ANUJ PURI is the Chairman and Country Head of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, largest premiere real estate services firm in India. He is responsible for the overall direction, strategy and growth of the company. He has over 18 years of experience in multi-disciplinary consulting ranging from real estate to social development projects. He has expertise in planning, undertaking demand assessment studies and transactional services including marketing strategies based on technical real estate market analysis. Previously as head of Trammell Crow Meghraj (TCM), he had handled projects in Information Technology, Tourism, Office, Retail, Leisure and Entertainment and Housing. While at TCM, he turned around the overall operations by increasing the turnover and reducing the cost base. He has experience that is broad and ranges from feasibility studies and program requirement derivation to fund and investor sourcing.
Our Exclusive Interview:
What is your definition of a good leader?
A good leader is a person who has explored the terrain that he or she is asking others to follow on. He understands the complexities and challenges it presents, and is also intimately familiar with its opportunities. Once the terrain is mapped, a leader leads from the front – by personal example, acumen and initiative. Only such qualities will inspire others to follow.
How do you think organizations should evaluate/measure “quality of leadership”?
Companies are entities, not people. Only people can measure the quality of leadership. Such an evaluation cannot and should not be reduced to a box-ticking process. The best way to evaluate leadership is to create an environment in which people are encouraged to speak up about those who lead them.
How can one improve one’s leadership skills?
Yes, one can improve one’s leadership skills – and anyone in a leadership position should constantly strive to do so. While one may have a natural flair for it, leadership is nevertheless always a learned process that is also constantly changing.
What are the three most important challenges in front of leaders in today’s times?
a. Keeping their people satisfied, motivated and encouraged to grow
b. Effectively managing the flight of talent
c. Not becoming obsolete and irrelevant in a constantly changing and evolving business arena
What in your views are most effective ways/techniques for grooming future leaders?
One of the most effective way of grooming future leaders is by at all times remaining 100% transparent about one’s own shortcomings. Leaders are not created by mythical perfect beings, but by real-life human beings.
When should a leader call it quits?
There is no standard answer to this question – but every leader knows instinctively when that point is come. In any case, one should always quit while one is ahead.
Which leader in the Corporate world do you admire and why?
I think my favourite is Richard Branson. He is completely atypical, yet devastatingly effective. I like his humanness, his ability to consistently attract and retain the best talent, and his uncanny instincts as a businessman. Above everything else, I greatly admire his ability to have fun at every point – that is so very important for a leader.