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Friday, Dec 06, 2002

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Removal of nay-sayers is the key

Our Bureau

Mr Venu Srinivasan


A GOOD leader must not only be able to carry people along, but must also know whom to accelerate and whom to weed away, Mr Venu Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director, TVS Motor Company, said today.

"We removed the nay-sayers," Mr Srinivasan recalled, while describing the turnaround of his company 10 years ago, (then known as TVS-Suzuki Ltd). He was delivering the keynote address at a seminar on `Leadership in Changing Times', organised here by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The nay-sayers were typically, high skills, high intelligence people, but were "low on attitude", he said.

There are also in an organisation, people who have to be kept on until they naturally retire, because their removal would affect the morale of the organisation.

"You have to eat an elephant piece by piece," he said. On the other hand, those who are high on skills, intelligence and also attitude, or "nuggets", would need to be identified and "accelerated".

He said that TVS Motor Company uses a lot of consultants, but uses them more in the nature of mentors or advisors, rather than service providers.

Mr Srinivasan said that it would help if the man at the top believed in God. "Sometimes it is very lonely at the top and you may have no one to talk to, except God. Spiritual support is a great, great support— a raft that helps you cross the sea of turbulence," he said.

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