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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.

Leading through Innovation

Shouvick Mukherjee
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Shouvick Mukherjee
Innovate or perish – that is the single rule we live by. But how a company charts its course to success depends, in large part, upon the leadership of the organization. Leaders play a critical role in creating and living a culture that nurtures and values innovation. They are ambassadors of change. But the question for leaders today is not just how to drive innovation – but how to drive innovation and make it self-sustaining. That is why it is essential for every organization to build the leadership capabilities required for this. At Yahoo!, we believe our most important resource is our people. Our leadership standards –Show the Way, Innovate for Customers, Build Winning Teams and Deliver with Accountability – guide our leaders as they empower our employees to innovate and excel.

Show the Way Before choosing your path, I believe it is essential to find your purpose in an organization. Along with passion, this becomes a powerful catalyst for success.

As a first line manager – and this was my experience – there are two dimensions guiding your actions. The first is ownership of a project; you are completely focused on doing the best you can to make it a success. The second is your team. Your focus is on getting the job done, while balancing the interests of your team and motivating them to do the best they can.

As a leader, step back to look at the big picture and arrive at your team’s purpose in the organization. When I relocated from Sunnyvale to India some years ago, Yahoo! in India was at the cusp of an opportunity. There was a strong talent pool to leverage. We were doing things right and executing well. But what was our purpose? It took some introspection with the team to discover how we could go from doing things right, to quadrupling our impact. To find a purpose that didn’t just excite us, but was also aligned to Yahoo!’s larger goals, taking us closer to what we were trying to achieve as a company. Sorting through the possibilities, we found our purpose in transforming the India center into a market-centric innovation hub. Keeping in mind the business landscape, we have since redefined our strategy to win in India, but always keeping it rooted in our purpose.

Your team always looks to you for direction. This can come when you know your purpose and how your team can fit into the larger scheme of things. And remember, your purpose can be distinct from your immediate goal.

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