Nupur Bansal, SPJIMR, Mumbai
'Inheritor CEOs have greater sense of ownership and accountability'
The most coveted job is also the least understood. As management guru Peter Drucker said: "A CEO is the link between the Inside, that is 'the organisation', and the Outside - society, the economy, technology, markets, and customers." Hence, CEOs should not be sales champions or operations officers or finance wizards, and cannot be confined to the "executive" role. They have to be all, and more. Their overarching role condemns focus on any one function and any selfish desires of 'personal growth'. A professional tends to wear several hats to further his or her career, but maintains a soft corner for the one job he/she enjoys the most and is the best at.
Inheritors are not recruited. They are born members. This isn't a question of entitlement. Inheritor CEOs' sense of ownership and accountability goes beyond any job description. Business, to them, is tribal knowledge passed on from fathers and forefathers. International expansion plans is a debate akin to overseas education for kids, while a union strike upsets all members like a family feud.
Anand Mahindra, Adi Godrej, Rahul Bajaj, among others, defy conventional wisdom that bode them to be wasteful. They enjoy greater stakeholder trust and higher non-monetary rewards. Their name on the wall is not just an identity for the company. It's their legacy. Even the most tenured professionals, who climb up through the ranks, would find it difficult to compete with this.