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.

June - 2007 - issue > Leadership

Honesty, his first policy

Harish Revanna
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Harish Revanna
Dr. Bhaskar Reddy Penumalli is the new India Managing Director of Analog Devices (NYSE: ADI, market cap of $11.18 Billion), a semiconductor company birthing chips for signal processing applications. As a co-champion for the cause of establishing an India center in 1995, he helped the company build, what he calls, a world-class team. Now in 2007, he’s leading the two-centres, 12-year-old, and 200-membered company to new height. He tells what it takes to be a leader at all times.

To spend a good part of one’s life in a single company means being culturally fitted to that company. My 18-years with Analog Devices is simply a testimony for this. But culture is not a documented lifeless rulebook that can be skimmed over; it is a growing phenomenon that one often has to live through to experience. Experiencing the company culture moulds the managers within. In certain ways my behavior and actions are a reflection of my culture. (What I narrate here perhaps reflects my company’s culture as much as it does mine)

As a manager, I have always ensured that all my employees get ample accessibility to their immediate managers. In any place of growth, heads are held high to look up for better performers. These performers or people are the lifeblood in any organization. But to make levelheaded managers out of performers is a leader’s task. How do we make it? Certain clichéd statements like ‘it comes with culture’ are important here. I believe, it really does.

To start with, when I portray my belief in being honest and levelheaded through everyday dealings, I have set the environment for my teams. Each manager in my team is a product of such environment. True products, with no manufacturing defects, are bound to stay for long. Their durability is high. In Analog, for that matter, we have had senior managers working with us for long time. Remember, I’m a product myself of the environment my seniors created for me.

Now again, environment is not just the intangible thing that happens over intuition. It is made to feel physically with a slew of best practices like Open door policy: where all my employees are free to walk in to my cabin and talk to me anytime; Non-hierarchical system: employees from different teams are free to communicate with each other without any stifling from their team leads; Pay-for-performance: star performers are put on the pedestal and offered more remuneration with full recognition; Commitment: respecting committed individuals albeit their (say) poor performance; Challenging work: not a cookie-cutter chore, but stimulating learning opportunities.

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