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3 pm May 01, 2013

On their new book 'From Smart to Wise: Acting and Leading with Wisdom'

Leaders insist on sticking to the time-tested formulae of either functional leadership-that focuses on operational excellence or smart leadership-that focuses on growth. When a leader′s focus is too functional, the organization becomes introverted and can focus too much on bottom-line profitability while missing out on top-line growth opportunities. But when leaders focus too much on smart leadership, the organization may experience quick growth but lose its effectiveness quickly. To strike a fine balance between 'From Smart to Wise' provides a fresh and timely approach to nurturing wise, resilient, and flexible leadership in a world of growing complexity. Drawing on inspiring real-life stories of historical and contemporary wise leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet-the authors identify six characteristics of wise leaders and offer a practical framework to help readers develop their own style of wise leadership that is both functional and smart.
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10 questions answered | 1 question pending
  • To be a wise leader one needs vision. Vision comes from a study of philosophy. This gives wisdom and the strength to question and find answers. Do you agree ? Is this present in your book ? Asked by: Saurabh
  • Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou Just to clarify: vision is not same as a noble purpose. A vision could be "We want to become the largest company in our industry" - but such a vision lacks a sense of purpose. A noble purpose is what Dr. V had when he founded Aravind Eyecare hospitals to "eliminate needless blindness". Similarly Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever is imparting a noble purpose into his organization of "doubling the company's revenue by 2020 while reducing environmental impact by 50%". Yes, you can discover your vision by reading philosophy. Or you can consult our book: we offer practical tools that can help you discover your noble purpose :-)
  • In that case, are there any tips you can share to help me think more 'wisely' rather than just make a smart decision? Asked by: Sarah
  • Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou identify the issue on hand. see how you have addressed it in the past and whether it worked for you or not. Then pay attention to the context around you and see whether the old answer is still effective. If not, think what works. In addition, introspect and see why you are taking that decision or action. Think about how it will be useful to others -- on your team, in your family, organization, nation etc. In other words, operate from a noble purpose. Then making decisions, taking actions become easier because you know why want to do not just what and how.
  • Have you planned a next project? Asked by: Honey
  • Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou Yes. We are looking at a field book for wise leadership. We are also thinking of a business parable. Later, we will try to create From Smart to Wise for entrepreneurs, educators and public leaders.
  • Why did you choose to name the book 'From Smart to Wise: Acting and Leading with Wisdom'? Asked by: Sneha
  • Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou We knew that smartness is the access to wisdom but also can be an obstruction. Smartness shows up in thinking and wisdom shows up in actions and decisions. First we called it Smart to wise and before we completed the book, we found Mike Clayton from UK wrote a book with that title. So we changed it to from smart to wise. Acting and leading with wisdom is a subtitle that captures the themes that we addressed in the book.
  • How long did it take for you to put down everything in order? Asked by: Priya
  • Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou Although we spent last 20 years consulting hundreds of executives on this topic -- helping them evolve from smart leaders to wise leaders -- we set out to write this book only in 2009. It took us 3 years of research (including many interviews with CXOs all over world) and multiple reiterations to come up with a finalized manuscript. The book is a true labor of love: as coauthors, we spent many sleepless nights debating various salient points of the book and rewriting drafts! The end product is quite satisfactory -- but we will let you judge its quality :-)
  • How do you definite a wise leader? And how is this different to a smart one? Asked by: Sarah
  • Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou A wise leader is not DIFFERENT from a smart one. A wise leader is simply a smart leader who learned to apply his/her intelligence to serve a larger purpose -- rather than being self-centered. A wise leader also knows how to balance action with introspection & reflection. Smart leaders tend to reapply the same success formulas again and again irrespective of the context in which they operate. On other hand, wise leaders are context-sensitive: they are willing unlearn past success formulas and learn & apply new approaches and best practices that could have a bigger impact for their organization and the society at large.
  • What was going through your mind when you were writing a book? Asked by: anurag
  • Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou how to collaborate effectively being in Silicon VAlley, we were surrounded by smart leaders and were able to see first hand the strengths and weaknesses of smart leadership. So we iteratively attempted to see what works and this framework we wrote about in the book seem to work quite well. In addition, we were focusing on the readers and readability. we wanted to write a book that is accessible and easily readable.
  • Who do you consider to be the best example of a wise leader in India today? Asked by: Rukun
  • Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou In India we view Ratan Tata as a wise leader. In the West, we view as wise leaders Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo: she is trying to shift her company's business model to offer healthy food/beverages while protecting the environment. We also view Carlos Ghosn, CEO, Renault-Nissan, as wise leader: he is investing massively in electric cars but also practicing "frugal innovation" by developing low-cost, energy-efficient cars.
  • What inspired you guys to write this book? Asked by: kapil
  • Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou we have been researching learning, creativity and leadership for past 25 years. along the way, we found that there are two kinds of learnings --- one leads to information and other leads to wisdom. So we started studying wisdom and interviewing people and coaching leaders on practical wisdom. This book is a result of those experiences and research
  • Who should read this book? Asked by: fatima
  • Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou This book is about *personal* leadership. Hence, anyone in an organization -- from individual contributors to C-level execs - can benefit from reading this book. In doing so, he/she will learn how to apply his/her smartness to be more effective at work but also create more value for oneself, his/her organization, and the community at large.

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Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radjou