The hunger to excel

Date:   Monday , September 03, 2007

Over the last one month, I have had the opportunity to interact with who’s who of Global Indians—from Rajat Gupta of McKinsey to Vinod Khosla, the renowned venture capitalist to Narayana Murthy of Infosys to Vivek Mansingh of Dell India R&D.

I asked several of them to compare their global experience versus the experience of working with Indian corporations. Everyone unanimously said, "hunger to excel" is quite visible among the Indian management.

If applied to our own career strategy, ‘hunger to excel’ index would create a basket of new challenging tasks that we could handle.

Hunger alone is not sufficient to ensure success on a global playing field. One needs to learn from the best practices around.

For this issue, we invited some of the senior technology executives to share their ideas, perspectives and experiences on building high-performance and cohesive teams. Our hope is that managers across technology companies will communicate with each other remotely yet share their distilled knowledge on various issues. Our intent is to facilitate discussion among managers of the high tech industry. As this process unfolds, we would like to see many more technology professionals taking the lead.

While this happens, we need to keep in mind that today’s leadership teams grew up and advanced in an environment where there was a scarcity of jobs. Those who did rise to the top prospered in an intensely competitive environment. Probably it was this ‘scarcity’ which drew them to excel.

Contrast this with today’s scenario. There are plenty of jobs but limited pool of ‘qualified’ talent. This is similar to the developed nations where there was a relative shortage of talent compared to positions that needed to be filled to support a thriving economy. The factors driving to excel in such a scenario are quite different. Think over.

Please do share your thoughts with us.

Pradeep Shnakar