Some Impressionistic takes from the book Ravi Chaudhry’s“Quest for Exceptional Leadership- Mirage to Reality” by Ramki email@example.com
Foreword from G.M.RaoThis book is remarkable in its depth of research and breadth of vision,convincingly articulating why corporate objectives can no longerdisregard society’s interests and why exceptional leadershipcomprising of wholeness, compassion & transparency can deliverenduring results for an organization in the long run. In GMR group ,we are making a journey towards building an institution in perpetuityin which, I am convinced, such leadership qualities will be essential ina rapidly changing world. I thought of sharing this valuable learningwith you, through this precision book
About Ravi ChaudhryRavi Chaudhry is the founder Chairman of CeNext Consulting andInvestment Pvt Ltd., New Delhi, a firm that provides strategic advisoryservices to CEOs and corporate boards on global competitiveness andinternational growth, and to governments on issues related to investmentpromotion and development strategies. He has served on the boards ofseveral companies and organizations, lectures widely, and is deeplycommitted to improving the standards of corporate governance and socialresponsibility worldwide. He lives in New Delhi, India.
PreludeQuest for Exceptional Leadership: Mirage to Reality outlines the emergence of a new fifthphase of human enterprise that is redefining the criteria of success as well as re-configuring theroutes to success. The author analyses the changing paradigms and provides a down-to-earth,realistic blueprint to acquire the relevant leadership traits. Corporations do not have the option towait; they have to re-align themselves with the new reality – now.Based on substantial research and analysis, the book is full of path-breaking innovative conceptssuch as: ‘Seven Prime Realities’ that adversely impact our businesses and lives. ‘Seven Allies to Catalyze Change’ that can augment social consciousness in business. ‘Four Quadrant Matrix’ to make the right choice, every time. ‘Five Circles of Leadership Attitudes’ to assess where you areThe journey from ‘Base Camp Leadership Traits’, to summit of Exceptional LeadershipThe author makes a compelling case that those who embrace the new realism will achievesustained profitability for their companies and ‘Triple Top Line’ of joy, peace, and contentment intheir personal lives.The book would inspire every CEO and every aspiring CEO to map out his or her own personalpath to becoming an exceptional leader. It is a pioneering endeavor to bring the CEO’s personalvalue system into mainstream dialogue and to convince why corporate objectives can no longerdisregard society’s interests. Happy Reading
Seven Prime Realities of Business today1. One business – Politics Nexus2. Short-Termism3. Corporate Social Responsibility only a public relation exercise.4. Corruption of the mind5. Information overload6. Leaders blinded by power7. Misdirected GDP growth
1. One business – Politics Nexus Well established, continuing nexus between business & political leadership. Influence is manifested through officially permitted election campaign contributions, direct representation in government or personal favors . Economic agenda virtually drives the policy making & this is invariably dominated by large corporations . Politicians & businessman move back & forth quite easily from running companies to running government.
2. Short –termism ( Short term horizon of decision makers) Corporate thinking is dominated by “ Short-termism. Majority of Corporate CEOs tend to sacrifice company’s long- term value to meet short-term targets. Long-term structural & operational problems are ignored & criteria of success are gauged by short-term accounting & behavior of stock exchanges Short-term results naturally leads to thinking patterns that are bound by narrow considerations- impact on environment, social responsibility & moral values. Political leadership also succumbs to “NIMTOO” principle – “ Not in my term of office”
3. CSR only a Public Relations exercise- A skillfuluse of corporate cosmetics CEO’s tend to perceive CSR merely as a “Public relations exercise. Companies with a real sense of social responsibility go beyond simple posturing. They develop what is called “ Social engagement” – as sense of proactive involvement with the communities they work with & society in which they work.
4. Corruption of the Mind-Grab everybody’s wealth It is a virus that kills silently The race to win in Politics or Business is so competitive & this leads to unethical practices merely because someone else is also doing this & they are getting away with this. You start believing that there is no alternative but to follow this path.
