not do that, I find myself quickly outdated.

Lesson # 4: Always strive for excellence

There is a tremendous difference between being good and being excellent in whatever you do. In the world of tomorrow, just being good is not good enough.

One of the greatest advantages of globalisation is that it has brought in completely different standards. Being the best in the country is not enough; one has to be the best in the world. Excellence is a moving target. One has to constantly raise the bar.

In the knowledge-based industries, India has the unique advantage of being a quality leader. just like japan was able to win in the overseas market with its quality leadership in automobile manufacturing, india has been able to do the same in information technology.

At Wipro, we treat quality as the #1 priority. This enabled us not only to become the world’s first SEI CMM Level 5 software services company in the world but also a leader in Six Sigma approach to quality in India.

However, even today I am dissatisfied with several things which we are not doing right in the area of customer satisfaction.

Doing something excellently has its own intrinsic joy, which I think is the greatest benefit of Quality.

Lesson # 5: Build self-confidence

Self-confidence comes from a positive attitude even in adverse situations. Self-confident people assume responsibility for their mistakes and share credit with their team members.

They are able to distinguish between what is in their control and what is not. They do not waste their energies on events that are outside their control and hence they can take setbacks in their stride.

Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Lesson # 6: Learn to work in teams

The challenges ahead are so complex that no individual will be able to face them alone. While most of our education is focused in individual strength, teaming with others is equally important. You cannot fire a missile from a canoe. Unless you build a strong network of people with complimentary skills, you will be restricted by your own limitations.

Globalisation has brought in people of different origin, different upbringing and different cultures together. Ability to become an integral part of a cross-cultural team will be a must for your success.

Lesson # 7 Take care of yourself

The stress that a young person faces today while beginning his or her career is the same as the last generation faced at the time of retirement.

I have myself found that my job has become enormously more complex over the last two or three years. Along with mutual alertness, physical fitness will also assume a great importance in your life.

You must develop your own mechanism for dealing with stress. I have found that a daily jog for me, goes a long way in releasing the pressure and building up energy. You will need lots of energy to deal with the challenges.

Unless you take care of yourself there is no way you can take care of others.

Lesson # 8: Persevere

Finally, no matter what you decide to do in your life, you must persevere. Keep at it and you will succeed, no matter how hopeless it seems at times. In the last three and half decades, we have gone through many difficult times. But we have found that if we remain true to what we believe in, we can surmount every difficulty that comes in the way.

I remember reading this very touching story on perseverance.

An eight-year-old child heard her parents talking about her little brother. All she knew was that he was very sick and they had no money left. They were moving to a smaller house because they could not afford to stay in the present house after paying the doctor’s bills. Only a very costly surgery could save him now and there was no one to loan them the money.

When she heard daddy say to her tearful mother with whispered desperation, ‘Only a miracle can save him now’, the child went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jar from its hiding place in the closet.

She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully.

Clutching the precious jar tightly, she slipped out the back door and made her way six blocks to the local drug Store. She took a quarter from her jar and placed it on the glass counter.

“And what do you want?” asked the pharmacist. “It’s for my little brother,” the girl answered back. “He’s really, really sick and I want to buy a miracle.”

“I beg your pardon?” said the pharmacist.

“His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my daddy says only a miracle can save him. So how much does a miracle cost?”

“We don’t sell miracles here, child. I’m sorry,” the pharmacist said, smiling sadly at the little girl.

“Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough, I can try and get some more. Just tell me how much it costs.”

In the shop was a well-dressed customer. He stooped down and asked the little girl, “What kind of a miracle does you brother need?”

“I don’t know,” she replied with her eyes welling up. “He’s really sick and mommy says he needs an operation. But my daddy can’t pay for it, so I have brought my savings”.

“How much do you have?” asked the man. “One dollar and eleven cents, but I can try and get some more”, she answered barely audibly.

“Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the man. “A dollar and eleven cents — the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.”

He took her money in one hand and held her hand with the other. He said, “Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the kind of miracle you need.”

That well-dressed man was Dr Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specialising in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn’t long before Andrew was home again and doing well.

“That surgery,” her mom whispered, “was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?”

The little girl smiled. She knew exactly how much the miracle cost … one dollar and eleven cents … plus the faith of a little child.

Perseverance can make miracles happen.

Lesson # 9: Have a broader social vision

For decades we have been waiting for some one who will help us in ‘priming the pump’ of the economy.

The government was the logical choice for doing it, but it was strapped for resources. Other countries were willing to give us loans and aids but there was a limit to this.

In the millennium of the mind, knowledge-based industries like Information Technology are in a unique position to earn wealth from outside. While earning is important, we must have mechanisms by which we use it for the larger good of our society.

