TASMAC – School of Business with its constant zeal to create skillful leaders organized an intellectual Knowledge Exchange Forum on the topic “Leadership Matters” on 27 May 2009. Venue:Le Royce Hotel, Bund Garden Road, Pune India.
The forum presented facts about the leadership qualities required for a person to become a successful leader.
Mr Sameer Dua introduced the topic and requested the speakers to present their views.
Dr. Arun Bhatt, President, Clininvent Research, Mumbai said, “An effective Leadership is very important in any given organization. In Managing a team or leading the team to success one needs to follow some traits like trusting the subordinate, the team, colleagues and then judging their capabilities.
Taking forward the discussion, Mr. Abhay Vaidya Resident Editor,DNA, Pune emphasized the traits namely passion, result orientation, willingness to take risk and learning as important attributes of a successful leader.
Padma Shri Lila Poonawala said, “Leadership is imbibed in an individual. There is nothing like born leaders, but born learners. If he or she has the zeal to learn and have self confidence then nobody can stop them from being leaders.” She cited her personal example where she came out of a very difficult situation successfully by listening to the suggestion of junior level supervisor and acting upon it. On being asked by Mr Sameer Dua of her experience as a lady leader, Mrs. Poonawala said that she had not come across any discrimination but there had been instances when the same had worked in her favor.
Mr Sameer Dua towards the end asked the panel whether ‘leaders are born or made’ all did feel that leaders can be developed thereafter and each of the member were requested to highlight and share what they believed were the core values that a leader must possess. The discussion by the panelists was very inspiring as they spoke through experience. Mr Dua then summarized the important issues and invited questions from the audience. In my opinion the intellectual content of the discussions was very enriching as each of the panelist spoke through their personal experience and were successful in their own domains. I therefore was very curious to
ask a very fundamental question on leadership which I often discuss in my own strategy and leadership sessions at Tasmac and elsewhere. What I find most paradoxical is that while we discuss the importance of virtues and traits in leadership for business success we have witnessed several examples in recent times of the failures in leadership and corporate greed. So I asked the honorable panelists their views on the importance of ethical and value based leadership. The context of my question was related to the recent happenings narrated in succeeding paragraphs.
In my recent visit to the US the American corporate was abuzz with the news of Barack Obama, the US president (who I admire greatly), admonishing the CEO’s as “outrageous and shameful” that Wall Street employees received more than $18 billion in bonuses. Figures published by the New York State comptroller revealed for the first time the extent to which leading US banks continue to puff up wages, despite relying on massive federal cash injections to stay in business.
The report comes amid daily reports of fresh excesses by the men and women once regarded as corporate titans.
Citigroup, which received $45 billion in federal aid, was poised to splash out $50 million for a top-of-the-range corporate jet with leather seats and a free drinks bar. The bank, subsequently shamed, had to cancel the order.
The New York Post runs a “Rogues Gallery” to name and shame bosses of state-subsidized banks, pointing the finger at men such as Dick Fuld, the former boss of Lehman Brothers, who made half a billion dollars leading his bank to collapse.AMONG Wall Street’s fat cats under fire for taking bonuses, fewer are more pilloried than John Thain, the former chief executive of Merrill Lynch.
Even as his bank was collapsing under the weight of mismanaged assets, Mr Thain last year spent £850,000 on fixing up his New York office.
Shares might have been crashing and thousands facing lay-offs, but he saw nothing wrong in adding a £60,000 carpet, £20,000 curtains and a £7,000 lampshade. No expense was spared – even the wastepaper basket cost the company, the recipient of more than £30 billion in taxpayers’ money, almost £1,000 – on the advice of a celebrity interior designer paid £560,000.
Mr Thain tried to get himself a £7 million bonus before being forced out after the bank merged with Bank of America, but still managed to rush through millions more in bonuses to his under-performing top executives.
But it is not just banks that indulge in the benefits bonanza: Figures from the pay data firm Equilar reveal corporate excess across the US economy. Last year, despite falling profits, bonuses at 132 companies earning more than $1 billion a year actually increased by 14 per cent over the previous year, with the average reaching $265,594.
In India India reeled in shock as the head of Satyam, one of its biggest software services companies, quit after admitting that its books had been cooked for the past several years to show $1 billion in profits. An analyst compares the case of SatyamComputer Services to Enron, the huge scandal that sent the US energy company to the ropes. The Enron case was the biggest in a series of scandals that damaged the reputation of corporate America. It has since become a popular symbol of willful corporate fraud and corruption.
It was heartening to note that there was unanimous consensus by all the members of the panel that ‘value -based leadership’ is the most vital ingredient to lead the worldwide economy through the recession times and also thereafter. Their thoughts on the developing future leaders based on a strong value system were inspiring for all of us including the budding MBA students present in the audience.
May I invite blog guests, colleagues, visitors and my young friends (present and ex) from Tasmac, Asian School of Management, SCMHRD (Symbiosis), SCIT (Symbiosis) and of course The Army Institute of Technology (AIT) Pune, to share their thoughts on how values and ethics can be strengthened in professionals and the society in general. Even a ‘Hello’ from you will mean that you are on board and agree that every small act counts.
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with the important matters” – Albert Einstein