Phy-gital Roundtable: Breakfast Roundup from Germany and Netherlands

02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

What does a mobile user want?

03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

Leadership Lessons from 2008 – About Networking, The Prophet and Planning

Posted on: 10 February '09

Those with a sense of inclusion usually also find it easy to network. And that’s my second learning from 2008 – the power of networking. Success comes to those who are well networked, those who can influence others, those willing to negotiate. What is networking? Networking is the nurturing of a rich set of relationships that one can tap on for diverse causes. Networking can be critical to success, particularly in a crisis, but the investment for this should have been made earlier. I have personally seen how much success depends on my ability to network. In the larger national context, too, networking comes under the name of diplomacy.

When I joined the computer industry more than 20 years back, it was not the most common thing to do. Only those who were bitten by the computing bug were attracted to this profession, so motivation was not an issue. Today, this industry is very attractive as a large job provider, so everyone wants to study computer science, information science, EC, EE, EEE. MCA, …. I have not been convinced this is the best thing to do. I believe one must do what they want to do, what they’d enjoy doing. When our interest and our work are the same, it’s a happy coincidence and we are bound to do well. Industries have their cycles, and if we persevere at what we are good at, we will survive the cycles and meet success. Such thoughts led me to organize a panel discussion for students (and their parents) who had qualified in the premier engineering entrance examinations earlier this year. The panel had computer designers, an architect, and academicians from science and engineering. Parents questioned us – if not software, then what? I realized this was a genuine question – in reality, we are not so well informed on the diverse opportunities that exist for our children today. I know we cannot attribute this to just one discussion, but we do have a significant number of bright students from Bangalore opting for physics this year. I believe we need to do a lot more of this, and not just for the filtered set as we did this time.

I have been thinking about and looking for that silver bullet that will transform the leadership team at Mindtree, and during this year, I seemed to have hit upon the target. It is a lovely concept that focuses not on building this skill or that, but on influencing your being, by helping you dive into who you are. Such programs usually find it difficult to be accepted in a corporate environment, so I was careful. There was plenty of plotting and planning, and I introduced five influential leaders to a two-day snapshot of this program. They were thrilled, and I was excited I was making progress! I distributed books on this concept, and that was a hit, too. Next came what I thought was the clinching move. We had the author of this concept (and the leader of this organization) come over and talk to our leadership team. His talk was a disaster! He didn’t get the pulse of the audience, just failed to connect.

I was back to the drawing board. I found two lessons here; sometimes, the prophet may be more effective than God. In this case, the messenger of God impressed us every time he interacted with us, and I am confident he would have connected well with our leadership team; but God did not. My second lesson is as important – probably, I planned too much and worried too much about what will pan out. I should have just followed my heart and gone ahead, without all the elaborate planning.

  • Girish M

    This is an excellent blog post. I particularly liked the statement “sometimes, the prophet may be more effective than God”. Many people think communication is more important than the message itself (“Its not what you say, but how you say”), which is seems misguided. Lack of effective communication skills by a thinker is not a limitation. One person cannot have all the skills – but different people with complementary skills need to work together to create a chain of success – both God and the Prophet each played an important and unique role here.

  • Ravi sankar

    Hi kalyan
    I couldn’t understand much. You mean to say people who don’t network/connected much can’t influence.
    Can you tell me more about the following statement “influencing your being, by helping you dive into who you are”

  • Kalyan K. Banerjee

    Dear Ravi,

    Such programs can be broadly called ‘self leadership’. The essential concept runs thus:

    When we complain about the world, we usually expect the world to change. But that does not happen. What is more practical is to look inside ourselves and see how our relationship with the world can change.

    For example, we may conclude someone is insensitive or uncooperative or unethical, and feel bitter about it. Instead we have the option to look into ourselves and see what we can do about it. To begin with, we can ask: why are we complaining? Is it because we have lost out on something? We need to make honest response to such queries if we have to find a solution. Finally, we may choose one of many ways to deal with that person:
    1. ignore him
    2. forgive him
    3. try and interact more with him so as to understand him
    4. have no-agenda interactions with him, so I can get to see his perspective.
    5. see why we do not agree on issues, and how I can change my perspective, or be open to his perspective
    6. share my discomfort with him, openly
    or a combination of above.

    This approach is powerful as we are retaining the onus of change. So we are the actor rather than observer. Even if we do not act, we do not complain any more as we know we have chosen not to act.

    When I say dive into who you are, I mean you get to know more about yourself through a process of self inquiry.

  • Ravi sankar

    Thanks kalyan for the clarification.