Diff''rent strokes make Masterstrokes

Mumbai: "When India went to Australia, we had a motto, didn't we? The team had a motto 'Never take a backward step.' Where did that come from?" is one of the several questions that will be answered on CNBC-TV 18's second episode of 'Masterstrokes' to be aired tonight (Tuesday 31st August at 8.30 pm), featuring B Muthuraman, MD, Tata Steel, and captain of the India cricket team, Saurav Ganguly.

A sneak preview of the show, exclusive preview to domain-b:

Harsha Bhogle: Does Tata Steel want to be like 'team Australia'? Are you quite happy being 'team India'?

B MuthuramanMuthuraman:
Incidentally, the Australian team, the Australian board in fact, some 10-15 years ago wrote a mission and a vision for itself. They didn't say that we want to win every match. That was not their vision. Their vision was above that which is to provide entertainment to spectators, which is to provide joy to spectators and in the process of doing that, they started winning matches. So if you have a vision you'll achieve things.

Harsha Bhogle: I think in a sense they symbolise a process, don't they? When you symbolise a process and sometimes the result becomes irrelevant and that is what they are very good at. But do you find at different situations in life, as your evolution as a leader and evolution of Tata Steel, different times demand different kinds of leaders. I mean, when Russi Modi was heading Tata Steel, he was like emperor of Jamshedpur. And then there was Irani and now there is you with different styles. Do you find that as market situations change, as companies structures change, they need different kinds of leaders?

Muthuraman: Absolutely. Different market situations, different types of people. Different age group of people, people with different talents, they all require different types of leadership. For example, if the company is in a crisis, and on the brink of disaster, you require a leader who is like an army general. There is no time to consult people. You need to take decisions. So it is almost like diktat. Hopefully, the general would be a good general and I think we had good generals in the past, but when a company is on the growth path, you need to have a different kind of leader who understands markets, who understands business better, who understands people and who can be a coach rather than a general.

Saurav GangulyHarsha Bhogle (to Saurav): Are you the visible general issuing diktats or are you the invisible general showing the way?