Saturday, October 31, 2009

Leadership Interview's No.1

Paul Polman is the CEO of Unilever and shares his thoughts on leadership in this interview with the Mckinsey Quarterly.

In this interview Mr Polman shares his views on leadership, and gives some very grounded and sobering thoughts on the challenges and methods of leadership.

Mr Polman is very humble, yet strong and this is shown by his comments just before the close of the interview where he says "I hope that the word integrity, the word long term, and the word caring comes into that - but the word demanding comes into that as well".

Here a few points I think are important about Mr Polman-
  • Integrity and Trust. Mr Polman constantly mentions these two key operating ideals - which means they are the guiding principles he operates by.

  • Longevity. Mr Polman completed his MBA in 1979. There was no overnight success or lightening trip to the top. All good leaders take time to develop their skill and their philosophy of management.

  • Decisive. Mr Polman prooved he had the metal to operate and think clearly with in the midst of a crisis (Unilever chief Paul Polman ditches pay rises and targets).
Being a leader brings with it both privilege as well as responsibility. The leaders role is to guide, grow and go ahead of their followers to ensure there is some level of success. There is no better way of doing that than through transparency and honesty.

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