Big picture view
There are various schools of thought when it comes to what business leaders should dedicate a substantial amount of their time to. There is one school of thought that believes business leaders need to focus largely on anticipating and preparing for the future. Another school of thought emphasizes on the common adage – “the devil is in the details.” In other words, business leaders need to be hands-on when it comes to understanding and shaping the realities on the ground. My own experience has taught me that business leaders need to embrace both – a focus on the larger picture and an attention to details. An idea without an effective implementation plan is of little value. Business leaders therefore need to be able to understand and contribute to all aspects of business – be it strategy, operations, finance or marketing. In essence, business leaders today need to be comprehensive in their approach and in the competencies they acquire. As demanding as it may sound, they are increasingly expected to be a jack of all trades and master too.
To conclude, I will reiterate my belief that leadership is a journey of lifelong learning. There are no mantras to success that are cast in stone. There are a few leadership qualities that stand the test of time but others which need to evolve and be embraced with the changing times. Business leaders need to embark on this journey of discovery called leadership with openness, courage and humility. The destination is certainly going to be worthwhile.
S.D Shibulal (Shibu) is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Infosys.