"CEOs can't wait to read Sunny Bindra's articles every week."

Jan 23, 2012
To become better at business, read more…novels

“1. Reading stories can fine-tune your social skills by helping you better understand other human beings. 2. Entering imagined worlds builds empathy and improves your ability to take another person’s point of view. 3. A love affair with narrative may gradually alter your personality—in some cases, making you more open to new experiences and more […]

Read More
Jan 16, 2012
To really understand a business, don’t talk to the CEO

“I long ago realised that to understand a business I would learn much more by talking to people involved in day-to-day operations than the chief executive. They represented “what is really going on here?”” JOHN KAY, Financial Times (January 3, 2011) The excerpt shown, from Professor John Kay’s regular FT column, caught my eye. I […]

Read More
Jan 15, 2012
A country of Big People and Little People

In Kenya there are Big People, and there are Little People. There are very few Big People, and very, very many Little People. The Big People call all the shots and make all the decisions, and the Little People obey. The slightly bigger Little People spend all their time and effort trying to become Big […]

Read More
Jan 02, 2012
2011 was a bad year for business leadership

“This was a year, sadly, when examples of poor leadership (bad decision-making, selfish actions and inexplicably bone-headed moves) seemed to outnumber the good.” JENA MCGREGOR, The Washington Post (Dec 19, 2011) As we end another year, we in the business world have to concede an uncomfortable fact: 2011 was not a great year for corporate […]

Read More
Dec 05, 2011
If it’s just about you, nothing will outlast you

“The I.B.M. lesson, Mr. Palmisano said, is never become wedded to what you make, but to the values the corporation stands for. After all, I.B.M. started out making clocks, scales, punched card tabulators, and cheese slicers (“the world’s fastest at the time,” he noted). “The history of business is a bone pile of companies that […]

Read More
Nov 21, 2011
Is there a skill every leader must have?

“”We hired a new CEO, but had to let him go after just seven months,” the chairman of an East Coast think tank complained to me recently.” His resumé looked spectacular, he did splendidly in all the interviews. But within a week or two we were hearing pushback from the staff. They were telling us, […]

Read More
Nov 14, 2011
How many employees would like to leave your organization?

“Employee loyalty is dropping around the world, according to new global analysis of Mercer’s What’s Working™ survey. The research, conducted among nearly 30,000 employees in 17 geographic markets between the fourth quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2011, shows that the percentage of workers seriously considering leaving their organization has risen since the […]

Read More
Oct 31, 2011
Don’t rush to join that board

“Female executives packed the room as former Xerox CEO and Chairman Anne Mulcahy took the stage at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit to share her best and worst practices on building boards. Throughout her career, Mulcahy has sat on boards of six public companies, three non-profits, and one privately held international company. “Sometimes, I did not […]

Read More
Oct 24, 2011
Should your next CEO be an insider or an outsider?

“On the face of it, scouring the world for a superstar makes perfect sense. Surely a great manager can make all the difference to an ailing firm? Jack Welch boosted General Electric’s market capitalisation by 4,500% at a time when its old rival, Westinghouse, was disintegrating. Surely management skills are portable? What other justification is […]

Read More
Oct 17, 2011
5 warning signs of a horrible boss in the making

1. Kisses-up and kicks-down: “How does the prospective boss respond to feedback from people higher in rank and lower in rank?” 2. Can’t take it: “Does the prospective boss accept criticism or blame when the going gets tough?” Be wary of people who constantly dish out criticism but can’t take a healthy dose themselves.  3. […]

Read More
Oct 09, 2011
Is any leader serious about honouring Wangari Maathai?

Wangari Maathai deservedly got a state funeral, the first ever for a woman in these parts. She warranted it, for rarely has a Kenyan received such global acclaim. But here’s the thing: once the funeral is over, and we have stopped shedding the requisite tears, how are we going to honour her memory? The fact […]

Read More
Oct 03, 2011
Ugly boardroom battles are killing great companies

“Really, Hewlett-Packard? This is what’s become of the company of Bill and Dave — not just the founders of HP, but the founding fathers of Silicon Valley? Three CEOs in six years. Two of those CEOs who embarrassed themselves with inept campaigns for elective office. The other CEO who managed to get tossed out of […]

Read More
Sep 18, 2011
Leadership is about preventing disasters, not reacting to them

I am so very tired of writing about disasters. And I am sure you are so very tired of reading about them. It was a bad week. First a ferry sank off Zanzibar. Several hundred people, including little children, were thrown into the sea. More than two hundred are believed to have died. Next, fuel […]

Read More
Sep 04, 2011
Lessons in traffic management from a small island

I was fortunate enough to sit atop the Singapore Flyer recently – the world’s biggest observation wheel. At its apex, the Flyer is as high as a 42-storey building, and offers unparalleled views of the famous Singapore skyline, its busy port – even of neighbouring Indonesia, across the water. Being a Peculiar Kenyan, however, I […]

