CEO City

S. Janakiraman

S. Janakiraman

and CTO,
g Services,MindTree

Keys to effective Leadership

Effective leadership is having a shared vision with the team for the organization. The leader is responsible for, and achieving the vision through well-defined road map and timely actions. While achievement is important, the leader needs to ensure happy experiences for the people, customers and all stake holders.

Thoughts on consistent leadership performance

Performance of a leader needs to be assessed over a period of time. Unlike followership, leadership is about the ability to take risk and de-risk the same. A consistent performance if measured on shorter cycles, can lead to either leaders not taking risks or delivering a ‘flash in the pan’ result and not building long term. I see my job, the organization I work for, the people I work with and the customers I deal with as long term, and ensure over a period, I am able to value add and make a positive impact on them.

Unique way to motivate

I believe motivation and happiness are 90% internal and 10% external. I look at every experience as a learning opportunity. While I look at how I can fill the half cup empty, I equally derive motivation with the half cup that is already filled. I wish to be an optimist ever and my optimism rubs on my troops too. While guiding and making the team a success makes them motivated to perform even better next time, honesty and transparency that the leader exhibits makes them stay with the leader long term and deliver their best.

Evolution of your leadership role

To start with, leadership is common sense, learning from the environment and adapting the best practices. Then comes the time, when you not only adapt, but create best practices for yourselves and the team/ organization. Ultimately all this should lead to tangible results that is sustainable and can be grown further over a period of time.

Though I had been all through in arenas aligned to technology and engineering during the last 32 years of professional life, I have played various roles in R&D,manufacturing, field support, product management and business management. Thatled to interacting with diverse set of professionals, customers, products andmarkets. Each one of those had been a learning experience for me and possiblymade me one more step matured as a leader.

I believe learning can never stop and one can never become an absolute matured leader ever. It is a journey wherein the terrain will keep changing and goalpost will keep shifting. Leadership is about accepting those changes and creating newer values as one continues the journey. Also it is about enjoyingthe journey every moment in its ups and down and never giving up hope.

Being a leader: Ensure to take Right Decisions

To connect the dots, we need to be connected with the environment. Environment includes people you work with, organization you work for, customers you service, and the markets and technologies you deal with. Also the personal mission, business goal and organization vision needs to be in the same plane.Then the pattern and dots emerges and connecting the dots become simpler. But it is not an easy task. There are several mistakes that can occur inspite of all those. As long as your inner consciousness tells you that you listened and aligned to every aspects and took your plunge in connecting the dots, be at peace. Will do it right next time.

Role model

I am a non-believer in one role model concept. Leaders are bundle of strengths and weaknesses. When strengths overcome weaknesses, you become a better leader. Blindly role modeling or following a leader may not always make one a success since you may end up imbibing the negatives too or the context in which a role model you admire may be a different context in which you perform. I had several role models in my life and all of them have enriched me to become what I am. But at the end I wish to be different and of my own. Hence I do what I feel as right than going by what my role models would have done.

Valuable work lesson

Honesty pays of in the long run.


People see me as a good human being who says what he does and does what he says.

Future forecast

Mind Tree has built a solid foundation in the last 12 years to become a $400M+ company with 11000+ Minds. In the early years we gave significant thrust to be a ‘Culture led’ organization. Now we are transforming into an ‘Expertise led and Culture backed’ organization. While we are and will grow faster than the industry average, we wish to grow based on an admired culture, high ethics, great corporate governance and sound business principles. For the next two years I will work on creating the next level leaders who can take over the leadership to make MindTree a globally admired organization for its expertise and value add.

Macroeconomic variable

While the world has become flat, the headwind in global economy has increased protectionism all around. If the trend continues, it can disrupt the progress that has been made in the last two decades. I keenly watch the leading indicators on those, hope the economy will recover and the protectionism trend will reverse again. World needs to remain flat if businesses need to thrive and grow.

One good way to foster innovation

Listen to ideas, take bets and don’t give up easily.

Means to achieve success during adversity

Ignore the adversity and focus on opportunities.

If  get a chance to go back and change something

As a leader, one needs to be more balanced on ‘People Vs Task’ orientation. Looking back, I was more tilted to people side most of my life. Will bring in better balance.

Thoughts on leadership and management

Being in the right direction and reaching the destination is important. But if one doesn’t enjoy the (leadership) journey, destination is of no relevance. Enjoy the journey ahead.



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