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Strategy execution article – learn from super achievers

Strategy execution best practices: How to execute strategies ? learn from super achievers.

It’s not easy to get up after a fall- in life, business or as an entrepreneur. But failure is indivisible from success. It’s the other side of the coin, so to speak. So, how do you pick yourself up after failure strikes, especially if you are into management or entrepreneurship? Do you understand the cause of failure and change course or keep doing things the way you were?  The answer to this one is a no-brainer, yet lots of business leaders don’t re-invent and course- correct and hope to succeed…

This is why looking at a successful leader’s journey is fruitful. It can keep you to get back on the track, to TRANSFORM and equip yourself for success. There is in fact a lot that you can learn from home-grown business leaders like Dhirubhai Ambani, Azim Premji, Ratan Tata, Naveen Jain and Kunal Shah….

They all made their #bigbreak happen rather than wait for providence, dreamt in extremes and kept on their toes making miracles happen.

There are many takeaways from their business journeys, but focus on these big five to become an exceptional business leader or entrepreneur –

Think ‘Big’

The only mindset worth inculcating is the ability to think big. The person who exemplified this dictum best amongst all Indian business leaders is Dhirubhai Ambani. He always wanted more and he had a humongous dream of wanting India to have a world- class refinery and modern petrochemical plants with the best technology- and all this when he was working as a petrol pump attendant in Aden.

Perhaps this was the #bigbreak moment that propelled Dhirubhai to make Reliance the world’s largest 500 companies in just 25 years, after starting super small as a trading venture.

The important take-away from his story is that Dhirubhai had a big dream and he made it the raison-d’etre of his life.  He had to achieve his dream and he was willing to go the whole hog for it.

Don’t be afraid to fall spectacularly

Ratan Tata came through many tests. He however didn’t believe that he had failed because he never gave up. The #bigbreak was when he was given the stewardship of Tata group, bypassing several ‘mighties‘ like Russy Modi. These men never let up tripping Ratan Tata. What didn’t help was that Ratan failed miserably in the first two projects that were given to him by his iconic uncle JRD.

These were spectacular falls… but what Ratan did after these falls defined his success and become the #bigbreak for him. He learnt from them instead of lying in bed with the lights off.  He got up faced the arrows, strategized, followed through, persevered and got rid of the opposition and the failure trap dogging him to steer the Tata empire right.

Think out- of- the- box

Entrepreneurs, more than conventional businesses have to find a new product that fills a tangible need. It ain’t lunacy any more to make the moon your business like Naveen Jain whose company Moon Express has been approved by the US Government to land on the moon. Superpowers of the next millennium are not going to be countries but entrepreneurs who achieve the impossible by thinking out-of-the-box, looking for the next big business idea rather than wait patiently for their #bigbreak. The seminal moment of Jain’s life was the decision to pursue travel to moon against all odds and this is how history will remember him.

Accept challenges

Azim Premji, the fourth richest Indian started super small. He inherited from his father Wipro a company that was making vegetable and refined oils. The pivotal moment in his life, aka #bigbreak, was when he was studying at Stanford University in California in 1966 when his father expired. He rushed back and attended the first general meeting of Wipro. As expected almost everyone wanted him to relinquish his place for someone mature.

This challenged young Azim and he vowed to make Wipro a success and wrote history by turning his biggest challenge into success. Today Wipro is a global corporation that runs IT systems. From oil to IT – Wipro sure has come a long way.

Find your fit

This is another way to say- find what you love and do it well. Steve Jobs proclaimed it in his inspiring 2005 commencement speech to Stanford graduates when he exhorted them ‘not to settle’. Kunal Shah of Freecharge exemplifies this spirit to the ‘T’.

This man who studied philosophy went on to find his fit in e- commerce. He built Freecharge in five years and sold it off for over $ 400 million to Snapdeal early 2016. Freecharge has over 20 million users and is the biggest challenger to Paytm today.

So, if you’ve  got a few arrows in your back, have been drubbed rather badly , don’t give in; rather re-invent and break out of the failure trap as men like Dhirubhai, Ratan Tata, Kunal Shah have done before, so spectacularly.

MCeE - Metis Center for Execution Excellence
MCeE is an initiative that stems from our vision “To create an ecosystem of agile, high performing and sustainable organizations”. Our mission is to be a catalyst for transformational innovations that would aid businesses optimise strategy implementation. MCeE offers researchers opportunity to work on key operational drivers, their correlation and impact on strategy implementation. We have a special focus on addressing unique strategy implementation challenges facing emerging markets like India.
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