4. Corruption of the Mind-Grab everybody’s wealth Custodians & guardians of society become easy preys in the pursuit of easy money & are willing to stoop to any lows. Law makers becomes Law –breakers Corruption is justified by labeling it as being pragmatic & practical. This leads to practiced belief that it is an intrinsic part of our lives today. This rationale : since it is not possible to change the system, you become a part of it for survival
5. Information overload-making it tough to sift relevantfrom irrelevant Overwhelmed by the amount of information Don’t understand the available information Don’t have time to analyze the information & understand We only retain small fraction of what we hear or read only once. Information overload frosts & Leads to immobilization
6. Leaders Blinded by Power Average individual is conscientious, an ‘ individual in power’ is a different species. Power blinds one to one’s own good. CEO’s becomes prone to often behaving insensibly & taking unexpected , irrational economic decisions. In independent Board of directors should be truly independent, which is possible only if they are appointed on a contractual basis.Need to institutionalize a formal process of independent evaluation of ‘ independent directors’ in every Corporate board.
7. Misdirected GDP growth World is preoccupied with macro- level GDP growth, while poverty continues to increase. GDP fails to measure what really counts. It tells nothing about the degree to which a nation invests it is real wealth, people & nature. Democracy is important, but more important is the need to bridge the ever growing divide between the rich & the poor
2 Seven Allies to Catalyze ChangeAccelerating Momentum for Social Consciousness in Business
The Seven Allies IPC – Institutions to promote Consciousness Consumers Media Educators ( in Universities, Educational Institutions & Management schools) Iconic Corporate CEOs as role models Women Independent Legislators & former Government Bureaucrats
The New Business Ethos To raise transparent lighthouses in the turbulent corporate oceans of materialism. Seven allies to work in tandem , gather critical mass to give accelerated impetus to social consciousness in business Will transform the business and the destiny Most acceptable part of the new ethos is that it is not meant to bring about change by depriving someone. The new mind-set has to be candidly transnational & embrace the entire planet “ The earth has enough for every man’s need, but not for every man’s greed – by Mahatma Gandhi
3Five Phases of Human Enterprise“ An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it . By James Michener
Five Phases of Human Enterprise Realistic fish eating Unrealistic Fish Intelligent fish eating Dumb fish Fast fish eating Slow Fish Big fish eating Small Fish Strong fish eating Weak Fish
Strong Fish eating Weak Fish Stone age to the Agrarian era to early days of industrialization - Law of survival Low mobility, Scanty resources Focus on preservation Law of Preservation manifested itself in the law of “ Strong fish eating Weak fish “ Physical strength determined who was strong and moved to those who possessed weapons Driver-narrow vested interest & sharing with innermost circles
Strong Fish eating Weak Fish Cheops ( King Khufu) of Egypt who made the highest pyramid in 3000 BC Hyksos ( Arab tribe of shepherds) who ruled the valley of the Nile for 500 years Assyrians who conquered West Asia around 1000 BC The Persian King Cambyes ( 500 BC) Alexander the Great ( 4th century BC) of Macedonia
Big fish eating small fish Corporate Liberalism Birth of Joint stock company concept Origin of this phase lies in the introduction of the concept of ‘Joint Stock Company’ that allowed stakeholders to keep profits & avoid personal liability. British East India Co. in 1600 & Dutch East India Co. in 1602 – First known entities to issue stock & bonds. Became ingenious financing model, enabling companies to raise large amounts of capital . Post world war II spread of technology & capitalism, coupled with free market economics
Fast fish eating Slow fish Death of distance, fall of Berlin wall & birth of internet New emerging technologies Unleashing of a new spirit of entrepreneurship New entrepreneurial roles in old professions Dawn of outsourcing New breed of fast fish companies Microsoft – 1981 America online- 1983 Dell -1984 eBay & Amazon.com- 1995 HTC-Taiwan- 1997 Google -1998
