One of the leaders in IT I enjoy listening to is Mr.Lakshmi Narayan (President & CEO of Cognizant). It was probably 3 years back that I got a chance first to listen to one and since then I won’t miss a chance to attend anytime I get one. Today just now I returned from one of his speeches as part of TiE Chennai Forum, and as usual, he was brilliant. What I like about this man, is his down to earth style in all aspects – in his speech, vocabulary, thoughts, dress; everything is simple, dignified and no bit of artificialness that a CEO of a US$1Billion company will acquire without his own knowledge. And when he answered questions he doesn’t pretend to be “the chosen one” to succeed in the business; nor he tried to portray that right from the start he and other founders with him knew what they want, how to go, a clear road-map or strategy.
In my opinion, in real life, you can only go with the flow of things, and when opportunities come you pick them up, make right and wrong choices decisions, keep going. What matters is to continue going and not stand still – because life is all about good and bad; planned and unplanned. Because of the stereotype image that Media and Management Books portray, we think that successful people and hugely successful companies like Google, Microsoft knew it all when they started and they are exceptions. In reality, it is not so. It is just that successful companies, keep themselves agile, keep working hard, continue doing things, learn from right and wrong things they do and always try to improve things, be paranoid all the time and finally put the “Organization” in front of any single individual. Because one thing that can kill any company is “Complacency” or “Idol” worship.