Leadership Counts Reputation-wise

January 26, 2014

Leadership Counts Reputation-wise

Building leadership reputation in China through eating with the people

Building leadership reputation in China through eating with the people

 

Two things to write about today. One is about leadership and reputation in a well-regarded company in India. The second is how leadership in China is reaching out in a new way (for China).

I came across some worthwhile quotes from Rajeev Dubey, head of HR and corporate services at Mahindra Group, the giant Indian conglomerate. I often watch what its CEO, Anand Mahindra, is up to because of his active Twitter account. He is definitely a Social CEO. This report came to me via The Holmes Report and the quotes are from Dubey while he was attending Davos:

“I’ve been in the corporate world now for 39 years and there was a stage when I thought it was processes and systems and metrics that matter much more and it doesn’t matter what kind of leadership you have. That was of course a childish and silly thought that I had. Now, I’m totally clear. With the same processes and systems and metrics, you can have absolutely different cultures and behaviours, depending on what the leadership is.”

“If I had a choice, I would certainly sacrifice short term gains for the longer term benefits which values and reputation bring. I have been observing this very closely. Losing out on your values, your reputation and the brand has such severe repercussions on your sustained business outcome. There is no question.”

Now to the second item of interest on this chilly Sunday afternoon. The Chinese president Xi Jinping may be working extra duty to be a man of the people. At the end of 2013, he showed up with no fanfare at an eatery in Beijing. He stood on line like everyone else, ordered pork buns and carried his food on a tray to sit with startled diners. This is not how Chinese presidents usually behave and it shook the usually cynical citizenry in China. It was a success because people were coming into the bun shop asking for the “chairman’s set meal.” As silly as this may sound, I always tell CEOs to go eat in the cafeteria or head to the local coffee bar…it will send shock waves and all for the better. 

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

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