Working Out of the Box
MUMBAI, 15 September 2015 - Asia Society in association with Livemint and Random House India brought to its platform an engaging conversation with business leaders N. Chandrasekaran, CEO and Managing Director, Tata Consultancy Services, Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group, Shikha Sharma, Managing Director & CEO, Axis Bank, Amar Goel, CEO & Chairman, Komli Media, as they explored the connections between leadership traits, working styles and their workspaces with author and journalist Aparna Piramal Raje, highlighting themes from Raje's book, 'Working Out of the Box.' The book examines the working lives of 40 leading CEOs, encompassing their leadership styles, personal motivations, quirks and recipes for success.
Why do some company heads surround their workspace with books and plants, while some discourage their employees from sending numerous emails a day? Raje started the discussion by exploring the connection between CEO workspaces and workstyles, how even the smallest changes such as a desktop position, or the use of technology, is a factor to measure the success of a CEO. When the panelists were asked about how they evolved in terms of working style and leadership N. Chandrasekaran said, "We are always influenced by people. Leadership style is something we evolve. It is very difficult to point out and say this is it. We learn every day. I don't know how I will do things a few years from now." Diving deeper into the conversation, Piramal asked how leaders handle the situation when things don't work out. Goel was quick to say, "over the years, what I have learnt is that I have become more plainspoken and a lot more direct. We need to be direct but not rude, obviously. Make sure that the message comes across nicely even if it's a tough message."
Sharma, when asked how well she knows what's going on in her business, structures, and processes, claims "There are a lot of things happening in a large organization. In all the businesses I have been in, I spent a couple of years developing the dashboards and improving the dashboards". The engaging and informative evening ended with a book signing with Raje, and networking among our attendees.
Reported by: Maneka Chotirmall, Programme Assistant, Asia Society India Centre.
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