Chanakya may have espoused how to do business to ancient Indians but his message never really got across to us over so many centuries. Instead, we are today left to look westwards when it comes to learning how to manage our workspaces.
Indeed, today’s CEO can learn a few things to endear himself to his company and colleagues.
Sharing the work profile
Indian CEOs have a general habit of riding roughshod over their juniors recommendations and suggestions. They often believe they are right in whatever decisions they take and invest very little time trying to share their insights. Western culture on the other hand is focused on lengthy informative meetings where each aspect of every plan is discussed before the best one is finally picked. Sharing and caring for your team will not only earn you some meaningful insights but also brownie points.
Training the team
Too often, CEOs in India get the impression that everyone is out to get their jobs. This arises out of a natural sense of insecurity and makes the CEO unwilling to train his junior staff on the finer aspects of the company’s operations. The lack of succession plans and the general secrecy with which CEOs are chosen in India doesn’t help matters as well. Break out of this rut and make an effort in involving your team members on critical tasks. If you suddenly fall sick one day, you can rest assured knowing your team is well-equipped to look after the company in your absence. Ruling with an iron fist will bring you down like nothing else, not to mention demotivated employees as well.
Being more accountable
Another favourite trick of Indian bosses is to suck up to their bosses and curry all kinds of favour with him/ her and take credit for all the hard work done by their juniors. This may now not be so easy with long mail trails and transparency becoming the norm in most offices, but some shrewd bosses still know how to make the system work for them. Don’t be that boss – instead, be as open and accountable as possible. Admit mistakes once in a while too, you’re human after all. And refrain from taking the moral high ground time and again.
Imbibing work culture
When you think of companies like Google and Facebook, you instantly relate to their fun work culture, whether it’s unlimited gourmet food, on-site daycare or even free haircuts. Compare this with Indian offices where the CEO’s door is always closed and forbidding and employees work in cubicles with constant noise and irritating co-workers. If there is one thing you can do as CEO, it is to break down the traditional office culture and add some perks to boost employee retention.
Creating a legacy
Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and many others are individuals who have left an indelible mark on the world through their work as CEO. If you’re the boss, your first instinct must be to think about what you will be leaving behind rather than how long you’ll stick to the chair. You need to have enough passion and drive in you to join the ranks of these men and be remembered long after you’ve walked into the sunset.