“Leaders are visionary; they can see forest in seed.”
Opening Case Study :
Shantanu Narayen –ALeader with Vision
Adobe is one of those ubiquitous software technologies that’s everywhere, running literally everything. From the Youtube videos to the simplest of mobile apps, everything needs a touch of Adobe. The brain behind Adobe, the man who runs the company, Shantanu Narayen is much like Adobe itself. Quiet, intelligent and everywhere.
Mr. Shantanu Narayen is CEO of Adobe systems and also a board member of Dell Inc. and university of California. In 2011 he was appointed as an advisory member of Former US President Barack Obama.
Shantanu Narayen has reshaped Adobe, helping to nearly double its stock price in two years, after a very public dispute with Apple’s Steve Jobs in 2010. Mr. Narayen was born (May 27, 1963) in Hyderabad into a well-settled family. Although he had grown up aspiring to be a journalist, he did his Bachelors in Science in Electronics Engineering from Osmania University, Hyderabad, upon insistence from his parents. His aspirations to pursue higher education took him to the US where he completed his Master’s in Business Administration (Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, Evening & Weekend MBA Program in 1993) and a Master of Science from the Bowling Green State University (Ohio) to go with it.
The 47-year-old president and CEO of Adobe Systems Incorporated—the company that makes Photoshop, Flash video operating system and Acrobat programmes—seems the sort who would always be in between appointments. He also got who was to collect the Global Innovator Award at Nasscom’s 7th Annual Global Leadership Awards.
In less than a span of 9 years, he climbed the ladder quickly and became the CEO of Adobe. As the president and chief executive ofﬁcer of Adobe, Narayan’s leadership, technology insight and operational expertise have strengthened the company’s culture of innovation, expanded the company into new markets, and extended its product portfolio and global reach. In 2009, Narayen led the $1.8 billion acquisition of Omniture, a move that shocked many industry insiders.
Apart from all this, Narayen holds ﬁve patents and is a frequent speaker at industry and academic events. He also serves on the Board of Pﬁzer, Inc. and the Advisory Board of the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, and is president of the board of the Adobe Foundation, which funds philanthropic initiatives around the world. In 2009, Narayen was considered one of “The Top Gun CEOs” by Brendan Wood International, an advisory agency.
Mr. Narayen is a recipient of many awards such as:-
- Global Innovator Award at Nasscom’s 7th Annual Global Leadership Awards, 2011.
- Annual Leadership Award, 2010 by the International Imaging Industry Association
- American India Foundation (AIF) Business and Philanthropic Leadership Award, 2009
- The Haas School’s Business Leader of the Year Award (known as the Alumnus of the Year Award from 1970 to 1998) 2008.
Vision in business requires that you clearly see where you choose to be in future and formulate the necessary steps to get your organization there. Creating and sustaining a vision for an organization calls for discipline and creativity.
A business leader must have the passion, strength of will, and necessary knowledge to achieve long-term goals. A focused individual who can inspire his team to reach organizational goals is a visionary business leader.
Leaders have vision. They share a dream and direction that other people want to share and follow. The leadership vision goes beyond your written organizational mission statement and your vision statement.
The vision of leadership permeates the workplace and is manifested in the actions, beliefs, values, and goals of your organization’s leaders. This vision attracts and affects every employee who is engaged in living this set of actions, beliefs, values, and goals. They want to share your vision.
Visionary leaders are driven and inspired by what a company can become. They are not bogged down with technical details, but they are big picture people whose intent is to usher in new eras of innovation and development.
Here are ﬁve tips on how to develop Vision:
1. Knowledge widens Vision: To widen one’s vision, gaining as much knowledge as possible is important. Knowledge does not pertain to science and technology and the ﬁelds we study in books. Knowledge is important to shape our personality and perfect our behavior and dealings with people.Knowledge accounts for the success of people. The more knowledgeable you are, the more advantage you have over the other people. The better you are equipped to lead yourself and others, the easier your journey of life.
2. Thinking develops Vision: Actions are simply the reﬂection of thoughts. And your thoughts, they are the product of your thinking. Thinking allows us to make sense of, to interpret, to make decisions, to act, to know whether something is right or wrong… list is endless. Psychology says thinking is the human process of using knowledge and information to make plans, interpret and model the world, and constructively interact with and make predictions about the world in general.
3. Determination strengthens Vision: To make your vision a success in life you have to be determined and focused on what you want to achieve. Determination is being ﬁrm on the goal you want to accomplish. Adetermined person knows exactly where he or she is on the road to success, knows where he or she wants to go and has developed a strategy of how and when to reach his or her goal.Determination is a motivator. Determination or ﬁrmness of purpose will motivate you to move forward to success as you clearly know where you are going.
4. Dreaming Enhances Vision: A Dream is a Goal in life and is the ultimate motivation for the person.The life of your Dreams, everything you would love to be, do or have, has always been closer to you than you know because the power to everything you want is inside you.Hughes says “Hold fast to dreams, for If dreams die, life is the broken-winged bird that cannot ﬂy”. You can be delivered and strengthened, but if you do not have a dream you really have no life.When you dream, you have something to look forward to, and life begins to have to mean.
5. Meditative imagination is essential for Vision: Professional athletes do it before a big game. Political candidates do it before a debate. Broadway stars do it before going on stage, and people from many walks of life, religions and cultures have practiced it – and seen amazing results from it – for centuries. What’s their secret? Their ‘secret’ isn’t really a secret at all. It’s a common practice of using the imagination to attract the results you want, and it works every time. It’s visualizing the outcome you want from a game, a debate, a ceremony or performance. It’s focusing on a positive outcome, no matter what your past has dictated for your present. It’s imagining the object or scenario you want to have, as if it already exists
As a leader, acting on your vision will provide you with the focus needed to accomplish your goals. Vision helps leaders work on what is important to achieve the end results and not get caught up in the mundane stuff. It helps leaders to focus on the 20% that is important instead of the remaining 80% that can be delegated and handled by others.