Western CEOs could learn a thing or two from their Indian counterparts, say the authors of new research on the difference between Indian and Western bosses.
Among the most salient lessons:
• Lead with a sense of social purpose. In India, leaders can cite a specific social purpose as a business goal.
“Having a social purpose really motivates workers. If you can articulate a social purpose for your organization and take it seriously, it can have real benefits,” says Peter Cappelli, one of the study’s researchers and a professor at the Wharton School.
• Invest in employees. Indian IT firms give 60 days of training to new hires, and even experienced workers can receive months’ worth of training.
U.S. firms typically view training as a risky investment: If an employee leaves, the investment in him is lost.
• Act as a role model. “One of the things these leaders all said was more important to them than shareholder value was being a personal role model for their employees,” says Cappelli.
“If people are watching what you do, is what you’re doing really what you want your employees to be doing?”
— Adapted from “What bosses can learn from India’s business leaders,” Mark Tutton, CNN.