Leadership In The Time of Uncertainty


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A crisis is a terrible thing to waste, and this could be an opportunity to unlearn some of the bad habits that we may have picked up on the way to fast paced growth.

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  • Leadership In The Time of Uncertainty

    1. 1. Calling Leadership to the Fore NASSCOM Gurgaon CEO Forum 9 February, 2009
    2. 2. <ul><li>Acquisitions, Assets will never be cheaper </li></ul><ul><li>Cash is king – only yard stick for measurement – no sacred cows </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural – rev up the organisation to a new level, find that 5th gear…raise the bar on talent. </li></ul><ul><li>Renegotiate existing terms with vendors </li></ul><ul><li>Change your business model – take advantage of competitor weaknesses – set new standards & pricing, grab market share </li></ul><ul><li>Set new productivity & cost targets – the organisation will never be more receptive!! </li></ul><ul><li>Set new standards… and pricing. Grab market share. </li></ul><ul><li>Accept lack of ability to predict – what is Plan B </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalize on the sense of urgency – change your operating rhythm, make decisive organisational changes. </li></ul>Call to Action A crisis is a terrible thing to waste!!
    3. 3. Get the right people on the bus… FAST Re-calibrate performance evaluation processes to reflect the skills you need … <ul><li>Domain Expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing and Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Risk Taking Ability </li></ul><ul><li>Judgment </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Savvyness </li></ul><ul><li>Decisiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Generalist </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to run stable operations </li></ul><ul><li>Execution </li></ul><ul><li>People Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Centricity </li></ul>Skills that worked in the past are now “Hygiene” Define New Skills as the business changes … It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent… but the ones most responsive to change … Charles Darwin Interviewing Guide <ul><li>Hiring Screens </li></ul><ul><li>Potential Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>360 Feedback Surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Learning & Development programs </li></ul><ul><li>Reward mechanisms </li></ul>Align People processes to drive behavior
    4. 4. New Leadership Attributes <ul><li>Marketing and Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understands customer priority and CXO agenda… Builds “trust” relationships at all levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicates fluently … Can Influence diverse range of stakeholders </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Risk Taking Ability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commits to aggressive goals… challenges the status quo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drives team to aim higher…Takes risks with “people” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Judgment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifies customer needs, decision makers with precision… Negotiates independently at CXO level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has a ‘boundaryless’ view of the business … generates powerful insights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Commercial Savvyness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leverages business analysis skills… generates revenue /gain share opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrates domain expertise… Structures win-win engagements with customers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Decisiveness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Displays ‘edge’ in taking decisions and achieves results … no ‘paralysis of analysis’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Takes ownership when faced with adversity </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Hitting the Number / Meeting Commitments is a GIVEN ! </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership is about Breaking Through Inertia & Driving Change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pick an Agenda … the right thing to do, what NOT to do and FOCUS. The agenda creates everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pick Great People and motivate them … know them !! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a Process for driving Change.. Develop Process Skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn how to sequence work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn how things interact </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High Contact Measurements and Tracking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Get the metrics done first. Spend some time to get them right </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hold Self and Team Accountable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t be a grader … Be on your team’s side </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hit the Measurement … Results are Binary </li></ul></ul></ul>Leadership – Setting the Right Expectations “ Tear Down Walls… A Boundaryless Style…Actively Decisively with Speed and Self Confidence to Set Stretch targets”
    6. 6. Expectations from CFOs visibly changing & rising <ul><li>Controllership, Controllership, Controllership, </li></ul><ul><li>Governance – Strategy, Structure, Implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Independence – voice to be heard, accountable for everything </li></ul><ul><li>Public perception & expectations – unreasonable? </li></ul><ul><li>Changing rules, SOX, FX, Treasury, Cross Border, Taxes </li></ul>Moving To Zero Tolerance On Governance
    7. 7. A few ideas <ul><li>A CFO’s job is to control, record, interpret and predict – trends, risks, complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Get great FP&A people… who can think out of the box, understand the “connection” between nos. </li></ul><ul><li>Triangulate all the time – Sales/ Operations / Supply Chain/ Manufacturing “Do the numbers make sense” </li></ul><ul><li>Spend as much time looking forward, as looking backwards… no other way to assess risk. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ignore the “orphans”… regional operations, small branches, new countries – highest risk of controllership. </li></ul><ul><li>Double & triple check on culture – does the Ombudsperson network work? Is anyone using it? Are you truly independent? Are others on your team? Is the CEO driving too hard? </li></ul><ul><li>Get the right people for the right job – Risk Management, Treasure, Taxes, are unique skills, not every CFO can do it all! </li></ul><ul><li>Do you processes work? On time? Do you measure them? How? </li></ul><ul><li>Calibrate your own effectiveness – are you a true Business Partner, do people come to you for advice, judgement, perspective… or because they have to?? </li></ul>Too Critical To Be Mediocre
    8. 8. War does not decide who is right… but who is left.