In order to be relevant in this digital age, leaders need to adapt to a digital mindset. What does this mindset look like? Abhijit discusses the digital mindset in this nugget and gives anecdotes of how extremely competent leaders of the analog era are struggling to adapt to this. He also shares two important core values which can help in acquiring skills to navigate this digital world. Look out for his views on the future being an ‘&’ world rather than an ‘Or’ world.
Authenticity is a word that is often used by people in different contexts. Pramath shares his perspectives on Authentic leadership and talks about what it takes to get there. He also talks about how he thinks about flexing his leadership style across diverse contexts.
Amit discusses how he thinks about hiring and creating a nurturing climate for his team to deliver performance. He also shares how he invests time with each of his colleagues and help build their capability. He also talks about how he handles exits from Bain Capital. He talks about the realities of a corporate pyramid and stresses the importance of handling the people that don’t go up the pyramid with empathy.
Roopa talks about how she had to adjust her leadership style when she moved from leading a team of 4000 plus people in CRISIL to Omidyar Network which had about 150 people globally and about 15-20 people in India. She discusses the power of listening, learning and tapping into the internal network to come upto speed and build credibility with the organization.
Vinay talks about how Narasimha Rao combined the notion of intellectual agility (ability to fundamentally shift one’s beliefs when new data presents itself) and implementation agility (knowing how to drive change through a complex system). He talks about how Narasimha Rao could play Lion, Fox or Mouse and the criticality of timing in these situations.
Neera talks about some of the common challenges that entrepreneurs in the Social Impact space face. She talks about founders often being “too mission driven” and thereby coming in the way of systems and processes that could build the organization sustainably. She also talks about the Founders not spending enough time on what they are distinctive in leading to spreading themselves across too many areas.
Arun talks about how the depth of insight and intimacy gets compromised when we start having conversations across a large number of people. However, he shares his insights around how we could still make such conversations enriching by moving from the layer of data to the layer of how people form their opinions on the data.
Ambi talks about how leaders like Karsanbhai Patel of Nirma have an intuitive understanding of the customer need. He specifically talks about the “chaiwalla test”, a concept he discusses in his book, to talk about how some leaders find smart ways of getting a quick pulse from the real demographic rather than making misleading assumptions.
Falguni speaks about the key shifts that she has made to her leadership style as she moved from a Senior Leadership role in an institution like Kotak to starting Nykaa from the ground. She specifically refers to the poem Ithaka that had daughter had shared with her at that point. It talks about the criticality of focusing on the journey than the destination.
Rajat speaks at length about how he led McKinsey over the 3 terms when he was the Managing Partner. He says that during the first term he co-created the future strategy of the firm and started executing on it. The second term, he says, was largely around driving expansion around the world while establishing key governance processes. The third term, he says, was largely around navigating the dot com crisis after the bubble had burst.
Alan speaks about how Bill and leaders at Google deal with super-star performers who can have enormous impact given their talent can be leveraged and multiplied with technology. He specifically speaks about what to watch out for as determine if we should put up with the complexity or the toxicity that is caused by the employee.
RG speaks about the fact that CEOs are measured not just on the objective performance metrics that have been laid out but also on how they perform with respect to the expectations of the pecking order of stakeholders in the system. The challenge is that the former is often laid out clearly (if one is lucky) and the latter is a fuzzy truth that leaders need to discern with finesse.
Gopal speaks about the criticality of focusing on not just efficiency (linearly moving from point A to point B) but effectiveness (moving according to the lay of the land much like how water comes down a mountain). He shares some metaphors and discusses how sometimes CEOs might end up gravitiating towards efficiency while the Board might be seeking effectiveness.
Andrew speaks about how he came up with a framework to measure judgment. He also speaks about the nature of research he did to get to what was judgment and the variables that go in there. He also speaks about how the framework has evolved over time as he did his research and particularly speaks about the role of values in judgment.
Sanjeev speaks about the three rhythms with which organizations often need to operate – growth, efficiency and foundation. He mentions that the first comes naturally to entrepreneurs and what differentiates the great founders from the average ones is their ability to walk that three-dimensional tight rope. He also goes on to speak about the power of complementarity in the leadership team that can enable these three rhythms.
Bill speaks about how Jeff Bezos made the distinction between “what” decisions and “who” decisions. He takes us back to 2004 when the whole media world was transitioning from physical to digital. Bill lays out how Jeff thought about the decision and first focused on deploying the most prized resources (the who) in the company to go after the opportunity, who put in place a set of processes (the how) to explore new opportunities that eventually led to them going after the opportunity (the what).
Dan speaks about situations where we might get into trouble by overusing our strengths. He speaks about how we should watch out for those situations and ensure that our strengths don’t become derailers. He speaks about the combination of awareness and intelligence required to navigate these situations.
Darleen speaks about how leaders should walk the tight rope between letting people be, giving them autonomy and seeking performance. It is a fine line and it is easy to swing too far without realizing it. She speaks about the ATC (Action, Timetable, Check-in) approach in dealing with colleagues.
Darleen speaks about how leaders need to look at the way an organization works and the cadence to ensure that people are not overloaded with responsibilities and information. She goes on to say that it is less about technology but more about how it is used and applied in an organizational context.
Sukhinder speaks about the notion of White spaces in an organization. These are the activities that are often at the interfaces of different functions and are often not captured in role descriptions. She says that very often people might be “green” in their respective roles but the project might be at a “red” in terms of status. She speaks about demonstrating and looking out for that behaviour as a leader wherever you are in the organization.
Harsh speaks about his belief in Prof Ram Charan’s maxim – Remove Escape Buttons. Harsh speaks about how he leveraged this insight in the way he went about pursuing the International Business and implementing the ERP system in Marico.
Ravi speaks about what Leadership looks like in daily life. He speaks about instances of people around him that have taken initiative and have assumed Leadership. He says that Leadership is not a Noun, Title or a Position but is an act and a verb.
Raghu speaks about the distinction between Archetypes and Stereotypes when it comes to relating to some of the historical characters like the Pandavas. He goes on to talk about the defining characteristics of each of the Pandavas and how each one of us might end up having some elements of each of these in us.