Leadership is about “how you behave” and has nothing to do with where you are in the hierarchy irrespective of the sector you are in, said Ms. Vinita Bali, Independent Director on Global Boards and Former Managing Director, Britannia at AIMA’s 59th #LeaderSpeak Session.
Leadership has come under sharp focus in recent years, especially due to the severe disruption caused by the Covid pandemic and other uncertainties. Leadership now has added responsibilities due to the added challenges of keeping up with technology, digitising business models, finding the right talent and much more.
An outstanding business leader and a role model for many aspiring CEOs, a high flyer, and having worked in several countries with great success, Ms. Vinita Bali, Independent Director on Global Boards and Former Managing Director, Britannia is also involved in philanthropic work. Her globetrotting career exposed her to diverse leadership cultures and gave her the opportunity to interact with iconic leaders of the world. Hence Ms. Vinita Bali was rightly qualified to address the AIMA’s 59th LeaderSpeak Session on – ‘Strengthening Leadership’.
Rendering a calming effect to a chaotic approach to the current leadership, Ms. Vinita Bali started off by saying that her approach to leadership connotes “how you behave” and has nothing to do with where you are in the hierarchy irrespective of the sector you are in. She further added that leadership is not about Titles & Entitlements but it is about what one does and not what one says. It is about the responsibility one takes. Leadership is about taking ownership of results, taking ownership for solving problems, mobilising resources, and changing something for the better.
In her opinion “a leader is also someone who calls out reality and gives hope”. During the pandemic, the world witnessed a great amount of collaboration in order to procure medical amenities and vaccines, and the decision of the leaders was at the centre of it all, hence how they actioned their leadership mattered for them to be more effective in their role.
She also cited the example of Mahatma Gandhi, who according to her was one the greatest leaders of contemporary times. Even without having a Title or an Award, he had the spirit of resolving and a clear focus. He had promised his followers of getting them freedom from the British Raj and he worked hard towards it. Besides, he acted on principle and worked on the basis of character. There was no conflict between what he said and what he did but only integrity. “Those are the qualities that effective leadership is all about,” she said.
Her views on Corporate Leadership were that it takes a great amount of self-confidence and self-esteem to be a good Corporate Leader. More than being a role model, you need to exude quality in your behaviour, which will be noticed. She said that the top qualities that she would cite for a corporate leader to have are; authenticity, a mindset of excellence, and zeal for solving problems.
Lastly, sharing her views on Women Leaders, she said that the world has to now look beyond genders and focus on “diversity of competence”. A quota should not determine a Woman Leader for being in the boardroom, but the qualifications and the experience she has garnered.
Watch the full Session- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUhb2eZh8-s