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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.

December - 2006 - issue > In My Opinion

The Future Leader: GLOCAL

Uma Krishnamurthy
Monday, November 17, 2008
Uma Krishnamurthy
A Classic situation in the Indian IT industry. Mallika has a team of 400 people based in India across Chennai, Pune and Bangalore and 100 people in London. They are delivering IT Application Services to a client in the UK, who have users across UK and Continental Europe.

We are in the midst of an exciting work environment, at least in the IT Service Delivery industry—one of delivering to a global client-base using primarily local resources, far removed physically from the client. Leaders adopt a delivery style, which I take the liberty of calling, ‘Glocal’. They need to be aware of the clients’ culture and operating environments as well as the local cultural milieu that their teams are from. For a leader like Mallika to be effective, she would need to be aware of the cultural plurality within India as well as the differences within the English and European culture.

I once heard, ‘Decisions are based on values’. Extending this further, organizational decisions are defined by the values of its leaders. In light of this, it becomes extremely important to appoint leaders whose values are aligned with that of the organization—be it someone who is groomed internally or recruited externally.

Leadership values are probably universal in terms of geography and industry. It is just the application of those or the delivery style that may vary. There are many intrinsic values inherent in a leader. Let me touch upon a few values, that I believe are important, and how they translate into action - their delivery.

Trust and respect are not freebies. Nor can they be thrust upon. They are earned. This value becomes a premium asset when operating in a remote environment, where most communication with the client happens over the telephone or videoconference. Being up-front and honest in your communications with each and every stakeholder is what earns a leader comprehensive trust and respect. Encouraging people to share unpleasant news at the earliest may create short-term discomfort but has phenomenal long-term intangible gains. Trusting one’s team also enables more empowerment and delegation, thereby providing growth for the individual and the organization.

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