Corner Office: He’s Not Bill Gates, or Fred Astaire
This interview with Vineet Nayar, chief executive HCL Technologies, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.
Dan Neville/The New York Times
Vineet Nayar is the chief executive of HCL Technologies, an I.T. services company based in India. To help bridge the gap between C.E.O. and the rank and file, he once danced (awkwardly) to a famous Bollywood song at an employee event.
Every Sunday, Adam Bryant talks with top executives about the challenges of leading and managing.
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Q. Talk about some of the important leadership lessons you’ve learned.
A. The first day coming out of B-school, I joined HCL, and I became a boss of two people. And what I learned immediately is that they were as smart as me, their aspirations were just as great, but they did not know what to do. I also discovered that I did not know what to do, but I lied through my teeth in those early days, projecting this sense that I knew what had to be done.
I did not know where I had to go, and I was projecting as if I knew. I assume that you expect me to know where I am going, and you will respect me for that, and the day I tell you both of us are in the same boat, we would fail. That was a very big learning for me.
Q. But so many C.E.O.’s are expected to have all the answers.
A. Most C.E.O.’s are not …