Mr. Bhatt talks about how Chief Executives should be thoughtful about deciding which Boards they want to get onto. They need to have a very clear “Why” before they take on a Board role. He also goes on to discussing the key behaviors that leaders need to embrace and let go as they transition from leading a Company as a CEO to influencing a Board. He underscores the criticality of a contributing mindset and says that it is possibly a greater indicator of effectiveness and fulfilment than competence on a topic.
Mr Om Prakash Bhatt (OP Bhatt) is the Chairman of Tata Steel Limited and a Board Member at Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) and Standard Chartered Bank. He started his career in State Bank of India (SBI) as a probationary officer in 1972 and retired as the Chairman of SBI in 2011. I had first met him when I was participating in the Director’s Club programme conducted by Hunt Partners, designed to prepare individuals to be effective Board Members.
In our conversation, we spoke about how leaders should think about whether Board roles is something they should consider and his thoughts on what it takes to be an effective Board Member. More specifically, he talks about the distinction between the skillset and the mindset required to be an effective Board Member. He dwelt on how leaders often need to build new muscles of influencing that their corporate career that they may not have built during their career. We also discussed the critical role of Chairperson and how he/she can get the most out of the Board Members.
This conversation could be of specific value to individuals who are considering getting onto Boards and are curious about whether it is the right thing for them and what it takes to be effective in a Board.
Published in Oct 2018.
Deepak is a Leadership Advisor and an Executive Coach. He works with leaders to improve their effectiveness and in helping them make better decisions specifically around organizational and career transitions. He currently runs Transition Insight (www.transitioninsight.com) and works with leaders to handle phases of transition thoughtfully. He has worked as an Operations Consultant with KPMG in UK, Strategy Consultant with McKinsey in the US and as a Leadership Consultant with EgonZehnder (a Swiss Leadership Advisory firm) where he helped companies recruit CEOs, CXOs and Board Members and worked on Leadership Development. Deepak is a certified CEO Coach and is an alumnus of IIT Madras, IIM Ahmedabad and London Business School. His detailed profile can be found at https://in.linkedin.com/in/djayaraman
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