Through the Azim Premji Foundation, we have targeted over the next 12 months to enrol over a million children, who are out of school due to economic or social reasons.

I personally believe that the greatest gift one can give to others is the gift of education. We who have been so fortunate to receive this gift know how valuable it is.

Lesson # 10: Never let success go to your head

No matter what we achieve, it is important to remember that we owe this success to many factors and people outside us. This will not only help us in keeping our sense of modesty and humility intact but also help us to retain our sense of proportion and balance.

The moment we allow success to build a feeling or arrogance, we become vulnerable to making bad judgements.

Let me illustrate this with another story:

A lady in faded dress and her husband, dressed in a threadbare suit, walked in without an appointment into the office of the president of the most prestigious educational institution in America.

The secretary frowned at them and said, “He will be busy all day.”

“We will wait,” said the couple quietly.

The secretary ignored them for hours hoping they will go away. But they did not. Finally, the secretary decided to disturb the president, hoping they will go way quickly once they meet him.

The president took one look at the faded dresses and glared sternly at them. The lady said, “Our son studied here and he was very happy. A year ago, he was killed in an accident. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial for him on the campus.”

The president was not touched. He was shocked. “Madam, we cannot put up a statue for every student of ours who died. This place would look like a cemetery.”

“Oh, no,” the lady explained quickly, “we don’t want to erect a statue. We thought we would give a building to you.”

“A building?” exclaimed the president, looking at their worn out clothes. “Do you have any idea how much a building costs? Our buildings cost close to ten million dollars!”

The lady was silent. The president was pleased and thought this would get rid of them.

The lady looked at her husband. “If that is what it costs to start a university, why don’t we start our own?” Her husband nodded.

Mr and Mrs Leland Stanford walked away, travelling to Palo Alto, California, where they established the university as a memorial to their son, bearing their name – the Stanford University.

The story goes that this is how Stanford University began.

I wish you every success in your career and your future life.

Source : http://www.rediff.com/money/2001/jul/27wipro.htm

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Peter Drucker On Leadership

February 14, 2007

Peter Drucker On Leadership

by Rich Karlgaard.

·         What Needs to Be Done

·         Check Your Performance

·         Mission Driven

·         Creative Abandonment

·         The Rise of the Modern Multinational

·         21st Century Organizations

·         How To Lead a 21st Century Organization

·         Prisoner of Your Own Organization

·         How Organizations Fall Down

·         The Transition from Entrepreneur to Large Company CEO

·         How Capable Leaders Blow It

·         The Danger Of Charisma

·         How To Reinvigorate People

·         Character Development

and more ………..

Please read this nice article writen by Rich Karlgaard.

URL:http://www.forbes.com/management/2004/11/19/cz_rk_1119drucker.html

Source: Forbes website **********************************************************************  10 Artciles which align to above article. Kindly link and share your expereince.

Jack Welch Leadership Principles

February 12, 2007

Jack Welch – the former CEO of GE – lays down the following 10 principles for good business leadership in his book, Straight From the Gut:

1. There is only one way – the straight way. It sets the tone of the organisation.
2. Be open to the best of what everyone, everywhere, has to offer; transfer learning across your organisation.
3. Get the right people in the right jobs – it is more important than developing a strategy.
4. An informal atmosphere is a competitive advantage.
5. Make sure everybody counts and everybody knows they count.
6. Legitimate self-confidence is a winner – the true test of self-confidence is the courage to be open.
7. Business has to be fun – celebrations energise an organisation.
8. Never underestimate the other guy.
9. Understand where real value is added and put your best people there.
10. Know when to meddle and when to let go – this is pure instinct.

Source : http://www.businessopportunities.com/bob-daily/2006/6/22/jack-welch-leadership-principles.html 

Narayana Murthy on the essence of leadership

February 11, 2007

A leader is an agent of change, and progress is about change. In the words of Robert F Kennedy, ‘Progress is a nice word; but change is its motivator.’

Leadership is about raising the aspirations of followers and enthusing people with a desire to reach for the stars. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi created a vision for independence in India and raised the aspirations of our people.

Leadership is about making people say, ‘I will walk on water for you.’ It is about creating a worthy dream and helping people achieve it.

Robert Kennedy, summed up leadership best when he said, ‘Others see things as they are and wonder why; I see them as they are not and say why not?’

Adversity

A leader has to raise the confidence of followers. He should make them understand that tough times are part of life and that they will come out better at the end of it. He has to sustain their hope, and their energy levels to handle the difficult days.

There is no better example of this than Winston Churchill. His courageous leadership as prime minister for Great Britain successfully led the British people from the brink of defeat during World War II. He raised his people’s hopes with the words, ‘These are not dark days; these are great days — the greatest days our country has ever lived.’

