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Inside the Economist's Mind

Koi Shuck ya savaal (Any doubt or question)?

A good leader not only leads a mission well, but also ensures a high hit rate of success for all his/her team members – and not only for himself or for some of the team members.  Clarity of instructions is something the Army teaches its generals and colonels but the same principle applies in the corporate world too. There was this Koi shak ya Savaal question which my good friend in Eicher in the early 90’s, Vimal Sachdeva would ask his Factory Team members whenever there was a task to be done or a target to be achieved. He would ask this at the end of the briefing to his team. And he would insist on getting a reply in the affirmative that there is no shuck and no savaal left to be clarified and if there was, he was v glad to clarify. This ensured no communication gap. It also ensured Vimal being branded by the same term being used for him in lighter moments.

The flip side of the coin is a A “No surprise policy” which my alma mater PepsiCo also adores as was the case with Vimal in Eicher. A good leader should be willing to accept and even encourage a team member who comes up well in time to say that something slated to happen in the future is unlikely to roll out on target or as committed. This is of course provided the expected bad news is told before it is too late to maneuver out of the problem and if it is accompanied by solution options. That is so much better than serving an outcome which is well below committed targets.

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