Intelligent fish eating Dumb fish Convergence Era ( since the beginning of 21st century) Knowledge society New Professions Indian Trio – Infosys, TCS & Wipro turnover exceeding US $ 4.5 billion Vast numbers of entities Brazil- Embraer, Sadia, O’Boticario China- Lenova, Haier, Huawei S.Korea- Samsung, Hyundai, LG Taiwan – Acer Turkey- Koc, Sabanci, Hattat
Realistic fish eating Unrealistic fish Increased social consciousness Need to function in sync with society & environment Call for sharing & caring
Four features of Post-modern Era Rise of civil society movements Four Predominance of Features Freedom must youth in new of Post be shared demographics Modern Era Fewer entry barriers in entrepreneurship
Profits beyond tomorrow Jamsetji Tata “ In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stakeholder in business, but, in fact, is the very purpose of its existence. Ratan Tata “ The multitude of initiatives the Group has sowed and fostered from its earliest days, in employee relations & good governance, on the environment & with community cause, flows from this well-being of voluntary , as opposed to obligatory commitment‘”
4 Making the Right ChoiceOvercoming Obstacles to Conscientious Choice
What is so great about Choice? Choice is the ability to select one course of action from a set of alternatives to achieve goal. It transforms us from dumb animals to artists. Choice is nothing other than the chisel we use to sculpt our life. The chisel does not come free however, for the price of choice is responsibility. When we accept our responsibility the reward is great & the reward is happiness. We constantly need to monitor where are we on our journey. Choice is at the heart of life & it is the creative power of life
Leadership Matrix of Choice- Profit –Values trade off Quadrant One Static status-quo situation An attitude of relative indifference Not much commitment to values, neither to too much self-gain or profits Small family businesses, self employed professionals- spend lifetimes with this approach They do no harm nor do they do positive good
Leadership Matrix of Choice- Profit –Values trade off Quadrant Two A short-term approach for self-gratification To show immediate results Path of declining returns in the medium & long-term with adverse after effects Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, Quest communications, Home stores etc. Such leaders have total apathy for society & care little for the impact of their decision They do positive harm, question of doing positive good does not arise.
Leadership Matrix of Choice- Profit –Values trade off Quadrant Three Institutions to promote Consciousness, NGOs etc. Catalysts for growth of global value pool They do no harm Their sole purpose is to do positive good
Leadership Matrix of Choice- Profit –Values trade off Quadrant Four Ideal Quadrant to be in. Prime focus tends to be on high sense of values Sustained high profitability follows This is what differentiates ‘ realistic fish from ‘unrealistic fish”
A Practical test for Right ChoiceThe Rotary of Four way test- Four Questions Is it truth – relates to something that eternal and universal Is it fair to all concerned – Focuses on our views, based on our knowledge gained till now , i.e., it is rooted in the past Will it build goodwill & better friendship ?- becomes apparent as soon as the thought is communicated or the deed is done. It relates to its impact on the present time Will it be beneficial to all concerned ?- is answerable later. It relates to the future. This question recognizes that each individual, no matter what position he/she holds and what role he/she plays, affects others, at least to some extent
Eight Causes of violence in human life Wealth without Work Pleasure without Conscience Knowledge without Character Commerce without Morality Science without Humanity Worship without Sacrifice Politics without Principles Rights without Responsibilities “ If we have only one response to each situation, we become robot. If wehave two choices for every situation, we have a dilemma. When we havethree responses, that is the beginning of flexibility. And if we realize that wehave infinite possibilities in any given situation , we become total free” By Deepak Chopra
Eight Causes of violence in Human life H5 Interactive Attitude Index of sustainable happiness C5 H4 Proactive Attitude C4 H3 Reactive Attitude C3 H2 Inactive attitude H1 C2 C1 Passive Attitude S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 Index of sustainable success
