Management guru Professor Bala V Balachandran is known for his characteristic pithy quotes and does not lose an opportunity to share them.
Speaking at an event in Hyderabad last week to mark the launch of his book - "Living Legends Learning Lessons: Up Close and Personal with 10 Global Icons" that he has co-authored with Kavipriya, an alumna of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Balachandran shared some nuggets of wisdom for business leaders in his trademark style.
Urging executives to surrender their ego and let success come to the organization from its logo, he said: "If your ego is bigger than your logo, then you go."
Often referred to by his students as "Uncle Bala", Balachandran said his book on living legends covered 10 people, including leaders like Ratan Tata, NR Narayana Murthy, Adi Godrej, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Vinita Bali from India Inc. He said there were certain characteristics that made these leaders different. Referring to some qualities that ran as a link note among the leaders covered in the book, he said: "These are leaders that have passion but passion with compassion; have mobility but mobility with nobility; are leader with ability but ability with humility. Know that as you seek to succeed you need to succeed with integrity."
While pointing out that uncertainties were a given today, Balachandran said "worrying is optional... That means planning was paramount and panicking was pathetic". Talking to the leaders, the management guru said he gathered that many felt "being materialistic is not anti-spiritualistic". Commenting on the book, which had co-authors of different age, Balachandran added: "There is no generational divide or a generational spectrum... mind and heart have to be together. Analyse with your mind, but serve with your heart."
His next book, he said, would be on the 'the softer side of software giants" and would include interviews with leaders like Bill Gates, Satya Nadella, FC Kohli, Azim Premji, NR Narayana Murthy, S Ramadorai and Shiv Nadar.
The management guru and distinguished professor of accounting and information management at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, US, is also the founder, dean and chairman of Great Lakes Institute of Management.