100 Managers in Action
T. V. Rao
I have been informed by the Publisher Tata McGraw-Hill that this book is going to be out finally this week. I am so happy and excited. After several years a book written for line Managers and all managers has come out. At IIMA my work began with line managers only before I settled down to create HRD discipline and wrote largely for HRD folks. This and the earlier book on “Managers who make a Difference” meant for every manager in the making makes me feel good.
100 Managers in action presents case studies of a hundred managers who were chosen from among approximately 9,000 of whom we have profiled using 360 Degree feedback in the last 15 years. We got a list of nearly 300 managers who got outstanding ratings from their juniors, colleagues and seniors put together. We wrote to almost all of them. Some of them whom we profiled in early years (10 to 15 years ago) could not be contacted as some of them either retired or changed their jobs. We were able to finally get slightly over a hundred managers. It was a task to get them to share their stories. Once identified the role of 360 Degree Feedback is over. We don’t share any highlights from their 360 in this book but their little stories of their career, school days, early career and accomplishments in various assignments with special focus on the work they were doing around the time they got their 360 profiles made. Some of their stories and actions reveal their early exhibition of their leadership and managerial qualities. We have tried to follow our RSDQ model in presenting the stories. Wherever possible we described their managerial and leadership actions, the styles and the philosophy behind their styles, their attitudes to work, and assumption about what is success and what succeeds in India etc.
In this study, there are 19 young managers who are 40 years and below. About 40% of the managers are in the age bracket of 40 to 50 years while another 40% are above 50 years of age. Very few are over 60. A few of the retired continue working as advisors to their organizations post retirement. The study also highlights that most of these managers are highly qualified. Also some of them are only graduates and yet reached the heights and done commendable work. The issues they answered vary from person to person but they present interesting stories.
These managers have undoubtedly made a high impact on the following dimensions:
1. They develop and articulate a vision for their sphere of work.
2. They are driven by technology.
3. They have a knack of balancing both immediate goals and short-term results with the long-term goals and intellectual capital building.
4. They are also conscious of the need for and the importance of building an appropriate organisational culture.
5. They are good motivators and developers of people.
6. They are also good in understanding the needs and requirements of their colleagues and internal customers.
7. They are good team workers.
8. They are good “Boss Managers”.
9. They strive to understand their customers, listen to them, understand their expectations and problems, and solve their problems proactively.
10. They have a personal philosophy of faith and belief in their juniors and consequently exhibit a developmental and empowering style.
These ten differentiating areas of impact by the managers was the starting point of this study rather than the conclusions from the study. The managers we have chosen have already demonstrated these qualities in our 360 Degree Feedback. The case studies of these managers reveal further competencies of the high impact making managers.
From all these 100 case studies we conclude the following about these managers who made impact on people around them:
1. They are hard core Networkers
2. They are great Learners
3. They are achievement driven and focus on building achievement and problem solving culture
4. They want to live many lives: These leaders want to share their own experience with others
5. They are perseverant: They implement systems and keep coming back to them for monitoring
6. They exhibit their Leadership skills from early years
7. They are self motivated
8. They are aware about self
9. They are open to views of others and feedback
10. They build on strengths
11. They follow up with the outside world
12. They get support from their families
The managers even though they belong to different industries, age groups, they have different experiences, their leadership styles are different, outlooks are different, but they all share a common pursuit for excellence. And they are relentless in this. As they rose in experience and designation, they found higher responsibilities to shoulder, thereby acquiring higher skills in the process.
Here we do not have data to support the impact these managers have created on the financial front of the company. But going by the fact of the exceptionally high ratings received in the 360 Degree Format, we would like to believe the overall impact would be significant.
This research did not begin with any hypothesis as such. There was only one objective to bring out the lesser-known people in the limelight. We accepted what came on our way. It was a nice to communicate back with the people who were once or more than once profiled by us. It was mutually beneficial. We could see the after effects of 360 Degree Format and the participants were happy to share it. They have followed a self disciplined life working religiously on the action plans made during the workshop conducted for the company. Some have also shared the accomplishment and growth with us.
In initiating this work I am greatly influenced by the book “The Extraordinary Manager” by Zenger and Folkman. They studied over 80,000 managers who had their 360 Degree Feedback and highlighted what distinguished extraordinary managers from the rest. We have now insights from Indian Managers for Leadership in India.
I thank my co-author Charu Sharma who worked relentlessly for over a year collecting the case studies. My colleagues at TVRLS Dr. Raju Rao and Ms. Nandini Chawla should have joined me as co-authors as the selection of cases is based on the work done by them also along with me. Nandini has even facilitated collection of some of the case studies from her list at TVRLS Bangalore.
The managers at the time of the case studies were employed at the following organizations: Adani Group; Aditya Birla Minacs; Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd; Advanta India Ltd; Agvantage Agribusiness LLP; Altair; Apeejay Group; ATE Enterprises P Ltd; Bharat Electronics Ltd; Bhoruka Power Corporation Ltd; BSI Group India; Chowgule & Company P Ltd; Clariant Chemicals (I) Ltd; DCBL; Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd; Elitecore Technologies; Ferromatik Milacron India Ltd; Fortis Mulund Hospital; Gati Ltd; Godfrey Philips India Ltd; Idea Cellular Ltd; IL&FS; IIHMR; Intervet India P Ltd; Jindal Steel and Power Ltd.(JSPL); Jubilant Foodworks Ltd; KHS Machinery; Mamata Group; Novartis; Oracle India; Pfizer Ltd; Philips Electronics India Ltd; Reliance Power Ltd; Reserve Bank of India; Rubamin; Steel Authority of India Ltd; TCI XPS; Titan Industries Ltd.; Wockhardt ; Wyeth Ltd; and Youbroadband & Cable India.
We are sure that there are many more outstanding managers among those who had not gone through 360 Degree feedback and those who had gone through the feedback but could not be profiles for various reasons here. We hope that they will find place in our next venture of “1000 Managers in Action” a project of TVRLS.