Passive Attitude- Circle One Conscious decision not to make any choice Result of Either complete callousness Or sheer inability to take a decision Or lack of confidence to exercise choice Or letting fate decide the future course Or hoping that the need to take a decision would vanish in course of timeInactive Attitude- Circle Two Consciously ignoring the need to take conscious decisions Result of Either utter lethargy toward other’s concern Or inability to evaluate risks associated with decision making Or authoritarian approach to any issues not relevant for personal gain Or specific disregard if there is no immediate impact Or waiting for nexus-partners (in politics) to direct course of action
Reactive Attitude- Circle Three Responding only when forced to do so, for example, ‘house on fire’ or legal requirement Result of Either no vision about the future Or inability to distinguish between the routine & the important Or delaying action on futuristic issues, as far as possible Or complete indifference to matters of long-term consequences Or pure habit of being the last man standing, even when others fleeProactive Attitude- Circle Four Anticipating tomorrow’s issues & the need to meaningfully respond well before problems arise Result of Ability to foresee the emerging trends Eagerness not to be caught flat-footed by surprises Showing understanding of new success-factors Being in constant readiness to evaluate associated risks and Concern for all stakeholders
Interactive Attitude- Circle Five Anticipating tomorrow’s issues and the need to take all stakeholders in confidence Result of Ability to trust and be trusted by all stakeholders Eagerness to work in close partnerships with them Showing sensitivity toward their expectations Re-aligning strategies & business plans as required and Total commitment to Triple bottom line concept
5Discovering Triple Top LineOf Joy, Peace & Contentment
Role of wealth in Happiness- Typical Situation Initial acquisition Points of of wealth adds to sufficiency happiness More wealth beyond this point tends to be counter productive & Quantum of happiness often results in reducing level of happiness Likely optimum balance Quantum of wealth
Role of wealth in Happiness- Preferred Situation Initial acquisition Points of of wealth adds to sufficiency happiness Quantum of happiness This state exists when one willingly shares one’s good fortunes with the underprivileged sections of the society Likely optimum balance Quantum of wealth
Living in Harmony Life in Harmony – Harmony with the people around & Harmony with the space around Experience is not what happens to you, it is what you do with what happens to you . Feelings are not emotions that happen to you. They are reactions you choose to have. You may not be able to change events, but you can certainly change your attitude to events
Concept of Triple Top line Human nature which is a reflection of one’s own ego is such that it finds it easier to be miserable than to be happy. If one can keep one’s egoist mind within the dictates of one’s intellect & exercise choices with discrimination , one would find it easier to be happy. Follow this path & experience a Triple top line – Joy, Peace & Contentment in your personal life & all around you. This generates self-worth & confidence & makes you fearless.
Discovering Real Wealth Inner wealth has two amazing characteristics It is there in every human being. This is the privilege of being born on this planet The task one faces is how to discover and harness this wealth Once you have discovered your own “ inner wealth” , you find something uniquely striking about it; the more you use it, the more it expands
Life with Triple Top Line Human beings were created for Joy and not for Pleasure The moment we realize the difference between Joy & pleasure the context ends and we are ready to take the first step towards living a life of purpose. Pleasure Momentary & transitory, usually sensory True joy is eternal Pleasure result of external factors & dependent on others Joy Arises within , it is nothing to do with outside It is the spontaneous flow of your own positive energy Consequence of your own virtuous actions & dispositions
Life with Triple Top Line Peace It is the natural consequence as soon as our minds abandon the feeling of “otherness of others”. Contentment It is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.
