Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Institutional leadership is more important than individual leadership

PodUniversal Edition 130
Many people, when they assume power and position, they become 'changed' persons in their attitude and humility.  They do not realise that their position and power are not permanent and only temporary.  When they allow the 'position and power' enter into their mind, they would suffer mentally after retirement or when they lose the power.
I have witnessed several such persons, who were not able to balance their mind, when they get into higher position.  At the same time, I have also personally witnessed many  persons  like Dr Abdul Kalam (Former President of India), Mr S Narendra (Former Information Advisor to Prime Minister). Mr T S Krishna Murthy (Former Chief Election Commissioner of India), Mr N Gopalaswamy (Former Chief Election Commissioner of India) and few others remaining mentally balanced when they were holding the highest offices in their career. Such people decorated the 'position', instead of getting 'decorated'. They continue to be respected even after their leaving the high offices.
M Narendra
Mr M Narendra, who recently took over as  Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Overseas Bank is one such professional, who is not affected by the position and power.   I personally know him for nearly three decades.  Still, he remains as the same person, whom I have seen 30 years back.  When I sought his appointment for a podcast interview, his office gave me the time at 10 am on the next day.
I went to his office at 9.45 am along with another senior communication professional.  I was sitting in the lobby reading some magazines.  A smartly dressed person who entered the lobby  said 'Hi, Srinivasan.  How are you?  I will call you in two minutes' and shook my hands and went away.  My friend thought, that the person who came to me was a senior officer of the Chairman's Secretariat.  He just asked me, "Who is he?".  I said, "He is Mr Narendra, Chairman of IOB".  My friend had a shock of his life.  He has seen many Corporates and met with top people of both private and public sector.   For a moment, he could not realise that a  Chairman of a big public sector bank could be very simple.  
Sharp at 10 am, he invited me to his chamber and after mutual pleasantries, I recorded his 6 minutes interview.  When I asked him what was the secret behind his success, he immediately responded by saying (1) his passion to excel, (2) not getting satisfied with his own achievement and bench marking with other visionaries who have achieved more and (3) enabling his team also to succeed.  He was giving more focus on 'Institutional leadership, than individual leadership'.
Please listen to his inspiring interview.( 6 minutes)

The interview also may be watched/listed from the following link


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