Never is strong leadership more needed than in a crisis. In the words of Seneca, the Greek philosopher, ‘Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.’

Values

The leader has to create hope. He has to create a plausible story about a better future for the organisation: everyone should be able to see the rainbow and catch a part of it.

This requires creating trust in people. And to create trust, the leader has to subscribe to a value system: a protocol for behavior that enhances the confidence, commitment and enthusiasm of the people.

Compliance to a value system creates the environment for people to have high aspirations, self esteem, belief in fundamental values, confidence in the future and the enthusiasm necessary to take up apparently difficult tasks. Leaders have to walk the talk and demonstrate their commitment to a value system.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘We must become the change we want to see in the world.’ Leaders have to prove their belief in sacrifice and hard work. Such behavior will enthuse the employees to make bigger sacrifices. It will help win the team’s confidence, help leaders become credible, and help create trust in their ideas.

Enhancing trust

Trust and confidence can only exist where there is a premium on transparency. The leader has to create an environment where each person feels secure enough to be able to disclose his or her mistakes, and resolves to improve.

Investors respect such organisations. Investors understand that the business will have good times and bad times. What they want you to do is to level with them at all times. They want you to disclose bad news on a proactive basis. At Infosys, our philosophy has always been, ‘When in doubt, disclose.’

Governance

Good corporate governance is about maximising shareholder value on a sustainable basis while ensuring fairness to all stakeholders: customers, vendor-partners, investors, employees, government and society.

A successful organisation tides over many downturns. The best index of success is its longevity. This is predicated on adhering to the finest levels of corporate governance.

At Infosys, we have consistently adopted transparency and disclosure standards even before law mandated it. In 1995, Infosys suffered losses in the secondary market. Under Indian GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), we were not required to make this information public. Nevertheless, we published this information in our annual report.

Fearless environment

Transparency about the organisation’s operations should be accompanied by an open environment inside the organisation. You have to create an environment where any employee can disagree with you without fear of reprisal.

In such a case, everyone makes suggestions for the common good. In the end everyone will be better off.

On the other hand, at Enron, the CFO was running an empire where people were afraid to speak. In some other cases, the whistle blowers have been harassed and thrown out of the company.

Managerial remuneration

We have gone towards excessive salaries and options for senior management staff. At one company, the CEO’s employment contract not only set out the model of the Mercedes the company would buy him, but also promised a monthly first-class air ticket for his mother, along with a cash bonus of $10 million and other benefits.

Not surprisingly, this company has already filed for bankruptcy.

Managerial remuneration should be based on three principles:

  • Fairness with respect to the compensation of other employees;
  • Transparency with respect to shareholders and employees;
  • Accountability with respect to linking compensation with corporate performance.

Thus, the compensation should have a fixed component and a variable component. The variable component should be linked to achieving long-term objectives of the firm. Senior management should swim or sink with the fortunes of the company.

Senior management compensation should be reviewed by the compensation committee of the board, which should consist only of independent directors. Further, this should be approved by the shareholders.

I’ve been asked, ‘How can I ask for limits on senior management compensation when I have made millions myself?’ A fair question with a straightforward answer: two systems are at play here. One is that of the promoter, the risk taker and the capital markets; and the other is that of professional management and compensation structures.

One cannot mix these two distinct systems, otherwise entrepreneurship will be stifled, and no new companies will come up, no progress can take place. At the same time, there has to be fairness in compensation: there cannot be huge differences between the top most and the bottom rung of the ladder within an organisation.

PSPD model

A well run organisation embraces and practices a sound Predictability-Sustainability-Profitability-Derisking (we call this the PSPD model at Infosys) model. Indeed, the long-term success of an organisation depends on having a model that scales up profitably.

Further, every organisation must have a good derisking approach that recognises, measures and mitigates risk along every dimension.

Integrity

Strong leadership in adverse times helps win the trust of the stakeholders, making it more likely that they will stand by you in your hour of need. As leaders who dream of growth and progress, integrity is your most wanted attribute.

Lead your teams to fight for the truth and never compromise on your values. I am confident that our corporate leaders, through honest and desirable behaviour, will reap long-term benefits for their stakeholders.

Two mottos

In conclusion, keep in mind two Sanskrit sentences: Sathyannasti Paro Dharma (there is no dharma greater than adherence to truth); and Satyameva jayate (truth alone triumphs). Let these be your motto for good corporate leadership.

The author is Chairman and Chief Mentor, Infosys Technologies.

Powered by The Smart Manager. 

Published with the kind permission of The Smart Manager.

Source: http://in.rediff.com/money/2005/jan/04spec.htm

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Top 10 Artciles which align to above article. Kindly link and share your expereince.

