YOUNG LEADERS – Traits Corporate India Looks For in NextGen Leaders

Charted waters do not excite them for they crave for unmapped depths. The snappy and talented young leaders of today know the shoals & vortices, fairwinds and squalls of businesses.
Rica Bhattacharyya talks to HR heads to find out qualities that sets young leaders apart from the rest in the pack:


IN A world that is diverse and disruptive, appreciation of diversity and the ability to make a diverse set of people work cohesively is the top most trait that companies look for in its young leadership. “On top of our mind is appreciation of diversity.

Diversity refers to an array of things, including diversity of complex situations, diverse challenges and ways of working, diversity of age, gender, etc.

It is very important to expose young leaders to diverse situations to make them appreciate the whole aspect of leadership,“ says Rajesh Dahiya, group executive at Axis Bank. The need to be inclusive and appreciation of different capabilities is key for young leaders, says Sumit Mitra, head, group HR and corporate services at Godrej Industries.


NEXTGEN leaders must display the capacity to change and move on with new a format at the same time learning and adapting to change at a fast pace.

“Learning agility or speed of change, which means how quickly one can learn and implement, is a crucial quality that we look for in young leaders,“ says Dahiya. “Hunger to learn and improve is essential.

The need to learn and apply and keep improving is crucial in young leaders,“ says Mitra.


NEXTGEN leaders see “colleagues as a community“ and “office as a community centre“. “Getting work done is about co-creating & succeeding together,“ says Wadhawan. From being individually brilliant, young leaders must display the ability to work in teams.

“Getting everyone else aligned to their agenda is crucial trait that sets a leader apart from the rest of the pack. It is about leading others or collaborating with & dev eloping people,“ says Mitra.


NEXTGEN leaders must display the potential to take on wider roles and responsibilities.

“This, typically, would cover aspects such as business acumen and solutioning ability, learning agility, change readiness, ability to influence and self-awareness,“ says Shalini Pillay, partner and head-people, culture and change at KPMG in India.

“KPMG is actively working to equip young leaders with tools to better themselves as leaders by providing them opportunities to develop and demonstrate the required skills and competencies.


LEADING the nextgen is about “how we can together make this a better worldbetter societybetter firm“. “It is no longer about what authority is at my command,“ says Wadhawan. Nextgen leader is one that wants to “face their fear“ and not avoid or bypass it. They are informal not only in their style of leadership & engagement, they are equally comfortable collaborating with teams & people at remote locations.

Source: The Economic Times


Neeraj; an entrepreneur & a visionary in the field of Railway, Defense & Automobiles, is a graduate in commerce and a Harvard Business School Alumni. He’s an expert in govt. liasoning & contracting and has an exceptional network & connections at both local as well as global level. He’s an expert in Market Strategy & Planning and has served number of overseas companies as an advisor/consultant. He takes a profound interest in upcoming startups & is very receptive towards ground-breaking ideas & innovations. He likes to brainstorm those ideas and if the values & philosophies matches; he is even ready to invest his resources, serve as a mentor or act as an incubator to futuristic businesses.

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