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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Why do successful leaders in one industry fail in another?

Hindustan Times   April 04, 2012
First Published: 21:22 IST(4/4/2012) | Last Updated: 21:25 IST(4/4/2012)

Leaders who have been successful in their respective fields are prone to dangers of “one best way thinking”. As a leader transitions to a different industry it is imperative to keep adapting strategies to relevant situations, some experts call this tackling the ‘STARS’ phases i.e “Start-up, Turnaround, Realignment and Sustaining Success” in an industry. Start-ups and turnarounds require people who can take risks and move fast. Subtlety is the key and one needs to spend time to understand the organisation to get the strategy right and to build support for execution when it comes to situations that demand realignment and sustenance. It’s easy for people who are used to working in the first two situations to stumble in the last two situations and vice versa if they do not adapt quickly to the circumstances.

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(Mritunjay Kapur, country MD, Protiviti Consulting)


Asuccessful leader is a victim of his own hubris that results from basking in one’s success. But this also means that leaders at risk often begin to be driven by a fear of failure rather than the desire to succeed. Past successes create pressure for leaders: the longer a leader is successful, the higher the perceived cost of failure. They then tend to stick to the ‘tried and tested’ formula. But, implementing ideas and strategies that worked so well in the past may not always work in a dynamic environment. New leaders also tend to misread and misjudge the dynamics and requirements of their new company and new role, and as a consequence missteps, mismatched expectations and cultural mis-estimation lead an erosion of the early support base and increased polarisation.

(Toshio Murai, managing director, Olympus Imaging India)


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