Read More
Aug 29, 2011
Are all your leaders from one ‘tribe?’ Trouble will soon follow…

“(Research in Motion) is run by a ‘good ole’ boy’ network from Southern Ontario. Though I actually believe there can be advantages in this close-knit, trust-based social ecosystem, it is unacceptable in this day and age that a global brand should have the vast majority of its citizens derived from a section of a small […]

Read More
Aug 14, 2011
Another famine caused by people, not nature

I have been trying to avoid mentioning our current famine, as I thought I had written all I could about famines in the past. Clearly not, though, judging by the actions and utterances of those who ought to know better. Seven years ago, I wrote some articles on this page about famines and the right […]

Read More
Aug 08, 2011
The very subtle job of leading the board

“Today, greater professionalism is expected of a Chairman. S/he must possess a range of ‘soft skills’ and have the ability to coach new board members (especially executive directors); handle debates with skill; tease out concerns; orchestrate and unite an often disparate group; recruit the right people; and effect behavioural change where necessary. The chairman needs […]

Read More
Aug 01, 2011
Long-serving CEOs, learn from the fall of Arab dictators

“Some CEOs of long tenure must have gotten a slightly queasy feeling as they watched the recent events in the Arab world. Even if they bear no resemblance at all to Hosni Mubarak or Muammar Qaddafi—even if they are the most competent and benevolent of leaders—they may well feel horror at how rapidly the fortunes […]

Read More
Jul 25, 2011
When the founder becomes the problem in the business

“In the US they call it the “Murdoch discount”. This is the amount by which US analysts reckon shares in News Corporation are depressed because of the controlling stake held by the Murdoch family; about 40 per cent of the B voting shares, although only 13 per cent of the share capital. Analysts never like […]

Read More
Jul 18, 2011
When do these business leaders spend any time in their OWN businesses?

“Timothy Post (@timothypost): #tcdisrupt I’m beginning to think that “startups” are what entrepreneurs do when they’re NOT jetting to all the tech conferences each month.” TWITTER (24 May 2011) This column has been quoting and analyzing interesting stuff from books, journals, magazines and newspapers for years now. It’s time to move with the times and […]

Read More
Jul 17, 2011
Murdoch’s media morality tale

Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, so long a global behemoth, is in serious trouble. Commentators are scrambling to make sense of the events that led to the closure of a 168-year-old newspaper, the News of the World (NOTW) – until last Sunday Britain’s most popular newspaper. It won’t end there. The shenanigans at NOTW threaten to […]

Read More
Jun 12, 2011
Why is Kigali so clean and orderly?

After years of procrastination, I finally made it to Kigali recently. I had, of course, heard what you have all heard: that it is an African city that is clean and orderly. I was, of course, sceptical. Seeing is believing. Even so, the evidence of my own eyes was hard to believe. The roads and […]

Read More
May 02, 2011
If you think leadership is all about you, you’re dead wrong

“THE LONE RANGER: This is the “I need to do it myself if it is going to get done right” leader.  News flash, you are NOT a leader if you are doing everything and deciding everything.  Being a leader is about empowering others, motivating them to act like an owner.  A lone ranger may feel […]

Read More
Apr 18, 2011
My best advice for managing perceptions – just be yourself

“Executive coach Elizabeth Kuhnke offers some simple tips that can make the difference between being perceived as powerful or merely part of the pack. 1. Consider your stance. Place your hands facing each other and steeple your fingers. This forces your palms apart and, whether you are sitting or standing, your arms will take up […]

Read More
Apr 04, 2011
Is your consultant strengthening or weakening your organization?

“A good consultant wants clients ultimately to be able to make their own good decisions—but the better a client develops the skill for the organization, the less it needs the consultant. So perhaps even well-intentioned consultants unconsciously build, with their clients, their own prisons—a set of invisible bars reinforced by a mindset that leaders always […]

Read More
Mar 21, 2011
Do people have more energy or less after talking to you?

“Our high performers create enthusiasm for things… They create energy, and even though this is intangible it generates client sales and follow-on work as it gets other people here engaged in and supportive of what they are doing.” ROBERT I. SUTTON Good Boss, Bad Boss (2010) Bob Sutton is that rarity: a professor who talks […]

Read More
Mar 06, 2011
Leaders, pay attention to the fruit-seller who changed the world

Kenyan leaders, I know you don’t read much. Your time seems to be wholly consumed by midnight meetings, political plots and ugly utterances. So I thought I would offer you an executive summary of the story of a man who has just changed the world. Please read this as your driver overlaps through our 24/7 […]

Read More
Feb 14, 2011
Happy employees create happy shareholders

“…companies with high levels of engagement (65 percent or greater) outperformed the total stock market index and posted shareholder returns 19 percent higher than average in 2009. Still not convinced? Companies with disinterested employees (40 percent or less engagement) had a total shareholder return that was 44 percent lower than average.” COURTNEY RUBIN, www.inc.com (20 […]

Read More