Leadership In Turbulent Times


Management Guru and Thought Leader Ram Charan flags off Great Lakes 10th anniversary celebrations

On January 15, 2014 Great Lakes Institute of Management hosted Dr. Ram Charan, world renowned business guru, to flag off their 10 year celebration and as part of its Global Thought Leader Series (GLTS), an initiative to bring top Business Gurus and Thought Leaders, to share their knowledge and insights with the decision makers and corporate leaders of India.

Dr. Bala V Balachandran, Founder and Dean Great Lakes said, “From good to great and from success to substance, these ten years have been very eventful. I would like to welcome Dr. Ram Charan to our campus to join us in the celebration and share his views on being an effective leader.” He added, “I truly believe in the fact – ‘Be Distinct or Be Extinct’. If you don’t take courage in thinking differently, you will not sustain the competition and will soon perish. I thank and congratulate each and every one of the Great Lakes’ family member for being determined to be different in the 10 years of Excellence of Great Lakes".

Speaking on Great Lakes 10 successful years of completion, Dr. Charan said, “Great Lakes campus is amazing and management institutes like Great Lakes are a great contribution to society, I am very pleased to be part of this celebration and to have met some of the great young minds. The students are very intelligent and have asked really good questions. I congratulate Bala and his team for all the success and I wish Great Lakes the best in coming years.”

Dr. Charan shared instances from his professional experiences with the students, which threw light on factors that define an Effective Leader in Turbulent times. Dr. Ram Charan in his insightful speech said that there are five characteristics that one should possess to be an effective leader and they are:

  1. Ask the right questions – one should ask questions with humility and should never wear degree or brilliance on sleeve
  2. Listening well – One should listen well and absorb all the knowledge which helps crystallise the ideas
  3. Seeking feedback/view points – actively seek feedback and multiple view points for a given problem
  4. Identify the single roadblock – there can be many hurdles while one is trying to solve the issue but a leader has the ability to pin point a single roadblock that would help solve the problem
  5. Ability to read people well – Leader leads people first and hence a leader should be able to read people well

He further added, customers come first and competition is only secondary, if you run behind strategies to counter competition, then you will lose customer loyalty. If you take time in reading your customers better and addressing their needs, your market share will increase on its own. This is simply because people compete and businesses don’t. While defining your road blocks and challenges don’t use buzz words and complex methodologies, rather build simple answers to the problem.”

As part of the celebration, Great Lakes hosted also a session for corporate professionals in Chennai and Delhi, under the “Global Thought Leader Series (GTLS)”. Mr. Lakshmi Narayanan, Vice Chairman, Cognizant delivered the keynote address at Chennai. Dr. Ram Charan had an interactive session with over 300+ senior management executives (both Chennai and Delhi) on the topic, “Leadership in Turbulent Times”.


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