‘It’s necessary to have high EQ’

| Updated on January 17, 2018

Anshuman Magazine, Chairman, India and South East Asia, CBRE

“I feel the whole millennial thing is exaggerated and over-hyped,” declares Anshuman Magazine, Chairman, India and South East Asia for real estate consultancy CBRE. “Millennials are not from some other planet – they want the same things as us – a good job, a house, perhaps marriage. The basics have not changed. The difference is, they have grown up in a different economic and technology climate,” he says. Well, who better than Magazine to know? He says a large chunk of the over 7,000-strong CBRE staff in India are millennials. Real estate consultancy may be an upheavals-prone business but it does not faze him. Magazine, who has spent 23 years with CBRE, says he has the resilience to cope with the ups and downs. Here are his thoughts on:

Key leadership traits for a VUCA world

One should be flexible and adapt to change. Today disruptions can be from anywhere – economic, technological, and even climate change. Floods, earthquakes can change things in our industry. Also, conflicts have escalated. I give a lot of importance to EQ. It is necessary to have high EQ to be flexible and resilient.

The ever-rising expectations from a leader

Today leadership is indeed a very tough job. At the workplace we are dealing with the expectations of four different generations. On the business front, forget next quarter, we need to deliver month on month. Everything is scrutinised. And technology has made sure there is no place to hide. This is not just true for the corporate world but also leadership in politics and elsewhere.

A management mantra to deal with all this

There are many but I believe in empowering people. However, at the same time you should hold them accountable as well. There is no point empowering without accountability.

The one quality to look for when hiring people

Attitude. You can acquire skills, but it is tough to change your attitude. And in my experience it is attitude that makes all the difference.

Gauging candidates in a short interview

There are enough HR tools to gauge attitude – psychometric tests and so on. But one can also judge it through experience – from the answers, whether a candidate is passionate or humble. I also go by references of previous team mates. A combination of tools, experience and reference checks works well.

My preference would be always to meet the candidate face to face. However, one should be comfortable with technology as well. So I am open to Skype interviews.

Getting four generations to collaborate at work

There is no short cut. You need to have a culture of open communication. As long as there is a platform and process for communicating freely collaboration happens.

In our firm we have a majority of millennials whose views are sought but senior leadership runs it. You need the experience of seniors and the insights of the young, because our target market is that segment. We have a system of mentoring and reverse mentoring. I myself work with a 25-year-old and learn from it.

A management book worth reading

The book of experiences and mistakes is the best. Honestly, I have never completed a management book, though I enjoyed bits of Jack Welch’s Straight From the Gut.

Childhood in Iran and its influence

There were a lot of things I have absorbed – culture, literature, music. But as a teenager – I was barely 13 or 14 – I saw the Iranian revolution close at hand. It has taught me to be really calm and resilient in tough situations.

Published on January 17, 2018

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