 * Ajay Singh Niranjan  

Azim Premji’s 8 steps to excellence

February 11, 2007

These are changing times. Yet in the middle of all the changes there is one thing that constantly determines success. Some call it leadership. But to my mind, it is the single-minded pursuit of excellence.

Excellence endures and sustains. It goes beyond motivation into the realms of inspiration. Excellence can be as strong a uniting force as solid vision.

Excellence does not happen in a vacuum. It needs a collective obsession as I have experienced the benefits of excellence in my own life. Excellence is a great starting point for any new organisation but also an unending journey. What is excellence? It is about going a little beyond what we expect from ourselves. Part of the need for excellence is imposed on us externally by our customers. Our competition keeps us on our toes, especially when it is global in nature.

But the other driver of excellence is internal. I have found that excellence is not so much a battle you fight with others, but a battle you fight with yourself, by constantly raising the bar and stretching yourself and your team. This is the best and the most satisfying and challenging part about excellence.

How does one create excellence in an organisation?

First, we create an obsession with excellence. We must dream of it not only because it delivers better results but because we truly believe in it and find it intrinsically satisfying to us.

We must think of excellence not only with our mind but also with our heart and soul. Let us look outside, at the global standards of excellence in quality, cost and delivery and let us not rest till we surpass them.

Second, we need to build a collective self-confidence. Organisations and people who pursue excellence are self-confident. This is because excellence requires tremendous faith in one’s ability to do more and in a better way. Unless, we believe we can do better, we cannot.

Third, we must understand the difference between perfection for its own sake and excellence. Time is of essence. Globalisation has made the customer only more impatient. This may seem like a paradox: should we aim for excellence or should we aim for speed?

Excellence is about doing the best we can and speed lies in doing it quickly. These two concepts are not opposed to each other; in fact, speed and timeliness are important elements of quality and excellence.

Fourth, we must realise that we cannot be the best in everything we do. We must define what we are or would like to be best at and what someone else can do better.

Excellence is no longer about being the best in India. It is about being the best in the world. We have to define what our own core competencies are and what we can outsource to other leaders. Headaches shared are headaches divided.

Fifth, we must create processes that enable excellence. Today, there are a number of global methods and processes available whether it is Six Sigma, CMM or ISO. Use them because they are based on distilled wisdom collected from the best companies in the world.

Also, we must build a strong foundation of information technology, because in this complex, dynamic world, it is imperative that we use the most modern tools to keep processes updated.

Sixth, we must create a culture of teaming. I have found that while great individuals are important, one cannot have pockets of excellence. Quality gives ample opportunities to build a culture of teaming. Cross-functional teams that are customer facing can cut through an amazing amount of bureaucracy, personal empire building and silos and deliver savings that one would not have imagined possible.

The other advantage of building teams focussed on quality is that the teaming culture eventually spreads to the rest of the organisation and teaming becomes a way of life.

Seventh, invest in excellence for the future. Future always seems to be at a distance. But it comes upon you so suddenly that it catches you by surprise, if not shock. What constitutes excellence in the future will be significantly different from what it is today.

In these days of severe market pressures, there is big temptation to sacrifice the future to look good in the present. We must certainly trim our discretionary expenses, but we must ensure that our investments in strategic areas that lead to excellence in the future are protected.

Finally, excellence requires humility. This is especially needed when we feel we have reached the peak of excellence and there is nothing further we can do. We need an open mind to look at things in a different way and allow new inputs to come in.

Otherwise, there is a real danger of becoming complacent or even downright arrogant. I would like to end my talk with a story that illustrates this very well.

A brilliant young professor went to meet a famous Zen master to have a discussion with him on Zen. He found himself in front of a modest house. He rang the doorbell and waited. A while later, he heard shuffling footsteps and the door was opened by the Zen master.

He invited the professor to sit with him on the dining table. The professor was a little disappointed with the shabby appearance of the Zen master. He started quizzing him immediately on comparative philosophies and the Zen master gave some brief answers.

When the professor began to debate with him on those answers, the Zen master stopped speaking and kept smiling at him. Finally, the professor got angry. He said, “I have come from a long distance just to understand the relevance of Zenism. But apparently you have nothing to say. I have not learnt anything from you at all.”

At this point, the Zen master asked the professor to have some tea. When the professor held the cup, the Zen master started pouring tea into it. After some time, the tea started spilling and the professor shouted, “Stop! The cup can contain no more.”

The Zen Master stopped and then, once again smiling, he said, “A mind, full of itself can receive nothing. How can I speak to you of Zenism until you empty your mind to learn.” The professor understood and apologized to the Zen master. He parted from him, the Zen master — a wiser man.

The author is Chairman & Managing Director, Wipro Limited.Powered by The Smart Manager Published with the kind permission of The Smart Manager.Source:

http://www.rediff.com/money/2005/jan/17spec.htm

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