Good leaders as those who programme their subordinates to succeed. They are people who are not insecure and are not scared that subordinates would do better than them. They want their colleagues to do better than them, said Jerry Rao, Founder and Former CEO, Mphasis.

Great organisations always have great leaders and great followers, said Rao while speaking at the 2nd V Narayanan (Pond’s) Memorial Lecture organised by the MMA. Narayanan served as the CMD of Pond’s India.

Different types of situations need different leaders. The British public have understood this best. Churchill may have led them through the war, but the moment the war was over, they defeated Churchill and gave the power to someone else. They changed the situation knowing the situation required a different leader.

Leadership is not DNA-driven but situational, and it needs to change according to the situation. The German Army used to have different generals for offence and defence and they would specialise in it. There are some who could do both, and Narayanan was one of them who could straggle multiple situations and multiple challenges, he said.

Thyagi Thyagarajan, Former Regional Director & Senior Vice-President, GlaxoSmithKline, Asia Pacific, said: “Because the company had a heavyweight board member like Narayanan and Deepak Parekh, and we were able to persuade our parent company to look at India as a special case.” Having a board with non-executive members who are capable with the calibre of Narayanan is a great advantage, he added.