6 Leadership Lessons from HistoryPerspective from Egypt, India, China , Greece & Italy
Perspective Writings of Ptahhotep- Egyptian Perspectives on Leadership – 2200 BC Robust Authority Perceptive heart Equitable justice Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – Ancient India – 2000 BC Non-Violence Truthfulness Non-stealing Non-receiving of gifts
Perspective Lao-Tzu’s Tao Te Ching- 500 BC to 600 BC Selflessness Unbiased Leadership- being fair & Just Facilitator Plato’s Dialogues & “ The Republic”- Greek -400 BC Kautilya’s Arthashastra – 300 BC Community welfare Conscientious Top Management Anger, Greed, Pride, Freight Good organizational framework Machiavelli’s “The Prince” – Italian treatise on leadership – AD 1500
8 Wholeness( The 1st trait of Exceptional Leadership)
What is Wholeness Wholeness means The whole view The entire perspective The complete story The total understanding The uncensored version of full picture Perceived from all angles From all directions The wholeness view is taken from outside, from the perceiver’s vantage, with reference to the mind & processed in the intellect
But that is half the job… The “Whole Wholeness” comes about when the same process Is repeated naturally Without Volition By taking similar complete view Understanding the same situation from the inside As perceived by other’s eyes With reference to other’s mind As processed in the others’ thoughtsThis is first trait in the tripod of future leaders
Wholeness is a 720 degree view Wholeness is the view from inside & outside How does one perceive the view from inside ? Simple you go deep within yourself Tune the antennas of your mind & thoughts to the wavelength of those who are inside the prism The inside view is very different from the outside view That is when the wholeness is felt
Wholeness & Sense of responsibility Abdication of Individual responsibility leads to the violation of individual rights Human experience & awareness is usually fragmented & localized Our concerns are partially focused on our abstract selves, families, groups , races or countries in alienation from the concrete whole that comprises our universe. Those who aspire wholeness will no longer feel alienated , they feel they are aligned to everything around them.
Integration & Differentiation Analytic view point- wholeness is an amalgam of integration & differentiation. Can be viewed in terms of unity & diversity, relationship & uniqueness & context and interiority Unity includes anything that holds a whole together Diversity generates vitality & evolution Relationship connects people & things , events & possibilities, generating energy. Uniqueness means that everyone, every moment has qualities possessed by no other person . Context is what’s around us- conditions & mindsets that contain everything that’s a part of the big picture and gives it meaning
Dialogue Vs. Discussion Dialogue is exploring the frontiers of what it means to be human Foundation that leads to personal & organizational transformation Creating environments of high trust & openness Focus is on creating fuller picture of reality rather than breaking it down into fragments, as it happens in discussion. No emphasis on winning , but rather learning, collaboration & the synthesis of points of view Creates a community based culture of co-operation & shared leadership Discussion on the other hand Is an activity wherein we throw our opinions back & in an attempt to convince each other of the rightness of our points of view
Four guidelines for Dialogue Suspension of Judgment Foundation of dialogue Create a space between our judgment & our reaction & our reaction to other views Opens door for listening Uncover one’s assumption By learning how to identify our assumptions Understand core misunderstandings Build common ground & consensus Listening: Key to perception Listening allows the integration & synthesis of new insights & possibilities Inquiry & Reflection Inquiry elicits information, reflection analyzes it Combination allows us to learn , think creatively & to build on past experience
Creating an Integral culture Business-as-usual forces that want to maintain the existing institutions & ways of doing things, and keep the world’s economic wealth in the hands of those who currently possess its Nostalgic forces that want to go back to an earlier time & way of doing things to a simpler, less anarchic period characterized by traditional values & slower pace of change. Insightful forces that recognize that neither of the above approaches are viable. Making a small difference in the lives of others can bring unbounded joy. Leading a life of service can bring righteous peace. Sharing your heart with others can bring unlimited contentment from deep within.
