Secret of India’s CEO export

Carla Powers writes a nice article in Time magazine about the current flood of CEOs coming from India. Where the Keynians seem to dominate the NYC marathon, the Indians lead in the CEO League. Here is the start of the article:


What on earth did the Banga brothers’ mother feed them for breakfast? Whatever it was, it worked: Vindi Banga grew up to become a top executive at the food-and-personal-care giant Unilever, then a partner at the private-equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. His younger brother Ajay, after heading Citigroup’s Asian operations, was named CEO of MasterCard last year–all without a degree from a Western business school and without abandoning his Sikh turban. When Ajay took over at the credit-card company’s headquarters in a suburb outside New York City, the Times of India crowed that he was the first “entirely India-minted executive”…

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Politics and Management

His communications have been confusing to say the least. No one really understood where he was going with the referendum and selling the necessary government savings in Greece to the population has been one major disaster, if you look at all the turmoil in the markets and the riots and strikes in the streets.

About the results we will need to hold our comments until a few month have passed and we get a better view on the outcomes.

The sense of timing from Papandreou is terrible, the inflammatory call for a referendum could have easily put off the other countries and caused an quick and dramatic end to the crisis by the others allowing Greece to default.

He also has a strange way of working with our rule: “ask help when solving problems”. The problem solvers have pretty much needed to force themselves onto him and he has not used all the help he could have received. Motivation and Process thinking have not prominently featured. He was creative in how he tried to come up with delaying tactics and tried to avoid having to implement spending cuts but if he learned from the saga and will become a better leader and manager is highly doubtful.

My conclusion in the, admitted quick and dirty analysis, is that we cannot learn anything from the management style from Papandreou and he would do wise to review our articles and take some or our lessons to heart.

The Art of Asking Questions

The Harvard Business review brings a wonderful article by Ron Ashkenas where he touches on the topic of asking Questions. It appeals to me as it follows closely with our 10 Points of Management. He talks about asking questions about yourself (learning), ask questions about plans and projects (Goals), and asking questions about the organization (Process). Wonderful article that you really need to explore. 

Also see if you are interested in one of Ron’s books about these important insights.