Category Archives: Corporate Lingua

Leadership –How can you identify your own leadership style?

Leadership , in common language , is an environmental influence ( it can be social or  political or religious in nature ) in which a person can influence his or her followers  to accomplish a common objective .If you are working in corporate setup  , then you can utilize your leadership skills to achieve the organizational goals by the effective utilization of  available resources . However, you need to understand your leadership style and utilize it for achieving the goals.

What is your leadership style ?

What is your leadership style ?

You can spend some time alone and think of your recent activities where you have participated as a team member or manager. Analyze those situations which affected the outcome of these activities. Identify the roles you played and the coordination activities you performed. All these information will help you to indentify your leadership style. There are four major leadership styles: autocratic style, participative style, laissez-faire or free rain style, and narcissistic style. You may have one of these styles which are the result of your philosophy, attitude, and life long experience.

Once you are ready with the data related to your past activities and the next step is to match theses data with the major behavioral patterns of each leadership style. In last few projects, if you have taken decisions based on your own understating and have directed major activities without inviting inputs from your team members; then you have autocratic or authoritarian style. You might be happy for timely completion of projects, but this style may not be suitable for handling large and complex projects where you need to work with multiple teams from different domain areas.

If you feel encouraged to engage your team members for the decision making process, then you have participative or democratic style. You always love to seek input from your team members and encourage them to share their views. You always ensure that your members should get rewarded for their contributions. This is all good for a situation where you have more control over the processes; you have enough lead time for delivery. But, if the situation demands immediate delivery, then autocratic style comes handy for you to deliver the outcome.

If you find that in most cases you enjoyed the tasks because you did little for tasks and your team members did the major work. In fact you like to find some ways to evade the major responsibilities and want your team members to handle the situation. If the outcome is good, then you are the first person to come on stage to take the credit. But, if the outcome is below expectation, you never hesitate to dump blame on your team member. Here you have laissez-faire or free rain style of leadership. This style is not effective for any kinds of serious assignments.

As a professional, every professional carries some degree of arrogance, egoism, and addiction to powers. If your findings indicate that in most projects, you handled  the situations with arrogance,  looked for opportunity for gaining power , ignored the feeling of team members , took all possible steps to ensure your promotions ; then you have a narcissist style of leadership . Leaders of this style always look for their own ends. They are least interested for the group empowerment, or member motivation or the best outcome.

By this time, you might have found out your own leadership style. A leader can switch from one style to another depending on the situations .A judicious selection of   autocratic style or participative style can help a leader to realize faster outcome, better members’ participation, and enhanced group performance.


A CEO carrying a pot of tea for his supplier!!!

It was morning 9:30 am in Kolkata. I was on my wheel to drive fast to make sure that I should on time for meeting with my client . Because, popular belief is that Bengali people in Kolkata are time rich people. They can play with their time, meditate on a  lot , do a  little  and ultimately  create tsunami in teapot for IPL , Meeting , bandh , price rise etc . He always makes sure that his counterpart (may be his boss , partner , client etc ) is waiting for him,  he normally grace the occasion with avatar like appearance in the scene  .


