Ram Charan has come out with a new book, Know How, focused on leadership. Charan who earlier wrote the book titled –“Execution” essentially brings out the linkages between being a visionary, articulate and moving "leaders," and those who are great doers – who actually get things done. He brings out "the eight skills that separate people who perform from people who don't," and some of the relatively widely publicized summaries of its high points are worth reading.
Ram Charan's insight into the real content of leadership provides you with the eight fundamental skills needed for success in the twenty-first century:
- Positioning (and when necessary, repositioning) your business by zeroing in on the central idea that meets customer needs and makes money
- Connecting the dots by pinpointing patterns of external change ahead of others
- Shaping the way people work together by leading the social system of your business
- Judging people by getting to the truth of a person
- Molding high-energy, high-powered, high-ego people into a working team of leaders in which they equal more than the sum of their parts
- Knowing the destination where you want to take your business by developing goals that balance what the business can become with what it can realistically achieve
- Setting laser-sharp priorities that become the road map for meeting your goals
- Dealing creatively and positively with societal pressures that go beyond the economic value creation activities of your business
Know-How is the missing link of leadership. Ram says that these eight know-hows link to, interact with, and reinforce personal and psychological traits and helps make people better leaders. He further elaborates these ideas in an interview, in terms of how this can be applied to current day business.
Q: You identify 8 know-hows. Can you take us through one of them?
A: In this time of continual change, money making or business models are becoming obsolete more frequently than ever before. It wasn't that long ago when AOL was king of the hill. That leadership was taken over by Yahoo. Now Yahoo is at a crossroads and the leadership has been taken over by Google. So far Google is ahead. It has the central recipe to increase its revenues via advertising because it knows how to measure advertising effectiveness better than anybody else. Leaders at both AOL and Yahoo must be scratching their heads trying to figure out how to reposition the company to make money in the new context. Repositioning is a know-how. It's hard work, and it requires imagination. We will have an opportunity to see about the decision made by Time Warner top brass to summarily replace Jim Miller with Randy Falco of NBC Universal. Randy has a distinguished record. He will have to demonstrate one of the most crucial know-hows in this book: Can he reposition AOL for the new game, and in time? Cost cutting is not the answer.
Citing case studies from his consulting practice, Charan identifies personal traits of leaders that help or interfere with the know-hows.
1. Ambition. The drive to accomplish something but not win at all costs.
2. Tenacity. The drive to search, persist and follow through, but not too long.
3. Self-confidence. The drive to overcome the fear of failure and response, or the need to be liked and use power judiciously but not become arrogant and narcissistic.
4. Psychological Openness. The ability to be receptive to new and different ideas but not shut other people down.
5. Realism. The ability to see what can be accomplished and not gloss over problems or assume the worst.
6. Appetite for Learning. The ability to grown and improve know-hows and not repeat the same mistakes.
Too often, there are people who focus on envisioning, strategizing & planning look down on those who make things . Obviously while running an enterprise, such compartmentalization would not work and in this dynamic world, where dynamism is the order of the day, what is seen as entrepreneurial shall be required of corporate executives as well. Ram Charan helps organization and people to develop and nurture such talents.
Category :KNOW -HOW