Azim Premji, on Leadership and Management:
- Lead by example. Saying one thing and doing another will only compromise your effectiveness. You are the role model for your staff. Practice your own beliefs faithfully and you will find your staff following your lead.
- Take the toughest problems on yourself. You can’t delegate difficult decisions to your staff. As a leader you must assume personal responsibility for making the calls and accepting the consequences.
- Set standards of excellence and measure performance against them. If you accept mediocrity, you will get mediocrity. Demand the best. Be consistent and explicit in both setting expectations and evaluating results.
- Give commitment, get commitment. Commit yourself and demand commitment from others. Make the extra effort to ensure that goals are met and results are achieved. Demonstrate your own commitment in everything that you do and expect nothing less from your staff.
- Maintain a driving sense of urgency. Take action now. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. It may not be the absolute best choice but it is better than no choice at all.
- Pay attention to detail.
- Accept failure. Nobody likes to fail, but a leader cannot afford to be paralyzed by the fear of being wrong. Take risks and be prepared to deal with the outcome.
- Recognize limits. A true leader changes what can be changed and manages what can’t. Don’t waste time trying to solve problems beyond your control. Focus instead on the problems you can solve.
- Set priorities. If you try to do everything at once, you will end up doing nothing at all. Rank what you and your staff have to do in order of importance. Use this ranking to spend your time and their time most efficiently.
- Be tough but fair. Leadership is an intensely personal and interpersonal skill. How you relate to your people means everything. Toughness starts with your own standards, your own performance and the example you set. Fairness is the other side of the coin. Judge others as you would judge yourself: fairly and consistently.
Sharmila Ramnani of Credit Resouces, on Failure:
There is no such thing as failure. There are only results. Most people in our culture have been programmed to fear this thing called failure. Yet all of us can think of times when we wanted one thing and got another. People always succeed in getting some sort of results. The super successes of our culture aren’t people who do not fail, but simply people who know that if they try something and it doesn’t give them what they want, they’ve had a learning experience. They use what they’ve learned and simply try something else. They take some new actions and produce some new results.
Winners, leaders, masters – people with personal power – all understand that if
you try something and do not get the outcome you want, it’s simply feedback. You use that information to make finer distinctions about what you need to do to
produce the results you desire.