It's Action, Not Position - Ashutosh


Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration-of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine.

More than anything else today, followers believe they are part of a system, a process that lacks heart. If there is one thing a leader can do to connect with followers at a human, or better still a spiritual level, it is to become engaged with them fully, to share experiences and emotions, and to set aside the processes of leadership we have learned by rote. "Lance Secretan."

New ventures, new POVs of new leader, Ashutosh, Business Head of Sahara Filmy in conversation with Correspondent Nidhi Jain.

--Lessons you learnt throughout

All of us bank on our gut feel. There's no copybook way of driving things. When you join as a Management Trainee you feel your Manager has the bigger picture of the business. When you become a Manager, you feel the VP has the bigger picture... and it goes on… I think the man who can collate good ideas from the people he meets, is the man who is called a visionary. There's nothing called original ideas anyways. Mutation leads to concept of originality.

Those jokers can be found at any level. Of course these jokers don't last. The more I spend time professionally, the more I realize that all of us only experiment; of course some are worse than others.I guess creating a system that lets you to explore and that exposes inefficient corners is the only way forward.

--People that influenced

Professionally I have been very lucky to have good bosses, especially my first boss Mr. Vijay Jindal. However, learning nuances of broadcasting has come from so many. Meeting some has been a humbling experience, such as Mr Nandan Nilekani, Kanwal Rekhi, Subhash Chandra, and of course my Chairman Saharasri. Meeting people like these helps you grow in life, a part of which is your profession.

--Strategic alliance at work place

It is essential till it is issue based. Else it is a cabal, and typically harmful to the organization. One cannot be in sync with another guy on all topics, unless there is a superior subordinate relationship where one is supposed to merely listen and obey. There is no future in such a relationship.

Practically of course personal alliances are much stronger in a relatively loose organization.


" The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. ---- Max DePree (The Art of Leadership)"

--Ensuring that team delivers

All things are subservient to results. Therefore, fun and irreverence is fine only if it's accompanied with results. And this is clear to everyone in my team. To me the best way to deliver results is never to experiment with people, and getting the best people on board. And give them the atmosphere to deliver by cutting paperwork, and excess regulations that dampen enthusiasm.


--Fun part of your business

Luckily the TV industry is fun, extremely dynamic, and in parts chaotic. Thus, fun is inherent in our business. Acting serious so that people think you are serious, or because people would think you are the thinking guy is foolish. Even Shakespeare commented on this. Performance fortunately is relatively measurable, especially for the business leaders.

Filmy believes in looking light hearted, its people behave like that, dress like that, and create like that. Creating somberness for no reason is alien.


--Changing rules of work

While I would not hazard copying the 'Maverick' model in Toto, I believe that each one should be accounted for his deliverables only. Thus, expecting the best creative from my Creative Head is essential. But I don't expect him to wear a formal dress, speak English, and follow the office routine merely because I do it as a Channel Head. I believe you have to think before you create. Thus I cannot create an MTV if I do not think MTV. Or in today's environment I cannot create a GE channel if I don't like soaps.

"However, deliveries are supremely important, and if that is not there, people have no place in my team".

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