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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Leadership An Art, Not Rocket Science!

Amit Chatterjee
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Amit Chatterjee
Leadership, to my mind, is a very personal construct. Different leaders do different things both in terms of behavioral conduct and also in perspectives and ideas. Having said this, I do believe that certain character traits mark you out as a good leader / potential leader. And, while these may be God-given abilities that come naturally to some, in truth they are developed and honed over time. So, these qualities may actually be learnt.

Finally, in keeping with this belief, what I will share is an extremely personal, roll up your sleeves, kind of perspective. High level preaching like having a vision is true but done to death in virtually every theory on leadership. What I hope to share is the reality, in terms of qualities in my day to day operational work, of what I try to inculcate in my being as I seek to take CA Technologies as a company to numero uno position in each of its addressable markets in India.

I think, ‘objective listening’ is an absolutely key ingredient to making of a quality leader. In every organisation, multiple voices, each with their own sense of logic and reasoning exist. To an individual, the leader, these can often merge into an incongruent cacophony. The ability to listen to the merits of each perspective in a fashion without focusing on the ‘who’ is saying it, is critical to translating good ideas to action.

Every single day I think of the importance of self control and its connected characteristics of self discipline, maintenance of equanimity across multiple situations, to be fair to all so that one is trusted with knowledge of what my team members are ‘really thinking’ and, most importantly, to achieve all this with a heartfelt sincerity of purpose. Rabindranath Tagore, spoke of the necessity for an environment ‘where the mind is without fear and the head is held high’. For me, if my heart features these attributes that I have just mentioned, then Gurudev’s beautiful poetic line becomes reality.

This enables the harnessing of the ‘power of we’ as different from an ‘I, leader’ construct. This ‘power of we’ is the strongest weapon in any company. When the team marches together towards a single purpose, failure is rare. Besides, it enables the realization of an important side product in the leadership matrix — the team begins to get excited and have fun as through this single-minded purpose of harnessing the ‘we’, the leader demonstrates an ability to relate to all. When the team sees this happening for real, several individuals begin to move as one, thus creating intrinsic strength that permeates organization-wide.


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