July 3, 2012
Showing confidence is important, says Santrupt B Misra, Carbon Black Business CEO and Group HR Director, Aditya Birla Group
There are both common and varied traits across levels. At the top, we look for strategic thinking, networking, collaborating, decision-making and result orientation. At the entry level, interpersonal relationships and learning agility are critical, among others.
At mid-level, the ability to manage people, diverse set of resources, conflict management and the ability to plan and allocate work matters. And, across levels, we look for value orientation.
Our preferred model is to promote more people internally, as we work on the premise that when a manager grows within the organisation, he carries with him the inherent qualities of leadership and organisational management.
Challenges in Leadership
The first challenge is to accelerate leadership development to keep pace with the organisational growth. The second, as the organisation gets increasingly global, developing the right kind of or an adequate number of leaders for our growing global business is another key challenge.
The third big challenge is fully tapping opportunities for development. For instance, when we launch a new brand, it provides a unique development opportunity: new learnings, new challenges, how to ride the market, and so on. So, the challenge here is giving several people the exposure to these opportunities. Finally, some amount of development happens through a process of structured intervention outside of core work.
The concept of leadership itself is rapidly changing and constantly evolving. There was a time when leadership was top-down. Today, leadership is about managing a range of resources that do not necessarily belong to you or your specific department or function and are not a part of your hierarchy. Yet, you have to marshal those resources to achieve results.
Different contexts require different types of leadership. How a person recalibrates himself to the specific demands of his/her position, organisation, business cycle are factors to be reckoned with.
Creating Global Talent
To groom global talent, it is critical to repose your confidence and trust in the talent, telling them they can be global leaders. In terms of preparation, we do a range of things. For instance, we have cross-cultural training, middle or junior level work stints in different cultures and interaction with foreign clients. We provide people an exposure on a wide range of subjects to equip them to work in diverse cultures and different regulatory frameworks.
Leaders as Entrepreneurs
We are an entrepreneurial organisation. All along, we have been making investments in new businesses and geographies. Creating entrepreneurs is a natural part of our organisational culture and existence. Also, we bet big on people, as entrepreneurship is about risk-taking. We also run ideation competitions. Teams are encouraged to pursue their dreams as long as they make good business sense. It is in the group’s DNA.