9 Compassion( The 2nd trait of Exceptional Leadership)
What is Compassion Compassion means Feeling of unconditional concern Love for others With sense of responsibility Irrespective of whether the other person is close friend or roe Known or unknown Compassion is Tolerance, Generosity & humility Emanates from positive thoughts & feelings within us that give rise to hope, courage & inner strength in others
How do develop Compassion ? Self-centeredness inhibits our love for others For true happiness we need calm mind which is brought by a compassion attitude. This attitude cannot be selective – applies equally to all beings Important to lead a life of constant mindfulness & mental alertness In Sanskrit compassion is called “ Karuna” –means sense of shared suffering, showing special kindness to those who suffer
Four-Step ladder of Compassion Fulfillment Of resolve and discovery of associated joys & hidden self-potential Realization That it is not difficult to be compassionate. Intents becomes resolve Recognition Of one’s inner feelings & developing the “ intent to be compassionate” Awareness Of compassion as default-trait in 2/3rd of human race Journey of Thought
10 Transparency( The 3rd trait of Exceptional Leadership)
Corruption Risks in Corporate Activity Dominant obstacles to Transparency is the practice of corruption by Corporate Leaders to seek Special favors from the State or Central. Corruption Risks Insider trading & Corporate fraud – initiated by Management/ Board/Employees/ Owners. Commercial Bribery – In connivance with suppliers & customers Collusion & cartels- in complicity with competitors Regulatory & policy capture – Impacting its role & relationship in society
Infosys Acknowledged as one of the best governed companies in the globe. One most important reason – Their unflinching commitment to Transparency. Company founded on certain inviolate principles The soften pillow is clear conscience When in doubt , disclose Don’t use corporate resources for personal benefit Put a long-term interests ahead of short-term ones A small slice of a large pie is better than a large slice of small pie; the company’s growth depends on management’s sharing profits with all employees Transparency, Openness & Ethics are the 3 revolving points of the same circle Each supports the other & get strengthened by the other Together they signify the highest level of integrity & truthfulness This in turn leads to strong bonds of irrevocable trust between the company & its stakeholders
Stone & Glass window When the stone is thrown at a glass window – the glass breaks. If the glass was strong, it would not break. “ You have a much greater opportunity & potential to strengthen your own “ Glass” yourself & decrease in vulnerability to break “
Fundamental Personal Value System Wholeness, Compassion & Transparency The faculty of choice imbibes a hitherto unknown conviction of strength & a benign, benevolent consciousness starts to influence our thoughts. Radically different leaders emerge Leaders who are at peace with themselves & at peace with the globe Leaders who contribute & they make the world better Leaders who look outwards for wholeness, Compassion Leaders who find the balance & do that with TRANSPARENCY
Steps to Fundamental Personal Value System Virtues Highest Aspiration for Humanity Internalization Acceptance
The Challenges ( It is difficult , because it is not easy) Move from Preparation to Action It is Difficult Because one has to realize this oneself , through oneself It is Easy Because it is so close. It is already there- right within you It is almost like touching the tip of the right hand finger with the tip of the left hand finger What you need is conviction & determination
You have a choice to makeTraits relating to Strength within Physical traits Basic Intelligence ( grey matter) Energy & Drive ( health & stamina) Professional will ( ambition)Traits relating to interface with outside world Mind traits Pragmatic Visionary –Ability to spot & foresee ( dreaming what is feasible & envisioning how) Transactional skills-Ability to build teams, set goals & motivate people to get results ( Human resource skills) Perseverance – Ability to overcome obstacles & find workable solutions around the challenges
What you do W-H Matrix Impact of Doing right things with Doing right things with Unconscious/ Doing Right things Low Efficiency high efficiency Conscious Slow Progress –SP Rapid Progress- RP Choices Doing wrong things Doing wrong things Doing wrong things with Low Efficiency with high Efficiency Slow Demise - SD Rapid Demise – RD How do you do it Low Efficiency High Efficiency
What you do Where a company belongs in W-H Matrix Slow Progress –SP Rapid Progress- RP Doing Right things C-3 Exceptional Leader’s choice C-2 Status quo with caution Rapid Demise – RD Doing wrong things Slow Demise - SD C-1 Business as Usual How do you do it Low Efficiency High Efficiency
Impact of your Choice- on the future of your organization
If a leader thinks he has developed the traits of Wholeness and Compassion, then he shall have simultaneously developed the trait of Transparency. No further effort is necessary
Such leaders are at peace with themselves & at peace with the world. They contribute; they make the world better. They look outwards for wholeness. They look inwards for compassion. They find the balance, and do that with transparency
Conclusion Man’s aim is to move towards an integral perfection. The Sadhna for this does not exclude the world. He has first to be convinced of this in his mind and life. He can then advance towards perfection through any work so long as that is done with inner sincerity. One has to discover one’s inner truth and allow it as fully as possible to direct one’s whole life. It is not an easy path. But there is no other way.