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Narayan Murthy Leadership

Narayan Murthy Leadership



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A great leader and a great article to keep
A great leader and a great article to keep

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Published by: rameshrangachari2008 on Aug 18, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Narayan Murthy
A leader is an agent of change, and progress is about change. In the words of Robert F Kennedy,'Progress is a nice word; but change is its motivator.'Leadership is about raising the aspirations of followers and enthusing people with a desire to reachfor the stars. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi created a vision for independence in India and raisedthe aspirations of our people.Leadership is about making people say, 'I will walk on water for you.' It is about creating a worthydream and helping people achieve it.Robert Kennedy, summed up leadership best when he said, 'Others see things as they are andwonder why; I see them as they are not and say why not?'
 A leader has to raise the confidence of followers. He should make them understand that toughtimes are part of life and that they will come out better at the end of it. He has to sustain theirhope, and their energy levels to handle the difficult days.There is no better example of this than Winston Churchill. His courageous leadership as primeminister for Great Britain successfully led the British people from the brink of defeat during WorldWar II. He raised his people's hopes with the words, 'These are not dark days; these are great days-- the greatest days our country has ever lived.'Never is strong leadership more needed than in a crisis. In the words of Seneca, the Greekphilosopher, 'Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.'
 The leader has to create hope. He has to create a plausible story about a better future for theorganisation: everyone should be able to see the rainbow and catch a part of it.This requires creating trust in people. And to create trust, the leader has to subscribe to a valuesystem: a protocol for behavior that enhances the confidence, commitment and enthusiasm of thepeople.Compliance to a value system creates the environment for people to have high aspirations, self esteem, belief in fundamental values, confidence in the future and the enthusiasm necessary totake up apparently difficult tasks. Leaders have to walk the talk and demonstrate their commitmentto a value system.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, 'We must become the change we want to see in the world.' Leaders haveto prove their belief in sacrifice and hard work. Such behavior will enthuse the employees to makebigger sacrifices. It will help win the team's confidence, help leaders become credible, and helpcreate trust in their ideas.
Enhancing trust
 Trust and confidence can only exist where there is a premium on transparency. The leader has tocreate an environment where each person feels secure enough to be able to disclose his or hermistakes, and resolves to improve.Investors respect such organisations. Investors understand that the business will have good timesand bad times. What they want you to do is to level with them at all times. They want you todisclose bad news on a proactive basis. At Infosys, our philosophy has always been, 'When indoubt, disclose.'
 Good corporate governance is about maximising shareholder value on a sustainable basis whileensuring fairness to all stakeholders: customers, vendor-partners, investors, employees,government and society.A successful organisation tides over many downturns. The best index of success is its longevity.This is predicated on adhering to the finest levels of corporate governance.At Infosys, we have consistently adopted transparency and disclosure standards even before lawmandated it. In 1995, Infosys suffered losses in the secondary market. Under Indian GAAP(generally accepted accounting principles), we were not required to make this information public.Nevertheless, we published this information in our annual report.
Fearless environment
 Transparency about the organisation's operations should be accompanied by an open environmentinside the organisation. You have to create an environment where any employee can disagree withyou without fear of reprisal.In such a case, everyone makes suggestions for the common good. In the end everyone will bebetter off.On the other hand, at Enron, the CFO was running an empire where people were afraid to speak. Insome other cases, the whistle blowers have been harassed and thrown out of the company.
Managerial remuneration
 We have gone towards excessive salaries and options for senior management staff. At onecompany, the CEO's employment contract not only set out the model of the Mercedes the companywould buy him, but also promised a monthly first-class air ticket for his mother, along with a cashbonus of $10 million and other benefits.Not surprisingly, this company has already filed for bankruptcy.Managerial remuneration should be based on three principles:
Fairness with respect to the compensation of other employees;
Transparency with respect to shareholders and employees;
Accountability with respect to linking compensation with corporate performance.

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