It was 9:40 am, my destination was Gorkha Bhavan near The City Center , Salt Lake . Yes, just before the schedule meeting time  at 10 am , I reached the Bhavan  . But , again problem , as I was before time , I made a call to my Client Capt Lim for his availability for the meeting . He is Nepali origin; he has business in North Bengal. He had served our nation as a captain , now he is running his own venture in IT /BPO domain . After a few rings, he picked up the phone . I informed him that we were waiting at the reception . He then directly called us at his conference room. I knocked the room and entered . Capt. was not there. Within a minute, He entered with a tea pot and shared  with us a refreshing smile. I was a little bit uneasy, as he was carrying the teapot and he himself started making the arrangement for tea. I made a move to help him. He stopped me with gentle voice “ Let me do this Mr. Roy “ . I was really surprised to his hospitality, he extended to his consultants. He could have called any waiter to serve us  , but he chose to savor  the taste of tea his personal touch for starting his morning meeting . He has set up his ventures in BPO/IT , Human Resources , Training academy for corporate security solutions . But his simplicity as a owner , really touched my heart .I remember , in a another occasion , one B-School CEO in Kolkata , made us to come through a typical meeting processes ( Like Kolkata Mahakaran – power HUB of sarkari Bengali babus ) , just to show his CEOness .   I feel , leaders should motivate their employees , and engage stake holders by displaying his  simplicity , commitment to organizational vision . He has created his venture with a vision for helping the backward community in North Bengal. I am not a McKinsey  or BCG guy who can anytime open up long list for his  personal meeting experiences with Global CEOs . But my simple meeting with simple CEO at Kolkata was really enriching for me and it is because of his simplicity as a man rather than self incarnated CEO .

I banged my head on a technical manual on the very first day of my corporate journey ….an anecdote from my journey as a techie

It was in the year of 1996, I just came out from Jadavpur University as a fresh electronics and telecom engineer. I got campus placement from Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL, the only international Telecom player in India at that time). I was on cloud nine, because I got a offer from a Blue chip PSU telecom company.

During this transition time in my life from University room to corporate desk, the  big array of giant of antennas had often fancied me in my dreams , as if I were  on a  grand quest to enter into  the telecom land and darting across the giant antennas   . Finally my D day arrived, it was 9th September 1996, my joining date, I reported VSNL training center at Dighi , Pune . It was the first time , I came out from home . I had home sickness. But, the scenic beauty of VSNL training centre at Dighi made me  spell bound . I felt that my first corporate journey was going to start in a beautiful hilly village.

 After joining at training center on 9th September 1996, we went through grueling training sessions conducted by IIT , IIM professors  . Though my corporate clock started tickling from 9th September 1996, it was like a extended training session in corporate .After completion of training, I got my final posting and joining date on 9th  December 1996 in VSNL corporate office in Mumbai . That was my true corporate call to start my journey. After completion of training in Pune , we directly went to Mumbai Head office   .

On 9th December 1996, I joined technical planning section in VSNL Mumbai Office.  After finishing joining formalities, I got my sitting desk and computer.  On the very first day, I got my PC loaded with Window 95. I was amazed  to the colour screen of my PC  and the shrill screaming of bulky modem ( Dial Up Internet : first avatar of Today’s Broadband ) reminded me the advent of Internet  . My immediate boss Mr. Prasad greeted me on a friendly note . In the morning session, my department head gave me a sample DO, DO NOT advice and my boss also introduced me to other department heads. I got plenty of advice from them. But, my mind was fully preoccupied with technical equations . .For the first time, I came across filing,  office folders , equipment manuals.. In the second half, I jumped onto a big Technology manual (Optical  system by Alcatel ) and made some quick note and smartly approached my boss with  technology FAQ . He was initially uncomfortable, as these were related to very technical designs of the project. (That Alcatel was supposed to handle designs, we should not break our head for that ) , but  he explained patiently  that we need to handle this technology design issues with vendor . My job role was technology planning rather than tech. design. My freshly minted engineering brain was occupied with that technology designs only.

In the whole second half I guzzled the big files , only looking for circuits , equations and related queries raised in the projects . It was then 6 PM , I went my boss room to share  my day’s experience and report  . But, whole report was full of technology, circuit , theory only  . He shared a big smile with me and said “now onward I should look for project related technology issue.”

Finally my first day job  in corporate got over , I came out from Videsh Sanchar Bhavan ( my office building ) , had a proud look at  tall office building  and slowly threw myself into the Mumbai crowd towards VT  station ( now CST ) for reaching home . It was a great learning day for me. Today I feel , that corporate world has changed to a great extend . Fresher has a great role to play to build and enrich the corporate world . That role has to be played from the first day in corporate world.

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