“Leaders treasure relationships.”
Opening Case Study :
MukeshAmbani –An Exceptional Leader
The face of new emerging India, MukeshDhirubhaiAmbani is the chairman and managing director (CMD) of Reliance Industries which has earned the reputation of being one of the largest private sector enterprises in India, a Fortune 500 company, and one of the largest private sector conglomerates in the world. He is the eldest son of late DhirubhaiAmbani, the founder of Reliance Industries. Mukesh’s personal stake in Reliance Industries is 48%.
Born on 19 April 1957 in Aden, Colony of Aden (now Yemen), Mukesh did his schooling from AbaayMorischa School in Mumbai and completed his graduation with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the UDCT, now Institute of Chemical Technology, and Mumbai. He later enrolled for an MBA from Stanford University but dropped out in 1980.
An oracular thinker and optimist futurist at heart, Mukesh holds Indian economy in a salubrious thought; buoyant about its capabilities and prospect. He holds ‘inclusive’ growth and ‘value’ addition as the key propellers of India’s economic prosperity.
MukeshAmbani has been ranked as one of the world’s most respected business leaders and conferred various awards for his leadership skills. In 2010 he was awarded the School of Engineering and Applied Science Dean’s Medal by the University of Pennsylvania. He was awarded the United States-India Business Council Leadership Award by the United States-India Business Council in 2007. The same year he was awarded the Chitralekha Person of the Year Award by the government of Gujarat. Total Telecom awarded him the World Communication Award in 2004.
He was ranked 42nd among the World’s Most Respected Business Leaders and second among the four Indian CEOs featured in a survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and published in Financial Times. He was Chosen Telecom Man of the Year 2004 by Voice and Data magazine. He is ranked 13th in Asia’s Power 25 list of The Most Powerful. In year 2010, the Forbes magazine named him among the most powerful people in the world in its list of “68 people who matter most.” As of 2011, he is the second richest man in Asia and the ninth richest man in the world with a personal wealth of USD 27 billion.
Apart from being the head of the conglomerate empire, Mukesh is a member of the board of directors of Bank of America Corporation and a present member of the international advisory board of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a former Chairman of Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B). He is an Honorary Fellow of IChemE (the Institution of Chemical Engineers). He also owns the Indian Premier League team, the Mumbai Indians and grabbed headlines for his private 27 story building in Mumbai named ‘Antilia’. It is estimated to be valued at over USD1 billion to build and is claimed to be the most expensive home in history.
MukeshAmbani is the face of modern Indian business that stands to represent a bold image of Indian business sector that is urbane, evolving and revolutionary. He will always be the guru of business and the idol of every young Indian who aspires to match his capabilities and make a name for himself in the corporate world.
People are at the center of all leadership efforts. Leaders cannot lead unless they understand the people, they are leading. One way to look at leadership is that the function of a leader is to lead and guide people who will follow with the same values. An effective leader thus must be able to build relationships and create communities. We can deﬁne leadership as inspiring people and planning for the future with the motivating factors of relationship building.
Human beings are naturally social creatures – we crave friendship and positive interactions, just as we do food and water. So, i t makes sense that the leaders build betterrelationships at work. The happier employees are, the more productive they’re going to be.
Good working relationships give us several other beneﬁts: our work is more enjoyable when we have good relationships with those around us. Also, employees are more likely to go along with changes that we want to implement, and we’re more innovative and creative.
What’s more, good relationships give us freedom: instead of spending time and energy overcoming the problems associated with negative relationships, we can, instead, focus on opportunities.
Good relationships are also often necessary if we hope to develop our careers. After all, if your boss doesn’t trust you, it’s unlikely that he or she will consider you when a new position opens up. Overall, we all want to work with people we’re on good terms with.
We also need good working relationships with others in our professional circle. Customers, suppliers and key stakeholders are all essential to our success. So, it’s important to build and maintain good relations with these people.
So, what can a leader do to build better relationships at work?
- Honesty of intention: Honesty is not just about telling the truth. It’s about being real with yourself and others about who you are, what you want and what you need to live your most authentic life. Honesty promote openness & empowers relationship.
- Create emotional bank account: An emotional bank account is an account of trust between relationships with different individuals, be it with your family members, friends and coworkers. The account starts with a zero balance. When we make emotional deposits into someone’s bank account, the good will, trust and conﬁdence in us grows. If we can keep a positive reserve over time, there will be greater tolerance for our mistakes and occasional request for special favor.
- Communicate frequently & candidly: First and foremost, leaders who speak candidly report higher levels of employee satisfaction, conﬁdence and results. By communicating clearly and openly about what’s on their mind, leaders can even be more effective and more productive. They won’t waste time and energy anticipating or dealing with negative reactions.
- Visit regularly: Wander around, randomly connect with employees, ask them what they’re doing, and how they’re doing. Explain what you’re doing and what challenges you face. Often, they’ll come up with good ideas for how to overcome your obstacles in the process.
- Empathize need of others: Empathy involves the ability to emotionally understand what another person is experiencing. Essentially, it is putting you in someone else’ s position and feeling what they must be feeling.Empathy allows us to understand others and, quite often, compels us to take action to relieve another person’s suffering.
Building and maintaining good working relationships will not only make you more engaged and committed to your organization; it can also open doors to success.When the relationships with others – followers, key stakeholders, etc. – are healthy and successful, employees are motivated to work toward the goal. The goal becomes “our” goal rather than “my” goal.